Cryptic Crypts
Cryptic Crypts
Summary: Ramiro, Greje and Zaharis go back to the Crypt.
Date: 22 ACH 12/5/2008
Related Logs: Sunken Outpost

It's been a few hours since the Marines found the underground area. Not the easiest trip down from the hatch, it is a rope of being lowered or rapelling down. There is water up to the knees and the Crypt door is open. Medical has been here taking DNA samples, notes and alot of pictures.

Outfitted with an M90, Ramiro rapells down the rope and manages a small splash as his feet find purchase on the ground. Brushing his hand under his nose, he lets the weapon hang on its sling. Pulling up a flashlight to hold it backhanded, he takes a look around.

Zaharis came back a little while ago after most of medical had departed with what they could take without cutting into anything. Kneeling very carefully by one of the mummies lying on a ledge, he's trying to get a close-up photograph of the dead man/woman's left hand.

Greje is back in uniform and looking surprisingly bright-eyed for having been passed out so long in the wake of her stint as Apollo's mouthpiece. She rapells down after Dane, surprisingly (for some of the Marines, at least) deft at it, leaving enough space for safety concerns between herself and Dane but in no way lagging behind. Water up to her knees, she disengages herself from the line before turning away from the shaft wall and following the light from Dane's flashlight before pulling her own.

Within the hand, a small idol has been gripped by the woman's fingers. Although, the mummification seems to have helped the flesh, the idol seems far more fragile. Tiny eyes do remain open and the face of a woman is definately seen. For any that know the idol of Aphrodite, it is an intricate carving.

<Trait Roll> Ramiro rolls Investigation and achieves a degree of BeyondTerrible (-1).

Ramiro doesn't quite know what to make of the scene, but he slowly follows behind Greje, sweeping the dark area with his heavy flashlight. Fighting against the stench of Muskeg along with the dirty water of the crypt, he keeps one hand on his rifle…just in case. Stepping with a swirl of water, he shines his light on the mummified body, lifting an eyebrow.

Zaharis' own flashlight is lying on the stones, pointing towards the wall. As Ramiro's beam flashes into his face he squints, raising a hand to block his eyes. The camera gets cradled against his chest. "Ouch. Who is that?"

Greje follows Dane, slightly to one side so that the swirling water behind him doesn't impede her own progress. Distracted by the first glimpses of the lettering on the walls, just barely seen in Dane's lamplight before he hones in on the body, her own flashlight goes to scan the letters and images slowly, keeping Dane close in her peripheral vision.

Some of the images may be seen, but most are covered by age and algae along the walls. There is still some symbols that can be made, besides the words in Gemenese. One looks like a barley stalk.

"Corporal Ramiro and Lieutenant Karthasi." Ramiro replies to Zaharis, maneuvering his light to be out of his face as he moves in his direction. Stopping to look over the mummified remains, he tilts his head in Greje's direction, lifting an eyebrow. Turning his flashlight upwards, he starts to scan around.

Zaharis rubs his eyes as the light turns to the wall. He blinks a few times, glancing at the the markings they're looking over, and then inches back on his perch, setting his fingers down on the rock. Who knew the CMO could be this flexible, from the bending over his legs it takes to see the statue very close up without having to touch it.

Most of the remains have something that was buried with them. They are all wrapped in some ceremonial robe for their burial. There is remnants of vegetation that was laid with them, possibly a flower or something that fused into the clothing. A small vial of oil. Small idols. A necklace. One is even holding a book that was left with him.

Greje pauses as her light hits some vaguely familiar shape among the algae, and she steps slowly through the water, narrowing her eyes at it until she finally picks out the entire shape of the stalk from the obscuring plant matter growing over it. "Barley," she murmurs quietly. Used in Demeter's death-mysteries as well as Apollo's oracular ones. But, of course, in other varieties, a simple agricultural staple. She's careful not to disturb the bodies as she tries to read the text. A lot of older works of religious exegesis are in Gemenese, and so she had to learn it before going into Seminary, but most of that stuff is so outdated that she hasn't read it in a while.

Ramiro pauses his flashlight over the markings. A confused look pauses over his compass and then smirks. Putting it away, he mutters to himself. "The planet has no magnetic field." He comments aloud, nodding towards the markings. "It's Gemenese. Old Gemenese. My grandparents and parents spoke it." He pauses. "It means 'north'"

Zaharis continues about his business as the two are busy. He sits back on his heels, finishing the photographs of the body's fingers and then stands up, moving to another. This one he crouches beside, pulling his notes from his shirt pocket for a glance over before he positions the camera again. A soft click is the only the sign of its working.

Greje squints at the words, certainly not getting it until Dane puts it together for her. She blinks, then, and turns back to him, shining her lantern down toward the water. "The planet has no…? How is that possible?" she wonders softly, looking up. "Isn't a magnetic field necessary to a planet's capability to support life? It wards off solar radiation."

As Zaharis clicks away, there is something near his perpheral vision. Almost eye level when he stands up. The robes of one of the mummies has had something sewn into the lining. Only the threads are wearing out now and a small parchment is seen. It looks very fragile.

"Well all I heard was something frakked up about the magnetic field on the way in…" Ramiro replies, looking to Greje. "We're not on land. We're on a thick film of snot-like earth that manages to support weight at the moment." He trails his flashlight over the markings still. "Inter…?..?ne" He mumbles. "The writing's marred…" He starts to step towards the markings, perhaps he can trace something.

Zaharis is not an archaeologist, but you do enough digging around in people's body cavity and you do learn to be extremely careful. He glances at the two by the walls but he might as well be one of the dead bodies to them, so he sets his case down on the rocks. Popping it, he finds the smallest pair of tweezers he can and picks up his flashlight, looking over the edge of parchment first before testing how loose it is.

<Trait Roll> Ramiro rolls History and achieves a degree of Poor (1).

Even Indiana Jones had bad days. When Ramiro's boot goes down, it connects with something under the water. His weight presses downward and a soft grinding sound is heard and then a barely audible click…water bubbles rise upward as the pressure continues.

Greje manages not to look put off by finding out she's standing on snot. And she knows better by now than to bother Jesse while he's working. But when the snot begins to grind? That tears her attention away from the text.

<Trait Roll> Zaharis rolls Awareness and achieves a degree of Poor (1).

Zaharis is, rather unfortunately, so caught up in shining the flashlight on the edge of the parchment that he doesn't hear the click or the grinding. C'mere, paper…c'mere…

"Don't touch anything." Ramiro suddenly exclaims, resisting the urge to yank his foot back. Landmine training has taught him well. Taking a deep breath, he looks to the floor and flattens his lips. "Pressure plates. Something's moving." He looks back to Greje and Zaharis. His eyes then dart to where they entered. He looks about to say something as he finds the ropes with his flashlight.

Greje wasn't planning on touching anything before, and she certainly doesn't dream up any desire to touch anything now. "Pressure plates?" Something may be moving, but it's not the priest. She has little idea what's going on, and so remains still and awaits instruction from the one who evidently does.

It occurs to Zaharis eventually that something is wrong with the other two, and he looks up from what he was doing. "What? What's going on?" Bubbles. Bubbles? He glances down, then back at Greje and Ramiro. "Damn. Get back to the ropes."

"That or a frakking landmine…" Ramiro sighs, shining the light around and praying that a wall isn't about to drop on top of him. "…Allright, I'm no expert but I've got a few speculations." He pauses. "It could be a landmine, but mines don't make other things in the structure move." He breathes calmly. "That means it's either here to be stepped on fora good reason, or a really bad reason." He looks back to them. "Why don't you two get back to the ropes and pray for me." He tries to find the source of the grinding.

It's hard to see anything in that water. Looks like someone is going to have to feel around where his boot is.

Greje shines her lamp down into the water. Yeah, the bubbles are disconcerting. She's not quite sure whether it wold be best to try to feel the floor with her feet as she moves or touch the ground as little as possible, and she stands there in aporia a moment before she simply and with an attempt at calmness re-traces her steps toward the ropes, looking back toward Jesse with a look of concern, then toward Dane. She doesn't know what advice to give him, and it shows.

"Corporal, don't touch it if you don't know them. Lieutenant," Zaharis says as his eyes stay on Ramiro and his predicament. "Get to the rope and get up top. Alert those Marines up there and get away from the hatch." He pulls his wireless off the back of his belt, keeping an eye on Ramiro as he patches into the Marines' tac channel.

"Lord of the song and of truth I would sing for you gladly to have you near." Ramiro says under his breath with a nervous chuckle. Looking around the bubbles, he calls out to them. "At least get the ropes and pray this isn't sinking." He pauses. "Think Dane, think. Inter…inter…" He looks around for some sort of clue. "…wait this place was only just discovered? Did the outpost that sank know about it?" He asks as he scans the room. "Is it possible they were here before?"

[Tac3] Zaharis says, "Major Zaharis to Genesis."

[Tac3] Shem says, "Major Zaharis, this is Lieutenant Shem, Marine officer of the watch."

[Tac3] Zaharis says, "Lieutenant, I'm with the away unit at the crypt on Muskeg. Have a problem here. Corporal Ramiro put his weight on something and it clicked, might have a landmine under us. Need a demo team."

[Tac3] There is a long, drawn out silence. Shem says, eventually, "How many other Marines are with you, sir?"

"I'm gonna catch Hades for this one…" Ramiro mutters, still looking at the markings for any signs of help. "Inter…" He pauses, remaining calm. Not moving, he shines the light around the walls to see if anything is moving.

[Tac3] Zaharis says, "Two up at the raptor, El-Tee. Barnes and Lehman."

Greje clips to the main line and secures herself with nimble fingers, clipping her flashlight to the harness she's strapped into and nodding quickly to Jesse's instructions, wasting no further time but ascending the shaft at best speed, obviously in shape and accustomed to rope climbing. Sheer will to get to the top outweighs the strange sensation of going climbing half-soaked. She's used to it rather as a fair-weather activity.

Thankfully, nothing is moving. Not even mummies. It's still actually and water drips from over head.

Zaharis keeps his flashlight beam aimed around Ramiro's feet as the others light moves away. Keeping the area nicely lit so the Corp doesn't trip. And fall off the thing. And blow them up.

[Tac3] Shem says, "Okay, I understand. Barnes and Lehman are not demolition-certified." Helpful. "Hold one, sir, I'll put together a team."

Greje climbs out of the hatch, and, unhooking herself, goes to swiftly update Barnes and Lehman on the situation down below.

What else is there to do, but to look at the letters now since he is closer. Hmm. North. Wi?d. Inter..??ne. Storm. …hm.. that can't be good. Is that a drawing of…a …nah.

[Tac3] Zaharis replies. "Corporal's not going anywhere." Boy, that was dry. "Barnes and Lehman have the ground coordinates over here."

"Major?" Ramiro calls out, peering carefully at the walls. "I think I've got it…" He pauses. "North. Wind. Intervene. Storm." He pauses. "There's a drawing of an old Cylon model here…" He pauses, looking around and internally grunting at his foot. "Nothing's happened yet…"

"Keep your foot there," Zaharis says, keeping the light where it is. "I don't know about you, but I like all four of my limbs where they are." He doesn't get any closer, leaving a nice wide plague circle around Ramiro right now. "Old cylon model? How old, can you tell?"

<Trait Roll> Ramiro rolls History and achieves a degree of Fair (3).

[Tac3] Shem says, "Lieutenant Shem to the ready response team. Fragmentary orders as follows. Transit by Raptor to Muskeg for rescue operations. Friendly forces may have encountered a mine. Coordinates to be obtained from stationed Marines at LZ. Sergeant Browne will assume control of the team. Full combat loadout. All other disposition unknown. Acknowledge by same frequency."

"I dunno, forty years or so?" Ramiro replies, shining his light on the markings. "I can't get any closer really, but it's gotta be about forty years back. You can thank trainers that don't believe that simply because we had Armistice Day that they still shouldn't be taught for that one." Ramiro replies, looking back towards the ropes.

Plus they are also in museums. But it is definately the old cylon model from the first war. Scratched into the rock. It looks like if the algae were cleared away, that a pictogram would be there.

Eli has arrived.

Lex has arrived.

Zaharis has half an ear to the Marine channel buzzing on his wireless. His eyes squint slightly towards the wall, but he can't see too much and isn't moving any closer. "Bizarre. Any idea what the rest is referring to?" He's standing a ways back from Ramiro, just keeping some extra light in the area around Ramiro's feet while they wait on the Marines to arrive.

Dun dun dun dun dun! DUN DUN DUN DUN! Duuuuuun dun dun DUN Dun dun dun. - Okay, so when the marines do show up in all their…combat gear and the like, they have to rapel down from the hatch and end up looking very sexy and marine like. And then! OH NO, through all the stinky ickyness. And then follow the whole sitrep thing to make their way into the…crypt thingie. ALAS, Eli comes to uh, save the day…leading the…demo team.

After the thrill of a rope ride down into a pit with a demo kit and a rifle, Lex sure is eager to tiptoe through the corpses to do her marine duty. The blonde is a little less perky than usual when surrounded by mummies, but nothing makes her happier than rolling in duty gear. She gives her helmet a pat, and unzips her pack as she clears a path in, very careful where she puts her feet. "Frak. Why did it have to be mummies." Mutter. She shoves an all tool into her mouth and pulls out a mini flashlight. "Try not to move, or fart," she notes as she heads for the marine in the no no spot.

<Trait Roll> Lex rolls Demolitions and achieves a degree of Good (4).

They stand up to their knees in water. No mummies reaching out.

Zaharis lets the Marines take over when they arrive. He keeps his light trained on Ramiro long enough to let them see where they're going, and then turns to head for the rope. If this thing blows, he's not going to be standing there, hell no. He'll be up top to collect the parts to be sewn back on.

Greje is up top, having attained a patch of calm, trusting in Dane's clear-mindedness and right action, the sort of which she finds often prevelent in those who follow the Delian Lord. Apollo will watch over him. From his favored land, Hyperborea… the land beyond the storm, past Boreas, the North Wind. Her thoughts roll back to the inscriptions in due course.

"I'm not moving a muscle…" Ramiro says, turning to watch Lex work as he remains vigilant. As a sniper, he's been trained to control his muscles for long periods of stillness. Shining his light down towards Lex, as if it will help, he does his best to be a part of the solution.

It's not that bad. It's murky. Nothing is swimming or floating. No wide open eyes and mouth suddenly coming to the top in a dying scream with fish eaten lips.

Zaharis gives the hatch a dirty look as he reaches the top and crawls up onto the mud surface of the planet. He didn't get his parchment. But he will. Oh, he will. He drags his knees on the ground as though that would dry them any, which naturally just adds more dirt to the camoflage pants, and backs up from the hole in the ground as he pulls his handheld from his belt.

Private Lex shakes her head, shoves her flashlight into her mouth. Thank you waterproof gear. She pops open the All Tool, shoots Ramiro a look. With a flashlight in her mouth, she oesn't speak, she just gives the marine a distinct look—one that suggests she will never pay for another beer ever again. The blonde then gently sinks into the murky mummy waters. She disappears under it, the top of her head submerging last. Only a few bubbles blurble back up. Land mine, meet Nico.

Closing his eyes, Ramiro says a silent prayer before opening them again. Flashlight still shining down into the murky water, he waits for Lex to resurface. Breathing slowly, the meditative breaths not only force him to remain calm, but to stay very…very still.

Greje turns toward the hatch at the sound of someone emerging, and she looks relieved to see Jesse uninjured. She steps closer, about to address him when he pulls the wireless and she closes her mouth again, not intending to interrupt when he seems about to make a no doubt important call.

"Medical team dispatch to Muskeg," Zaharis tells the wireless. He gives their ground coordinates and then flicks the unit to listen, sliding it away again. Can't be too careful with Marines around. His dark eyes turn to Greje once that's done. "You alright?"

Greje gives a short but clear nod of her head and an emphatic 'hm' of agreement. "What about you?" she asks in return, maintaining that spot of calm in her core.

<Trait Roll> Lex rolls Demolitions and achieves a degree of BeyondSuperb (7).

"Fine, fine." Zaharis looks back at the hatchway, keeping an eye on it from their distance. Not that one would really need to have attention turned that way to know if that landmine goes off, but it's habit.

Private Lex remains submerged for a while, seconds ticking by as the demo expert does her sweet mojo under the water. Blurble. A couple more bubbles. Ramiro has a moment of disembodied hand sliding down his leg, then there's a little tapping at his calf. After a moment, the drenched, plastered down form of the blonde private resurfaces. Her hair drags across her face completely soaked. She removes the flashlight from her mouth, spits, and says, to Ramiro, "Sorry, son." Her tone solemn, "Hope you've made peace with your Gods." Pause. She wipes her face, muddy streaks from the bottom of the water smearing across her pale cheeks. When she looks up, she cracks a smile. "No, just funnin'. You can move."

Ramiro looks down to Lex and frowns when she gives him the bad news. However, when she gives him the good news afterwards, he sticks his tongue out at her and makes a funny face in her direction. "You're a lifesaver." He says, moving his boot and offering a hand to pull her up. The other hand gives a thumbs up over his shoulder. "Is it explosive?"

Greje moves her attention to join Jesse's at the hatch for a moment, before it returns to the man himself, and she asks in her usual, gentle, halfway awkward voice, "Were you able to tell how long the bodies might have been down there?"

"Engineering will have to look to tell how long ago the structure sank." Zaharis lifts a hand, motioning around the perimeter. "As for the bodies, we're radiocarbon dating them now. What did the writing down there say about it, anything?" There's no awkwardness in his own voice but then again, he's not a man that really seems to know what awkward is.

…and everyone can breathe a sigh of relief. No BOOM!

"If it ain't, somebody should get their money back." Lex nods to the soup, giving Ramiro's shoulder a pat. "Device is about forty years old. Way old school. Lucky for you," She gives the Corporal a look, "I like history. You owe your life to a glorified paper clip. I suggest nobody fraks around down here until the soup is cleared. Metal detector should do it easy enough. I brought one. No extra charge."

Greje seems to have minored in awkward as an undergrad. She only seems to forget what it is when she's high on something. But she listens and presses her lips todether, "It's hard to read. North. Probably 'wind.' Maybe 'storm,' or… stop harm? I haven't touched Gemenese in over a year. Dane will have a better idea," she sounds confident that Dane will be emerging from this alive. "There was also a barley sigil. Could indicate an association with Demeter's death cult… but…" she shrugs. "I'd like to take a more thorough account of the data."

"I haven't touched Gemenese ever, so." Zaharis smirks slightly at the hatch. "They'll have to sweep for further mine threats before we go back, but it'll be covered. I'd like a report on what that place is before I authorise any further medical stomping around. I'll speak to you on it later." He turns slightly as he spots the medical crew arriving, just in time for nobody to get hurt. Figures. "Excuse me." And he turns to go have a word with them.

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