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[RP] Into Darkness

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“Alright, we need to make more room!” Krauser shouted to Garr as the massive Guardian unloaded another stack of containment cells along the wall of the underwater cavern.

Not long after, another series of mechanoids re-acquired from Elyndaar City came strolling up the cavernous mouth of the tunnel. Each mechanoid carried with it a containment cell and within it was a parasitic monstrosity captured from the ocean.

The cells were quickly filling up the cavern and the terrifying creatures within them were completely and utterly losing their proverbial shit trying to escape. Rusty and Darkclaw were both hard at work placing the containers on a conveyor belt.

The conveyor belt fed what appeared to be an enormous furnace! The team had been hard at work capturing and destroying the parasites that had littered the waters of planet Solaris. Most likely no one else would understand what was happening here, and quite frankly, Krauser didn’t give a shit.

“Shew… I’m not doing this out of the goodness of my heart Krauser! You better be good on your word.” Darkclaw growled as he flicked the glass of one of the containers. The creature inside hissed and leaped at him but its efforts were futile. There was no escape.

Krauser chuckled, “I’m good for it, trust me. Have I ever lied to you?”

“Are you fucking kidding me? You told me we were just going on a sightseeing adventure to the south… not a fucking cave at the bottom of the ocean!” Darkclaw snarled, “Just how many of these things are left?”

Rusty suddenly chimed in, “From my estimates we’re nearly finished.”

Krauser had approached the city council multiple times since the parasite threat had emerged and no one had taken any interest in assisting with the cleanup. So, he took matters into his own hands.

As time passed mechanoid after mechanoid walked, rolled, or hovered into the cavern carrying a container filled with angrily writhing parasites. Slowly each of them was delivered to the conveyor, examined by Rusty or Darkclaw, and left to burn in the incinerator.

The team had killed over a thousand of the creatures by the second week, and the numbers of parasites were beginning to lesson as the day went on. After another couple of hours of Darkclaw and Garr complaining, the last few mechanoids entered the cavern and dropped off the final few parasites.

“That’s it. That’s the last. I’m sure of it.” Rusty said, looking at Krauser.

“I just don’t know how he can possibly know that, Krauser… I think he’s feeding you a line of shit!” Darkclaw fired back as he examined the last of the containers. As it approached the end of the conveyor belt he took pleasure in kicking it right off the end of the belt and into the raging fires below.

“I trust Rusty. He’s undeniably the most reliable mechanoid I know.” Krauser patted Rusty on the shoulder and shook his head.

“Great job, gentlemen. Now, phase two!”

“What do you mean!” Garr grumbled from the background.

“I mean, that was just one of our goals… we took care of some issues, and now we move on to the real task at hand.” Krauser said rather chipperishly. “What else do you all really have to be doing?” He looked around as they all kind just shrugged at him. “Yeah, I didn’t think any of you had been up to anything.”

“Rusty, send the mechanoids back home. We’re done with them.”

“Very well,” Rusty nodded, “Done.”

The remaining mechanoids lingering in the cavern quickly did and about-face and disappeared back into the oceans.

Krauser smiled, “It’s incredible what you can do with vast numbers at your disposal. Am I right?”

“Yes, but isn’t the city going to be pretty pissed off about this?” Garr questioned.

“Certainly.” Krauser smiled and nodded.

Krauser stepped over to a pedestal full of buttons and gizmos. He pressed a few keys on the panel and the incinerator flared up brightly, then flickered out. The entire machine began to fold up and collapse into a small metallic cube, just like all of the rest of his tech.

“Rusty, be sure to clean that as best you can. Who really knows how resilient those little bastards are. Shoot it into the sun for all I care.”

“Alright… who’s up for lunch?” Krauser whistled loudly and a small drone hovered over with a heaping platter of various foods. There was something unique for each of them of course, cause a Guardian doesn’t eat like a Solarian and Darkclaw was picky as hell.

+761 EXP

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In the belly of the deep sea cavern. Several days later...

Krauser brushed off the surface of ancient stone. Below a millennia of dust appeared to be the remnants of an ancient language. He carefully scanned over the writings for a moment and traced them with his finger. "Interesting..." He quietly murmured to himself. "Even 30,000 years prior we're still not the first to visit this place." 

"What's that you're carrying on about, brother?" Garr leaned over Krauser's left shoulder and stared at the engravings on the stone. "Well, what's it say?" He asked, chewing on a slab of jerky from the supply crate back in camp. Garr and Krauser had ventured further into the cavern, leaving Rusty and Darkclaw back at camp to finish cleanup after the destruction of the parasites.

"I have no idea." Krauser said, removing a device from his belt. He flipped the screen up and pressed a button. The gadget scanned the engravings and let out an uneventful BLEEP. "I got nothing, neither does this. This language has never been seen before and my pattern recognition isn't finding anything either."

"Any chance it could just be natural, somehow?" Garr asked, knowing it was impossible. The engravings may have been old and faded, but it was very obvious someone or something had carefully carved them into the smooth surface of the stone.

"Not a chance. Someone put this here." Krauser stood back up and stretched. "This is strange. I never would have expected anyone to have been here but us at this point in time. Clearly I was wrong." His gadget bleeped again and he began skimming over the information collected from the stone.

"The stone is nearly as old as planet Solaris itself, but the scans suggested these carvings occurred approximately 250,000 years ago." His brow raised. He was genuinely surprised, a little shocked. "This may be a remnant of a civilization long before anything we know of."

"But didn't you say we're the ancients of our own legends?" Garr asked, thoughtfully.

"We are... but I'm saying there was something long before us. These findings would suggest an ancient civilization has existed on planet Solaris long before the Builders showed up and changed everything... Perhaps that's why we are finding traces so far below the surface of the world. Maybe when the Builders terraformed the planet all traces of that ancient civilization were buried deep within the planet." Krauser's mind was racing now. He had to know more.

"This trip is definitely not over yet."

"But... you said we'd be going home soon." The voice of Darkclaw grumbled from the shadows.

"Soon, but not yet.... If you really want to go back, Rusty can setup a portal generator back at camp. We probably need one anyway. I don't think it should point back to the city though. The council is still pretty pissed off at me I'm sure." Krauser grinned.

+483 EXP

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Sometime later...

Krauser stood next to his crew, peering out over a massive chasm that seemed to extend into pure darkness. The group was now deeper into the cavern than anyone had likely been in several millennia. 

"So, down? Or is it time to head back?" Krauser questioned, scratching his head as he peered over the edge.

"Let's get the hell out of here. We're two weeks beyond what you originally planned." Darkclaw complained.

"I'm not going down there... you can get that shit right out of your head." Garr growled.

Krauser shook his head, a bit disappointed. The group had gone from being an adventurous bunch a few weeks ago to a bickering bunch in just a few short days. Supplies were running thin, and Krauser seemed to find something new every day, holding up returning to the surface, but perhaps now it was time to head back. Krauser turned to look at Rusty, already knowing his response.

"Wherever you go, I go, sir!" Rusty said with a salute.

Krauser chuckled and eyed Garr. "Alright, alright. We can go back."

Hours later...

"Everything packed up? Rusty, did you deploy the portal pad?" Krauser questioned.

"Everything is in the shuttle." Garr patted the side of the G.R.O. happily. He was more than appreciative to be heading back to the surface.

"The portal pad has been deployed, sir!" Rusty saluted and activated the pad. The group still had to get back to the city to properly link it with the portal room.

"Kiss ass..." Darkclaw growled as Rusty cheerfully and chipperishly responded to Krauser. He was far beyond ready to return home. The rafters of the tavern were calling his name. This was the longest he'd been away from his favorite rafter since he'd discovered it a few years ago. More often than not, Darkclaw hardly ever ventured out of the tavern. It had everything he needed. Food, beer, and a place to sleep.

Rusty ignored Darkclaw's commentary and quickly entered the G.R.O, along with Garr, Darkclaw, and finally Krauser after a moment of hesitation. This place was absolutely fascinating to him and it took everything he had in him to leave it behind. He'd return though, hopefully soon. Krauser closed the entryway to the G.R.O. and headed straight to the cockpit. He took a seat and pressed a series of keystrokes on the panel. 


And with that, the G.R.O. quickly turned about and headed back to the mouth of the tunnel. It dove below the surface of the water and headed through the twisting series of bends all the way back to the trench wall where it had originally entered the mysterious cavern. Gradually the G.R.O. ascended back up through the depths and out of the trench. It would take a couple days to reach the surface of the Outer Ocean, and then it would take flight and fly them back to Elyndaar City.

"Sir, so what do you think the council will have to say about you temporarily reclaiming the mechanoids to clean up the parasitic mess in the ocean?" Rusty asked with some concern.

"It doesn't matter. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do, Rusty." Krauser nodded and stared out the window into the darkness beyond.

+544 EXP 

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