1964-10-04 - King's Men 20: Attilan Burns
Summary: The signal from Penglai, Akkad, and other sites assaults Attilan. The Core reacts badly and the summons draws out the Royal Family…
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
nexus chloe blackagar triton gorgon rogue 


|ROLL| Rogue +rolls 1d20 for: 6

Attilan in its Himalayan fastness is above the cares of the world at the mountains' feet. No concerns about flooding of great rivers or the drought bearing down on Szechuan nor uprisings in Tibet figuratively crushed out with a fist in those lofty spires, not at all. Among the spires and caverns, Inhumans concern themselves with higher matters during the fragile peace of the interregnum.

Not that anyone rests easily when seeing more of their court in recent weeks than in months prior. The robed magistrates watch over their shoulders, guards stand uneasy, and somewhere in the Tower of Wisdom a horrified scholar is running fast as she can to find the security detail conspicuously absent from the vault levels. A tech slaps at a glazed panel over and over, receiving nothing but a hopeless response in a language he can't read.

Turbulent whispers churn through the systems, and where the Core intersects everyday lives, the snapshots of projected data are jumbled with gibberish. Nothing threatens Maximus' warding or the vast support systems. But around the main hubs for activity, the systems are jammed. Now doors have to manually be opened. Seers yelp when they touch their cloudy glasses, and mundane technology misfires more often than not. Cue people locked in their rooms, some of those rooms broiling and others freezing, as the assault on security spins up to a feverish pitch.

Attilan is being hacked.

The jacket was snug, but necessary to identify him. Blackagar pulled at the collar that was a bit like a small human strangling him at the moment as he walked through the corridors. His agreement to only visit Attilan when it was necessary had been deemed; at least in his opinion, as being fulfilled at the moment once word had reached him of the situation. Now his steps were leading him through the Tower of Wisdom to attempt to see if he could provide any insight or at the very least gain information of what was taking place.

Triton failed to find his cousin Gorgon on short notice as he was back on detail which means this fell to Triton to manage. Right. So everything was going haywire? Fantastic. After he punched through a foot of ice to get out of his room? No sweat. He was halfway through the arcade when spotting Simone who… might actually be incredibly useful right now. A webbed hand extended and muffled, but distinct, "Simone, your skills are requested. Would you please come with me/" Was he conscripting her directly? Yes, but he didn't feel a need to be rude about these things as some may.

Next step was to find whichever family was on hand starting at the top. One of three things were happening, none of which were likely good nor apt to be resolved by lunch time. Efficiency carried his steps with the teleporter to where he could find Blackagar.

The chaos brought Simone back home and away from the lights and sounds (and smells, yeesh) of New York City in an attempt to find out exactly what's going on. She, of course, has not been stuck anywhere, at least, not for long. It's very helpful. Her instincts might lean toward investigation first, but since she is able to recognize an order when she hears one, even a polite one, she simply nods to Triton and starts a series of portals to hunt for their once and future king. "What's happening?" she asks as the blackish ring of her portal opens and she steps through. Finding Blackagar might have taken someone else quite a long time, but Simone's version of searching is quite efficient indeed.

Attilan citizens are resilient. Several are also incredibly impatient, banging on the doors or scaling the windows. Flyers in their rarity aren't being used to rescue people from windows, partly because the only flyer with wings in the city patrols the mountain escarpment with a metal tube in her arms and grumbling aplenty about being sent to fix a transmission tower. The air of confusion rules, rather than real panic.

"It's the Genetic Council," mutters one guard in hasty passing. "They shut themselves up again and mark me, the Mad had something to do with this." He makes it about seven steps past Blackagar before realizing who that is, and dropping a hasty bow. His partner is trying to become one with the wall, nodding and clutching to a thin baton as if his life depends on it. They'll run as soon as they can.

The Tower of Wisdom is in effective lockdown; the doors, literally, are locked. Magisters in green, their aides in grey, stare up at the vast doors as the fastest of their number plugs code after code into the main security interface.

"It's no use! I can't read that, and whatever it is, it wants to submit ourselves to justice."

A glance is given as a portal opens but the disposition of Blackagar's outward demeanor changes little other than for a small loft of his eyebrow. A series of hand gestures supplement the impression he offers as he 'speaks'. «Disruption of basic services from an outside source.» The explanation further is cut off as the Inhuman royal nods momentarily to those passing by and he motions to Triton, «Assure all we come across that we will sort out the confusion.» This task given as he cannot do it himself, rather he continues to move towards the locked doors and approaches it with a gaze cast towards the Magisters and then a look given to Simone, a nod and gesture to the door.

|ROLL| Rogue +rolls 1d100 for: 26

The lights flicker around the doorway to the Tower and promptly go out, the panel dead glass against the very nice decorations that everyone knows Karnak sure as heck doesn't appreciate.

Triton found him. Triton stepped out of Simone's portal and immediately put fist to shoulder and bowed his head in deference to his cousin; his King. At the directive given there was a curt nod and he assured, webbed hands out to pacify those approaching with concerns, "Please stay calm. Trust your King, We are working to sort this out and will not rest until things are resolved. There is an answe. We will find it. direct any new concerns to your representative so we can see they are resolved." Something about being perfectly calm works for him. He appreciated that Blackagar was even keel. it made this easier to manage. Even stride followed at Blackbolt's shoulder rather than in front of him to the router, pairing a glance to see Simone was still with them. A nod was thanks to her, though no further dialogue was given.

Simone bows, as well, but quickly, since there is something of an emergency situation around them. At the explanation, she gestures to the area around them. "Clearly." Perhaps she thinks 'disruption' is an understatement. But she falls into step behind Blackagar to head for the doors. At the gesture, she sighs a little and notes, "Oh, I suppose." She steps up to put a hand on the door, consentrating for a moment before she makes a circular motion, the black, smudgy edges of her portal shimmering into view behind it. And once complete, the portal snaps open with a view into the room beyond. And then she steps to the side, gesturing the others toward the opening.

«Perception is reality for many. When we show calm and demonstrate our response others will follow.» Blackagar explains in motions to both Triton and Simone, the latter getting a momentary look longer before he nods towards the portal. A gesture is taken then towards a nearby panel and he makes a symbol with his hands that those in the circle would recognize. «Kree.» A simple enough term but one that carries much influence and impact among Inhumans. With that he walks into the room through the portal.

The entry hall to the Tower of Wisdom holds all the history of Inhumanity as they choose to display it. Tall windows inlaid by brightly colored glass reveal the march of the race to their island home in the North Atlantic. Creatures great and small, all colours of the rainbow, follow after their kings and magisters, though anyone attendant on the Penglai ruin has seen a much earlier, even more spectacular version of this. Crystal and Karnak, among others, can attest to the luminous reliefs on 'Avaiki, and in Thule, telling a far more violent story than the nice, neat society trampling on certain rights and alpha primitives depicted in the dark.

The mostly dark. A girl lies flat against the wall, clutching her charcoal grey robes and trying to find a way around the sparks erupting from wires wide as an anaconda flashing over the floor. The cables writhe and twist like possessed things. A melted panel is little better than slag on the floor.

And beyond the portal's fringes, magisters assembled in their rough and hasty ranks - a bit of bowing and curtseying here and there - is a great big brown dog, chomping on one of those cables gleefully. He prances around, the trifork on his head glowing a soft, bright white.

Lockjaw begins wagging his stubby tail furiously. Beyond, the distant squall of alarms inside the tower is choked and distorted.

Triton, was likewise, a fan of tabling emotional reaction until the facts were in. Stepping throughthe portal there was a squint around the place. Perhaps the least effected by the smoking damages as he wasn't breathing the air. Not that it seemed to be deterring Lockjaw in the slightest. His cousin mentioning in one word 'Kree' there was a nod. "No doubt looking for us, or that which we found. Efficient of them. So soon too." His first move was not to the console though but to the cabling trying to find a quick way to power it down, and failing that looked to Simone, "Can you make a door on teh back side of that wall for her and help get her out?" Better to look for the sensible way first than needless complications if they could be avoided.

Once Simone steps through the portal, it closes behind her and she takes a moment to take in the room. "I have her," she says, to Triton, when he points out the girl trapped against the wall. It may not be the most comforting feeling, when Simone opens a portal right behind her, but it does give her the opportunity to get away from the sparking wires and into the safer parts of the room. She looks over at Triton, picking up on the more serious implications of all this once the girl is clear. "The found us, I dare say. Should we be thinking about evacuations?" It's offered like a casual suggestion, but it's likely it's been on her mind since arriving.

The scholar in grey isn't up to crossing the active wires that currently entertain the huge teleporting hound. Or the active wires dancing around when Lockjaw drops those and rushes over to his favourite person ever. See those jowls smile and the puppy-like glee! He nudges up against Blackagar for hellos that probably require a whole lot of ear pets and doggy grins.

"I'm fine, really," calls the woman uncertainly. She isn't much past thirty in appearance and her mousy blonde hair is in disarray from the run. "It's not safe to be here. The library doors are sealed and I think there's a fire of some kind. The suppression systems never came on right." Her boots are wet, proof of whatever fluffy substance they use to smother flames being at least partly active. Also probably partly wet, instead of released in foggy weight.

"Some others are down there but no one's hurt. We tried putting out the fire the old fashioned way, I guess." Her hands flap in frustration. "Where are the security details? The system shouldn't be like this. Was this a joke, someone telling us to show up to be judged?" The obvious statement isn't being made. "Is the leadership… you know?" A rotation of her wrist.

Triton watched the short eficiency with which SImone worked. Good. At least he could go back to Gorgon and tell him his hunch was correct about their potential assets. It was to the tech he turned to and let her take a moment to gather her composure, but waited expectantly. "Can you tell us waht happened before the system started going down?" A faint glance was given to Simone and there was a pause, "Not… necessarily yet. They may not know where we are. Signal is easy to scatter for retreival. Could be waiting to try and flush us out." He surveyed what readouts there were as the woman reported to them taking a momebt to look back at Blackagar to see if he was seeing anyhting he was mi- Blackagar had a Lockjaw vying for his attention. The fish carried on as if the disturbance wasn't happening giving him a nod. There was a faint squint of his eyes that might be adjacent to the half grin hidden by his salinator mask. Normal was good. Also, one couldn't be mad at Lockjaw. It was pretty impossible. His attention turned back to the slaged console and what reports he could pull up on datapad.

"I suppose. I'm uncomfortable with the idea of waiting around until they do find us." For the record. Simone doesn't push the idea, though. She glances to the woman when she reports, taking it in with a heavy sigh. "Security detail is missing all over," she says, "We need to find our people. And get the doors unlocked. Fix the systems, if we can. And find out if security is stuck somewhere or if they knew this was coming." 'Knew this was coming' is something of a euphemism. For having a hand in it. But she leaves off any real accusations for the moment. Just in case.

The slagged data interface offers nothing. It's been thoroughly melted down into a hardened goop on the floor, whatever links it had destroyed when the cables either surged with energy or Lockjaw decided to cool the mess in his standard doggy way. It doesn't smell like that, though. Nothing to be gained from the lobby interface, or anything more than the charred marks on the wall. Those ugly cables are still blindingly alive, ready to strike anyone who comes close. They at least have some bit of energy left, though not quite enough to kill with a touch as they normally might.

The scholar follows the path of the dog and her pale face shows the cinnamon smattering of freckles. Lockjaw means a royal. Some kind of royal. Few seconds taken to do the math leaves her shrinking back even further. "A-aren't there any Magisters? We just had system errors. The stack went down, access was spotty for a while. The records were coming back partly munged, but we thought it was something faulty with the relays or a switch. Keth ran a few analyses, but nothing good. That's when the language files started converting and — I thought it was a joke. A prank. We're being locked out. Usually a hard start would clear any old processes, but we didn't even get that far."

Her bleak frown shows it all. "Where /is/ the detachment? You can't be coming here for us, we — our messages never got out. They sent me. But I'm not under arrest? This wasn't our fault." Her shoulders tighten and her hands clench her robes tighter. "I…. If it's that way, I ask you don't do it in front of my parents. I'll go to the mines quietly if I have to but it's not me. Not this."

Yes it did mean Royals. Apparently at least 2 to respond, and the situation clearly went right to the top of the social hierarchy. Triton raised a webbed hand, as if to calm concerns, but looked back to Blackagar first before speaking. There was an almost imperceptible nod. His head swiveled and it was at least decided, "We have not come here to arrest you. What was the last transmission sent. What can you productively tell us?" He held up a finger to her to belay her report looking to Simone, "Let's start working our way into the facility and getting these doors open. The people we need to speak with are further in. We'll work our way back and see how the core is looking. The likelihood of us finding Nexus there is high. he can get us answers we don't yet have too." Fleeing? Evacuation? Oh not today. Recond and running at the problem? Today was that day. He motioned for the woman to follow with and headed in the direction they needed to head following Simone. Hey, she was the one that could actually make this part work.

"We're only here to find out what happened and see if we can set it right," Simone says, echoing Triton. Her eyebrow does lift a little as she looks over the woman, but it's a brief expression before something gentler comes to her face. "All you need to do is answer his questions to the best of your ability. No one here is a suspect." She almost says the 'yet' that would fit so well at the end of that sentence, but holds back. Instead, she looks back to Triton and some amusement comes to her features. "Search and rescue, coming up," she says dryly before turning to open a portal to get them deeper into the facility, as requested.

The Tower scholar awaits Simone and Triton, shrinking a little when they draw near. Too much stress and anxiety take their toll in the presence of senior management, as it were. But the black portal opens to a familiar place to her, utilizing a connection to the main room of the library's databases. And there's mayhem, Magister style.

No, they're sadly not punching time or dueling their pens. Cords are torn from the wall, a team of four techs doing their best to isolate an actual glass-enclosed unit connected by crystal and metal-wrapped cables.

The air smells rather heavily of an oil, and the senior employee in black stops flapping around. He gapes at the portal and shouts, "Defensive positions!"

… Well, whoops. Maybe not so necessary for the deathly scrabble of terrified pigeon techs behind their chairs.

"Um, hi. It's Callirhoe." See the happy wave from the scholar. "They wanted to know why we couldn't access our archives."

Triton was used to having things brandished at him. He did work for Maximus during the exile, and sometimes other people pointed things at him too. Ask him about what an Atlantis Welcoming is like sometime. Really though, he couldn't fault them. They were protecting their culture. When Callirhoe gave the rundown announcing them and their intentions there was a singular nod of agreement. "Do we have any copy of the incoming transmissions? What they might be scanning for? Influx of data spikes? Coordinates?" He considered with a look around, "Is Nexus on premises?" He had a prepared list of things to inquire about apparently.

Simone lifts her eyebrows at the reaction from the room on the other side of the portal. But since their new scholar friend steps up to clear the confusion, she steps through after. Unlike Triton, she's really more used to doing the brandishing than the other way around. But, it is a topsy turvy day. After Triton's list of questions, Simone adds just one more. "And what have they already gotten out of us, datawise?" She looks at the techs, especially, to see if anyone has any idea.

Late, having spent some time examining a few consoles on his way, Blackagar walks in shortly after the others through portal, keeping his jacket pulled tight around him and itching at the collar some. As the stream of questions leaves Triton and is added to by Simone, he begins to motion with his hands some while looking at Triton. «Inquire if there is any fluctuation in the strength of the signal. Is it stronger at times? Weaker?»

Anyone appearing in an hour of need would normally get a welcome greeting, but with the doors iced shut and the system stubbornly locked down, the Magistrate and the technicians are more than a little jumpy. Attilan's core has a mind of its own, after all, the same as Penglai under the sea does. The techs take longer to re-emerge from their spots than does the Magister. "Incoming? You want the nexus for those. We don't receive external broadcasts, that's opening up the archives to far too much trouble." The look on his face, aghast, speaks volumes of the idea of his pristine knowledge being accessible to anyone with grubby hands. "Anything comes straight from the Core or through the secondary systems. Our protocols should have caught something like this. I can't imagine how it didn't." His jaw sets and he frowns. "It's almost impossible to say what. The older archives hold mostly records, logs. The scientific stacks were isolated and fell fifteen minutes ago, and the fire hasn't touched any of them." The brittle tone isn't happy. "Coordinates? I can't imagine what coordinates they would be looking for in the annals of Eira and the fifth interregnum. Nothing remotely of importance there except the usual minutes of the councils. We had a strong sense this might be mischief until the central databases started throwing errors."

Lockjaw prances after Blackagar because, largely, he can. No one argues having a big dog in the room because he plunks himself down and waits.

A tech clears his throat, "We don't know where Nexus is. Or anyone. The communications systems went out first and all we got back were garbage lines."

"Kree," Callirhoe says tiredly. "Kree prompts on the mainframe told us to submit ourselves for justice. That the data files were corrupt and must be purged."

Far away, in NYC, Nexus Oculai has a very special relationship with the Core of Attilan that no one truly fully understands: there is a distinction between him and the great machine, but the distinction is blurry, fuzzy. As it shuts down to try to defend itself, as it struggles, the connection with Nexus is unaffected. He sits in his apartment in New York — the location known to anyone of Attilan who wishes to know it — he meditates. He's seen better days: his skin is pale, and one of his eyes is not merely bloodshot, but the whites stained with blood. His hands are held together before him as he focuses on his Bond, and he struggles against the assault. He's in pajamas, but he wasn't expecting a fight of this magnitude.

Triton slid his attention to Blackagar. He nodded and listened to the report coming in giving his cousin a small nod. Understood. Large dark eyes fixed upon the Magister unblinking, though very patient. There was a thoughtful hmmm from inside the mask as he spoke. "Our King would like to know if there are also any fluctuations in signal strength either becoming stronger, or weaker. If so over what systems or conditions?" He looked around and he did't need to have Nexus here, but they would need to speak with him. His eyes searched the system. Looking back to Blackagar and thereby Simone, he noted, "They may be searching for written record of recent missions." He didn't elaborate any further than that but looked back. "If we have any record of places we are compiling data on they may look there. Cross-reference. Parse where our interests lie or… hmmm." He paused and paced faintly giving Lockjaw a pat on the head. Thoughtfully he offered, "Could be Kree looking to figure out how much we know."

Listening to the answers, Simone steeples her hands, tapping her fingertips together. "You're not giving me comfort," is her reply to the news. Because it's bad. It's bad news, guys. But, at least her tone is more to the teasing side than the accusitory. She turns to the Royals. "You're probably right. I doubt they're after the old records, as fascinating as they may be. But they might use them to learn how we sort data and how we store critical files verses non-critical." When the tech clears his throat, she looks at him and tilts her head for a moment. "I'll find him. Try not to go far," she notes with a quick smile before she opens a portal and disappears through it.

A fair number of people might report later that she popped into their rooms and offices and such, asking question and generally being unsettlingly omnipresent until finally someone had the mind to bring up the apartment way back in New York. Of course. Nexus' meditation is interrupted when a blurry black portal cracks open into the apartment and Simone steps through.

She might have an issue with personal space. And privacy. She'll learn.

Nexus senses the odd close-distance of Attilan from the portal, and he opens his eyes, one white and blue, one red and blue; both *shining* with light as the circuits in his pupils blare. Throughout the rest of his skin, the circuits are like white light scribed into his skin. He rises immediately, with only a stumble, "Simone. Yes. Perfect. Thank you." he greets the woman with a nod, "Attilan is under attack." Without hesitation he moves to the portal, and if he minds personal space violations or privacy? He shows no sign of it at all. In fact, just stepping through the portal makes his weakness seem to fall off of him like a breathe of fresh air. "The Kree have launched a massive assault upon me." Pause, "…the Core." he corrects, "I have set up a defensive matrix that is, currently, stable." But his expression looks pained for a moment, "The Kree are looking for a power source; one *far* more powerful then even our home generators here in Attilan are capable of." He hesitates, "This is related to the ancient facilities we recently accessed — they are all connected, and together, they are being used against us. If we go to the Ring, we may be able to deactivate these old sites."

The magistrate clears his throat and squares himself up. Worse if Karnak were in here, offering nihilistic tidings to them all. "We've been isolated from most of the system. Yes, there were perturbations. We noticed a general slowdown about an hour and some past. The attempts to purge the archives of ambient data usually clear that up, but not this time. The failures happened in waves. Typical security protocols isolate bad strings or transfers, but not in this case." He frowns and gestures at Callirhoe, dumping responsibility where due.

"The Kree mainframe codes came as a result of our isolation attempts. I swear it was like the screen was shouting at us every time we tried to enter something. The interface knows what we were entering and responded appropriately. I'd say it could tell how angry we were getting, but that's improbable." Unless you're Nexus damn Oculai.

The other techs go back to hiding behind their chairs. The Magistrate just nods. Right! Above his paygrade, time to go find the brandy.

Triton paced slowly. He wasn't his sister. He didn't have nihilistic tidings. He likewise didn't have words of comfort or rousing speeches. He was neither Crystal nor Gorgon for those things. What he had to offer them was patient progress on the present. He was entirely focused on what they might be trying to do, motives, and what they could do now in this tower. It was Triton's promise; 'whatever this is I will get you out' it always seemed to say. but then again it's why he was a scout. He looked to the group and said simply, "Good work. You are doing all you can. This could have been… much worse. We will await Nexus, see that he is well. See what we need. Make a plan and move forward." He paused though looking to Blackagar to see what he wanted and needed conveyed. His attention shifted back when the portal like smudged smoke and ash etched into reality again. Even though he knew it to be Simone the conditions always varied and reflex and his fingertips just off the hilt of his kama. His posture relaxed and the concern was in tone, "Nexus, status report? Are you okay?"

"You're very welcome," Simone says, as if this were exactly what anyone planned out or asked for. "Indeed. And it's not pretty," she says, as far as the attack. She holds the portal open until she crosses back over to Attilan, and then she opens another to rejoin Triton and the others. Portal to portal. "A power source? That's… not the best. I assume you're seeing the message about submitting to justice," she says. It's not really a question. "Can we restart it, interrupt their attack, something along those lines?" The idea about deactivating things is noted, but her focus is on one crisis at a time. But her attention shifts to Triton and she finds something not frozen or sparking to lean against. "I'm going to need a nap after this. Or a martini." As if either would be just as effective.

"The Core is stable, for now; if the attacks increase in sophistication I have every reason to believe I can augment the defenses. I can not, however, completely alleviate the effect that *being* under attack brings." Nexus' tone is grave, and serious, as he gives his status report to Triton. He looks to Simone and shakes his head slightly, "Restarting won't benefit, as the attack is a remote access one from the network of ancient Kree installations. Nothing short of shutting those installations down, or destroying them, or stopping the origination source — which is beyond my range — from using these systems." Nexus closs his eyes and tilts his head, and there is a shimmering of light in the circuits in his skin, that change in him that was *because* of his terrigenesis but not *by* the terrigenesis itself — that strange merging between him and machine that happened when he first used his power. "The external network access must be terminated."

"We can't leave the Tower," Callirhoe insists, putting her hands around one of the malfunctioning terminals disconnected physically from the walls. "I don't know what they are looking here, but this is where we belong. I am no good out in the field." Out in the big wide world with all its humans and pollutants.

Triton stood very still. Too still perhaps to comfort most. In the end the final decision was not his to make. Simone's comment about nap or a martini got an arched eyebrow from Triton. Interesting solution, all iterations of 'solution' being considered. Hell that didn't sound like a terrible idea at all. He pointed to himself, then her. Later? He'd bring that idea back up. For no they needed more information to run o. "Do we know if the source is on world or off world?" He looked between Blackagar and Nexus but leaving an idle ear on the Magister for now. "They were looking for that site we found. Could be noticing that there are pieces missing. Could they be broadcasting from there?" Did he just ask if it was possible for the Kree to be here? Yes. Yes he just did. He just asked as calmly as inhumanly possible to not raise alarm or panic on that.

"Well, then, perhaps we should do that," Simone says, to Nexus' explanation. It may not be her place to make the decision, either, but she doesn't seem to feel any qualms about voicing her opinion. She looks over to Callirhoe at her words, but doesn't comment. She's not here to order anyone about, after all. A glance to Triton has her catching his gesture and she answers the silent question with a nod and a crooked smile. Of course, then he goes ahead and brings up just about the worst possible scenario and she glances over to the techs and the magistrate to see if they caught it before she looks over to Nexus. She maintains her own calm, but only through the use of silence and a flat expression.

The technopath looks to Callirhoe and narrows his eyes, "Do you know who I am?" He asks gravely, though surely, she does. Its rhetorical. "I *AM* Attilan. I will go where I need within this city." Hmph. He looks to Triston then, "The network itself is on earth— the 27 sites linked to the Ring of Brodgar, at the heart of the network. The network is being engaged from off-world, but we can't do anything about that: or at least I can't. I can encompass Attilan within my mind in its entirity, but only it." He crosses his arms over his shoulder, "I don't believe the Kree truly know Attilan exists, or about us; but our technology and these sites is deeply related. They are looking for *something else* through this network, and Attilan is being affected in this search."

The Magister clears his throat. "She means herself and the other technicians. Our tasks are set foremost to protect the archives in the Tower and losing her skill set would hamper our efforts." Callirhoe is practically blushing pink, her hands clenched.

Triton stood very still, interior eyelids flashing shut for a moment like a camera shutter followed by the exterior ones. There was a faint tone of amusement "I think I know what they are looking for and it's actually not at any known sites. The questions I have is how do they know it isn't there unless they have some way to confirm on the ground? I have a weird hunch that they may want to move the army on the Ring of Brodgar. I just don't know how the key ties into that. I'm remiss to find out."

Simone lifts a hand to cover her mouth for a moment when the magistrate steps in, but her expression is even when it drops again. "Forward scouts, perhaps? I think someone might have noticed if a whole fleet descended from the heavens, but a small team could slip by and report back. Might be best to be on guard if we go to the Ring to shut things down."

Nexus just eyes the technicians; he used to be one of them, but now? Its hard to understand them in a way. But he turns his attention upon Triton, "I don't know what they're looking for or where it might be, only I agree, its not among the network or they wouldn't be searching. Its … a power." He nods to Simone then, "At the very least, for our defense, if we shut the network down they may not be able to bombard the Core. I have it stable for now but that is not guaranteed to continue— especially if they near. Worse, if they near they may detect that the network is connecting with us."

Triton couldn't make that call. His eyes closed; one set of eyelids, then the other. His head hung in a thoughtful posture and just fell silent. A thousand thoughts ran through his head and finally he concluded, "They were probing for Panglai before. I have no reason to believe it to be otherwise. As a precaution I'm going to check on the one thing we removed from there and see if anything has changed, or if there is anything to report." He looked to Blackagar, "I request to go check on the relic and then I'll scout Panglai again to see if anyhting's changed. It may have answers we still need but… I don't want to bring us down there if it has things we'd rather not run into. I feel, if you'll permit me to say so, be very bad going in blind. We may need Nexus to speak withthe AI again." He was waiting for Nexus to start cringing at that suggestion.

"Well," Simone says as she stands back up to her feet, "sounds like we have a lot of work ahead of us, doesn't it. I happy to help in whatever fashion I can when we decide how to come at this." Her hands brush down her skirt, then reach up to straighten her hair. Unnecessarily. "I'm going to go see if I can pull the security teams from behind whatever doors they're locked behind and get them to work around here. Come find me if you need me," she notes before giving a bow toward Blackagar and porting herself out of the room. And off to work.

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