The first rays of dawn shine over the Berkeley Hills, illuminating the stucco red roofs of New Rome. Birds twitter as the fresh, raw morning air releasing a thick, musky smell. The group is to wait by the main gate, cross the Little Tiber River and exit Camp grounds through a maintenance tunnel. After that, they are on their own.
Cyrus: *He has packed an Imperial Gold Sword, Scutum, two pila, camping equipment, and some canned food. He is waiting by the main gate for the other questors*.
Jason: *Packs quickly and leaves with Imperial gold longsword/spatha mixed with chromium, silver, tungsten and titanium (Blizzard) and some packs of food*. *Brings fridge backpack also.*
Light: He walked up his backpack slung over his shoulder, his two swords hanging at his side and he nodded to both of them. 'Thanks for coming' he grunted as he reached them.
Cyrus: Was the Praetor told to send supplies to the town first? *He glances headlong at Light, a sense of urgency glinting from his eyes as he hefts his equipment*
Jason : I dunno *looks nervous*
'Light: '''''I couldn't get a hold of him, we'll have to do without' he says to Cyrus with a frown'.
Cyrus: *His eyes harden, a silent anger burning in them as he turns, heading through the gate without speaking a word to his quest mates.*
Jason: *Walks quickly and nervously* *Mutters to self * Gods hope I don't die.
Light: He walks a bit behind them sighing. This quest hasn't gotten to the best of starts.
Cyrus: *He continues to walk, taking out the white tulip in his hand, seemingly lost in thought as he twirls it with his index finger and thumb*
Jason: *Draws Blizzard and holds the sword tight* Looks like its gonna snow soon. *Jason has a jump of joy inside*
Light: He had been watching Cyrus but he glanced at Jason and nodded and looks at the sky. 'Yeah it looks like it is...We should get transportation. I would have liked a boat but a car or train would do.' he said making his voice loud enough for Cyrus to hear.
Jason: You have me here. I'm the son of the snow/winter god. Don't worry, you won't get snowed on as long as your close.
Cyrus: *He looks up from his self-indulgence and replies blankly, "Car or train, it matters not. Let us just get their post-haste."
Jason: Okay fine, but we must hurry cause time is running out.
Light: He nods 'Yeah we need to get there fast.' he says then began to think about it. 'A train would be faster but it would be crowded and it would also mean we would have to walk a bit, which would put us behind whilst a car would be able to help us more...car, lets go car.' he mumbles then blinks. 'I know somewhere we can get a car, I have a friend who makes them.'
Jason: Well thas an if we don't get arrested by the cops......
*The Group leaves the Tunnel and head to the transportation dealer*
Light: He walks up to the factory looking around and spots a guy no older than Cyrus with curly black hair and light green eyes. The factory was lined up with cars, from jeeps to mercedes. Light walked through them not stopping to check out the fancy cars and went straight to the guy. 'Oi Bond!'
Bond: He looked up to see Light and grinned pulling away from the car he was working on, his clothes were covered in oil from the car but he shook Light's hand anyway. 'Smith boy eh? Long time no see...' he says then trails off seeing Cyrus and Jason. 'You brought friends?'
Cyrus: *He bears the two friends no mind, instead choosing to fold his arms across his chest, waiting rather impatiently. He traces the lightning and sun symbol upon the cheekguards of his ceremonial vertically plumed helmet with is right thumb, letting the horse hair plume be ruffled a bit.*
Jason: Um I don't think I could be driving so if any of you two........
Light: 'Acquaintances.' he corrected Bond then pulled his hand away from the shake and placed them in his pockets, his bright blue eyes not leaving Bond but though they treated each other with familiarity it was obvious that Light didn't trust this guy. 'I need a car, a fast car, but big enough to hold all of us.'
Bond: He nodded looking around the warehouse. 'I got a few cars.' he said though it was a bit of an understatement considering his whole warehouse was filled with cars and cars. 'I'd give you a Bugatti Veyron Super Sport but it might not fit all of you but thats the best as it gets, it gets up to 431 km/h but I suppose the Aston Martin One-77 would fit, it gets up to 320 km/h.' he says walking over to the car. 'Sure you can handle it?'
Light: He nodded walking to the car and ran a hand over the hood. 'Yeah I can drive this, you know I was the best of your drivers. So I can take it.' he said with a nod and looked over to the others. 'Coming or not?'
.Jason: sure *goes in*
Cyrus: *He wordlessly enters the car*
Light: He starts the car and nodded at Bond who nodded back and he drove out of the warehouse and onto the road, the car was like a cat, its engine was only a silent purr and it glided through the roads effortlessly. You could tell by Light's expression that he was in his natural state and was a great driver. It was only a few minutes later that they were driving down the freeway and he picked up speed, going way over the speed limit but even then Light wasn't worried and gave no evidence that he was losing control of the car.
Jason:* sharpens sword blade* I'm doing this before we arrive
As the car hurtles down the highway, the sound of sirens are heard behind them as several police cruisers begin to give chase to the car.
Light: He didn't react to the police cars, but he did go faster and began to lose the police cars, it was far too obvious that he didn't really care bout the police.
Jason: Oh gods here they come, but at NT, they can't get us...........
Cyrus: He seems to be amused and despite the speed, he jokes, smirking "Any slower there Light? At this turtle's speed, we'll be caught in a few seconds flat!"
Light: he rolled his eyes at Cyrus momentarilly looking away from the road but he looked back pretty quickly. 'Oh please, the cruisers can't go more than 200 km/hr, I'm about to reach 300 km/hr. The police don't stand a chance.' he says as he goes faster and faster which made each corner sharper.
Jason: xD Cyrus
Cyrus: *Giving a ghost of a smile, he grows silent as he focuses, slumping back in his seat to concentrate. Using his powers over light, he creates the mirage of water behind the car to fool the police into thinking that there is a desert lake in the middle of the road. He grunts as he feels energy slip from him but maintains it for ten seconds to give them time to flee*
A combination of the mirage and the fast speed causes the police cars to fade into the distance, having given up the chase. The city begins to faintly appear in the horizon, at first as a faint speck in the desert, then growing larger. Around the city is a network of river valleys, the red-brown of the sand contrasting to the water flowing through some of them with the same murky tone.
Light: He slowed down as he drove to the city and he felt the familiar tug in his stomach whenever he was near water. 'I think we should park this somewhere before checking out how much of it is taken over.' he said as he looked at the city.
Jason: I feel nauseous...........
Cyrus: *He steps out of the car, letting himself adjust to standing still before running off in the direction of the road leaving the city, shouting, "This way!"*
Jason: *follows while trying not to puke*
Light: He got out giving one last look at the car before sprinting after Cyrus, he knew he should probably feel annoyed by Cyrus making orrders but he picked up on how important this quest was for Cyrus so he didn't feel that annoyed.
Cyrus: *He pays the two of them no heed, his mind wandering back to days long gone as he walks down the same path that he had a few years ago. Having run down the road leading away from town, he puts down his shield, boss side down and kneels on it, sliding down the valley slope as he goes.*
Jason: *suddenly collapses on floor*
Light: He stopped and looked at Jason and dragged him undercover and wrote a note saying. 'When you wake up don't follow just stay and keep watch, following to dangerous.' and placed it in Jason's pocket then ran at the slope before jumping and making a shield out of water and froze it so he could place his feet onto it and surfed down the slope and when he got to the bottom the shield disappeared.
The duo reach the bottom. At the bottom of the valley there seems to be a vast emptiness with nothing to greet them but the vast, open, mahogany coloured rock. There is a cluster of rocks which seem to have been scratched. A careful examination of them should reveal the words: "Urbe. NOVA TARENTVM"
Jason: *wakes up and reads note and does as it says*
Light: He reads the words and looks at Cyrus and nods once. 'Found it.'
Cyrus: He nods, before kneeling by the rock. In sequence, he presses the letters etched into the rock: "r. O. M. e"
A little ways ahead, the sound of gears clicking can be heard and a stone panel slides open to reveal a passageway into what seems to be an intricate cave system.
Light: He walking into the cave and glanced back to see if Cyrus was following then looked forward again. He did feel a bit nervous but he shoved it down.
Cyrus: He enters the cave, completely at ease, though he uses what remaining sunlight he can gather to make a small orb of light appear in his hands to light the way.
As the duo enter the cave, the absence of their feet trigger a pressure plate which closes the entranceway shut with a resounding bang. Using the light from the child of Mithras, the two of them can see the faint outlines of a support arch with the words "Nova Tarentum" on them. A guard lies slumped with her back to the arch's pillar supports, breathing shallowly. Blood oozes from a chest wound and her sword lies an arm's length away from her.
Light: He paused when he saw the guard then skidded over to her bringing out ambrosia. 'Cyrus can you try to bound the wound?' He asked him glancing up at Cyrus.
Cyrus: He shakes his head, a look of rare concern on his face. "The weapon pierced the metal plating of the Segmentata, whatever it was, it went deep. She's beyond help now and close to death." Kneeling, he asked her urgently, "Praetorian, what happened?"
The Praetorian guard, lifts her head, face caked with a mixture of blood and dirt. Her brown eyes struggle to focus, staring off into the distance as she wheezes: "Cult...attacked....too many. *She pauses here for a few seconds* "Save them...Cyrus.....save them all." With these last few words, her head slumps down, the sound of her breath going silent.
Cyrus: *He reaches down, closing the guard's eyes, taking out a denarius and putting it in the mouth of the Praetorian, whispering a few last rites.*
Light: He was silent at the death and he stood up balling his fists and turned away and paused before saying. 'I'm sorry...she seemed to know you...I'm sorry for your loss.' he said rubbing the back of his neck.
Cyrus: He does not seem to be fazed, rather surprisingly, his tone matching his expression: "There is nothing to be sorry for Light. Such is the fragility of mortal life." He stands up, continuing down the length of the cavern before continuing, "We should get a move on now, I have an uneasy feeling that something lurks in these shadows."
Light: He paused then sighed following him a few steps behind him.
As the two continue through the catacombs, they reach a large room with a pedestal in between. Light streams from the tunnelway on the opposite end of the room but the gate is locked. There seems to be an orb at the top of the cavern and scattered around the room, several mirrors. A circle in the wall allows sunlight to stream in, shining light on the pedastal. Several guards lie dead in this room, as well as a few, unknown figures, dressed in wolf pelts in addition to wearing leather armour. What could this room mean?
Light: He stops at the room glancing around with a frown. Orbs. Mirror. Pedestal. Hole. The basic points of the room and there was a fight in here by the looks of it, some of their soldiers lay dead whilst the enemies body had wolf pelts on them. Wolf. Lupa. Could this be connected to the she wolf? But if so, why would she be attacking New Rome?
Cyrus: While Light seems to be pre-occupied, he steps up the pedestal, putting a hand on the orb of the pedestal. He tries turning the orb and to his surprise, it rotates clockwise, reflecting the light from the open hole. Slowly, he turns it, letting the beam of light hit the first mirror. There is nothing but silence. He then directs the beam of light to the second mirror, there is still no answer. The third does not work as well. Finally the fourth and last of them clicks and from above on the second floor of the room, a rumbling sound is heard as another similar looking pedestal appears, as well as another hatch opening to let light sine through. Turning to Light, he remarks, "I believe this is some sort of lock mechanism and that you must find the correct order to open the gate..."
Light: He shook himself out of the thoughts. Lupa would not betray them. He goes over to the second pedestal and stood on it. 'Alright so we got to find the right of the mirrors, we can do that.' he said shrugging grabbing the orb.
'Cyrus': He rushes past the pedestal and up the stairs to the second level. As he adjusts the orb on the second pedestal, several wolf-skin cloaked warriors run out of another room on the first floor. They head for Light, weapons drawn.
Light: He frowned taking his sword out and twirled it. 'Three on one...that is not fair.' he mumbled then jumped down to the ground stabbing at one of them whilst throwing a long dagger at the second warrior.
The first of them blocks the sword thrust and parries, aiming a slash to Light's neck. The second warrior is felled as the dagger hits her in the neck, causing her to collapse to the ground, choking to death. The third stands back calmly, drawing upon a crossbow and loading it with a bolt.
Light: He ducks down stepping forward to the third bringing his sword to his opponents stomach in a matter of seconds.
Cyrus: He finally finds the correct mirror and the orb locks into place, opening the third pedestal, which he rushes to turn.
The third soldier blocks the sword with her crossbow before pushing back to try to knock him back. She takes a step back in retreat and fires at his chest. Meanwhile. the first, turns, thrusting forwards at Light's exposed back.
Jason: *hears fightning in the distance*
Light: He bent down so the arrow sailed over him and went tight towards the other's face and he got out a knife and threw it at the seconds chest so if the arrow were to fail he'd have a back up plan easily.
The soldier manages to block the crossbow bolt but the knife sinks penetrates the Lorica Hamata that he is wearing (chainmail). The knife embeds itself in his shoulder and he kneels down, gritting his teeth. The other drops the crossbow and charges at Light with a battle-axe, giving a war cry reminiscent of a wolf howling. Meanwhile, the third lock for the door is engaged and Cyrus begins to work on the last.
Light: He scrambled back behind the guy on his knee's and hooked his hands dragging him up as a shield.
The soldier that Light is holding snarls ferally, similar to a wolf, and in a surprising move, makes an attempt to bite Light's arms. Meanwhile the third soldier turns his attention to Cyrus, who is working on the last orb and prepares to fire a crossbow bolt at him. Fumbling, Cyrus finally manages to lock the last gear in place, opening the gate, ducking just in time as the crossbow bolt whistles over his head. Removing two throwing knives from his belt, he throws one at each of the enemy soldiers, one of them finding it's mark in the eye of the crossbow wielder, while the other simply ricochets and misses by a centimeter.
Light: He slits the throat of the one still alive and threw the body to the ground nodding at Cyrus as he had given the distraction Light needed. He walked over to the gate and glanced at Cyrus before walking through the gate and down the pathways.
The duo enter through the cave system and into a scene of absolute carnage. A nearby marble arch lays in ruins, the arch lying on its side on the ground while the pillars formerly holding it up still standing upright, like tree stumps. The wooden palisade has been breached in several areas where the logs have been outright crushed backwards. The gate has been broken in and fire still licks hungrily at various areas of the wooden fort defences, including the watchtowers. As they enter in, bodies are strewn across the blood soaked grass, legionaries and insurrectionists alike. The main road, the Via Tarentum, bears host to yet more corpses, while abandoned and broken equipment lay strewn across the combat zone. In the distance, the town can be seen to be still burning, acrid smoke, filled with the stench of rotting corpses, funneling upwards like clouds.
Jason: *starts heading towards the start* *then feels a tug on the back of his shirt* *turns around and sees a storm spirit* Oh gods... *draws spatha and charges*
The Ventus unleashes a barrage of lightning bolts at Jason while raising its hand, surrounding itself in a orb of strong winds.
Jason:*electric weakens Jason severely* No.... no........ I can't die here... *throws ice shard at the ventus*
The ice shard is snapped as it hits the orb of fast moving air, but a piece of it manages to pierce the Ventus' shoulder, causing it to roar in pain. It redoubles its efforts to kill him, launching more lightning bolts at him*
Jason: Curse..... you...... *bolt hits Jason hard in stomach and some blood wells out*
It roars triumphantly and is about to deliver the killing blow, releasing the orb of wind and stopping the electrical flow, moving closer to Jason. It's arrogance however, may be its undoing yet...
Jason: *weak now* *seaches in pack for imperial gold daggers* *finds 2 and throws them as best as he could at the ventus, covering both with ice* "If I'm gonna die here, at least make it honourable.
The Ventus roars as two Imperial Gold daggers pierces its torso and it vanishes in a cloud of dust, leaving Jason alone on the valley cliff.
Light: He had not noticed Jason hang back fighting the ventus so he was walking through the streets but kept to the shadows as to not be seen by enemies.
Jason: Please Aquilon don't let me die here. I'm only 13 and..... give me some ice, snow or cold wind so I can heal... Please *more blood trickles out of mouth and cries* *goes unconsious*
The blessing of Aquilon is granted from the heavens with permission from Zeus and a small cloud appears over Jason, snow cascading down slowly onto Jason.
Jason: *Wakes and gets up* Thanks *Stares up into the heavens and some snowflakes dance around him as he walks*
Light: He looked back with a frown. 'You two, hurry up.' he grunted a bit annoyed that they were hanging back.