1964-07-10 - King's Men 5: Fleeting Winter
Summary: The Inhumans reach the Ring of Brodgar, and start to dig into their past.
Related: Plot: Kingsmen
Theme Song: None
nexus karnak crystal kamala-khan ianos 

Prologue - Kamala

The runes on the stones are many languages. One might be Gaelic. One curiously looks Arabic. Another is decidedly not Urdu but something even older, if vaguely similar. If she recognizes Sanskrit, that's present too. In the languages she can't recognize, she can see a twisty line, and many straight, like the shapes she doodled in her journal. When she touches the rune shape on an upright stone, it starts to glow. Each rune on each stone has a different colour, a different sound played, like notes in a musical composition.

The gentleman looks puzzled for a moment. He whistles, and the bird comes back to land on the stone nearest to him. He hasn't entered the great circle, but stands between two of them. "Forgive me. I thought you had called for me. I heard you as I was passing." He gestures to the bird that preens its feathers. "You asked if 'it' was really here. The bird is, yes. So am I. As are you."

Ianos looks a bit stumped for a few seconds. His pale white eyebrows are hardly visible but they don't hide the twinkle in his eyes. He nods to Kamala. "This makes things a little different if you didn't intentionally call in my direction. Hmm. Ah, I know. I'm a caretaker for a site like this. Make sure that people don't ransack it or do harm to it. Try to understand it. Little bit of everything, really." He sounds decidedly British. "Most people haven't the time of day for the rocks. You're the first I've seen in a long time who went right up and touched them. I think, cousin, any message they have is for you and not me."

Kamala glances to the gentleman, with his flowing robe and his wristy wristy things. She pauses to rub her teeth, still wondering exactly how much of this she's going to remember when she wakes up, and clicks a few things together. "The stones…we're looking druidically inspired? I've never seen anything like this before, but they've got to pre-date. And the mix of languages, these are important. Normally I can't even see writing when I'm dreaming."

She pauses, then starts grinning and leaning toward the guy. "You're not Merlin are you? You know that the gaelic history became the French? Which is utterly hilarious when you consider the links between the British empire and France today. ….I got nothing on these runes though, so I'm a bit lost on message meanings. Maybe I could copy them down or something."

Kamala glances to the gentleman, with his retired professor vibe and high collars. She pauses to rub her teeth, still wondering exactly how much of this she's going to remember when she wakes up, and clicks a few things together. "The stones…we're looking druidically inspired? I've never seen anything like this before, but they've got to pre-date. And the mix of languages, these are important. Normally I can't even see writing when I'm dreaming."

She pauses, then starts grinning and leaning toward the guy. "You're not Merlin are you? You know that the gaelic history became the French? Which is utterly hilarious when you consider the links between the British empire and France today. ….I got nothing on these runes though, so I'm a bit lost on message meanings. Maybe I could copy them down or something."

Ianos scratches his pale eyebrow and looks at the stones in a broad circle. Then he looks directly back to Kamala, the younger woman subject to a little more intense scrutiny than before. "You can't read the signs? Do you hear anything?"

The mockingbird whistles its merry song, chirping at her almost encouragingly. It pecks at some of the fungus accumulated on the slanted top. Other than the birdsong and the wind, though, the dream is full only of the muted murmur that could be her heartbeat or breathing.

"I'm not Merlin, dear cousin, no." He smiles again, his slightly florid cheeks rounding out. It tickles him, this suggestion. "But you have a reading of history. Ah, the Normans and the Court of Love established by Alienor of Aquitaine certainly brought the culture out of Britain and back again after they'd forgotten it." He leans a bit more heavily on one of the stones, picking his way into the circle. "You might copy them, yes. Would you be bothered too greatly to stand over here? Bit out of the elements for me."

"Honestly, I can't read much of anything in a dream. Normally. This is at least recognizeable, but no. I can't read them. And I hear the bird, and footsteps, and you talking. And me talking. And I'm fairly certain I can hear myself being a dork, which is basically just meaning my mouth is open." Kamala grins, happy to dork when there's really nobody to see. She thinks it's a dream.

"Happy to," she muses, and moves to where she's directed. "The Norse? Did you know that Viking was originally a verb? Like, I'm viking just meant I'm adventuring. With a side order of pillage and hickeys."

She's sketching as she babbles, happy to share. Blah, blah, blah, wordy stuff.

"Going a-viking. It's attributed as far as the English historian, Sharon Turner, from about the mid-eighteenth century, and about 1820 to another historian, Jamieson." Ianos chuckles and nods to Kamala. He slides his foot carefully over a spot of moss on a boulder where he sits rather heavily, his hand resting to the side.

The bright glow in the dream strengthens slightly. "So much better. Now, then…" He feels for something that turns beside him, a projecting piece of metal that lances out to him. What follows in sequence is rather quick.

He vanishes from the dream.

The dream remains as it was, Kamala left in the green fields of a northern Atlantic island.

Something tickles over her skin and builds to a shining prickle, akin to putting her hands on a plasma globe. The ionized gas might feel like a tickle building to a buzz. Then the air temperature changes considerably, and Kamala might not be asleep with the jerking shift between two places.

There's a bit of a rushing sound, and then suddenly an immensely large canine appears, a trio of figures standing by the huge and adorable dog. The dog then woofs a bit, sitting down after he teleports the two people here.

Karnak, for her part, actually scratches the back of the dog's neck, "And yes, you did a great job Lockjaw. Very great job indeed." She actually smiles to the dog, who barks once as he knows he's a good dog, yes he is. Then she looks over at her companions, her smile fading away as she addresses them, "This seems to be the right place."

Nexus has never been quite entirely comfortable around the Inhuman dogportation, but he gives the guy a pat-pet of thanks and encouragement, "Thank you for the ride." he adds after a moment. He's a guy who has taken to suits since going to hte outside world, so charcoal gray over a crisp white shirt is his style. No tie, though. He's not a barbarian.

For this, investigation into Inhuman matters, Crystal has traded her housewife dresses for her yellow uniform of Inhuman construction. Just in case. "Thank you, Lockjaw," she smiles warmly to the dog, ruffling a hand behind his ear. "Stay close, yes? Just in case we need to leave in a hurry."

For the dissipating glow around the Inhuman hound, the aquamarine shimmer retreats to reveal a landscape of startling emerald hues. Gentle, low hills dip their broad shoulders into steely lochs on an isthmus barely wide enough to host the great stone circle crowning the natural knobby amphitheatre. Seated on a boulder is a friendly gentleman in a tweed coat and a deerstalker hat; he's not Sherlock Holmes, too old by about forty years, at least.

A narrow road rumbles by, linking one small harbour with a few overturned boats to the rest of the windswept isle. The wind is a constant addition, toying with loose clothes, hair, and bare cheeks. Lockjaw's ear flaps around and any drool caught on his happy jowls goes sailing off. Right now, no one else is nearby, though there are a few boats off in the distance.

Those stones rearing up against the horizon take advantage of the dramatic environment to the fullest. Hard to ignore even larger monoliths set further down the peninsula, easily seen. More important to those present, the cacophonous moan rolling around the air in atonal notes that don't line up. They sound like the bellows of a great instrument, broken strings playing an awry melody.

Dressed in what appears to be blue jeans and a blue and white jacket, the brown girl who is apparently already amongst the stones looks about. "Funky," Kamala says as she looks at her hands, then her arms. Considering the fact that things just happened to her, she has a bemused expression. Could still be dreaming. Could be real. If not, maybe she's now qualified for frequent flyer miles.

She looks up as she notices peeple, then nods. Firmly. Proudly. Raises her hands high, grinning, and strides over toward the group.

And, of course, goes RIGHT PAST everyone in the group, right up to Lockjaw, and gives him a huge hug "Awww…Look at you! You have got to be just the cutest most humongous thing I have ever seen!" Smiling with all her smiles, she scritches his head and adores the puppy, utterly unafraid.

"Who's a good dog? Who's a good bizarro doggie?"

Karnak looks… well, a bit surprised at the fact that there's someone already here. And a young girl at that. She tilts her head and looks curiously at Kamala, saying simply, "Lockjaw is a good dog. He's pretty well aware of that too." She actually smiles a little, looking around the landscape, and focusing on the old man perched on the boulder. "That tone is… strange." She tilts her head, hearing it as she tries to quantify it.

It hits Nexus then within a moment, a look of pain: where out here in the middle of nature the rest of the inhumans are likely breathing a sigh of relief, he stumbles and his skin pales visibly. He holds his hand up to his head, and he reaches— but there is nothing to grab onto save for the Core, and so he clings to the Core as he tries to keep a steady gait… not entirely successfully. In a quiet, pained voice, "Access public records, load computational matrix NO415 version three, and look for patterns. Show reports. Yes. Next. Yes."

Crystal watches Kamala walk up to Lockjaw, rubbing a hand at the back of her neck with a bemused expression. "Well," she murmurs to Karnak, "At least he's used to it." With a slight wave toward the affection in illustration. That there are others here is a matter of some small concern, but at least they're in a remote enough location that perhaps word won't spread too far. Notably, she doesn't leave dealing with the young woman to Karnak.

"Miss?" she says, quirking a brow at Kamala. "Can we…help you?"

The noise actually hurts, after a prolonged period of exposure. Atonal notes clash together in a way that does not please the upper mind, dissonance creaking and building. The tones pinched together are jarring, interrupting any kind of syncopated rhythms. The music swings and swirls through a rattling height, chasing minor seconds across the scale. Whatever harmonies should naturally be there simply aren't, absent as the cacophony starts again. It isn't nice - the sort of experience to induce a headache more than anything. No obvious source, like a demonic ice cream truck, this far north.

Ianos sits on his boulder where Kamala last saw him. His smile gets interrupted by clear surprise, but he waits for them just inside the great stone ring.

"That sounds," says Kamala Khan, "like a demonic ice cream truck." She says it because someone needs to, and because it's interrupting her introducing herself to the doggie as she looks at the people who he brought with him. "I'm far beyond help actually, but I'm sure you're part of the dream so it's unlikely to really matter a great deal."

Which is when she scritches Lockjaw, then offers her hand to Crystal with a smile. Since Crystal is the one who actually asked her a question. "Hi! The old guy over there is the old guy over there. I think he referred to himself as Jaimeson but he looks more like my brother's psychology instructor." She pauses, then stage-whispers behind her hand to Karnak, "I'm actually asleep, so you can probably relax a bit."

Karnak sighs, "At least you are more aware of it than others." What that means, the monk doesn't elaborate as she moves towards the old man on the rock. She tries hard not to let the atonal music get to her, and succeeds mostly… though she does say, "Do you know where that cacophony is coming from?"

Lockjaw whines and shuffles in the way a giant dog might, his nose promptly buried underneath his paws.

The music is unpleasant, its distracting, its pulling Nexus to here, away from the streams of data he's trying to consume in Attilan. He rubs his head and looks even paler then he did a moment before, "I…" he says in a soft, uncertain, hesitant voice, "…well, I mean, I… think, thought we like, were expecting this to be you know… ruins?" he asks tentatively, "Of Kree? I … I mean I'm sure there's something, but I can't sense, well, any. There's phones some..oh I don't know, ten odd miles away?"

Perhaps twenty yards from Nexus lie twenty-seven some-odd Neolithic standing stones, conveniently.

"Crystal," the princess introduces herself, taking Kamala's hand in a polite grasp before she closes her eyes and takes a deep breath, trying to tune out the noise and not entirely succeeding. "I'm not sure how you got here, but I can assure you that we're not part of a dream. Though that noise may be part of a nightmare," she grimaces, releasing the girl's hand in favor of extending hers toward the sky, feeling the flow of air around them to see if the wind is causing the noise. Because that? That she can do something about. She keeps an eye on the strange old man, but first priority is stopping that noise.

"Oh, you hear it, do you?" Ianos sits up a little more. He manages a smile despite the cacophony or perhaps he's stone-deaf to most tones. His hand goes to his deerstalker hat despite the wind's efforts to blow it off his head, a sweep of white hair falling over his ears. "As it so happens, yes. I have a fairly good idea. Dreadful stones have been making a fuss for a few days now." He looks past Karnak to the trio, and then says in an aside audible to anyone, "Your friend looks a bit poorly. Have him come up here. He can sit." To that extent, he gets up from the boulder with a bit more of a hop than someone pressing seventy-something ought to be able to do.

The wind isn't affecting the sound much, except to further distort it. It's not the cause, certainly.

Kamala puts things together as well as she can. Which isn't to say much, since she's only processing things in a fashion. And she's not much for fashion. "Kamala," she says to Crystal, since it appears that Crystal is her name. She's heard odder; the kids down the block are called the Jacksons. Five kids, no waiting. Odd parents.

"Living stones? I'm probably out of my depth on this one, anyone here able to talk to rocks? Or have a music degree, because there's usually a reason for tonality shifts like that. Or we could just ask Jaimeson. Hey Jaimeson, why are we here?"

To Karnak, she whispers, "I can't be awake, I'm not important enough to kidnap."

Karnak looks at the old man, then gestures towards Nexus, "The sound might be minimized upon the rock, perhaps." She says that to Nexus, then she looks back to the old man. "Are the stones the cause of the disharmony, or is it something else? It sounds as though things are not in balance here." She tilts her head, thinking about that for a moment, growing silent.

Nexus blinks at the girl, blinks at the man, seeming confused. But people are naming names, "Josua." he introduces himself, using a name he nearly never uses. Not out of guile, not on purpose: out of uncertainty. At the moment he's almost not himself. He listlessly wanders over towards the rock, but sorta just leans over that way more then sits on it.

"I think we all hear it," Crystal says ruefully to the man, pressing a hand to her temple with a wince. Air is a bust, so instead she sinks her senses into the land around her, into the stones themselves, searching for some cause. "Is it always like this?" she asks, squinting at Ianos.

That insistent warbling squeal deteriorates steadily on the mind, a sound that slips into the ear and rattles around inside the skull. Shrill notes enter the beat but it feels somewhat repetitive, for all its jagged, crooked beats that don't sync up quite right. Even Kamala gets bombarded.

Ianos cuffs his hands behind his back. He might not recognize all the faces but he knows what black and yellow diamonds mean. "My name is actually Ianos." Hey, at a distance, it probably sounds like Jameson, the last stress soft. "May I ask why you've come to Brodgar? I brought the fine young lady, Kamala." He'll take blame with a weathered smile. "Not just for the air and the stones, is it? I take care of the site for the most part. No, not always like it. Lit up a few days back and hasn't stopped humming since. Though with you here, your highness, I suppose that makes sense."

Given that she's almost completely lost, and didn't get an answer to her question, Kamala's happy to be corrected on something. At least that clears up one thing. She's somehow, against all odds, not dreaming. Or it's one of the strangest dreams she's ever had. "Sorry about that," she says to Ianos, checking on Josua since the kid seems really put out by all this. "Hey…are you okay? You don't look good." Yes, she's a few steps behind. No, it's not looking good on catching up any time soon. Yes, there's still a cute puppy over there. So not all bad.

Karnak looks over at Ianos, "We are seeking the Grey Book. Because it likely has the location of something we need." She glances over at the stones, doing a quick count as she moves closer to one, examining it curiously as she clenches her fist tight, channeling the pain from the noise into something constructive.

Nexus pauses, his expression clearing *slightly*, resting a hand upon the stone. The marks in his skin become bright silver-white lines — looking for those who haven't seen them very much like electronic circuits is just beneath his skin. "There is something here." he says, uncertainly. Almost timidly. "A link: a conduit for a signal. But it seems to have been severed at some point." He nibbles on his lower lip, "… it's in the rock?"

Crystal tilts her head slightly toward Ianos, a small, distracted smile curving. It's hard to focus amidst all the noise from the stones. "Conduit…" she echoes, then pinches the bridge of her nose between two fingers. "Well, we did come here in search of something to aid in sonics, didn't we?" she murmurs, rueful. "It's almost as though this cacophony is distracting." Clearing her throat, she reaches out a hand to press it to the stone upon which Nexus sits. "In the rock, yes. Not the stones themselves," she agrees. "Can you find where it's disconnected, Nexus? Try to set off some signal? If you can point me to it, perhaps I can rebuild it."

"Don't try. You'll burst a blood vessel, young man. They don't reach anywhere you can go." Ianos tips his head forward a little. In an absence of names, he'll have to make notes to their parents about behaviour. That said, he says to Karnak, "Hmm, intriguing! A book for a thing you need. You'll have to forgive me, miss, I'm old and the cacophony… you see, it drives someone a bit mad after a while." He chuckles. "You know your cousin there hears the stones just as well." It's a significant pause as he isn't looking at Crystal. "The resonancer is broken, as you can well hear. I imagine putting it together might help you, yes?"

The young brown girl from Jersey is mostly just trying to turn her brain from 'dreaming and all is fine' into 'reality and wtf?' Kamala wanders over toward Ianos, hooking her thumbs in the waistband of her jeans, and kind of pokes one of the stones with her right toe. The expression on her face is curious, though she's not showing nearly the fear that would seem appropriate right now. But then, that's half of being a hero. Paying attention, noticing things, and then not being afraid of them.

So Kamala Khan waits patiently for the nice people to fix their resonator and find their book, and tries to see if she can figure out the symbology on these stones. She pulls out her notebook, which she's glad to see is still there, and starts to sketch. Must be a reason for these things.

When Kamala pokes the stone, it utters a high, melodic shriek loud enough to be heard on the other side of the loch. On the other hand, no one on the fishing boat remotely seems to react.

Karnak pauses, then looks over at Ianos as he mentions the resonancer. "Or… well, that might be what we're looking for, the resonancer." She looks at Crystal with a fairly dry and amused expression, "I am the Shatterer, reassembling things is not my strength, but I shall do what I can."

"It's leading straight down." Nexus looks around, frowning, blinking, "But its broken — its hard to say precisely where, not with my senses so… diminished." For Nexus, the more technology he can scan the better he is able to comprehend and scan, which is opposite what most would assume. He eyes Ianos a long moment, "Where is this resonancer?!" There's some urgency, even uncharacteristic anger in his voice. Even broken technology would be welcome. But he adds, "… maybe the hill is hollow? Perhaps these stones… no." He shakes his head. Stupid idea. "They … can't be like… antennae atop an… installation."

Crystal closes her eyes tightly, trying to focus. "You're the Shatterer because you know the weak point in things," she says slowly. "If something is already broken, then logically that would be the weak point, yes?" She opens one eye, looking between Karnak and Ianos. "Yes," she says, voice just a little bit dry. "I would very much like to put the broken, loud resonancer back tog-" Which is right about when Kamala touches the stone, adding another note to the cacophony, and Crystal lets out a decidedly unladylike curse.

Lockjaw howls in misery. His ears hurt too and all he can do is whine in misery.

"Yes, young man, they can." Ianos actually chuckles, the sound of someone thrilled by the connection put together. "Leads to Thule, as it happens." He manages to rub his finger against his ear, having a similar degree of misery to the fully terrigen'd Inhumans. "Forgive me, your highness, but I can't so much as hear you right now. Are you giving me authorization to speak freely? Oh, very good." The slightly daft, benign presence remains in place as he walks back a few steps. "Yes, of course, you'd want to get to Thule for the resonancer. Where did we… oh, yes, right. Need to go, was it? My ears are just ringing terribly. Eldrac! She wants Thule!"

|ROLL| Crystal +rolls 1d20 for: 3

|ROLL| Kamala Khan +rolls 1d20 for: 8

|ROLL| Karnak +rolls 1d20 for: 11

|ROLL| Nexus +rolls 1d20 for: 11

|ROLL| Ianos +rolls 1d20 for: 2

A shining doorway fills in between two of the stones, the shrieking one Kamala kicked and one directly beside it. The doorway might be familiar to any Inhuman ever required to walk through Eldrac's mechanical mouth, but otherwise it's a giant rectangle bordered by semi-mechanical teeth and barely visible eyes. When it phases into being, Nexus and Karnak are the first to react. Lockjaw is too busy lost in his own torments of bad music and no children to feed him roasts. The Inhuman-gateway makes a long, low note.

"Yes, yes, here I am. Thule it is…."

Kamala Khan seems to react to the noise. She covers her ears, wincing. Because high shrieks are inherently not good for a person's hearing. "Ianos!" She shouts, hoping that the noise gets a bit less mindmelting soon. "What are we here to do? My parents are going to think I snuck out and I'd like it to be for a good reason!" Yeah, she's still baffled on most everything going on but pain is …ooh, hey. Glowey thing. Easy distraction. "What's a Thule?"

Karnak glances over at Kamala, "It's where we need to go. I am certain that your parents can have everything properly explained." Her lips quirk in a faint smile as she glances back to Crystal, nodding once to the Princess as she looks far more settled than before. Apparently the noise was affecting her worse than she was letting on, as she goes through the breach.

Nexus, desperate to be *anywhere else*, practically rushes for the door. "Eldrac." he manages by way of a polite greeting, but through the door darkly, he is all for going.

"Miss…Kamala, was it?" Crystal sighs, stepping toward Lockjaw and gesturing for the girl to help. "I suspect that if you're hearing this like we are, you're about to find out a great deal of things you didn't expect about yourself. It's your choice, but I honestly don't know how you got here, which means I'm not sure how you're going to get home. If you'll come with us, though, we can make sure you get home safely." She urges Lockjaw toward the door as she speaks, just as eager to get away from the noise as the others.

The great door remains patiently open. Ianos almost beams. "Thule is the sealed winter city. They've come to recover something sacred to your people. I just take care of the place." He waves as they run through. And through Eldrac's patient maw, the world wavers…

"You haven't met my parents," Kamala says as she watches the group go through the magic door. This is the first time, EVER, she's seen anything close up that was remotely like the stories she writes. So she needs to actually choose to be part of it, instead of standing there in shock.

So. Kamala. Which is it going to be? Civilian, or Superhero?

Kamala manages to beat Crystal through the portal, going in headfirst and with both legs kicking. Her battle cry of "POWER ATTACK!" is heartfelt, but might need some work.

Same with her landings.

… On the other side of the doorway is a cavern, though to call it that implies darkness and shadow. Instead, the broad tunnel slips down through layers of glacial ice striated remarkable shades of impossibly rich blues and greens. Through the quartz-like walls, a pale light passes, hinting at daytime wherever they are. Translucency fades to opacity in places, though not enough to conceal the broad range of metal shot through the depths or well under the floor. Those weird harmonics are present too, wailing notes that keen and moan from the chamber at the bottom of the gently inclining tunnels. Side chambers, such as there are, display pools of meltwater and more signs of crystal threaded by some kind of filament that might function one second every minute or so.

Karnak looks over towards the others when they come through, though she can't help but smirk a bit at Kamala's enthusiasm, the older woman shaking her head a bit. Then she looks around the cavern, and hmms, "Fascinating." She smiles and concentrates on the melody, trying to read it, to see if there's a source for it as she studies the cacophony the way she might look for an opponent's weakness.

Immediately, Nexus is transformed. He comes to a stop and everything about him changes. He stands taller, straighter, calmer. The speed with which his coloring returns is notable. He takes a long sigh and lets it out slowly— and the lines on his skin remain bright silver-white scars as he spreads his mind out to embrace everything. It will take some time to figure out what everything *does*, but for the moment he just revels in being *himself*. With calm confidence he says, "Follow me." He glances back to Ianos and Kamala a moment, and says, "I should introduce myself I am Nexus Oculai." He says it with a tone like, 'and of course you either heard of me or that says something about you'. And he begins moving down the tunnel. Of course, they may be able to follow the sound but he uses other senses.

While Nexus traces the technology, Crystal traces the crystal and the ice, marking the physical contents of the space in her own mind. "Stay close," she directs Kamala, moving to try to sandwich the girl between herself and Lockjaw. "It's been centuries since any of our people walked here. Except perhaps for him," she adds with a speculative look to Ianos. "And things seem to be…not quite entirely in working order."

The tunnel amplifies the sobbing hisses and squealing rattlers of the broken resonancer. After approximately a hundred yards total of walking, the meandering pathway bored into the cool vault opens into a grand chamber. The oval space is vast, cathedral-like, and dimly lit. The uneven floor clearly took some damage in the past, spiderwebbed by cracks and entirely safe. Huge crystalline shafts erupt from a large metallic interface that takes the place of an altar in a church. Each of the shafts is thick around as Karnak's thigh and rises to different heights, the tallest in the middle cluster. Together twelve metal and crystal pipes stand together in a row.

The blocky interface below them has five conspicuous dials made of metal in a neat line at waist-height. The dials have only three settings. A lever sits in the middle of the floor behind them, stylized as a rather sharp, unfriendly spike with all the hallmarks of alien technology.

The groaning, miserable squealing cacophony clearly originates from this thing, a resonace machine.

While Nexus traces the tech and Crystal traces the rocks, Kamala is tracing out her length on the ground. She gets up and looks around, rather glad she doesn't blush brightly. "I meant to do that," she says as she dusts herself off. Of course she hasn't a clue where she is. No change there. "Waste of a good dynamic entrance. Oh hey, control features." She grins, pointing out the levers and such.

Karnak glances towards Kamala, and nods slightly, "Indeed." She tilts her head, regarding the dials and the lever, "So, the puzzle would be to change the settings so the resonancer functions normally again." She glances over at Nexus, who is looking much more at home now that he's in the city proper.

For all the noise is misery-inducing, for Nexus, its almost welcome: its meaningless noise but its a signal after a fashion and a machine he can sense is making it. He'd rather be driven mad then lose himself. He moves forward and lays a hand upon the control panel, closing his eyes: he reaches out to try to understand its function, and more importantly, how it is *supposed* to function. Not studying it as a traditional puzzle but instead seeking to gain insight into the mechanism itself.

"What's the 'normal' function?" Crystal grimaces, eyeing the pipes and the controls. "How do we even know what notes it's meant to play? We could make it stop sounding awful, but what does that do to the function of the machine?" It's Nexus she looks to for that, though Ianos gets a glance as well.

Kamala Khan rubs her head, still kinda annoyed at the screechyness. "I suppose someone needs to actually try something," she says, reaching and turning the first dial a notch. Because impulse control was never a big part of her skill set. And we need to know how the stuff works.

At the second setting, the first dial honks out a solid F# through the crystal shaft. Somewhere a bellows is probably operating like an organ.

Karnak considers, then looks over towards Nexus, arching a brow at him as she looks carefully at the device. She doesn't turn a dial just yet, but keeps a wary eye out as she looks a bit distrustful of the current situation.

"The purpose of the machine is to communicate a message: I doubt that is what all its parts were originally intended for, there's too much energy for something that simple, but that appears to be its current function." Nexus shrugs, and reaches over to the second dial, and sets it to 2; and then the third, he sets to 3; then the fourth, to 2; and the fifth, to 1. Might as well establish something of a baseline.

"Please don't-" Crystal reaches a hand for Kamala when she steps forward to turn the knob, stifling a sigh. Given the amount of time she spends surrounded by teenagers, you'd think she'd be used to it by now. "All right. Karnak, you take a knob. I'll take one. Ianos, if you would take the last, please? At least we can cycle a bit more quickly." She closes her eyes, letting her senses sink into air and crystal - sound is vibration, all of this is resonance. While she may be no musician to know the notes, she knows when the elements feel right.

It shall take Crystal some time to figure out how the harmonics of the carefully balanced apparatus works while dials are turned and spun to really feel how the movement is intended. When something is shut off, it routes too much to another corner and Nexus gets to hear a very noisy blast from two long, tall metallic pipes than hork and honk while the one in front of Kamala is relatively quiet. Lockjaw is hiding in the corner.

Given her lack of understanding, Kamala's adapting pretty well. Also she probably couldn't hear Crystal's warning anyway. "I think I got mine right first try!" she calls out, trying to be heard over the noise. "See if you can fiddle with them one at a time until it straightens out, it's like the theory of picking a lock! You turn til the sound tells you you're right, then move to the next one!" She's trying to be loud enough, hopes it makes sense. And that she's on the right path.

Karnak considers, "If we can just get another correct…" She turns the second dial from its position, moving it to the third, as she says, "The fourth one also needs to be turned. It's not in the correct position." She glances over at Kamala and says, quizzically, "Where are you from?" She sounds somewhat mystified at the presence of this bouncy teenager, though she's more focused on solving the riddle than figuring out Kamala.

The second dial utters such a horrible groaning sound, Karnak may have slaughtered the last pygmy mammoth left.

Nexus moves tot he fourth dial, and turns it from second into third position. He is oddly at ease in the maddening noise. Well, its not that he doesn't feel mad, but he is reveling in feeling more himself then he has in…weeks. Months. In some ways he almost feels more Himself then at home, "That should be first position, Karnak." he says.

That fourth dial makes a soothing sound, soaring high with the others.

"Randac's balls," Crystal winces as Karnak turns the knob, jaw setting tightly as she tries to focus on the feeling of the air moving through the pipes. "That one is unstable," she nods toward the second knob. "It's off. The rest seem to be settling together."

Kamala says, "Well, my family's Pakistani but I'm from Jersey. I mean, sure, I came from Karachi originally but everyone's born somewhere." She shrugs, watching Karnak mutilate the notes til she gets it right, which has to happen eventually. She has infinite faith in people, and these seem to be either spies or superheroes so why not? "Does anyone know why we're doing this? Like, anything?"

Karnak glances back towards Crystal, "Yes, I heard that. Of course, the Kree probably did from their homeworld too." She looks a bit rueful and sets the second dial in the only remaining position left, and looks at Kamala. "We are attempting to retrieve an item of great import for our King, so that he can properly deal with his malignant brother's scheming." She gives Kamala a wry expression, "Does that sound like something that might interest you?" Because Karnak has studied Kamala, and probably knows the answer even as she asks the question.

"A scion of a great house of our people has sent us on a mission." explains Nexus, refusing to credit Blackagar the title of King. "This man, this scion, has a power unparalleled and unmatched in the long, deep history of our people. A power that it is his great burden to control. Control that is difficult. The item we seek will help him, and may save the world one day. Is that not a worthy task, young lady" He considers, "Especially if what the old man said is true: you are kin to us. Perhaps distantly. Perhaps not so distantly as you may imagine. I lack the equipment to test accurately." He's.. oversharing. The music is getting to him. But it reacts oddly with his Grand Serenity of Technopathic Hardons.

The initial simple notes play gracefully when someone presumably throws the lever. They roll instead as the machine rolls over, air pushed through the valves and up into the tubes. (Melody: http://onlinesequencer.net/531797; full: https://open.spotify.com/track/3UAlKsorbj6Za1aW2aWRBP)

That initial first breath is a zephyr next to the full-blown orchestral movement that radiates out from the pipes, and every note becomes a shimmering of colour as the great machine afflicts the soundwaves around it enough to literally conjure up images. It's best to think of them as something of a low-level sonic effect to produce peculiar visuals. It may well be deafening at first until things settle in, and there stands a man in a grey, roughspun robe. In fact, they're all in robes, the figures reduced to silhouettes in the background and the others huddled together in twos and threes.

"…is our record, in the event anything should ever happen to us. Our children will never be without guidance, even in their darkest hour threatened by the Kree. They will be free to take up arms with the very technology we took from our oppressors…" The man speaks, while the others are clearly in front of a stone marked with an odd sigil in pale blue.

"The leaders of our people are entrusted with our histories, but we have sworn to keep their words safe. It is agreed we should carry the texts of the sacred sites where the caches remain. Let no Inhuman forget where our torments lay now gives us salvation." He stares off up the corridor, which probably remained open when the whole thing was captured.

Another movement leads to a different man, one oddly smooth-skinned, his face covered by a blindfold. "The Grey Book is our testimony," he continues.

The ice on the walls remains intact, but the machine projects a stream of delicate text in very old forms — cuneiform, nearly, another string in the proto-Dravidian once used, another in something so obscure, it's probably that of the first Neolithic peoples who dwelled in northwest Europe — on them.

A woman in a long, pale green robe and a mantle of leaves around her shoulders clutches a heavy volume to her chest. Another man holds a sealed scroll. She speaks then, "I am Ardala the Sage. I travel west over the sea to the Sun-People carry the words of our founders and kings for safe-keeping. Some have taken to the sea island, and others still have foreseen refuge in the mountains where winter lies heavy."

"…and Legolas shot at the eye of Sauron with his bow and that's why I think that makes more sense than the brothers killing each other like your quest thing."

Apparently Kamala was trying to answer the questions put to her through that whole thing, and the impossibility of being heard be damned. Heck, she almost couldn't hear her own thoughts and whatever it was she said as an answer is probably lost to the ages. Until she publishes it under her codename Slothbaby next month in Adventure magazine. Expect it, it'll be awesome.

"Hey up there, you're talking when I'm interrupting!" Kamala says to the woman in pale robes, trying to hold a conversation in the middle of all this. Probably missed half the details.

Crystal lets out a soft breath when the chaos fades to a vision instead, brows furrowing as she watches and listens. "This is a…much larger can of worms than anticipated," she murmurs, looking to the other Inhumans before she registers that Kamala is explaining…something. A flicker of amusement crosses her features as she shakes her head. "That was important, Kamala," she points out gently. "That…sounds like our next steps."

"That is the history of our people— ten, twenty thousand years ago depending on the accuracy of the records." breathes Nexus, glancing at Kamala to try to impart the knowledge of it. Of course, no one who has had a history class ever is likely to believe either numbers, not with machines involved. He nods to Crystal, "But it is a can of worms worth opening."

Yawning, Kamala says, "I'm afraid my next step is to wake up. It's been a lovely dream, but it's clearly a representation of the hero's journey, and I'm not ready for that yet. Maybe after school." She smiles, then gives Lockjaw a kiss on the nose and leans against him, ready to fall asleep. Clearly, clearly doesn't beleive a word of it. But will write the hell out of it anyway.

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