What Lies Beneath (Closed) Jun 15, 2013 15:06:33 GMT -5
Post by Mr. Moshypocrite McSlowbro on Jun 15, 2013 15:06:33 GMT -5
As the countless eyes of his diminutive peers fell on the towering blue-shelled giant, Ruo suddenly found himself feeling somewhat self-conscious. Which, from an abstract point of view, seemed entirely ridiculous: That such a vicious looking individual would respond so sheepishly under the scrutiny of others. But in his own defense, there were a lot of monkeys. Littering the forest floor in great abundance, the moss-furred primates seemed to have halted their assault for the time being. Instead, they seemed split between looks of fear and awe. All save the more, if this was even the right word for it, ‘hardened’ individuals. Namely the two whom had been fairly well established as the leaders of their respective troupes, as well as a few of their burlier companions, who seemed to be puffing out their chests as if to demonstrate their own masculinity.[/size] The insectoid zoan buzzed, holding all four of his hands in front of him in a manner as if to imply the presence of claws. All in all, the showing was unconvincing as best, and garnered little in the effect of recognition beyond what his physique alone warranted. Confused by the relative inefficacy of his display, he bent down underneath the branches, his thickly plated knees splaying in either direction. As subtly as he could manage (Read: Not very), the Bangira boy scooted over closer to where his sharply-dressed friend stood. Bending over, he glanced back and forth furtively, as if conducting some clandestine act. “Do bugs roar?”[/size] He asked in what he thought was a low whisper, though in truth it was still plainly audibly by everyone in the immediate vicinity. It was a point of interest that he had never had the time to properly investigate. His knowledge of bugs was limited to the handful of types indigenous to his home island, none of which were particularly noisy. But given what he had seen of the world in his short time away, a roaring bug probably would have been the least surprising thing he had come across thus far.
When Kurosaki pointed over towards him, he felt a sudden pressure to do something intimidating. It was a rather difficult feat for someone who spent most of their time attempting to be as demure as possible. "Oh, um. Roar?”
However, his curiosity would go on wanting for the time being, as the bugman’s attentions were pulled elsewhere. The gloved brawler whose attacks he had just a few moments about been forced to weather seemed to have recovered from his arboreal smackdown. Shrugging off his subordinates assistance with perhaps a smidgeon more force than was absolutely necessary, the boxer gave an angry bellow, moving back towards Ruo as if to continue their bout. But the shipright’s great fortune, the aggression was intercepted before their clash could be rekindled. In a swift motion, the swordsman monkey placed himself directly in his counterpart’s path, clutching the broken stump of his weapon as menacingly as if it were a blade of honed steel. It gave a few subdued utterances, as if hoping to pacify the heavy-set simian. Instead, it had the opposite effect, as the furry pugilist came back with a hoot of outrage, slamming its leather-bound knuckles into the dirt. Rather than losing its cool, the more level headed of the two seemed to repeat its initial statement, expanding into a serious of increasingly louder and more commanding grunts. The contrast between the ill temper of the first creature and the patience of the second seemed oddly familiar to the giant, almost to the point of inspiring a sense of Déjà vu. It reminded him quite strongly of the nigh constant conflicts he had watched growing up, when one sibling had wronged another, and a wiser family member had stepped in to mediate things.
“I think they’re arguing.”[/size] Ruo murmured. It was strange to observe such humanesque behavior between primates who, by all rights, should not have interacted with any species other than its own for countless generations. Of course, his assumptions could be completely off base. He carried boxes and banged nails for a living. What did he know?
As their altercation reached its climax, the punch-monkey gave a whoop of disapproval and stomped away, its tail snaking itself around the creatures neck as it retreated back into the woods in a huff. Taking the natural cue, all its minions followed after their boss, though they were careful to stay a short distance behind. The oddly Japanese simian whirled around and let out a sharp bark, pointing a long finger up at the partially transformed zoan. Surprised at the sudden gesture, Ruo slipped backwards, his multiplied weight shaking the earth underneath them. “Agh!”
When he was opened his eyes again, he saw that the tool using portion of the monkey’s forces too had begun to move, their paw/feet carrying then deeper into the trees. Their leader repeatedly gestured with his hands, as if urging the pair to follow their mass migration. It did not seem that the creature was going to take no for an answer. The adventurers looked at one another for a few moments, before giving a shrug. After all, it’s not often you get invited to explore ancient ruins by a tribe of green warrior monkeys.
After a moments reflection, Ruo decided that his life was getting kind of weird.
As they drew closer to what by his own rough estimation he assumed to be the center of the gargantuan greenhouse, the sparse foliage around them began to thicken. Barren branches gave way to bits of green; a bud here and a leaf there. This in turn gave way into increasingly thick clusterings of leaves, and soon enough if seemed as if the world around them had been blessed with all the lush ornamentations of the spring season. Ruo had long since slipped back to his normal form for the sake of convenience, the many layers of dense chitin that encompassed his form melting away to make room for the soft pink flesh underneath, but even with his diminished height he still found himself walking face first into the occasional low-hanging fruit. The change in the environment seemed almost miraculous. It wasn’t until they pushed their way through a particularly obscuring patch of vegetation that he realized the cause of his metamorphosis. It all came back to the light.
Stepping into a wide clearing, Ruo was forced to shield his eyes, dazed as he was by the sudden brightness. As his pupils adjusted, he quickly realized that the level of illumination was still rather dull, but in comparison to the twilight they had endured up until this point even this paltry amount seemed blinding. Looking up, he got his first good look at the ceiling. It seemed to be made of the same blocks as the rest of the ruins, but with one distinction: Every meter or so, arranged in a straight and organized grid-like manner, there seemed to be a small dot, all arranged around a much larger circle in the middle. Some of these dots seemed to glimmer, casting a weak light over the forest. But the further away they got from the central figure, the dimmer they got, until they faded into nothingness.
Another call issued from their apparent ‘guide’ made the lumbering craftsman move again, though his mind continued mulling over the oddity hanging above them. Still, he found comfort in the soft crunch of grass underneath him. It was something he had begun to miss on his underground trek. Drawing ever closer to their ever more mysterious destination, Ruo noticed more and more long-tailed beasts running around underfoot. These were not just the brutish soldier types he had fought with. They were smaller, a bit more delicate, like the first one he had seen. They clustered into groups, underneath ramshackle shelters of dead branches that had been tied together by bits of dried vine, or reclining in beds made from long grass. Some were eating food, bits of nature’s bounty no doubt plucked from the canopy, which they placed together in large piles. The sheer density of their dwellings made it hard for him to progress, and the tall fellow had to take great care not to bump into anything as he progressed.
But perhaps what drew his eye the most was not the camp, but a structure standing out against the treeline. It jutted up proudly from the earth, easily more than five stories tall, cut from the brightest stone and molded into a formation impossible to come upon in the natural world. Superficially it resembled a flat topped pyramid in shape; however its sides seemed to progress downward in a step-like manner rather than in a smooth linear descent. Though it was hard to make anything out from this distance, the surface seemed to be littered in some form of carvings. From what he could tell, the bulk of its weight had to be distributed among pillars lining the interior, else it would have already collapsed in on itself. Or perhaps there was some sort of cross-beam system in place? He would need to actually go inside to confirm.
So occupied with going through sets of mental blueprints that he did not notice when Kurosaki had come to a stop. “Woah!” Was all the warning Ruo could muster. It was only through a swift balancing act that he avoiding bowling his fellow player over, forced to place a hand on the ground to keep his ponderous bulk from tipping over. The act, however clumsy, did end in a positive result. His gaze fell on a particularly recognizable orb, one which if he was not mistaken, had left his possession rather recently. And, to a lesser extent, it was what had started this whole mess in the first place. “Hey! That’s mine.”
Proceeding along as if it had not heard his cries, the thieving monkey passed its ill-gotten gains to an older looking member of its race, who was crouched at the base of the ziggurat next to a round indentation in the stone. It turned the object back and forth as if giving it a thorough examination. Once satisfied with the trinket, he hefted it up and rolled it into the empty slot, which seemed to ‘click’ as the orb slid into place. Once there, it began to radiate a dim light. Not near the true brightness that the this area sorely required, but certainly better than nothing. Nodding to itself, the engineer simian waddled off about the rest of its business. Which left Ruo somewhat stumped. Did they already know about how those marbles reflected light?
Looking around, he saw the rest of the monkey in the inner sections of the camp seemed to be engaged in similar activities. Whenever a ‘scout’ would return carrying something, whether it was materials or a broken fixture, it was taken by a larger creature and placed into the appropriate pile. When one of the workers needed something, or ran out of things to do, they would consult the pile. From the looks of things, their projects ranged from the lanterns that lit the halls all the way to the elaborate doorways (Such as the one he had unintentionally smashed through). It wasn’t like they were just bashing rocks against them either, from what he could tell it seemed these verdant-haired animals knew exactly what they were doing.
“They’re fixing things.” Ruo stated, though the uncertainty in his voice made it sound almost like a question. Staring slack-jawed, he could not help but draw that conclusion. It was the only thing that made sense. “They’re fixing everything. That’s why the ruins are in such good shape.”[/blockquote]