The Fallen Coliseum

Discussion in 'THE MACHINE FALTERS' started by Childish Grumpino, Feb 28, 2017.

  1. [​IMG]

    The Machine is beginning to crumble.

    And with it crumbles Metropolis.

    A once proud monument of masonry and engineering, now sliding into the ground as if being drawn into a sinkhole. Such is the state the ancient coliseum finds itself in now, tucked with schizophrenic absurdity between a gargantuan monolith of steel and glass, and an old turn-of-the-century theatre that wouldn’t look out of place on the set of some prohibition-era gangster movie. At the centre of the ringed coliseum a crater has formed, the ground falling away into the murky darkness of the spaces beneath Metropolis. Dark places, that few have names for.

    The Exhumii have names for them, though.

    For to truly understand something, one must first name it.

    The group of purple garbed field agents passing through the arched entrances of the coliseum have a name for what brings them to this place as well. The creature they have been sent to extract for research purposes. Like the dodo or the American bison, it was once plentiful and in abundance all throughout the Machine. But no longer. Now the Servitors are a rare breed, the custodians and maintenance workers of this grand prison an evermore rare sight amidst the faltering gears and engines. Few have ever seen one up close for any length of time: they are skittish entities, a fusion of clockwork, cogs and flesh ready to bolt at any signs of trouble.

    The Exhumii love a challenge, however, and they hate mysteries.

    The Servitor within the Fallen Coliseum combines both.

    Keeping their movements slow and careful, the transhumanists inch into the gloom of the ancient construction, eyes peering for signs of the creature they seek.

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  2. The light and almost non-existent noise of Damian rasping on his ventilator was all the noise given out by the now climbing man. Red robes flapping and moving with each step his fingers pressed into the rock of the coliseum allowing him to scale the side of the wall. Almost like a spider climbing up he stopped at one of the openings on the side and scuttered up in a in-human way. Body breaking and cracking several spots allowing him to squeeze under some collapsed rubble. Using his fingers to propel himself forward he finally snaked up and out of a foot wide hole. Flopping around like a dead fish for a moment his body cracked back into place. Now above and where he could see over the coliseum itself he took a seat. Running his clawed fingers over the rock he felt the old feeling of it and relished in his position overlooking the crater.

    Rolling backwards after overlooking everything he silently kicked off the floor and grabbed the next tier of rock above him and pulled himself up to sit on the tip top of the structure. Crouching low and in a predatory stance he made sure he couldn't be seen by their target. Unlike a dog, he didn't have a good sense of smell and relied on his mask to allow him to peer through the different spectrums to home in on the creature's location. Finally coming into view of the others he tilted his head and watched. He was in position to begin chase if it was to turn to that. Or to lay a trap if it were that way as well. Either way, he watched his comrades closely and monitored their progress in an overwatch position high above them.​
     
  3. Clang looked up at Damian, and nodded. He was waiting for the signal that the creature they were hunting had been spotted. It would be much more useful to know where they would have to cut it off, as this place seemed rife with hiding spots, and routes to escape. Who knows what kinds of wonderful research materials were just laying around here? It was an unmolested land by the hands of the Exhumii and to their knowledge any other faction. He could see the same sense in the eyes of the others as they were also looking around. He would leave the tracking to the one with the view, while mapping out the terrain would fall to him. Since there was no guarantee that everything would go smoothly. Clang made certain to inspect their progress looking for any tracks that he as a former hunter would catch.
     
  4. A dusty-haired figure leaped softly down from a cracked marble mezzanine, creating a small cloud of dirt in the rubble where he landed.
    Reaching down to smooth his indigo and amethyst coverings, the figure wiped dust and cobwebs off the emblazoned insignia of the Exhumii, interwoven to the threads of his cloak.

    Heath Webb had circled the coliseum before entering by an archway set opposite the main entrance, in order to get a feel for the area, and to take note of any major structural features. Now that he was inside the place, it seemed much larger, and more forbidding, than before. Wind whistled through the arches, causing a light, dead breeze and giving rise to low wails. But then again, one couldn't be too sure whether the wailing was coming from above the ground - or underneath it.

    Pacing forward to approach the bald Exhumii member, 'Clang', Heath could appreciate how suitably bad-ass he appeared in this place. With an eye-patch and scars, presumably from battles in the past against the forces of Heaven or the depths of Hell, 'Clang' looked like one who could hold his own. Heath wasn't sure what his powers were, and he wasn't entirely convinced that Clang had any sort of ethics code, but he was certain Clang was along for all the right reasons.

    Following Clang's momentary shift of gaze, Heath's attention was drawn to the 'doctor', Damian, perched high above them with his red robes whipping in the wind. Heath wasn't sure why the doctor insisted on wearing his own color scheme instead of adopting the dress of the Exhumii, but there must be some good reason. Damian was a bit frightening, to Heath; from what little he knew of Damian's paradigms and modus operandi, the doctor was bound to become more of a mad scientist before their tasks were through. He certainly had the abilities for it. Still, Damian seemed to be as loyal to the Exhumii leaders as the next person in line. Speaking of which...

    Heath, closing the distance between Clang and himself, hailed his fellow operative. When Heath spoke, because of the powers that had awoken within him, he could allow the air to shimmer with the appearance of words and symbols according to his speech. It was a curious byproduct of his gift to produce "words of power", one that Heath was learning to control and nurture. Soon, he'd hopefully be able to communicate with the quietest of whispers, letting the images that emanated from his speech lend great aid in conveying messages.

    "こんばんは, Clang," Heath spoke, and a faint Exhumii symbol appeared in the air for a moment above Heath's raised palm. "Good evening," he repeated, slowing to a halt, "if one can call it that." Heath glanced quickly around this ground level of the coliseum, but nothing held his gaze. "The others are delayed," Heath stated, wrapping his robes tighter around himself. "This place does not bode well... I think we mustn't remain above ground for too long."
     
  5. Eve sat atop a rugged chunk of stone at the Coliseum's foot. The light cast against an overhang of rock above her head, shadowing her in gray--it seemed that that, alongside the dark tone of her Exhumii robes, had made her somewhat invisible to her comrades. For some time, she sat silently, not announcing her position to the others as they arrived. Still relatively new to the group, Eve had yet to make any 'friends', and preferred to primarily observe the others. Most of the Exhumii seemed trustworthy, but surely they weren't all. She'd just yet to deduce those rotten eggs were.

    This task was made significantly easier by the colorful auras that surrounded each of the other Exhumii, easily capturing her attention as they entered the Coliseum. Although she didn't always want to see the dazzling colors, they appeared in her sight whether she liked it or not. Above her, she could see the sick greens and grays surrounding the one she knew only as Virus, as she'd not yet formally met the man. Some time after, Clang came into sight, a pale purple as he began to investigate the area. And then Heath, a mixture of bright pinks and greens. They began to speak, but from the distance Eve sat at it was difficult to discern what they were saying.

    As easily as Eve would have waited for some time longer for the others to arrive, Heath's colors began to slowly shift to a dull yellow, anxiously electric. Something unnerved him. If he had his way, they would leave without her, she realized. Sliding slowly down her perch atop the rock, she followed the ring of the Coliseum before emerging from the darker shadows beside Heath, nodding a hello. "Sorry I'm late,"
     
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  6. Janus doesn’t announce her presence when she arrives in the Fallen Coliseum. She doesn’t have to: the Exhumii team can easily spot one of their own, especially when that ‘one of their own’ happens to be the right hand of the faction leader. The bob cut, starkly contrasting in its black and white, seems to cover her eyes and cast her face in shadow, but she moves with the precision and grace of someone who knows exactly where they’re going and what they need to do.

    “Boss is gonna be late,” she says to the field agents, this voice high-pitched, lilting across the words.
    “Says we’re to get stuck in before the chance passes,” she says again, this voice whispery and hoarse, like her vocal chords are grating across a chalkboard.
    “We’re going to split up and approach it from different angles.”
    “Divide and conquer.”
    “One team on me.”
    “The other on me.”

    Where the second woman comes from isn’t exactly clear: it’s as though Janus stepped in different directions and one person became two. Both have the same bob cut that covers their faces, one pale blonde and their other stark black. Both are clad in the same long dark coats, Exhumii patches on the shoulders. It’s like looking at mirror images reflecting through some bizarre funhouse mirror; a picture flipped and then contrasted.

    “No time like the present,” says the Bright Janus.
    “We have work to do,” says the Dark Janus.
     
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  7. Clang raised his hand at Heath. He didn't bother to remember names, but this man knew his. As such he nodded in response, "Glad to see at least three of us have made it here." He looks back to Damian as if contemplating what to do next. With only three members, this wasn't going to bode well. He really had expected more, then he heard a voice beside Heath. It was Eve, who had snuck beside the man. "Wonderful, we might be able to proceed now. We'll..." He heard another voice, why was she coming in his blind spot? He let out a slow sigh and turned to Janis, he knew her name at least. He was of course silent as he watched her come to the group. He simply nods at her plan. It would make sense to follow her after all, especially if the two mirrored copies could communicate to each other from afar without such waves being picked up. A sort of telepathy. "It does seem that you have a plan here. I'll stick with you." He says as he walks to Dark Janis' side. "You two should stick with the other one. I'm sure she can deal with me and..." He points up at Heath making a finger pistol, "Our little mountain climber up there." He then points at Dark Janis so that Heath hopefully gets the message that he's to watch her, and follow her lead. As well as playing off that he didn't bother with role call. "Let's get moving, the longer we're up here the more likely we'll be followed ourselves."
     
  8. Heath was startled by Eve's sudden emergence from the shadows, and his skin prickled a bit, but he nodded warmly to her. Eve seemed... more human, more reachable, than some of the others. Heath didn't know her too well yet, of course, but then again, he knew nobody here well enough to make judgments. He could only act on feelings, for the present. And, right now... Heath had a good number of those. Working with the team helped to allay some fears about this objective, but the fact remained that there was something out there they could not understand. It was time to get moving.

    Without warning, Janus arrived, and the group came to attention. She spoke of a 'divide and conquer' approach... while it separated the team for the operation, it was unfortunately the best method they had of capturing a Servitor in this place of many hiding-holes.

    Janus split in two, and Heath's mouth fell open slightly. Clearly, there were greater powers on their side, stranger than Heath had guessed at before. Both forms of Janus seemed ready to get to task, and so Heath was as well.

    Clang spoke first, and moved to the side of the dark Janus. This plan was better than nothing, and so Heath approached the bright Janus. "On your command, then," Heath stated to her, looking back at Eve wonderingly. Was she ready? For that matter, was he ready, himself?