1964-07-21 - King's Men 11: Bleeding Sun
Summary: The Inhumans descend beneath the great pyramid of Kulkulkan to face their ancient history… But are they prepared to face the bizarre, augmented guardians bound by their ancestral overlords to keep the Inhumans from caches left during the exodus? They'll have to try if they want to find the secret to their past and their leader. And just how long /can/ an Inhuman hold their breath?
Related: King's Men
Theme Song: None
crystal kamala-khan karnak ianos nexus 


Exposed to the elements, the windswept grassy isthmus separating two lochs makes for a somewhat inhospitable location. Mind, Ianos never lacks for hospitality. A cup of tea solves everything, especially when a strong Scottish breakfast black. Scones homemade by Mrs. McBride up in the hamlet settle an uneasy belly. The rest comes around in time. It's been quite some time since the Inhuman party vanished into the ether after touching one of the neolithic standing stones. All except that great big hound who appeared an hour or three ago. He's been munching on a loaf of bread procured for his benefit and lying pathetically on his stomach.

The gentleman in his tweed coat sits on the one stone lying sideways, and he clasps his hands. A high, whining cry fills the air. Lockjaw's ears perk.

"Oh dear," the Grey Sage says. One of the stones hums to the others, a sound very hard to hear with normal range of hearing. The dog, though, gets up and starts circling around, snuffling.

Chichen Itza

During the day, even this lonely part of the Yucatan Peninsula enjoys somewhat healthy tourism. The local population hawks their wares on the avenue behind the great step-pyramid dominating the nearby forest and cleared field. Tourists chatter at one another while wandering the grounds. It's by no means equal to the throngs in New York around the Chrysler Building or in Paris by the Eiffel Tower. Still, for the veritable middle of nowhere, the crowd is respectable. People move in twos and threes to admire the view. Some shoot photos with their Kodak cameras.

Other structures spread out over the large site cover high stone platforms and a series of what look like semi-collapsed pillars at another point. Clearly this wasn't just a one-off discovery in the jungle, but something hacked free on a massive scale.

Kamala Khan peeks from where she's been sitting; not far away, and not exactly happy. Still, it's better than she's been in a few hours. No longer ranting about her family calling the police by now, or about whether or not it's semantically correct to refer to this entire situation as a kidnapping. No, she's settled down and is saving whatever stress might remain for enemies, if they exist.

Her head perks up when the Grey Sage does, and she nibbles her remaining scone. "What? What's that noise? I'm here, I didn't fall asleep. Much." Only for half an hour, probably, from the drool levels.

Meanwhile, in Chichen Itza, Karnak looks around at the crowd, frowning a bit, "Not good. Too many bystanders. Though, we might be able to slip by unnoticed if we are careful." She glances back towards Crystal, "Easier if Lockjaw were with us, but… let's just look like we belong." And then she smiles, a wry expression on her face as blending in isn't something Karnak does well.

Ianos scratches the side of his head over his ear. Wearing a hat out here would be hopeless and the neat comb of his white hair remains quite defiantly tidy. "Let me have a moment to think." He slowly pushes himself up from the heavy, weathered stone fallen sideways that serves as his table and couch both. Old knees pop and groan. Still, the spry gait he possesses is miles ahead of other ramblers and elders in the community. Caution guides him to the face of the various stones. "Hmm. Why… Bollocks, someone opened Mu."

His shaggy brows, so fair they're pure white, shoot up a half inch. "Have you taken your share of tea and properly come round, sister? It seems that the Princess and her advisors made it to…" No, not Yavin 4! He scowls. "One of the other sites without coming back here. I'm not sure how they knew to."

Without more than an ironic grin, Kamala pushes off her knees to her feet. Ah, youth. "As ready as I'm likely to be, unless you happen to have a katana laying about, or something with which to defend oneself …I'm picking up your speech pattterns already."

She spreads her hands, showing her unarmed and ready to be a hero. "Once more into the breach, my friends. Let slip the dogs of war. No offense Lockjaw, you're still a good puppy."

Crystal isn't much more suited to blending in at the moment, in her black and yellow uniform. One that has been public enough between Act-F and the Avengers that some might even recognize it unprompted. "I suspect we'd have better luck blending in just about anywhere else," she murmurs ruefully to Karnak, falling into step along one of the paths that hugs the overgrowth of the jungle nearby, listening for the advice of the tour guides on just what each of the structures might have meant, what purpose they may have served.

|ROLL| Ianos +rolls 1d20 for: 10

Karnak falls in towards the back of the group, her eyes flickering around as she sees the pathways of attention people are having. Waiting for the proper moment to, well, grab Crystal and separate from the group so they can continue their explorations to find what they came here for.

Chichen Itza
As far as the people are concerned, a tourist in a funny dress is still a source of lucrative income. American greenback? Crystal could have feelers poking out of her head and a two foot long bulbous abdomen ending in a stinger, and the locals would sell their wares. It's a story to tell too. Crystal and Karnak together earn their fair share of looks. They aren't in polyester or poking around with walking sticks though.
he majority of people here speak Spanish. English is in short supply. Two Germans have an animated discussion, pointing at their notebook and then Great Ball Court off to the west of the central step pyramid. Their ongoing discussion engages the possible history while pointing eagerly at all the pillars. The impressive measurements have apparently caused them some wonders, not the least because the platforms are so high.

Ianos calls out to Lockjaw, "Stop that." The hound hasn't ceased his worried snuffling. Soon enough the great dog is trotting over to Kamala, whining. He lowers his big head and nudges her hand in hopes of a scritch. Really.

Crystal understands German, taking a few steps closer to the tourists in the interest of eavesdropping. "I'm sure they have theories about what each of these structures is for," she murmurs to Karnak. "I'm still not sure why that thing brought us here, but if it did, then at least we know this was an Inhuman site, and while we're here we might as well search for what we're looking for. But what sort of structure would be best for that? What purpose would they assume it had been for?"

Rolling her eyes, Kamala gives the great monster doggie a scratching. "You're worried about them, boy? It's okay, I think they're pretty capable. You can worry for me too though, okay? Then we'll have it covered." She gives the doggie a hug, glancing Ianos' direction a moment. "Is there anything I need to know? Ianos?" Much more better than earlier.

Karnak frowns a bit, looking at Crystal, "Perhaps the central pyramid has the controls? It might be the best place to start looking… if we can slip in there."

The Germans talk about the relative benefits of decapitating players after playing ball for the Mayans. They mention the Temples of the Jaguar, the elder of the two scoffing about climbing the ramp to the mural. "I tell you, the skull platform is much more exciting. Racks of skulls! Who would have thought? It's better than the platforms they can't figure out. Do you think it has anything to do with astronomy? Or the Sumerians! The temple height and size are equal to Sumerian cubits!"

"Enough about the Sumerians. Ever since you read that, you've been 'Sumerian' conspiracy and 'alien' conspiracy. There are no Sumerians here!" snaps the other German, assuming no one is overhearing them.

|ROLL| Kamala Khan +rolls 1d6 for: 2

Ianos has paused in front of one of the standing stones that dwarfs his height. He is still looking at the aged moss and lichen when Lockjaw makes his need for scritches apparent. His pale eyes slide sideways to Kamala petting the total mooch. Scritches are welcome. "I am trying to determine where they ended. How could they go from Thule to Mu? They should have come back here, but clearly they found some other way to travel." His frown deepens as the scholar is falling into more of a pedantic, contemplative mode. "The only direct line to Mu is the…" He turns his head. "Ardala's road of retreat. That's trapped and guarded the whole way against the Kree. What on Earth are they doing? Randac's tablets, this is a messy business. Sister, you might want to-"

What he wants to say is never finished. Lockjaw whuffles, having quite enough. Then the bright blue energy arcs around him and Kamala while he gets his hug, bleeding the two of them away. Away.

Chichen Itza
A flash of blue light and there's a dog and a very young woman atop the Castillo's highest point.

Crystal glances to Karnak as she listens to the Germans, arching a brow slightly. "Maybe not Sumerians, but the alien conspiracy bit," she murmurs, a hint of humor in her voice. She's just turning away to seek out the next stop when there's that familiar flash of light at the top of the pyramid. "Lockjaw!" she exclaims, wincing.

Luckily, Kamala has her eyes closed when the whole thing starts, so all she gets out is "Umm.." as the VVORP vorps her to some other place. And she finds herself hugging a dog elsewhere. Well, at least…there's still doggie. "Yipe?"

Atop the highest point in Chichen Itza, she looks at the group and gives a halfhearted wave, still not clad for anything but Jersey streets. "And the author sends the group to mount doom, bearing destiny."

Karnak blinks in surprise at Kamala and Lockjaw at the top of the pyramid. Then she waves towards Lockjaw, putting her other hand to her lips to emit a really high-pitched whistle, so high its almost impossible for humans to really hear it…

But a certain teleporting dog can hear it. 12/10 Good Dog Teleports Party Back Together!

Nexus has been here with Crystal and Karnak all along, but since leaving Thule he has retreated back into his uncertain and unsteady state. This place is not good for Nexus' mind. He blinks and shakes his head, trying to get his bearings, trying to focus.

The dog sits down, his paws tucked together. His tail, stubby as it is, wags excitedly. The bizarro doggie preens under the attention. Yes he is a happy puppy and yes he likes hugs. Yes, he does! His tongue lolls out and he barks, once. A bit quiet, but then that's like trying to be a quiet thunderstorm.

The butt shuffles grow only worse when Crystal is at all visible. In bright yellow, she cannot be ignored.

Back in Orkney, Ianos sighs and speaks to the empty space. "Stop that laughing, Eldrac!"

"Lockjaw, cover," Crystal hisses, pointing toward the jungle off to the side from where she and the others are, even as she starts in that direction herself. Maybe if the giant dog disappears, the bystanders won't expect to see it reappear anywhere else.

Up top, Kamala waves. The big doggie gets a hug for safely transporting them, though she's not sure HOW. "Did you teleport us here all by yourself? You're a good doggie, always full of surprises." Then she starts down the stairs.

Still coming down. She grins, waving, and almost falls over, showing her amazing level of agility that lost her second-to-last place in gym.

Continuing down, she makes her way past a tourist who wants to take up the whole area somehow.

Still coming…

She's nearly halfway down now, and calls out, "This is a lot of steps!"

She'll be right there.

This is what happens when Lockjaw gets an entire loaf of bread for lunch and woken up from his nap suddenly. He whines once at the command, but Crystal is Crystal. His ears droop and jowls wiggle, then he whuffs. Poor giant doggy paws the door and winks out to hide in the woods. There's a nice watering hole he can smell. Pity he can't read the Spanish sign reading 'Well of Sacrifice.'

Karnak blinks, and waves towards Kamala, "Stay up there, we'll join you." She then looks at Crystal and Nexus, "Come on, up this way." And with that, she starts taking the steps at a steady pace, moving up to meet Kamala, gesturing as she goes, "I think Lockjaw took you to the proper spot."

Eyeing the steps, Nexus sighs softly. The circuits in his skin flare, and he concentrates: his endurance is doubled but his strength is halved, and with a clenched jaw, he begins making his way up alllllll of those so many steps, "I sense no advanced technology at the moment; only primitive wiring. There is a small town nearby, but it's technology is negligable."

At least Crystal stays in decent shape, between the X-Men and the Avengers. Even if there are much easier ways to get to the top of the pyramid, they're all a bit more showy than she might prefer. One step at a time, she climbs toward the top. "Would you be able to sense it if it was dormant, Nexus?" she asks as she climbs, sounding more curious than challenging.

"Aaand back up we go," Kamala says as she's redirected. "This is like a master level workout or something, they should package this …stair master or something like that.." as she starts puffing her way back to the top. "Why…are we…here?" She's still kind of uninformed, seems to be her role in life. Exposition.

The monk doesn't even seem to be breathing hard, looking perfectly calm as she looks down at Kamala, "Remember how I said that we were looking for a device to help our King? This is the next step in our quest, as either a clue, or the device itself, is buried here." She then gives Nexus a wry glance, "And let's save a debate on who the actual leader of our people is, if you please. Even if he abdicated authority to the Council, he is still the rightful king." Her voice is pretty firm on that point, as she leads the way upwards.

The tourists are certain to watch those who climb up, especially the fact others can climb! This is apparently not widely known. Photographs can be taken and a few tourist guides shuffle out to tell their charges to come back like good little ducks. But assume there are eyes on them all.

The pyramid is enormous by any standard. Dedicated to a feathered serpent deity known better to the outside world as Quetzalcoatl among the Aztecs, its feathered serpent stones at the bottom and the many faded murals are an explosive celebration of life. Plumed serpents hiss at the Inhumans as they slide past, watching with frozen eyes. Bricks within have some traces of activity, though, much less detail. The interior paths are dusty, scoured by the fewer feet that go through. An aisle roams around the topmost temple crowning the place.

"It depends: if it is merely turned off but has available power, I should be able to. If it is nonfunctional for some reason— even if its as simple as being physically disconnected from a powersource, then no. But, 'physically disconnected' can be as simple as a *mechanical* mechanism that has it deactivated. I can not technopathically plug a device in or provide it power if it has none." replies Nexus to Crystal, sounding weary despite his boost to his endurance. Then again, its more psychological weariness then physical. He gives Karnak a sidelong look, "'Rightful' is an odd word to use for a title that has been hereditary for only two generations. The authority Blackagar has *returned* to the Council was before his father always theirs. Agon is revered above all leaders in generations, yes, but the House of Agon assumes much based on this."

"All politics aside," Crystal clears her throat loudly. "Even if Blackagar were any citizen, this would be something we would do, yes? For our safety and for his, we would try to find a way to help him." Once they reach the summit, she steps through carefully, setting a hand to the stone and letting her awareness sink into it, mapping the space as best she can.

Kamala is one of the first starting up, and the last inside. Mostly due to not being a superhero or a monk or a travelling salesman or something with cardio. When she manages to get into the temple, where she frigging started out, she leans on a wall and gets her breath as she listens to the storyline catchup. "Let's…find what we're meant to find.." she says, pointing bravely inward. Brave, because she's not even packing a pointy stick.

|ROLL| Crystal +rolls 1d20 for: 9

The interior hallway wraps around the rectangular brick temple. Plenty of hands have stroked the bricks, age and abuse weathering the murals still present. Plumed serpents leer up at their visitors. Wide-eyed humans perform acts of worship among the leaves and flowers. A distorted procession of people move past fantastical reclining creatures with exotic features blending jaguars, serpents, butterflies, and hummingbirds with humanoid elements.

It's a solid block of stone most of the way around. Most, not all. And Crystal may wonder why on earth three pyramids are stacked atop one another like matroshka dolls, balanced precariously over a vast reservoir of water. Bet no one outside realizes they're standing effectively on a deep freshwater chamber hollowed out by a delicate spiral of stone replicating a snake's coils.

Karnak actually waits for Kamala, she smiles a bit, "Not bad, honestly. Now, let's get inside and see if we can find a clue for what we need. Or better yet, exactly what we need." She glances around at the murals curiously, "Fascinating construction."

"Of course, Crystalia." Nexus nods to Crystal, "I do this not out of obedience but out of duty; for one as powerful as Blackagar, his difficulties are the difficulties of the whole of the world." He looks around the interior and frowns slightly, "Interesting. Though I see — nor sense — anything that reminds me of Kree technology." But his voice is pained, so that much is probably obvious.

Crystal tilts her head, focusing for a long moment before she opens her eyes again and nods toward the northwest face of the pyramid. "There's a door there," she says quietly, stepping away from her spot to trace it out with one hand. "It's very tight at the moment, though. Karnak, would you mind? Assisting," she adds quickly. "I'd prefer not to leave a hole, but it needs to be pushed…like so."

Offering a fistbump to Karnak, Kamala smiles. She's got the stamina of the young, and isn't long before she's back in form and commenting snidely on the pictures on the walls.

Kamala snorts in passing over one, with snakes and coils and humans and stuff. "Acts of worship, they call it. These are clearly sacrifice rituals, notice the genitalia in this one? Tantric power summoning. The butterflies are often used as a garnish, like parsley. Smaller stuff like that is only important if it's isolated, then the lack of embellishment becomes an embellisment of it's own."

She looks at the entrance Crystal has found, then shrugs. "I can't even see, miss. Officially taking your word for it."

The panel in question is so well hidden than thousands of people can presumably walk past it and not even realize something is out of place.

Karnak looks bemused, but does, in fact, return the fistbump. Apparently even she isn't immune to Kamala's charm, as she looks around, "Ah, yes, I see." She goes towards the panel, and smiles faintly, "I don't shatter /everything/ I see, Princess. Just most things." With that, she pushes as indicated by Crystal.

Enjoy the dark? Pray someone thought to bring a light. The foetid air heavy with the scent of water and rock comes right out, equalizing the pressure once the opening yawns back. The bricks slide behind a false front to allow for a coffin-sized opening that extends to a width of four feet. Past that ledge, the wall drops away into pure shadow. Who feels like jumping?

In the dark, Nexus' circuits flare for a moment, as his visual acuity is doubled but his hearing halved, "Speak up." he says loudly, "If you want to say something to me. Until we find light." But otherwise he's just going to follow people if/until they find tech.

It's a thirty meter high temple. Crystal is no doubt well aware there's an equally deep cenote, and then some, sitting underneath the pyramid. The very narrow route slithers down from a platform to another roughly eight meters down. No kind of handrail waits, and the fine smattering of sand makes someone's foothold a bit unsafe. Go over the edge and it's still dark. And very far, probably.

As the wall opens, Crystal summons a globe of fire to her hand. "All right," she says quietly, careful of the echo in the dark. "Everyone be cautious." The globe floats out to the front of the group, then she summons three more, one to float over the shoulders of each of the others. "Karnak, if you'll take the lead, Nexus and Kamala at the center, I'll take the rear so I can see if anyone falls to catch them."

|ROLL| Ianos +rolls 1d20 for: 9

Light flashes on a lurid procession: more of the hummingbird folk with their fruit piled high. Ahead of them go bent beasts, jaguar bodies and human legs, faces snarling at the children and adults looking back. A woman holds up a book in her hands. Chains spill out from the sun burning overtop them. She faces what for all the world looks like a giant carrying a long-hafted mallet, a helm concealing their face.

Not that Mayans were known for helms. Not at all.

"OOooooOOOOooo…" The sound in the dark is spooky.
"ooOOOOOOooo!" Then Kamala coughs, and stops being a dork, as the lights come on a bit more and she can't get away with it anymore. She shrugs, then follows the way inside. "What? It's spooky, and ambiance doesn't come cheap. Oh hey, dust is thicker in here."

Karnak nods, "This hasn't been disturbed in quite some time." She steps carefully, then looks at the image of the giant with the long-hafted mallet, saying simply, "Kree, no doubt." Her eyes flicker back towards Crystal and Nexus, "The book, again."

Momentarily blinded, Nexus' circuits flare again as his body normalizes, so when Crystal speaks quietly, he can hear her. He does have to blink a few times to clear the spots out of his eyes, though. He accepts Crystal's instructions, but adds one of his own: "Behind me, Kamala. I can… augment my abilities well beyond the norms of even our people." He eyes the fireball, though, a bit warily. Its not that he thinks Crystal will burn him on purpose, but has no particular 'fire resistance' trait to boost.

Creeeeeeak. Nexus probably won't hear it very well given the particular augmentations on his part. Karnak is in a good position to decipher the holes in the walls among the fruit with the hummingbirds, a repeating motif from section to section. Footing is treacherous, without doubt. Look down and there's no shine, just a wall of bricks fading away into emptiness. Presumably the path switchbacks. There's only way to find out.

Because, hey, a pair of boulders come tumbling down. One's weight shepherds the other along at speed; and while one is dense volcanic stone, the other definitely /isn't/.

Crystal has had one hell of a day so far, taxing her powers, testing her endurance. Which explains why, when she reaches out to try to grab and deflect the boulders with a combination of air and earth, the little bouncing balls of fire go out in a blink. Everybody try not to panic.

Kamala Khan tries not to panic. She does a good job, even, mostly getting her skinny butt back and out of the way of the real heroes. Never know, she might be blocking someone's path. "Um…that's a biiiig rock." Well, someone had to say it.

That twelve-foot stone ball weighs about 155,300 lbs, Crystal has her work cut out for her. At least the other one in front of it is slightly friendlier. It just happens to be made of wood and obsidian spikes pierced into it however the makers could think to do it. They make a lot of noise, these twins, and the pinball game starts with wood. Just try not to panic…

Karnak looks at the others, "No time, and Crystal can't slow them down that fast, I can't shatter them… too massive." She then says, suddenly, "JUMP!" And with that, she grabs Kamala, trusting her own reflexes far more than the Jersey Girl's as she leaps off the platform, away from the crushing balls of death.

Crushing…shit. Nexus isn't sure if this is a good idea, but facing crushing balls of death? That is a non-ideal situation. His circuits flare as he doubles his durability at the cost of his reactivity and speed, and leaps in after Karnak. This is all a very bad idea. "Progenitors…" he breathes.

|ROLL| Nexus +rolls 1d20 for: 4

"What?!" Jumping was not on Crystal's list of options. Jumping makes them go down, and the rocks are already going down, so it doesn't seem like the ideal solution. But when she's unable to get a proper grasp on the ball of wood and obsidian, that's another matter. Especially if others are already going down - she can't make sure they survive the water below if she's still fighting other things up here. She jumps as well…although she also uses air to soften the fall for herself and the others.

"I CAN FLY!" Kamala shouts as she's lifted and over the side they go! Not sure where they're going, but it's certain to be interesting. And she agrees with Crystal's unspoken thing, that they're probably being followed by two large and unfriendly objects, but hey…not like she can do much but offer everyone a mint at this point.

Thirty meters. Twenty-two if they're fortunate. Karnak's jump rips her and Kamala off the relative stability of the ledge they occupy. For Crystal and Nexus things are a little less fun: a thin dart flies into the meat of Nexus' thigh. For Crystal, the release on the ball feels like getting a slap on the face. Remember all those stairs they walked? Step by painful step is nothing compared to crashing through empty space.

A blur of shapes rush past them on the descent. These protected murals are lurid, a crashing cacophony of colour near bioluminescent in the dark. Bodies tumbling and falling. War. Writing on the wall impossible to read without a background in Mayan, then old, old tongues from the earliest pre-Columbian era. Kree. Flashing green and ruby coils mark feather and scale. A hummingbird man twists in rotation to point upwards in accusation at a circle of hammers. The wheels of the sun depicted in classical Mayan tradition hurl burning spears at the bodies.

The Inhumans dropping down into space don't have much room, seeing one another crash towards the water down, down below. The pool is a deep one, still and untouched by living hands all these long years. Five layers of ancient, rotting ropes webbed like a layer cake between them all slap them silly and probably break as they smash down. But anything to slow the leap!

Karnak keeps a tight hold of Kamala as the pair descend, ropes snapping to help slow them so it isn't terminal velocity when they get to the water. Acting instinctively, Karnak shouts, "Do what I do!" And then she angles her body to go in feet first, her legs pivoting to minimize the impact when they finally do hit the water, as the monk hopes it IS deep enough for this…

Crying out as the dart slashes through his flesh, Nexus plunges… but between Crystal's air powers and you know, water? Falling isn't as bad as it could be. As he bleeds, he treads water mostly with his legs— which hurts— and so he doubles his endurance at the cost of his sensitivity. That helps some, but he tugs out his belt, and slips it in around his leg and tightens it up tight to slow bleeding. But then he notices: "I can sense there is technology nearby, but only vaguely: it is unpowered." he says through gritted teeth. And then he grunts as he pulls the dart out— but keeps hold of it. Then he, at least, can stop kicking that leg and start using more of his hands to keep afloat. He swims-ish towards the machinery.

Ask Crystal with a scream: it is.

The liquid is chilling and the hole stabbed into the ground goes deeper than it has any right to. Depths don't truly become apparent until swimming away from the fairly narrow oveal entrance. Then, and only then, might the weak whispers of light reveal precisely what is here: a subterranean structure buried in the watery world full of a quiet, dim mystery. Several of the stone structures are layered in plantlife, and other than the odd ghostly fish or very strange glowing jellies zipping about, it's all terribly quiet. Displaced thirty meters from the entrance in the depths is a single dome separating the water from a ring of structures. A crystal lies in the middle of them, and several more of those pods seen frozen in Thule's ice contain what probably are - or were - bodies. Bones litter the deep. Kree hammers, obsidian weapons. The dead somehow have survived in the cool cenote.

Because those medusae jellies really don't care about the dead. The living, however…


Crystal loses some of her ability to soften their fall with air in the backlash from the stone, tumbling through the ropes until she hits the water. The temptation to just float there for a bit is strong, despite the chill in the water. She could really use a break. "I am…growing weary," she cautions the others as she surrenders to the need to start moving again, peering down into the water.

Karnak looks over at Crystal, helping support Kamala as she floats at the surface, "And we'll probably need you to make it to whatever that structure is, so… we could try and find a spot to rest here, if possible."

"Gasp!" Kamala gasps as she comes back up for air. She takes in air as well as she can, wiping her hair out of her face as her clothing sucks up water like it was clothing in a lake.

"Can you do air bubbles around our heads? Or…. maybe one big bubble of air and we all rush down to the structure? Or…. I don't have any idea how what you do works." Nexus admits with a nod to Crystal, pain in his voice: both from no active technology around— and the wound in his thigh that still bleeds, despite the belt slowing his blood flow.

That shot of obsidian isn't terribly large in Nexus' thigh, but the stone is bloody sharp without question. The jellies are stirring and floating nearer to them, their bodies like balloons and their long wiggling tentacles reaching out wider. Heeeere, humans…

"If everyone can swim, yes, smaller air bubbles around our heads would be the least taxing," Crystal nods to Nexus. "I'd simply move the water out of the way for us, but I've moved tons already today. I wouldn't want to lose control or slip when we're almost there and deep underwater." She glances down, eying the jellyfish. "Best we get moving. I should be able to push them away from us."

Karnak nods, "Very well… let's get this taken care of as soon as possible." With that, she takes a deep breath and dives under, swimming towards the main structure.

"THAT WOULD BE APPreciated!" Kamala starts yelling, then realizes she doesn't have to halfway through the sentence. She is busy making herself more able to swim without drowning.

The jellyfish are closing in, their glowing tentacles flashing and altering in shade. The fact the array of nebulae glowing in their bodies turns red cannot be a good thing. Neither is the fact their trailing arms start coiling and braiding into longer bundles. That's not natural.

Kamala Khan ducks under, swimming downward. She heads for 'away from the tentacles' and has the target of that surprisingly interesting location with the lights. And hopefully, sanctuary.

"I can swim…adequately." Nexus cringes, and dives down in, trusting in Crystal and her air bubbles, and hoping they can out run the…weird-crazy jellyfish. He is a technologist, a matrix designer, a master of computational theory — he is not a biologist, but most children of Attilan know more of biology then doctors in the outer world. Especiallythose from a family like his. And he's pretty sure jellyfish are not unusually poisonous. So swiiiiim.

It takes a moment longer than might be expected, thanks to weariness, but Crystal sets a bubble around each head like a diver's helmet, then lets herself sink under the water. She leaves the others to go first, guarding their rear from the jellyfish wth judicious application of a current through the water.

The greater dome waits where it is, untouched by time. The bodies inside their carapaces of crystal and glass are strange enough as they approach. Serene faces, where visible, under masks or webbing. Some of them are blue-skinned and most are fairer skinned than that. One looks an awful lot like a projection seen in Thule, the man with a scroll. Another has vestigial wings. Once they reach the dome, the effect is like passing through a vibrating plastic or jelly wall. It resists them thickly and then they need but crash onto the ground, a drop that's no more than ten feet at the highest point.

Before the lotus blossom of pods, an open spot is ringed in shattered weapons. Every last 'tile' of the floor is a battle hammer head, the butt of a blaster rifle, a weapon taken from battle. They form something of a seamless interlocked circle displaying the scroll on one side, the book on the other. It's not majestic, compared to some things.

Three shattered pieces of metal lie together within the crystalline pod of the man with the scroll. Together they form a circle. They may just be a circlet or a filet or some type, albeit very simple by any imperial standards.

Karnak blinks and nods towards the others, landing easily in a crouch from the fall. Then she straightens, looking over at Kamala, then the others, saying, "Is everyone alright?" Then she looks over the area they wound up in, and hmmms a bit, "Nexus, can you get a feel for this place/"

Kamala landed on her face. So she'll be fine, and is already up and exploring with a fervent wish she'd been able to bring her notepad. But paper is notoriously not good at water, and she's fascinated. Speechless, but fascinated.

There's a grunt of pain as Nexus lands upon the ground: its not a long fall, but his leg has been torn by the hateful obsidian dart he still holds. He takes a long, shuddering breath and feels, "Yes. Some. I can sense the potential more then the actual, but the actual is not insignificant— This place is like the last— Thule— a containment field, a seal that holds within from without. There." He moves with urgency towards the figure that bears the scroll, and moves to shove it aside and reach down into what lies beneath to try to restore connection, "The power conduit is here. I will awaken it." For the good of the quest? Who is he kidding? So he can feel *sane* again.

Crystal hits the ground more heavily than is her want, giving up on softening her fall with air in favor of conserving energy. "Careful," she cautions Nexus. "If this is a containment field, removing the scroll may cause it to fail. I'll do my best to protect the scroll itself if the water comes in on us, but best everyone take a deep breath first."

|ROLL| Nexus +rolls 1d20 for: 5

|ROLL| Kamala Khan +rolls 1d20 for: 3

"- came, our children, if you hear this."

Symmetries of a whisper fill the dome. The voice is soft, beautiful in its way, but so very weary. "This message must be short. Time is not with the peoples of Ge. We did not stay in Mu. This is not our refuge, and cannot be. The tribes who rose against our oppressors looked to the shattered bodies of their parents, friends, and children. We have won their freedom, but at what cost?"

Grief strings through the recording. "They could not remain in a place steeped by death. Not even with the loss of… of…" The recording flickers and some garbled distortion follows before it picks up again.

"We leave the drowned realm as our testament and a proof of our commitment to you still. Take what you need among the vaults. Yet know this, the rose-skinned slayers followed in our footsteps and swore lifelong oaths to slaughter every one of us and lay waste to this planet in the name of the Supreme Intelligence. For we have paid dearly in lives to learn the cause for such indignities and aggression, and it is fear. One of our line will bring low our makers, and leave their cities cold and barren as they left ours. They dread Midnight."

Another crackling skip that Nexus cannot manage to parse through in smoothness lands in the midst of another topic: "- essential to take the wounded to … Great Refuge. They promise… across the sea… and we go on our craft. Menalao and Rangi have left their stores at the sacred Eye. Seek the core and it will carry you swiftly. Though we pray you never have need for it. We await you in our haven."

A long, soft sigh follows. "So speaks Ardala the Grey Sage…"

"It isn't the scroll, its here beneath the man— a power conduit. The technology for most of the ..place.. is simply not powered. A physical connection." Then the message comes alive, and Nexus breathes a sigh of relief: partly, interest in the message itself, and partly, just…letting his mind expand. Encompass awakening technology. Whatever there is to encompass. Some is better then none. With more clarity he says, "Is it safe to assume the rose-skinned slayers are the Kree? I do not know this Supreme Intelligence they spoke of, but it speaks to power and imperialism. Exactly the thoughts I'd expect from our oppressors. But they seek a location for the Great Refuge. Across the sea… so the next location is beyond the atlantic. The core… here? Is transportation available to the next site here?" He closes his eyes and reaches out, searching.

Karnak glances over at Nexus, "Yes, I think it's much further than that, for some reason. Call it intuition." She nods over towards the technopath, and hmms, "We'll need to see… there was something at Thule that brought us here. So, logic would dictate we could use this place to go to the next."

Crystal actually settles cross-legged on the floor, taking a chance to collect herself and catch her breath as they discuss theories. She still has a fingertip touch on the air and the water around them, in case of emergency, but if they need to go elsewhere, then she needs to conserve what energy she has left.

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