2017-07-22 Stuck In The Chamber With You

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2017-07-22 Stuck In The Chamber With You
Date 2017/07/22
Location Jungle Planet - Temple
Participants Lockjaw, Penchant
Plot Tomb Raiders, Artifacts of the Knights of Cybertron
Scene GM Jay
Summary As for the other two...well, this doesn't look good.

While Nightshade and E'hsan have their little adventure in the smaller section of the chamber, Penchant and Lockjaw remain trapped in the larger part. The wall now separating the Lost Lighters from one of their own is thick, too thick for communication to be possible. Comms still work, but perhaps by the time this is thought of, Nightshade will already be whisked away through the exit E'hsana found.

Another problem is the slowly increasing rumble of machinery deep in the walls and floor of the tomb beginning to awaken. Another trap has been sprung, beyond the walls blocking what is supposedly their only exit, and as our heroes wonder at how to get out, the walls of the room begin to move, slowly yet steadily, inward toward them.

Lockjaw's mood has done a complete 180 since she first set foot on this planet. Where before she was enjoying the humid jungle air, now she paces through the room, optics narrowed to yellow slits. The tips of her fingers brush against the wall, claws searching for a snag of any crack or button, anything that might serve as an escape, built in or improvised. Of course, most of the snags come from the mosaiac tiles, and those she mercelessly rips off along the way. On the back of both her hamds, her knuckles are covered in scrapes and scratches, the only result of her initial attempt at escape. The closing walls are not helping her mood "We should have never trusted that alien. Anything that looks like a cloudwalker is bound to act like one."

"Guess your instincts were right," Penchant watches Lockjaw pace before joining her in inspecting the rumbling room. He focuses on the floor instead, feeling around for loose tiles or blocks. "Though I sure hope you don't think of our crew's cloudwalkers that way," he adds, testily. "Nightshade would be categorized as one in your mind, right?"

The walls of the room continue to close, sliding across the floor toward the center. It's obvious what will happen to Penchant and Lockjaw if they don't find a way out soon.

The floor, like the walls, is decorated, though not in mosaic pictures. It is intricately carved, with old, yet still beautiful, designs and abstract images. In fact, some of the designs look rather familiar as they pattern out from the center of the floor. Perhaps a different perspective is needed...a way to see the bigger picture.

<FS3> Lockjaw rolls Body+Body: Good Success. (5 1 8 4 1 7 2 3)

From a higher viewpoint, the familiarity of the patterns will become more clear: in the center of the room, large enough to be stood upon, the designs of the carvings create those same four symbols from the tomb's entrance. The curvy cross, the swirl, the cylinder and the dodecahedron sit neatly arranged in a diamond on the floor.

"If she ineed looks like a cloudwalker, then yes, that applies to her too." Lockjaw rumbles "The only creature I've seen that looks like a Cloudwalker that I could stand is simply too cowardly to be of any harm. They are, by nature, oportunistic backstabbers." Pausing in her destruction of alien art, she turns towards Penchant to make her point clearer...

...and then looks right past him, down, at the floor. Those marks look vaguely familiar, if a little too big to see. "Hmmm" The gatorformer looks back up at the wall, and then shifts down to beast mode, only to start scrambling right up the wall, her claws catching the cracks and digging into the rock. Near the celling, she cranes her neck to study the floor bellow "Those are the same symbols as at the entrance. Perhaps they need to be pressed as well."

Penchant isn't rightly sure what to say in the face of stark, proud tribalism. He'd heard a few things about Lockjaw, but didn't expect these words in particular. "You're shameless," he mutters, then steps out of the way as she transforms and claws up the wall. "Huh, so they are... Do you recall the order? Started with a swirl..." He moves for the swirled design and puts a bit of pressure underfoot, then looks up to try and discern how much time they might have.

As Penchant steps on the swirl, it slowly decompresses into the floor and remains there, the same way the same symbol had on the tomb's entrance. As the two discover this clue and chat about it, the walls grow steadily closer. It's not too cramped, not yet, as the chamber was fairly large to begin with, but it's going to become uncomfortable very soon.

<FS3> Penchant rolls Mind+mind: Great Success. (1 8 8 3 2 7 5 7)

<FS3> Lockjaw rolls Mind+Mind: Good Success. (8 4 8 6 2 2)

"Why should I be ashamed of the truth?" Lockjaw's rumble carries some genuine confusion, mixed with disdain. Cloudwalkers are gonna gonna be Cloudwalkers, like it or not. But that's an argument for when they're not in danger of being turned into metal pancakes "Hmmm, I believe the next one is the cylynder" she recals "To your left. The...cross is across from that, and the last one, to the left of that"

Penchant keeps the rest of his thoughts to himself on the matter, they literally have more pressing concerns. He darts around to each design as Lockjaw describes them, and finally steps back, flat against one of the moving walls, as if he could hold it in place. "Is it working?"

As Penchant steps on the symbols, each one depresses into the floor, just as the first did. Swirl, cylinder, cross, dodecahedron. When the last symbol is pressed, the walls, which were now about one and a half Lockjaws apart, grind to a halt. There is a heavy silence that falls in the wake of the ceasing of their movement.

And then, with a rumble so close and deep that it seems to make the floor shake, the walls start moving again. Faster, this time, closing in on the two mechs.

Slag! Lockjaw hisses loudly as the walls begin to move in even faster, as if that could spook them into stopping, or atleast slowing down. "Do it backwards!". Her optics meanwhile, dart across what's left of the room in search of anything else that might be of use in their escape. Her current position makes it a bit difficult, but it also gives her more time. If the walls reach her, then it's already too late.

Penchant finds his spark up in his throat when the wall he leans against lurches forward, pushing his heels through the dusty stone particles. "Frag-frag-frag..." He pushes away and scrambles to make a perimeter, pressing the symbols in reverse. "If this fails, we're gonna' need every bit of firepower you can scrape from subspace!"

The symbols remain depressed, and stepping on them again, even in reverse order, does nothing. The walls continue to shrink the available space, from floor to ceiling, pushing both Lockjaw and Penchant into the very center of the room as they come. It's starting to look futile; there are no other options, as the walls' passage begin covering up the symbols. There is seemingly no escape.

And then, when the walls reach the edge of the two east/west symbols, the floor suddenly drops out from beneath Penchant's feet. He will fall immediately into the darkness, while Lockjaw will have to jump before she is crushed.

Down, down, down a stone chute the two mechs slide, a dizzying and suffocating journey that takes them through darkness without much wiggle room on either side. The chute empties them out hard onto the stone floor of a different chamber, the walls of this one still and silent and leaving plenty of room for--

An arrangement of floor tiles between where they land and the exit to the room, each tile sporting one of the four symbols. They are colored, alternating between a dusty gray and a beige, with the tiles arranged in an 8x8 board. Because of course they are. One puzzle to the next, it seems.

Looks like there's no way but down. Releasing her hold on the wall, Lockjaw lets herself drop. Penchant might end up with an aligator on his head, though she scrambles off pretty quickly, shifting up to root mode to get a better look at what's before them. Nothing good, obviously "What is the point of all of these puzzles?" she growls "It would seem we need to arange them again, but why are there so many, and coloured so?"

<FS3> Penchant rolls Body+body: Success. (7 2 1 5)

Penchant is trying to ignore the edges of panic that nip at his mind as the walls close in, but by some miracle, they're sent down a chute, and hard onto a floor. Thankfully, he's able to get his feet under him before landing, though it knocks the wind from his vents, and he stays crouched for a lengthy moment. Oh, a symbol grid. "I imagine it some form of torture for these graverobbers... Urgh, I'm only halfway decent at hand puzzles, physical puzzles, not... er..." He stands, slowly. "Hope E'hsan and Nightshade are alright..."

<FS3> Penchant rolls Puzzles: Success. (2 4 4 5 8)

<FS3> Lockjaw rolls Mind+mind: Good Success. (8 8 6 8 3 2)

To Penchant, avid puzzle man that he is, the board before them will look less like something you arrange, and more like a chess board. The only problem is, there are no pieces.

If the two come closer, Lockjaw's keen eyes will make out more carvings on the floor. It would be easy to pass up as part of the decoration, if not for how much more crudely the images are drawn than the rest of what they've seen here. What's scratched into the floor here are those same damn symbols, arranged in two rows. The first row is the same order as before: swirl, cylinder, cross, dodecahedron. The second, however, is the order reversed. Dodecahedron, cross, cylinder, swirl.

Both may also note that the first of eight rows of tiles that makes up this board has an interesting quirk: there is only one swirl tile, while the cylinder appears three times.

Lockjaw snorts in annoyance, but since there's not really any other option, she steps towards the board "Looks like this time, we will need to arange them backwards" crocuhing down, she taps the carving with a claw. "I suppose we are to press them again?" standing back up, she eyes the board "There is an extra peice..."

Penchant seems mildly impressed as Lockjaw gleans some understanding of the puzzle before he does. Still, he sounds wary, "Backwards? So long as it doesn't trigger traps in here and make them /worse/. Just tell me if I can help. This one is beyond me... I'd usually call Hunker for this stuff."

"Standards" Lockjaw grumbles, more to herself than Penchant. Not even trying to help figure things out, huh? Well, no need, she can figure this out with out help. Atleast he's willing to stand on things "Hmmm. Perhaps since there is only one of the Swirl, it is to be shared. Step on the pattern in reverse first, and then proceed from the swirl to the original order."

Penchant might've felt the urge to pull a little rank at Lockjaw's grumbling, but she's the one decoding this puzzle, sooo probably not a grand idea. He does as he's told, carefully maneuvering. It took a jungle tomb to finally get used to this body's mobility.

<FS3> Penchant rolls Reaction+reaction-2: Good Success. (7 7)

<FS3> Lockjaw rolls Reaction+Reaction: Success. (7 2 4 5)

When Penchant and Lockjaw begin trying their answer, the tile they first step on does depress beneath their feet - which is, for once, apparently the wrong effect. The room starts to shake, dust and debris falling from the ceiling, but that isn't the troublesome part. The floor behind them, starting near where they were dropped by the chute, begins to crumble into the dark space beneath it. The stone falls in neat square sections, like the board they're stepping on, and now it doesn't matter what order they choose, because it's time to run for the exit!

Lockjaw lets out a long, irate hisss. It's settled. She hates puzzles. (Atleast she tried, unlike SOME people) "Slag it, GO!" Without another owrd, she lunges forward, and if Penchant doesn't move, she will simply tackle him ahead. Whatever's ahead, if they stand around here pressing tiles, they're dead anyways.

Penchant wants to facepalm, though he's not sure over what. Lockjaw manages to tackle him before he can twist around and find the exit. "Gah! Wait! I can walk!" Y'know, whatevs, Pench is just going to cling to Lockjaw's frame as she barrels across the crumbling stone. In true useless standards-fashion.

Our heroes, running for their lives, manage to make it to the other end of the room without falling into the growing abyss behind them. The crumbling floor stops short of the exit, meaning that once they are in the hallway beyond they are perfectly safe, if cramped again.

The corridor they find themselves in is around the same size as those on the ground level, though less intricately decorated. It is short, and at the end of it lies a simple, plain-looking door, except for one thing: the dully shining golden handle, large enough for them to grasp.

"If you walked, you would be dead" Lockjaw rumbles, coming to a stop at the mouth of the hall "We should have just done this in the first place instead of wasting time with stupid puzzles" Now Penchant can walk, so he can let go. Or he can hang on and be dragged along as Lockjaw makes her way down the hall, towards the door. She's had it with this place. She wants to get that artifact, and get out, and it seems that door is the only way to go from here.

Penchant quickly drops back to his feet and dusts himself off. Ahem. "I think we just had a little bad luck with that one," he says, now just a little worried Lockjaw might just start shooting at the walls. He follows closely, pulling out the torch again. He /somehow/ still has it. With a steady vent inward, he reaches for the golden handle and pulls it.

The corridor they stride down has no traps, nothing that springs out at them. No more puzzles, no more creatures, nothing. It's the final stretch, and as Penchant pulls open that last door, the two will find they've come to their destination.

It's the jackpot.

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