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Old 05-15-2014, 05:53 PM   #9
Based Kiba
Based Kiba
 
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Based Kiba
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On the other side of the wall from the room of smoke, Etsuko was scrambling through her pouch for that matchbox she knew she had. If she had taken up some of her fellows' habit of smoking cigarettes, finding this would perhaps be much easier. The hurried process of her search resulted in a few of her shuriken clattering to the floor. As she gripped the matchbox in the dark, she realized that the sound of clattering projectiles sounded different here.

It was as if they were clattering against something delicate, a bright twang in her ears. With a swift movement, a match came alive, and she stared intently at the compact torch she had found before the matches. And then, as the cloth wrapped around the metal stick came to life with fire, and the match burned out at her fingertips, Etsuko finally had a chance to retrieve her shuriken.

What she saw when her fingers gripped the cold metal was yet another surprise. The floor upon which she stood was carved - no, forged - with gold inlay. The gold created obscure shapes, circles with rings of unreadable characters and lines bisecting some of the characters. The first circle she saw was only the size of a basketball, but it's intricacy was incredible. As she waved her torch around the floor and finally up into the room she occupied, she saw that she was in a large chamber, with three pillars of stone in the center, as if made to keep the ceiling up. At the other end was a door, yet another one without a doorknob, simply a hole to poke one's fingers through.

Yet, what commanded Etsuko's attention was the fact that there was no patch of stone that seemed to be free of the shimmering gold characters. She walked carefully, stepping in between characters. It was only about halfway to the door did she realize where she had seen some of the characters before.

This is schemae.

Nagai had only given her a thin file on what Sakoshi was hoping to find. Lost schema had been high up on the list. She had been told to look for scrolls, runes, maybe a platform of some kind. Etsuko had not been prepared for the thought that the schema would be a very essence of the architecture.

As she scanned the room, she saw similar patterns to the ones she had taken a picture of before. In the quiet of the room, she had withdrawn her camera, as if she had completely forgotten about Sengo and the creature on the other side of the wall. Due to the trick door, she could no longer hear or sense them. Instead, she had begun taking careful, foot-by-foot documentation of the alchemical chamber. Etsuko didn't have the mind to know whether these were notes, or equations, or even complete schema. She didn't even know what was meany by complete schema.

Still, Etsuko had seen many things in war. As she stopped in the center of the room, in the epicenter between the three pillars, she recognized something. Anyone who lived through civil war would know what dried blood looked like. In the middle of a large circle of gold was the dried blue-black of blood. It seemed old, as it was just blood dust in between Etsuko's fingertips.

At that moment, Etsuko thought she heard something through the hole in the door. Her eyes snatched upwards, and it was then that she realized she had deactivated her Mugenkugan. The torch cast wild shadows on the walls, which glittered back with gold sparkles. How long had she been staring at runes? How many pictures had she taken?

"Sengo... Is that you?"

Nothing called back.

Something told her that the more she spent in this cavern, the more she would have to come face to face with things wild and unfamiliar.
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| Asuka | Aima | Isamu | Kugo | Etsuko | Nin'hon | Hiroshi |

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