1964-09-19 - King's Men 19: The Spire
Summary: After discovering an Accuser Corps terracotta army, the Inhumans try to decide what to do with this dreadful new discovery.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
kamala crystal rogue triton maximus 

Scarlett's useful plot notes:

Kamala has been sitting amongst the terracotta troopers since they animated. They're all weirdly quiet and at attention, which is more than a little unsettling to the young woman. But she's on a mission. She's before the accuser's hammer and sword pedestal, busily sketching but the item and the woman that's holding it. "I wonder why she didn't animate. Probably for the best that she didn't." she murmurs mainly to herself as she continues her doodles and glances at the terracotta 'her'. "That's still creepy."

"What's creepy," Crystal muses in return to Kamala, "Is that these things are recognizable. And not exact copies of us either. So either someone with a gift for prophecy built them however many centuries ago, or else there's something here that's reading our DNA, extrapolating from it, and then communicating it to these sentinels, which are somehow also adaptive. Which…Nothing good can come of," she grimaces. "Is there anyone here who doesn't have a duplicate?" she asks, turning to get a better count of the statues and their party.


Crystal and Maximus ventured into the ranks upon ranks of terracotta statues in ancient armour, drawn by a woman holding a long-handled hammer with a distinctively blocky head. With a riddle spoken aloud, the Mad Prince (King?) caused the metal sphere marking the back crystal wall to shine alight. A subtle change, to be sure, causes several of the stars picked out in precise detail on its lightly domed surface to come alight.

Those descending the waterslide are still within the triangular chamber. A number of them — Nick, Chloe, Blackagar — remain at a distance, possibly working out the best way to retreat with an absence of any other exit. Nexus maintains a connection with the AI of Penglai, which apparently has found a new best friend for all his wooing.

Maximus has a dagger from Triton and he poses with it a couple of times, then tries speaking in Kree, ~~~"Turn left. Turn right.~~ And pointing the metal dagger around. To everyone else it looks like again he is just speaking nonsense and pointing around with a dagger. "Well, I suppose we could find out if I age this nicely in some years." He gestures to his older self, casually. "Or, it could be the powers of the hammer are doing something. Accusers…" Here, Max takes a deep breath. "Have ways to see your past, and possibly your future. Very well, accuse me," he points the sword at the female accuser statue, apparently inviting it with confidence.

|ROLL| Rogue +rolls 1d20 for: 12

Here was another riddle: When was being in an oxygenated cavern under teh sea a bad thing? When you were a fish. Interesting, vastly. He did stop to check in on Nexus though. He was removed from water, but Nexus was removed from teh Core which was always fun the longer that transpired. He had to feel for the guy. Chloe still had their escape route to safety, they seemed alright there and no one was trying to put anything…their mouth. Wet feet stopped three feet short of Maximus, about to inquire what he was onto and if it was like a compass but, OH he was inviting someone to judge him. Tritons paired eyelids blinked. Really? He took one step to the side jsut a little ways away there. In case there was vaporization in the near future. He looked Back at Max and took one half step more and asked casually, totally casually, "Very well. Where shall I start." Large orbed eyes squint a bit. Nope, not forgotten, "THough in less jest I'm assuming her. Have you asked that which lookes like self? Something perhaps literary about eing our own worst critic? The regrets from the child self?"

"…you know, we keep saying this is centuries old. Are we sure of that? I mean, what if it's just giving the guise of looking old? After all, people reported seeing UFOs in 1947. Maybe this is one of them?" Kamala asks, and then frowns. "I know that doesn't make a lick of sense, but the alternative is that there is some parallel dimension us that these are based on or some such. I mean - that 'me' is like.. older!" she says thoughtfully as she continues her sketching. "I don't know.. what I am. I know I am your cousin, but what does that really mean? Were we manufactured? Like these statues? What if there's more clones of us? Did you see a clone of Lockjaw? I could put that in my front yard to scare away…" the rest of her thought is lost as Maximus goes to stand to be accused, and her eyes widen slightly as she quickly puts her sketchbook away to stand up. "I see now why you call him.. you know." she murmurs quietly to Crystal.

Crystal nods slightly to Kamala, smile rueful, as she takes a few steps away to search the faces of the warriors for familiarity. "This appears to be one of the sites linked to the circle," she explains to the girl. "Which have all, thus far, been ancient. And since the center circle that points them all out is ancient, then this must be as well. Although I suppose it's theoretically possible that the site might be ancient but the figures could be…somehow replaced. Again, I'm not reassured by that."

Every last one present has their doppelganger, and a good many varieties for a few. Other visible figures can be sussed from Inhuman history, the images visible upstairs. The woman who led the Exodus out of Chichen Itza, prominently featured in the Thule temple and 'Avaiki, has one for all that Crystal and Kamala might recognize. They remain uniformly pointed forward, right down to the hippocampus-like humanoids with long equine faces and lamellar armour.

«Truth is the loyal bedfellow at your darkest hour, the boon companion you dread and deny at peril to yourself. You will find it your only consolation at the end.» The voice comes from nowhere and it comes from many-a-where, resonant with the crisp, androgynous tones of something very old. Kree, naturally.

How to measure the movements of something's eyes when those eyes are made of clay or glass? Oh, but they move.

|ROLL| Maximus +rolls 1d20 for: 5

"I tell the truth all the time. Don't I? DON'T I?!" Maximus brandishes the weapon at the statue. "Spouting this philosophical…MEANINGLESS…*trash*" The last word spoken in Tibetan. Then he continues again in Kree. ~~"You have no idea who you are speaking to, /whatever you are/."~~ He lifts the dagger up as he speaks garbled stuff in an animated tone, ~~"You are not even an accuser anymore. Just a statue, a lifeless, /pointless/,"~~ His tone appears to grow more and more aggitated and he gets closer to the statue with the blade pointed at it. His brows furrow, deeply and he raises his hand on its haunch and looks like he's going to strike at the statue, "Oh you know." He blinks, suddenly totally normal as if nothing just happened at all, "I think this might be something that teleports. I mean /obviously/…you cannot just stay beneath the ocean, you need to be able to move everything to somewhere else. It needs the hammer to activate."

Blank, uncaring eyes and frozen faces remain facing forward, for the most part. The soldiers aren't threatening anyone and they aren't doing more than waiting.

Triton wondered at times like these how the hell Corvus was still alive having the employ of being the consummate wrangler. Oh the fit of pique was rising and he wasn't even surprised at this point, though to be perfectly fair, the crushing depths, like mine shafts, did things to people's psyche. When Triton moved though his scales colour shifted to match the sand of the statues now at his back looking to insert himself between them and Maximus the Merciless with his sword of sand stabbing. Really the spy was taking putting a looooot of faith in Max's discretion here. The now-tan fishman let his gills flare slightly, but waited it out offering, "Eh good thought. Hammer, Possibly also have these shaped as some sort of coccoon… maybe it's a map. My question is why more than one for some and not tohers? Are we seeing into teh future and if so a fixed point as to not go far enugh out where there is no one standing still? And if so why that time specifically. Though if this is not farsight? It could jsut simply be trying to mimic that which it sees in order to gain empathy and identity. Something, eh, relatable…please lower the sword, Max."

Not that Kamala understood a word of what the statue speaks, but she's backing up just the same. "Don't touch the stones." she reminds everyone. "It may not end up well." When it looks like that Maximus is about to attack the statue - there's suddenly a very large hand and arm between Maximus and statue. "Let's not anger the alien beings that know more about us than is comfortable, okay?" she asks in a cheery voice that's partially forced. "Anyway…" she adds as she starts to withdraw her hand - that still feels weird.

"…the stones are teleporters. We can activate them ourselves by interacting with them. That's how I found you all in the first place!" The young woman frowns as she glances at the Ring of Brodgar. "Though I think if you touched that one -" a glance at the glimmering star in the center of the ring, "- we'll get a one way trip to whatever created this place. And I'm not sure that's a good idea?"

Crystal pauses at Kamala's suggestion, quirking a brow. "I would prefer not to go there, yes," she agrees, before looking back to Maximus. She takes a step back from the statues, looking upward as she thinks about the implications of everything. "I don't like it, these images of us. I don't like the idea that they know anything of us."

Maximus narrows his eyes at Triton and Kamala, "I was not going to touch the statue. I am not an idiot. Of course, now I /want/ to, because you told me I can't, and the two of you are being very…blocky." He lowers his dagger as Crystal brings their attention back to the dopplegangers, "Nexus said it is not transmitting to the Kree."

Triton turned his attention to Kamala curiously. "Kamala could be right. If so Eldrac might actually be able to have some perspective on that." If anyone was going to know about being a fixed point and teleportation? Well, he was inclined to ask the expert. He looked to Max. He was really trying…well in both senses of the word. Objectivly he countered with, "Maximus what kind of family would I be to you if we just let you get that close to potential peril, hmm?" Sure, he'd appeal to ego. The deep diving diplomat was not beyond that. "Well how about the last bit of the riddle. We could guess and you can tell us why we're wrong. Would that help you narrow it down any?"

"Incoming signal. Acknowledged arrival from Toliman," chimes the system within very happily. The AI kaffeeklatsch Nexus was responsible for may need some further parameters about acceptable behaviour. "Reception protocol requested. Engage?"

"Just because it isn't currently transmitting doesn't mean it isn't saving this information to-" Crystal stops short as the system starts to speak, stiffening. "Arrival? Reception?" she echoes. "I believe that's our cue to leave, ladies and gentlemen. System, can you erase any record of our presence here?"

The system within Penglai is terribly kind, aroused to action by some ancient formulations in its programming. "Consultation with the system advisor underway. Admission requested." Its pauses are no doubt a process of the bright lights glittering along the waterslide, dripping water onto the lapis.

Maximus tilts his head, curious about the clarification. "Ahhh…is the…system advisor…Inhuman? This might be ok. And what riddle are you talking about? There are no more texts here."

Triton took a strained breath. Later he'd thank Crystal again for giving him a globe of water to work with, but for now? Sigh. "I dunno. Right now? We have friends inbound. I'm inclined to say we take the terribly unpleasant way back so we're not seen. Chloe can get us directly to the boat… in a round about way." That wasn't directly, but he wasn't going to mince words there. SO there's one eensie pitstop… He looked back to Crystal and Max, "We taking the sword with us?"

|ROLL| Maximus +rolls 1d20 for: 4

Maximus waves his hand and says, "Lets take the Hammer and go. And destroy our dopplegangers."

At Maximus' suggestion that they take the hammer, Crystal hesitates. She doesn't want the Kree to have it - it's clearly bad news - but she doesn't trust it won't track them either. "Fine," she agrees after a moment. "But we don't take it directly back to Attilan. Or to Attilan at all. We don't know enough about how it works."

Maximus complains about it, "I want to see how it /works/…if you hide it in some ridiculous watery location, how can I?"

"Or, you know what, just leave Corvus and I here. We can figure out who the guests are, I'll wipe their minds, and he can get us both out." Max suggests as a secondary option.

Triton let them evac out with Chloe one by one and looked at Max, "Because the caves therein do have air like this one. Go visit it. And if you shop holding my shit hostage in my own room? I might even help you move a table down there." Okay he was still holding a slight grudge on that one. He paused and responded back, "System, thank you." Bodily he turned Maximus around by the shoulders. "If you stay then I have to say and I don't want to stay."

Triton let them evac out with Chloe one by one and looked at Max, "Because the caves therein do have air like this one. Go visit it. And if you shop holding my shit hostage in my own room? I might even help you move a table down there." Okay he was still holding a slight grudge on that one. He paused and responded back, "System, thank you." Bodily he turned Maximus around by the shoulders. "If you stay then I have to stay and I don't want to stay."

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