Ah, the forest network. Still exactly how Edge had last left it; on fire.
But that wasn't the goal this time. It's what's in the forest that matters; an old pile of bricks! These bricks just happen to form a large, cavernous area that houses who-knows-what. And this is where Edge now stands, awaiting his new partner in crime as he slowly saunters towards the entrance.
Nightshade jacked in soon after the green navi's first appereance. He wasn't pretty familiar with the place, he was actually a total stranger to it. He never had seen or stumbled around there.
"So...this is the place huh? Not gonna lie...I didn't think you'd find what we are looking for in such an unassuming place. Maybe that's the point." The feline commented, tip tapping closer to the entrance. He still had some doubts over the whole thing, mostly was thinking about all the ways this thing could backfire. Could Edge have other motives? What if the NIA or the ONB had him lure him someplace. Ah well, at this point he had nothing to lose really. And from the looks of it, him getting deleted could probably make alot of other people pretty happy.
"So, what's the plan then? Go in, fight whoever is inside and then hopefully survive to get out with the program in tow?" He would ask the other navi. So far he had only agreed on grounds of promises and trust, but he would still need a plan to pull off the gig. "I mean, do we have to smack people? I'm pretty good at sneaking too."
Edge gives a half-smile and folds his hands behind his head again, giving a stretch as he guides Nightshade into the corridors of the ruins.
Edge: Nah, problem is that we really don't know where in the heck the program is, so we've gotta start at the veeeery beginning; here!
Edge continues down the dank, dark tunnels of the ruins, holding up one of his hands and forming a sawblade forged of light on his wrist in order to light the way.
Edge: See, Res was actually an OEL Navi way-back-when, and he was set to be perma-deleted for his role in the whole Eon project. They sent goons like Project Arsenal and Project Striker out to do the job, but that didn't work out so well. See, Resonance was really good at stealth, and knew exactly how to get away from anyone chasing him. That led him to this place, the Ancient Ruins. The kid apparently lived here for a couple hundred years or so, keeping a low profile until the old OEL went defunct and went belly-up.
Since we don't really have any data on Resonance to track, I figure that the first place to check... is his old home!
It takes a while, but Edge and Nightshade eventually come across a chamber amid the maze of the ruins. Inside is what appears to be a small room with several storage containers sitting around, each now covered in dust. Behind all of this, a wall stands with a painted mural of a black hourglass. However, the lower half of this hourglass is entirely broken, revealing another dark room that seems far older behind it. The shattered edges of the stone wall seem to be covered in some sort of a hardened black substance, something obviously different from anything that exists in the room.
Edge: Hmm... not sure about that, but we should at least find some clues among Resonance's old stuff. So let's ransack the dead guy's home!
Edge seems to go almost giddy as he walks over to the first storage container, lifts it up, and pours its contents onto the floor, rifling through Resonance's junk while humming to himself.
Post by Nightshade on May 22, 2022 11:41:22 GMT -8
Nightshade moved about with feline grace, doing significantly less noise than Edge as the two ventured deep into the cave. He was give the basic rundown of Resonance's earlier "life" to which the cat navi had a few things to say.
"If he had an ultimate program that could bind a titan, why didn't he use the thing when he died? Why exactly would he choose to unistall something so powerful and hide it gods know where?" He would ask. There wasn't much light in the place, but it didn't bother him much. He could easily see in the dark, but Edge needed to create a lightsource for himself.
While his partner started rumaging through stuff and Nightshade decided that it was useless trying to tell the guy to be considerate of the dead owner, Nightshade decided instead to look at the room itself, easily spotting the crack in the wall and the black stuff around it.
"I doubt he would have left anything of notice around here. Usually secrets are best kept somewhere hard to find." Nightshade pointed out, waving at the crack in the wall. "In the net, that means two places. The undernet and the underground. One is controlled by people, meaning someone could have heard or known something. The other...well...you know who lived there."
Nightshade examined the black stuff on the wall and pointed at the hole. "I bet my tail we'll find something in there."
As Nightshade begins his questions, Edge is busy rummaging through Resonance' belongings. A picture of an armored woman with a sword, a picture of an azure-cloaked man with a wide-brimmed hat, and a picture of a young child in a black cloak are looked at and tossed to the side as Edge gives his answer.
Edge: He couldn't actually access it is the reason. It was there, but it was like an itch that you just can't scratch. Besides, I think that he wasn't actually aware of what he was carrying around.
This is when Edge pulls out a few scraps of slate-gray fabric from one of Resonance' boxes. Unassuming little things, but the OEL Navi stuffs them into his pocket anyway before turning to Nightshade, a sly smile creeping across his face as the cat-Navi now shows a bit more of an adventurous side.
Edge: The way that this breaks through Resonance' finger painting job tells me it probably didn't happen on his watch, but what the heck; 'ya only live once.... at least that's the case as long as someone is in charge of things....
Edge's smile grows wider at that comment, sparking a little laughter as he walks towards Nightshade and holds the energy blade on his wrist high.
Edge: Alright, time to take a look!
Breaking the threshold of the broken wall, Edge begins looking around. The walls are lined in unlit torches, each burned out from burning for who-knows-how-long in this dead-end of a room. Beneath them, stacks and stacks of apparently empty pottery are lined up, each with a rather peculiar symbol on them. And speaking of this symbol, the back wall sports it in large form, appearing to be some sort of rune in the shape of an odd, stylized "N" or something. And beneath that....
Before Nightshade are a total of five very large pieces to... something. They're made of some sort of blue stone, and are forged with surprising care. Two of them stand on their own, rising like a pair of monoliths that come in at around three feet tall, terminating with spikes that point to the sky. Next to them, what appears to be a pair of machine-like claws lay; each is comprised of four spike-like "fingers" that are evenly set around the rounded "hand" that is little more than a flattened, sound surface. These claws are obviously not meant offensive attacks, rather they seem to be designed for intricate work and tight grips, with little dexterity for manipulating what they may hold. These claws rise into pillar-like structures that are similar to the two monoliths, each even terminating in a similar spike. Finally, the last piece is as large as all of the others combined; it's a hulking, rounded pyramid-like shape that's hollow and has ornate carvings to access the center. It's adorned by two wide, blade-like protrusions that arc out from its base, and a flattened disk with a cut into one side. Further inspection reveals that the numerous carvings that open up many parts of the pyramid shape have a bit more to reveal than what was apparent at first glance, with one particular one large enough to reveal a stone orb in the center; an orb with a very obvious missing piece.
Edge: Huh, well that's new. How much do 'ya think we could sell this stuff for?
"You don't sell this kind of stuff." Nightshade said, swatting away the greedy hands of the green navi so that he could inspect whatever the things were. "And you don't touch things willy nilly around dark caves and things. Have you ever seen an adventure movie man? Like, death traps and things? I am strong but I do have very clear limits. Until I happen to become the new Greiga I wouldn't go around waking up gods know what kind of sleeping dog is in here. I can punch a boulder but anything stronger that that and we can only run."
The feline inspected the claws. This looked like a puzzle of sorts. He wondered if he had to wear the things to operate the weird shiny crystals. The claws seemed like the right measurements to fit him. Perhaps...oddly fitting. Raising his head up, he looked at the stylized symbol on the wall.
"Hm...what do you think that stands for? I assume that if we at least know something about this place it could help with the bluish thingumabobs over here. I feel like this is a puzzle of sorts. Like...a test for something. You know, like the movies. A door to something or somewhere."
As Nightshade chastises Edge for his behavior, the visored Navi turns to the feline and smiles. He holds this smile and a stare as he walks over to one of the many pots, raises a finger very deliberately, turns it towards the pot, and pushes it until it falls over and shatters into a thousand pieces.
Edge: Honestly not sure about the symbol myself. Looks pretty old to me, maybe some extinct language?
Edge once again folds his hands behind his head as he walks over to the monogramed wall, and then looks at the strange pieces.
Edge: Well, the last wall was trashed, so maybe we can use this junk to trash the next one?
Edge walks over to one of the colossal claws that lay dead on the ground, spits on his hands because he saw someone do that in a cartoon once, and proceeds to attempt to lift it. After a few seconds of struggling in vain, he finally gives in and leaves the stone appendage alone.
Edge: Yeesh, scratch that. This stuff is like... unnaturally heavy. Still, I feel like it's got to be important, so...
Edge walks over to another one of the many pots, lifts it over his head, and turns to Nightshade with a smile.
Edge: Let's play some Legend of Zelda!
Edge then hurls the pot towards the left wall, allowing it to shatter as he casually reaches for another, obviously intent on continuing his pottery genocide.
"Can you not...nevermind." Nightshade relented. At this point he should have known telling the other green navi to not do something would be the fastest way for them to do something. "You keep on smashing pots or whatever. I wanna check these claw things." He would remark. "Bonus points if you manage to not hit me while you pot bowl. If I can get the claw up I can get it through that wall. At this point, to be completely honest, if some god wanted to smite us for breaking in and breaking stuff, then they might as well get it over with."
With that said and done the feline approached the stone claw.First of all, he would need to know if he could...wear them or something. Then, he should check if he could manipulate the other things and possibly complete the puzzle. It all might just be a red herring too, so that was also possible.
"Would you mind checking if we can find weird pressure plates or buttons or secret stuff in the corner while you smash pots?" He shouted at the other as he very carefully started fiddling with the contraptions around them one at the time.
As Nightshade begins his investigation, he would notice that these pieces were, as Edge had said, unnaturally heavy. Despite appearing to be simple stone, they each seem to easily weigh several tons more than they should, as no single piece budges an inch. On top of that, their size and lack of any sort of opening makes them physically impossible for the feline Navi to wear in any manner, so it seems that this isn't the key to the room's oddities.
Edge, meanwhile, rushes back into the room silently, having been... somewhere while Nightshade wasn't looking, and soon he's back to smashing pots left and right. That is, of course, until Nightshade makes his comment. With a dead-pan expression, Edge stares at his adventure companion for a few moments before picking up a pot and throwing it directly at Nightshade's head, waiting for it to smash into pieces with a new smirk.
Unfortunately for the green navi, the feline by now had some pretty brutal combat experience, tussling with people out of his league ever since the world went to crap. Not only that, but the cat navi was well known for three things. Persistently surviving, running away and dodging things real good. By the time his ears caught the whizzing of the pot's air resistance, his body was already moving away from his current position and dodge rolling better than any Darksoul navi using DarkInvis.
"I can tell you're missing cogs in your brain or annoying people is actually your elixir of eternal life. Then again, you're asking one of the most wanted navigators around for help in exchange for an Ultimate Program. If that doesn't piss off you know who I can get hit by a meteorite."
Dusting himself off, Nightshade looked at the broken pot. "Found anything by chance? These things don't seem anything more than some monikers or something. They tell a story, but to be honest. I haven't the slightest clue what any of this means. I ain't the brightest around."
As Nightshade gives his disgruntled retort to Edge's actions, the mirror-armored Navi suddenly perks up and raises two fingers.
Edge: Oooh, it's the second one. Definitely the second one.
It's at this that Edge bobs to the side slightly and looks at the broken pot that Nightshade was investigating, his eyes lighting up as he points towards it.
Edge: Nothing yet, but it looks like you may have.
On the ground amid the wreckage of the pot now lays a disk that's roughly the diameter of a small dinner plate. It's made of the same blueish stone as the strange pieces at the center of the room, and is engraved with the same unique "N" like symbol that adornes the pots and the walls.
Edge: If I was a betting man... and I actually am, but I just embezzle funds from the OEL so it's no big deal, then I'd say that that's got to be something useful.
"Bluish disk, big N on it..." He stated, picking the thing up. "I do wonder what the N stands for. In any case..." With very light steps and a sprinkle of feline grace, tha navi moved over to the pyramid thing besides all of the remaining rock statues. There was a blue thing there too, missing a piece. He was trying to figure out if the thing he had in hand could be a piece of it. He would fiddle with it a bit before looking at the green guy again.
"Found any blue N things around? There seem to be a slot here. Perhaps it's one of those clichè complete the puzzle to open sesame on the secret crypt or something like that...man. I was never good at puzzle solving..."
...Edge needed to provide no farther aid, as Nightshade had already managed to complete the puzzle. In an instant, the feline Navi was set ablaze by a surge of blue flame that engulfs the hand that placed the mark, and soon his entire body. However, with this flame came no pain, no burning, not even discomfort... rather, it seems to bring a sense of peace and calm, as if Nightshade was quietly being told "fear not" despite the show of lights.
The flame takes on the form of an orb that fully fills the void within the oddly shaped pyramid, held in place by six spike-like protrusions that guard it like a rib-cage. Soon, the strange structure inverts and floats upwards, held aloft by the force of the pale blue flames that even now extend out and connect to the claws and the protrusions. Slowly but surely, the five pieces come together into the form of something that resembles a humanoid configuration,, and at last the void disk at the top of it all shines with a bright light. A paid of red eyes, each nothing more than a point of red light, peer out from the void in this disk, and soon they fall onto Nightshade.
Standing nearly twelve feet tall, this giant of stone, metal, and sheer energy now stands above Nightshade, looking at him silently and curiously as if attempting to comprehend what has happened to bring him here today...
Edge, meanwhile, just stands back and stares as the mixture of ethereal energy and hard, heavy matter takes shape and looms over the duo. It take shim several seconds, but he suddenly snaps his finger as he remembers something...
Edge: Wait a second, I recognize this thing.... it was touted to be a member of some sort of "pre-net" race, and was used by a badguy named Orange. I think its name was... Sealant?
Edge takes a step forward and looks over the tremendous life golem, whistling as he does so.
Edge: Well, I guess that just maybe there was some logic behind those old rumors... because that fiery body tells me that this thing isn't digital, and is probably an EM being like our unwelcomed guests. I wonder why he was down here...?
Outside of the startling lights, Nightshade was welcomed by a thing he had zero experience with. Edge seemed to know what that was, but his hasty explanation did not mean much to the bug type navi.
On the defensive but light on his paws, Nightshade considered some things. They were looking for Resonance informations, the guy seemingly being living in this cave for a good few years. If he too solved the puzzle perhaps he too had to deal with the guy.
"I'm out of the loop, but you'll have to tell me what you mean by em unwelcomed guests later."
Turning over to face the...thing, Nightshade's eyes narrowed. "Does it speak our language? More over if this is something another bad guy used in the past stay on your guard. It may be hostile."
In the meantime, he was trying to run system diagnostics to figure out if that fire thing that got to him messed with his already mangled code. He didn't need more problems after the gregar rabies.
Edge, who once again had been gone for just a second, blinks a few times before laughing. He walks up to the hulking creature, who keeps his eyes focused on the mirror-armored Navi, and bangs on the stone components of the golem several times.
Edge: Nah, this thing is about as harmless as a kitten; doesn't have a hostile bone in its body... or any bones at all, for that matter. Isn't that right, big guy?
The life Golem stands silently, seeming to blink its red eyes several times at it watches Edge attack it. All that it does is take a half-step back cautiously, as if attempting to keep Edge from hurting his fist more than taking any sort of evasive measure. It then turns its eyes over to Nightshade, looking at him curiously and with a quiet apprehension, as if slightly afraid of the feline Navi
Meanwhile, Nightshade's diagnostics would turn up absolutely no changes. In fact, being in contact with the pale blue flame seems to have actually given him additional strength somehow, leaving him refreshed as if he'd just awakened from a restful nap.
Edge: From the story that I read, this thing is something of a "servant" to whoever awakens it, so if that's right then it should have to obey whatever you say since you're the one who did the deed. Also, he's mute, so don't expect any witty conversation here.