I rather enjoyed writing this part.
Ch.6- Knights Of The Round
Angelica sat there, tapping her fingers nonstop while waiting for her colleagues to arrive, who would most likely be arriving late, except for Earnest, who always appeared on time, regardless of what else he needed to do. Always. It was his defining characteristic; following the rules and the law, no matter how much of an inconvenience it was for anybody, including himself. Earnest sat one seat to the left of opposite Angelica, and he did nothing but stare, relatively motionless with eyes fixed on one point on the wall behind Angelica, which deeply disturbed her. She mostly found him to be a useful psychopath who was obsessed with the principles of order and chaos, though he didn’t necessarily concern himself with the balance of the two. He struck Angelica as a person who was too decent to devote his life to preserving chaos by preserving order, but she tended to ignore his insanity, much preferring the company of Lucky or Devon, or even Jacklyn, as they were the only people in the group who weren’t overly obsessive with anything. Earnest entered the conference room first, and took his position and assumed his usual stance, making Angelica avert her eyes to the scenery around her, which was done entirely in the modernist style, but in addition to black and white, a few squares of other colors unnecessarily occupied space. He was the seventh member of the organization.
Kain entered the room next, with his train of thought evidently being preoccupied with another matter that he deemed to be of importance. He sat down to Angelica’s right, being the second highest in rank within the organization, though Angelica would prefer to have him be of lower standing, but she wasn’t the one who decided, so she simply decided to make the best of it. His silence only amplified the awkwardness of the situation, with Angelica sitting uncomfortably in her seat, tapping her fingers to the beat of the only song she could remember at the moment. The only thing she had in common with Kain was the fact that they both grew blonde hair on their heads.
Stephanie arrived next, making an extravagant display as she leaped through the door, theatrically and precisely, as if she had practiced extensively for no other purpose than to draw the attention of a few people who could care less about the fact that she walked through the doors. She wore a royal purple leotard underneath a silk robe of similar color, and her dark hair swung gracefully with the air as she stuck her landing, with the soles of her shoes halting her immediately the moment it came into contact with the floor. Her leather shoes were a stark contrast to the rest of her assumed attire, but Angelica never bothered to question Stephanie’s choice in clothing, as it was really none of her business, and she would rather waste her time on something more worthwhile; something that would actually be of much greater significance. She took her seat one to the right of Angelica’s opposite, and retained the sixth rank within the organization.
Loud, hard rock boomed into the room, loud enough to cause the people in the room’s hair to blow and flutter randomly, clearly it was much too loud, and whoever was listening to it was killing their ears, but Angelica knew it was Baxter, who wore sound-cancelling head phones underneath the head phones that played perfect quality music. Made no sense, really, but she just raised her middle finger at him as he entered the room, and he instinctively knew to turn off the music and take off both sets of headphones, the one below being black, and the one above being white. He took his seat next to Earnest’s left, sitting fairly annoyed at the fact that he couldn’t listen to music of any kind during the meetings, lest he be punished physically. He occupied the position as the fifth member of the organization.
Next was a girl who rushed in, seemingly unfocused and hurried, carrying a camera and a microphone, as well as a piece of paper that had a script, then she realized where she was, and rushed back out, handing all of her equipment to the cameraman, shoving him along while doing so, as only members could participate in, or even watch, these conferences. The only problem Jacklyn had, in Angelica’s opinion, was that she never seemed to be completely focused on anything, but at least she was normal compared to the other lunatics she was forced to work with. The only member of the team with any connections to the reporters, and the news in general, she was often assigned tasks that only involved suggesting topics that were beneficial to the organization, and the reporters were smart enough to understand their fate, should they refuse to comply. Jacklyn sat opposite Angelica, smiling. She was the lowest in rank, at number eight.
Lucky walked in next, playing with a deck of cards, doing random tricks just to see if he could still do them, and he sat to Angelica’s left, shuffling the cards as he did so, and began playing solitaire. A master conman and a gambler at heart, always winning, no matter the odds, he could easily flip a coin and force it to land on heads seventy-nine times in a row, all without cheating, though in truth, pretty much anybody could accomplish a similar goal without cheating if they were willing to wait quite a bit of time for the law of probability to rule in their favor. Lucky had swindled and earned plenty of money during his short stay on Earth, and he was probably the financial backing of their coalition, but most people tended to avoid that question, as it did not need to be answered, and they already knew the answer to that question. He was third in rank, a fact which gave him slight ire, as he didn’t think too highly of Kain’s abilities.
The last to enter the room was Devon, the member of the team best suited to combat, and also the fourth in command. He never took himself too seriously, instead taking enjoyment out of his work, but never enough for one to label him as a psychopath. Occasionally, he prayed for the people he had killed with his unique technology, and sometimes, he even went so far as to dig them graves, and give them a tombstone, which the others found to be a bit much, but he felt obligated to. He knew the problems with the educational facility but the only hope he had to gain enough power to do something about it was if he completed all his courses there, a feat which few people were able to accomplish, the principal and vice-principal being among the few who had managed that achievement. Devon sat to Kain’s right.
“So,” began Angelica, now that everyone had arrived, “shall we begin?”
“It quite dark down here,” said Ferrik, wading through the water that occupied much space in this particular part of the maze.
“Agreed. What happened to the torches, if they can be called as such, that were so plentiful earlier?” wondered Mackwell.
“Good question, I don’t even remember when I stopped seeing them,” said Ferrik, trying to think how far back the last “torches” were.
Ferrik and Mackwell drudged along the water, which was increasing in depth as they moved further along, with the ceiling steadily approaching the water as made their way further along the path. Small, non-threatening fish made the waters their home, and they were numerous, making it difficult to see very much in the water, though the fish were very sluggish, as if they’d been drugged. Mackwell swam forward and dove underneath, returning promptly, catching his breath.
“Bad news. I can’t see how far this path goes without a break for air, especially with all those fish in the way,” said Mackwell, kicking his feet in the direction of the underwater tunnel.
“Hmm. That’s certainly not a good thing. We can’t even see if there are more dangerous fish further along,” said Ferrik, moving his head above the surface of the water, attempting to catch a glimpse of more fish, but all for naught.
“Well, most sharks typically swim in saltwater, and most species of fish here are freshwater fish.”
“Maybe, but they could have genetically engineered some fish specifically designed to be excellent killers,” reasoned Ferrik.
“Should we still move forward?” inquired Mackwell.
“Might as well,” said Ferrik, with an ounce of reluctance present.
The both of them dove underwater, swinging their arms and kicking their feet as they forcibly moved the fish from their relaxing wade through the cool water. The fish continued their relaxing swim of ignorance and bliss, wandering around aimlessly, eating random flakes that happened to pass them, which came from small vents that released flakes at random intervals. Mackwell and Ferrik had held their breaths for ten seconds now, and they still didn’t see any exit from the water in sight, and the fish certainly weren’t helping in that regard. Now they were at twenty seconds, and still no exit in sight, though there was a lever that resembled the kind that stuck to toilets, and Ferrik quickly reached for it, realizing that swimming all the way would most likely result in their deaths, and a large whirlpool immediately formed, dragging Mackwell and Ferrik with it, tossing them into walls, making Ferrik think that perhaps it wasn’t such a great idea.
The funnel drained the water at an amazing rate, despite the fact that the hole the water went into was fairly small, perhaps not even bigger than someone’s hand. Thirty seconds now, and Mackwell was already approaching his limit, Ferrik, on the other hand, appeared to be relatively relaxed, focusing his attention on not ramming into the walls, as it could result in him letting out a gasp of air in pain. Forty seconds now, and Mackwell was reaching his hands out, as if attempting to reach the heavens, though he was an atheist. Fifty seconds now, and Ferrik grabbed Mackwell and brought him to the surface of the water, which had now appeared, allowing them to breath. Mackwell coughed up a vast amount of water and then gasped heavily for air, with Ferrik doing the same, except with less intensity. All the fish flopped randomly as the last drops of water were drained through the hole.
“You know, this is a great jab at animal rights’ groups,” said Mackwell after successfully catching his breath.
“Let’s just keep moving,” said Ferrik, who had started walking in the direction they were swimming.
“Alice, old buddy, I’m not gonna lie. If it weren’t for you, I probably would have died back there,” said Gwen, with treated bite marks on random parts of her body.
“Well, I’m certain that if we faced something that had more surface area, you would have been more useful with your guns,” remarked Alice.
“Those piranha are pretty small,” agreed Gwen.
“If only those alligators didn’t pose a threat,” said Alice, with tears beginning to form in her eyes.
“I know you like alligators, Alice, but they were crazy, and would have tried to kill us if I didn’t shoot them. You don’t have to get all emotional.”
“I know, but still…”
The bridge was now long behind them, and they still had not managed to encounter the people they were looking for, despite having been walking for approximately an hour now, though the underground labyrinth was quite complex. Their clothes were all torn and scratched, and would probably require replacement when they returned to their dorms after they accomplished their current objective. The road beneath them was no longer stony or metallic, but instead consisted primarily of sand, which made walking somewhat difficult, and the temperature had increased slightly, most likely a result of the heaters that were stapled to the ceiling.
Scorpions made their residence in this environment, as did a wide assortment of cacti and other small creatures that typically inhabited desert climates. Small kangaroo rats scampered and hopped to and fro, feasting upon the beetles and spiders they encountered, and an eagle sat perched on the arm of a cactus, carrying a snake with its claws. A desert rose had apparently bloomed and was actually quite a lovely sight. Stones were placed randomly, providing shelter from the invariable flow of heat and light that came from above, forcing Gwen to constantly shield her eyes with her hands, as the light was just too much for her to handle.
“This is quite strange,” commented Alice.
“Yes. It is. First there was that bridge, and now this. Alice, activate your coolant system, I have a feeling that this may take a while.”
“Very well,” said Alice, with a gust of cool air permeating the space around her.
“Which way do you think we should go next?” asked Gwen, as they approached a fork in the path.
“At this point, Gwen, I believe the best course of action is to simply guess, as these pathways seem to twist and turn randomly, making it difficult to make an accurate prediction of where one passageway might take us,” admitted Alice.
“Very well then. We shall go left this time,” announced Gwen, who began to turn left as she was speaking.
“I wonder how long it will take those two to reach the others,” said Geoffrey, still swiftly pressing keys on the keyboard.
“How should I know? That area down there seems to be random, like a woman’s mood swings,” said Thomas, who had been playing tic-tac-toe with himself for the past ten minutes.
Growing bored with that, he decided to pace around the room, finding it to be much more entertaining and bearable to losing to himself in tic-tac-toe. Geoffrey decided to ignore him, instead forcing all his attention on improving his computer’s firewall through his own programming talent. Aside from Thomas’ footsteps and the soft of the computers and other technology in the room, there was nothing but silence. The two didn’t particularly like each other, and each preferred being alone to being with each other, with the only reason they agreed to stay together being the fact that they would be slightly safer, and that Ferrik, a mutual friend, asked them to.
Every once in a while, the ham radio would awaken from its slumber and Flonne or Chao would speak to them, usually to ask them if Ferrik and Thomas were getting closer or to keep them company. Geoffrey, having placed a tracking device on both Ferrik and Mackwell, brought up a map of the school every time to answer their question, which was usually a yes, but once turned out to be a no, and then he would return to what he had been working on previously, after which, Thomas would talk to Chao about what was happening around the school, and if she had seen any of the others, to which the response was always a no.
The two of them would then return to the silence which they had now grown accustomed to.
Miles continued to sit in the corner, hiding what he had been doing from the guards that kept watch over him. Fortunately, there were no cameras present in the cell, enabling him to work in secrecy without fear of punishment of any kind. What he had been working on for the past few hours since his imprisonment was a gun that he had managed to sneak past the law enforcement before he was placed in the uncomfortable cell he was in now. He was attempting to get it to eject a flammable liquid that burned with great intensity so he could destroy the bars that held him in and escape, though it was taking him more time than he initially thought.
Now it was completed, and he would have to act fast if he wanted to escape, so he quickly pointed at a spot behind the guards and yelled, “Someone’s escaping!”
The guards turned their heads and Miles quickly aimed the gun at them and burned them to death. A little much perhaps, but that was going to be his fate if he did nothing. He then turned his attention to the metal bars, quickly melting them and leapt through the opening he had created, and more guards came running in the room. Miles turned away and ran towards the window, using the miniature flamethrower on it as well, and jumped through that hole as well, taking off his robe and using it as a parachute as he landed on the roof of the other part of the school. He burned that too, and swiftly jumped into the hole he made, landing on top of Ferrik in the process.
-------------------------More than usual, but yeah. Lot's of action. It should get less hectic soon.
Last edited by Fievel on Tue Feb 02, 2010 1:47 am, edited 3 times in total.