2018-10-27: Into the Drowned Sanctum - Side B

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The Drowned Sanctum - Interior

In contrast to the Outer ring's more natural look and design intended to make one feel at home, the interior ring possesses a more stark, industrial look to it. This is where the machines that keep the facility running are kept and maintained - even despite the lack of people to do so.

Gone are the ornate trappings of a mansion - largely, the interior is designed for function over form. It's durable structure has allowed to it persist over the many years, as well as protecting it from intrusion by the floor consuming the outer ring.
Also present here are some of the more intensive experiments requiring either more concentrated efforts or the use of machines. These experiments can often take up entire rooms...and sometimes, the room /is/ the experiment.
<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

A while back, Jacqueline had alerted her friends of the Caravan Kinship that she had made an amazing discovery. She had noticed iconography in her studies referencing an ancient ruin, and by cross-referencing an old map of Filgaia that had come into her possession and a map of recent seismic activity, she had noticed things beginning to line up.

She had investigated it beforehand to be sure that it was safe, of course, so it's a hint of pride that she approaches the ruin she had uncovered with the Caravan Kinship.

From the outside, it looks like the average ruin - a little beaten up and worn down by age, with various troubles littered throughout. It's no trouble for this experienced party, though - Jacqueline had managed to deal with it by herself, after all, and with everyone behind her this time it goes much faster.

And then they reach the very bottom of the facility. Here, something that is immediately obvious as a teleportation array is visible. Some equipment's set up here, and it seems to be monitoring the other side of the circle - it's old, but appears to be in functioning condition.

"Here it is! Now, I'm going to want you to brace yourselves. If you're afraid of the water, then I would recommend staying behind. What you see on the other side may surprise you - but don't worry, it's quite safe! We just need to step onto here, and...!"

And they're teleported off to the destination at the other side.

It's a rather ornate structure that greats them, like the foyer of a great mansion untouched by time. Seeing is no trouble - it's brightly lit with artifical light sources, and even without that there's windows to give a clear view outside. They can easily see the shimmering blue sky outside, the sunlight streaming down, and the...fish swimming past the window...?

...Wait a second.

Yeah, you're definitely underwater right now.

There are four doors - one seems to lead outside, and on the opposite side of the door is a large metal one with two smaller doors on each side of the facility.

Jacqueline's main interest right now is a terminal on the side of the room. It was once covered in plants, but seems mostly clear right now...

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

Catenna came home from Linga last night and slept for a damn long time. She had a lot to heal up from. Not only that, her best ritual dress was ruined!

As such, she's fallen back today on her light armour and airy blue pants, with the plated boots and gloves for good measure. Her sword was mangled when she used it as a doorstop in the basement of Linga, and instead she's carrying a simple shortbow and a quiver of arrows.

As the group materializes again, Catenna blinks with amazement at the sight of the huge facility, then at the sight of the fish drifting past - they're clearly underwater somewhere. "Amazing," she murmurs, lowering her bow and taking a long, slow look at the chamber around her, and at the array of doors facing them.

"Jay," she asks, "did you wish to keep together? It is large enough that we may need to split up."

<Pose Tracker> Lunata Croze has posed.

        Like Lunata'd noted on the post-it note she left on the Caravan Kinship, the ex-waitress has been... rather scarce around the caravan itself -- she's been spending most, if all her time on the sandcruiser known as the Yggdrasil. Like the rest of Adlehyde itself, she's on the warpath, spending her time getting her Gear ready for the inevitable assault against Mother and the Metal Demons.

        "... Meredin'd be impressed by your find," Lunata comments to Jacqueline as she looks to the teleportation circle, and steps--

        --through, causing her to blink as she looks around and... stares towards the skies outside, the fish swimming past the window.

        "Weird..." she murmurs with a scratch of her head. "Is that sunlight through the ocean above, I wonder?"

        She looks to Catenna, then closes her eyes as she nods in turn. "... I've got no idea what to expect here, but... I'll stay with you, Jay."

<Pose Tracker> Mariel has posed.

Mariel did not know about this particular facility. Which is not a surprise to the Drifters (why would an herbalist know that kind of thing?) and not a surprise to her (contrary to popular belief, being old doesn't mean you know everything about the era you have lived in), but it does mean she was curious to come and see it.

She *is* glad that Jay knew how to use the teleporter, because she wasn't looking forward to double-checking it if she didn't.

"This is..." Mariel looks around, clearly taken by the view. An underwater facility! It's pretty, even disregarding everything in it; they can't be very deep or the sunlight wouldn't penetrate. She wonders where it actually is. Maybe she should try to figure it out...

Well, not right now. She clasps her hands in front of her as she walks around, looking at the foyer. It's not really an investigation as such; she's not poking enough to make it that.

<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

        Ethius is along, because naturally something of the description Jay gives seems to get the man running, or... somehow managing to stand alarmingly close without one noticing until he announces his presence, either of them work. He at first expresses concern as to whether it is a good idea for multiple people to step on the teleporter at once, but as it turns out, yes, it's fine.
        His ears pop with the change in pressure as he appears within the world where fish swim right out the windows. Once more, those eyes of his stare - taking! - everything and giving back very little. It is a whole lot to take in at once no matter who, or what, you are. The strange man approaches the terminal, a ways behind Jay, without saying much of anything.

<Pose Tracker> Shalune Amira has posed.

        Shalune does not even begin to see the rest of the underwater manor at first; she's too busy gawking with wide, eager eyes at the barrier that's somehow managed to keep them safe from what must surely be a crushing water pressure.

        "Wa~ah, check it out..." she burbles, her hands to one of the windows. "I wonder how they do it? We must be-- um, I dunno how deep we must be, but I didn't even feel my ears pop or anything, so it must be equalizing the pressure. It'd prob'ly be real bad if that thing ever broke, but in the meantime, check out the view!" she exults, the slightly worrying statement tempered by genuine enthusiasm.

        Eventually, she does manage to get back on track, if only because 'ancient ruin consoles' are something else on the list of things that naturally interest her; she gravitates towards Jacqueline, curious at how ready and prepared the alchemist is for whatever waits ahead. "Ooh, Jay's done her homework..." she wonders, peering around her before she folds her arms. "Between the teleporting array an' the dangerous commune with the extremes of nature, I'm kind of assuming this is Elw stuff," she adds, just a little bit sour as she accidentally and unknowingly takes a sideswipe at Mariel's ancestors. "Hopefully this doesn't fall apart? It really seems like we've got a rough track record when it comes to that stuff."

<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

Compared to dealing with Linga and the inevitable foray into yet another malevolent domain setting up shop near home, a good old fashioned romp through a mysterious ruin is just... Pleasant. It's nice in the nostalgic and adventurous sort of way. Also, it's very clearly important to Jay that she has all hands on deck for this one, and if she, Lydia and Catenna are all good for it after all that happened in Linga, then Cyre is too!

In spite of what one might think from everything they know about stereotypical feline behavior, Cyre has absolutely no problem with water. He's a catMAN after all. Also, tiger. Tigers like water. But that's all beside the point! The party materializes in a place that looks less like a ruin and more like some kind of lost city of the ancients. Cyre's jaw briefly hangs open at what stretches out beyond the massive glass windows separating them all from a watery grave. "This place is... Amazing. How has it survived so intact for all this time?"

Cyre breathes a long, awestruck sigh and makes his way to the plant-covered console. "And look at this. Something's growing down here. Can you imagine how long these plants must have survived for?"

<Pose Tracker> Kourin has posed.

Kourin starts in surprise as they wind up underwater. "How...is this done?" she asks, awed. Spirit barks at a passing fish. What wonders await!

<Pose Tracker> Carina Wynne has posed.

"Whooooooa... It's like we're in a reverse fishtank..."

Miss Jay's amazing discovery is indeed amazing, by Metal Digger Locus' recknoning. For a moment, she just stares at the fish with her compound eyes.

The superheroine has appeared once again to keep the CaraKin safe. Her help isn't really needed right now, as inevitable trouble has yet to rear its head. And so, instead, she opts to lean back against a wall, looking cool with her arms crossed and her ponytail... well, it isn't waving in the wind since there is none here, but it's sort of... bobbing... in a low-gravity field? Close enough.

From her Cool Spot(tm), she watches Jacqueline work on the monitor thoughtfully. People speak of possibly splitting into teams for whatever is up next. "Wherever justice is needed, Locus will be there!" she announces. Well, that probably means she's good either way.

<Pose Tracker> Matilda Whitehead has posed.

While Lunata's been gone a lot, Matilda's actually been around *more!* She's been positively enthusiastic about being around the CaraKin... though it might just be that Filgaia is much more hostile to roughing it than Lunar was, and at this point, Matilda has no place else to go.

She sticks close to Jay, looking around. "... It's honestly incredible, to see things like this..." She peeks around a bit, taking in what Shalune has to say. "W -- well, if we die, at least the scenery will be nice," she says, sounding noticeably strained as she says it.

... yeah, that's not reassuring. Matilda scoots a little closer to the group.

<Pose Tracker> Mariel has posed.

To be fair, most people don't know who Mariel's ancestors are.

She does tense up for a split second, but that might just be part of poking around.

<Pose Tracker> Arleph Ardan has posed.

         Arleph have a pretty good idea that he might like it down there. To a degree, anyway, it will be far better than most other hellhole ruins or living metal forests.
 
         At least, he hopes.
 
         "Amazing." Arleph comments, adjusting his spectacles, adjusting his jacket around him with his other hand. "Let's give it a look."

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

Don't tell anyone, but Catenna absolutely loves water - and plants.

Reaching for Cyre's hand, she briefly squeezes it in hers. Then she nods to Lunata quietly. "If needed, I would not mind exploring some of these areas around the outside. At least, I think one of those doors goes that way...."

<Pose Tracker> Tesni Inoue has posed.

Tesni Inoue was all keen for a dig, who knows what they might find and it could have a lead on whatever Tess seems to be looking for. What's she's seeking? She's been tight lipped about it other than it's something she's spent most of her adult life hunting. Well she's here with bells on she's also singing a bit, then again she's never really stopped singing since they got back from Lunar.

 Still the song trails off as she arrives and she nods in agreement to Catenna.

 "Your right this may take more than one team."

 She does look excited though. She's also trying to keep a bit away from Ethius but what else is new?

<Pose Tracker> Shalune Amira has posed.

        "Well, it's not really surprisin' that stuff's growing down here. I mean, the Whatsit Garden was the same way - you wouldn't expect plants to grow so high up where the air's scarce, but they managed it anyway," Shalune points out to Cyre's comments, before her eyebrows raise in Matilda's direction.

        "--maybe that was the point? Check what grows in what kinda conditions? Set up a bunch of labs to find out?" she guesses, but then brightens with a rather impish smile. "Well, remember, if we gotta swim, make sure you only climb 'fast' rather than 'very fast'. I read you get-- bendy otherwise."

        She doesn't elaborate, and perhaps that's for the best.

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia is naturally inclined to help out! Still, for the moment she is being pretty quiet because, like, yesterday she fought a manifestation of badfeels and got speared in the gut. She is feeling a little low energy but she is not skipping out on some wild Carakin adventure.

Lydia sweats faintly when Jay mentions hydrophobia. Lydia steps a little closer to Ethius.

After, Lydia's attention is drawn by the terminal.

<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

Catenna offers a suggestion, and Jacqueline thinks it over. It might be safer to stick together, but as she said, this place was pretty large...if they had any hope of searching through it at any decent speed, they'd pretty much have to.

"I think you're right..." She says. She presses a button on the terminal, switching it on. It seems to be a map of the facility, though the actual labels on it are difficult to read. The center-most room seems to be designated with some importance...but from the symbols on the map, the way to it was flooded. Not only that, there appeared to be some kind of warning regarding it, too...

If they wanted to get there they'd need to find a way to flush the pathway and clear up whatever else was preventing them from moving forward.

Lunata compliments her and Jacqueline brightens.

"D-do you think so?" Jacqueline asks. It was no secret that she looked up to Lunata's mother. "I don't think I would've been able to figure any of this out without everything I'd learned from watching her..."

She nods as Lunata decides that she'll stay with her, then looks back to the monitor. It really was impressive, wasn't it? Jacqueline was still excited, though hers is just a little dulled since this isn't her first time seeing all of this. For now, she studies the terminal, tracing a pathway with her finger. She seems to have an idea.

"Alright. In that case, Catenna, can I leave the outer group to you? Just grab whoever you'd like to come with you. I think I've found a way inside. We'll split up and see what we can find separately..." She says. With that, she starts to make her way to the larger door.

- To follow Catenna's party, read 2018-10-27: Into the Drowned Sanctum - Side A. -
DG: A party led by Jacqueline Barber is now entering Drowned Sanctum - Inner.
DG: Party formation is now over. An Entry Challenge will now be drawn and displayed to the party.
========================<* Drowned Sanctum - Inner *>=========================
======================<* CHALLENGE - Endure the Trip *>=======================
|Type: Entry       |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 1          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 With the main path flooded, the only available path into the interior is a    
 long and dull one, through vents with the occasional drop to avoid. On the    
 bright side, this'll give your other friends time to make it through to the   
 security computer...but on the not-so-bright side, it's oh so /boring/!       
 Nothing to do but endure it - you've come this far, after all.                
=Dungeon Conditions: Exhaust==================================================
<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

There's a brief moment to allow everyone to gather as Jacqueline heads onto the largest of the three doors leading into the Sanctum. The other two lead to the outer ring, where the rest of the Caravan Kinship is heading...but what of this one?

This one, unfortunately, appears to be firmly sealed.

"...I suppose it's for the best. If it's as flooded as the terminal suggests, then we probably don't want to open it just yet..." She murmurs, folding her arms in front of her. "Let's see...I think there was supposed to be...ah! Here it is."

Jacqueline folds back some carpet, revealing a floor panel underneath. She slides it open and peers down. It looks safe...but just to be sure she draws out a bottle, undoes the cork, and drops it. Thankfully, they can hear it safely touch down - it's a safe drop!

And so Jacqueline hands the potion off to someone before easing herself down and asking the others to follow. This path seems to lead into the Sanctum's ventilation system.

...Though, doesn't it seem a little too big...? It's probably best not to think about it.

It's a pretty long and winding road, though...it's not a particularly difficult one save for the occasional drop. Jacqueline tests the other drops in the same manor as before, but some of them seem less safe than others.

Probably best to avoid them.

DG: Jacqueline Barber has used her Tool Brewte Force toward her party's challenge, Endure the Trip.
<Pose Tracker> Lunata Croze has posed.

        Lunata's eyes are more around any moving threats and identifying them before they can be a problem. This'll pretty much be what she's doing, given that there are people who're far more versed in information technology and related means than her; though when Jacqueline opens the carpet and stares at the grate...

        "Could've just ripped open the front door..." Lunata suggests, before gesturing the potion to someone else. She drops down after her and murmurs, "I've got the Cable with me, and I've probably got a better time surviving drops..."

        And thus, Lunata establishes another excuse to hurl herself into danger's path before everyone else. \o/

DG: Lunata Croze has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Endure the Trip.
<Pose Tracker> Shalune Amira has posed.

        Well, at least this seems to be (one of) Shalune's special skills. Given she tends to spend most of her time looking like a big round blob thanks to the multiple layers she tends to wear, it's easy to forget that Shalune is both quite small and really quite spry, and she smiles brightly at the sight of the ventilation shaft, shrugging off her coat to ball it up as tightly as she can in her pack.

        That done, she hops down into the ventilation shaft, using her staff as sufficient leverage to twist and swing herself over to a side section, shimmying into it with relative ease given her size. "It's pretty spacious in here," she blurts out to the others, her voice echoing slightly - before she pauses, and a shock of pink leans over the edge to watch Lunata's path take her even lower. "Muu. Nowadays you're just looking for excuses!" she calls down after her with a pout.

        At least she seems able to easily turn and maneuver, sliding back away from the opening to offer others an easy way into the system.

DG: Shalune Amira has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Endure the Trip.
<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

        Ethius doesn't have any special commentary about the ventilation shaft. He drops in without much ceremony, but they may take notice as to how he seems to be able to do so with very minimal noise profile outside of the soft grind of him sliding down. He only pauses once he hits the bottom, holding a hand up to stop others from dropping down until he makes a vague 'come on' symbol.
        "Do not speak unless you believe there is an urgent matter." He instructs. "Do not raise your voice unless there is mortal danger." Speaking like he's anticipating there might yet be others here...? He himself is fine with going the distance, but he goes at a meticulous, slooooooow pace that is maybe not necessary in the least.
        He appears rather comfortable with this kind of thing?

DG: Ethius Hesiod has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Endure the Trip.
<Pose Tracker> Matilda Whitehead has posed.

Lunata's extremely unsubtle approach is... almost worrying, to Matilda. It puts her a little on edge, really! ... but with the group moving forward, Matilda ultimately gets over it quickly and just starts forward with everyone else. Shimmying into a vent would *seem* like it would be an easy sort of thing for her... but t's a little bit on the slow side for her for no readily discernible reason.

She doesn't have any potions or tools that would be of much use in vent-crawling, unfortunately; she just keeps moving. She opens her mouth to ask something -- but Ethius speaks first, and Matilda...

... stays quiet, just continuing forward rather than trying to engage. It's that kind of dig, she thinks.

DG: Matilda Whitehead has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Endure the Trip.
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia always wanted to crawl through a vent.

Two minutes in, she neever wants to do it again. "THIS IS AWWWWEFULLLL..." Lydia shouts as she her metal bat bangs the sides of the vent regardless of Lydia's intent but ... at least it will be harder to get lost??

Lydia remembers what Ethius said.

"Wait why...?" She murmurs to herself. Why can't he ever explain shit??? She presses her lips firmly together.

DG: Lydia Seren has used her Tool Good Luck Bat toward her party's challenge, Endure the Trip.
<Pose Tracker> Arleph Ardan has posed.

         Oh no. Stealth.
 
         Stealth, as it has been established in the past, is not one of the Symbologist' greatest assets.
 
         Arleph stares down the chute, taking in a deep breath. Well, here goes. He takes out a small clay ball out of his pockets, as ever covered in symbols as he sling a finger along it, leaving them alight in his path. Then he squeezes it, casting a spell into it before tossing it down.
 
         There is no large detonation. There is only a safe burst of controllable gravity that makes the chute... well, safer to glide them donward and without a sound. That's the idea, anyway. He then follows.

DG: Arleph Ardan has used his Tool Symbological Bomb toward his party's challenge, Endure the Trip.
========================<* Drowned Sanctum - Inner *>=========================
======================<* CHALLENGE - Endure the Trip *>=======================
|Type: Entry       |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 1          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 With the main path flooded, the only available path into the interior is a    
 long and dull one, through vents with the occasional drop to avoid. On the    
 bright side, this'll give your other friends time to make it through to the   
 security computer...but on the not-so-bright side, it's oh so /boring/!       
 Nothing to do but endure it - you've come this far, after all.                
=Dungeon Conditions: Exhaust==================================================
===================<* Drowned Sanctum - Inner - Round 1 *>====================
========================< Results - Endure the Trip >=========================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Arleph Ardan                        0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Symbological Bomb                   3   Brute   Effects: Rally                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ethius Hesiod                       0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jacqueline Barber                   0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Brewte Force                        1   Brute   Effects: Fanfare and Strengthe
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Matilda Whitehead                   0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lunata Croze                        0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Shalune Amira                       0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lydia Seren                         0 --(0)--> 0                   Pass
Good Luck Bat                       2   Brute   Effects: Strengthen           
----------------------------------< Party >-----------------------------------
Leader: Jacqueline Barber           0 --(20)--> 20                 Pass
Conditions: Exhaust(1)
Effects: Strengthen(1)
==============================< Dream Chasers >===============================
DG: The party led by Jacqueline Barber has passed this challenge! The party gained 20 exploration! If anyone needs to
use party management commands, do so now. Otherwise, the next round's GM may begin the next round with +dungeon/draw.
<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

"I-It's okay, really, it's better this way... Frankly, I'm not sure what would've happened if we tried..." Jacqueline says, trying to ease Lunata's concerns. But of course Lunata will be Lunata and suggest to go first, just in case.

Ethius suggests they be quiet. Jacqueline looks back at him, but she doesn't refute this right away.

Instead, they just continue forward! It's a matter more of physical endurance more than anything, really. However, in smacking the side sof the vent with her bat(mostly accidentally), Lydia actually opens up...a shortcut!?

It seems that the old Drifter adage is true, sometimes the easiest way to get through was to break everything.

Unfortunately, shortly through the new opening they find a drop that seems...much less safe. Thankfully, Arleph comes to the rescue. He drops a symbological bomb down the hole which, when activated, unleashes a burst of gravity that they can use to descend safely into the inner reaches of the Sanctum.

DG: Lunata Croze has drawn a new Challenge.
========================<* Drowned Sanctum - Inner *>=========================
======================<* CHALLENGE - Against the Wind *>======================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 3          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 As you progress through the interior of the Drowned Sanctum, you suddenly     
 find your path blocked. Not by a door, or a hole blocking the way...but a     
 powerful current of wind. It's clean, fresh, breathable air that filters      
 throughout the entire Sanctum...but it's also getting in your way. If you     
 push against it with all of your strength you might be able to make headway,  
 but it'll be difficult work.                                                  
                                                                               
 If you get far enough, however, you can see a construct resembling an         
 artificial beast, from which this wind emits constantly. It locks eyes with   
 you once...then goes back to what it was doing, which basically just seems    
 to be lazing about.                                                           
=Dungeon Conditions: Slow, Tire===============================================
<Pose Tracker> Lunata Croze has posed.

        Lunata spares a glance to Matilda for a moment, though she doesn't seem to necessarily disagree with Ethius' assessment. Shalune's the one who's more predisposed to nattering between them, after all, even if it does secretly comfort a little.

        Then...

        T MINUS 2 MINUTES AGO

        "I've probably got a better time surviving drops" -Lunata Croze, of Adlehyde

        T MINUS NOW

        There's a faint grunt from Lunata as she drops down from where the symbological bomb allows them a rush of gravity; she blinks a few times, murmuring, "It's way too clean..." as she steps forward--

        --and promptly goes 'pewwwwwww' as a sudden burst of wind flings her horizontal and she goes 'splat' against one side of the wall.

        Well, being blown off your feet horizontally is technically a kind of drop.

        "What the heck?" Lunata growls from where she stares towards where an artificial beast's exhaling wind in the direction the group wants to go. She snarls to go-- "I think we've got a Metal Beast or something! Careful you don't get blown away!"

        Like she did.

<Pose Tracker> Shalune Amira has posed.

        "It'd have to be clean!" blurts Shalune as she drops out of the vent, surprisingly nimble in the way she lands in a three-point crouch. "After all, if you're gonna try to grow a bunch of stuff in an environment like thisffgack wah!--" she finishes as she promptly coughs on some of her wayward hair getting into her mouth; she only has a moment to register the unnatural wind before she's sent skidding to one side and into a wall just after Lunata does.

        "Bawww, what the heck? Even if you're simulatin' an environment, this is way too much! Turn it down! Nothin's gonna grow in a hurricane!" she complains from where she's ended up kind of upside-down, her feet dangling above her as she does her best to roll off to one side - and then peek behind a console she just about manages to scramble across and use for cover.

        Biting at her lip slightly, her mind races - and her hand strays towards her pocket in a rather uncertain manner. "I-- I mean, I've got an idea, but..." she wavers, and then bobbles from side to side. "W-well, it prob'ly won't tear the place apart, if I'm careful..."

        Her expression firms, and she decides to just go for it, clasping the item in her pocket as she concentrates upon it. There's a tinge of sorcery in the air - of Guardianism - and then the floor ahead of them creaks and splinters upwards in an unnatural and perhaps illusory manner as the power of Dinoginos suddenly manifests around them with an answering roar, the force of it buffeting back against the wind barrier in front of them.

        At least, that's the plan. Unfortunately, the only bit of Dinoginos that will actually fit in the cramped space is the poor Guardian's head, peeking up through the hole in the floor. Rather than a roar, it's not hard to consider the noise a rather upset 'grumpf' instead, but at least it has the same effect.

DG: Shalune Amira has used her Tool Material - Dinowhatsit toward her party's challenge, Against the Wind.
<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

        Ethius has a look on his face that is only noticeable if one is familiar enough with his lack of mannerisms that if the light glints off his eyes in a specific way, he is just this shy of going 'what.' Also the moment where the hand goes to his forehead. That said, it proves a viable shortcut with Arleph's help in making the drop safer.
        As Ethius touches down not too far behind, he already has the presence of mind to throw an arm inward and snap off his fast-cast barrier spell which would help if they were about to be shot.
        He is instead met with a wall of wind that he valiantly resists for all of a second and a half before he slips on his bum, slides back, and hits the back of his head against the wall.
        He'll be fine.
        His eyes widen when Shalune calls upon her Guardian Acquaintance, Dinowhatever (we're sorry, Dinowhatsit -Editor) and a great hole is made in the ground. They don't decompress or anything of the sort, so that's... good.
        He trudges forward carefully with quarterstaff drawn. If need be, he'll find a weak enough point of the floor to spear the butt into and try to hang tight through whatever wind gust is made next, and start the approach anew in any moments of downtime that might come.

DG: Ethius Hesiod has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Against the Wind.
<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

"A-ah, are you okay!?" Jacqueline asks worriedly, as Lunata is summarily blown back into a wall. She hurries over to the side, but she seems fine...and so do Shalune and Ethius, who were sent flying into the wall shortly after. Jacqueline looks in the direction Lunata's looking, to see the construct in question.

It's...not really doing anything but sitting there. It looks at them, but...doesn't really seem to care?

"It doesn't seem hostile, at least..." She murmurs. Shalune offers her own solution in the form of summoning Dinoginos - or, rather, the grumpy looking head of Dinoginos.

"Hang in there..." She murmurs. It's hard to tell who she's trying to reassure her, but whatever the case she soon joins the others in attempting to force their way forward past the heavy current of wind.

Fortunately, the effects of the potions from before should still be active...

DG: Jacqueline Barber has used her Tool Brewte Force toward her party's challenge, Against the Wind.
<Pose Tracker> Matilda Whitehead has posed.

Matilda finds the gravity-coast a little nervewracking, but only a little; it's not that strange, in the cosmic scheme of things, but... something about it is a little unnerving. Despite being one of the first members of the CaraKin she actually met, Arleph often feels like an enigma to her.

... As before, though, no use thinking about it now. As the wind presses her toward the wall right alongside Lunata, she lets out a small, pained groan; she's being more pressed than blown away, due to her choice of landing location, but it still doesn't feel especially great.

Matilda complicates her approach unnecessarily. Rather than try to walk forward, Matilda decides to *crawl*; she slathers her hands in some sort of fluid -- and as she crawls, her hands dig into the floor below them a little, eating away at it and creating handholds.

She remains mostly silent.

DG: Matilda Whitehead has used her Tool Bubble Lotion toward her party's challenge, Against the Wind.
DG: Lunata Croze has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Against the Wind.
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

MORE TO SMASH

Lydia drops down from HOLE. She says, "A metal demon??" She glances about quizically befote looking uuuuup at the beast. Lydia readies her bat, slamming it into the floor as she presses against the wind, using thw bat to steady her footing and support her forward progress.

"I wonder.... what this is guarding." Lydia froens. "If anything."

DG: Lydia Seren has used her Tool Good Luck Bat toward her party's challenge, Against the Wind.
<Pose Tracker> Arleph Ardan has posed.

         Arleph lands without much problem, his coat falling neatly without any wind, because gravity clearly don't work that way. When they land, they progress and looking up, wincing at Lunata blown into the wall, grounding his feet into the ground.
 
         "Not hostile, but definetively a hazard." The Symbologist snaps, reaching into his pocket to grab his last clay ball, flicking the finger all along it's sides, the entire ball glowing. This remains with the problem of actually tossing it against the wind.
 
         He takes a swing, steadying himself against the wall to fling it down along the ground for it to roll over to the destination, remotely detonating it by casting off a brief gout of flame against the ball.
 
         It explodes, this time, in the dangeorus, instant searing flash ot plasma.

DG: Arleph Ardan has used his Tool Symbological Bomb toward his party's challenge, Against the Wind.
========================<* Drowned Sanctum - Inner *>=========================
======================<* CHALLENGE - Against the Wind *>======================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 3          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 As you progress through the interior of the Drowned Sanctum, you suddenly     
 find your path blocked. Not by a door, or a hole blocking the way...but a     
 powerful current of wind. It's clean, fresh, breathable air that filters      
 throughout the entire Sanctum...but it's also getting in your way. If you     
 push against it with all of your strength you might be able to make headway,  
 but it'll be difficult work.                                                  
                                                                               
 If you get far enough, however, you can see a construct resembling an         
 artificial beast, from which this wind emits constantly. It locks eyes with   
 you once...then goes back to what it was doing, which basically just seems    
 to be lazing about.                                                           
=Dungeon Conditions: Slow, Tire===============================================
===================<* Drowned Sanctum - Inner - Round 2 *>====================
========================< Results - Against the Wind >========================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Arleph Ardan                        0 --(3)--> 3                   Pass
Symbological Bomb                   3   Brute   Effects: Rally                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ethius Hesiod                       0 --(8)--> 8                   Fail
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jacqueline Barber                   0 --(8)--> 8                   Fail
Brewte Force                        1   Brute   Effects: Fanfare and Strengthe
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Matilda Whitehead                   0 --(8)--> 8                   Fail
Bubble Lotion                       2   Brute   Effects: Strengthen           
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lunata Croze                        0 --(3)--> 3                   Pass
Force                               0   Brute   Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Shalune Amira                       0 --(3)--> 3                   Pass
Material - Dinowhatsit              2   Brute   Effects: Resilient            
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lydia Seren                         0 --(3)--> 3                   Pass
Good Luck Bat                       2   Brute   Effects: Strengthen           
----------------------------------< Party >-----------------------------------
Leader: Jacqueline Barber           20 --(20)--> 40                Pass
Conditions: Slow(2)|Tire(2)
Effects: Resilient(1)|Strengthen(1)
==============================< Dream Chasers >===============================
DG: The party led by Jacqueline Barber has passed this challenge! The party gained 20 exploration! If anyone needs to
use party management commands, do so now. Otherwise, the next round's GM may begin the next round with +dungeon/draw.
<Pose Tracker> Lunata Croze has posed.

        One by one, most of the CaraKin wind up taking a tumble -- first Lunata, then Ethius, then Shalune, then also Jacqueline. Ethius perseveres with little more than his trademark tenacity, never capitulating even if it means taking another spill onto his derriere. Jacqueline uses the enhancing effects of her potions to stand strong. Lydia uses her Bat as a stick to hold herself strong....

        ... Matilda finds it more useful to melt the ground a little with the bubble lotion to crawl forwards, and crawl she does. The group finds a little relief when Arleph's symbological bomb causes a flash-fire that dispels the wind for a moment in an intense burst of heat that shocks the Artificial Beast.

        Then... Dinoginos emerges, or at least, a scant part of Dinowhatsit's head which lets out a 'grumpf!' which--

        --prompts the Artificial Beast to whinny on its hindlegs and have a growling contest against it, and at the end it goes 'aie aie aie' in that way dogs do when they're terrified, and it runs off.

        "...... was that a Metal Beast? I just don't know," Lunata shakes her head.

DG: Shalune Amira has drawn a new Challenge.
========================<* Drowned Sanctum - Inner *>=========================
=========================<* CHALLENGE - Separation *>=========================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Combat    |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 Everything seems calm and peaceful as you make your way down the next         
 corridor...but suddenly, you hear a loud siren, and the floor begins to       
 retract! Most of you manage to get to the other side in time, but one of you  
 is not so lucky. They drop into a chamber underneath that is filled with      
 mechanical sentries that do not seem fond to see them.                        
                                                                               
 The party up top will soon find themselves faced with a similar problem.      
 You'll need to deal with those before you can meet back up your friend. The   
 security systems were supposed to be deactivated, however...weren't they?     
                                                                               
 (OOC: One of you, most likely the one who drew this card, has been            
 temporarily separated from the party! You may meet back up at the beginning   
 of the next challenge, but feel free to have had your own adventures!)        
=Dungeon Conditions: Fright===================================================
<Pose Tracker> Shalune Amira has posed.

        Despite her certainty regarding Dinowhatsit and the fact she's reasonably sure the Guardian will be able to protect them, Shalune still holds her breath as the apparition of the Lord of Mountains vanishes. The hole it was peeking through remains for a tantalizing moment, a pit of darkness that might start spewing water any moment - but eventually it too dissipates, leaving the floor looking as it always did.

        With a sigh of relief, the pink-haired mechanic hops up to her feet, scurrying forwards to double-check the gantry before breaking out into a huge smile. "Aww, there you go-- it worked just fine, see?" she adds as she hops twice on the metal, testing her weight against it. "Property damage is pretty much the domain of humans more'n anyone else, so it's not like a Guardian was gonn-aaah--!"

        A siren sounds, but it seems more like it's in response to damage rather than to intruders - especially given the way that the gantry Shalune has been standing atop suddenly buckles to one side with the last of her jumps, sending her pinwheeling and pitching to one side as she's forced to slide down to a lower level.

        "I'm okay!" she blurts reflexively as she lands - though a robotic noise makes her look up with a sheepish grin at the trio of mechanical sentries that have suddenly appeared around her, their weapons charging. "U-Um! Maybe! Got some friends, though! Could use a little help, perhaps!"

        Not that getting down there will be easy, as a small swarm of flying robots suddenly come sweeping around the corner. Between their welding tools and the remarkably strong claws they've got on extendable arms, they're already beginning to drag the gantry back into position and rebuild the railing behind Shalune, preventing any route down to join the mechanic.

DG: Shalune Amira has contributed a Combat Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Separation.
<Pose Tracker> Lunata Croze has posed.

        Lunata rubs at the back of her head as she pulls herself out of the wall -- there's a genuine Lunata-shaped hole and everything, and paces along with a sigh towards Shalune to say, "I'm not even sure what this facility is meant to be for, given all the security and that Metal Beast--"

        The siren sounds as she whips her head around, and there's a snarl from Lunata as she shouts out, "Lunie--!!"

        She stares as the flying robots start to weld and hold the gantry back into position-- "Oh no you don't!"

        The impulsive ex-waitress just kind of hurls her hand out, Ge Ramda's claw snatching one out of the air as she dunks it down to the ground with a roar. A shower of sparks screeches out of the poor little robot as she whirls it around like a giant swing, hurling it towards another of its companions.

        "Just hold on for a moment! And uh-- if you die, I'm pretty sure I can stuff you in the Rephaim's cockpit, maybe!"

        that's really reassuring lunata

DG: Lunata Croze has used her Tool Ghastly Gas Mask toward her party's challenge, Separation.
<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

        Ethius goes from 'quiet, reserved, restrained body language' to 'lunging like he's going to brutally murder someone' in a blink as the siren sounds and the ground shifts to separate and dump off Shalune. He grabs one of the satchels off of his belt, enchants it with a Symbological spell cast at a speed that might impress the otherwise greater-skilled Arleph, and...
        Sets the satchel down so that it will slide after Shalune and maybe impact on the ground without detonating within the narrow amount of space afforded by the emergency welders.
        "Miss Shalune." It's strange. Ethius' ability to control the emotion of his voice is as such that even when he's raising his voice above the alarms, it doesn't sound like he's shouting. "I have provided you with a Powder Grenade. It is already activated." They've traveled together long enough that she should know how it works. He enchants a satchel, he throws it at a surface hard enough, boom, super-huge smoke and dust cover.
        He backs away as Ge Ramda's claw materializes to start wreaking havoc, with an energy and alertness that wasn't there all that often prior.
        "Miss Lunata," Ethius turns his head as he raises a palm out to start dealing with the flying welding robots start to make good on the attempt to cut them off from Shalune, "I will not allow the designs of this place to bring her to harm."
        From there, it's the expected Symbological spellcasting that seems to excel at dealing with stuff like this. He appears to be favoring electrical spells, in this encounter.

DG: Ethius Hesiod has used his Tool Powder Grenade toward his party's challenge, Separation.
<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

"I'm not sure...there's definitely something here, but I don't know what yet." Jacqueline comments with a glance in Lydia's direction. She looks toward Matilda, then, who has been...rather quiet.

"Are you alright?" She asks, a little concerned.

And then Jacqueline is blown into the wall!"

"O-oww..." Jacqueline murmurs with a wince. Maybe she should've put up a pillar of earth for protection...but then again, she was a little worried about putting any holes in the construction.

Shalune doesn't seem to have that problem, though, but she does have one - she falls through the opened gap, into a lower level!

"Ah, Shalune...!" Jacqueline calls out worriedly. She's about to dive in after her to help out, but suddenly they're faced with mechanical problems. Mechanical problems, that is, in the form of drones that seal off their path toward their friend.

"Just hang in there, okay? We'll come get you, don't worry!" Jacqueline urges, then draws out a book and begins flipping through the pages. "Let's see, these things are...!"

She watches in amazement as Lunata just kind of trashes a few of them.

"O-oh, you look like you have that under control..." She comments. "I'll take notes on them anyway, I guess!"

Hey, they might fight something like this again at some point in the future. With her free hand she draws out a bottle of orange liquid, tossing it into the midst of the machines. It should hopefully jam them up and cause them to malfunction!

DG: Jacqueline Barber has used her Tool The Lifeweaver's Codex toward her party's challenge, Separation.
<Pose Tracker> Matilda Whitehead has posed.

Shalune goes tumbling down; Matilda seems positively horrifired by this development. While she's done her best to avoid unnecessary noise outbursts at Ethius's insistence, she lets out a sharp cry of, "SHALUNE!" as she falls -- and there's visible relief as Shalune calls that she's okay.

Realizing that she made noise seems to momentarily disorient her; she's mostly unready for the security drones, and takes a moment to get her bearings while drawing her shield and pistol. She wants both, in this particular situation.

Hunching low, Matilda holds her ground rather than aggressing; she starts firing on the drones with steadily increasing precision, eventually finding her groove again... though it takes a bit.

DG: Matilda Whitehead has contributed a Combat Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Separation.
<Pose Tracker> Arleph Ardan has posed.

         "Amira!?" Arleph calls out, adjusting and walking back to take his hat from the ground, dusting it off when they get to move, peering down the graters below. "Ah, good, I was worried for a moment!"
 
         Pause, frowning, fishing into his pockets to take out a small, glowing blue bead. "Friends, you say?" he calls down. "Hold on tight, we're coming to help you out: meanwhile, take in a deep breath and suck in the blue mist!"
 
         He squeezes the bead in his hand, wriggling his fingers down. The blue mist of pearly, white blue lights spreads out around them into the area, falling down through to slowly each one of them -- including down that bad, awful trap to give SOME distant aid to their separated comrade.

DG: Arleph Ardan has used his Tool Ambrosia Protocol toward his party's challenge, Separation.
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia looks behind her and sees that Shalune is missing! Her eyes widen but she assumes she is going to be okay. Of course, she says she is okay afterwards so....there is that too?

Lydia turns back aroundthere are sentries! WELL SHIT!

Lydia summons up her radical skates and charges at the sentries, swinging around with her bat to try and bad them to bits! But not too many bits. Maybe she can take one home as a pet! That seems like a good idea.

DG: Lydia Seren has contributed a Combat Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Separation.
========================<* Drowned Sanctum - Inner *>=========================
=========================<* CHALLENGE - Separation *>=========================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Combat    |Challenge Rating: 2          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 Everything seems calm and peaceful as you make your way down the next         
 corridor...but suddenly, you hear a loud siren, and the floor begins to       
 retract! Most of you manage to get to the other side in time, but one of you  
 is not so lucky. They drop into a chamber underneath that is filled with      
 mechanical sentries that do not seem fond to see them.                        
                                                                               
 The party up top will soon find themselves faced with a similar problem.      
 You'll need to deal with those before you can meet back up your friend. The   
 security systems were supposed to be deactivated, however...weren't they?     
                                                                               
 (OOC: One of you, most likely the one who drew this card, has been            
 temporarily separated from the party! You may meet back up at the beginning   
 of the next challenge, but feel free to have had your own adventures!)        
=Dungeon Conditions: Fright===================================================
===================<* Drowned Sanctum - Inner - Round 3 *>====================
===========================< Results - Separation >===========================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Arleph Ardan                        3 --(0)--> 3                   Pass
Ambrosia Protocol                   1   Combat  Effects: Cleanse              
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ethius Hesiod                       8 --(0)--> 8                   Pass
Powder Grenade                      3   Combat  Effects: Fanfare              
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jacqueline Barber                   8 --(0)--> 8                   Pass
The Lifeweaver's Codex              2   Combat  Effects: Embolden             
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Matilda Whitehead                   8 --(0)--> 8                   Fail
Fight                               0   Combat  Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lunata Croze                        3 --(0)--> 3                   Pass
Ghastly Gas Mask                    1   Combat  Effects: Cleanse              
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Shalune Amira                       3 --(0)--> 3                   Fail
Fight                               0   Combat  Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lydia Seren                         3 --(0)--> 3                   Fail
Fight                               0   Combat  Effects: BASIC                
----------------------------------< Party >-----------------------------------
Leader: Jacqueline Barber           40 --(20)--> 60                Pass
Conditions: Fright(2)|Slow(1)|Tire(1)
Effects: Cleanse|Embolden(1)
==============================< Dream Chasers >===============================
DG: The party led by Jacqueline Barber has passed this challenge! The party gained 20 exploration! If anyone needs to
use party management commands, do so now. Otherwise, the next round's GM may begin the next round with +dungeon/draw.
<Pose Tracker> Shalune Amira has posed.

        "I'm not sure that heeelps-- wah!" wafts Shalune's voice up from below, shortly followed by the sound of gunfire opening up. Ge Ramda's claw sweeps through the little flying robots, tearing many of them aside in the final whirl of the swing before Lunata sends both the one she was holding and her target into a wall to explode harmlessly.

        "Got it!" blurts Shalune after a yelp, sounding a little pained; whatever else might be going on down there the mechanic certainly has the common sense to use the tools she's given, and there's a sudden billowing of smoke from below as she puts it to good use. In the wake of Ethius' spells, more of the repair bots fall, giving Jacqueline ample time to do enough of a Shalune impression and record much of their specific down in the Codex.

        Matilda's initial shots on what remains of the drones goes wide; they're nippy, and quick to slip out of her sights. But perserverance begins to pay off before long, and several of the little machines begin to fall to her bullets one after one. It isn't as if they're aggressing on her, so much as trying to fix the facility - so it ends up being a particularly rigorous bit of shooting training.

        "E-er-- this kinda tastes like toothpaste..." Shalune blurts in response to Arleph's assistance, and while she might sound distracted her voice does at least ring out clear enough to indicate she's still alright. Lydia's sweeping bat strikes go similarly wide around the nimble machines - but at least she's top-class at undoing some of their repair-work, one wide swing knocking away a railing that's being hastily set back in place.

        Once all is said and done, things are ominously quiet below. The smoke slowly clears...

        Shalune has a nasty-looking graze on her forehead, the edge of her bobble hat discoloured a little by a trickle of blood. At least the mechanic has already done some first aid, a plaster peeking out from under its hem, and she looks upbeat as she waves. "He~ey, did you guys get done?" And her aggressors?

        ... well, there is a spanner in her hands. And a large pile of spare parts and metal plating, in something of a pile...
Cyre H. Lorentz (cyre) pages Heal Berry and Jacqueline Barber: Looks like it might be a rabid wolf spider
Cyre H. Lorentz (cyre) pages Heal Berry and Jacqueline Barber: Harmless to most people, unless you're allergic
Cyre H. Lorentz (cyre) pages Heal Berry and Jacqueline Barber: Do you live in kentucky?

DG: Ethius Hesiod has drawn a new Challenge.
=============================================<* Drowned Sanctum - Inner *>==============================================
=============================================<* CHALLENGE - Ancient Cell *>=============================================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |Challenge Rating: 1          | 
-----------------------------------------------< Challenge Information: >-----------------------------------------------
 Strangely enough, you find an area that, once upon a time, appears to have    
 been converted into a makeshift prison cell. It does not appear to have done  
 its job particularly well, however, as the bars have been broken to pieces.   
 The inside of the cell, however, appears to be covered, ceiling to floor, in  
 increasingly incoherent ramblings. It's hard to tell if it's a different      
 language, or if it's just that incomprehensible.                              
                                                                               
 The moment one or more of you steps into it to examine them, however...a      
 barrier of energy appears, sealing off their exit. You'll all have to work    
 together to figure out a way to bring it down.                                
=Dungeon Conditions: Hesitate=================================================
Cyre H. Lorentz (cyre) pages Heal Berry and Jacqueline Barber: Oh yeah they're common there
Cyre H. Lorentz (cyre) pages Heal Berry and Jacqueline Barber: In spite of being called rabid, they're actually pretty
docile in most cases
Cyre H. Lorentz (cyre) pages Heal Berry and Jacqueline Barber: As long as it doesn't feel threatened, you should be
fine.
Cyre H. Lorentz (cyre) pages Heal Berry and Jacqueline Barber: Just move slowly and try not to move your feet closer to
it
<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

        With care being given to try and not agitate whatever systems had brought about that previous racket, they'll be able to rejoin Shalune before long. It seems more prudent to go down to where she is, as they've already dealt with that level's security force and thus going that lower route might be indeed much safer.
        Ethius takes point subconsciously as they edge past a corner into what seems to have been a containment area, judging by the number of doors with various symbols that typically paint a picture of denoting that outsiders should not be in there. (Prohibition signs, and their immediate likenesses.)
        "Clear." He says. All there is of note here is just a singular cell. Well, not a cell, so much as a ruin of a cell with a lot of strange markings. The bars surrounding them have been long since shattered. Whatever was in here before... it isn't.
        Ethius comes to take a look first, holding his arm out to the very first person who might want to peek at them. Why? They're just scribblings. Are those words or pictures? Who knows. It's going to be even harder to take a look when a bright blue barrier of energy phases in out of thin air to contain him and/or whoever else was eager enough to want to take a peek.
        "A two-layered security system." Ethius remarks calmly, despite being trapped in a small space where clean air might be limited and there may not yet be an obvious way to disengage it. He withdraws that eyeglass of his from under his poncho and goes through the spellcasting process needed to help activate it, and he brings it up to one of his eyes.
        "There are many assorted mechanisms that may yet connect to this chamber, it would appear," he starts to go into detail about probable candidates.

DG: Ethius Hesiod has used his Tool Spectral Lens toward his party's challenge, Ancient Cell.
<Pose Tracker> Lunata Croze has posed.

        When Ethius intones his intent to not let Shalune be hurt, she snarls out a-- "That's something--" heave "--we can agree on! BREAK!"

        It's not terribly wrong to compare Lunata to that of a berserker nowadays, with how violent her style has become; she looks to jacqueline to say, "Yeah, figure out what they're doing to Shalune!"

        There's some relief as Arleph provides assistance to Shalune, and she hucks several of the robots to Matilda's bullets and Lydia's bat (at one point they totally do a pitcher-and-batter routine, it's rad, like her radical skates).

        ...

        Once they're caught up, Lunata has an unimpressed look as she says, "Geez, I'm taking like five pips of getting chewed out for being reckless, just for that!"

        She's not particularly... eager to check out the cell -- though the writing does make her rather curious, so she steps in and the cell phases in behind her, with a scowl. "Argh!" She's not calm like Ethius, though after several attempts to smash it with her fists, it's clear it's not going to budge.

        She sags and sits down with a sigh. "... break time..."

        The ever-familiar blackboard goes down.

        TODAY'S SOUP

        Spicy soft tofu stew (sundubu-jjigae)
         with ear mushrooms, scallions, pork and Lunarian spice paste
         served alongside glutenous rice cakes

        "... soft, silken tofu that melts in your mouth, the blandness contrast with the east Azadian chilli paste that's got a strong touch of ginger... chewy rice cakes that've been soaking in the same stew and gained an appetising crimson colouration..."

        A pause.

        "You want some Gooey Stuff, Mister Ethius?"

DG: Lunata Croze has used her Tool Soup of the Day toward her party's challenge, Ancient Cell.
<Pose Tracker> Shalune Amira has posed.

        "Baw... you're right, you're right," whines Shalune with sagged shoulders in Lunata's general direction, letting out a sigh. "Okay, it was kinda dumb of me to jump up and down, I guess, but I promise I'm alright! I can take a scrape or two, I'm not feelin' concussed or anything, I'm all good. A little bit to sit down'd be good, I guess, but--"

        The mechanic jumps a little in surprise as the barrier generates behind them; she blinks for a few moments as Lunata rages against it, feeling a little uncertain and awkward as she waits. She's not sure what to say when the waitress' patience boils over like this, and decides in the end to offer a quiet 'um'. "... h-hey, it's okay! Look, if you want, I can try and take some of the cooking duty--"

        She visibly relaxes as Lunata seems to have that part in hand, on safer ground as she plants her pack down and sits against it to puff out a breath. She's never exactly been one for puzzles; she prefers working out mechanical problems, and doesn't have the instinct that she would in those cases to help her here. "Aah, just give me a minute and I'll help out..."

DG: Shalune Amira has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Ancient Cell.
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia says, "Whooah," as she, uh, whiffs but she takes this good-naturedly, clearly not too pent up about failing to destroy tech. More importantly, everybody seems safe.

Of course after that, Lydia finds herself trapped in astie jail with Ethius. Of course she wanted a peek.

Lydia frowns faintly and says, "hmm...not sure what we can do here..." Lydua says, pausing to put a Schrodinger on her head. "Lets see what my thinking cat has to say."

A thinking cat appears on Shalunr's head too.

DG: Lydia Seren has used her Tool Schrodinger the Cat toward her party's challenge, Ancient Cell.
<Pose Tracker> Matilda Whitehead has posed.

As the cell is sealed behind them, Matilda shivers a bit. She lets Ethius speak, and listening to him on this particular topic seems to get her to at least... try, to refocus, again. Fortunately, she's provided with something even more familiar and comforting than Ethius being totally flat in affect:

Food!

Matilda immediately gravitates toward Lunie-stew like some sort of vaguely social beacon. "... Thank you, for this," she says, quietly, taking a moment to breathe. She's tempted to try to solve their predicament, but...

... somehow, taking a moment to breathe feels more important. Instead of approaching the seal directly, Matilda starts copying down the incohrent text surrounding them; she can't quite make it out, but she can at least see the *lines*, and can review them in greater detail -- or even submit them to someone else -- later.

DG: Matilda Whitehead has used her Tool Portable Library toward her party's challenge, Ancient Cell.
<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

The moment that Shalune comes back into view Jacqueline runs up to her, immediately starting to fuss over her to make sure she's alright.

"A-are you okay? Do you need anything? I-I'm sorry, I didn't expect it to do anything like that...!" She says, worried. It's clear that Shalune had things well in hand, though.

Once her fears have been eased she continues along with the others until they encounter a strange sight - the ruin of a cell, filled with strange...symbols? It looks like it could be writing of some kind, but it's hard to deciper.

Jacqueline starts to head in to take a closer look, but Ethius bars her off before she can. It's about this time that a barrier appears, blocking them off from anyone on the outside...assuming they all didn't rush in to get a look at the weird text. Which means that they probably all did, because why wouldn't they?

"It's curious...I can't make it out at all..." Jacqueline murmurs. Fortunately, a distraction is soon offered in the form of...food!

"Oh, Lunata, you're a lifesaver!" Jacqueline says brightly. Now munching on some delicious food she turns her attention instead to the barrier preventing them from leaving. It looked like others had the text well in hand.

DG: Jacqueline Barber has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Ancient Cell.
<Pose Tracker> Arleph Ardan has posed.

         Arleph takes a whiff of the remains of his own mist, frowning for a bit. Tastes like toothbrush paste? Maybe it's the minty feel he added to it. Still, that's data, he files it away in his mind for later. Maybe he can try healberry-flavored next time.
 
         When everyone is back together, ther is something of a relief for him. "Look, look, we're fine, now. We'll just have to be more careful about holes for next time." Ethius' call to the security system makes him stop, even at the scent of the lovely, Goop and Soup. He takes gingerly the cup pf the SOUP OF THE DAY, slurping it while he adjusts the sides of his optics to peer at the systems he spotted out.
 
         He'll always be glad for having paid extra for the opaque features and linking for his heads up display scanners. The computer lights up behind his shades, only him being able to see the lights and words scanning upon the mechanical, scanning and looking things through. Arleph, obviously, makes a good study of peering at it and actually taking a look.
 
         "Yeah, I agree." He says, nodding off against his own list of possible candidates and things to do to... not end up like kebabs.

DG: Arleph Ardan has used his Tool Optics toward his party's challenge, Ancient Cell.
=============================================<* Drowned Sanctum - Inner *>==============================================
=============================================<* CHALLENGE - Ancient Cell *>=============================================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |Challenge Rating: 1          | 
-----------------------------------------------< Challenge Information: >-----------------------------------------------
 Strangely enough, you find an area that, once upon a time, appears to have    
 been converted into a makeshift prison cell. It does not appear to have done  
 its job particularly well, however, as the bars have been broken to pieces.   
 The inside of the cell, however, appears to be covered, ceiling to floor, in  
 increasingly incoherent ramblings. It's hard to tell if it's a different      
 language, or if it's just that incomprehensible.                              
                                                                               
 The moment one or more of you steps into it to examine them, however...a      
 barrier of energy appears, sealing off their exit. You'll all have to work    
 together to figure out a way to bring it down.                                
=Dungeon Conditions: Hesitate=================================================
========================================<* Drowned Sanctum - Inner - Round 4 *>=========================================
===============================================< Results - Ancient Cell >===============================================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Arleph Ardan                        3 --(0)--> 3                   Pass
Optics                              2   Wits    Effects: Resilient            
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ethius Hesiod                       8 --(0)--> 8                   Pass
Spectral Lens                       2   Wits    Effects: Enlighten            
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jacqueline Barber                   8 --(0)--> 8                   Pass
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Matilda Whitehead                   8 --(0)--> 8                   Pass
Portable Library                    1   Wits    Effects: Cleanse              
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lunata Croze                        3 --(0)--> 3                   Pass
Soup of the Day                     4   Wits    Effects: Liability, Efficient,
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Shalune Amira                       3 --(0)--> 3                   Pass
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
DG: The party led by Jacqueline Barber has passed this challenge! The party gained 15 exploration! If anyone needs to
use party management commands, do so now. Otherwise, the next round's GM may begin the next round with +dungeon/draw.
[OOC] Arleph Ardan says, "look when we are in a damp hole"
[OOC] Arleph Ardan says, "anything like that looks delicious"
================================<* +CAMP -  *>================================
=================<* Jacqueline Barber - Caravan Leader Jay *>=================
Brute: 4            Agility: 7          Wits: 8             Combat: 7           
Exhaustion: 8/100   
=================================<* Tools *>==================================
Available Tool Slots: 2       

1   The Lifeweaver's Codex    2  Combat     Limit: 2/3 Effects: Embolden

2   Brewte Force              1  Brute      Limit: 2/4 Effects: Fanfare, Strengthen

3   Rapid Remedy              1  Agility    Limit: 4/4 Effects: Cleanse

Basic Actions: Force, Investigate, Rush, Fight.

Arleph Ardan        Brute: 4  Agility: 4  Wits: 7   Combat: 4 Exhaustion: 3/100  
Tools:           Optics, Symbological Bomb, Ambrosia Protocol.
Ethius Hesiod       Brute: 7  Agility: 4  Wits: 5   Combat: 5 Exhaustion: 8/100  
Tools:           Spectral Lens, Powder Grenade, Hot Air Sack.
Matilda Whitehead   Brute: 4  Agility: 7  Wits: 8   Combat: 7 Exhaustion: 8/100  
Tools:           Shock Oil, Bubble Lotion, Portable Library.
Lunata Croze        Brute: 8  Agility: 6  Wits: 4   Combat: 8 Exhaustion: 3/100  
Tools:           Yggdra Cable, Soup of the Day, Ghastly Gas Mask.
Shalune Amira       Brute: 7  Agility: 7  Wits: 7   Combat: 5 Exhaustion: 3/100  
Tools:           Little Dipper, Material - Dinowhatsit, Bag of Tricks.
Lydia Seren         Brute: 4  Agility: 5  Wits: 7   Combat: 3 Exhaustion: 3/100  
Tools:           Radical Skates, Schrodinger the Cat, Good Luck Bat.
=================================<* Party *>==================================
Party Leader:   Jacqueline Barber                       
Exploration:    75/100                                  
Effects:        Cleanse, Enlighten(1), Resilient(1).
Conditions:     Fright(1), Hesitate(2).
==============================< Dream Chasers >===============================
<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

        Ethius is caught in a secluded space, alone, with one of the greatest cooks on Filgaia (arguably posthumously, on the cook's part), and is in the presence of a mouth-watering dish. A dish, the likes of which are the perfect distraction to take a hungry soul away from the fact that Filgaia is dying and that it may soon no longer be able to provide even these basic ingredients for consumption.
        "I have prepared adequate rations, Miss Lunata," he says as he is staring out through a corner. This is a lie, because there is absolutely nothing 'adequate' about said rations!!! Nonetheless, maybe he does see something beyond the walls that's interesting, but then there is further complications that he does not notice because he was so busy scanning things and trying to direct observations as to how to deal with the problem.
        Shalune takes a breather.
        Lydia listens to arcane Schrodinger secrets which don't seem to be anything greater than whatever the sound of him laying on multiple peoples' heads at once is (which is in itself telling).
        Matilda is copying down these pictures/words/things/fetching room designs.
        Jay enjoys her childhood friend's dish as she comments about how little she understands.
        Arleph stares at things in a funny way.
        Everyone enjoys soup, except for Ethius, as he turns around and faces the contents of this cell, which contains everyone.
        He lowers the eyeglass away from his face, takes a hand to his forehead, and up and just does away with the barrier ahead of him with a higher-yield electrical spell as though a product of sheer annoyance rather than as a calculated gesture of an 'if all else fails' maneuver, and the barrier just goes away on its own.
        "I will admit fault in so much that I declared the zone clear of hostiles without performing a proper sweep of the location's active measures," Ethius says while there is a Schrodinger on his head. This will be one of those anecdotes they might all laugh about down the line together.

DG: Jacqueline Barber has drawn a new Challenge.
========================<* Drowned Sanctum - Inner *>=========================
======================<* CHALLENGE - Control Console *>=======================
|Type: Final       |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |Challenge Rating: 3          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 At last, you've made it to the control console. From here, you'll be able to  
 access the buoyancy control systems and bring the Sanctum back up to the      
 surface, and drain the core of the water preventing your access. There's      
 just one problem - actually getting it to work. The console itself is         
 complex, and there's no obvious way to restore power to the buoyancy control  
 systems...but, if you put your minds to it, you might be able to come up      
 with a plan that'll succeed!                                                  
=Dungeon Conditions: Reckless=================================================
<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

With everyone having had a filling of soup, people begin to filter out of the cell. Jacqueline is no closer to figuring out those mysterious ramblings, but hey, she had soup and that was the important thing.

She leads the party forward and, soon enough, they come across a room that doesn't seem to lead anywhere else. However, located at the far end is another terminal like the one at the front of the facility. While this is not the main control console, it does seem to control and monitor a good portion of the Sanctum's inner workings.

In particular...

"'Buoyancy'...do you think this might be able to bring this place back to the surface? That might flush the water out of the core..." Jacqueline considers. Unfortunately, it seems like the primary source of power to the buoyancy control systems has been cut off...if they want this to happen, they'll have to fix that somehow. But...

"This is baffling. Um...do any of you have any ideas...?" Jacqueline asks, stepping aside to let the others take a look. Reaching the systems themselves might be difficult, but there are a fair few things that can be manipulated from this terminal...

DG: Jacqueline Barber has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Control Console.
DG: Lydia Seren has used her Tool Schrodinger the Cat toward her party's challenge, Control Console.
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia thinks intently here.

Then she picks up Schrodinger onto the control panel. They promptly roll over to their side and start purring. Lydia blinks a few times at the cat then rubs their belly.

Schrodinger keeps purring.

<Pose Tracker> Lunata Croze has posed.

        "... it's fine," Lunata pats Ethius -- well, she doesn't exactly pat him given how appreciative he is of his own personal space. But she keeps eating while still not being aware of what the lettering says.

        She nods at Lydia and Matilda as they take some, and she suggests, "The rice cakes melt if you stir them enough, they get really chewy and nice."

        She stares at Schrodinger ontop of Shalune's head, though, blinking. "That cat was... huh?" A pause. "Didn't I see you last in Seven Sages, buddy?" Looks like someone doesn't know Schrodinger...

        ...

        "... what does 'buoyancy' mean?" asks the waitress who's probably had the formal education of... of... well, in hindsight, it's kind of mean of Meredin to not at least enroll Lunata through schooling given how much of a premiere scientist she is in Linga and overseas, isn't it?

        "Um-- well, unless you want me to hit it, I'm not going to be of much use," Lunata comments distractedly until--

        *TRIP*

        *SPLAAAAAAASH*

        "OH NO THE SOUP"

        Hypothesis: What happens when an ancient control console gets spicy tofu stew all over it?

DG: Lunata Croze has used her Tool Soup of the Day toward her party's challenge, Control Console.
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Schrodinger looks into Lunata's eyes expectantly.

"Meow." is their advice.

<Pose Tracker> Matilda Whitehead has posed.

Matilda is content, at this point, with what she's copied down. To Jay, she offers, "I can't really either, but making it out would actually make it harder for me to copy down, I think... this feels more like mapping out the patterns on a leaf than like copying text, really. It's almost meditative..."

As they come across the controls, Matilda reaches into her pack and retrieves her ever-growing copied schematics and drawings of consoles. She always makes sure to take at least *some* notes on these mechanisms -- and offers them to Jay, figuring having multiple people fidling with a console is a bad idea in the first place.

... and then Lunata accidentally soups the console. Matilda *was* going to tell her about buoyancy, but now she's just sort of paralyzed with worry about the place crushing them with water, so that can wait.

DG: Matilda Whitehead has used her Tool Portable Library toward her party's challenge, Control Console.
<Pose Tracker> Arleph Ardan has posed.

         "Buoyancy is a word that means and defines something buoyant... which means it's floating quality, generally in water." Arleph answers, quite matter of factly. He peers at the console, adjusting his optics. They start scanning the systems of it, which do get... interrupted by SOUP UPON Electrical systems!
 
         "...Well!" The Symbologist let out, throwing his hands up in surprise and being startled. "Whatever happens, I'm sure that'll be super interesting, now! Let's try to find the actual motivators of this thing and see if we can't find the data banks, we might get something out of it!"

DG: Arleph Ardan has used his Tool Optics toward his party's challenge, Control Console.
<Pose Tracker> Shalune Amira has posed.

        If you ask Shalune, this is much better than trying to figure out obscure scratchings on the wall. She's got a console, a collection of doodads coming out of it, and what appears to be a network of mechanical elements to gaze over - and Lunata's soup or no, she can feel her spirits begin to rise as she bobbles her way up to the central point and shrugs off her bag to plant it on the floor.

        Patting her hands, she hums to herself.

        It isn't entirely clear if she's noticed Schrodinger B's presence in her hair, but she seems upbeat about it either way, the creature managing to balance as she whirls on Lunata. "Bouyancy is keepin' stuff afloat! Normally you'd do it by trapping air underneath something and letting it lift everything upwards. Think of-- uh-- boiling water keeping the dumplings floating in the pan?" Her example isn't great, but she seems eager to try to help at the very least.

        "Anyways... hmm..." Shalune pauses - and then runs for the wall, taking a couple of climbing steps upwards to cling onto one of the pipes and shimmy her way upwards for a better view of everything around the chamber. "I think you're missin' some conduits, maybe-- it all looks like it's here, but nothing's providing any power. If I could find a power junction that might be handy to help check, but I managed to sneak a bit of Diablo's crystal to make a detector for this stuff, which might help."

        From a pocket, she pulls a device which looks for all the world like a crystal with wires sticking out of it, and begins casting around for a place to patch it into.

DG: Shalune Amira has contributed a Wits Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Control Console.
<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

        The white-haired Symbologist takes up the rear this time, in order to best avoid a repeat of the 'everyone jumps into the cell' incident which is understandably fresh in his mind becaus that's happened scant minutes ago. He only seems to consider the logistics of whether he should step into that final chamber with them, or wait a short while. By the time he does step back in after Jay describes what's going on...
        Lunata spills soup.
        Ethius rushes in, nearly knocking Matilda over. He acts lightning fast to take the bandanna off of his face to try and towel it up that way while he tries to pull up his shirt over his nose instead because why the hell is he so protective about what his face looks like?!
        That should be a shock hazard, but he seems to either be uncaring of this or already prepared for that sort of thing. He may or may not be too late to stop it from shorting out.
        He steps away from the crew soon after to wring out the bandanna and then wrap it back around his face. Lucky him, he gets to smell that awesome deliciousness for as long as it takes for him to get it washed.
        He returns to the terminal like it's nothing. There is another Spectral Lens spellcasting ritual at first to be extra sure of where this terminal might connect, before he just goes at the terminal's keys with an eerie comfort.
        A man who reportedly seeks ancient technology, does horrible things to it, and yet seems capable of working with these items just fine. Hm.

DG: Ethius Hesiod has used his Tool Spectral Lens toward his party's challenge, Control Console.
========================<* Drowned Sanctum - Inner *>=========================
======================<* CHALLENGE - Control Console *>=======================
|Type: Final       |Dungeon Ability: Wits      |Challenge Rating: 3          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 At last, you've made it to the control console. From here, you'll be able to  
 access the buoyancy control systems and bring the Sanctum back up to the      
 surface, and drain the core of the water preventing your access. There's      
 just one problem - actually getting it to work. The console itself is         
 complex, and there's no obvious way to restore power to the buoyancy control  
 systems...but, if you put your minds to it, you might be able to come up      
 with a plan that'll succeed!                                                  
=Dungeon Conditions: Reckless=================================================
===================<* Drowned Sanctum - Inner - Round 5 *>====================
========================< Results - Control Console >=========================
Player                               Exhaustion                      Pass/Fail
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Arleph Ardan                        3 --(0)--> 3                   Pass
Optics                              2   Wits    Effects: Resilient            
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ethius Hesiod                       8 --(0)--> 8                   Pass
Spectral Lens                       2   Wits    Effects: Enlighten            
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jacqueline Barber                   8 --(0)--> 8                   Fail
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Matilda Whitehead                   8 --(0)--> 8                   Pass
Portable Library                    1   Wits    Effects: Cleanse              
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lunata Croze                        3 --(0)--> 3                   Pass
Soup of the Day                     4   Wits    Effects: Liability, Efficient,
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Shalune Amira                       3 --(0)--> 3                   Fail
Investigate                         0   Wits    Effects: BASIC                
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lydia Seren                         3 --(0)--> 3                   Pass
Schrodinger the Cat                 2   Wits    Effects: Enlighten            
----------------------------------< Party >-----------------------------------
Leader: Jacqueline Barber           75 --(35)--> 110               Pass
Conditions: Hesitate(1)|Reckless(2)
Effects: Cleanse|Enlighten(1)|Resilient(1)
==============================< Dream Chasers >===============================
DG: You have overcome the dungeon's trials! This run is a success!
DG: The party led by Jacqueline Barber has successfully explored Drowned Sanctum - Inner!
========================<* Drowned Sanctum - Inner *>=========================
======================<* CHALLENGE - Incident Reports *>======================
|Type: Discovery   |Dungeon Ability: Conclusion|Challenge Rating: 1          | 
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 There is a moment of quiet, as you wait and wonder whether or not your        
 efforts were successful. But, suddenly, the word 'SURFACING...' appears on    
 the console. From somewhere above you, a mechanical voice suggests you        
 remain put while the Sanctum surfaces, and the doors out of the room shut.    
 There's nothing to do but wait...but while you're here, you might as well     
 see what else you can find out.                                               
                                                                               
 As you study the console before you, eventually land on what appears to be a  
 series of reports from back when the Sanctum was still operational. Each one  
 covers a different incident. Contaminated specimens, damaged equipment,       
 supplies being lost in transport...the further you go on, the more            
 disastrous they become, culminating with an explosion disabling a laboratory  
 that had been intended to be put to use later that same day.                  
                                                                               
 The final report suggests that they managed to find and incarcerate the       
 culprit, but before they could settle on a punishment the Sanctum began to    
 sink abruptly, forcing a sudden evacuation. From the looks of things, this    
 was the last one ever filed...                                                
                                                                               
 Before you can delve too deeply into that, however, the screen cuts away.     
 There's nothing for a moment...and then, a picture of a humanoid figure,      
 shadowed to conceal any identifying features.                                 
                                                                               
 ...No, not a picture. It's moving, and it's staring right at you. It          
 grins...and then the image cuts off abruptly as the console locks itself      
 down.                                                                         
=Dungeon Conditions: Secret===================================================
<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

Everyone gets to work trying to figure out how to make everything work. Jacqueline accepts some notes from Matilda and pores over them. Lydia places Schrodinger on the control panel, and then gives the cat a well-deserved belly rub. Shalune looks for a place to put the power crystal, while Arleph looks it over with his optics...and then Lunata accidentally trips.

Soup goes everywhere, particularly the console!

"O-oh no! Lunata, are you alright?" Jacqueline concerned. At least her priorities were in the right order, but the soup...oh no, the soup!

Strangely enough, this causes Ethius to act quickly. He rushes in, trying to clean it off...and contrarily to what they might expect, rather than melting it down, he begins to work on it. With alarming familiarity.

There is some silence.

And eventually, the words 'SURFACING...' appear on the console. A mechanical voice speaks to them, suggesting they remain put. ...And the doors shut.

Great.

Nothing to do but look through the terminal some more! It brings up a series of incident reports, which help put things in a bit more perspective...it becomes reasonable to assume who was once contained in the cell.

Before they can acquire anything further, however, the screen cuts away. Control is forcibly revoked from that terminal, and the picture of a humanoid figure appears on the screen.

No...it's moving, and it does not appear to be recorded footage. It's looking right at them...and it grins.

The console shuts down, locked completely.

Jacqueline stares, in stunned silence. She's not sure what to say.

<Pose Tracker> Arleph Ardan has posed.

         "Oh, Hell's Demon balls." Arleph calls out, quite uncharacteristically for him to be so foul mouthed. His eyes are wider, adjusting his glasses and his hat and looking up from the video.
 
         "We best get ready for a fight, people."

<Pose Tracker> Lunata Croze has posed.

        Lunata rubs at her forehead for a moment as she watches Ethius haphazardly try to dry it off with a wince. "Sorry sorry, I'm fine! But-- ah--"

        'SURFACING...'

        She blinks for a moment and furrows her brow, tilting her head. "... I guess we're coming up? I hope that doesn't affect the other group too much. We shoulda kept contact..."

        There's a scowl on her face as the humanoid figure appears. She rolls her eyes, getting up to her feet.

        "Might be..."

<Pose Tracker> Shalune Amira has posed.

        Shalune watches the video feed for a couple of moments after it cuts off; when she turns, her eyes are just a little glassy and far-off. "... ... ... well! Looks like we're good to go!" she chirps e v e r so brightly.

<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

        "Containment." Ethius murmurs aloud. When control is wrested from him, he stares into the grinning figure with that unyielding stare of his. (There's a whole lot of soup and sauce on his face, it is kind of funny for reals, the grinning figure has a pass on that if that's why they're grinning.)
        His sentiment is the same as anyone else's. "Prepare yourselves."

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"Well." Lydia says. "Gonna sleep with one eye open tonight."

Schrodinger is at peace, licking soup off of the console.

"Maybe just skip sleep altogether," Lydia adds. "Like, forever? Maybe my killer robot body doesn't need sleep." Maybe it doesn't but the brain does lydia you still have one of those!


Continued in 2018-10-28: Breaking the Shackles.