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Gold Team Mission Thread [PG-LSV]


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[font=trebuchet MS][i]Current Gold Team Leader[/i]: Baron Samedi[/center]

This mission thread is created exclusively for [I]current[/I] Gold Team members to post in. Players have been notified about the posting order via PM. Please direct any questions you have in regards to the event to [url=http://otakuboards.com/showthread.php?t=49109]The Legionnaires Underground[/url] thread.[/font]
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[FONT=Arial][SIZE=1]Before I begin, I'd like to ask that everyone who posts in this thread keeps their post styles [i]consistent[/i], unless talking OOC (which, by rights, should be in Underground anyway). Preferably, [b]Arial Size 2[/b] would be best, as it's readable and doesn't blend in with the rest of the boards. Please, no crazy colours - we should try and keep this readable as possible.[/SIZE]
[CENTER][FONT=Arial Black][COLOR=Olive][SIZE=3]#108: I Don?t Believe In The Sun[/SIZE][/COLOR][/FONT][/CENTER]
[SIZE=2][FONT=Arial]Unhate's breath steamed in the cool morning air of South Africa as he watched Gold Team disembark from the plane, their body's mere shadows in the low light of dawn. They were in the middle of a large airfield just north of Cape Town, their entry into the country having been surrounded by a high level of secrecy - noone knew they were in the country, not even their families and friends. In fact, they were there for one reason and one reason only - stop and, if possible, catch the leader of the cult that was systematically robbing banks and business all over Africa.

As his team assembled before him, Unhate cast an appraising glance over each of them. There was the mountain of muscle known as Augur, famous for his powers of precognition, as well as Pygmalion, the practically invincible archaelogist with the powers of the long-dead medusa. Beside them stood Joseph, marksman and photographer extraordinaire - he had been chosen for surveillance - and Melinoe, the half-demon product of unnatural unions. Unhate was perplexed as to why Melinoe was accompanying them, but she had been chosen and he had no choice in the matter. As long as she was kept on a short leash, things would be fine.

Finally, after a long while, Unhate saw fit to address his ragtag team of heroes, and cleared his throat. At once they all stood to attention, ready to listen to their leader.

'Men,' he began, and paused. 'And Melinoe. Today we infiltrate the group of thieving cultists known only as 'Sun', and somehow take down their leader and hand him into authorities. The Legionnaires do not want many deaths on our hands, especially that of their leader, but force is allowed if necessary.' He stopped and smiled slightly. 'Though, if you're forced to, I've no qualms personally with you killing the leader.' An uneasy laugh spread throughout the group, and Unhate frowned. His Australian humour was often lost on these people. With a sigh he laboured on, his voice becoming somewhat of a drone as he recited their orders.

'Upon leaving this airfield we will move to the compound directly, making no detours along the way. Once there Pygmalion and Joseph will scout around the perimeter of the area. Joseph will take as many photos as possible on a Polaroid camera, and Pygmalion will make sure he isn't seen - and if he is, those who see him won't move another inch for the rest of the granite-lives. Upon their return Augur will see if he can gather any precognition from the photos - if no, we break in through the closest and easiest available entrance.' A pause. 'If yes, we break in through the closest and easiest available entrace. Just more carefully.'

No laughter. Sigh.

'Once inside, we will have to fan out and find their leader as quickly as possible - if you can at all find out how he's utilising the sun for his power Pygmalion, that'd be great, but it's hardly our objective right now. The inside is very probably filled to the brim with cultists - don't be shy about putting a bullet in their head and using force if you have to, or utilizing any abilities you may have at your disposal. Any questions?' Melinoe raised her hand and Unhate nodded to permit her to speak.

'What do I do?'

'You stick with me... at least until we're inside. From then on, as long as you don't kill too many of the cultists, and find their leader without killing him, you're not my problem.' She nodded curtly. It wasn't what she wanted to hear, but it'd have to do.

Pulling a gun out of the holster on his belt, Unhate spun it on his finger and fired a blank southward toward Capetown - and thus the direction of the cult of Sun.

'Onward, Gold Team. We'll travel on foot, the compound's not far from this airfield.'[/FONT][/SIZE]
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[FONT=Arial][SIZE=1]Borrowing the dialog colors idea from Sage's pic of the group. The idea was just too good to pass. If you have any trouble reading, just tell me and I'll remove it.[/SIZE]

A hill.

The damned thing was built on a hill. Samuel Malkins, known to his comrade as Pygmalion, glanced at the construction over his shades as they stood on the side of the road.

"[COLOR=DarkOrange]A Polaroid[/color]," he grumbled.

Samuel wasn't a specialist of photography, but he could guess that to get any quality of pictures, they might have to get too close for comfort. The place looked like a mix of a Maya temple and a Lao vat. Why they had chosen Africa to set up such a weird mix of styles was beyond him. The area was covered in low scrubland, making approach yet more difficult. [i]Of course[/i], he hadn't brought his camouflaged gear. He sighed and turned to Joseph.

"[COLOR=DarkOrange]What angle do you want?[/color]" he asked.

Joseph pointed to the east.

"[COLOR=YellowGreen]The road to the hill is in this direction[/color]," he explained.

Joy. Vehicles.

"[COLOR=DarkOrange]Let's go then.[/color]"

They set off moving toward the currentlyt unused road. The ground was dry, covered in short grasses and the occasional globular shrub. It brought back troublesome memories of battles with Celtic priests in the Devon heathlands.

The road had more to do with a dusty track than a paved road. Two thin ravines bordered it. Artificial ravines, likely, in this area where little rain fell. What was the most remarkable to Pygmalion was the elaborate double fence that stood between the top edge of the ravine an the road's border, especially seeing as the road only offered enough space for a single vehicle. While he dwelled on these reflections, the photograph was busy bombarding the are with flashes.

Once they were done, they approached carefully the base of the hill, Joseph occasionally stopping to take another picture. An empty sentry box and gate guarded the road just before it started climbing the side of the hill. Pygmalion assumed the absence of guardians was imputable to the early hour.

"[COLOR=DarkOrange]We better make this quick. If there's going to have a guardian, I will probably have to shoot him, and there's a camera watching the gate[/color]," he observed.

Joseph knew all that, obviously, but Pygmalion always felt safer stating these things. Fortunately, the camera was only filming the road from it's pole. But it could eventually move, as it was mechanized, and Pygmalion didn't want their presence to be not only known but recorded.

As they walked up discreetly the side of the hill, always in the shadow of the buildings, a chant started to resonate across the landscape.

"[COLOR=DarkOrange]I think it's old Sanskrit[/color]," Pygmalion answered Joseph's mute question, "[COLOR=DarkOrange]sounds like an hymn to Surya, an Hindu god, they're asking him to 'swallow the moon'.[/color]"

He frowned. The more they advanced in this, the less sense he could make out. The compounds, at the top of the hill, was surrounded by the same double fence that bordered the road. Hidden by the shadow of a building, they observed as the worshippers circled around a statue. Pygmalion had trouble making out the details because he was looking straight at the sun. Joseph just captured picture after picture and shoved them in a pocket of his clothes.

"You know, maybe it's just me, but these buildings don't look large enough to lodge all these peoples," Joseph commented between two flashes.

"[COLOR=DarkOrange]What? Do you mean that would not be all?[/COLOR]" Pygmalion questioned.

"[COLOR=YellowGreen]Well, it is a pretty small hill...[/COLOR]" Joseph answered.

"[COLOR=DarkOrange]An underground pyramid![/COLOR]" Pygmalion realized, "[COLOR=DarkOrange]That would explain why that structure looks like the top part of a Mayan temple.[/COLOR]"

As he spoke the chant came to an abrupt end and was replaced by a loud meditative group "Ommmmmmm!!" that made his stomach vibrate. The leader activated 4 large panel that rose from the ground, reflecting light to the four cardinal points.

"[COLOR=YellowGreen]Mirrors. Well, at least now we know what they did with the gold[/COLOR]," Joseph commented.

Then the mirrors turned to point toward the priest, inundating him with light. Pygmalion notice his silhouette was still visible from the concentrated light inferno as a dark shadow.

[i]Great. Now he's super charged.[/i]

"[COLOR=YellowGreen]We should go back now. Looks like the ceremony is coming to an end[/COLOR]," Joseph stated.

Pygmalion had trouble detaching his eyes from the mirrors.
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  • 2 weeks later...
[FONT=Franklin Gothic Medium][SIZE=2]Well now that the posting order issues have been resolved we?d better get this show on the road.


Jack sat back against one of the many doldrum-like rocks that dotted the landscape leading towards the compound/temple. He cast a half-glance over to Unhate, silently asking for an order, the ex-military man, whom Augur had come to both respect and admire nodded once. Never breaking eye contact, the order was unspoken but completely understood.

Jack raised himself from his sheltered position beyond their cover and began to move slowly along the path Pygmalion and Joseph had taken a few minutes before. This was Jack?s first time in South Africa, after living in Ireland for so long any country with a lack of greenery seemed odd, sweat trickled along his brow as he gazed upwards and thanked God he?d followed advice and changed into lighter fatigues. The sun was beating down on his back, small patches of moisture forming under his arms and at the base of his back, the path east and uphill was more of a hike, but he moved swiftly making as little noise as possible.

He found the two men laying on their stomachs a hundred or so meters from the next set of double-fence, they reacted to his presence at about the same time, Joseph however was slightly faster. Jack held up his hand to tell them to keep quiet and knelt down beside them, he?s eyes moved up along to the top of the hill, passed the double-fencing to the buildings, the chanting had grown quieter, obviously a bad sign. He looked to Joseph, then to Sam and held their gaze for a moment before dipping his head gently back down in the direction of the remaining Gold Team members, both men nodded and slowly rose from their position to a knelling one to mimic Augur.

Jack?s head moved back to the camp, he had an odd feeling, definitely a precognitive one, but he couldn?t place his finger on it, he exhaled and quickly began the trek back down the hill in the cover of the shadow the buildings cast against the terrain. He smiled for a moment, for all this cult leader?s sun powers it was the shadow cast by the sun itself that would allow them to gain access to his stronghold. After only a few moments Gold Team was regrouped from recon and ready to plan their entry, Unhate looked from one squad member to the next before resting his gaze on Joseph.

?[B]Joseph, photos.[/B]?

Reaching into his pocket Joseph removed as least twenty Polaroid shots and handed them gingerly to Unhate, Gold Leader thumbed through the photos for a moment. Even though Augur would get the most out of them, hopefully anyway, it was no harm to access the tactical situation they might provide. When he finally stopped examining the photos he passed them to over to Jack, the quality was surprisingly good given that Joseph had been using a Polaroid camera. Normally Jack didn?t do photographs, they were much harder to read than when he was actually near someone or something, seeing movement in real life, photos were moments captures only for that brief second. Most of what he got was emotion, a kind of elated glee that one probably felt when you though you were in the presence of a god. Finally he got something more than simple background emotion, the photo was of one of the cult members, a Russian or Eastern European made assault rifle hanging loosely from his robes, but it wasn?t what he saw that attracted his attention.

Unhate seemed to have picked up on his detection, moving in next to him, ?[B]Report Augur[/B]? he enquired quietly. Jack?s index finger tapped against the man in the photo a couple of times before speaking in the same hushed tone.

?[B]This one, in about twenty minutes he?s going to get word his wife has given birth, and we?ll have our three minute window of opportunity while they change sentry.[/B]?

Unhate grinned at Jack for a moment, ?[B]I suppose we should congratulate him if we get the chance then.[/B]?

Jack nodded and smiled himself, before returning the photos to Joseph. They?d have to time it exactly right, but the future was something in Jack?s experience that didn?t change, quietly he knelt back down, his back facing that same doldrum-like rock as he checked his equipment before their insertion into the compound. [/SIZE][/FONT]
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Melinoë wasn't pleased when she heard that Unhate hadn't had any plans of actually using her. Obviously the man didn't know how her abilities actually worked.

She figured that Unhate, as experienced a leader as he was, was used to commanding men and not women. Melinoë reckoned that she made her four male companions uneasy.

Of course it might just be her appearance.

She stood still next to Unhate and watched as Pygmalion and Joseph took off towards the temple, followed a little later by Augur. Finally Unhate gave a signal to follow him.

Melinoë could feel how her diabolical weapon, the flaming whip Phlegethon, quivered in her hand, anticipating that it would taste blood again soon.

When they reached the three other men, they talked about the infiltration process. Melinoë wasn't interested much, she could have entered the temple anytime she wanted, either without a sound or in a bloody frenzy.

But she reasoned that her team-members wouldn't have appreciated that much. Those petty humans were all about "planning" and "strategy". She just wanted to get the mission over with as soon as possible.

"Melinoë, did you copy that?"

Unhate had interrupted her chain of thoughts. Melinoë was irritated.

"What?" she asked with her chilliest tone of voice.

"Pay attention! You'll hinder the enemy with Joseph while I, Augur and Pygmalion search for the leader."

"But..." Melinoë resisted.

"You will do as you're told! Look, you are obviously most useful at slicing and dicing whatever, so I can't risk having the leader decapitated."

Melinoë's fury burst into flames within her. Her body began to shake, and the Phlegethon's curved blade rose into the air. But she knew she couldn't afford to lose her calm at this crucial moment, or her days in the Legionnaires would be over before they really started.

She didn't know why she had joined in the first place, but now after few months of protecting the world, she realized that her life had gained a meaning. For the first time ever she felt useful, and that was worth clinging onto.

So she closed her mismatching eyes, took a deep breath of the hot savannah air, and regained her frigid posture.

"Very well, Unhate. You're the boss, I'm the mindless killer."

She gained small pleasure from seeing the bulky, stone-skinned man shiver slightly from the tone of her voice.

The right moment of entry came, and Melinoë followed the others inside, holding the Phlegethon ready.
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  • 2 weeks later...
[font=arial]The inside of the structure was amazing, so much so that it took Unhate's breath away. 8 foot walls painted in thick layers of gold lined every corridor, a single solitary torch marring the otherwise perfect surfaces every few metres. Behind him his squad was experiencing similar reactions. The extent of this place was unreal.

A small cough from Melinoe brought them back from their amazement, and Unhate quickly turned and resolved himself. Taking out his gun he quickly checked it's ammo while Augur and Joseph followed his lead, before looking up at his troops once more and smiling crookedly. 'Shall we?' He motioned toward the corridor behind him and set off, quickly followed by four separate but like-minded footsteps.


Eerily, the place was empty - they'd been roaming the golden halls for ten minutes and encountered nothing and noone. Just more and more gold as they became further entrenched in the maze like structure. Unhate was almost becoming worried until, suddenly and unexpectedly, they found themselves looking down on large room, the only entrance in and out of it being the stairway before them.

'Get down!' Unhate whispered as he crouched low, his skin hardening. Below them about three dozen armed cultists stood, listening to a man dressed in extravagant gold. His hands were flailing wildly, and his speech seemed incredibly animated - his listeners were engrossed.

'Who is it?' Augur whispered, his brows furrowed. Unhate frowned.

'I think it's their leader... and those are some of his men. There must be more around here somewhere though.'

'Like behind you?' An unfamiliar voice registered in Unhate's mind.

'****,' he cursed, 'Gold team, remember your task!' The stone-skinned leader burst to his feet - tearing two pistols out of the holsters on his belt as he did so - and dived head long down the stairs before him, drawing fire from the congregation of soldiers gathered before their golden leader. Meanwhile their leader dashed out of a hidden door to Unhate's right, resolving not to bother with these intruders. This didn't go unnoticed.

'****,' Unhate cursed again. 'Augur, Pygmolion, are you with me?' he called back over his shoulder. A 'yessir' said in time confirmed that, so far, his plan was going to plan. A slow grin spread over his face as he began to fire on the congregated followers in the depressed room, killing some but incapcitating most. As more fell, and more still transformed to stone, he could tell Augur and Pygmolion were right behind him.

'Quick, through the door!' With a testosterone filled battle roar the trio burst through the now-revealed secret door the golden leader had disappeared through, putting all their faith in Melinoe and Joseph to make sure they weren't followed by too much resistance.[/font]
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The walls were of gold. Like the mirrors. The room they had reached was entrenched deep in the bowels of the place. Despite the absence of artificial light, the wall reverberated sunlight all theway from the outside. And yet Pygmalion wasn't sure that was only for decoration. As an archeologist, the wall's smooth, undecorated surface in such a building was oddly unnerving to him.

He glanced back down the slightly sloping corrdor and saw nobody. He was actuall unable to see the extremity. Had they really gone that far already? The corridor turned. He couldn't see much over his leader's massive shape taking over half the hall's width, but he was pretty sure the sound of footsteps was growing fainter.

Rule number one of chase: never allow your prey to lose you in it's own lair.

"[COLOR=DarkOrange]Why don't we just shoot him in the leg?[/COLOR]" he proposed aloud.

"[COLOR=Sienna]Worth a try![/COLOR]" Unhate answered.

The leader stopped for a second at this point, as if to make their task simpler. Too good to be true. The ambient light seemed to suddenly become much brighter. Shadows disappeared as it reflected of all surrounding surfaces. The three men had to shield their eyes from the golden burning. An eery laugh resonated in their ears.

Even with his eyes closed and a hand covering them, Pygmalion felt the overwhelming light. Several guns went off. Then the light stopped. Pygmalion's eyes immediately shot open. Augur and Unhate's eyes were reddened and a bit swelled due to the too strong stimulus. Their target had vanished. Something was coming down the hall. Two silhouettes were dashing down the hall, as if attracted by the sudden burst of light.

"[COLOR=Sienna]We've got company, I see,[/COLOR]" Unhate said. He frowned. "[COLOR=Sienna]Do I see swords too?[/COLOR]"

Pygmalion ran toward to them, hands extended for a rapid and final handshake. The figures both had long black hair and arabicrobes like those worn among the nomadic desert tribes. He reached for both wrists but the one on the left evaded him with unnatural grace and cntinued his forwardcourse. The other simply grinned as Pygmalion willed for him to statufy.

"We are not dealt so easily," he laughed him off, slashing at the archeologist with a scimitar.

Pygmalion heard the sound of bullets and a surprised yell. A noisy scufflebroke behind him.

"[COLOR=DarkOrange]Damn! Djinns![/COLOR]" he yelled as he shoved.

More bullets.

"[COLOR=DarkOrange]You can't shoot them![/Color]" he warned. "[COLOR=DarkOrange]They can only be killed with bladed weapon![/COLOR]" he explained as he evaded another attempt at spreading his bowled across the hall.

Unhate extracted a large army knife from an hidden pocket.
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  • 2 weeks later...
[FONT=Franklin Gothic Medium][SIZE=2]Sorry about the delay, trying to write something of quality for this was akin to drawing blood from a stone.


Jack's knives were leaving his hands faster than he could replace them, he was purposely aiming for non-vital areas of the body so as to avoid fatalities but that didn't mean he couldn't throw them were they'd cause intense and debilitating pain. The spray of bullets coming from the cultists had lessened significantly in the last two minutes, though their greatest danger was posed by the cult leader himself rather than his minions. Two more knives left his grip, the first spun through the air slicing through the trigger finger of a cultist taking aim at Unhate, the second which he?d thrown over his right shoulder embedded itself into the shoulder blade of one of the Arabian ?Djinns? as Pygmalion had called them. The scimitar wielding fiend merely ripped the blade from behind his back and dropped it to the floor with a clatter.

?[B]Sam how in the name of Christ are we supposed to kill these guys again ?[/B]?

Jack?s voice was tense, he didn?t like it that one of these individuals should be able to just rip a dagger from his shoulder with no ill-effect, and he liked it even less than the same individual was now making his way over to Jack, sword raised and grinning. Exhaling deeply, he tried to anticipate which way the blade was going to go, but something about these fellows prevented him from being able to read them, cursing silently waiting for an answer from Sam, and sharp.

?[B]Bladed weapons, knifes, swords, sharp spoons even.[/B]?

Sam?s response made Jack growl in frustration, this was absolutely no time to be making jokes.

?[B]I meant is there any particular way in they need to be killed, as in dagger through the heart or decapitation ?![/B]?

?[B]Either or[/b]? Sam replied, ?[b]though you may find decapitation has the more immediate effect.[/B]?

Jack hadn?t even time to sigh at the old man?s attitude before having to quickly duck and roll from the slash of one of Djinns, his knife soared upwards toward the robe wearing, sabre-totter. The Djinns reaction was faster than Jack had expected, and instead of meeting with the soft flesh of a neck, he met with the hard clang of steel against steel, before being pushed again off balance and having to go on the defensive.

His attention shifted over to Unhate for a moment, the man was a walking army, his special ability had already kicked in deflected bullets en-masse and even the odd unparried strike from the other Djinn. Sam seemed to be holding his own against several gunmen, though Jack?s attention was rudely returned to his own opponent when a blow that would have resulted in decapitation for a slower man sailed dangerously close to his left ear. Seeing a moment of advantage, Jack tried with his knife again, the Djinn seeing he was going to be caught by the knife moved as to try and avoid the worst of it, however Jack was keen to press his advantage and lashed out cleanly with his right leg tumbling his enemy onto the flat of his back. One of his smaller knives dive-bombed into the Arabian?s chest, drawing forth a pool of crimson blood and a deathly hiss, before his eyes rolled up into his head and his head itself slowly laid against the golden floor.

?[B]Care to fight this one Augur ?[/B]?

Jack looked over to see Unhate give him a quick grin before returning his attention to his own assailants, Jack smiled himself now seeing the joke in Sam?s previous comments to him, as good as these Djinns and cultists may be, they were no match for The Legionnaires.

?[B]Nah, I?m OK for the moment. Besides, you?re the one with the nigh-impenetrable skin so you shouldn?t have any of the trouble us mortals have.[/B]? Jack?s tone turned serious again before he continued parleying with Unhate. ?[B]Do you want me to go after the leader before he gets away ?[/B]?[/SIZE][/FONT]
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[SIZE=1]I guess it is my honor to wrap this mission up, so here goes. If you guys are bothered by anything in this conclusion, just let me know, okay?[/SIZE]

It had been quite a while since Unhate, Augur and Pygmalion had left Melinoë and Joseph to fight the guards that seemed to be spawning out of nowhere.

[COLOR=DarkRed]"How many of these lunatics are there?!"[/COLOR] Melinoë exclaimed while whirling the Phlegethon furiously above her head. The curved blade cut the cultists down like weed, but new fanatics appeared from every corner.

The skinny photographer didn't answer, he just let his machinegun sing while the heat and the anxiety steamed his glasses.

Everywhere around them the cultists surrounded them with scimitars and guns. Melinoë knew that the two of them couldn't last much longer.

At that moment she saw the cult leader, a bald black-skinned man dressed in robes that glittered with pure gold. The man shone an inner light, like his heart was replaced by a small sun. Melinoë saw him above the heads of the cultists, trying to sneak out.

She knew she had to inform the others. She glanced back at Joseph, and saw him fall. For a split second she hesitated if she should go and help him, but she knew that the mission was much more important. Besides, there were too many raving fanatics between them. She couldn't do anything

Melinoë lost sight of his team mate, and jumped straight into the air using her demonic agility. She landed on top of the heads of the cultists, and jumped over them, towards the center of the temple. Some of the cultists tried to follow her, and shot a few times behind her, but she was out of their range.

She reached the other three, crouched behind a barricade, just in time to hear Augur say: [COLOR=DarkRed]"Do you want me to go after the leader before he gets away ??[/COLOR]

Melinoë stepped out of the doorway.

[COLOR=DarkRed]"Let me do it. I saw where he went, and I can sense him heading south-east"[/COLOR], she said in a serious tone.

[COLOR=DarkRed]"What are you talking about?" [/COLOR] Unhate asked baffled. [COLOR=DarkRed]"Where's Joseph?"[/COLOR]

[COLOR=DarkRed]"I lost him. Expect a horde of fanatics to rush in here any second now."[/COLOR]

[COLOR=DarkRed]"Great!"[/COLOR] Unhate huffed. [COLOR=DarkRed]"Like we didn't have our hands filled with these Djinns."[/COLOR]

[COLOR=DarkRed]"Did you know you can kill them by decapitating them?"[/COLOR] Melinoë asked dryly.

[COLOR=DarkRed]"Yes, Sam informed us on that already. Fine, go get the leader then! We'll follow you as soon as we can. Just try not to kill him, alright?"[/COLOR]

[COLOR=DarkRed]"I'll [I]try[/I]."[/COLOR]

At that moment, a dozen noisy mercenaries rushed into the room from the doorway behind Melinoë. With one quick swing of the Phlegethon, half of them had lost their heads or hands. She bounced over the falling corpses and rushed to the entrance.

The battle at the front gate had ceased, but with a quick glance, Melinoë couldn't see Joseph's body. She had more urgent issues to worry about now. She sensed that the leader had stopped, either to take breath or to enter a vehicle.

She had to hurry.

The demonic huntress sprinted across the dry savanna, heading towards south-east, and it wasn't long until she saw a familiar golden glitter in the horizon. She also saw a helicopter descending towards the cult leader.

[COLOR=DarkRed]"Halt!"[/COLOR] she screamed, and the hellish whip in her hands burst into flames.

The cult leader turned to the woman, his face distorted with anger and annoyance.

[COLOR=DarkRed]"How dare you intervene with the plans of the Son of Aton?! Burn in the holy light, infidel!"[/COLOR]

The man's eyes flashed, and a ray of pure light shot towards Melinoë. She was still far enough to dodge the beam, but she knew the next one would most likely hit, so she had to act fast.

The cult leader was running towards the chopper that had already landed, but Melinoë thrust the Phlegethon forwards, and it cut the man's ankle, making him tumble to the ground.

A pair of armed guards appeared from the helicopter, but Melinoë had already reached the cult leader, who was holding his stump of a leg. She gave the guards a menacing glare, and they remained where they were.

Phlegethon hovered above the man's face, threatening. The man sobbed something in his native tongue.

[COLOR=DarkRed]"No use, priest! You will suffer the consequences of your actions!"[/COLOR]

The man gave her a defiant look, and his eyes began shining again. Before Melinoë could react, her demonic weapon had sliced the man's head from his shoulders, causing the destructive beam of light to hit backwards to the helicopter and blow it up.

Melinoë covered herself from the sudden blast by ducking to the ground.

She sat up, throwing her malicious weapon from her hands, and covered her head with them.

A few minutes later, she heard a loud sigh from behind her. Her team had caught up with her. Somebody spoke to a mobile phone.

[COLOR=DarkRed]"The target has been eliminated, mission #108 accomplished."[/COLOR]
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  • 5 months later...
[FONT=trebuchet ms][CENTER][SIZE=5]----------
Gold Team Mission #115: Atlantis Attacks?
[INDENT][i]Team-members: Sandy, Takuya, myself.[/i]

Tetros stood waiting in the hangar, hands behind his back, thumbs at a ninety degree angle, feet shoulder width apart. His Legionnaire-issued black overalls were perfectly creased, and his black combat boots perfectly parallel. An image that would drive any hard-jawed drill-master into an ecstatic frenzy of joy. Tetros wasn?t particularly picky as to his appearance, but it was what the situation called for, and so he was ready.

He reviewed the facts that had been in the video-message sent to him only two hours previously.
[i]The lost city of Atlantis was more than just a myth, and indeed, was still fully functional and populated. After the destruction that sank their city-state, many of the survivors re-grouped, but, suitably chastened by what they felt was a direct message from their gods, they abandoned the rampant sin and debauchery which had overrun their sun-filled city, and endeavoured to bring their culture back into line with the four principle callings of their culture; Wisdom, Patience, Honesty and Honour. Since then, the Atlanteans had not emerged into the surface world, withdrawing into their rebuilt city, underwater.

However, recently issues seemed to have arisen, possibly between factions inside the city-state. As part of prudent security measures, the Legionnaires put a beacon on all nuclear assets which may conveniently become ?lost?. Some years previously the Legionnaires had located the remains of a Мурена class submarine, in the vicinity of Tunisia. Further investigation indicated that it may have been en-route to Libya when technical difficulties arose. The submarine was pin-pointed using Legionnaire satellite technology, and was marked and monitored. Two weeks ago the beacon ceased reporting.

The Legionnaires Command believed that the Atlanteans had recovered the submarine and were planning to develop their own nuclear technology, and possibly ballistic weaponry. It was Gold Team?s job to gain access to the underwater city-state, determine what had caused this expedition and what was happening. And if necessary, destroy the submarine and weaponry.[/i][/INDENT]

Precisely twenty-three seconds before midnight, the other two members of Gold Team walked into the hangar. The she-demon Melinoë and the? being, Liquid, nodded as they recognized Tetros. All they had been told was that they had a new assignment, and would be flying out shortly. A briefing would be required.


As the three members of Gold Team strapped themselves into the Skyhawk supplied to them for this mission, Tetros explained their route.

?The Nav-ref point for Atlantis is approximately one hundred and twenty miles off the Algerian coast. We will be flying over Spanish air-space thanks to an agreement the Legionnaires have arranged with their government. We will be air-dropped over the designated drop-zone from two-thousand feet and from that point we are there on our own. Liquid, you have been issued with two SP-11 underwater handguns. There are three Protei-5?s awaiting us at the drop-zone and? that is about it. Any questions??

Melinoë pursed her lips, before saying ?What if I lose Acheron? I still need to breathe.?

Tetros nodded. ?Two re-breathers have been included with the Protei?s, in the event that Acheron is lost, or that Liquid needs to assume another form. I have analysed all the preparations that have been made, and I am confident that nothing has been missed.?

Tetros thumbed the starter-switch, and the Skyhawk?s engines rose to a dull whine. It taxied slowly out of the hangar, before engaging it?s VTOL engines, and rising steadily into the pitch-black night.


Some four and a half hours later, the three Legionnaires were dropping through the pitch black night, the only noise the rush of air in their ears. Perfect weather for a HALO drop, with no wind and pristinely calm water.


The three parachutes deployed and the Legionnaires were left hanging from their harnesses, following each other down in a tight spiral, aiming right for the flashing buoy beneath which were tethered three Protei-5?s, which would take them the remaining two and a half miles to the location of Atlantis.

When the Legionnaires were around twenty feet above sea-level, electrostatic charges were sent into their parachutes. Ingenious micro-circuitry thread responded to the tiny charges, and the parachutes bunched together, before being pulled back into the harness. Tetros, Melinoë and Liquid dived the remaining few feet through the air, before slipping into the water with three almost silent splashes. As they surfaced, treading water, they removed the parachutes and harnesses, clipping them onto the small buoy which marked the Protei?s. In a small number of hours a fishing boat would pass this spot, and the buoy and harnesses would be removed.

?Which way?? Tetros asked Liquid, who had the portable Nav-ref unit.

?North-east? she said, pointing. The three Legionnaires started up the Protei?s, and slid silently into the water. Expected contact time, nineteen minutes and counting.
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All Melinoë could see around her were the blurry shapes of her two companions, although the other, called Liquid, was almost invisible in her own element. Still, she was there, she could sense her presence.

It was a whole new sensation, breathing underwater without any gadgets, oxygen tanks, nothing. Only her whip, Acheron, twirling around her, channeling it's magic into her...


She sat in a chair in a bunker room with concrete walls. There was nothing in the room except a large table, another chair with another person, and a surveillance camera in the middle of the room, right above her.

"So, Melinoë... Tell me about this whip of yours. Reports said it... changed in the underwater river at the Temple of Aton."

"Changed, yes. The spirits of Acheron forged it into anew. My mother must've had something to do with that..."

"Instead of burning in an ceaseless fire, you say it now glows with a cold aura?"


Melinoë looked at the masked man sitting opposite of her. The Arbiter, leader of the Legionnaires. [I]"Is he toying with me?"[/I] she asked herself. [I]"He knows all the answers, but still insists on asking all these questions! Irritating..."[/I]

"And the name? It said it had a new name? Acheron, after the river?"

"Yes. Look, you already know these things, they're all in the reports...!"

"Have you tested it's new powers yet?"

"What... powers?" Melinoë asked before she could stop herself. The cursed man had piqued her interest.

"Ask it."

Melinoë hesitated, but then reached her thoughts to the Acheron, placed on the side of her loin.

Then she heard it... Eerie sounds... Like the crying of whales and dolphins... Underwater... They echoed from the concrete walls. The lights dimmed, and reflected patterns of waves. Melinoë felt the air escaping from her lungs, but the whip told her it was alright.

Just as she felt she was about to drown, everything reverted back to normal.

Melinoë looked at the Arbiter, who acted like nothing had happened. The red gleam in his eyes told the truth, however.

"I might have use for you and your whip soon. Be prepared."

With those words, the Arbiter rose up and left the room. Melinoë couldn't help but to let out a hiss. That man really got on her nerves! How did he know?!


Tetros brought her back from her thoughts by waving his hand in front of her face. He then pointed down to the ocean floor. Slowly Melinoë could make out hundreds, thousands of lights below them. They had found it! They had found Atlantis!
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[color=seagreen][i]Why do I always get the weird assignments?[/i] Liquid wondered as she, Tetros, and Melinoe headed towards the underwater city of Atlantis. [i]I mean, it's like every time there's a weird mission, I'm on the team. Like that time travel thing a while ago. That one was crazy.[/i][/color]
[color=#2e8b57]The memory of that particular mission was still fresh in Liquid's mind. It wasn't easy to forget something like that, especially since it was during that mission that she'd discovered how her father had died, that he'd been shot by her stepfather, Kajo. Liquid clearly remembered how she'd felt after seeing that. She'd been pissed, and she'd wanted to kill the man responsible. She thought she'd done just that until she learned that the people causing problems in the past had been nothing more than a diversion. She'd become determined to kill the man who was really in charge.[/color]
[color=#2e8b57]Liquid had cooled off a bit since then. She still wanted the bastard dead, of course; she simply no longer cared who did it. And as for Kajo, well, he'd somehow made it back from the past, but he was no longer alive. Liquid had read in the paper a couple days ago about a major drug bust that had occurred. Kajo had been involved with the drug ring, and he'd been killed resisting arrest.[/color]
[color=#2e8b57]Liquid pushed her memories out of her head. Right now, she needed to focus on the present. Gold Team was on approach to the legendary 'Lost City', Atlantis. Liquid was curious about what the city was like. And what about the people? What were they like? Liquid was expecting something clearly different than normal humans, but not by too much. Maybe something between humans and whatever she was.[/color]
[color=#2e8b57]The Atlanteans would certainly be different mentally, Liquid knew that much. They'd had to adjust to life under water. Liquid couldn't imagine what it was like. She knew that she herself wouldn't be comfortable living underwater for the rest of her life. Her body certainly would be, but mentally she just didn't think she could handle it.[/color]
[color=#2e8b57]LIquid tried again to clear her head. She often lost her focus when approaching the unknown. It was something she'd been trying to work on for quite a while, but she just couldn't seem to do anything about it. She put out a good effort, though, trying to stay focused as Gold Team arrived at its destination.[/color]
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[COLOR=Indigo]Melinoë gazed down to the mythical city of Atlantis. In the mission briefing, the three of them had been shown drawings and pieces of art made about Atlantis by various artists over the centuries, but none of those resembled what she saw below her very much.

The vast city was build around an underwater volcano. It's buildings were made of sandstone and decorated with sea plants. It was illuminated by thousands of orange lights, chasing away the deep darkness of the seafloor. They were still too far to see the source of those lights.

Tetros waved to the two women to follow him, pulling out his underwater gun at the same.

As they were closing in on the city, a patrol of native Atlanteans approached them, riding on some strange huge fish. Melinoë heard the vibration of their voices echoing through the water. The Acheron turned the noise into words in her head.

[I]"Halt, intruders!"[/I] the commander of the group said. [I]"Do you understand my words?"[/I]

Each soldier of the patrol were wearing a bulbous helmet and a cuirass, but Melinoë could see from their exposed limbs the pale color of their rubber-like skin. Ultra fast evolution, or workings of an arcane force? She couldn't say just yet.

[I]"I repeat..."[/I] the commander started to say, but was interrupted by Melinoë.

[I]"We understand you, alright? We want to meet your leaders."[/i]

[I]"Who are you?"[/I] the commander said in shock, waving his weapon - some sort of bayonet with a crystal-like barrel - at the three Legionnaires.

[I]"It would be best to escort us to your city, so we can talk more"[/I], Liquid said in a mediating manner.

After thinking it for a moment, the commander nodded and signaled to his troops. They surrounded the team, and began to usher them downwards.[/COLOR]
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[INDENT][FONT=Trebuchet MS]The detachment of Atlantean soldiers formed up around the three Legionnaires, surrounding them on all sides, as well as top and bottom.

Tetros glanced at Melinoe and Liquid. Not an incredibly friendly reception... although they hadn't betted on being located so early into their mission. The Legionnaires followed the Atlantean commander down towards the glowing lights which still lay some several hundred feet below them, on the sea-floor, and gathered on the lower slopes of the underwater mountain. As they drew closer to the city of Atlantis, more and more details became obvious. They could see small shapes, presumably the citizens of Atlantis, flitting to and fro through the buildings. What really dominated the city though, was the giant temple which sat partway up the side of the mountain. It was the largest building in the city by far, with lean, hard architecture, comparable to the mountain strongholds of the Aztecs. It initially appeared that they were being lead in the direction of the temple, or whatever it may be, but before they reached it, the Atlantean's swung downwards, heading for a somewhat isolated patch of lights. As they drew closer to the cluster of buildings, it became apparent that this was Atlantis' version of a jail. The buildings were set in a circular arrangement, with five watch-towers spread evenly around the perimeter. The entire area was well lit, and there was a state of alertness and rigidity in the movements of the soldiers.

One of their detachment went ahead, obviously bearing news of their arrival. Tetros frowned. They were in a bit of a predicament. They didn't have enough manpower to take on the whole of Atlantis if they killed the group of soldiers now escorting them to the compound... but they also couldn't afford to be locked up, and then break-out. Either way, things were bound to get interesting soon. They weren't authorised to make a large-scale attack of the city... and they were seriously under-prepared if they were required to.

They'd just have to see where this went.


Melinoe felt trapped in the confined space of the 'cell', pushing herself from wall to wall, a fierce glare on her face. Liquid stood in the corner of the room, looking through the coral-like mesh which locked them into the room.

"What are we going to do? We can't sit here like a group of worms until these slime-balls figure out what they're going to do with us! If we're going to make a move, we need to do it soon." spat Melinoe, "Being locked up doesn't suit me."

Normal speech wouldn't work in the underwater world they found themselves in. [i]Acheron[/i] allowed Melinoe to talk in the same squealing, chirping manner that the Atlantean's did, which was vaguely reminiscent of dolphin's. Liquid seemed to be able to understand and talk their language too, with no difficulty. Exactly why wasn't clear, but it was a useful attribute nonetheless. Tetros had been given a basic rundown on the Atlantean language from Melinoe. At Legionnaire's HQ, she had been subjected to a ten-hour submersion trial, and during that time she had been given recordings of Atlantean speech. [The fishing boat which collected the parachute equipment from the buoy also had other roles to play in the insertion preparation, such as trolling above the believed location of Atlantis with a large-scale sonar array.] Melinoe had then translated these to Tetros, who now had a vocabulary of roughly four-thousand Atlantean words and concepts.

Tetros didn't reply, merely glancing in her direction.

"Our chance could be coming now," said Liquid quietly "there is someone coming down the corridor".[/FONT][/INDENT]
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[color=#2e8b57][color=seagreen]As the person Liquid had detected approached, Liquid wondered again just how she was able to communicate with the Atlanteans. She understood how the other two could--Melinoe's whip allowed her to communicate with them, and Tetros had been programmed with as much of the Atlantean language as possible. However, she did not know how she could understand and speak that language. She'd known she could before the mission had begun; that had been confirmed with the same recordings Melinoe had translated for Tetros. But how was she able to?[/color][/color]
[color=#2e8b57]Liquid pushed that question aside as an Atlantean arrived at the cell. Unlike the soldiers, this one wore no helmet. Obviously, the Atlanteans did not need the helmets. They were probably standard millitary equipment, though what purpose they served Liquid did not know.[/color]
[color=#2e8b57]The Atlanteans seemed to be basically human, but there were a few significant changes. Speech, for example. And obviously they were able to breathe underwater. Yet they were still close enough to humans visually that Liquid had no trouble making observations. This particular Atlantean, for example, was certainly a male, and he was clearly upset about something.[/color]
[color=#2e8b57]The Atlantean was muttering something to himself as he fumbuled with the coral-mesh door. Eventually, he got it open. "Come on out of there," he said.[/color]
[color=#2e8b57]Liquid was the first out of the cell, with Melinoe and Tetros close behind. "I apologize for the way you've been treated," the Atlantean told them. "I don't know what those people were thinking, locking you up like that. You haven't done anything; I mean, you hadn't even reached the city before they got to you."[/color]
[color=#2e8b57]"It's all right," Liquid said. "They probably just enjoy exercising power over others. I've known some people like that."[/color]
[color=#2e8b57]"That's good. I would have gotten to you sooner, but those soldiers didn't even come to me. They just had one of the guards get a cell ready and then stuck the three of you in it. The guard only came to me after that. I've never seen such a breach in procedure!"[/color]
[color=#2e8b57]"We understand," Tetros assured him.[/color]
[color=#2e8b57]The Atlantean nodded. "Anyways, welcome to Atlantis. I'm probably not the best person to be doing this--I run the prison, after all--but thanks to those soldiers, I'm the one who's here. My name is Alkesel."[/color]
[color=#2e8b57]Liquid took care of introductions "Mine is Liquid," she said. "This is Tetros, and that's Melinoe."[/color]
[color=#2e8b57]Liquid found the business of names quite interesting. Names did not translate, as there was no definate counterpart in another language for a name. Yet somehow, Liquid 'heard' Alkesel's name in English, even though it shouldn't have been translatable. It was probably similar for Melinoe. Tetros didn't get that, however. He could tell that the man was giving his name, but he had no word to match to that name. Fortunately, he didn't need a matching English name to use an Atlantean name. Of course, he did need the Atlantean version of an English name before he could use it. Because of this, Melinoe had run through a great deal of names for people and places with Tetros during her translation session.[/color]
[color=#2e8b57]Alkesel examined the three members of Gold Team. 'You're quite an assortment," he remarked. "Tetros there seems to be a bl-uh, surface-world human, but he's clearly not, being down here without any form of breating aid. And I have even less of a clue what you other two are."[/color]
[color=#2e8b57]"I'll leave it up to Tetros and Melinoe how much about themselves they wish to reveal," Liquid replied. "As for me, well, I don't actually know what I am, though I used to be a... well, I guess your term is 'surface-world human', though you seemed as though you were about to use another."[/color]
[color=#2e8b57]"Well, yes," Alkesel said. "'Blue-skyer'. It's a slang term we have for people who live on the land. I didn't think it would be an appropriate term to use, but it's so habitual that I almost couldn't stop myself."[/color]
[color=#2e8b57]"No offense taken," Tetros told him. "And it's nice to know the term."[/color]
[color=#2e8b57]"So what happens now?" Melinoe asked.[/color]
[color=#2e8b57]"Well," Alkesel replied, "I honestly don't know. There's not really any procedure to follow, as this is actually the first time anyone from above has come here. I'm curious as to what brings you here-and about how you found our city in the first place-but it's probably none of my business. Anyways, I sent word to Atlantis's leadership right before I came here to release you. It shouldn't be too long before they respond. As you probably saw, those mounts of ours can move pretty fast. I guess you'll just have to stay here until then. You don't have to sit in the cell, though. Of course, we really don't have a good place for you to wait. This place wasn't designed with guests in mind. I guess you could wait out in the lobby. I'll go with you so there's no confusion."[/color]
[color=#2e8b57]"Sounds good to me," Tetros replied. He, Liquid, and Melinoe followed as Alkesel led the way.[/color]
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[COLOR=Indigo]Soon a courier came to the lobby where the Legionnaires were waiting with Alkesel, sending an order to escort the visitors to meet the leaders. Melinoë was on the other hand satisfied that things were moving on so quickly, but on the other hand she was suspicious about the good treatment they were given.

After the courier was gone, the threesome swam out to the city, following the Atlantean officer.

[I]"This is truly a wonderful sight"[/I], Liquid said admiringly as she gazed the view over the underwater city. "It makes me wonder how it came to be..."

[I]"Well, the history of Atlantis dates back several thousand of your years"[/I], Alkesel explains. [I]"Our concept of time differs quite largely from yours, we calculate it based on tides and movements of sealife and... Oh, I don't want to bore you by going to details."[/I]

[I]"Please don't"[/I], Melinoë muttered, but Liquid swam closer to the man.

[I]"But I want to hear about it! Life underwater, in my true form... It's something I've always dreamed of!"[/I] Liquid exclaimed so that bubbles came out of her mouth

[I]"Oh, very well then"[/I], Alkesel said and began retelling the history according to legends. Melinoë noticed that they were approaching the huge volcano protruding from the center of the city.

[I]"... After the Cataclysms, the surviving citizens of Atlantis found no other way but to follow their city underwater. After all, the secret of the magic ambers was too great to be shared with other Mediterranean cultures. The legendary Amberists transformed the willing people into the form that you now see before you. So those people began to build this underwater city on the ruins of the ancient Atlantis."[/I]

[I]"But where does this amber come from?"[/I] Liquid asked.

[I]"That's something that only few people know exactly, but it is said that modern Amberists excavate it from deep under the seabottom with their magicks. But I think I'm babbling too much, these aren't topics I should discuss with you people. It's just that I don't know how to cope with this new situation!"[/I]

[I]"It's alright, Alkesel"[/I], Liquid said kindly, touching the Atlantean's arm.

Melinoë laughed inside of her mind. If all Atlanteans were as simple and naïve as this one, their mission would be a breeze!

Soon they came to the main square of the city. A long slide went up the side of the volcano on the other end of the square, and ended to the doors of an enormous ziggurat.

[I]"That's the Hall of Ipsion, where the Council recides. They are probably waiting for us already, so let us haste."[/I]


Soon Melinoë, Liquid and Tetros were standing in front of the Council of Ipsion. Twentyone old Atlantean men and women were sitting in an arch of thrones, gazing down upon the three Legionnaires. High statues of four saintly-looking Atlanteans loomed over the arch.

[I]"Visitors from above. How interesting..."[/I] a portly old man said amused.

[I]"What do Blue-skyers do here? How is it possible they found us?" [/I] a hysteric woman exclaimed.

[I]"In the name of the Four Virtues, this is outrageous! We must raise guard immediately!"[/I] a third counsellor nearly screamed.

A large masked man sitting in the center of the arch raised his right arm, and the rest of the council fell silent.

[I]"These aren't common Blue-skyers"[/I], the man said, his voice booming like the wailing of a whale. [I]"They are abominations to their own people, like I was when I went to the surface in my youth. Visitors, I am Highcounsellor Tritonias. What do you seek from the lost city of Atlantis?"[/I]

[I]"If I may speak..."[/I] Liquid started with a bow. [I]"We are here to search a missing vessel of ours, a submarine with a fragile cargo. Our superiors think that you honorable Atlanteans might have gained possession of it. If this is true, we would kindly"[/I]

A long silence. Finally Tritonias spoke.

[I]"I apologize, but we have seen no such vessel here lately. It must've got carried away by the underwater currents. I'm afraid your trip here was in vain, but I do hope we Atlanteans have treated you with respect and hospitality, so that you will leave our city to continue it's life in peace."[/I]

[I]"You are most polite, honored Highcounsellor"[/I], Liquid said and bowed again. Melinoë rolled her mismatched eyes. [I]"I take your words as true, and we leave this marvellous city to continue our seek elsewhere."[/I]

[I]"So be it. The Council of Ipsion wishes luck to your search."[/I]

As Alkesel escorted the three Legionnaires out, Melinoë spoke.

[I]"He lied"[/I], she grunted.

[I]"How can you say?!"[/I] Liquid exclaimed, mildly shocked.

[I]"Oh, poor Laqara, just because somebody says something it doesn't mean it's automatically true! They are hiding something, don't you agree, Tetros?"[/I]

The android just shrugged. Melinoë noticed that he hadn't said a word during the meeting with the Council. Something must've been going through his brain circuits.

[I]"I say we stick around for a while, and try to get to the bottom of this"[/I], the android finally suggested. [I]"Alkesel, doesn't this city have any dry place in it?"[/I]

[I]"In fact, the volcano holds several caverns that are free from water"[/I], the confused Atlantean said. He was also shocked from hearing somebody call the leaders of his city liars. [I]"I'll show you the way."[/I]

Again the three supermercenaries began to follow the man through the marvelous city.
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[color=seagreen]Alkesel led Gold Team towards the volcano. As they drew closer, Liquid was able to make out a couple openings, presumably entrances to the caverns. Alkesel led them through one of the openings and into the volcano.[/color]
[color=#2e8b57]After a very short distance, the tunnel curved upwards. Gold Team followed Alkesel upwards, and quickly broke the surface of the water. They followed Alkesel as he stepped out of the water. The cavern they were in was lit by an unknown source. The light wasn't extremely bright, but it was there.[/color]
[color=#2e8b57]"Well, I can think of one question right now," Melinoe said. "Where is the light coming from?"[/color]
[color=#2e8b57]"To be honest, I'm not sure," Alkesel replied. "It may have something to do with the amber, but I don't know."[/color]
[color=#2e8b57]"This amber seems very important," Liquid remarked.[/color]
[color=#2e8b57]"Of course it is," Alkesel responded. "As I explained earlier, the amber changed us into what we are today. Without it, we wouldn't be alive. Our ancestors would have perished when Atlantis sank. The amber was actually first located within these caverns."[/color]
[color=#2e8b57]"You've explored the volcano's interior then," Liquid said. "I assume that this particular volcano happens to be extinct?"[/color]
[color=#2e8b57]"I'm not completely sure on that one. It's dormant, certainly, but I don't know if it's just dormant, or if it's completely extinct. Either way, it's safe enough for us to be inside. We Atlanteans make use of this network of caverns inside the volcano."[/color]
[color=#2e8b57]"Really? For what purpose?" Tetros asked.[/color]
[color=#2e8b57]"Storage, mainly," Alkasel replied. "It helps us avoid cluttering our city. I think there are other things that these caverns are used for, but I don't know what they would be."[/color]
[color=#2e8b57]"Just how large is the cavern network?" Liquid wondered.[/color]
[color=#2e8b57]"I don't know," Alkesel said. "Quite large, certainly, and it's all interconnected. One could quite easily get lost in here. We have, of course, taken many precautions, and nobody's gotten lost in here yet, but it's definitely possible. The network is just too large an complex to easily keep track of."[/color]
[color=#2e8b57]"Sounds like a good place to hide something," Melinoe remarked. "It might be a good idea to explore these caverns."[/color]
[color=#2e8b57]"Sounds like that would probably take a while," Tetrol replied. "Still, it does sound like a good idea, and I could certainly keep a record of our path so that we didn't get lost or wander through caverns we'd already explored."[/color]
[color=#2e8b57]"Hold on," Liquid said. She was looking inwards, further into the cavern. "I can see someone coming."[/color]
[color=#2e8b57]Tetros took a look. "I can, too."[/color]
[color=#2e8b57]"Should we do anything?" Melinoe asked.[/color]
[color=#2e8b57]"No, I don't think so," Tetros replied. "Let's just wait here and see what this person wants. After all, it can't hurt, can it?"[/color]
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[INDENT][FONT=Trebuchet MS]A tall, somewhat striking Atlantean came around the bend of the tunnel leading out of the cavern that Alkesel and the three Legionnaires were standing in. He was alone, and carried a small orangey orb similar to those that the team had seen in the city outside. It?s warm light was far stronger than the subtle glow emanating form the cavern walls, and threw the dark silhouettes of the Legionnaires far behind them.

Alkesel was prostrate on the floor.

?Lord Raynor,? he breathed, trembling slightly.

?Aah, Alkesel, rise. I am no longer Lord, you know that!?

As Alkesel rose to his feet, the Atlantean beckoned them to follow him into the tunnel. Warily, the Legionnaires approached, careful of any traps or tricks this mysterious stranger might be hiding.

Sensing their uncertainty, the Atlantean turned and beamed at them ?You blue-skyers are so untrusting. Fear naught, I intend you no harm. However, I do wish to speak with you about some matters that you raised with our council? I believe that we can be of some assistance to each other. If you?ll follow me, we can go to someplace more comfortable, and I can present you with my offer.?

Without waiting for a response, ?Raynor? turned and walked into the tunnel, light orb in one hand and a staff in the other.

?You know,? smirked Melinoe ?if you gave him a pointy hat, robes and some hair? why he?d look like a genuine wizard?. Liquid let out a soft laugh.

?How do we know he isn?t one?? she jibed back.


Tetros sat back in his chair, steepling his fingertips.

?We?re going to need to discuss this? privately, if that?s alright.?

?Of course, I would expect as much.? The group of Atlantean elders, led by Lord Raynor, moved to the far end of the cavern, and resumed their discussion.

Tetros looked at Melinoe and Liquid. The group of elders has presented them with quite an offer? but one that required serious contemplation. This group of Atlanteans were the former Council, and represented (or claimed to) a more Traditionalist point of view. They adhered strictly to the Four Virtues, and were vehemently opposed to any attempts to gain further technology, especially technology from a blue-sky source. But, over time, with sinuous tongues and false smiles, the current Council had wormed their way in. At first there had been no cause for alarm. It had never been considered that there could be a ?Progressive? way of life. It had never occurred to anyone (or so they thought) that anyone would ever want for anything more than what they had. Which was why, as the councilors realized that they were gradually all being replaced, that they were confused and failed to act decisively. Eventually the entire council had been reformed, with Tritonias as their head. Once the ex-councilors realized that something was going on, they invested all their effort into finding out what. The last thing they had been expecting was to find a blue-sky artifact being scrutinized. And then, Gold team had shown up. A recently acquired blue-sky artifact, [i]and[/i] the appearance of a band of blue-skyers? It had to be more than co-incidence

And so the ex-councilors of Atlantis took matters into their own hands. A visit to the volcano was practically a certainty, and so, when the tailing Atlantean reported that they were heading for one of the underwater entrances, they intercepted the Legionnaires.

The deal was that the ex-councilors would reveal the believed whereabouts of the artifact which the blue-skyers were searching for, and in turn, the blue-skyers would expose the Council. The public would cast the Council from the city, and the ex-councilors would be re-instated. And change would be stopped.

It seemed like the only way to do things. With a unanimous agreement, the three Legionnaires walked back towards the councilors, who turned as they approached. Tetros nodded his head.

?We accept your offer, as we feel we have no other viable choice to achieve our mission.?

The strained faces of the councilors split open in wide smiles, as the stress was lifted from their shoulders. Finally, something would be done about this? this, [i]progression[/i]. And best of all, it was out of their hands now. The relief was immense.


Liquid, Melinoe and Tetros waited in the small room that Raynor had instructed them to. He was preparing a guide for their journey through the cavern-network to the place where the submarine was entombed in a workshop.

?How exactly are we going to dispose of the submarine?? asked Liquid. ?We can?t exactly drive it out of here.?

Tetros pulled four small packages from his vest. They were like tiny snow-domes in appearance, except they were completely black.

?These four charges contain infinitesimal particles of dark-matter. When they are detonated they will implode, pulling approximately twenty-five cubic metres of matter into a super-dense particle, before exploding back outwards. The net force is basically zero, but the submarine will be badly damaged, irretrievably so. One of Tech?s inventions?

Melinoe coughed softly, signaling the return of Raynor.
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[COLOR=DarkOrange]The Legionnaires faced the Atlantean ex-counsellor. He was with a short female, not quite middle-aged yet.

[B]"This is Algaebra, one of Tritonias's researchers on the blue-sky object. She's with us now, though, and she will take you to the workshop."[/B]

[B]"What about Alkesel? Where did he go?"[/B] Liquid asked.

[B]"Eh, Alkesel isn't a trusted part of our little resistance movement, I'm afraid. He's been sent back to his duty as a guard."[/B]

[B]"Oh... Alright then"[/B], Liquid said. Melinoë could sense a tinge of disappointment in her voice.

[B]"Well then, let us not linger on"[/B], the woman Algaebra said hurriedly. She looked like a busy woman altogether. Her long seagreen hair was tied into a shaggy bundle, and her dolphin-skin coat had greasy spots in it. [B]"Follow me, please."[/B]

Algaebra led the trio to a narrow tunnel. Melinoë took a last glance back to see Raynor looking after them absent-mindedly.

[B]"I must say I find this vehicle of yours very facinating. Your powersources are very different from our amber, and overall the materials are much more varied. Life above the surface must be so easy, with such technology at your dispose."[/B]

[B]"I wouldn't say that, really"[/B], Tetros replied somewhat bitterly. [B]"Besides, weren't you one of the Traditionalists? Shouldn't you hate advanced technology?"[/B]

[B]"Oh, I don't really [I]hate[/I] it. I just believe that we're better of without it. We aren't all idealistic zealots like Raynor, you know?"[/B]

They entered a wider tunnel. Melinoë felt the air getting thicker and hotter.

[B]"Sorry for all this walking," Algaebra apologized. "The workshop isn't far anymore but I must warn you that you might not like what we are doing there. Tritonias and the rest of the Council have big plans for the cargo of your vessel. The counter-revolution must happen quickly and soon, that's what I tell Raynor and the others all the time!"[/B]

Despite looking busy, Melinoë thought, that woman sure had time to talk!

Suddenly a tremor shook the tunnel. Dust and pebbles rained on the three Legionnaires and their guide, but it was over as soon as it started.

[B]"Its... *cough* alright, the volcano's just *cough* acting up!"[/B] Algaebra said assuringly. [B]"Many among the Traditionalists believe that it's the Big Amber-Eye shaking his volcanic home, enfuriated by you intruders, but I think that's just superstitious foolishness."[/B]

[B]"Big Amber-Eye?"[/B] Melinoë asked. Now that she thought about it, she had sensed a distant presence of something powerful...

[B]"Oh, forget about that! It's just a fairy tale, that an ancient entity slumbers inside Mt. Ipsion, the one that sank Atlantis into the bottom of the sea. We [I]sane[/I] people know that it's not how it went, obviously."[/B]

But the mere fairy tale was enough to make Melinoë worried. It wouldn't be the first time that a legend turned out to be true - she was a living example of it.

[B]"Melinoë"[/B], Tetros said, touching her shoulder and waking her from her thoughts. She shook, cursing herself of her new softness. She used to be constantly aware of her surroundings and now even a clanky android could sneak up on her!

[B]"We should concentrate on finding the submarine and getting it out of here"[/B], the man said seriously, looking Melinoë into her mismatched eyes. She nodded approvingly, and pushed away all thoughts of dormant monsters.[/COLOR]
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OOC: Okay, this post is a long one.

[color=#2e8b57][color=seagreen]Liquid wasn't quite sure what to make of this 'Big Amber-Eye' thing. It certainly sounded like nothing more than a legend, a story created to explain the sinking of Atlantis. But Liquid and seen enough legends that turned out to be true that she wasn't going to dismiss the possibility that this Amber-Eye thing actually did exist. She didn't think the thing was real, but she was wiling to admit that it wasn't impossible.[/color][/color]

[color=#2e8b57]"Do you have any idea why the city really sank?" Liquid asked Algaebra.[/color]

[color=#2e8b57]The Atlantean shook her head. "That's still a mystery. We don't know what caused Atlantis to sink. It's one of the two mysteries of our city, the other being where the amber came from."[/color]

[color=#2e8b57]"I was wondering about that myself," Liquid said. "Alkesel mentioned that the amber allowed you to survive underwater, but he didn't seem to know too much about it."[/color]

[color=#2e8b57]"Not much is known. Our ancestors found it inside Mt. Ipsion, and they used it to survive, but they never knew how the stuff came to be, and nobody since then has figured anything out, either."[/color]

[color=#2e8b57]"How was the amber discovered?" Liquid asked.[/color]

[color=#2e8b57]"Now that's something we do know," Algaebra replied. "It's an established part of our city's history."[/color]

[color=#2e8b57]"I'm curious about that, too," Liquid said. "I find this city facinating, and I'd like to know how it came to be. I asked Alkesel about the history of Atlantis, but he didn't seem to know muich."[/color]

[color=#2e8b57]"Well, what did you expect? I mean, you don't find too many educated people working at prisons."[/color]

[color=#2e8b57]Liquid chuckled. "True. I take it you know a bit more, then?"[/color]

[color=#2e8b57]"Certainly. I'd be happy to summarize our history for you."[/color]

[color=#2e8b57]"Please do."[/color]

[color=#2e8b57]Algaebra nodded. "All right, then. As you know, the city of Atlantis was not always submerged. Our city was originally built on the island of Ipsion, a rather large island with the inactive volcano Mt. Ipsion at its center.[/color]

[color=#2e8b57]"Even then, Atlanteans were close to the water. Many children swam before they walked, and there wasn't a single person over the age of 10 who'd never been on a boat. The population sustained itself mainly through fishing. Atlantean fishers were the best, and there were quite a lot of them. They went all over the ocean, bringing in many varieties of fish. There was always a significant surplus. What wasn't used by the population was traded for farmed goods and other things that were made elsewhere. Overall, the city was very prosperous.[/color]

[color=#2e8b57]"As I said earlier, nobody knows what caused Ipsion to sink. When the island began sinking, taking Atlantis down with it, anyone who could got out of there. Every ship in port was packed as full as possible. Unfortunately, there wasn't enough room for everyone. Many people had to be left behind when the ships departed.[/color]

[color=#2e8b57]"Those left behind ascended Mt. Ipsion, hoping that the island wouldn't sink completely. Their hopes were in vain, as the island did not stop its decent into the sea. When that became clear, they retreated into these very caverns, where the water could not reach. It was a move of desperation; they had no other options.[/color]

[color=#2e8b57]"With the entire island underwater, the people were trapped. They were too deep to make it up to the surface of the ocean on a single breath, and even if they weren't, they'd have had no way to go anywhere. And they only had enough supplies for a couple days. All seemed lost, but then someone stumbled upon the magic amber.[/color]

[color=#2e8b57]"With the amber, our ancestors were able to survive underwater. They still had no way to travel anywhere, but they were no longer doomed. They could explore the ocean, catch fish for food. But although they could live underwater, they still returned to these caverns. Back then, one could only survive underwater with the amber. If you lost your amber talismin while in the water, you were basically dead. But as you can see, things are different now. We Atlanteans have been changed by the amber, givin forms that are naturally able to live underwater. When the Atlanteans changed, we expanded out of the caverns and rebuilt our city underwater."[/color]

[color=#2e8b57]"Fascinating," Liquid said. "I wonder just where the amber came from, why it was there?"[/color]

[color=#2e8b57]"Well," Algaebra replied, "like I said earlier, we don't know. That didn't stop our ancestors from using it, of course. We actually still have many of the original talismans used by our ancestors. They aren't used, though. They're kept more for historical value, although they must have some practical importance, seeing as how only members of the Council can access the room where they're stored."[/color]

[color=#2e8b57]"Well, that's too bad," Liquid rearked. "I would have liked to see them. Anyways, please continue with Atlantis's history. I'm finding it very interesting."[/color]

[color=#2e8b57]Algaebra nodded. "All right. So, our ancestors rebuilt Atlantis beneath the waves. Concluding that the gods had sunk Atlantis as punishment, they decided to make some changes to their way of life. First, they would do away with..."[/color]

[color=#2e8b57]Eventually, Gold Team reached its destination. Algaebra halted them in the middle of a hallway and indicated a position on the wall. It looked like a normal wall, but there was a small panel of some kind. [/color]

[color=#2e8b57]"That's what we call an essence lock," Algaebra explained when she saw the confused looks on Liquid's and the other two's faces. "Each person has a unique... well, 'aura' is probably the best word, but it's not quite a perfect fit. Anyways, everyone has a unique aura that we call their essence. One can't detect it through normal means, but we can 'see' it with the amber.[/color]

[color=#2e8b57]"An essence lock contains imprints of various people's essences. When you place your hand on the essence reader, it compares your essence to the stored imprints. If there's a match, the door opens. If there's not a match, the door stays closed. Fortunately for us, my imprint is still in this lock, as Tritonias doesn't know I'm actually with his enemies."[/color]

[color=#2e8b57]"So, this technology is related to the amber, then?" Liquid remarked.[/color]

[color=#2e8b57]Algaebra nodded. "Indeed. I don't know how it works, but I do know that amber is involved. Remember, only the amber can read an essence. Each essense lock has a smal amount of amber."[/color]

[color=#2e8b57]Algaebra placed her hand on the essence lock. For a second, nothing happened, but then a concealed door swung open. Algaebra stepped through it, followed by Gold Team. The door closed behind them.[/color]

[color=#2e8b57]"You know," Liquid said as she examined the room, "this workshop is almost exactly the way I thought it would be."[/color]

[color=#2e8b57]Tetros nadded. "Same here."[/color]

[color=#2e8b57]There wasn't anything too unusual about the workshop. It was perhaps half water and half land. The submarine rested in the water, but was secured at many spots to the walls, and to the dry part of the workshop. There were walkways along either side of the submarine. Equipment was scatered all over the place, most of it unfamiliar to Liquid and probably Atlantean, though there were some things that had clearly come from within the submarine.[/color]

[color=#2e8b57]"Nobody's here," Melinoe observed. "It appears that our timing was fortunate."[/color]

[color=#2e8b57]"Not fortunate," Algaebra replied. "This was deliberate. I knew that there probably wouldn't be anyone in here right now. That's why Raynor had you wait for so long, so that when I brought you here, we'd be alone."[/color]

[color=#2e8b57]"Smart," Tetros said. "Let's make use of this opportunity, then. We need to find something that incriminates the Council specifically. That's probably not going to be easy. Algaebra, you'll know better than we will what kind of things will do the job. Any clues as to what we should look for?"[/color]

[color=#2e8b57]"Well, the essence lock helps our case," Algaebra replied. "Those aren't exactly easy to get. And I can act as a witness, since I've seen Council members in here. However, it'd be best if we had something more. Somethink like-"[/color]

[color=#2e8b57]"Like?" Liquid prompted when Algaebra stopped talking.[/color]

[color=#2e8b57]Algaebra pointed "Like that."[/color]

[color=#2e8b57]Liquid, Tetros, and Melinoe looked where Algaebra was pointing. She was indicating a trio of odd-looking items that Liquid couldn't identify. They seemed to be of Atlantean origin, and when she focused, she could feel some kind of energy within them. It felt... normal was the only word Liquid could think of. Something about the energy she felt just seemed right, somehow. "What are those?" she asked.[/color]

[color=#2e8b57]Algaebra turned to face Liquid. "Remember the amber talismins I told you about on the way here? The ones our ancestors used before they were changed? Well, those three objects are three of the talismins."[/color]

[color=#2e8b57]"Are you sure?" Melinoe asked.[/color]

[color=#2e8b57]Algaebra nodded. "I'm sure. Even though most people can't access the room where they're kept, everyone knows what they look like. Those are definitely three of the talismins. Tritonias and the other councilers must have been trying to use them to help with something, probably operating some of the devices we've found on the submarine. The talismins must have been brought recently, too. I've never seen them in here before. I wonder why the councilers would risk using something that points so clearly to them? I mean, it's literally not possible for anyone else to access the talismin room. It has an essence lock that recognises only current members of the Council. So why did they use those talismins?"[/color]

[color=#2e8b57]"A risk assessment, probably," Tetros guessed. "They concluded that they needed some amber, and they didn't want to risk somebody noticing that there was some amber missing. So they took the amber from a place only they could access. I just wonder why they didn't take it with them when they left. Leaving it here seems like it'd be too much of a risk."[/color]

[color=#2e8b57]As if on cue, Melinoe said, "We're not alone in here. I can sense several people in the submarine. They seem to me moving to exit it."[/color]

[color=#2e8b57]"There has to be at least one Council member in there," Algaebra said. "Probably more than one. If I were them, I'd be very, very secrative about using the amber talismins, so I'm guessing that everyone in there is a member of the Council."[/color]

[color=#2e8b57]At that moment, several Atlanteans emerged from the submarine, led by Tritonias himself. The High Councilor spotted Gold Team ad do anything. "Well, we've been seen," Liquid observed "It would seem that things are about to get interesting."[/color]

[color=#2e8b57]"I don't think we have any choice but to fight," Melinoe said. "I realize they outnumber us, but we have some significant advantages of our own. I don't think we'll have too much trouble."[/color]

[color=#2e8b57]"Maybe will will," Tetros replied, "and maybe we won't. Either way, it looks like we're about to find out."[/color]
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[color=DarkOrchid]Melinoë prepared herself for the oncoming fight as the Atlanteans approached them. Tritonias and other members of the Council stayed behind while their bodyguards walked towards the Legionnaires and Algaebra, loading their amber-powered bayonets.

[B]"I was suspecting a traitor among the workers here. I should have known it was you, Algaebra, as you were never truly loyal to our cause"[/B], Tritonias said, his voice booming from behind the mask. Now that Melinoë had a better look at it, it seemed as if it were made out of amber. The mask featured a vaguely reptilian face, and Melinoë had a short flash-like vision of the "Big Amber-Eye".

[I]So the beast is more than just a myth[/I], Melinoë deduced. [I]The mask reveals it all.[/I]

[B]"What comes to you, Blue-Skyers"[/B], Tritonias continued, turning his masked face towards the Legionnaires. [B]"You were fairly warned, and now you die."[/B]

The guards charged at them, but in a split moment the first three were cut down by the lunge of Acheron, Melinoë's demonic scythe-whip.

[B]"Have you ever tried to kill a demon before?"[/B] Melinoë asked ominously, tilting her head slightly to the side, narrowing her dissimilar eyes. The icy blue whip twirled around her.

Melinoë's aura of fear made the Atlantean thugs flee in panic. The members of the Council cowered behind Tritonias' mighty body, and even the Highcounsellor seemed to shudder.

[B]"That's not fair!"[/B] Tetros groaned unseriously, lowering his underwater gun. [B]"I didn't even get to shoot anybody!"[/B]

[B]"Surrender now, and we'll let the people of Atlantis decide on your fate"[/B], Liquid commanded. All the guards dropped their weapons, to much dismay of Tritonias.

[B]"Why would they judge their leaders? You are just Blue-Skyers with no evidence!" [/B]Tritonias laughed nervously.

[B]"You seem to have forgotten these"[/B], Algaebra said, holding the three talismans that she had grabbed during the short confrontation.

[B]"You deceitful mollusk!"[/B] Tritonias growled and grabbed a bayonet from the ground.

A loud bang echoed through the workshop, then the voice of the pieces of the shattered mask as they fell to the ground. The Highcounsellor's distorted, mutated face reflected shock and surprise, as sparkling ambery blood started to run down from the bullet-wound on his forehead.

[B]"Vulcora..."[/B] he whispered before he fell to the ground dead.

[B]"Hmm, I got to shoot somebody after all"[/B], Tetros said grimly, aiming his gun at the other counsellors and their guards.

[I]Vulcora?[/I] Melinoë wondered. [I]Whatever that is, Tritonias's whole body seemed to be infused with amber. No wonder he was so muscular and powerful...[/I]

It wasn't long before the Amberist Raynor and the other rebels flooded the place, capturing the counsellors and their guards. It was now in their hands what happened to Tritonias' followers. The Legionnaires still had to figure out how to get the submarine back to the surface, but Melinoë gladly left that part to Tetros and Liquid.[/color]
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[color=teal]Raynor had some of his soldiers escort the captured Councilors to the prison. He took others with him to go capture the rest of the Councilors. He left a couple soldiers, Algaebra among them, in the workshop, just in case any of the Councilors showed up there. He also posted guards at all of the entrances to the cavern network, ensuring that nobody could enter or leave the network undetected.[/color]
[color=#008080]Gold Team remained in the workshop. Their job now was to get the submarine back to the surface. "Can you pilot this thing?" Liquid asked Tetros.[/color]
[color=#008080]"I was given information about how to operate it before we left on our mission," Tetros replied. "I now know prety much everything there is to know about this particular kind of submarine. So yes, I can pilot it. I'll need some time to prepare the it for departure, though."[/color]
[color=#008080]"Is there anything Melinoe and I can do to help?" Liquid wondered.[/color]
[color=#008080]Tetros shook his head. "Not really. You wouldn't know what to do, and it'd probably be more trouble for me to explain it to you than it would be to just do everything myself. So the two of you just wait while I prepare it for departure." He entered the submarine, leaving Liquid and Melinoe outside.[/color]
[color=#008080]After Liquid and Melinoe had been waiting for a while, Algaebra approached them. "I thought you'd be gone by now," she remarked.[/color]
[color=#008080]"Tetros is busy preparing the submarine for departure," Liquid explained. "Once he's finished doing that, he's going to pilot the sub out of here."[/color]
[color=#008080]"So you're having him do all the work?"[/color]
[color=#008080]"Well," Liquid said, "since he's the only one of us who actually knows anything about what he's doing, yes."[/color]
[color=#008080]"I see," Algaebra replied. "Must be boring for you, just waiting for him to finish the preperations."[/color]
[color=#008080]"Probably no worse than being stuck here on guard duty is for you."[/color]
[color=#008080]"That's true."[/color]
[color=#008080]"There are a couple things I've been wondering about, though," Liquid told Algaebra.[/color]
[color=#008080]"Yeah? Like what?"[/color]
[color=#008080]"Well, there's Tritonias. His blood looked like it had been infused with amber."[/color]
[color=#008080]"Tritonias had been infused with amber," Alebra explained. "Such an infusion has its advantages. Infusion augments one's physical attributes. It also gives one continual access to the amber's power. Most of us need to be holding an amber artifact to make use of the powers of the amber, but one who's been infused has no such need. Of course, infusion is very, very uncommon."[/color]
[color=#008080]"Why is that?" Liquid asked.[/color]
[color=#008080]"Well, for one thing, the process is time-consuming, a bit dangerous, and extremely dificult to do. Also, amber used in an infusion can't ever be retrieved, not even after the infused person dies. The process is only made avalible to members of the Council. As you saw, Tritonias was infused. Raynor is infused, too. He underwent the process before Tritonias' bunch took over the Council. Of course, few Councilors undergo the process, and even if it was made avalible to everyone, there wouldn't be too many people who underwent infusion."[/color]
[color=#008080]"Why not?" Liquid wondered.[/color]
[color=#008080]"Because most people believe that the infusion process changes the core of one's being. They think that infusion turns you into something else. They consider those who've undergone infusion to be something different from other Atlanteans. Personally, I think that's just not true, but unfusion isn't avalible to me anyways, so it really doesn't matter."[/color]
[color=#008080]"Interesting," Liquid said. "Now, there's one other thing I'm wondering about. As Tritonias was dying, he said 'Vulcora'. Do you know what he was referring to?"[/color]
[color=#008080]"Yes, I do," Algaebra said. "Remember how I told you about the legend of the Amber-Eye? Well, Vulcora is the name poeple gave to it. There are actually two versions of the legend of Vulcora. One says that Vulcora sunk the island of Ipsion. The other says that Vulcora was not responsible for the sinking of Ipsion. That verson says that Vulcore bestowed the amber upon our ancestors, allowing them to survive underwater. Of course, both versions of the legend are nothing more than stories, even though most Atlanteans believe that one version or the other is true. I didn't think Tritonias was dumb enough to believe either version, so I don't have any idea why he used the name."[/color]
[color=#008080]"The Amber-Eye is real," Melinoe told Algaebra. "I have felt its presence."[/color]
[color=#008080]"Yeah, whatever," Algaebra said dismissively.[/color]
[color=#008080]It was then that Tetros emerged from the submarine. "Preperations are complete," he told Liquid and Melinoe. "We can leave anytime."[/color]
[color=#008080]Just then, there was some commotion by the workshop enterance. A group of Atlanteans ran into the workshop, followed by a second group. Raynor was with the second group.[/color]
[color=#008080]"Those are Councilors!" Algaebra exclaimed, indicating the first group. "What are they doing?"[/color]
[color=#008080]The intention of the Councilors quickly became apparent as they ran towards the submarine. "They're trying to take the sub," Tetros concluded. "I don't know why, but I can't think of any other reason for them to come to the workshop like this."[/color]
[color=#008080]There was no more time to talk. Gold Team was all that was between the Councilors and the submarine, and they'd been caught off-guard. They didn't have time to prepare themselves before they had to act.[/color]
[color=#008080]Things happened quickly. Melinoe attacked the Councilors with her whip. Liquid chose a Councilor and charged him, using her powers in conjunction with physical attacks to take him down. Tetros tried to block the Councilors' path into the sub. He took out one of them, but the second Councilor to come at him benifited from an amber infusion. With his enhanced strength, he threw Tetros out of the way. Tetros hit the floor and skidded a fair distance, ripping up his vest in the process.[/color]
[color=#008080]There had been ten Councilors. Liquid and Tetros had killed one each, and Melinoe had gotten four of them with her whip. The remaining four made it past Gold Team and into the submarine, closing and sealing the hatch behind them.[/color]
[color=#008080]"Damn," Tetros swore as he picked himself up. "And they'll have sealed the hatch, too. We're not getting in that sub."[/color]
[color=#008080]"Then we should destroy it," Liquid said. "We have your bombs. I don't know what the Councilors are going to do with the sub, but whatever it is, it can't be good. So we need to take the thing out."[/color]
[color=#008080]"That's a good idea," Tetros told her, "but unfortunately, I lost the bombs when that guy threw me."[/color]
[color=#008080]"Then we find them," Liquid replied. "Assuming that none ended up in the water, they should be on the floor somewhere."[/color]
[color=#008080]It was at that moment that the sub began to move. "Oh, ****," Tetros said. "The sub's completely prepared for departure, thanks to me."[/color]
[color=#008080]"Then we don't have any time," Liquid observed. "We need those bombs."[/color]
[color=#008080]Gold Team scrambled to pick up the bombs, but by the time they'd found all four, it was too late. The submarine had left the workshop, and there was no way any of them would be able to catch it. All they could do now was watch through the exit that had opened, the exit through which the submarine had passed. They jumped in the water so that they'd be able to watch. Raynor and the other Atlanteans in the workshop jumped in after them.[/color]
[color=#008080]"What happened?" Liquid asked Raynor.[/color]
[color=#008080]"Well, the Councilors we captured here were taken to the prison and locked up," Raynor explained. "I took my soldiers to go get the remaining Councilors. But unfortunately, they seemed to have seen us coming. They fled into the caverns. We pursued them to here, but unfortunately, we weren't able to stop them. And now there's no telling what they'll do."[/color]
[color=#008080]Gold Team and the Atlanteans watched as the sub, which was now a fair distance from Mt. Ipsion, turned around and came to a halt facing the inactive volcano. "They jusd di something," Liquid said a few seconds later. "I can feel a disturbance in water, and it's coming out way."[/color]
[color=#008080]"They've fired two torpedoes," Tetros stated. "Probably not nukes, as I doubt the Councilors have any idea how to arm those. These'll be conventional warheads, so they'dd damage noly the area where they his. Unfortunately, they seem to be coming for us."[/color]
[color=#008080]"I have the amber talismans that proove the Council's guilt," Raynor told Gold Team. "If those four Concilors on board that submarine have target the workshop, they'll destroy the talismans, which are the only prof of their guilt that we have. With that proof gone, they'll be able to blame me and my people for everything. And I don't know if we can do anything at this point."[/color]
[color=#008080]"We don't have to," Tetros told him. "Look. Those torpedoes are off course. They're not going to hit us. They'll hit below the workshop."[/color]
[color=#008080]Liquid looked at Tetros. "They'll miss?"[/color]
[color=#008080]Tetros nodded. "They'll miss. It's not surprising, really. Those four Councilors may have been studying the sub for a while, but this is their first time using it. They're bound to screw up."[/color]
[color=#008080]As Tetros had predicted, the torpedoes hit Mt. Ipsion significantly below the workshop. They exploded upon impact, blowing chunks of the volcano everywhere. And then, something else started to happen. "I feel... something," Liquid said. "Something powerful."[/color]
[color=#008080]"As do I," Melinoe added.[/color]
[color=#008080]"Any idea what it is?" Tetros asked.[/color]
[color=#008080]Melinoe returned her gaze to the ocean. "Vulcora."[/color]
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[COLOR=DarkOrange]"I suggest we get the hell out of here", Melinoë exclaimed. Everybody began swimming away from the workshop and the volcano. Suddenly the whole mountain began shaking, making the water vibrate and carry the Legionnaires and the Atlanteans further away.

Suddenly a cloud of ash, steam and dust erupted from the top of the volcano. A sparkling figure emerged from the crater, but was soon covered by the dark cloud.

[I]"What is that?!"[/I] Algaebra shouted in disbelief. [I]"It can't be..."[/I]

[I]"The Big Amber-Eye... Vulcora... Guardian of the amber"[/I], Raynor gasped.

Melinoë looked down to the city and saw the inhabitants fleeing in panic. They were obviously thinking that the dormant volcano was going to erupt.

The ex-counsillors inside the submarine had noticed Vulcora's ascension as well. The submarine circled around the cloud of ash. Melinoë's eyes spotted a figure standing on top of the vessel, waving his hands. Apparently he was calling the beast.

[I]"They're mad!"[/I] Raynor said disgusted. [I]"They awaken she who has slept for over two thousand years, and now they expect to sooth her? Ancient prophecies say that as Vulcora rises, Atlantis falls. Only the Daughter of Amber can save us now."[/I]

[I]"How do you know these things?"[/I] Liquid asked.

[I]"I am an Amberist. We hold the secrets of Atlantis - among others the ancient prophecies of Amnaeus"[/I], Raynor replied matter-of-factly.

[I]"Are you coming or not?!"[/I] Algaebra's voice resonated from a distance. Melinoë noticed that only the Legionnaires and Raynor remained near Mt. Ipsion. Everybody else had fled out of the city. When none of the four moved, the mechanic shrugged and followed the others.

As Melinoë turned her eyes back to the submarine, the radiant being appeared from the black dust, swallowing the waving Atlantean whole.

[I]"She's... magnificent!"[/I] Raynor gasped at the sight of the beast.

Vulcora's white-scaled serpentine body wrapped around the submarine. Her long, wing-like fins reflected the color of her many bright eyes of the color of amber. Her face was almost humane, except that her gaping jaws had endless rows of razor-sharp teeth. Above the amber eyes was a crown of long horns. She was truly the queen of sea-monsters.

In few seconds the submarine exploded, hurling pieces of metal everywhere. Vulcora was naturally unharmed by the explosion, and she began swimming back towards the crater.

Then she spotted the Legionnaires and Raynor, and turned her mighty head towards them.[/COLOR]
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[color=teal]Liquid watched as Vulcora attacked the submarine. She could tell that in addition to the physical strength the creature was demonstrating against the submarine, Vulcora posessed great power. Liquid could feel the beast's power, and to her surprise, she recognized the power she felt. She'd sensed the same energy within the amber talismans.[/color]

[color=teal]Liquid found herself wondering about the intentions of the Councilors who'd taken the submarine. Had they indeed been trying to hit the workshop? To Liquid, that made sense, yet there was the mater of that one Atlantean who'd clearly been trying to get Vulcora's atention. Raynor seemed to think that the Councilors had intended to wake Vulcora. Liquid didn't know if that was true, but it was definitely possible. Personally, she didn't think that was the case, but she was willing to admit that it was possible.[/color]

[color=teal]It didn't take long for Vulcora to destroy the submarine. The creature was returning to the crater when she noticed Raynor and Gold Team and came to a halt. Her gaze then passed over the city of Atlantis. Many of the Atlanteans had fled the city, but some remained inside it. Vulcora saw them, and then looked over the Atlanteans who'd made it out of the city.[/color]

[color=teal]M[/color][color=teal]elinoe was the first to realize what was going on. "Vulcora thinks the Atlanteans were all involved in waking her. And she's not pleased."[/color]

[color=teal]Raynor was frantic. "She'll destroy the city, and everything around it! We have to leave, now!"[/color]

[color=teal]"Escape is not an option," Tetros told him. "Vulcora moves too quickly. Neither us nor any of the Atlanteans will be able to escape."[/color]

[color=teal]"We have to do something!" Raynor exclaimed.[/color]

[color=teal]"Is there anything that can be done?" Melinoe asked.[/color]

[color=teal]"The bombs," Liquid said. "If someone can get close enough to stick a bomb to [/color][color=teal]Vulcora, that could take the thing out."[/color]

[color=teal]"That won't be easy," Tetros observed.[/color]

[color=teal]"At least try something," Raynor pleaded.[/color]

[color=teal]"I don't know if any of us could pull it off," Tetros replied.[/color]

[color=teal]"I'm going to try it," Liquid decided.[/color]

[color=teal]Melinoe looked at Liquid. "That's suicide! Vulcora will kill you before you get [/color][color=teal]anywhere close to her."[/color]

[color=teal]"I'm going to try it anyways," Liquid replied. "Tetros, give me a bomb. Actually, make it two, in case I lose one. No more then that, though. This way, you'll still have two left if I die."[/color]

[color=teal]"Defending Atlantis was not part of our mission," Melinoe said. "Our mission was to reclaim or destroy the submarine, and the submarine was destroyed."[/color]

[color=teal]"I don't care if it's not a part of our mission," Liquid stated firmly. "I'm doing it anyways."[/color]

[color=teal]"Very well," Tetros said after a brief pause. He handed Liquid two of the bombs. "Just be careful, all right?"[/color]

[color=teal]Liquid nodded. "I will."[/color]

[color=teal]Liquid turned towards Vulcora. She used her power to manipulate the water into pushing her forward, allowing her to swim through the water much faster than any of the others could. As she headed towards the beast, she remembered a [/color][color=teal]conversation she'd had with Kaida at the start of her previous mission. [i]I guess I haven't changed after all,[/i] she thought.[i] Here I am, doing the same kind of crazy sh!t I always do. I've cheated death so many times. Will I be able to do it again?[/i][/color]

[color=teal]Liquid gave herself a mental shake.[i] Focus,[/i] she told herself. [i]I have to stay focused.[/i][/color]

[color=teal]Vulcora was diving towards a group of Atlanteans. Liquid tried to intercept, but Vulcora was too fast. The beast reached the Atlanteans before Liquid could. The Atlanteans tried to fight, but there was nothing they could do. Vulcora killed them.[/color]

[color=teal]As Vulcora located her next target, Liquid closed in on the beast and threw one of the bombs at it. She drew on the water to propel it towards Vulcora. But without worning, she lost control of the water. Vulcora had effrotlessly pushed her control away and taken command over the water herself. The beast couldn't know what the bomb was, but she clearly recognized that Liquid was using it to attack her, so she used the water to push it aside. The bomb spun off into the depths of the ocean.[/color]

[color=teal]Vulcora's attention was now focused on Liquid. The beast closed in very quickly, leaving Liquid very little time in which to react. She was able to use the water to push herself out of the way of Vulcora's charge, but Vulcora had passed before she could throw the second bomb.[/color]

[color=teal]Vulcora circled around and came towards Liquid again. But this time, the beast was not heading directly towards Liquid. Vulcora encircled Liquid, then stopped moving and looked at her.[/color]

[i][color=navy]Who are you?[/color][/i]

[color=teal]The voice didn't seem to come from anywhere, but it didn't take a genius to figure out that Vulcora was its source. "I could give you my name," Liquid told the creature, "but that reall doesn't reveal much about me, does it?"[/color]

[color=navy][i]True. Perhaps a different question is more appropriate. [/i]What[i] are you?[/i][/color]

[color=teal]"I'm really not sure," Liquid replied honestly. "I used to be a human, but I'm pretty sure I stopped being one when I was changed eight years ago. I'm not quite sure what I am now, and I don't know what changed me."[/color]

[color=navy][i]Can you not sense it as I can?[/i][/color]

[color=teal]"I'm not quite sure what I'm supposed to be sensing, to be honest."[/color]

[i][color=navy]I would have thought it impossible not to sense. I can sense it clearly.[/color][/i]

[color=teal]"What exactly is it that you sense?"[/color]

[color=teal]As Vulcora returned to the volcano, Liquid made her way back to the others. "What happened?" Melinoe asked her when she reached the group.[/color]

[color=teal]"Well," Liquid began, "as you saw, I didn't kill Vulcora. I tried to get a bomb on her, [/color][color=teal]but failed. I was going to try again with the second bomb when Vulcora spoke to me."[/color]

[color=teal]"She spoke to you," Raynor repeated.[/color]

[color=teal]Liquid nodded. "Yes. She spoke to me. Well, it was more like a voice in my head, but that doesn't really matter. Anyways, she had a few things to say. Apparently, when the Councilors hit the side of the volcano with their torpedoes and woke Vulcora up, she attacked and destroyed the sub in anger. But her rage did not end with the destruction of the sub. She killed several Atlanteans, and probably would have killed many more before her rage faded. But when I closed in to plant a bomb on her, she felt my essence, and this shocked her out of her anger."[/color]

[color=teal]Liquid paused briefly, then continued. "Vulcora told me that what she felt within me was an echo of her own power. She told me that it's the same power that the amber contains."[/color]

[color=teal]'The essence of amber," Raynor said. "The energy contained within the amber. It's what gives the amber its power."[/color]

[color=teal]"Well," Liquid explained, "apparently, that power comes from Vulcora."[/color]

[color=teal]"You're saying that Vulcora created the amber?" Raynor asked.[/color]

[color=teal]"Not exactly," Liquid replied. "It's her power that results in the existance of the amber, but she didn't deliberatly create it. I'm not sure exactly how it works, though. Vulcora didn't go into detail, but basically, the magic amber found inside Mt. Ipsion is there because Vulcora makes her lair inside the volcano. Her engery is what gives the amber its properties."[/color]

[color=teal]"And why did she tell you this?" Melinoe wondered.[/color]

[color=teal]"As I said, Vulcora sensed her energy within me," Liquid explained. "And she could tell that the energy came from the amber, rather than directly from her. She said that amber had bonded with me."[/color]

[color=teal]"Wait a minute," Tetros said. "Are you saying that it was the Atlanteans' amber that changed you from a human to what you are now?"[/color]

[color=teal]Liquid nodded. "That's exactly what I'm saying. Vulcora didn't tell me that, as she didn't know that I was once human. She could tell that some amber had bonded with me, and with that information, the rest was easy to figure out."[/color]

[color=teal]"But why would there have been amber on the surface?" Tetros wondered.[/color]

[color=teal]"Atlantis has lost track of small amounts of amber over the years," Raynor put in. "It's not unreasonable to assume that some of it ended up on land."[/color]

[color=teal]"I didn't exactly live near water at the time of my change," Liquid said, "although I guess that someone could have found some of the amber and taken it with them. Anyways, why the amber was there doesn't matter. It was there, and it's what changed me. I'm not sure why it bonded with me, though. Perhaps it had something to do with the fact that the amber was on land, or maybe the amber object broke, releasing the power contained within it. I don't know. But the amber did change me, of that I'm certain. And senseing the amber bonded with me is what shocked Vulcora out of her anger. She never wanted to destroy Atlantis. She was simply consumed by her anger, and sensing the amber bonded to me shocked her out of it."[/color]

[color=teal]Raynor faced Liquid and assumed a position that Liquid did not recognise. It was clearly one of respect, and there could have been some submission in it, as well.[/color]

[color=teal]"We of Atlantis are in your debt," Raynor said to Liquid. "You may not have defeated Vulcora, but you saved us from her fury. For that, we are deeply grateful... Daughter of Amber."[/color]

[color=teal]Liquid sighed. "I knew you'd call me that. Look, Raynor. I don't believe in prophecy, okay? It's nothing more than guesswork and imagination."[/color]

[color=teal]"I don't share your belief, Daughter of Amber," Raynor replied.[/color]

[color=teal]"And that's fine," Liquid told him. "You're entitlesd to your own oppinion. Just please stop calling me 'Daughter of Amber'."[/color]

[color=teal]"I think I can do that," Raynor said. "I can't promise anything where anyone else is concerned, though. Other people will undoubtably call you that."[/color]

[color=#008080]"It really doesn't matter, though, does it?" Tetros put in. "After all, we've completed our mission. There's no more reason for us to be here. We should get going."[/color]

[color=#008080]"Um, yeah, about that," Liquid said, turning to face Tetros and Melinoe. "I've been thinking about this since we arrived in Atlantis, and I've reached a decision. I'm staying here."[/color]

[color=#008080]"You're staying here," Tetros repeated after a couple seconds.[/color]

[color=#008080]Liquid nodded. "That's right. I've decided to remain here in Atlantis."[/color]

[color=#008080]"Why?" Tetros asked.[/color]

[color=#008080]"Since my change, I've been isolated," Liquid explained. "Oh, sure, I interacted with humans, but I wasn't one of them. Ever since that night eight years ago, I've never really fit in anywhere. I don't belong on the surface. I realized that pretty quickly after we arrived in Atlantis. I'm not meant for life on the surface. I belong here, underwater."[/color]

[color=#008080]"Is this another part of what Vulcora told you?" Tetros wondered.[/color]

[color=#008080]Liquid shook her head. "No, she didn't say it, but it wasn't exactly hard to figure out. I learned from Vulcora that amber bonded with me, changeing me into what I am now. And it was the amber that's changed the Atlanteans into what they are now, right, Raynor?"[/color]

[color=#008080]"That's right," Raynor confirmed.[/color]

[color=#008080]"Okay, so the same thing changed me and the Atlanteans," Liquid continued. "The Atlanteans were changed more slowly than I, but they were simply in contact with the amber. Amber bonded with me, and that's probably why my change was more rapid. It's quite likely that the Atlanteans are slowly becoming what I already am. Hell, I may have some more changes to go through myself before the amber's done.[/color]

[color=#008080]"Anyways, the Atlanteans were changed by the amber into forms suited for life underwater. I was also changed by amber. Like the Atlanteans, my form is suited for life underwater. This is where I belong. It's where I've belonged for eight years, but I didn't know it until now."[/color]

[color=#008080]"So you've made up you mind, then," Tetros said. "Well, I don't know if I like your decision, but it's yours to make. I'd need to use force to take you back with me, and I'm not going to do that. So, as long as you're sure that this is what you want, then go ahead and remain here. I wo't make you return with Melinoe and I if you don't want to."[/color]

[color=#008080]"Thanks," Liquid replied.[/color]

[color=#008080]"Well," Tetros said, "I guess this is it."[/color]

[color=#008080]Tetros, Melinoe, and Liquid were floating above Atlantis. Raynor was there as well. The other citizens of Atlantis had all returned to the city. Some were still a bit unsetled, but that was understandable after everything that had happened.[/color]

[color=#008080]"I guess so," Liquid replied.[/color]

[color=#008080]"Again, I thank you for all you have done," Raynor said.[/color]

[color=#008080]"We were just doing our job," Melinoe remarked.[/color]

[color=#008080]"Even so, this city owes you a debt of gratitude," Raynor replied.[/color]

[color=#008080]There was a pause, after which Tetros turned to Melinoe and said, "Well, we'd best be off. Goodbye, Liquid."[/color]

[color=#008080]Liquid and Raynor watched Tetros and Melinoe depart. When the pair was out of sight, Liquid turned to Raynor. "I don't know about you, but I'm dead tired."[/color]

[color=#008080]"That's understandable," Raynor said. "You've had a busy day. Let's go find you a place to stay."[/color]

[color=#008080]"Sounds like a good idea to me," Liquid replied. "Oh, and one more thing."[/color]

[color=#008080]"And what would that be?" Raynor asked.[/color]

[color=#008080]"My name isn't 'Liquid'. Liquid's just a code name, or something like that. My real name is Laqara."[/color]

[color=#008080]"I've got it, Laqara," Raynor said. "Now, let's go find you a place to stay."[/color]

[color=#008080]Liquid nodded. "Let's." She followed Raynor down into the city of Atlantis. The city which was now her home.[/color]
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