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RPG The Maze [M - VLS]


Rachmaninoff
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[CENTER][IMG]http://img221.imageshack.us/img221/917/themaze01iw8.jpg[/IMG] [/CENTER]

[B][SIZE=4]The Introduction:[/SIZE][/B]

This should be the only out of character post for this thread, but just to give some basics, each of you are entitled to kill off one character each round. Each round will last approximately a week. However, for the first round each character must be introduced in a post first before they can be killed, they cannot be killed in the same post they are introduced in. This can be done by anyone by simply writing from the prospective of the character you are introducing. There is of course no limit to the number of times you can post or as to what can happen in your post.

[B][SIZE=4]The Players:[/SIZE][/B]

[B]2007DigitalBoy
Aaryanna
Aaryanna_Mom
Darren
indifference
Sandy [/B]
And
[B]Rachmaninoff[/B]

[SIZE=4][B]The Characters:[/B][/SIZE]

[IMG]http://img215.imageshack.us/img215/1407/01mq2.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://img291.imageshack.us/img291/4524/deceasedcardwr1.jpg[/IMG]
[B]Name[/B]: Gustaff Maldrachen
[B]Gender[/B]: male
[B]Age[/B]: 32
[B]Race & Origin[/B]: human, the Earth in 2098
[B]Occupation[/B]: tattooist

[IMG]http://img215.imageshack.us/img215/3922/02bp2.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://img291.imageshack.us/img291/4524/deceasedcardwr1.jpg[/IMG]
[B]Name[/B]: Deloras Belanders
[B]Gender[/B]: female
[B]Age[/B]: 28
[B]Race & Origin[/B]: Slvarian from the planet Slvar
[B]Occupation[/B]: Herbalist

[IMG]http://img215.imageshack.us/img215/1192/03ri6.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://img291.imageshack.us/img291/4524/deceasedcardwr1.jpg[/IMG]
[B]Name[/B]: Lara Servas
[B]Gender[/B]: female
[B]Age[/B]: 21
[B]Race & Origin[/B]: Earthling, Earth 2050
[B]Occupation[/B]: Store clerk

[IMG]http://img215.imageshack.us/img215/7640/04mv1.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://img291.imageshack.us/img291/4524/deceasedcardwr1.jpg[/IMG]
[B]Name[/B]: Liam Linche
[B]Gender[/B]: male
[B]Age[/B]: 19
[B]Race & Origin[/B]: human, Earth in the 900?s raised from the dead when 8 years old
[B]Occupation[/B]: Weaponsmith

[IMG]http://img171.imageshack.us/img171/8458/05zi8.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://img291.imageshack.us/img291/4524/deceasedcardwr1.jpg[/IMG]
[B]Name[/B]: Jennifer Caldis
[B]Gender[/B]: female
[B]Age[/B]: 50
[B]Race & Origin[/B]: elf, forest world of Jadis in 2500
[B]Occupation[/B]: Jeweler

[IMG]http://img171.imageshack.us/img171/3991/06dl5.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://img291.imageshack.us/img291/4524/deceasedcardwr1.jpg[/IMG]
[B]Name[/B]: Andrew Whitaker
[B]Gender[/B]: male
[B]Age[/B]: 29
[B]Race & Origin[/B]: human, the Earth in 1537
[B]Occupation[/B]: Soldier

[IMG]http://img72.imageshack.us/img72/530/07uv4.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://img291.imageshack.us/img291/4524/deceasedcardwr1.jpg[/IMG]
[B]Name[/B]: Alden Courtney
[B]Gender[/B]: male
[B]Age[/B]: 18
[B]Race & Origin[/B]: human, the Earth in 2015
[B]Occupation[/B]: mechanic

[IMG]http://img171.imageshack.us/img171/3160/08th6.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://img291.imageshack.us/img291/4524/deceasedcardwr1.jpg[/IMG]
[B]Name[/B]: Eflair Shishinn J?nea
[B]Gender[/B]: female
[B]Age[/B]: 14
[B]Race & Origin[/B]: l'antranya, the Tropical Planet Euto
[B]Occupation[/B]: weaver?s apprentice

[IMG]http://img171.imageshack.us/img171/2673/09fc1.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://img205.imageshack.us/img205/3954/activecardqo1.jpg[/IMG]
[B]Name[/B]: Davis Henderson
[B]Gender[/B]: male
[B]Age[/B]: 27
[B]Race & Origin[/B]: human, planet Tresca in 3007
[B]Occupation[/B]: professor

[IMG]http://img72.imageshack.us/img72/9979/10yb1.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://img291.imageshack.us/img291/4524/deceasedcardwr1.jpg[/IMG]
[B]Name[/B]: Samik Specis
[B]Gender[/B]: male
[B]Age[/B]: 30
[B]Race & Origin[/B]: Teval, planet Tevalaris in 1990
[B]Occupation[/B]: spice merchant

[IMG]http://img170.imageshack.us/img170/1696/11qx1.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://img291.imageshack.us/img291/4524/deceasedcardwr1.jpg[/IMG]
[B]Name[/B]: Fredrick Shavask
[B]Gender[/B]: male
[B]Age[/B]: 36
[B]Race & Origin[/B]: human, the Earth in 4015
[B]Occupation[/B]: Earth space forces

[IMG]http://img170.imageshack.us/img170/7427/12zi2.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://img291.imageshack.us/img291/4524/deceasedcardwr1.jpg[/IMG]
[B]Name[/B]: Vanya (42623-05)
[B]Gender[/B]: female
[B]Age[/B]: 23
[B]Race & Origin[/B]: human, the planet Celene in 2953
[B]Occupation[/B]: military scout

[IMG]http://img214.imageshack.us/img214/1716/13mg7.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://img291.imageshack.us/img291/4524/deceasedcardwr1.jpg[/IMG]
[B]Name[/B]: Ambellina Prise
[B]Gender[/B]: female
[B]Age[/B]: 26
[B]Race & Origin[/B]: ORTA galaxy
[B]Occupation[/B]: priestess

[IMG]http://img170.imageshack.us/img170/8725/14pw8.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://img291.imageshack.us/img291/4524/deceasedcardwr1.jpg[/IMG]
[B]Name[/B]: Rebecca Lynn
[B]Gender[/B]: female
[B]Age[/B]: 17
[B]Race & Origin[/B]: human, the Earth in 2150
[B]Occupation[/B]: dancer

[SIZE=4][B]Creation Characters:[/B][/SIZE]

[IMG]http://img337.imageshack.us/img337/5083/15ix3.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://img291.imageshack.us/img291/4524/deceasedcardwr1.jpg[/IMG]
[B]Name[/B]: Neheb
[B]Gender[/B]: male
[B]Age[/B]: 9
[B]Race & Origin[/B]: human, the Earth in 1409 BC
[B]Occupation[/B]: child pharaoh

[IMG]http://img464.imageshack.us/img464/2127/17yb9.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://img291.imageshack.us/img291/4524/deceasedcardwr1.jpg[/IMG]
[B]Name[/B]: Clavis
[B]Gender[/B]: Male
[B]Age[/B]: 28
[B]Race & Origin[/B]: Unknown, Sacred Bird Cosmos in the year 2032
[B]Occupation[/B]: Guardian of Darkness

[IMG]http://img464.imageshack.us/img464/7266/16gd3.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://img291.imageshack.us/img291/4524/deceasedcardwr1.jpg[/IMG]
[B]Name[/B]: Deoky Shilos
[B]Gender[/B]: Male
[B]Age[/B]: 25
[B]Race & Origin[/B]: Darkchild / Belagosi Cosmos
[B]Occupation[/B]: Evil Warlord

[CENTER][IMG]http://img402.imageshack.us/img402/4981/roundone01jw9.jpg[/IMG] [/CENTER]

Fredrick Shavask did not remember being put into suspended animation for a trip. His current mission with his squad had not required space travel that would require it. So the question, as he slowly stepped out from the long slender chamber he had woken up in, was what had happened? It didn't feel as if he had been suspended, it felt more like he had simply woken up from a good nights sleep. And his surroundings made no sense either.

He moved forward a bit and took a good look around. The sleeper he had been in was in the middle of fourteen all lined up along the wall. And other than the empty one he had just come from the others were all occupied as well. [I]What the hell? Where am I?[/I] Fredrick turned back around carefully looking at his surroundings. The room of cold metal walls and flooring was empty. On the opposite side of where the sleepers were there were two doors, one on each side. A soft chime sounded, startling him. Speaking in a language he had never heard before. Then a moment later it switched to standard.

"[B]Translators initiated,[/B]" the soft female voice said, "[B]subject eleven successfully prepared. Beginning preparation of the remaining subjects.[/B]"

[I]Subject?[/I] The sound of the remaining sleepers opening caused him to quickly turn back, just in time to see the sleepers finish opening. And sure enough, just above the sleeper he had been in was the number eleven clearly spelled out in multiple languages.

"[B]What the hell is going on?[/B]" He wondered out loud not expecting an answer.

"[B]All questions will be answered upon leaving the Maze,[/B]" the female voice responded.

Fredrick looked around for a computer terminal, but other than a screen between the two doors on the wall that came to life and displayed the words The Maze in many languages, he could find nothing. And further requests for information were ignored. [I]Now what?[/I] He thought as he turned back at the sound of the others starting to leave the sleepers.
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[SIZE=1][COLOR=DarkRed]Something was wrong, Jennifer Caldis was positive of it as she awoke. Not only was she not in the small cottage she owned surrounded by the tall forests she had grown up in. She could not hear the sounds of the birds nor smell the soft sent of grasses and flowers that were not that far from her bedroom window. She did not know what this foreign stuff was that she was lying in, it was unlike anything she had ever seen.[I] What dark sorcery is this? [/I]Jennifer thought as she climbed out, wincing at the strange sound of her feet hitting the floor.

There were others there as well all looking as confused as she felt. She looked back at what she had been lying in. Above it was the elven symbol for five. Jennifer looked back at a human who was standing in the middle of the room, with red hair and blue eyes. He was wearing the strangest clothing that seemed stiff and unmoving except at certain parts. Nothing like her soft woven silk.

"[B]Who are you? What is going on here?[/B]" She asked him not expecting him to understand what she was saying. But to her surprise he answered her.

"[B]My name is Fredrick, and I've no idea what the hell is going on here. I don't even know where here is.[/B]" He replied.

"[B]You speak my language?[/B]" She asked, surprised.

He shook his head. "[B]No, what ever this place is, it has built in translators.[/B]"

"[B]I see,[/B]" Jennifer said, though she wasn't sure what magic this translator he spoke of was. "[B]My name is Jennifer.[/B]"

"[B]Translators huh?[/B]" A male voice said.

Jennifer turned as another human approached, one with blond hair.

"[B]Since when did we have translators that work so well you can't even tell the other person is using a different language?[/B]"

"[B]And you are?[/B]" Fredrick asked.

"[B]Oh, sorry, Gustaff Maldrachen. But enough of that. What the hell is going on here?[/B]"

"[B]I have no idea.[/B]" Fredrick replied.

Gustaff looked at the screen between the two doors on the walls. Reading the words on the screen. "[B]The Maze? What the hell is that? If this is somebody's idea of a joke, it isn't funny.[/B]"[/COLOR][/SIZE]
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[COLOR=DarkOrange]Samik Specis? head hurt as he suddenly awoke from his sleeper and stepped out onto the metal floor of a strange room. The place was dark, but there were small lights and large screen on an above wall with the words ?The Maze? upon it. Samik yawned and turned towards some other people who were standing in the room. They all seemed to speak his language, though none of them looked like his people. All were continually glancing quizzically toward the screen. Samik began to worry what was going on.

[B]?Um? hello there!? [/B] he said, cheerily, as he approached the others. All of them seemed to be older than him, and had serious faces about them. [B]?I?m going to bet we?re all generally confused here, eh??[/B]

[B]?You?d be right,? [/B] replied a large burly man. [B]?Name?s Gustaff, Gustaff Maldrachen. You don?t know what the hell?s going on either, then??[/B]

[B]?Not a clue,? [/B] Samik chimed with a faint laugh,[B] ?Oh, right, and my name?s Samik Specis, at your service.?[/B] As he said this, he extended his hand to the man and shook, then turning to each of the others.

[B]?Fredrick Shavask. Good meeting,? [/B] said a smaller, but still tough-looking man.

[B]?Jennifer,? [/B] was the name of the next strange-looking woman. Beyond this introduction was a bit of an awkward silence. The sound of a pressure release then shot through the air, followed quickly by two more.

The next three to awaken were a blue-skinned, feminine-looking young man, a serious-looking man with mid-length orange hair, wearing a long jacket, and a beautiful young woman with short purple hair.

The serious-looking man assessed his surroundings calmly, while the purple-haired girl looked flustered.

[B]?U-um? what? W-where am I?!? [/B] She asked, uneasily.

[B]?None of us know, either,? [/B] Gustaff replied. Samik slid his hands into his pockets and leaned against the wall. He could tell this would quickly become complicated. His eyes began to wander about the sleepers, counting them.

The young man with the blue skin was very confused-looking. He looked over at the group of people with uncertainty. He saw that the purple-haired girl was approaching them, asking questions that none seemed to have the answers for. The other man joined them as well, introducing himself among the group. Samik watched the boy as he cautiously approached the group and just sort of stood on the outskirts of it, not saying anything.

The sound of pressure releasing erupted once more as the rest of the sleepers started to open as well. Samik wished he had a cigarette.[/COLOR]
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[COLOR=Sienna]Deloras Belanders stepped out of the chamber she had awoken in. There were several people in the room, talking together. They all seemed as lost as she was.

Suddenly she grasped her head in pain. Her ears weren't used to such loud noises. All the talking voices made her dizzy. Her world was silent and peaceful, and her people talked in delicate whispers.

[B]"I guess we're not in Slvar anymore"[/B], she sighed quietly. She straightened her flowing robe with her long, slender arms, and prepared to introduce herself to the strange people in the room. They all certainly looked a lot like Slvarians, but some things were quite off. For starters, all of their arms were significantly shorter than hers, and she had only four fingers. And all that noise coming out of their big mouths! They looked ridiculous with their mouths being bigger than their eyes!

Deloras took a few steps forward, and instantly noticed how heavy her steps were. Her fragile body had gotten used to moving softly and gracefully, but now she felt like she was a clumsy [I]thvarl[/I].

This certainly was not the world she grew up in.[/COLOR]
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[COLOR=DarkOrange]Alden Courtney was the last person to emerge from his sleeper. He looked about the strange new environment, seeing plenty of other individuals standing about in a group aside from him. They all seemed to be sharing introductions. Some were calm and collected, some apprehensive, pensive, contemplative, or frightened. The data scanner worn across his eyes could detect their emotive outlines. He glanced about for a second before beginning his approach. Sonic receivers on his ears could here one red-haired man explaining that a woman?s voice had come form somewhere before. Just as Alden began to reach the group, there was a loud blip from above and all eyes came upon the large screen where ?The Maze? still was illuminated.

[B]?Welcome, all of you,? [/B] the woman?s voice came through the speakers behind the screen. Alden?s emotive sensors could detect that some were slightly thrown off by the voice -- he wondered if it may have had a strange accent to them.

[B]?This is the maze. You want to find the end, and you don?t want to die.? [/B] Instantly a wave of apprehension washed over the people. Now that death had become involved, it was natural that everyone had felt a chill down their spine. Alden?s response to the environment was one of total control.

[B]?There is a door under this screen. Step through, and the maze begins. This room will fill with poisonous gas in exactly 25 seconds. Survive well.? [/B] Panic shot out from the crowd as the more frightened frantically dashed to the door and began pulling at it.

[B]?Open, damn it!?[/B] Lara Servas roared as she put her foot on the wall and tugged on the door.

[B]?Let me!? [/B] Gustaff immediately chimed in, yanking the metal door practically off it?s hinges. The more panicked contestants dashed through the open door all at once while the more serious, but still frightened, people calmly strode out. Alden was the last to leave, hearing the gas start to come through vents in the ceiling as he closed the massive door behind him easily. He calmly examined the new surroundings.[/COLOR]
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Andrew Whitaker wondered if he was in fact in hell when he woke up. From the strange environment, to the strange looking coffins they were lying in to all the bizarre people that though they looked humanoid were unlike anything he had ever seen. Nothing in his training by the military had prepared him for where he was. It was reassuring that he still had his sword and yet he wondered if it would be of any use. He did not recognize anything and the manner in which the words the Maze was displayed on the strange walls confused him.

He did the only thing he understood, he started gathering information. And he started by paying attention to the others and memorizing their names. The tall muscular one was named Gustaff and the shorter one near him was called Fredrick. About half of the people there were women. Deloras, Lara, Jennifer, Eflair, Vanya, Ambellina and a girl with astonishing looking pink hair named Rebecca. There men were equally as strange as well. Though Samik seemed normal enough. But Davis with his orange colored hair and Alden with the strange contraption he was wearing on his head were nothing compared to Liam with his strange blue skin.

[I]Why?[/I] He wondered. [I]Why was I sent to hell?[/I] He did not get a chance to wonder more about it as a strange voice from no where welcomed them, warned them about dying.[I] Dying? Aren't I already dead?[/I] And then gave them barely enough time to escape the room they were in before poisonous gas was released.

Andrew did the only thing he could, he followed the others into the next area, but when the door closed and he truly looked at their new surroundings, he collapsed as waves of nausea and dizziness overtook him. He shut his eyes tightly refusing to look at the hell he was in. How could he be among the stars? The walls, ceiling and even the very floor appeared to be made of glass and as far as the eye could see there was nothing but stars. A hallway of stars that lead to another huge section or type of building that seemed to be made of the same substance the room they had found themselves in.

"[B]Relax,[/B]" A male voice told him even as he felt someone's hand on his shoulder. "[B]It's just a corridor to the next section of this space station.[/B]"

Startled Andrew opened his eyes and looked up to see Davis leaning over looking concerned. "[B]Space station?[/B]"

"[B]Correct, some races posses the ability to travel and live among the stars. I take it that your people do not?[/B]"

"[B]I do not understand. How is that possible?[/B]"

Davis just smiled. "[B]It would take a very long time to explain, but more importantly, we need to move to the next section. It will help if you focus on the doors instead of looking at your surroundings.[/B]" He reached over and helped Andrew stand back up.

[I]How can they be so calm?[/I] Andrew wondered as he did as Davis suggested, focusing on the door. It helped a little. But still he felt so out of place. One was not meant to tread where the gods lived. He took it one step at a time. It was embarrassing to be so weak when even the women in their group seemed unaffected by where they were.

Davis leaned over and whispered. "[B]Don't look so upset. You're not the only person who gets dizzy in a place like this.[/B]"

"[B]What do you mean?[/B]"

Davis laughed, "[B]I had the same reaction the first time I visited a space station. After a while you get used to it.[/B]"

Andrew just continued walking with the others to the next set of doors. He certainly hoped the next area was not like this one. How could one ever get used to it?
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[COLOR=DarkRed]If poisonous gas hadn't been released in an attempt to kill them Lara Servas would have been much happier. Especially once she realized that they were on some sort of space station. She had always wanted to travel in space. And the view in the corridor leading to the other section, which was quite massive, was impressive. The only thing was, she couldn't see any planets nearby.

It didn't surprise her when one of the men fell to his knees. She had always been a bit indifferent in regards to history, but his military uniform looked like something from either the 15th or 16th century. If he really was from the past on her world, something like space travel would have been considered impossible. [I]What am I thinking? How could he be from the past?[/I] She shook her head. [I]How did I get here for that matter?[/I]

Lara moved to help him but stopped when one of the other guys beat her to it. She turned to one of the guys who looked like he was waring some type of space outfit himself.

"[B]You're Fredrick right?[/B]"

He nodded.

"[B]Do you recognize where we are?[/B]" She asked him.

"[B]No. What makes you think I would know?[/B]"

"[B]Well you do appear to be wearing some sort of space suit. Am I right?[/B]"

"[B]You are correct, I am with the Earth Space forces, fifth division. But I have never been to this place before and I do not recognize any of the stars either.[/B]" Fredrick said with a wave of his hand indicating the view outside the corridor.

"[B]Earth Space Forces? Since when did we have Space forces?[/B]"

"[B]Since the federation was formed in the year 3803.[/B]" Fredrick replied as if it should be common knowledge.

"[B]3803?[/B]" Lara said with disbelief. "[B]But that would mean this is the future! How can that be? I thought time travel wasn't possible.[/B]"

"[B]Well as far as I know it's not.[/B]" Fredrick replied. "[B]Before I woke up here the year as I know it was 4015.[/B]"

"[B]It was 2050 for me.[/B]" Lara said.

Andrew spoke up at that point having already gotten back up and rejoined the others as they walked towards the next set of doors. "[B]I do not understand how we could be in the future as you say, but before I found myself here the year was 1537.[/B]"

All of them paused and then nearly spoke at the same time as it seemed that all of them had come from different times and many of them even from different worlds as well.

"[B]This is fascinating![/B]" Davis said excitedly. "[B]Just think of the technology required to have brought so many different people from different worlds and even different times together.[/B]"

"[B]Exciting? I'd hardly call poison gas exciting.[/B]" Lara said.

Davis smiled sheepishly, "[B]Sorry, I teach history classes and I can't help but wonder about the history behind this place.[/B]"

Just then the voice that had warned about the poison gas spoke."[B]Warning, in one minute space corridor one will detach.[/B]"

Lara looked at the doors they were almost too. Sure enough the word one was written above it. "[B]Bloody hell![/B]" She swore and then rushed to get to the door. Fortunately unlike the last time the doors opened immediately and when all of them were through they closed. A strange clicking sound indicating the doors were locking sounded.

"[B]Corridor one has been detached. Your journey now begins.[/B]"

Lara like everyone else was warily looking around. [I]Now what?[/I] She wondered.[/COLOR]
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[COLOR=DimGray]Vanya was among the first people to rush out of the room that began to fill with poison. She was also the first to run ahead when the announcement came about the detaching corridor. Her survival instincts had always been high like that.

They had to be, since she was one of the first exoterrestrial settlers in human history, a legend in her own right. Celene was the nearest inhabitable planet to Earth, a cold and cruel world filled with ferocious beasts straight out of one's nightmares. Vanya and her crew had moved there to test life on another planet, but now she was in a whole different place.

Vanya had been quite amazed to hear some people talking about their origins. One man even claimed to have come from the year 4015! Vanya, as a person of reason, thought it was too ridiculous to be true. But then again, there were those other people... Like that Eflair.

The young girl had green hair and a golden skin, and her fingers and bare toes were webbed, like frogs. She was clearly from an aquatic race.

Vanya approached her. The girl's eyes were bewildered and she seemed to be on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

[B]"Eflair, are you alright?"[/B] Vanya asked cautiously.

[B]"This... is... strange... Breathing... like... this is... strange..."[/B] Eflair muttered. [B]"My name... Eflair... It feels different when said... like this..."[/B]

[B]"You used to live under water, right?"[/B] Vanya asked. The girl nodded.

[B]"The air... in Euto... is poisonous... Water... home"[/B], Eflair sighed, and tears started pouring out of her pale eyes.

Vanya patted the girl on the back with compassion, but her thoughts were different.

[I]What a weakling. She won't survive a day in this place.[/I][/COLOR]
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[B]OOC:[/B] Time for a secret card to be played. Someone has been issued a Creation Card. This special card allows one of the players to add another character to the game and thus increase their chance of winning. ;)
[CENTER]--------------------------------------------[/CENTER] [CENTER][IMG]http://img224.imageshack.us/img224/1930/creationcardjc5.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://img337.imageshack.us/img337/5083/15ix3.jpg[/IMG]
[B]Name[/B]: Neheb
[B]Gender[/B]: male
[B]Age[/B]: 9
[B]Race & Origin[/B]: human, the Earth in 1409 BC
[B]Occupation[/B]: child pharaoh[/CENTER]
[CENTER]--------------------------------------------[/CENTER]
They had barely entered the next section when the group noticed that there was yet another sleeper. One that was in the center of the room. Curious they moved over to take a look. Inside was a young boy.

"[B]Subject fifteen will be prepared.[/B]" The same female voice that had spoken before said.

At that moment the sleeper opened and the boy opened his eyes. He sat up, slowly taking a look around him. Puzzled as to what he was seeing.

"[B]This is not my palace, what have you done with it?[/B]" He demanded.

"[B]Excuse me?[/B]" Rebecca asked. "[B]What are you talking about? And just who are you?[/B]"

"[B]What do you mean? How could you not know who I am? I am Neheb![/B]" He said importantly as if it should be obvious as to who he was.

"[B]Oh my, this is simply amazing![/B]" Davis said as he moved forward stopping just short of Nehab who was still sitting in the sleeper. "[B]If I understand what you are wearing correctly, it would fit ancient Earth history. Even if I only studied it lightly. Still there is no mistaking Egyptian garments meant for a Pharaoh.[/B]"

"[B]Of course![/B]" Nehab said with dignity, "[B]I am the Pharaoh Nehab! You did not answer my question. If you have done nothing to my palace then why did you bring me here?[/B]"

"[B]We do not know, we too were brought here. We do not even know where here is.[/B]" Davis said simply.

"[B]You are not from Egypt![/B]" Nehab said accusingly.

"[B]No, none of us are.[/B]" Davis replied.

Nehab climbed out of the sleeper and hopped down onto the floor. "[B]If this is not my kingdom, then we must find out whose kingdom it is and why they brought us here.[/B]"
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[COLOR=DarkOrange]As Neheb finished this sentence all eyes turned down the long narrow corridor that they stood in.

[B]"We should hurry,? [/B] Vanya urged. [B]?It?s probably another timed thing.? [/B] Immediately her and a few others took off barreling down the hall, the less panicked running along behind. In the back the weaker of the group stood out. Liam, Eflair, and Deloras struggled to maintain a part of the whole. It was their advantage, though, when the group ahead came to a screeching halt.

[B]?AAAAAAA!!!!!!!!? [/B] A high pitch squeal erupted through the corridor. Ahead, right as she put her foot down a square of the floor fell from under Vanya. She screamed as she began to fall through the floor into space below.

[B]?Hold on!? [/B] Someone yelled from behind. Vanya?s wide eyes gleamed with dread as she saw her fate before her, but just then her arm was caught. Gustaff was holding onto her arm and quickly yanked her upward and onto solid ground. Vanya sat breathing heavily as the mild shock came under control. She rose once more quickly as Gustaff turned toward the group.

[B]?I suggest we tread carefully,? [/B] he bellowed. Everyone nodded in agreement as they carefully continued through the passage. They couldn?t easily test every square of the floor, especially since there were no defined tiles or anything. The front line of the group would carefully take a step and if one of their squares fell out they merely bounced back before they could fall. The ordeal was frightening at best but the method seemed to be succeeding.

Within the troop, some softly spoke amongst themselves. Deloras looked over at the blue-haired young man next to her. In a quiet voice, almost like a whisper, she spoke to him.

[B]?How is it that your skin took on that color?? [/B] Liam?s gaze was shifty. He seemed a bit reluctant to speak.

[B]??uh?? [/B] a rasp caught his throat. Clearing it, he continued, his voice quiet and raspy like a sick child. [B]?I? died before?? [/B] he wasn?t sure how he would explain it. Deloras gave him a puzzled glance.

[B]?How do you me--? [/B] She was cut of as the sound of the floor depressing came suddenly from below. Deloras? eyes grew large and she couldn?t even find the strength to scream within the surprise. Liam could do nothing but watch - Deloras shot straight down. After a moment, Eflair noticed that there was no one behind her and turned around quietly. She only saw the blue-skinned boy staring down into a hole in the ground. A terror possessed her as Liam turned toward her, his face full of shock. For a moment they stared at each other, but the group was fast advancing.

With a cold chill running down their spines, the two returned to the group.

[B]OOC[/B]: My death card hath been played.[/COLOR]

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[COLOR=DarkRed]Davis Henderson looked on in shock as Deloras fell though the hole and into space. Making the threat of death all to real.[I] My god![/I] He thought in astonishment as it hit home.[I] How can this be?[/I] He had heard the warning about poison gas and the corridor detaching, but still underneath it all he was too use to space stations having all sorts of safe guard systems in place to prevent things like this from happening. Part of him had yet to really believe that one of them could die.

Shaken, all of them continued cautiously trying to avoid the sections of the floor that would collapse. Something that Davis on some level couldn't help but find fascinating since there had to be some sort of forcefield keeping the air in. The sections of the floor that fell tumbled into space but oxygen did not. Who ever built this place had to be quite advanced to have brought them here from different times and planets. But if who ever had built this place was that advanced, why bother to bring them here if only to let them die?

They had made it to the next set of doors, but no one wanted to open it. All of them hesitating. Except Andrew who moved forward to test the doors.

"[B]Wait![/B]" Davis cried out. "[B]What if the door is a trap too?[/B]"

"[B]We must press forward,[/B]" Andrew said. "[B]It is clear that what ever brought us here is our enemy. One does not place guests in such danger. We must neutralize what ever force has brought us here.[/B]"

"[B]I meant that the door may lead out to space as well. Not that we shouldn't try to find the way out of here.[/B]"

"[B]I did not see another path to take,[/B]" Andrew said.

Several others chimed in as well that they had not seen another door either. Davis finally nodded and agreed.

"[B]You're right, for all we know the floor may be designed to completely give out if we stay too long.[/B]" Then at that moment as if the place were alive, a terrible sound reached them. Startled they all turned back to look, the remaining floor sections were dropping into space.

"[B]You just had to open your big mouth didn't you?[/B]" Rebecca said as she turned to help Andrew open the door.

"[B]How could I have known?[/B]" Davis protested as they all hurried into the other room. It did not lead to space but this time there were several paths to take.

"[B]This is just great![/B]" Davis complained. "[B]Which direction should we take?[/B]" No one answered his question since they were wondering the exact same thing. [/COLOR]
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[COLOR=DarkOrange]Ambellina Prise kept a relative calm about the situation she was in. Some of the members of the group were well-versed in survival, it seemed, and she had placed a distinct trust in a few of them while keeping a vague distrust in others. Those who were lagging in the back and those who were panicked in the front were obviously not ones to be followed. Gustaff especially reminded her of a royal guard that would have patrolled her palace.

In her galaxy, the name Prise was known across all the planets, though Ambellina was unsurprised that people outside of not only her space, but her time as well would not recognize her. As long as she was careful and stayed with the stronger people of the group she would be fine, she thought.

[B]?So, anyone have any ideas?? [/B] Gustaff asked, looking about the group. The stone corridor they stood in was less like a space-ship and more resembled and underground passageway. There were strings of lights like in mining tunnels lighting up the halls. For once, this looked like a maze. There were three tunnels, one branching left, one right, and one in the center. Each went on for a distance that couldn?t be fully seen, all turning at some point and ending the full vision of the pass.

Immediately Alden stepped forward. Calmly and without speaking a word, he took to the right path and simply started walking. Several people?s eyes followed him wondering why he was going that way, but Alden didn?t speak a word. The people all began turning to each other and exchanging questioning glances and concern.

[B]?Forget him. I would have him put to death for not awaiting my instruction!?[/B] Neheb fumed. The boy had a general air of imposition over the people. Ambellina was disgusted at his primitive way of rule. [B]?I will take this path,? [/B] the boy continued, angry. [B]?Any who wish to accompany me may follow.? [/B] He took to the path on the right and began striding off.

Lara turned to where Alden was already making good distance down his path. [B]?That guy knows something,?[/B] she stated and immediately took to her heals in pursuit.

[B]?Right then. I think I?ll head down this path then. After all, if I run into anything, I?ll just head back here and take another passage.? [/B] Davis said, turning to the rest of the group, then turning back toward the middle path. At that the group divided itself by each person?s own thoughts.

Gustaff, Jennifer, Eflair, Vanya, and Rebecca began following Davis. Seeing this as the strong group, Ambellina followed as well. Meanwhile, Fredrick was watching the young pharaoh walk alone down the left passage.

[B]?Damn it. He?s too small, I can?t let that boy go alone,? [/B] Fredrick said, and quickly ran to catch up with the Egyptian king. Samik looked over at Liam, Andrew, and Rebecca.

[B]?I like that guy. I think I?ll tail along with them,? [/B] he said, and began following the group of two. Liam slowly took to that direction as well. Andrew looked to each of the groups in disdain.

[B]"I should hurry, lest this corridor corrode before me." [/B] he followed along the left path.[/COLOR]
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[COLOR=Magenta]Rebecca Lynn followed the main group. She felt uneasy about such a hasty split-up. Nobody had any idea of what the place was, and here they were, risking their lives and making foolhardy decisions.

Rebecca felt most secure in the group that she was in. There was Gustaff, a real beefcake for a man, and Vanya, a tough-looking chick despite being just a few years older than her.

Not to mention Davis Henderson, who seemed to be the most intelligent person in the whole lot. Rebecca gringed at the idea that she was practically almost one thousand years older than him.

It was good that she wasn't the weakest of the bunch, either. She had a finely honed dancer's body, quick reflexes and enchanting social skills. Jennifer, Ambellina and Eflair were nothing compared to her. A pointy-eared bitch, a prissy nun and a freaky fish alien.

Pathetic.

The group of seven came to a strange circular door at the end of the winding corridor. It seemed to have a highly technological lock in it.

[B]"Davis, care to take a look at that?"[/B] Gustaff asked. [B]"I dunno anything about any of them mech'nicks."[/B]

Rebecca gave a sly look at Gustaff. The burly pierced man was definitely playing dumber than he really was. Maybe it was his way of surviving.

[B]"Hmm, it is interesting. There seems to be four levers that need to be pulled at the same time. Gustaff, Vanya, Rebecca, let's try it."[/B]

[B]"You better stand back"[/B], Rebecca remarked wryly to Jennifer, Ambellina and Eflair as she stepped towards one of the levers.

[B]"All together now"[/B], Vanya cheered. [B]"One... Two... Three!"[/B][/COLOR]
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Gustaff Maldrachen would have rather stuck together. It was in his opinion foolish to split up in a place like this. But Alden had simply taken off without a word. [I]What a fool,[/I] he thought. It would have been much better to discuss things instead of taking off. But now it seemed that they were split up. He could understand the brat Neheb being difficult, especially if he really was a Pharaoh. Someone like that wouldn't know any better. But the others? He didn't know enough about them. Well perhaps other than Davis who admitted he studied history.

That decided him, he followed Davis since he was likely the most useful person here. If anyone would recognize something it would be him. He had no interest in following someone who couldn't be bothered to say why he chose the path he did and to be honest, he had no intention of following Nehab since he wasn't about to take orders from some brat.

They didn't say much as they traveled and in no time they were at what appeared to be a circular door. After a tiny bit of discussion they decided to pull the levers. Both Jennifer and Eflair stood back when Rebecca instructed them to. Standing next to Ambellina who was already standing clear. Something that saved their lives since when the levers were pulled the door swiftly moved, slicing in a circular motion so that the door was now behind the group who had pulled the levers. Slamming in place with a sharp crack right where they had been standing, cutting them off from the rest of the group.

Alarmed Davis called out, "[B]Jennifer! Eflair! Ambellina! Are you alright?[/B]" It was faint but he could hear their response that they were.

"[B]Can you open the door for them?[/B]" Gustaff asked.

Davis shook his head, "[B]No, as you can see the levers have locked into place. I'm afraid we have no choice but to go on.[/B]"

"[B]Yo! Jennifer! We can't open the door, you Ambellina and Eflair will have to go and join one of the other groups![/B]" Gustaff bellowed.

"[B]All right,[/B]" came Jennifer's faint reply. "[B]Be careful![/B]"

"[B]I'm terribly sorry,[/B]" Davis said, "[B]I didn't expect the levers to lock in place like that. Most doors like this usually work both ways.[/B]"

Gustaff slapped Davis heartily on the back, causing him to stagger a bit. "[B]No worries! It's not like they can't take one of the other paths. Besides no one got hurt right?[/B]"

"[B]Well true,[/B]" Davis started to say.

"[B]Forget it![/B]" Rebecca chimed in, secretly pleased that they had been left behind. "[B]Gustaff is right, there's nothing you can do about it anyway.[/B]"

"[B]That's true.[/B]" Davis said as they turned to continue down the corridor. "[B]I hope the others will be all right though.[/B]"

Vanya remained silent, not fully trusting those she was with just yet. Though secretly she was glad the weakling Eflair had been left behind. Someone like that would have eventually slowed them down.
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[COLOR=DarkOrange]The group of three girls stood on the opposite side of a huge rotating door that blocked them off from the rest of the group. All three had their own thoughts on the matter.

[I]FUCK![/I] Ambellina screamed inside. The exact reason for her team choice had been thrown out the window. Flustered, she turned to what she was sure were two worthless teammates. Jennifer was merely standing there with a meaningless expression while Eflair looked completely hopeless. A deepening rage grew within her.

[B]?Shut up.? [/B] Jennifer suddenly commanded, shooting an insidious glare toward Ambellina. The young priestess/princess stood transfixed in shock. [I]What did she just say to me?![/I]

[B]?SHUT UP! I can?t concentrate, damn it!? [/B] a thick confusion silenced Ambellina?s thoughts and as it did, the older woman?s eyes suddenly shot open wide and turned ghostly white. Her mouth hung agape and she slowly began to rise off the ground. For a moment she was in this position, frozen in midair, then suddenly her head began to turn as if she were searching the surroundings. Both Eflair and Ambellina merely stared blankly as this process continued. Finally, Jennifer?s body came back to the ground and the color returned to her eyes. Keeping her serious glare, she wiped at her mouth with her sleeve. She then turned to Ambellina.

[B]?You want to know the truth? I?m glad we got separated. All those people have physical strength, but they have nothing in the realm of magic.? [/B] She then turned to Eflair.

[B]?Eflair. You?ve been able to draw on your nature powers since we entered these caverns, correct?? [/B] there was a brief pause. Ambellina then suddenly heard a voice as if it were being channeled into her brain.

[I]?[B]Yes. Unlike our previous location, this place is not synthetic. I believe that we have been transferred to an earthly realm, though I know not how. I can only guess that the beings who created this contest are all-powerful as long as we remain here.? [/B][/I] By the time she had finished saying this, Ambellina realized they were speaking telepathically.

[B]?But how?? [/B] he began, aloud, but Jennifer?s voice cut into her thoughts.

[I][B]?I am what your people would refer to as a ?mind-speaker?. I can open channels in other?s conscience and communicate telepathically. I didn?t say anything before in interest of hiding as much as possible, but at this point there is need of my abilities. Between Eflair?s power over nature, your heavenly abilities, and my mental skills we should have a mediocre chance at least, if not a great one.?[/B][/I]

[B]?Well then, what are we going to do now, having established this? Are we rejoining one of the other groups??[/B]

[B]?No. I request a covenant of the two of you. If you will join me, I will have you, otherwise you are on your own.? [/B] Eflair immediately nodded in agreement. Not having any idea how to respond, Ambellina merely nodded meekly. [B]?Good. I have found another way out.?[/B][/COLOR]
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[COLOR=Indigo]Out of all the people trapped into the Maze, Liam Linche had the most peculiar history. He had died in a plague that had swept over his hometown of London when he had been just eight years old, but had been brought back to life by a necromancer called Nerwick. The old man had taught him the secrets of the forbidden magic, but Liam had eventually fled to live a free life - or rather, death. He had studied to become a smith, but now, all of a sudden, he was in this strange place, surrounded by people thousands of years older than him, coming from places beyond the stars.

Liam didn't know what sort of magic it was, but he was sure it was as evil as the spell that revived him.

He followed the group of men as they tried to keep up with the arrogant child claiming to be a king. Liam didn't care about the boy, he was a simple young man from the countryside with little respect towards titles and thrones.

The five men eventually arrived to a dark, circular room that had a pedestal at the center of it. On the pedestal was some sort of red crystal.

[B]"Ah, that will make a fine addition to the gift I will bring to the gods after my death!"[/B] Nehed remarked. He turned to Fredrick Shavask who obsessed in keeping the boy safe. [B]"Servant! Retrieve that treasure for me."[/B]

[B]"Now let us think this through"[/B], Andrew Whitaker said cautiously. [B]"That is a trap of the Devil if I've ever seen one!"[/B]

[B]"I have to agree with him, kid"[/B], Fredrick said, shrugging his shoulders.

[B]"What did you just call me, infidel?!"[/B] Neheb exclaimed in fury, and stomped Fredrick's foot, making the tall man cry out of pain.

But Neheb wasn't the only one entranced by the crystalline object. Liam saw Samik Specis, who claimed to be a spice merchant from a distant star, walk slowly but surely to the pedestal.

[B]"No!"[/B] Liam shouted, as nobody else noticed Samik's intentions.

But it was too late. The man had touched the red crystal and instantaneously turned into a charred, smoldering corpse. Furthermore, the floor around the pedestal started to whirl open, revealing a pit of fiery lava.

[B]"I knew it! The Hell itself is on the loose!"[/B] Andrew screamed in horror, and ran to the corridor they came from. Liam quickly followed him, but Neheb and Fredrick weren't as fast. They both fell into the widening pit.

Out of sheer luck Fredrick managed to get a hold of the edge of the floor that still moved towards the walls of the room. Andrew and Liam dashed to help him, and saw that Neheb was clinging onto Fredrick's leg, the very same he had stomped on just a moment ago. Not too far below them was a pool of scorching lava throwing flames at them as if trying to make them lose their grip.[/COLOR]

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[COLOR=DarkOrange]Lara tailed Alden in silence. He hadn?t seemed to notice her at all, but had an unnatural concentration on the path ahead. Lara wondered for a moment if she might?ve followed the wrong person, but the man?s boundless confidence led her to believe that he must have known what he was doing. Before too much time had passed, the two came to the end of the long corridor and, sure enough, a door awaited that was perfectly identical to the ones they had used before the enter succeeding passageways.

[B]?All right!? [/B] Lara chimed. Her mind wasn?t particularly with the others at all - after all she didn?t know them. She felt a kind of bond with Alden having decided that she was correct in following him. She rushed over to open the door, but Alden?s hand quickly gripped her shoulder.

[B]?I warn you now,? [/B] he began, his voice bold and deep. [B]?It is unwise to trust the things you find in this place. Everything here is in some way a trap, it seems. Watch.? [/B] Alden quickly detached a small spherical object from his belt. Lara watched as he tossed it underhand toward the door. The instant it made contact, a guillotine blade fell from the ceiling, plopping itself directly into the ground. Lara pulled her hand to her chest, realizing it had nearly been lost.

Alden reached to his belt once more, this time retrieving a gun-shaped tool. When he pulled the trigger there didn?t seem to be anything coming out, but the door suddenly shifted then slowly creaked open. Calmly, Alden strode through. Lara watched a second in surprise, then smiled and followed along.

[B]?I guess the place you come from is pretty advanced, huh??[/B]

[B]?You could say that. It?s my job to repair weapons and vehicles for combat. I have access to some serious technology. Here.? [/B] He handed over to Lara another of the gun h had used on the door. [B]?By pulling the trigger it projects a wave moving at mach 2. With this you could put a hole through a steel wall.? [/B] The pair stepped into the next part of the dungeon, the large door closing behind them. What they entered appeared to be in the middle of a dense jungle. Familiar sunlight danced through the sky and Lara was relieved to see such beautiful scenery as opposed to the dark hallways and evil passages. Alden?s visor did a fine job of blocking out the sun from his vision as he scanned the area.

[B]?Don?t become too enthralled,? [/B] he warned, detecting Lara?s emotive radiation.[B] ?This place is a death trap in a nutshell.? [/B] Lara shivered. She decided to stay close.[/COLOR]
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[SIZE=1]Eflair had no idea how to proceed. She had only agreed to travel with Jennifer and Ambellina because she didn't want to be alone. Personally, she preferred to be with that nice human, Vanya. But she thought that the four others trapped behind the circular door would be moving at a much faster pace.

At any rate, Jennifer seemed to know what she was doing. It was true, the humans had nothing in the realm of magic, and at least Eflair wouldn't have to speak when Jennifer was near.It was hard enough just to breathe, but talking was too straining on her. Eflair felt awkward to be out of the water. Every second, Eflair thought she was going to drop dead from the poison air, but that was not the case.

Her world was so much simpler than this. The beautiful palaces made of giant coral and pearls provided protection from all animals; her village was fortunate enough to have the lowest death rate in all of Euto, and if only she were in the water, she could move so much more comfortably.

[B][I]"This way. It seems that circular trap opened another doorway."[/I][/B] Jennifer's voice cut into her thoughts.

Eflair was shocked back to reality. She wondered if Jennifer heard all of that about her home world just then, but she didn't bother asking.

The new corridor that the trio entered was quite strange. It actually resemled Elfair's village, what with the huge spires of earth that resembled her coral palaces. The only difference was that the spires were a deep red like that of the lantra fish. And it wasn't underwater, of course. But that didn't stop her from looking for even the tinyest bit of moisture.

[B][I]"Don't get too excited. This place can't be too healthy, even if it does have water."[/I][/B]

So Jennifer [I]was[/I] reading her thoughts. The other thing that seemed to stick out was that red ball in the sky.

[B][I]"That's the moon."[/I][/B] this time it was Ambellina's voice that cut in.

[B][I]"I'm not so sure, it looks more like a distant planet, and it seems to provide efficient amount of light... Maybe it's a very dim sun.[/I][/B]

Elfair still hadn't said anything, despite that she didn't have to speak, but this place felt so familiar to her that she found the courage, [B][I]"Perhaps it's neither. If you'll notice, it seems to be daylight and there seems to be a sky, but yet, I don't she how it's possible for us to have been in the stars before and on a planet now. This entire setting is false."[/I][/B] She finished with confidence. After all, reading nature was her specialty.

[B][I]"Just because it's fake, doesen't mean that it won't kill us."[/I][/B] Ambellina's voice, even in thought, was beginning to get annoying. It was always whining and it seemed like she knew everything, even though she clearly didn't.

Almost as if her words had signaled it, the door behind them had slammed shut. Fear struck the trio and the distant red plantet began getting brighter and brighter. It was sucking the life out of everything, radiating pure heat and it was getting worse with every second. Ambellina screamed out in pain before taking cover inside one of the earth red spires. Eflair and Jennifer did the same. It was like some awful sunburn; only a few seconds in the light and heat of that thing would have been enough to incinerate them all.

[B]"NOW WHAT?"[/B] Ambellina screamed with words as she touched her face to feel how burned it had gotten.

[B][I]"It seems we're trapped,"[/I][/B] Jennifer cut in, [B][I]"I can only hope that the red planet cools down soon so we can proceed."[/I][/B]

That's when Eflair noticed it. It wasn't the crystal blue color of her planet, but there was no denying that the pool hidden in the shadow was water. It was almost black, but it had all the same qualities as normal water. Eflair wondered how it would help them get out of this.

[B][I]"Maybe if we soak our bodies in this water, we can survive in the heat just long enought to take cover in another spire's quarters."[/I][/B] Jennifer cut into their thoughts again. This seemed like an intelligent throught and you didn't have to ask Eflair twice to jump in the water.

She immersed her intire head in the water, taking in how good it felt against her skin. When she opened her eyes, however, she realized that it wasn't such a small pool after all. The entire room they were in was above water. It was clear what they had to do now.

[B][I]"We have to swim,"[/I][/B] Eflair thought calmly pulling her head out of the water. [B][I]"There's practically an ocean underneath all of this. I believe that in order to stay out of the harmful planet's rays, we must swim from pool to pool inside the spires."[/I][/B]

[B]"Are you crazy? We don't even know what's down there. There could be all kinds of beasts."[/B] Ambellina interrupted with her own spoken words. She loved contradicting everyone. Jennifer seemed on-board with Elfair's plan and when the two gave their odd glances back at Ambellina, she lamely stated. [B]"I can't swim."[/B]

[B][I]"Not to worry,"[/I][/B] Jennifer cut in, [B][I]"I have a feeling that Elfair will be fast and strong enough to pull you through while you simply hold your breath."[/I][/B] And so the plan was set.[/SIZE]
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[COLOR=DarkOrange]Jennifer was the first to dive into the pool beneath the earth. Eflair took hold of Ambellina?s hand and the two jumped into the pool. With as much swiftness as she could muster, Eflair swim hard with Ambellina in tow, keeping up with Jennifer. The three emerged at another hole in the ground and found themselves inside another spire. Jennifer looked around through the entrance hole at the other spires in the large room plotting which one they would need to get to first.

[I][B]?Southeast.? [/B][/I] she said through her thoughts. The three hopped back into the water and headed for the next hole. As they emerged, Ambellina found herself gasping for breath. The troupe waited a moment before diving back in, much to Eflair?s chagrin. They continue to navigate the pools.

[I][B]?North exactly.? [/B][/I] Jennifer commanded exactly before diving back in. When she emerged from the next pool, though, she was caught by surprise. Rather than inside a spire, the hole led directly into the middle of the open land!

[B]?GAAH!? [/B] she screamed as the sun began to roast her flesh. Just as she would have been boiled alive, though, a hand shot up from the pool and pulled her back under. Eflair grabbed her wrist in her other hand and made her way to the nearest emergence. Both Ambellina and Jennifer gasped for breath as Jennifer examined her body. The tips of her hair and the edges of her clothing had been scorched and her skin had gained an instant tan.

[B]?I think? we should be more careful.? [/B] Jennifer said.

[B]?No kidding,? [/B] Ambellina replied between breaths. The trio continued their hole jumping being wary of holes in which there was extra sunlight piercing through the water. Finally they found themselves inside of the final column, the door only meters away. There was no hole in sight.

[B]?Shit! What now?!? [/B] Ambellina cried.

[I][B]?Hold on. Maybe it?s a more complicated route.?[/B][/I]

[B]?Let me check,? [/B] Eflair spoke. Popping underwater, she could faintly see that there was another hole off in the direction of the door. [I][B]?I found a way out! The next hole is on the other side of that door!?[/B][/I]

[I][B]?Good work! Let?s go then,? [/B] [/I] Jennifer replied. Once more the trio dove into the water all at once. Eflair swam as hard as she could, but she didn?t realize her grip slipping. Ambellina?s thin wrist suddenly slid right through Eflair?s webbed fingers. Both Eflair and Jennifer?s heads shot toward her as she panicked and was quickly sinking. Jennifer turned to Eflair.

[I][B]?QUICKLY!!!?[/B][/I] She commanded. Eflair only stared at her. Jennifer?s eyes grew wide as she realized the young woman?s intent. She was going to let Ambellina drown. Turning away, Jennifer quickly dove deeper trying to catch up with the sinking priestess who quickly passed out from over-exertion. Jennifer managed to catch her arm and began trying to swim upward, but the extra weight was going to be too much. She wouldn?t be able to make it to the surface.

[I][B]?EFLAIR!?[/B][/I] She cried. Snapping from her daze, Eflair quickly bolted down and grabbed onto the older woman?s arm and with full force exploded through the hole and onto the surface. The place they emerged was an enormous dark cavern. Jennifer sat crouched on her hands and knees coughing for a second, then turned to Ambellina and began operating CPR. After several breaths, Ambellina shot back to life, coughing profusely. Jennifer immediately turned back to Eflair who looked frightened. Her stare bore into the young girl?s mind. Jennifer walked directly over to her and slapped her across the face with a firm hand.

[B]?Listen to me!!! This is survival! We all need each other, so get over the petty bullshit and make it work, alright?!? [/B] Eflair was terrified, but she saw the distinct fear in Jennifer?s eyes. Her message sank in. Ambellina slowly rose and looked over at the pool from which they?d emerged. The water had become ice.[/COLOR]
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[COLOR=DarkRed]Quickly Andrew and Liam helped Fredrick and Nehab up from their position of dangling over the edge of the lava pit. But the moment they were back in the corridor as if to mock them the floor closed once more as if nothing had ever happened. Though the pedestal that had killed Samik was gone.

"[B]Damn him![/B]" Nehab declared, "[B]That unworthy infidel nearly killed us![/B]"

"[B]Excuse me?[/B]" Andrew said incredulously.

"[B]You heard me servant![/B]" Nehab said.

Pharaoh or not Andrew walked and soundly slapped Nehab on the right cheek nearly knocking him over. Ignoring Fredrick who quickly grabbed him to keep him from doing so again.

"[B]Now, there's no need for that, he's just a child remember?[/B]" Fredrick said.

Shocked Nehab just stared at Andrew, [I]How dare he touch me! [/I]He fumed.[I] I will have him put to death for this![/I]

"[B]Wrong,[/B]" Andrew said coldly as he pulled free of Fredrick and turned to face Nehab. "[B]What is your sworn duty as a Pharaoh Nehab.[/B]"

"[B]My sworn duty?[/B]"

"[B]It is to rule Egypt correct?[/B]"

Nehab nodded cautiously, unsure as to what this barbarian had in mind.

"[B]I am a soldier Nehab, it is my sworn duty to protect my country as well as the King and Queen who rule it. And when it comes to matters of safety, a truly wise King or Queen does not presume to tell those who would protect them how to do so.[/B]" He paused as if to make sure Nehab was listening and then continued in an even colder tone of voice.

"[B]Especially when they are not in their own country. We are not in Egypt Nehab, I am more than willing to do my best to protect you, but only if you stop trying to boss us around when you know nothing about where we are.

Also, we are not here to gather treasure for you. One can not swing a sword in your defense if they are burdened by useless trinkets. Our lives are far more important and I for one will not risk it on a brat who has yet to learn to rule wisely.[/B]"

Nehab opened his mouth to protest but closed it when Andrew's hand moved to the hilt of his sword.[I] He wouldn't dare strike me again, would he?[/I] He looked at Fredrick and Liam as if to gain support but they were cautiously avoiding looking at him. [I]Damn infidels![/I] He thought, but then he had no choice, unless he wished to go it alone, something that though he would never admit it terrified him. He sighed a bit.

"[B]Very well,[/B]" he said grandly as if granting Andrew something he did not deserve. "[B]I will permit you to protect me.[/B]"

"[B]Good, now that we settled that, do we risk the floor and take the corridor on the other side? Or do we backtrack and take a different route?[/B]"

As if the maze they were trapped in heard them, the corridor they had come from started to collapse. Without hesitation Fredrick grabbed Nehab and quickly ran across the room where they had nearly fallen to their deaths, Liam and Andrew quickly followed making it across just before the floor started opening yet again.

"[B]Well I guess that settles that,[/B]" Liam said as they came to what appeared to be an enormous garden. A garden that was also among the stars as it was in a huge circular dome that separated them from space. On the other side was another set of doors.

Fredrick put Nehab down, who for once said nothing, waiting to see what Andrew was going to do before wandering off just a tiny bit to look out the dome at the stars. Liam wandered over to join him, equally fascinated by the view.
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It really was a shame Lara thought as she followed closely behind Alden though the dense jungle they had come to. That a place that seemed so wondrous had turned out to be so deadly. It reminded her of silly horror science fiction shows she had watched as a child, but only far more real and deadly. Someone had to have built it but the question was why? She half expected to see camera's following their progress, feeding it to god knows who, but if there were, it was in a form she did not recognize since other than the first room they had woken up in she had seen nothing that looked like a camera or speakers.

"[B]You don't suppose someone is watching us?[/B]" She asked Alden.

"[B]I'm sure there is, though I have not seen anything.[/B]"

"[B]If you haven't seen anything then how can you be sure?[/B]" Lara asked as she shoved aside some of the larger leaves in her way.

"[B]Simple logic, a place like this doesn't build itself and even if it's only a computer, something has to maintain it.[/B]"

Lara couldn't help but shiver. Even if Alden had given her a gun to defend herself with, she had never used one before. Working as a simple clerk in a sports store was hardly a good way to prepare someone for something like this. Though she did jog for exercise and was at least in good shape.

But when they finally came to a brief clearing in the vegetation only to face a small lake she wondered just how big this station they were in was. It seemed to her that they had somehow been transported elsewhere. The clear view of the sky as well as what appeared to be mountains in the distance confused her. Was it an illusion?

Once again Alden continued without hesitation, taking the left path along the lake shore. Staying clear of the water and yet close enough to use it as a guide. [I]I really hope he knows what he's doing[/I] she thought.
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[COLOR=DarkOrange]Alden Courtney had a secret. He was glad that none of the people that were in this hellhole with him came from the same era than him. Otherwise they would've figured that the equipment he carried - the data-scanner and the tool-gun - were too advanced for common use in 2015.

He wasn't going to spill the beans to anybody, but he had stolen them from a high-tech research center he had broke into. The woman he was with, Lara Servas, seemed to be an honest type of person.

[I]Boy how she'd freak out if she found out she was with a professional criminal![/I] Alden thought amused. Despite being just 18 years old, Alden was a mastermind of both technology and crime. His official profession was a mechanic, but in reality he owned more money that a common technician could make in his whole life.

Too bad his ill-gained fortune couldn't help him in this place.

He walked onwards following the bank of the lake. Lara was never more than three feet behind him. He had gotten the woman uncertain and scared, which meant she was in his control.

[B]"Alden!"[/B] she suddenly gasped. [B]"I saw something moving in the lake!"[/B]

Alden snickered. He had scared her good!

[B]"Relax, I'm sure it's noth..."[/B] Alden sentence was cut short by a long metallic wire shooting out of the water and wrapping around his face. Lara let out a scream of horror as a second wire grasped her feet.

Just as swiftly as they had appeared, the wires shot back into the lake, dragging both Alden and Lara with them.[/COLOR]
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[SIZE=1][COLOR=DarkRed]Lara barely had time to close her mouth before both her and Alden were dragged under the lake. She still had the gun Alden had given her firmly grasped in her right hand but the wire was dragging her through the water so quickly it was all she could do to hang on to it let along attempt to aim at the wire that had grabbed her. She felt herself becoming faint with the effort to hold her breath as the wire took her deeper underwater. At first she could still see the shadowy movement of Alden as he too was dragged through the water but now she could see nothing at all.

Then just as she thought she was going to lose it the wire pulled her through what appeared to be a dark hole in the bottom of the small lake. She opened her mouth to scream only to take in water, unable to help herself. Then like passing through an invisible wall she was suddenly taking in air instead of water and then just as suddenly the wires let go dropping her into a small circular room along with Alden. She gasped desperately, as she instinctively retched up most of the water she had inhaled.

Then finally as her vision cleared she looked around. She was partially lying on top of Alden something that she had not realized. Quickly she checked him, he seemed to be breathing. She moved to get a better look, his visor that he was wearing was cracked and blood was trickling down the left side of his face. [I]He must have hit his head when he was dropped in here[/I]. She thought.

Shaking, Lara held the gun in front of her, wondering if it would still work after being soaked, there were two narrow passage ways both of them covered in the same green moss that the sides of the chamber they were in was, giving off a slight glow. But when she looked up and saw that the water was somehow held back by an invisible force she cringed, instinctively expecting it to come rushing down and drowning her. She stepped backwards, slipping on the wet floor and falling to land hard on her rear while slamming her head into the side of the wall. Dazing her momentarily.

Then a horrible smell reached her, one of something rotting and decaying. Her breath coming in ragged gasps of terror she pulled her legs up under her attempting to almost melt into the walls as she looked around wildly, certain that something was down there with them. Lara tried to keep it in but tiny sobs of fear escaped her, sounding unnaturally loud to her ears. [i]Go away![/i] She thought frantically. [I]Just go away! [/I]

Then from the passage way straight in front of her something from her worst nightmare entered. It looked like some mad cross of machine and fish life. With a giant fish head and body and fins, strangely manlike and yet it's body seemed to also be made of the wire that had brought them there. Terrified she took aim with the gun and pulled the trigger, the recoil nearly breaking her wrist as it tore through the creature and parts of it went flying. But there was more of them, two more and a split second later before she could even register that they were there one had seized Alden tearing him in half with long wire fins similar to the wires that had pulled them under the lake.

Screaming with both rage and fear she fired the gun again tearing it apart. And then she shot the third one that was behind it. A moment later when it seemed that there were no more and she truly saw Alden's mutilated body, taking in the gruesome nature of how he had died, something inside her snapped. Hastily she scrambled to her feet and ran down the other passage. [I]This can't be happening! This can't be happening![/I] With a sob she kept running heedless of where she was until it was too late. She fell into a dark hole in the floor of the passage way, unable to stop in time, screaming yet again as she fell into the darkness. Then unexpectedly she landed on someone, knocking them to the ground. She vaguely recalled hearing a woman's voice as they called out, asking if someone named Eflair was all right. And then she passed out.
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[COLOR=DarkOrange]Fredrick slowly stepped into the large dome with the stars all around. Like the first corridor, they seemed to be out in space, though this time the reflecting of the stars off the glass made it apparent that the room was in fact a dome with the floor-space of Rome?s coliseum. Besides Fredrick, all the group mates had come from some period of Earth?s past. He smirked a little at their childlike amazement, reminiscing on the times he had first spent among the stars.

But this was not a time to be occupied to be joy, he remembered, and curiosity stole back his mind. He quickly looked around the vast arena. Only one door existed - the one they had come from, and they already knew it led out to nothing. What would it be this time? Just as this thought occurred to him, a familiar voice came into the air like it was being projected from a speaker.

[B]?Contestants Fredrick, Liam, Neheb, and Andrew have entered the Astral Chamber. Unlike the other sectors of the maze, you will participate here in a single-round battle. 4 contestants against the Golem beast. Your weapons are located on your backs already. Do what you must.? [/B] The woman?s voice from before disappeared and the four men stood hoping that what they heard didn?t match what was about to happen. Fredrick reached behind him and found himself to be gripping the handle of a short, thick blade. A medieval sword. He turned to the others and saw that they each wielded one as well.

[B]?Not the most elegant piece of work, but it will have to do,? [/B] he commented, examining the blade. Liam seemed to be able to wield his just fine as well. Neheb, though, being only a skinny child couldn?t even fully lift the blade. [B]?You?d do best to remain distant, child.?[/B] Andrew mused. Neheb?s face scrunched up in anger.

[B]?You?d be right and I shall! I will enjoy watching you fight in my name!? [/B] Andrew ignored the boy?s arrogant speech and turned to where a swirling vortex was opening in the far side of the room.

[B]?Necromancy,? [/B] Liam suddenly commented in his growling voice. Both of the others turned to him. [B]?This is a vortex of necromancy from which the dead spring forth after being brought back. I?d warrant a strike upon the head lest this beast continue moving beyond rational limit.?[/B] As Liam finished this explanation, a massive hand the size of Neheb?s own body emerged from the hole in space. It?s fingers were large and blocky but green and rancid like rotting flesh. The beast stepped through all at once.

What emerged was a creature of humanoid traits but an alien body. It would have measured to 4 meters in height and it looked to wield a massive strength. With a single direct punch it could have slammed a man?s body to the extend of breaking his every bone. All three of the men with their swords drawn bore expressions of shock while Neheb ran as far as he could on the verge of tears. Erasing the initial shock from his mind, Fredrick brandished concentration.

[B]?Let?s go!? [/B] He announced and immediately charged at the beast. Timing himself carefully, he jumped just as the hideous creature?s hand came toward him. He ran up the length of the beast?s arm, sword poised for strike and swung at it?s block-like head. Just before the blow connected, though, the creature?s fingers caught Fredrick?s leg, yanked him from it?s shoulder, and cast him barreling through the air. Fredrick?s body crashed into the wall heavily, and he slid 6 feet from it, howling in pain as he crumbled to the ground.

The moment the creature?s head turned back downward, though, Andrew had vaulted into the air, then catapulted himself up the monster?s stomach by using the crevices in it?s flesh as stepping stones. With a forced stab he drove his blade directly into the creature?s neck. The creature bellowed deeply and stumbled backward as Andrew kicked backward off of it?s chest. He turned back toward where Fredrick lie.

[B]?Are you alright?!?[/B] Fredrick coughed a little and got to his feet.

[B]?I?m not injured! Don?t worry about me!? [/B] Andrew turned back toward the massive creature which was gripping at it?s neck, trying to procure the tiny blade. It finally grabbed it, yanking it out of it?s neck. A burst of blood shot out of the gaping wound through the air and more trickled down it?s chest. In anger the beast took the blade and threw it barreling through the air straight toward Neheb! The young ruler?s eyes shot wide as the blade was on a direct collision course with his head, but as he closed his eyes in horror, a massive crunch came from in front of him. He looked up to see that Liam was standing just in front of him, the blade going through his gut and out of his back. A small shot of blood splattered onto Neheb?s face and chest as he stood agape.

Meanwhile, Fredrick dashed full-force toward the beast and, just as Andrew had moments before, scaled it in seconds and drove his blade this time into the creature?s face, finally silencing it for good. The monster fell backward and landed in a pool of blood. Fredrick stood a moment on the creature?s face, covered in it?s blood, before getting off and making his way toward where Liam had now collapsed, the Egyptian boy now sitting behind him, bawling his eyes out. Andrew watched from a distance. Fredrick calmly rolled the undead child onto his back, facing his body with eyes still fully open. He stood up and grabbed the handle of the sword, then with a quick motion yanked it from the dead-twice young man, casting it aside as more blood began to seep from Liam?s open wound.

Fredrick reached down to move the boy?s eyelids shut, when suddenly a blue hand shot up and grabbed his wrist. All faces filled with surprise as Liam?s grip tightened and he spit the blood from his mouth. His entire body began shaking violently and a blue aura surrounded him. Through the hole in his stomach Fredrick could see the boy?s organs moving back into place to fill the emptiness. After a few disgusting seconds of innards moving, a layer of rotten blue skin began to shroud over the inside gore and became thicker until Liam?s body was hole again. As the process finished, Liam slowly pulled himself up by Fredrick?s arm.

[B]?As I said? the undead can only be destroyed if their brain is destroyed. As a necromancer, I can do this as long as there is a body to be revived. Unlike Samik and the other woman? I was lucky.? [/B] Fredrick smiled and stood up, pulling the blue-skinned boy to his feet.

[B]?I can only express joy to have you on our side.?[/B]

[B]?Congratulations on your victory. May the Maze continue. Proceed through the next door within 1 minute.? [/B] As the woman?s voice disappeared once more, a door appeared just behind the group. Andrew quickly pulled the young emperor to his feet as well as he rejoined the group.

[B]?Shall we??[/B][/COLOR]
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[COLOR=DarkRed]Gustaff, Davis, Vanya and Rebecca had continued down the passageway now that they could not rejoin the others. Within a short time they came to a huge room with four paths that appeared to be made of a shimmering glass or crystal, hovering in space. The group could only wonder as to how the oxygen was being kept in as there did not appear to be any walls at all, other than the one of where they came from and the one on the other side where the next door was.

?[B]I?d say that the appearance of space here is an illusion or a holographic projection, but seeing that Deloras fell to her death when the floor collapsed earlier I can?t be certain.[/B]? Davis observed. "[B]It would be best to assume that it is indeed real.[/B]"

?[B]Yeah, I?d say it?s safe to assume that it?s probably real. Even if I haven?t a clue as to how you can create a safe pocket of air in space. That?s pretty damn impressive. Since I know it?s not possible in my time.[/B]? Gustaff said.

?[B]Nor in mine either,[/B]? Davis replied.

Vanya shrugged when the others looked at her, ?[B]I don?t know how it?s possible either. But I am certain of one thing, at least one of those paths is likely to be booby trapped.[/B]?

?[B]Then we just need to choose the correct one,[/B]? Rebecca said. ?[B]But which one?[/B]?

A soft chime interrupted them at the same time a door came slamming down in the corridor they had just come from, startling them as it cut them off. Warily they all turned back to face the shimmering paths since now they were stuck on the narrow ledge that the four paths connected to.

A soft female voice spoke, the same that had before, ?[B]Subjects Rebecca, Davis, Gustaff and Vanya. Choose your path. Each subject must take a different path. Failure to abide by the rules of the Maze will result in termination.[/B]?

?[B]Wait![/B]? Davis cried out, ?[B]We don?t know the rules![/B]?

?[B]You have one minute to begin.[/B]?

?[B]Damn it![/B]? Rebecca swore as she quickly took the inner right path while Gustoff took the outer right and Vanya took the inner left.

?[B]What are you waiting for Davis?[/B]? Gustaff yelled, ?[B]Take the outer left path before it?s too late![/B]?

Quickly Davis ran over and stood on the shimmering path, seconds before the ledge they had been standing on crumbled and fell into space. Then before they could wonder what was going to happen next small meteors began to come streaking from space, screaming as they caught on fire when they entered the part that contained oxygen. The first one ripped though part of the path in front of Davis.

?[B]We must get to the other side before it?s too late![/B]? Davis cried. He swiftly jumped over the missing part of his path and began to run for the other side. The others did the same.

They were half way there when a huge meteor slammed into the path just behind Rebecca, sending her sprawling and teetering halfway over the edge. Horrified the others watched helplessly as she struggled to get back on the path and then continue.

?[B]We?re almost there![/B]? Vanya cried as she jumped over a large section of her path that had been destroyed, barely making it. Then a moment later she was the first one through the open door. Followed shortly by Rebecca. Both of them stood just in the door watching to see if the others were going to make it.

Moments later, just as his path collapsed entirely Davis joined the girls at the door, turning back to see what was taking Gustaff so long. But instead of running he was calmly standing there.

?[B]What are you waiting for?[/B]? Davis cried he ran back out to the edge of the path Gustaff was on. Putting him in the position to see that the last section was missing. But there were no signs of damage!

?[B]Seems like my path was the one that was booby trapped.[/B]? He said calmly.

Davis looked frantically for something anything that could help, there was nothing. Then to his horror he saw that a huge meteor was approaching. One easily big enough to take out two thirds of all the paths at once.

?[B]You?d better get inside those doors Davis.[/B]?

?[B]But![/B]?

?[B]Do it Damn it![/B]?

Davis turned and ran to join the others who were waiting, turning back to watch... then just as the meteor entered the part that contained oxygen, it like the others caught on fire, for a brief second Davis, Rebecca and Vanya saw Gustaff as he was literally engulfed in flames and then the doors slammed shut.

?[B]Congratulations, your journey may now continue.[/B]? The female voice said from nowhere.

?[B]Damn you![/B]? Davis swore as he pounded on the doors. Tears running down his face. ?[B]What the hell do you want from us?[/B]?

With tears in her eyes as well Rebecca reached forward placing her hand on his right shoulder. ?[B]We need to go Davis.[/B]?
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