Tao Te Ching (Mitsu)

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#1
Ka-chak.

With a rusty groan of metal, the floodlights sparked back into existence. Across the underground tunnel, mining equipment lay silent and dormant, hurriedly drawn to a halt and shunted aside, their once mighty tools now quiet.

"What do you make of it, Professor Fang?"

"Don't rush me."

"O-Oh. Sorry."

A pair of figures, clad in bleach-white hazmat suits, trod through the underground. One of them raised a large torchlight, bringing its beam across the earthy floors, and onto the rock ahead. Veins of jade marbled the rock, snarling into... a shape that hardly seemed to match the surrounding strata. No, this was man-made.

Carved into the heart of the rock, a gate of some kind, formed of pure Jadeite mineral, inlaid with streaks and hues of gold. Characters formed and flickered across its surface suggestively, before fading back into the patterned rock, as though it was never there. The center of the gate was open, like a slender maw - and within, only pitch blackness. Nobody had dared to tread into its depths, not since its discovery. The figure holding the torch made their way towards it, running a gloved hand across the characters, eyes narrowing in concentration.

"See these marks here?" - A woman's voice, stern and formal, stated as a finger was pointed towards the corners of the gate.

"This architecture dates back to the Qin Dynasty."

"How many years old?"

"Thousands."

The beam was brought back around, once more circumnavigating the exterior of the gate, as Professor Fang continued, thoughtfully.

"What I'd like to know is... What it's doing here?"

Cartagena Port City, Colombia
January 12th, OE 102
 
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#2
As the plane touched down at the airport, Lunam Lumine watched out the window at the Columbian landscape. The blonde girl rummaged through her characteristic messenger-style bag while the plane taxied into the gate. "Okay. Passport, check. Identifying paperwork, check. Grandfather's camera, check. Directory-approved camera gear, check. Now it's time to start this investigation~!" The plane was small - one of those private corporate numbers that ferried around small groups of people as part of the jet-set elite - and while she missed the Huckebein's familiar cockpit this investigation required a more subtle approach.

Subtle. Lunam was going to be... The Boosted Child snorted to herself as she felt the plane come to a stop and popped her seat belt off. The petite young woman was less subtle and more of a 'take refuge in audacity' personality. But this was important to Hyperion. Failure was unacceptable. Besides the Directory would be distracted with the dozen other things that were going on throughout the Earth Sphere so as long as she kept her sassy perkiness to a dull roar she should be fine without her partner.

"Push comes to shove, I'll just Gundamjack someone. ..What is a 'Gundam', anyway? What a weird word. Eh, not important. Onwards, to glorious photos!" As the door popped open to let her out Lunam was in swift motion. Her dress swished to and fro as she fairly bounded off the plane and onto the tarmac with a triumphant attitude. The sunlight revealed her to have a rich green frock layered over a cream-white petticoat with black thigh-high socks. Her signature black mary janes made a loud shoe-noise as she skip-hopped off the last step as though to make her announcement of her presence to Columbia with authority.

"Now, where do I go from here?" The cargo - namely the Directory-approved camera equipment - was being unloaded behind her as she looked about for her next course of action, like someone waiting for her.
 

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#3
El Dorado International Airport bristled with much the same energy it always had...

Well, except with less drugs. Terra Sentinel had seen to that, and replaced the cartels with the seemingly all-seeing eye of Hyperion. Lunam would doubtlessly have been briefed on the history of the nation, as well as the extensive efforts by her predecessors to clean it of crime, extortion, and filth in a protracted campaign that had lasted more than 20 years. Now, the forms of several Directory Huckebeins stood guard near the airport, ever vigilant - yet these too, were Terra Sentinel operatives.

In some sense, Lunam was home - South America was TS' back yard, and for good reason: The Directory had done little for the people of Colombia, but it was Hyperion who not only kept the lights on, but who put the fear of God into the former Cartels, coming in the night, leaving only bloody messages - instructions to his own followers, warnings, and enigmatic messages that to this day lay undeciphered - in his wake. But, perhaps such a thing was necessary, in a society that had suffered so much?

Regardless, as Lunam made her way into the terminal, there would at first glance appear to be nobody to greet her. Glancing about, however, she might have caught sight of a tall form, slouched at a waiting bench, leaning backwards. There was a sheet of paper draped over their features, and a cigarette dangled from their fingertips, as well as a long, red-leather coat - yet they made no move towards her.

The piece of paper on their face seemed to read, upon closer inspection:

"LUNAM"​
 
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#4
"Well, that's.. something." She wasn't exactly sure how to quantify this person who seemed to be slacking on the job waiting for her, but it was what it was. The petite blonde altered her aim to this person and rapidly crossed the terminal to the quick, rhythmic tktktktktktk of her polished black shoes as she scooted up to the greeter who was lazily sprawled over the seating. Reaching them she came to a halt and felt the bottom hem of her dress swish forward before settling back into position.

A period of awkward silence ensured as she stared at the person, her bright blue eyes taking in every detail as she rapidly processed the sight before her. The Boosted Child pursed her lips for a moment after the silence had dragged on for as long as she felt like letting it go before she spoke in a cheerful voice. "I'm Lunam Lumine, and you might wanna tend to that filthy cancer-stick before it singes your fingers..."
 

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#5
"Zzz-Whowhat?"

At the sound of Lunam's voice, the seated individual bolted upright, the paper falling from their features in an undignified scramble. What Lunam was left with... was a surprisingly fresh-faced woman of Chinese descent, her hair tied back in a long bun, and her sharp features softened somewhat with the use of makeup. She cast about, searching for the owner of the voice, before settling on Lunam.

"...Cancer stick? Nrgh." - Her eyebrows gave an errant twitch of annoyance... But, with a sigh, she eventually relented, putting out the cigarette with a dejected look against the bench. After this blatant damaging of public property, she stood, and straightened with a yawn, stretching as she did so.

"You must be Lunam Lumine..." She said, waving a hand.

"Please, excuse me... I haven't had much sleep the past, say... Three days?"

Taking a moment to wipe it off against her coat, she extended a hand in greeting towards Lunam, giving a broad, albeit coffee-stained smile as she did so.

"Professor Fei Min Fang, Peking University. Nice to meet you."
 
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#6
Lunam shook the offered hand and gave her a small but polite smile back. She was careful not to squeeze too hard since she could probably break this woman's hand with a good flex. As the shake finished she withdrew her hand and clasped her hands in front of her left over right at her waist.

"You should sleep properly. I'm sure everything is exciting but it's easy to miss something if you're deprived. No sense in kicking yourself later over it, right?" The smile grew to a beaming one for a moment; a shining example of innocent concern that the professor would probably have wanted welding goggles to look directly at. For her own part, Lunam seemed to be contrasting the tired woman by almost imperceptibly vibrating in place; her personal penchant for going and doing itching in the small of her back to the point Professor Fang would be able to tell this petite young woman was a girl of action from the slightest glance.

"While we wait for them to load my forensic camera gear into our transportation, is there anything that I need to be aware of for this site? Lighting conditions, possible debris blocking angles, peculiarities of the site... Paparazzi?" The last word was suddenly hissed as the million giga-watt smile dimmed for as long as the syllables took to get out of her mouth. Lunam's professional pride was evident at the visible disgust with the word and those who rated it, and would brook no interference with her work from such vultures.

Right to business, this girl. A perfect match to both personality and cover story. She awaited the response with a polite quietness.
 

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#7
Professor Fang's brow furrowed as Lunam shook her hand. There was that slight sense, almost imperceptible, that considerably less force was being applied than was otherwise possible. There was something about the young woman's grip that was... not ordinary. Yet, this moment of unexplained discomfort passed, and she instead listened to Lunam's inquiries, giving her a light pat on the back as she began to lead her through the throngs of the airport.

"No Paparazzi, no... Thank goodness. As far as the rest of the press knows, there was a viral outbreak. Doesn't exactly bring them out in crowds."

Fang reached for a cigarette, fumbled with the package - but then cast a glance aside at Lunam before placing it back in her pocket. Around the two, the crowds thronged about, going about their business - the Directory was a melting pot of various individuals, and all manner of languages were being spoken about them. Though it was a less common practice than it once was, the use of EOT-integrated translators had made understanding one another easier than ever before. Her hand waved about as she elbowed her way past a security checkpoint, waving credentials in a guard's face as she did so, talking all the while:

"There's an expansive media suite for you to make use of on site. I understand it wasn't cheap, so you'll be free to experiment as you so please."

The double doors of the airport swung open, and parked on the corner of the ahead road was a sleek sedan. A pair of attendants were busy grappling with Lunam's luggage, working it steadily into the trunk of the vehicle, as the Professor paused on the sidewalk, observing them with no small amount of amusement.

"Ultimately, the Directory just wants a better idea of what exactly we uncovered, and you're the gi... the woman for the job."
 
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#8
"Yes. Yes I am." There was a tone of pride in her tone as she nodded at the assessment. Watching the porters struggle with the luggage was a slight concern as Lunam was itching to get to the bottom of this assignment (and get some juicy intel!) but she stopped herself from going to help them or doing it herself. There was no sense in tipping her hand about her abilities at this juncture.

Her blue eyes darted to and fro as any professional photographer would have a penchant to do. Lunam was a person who valued knowing things, and currently she was searching for tails or anyone paying particular attention to them. So far, no one drew her ire. As she looked into the distance at the rumored location of the site in question a sense of unease rumbled in the corner of her mind that governed her Psychodriver nature.

Hyperion was right to send her here, she mused to herself. "This assignment is very interesting... Oh! Looks like they're done loading. Shall we go? Time, tide, and good light wait for no man!"
 

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#9
Their luggage now appropriately stored, Fang gave a grunt of acquiescence before slipping into the rear of the vehicle, to sit beside Lunam. The interior was akin to a classic car, the scent of worn leather wafting up as the engine revved up beneath the two of them, the vehicle pulling away into the falling evening. EOT had done wonders for automotive efficiency - the vehicle they traveled in was wholly electric, and said machines had managed to almost wholly displace traditional gas-powered automotives since their introduction.

Lights from the freeway danced across the windows, the car making its way through Cartagena. Within, Fang rummaged about in a storage bin otherwise concealed under her chair, talking all the while.

"So tell me-"

There was a crisp metal snap, and a faint citrus aroma as she rose, offering an orange-tinted can towards Lunam.

"What do you know about the situation here? Information control has been pretty tight, but I don't know if that extended to your briefing or not."
 
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#10
Lunam took the offered can, scrutinized the nutrition label for a moment, and popped the tab open. Using both hands to hold the can in place as she took a long sip from it as she pondered how best to respond to the query. There was Terra Sentinel operational secrecy to consider but certain things could be brushed off as part of the rumor mill.

"Honestly, it got locked down pretty quick. People tend to go 'ew' when they hear the word 'biohazard'. But the fact that you have called for someone like me is an immediate red flag that this isn't an actual biohazard or some new disease strain or something. The Directory has a whole division of it's government to cover diseases and health risks including their own photographers and other forensic media people. Which means it's something other than icky death-goo or a mountain of diseased corpses that you've got at the site."

Lunam looked from the can she'd been casually observing into Fang's eyes. The professor would probably see a definitive glimmer of inquisitive intelligence in those bright blue eyes as they seemed to stare the older woman down like Lunam was plucking at a fistful of loose threads out of Fang's head and weaving them into a narrative to justify her presence here.

"There isn't a massive military response or even rumbles of any shifting of garrisons of troops, so you're not sure it's a threat to be aggressive over. But at the same time this cover story of biohazards means you don't want unauthorized people nearby to see whatever it is. The logical solution to what I'm going with you to document is therefore that there is some sort of structure or whole site that has been found or.. revealed itself that has low-key alarm bells ringing in the Directory's head. Enough to justify a quick response and full cover story that gets people to stay away, but not enough that it would require visible elements like troop deployment or a ton of people in those hideous garbage-bag cleansuits."

With that, Lunam took a long sip from the can. What Fang would note about the almost smugly performed act was that Lunam didn't break eye contact. There was blinking, obviously; but Lunam was clearly waiting for the reaction to her deductive reasoning. Nothing she'd said could possibly link her back to her true allegiances, but it would be clear that Lunam had at least a semi-solid grasp on why she was there.
 

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#11
Fang lazed about as she listened to Lunam, nodding along. There was the sound of sirens, as police vehicles passed them by, tearing off an exit to parts unknown. Even with the area under tight Directory control, the usual suspects found ways to cause trouble.

"Very well put."

The older woman folded her arms and looked out the window as she spoke, towards their destination as it grew larger in their field of view. Lunam was sharp for her age - enough so, she thought, that she didn't need to hold back any details. Chances were good, after all, that they would end up being found out regardless. Better to be up front, no matter how bizarre the truth may have been.

"About a week ago, there was a mass incident in this area. Approximately forty hospitalized, eighteen dead - billed in the media as a biological act of terrorism, but the truth is... much stranger. We're still trying to figure it out."

She gave a slight shudder upon recollection of the event, of examining the bodies in the morgues, twisted by some ancient and unseen forces. The expressions on their faces alone would haunt her for the rest of her days, and she had been quietly relieved at the fact that most of the tunnel mapping was being taken care of by automatons.

"It would be better to describe as a kind of mental attack that occurred after a cave-in in the area." She explained, "After that, while probing the site, we found some ruins that closely resemble those from Ancient China. You know-" -Fang glanced back at Lunam - "Except halfway around the world."
 
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#12
"Chinese ruins.. in South America?" That was entirely unexpected, and clearly took Lunam by surprise. The young woman's head leaned back as she regarded the other woman with slightly-wide eyes that blinked in momentary confusion. She quickly recovered her composure, though. A deep blink brought back the million giga-watt smile but there would clearly be something deeper in her bright blue eyes: a ravenous hunger. This was better than she could have hoped for! A wonderful mystery to explore!

"You had my interest, but now you have my attention. Some sort of mental attack might imply some sort of magical influence, or perhaps something to do with those Psychodriver people," Lunam said, betraying nothing about her own psychic abilities in her tone. "The world's crazy enough that ancient things are just as likely to pop up as future things or stuff from other worlds. It'd be too early to discount anything especially since it seems you haven't made too much headway as of yet in your investigation."

Lunam drained the can to pause as she considered her next words. "Chinese ruins in South America is a doozy, though. Have you identified the dynasty of the architecture? Iconography? Writing would be awesome since you could analyze the sentence structure and any tool marks used to make them or the structures they're carved into... But I guess that's where I'm coming in, isn't it? Oh, this is gonna be a good job! Driver! Step on it, and don't spare the voltage!"
 

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#13
At Lunam's request, the car put on a burst of speed, causing Fang to balk with a laugh, the two careened forward, the car scrambling down the freeway. As they neared their destination, the Professor rolled down her window, flashing a holographic ID to an armed Directory soldier, before they were waved through. It was difficult to see the outside from just the window, but the entire area had been walled off -massive tents and tarps had been set up in all directions, and the crouched forms of several Directory Huckebeins were visible looming over the throng.

"That's just the thing, though." Mused the Professor,

"The markings on the ruins date back to the Qin Dynasty... the very first of Imperial China. However, the actual text seems to indicate the contents are even older."

As she spoke, the car finally trundled to a halt. The driver hurried out, and opened the door for the two, allowing the Professor to exit, stretching in the radiance of the floodlights about the two of them.

"Specifically, it refers to the Great Treasures of Xia. Until now, however, the Xia Dynasty was believed to be only a myth, founded by the Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors, a state directly established by legendary, almost God-like entities."

As Lunam's eyes would have adjusted to the surroundings, it would have appeared to be akin to any other architectural site - save for the fact that the gaping hole in the earth, easily more than forty meters wide, stretched out before her in all directions, with erected lights pouring into its cavernous interior. It almost appeared as if a sinkhole, like part of the ground had been neatly cleared away in an instant, leaving all above it to collapse downward in an instant.

Behind the two were a series of tents, and a pair of mobile buildings cluttered with construction equipment. Fang waved the young girl to her side, talking all the while.

"It also specifically makes mention of the Yellow Emperor... Are you familiar with that name?"
 
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#14
Lunam held her tongue as she hopped out and followed Fang into the area of the massive hole in the earth. Her mind was racing through whatever she'd had in it that covered ancient China. Her face scrunched up a little as she made a somewhat-cute expression of visibly racking her brain to place these new bits of information into their proper places. Some things fell into place; made visible by her face unscrunching and adopting a more thoughtful expression that would probably look a little bland compared to her shown expressions thus far.

"So! The structures are in the hole, they're from the earliest known Chinese dynasty, and they're scrawled over by writing that's even older. The writing is from what is essentially a form of creation myth, and now somehow an entity inspired by the works of Howard Phillips Lovecraft has managed to wiggle it's way into the soup. ..Though that would explain the mental attack." Lunam's left index finger extended to rest on the middle of her lower lip as her thoughtful expression came a little more alive while her eyes rolled like she was thinking of the next thing to say.

The security here was decent, but nothing she couldn't conquer if she had to. This was a very interesting thing to investigate. A spark entered Lunam's eyes as she moved her left hand away from her face, and sharply brought her hands together in a single sharp and echoing clap that would probably draw the attention of anyone nearby. It was also worth noting that she couldn't hear the echo from the hole, so it had to be pretty deep.

"Alright then! Lemme get some of that gear out of the vehicle, and we'll go right into hunting for squidy fellows that like to dress like bananas. I'll take pictures; so many pictures!"
 

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#15
"That's the King in Yellow you're thinking of."

Fang walked to the edge, contemplatively, as Lunam rummaged through the trunk. The toe of her boot nudged a rock on the lip of the crater, tipping it into the abyss, and her eyes watched softly as it fell from view, disappearing without even a sound. There were stories, of course - now they knew that magic was indeed a part of the world, a true science that could be deconstructed, and this in turn had brought many ancient myths and legends under new scrutiny as perhaps more than mere hearsay after all.

"The Yellow Emperor was one of the supposed five legendary figures that appear in ancient Chinese history." "Among other things, he was credited with the invention of government, currency, archery, and even football - all for the purpose of creating a state that existed in harmony with natural law. Daoists revere him as deific figure, who oversaw a true golden age."

Just like today, she thought sarcastically. Human beings had always been predisposed to the notion of a world government, but the excesses of the Directory had become almost too much to bear. A kind of quiet tension rested across the domain of man, a silence waiting to be broken, for the dam to break. The appearance of the Lamalice and DAMON were pushing everyone to the brink... and if the Directory strained, so too were its enemies within and without pulling their bows taut, ready to strike.

"As far as what happened to him... Supposedly, he became immortal, but nobody really knows after that. I guess he wasn't happy with his subjects overthrowing him."

She gave a low sigh.

"What a bunch of ingrates, right?"
 
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#16
"You could say they were ingrates," Lunam replied from her half-in perch in the trunk of the vehicle, "but when most people speak of 'natural law' they forget that the basest form of that is 'kill or be killed'. Animals obey it, people obey it, governments obey it. One could argue they were following a more literal interpretation of the natural law he sought to uphold."

Rustling of dress fabric and clattering of now-empty equipment cases resounded as she paused in her words to emerge from behind the vehicle. Fang would probably find the sight to be absurd: packs of digital memory storage for the cameras she had brought with her vied for position amongst the improvised arrangement of securing straps for light level meters, laser range finders, and other sundry lesser tools of the forensic photography trade. Slung over her right shoulder was a large video camera and it's lightweight tripod looking like some shoulder-mounted energy cannon waiting to be swung into position on it's straps while the young investigator carried a high-resolution digital picture camera with a ridiculously oversized-seeming multi-lensed extension over it's normal lens aperture. The whole ensemble held and strapped onto the petite frame made it look like Lunam was prepared to go to some type of battle, especially with how she cradled the long-lensed camera in her slender hands like it was a submachine gun.

"Perhaps if he survived his ordeal with that supposed immortality, he decided he wanted a change of scenery? Can't blame him if he did all that stuff and people tried to do mean things to him. And if he was slash is magical at all thanks to 'divine' heritage then I'm not surprised this appeared out of nowhere... And maybe the mental attack was his version of a 'No Trespassing' sign."

Fang would easily note that as Lunam moved to back beside her to stare down the hole, the petite girl hadn't slowed down in the slightest from what was obviously a significant amount of weight from all the gear she was festooned with. Taking a firm stance with both feet planted on the ground plus raising it to her eye the camera in her hand whirred to life with a series of rapid-fire clicks and the occasional flash as she started documenting even now. No fear, no hesitation. This young woman was a contradiction in some ways, but that was part of her story of her being slightly eccentric but one of the best in this field. Terra Sentinel would get what the Directory paid for, and they'd get it in spades.
 

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#17
Fang turned to glance at Lunam, and her expression morphed into one of dismay. There was a soft paf as palm met face, and she gave a low groan. It was fetching to be a long night... But, the sooner the two got down there, the better - coffee and cake could wait.

"You sure you can carry all that on your own?" She asked, motioning to take one of the various heavy tripods arrayed around the young girl's figure - but suddenly stiffened.


"Oh me, oh my... What's all this then?"​

A familiar voice rang out to the two of them, one that would have conjured not a single pleasant memory for the young woman.

From behind them, a trio of figures pushed their way through the tent opening. The lead one was the most noticeable - contrasting to Fang, her walk was almost catlike, her skin as pale as porcelain, under short, ebony hair, with sharp, pointed features that were obscured by a wide-brimmed hat. Flanking her on either side were a pair of broad shouldered heavily robed figures - not an uncommon sight whenever the Directory Alchemic Academy was concerned, but in a place like this? Still a jarring sight.

Her body could have been described as traffic-stopping, albeit in more ways than the inventor of the phrase could ever have imagined as she sashayed her way towards the two of them, dark lidded gaze moving back and forth. Coming up to Lunam, she bent over, giving the young girl a glimpse at a pair of black sclera as she gave a smile that was as warm and cheerful as serpent's venom.

"Look at this precious little flower..." She cooed, bringing a sensuous hand up to brush against violet colored lips; "I could just eat... you... up."

"Advisor Oleander." Said Fang, standing to attention, though... the tightness in her voice was clear.
 
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#18
That voice. Lunam recognized it instantly, and it took almost everything she had not to react immediately with fire and thunder. This woman should be super-dead. She got exploded and everything! She was there when it happened!

As the unhealthily-pale woman leaned in and tried her best to be intimidating; Lunam acted surprised, whirled on one heel to face the woman, and with her Boosted Child reflexes made it appear that she accidentally made a startled reaction when in fact she was executing a highly-planned petty revenge for this woman surviving getting exploded somehow.

"SPOOKERNOSPOOKING!" The cleverly-rushed-and-acted utterance was utterly timed so that Oleander's eyes would be sliding their eyelids opened as the camera in her hands seemed to materialize out of nowhere due to Lunam's reflex speed and the woman with the black sclera got a dose of point-blank camera flash. After the flash went off, the petite young woman staggered back as if in shock at the appearance of the woman and her bodyguards. She innocently blinked a few times as if processing the scene before her before tilting the camera in her hands away from the point of engagement with Oleander's retinas.

"Oh.. Oh! Oh, sorry about that! I-I get startled when people sneak up on me like that! Are you okay?" The equipment quietly clattered against itself as she took another hesitant-seeming half-step back from Oleander; conveniently but discreetly taking her out of immediate swiping range from the other's long arms. Fang would probably catch the flicker of glance towards her as though asking what the person before her was doing here, and would likely catch the half-amused glint in her eyes before she blinked it away before any of the others could catch the sight.
 

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#19
Lunam's camera went off in Oleander's face, causing her to flinch and snap back up, bringing a hand across her eyes. The two hooded figures seemed to loom - but her hand came up to bar their path, causing them to sink back into their silent stillness. Fang could hardly suppress a smile, and shot the young woman a shared, fiendish grin before stating:

"Lunam Lumine, a photographer. I wanted to get some higher detailed images of what we've uncovered so far."

Oleander slowly lowered her hand, still blinking - but her face no longer appeared to be a mask of fury, returning to its normal state of faux-cheer... albeit, a little more rattled than usual.

"Lumine, you say?"

She regarded the young woman once more, looking her in the eye, as she gave a soft, velvety laugh, accompanied by a curious twinkle in those dark irises.

"How strange." She said; "It feels as if we've met before... perhaps, in another life?"

The question hung in the air for a moment, tellingly... Yet the woman made no motion to advance upon her, nor did her bodyguards. Did she simply feel she had the advantage? Or that Lunam was simply not worth killing? ...Regardless, the tension was broken by a cough from Fang.

"Perhaps you'd like to share the Academy's findings, instead of telling jokes?"

Oleander pouted at the Professor, causing the woman's eyebrow to give an irritable twitch.

"You're no fun."

Still... She placed her hands on her hips, and gave a sigh, beginning to recount her experiences in response to the Professor's inquiry.

"As we expected... there are one-hundred and eight powerful seals protecting whatever is below from not only scrying, but from outside interference as well. This site is very heavily protected... Old magic.

Based on what we've uncovered so far, there are perhaps, some structures that we could reanimate... but, there may be additional security measures in place. Beginning the required rituals down there could trigger a trap of some kind. Whatever was buried down there, well... Someone didn't want it getting out."
 
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#20
Old magic? And a lot of it, it seemed. This was getting even more interesting. For her part, Lunam was turned back towards the hole and peering down it's dark depths as if she could simply drag it's secrets to the light of day. She wasn't so fortunate, though.

"So what you're saying is that whatever this place is was probably constructed as a prison or stronghold of some sort. I lean towards stronghold, personally. You don't put prisons in inaccessible places where you can't come and go to check the locks and make sure your prisoner is staying put. Burying a stronghold or storehouse of some sort down where no one who doesn't know it exists makes far more sense."

While she wasn't a mistress of magic, there were some basic assumptions that could come into play from a human knowledge standpoint. Her blonde hair swished as she turned her head to regard the two women with her sparkling blue eyes. Her left hand came off the camera's extended lens to point down the hole's inky abyss. "Using magic would be stupid right now, anyways. Either scenario would have the spaces between and around the layers of so many barriers rigged to detonate something nasty.. At least that's how I'd do it. Denial of assets; I think the strategy's called."

Her green frock swished around to and fro as she pivoted back and forth looking for something. The inside of the back of her skull was itching now; a signal to herself that something was setting her psychic powers abuzz. It came off as a nervous-seeming energy as she took a trio of steps back from the brink of the abyss and finally alighted her gaze on Professor Fang again.

"Since magic's worthless here, let's you and I go down into the hole and I'll get started recording everything. I'm not afraid of a hundred or so magical barriers and whatever gribblies they house. Maybe they'll want an interview since it's been cooped up so long!" Anything to get away from spooky ghost robot exploded-but-not-really lady and her two goons. The blonde was back into full Investigation Mode and was eager to be off on this task. Maybe she'd find a way for this Oleander woman to have an untoward incident while she was here to make up for the fact she didn't seem to want to stay exploded.