Atlantis


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SiphonTalvesh

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#1
The stillness of the city had been broken by the wormhole mere minutes ago, and now, for the first time in lord knew how long, a living being stepped foot within it's walls. Siphon appeared, walking through the gate, moving off to one side to await the others. He stood there in the light cast off by the gate and his probe, taking in what he could see of his own surroundings.

The probe had done an excellent job of relaying vital information, but even it wasn't truly capable of capturing the sheer magnitude and beauty of the area, not to mention the awe one felt standing in a room that had been constructed eons ago, far before most current species had even evolved enough to be called anything more than a building block for life. The glass, which had seemed so brilliantly colorful on the relay, was even more so seen in person. Now that he was standing near one on the side of the gate, he could see a bit out into the water. Using the light from the probe, and narrowing it's beam to reflect less, he peered out a few feet into the dark water. His head moved enough, tilting upward, and what he saw surprised him.

He could see a faint light well above them, light that could only be coming from the surface. Doing some quick calculations, Siphon realized the city was under about nine hundred feet of ocean water. Somehow, they were anchored to the bottom, and the water was being repelled by some kind of shield that the probe couldn't entirely identify a source for.

He took a step back towards the gate, setting down his bag for the moment. Then he took a step further out from the gate than he had initially, and got a surprise out of it.

Ancient sensors that hadn't sensed life since the city had been abandoned eons ago suddenly detected the presence of a life form. They silently scanned, determining that the life form present was not listed in the database as a threatening one. They also determined that this life form possessed the genes of the race who had built the city. This triggered protocols wired deeply into the city itself, triggering a reaction of activation. All of this happened in the blink of an eye, and once the cycle was complete, the result began to show.

Suddenly, several lighting systems began to come online, illuminating the area he was standing in, but nothing more. Siphon paused a moment, looking for signs of life that the probe had missed, but there was nothing. Carefully, he took another step forward, and was rewarded by more lights coming online, this time enough to show him the base of the stairs that led to the next floor. Another step onto that lower stair, and a portion of the stairwell lit up, with some blue tints to the sidings. He could also see the stairs had symbols from the Ancient's language engraved into them in a gold coloring, something the probe HADN'T been able to see.

By the time the others came through the gate, they would see him taking singular steps in a methodical pattern, and for each step he took, more lights came on in response to his presence.

By now, enough of the first floor was lit to show the true scale of the room. It was huge, easily triple the size of the one they had just left at the station. It had metallic green colored walls, but the real impressive features were the glass and the gate itself.

The glass was now fully visible, seeming to be yellow in color, but reflecting light into many other colors that made it seem, at certain angles, to be hundreds of perfectly blended colors. The gate itself was about the same size as their own, but clearly a different model. From this side they could see that it didn't have an inner spinning circle, but rather it seemed to operate like the new gate system Siphon had only just begun to develop. It appeared to handle it's dialing electronically, and the chevrons located on the gate were a teal type of color. There were many symbols on the gate, representing what they could likely assume were both Pegasus and Milky Way symbols. The ones lit up in dotted white were clearly of the address to Peltas Five, and unlike their gates, these seemed to have a flawlessly smoothness to them. There were no 'rough' edges, or indentations where they symbols were. They were one hundred percent smooth, as if the lit symbols were actually a part of the design and hadn't been engraved on later.


((And now the FUN begins.))
 
Nov 10, 2008
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#2
Re: Atlantis

In spite of everything that she and her allies had been through, not to mention the things that they could do, traveling through the gates never ceased to amaze her. Stepping through in one location and stepping out somewhere completely different; in this case, a whole other galaxy altogether.

It took several seconds for her eyes to adjust to the change in the lighting. Even with each new glimmer illuminating the room, it was still, well, otherworldly. Despite what Siphon was doing, she found herself spinning slowly in a circle, looking not only at the room but watching the glimmer of the lights play against the glass that made up the bulk of the one wall. Watching it shift and reflect the light was mesmerizing and the fact that it was so huge helped give the illusion that they were not underwater, despite the shifting landscape on the other side of where they stood.

A new glimmer drew her attention away from the wall, watching the lights coming on with some amusement as they seemed to follow Siphon's steps, it reminding her of old effects in a years ago music video. The city was starting to come to life - and they were the ones that were helping to revive it.
 

SiphonTalvesh

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#3
Re: Atlantis

Siphon turned briefly to check on Sho after he heard the ripple from the gate, indicating someone arriving. He half shrugged to her as he turned around, walking up the rest of the stairwell.

"Looks like all the lights are coming on automatically. I'm not sure if they're sensing just the presence of a living being, or if they can somehow distinguish what I am. Either way, looks like we at least have some power. You uh ... you might not want to look out that window too closely though. Let's just say I'm really, REALLY glad there is a shield active right now, and leave it at that shall we?"


He made his way to the second floor of the room, pausing as he looked at a console.

"Alright, I think I have found the dialing controls, quite impressive looking I might add. Got some dust up here too, and plants that look like they've been dead for quite some time. Lord only knows how long this place has been abandoned for. Hello, what have we here?"


He had stopped and was looking at a rather large display device, one that from where Sho was standing didn't seem very impressive, but given his sudden interest in it, she could only guess she was at the wrong angle to see whatever had caught his eye.
 
Nov 10, 2008
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#4
Re: Atlantis

She'll turn around to look out the window, but thankfully, she's looking out and not up. "Why? There some ginormous sea monster out there that I can't see?" she chuckles.

Given that she seems to have more of an interest in the city's interior than exterior at the moment, she'll cross the floor, boots tapping quietly amid the hum of the newly woken chamber, and ascend the steps to join him at the panel. "You've got that 'kid in a candy store' look about you again."
 

SiphonTalvesh

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#5
Re: Atlantis

There was a slight chuckle from him before he replied.

"Yeah well, it's not every day you get to step inside the walls of a place constructed thousands of years before most humanoid civilizations were even born. Not to mention something that, if our history records are correct, is as much a ship as it is a city to live in. You should come up here, I think you'll find this interesting."


Assuming she did, she'd be standing next to him looking at the panel she'd seen from below. This close, she could see an overlay of the city itself, showing all the arms. The map was obviously scaled, but she didn't need to know the conversion to be able to tell that the city was massive. That was confirmed a moment later by Siphon.

"If I'm reading this scaling right, then this HAS to be Atlantis. Nothing else would be this large."

He paused, slowing down and turning to her, both a grin, and a slightly surprised look on his face.

"If I'm right on the scaling, then the city is almost triple the size of a Wraith Hive ship. And that's just the exterior. Given all the levels and how far the city goes down before reaching the lowest level ... Well, to explore the whole city could take ... well ... Let's just say most humanoid species would pass on from age long before they even explored half of it. Assuming of course they weren't just passing to and from and were bothering to ..."

He trailed off as something caught his eye.

"Interesting, power just came online in one of the side rooms here. Schematics suggest some sort of ... Well, actually, it looks like a holographic chamber. Want to check it out?"
 
Nov 10, 2008
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#6
Re: Atlantis

"Oh, I understand the magnitude. It's just amusing, really." She grins, indeed heading up the steps to stand beside him at the panel. As he explains the scale, she lets out a low whistle. "Of course, that's assuming one were walking. I mean, who knows? Maybe they have transporters or something." She's grinning, of course, teasing, but at the same time, if the city were as massive as the scale indicated, there had to be a way to get across it in a short amount of time. Even Ancients had to have emergencies.

At the mention of the holographic chamber, she chuckles. "First transporters, now the holo-deck. All right, let's see what's next. We run into any Tribbles, though, I'm so heading back to the Peltas, stat. Probably ought wait for the others, though. If this thing isn't set on loop, they won't want to miss it."
 

Bartnum

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#7
Re: Atlantis

The Tiberions emerge from the portal moments later, stopping briefly to take in the area before moving up to join Siphon and Sho.

"How does it look?"
 

SiphonTalvesh

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#8
Re: Atlantis

Siphon half shrugged.

"So far so good. It looks like we found Atlantis, this place, if I'm right on the scaling of this map is almost triple the size of a wraith hive. The probe is currently checking power supply, but it'll be a few minutes at least. Although, we do appear to be under several hundred feet of ocean, though that is being held back by a shield of some kind. Some sort of room. possibly a holographic generator just came online to our left side, we're going to move in to check it out. Follow please, and stay close for now. This city has been abandoned for a long time, so we don't really know what kind of condition some of the systems are in."


Siphon led the way through a set of doors, passing close by another set that seemed to lead to some kind of balcony. He paused for a moment, looking at the angle of the water, which with the city lights coming online was now illuminated enough for them to see a fair distance out. Below them, past the balcony point, they could see all six arms of the city extending out in a snubbed snowflake shape, as far as the eye could see. From the map, they knew the city had towers at the end of four of the arms, yet even from their vantage point they couldn't see them, indicative of the size of the place.

Siphon muttered something about the water seeming awful close there, but he kept going, and finally they entered a mid sized room with a single panel, and nothing more. Once they stepped inside, he gave the panel a good look over before nodding.

"Alright, looks like it's just one of those step right up, push a button and stand there while whatever has been recorded plays itself out. Since there appears at this point to be only one selectable file, I suppose we shall start there. Here we go."

Siphon stepped up to the panel, and pressed a single button on it. Immediately the doors closed, and the lights in the room dimmed. A moment later, in the center of the room, a holographic person appeared. It appeared to be a young Lantean woman with dark brown hair and green eyes, wearing traditional heavy gold Atlantean armor. She regarded them for a moment, perhaps something that had been recorded specifically to allow anyone not aware of the technology to realize what was happening. Then, she spoke. However what was worth noting was she didn't speak in Ancient, but rather she was speaking in English. At first, it seemed to be details of the city arriving, and details of the Ancients having seeded the galaxy with life after determining none existed already. Then, things took a significant twist, and a much darker one at that.

"One day we stepped foot upon a world that had gone dark on our grid. Upon intial inspection, it appeared something unseen had killed every living being on the planet, including plant life. It wasn't long until we discovered what had happened. As we investigated further, we encountered a terrible enemy, one that came through spacial rifts that formed from nothing. Never before had we encountered an enemy with powers that were superior to our own, and we were caught unprepared for such an attack. Many of my people were killed or taken by this enemy, vanishing into the rifts that had spawned these abominations. Some of us managed to escape, and warn the others of our kind. Soon, these creatures returned, attaking other worlds, capturing or killing anything that stood in their path until finally, only Atlantis remained."


A star map showed the first world where the Ancients had encountered this enemy, and then showed a time scale that Siphon told them spanned a hundred or so human years. In about a hundred years, whatever this enemy was had gone through the entire galaxy, leaving only Atlantis untouched. These worlds turned from a blue to a red, with Atlantis the only blue dot remaining. Then, the hologram continued.


"Here though, we will be sieged for many years. We soon discovered our enemy had powerful ships of war, however this city's shield was powerful enough to withstand their brutal attacks. With nothing left to do but retreat, the order was given to do so, and this city was submerged and left to slumber, along with a single inhabitant who remained behind. It is her purpose to, upon reawakening, relay what she can remember to our kind should they ever return. This city was ..."


Suddenly the power to the hologram cut off, and the entire city shuddered as if something had slammed into it. However, a groaning sound from the city walls indicated that perhaps it was something more. Siphon pulled out the control for the probe, pushing a few buttons on it, his eyes shooting wide.

"Power levels throught the entire city are dropping like a stone. We need to find the power supply room and NOW, or we're dead. Parts of the shield holding back the ocean are failing, and the city is sacrificing parts of itself to keep the most important areas going, but catastrophic shield failure is imminent. I'd guess we have no more than fifteen minutes before it completely collapses."


As if to punctuate his words, the city shuddered again, this time more violently and nearly slamming Siphon into the wall head first. At some point the doors had opened up, the lights coming back up, but visibly dimmed and nowhere near full power as they had been a few minutes ago. Righting himself, Siphon headed for the door.

"Back to that mapping panel, and we need to find the power relay room on it. I hope you all have been brushing up on your Ancient, because this is going to require more than one of us to comb through that many possible schematics."
 

Bartnum

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#9
Re: Atlantis

"Leave that to me."

Lilith closed her eyes and appeared to begin focusing, indicating - at least to Corax and Vulkan - that she had begun interfacing with the city's technology.

"Hmm, even this way, 'brushing up on Ancient' seems pretty appropriate. Trying to talk to tech I've never seen before, I might as well be speaking another language. Still, power lines should be easy enough to pick out... I'll try and turn some things off while I'm at it."

The technopath began searching out along the city's power lines, attempting to trace them back to their source - while also turning off anything that was draining power unnecessarily. The lights in the room dimmed even further, some turning off altogether.
 
Nov 10, 2008
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#10
Re: Atlantis

Sho quietly watched the information that was displayed as the probe relayed its information, trying hard not to focus on the remarks being made about the water and the fact that it was likely pressing in all around them. The shields were doing their job, that's what mattered. What they needed to do was keep looking around and find out what it would take to make this place livable once again, from the sound of things, and that included making certain it wasn't infested with Wraith.

Checking out the hologram chamber seemed the next logical step and she followed along with the others, listening quietly as the woman began to speak. Given that what she was hearing was English made her wonder if there weren't some sort of translator program running at the same time, something catered to the listening. She wouldn't put it past them.

As she listened, though, she grew more and more concerned. Whatever this enemy was, it didn't bode well. She didn't think it was the Wraith. The Ancients should have been more than capable of taking care of them. No, whatever this new threat was, it was certainly more of a danger. And if she knew this bunch...

Unfortunately, there wasn't much time to dwell on that as the hologram faltered and she found herself catching her balance, glancing around as the echo of the groan faded to nothing. While Siphon worked, she looked around for anything that might have caused such a reaction, as though something in this room might provide the answer. His words, though, turned her fingertips to ice. There was no way that could be happening. At the depth they had to be at, if something weren't capable of keeping the water at bay, if the pressure didn't get them, they'd drown if the city flooded.

Atlantis, indeed, the sarcastic part of her chimed up.

She couldn't panic, not right now. No, there had to be a way to fix this, right? Something this big had to have fail-safes. Back-ups. It was just a matter of time before they located it.

Another shudder reminded her they might not have that.

"Don't worry about the lighting. I'm pretty sure the lot of us can make due, even if we're working by tablet glare. Let's just...get where we need to go and get done before it's too late."

She still couldn't feel her fingertips and she was trying her damnedest to stamp down her claustrophobia, but hearing the entire city groaning and feeling the shudder was not making it easy. If they didn't get looking, and soon, she wouldn't be able to keep her mind off of it much longer.
 

SiphonTalvesh

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#11
Re: Atlantis

Siphon raised an eyebrow at Lilith, though he said nothing. He'd heard rumors of people capable of directly interfacing with technology, hell half the Alveran systems on his ship were forever a part of his mind and he could access them instantly. But to see someone be able to interface with a system they had never encountered before and be able to speak was nothing short of impressive. Once this was over he'd have to have a talk with Corax as to why he hadn't mentioned this before. Had Siphon known Lilith were essentially a technopath, he'd have certainly beat Julia to the punch of asking for the company.

Once more the city shuddered, and there was a loud noise that sounded like energy fizzling out. A quick look at his own device told him something Lilith probably had already seen, or possibly felt.


"Part of the shield at the west end of the city just failed. Atlantis has collapsed the shield to it's minimal sustainable level, sacrificing non critical areas to make these central parts hold out a bit longer. If we can minimize our power consumption, only bring online critical systems needed for door functions and the like in JUST the area we are in, that may buy us some more time."

He shot a glance to Sho, and gently placed a hand on her shoulder.

"We're in the most protected part of the city. There's still time, we just can't dawdle about."



Lilith could see hundreds of power lines and conduits that ran throughout the entire length of the city. One by one, systems that didn't need to be on responded and shut down, although several flashes in the lines indicated that in some areas, it had come too late to prevent the shield from collapsing there, flooding portions of the city. Strangely enough though, she found an entire room that didn't seem to be critical near the very edge of the central tower that flatly refused to shut down. No matter what she tried to do, it wouldn't power down, some kind of protocol preventing power from being diverted. It seemed short of manually severing each line by hand, that room was staying on. Following it's lines however, she found a room near the bottom of the tower that had every primary conduit running into it.

Following that, she'd soon discover what she wanted. A central power room, that seemed to contain, according to the diagrams she could see, three stations for Zero Point Modules. A quick look confirmed two of them were dead, and the third one was in end stage failure. Siphon's estimate of their remaining time very likely wasn't far off, though the path she could see for them to get there would take them almost the entire amount of time they had left to reach it. Which meant he might have at most thirty seconds to put in his own power source and activate it before the shield failed, and the ocean crashed in on them, killing them all.
 

Bartnum

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#12
Re: Atlantis

Lilith wasted no time after finding the power room, opening all the doors that blocked their path to it and turning off all the lights that were still on - except those illuminating the path to the power room, which remained on at a dim level.

"Follow the lights, and make it fast. I'm redirecting all the power I can to the shield, but we don't have long."
 
Nov 10, 2008
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#13
Re: Atlantis

Placing his hand on her back, Siphon can feel the tension knotting Sho's muscles at the moment. Being in the area they're in, she still seems to be doing okay, but hearing the sacrifice of the city, feeling it each time the rest of it shudders, it's starting to get to be too much. At his words, all she truly does is give him a rather vigorous nod, there being a swallow there, too, that's very hard in coming.

Having Lilith to guide them was definitely an asset and she seems to return to her usual cheek once the other woman had set their path.

"C'mon, old man, we've got a sprint ahead of us," she manages to get out with a typical grin. Quarters were too tight for her to fly them to where they needed to go, but she could, at the very least, give them a tailwind. And, being sensitive to the atmosphere, she might have a few seconds head's up if anything were changing in their current area. Like the man, said, though, best not to dawdle.
 

SiphonTalvesh

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#14
Re: Atlantis

Siphon said nothing, hoisting up the bag with the Z.P.M in it. Then he took off at a dead run down the illuminated path. They hadn't travelled far when he shot back to Sho, "How's your ability working down here? If we run into any trouble, are you going to be able to smack them about? No time to do a proper sweep if we don't want to drown."



As Lilith continued to work through the systems, she came across something that seemed to be counting down. It was on a timer that was just slightly less time than the shield had left, and whatever it was she couldn't turn it off.
 
Nov 10, 2008
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#15
Re: Atlantis

"I'm good. As long as I have air to work with, I can make it do what I want. Besides, Wraith still have to breathe." She flashes him a tight smile and he likely knows what she's talking about. Other than that, she does her best to keep pace with him, or at the very least, does her best to keep him in sight while they're breaking for the chamber.
 

SiphonTalvesh

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#16
Re: Atlantis

"Alright, just checking."

They continued to run, though suddenly the city lurched violently, sending Siphon slamming against the wall. He stood shakily, but more so because the shaking of the city had not stopped, in fact, it was growing more insistent. A quick check of the probe confirmed his fears.

"The shield is collapsing in on itself, moving to protect the vital areas. Atlantis doesn't think it can maintain anywhere else, so it's shutting down the shield everywhere it can. It's not enough though, we ..."

He was cut off as the city once more violently lurched to the side, nearly tossing him into the wall again. However, something was different. The city seemed to be moving, which caused Siphon to narrow his eyes.

"What in the hell? We're ... moving?"




Lilith had done all she could, but she couldn't stop what had probably been waiting to happen for a long time. The shield was failing, and there was nothing to be done. There simply wasn't enough time for Siphon to get to the power chamber, for the shield was already collapsing. Then, two things happened at once that might give her pause for concern.

First, the countdown she had been watching reached zero, and some other system kicked in. At the same time, the city violently lurched upwards, nearly tossing her into a wall. When she righted herself, and established her connection again, she could see through the external sensors that the city itself was rising from the ocean floor. It took her a moment to realize it had to be some kind of fail-safe designed to raise the city should the shield reach the point of collapsing. The calculations were close, but it seemed they would reach the surface just before the shield completely died. Effectively, they would be spared a horrible drowning death, but without Siphon's power supply hooked in, they would be sitting ducks on the surface. Even with the shield though, they would be a floating target visible to anything in orbit.

The second was perhaps more disturbing to her. The room she had been unable to shut down was now going through several changes. She couldn't tell exactly what was going on, but certain systems were shutting down in that room, the same ones she hadn't been able to access. Of course, what proved to be the most shocking was when suddenly a life reading popped up in said room. She had no idea what had happened, but suddenly they were not the only living beings inside the city. Whatever it was, it was heading straight for Siphon and Sho, moving through the city as if it knew the layout.
 
Nov 10, 2008
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#17
Re: Atlantis

Sho likely slams into a wall opposite, or possibly the same, not being quite quick enough to catch herself from losing her balance. Probably a good thing she's not flying, as the change in the hall space likely would have been much worse for her.

"We're...what?" It takes her a minute to realize what's going on, even without knowing what's happening with the systems. The first thing that she does, though, is immediately start working on the air pressure inside of the city, within proximity to them. They might be sitting ducks on the surface, but if the bends hits them, they'll be even worse. Especially, apparently, with something bearing down on them.
 

Bartnum

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#18
Re: Atlantis

Lilith was becoming increasily frustrated by the mysterious power-draining room. If she could shut it down, the extra power to the shield could make a huge difference, but she didn't know enough about the Ancients' technology to override the protocols they'd set up.

"Can't you lift us to the surface?"

"Even I can't lift a whole city, especially not one clamped to the ocean floor. I'd end up ripping it apart."

"How about just the bit we're in then?"

"If the water didn't kill us, Siphon probably would."

"Could just leave his bit behind. Besides, I'd sooner deal with him than with a thousand feet of water."

"Now or never, we're out of time-"

The sudden lurching interrupted them, throwing them all off balance.

"Are we moving?"

"Looks like the Ancients had the same idea we did."

Now getting the hang of the city's sensors, Lilith was able to confirm that they were rising before finding Siphon and Sho's location, in the process picking up the new lifeform.

"Heads up, boys. Looks like something alive just woke up in here with us. Edge of the central tower. Can't tell what it is, but it seems to know its way around the place."

"Where's it going?"

"Nowhere, if I have any say."

Lilith began shutting and locking doors, trying to box in whatever had woken up until they could get to it.

"Looks like it's trying to get to Siphon and Sho. We should probably do the same."

"I'll go after them. You two go find our new friend."

"Right. I should be able to guide you to us once you find them."

Corax speeds off down the path that Lilith opened up earlier while she and Vulkan head towards the unknown creature, Lilith downloading the layout of the city into her head to keep them on the right track.
 

SiphonTalvesh

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#19
Re: Atlantis

Lilith discovered that while she could seal off doors and the like, within moments of the life reading coming across a closed door, it had managed somehow to open it. Clearly whatever it was knew more about the city than she did, which meant ...

It suddenly dawned upon her the words the hologram had spoken. She might vaguely recall it having mentioned someone being left behind to help any Ancients who came back. Could this life form reading be that person left behind so many centuries ago? It certainly would explain why the doors closing were barely slowing it down.



Siphon shook his head, managing to prop himself up.

"I think the city is rising up. Fail-safe perhaps in case the shield ever failed. I'm willing to bet the systems are changing the air pressure to match our ascent too, cuz I don't feel a damn thing and we both should be feeling bad right about now. Still we ..."

He trailed off as a blip on his device caught his eye.

"We've got company, a single life form moving up this tower, looks like it's coming right at us from where we need to go. It just ... appeared suddenly. Corax seems to be moving in from behind us though, betting Lilith picked up on the life reading before the probe did. Whatever it is though ... it definitely isn't Wraith. It'll reach the power room before we do at the current pace too, damn."
 
Nov 10, 2008
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#20
Re: Atlantis

"Then I'll let it do it's job." As he made a remark about the life-form that was heading for the power room, she braced herself against the wall, mostly to keep from listing about too much. "If you think you can beat it there, go. I know you're faster than I am. And Corax'll be here soon enough, so we'll be right behind you."
 
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