Swallowed into a World of Steam

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Nekomimist, May 18, 2013.

  1. Seventeen days of research and travel, thirteen years of obsession, had brought the young explorer to his current destination: a forsaken planet orbiting in the middle of a nowhere solar system. Life had once thrived on the empty sphere, however, its lack of residents was an utter mystery—one yet to be solved, but that would be after achieving his prize. Discovering the whereabouts and history of the people wasn’t his true reason for boarding the land; no, it was what the civilization had left behind: an artifact. As a child, Espen Luinil had become obsessed with rare objects from ancient civilizations, and by the time he was in his teens had worked hard to become an archaeologist and achieve scholarships and grants. After his first he find, he was awarded Archaeologist of the Year—however, the young man didn’t show up for this magnificent moment as he was too busy on the other side of the galaxy solving a puzzle of a ruin. Every ruin, every relic, had a special meaning to Espen; he didn’t just chase down any rumor. The current relic was one he’d been searching for since his childhood. It was, in fact, the inspiration for his love of ancient artifacts, and now finally, he was close.

    Vines and deteriorated stone, chunks of idols and wall smothered in moss surrounded him. The sky above was barely vision beyond the foliage. The vegetation was unique to any other he’d seen yet, as were the heavens on this mysterious planet. Sadly, Espen could not spare time to investigate the broken ruins. Word was the foul-mouthed boozer of a treasure hunter was on the move with his eye on the same relic that had haunted Espen for years. The many rumors on this Tazren Lee Moroue were not pleasant and Espen could never live with himself if his beloved treasure were to fall in the hands of this chain-smoking hooligan. Luckily, his bionic legs could carry him swiftly, bounding him over the broken ruins. Regardless of the speed his legs could deliver, his lungs still burned from incessant running. The mossy walls around him were a blur as he pushed himself forward, feeling that prick of panic in his chest. He could not allow that notoriously ruffian to claim the age-old treasure as his own.

    Espen’s legs carried him deep inside the chambers of the temple, not yet in need of artificial light. The belly of the temple was chilled and the smell of rot, mildew and dust filled his nostrils. If his coordination’s were correct, he was only a hall away from the Chamber of Arte`ilx. The translation wasn’t completely accurate, but he could solve that part of the language later, for now, he had to beat Mr.Moroue to the finish line.
  2. Money. Money made the universe go round and it certainly made the smuggler and treasure hunter Tazren Moroue come to this uninhabited planet. This solar system was in the middle of nowhere, having no intelligent life relatively close to it. It was somewhat nice though. The type of place one could get used to if they wanted to be a hermit and be killed by local wild life. Flora that resembled a never ending green maze and that could possibly poison a man not paying attention to what not to touch. But for Tazren it was the type of place he wanted to set a ships worth of fuel to and set a blaze. He might have seriously thought about it if that didn’t mean he might destroy the ruins he spent five years searching for.

    He’d first heard about them and the elusive artifact some time ago. Interestingly enough when selling another artifact to a high buyer. They had challenged him in finding it. Apparently it was a joke to them as they thought it was a unicorn artifact. Meaning it was a myth and legend, not reality. Using a machete to hack through the thick forest he kept a made up image in his head, one of the rick buyer amazed and shocked to see the artifact was real.

    His cybernetic left leg clucked somewhat loudly as he moved quickly through the forest. Normally he’d not be in such a rush but that bionic nerd was also closing in. Silly boy had been searching for it just as long, maybe even longer. But damn fool proclaimed he wanted to have the artifact for science and give it to a museum. Give? Espen Luinil was a fool, that artifact was worth some serious money. He even had the thought that he might be able to retire with the money. If he didn’t blow it all on booze and pretty women.

    In fact that smarmy book worm of an archeologist had been a thorn in his side for the past few years. Beating him to a few of the past artifacts he sought after. He kept this in mind as he came to a covered entrance. He hacked away the foliage that covered the door, clutching his chest as he gasped for breath. “I gotta quit smokin’.” He grumbled as he slid the machete back in its sheath, pulling a cigarette from his pocket and popped it in his mouth. He lit it as he walked, letting it hang in his mouth as he walked. He pulled a data pad from the backpack on his back. Moving his hand through the images as he maneuvered through the damp dark building.
  3. The heart of temple was only so many yards away, according to his calculations that was. So close he could almost feel the heaviness of the artifact in his hands—that was, assuming it was heavy. However, underestimating the old smoker would be reckless, as he learned that from past experience when he found himself empty-handed in the end. The idea of this precious relic falling into the hands of a thief who only yearned for money made him ill.

    And that was when the sound of rubble from a nearby corridor halted his next footstep midair. It could have been the weathered structure crumbling to growth of vegetation, but it could also be something much worse, something that could bury his dreams right there and them: Mr. Moroue, which was not an option he could live with, nor would he. He burst into a full sprint, footsteps thundering through the cavernous hallway. His LED lights cast his running shadow against the mossy walls. The cyber-kinetic legs pumped, driving him closer—and that’s when he could smell it; smell the burning stench of tobacco. He was there, and much closer than Espen had thought. He cursed under his breath and picked up the pace, pushing his legs to go faster, take him further.

    And suddenly, he stood before an open chamber, stained with rust and mahogany walls, only to see it, the artifact, glowing in the middle. But it was no easy trek to reach it as it was surrounded by a chasm that only Heaven knew how deep. But what frightened him more than the abyss was what his eyes found across the room: the notorious, treasure thief. He could see the small flare light the lower half of his face.

    If he didn’t move now, he’d never make it—so he pressed the mechanical legs all the more, taking a running jump—only to watch the darkness below him, reaching for the pedestal the beautiful, blue artifact resting upon. In that moment, he realized how reckless his leap was, that he might never see the light of day again.
  4. Tazren shoved the data pad back into his pack. Walking quickly with a slight limp he made his way through the ruins. Pulling out a flashlight from his pocket he scanned the walls. More importantly the floor. Looking for signs of booby traps or pit falls. Suddenly sounds entered his ears. The sound of someone running. Damn that bionic bastard, he was already here. He couldn't let that kid get his hands on the relic. No it was worth far too much money.

    Despite the pain in his cybernetic leg he broke into a sprint, turning the flash light off as he ran. All he thought about was mocking the brat when he got his hands on the relic. At least that was the image he wanted to happen today. His corridors twisted and wound around, making it hard to see in front of him. Suddenly the room opened up. "Whoa! Shi-!" He nearly cursed as he skidded to a halt, his boots scraping the dusty stone floor as he nearly fell right off the edge. Tazren took a few staps back and looked around.

    He looked up to see it. The relic. Taunting him bathed in a dim light on a pedestal in the middle of a bottomless hole. Gasping for breath he took one last puff of his cigarette before flicking it into the darkness. Watching the ember from the cherry fade in to the black abyss. Another sound drew him to look up and to his horror the kid had also made it to this room. And was giving a leap of faith.

    "Damnit boy!" He yelled as he took out a grappling gun from his hip, aiming at the stone ceiling above the relic. He shot and the hook stuck into the stone just like a text book move. Then he gained a running jump and swung from the rope towards his intended target. His gut sank however when the old stone crumbled under his weight. "Son-ova-" He started to say as the stone the hook was embedded in gave way, sending the treasure hunter falling towards possibly his doom. If he couldn't reach the pedestal in time. His hands reached out in hopes of grasping the ledge.