Group 3.0 and Group 5.0 combined.
Kelly walked along with Solomon Divya and the others, she saw a strange yellowish glow up ahead of them, "I think there maybe someone, or something up ahead, should we have our weapons at the ready just incase there's something dangerous ahead?" she asked of Solomon and Divya.
"Already ahead of you." Divya said, keeping both hands on her gun, aiming at the ground as she looked ahead. "This is all a little too sci-fi for me."
Todd had his twin pikes out, the blades shimmered in the odd light. "Sci-fi... like... Superman?" He asked, curious. Before the war he had read some of those comics, greatly enjoying them.
"Divya's right, this is a bit too sci-fi." Kelly said pulling her katana out of it's sheath.
science fiction, Divya," Solomon said, pulling out his revolver and holding it with the barrel pointed up. He held the torch before him, stepping carefully.
"Damnú ort--bí ‘do thost,
" Anna hissed, shaking her head, voice low. "Will you all shut your blabberin' mouths, eh? Might as well be 'avin' a parade into battle, the way you bloody well keep at it." As she walked she swung her rifle round and began reloading it, in case something actually did attack. She could feel a humming in the back of her skull that made it hard for her to think as they came nearer, made her grimace even.
The flickering of torch light against the stone wall gave way to a huge cavern, carved exquisitely by nature into a symmetrical spiral that seemed to fill the entire mountain. Ahead of them was a coliseum whose battle ring was lined with man-sized pillars of solid precious stone corresponding with each of the stones that had activated in the group. A series of rings sprawled from the feet of the caryatids to a central circle.
"What is this, King Tut's tomb?" Solomon asked in awe. The torch could offer nothing to the inexplicable but crystal clear inner lighting of the huge space, but he kept his eyes moving and his gun at the ready even as he took all of this in.
"Ok- I may be a bit slow when it comes to that history crap- but I don't think there were humans during this time." Divya said as if Solomon's comment was ridiculous. She stared at the ancient ruins in complete awe. She hadn't ever seen anything like this were she comes from. Removing a hand from her gun, she lightly grazed the surface of one of the pillars.
Todd let out a laugh that was very unlike him, tearing off his goggles and flashing his animalistic eyes around him in excitement. Then, as if remembering himself he quieted and set his mouth into a thin line, "At long last, we meet our fate." He bowed lightly to the figures acting as columns, then drifted back to silence.
"-The fuck!?" Divya's head shot around and gave Todd a very confused face. She cast her eyes over to Solomon as if he had an explanation for Todd's outburst.
Kelly had been looking around the room she looked at Todd after his outburst, "What are you talking about Todd?" She asked him curiously with one eyebrow raised.
"We're finally here, we've passed the first test." He looked down at his chest, where the moonstone was passively glowing. "The stones reveal the truth of things." His was even vibrating a little. Todd sat down against a wall, holding the necklace off his chest while he waited for everyone else to get through the tunnel.
"What do you mean, how can our stones tell the truth?" Kelly asked as she held her necklace away from her neck and she noticed that it was vibrating.
" 'Bout time we got some answers," Solomon said, his jaw set. The stone that had formed around his father's crucifix resonated a jarring hum in his chest. "You know what this is, Todd?" He stared up at the huge dome above them.
"No idea," Todd admitted, "Just glad we've gotten somewhere.
But this place is sending both peaceful, and warning signals. If you are all aware, our stones are humming."
Leilani stumbled from the darkened tunnel then, her gaze adjusting slowly to the chamber that they'd all entered, "What kind of place is this?" She asked, clearly awed.
Divya's gun started to hum too. Suddenly, a beam shot out and embedded itself in the cave floor. "Shit-!" She turned the safety back on immediately. "What is going on with this thing?!" The humming stared to strengthen as if the stone wanted out of her gun.
Kelly looked at Divya, "You might have to break your gun open to get your stone out, I know you don't want to but the sooner we figure out why we're here it might mean that we can go home and you can get a new gun maybe." She said trying to help.
Divya made a stern face, not wanting to admit to it. "And what- fend off dinosaurs with swords like you guys? No."
Enzeru had just stumbled through the dark cavern as well, his eyes roaming the room in wide gapes, his mouth slightly open in shock. "My my... What a fortune the gods have given us..." he whispered, feeling the garnet in his silver dragon chain around his wrist hum and vibrate against his skin. He looked it over, seeing it glowing a slightly firey red and he looked at Anna. "Any reaction for you?" he asked with raised eyebrows.
Anna blinked up at the wide cave, watching light patterns from the crystals ahead dance faintly on the walls. "Aye," she answered vaguely, one hand cupping the pouch at her belt. It seemed to almost purr through the leather at her touch. Hearing Divya and Kelly, she shrugged. "Ack, don' break it, lass. Best save any weapons we've got now. Perhaps find a way to to extract it so's t'replace it later," she suggested. Anna shook her head, swinging the rifle back into it's holster with a sigh. "I must admit, I'm not liking this feeling, mate. Rather rotten vibes in this place..."
Solomon set the torch down carefully on the stone ground. Taking the crucifix from around his neck, he approached the caryatid of solid bloodstone, marveling at its size. Arrows portruded from its stomach and a martyr's halo encircled its head. In its folded, prayerful hands was an opening carved specifically for the stone and its crucifix. "Well, that's creepy," he muttered. "Oh well, what the hell." He slid the pendant into the hole with a click.
Suddenly a black-haired woman appeared in the center of the circle, her hands resting on the shoulders of a little brown-haired girl, who buried her face in the woman's stomach. The woman's dark eyes stared evenly at him, her radiant white skin glowing like an angel.
"Are you a gambling man, Solomon Ash?"
Solomon gripped the praying hands of the caryatid with white knuckles, his face a pale pallor and his eyes and mouth drooping open in dumb shock. Penelope..?
he thought, and tried to form the name with his lips but his throat was too dry to make more than a shuddered hiss.
The other people suddenly found themselves in the rings by their caryatids, their stones secured to the giant statues. In the center they saw the object of their deepest affections--their lover, parents, brother, what have you.
Divya was so distracted by her own caryatid made of solid peridot to notice what was going on with Solomon. Her figure had a stern, focused face and a longsword in it's hand, as if it were going to battle. However, it's eyes were carved out, giving the statue an eerie vibe. What stunned Divya the most was the hole in the caryatid's belt. The hole was perfectly carved to fit her futuristic gun. Removing it from her own holster, she inched it towards the entrance. Doubting it, she suddenly wedged it into the cut out and miraculously it fit like a glove and refused to be pulled out. "What the fuck?"
Just then, in the center of the circle, a ghostly figure of a man appeared just as it did for Solomon. The man was of a darker skin tone and had a kind smile on his lips. He wore an clean uniform equipped with white gloves, boots and buttons. "I have a proposition for you, Divya Meejiti."
Divya's knees were trembling. She hadn't seen her Father since she was a young girl. "D-....Dad?"
Todd's message was for him privately, as he visibly grew more enraged as the moments ticked by. Before him was a small boy, his mouth moving but no sound came out. You tried to protect me, but you couldn't. Now to put my soul at rest, you must do something for me...
** I'm figuring separating their differing tests would be the best way to go.
Leilani took several uncertain steps as three people appeared before her, two clasping hands and the third standing only a few feet from her, head bowed. "Mother?" She whispered hoarsely of the slender woman, dark ringlets framing her petit face, she looked up, crimson eyes glowing with affection for the daughter she'd never known.
"Leilani, my sweet... Join us," She murmured, reaching for her daughter's hand, "Dream with us and be happy."
Kelly placed her heart-shaped pendant in her pillar, two figures appeared before her, "M-Mom, D-dad?" she whispered looking at them both confused.
The others felt this happen as well and likely had the same kinds of reactions. If you'd like to write it go right ahead above this post. Every loved one spoke in unison:
"We can be together at last. We can have happiness and peace. We bestow upon you the full capabilities of your strength. All that stands between us and freedom is your opponent's stone. The one cannot live without the other; break the stone, or kill your opponent, and we will be reunited again." They each knew in their hearts that this was the truth. The room cleared and all they could see were their opposites:
Todd v Leilani v Solomon,
Fianna v Enzeru,
Kelly v Divya.
(Group 2 and 4 combined)
And so it began