16386/Mysteries In The Desert Part Two

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Mysteries In The Desert Part Two
Date of Scene: 05 December 2023
Location: The Egyptian Desert
Synopsis: No description
Cast of Characters: Xiomara Rojas, Yaretzi Acama, Jinx, Caitlin Fairchild, Belinda Gutierrez, Phoebe Beacon, Gar Logan, Donna Troy

Xiomara Rojas has posed:
When last we left our heroes, they were preparing to board a military helicopter to head out to ground zero of the nearly mile wide blast zone. One week ago an explosion had create the massive crater in the deserts of Egypt, the cause of which remained unknown. The key factors driving the heroes was to first, discover the cause of the orange glow that they all could see to some degree. Second, try to ascertain what has caused the Egyptian investigation team's sudden insanity and the liquification of their brains. And third, to hopefully discover the fate of Crush's friend Mari, who had disappeared after some sort of manifestation of power called to her.

Rook had considered staying behind, his reasons sound given the current situation and a argument with Crush that lead to her calling him out, but in the end as the other Titans arrive he decided to continue the work. Phantasm, now exhausted from using his energy in an attempt to shield the team from whatever it was that had caused the investigation team's brains to turn to orange jello, remained behind on the base with Hawkeye to look over him while he recovered.

Those who had recently arrived to the given coordinates would find the team already on board the helicopter. Once everyone was on board, harnesses for repelling into the blast area were offered to those who might need them, then the pilot sounded the all clear before rising into the air. He wasn't a talkative man, nor was the solider passing out harnesses, in fact they both looked as if they'd rather be anywhere else in the world at that exact moment.

Flying out over the mile wide crater in the sand, the orange glow became visible to those on the team who previously couldn't see it, and was an obvious dome of orange to those who could. The edge of the crater were a sandy slope nearly a two hundred feet down to the bottom. Numerous ruins had been exposed by the explosion, though even from above they looked as if they had only been built a few years ago. It was clear that this was a city that had been buried beneath the sands, and that it was even larger that what had been uncovered because some of the structures are still only half uncovered.

As the helicopter hovered above ground zero, there was a space of three hundred yards in diameter that is completely leveled flat to the sand, not a single building remained in that area. Yet beyond that space the structures appeared untouched, the sand having merely been blown out and away. An archaeologist would speculate that a majority of the buildings were homes and business by the manner in which they were built and laid out, but the designs and materials used would take research to understand and discover.

Fifty yards past the devastated area is a massive structure approximately eight feet in height, and perhaps as large around as a modern day block. Obvious signs of roads and paths could be seen winding around and through all the buildings, but they all appeared to lead to the massive structure.

Up to this point, and for reasons Crush still couldn't fathom, the team had put her in charge. So as they approached she continued to take command of the situation.

"Alright, here's the teams," Crush stated loudly, okay she was yelling over the blades of the helicopter. "If your overly worried about the orange glow, you're with Balm to ensure you're in Balm's thirty foot radius, other wise Rook and Golden Eagle are her primary teammates. Silverdane, you can go with Jinx and Troya. That means Beast Boy and Caitlin are with me." She glanced around to enure everyone had heard her. "Let's stay together at the start, then break off into those groups to take a look around. Stay in constant radio contact with one another, an don't play like you're invincible. If you need help, ask for it."

With that said, she moves to the open door and looks down. "Anyone want a lift down?" She offered, looking back. "I can just jump down there easy-peasy, take at least two of you with me."

Yaretzi Acama has posed:
"I can carry some down, too", offers Golden Eagle. "I can at least take my team down... more, if people are good at hanging on", she adds as she steps out and hovers just outside the chopper, holding one hand out, back into the interior of the aircraft.

Jinx has posed:
"Wait. Why do you get Beast Boy?" Jinx doesn't actually feel a need to be teamed up with Gar. But the idea of complaining for the sake of complaining seemed like an excellent approach to stalling out this fool hardy visitation in to the orange glow zone.

She raises an eyebrow and looks at Donna. "You and me again. A shame. You can't even shoot energy blasts from a magical sword," she quips teasing Donna about her lack of futuristic Troia weaponry. Is Jinx a little touchy about that time travel mission? hell yes she is - she saw her older self die. Self sacrificed even. As if she didn't have enough trauma to work through.

There was one big advantage to doing all this work out in the desert. A near infinite topping up of her magic while-ever her feet are on the ground. She is brimming with magic even in the helicopter.

Her hand reaches out below and she says to Silverdane and Donna, "I'll make a cushion of air. It'll be safe to jump." The sand below begins to swirl about and then Jinx simply drops out of the helicopter. True to her word a puff of air seems to cushion her landing. She gestures up for the other two to follow.

Caitlin Fairchild has posed:
Caitlin seems willing to take a supporting role here. She encourages Crush with little nods now and then, or prompts her to explain things with subtle hand signs. But from her silence and body language it's clear she's deferring to Crush as the expedition leader.

Caitlin leans over the helicopter's bay, one foot on the skids, and her other hand gripping the frame for balance. At Crush's offer, she shakes her head and smiles. "I can find my own way down," Caitlin assures the others, and lets go of the helicopter. She takes one step off the skid like she's descending stairs and rather fearlessly, starts free-falling the two-hundred feet to the deck.

When she hits the ground it's with a huge WHAM and a big impact that kicks up a ring of dust around her. The redhead brushes her gear off and starts fiddling with her drone. It's launched skywards and put on an observational orbit about fifty feet over Caitlin's head.

"Water's fine down here," she calls up to the helicopter with her comm-link.

Belinda Gutierrez has posed:
Silverdane grins internally (and a little externally!), humming to herself as Crush takes on leadership role. Good learning experience!

The wolfwoman nods to Jinx, stretching gingerly as she works to the helicopter's side. Carefully-- moving is enough to make the copter shimnmy from the weight adjustment inside. And with a hop, skip, and an entirely gleeful howl-- Airborn werewolf! Freefall for too short a time, fur rustling, ruffling before the suddenly solid cushion of air.

"....can we do this again?" she asks, grinning cheerfullly.

Phoebe Beacon has posed:
    Balm adjusts her hair-wrap and draws her hood forward, matte black lips whispering: "per voluntatem solve potestatem meam" before light flashes at her left wrist, and her whole aura unbinds. True to what she said, everyone within a certain bubble may feel a tingling sensation as her passive healing aura activates. Anyone with magical senses is definitely going to pick up on her now -- she's a regular shining beacon of Light. There's a brief conversation between her and Rook, and then she speaks up "Rook is going to remain with the military and make sure they don't do anything. Golden Eagle -- nice to meet you. Balm." she introduces herself simply, and then hops out on her own, with glass-like wings in desert-sand pink spreading.

<<Like Crush said, if you happen to be allergic to your brains turning into orange Jello, stay close. If you find Heiroglyphs, I'm patched in to the network, I can translate most on the fly.>>

Gar Logan has posed:
Without saying anything about it, sometimes others are given the chance to test their leadership chops and see how it goes, even in dangerous situations. When there are others capable of helping deal with it if things go off the rails, that's a luxury that can be afforded. But, there are opportunities for people to show what they can do.

Positioning himself near Crush, Beast Boy says to Jinx, "Oh, I didn't know you liked me that much already. You can call dibs on the next mission, how about that?" Does he believe she actually wants to team up with him? Hard to say.

He bypasses the use of a harness, noting, "I've got my own way down, but you probably already knew that. See you down there," Gar finishes to Crush, and while he may surprise some by leaping out of the chopper as himself, no parachute or anything, as he falls closer to the sands and partly visible buildings, he shifts. Not to a bird this time, but rather a sugar glider.

Donna Troy has posed:
    Donna had not been with the initial group of Titans, but had received the call from Caitlin to come and join them, and done so. The reasons were several; partly because she was another flyer and that's useful, partly because she tends to be good when there's possibly ancient curses and ruins and so forth in play. Perhaps mainly though because she's who you want on scene when you're having to deal with the authorities of a foreign nation.

    This latter point had been obvious to Damian and Phoebe at least, when Donna had introduced herself to Colonel Saleh, in Arabic (Levantine rather than Egyptian, but that's no big deal), as "Princess Troia of Themyscira, ambassadorial attache to the United Nations." It's never particularly comfortable for the military to deal with civilians from a nation they want to remain friendly with, but this makes it political and they /hate/ when it gets political.

    Donna had not gone in the helicopter, but instead had flown alongside it on the route in to the blast zone, staying in contact via T-Com and being updated on the details of the situation while occasionally accelerating ahead of the helicopter to scout ahead. Although she is wearing her head-to-toe black and silver armor, she doesn't seem particularly bothered by the desert heat. It's designed to be more breathable than the heavier armor she used to wear, and any native Themysciran likes hot temperatures. This is not even the first time she had been to this region wearing the armor; its first run-out had been a mission close to the Siwa Oasis, just a short flight from here.

    Donna is not entirely convinced these two occurrences were unconnected, but that remains to be seen.

    Donna oversees the exit from the Helicopter from a point halfway to the ground, ready to catch anyone who might run into trouble on the way down. "Yet, apparently," she replies to Jinx, sardonically. Jinx is not the only one a little touchy about that mission. "Me punch good though."

Xiomara Rojas has posed:
On the ground, now fully with in the orange glow, a prickling sensation washes over the skin of every person who lands. The span of time it lasts is less than a minute and then it's gone. Above the crater the wind had been blowing across the sand, but inside there is no movement of air, as if something is stopping the wind from reaching down into the pit. Looking up, the dome of the orange energy is clearly visible above, changing the color of the clouds and sky.

One very tall and large structure stands out among the others. From above it hadn't looked as large as it does from on the ground, and it appears as if it had been built yesterday. Standing at nearly ten stories in height, the base of the tower covers a span of nearly a block. The material used in constructing the tower look like steel and concrete which clearly were not available hundreds of years ago. Each floor is marked by a large balcony that wraps partly around the structure, with large archways leading back inside. The strongest sensation of energy in the orange light emanates from the tower, almost pulsing like a heart beat that goes and goes.

All roads and paths among the smaller buildings seem to lead to the tower, and to the area of the crater that is now completely barren from the explosion. It was obvious from this that whatever had been at the center of the explosion, and the tower that was still standing, were key locations to this long lost city.

Crush chooses to jump from the helicopter as Caitlin had, no hesitation or pause, with just enough outward momentum to ensure she doesn't land on anyone else bellow. The THUMP as she hits the ground is both audible, and can be felt like a small quake through the earth.

<<"Everyone okay?">> She asks over the comm, looking around to ensure everyone was still there. "Jinx, you can team up with Beast Boy next time, he's all mine this time," she then adds with a slight chuckle. <<"Gotta admit, I ain't a hundred percent sure what I'm goin, but my gut, an the feeling of energy from it, tells me we check out the tower.">>

Turning her attention to look up at the tower she takes a moment to consider everything. Instead of letting herself feel lost by having the mantle of command, she used that nervous energy to keep her brain rolling ideas around.

<<"Let's go inside, see what we see.">> She finally states, then begins the walk toward the tower.

Jinx has posed:
Jinx watches as Silverdane makes her drop safely on to her cushion of air. Donna doesn't need it so she releases her concentration from the magic. "Again?" Jinx looks at that wild grin on Silverdane's face. It's like looking in to the eyes of a deadly killing machine who is also a puppy and darnit Harley Quinn is just like that too.

"...okay." She spreads her fingers and then with pink magic leaping from her hands she tosses Silverdane up in to the air, catches her with more air, then tosses her up again several times juggling her about while-ever there are noises of happiness.

Jinx's priorities and moral compass are a work in progress. This is known by the Titans. One last time she catches Silverdane and then smirks a touch at Crush. "I live with the guy - it's fine. If I want to team up with him there's co-op games in the dang- ... training room." She finger pistols to Gar. A promise of shenanigans in the training room later.

Her attention turns to the big modern looking tower in the middle of the ruined city. "Gee Crush... what gave you -that- impression I wonder." She pushes out her hands and blows the sand off of her clothing. This is completely superfluous and likely futile given the environment they're in but she does like to look cool.

"Come to the desert, we'll get together, have a few laughs..." With a relenting shrug she begins walking toward the tower after Xiomara.

Caitlin Fairchild has posed:
Caitlin can weather temperatures well in excess of a thousand degrees, but the desert heat is making her positively wilt. She's packed even lighter than Donna has, in a relatively brief athletic top and matching shorts. With her hair pinned up and her backpack in hand, she's taking every opportunity possible to stay in the shade and push electrolytes.

"All right Crush," Caitlin agrees with the Czarnian. "But let's you and me go in first. If there are any traps or dangers, you and I have the best chance of weathering them," she says. But it still manages to sound more like a suggestion than an imperative, and she waits to follow Crush's lead before walking carefully into the depths of the tower. Once the lights start to fade Caitlin cracks a flare and tosses it in the sand-filled corridor so they have some illumination and a waypoint for a fast exit.

Belinda Gutierrez has posed:
Silverdane rewards the impromptu tossing session with giggling laughter-- a brief moment of delight utterly at odds with the grimness of the situation. After a swift glance towards the stone-faced looks from the soldiers, she struggles back into more serious expression, nodding towards Jinx as the brief intermission ends.

"...be frosty,"" she mumbles to herself, sighing carefully as she sets down to the sandy ground. She stretches her head to either side, a gentle crickle of tensing, easing muscles. A moment to look sheepish, and then she moves to join the others moving towards the tower.... and, not incidentally, accept one of the offered electrolyte bottles from Caitlin. The drinking is quick, fiercely so-- unscrewing the top with difficulty (large hands), she slows her pace just long enough to pour most of the bottle down her throat, tucking the container to her side beneath the sash.

Lightly-dressed, but still-- thick fur and desert heat do not mix. Quick refresher resolved, she moves into bodyguard position behind Jinx, brushing at her nose before a careful scent drawn once again of the desert air.

Phoebe Beacon has posed:
    "-- whatever this is -- it's not magical. That's... that's weird." Balm can be heard saying. "It's not causing anything on my senses, but monitoring vitals, also not turning into Jello. I wonder if there was maybe a biological component? Decendents and ancient cultists?" she thinks out loud, and she gives a wry smile, looking over to Jinx as her group too heads over to the tower.

    "Going to the desert is never a vacation. Look at all the festivals held in the desert in the US." she jokes.

    Following Caitlin's lead with the flares, she grips her left hand into a loose fist and whispers a soft command before she throws up a palmfull of floating light that illuminates around her.

    "Amoebas?" she whispers, still considering options beyond magic in origin as she looks around, the blue lenses of her domino glowing dully.

Gar Logan has posed:
As a smaller, easily chompable thing, Beast Boy veers away from Silverdane /just/ in case certain urges are hard to temper. Before long the sugar glider is back to normal anyway, and Gar wipes one of his forearm sleeves across his forehead. Hot, hot, hot. Yeah, there will probably be things done back in training sessions with Jinx more involved.

That weird feeling, seeming to tug at the skin, leads to a look of discomfort and a question, "Do the rest of you feel that?" before it passes. "Okay, I think whatever that was, it's done. My brain isn't all mush yet. Well, any mushier than before. I'm ready to go in, one way or another."

Donna Troy has posed:
    "If it's not magic it's got to be aliens," Donna says, no doubt to Jinx's satisfaction. "They're probably using some kind of focused sonic beams to liquefy things, that's my guess." Is it though? There's not a whole lot to base that guess on, so she's probably just throwing out random notions. "Jinx, put the puppy down and keep stay alert until we've got a better clue what we're dealing with." Some puppy!

    Donna, who still hasn't landed yet, drifts down close to the tower, making a slow descent a couple of dozen feet from the walls, peering in through the archways floor by floor as she goes. "Cait, suggestion. Send your drone in from the top, have it descend downwards and map the upper levels while you're investigating the ground level. "

    "These ruins do not look particularly old. We checked satellite to make sure there wasn't anything visible here before the impact, explosion, whatever it was? I'm wondering if this isn't a man-made thing. Some experiment gone wrong, perhaps? I mean the alternative is some kind of weird city dropping out of the sky, and honestly there are always strange experiments going wrong."

Xiomara Rojas has posed:
The walk to the tower looked to be a good five hundred yards, half of that desolated by the explosion, the other half an ancient stone road. The closer the tower got, the more often the prickling sensation creeps across the skin. The sensation occurred every five minutes, almost like clockwork.

The large doors to the tower have been blown open revealing a massive room lined with stone tables and benches, places where curtains once hung to create secluded areas, and at the center is a two story carved fountain with an ankh in the middle. No water presently flows, however the lines along the inside of the base indicate that standing water slowly evaporated away.

A flight of wide, stairs wind their way up and around the room to a landing, then extend up from there to the floors above. At the back of the room is another pair of large wooden doors, though not quite as large as the entry doors.

The walls of room have been carved with hieroglyphs, many accurate to those known by Egyptian anthropologists, but once again there are a large number that do not appear anywhere in history.

<<"Alright, Caitlin an I are goin in first,">> Crush states, cracking her neck by rolling her head. <<"Like she said, we can take it if somethin happens. If somethin /does/ happen, don't come rushin in after us. Try another route, or just go back.">>

Putting words to action, she nods once to Caitlin and steps inside. She was prepared for anything. Explosions, darts, the building to fall on her, a poison cloud, and even the possibility of small aliens skittering out of now here and attacking. What she got was nothing... literally nothing. <<"That was... uneventful,">> she offers, blinking a few times. <<"Not even a tingle.">>

Jinx has posed:
Jinx nods in agreement with Balm, "Definitely not magical." She also nods again but this time to Gar, "Yeah. Something tingly this way comes. I don't like it much. We should cut our losses and nuke the place from orbit." That wouldn't help with the rescue of Crush's friend mind.

Donna actually told her to stop playing with the puppy. This gets an amused grin on her face as she walks along in the sand. The heat sure is oppressive. Any wind she summons would just be a dry heat and trying to summon water here would be a waste.

That is of course until she sees the water evaporating inside the first chamber. She raises up her hands and draws the water across her team mates to give them all a gentle cool misting.

"It might not be aliens. It could just be mad science. Perhaps someone teleported a building. Or dropped one from space. Or shunted it through time." Her eyes roam over the hieroglyphs with fascinating. "Or may be we're extras in an episode of Star Gate and the Goa'uld have arrived on Earth to enslave us all. Back to aliens."

"Anyone else notice the regularity of those tingles? I'm leaning heavily toward science experiment gone wrong right now." She does a 360 and then looks to the big doors. "Do we knock or kick it in?"

Belinda Gutierrez has posed:
Silverdane grins innocently, humming at the 'puppy' commentary as the others speak on possibilities. Also self-reminder-- stay frosty! Don't pant.

She moves, hackles on the back of her neck prickling with each pulse of feeling, each tingle of emotion. The euphoria of before fades with the uneasy rippling of subtle force; each timing of the unseen effects draws a twitch from one ear, a flick of her tail as she shivers.

"Unpleasant," she rumbles quietly, glancing about, scenting with care. Cocking her head to Crush's report on the interior, she makes a sound of curiosity. << "Do the pulses come from the tower?" >> she asks hesitantly, glancing up at the daunting structure. << "Like a transmitter. Or antenna?" >>

Long pause.

<< "What are Goa'uld?" >>

Caitlin Fairchild has posed:
"Don't tell me what to do with my drone!" The retort is utterly insincere, and even as she's chivvying Caitlin, the redhead is directing the drone up to the tip of the ediface and sending it on 'mapping' mode. With the onboard AI and the array of advanced scanning features, the drone can map entire buildings at incredible speeds.

"All right, constructing blueprint," Caitlin says over the 'net. Anyone with a scanning device can start to see a 3D wireframe image forming, mapping hallways and marking locations such as doors, vents, and thermal/electrical sources.

"Well it's electromagnetic, whatever it is," Caitlin announces over the comm net a few moments later. "It's like clockwork, every 300 seconds on the dot. It's coming from outside the dome and relaying to the tower. I'm pretty sure that it's coming from the northeast. Cairo is the closest major city there. I'll need to triangulate to confirm."

A pause. "Whatever it is, we need to hurry. There's a lot of free radicals and lepton emissions are starting to rise as well. It looks like an overloaded Wardenclyffe circuit-- definitely artificially made."

Caitlin Fairchild has posed:
The pause over the comm unit is almost pregnant. The channel clicks on and catches the end of Caitlin's sigh. "It's a big battery, the charging point is somewhere northeast of us, and it's about to overload and blow up."

Phoebe Beacon has posed:
    "Strange cities dropping out of the sky is no method of alien government." Balm states good naturedly back to Donna, and she takes a deep breath as she peers into the antechamber, and she purses her lips. She looks to Silverdane and then side-steps the crowd, bringing her light up as she looks to the carvings. "Aliens who left these gates on a bunch of different planets and paracited in humans. My dad used to watch that show." she replies in quiet consideration. She also watched it. Teal'c was the best.

    "Why transmitting in? There's no one here to transmit to?" Balm questions.

    "There's some that don't translate -- the dialect's too different. Welcome to the City of Life -- born at the edges of the Eternal Sea? -- that could mean Space. The City serves as the home for the Touched -- I'm assuming that's our missing friends -- and the -- ... that doesn't translate. I'm not even sure a pronunciation for these symbols. Joined together through space and time. Here they live as one people working to construct the Pyrids of -- that name's not known. Those symbols aren't in any of the dialects my ancestors spoke." she explains, and she draws her shoulders up.

    "... I don't suppose anyone has a phasometer to see if they're phased out of our current dimesion or time stream?" she asks, looking around. "Ordinarily I'd see if Red Robin could adjust the dominos. But uh... lack of Red Robin. And extra dominos." she pauses, and approaches the Ankh and the pool of evaporating water to take a closer look, and see if there's anything on the Ankh.

Gar Logan has posed:
Before Caitlin gets to the point of doing her thing with the drone and tracing of the signal, Beast Boy clears his throat prior to announcing, "I'm telling you guys right now, if there's a gate to the Upside Down in there and we have to fight Demogorgons, I'm totally giving them a taste of their own medicine."

Fortunately, that doesn't sound like it'll be necessary. Probably a good thing, because that stuff shouldn't be real anyway.

With Caitlin and Crush taking more of a point position themselves on the inside, he ends up nearer to Jinx and Silverdane, looking more closely at them among the rest. "I'll give you one guess what Paris Hilton would say about this weather." The deeper science stuff is lost on him. His studies are of a very particular nature. "So..we need to get to Cairo, or..?" He rubs an arm, some of that pulsing still bothering him. All of this over the comms, of course.

Then he squints at some of the hieroglyphics. "Oh, I think I can read this. 'For a good time, invoke the name of......'" He can only shrug at some of Phoebe's questions, shaking his head. Not much help there.

Phoebe Beacon has posed:
    "That one is definitely 'Ankhenaten sum'uut kat-takhat'. Which is... uh... 'Ankhenaten your mom's a prostitute'. Congrats, you just all learned a curse word in Ancient Egyptian." Balm states distratedly.

Donna Troy has posed:
    "Telluric energy transmission?" Donna asks Caitlin. "The Tesla thing?" Donna is more Team Magic than Team Science (even if mostly she's on Team Punching), but she spends a lot of time with scientists and has that irritating Amazon habit of picking up a little bit of everything.

    "Seems to me that we've got a wizard here who is good with earth-based things." Jinx is a wizard now, apparently. Blame Caitlin and Victor for introducing the Amazon to RPGs. "If I remember right, Tesla claimed that energy could be stored in standing waves, and Wycliffe tower was all about creating a circuit to generate standing waves in the Earth that could then be interferometrically modulated to transmit energy or data. Maybe Jinx could disrupt the standing waves and at least partially discharge this thing before it overloads the circuit? At least that could buy us a bit of time while we figure out where the receiver is."

    "And Pheobe, that's slander. Tiye was the daughter of a pair of priests, and I have it on good authority that she was a stuck up bitch who was not down to party."

Xiomara Rojas has posed:
Although grateful for the information, Crush has no idea what Caitlin actually said. Part of it was obvious, they needed to hurry... the rest was science talk that was above her current pay grade.

<<"Alright, that all sounds bad.">> Crush states the obvious. <<"So if I understood any of that, which is unlikely, the energy is comin to this tower an the battery is bout to explode. Maybe that's what caused the other explosion? I mean there had to be somethin in that location, right?">>

Officially out of her depth, she takes a steady deep breath and attempts to think. <<"Time is limited, so let's spread out an see if we can find this battery an shut it down?">> Yes, she said that as a question. <<"It might be time for someone else to take the lead, cause my only thought now is to spread out an find that battery, or jus get the...>>

She stops suddenly mid word, turning her head from left to right. <<"You all hearin that? Same language Mari was speaking... from back there">> She points towards the doors at the back of the room.

Jinx has posed:
Jinx focuses on Caitlin as she talks science. Some of it she even understands. Her survival training required a basic knowledge of electronics. This was clearly beyond that. But the principles are the same. You cannot have electricity without some kind of ground.

Her eyes turn to Donna next as she suggests a possible stalling tactic. A slow nod from Jinx as she looks at the interior of this big metal building they're in. "Right.. got it." She pauses, "...I think." She turns and looks back to the door and then back over to Caitlin.

"Sorceress, not wizard. This is going to be dangerous. You're talking very high voltage right? I won't be able to keep it out of the building for long. You're going to have to hurry. If there's someone in here at the controls make them stop a-sap." Possibly the first time the more leadership like qualities of Jinx have shone through since she came to the Titans. After all, she was the leader of a team of villains.. for whatever that was worth.

It was strange to hear those future Titans claim they made the right choice in helping her and that she would pay them back a million fold. Not quite those words but it was still rattling in her head.

With rush she goes back out in to the desert. Her toes curl in to the sand and she pushes out her hands. Electricity is a fundamental force and she's quite good with those. She reaches out to feel the lines of current and with one hand pushes out magic toward it, the other in to the ground to literally ground the energy flowing in from outside the orange field.

Her magic, pink as it is, looks strange in the orange light. More so as the nature of redirecting high energy makes its colour pulse in strange ways. Jinx keeps having to adjust her posture to stay on top of the wild nature of the beast she is trying to tame.

Caitlin Fairchild has posed:
Caitlin turns an ear towards the door. Her eyes flicker as she tries to process the words, but they're either in a language she doesn't know or too soft to make out. The redhead beckons at Donna and moves towards the door on surprisingly quiet feet, and stops once she's propped up against the wall next to it and has an ear to the wood.

A few beats to listen and she looks at Donna and shakes her head. "Arabic?" she says in a nearly inaudible whisper.

With a glance towards Xiomara to include her, Caitlin maps out a plan. It's a game she and Donna have played to perfection, with Caitlin breaching the door and Donna ready for a fast follow-up once everyone's good and distracted.

At least she's not as gauche as to just batter the door down. Caitlin pulls the latch aside and throws the door open, then darts into the inner room, ready for anything.

Belinda Gutierrez has posed:
Silverdane goes slightly wide-eyed at Caitlin's explanation. She opens her mouth, closes it again; she glance at Crush, equally lost-looking as she finally, slowly gives the only response she may.

Smile, nod, and carry on.

"This is what they discuss in college?!" she murmurs to herself, spooked for the future. And sighing. Math, forseen!

She breaks from her thoughts at Crush's comments, raising her hear as her ears visibly quiver. Pause, breath, listen...

Jinx breaks away, and the wolfwoman's face grows grim. "...from the back," she murmurs to the others, voice suddenly soft. "I do not know what it is, but... not Arabic." She glances to the others, head tilting in concern. "But... do not *smell* anyone. Like-- there, but not there? Or no one has been there, for very, very long time. It is confusing."

She watches as Caitlin and Donna take their positions, gazing with fascination. Realization is instant-- team tactic. Pack tactic! Silverdane rumbles softly, quivering in appreciation for the skills applied!


Phoebe Beacon has posed:
    "Doesn't indicate it was Tiye, could have been Merieet, or Umnefer. Ankhenaten got really popular for a while when Aten was listed as 'The Big One Dude' -- kinda like how there's going to be so many Edwards and Jacobs going into high school." Balm comments as she looks over the ankh "Also you owe to the real name jar, if it hasn't been stolen since that time I regrew Vorpal's spleen." Phoebe states distractedly as she looks over the ankh... "Names... these I know... this one's alternate spelling and --" and then her attention is called to the voice.

    ... a voice? From beyond?

    She steps towards the door, and she amplifies the sound, drawing her hand up to her hood.

    "Khemet. Egyptian--" Phoebe corrects Caitlin, and then makes a face as she realizes.

    "It's an evacuation countdown!"

    <<Jinx, you have less than ten minutes to discharge the battery.>> she hisses into the coms, and as Caitlin and presumably Donna go for the doors, Balm's going into the room to look for a console. Computer. Anything she can take a look at.

    <<Depending on if Jinx can stop it from the outside... there's a couple options we have in the next eight or so minutes.>>

Gar Logan has posed:
"You got this," Beast Boy says, for the benefit of anyone trying to make sure they do in fact have it. Lacking a great idea aside from preparing for a potential evacuation, he adds, "But if our brains are about to turn to goo, I'm sure I could get Vorpal to rabbit hole us out of here if there's no better option." Cough. "As long as he isn't deep asleep. The things I've had to do to wake him up sometimes..."

Donna Troy has posed:
"Jinx, try to disperse rather than channel," Donna suggests. "The principle is standing waves, the wave frequency is tuned carefully so that the returning wave front is in sync with the outgoing wave front, and the interference is additive rather than destructive. Magala always told me the trick to magic is to find the biggest lever, not try to channel the most power. The frequency is your lever. Distort the reflections, and the interference becomes destructive rather than additive, and the energy will dissipate rather than growing. That'll buy us the most time for the least effort."

    Donna nods her head in agreement with Phoebe that the speech is Kemetic, though she doesn't try offering a translation; Phoebe knows the language better than she does, and this is some particularly archaic dialect. Donna would have more chance with Egyptian of the New Kingdom period, though even then she only knows a bit.

    Still, there's a door to breach instead. Call Donna for translation duty when it's something Hellenic. Or Luwian. Or Phoenician, Akkadian, Sumerian, Hittite, something like that. She's better a few hundred miles further along the coast. Breaching though? Oh yeah, Donna's up for that. Lasso in her hands she stands ready behind Caitlin and waits three seconds after Caitlin's entrance to sprint in and move around behind Caitlin to cover her flank.

Xiomara Rojas has posed:
The room that Caitlin and Donna find themselves is completely unlike the rest of the tower. The walls are constructed of some kind of metal that has bright orange symbols flashing across them forming a repetitive line that moves toward the door they just came through. Another set continue to flash in a specific pattern and are moving toward a flight of stairs leading downward. These symbols match the strange ones that were intermingled with the hieroglyphs around the tower, and look exactly like those that appeared on Mari's skin.

In the center of the room is a holographic image in orange, clearly not a human as the being has four eyes and very small ears. It is dressed in the clothing that matches ancient Egyptian fashions, right down to the sandals on its feet. It is this image that is speaking and pointing toward the entry door.

The very second Donna is in the room, the image shivers in place then reforms more solid.

The words it was saying changes, though the countdown continues from another source somewhere in the room with the same voice. For reasons unknown, the words are still spoken in the ancient language but everyone can understand what it is saying.

"You have entered the Chamber of Questions and been found worthy."

"The Pyramids of Powers were created to gather energy from the earths sun and the planet itself. The purpose of the Pyramids is gather and store power for the Three Cities; City of Life, City of Light, and City of Night."

"The answers you seek are located in the Chamber of Answers beneath the Pyramid of Light.... but we warned, only the Touched may enter safely to receive the answers they seek and final gifts of the Reizali. Go with the blessings of the Gods and the Reizali."

The image shivers once again, before the countdown ticks down exactly four more seconds and stops. "Evacuation code of conduct still in effect. Unexplained change in power flow from the Pyramid of Light, an engineer is required in the storage chamber."

Crush accepted Caitlin and Donna's plan without question, she was already feeling overwhelmed and lost. Waiting just outside the room as they 'storm the castle', she listens to what the hologram has to say then blinks.

"Why can I understand it?" she asks first, then adds, "And what the hell is it?"

Belinda Gutierrez has posed:
The wolf-woman watches the flawless maneuvers of the two Titans with unabashed awe-- startling back to life as realization strikes again! "...es magico!" she breathes to herself. Spanish, not English-- half a thought to apologize later for as she turns, drops to all fours, careening out the entryway as she follows scent, sight, tracing down to Jinx. A rapid-fire barrage of Spanish follows as she scrambles to a halt, swift gestures before Silverdane snorts, shakes her head, going back to English.

"I can help!" she announces fiercely, falling back to her haunches alongside. "Abue-- la Greywitch, when she used a spell, could draw on 'potential', spell-possible, in energia from me. Could you push these things, these waves, this energy back inside me?" She pauses, quivering like bottled lightning. "Broad waves, disperse. Focused waves-- channel. Can take!"

Jinx has posed:
Jinx has nattering in her ear from the comms. Donna being a huge geek. "Er... right," she replies before Silverdane bounds over to her offering to be a sacrificial energy pit. "What?!" Jinx shakes her head and turns her eyes to look upon Belinda.

There is a flash of energy within them as they glow white and she looks over Belinda with a sense beyond the normal. There is a battery there of sorts, an empty one. "Your timing couldn't have been better. Because this will not do."

She twists her hand and draws it up from facing the ground before thrusting it toward Belinda. The power flowing to the building redirects from being Earthed straight in to Silverdane. "I'll have to be quick or you'll pop."

She paces a moment and flicks her hands, free from the flow even as her magical concentration keeps it pumping in to Silverdane. Donna's words and Caitlin's before her ringing in her head. "Right." She draws up her hands again and pushes them out to feel the electromagnetic field.

There is a pulse to it, a flow, one that the building is harmonic with. Its current it immense but only as immense as the rhythm it keeps. She can slow this torrent down if she can disrupt it and that will give Belinda a nice trickle charge instead of the doom charge she's getting right now. "Hold on pupper. This could get funky."

Her hands begin to twist as she distorts the flow of the electricity. Compacting and expanding it to create waves that pulse back and forth, oscillating in disharmony with the hertz of the energy. It takes some fiddling but now that she's not directly dealing with the flow itself she finds it easier to send a disrupting pulse back along the stream.

The energy flow becomes a trickle as it echos back at its source. Then, she prepares for the echo back and uses her magic to meet it, pulling it away from Silverdane, then redirecting it back in to her and starting over again.

"Whatever it is you're doing you'd better hurry. Silverdane can't last forever and this is -exhausting- me." Of course, Donna knows that last statement is only as true as Jinx's ability not to call on a favour from Gaia. But Jinx inherently knows that that is not the right thing to do.

Caitlin Fairchild has posed:
Caitlin and Donna both take a second to look through the room after the speaker has concluded his message. They make eye contact, then look at Xiomara.

"Aliens," they conclude, in approximate unison.

Fortunately some principles of engineering transcend species; batteries need to be stored somewhere unobtrusive, with ventilation, and hidden away from the civilians in case they rupture or explosively fail.
% A strange, partial conversation follows, tumbling over each other's sentences. "I'm going to get the--" "And I'll--" "-okay, but--" "just buy me time to--" "--as much as I can!"

They both point each other in opposite directions, Donna pointing down, and Caitlin jabbing a finger at the exit. With a crisp high-five they both get to it. Caitlin fairly tumbles down the stairs, sliding halfway down on one hip. The redhead rushes into the electrical storage room and starts searching for a terminal. "Unless you're shockproof, no one else come down here!" she shouts up at the other Titans. Anyone who looks over the stairwell can see a few stray red hairs standing up on end. Electricity arcs and *cracks* against Caitlin's bare, perspiring arm. "Ow!" she yelps, and gives the battery array an irritated kick. Then she sets about trying to manually open the switches to safely discharge the stored battery capacity before it blows the place sky-high!

Phoebe Beacon has posed:
    "We shouldn't need to wake him up a cat-nap as long as no one minds being dropped out of a portal in a London back alley or Gotham City Rooftop. I've got a couple more tricks up my sleeve since the last time we met." Balm states as she runs a couple quick calculations in her head. If she doesn't go through any portal herself, she should be able to get everyone to Gotham City.

    Hopefully there'd be enough time for her to get to a different place.

    She looks up at the Speaker as he counts down, looking at his curious form, and she bites her lower lip.

    <<My name is Merit, called Pemu, daughter of Paisi. There are still living beings in this city. There is concern that the energy will harm them. Can you stop the countdown and halt the energy?>> she asks in her best, most formal Old Dynasty Khemet.

Donna Troy has posed:
    Donna sprints in the direction Caitlin indicated, though ultimately that direction is really a matter of 'out'. Once she's reached 'out', the direction changes to 'up' and then due east, and then the sky cracks with a sonic boom as she departs rapidly into the distance.

    Donna checks her T-Com. 217 miles to Giza. Well, 211 now. She's moving at a little under a thousand miles an hour. Not fast enough. She switches the T-Com to a private channel and lets it ring. "C'mon, c'mon. Be awake, be awake. It's late there, you've got to be awake by now." After a few moments, her call is answered by a grumpy goth.

    Somewhere just over the Bapetco/Shell Western Desert station, a few petroleum company workers are surprised to see a flying woman zoom through the sky above, fly straight into what looks like a dense black cloud in the shape of a bird, and vanish. A hundred and eighty miles away, a number of tourists at Giza are equally startled by the sudden appearance of a black cloud in the shape of a bird, from which said flying woman exits. She hovers in the air above the three famous pyramids, and takes a deep breath. Which one's which? One of these is the Pyramid of Light, one is the... there. The same pulsing sensation, the same sense of that energy.

    Donna descends on the top of the Pyramid. There is no apex here -- all the pyramids long ago lost their capstones. Long ago each was capped with a pyramidion, a pointed stone covered in electrum, a representation of the /Benben/, the primordial mound. In ancient Egyptian iconography, it was common to see the rays of the sun drawn down and hitting the benben. Is that some ancient memory of the pyramidions being used to channel energy? The whole shape of the pyramid seems to suggest it, a channel wide at the bottom, where it touches the earth through which the tower channels its energy, and focusing it at the top.

    No benben. But Donna has something golden that is very good at channeling energy. Standing at the top of the pyramid, she coils her lasso in a series of circuits, each getting narrower and narrower, a temporary pyramidion, rounded rather than squared, but hopefully it will help...

    Once the lasso is in place, Donna steps back and readies activates the T-Com again. "Cait... I'm there. I think I have found a way to at least bleed off some of the excess, but..." the rest of her message is drowned out by a sudden booming that is quickly lost in static.

    With a resounding KABOOM that echoes across the Giza plateau and all across Cairo, a vast column of lighting tears upwards from the temporary /benben/ capstone, channeled through the magic of Donna's lasso. It rises up, crazing into a dozen branches that stab into the stratosphere, making clouds boil in their passage.

    Even as far away as Qattara, the lightning can be seen in the far distance, a pillar of light rising up from the horizon to the edge of space. It continues for about three minutes and then suddenly cuts off. After a few more moments Donna's voice comes back over the T-Com. "Hera! That was /loud/. Also I think every car alarm in Cairo is going off right now. I just hope nobody had a good zoom lens, I swear every hair on my head was standing to attention, I must have looked like Don King."