9745/The Search for Dr. Fate III

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The Search for Dr. Fate III
Date of Scene: 21 January 2022
Location: Lower Levels
Synopsis: Hal Jordan and Morgan Finn find themselves thrown back in time, to an alternate history on the day that Atlantis was swallowed by the waves. Their frantic search for Dr. Fate before the end meets yet another trick from Faust. The search for Dr. Fate will continue.
Cast of Characters: Hal Jordan, Morgan Finn

Hal Jordan has posed:
Once more unto the breach!

Thus far the search for Dr. Fate, the hope of rescuing him from what alternative dimension or time the mad sorcerer Felix Faust has trapped him in, has not been a rousing success. Instead each time they have put Dr. Doom's magical ceremony to use the Justice League has found themselves in some horrible, un-winnable circumstance with a false Dr. Fate awaiting their efforts. But hey, perhaps this time will be different, right?

Of course while the search for their missing ally is important, it is not the only thing on the LEague's radar. And bringing overwhelming force has not really made a difference thus far. So perhaps something a little more... subtle, for this effort then?

Which is why Hal Jordan stands in the Justice League's meeting room with one of Wonder Woman's associates, once more setting up the ceremony with it's huge, red gemstone and the pentagram traced out on the black velvet covering and the candles that burn brightly at each of the points. It feels a little ridiculous to him to be honest. But he can't deny that it works. Whatever his other -- numerous -- failings might be it would appear that the King of Latveria has played straight with them when it comes to this magical ceremony.

As the last candle flares to life, the Green Lantern of Sector 2814 glances towards his partner for this expedition. "If you're having any second thoughts, now's the time to bail," he says, offering Morgan a tight smile. "Otherwise get ready. We've tended to have to hit the ground running on these little expeditions," he cautions.

Then the Power Ring begins to recite the strange, mystical words, a reddish glow slowly starting to build up in the heart of that gemstone.

Morgan Finn has posed:
For tonight's work, Morgan is wearing the hand-made armor of Wonder Boy. He wears it with the youthful pride of one who has completely devoted himself to a cause on a molecular level regardless of cost or consequence. In one hand he grips a composite bo-staff with metal-shod tips. He may have barely a fraction of the powers of those who populate the Justice League, but one look at the teen and there can be no doubt as to his daring and commitment.

"I'm ready, Green Lantern. I won't fail you," he says confidently.

Hal Jordan has posed:
The meeting room of the Hall of Justice fills up with a brilliant red glow, the light almost blinding in its intensity, blotting out everything else around them until it is all encompassing. For seconds it stays that way, almost too bright to see at all, and when that illumination finally begins to dim it is pretty apparent that they are not in Kansas anymore.

Indeed, it is an open question of where exactly they are at all.

The last few times they have used this ceremony the Leaguer's travelling through to the other side have found themselves outside the Hall of Justice itself. Of course each time it has been a very different -- and much more hostile -- world then their own. But this time they are almost certainly not in Metropolis any longer.

The buildings that rise up around them are graceful and beautiful to be sure, though stone appears to be the favored building implement rather than glass and steel. The streets are broad thoroughfares with the most intricate sort of brick work. The air is remarkably clean, with no trace of the scents so common to more modern cities. Indeed, there is no sign of motorized vehicles or electricity or anything modern at all. It feels very much like they have taken a step out of time.

Under other circumstances that would surely capture the pair's attention. It's definitely remarkable. Just not quite as remarkable as the fifty-foot high waves that seem to fill the norizon on all sides, racing towards this city of the past, shadows starting to loom over the city.

"I think we might have a problem," Hal says quietly, head tilted back as he watches those waves of water rush towards them and the city they stand in the middle of.

He might have a gift for understatement.

Morgan Finn has posed:
Drawing in a deep breath, Morgan peers around the stunning city. He takes a few cautious steps forward. If not for the graveness of their mission, this would be actually be a, well, nice place to visit. "Where are we, Hal?" he asks in a hushed, awed tone. Although the newest Wonder Boy would dare not show cowardice, he does unconsciously take a step closer to Green. "I've never seen any..."

When Green Lantern voices his caution, Morgan looks around at the horizon. "That's...that's not good. Does that ritual thing work in reverse?" he asks.

Hal Jordan has posed:
"Hard to say," the Green Lantern says, his gaze sweeping over the graceful spires that rise up around them, the intricate columns and construction that, while archaic in some fashions, is also remarkably advanced. He's not really a history buff unfortunately and they don't exactly have a great deal of time to sight-see right at the moment.

While Hal might not be an expert on where they are, his power ring is significantly better informed. There are many advantages to wielding just about the most advanced artificial intelligence in the universe. Far more then just slinging about tremendous amounts of energy to make up solid light energy constructs. ~Based on ambient sensor readings you appear to be in the city of Atlantis, roughly ten thousand years ago. Judging by the waves approaching it is fair to assume that this is the moment the city sank beneath the Atlantic Ocean.~ the ring offers up helpfully.

"There you are," Hal says, taking just a moment to survey those massive waves that are only moments away from drowning the doomed city around them. It is strangely silent in some respects, almost like all ambient sound has been sucked away from the void they're standing in. But the cries of panicked people out in the greater city finally begin to rise up from amonst the wide, tree-lined plazas. "And yes, the ring can open a portal back for us at any time," he assures the young man. "But we sound still have a few minutes. If Fate is here we don't want to leave him," the Green Lantern says seriously. "Ring..." he begins.

He does not even finish before a brilliant emerald arrow leaps from the ring, pointing deeper into the city. ~Energy signatures matching the Helm of Nabu have been detected this way~ the ring chimes.

"Looks like we have directions. We probably better hurry," Hal suggests. Otherwise they might want to start growing gills. Fast.

Morgan Finn has posed:
To his credit, the young demigod is quite calm and still as he listens to the power ring's report. He even manages to crack a bit of a grin on one side of his mouth. "That things pretty handy. I gotta get me one of those," he jokes glibly. Then he peers around again at the impending aquatic doom driving toward ancient Atlantis. "Well on the bright side, if this kills us at least we've been dead for thousands of years already."

With a brief smirk, the kid breaks into a run in the direction indicated by Green Lantern's power ring. He's quite athletic and even in the bulky armor he runs with power and precision.

Hal Jordan has posed:
It is definitely getting darker out, despite it seeming to be afternoon. Of course that is what starts to happen when towering walls of water begin to converge, blotting out the sun and the sky. But as Green Lantern mentioned, they still seem to have a few minutes before the waves crash down. Even then, chances are Hal could conjure up something that will protect them if needed.

So Green Lantern takes to the sky, wrapped up in that emerald glow, keeping pace with the younger man who races along those streets below. Increasingly though those deserted boulevards are filling up with panicked people taking to the streets as they are faced with their world coming to an end. They crowd the public plazas, pointing up towards those looming waves that will crash down on their city in moments, cry out to their leaders and gods to offer some sort of salvation.

And salvation, it seems, does indeed appear. At one end of the plaza, a majestic domed building rises up, intricately constructed and impressive, even in a sea of likewise impressive structures. But from it a quartet of golden beams suddenly launch, bursting forth between the columned openings, sweeping out over the city itself, right to the very limits of the ancient city. And when they reach glowing walls of yellow begin to stretch out, starting to envelope the entire city in that dome of golden light just as the first of the waves starts to crash downward.

The glowing emerald arrow that points them to their goal quite naturally is aimmed straight towards that domed building and the city-saving light coming from it. "Looks like we know where we're headed," Hal calls out as he swoops down, flying mere feet above Morgan, his ring occasionally making green structures appear for the other man so he can jump and leap from one after another to avoid the worsening crowds.

Maybe Hal is a fan of platformers.

Morgan Finn has posed:
When the two first start encountering the crowd, Morgan deftly weaves and whirls through the throngs of people. It's a bit rough, especially while carrying a bo-staff and attempting not to injure any bystanders with it. "I'm sorry." "Excuse me." "Comin' through, sorry." are some of the things he yells out when he accidentally bumps into this person or that. Then the green platforms begin to appear.

"Dope," Morgan opines.

How many times has his training had him leaping from platform to platform in the arena at the Themysciran Arts Center? Countless. He could do this in his sleep.

"We goin' in that domed building, I take it?" he asks Hal as he leaps long from one platform to the next.

Hal Jordan has posed:
As that golden dome begins to form a swelling cry goes up from the throngs gathered on the street. There is still more than a little anxiety to it -- understandable at those waves pound down against that golden glow, the raging surf threatening to cover it entirely even it does not fall amonst the buildings and inhabitants of the city. Many of the words are unintelligible, a language clearly not their own. BUt a name is heard amongst the chants, again and again, perhaps the individual the people of Atlantis are crediting with saving them. Arion.

"I think it's safe to assume that's the place," Hal agrees, flying unerringly towards their destination now that it seems clear, his ring continuing to conjure up those emerald constructs, giving his partner a path to the Dome that does not involve pushing through that thick crowd below. More then a few looks are tossed their way now, but the Green Lantern gives them little mind. They have more pressing matters to worry about then being seen by those who are millenia dead -- and likely from a different universe as well.

It does not take them long to reach that building, the tall columns forming arches that lead into the interior of the building itself, clever slits funnelling the light from outside into the interior which appears to be one, great terraced hall. A government forum perhaps, where the leaders of the city and continent could meet. But today only one man is present there. A man with long red hair and dressed in blue robes. Gold trim lines those robes and a belt of gold encircles his waist. A cape of blue and red is likewise draped across his shoulders and beams of golden light burst forth from his hands -- the seeming source of the energy that is preserving the city around them.

And behind him, down at the bottom of those terraced steps, resting on a marble bier is the form of Dr. Fate. Much finer strands of golden power seem to flow from him, feeding into the robed man. As his eyes fall on the pair of intruders that power fills his gaze as well and he begins to shout at them -- the words unintelligble until translated by the power ring around Hal's finger.

~I do not know what evils you have conjured up strangers, to bring destruction to my home, but you shall not succeed! I, Arion, Lord of Atlantis and Supreme Sorcerer of this world shall lay you low!~

Almost immediately new blasts of golden light burst from his eyes, tearing towards Hal and Morgan.

Morgan Finn has posed:
Morgan knows he likely can't survive those eye beams! With a grunt of effort he leaps from one of Green Lantern's platforms, through one of the arches, and he rolls acrobatically to one side, coming to his feet. "He thinks we sent those giant waves," the teen demigod announces. "Doctor Fate is over here!" The kid is the master of the obvious, it seems.

With determined speed, he darts over to where Doctor Fate is...what?...being siphoned perhaps? "C'mon, Doc, we gotta get you out of here," he says. He kneels down and places a hand on Doctor Fate's golden helm. "I don't like doing this without permission. You can sue me later." He attempts to send his consciousness into the highways and the byways of the sorcerer's mind. If he can get in there perhaps there is a chance he can assess what condition Doctor Fate is in. If this works, he'll enter a fictional reality representing Doctor Fate's mind.

Hal Jordan has posed:
Misunderstandings. They do seem to be the source of so many conflicts that heroes find themselves in.

"Translate what we're saying ring! Put it into his language!" Hal orders as he suddenly dives, just barely skimming above those stone seats that slowly descend towards the center of the room, those golden eye beams following after him, tracing him through the room. But the Green Lantern is able to remain one step ahead, no matter how short a step that might be. "Calm down, we have nothing to do with any of this! We're just here for our friend!" he calls out, motioning towards where Dr. Fate lays... and where Morgan is just reaching.

Of course drawing attention to the fallen Lord of Order doesn't do Morgan any favors and those eye beams sweep towards him even as he tries to get into Fate's head -- stopped just short when a glimmering emerald wall slams into place, blocking off that part of the chamber. But as those golden beams smash into the green construct Hal grits his teeth to try and maintain the barrier, summoning in up that formidable will power.

~No!~ the ring offers up in translation of the Lord of Atlantis. ~He is giving me the power to save my city. You shall not have him!~ Arion says via the ring's translation. One of those great, golden beams maintaning the dome sweeps towards Hal, seeking to simply overwhelm him in that flow of power even while those eye beams seek to carve through his conjured barrier.

Outside, no longer reinforced by all that power, the golden dome suddenly begins to show cracks as the overwhelming pressure of all that water bears down against the magical field.

For Morgan however perhaps none of that matter, at least not in the immediate instance. Instead as he reaches out towards the unconscious, helmetted ally he might feel something strange, at first. Let a void. As if there is no mind there to touch at all. Or perhaps one simply lost in an eternity, a starless emptiness tretching on beyond recknoning. And then that void is filled with a sound, tiny at first, almost impossible to hear without straining. Then the noise grows. Louder and louder. The sound of laughter. Harsh, mocking laughter.

Morgan Finn has posed:
Going into the mind of someone who is injured in a controlled environment is one thing. Intruding into a mind as powerful as Doctor Fate's without his permission in an unknown environment is well beyond the prior experiences of this fledgeling demigod who is still going through the process of developing into his powers. Add to that the pressure that if they succeed in their mission they may be dooming thousands of people -- and possibly themselves -- to a watery death.

Reaching out with his mind, Morgan says, "Doctor Fate, my name is Morgan. I am...Wonder Boy. I'm here with Green Lantern to bring you home, sir." Morgan attempts to manifest some sort of soothing environment here in this dream realm. A peaceful mountain lake and a wooded glade.

"Please, Doctor Fate, I need you to wake up. We don't have much time."

Hal Jordan has posed:
Again that hollow, ominous laugh seems to echo through Morgan's consciousness. It is a sound tinged with insanity -- hopefully not the sort of thing that one would hear in the mind of Dr. Fate. Otherwise they might all be in a great deal of trouble. "Dr. Fate isn't here," comes a whispering voice, dark and malevolent. Instead an image seems to form in the demi-god's mind, a man -- his face cruel -- wearing a deep blue turban enicrcled by a golden band. "But that's okay. You can take his place," the figure says, eyes gleaming before hands seem to reach out in the young man's head as if to grab hold of his mind.

That battle takes place, wordles and unseen behind that green barrier that Arion hammers at with his mystic blasts. Just two motionless bodies. And then it is as if Dr. Date simply begins to melt, that golden helmet and blue armor seeming to collapse in on itself. That body begins to flow over the edges of that bier, thousand upon thousands of grains of sand beginning to tumble towards the floor.

Another of Faust's tricks.

As the false Dr. Fate fades back away into its component parts a cry of fury, desperation and hopelessness floods from the Lord of Atlantis. ~Nooooooo! What have you done?~ But even as those words escape the man it becomes clear that he has been cut off from a formidable part of the power he was channelling. Those great golden beams are cut in half, the flow of power flooding out to that golden barrier dimming considerably. Outside, that great magical dome shows more and more cracks, rippling through the golden construct. Tiny at first, soon pieces of it begin to crumble away as great spouts of water begin to cascade down into the city below.

Clearly Arion has other things to worry about, the blue-robed sorcerer frantically trying to draw enough power to reinforce the dome. To save his city. But this has already happened and Hal has another mission. Making sure that Wonder Woman doesn't smite him for getting her apprentice killed. He swoops down towards the young man, grabbing him by the shoulders and starting to shake. "Hey. Hey! Are you still with me here? I think it's time we got out of here..."

Morgan Finn has posed:
"That'll be the day!" Morgan mentally informs the would-be attacker -- Faust -- as he reaches for the demigod's head. "My friends are powerful and you're going to pay for the trouble you've caused." Then he breaks the mental connection. Morgan's eyes flash open instantly as he draws in a sudden, sharp, deep breath, like someone who has underwater for too long.

Seemingly oblivious to the danger all around them, Morgan turns to Green Lantern. "Hal, it was another trick. It was Faust all along." He shakes his head. "This was a trap."

He peers out through the archways at the badly crumbling magical barrier. There is a note of sadness on the boy's features. Is this it? Mere weeks as Wonder Boy and is this how it will end? If so, then he will go out on his feet like a warrior!

He turns back to Green Lantern. "Do we...do we have a way home?" he asks utterly calmly, though his voice is barely above a whisper now.

Hal Jordan has posed:
Thwarted again. Yet another trap by Faust. It is frustrating in the extreme. But Hal has to believe that with each trick and trap exposed they are one step closer to finding the one, true Dr. Fate and bringing their friend and ally home.

In some ways it is almost as bad to watch what is going on around them. Through the columned openings that reveal the city beyond it is possible to see that barrier begin to give way, the dark shadows of that waiting water stirring, increasingly breaking through the golden barrier to come crashing down onto the city below. They can see one of those graceful, almost storybook spires crack and topple under the sheer force of that falling water, the city closer and closer to being consumed. And in the center of this forum the protector of the city, Arion, Supreme Sorcerer of this world, this time, has collapsed to his knees, those faded golden beams of power still pouring out from him, head bowed, tears raining down his cheek as his powers prove lacking to save his home.

"We do," Hal offers up to the younger hero, expression grim. "They don't have an escape unfortunately," he adds quietly. Of course if this world is anything like their own some will survive, even thrive beneath the waves. But many more of those here today won't. Even the power ring cannot prevent that. "It's time to go," the Green Lantern says quietly, that glow beginning to emanate from him once more, this time spreading out to envelope Morgan as well. As the water begins to cascade into the room, it laps at the green field of force surrounding them but does not reach them, stopped short leaving them dry as the ring begins to recite those mystical words provided by Dr. Doom once more.

A moment later a portal opens up beneath the pair, dropping them back into their own world, in the same meeting chamber within the Hall of Justice they so recently vacated.

ANd behind them, Atlantis drowns. Again.