Atlantis Arising [M] [Most Original 4Q '11] [Best Veteran 1Q '12]
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February 23rd, 2012 (1:54 AM).
Butcher of the Sands
((OOC: I will have a map up soon.))
River Beleren – Royal Family Mansion, Boston, England
River flicked her gaze over to Christian as he began to speak, "When do we start training?" he asked after making sure he wasn’t speaking in front of anyone or cutting them off. A smile crept onto her face, he was eager, yes, but he was also the only one who would speak out about what was on their minds.
“If you follow me, then hopefully soon,” she said getting up out of her chair and pushing it back into the table. Her cutlery and plate had been neatly arranged back in place, despite her not having used any of it. Walking over to the door, she turned around to make sure everyone was following her, and once they were she led them like sheep down the hallway. Kieran had tagged along with their group, conversing with Oakley, so River assumed that he had not yet been given the tour. From the dining room, River took them right down the hall, and into the Atrium.
“This is the Atrium; to our left is the front entrance and administration office. Straight ahead of us are the quarters for the leaders of the Royal Family, each you will meet in due time.” River pointed in each direction. She took them right again through a pair of double students and outside. “Up there are your dorms and classrooms, as well as an indoor recreation area. Males are to my left, Females to my right,” she had turned to face the new recruits and again, pointed to each place in succession. “Here,” she motioned around her, “is the outside recreation where you can relax with friends in the peaceful surroundings. The garden to my left is one maintained by Justin, Leader of the House of Flora. Behind me past the water fountain is the training field. Different areas can support different fields of gameplay. Hidden in the dense forest that borders the western end of the field, are our outdoor training areas, you will only go here to train with your class.”
“Oh, and before I forget,” she added, “the workshop and laboratory are below the boys’ dorms, you will only go in here if you are told to, or have a class in there, otherwise please refrain from being inside.” It took River a moment to think if there was anything else to add, before she decided to continue on.
“Now if you follow me, there is someone you need to meet.” River took the group around the garden towards where the leaders of the Royal Family lived. Opposite the last bedroom that had “River” clearly written on a plaque was a door etched with characters older than most languages; Atlantean. Giving a small knock, she waited for a quiet reply before entering, shutting the door behind the new recruits once they were all in.
Perched on a pillow in the middle of the room was a frail, old lady, her legs crossed beneath her in a ‘seizan’ pose, hands hidden in long sleeves that rested on her lap. At the sign of visitors she opened her eyes, gazing at them all through cloudy eyes.
“Welcome young Halflings, I am the Oracle, one of the original Atlanteans that walked the massive continent….” She trailed off, lost in thought as memories of Atlantis dredged up in her mind. Coming back she continued, “I survived the destruction of Atlantis and watched the world evolve and die before my very eyes, but an even bigger disaster looms, and you are all a part of it.” Despite her old, croaky voice, the Oracle still managed to make her words seem ominous. “As my gift to you, I will tell you a single prophecy; my eyes have seen all that has happened, will happen and could ever happen.”
She drew in a sharp breath, gazing at Michael first, “You boy, you will lose that which you hold dear.”
Pointing to Antonia, “You will hurt those around you,” she said.
“You shall betray the people you are close to,” she croaked at Oakley, “you too,” she pointed at Kieran standing next to Oakley.
“Before this war is over, you need to make up your mind,” she said to Chrysta.
“Your word will change the fate of the world,” she spoke her final words to Christian, before closing her eyes.
River ushered the recruits out and into the hallway. “The Oracle barely speaks words other than that of destruction or chaos these days. I will take you to your rooms now, rest up and refresh and I will come and collect you when training starts.” River took everyone upstairs showing them their dorm rooms; most of them were now full with other occupants, most of them around mid to late teens.
Michael Cale – Royal Family Mansion, Boston, England
Michael watched the exchanging of words between River and Christian, eying Christian with disdain. Ever since the guy had attempted to hurt his sister, Michael had begun to dislike him, even his demeanour of eager student annoyed Michael. If he ever got a chance, Michael would like to fight him, release his pent up anger out on Christian; but for now, he had to be content with waiting. He pushed his chair into the table, his plate all but clear from breakfast before following River out and around for orientation. It didn’t seem to take long at all River merely took them to central locations, pointing out where everything was rather than going into rooms and showing them like he had done so at university.
It wasn’t until they came to a door inscribed with old letters, which Michael deducted to be Atlantean or somewhat related did he begin to feel weird. It was as if up to this point in time he had been living in some sort of dream, his body and the thing he figured would be his ‘soul’ were apart. But once the door opened it was like he fell back to earth and everything that was about to happen would change him.
As if running on automatic, he followed River into the room, standing still in front of the old lady sitting on the floor. For some reason Michael felt insignificant compared to her, like she somehow loomed over him; which frightened him. Still necked, he waited for her to speak. Then he realised how scared he was.
“You boy, you will lose that which you hold dear.” Her words echoed in in his head, bouncing around and taking over. His world seemed to spin and he was sure his body swayed for a moment. He didn’t hear any of the other prophecies, only the one that had been directed at him and is stunned him.
For the first time since the helicopter, he was genuinely scared. He did not have anything dear to him, nothing to lose, but it frightened him to know that anything he could possibly come to hold dear in the future would be taken away from him.
And just like that, as if it had been mere seconds, Michael was back on automatic mode, following River up the stairs where she directed him to a bedroom. It was simple, a single window, bed and desk. Above the desk were two shelves, and the wardrobe had several inside as well. A small bedside table rested beside his bed, a lamp and alarm clock the sole inhabitants. Michael lay down on his bed, trying to process what the Oracle had said to him.
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