The Dragon Of Kiso Mountain


asi_icon.gif eve_icon.gif luther_icon.gif ff_miles_icon.gif

Scene Title The Dragon of Kiso Mountain
Synopsis On a quest to find a postcognitive Asi, Eve, Luther, and Miles begin to discover the origins of Adam Monroe
Date June 28, 2019

Rolling hills flooded with pine and cyprus trees spread as far as the eye can see. Beneath a powder blue sky dotted with perfect white clouds, cicadas chirp noisily and fill the air with their rhythmic call. Inland Hokkaido is pastoral and verdant, and far removed from the bustle of the nearby city Asahikawa, the village of Toma feels practically provincial.

No building rises higher than two stories in the town, save for its elementary school. A spider’s web of power lines criss-cross the gridded streets, painting black lines across the bright sky. But beyond the village of Toma, the wilderness has a deep and powerful embrace. Tall stands of trees provide shade from the summer sun. In the start of summer the air is thick and hot and every bit of gentle breeze blowing between the rolling hills is a reprieve.

In those hills, far beyond the town, a small tourist attraction has become a center of something greater. Nestled in the foothills past Toma, the Towa Limestone Cave is a site of modest attraction. Today the parking lot outside of the park site is filled with trucks and vans, men and women carrying excavation equipment past the two story visitor center…

…decorated with a smiling dragon.

Toma Limestone Cave

Hokkaido, Japan

June 28th

2:17pm Local Time

In a rush of displaced air and a hush of a pop, Miles Dylan manifests on the far side of the visitor center, off the beaten path, with a pair of accomplices in tow. Eve Mas, Luther Bellamy, and Asi Tetsuyama can see a line of archaeologists heading up the stone stairs past the visitor center into the trail that leads deeper into the forest. It’s there that the cave lies hidden by tall trees and dark boughs, and it’s there that a seer — Eve’s word, not Asi’s — she seeks might well be found.

"Whooooooooo." Eve says softly and claps her hands to her mouth with a hop. She loved it, teleporting or… //BUNNY HOPPING. The ends of her silk black dress are in midair as she falls back to the ground and grins over at her accomplices. Her crimson glowing eyes are shaded by sunglasses and she shakes her body out one limb at a time, like so. "Nothing like a good bunny hopping in the morn! Do you smell that kiddos? I smell adventure. Aah." A quite visceral snort emits from the former seer as she hops forward, ground crunching under booted feet.

"Our Friendly Neighborhood Seer, a Brother Seer you say? Tae." Eve likes that name, it makes her think of her other Brother Seer. Poor Jim, she missed him. She would have to check in.

The woman's long, raven mane is wrapped up into a tight bun. Her dark metal chopsticks stuck inside. Does she carry a knife? Some weed? Who's to say. She's currently holding a small pack on her back. Filled with necessities. The most important would be her sketchbooks. Those are mostly tucked inside with one in her hand. The blood red lightning on her person fizzles and she looks over towards Asi. "I won't fart." Heh heh.

“Fuck this place,” Miles mutters as he shimmers into existence — it’s almost like he was talking while he was bringing them, so more what can be heard is, “…-k this place.” He has bad memories of Japan, okay?! No offense to Japan. But also specifically these caves.

He shakes it off, though, stepping away and shoving his hands into his pockets as he eyes Eve a little bit skeptically. “That’s a euphemism if I ever heard one,” he remarks. Of the smell, probably. There’s a little wry smile at the end, though, possibly indicating that he’s joking. So that’s good! Humor!

If Luther is weirded out by the feeling of teleportation, he doesn't express it beyond a wordless grunt, narrowed eyes and shift of his shoulders. Maybe he's just trying to keep his brunch down.

He turns, the hand clapped on Eve's shoulder during the jump lifting away as things stabilize, casts his gaze around the area, focuses to the line of people heading towards the cave and silently checks a headcount amongst them as well as their own group. The lightning tickling over Eve's person gets the side-eye.

"Seems peaceful enough. What's so bad about it?" questions the big man over at Miles. What's so bad other than that they're jumping about and possibly trespassing without permits or qualifications. But that's Asi's problem, right?

Not that Asi isn't all for being responsible, but she's a little distracted after that jump. She'd blinked and missed it, though her stomach certainly hadn't. She likens the sensation to being launched in one of those giant slingshots that rocket people into the sky, right at the moment the magnets release to let the stored momentum do its thing.

Except instead of up, they've been slingshotted across the country, and she looks like she couldn't be more exhilarated. A breath of air tears away from her, eyes wild as she looks between the group and runs a hand through her hair, surprised to not find it at least windswept from the event. On the tail end of her breath is a small, almost silent laugh.

Others' abilities were amazing things and it was so rarely she got to appreciate them rather than subdue them.

She's not without her senses, though, so she picks up on the comments going on around her. Asi arches a brow in silent inquiry as she looks to the cave's trails, something sliding into place for her. It by no means diminishes her good mood. "Oh," her voice pitches as the realization hits her. It's more callous than she'd usually say, but she remarks with a snap of her fingers: "You're the dead American, aren't you?"

Miles is anything but chastised for that fact and the escapades it implies she knows of. Instead, she smiles as she offers thanks instead. "You took a friend of mine down a few pegs." A beat as she looks back at the scenery. "He deserved it." Eve's 'sanitized' comment about her explosive nature quickly sobers her, though, and the light leaves her eyes a little. Asi sincerely hopes Eve does not shift forms in there.

"I should be able to get us through the door, should the caves be closed to the public," is an assumption, but one she feels confident in making. "Pose yourselves as academics looking to uncover the mysteries of the past and you should…" Asi has to pause as she considers the group she's with one by one, her confidence in her own statement failing before she even finishes it. "… blend right in."

Asi’s notion of the caves being closed to the public seem more and more likely on a detailed review of the parking lot. Only three of the vehicles look civilian, the others appear to be trucks and vans with excavation logos on the side. Rented equipment, likely. There’s also no sign of visitors at the building nearby, no one in the elevated walkway that goes to the smaller structure up on the hill. But it’s also not particularly noisy here, the sound of cicadas is the only real sound, save for the distant din of several voices far past the parking lot, up the hill and into the forest. Miles knows the way, here. Past the parking lot, up several flights of stone stairs, and into the dragon’s mouth in a nearly literal sense.

Which is where the group finds itself headed.

Past the parked cars, there’s signs of activity. The door to the visitor’s center is open and a half dozen men and women stand around out of the sun, drinking water from plastic bottles and chatting in Japanese about “the dig.” They don’t seem to notice the foreigners approach yet, and it could be a simple matter of just walking by them. They’re a mix of nationalities though, with Japanese and Korean researchers. Some have lanyards and badges, all from different archaeological institutions. Whatever is going on here appears to be of some historic importance.

Eve leans over and nudges Luther's beard with the top of her head, "Ya hungry Big Guy?" Patting his belly before pushing off to stand just across from him. "Well gee golly me, I just love mythology." Clasping her hands together and giving Asi a too wide grin, full white teeth bared.

"Oh come on Bunny it's not that bad, they don't remember you. Surely, clearly." Of course not. Heh. The pale woman walks with the group, eyeing the people going inside as she pats her own chest and looks between them, "Remember, Seers either know we are coming.. Or well sometimes they don't but don't spook em." That's rich coming from Eve. "I have a way with my former kinsmen and women." Eve takes a pause and waits for Asi, "Do ya thang girl." Mmmm. Eve is confident as well. There is a touch of wariness, the kidnapping of Adrienne Allen and the almost for sure leaking of her conversation with Eve. Nevertheless.

Everything has led her here. Sniffing the ground like a bloodhound, she had been relentless and she had lost some things along the way but how she feels now is almost bliss. They were in the thick of an adventure and Eve felt alive with the pressure of finding the answers that they sought. Eve places herself between Miles and Luther and looks between the two with a bright smile. Red lightning runs down her leg.

Luther’s question has Miles eyeing the other man for several seconds, as though trying to gauge whether it’s a serious question. Judging that it is, he replies, “Just some bad associations. I’m sure it’s all fine.” However, even though Eve’s assurances are along the lines of what he’s also said, his echo of them doesn’t actually seem to make him feel better about everything. At least they don’t make him feel worse, either.

Asi’s comment, though, has him looking her way a little bit sharply, one eyebrow raising as his head tips to the side. “In the corpse,” he replies with a nod when she asks about whether he’s the dead guy, and though he does let out a little huff of amusement at the rest of what she’s said, he doesn’t comment further, just follows along.

Brow knitted together, Luther glances after Eve with some faint concern and no answer on the question. Is he hungry? For a brief moment, he's not even sure. And that's a disturbing thought to cross his own, a black cat over a street.

But he doesn't follow it down. Instead the dead American? Asi's comment gets the technopath a sharper look on behalf of Miles, a check back to the teleporter as well to see if the other man took offense. Maybe, maybe not. At least he didn't port out immediately.

And the comment about posing as academically as possible sends Luther's gaze down at himself. "Sure," he concludes in monosyllable and a simple nod to Eve's way. He's put his trust in this venture. And now, to hope this facade works and gets them in.

Asi would be keen to declare it a lucky thing to slip into the caves without attracting the attention of the group in the visitor's center, but then, they were looking for the on-site "seer", as Eve kept calling him. Expression returned to her usual, businesslike deadpan, she casts one look in the direction of the cave trail before moving toward the doorway of the visitor's center without balking.

In the open doorway, she pauses outside, fingers rapping on the door. Her head barely tips forward in the stiffest of polite bows before she calls into the space, "«Is Tae-hwan Ko present?»"

Of the three researchers talking and downing bottles of water, only one seems poised to answer when Asi steps in and asks her question. “«Tae is up at site 2 at the back of the cave,»” she explains, looking back to the others and then squinting for a moment at Asi. There’s a moment where it looks like she might say something, noticing the others just beyond the doorway gathered outside, but she just smiles and turns back to her peers, who give a brief nod to Asi and don’t seem to pay her any mind at all.

Security, at least here at the visitor’s center, doesn’t appear to be an issue at all.

Eve waits outside and taps her toe, she's starting to feel that anxious twist in the pit of her belly but instead of bugging out she just smiles and waits for Asi to finish before she's walking towards the cave. "They say this place is… quite a few million years old." The former seer had been doing her homework, negation pills before laptop time and that was it. She was nervous to pop any circuits.

"Also known as the Ebisu Dragon Cave!" Swinging her arms merrily as they walk. "Did you know Ebisu is the god of fishermen," heh Eve thinks on the incarnation of herself in that flooded world. "And luck. Mmmm? His mommy is Izanami, she creates and destroys." Eve's practically salivating at the chance to see the cave again. How odd this was where Miles had turned up in the first place. "A place of power," she whispers and pats her own arm. "A cave of secrets."

Miles doesn’t seem to be offended, though it’s hard to tell, as he’s keeping mostly to himself as they go. He sticks with the group, but slightly on the periphery, such as it is. He’s keeping an eye out, noting various things that they pass, but he doesn’t say a whole lot, looking less and less comfortable the longer they stay inside.

One could imagine this very scenario several years ago in the war-riddled badlands of America. At least that is where Luther’s mind goes as he strides along beside Miles up the steps to the cave system. Eve swinging her arms along, chatting on some factoids and knowledge bits. All that was missing was a rifle slung over his shoulder. He rolls his shoulder, missing the weight of the strap.

“What’s the plan to get this guy to cooperate? Be real charming? Say pretty please?” Luther sounds dubious the closer they get to the opening. But at least once they get inside where it’s dimmer, he can create a soft glowing light for them to see by where there might be none.

"I was sort of hoping the truth might do it," Asi offers up deadpan. "Or at least a sanitized version of it."

She shifts her gaze to Eve while they make their way up the staircase, wondering just what she had planned for this. After all, Asi was there to help open doors. It would be Eve and crew taking the leap after, though the technopath would be sure to follow. "Non-specific truths, if it came down to it." Asi adds absently, looking up again when they crest the top of the staircase. "After all, scaring him off would be— not ideal."

The ascent up the stone steps to the cave isn’t overly long. But along the way there are signs of archaeological excavation. Large portions of the hillside between the tall pines are sectioned into a grid by wooden stakes connected by lengths of red string. Within each grid, there are layers of earth scraped delicately away by precision tools. Wooden-frame boxes on pivoting stands are set out by large tents, used for sifting relics from soil. All of it looks recently abandoned, like the archaeologists went on break all together. But as the group Asi leads draws closer to the cave, it becomes readily apparent nothing of the sort is taking place.

Sugoi!” A voice shouts from a clearing up ahead. “H-Hontōni?” Another voice asks incredulously. “Ssh! Kiite!” Another person calls out.

Soon it’s clear that the voices are all archaeologists, dressed in dirt-smudged clothes and squinting against the sunlight in the clearing. There’s close to twenty of them, men and women of varying ages. Some are talking among themselves, others are trying to get a better look at the mouth of a cave yawning out of the hillside, framed by masoned stone like an arch and a doorway. To the right of the cave there is a wall of masoned stone, painted with the undulating snake-like body of a red dragon.

Watashi wa dekinai…” A man’s voice calls louder than the others, who seem so enthralled by whatever it is they’re watching that they fail to notice Asi and the others making their approach. “Anata o hontōni aishiteimasu,” the man calls from beyond the crowd. “Watashi wa shimasen!

There’s a static-electric crackle in the air that follows, loud enough to send birds scattering from the treetops. The entire crowd of archaeologists let out a gasp and fan out away from the source of the sound, and only then notice Asi and her entourage coming up the path. The source of the disturbance is clear when the crowd makes way, revealing a dark-haired Korean man in a loose white shirt unbuttoned down to his collar, sleeves rolled up to his elbows. He is hunched against the interior wall of the cave entrance, sweating, and holding his head with one hand.


Tae-hwan Ko.

"The truth shall set us free Hot Hands," Eve calls behind her shoulder in a singsong manner. A rogue crackle of red light and mist flake off from her hand and she looks down with a wide eye and flaps her hand down towards the ground blowing on it. "Shhh my little bagel. We can blow up later." Whispering to her limb with a snort as the energy pops back out of existence, the fog just wafting off into nothing.

Making their arrival to the mouth of the cave, the pale woman walks up to the wall with the dragon. Shaky hands hover the surface and the body of the creature. "The snakey bit, slithering around Kaylee's mind. My mind wasn't slithered but it sure was splintered." Another snort and Eve bites her lower lip as she whirls around to say something more when the noises of those shouting voices echo upwards Eve almost disperses right there to zoom to the sounds of distress and frustration.

Static electricity.

Blood red eyes shaded by her sunglasses flick over to Luther, the look even more evident with the angling of her head towards the bearded man. "Mmmm." Eve doesn't need to say let's take a closer look, she marvels at the air as she moves fast to where the other archeologists are moving away from.

What she finds makes her stop. Eve takes a step back and looks over Tae. Hubba. Hubba. Suddenly there's something in the back of Eve's hair and she goes to smooth it back but forgets… it's in a bun already. Heh. Two pale fingers dance along the edges of her face and do away with the wayward strands of hair that weren't really a problem at all. Now, feeling like she looks her absolute best.

Eve grins and takes another step forward. "Are you okay? I have…" She's rummaging in her pack. That's never usually a good sign, there was once a grenade (there was always an grenade). Not to worry though because she procures a simple bottle of water that she extends towards the man. It's unopened, seal not cracked. She knows people don't really trust her in that regard. Luckily for her, this guy had no idea who she was!

Miles stops when Eve does, staying a little bit back as he has for most of the journey, his hands still in his pockets. He takes another half-step to the side at those telltale red flakes. Not today, Eve. Not today.

The crackle, too, has him half-flinching warily as he looks up, and there’s a moment where it seems he might just nope out of there. He definitely considers it. But ultimately, he does not, instead just waiting. After all, when you can move more or less as fast as thought, you can wait it out a little bit.

It isn't that Luther's out of shape as they climb the steps. Whatever has been going on with the man internally, manifests into an expression of faintly disguised tolerance and a stubborn push forward. He's sweating, but that could be attributed to the weather and exercise. The way he looks, he might not be able to help not scaring off the archaeologists.

The excavated grids mean little to him as they pass, and when they finally hear voices of others, Luther peers up. The electric crackle first from Eve, then the louder snap in the air captures his attention. "You doin' okay there?" The question is directed mainly at Miles, even though he hasn't looked at the teleporter. But really, he's said it loudly enough for their whole group and the closest archaeologists to hear.

Luther turns his gaze onto the emerged Tae-hwan and the mouth of the cave. Invisibly, he reaches out with his ability, feeling the energy around them.

The shouting carries and piques Asi's interest instantly, her head snapping in the direction of the voice. At first she tenses, ready to push into the crowd and diffuse a situation if she has to … but then they keep speaking. One eyebrow arches.

Now he was talking about love?

Any biting comment about this sounding like a play is cut off before bubbling over, remembering the ability Tae-hwan possesses. The snap through the air does little to relieve the tension in her, but when the crowd parts to reveal him on the other side, it serves as a confirmation for her.

"What caused that interference?" she wonders quietly, lingering back with Luther and Miles until she's content with her observation. Asi frowns, considering the nature of what they're looking into. Hopefully he didn't trip over knowledge that might accidentally damn him. Eve stepping forward brings her to follow after in the event the anthropologist requires a translation.

Eve Mas?” is the first thing out of Tae’s mouth.

Which is usually not a good sign.

The archaeologists gathered around turn and look at one-another and murmurations of hiyu and uma are audible in the conversation. Tae, without hesitation, takes the offered water bottle and twists the cap off, drinking thirsting before explaining himself. “I'm sorry,” he says in unaccented English, “thank you for the water.” It's only then that Tae notices the others, his brows furrowing. He picks up some of the tone of the crowd and looks apologetic, uncertain if Eve understands them or not.

“You're one of the American heroes, yes? From the television?” Tae smiles, but then, “I watch a lot of River Styx,” comes as a compliment even if it really isn't one. “Have… you come to Japan on vacation?” A little star-struck, Tae doesn't immediately seem to hear the more practical questions about whatever it was that just happened.

One of the archaeologists, sidling up to Miles, raises his brows and smiles broadly and hands him a spiral-bound notebook and a pen. “Anata wa yumeina amerikajin desu ka?” Miles, unfortunately, has no idea what's being said to him. Meanwhile, another archaeologist is starting to crowd Luther with hopeful eyes.


More and more people were coming to call her that and not the Horse Metaphor lady to her face at least and this has Eve with a pleasantly surprised expression on her face. "Ah ah mmmmm, my friends and I have a difference of opinion on how we should be portrayed with the Brits, I've been meaning to have tea over there and discuss it."

Though Eve's was pretty spot on. But she would never tell the network that. Ever.

"No no vacation, business my dear Brother Seer," While Tae is star struck by Eve's infamy the pale woman is equally as star struck by coming into contact with a man who was said to have the version of the Sight that allowed him to look back. "I came to meet you! Someone as gifted with the Sight as you are." Eve rubs her arms and tiny red sparks dance along her arm. "I've been on the search for answers about something, me and my friends. It has a connection here and," Looking over at Luther and the rest. "It's the usual fate of the world depends on what we find, ancient people with gifts or abilities as people say. History," waving her finger in the air with the tip of her head up towards the ceiling.

"Is where the answers lie. Tell me, you understand this urge," Eve is being presumptuous but thinks that she has her finger on his pulse.


“Uh…what?” Miles looks at the architect blankly, blinking a couple of times as though that’s going to help him understand what’s being said to him. He looks among the others for some help, though Luther’s question gets a little snort, and a thumbs up with a grin. It’s not necessarily amused, but maybe in a, ‘well, this is exciting and different’ kind of way.

He turns back to the architect, shaking his head apologetically. “Sorry,” he says with a shrug, then points to himself. “Dumb American.”

The fact is that the recognition of Eve is almost immediate. And that in and of itself makes Luther more uncomfortable than he already is. A slow paced trail after Eve and Asi takes him closer to the grouping, remaining at a middle distance or rather within easy reaches of his erstwhile traveling companions. Mostly, really, to watch Eve work her magic.

He feels his brows lift when Tae mentions the River Styx show, stopping short of a sigh. Luckily, not directed at the archaeologist who sidles up. For now, he tolerates the crowding presence. Luther blinks then pipes up in Asi's direction overtop of the nearby archaeologist, "Alright but what're exactly they all doing here? And what was that energy, do they know?"

He'd like to know, too.

Asi turns in the direction of the question … And then immediately after looks to Tae, brow raised to silently repeat the inquiry at him. She's relieved on some level there's fawning over them and not her, with the 'fashionable cop' image of her that still floats around … but the thought of selfies with famous Americans potentially floating around the internet brings her to look away over the crowd, specifically to the archaeologist trying to win Miles' attention.

"«Please no photos or social media posts with the Americans,»" Asi calls out as evenly, as politely as she can manage. "«The last thing this site needs today is to be swarmed with opportunists.»" That was one way to put it, at least.

Tae leans a touch away from Eve, smiling politely and running one hand through his hair. “Ah,” he glances at the others she’s come with and there isn't that look of recognition for them. Instead, he just maintains his awkward smile and motions to the archaeologists to give the other group some room. There's some murmurations and conversation among the Japanese crew, but after a few moments they disperse in as much as they move to loiter about the entrance to the cave entrance behind Tae.

The cave looks artificial, rather than natural, from this vantage point. The entire cave mouth rests at the top of a flight of ten stone slab steps and is surrounded by a ten foot high arch of masoned rock forming a tunnel into the hillside. The archway eventually gives way to a more traditional pair of heavy wooden doors, both of which are held wide open. Eve notices that beneath her, beneath where she and Tae are standing, there is a painted mosaic walkway depicting a great dragon cooling around the metal railings used to divide the path for tourists coming in and out of the cave. Another mosaic is set into the hill face beside the cave entrance, depicting a red dragon in serpentine flight with claws spread.

Tae’s attention has shifted to Luther, whose question is one that he is familiar with. “I apologize if I startled you. I did not realize there would be guests of the Japanese government coming up to see my work today. That was a, ah,” Tae gestures one hand in the air, “static dispersal?” He grimaces, just a little, at his own explanation. “When I'm channeling psychic impressions the active use of my ability builds up an ambient field of static electricity as a byproduct. The longer I perform the more profound it becomes until I have to stop.” He snaps his fingers, as if to illustrate.

“«Major Tetsuyama, if I'm not mistaken?»” Tae addresses Asi in Japanese. “«I hope I'm not interrupting official business. I was under the impression the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was informed that I would be working across Hokkaido.»” Tae angles a look back over at Eve, smiling at her as one might to a famous celebrity animal who is just as eccentric as the tabloids say. Because that's exactly what's happening here.

Eve almost tells him to move closer but they'll be more time for that later. Winkwink. The pale woman doesn't growl in a flirtatious manner but she wants too and so she descended into her infamous snorting while peering over at the man.

"Startled? Oh my dear Brother Seer its gonna take a lot more than some Static to scare us." Eve's own crimson lightning crackles over her skin as she speaks but she does seem overtly interested in the floor, these murals…. "The Dragon…" she whispers and her brow furrows and she rubs her forehead. "Yes yes, this is the place." Calling over her shoulder to the others though there wasn't any doubt. Miles knew this place better than them. "I need to ask you some questions Tae, pick your brain if you will." And perhaps entice him to use his ability to help them see the way.

"Very very important." Eve looks again with slightly widen eyes.

Miles looks a little bit grateful when the archaeologists are called off, more or less — there’s a slight relaxing of his shoulders, and a little exhalation, but that’s the only change that’s really notable. Other than that, he just keeps quiet, looking amongst those speaking.

He's not entirely paying attention and distracted by the sight of the dragon painting in the cave, but Luther catches enough of Tae's explanation about the static electricity. Furrowed brow relaxing slightly, he eases over closer to where Eve and Tae stand once there's room to move through the small crowd but still maintaining relative equidistance from his group's members.

"What were you hoping to find, Doctor Ko?" Luther casts a glance to Eve after he asks, ever one to keep a watch on the seer-turned-energy-cloud-woman. He can't help that given his ability's nature.

The next look he reserves is for Miles. Now that Luther's seeing the place up close to a degree, skepticism peeks through. "Our friend here's said this place has some bad associations, though. And we're here to…" A slow turn of his eyes moves to Asi, pauses on the Mugai-ryu. Official story?

Asi would arch her brow at Luther for digging holes that didn't necessarily need dug yet, but she's got her business face on presently. She lifts a hand to stoically assuage Tae's concerns. "Mondai wa arimasen wa," she assures. "I'm merely acting as an escort for their research efforts." The 'they' in that statement being indicated with the slight tip of her head toward Luther and Eve. "As far as I'm aware there may be joint … interest in certain topics."

Hand lowering by her side again, Asi adds in Japanese with a barely noticeable bow of her head, "«I apologize for the sudden intrusion.»"

Tae slowly turns to look back at the archaeologists who are largely returning to work, then squares his focus on the group of foreigners. “Well, I’ll admit to being a little starstruck. So, I’m more than eager to talk with you all, even if I can’t quite imagine why you might have need of an anthropologist.” Tae’s smile is easy, and he comes to settle down to sit on a large plastic crate that likely holds lighting equipment for night work. “I hope you don’t mind if I sit, using my ability takes a lot out of me.”

There’s a casual demeanor around Tae, a relaxed nature to him that makes it feel like he’s a half measure away from offering everyone a beer and turning this into a barbecue. For all that they were worried about being found out here, actually meeting Tae has turned into something less like a confrontation and more like a conversation. “As for what I’m hoping to find…” he says with an incline of his head to the side, looking over to Luther. “I’ve come here from the Korean Society of Cultural Anthropology to assist the Japanese Society of Cultural Anthropology in studying the Ainu inhabitants of Hokkaido.”

Tae motions to the cave entrance behind him. “Earlier this year Japanese archaeologists discovered a new cave branch in here when they were removing some American who had apparently teleported into the cave.” He laughs at the notion, not realizing that some American is standing practically in front of him.

“The archaeologists found pottery shards and jewelry in the cave. I’m hoping to get a better understanding of what these caves were being used for, because as far as we know they weren’t discovered until 1957. So this upends our understanding of local history. I was just channeling a conversation between a man that I believe is the historic Takezo Kensei who fought alongside the Ainu and an Ainu woman who I haven’t been able to identify yet.” Tae’s brows rise slowly, looking around at the foreigners gathered.

“So…” Tae flashes another smile, “what is it that brings you here?”

Star struck. Eve blushes and looks down at her hands as the others speak and then Tae is saying what was found here, her eyes go to Miles briefly. Heh.

But the discovery has Eve leaning in as well. "Oh myyyyyy." Rubbing her forehead, "Well I bet that's Joy! The Ainu woman, otherwise known as Yaeko!" Eve supplies brightly though her eyebrows raise, "So you're talking to him, well that's why we're here my dear Brother Seer."

Eve shuffles closer to Tae and looks over her shoulder, "Kensei is still alive. Not exactly the good natured warrior you might have met in your channeling, not anymore. He's had a long time to allow time and people to twist his perceptions." Eve delivers this all very fast and all while looking the man in the eye. The energy vibrates and disperses from her corporeal form as she gets more worked up.

"There is something we need to see… find right in the time period you were just dipping your toesies in." Eve flashes her own dazzling smile, too wide. Almost scary at the man but her eyes are full of merriment for they have found what they sought and even more so he was already looking in that direction.

"I can explain more in a more private setting, he has ears everywhere." So does the Dragon but one thing at a time. First that Kensei is an immortal and then that there's an extremely old entity that was let loose.

Miles glances over to Luther, meeting that look with a little wry smile, and he might have said something, but when he hears something in English that pertains to him, he looks that way — and lets out a snort that he covers only partly with a cough.

“Americans,” he says once he’s recovered himself a little bit, shaking his head. “How gauche, right?” Though he says it quietly, so it could certainly be ignored.

Luther arches his angled brows upward, skepticism kept to polite facial movement, at Tae’s admittance to being starstruck. The movement he makes is supposed to be subtle, stepping closer by a couple paces to Eve’s side like the bouncer of a budding starlet. Particularly, as Eve goes on about Yaeko.

The note about the American only serves to make Luther even more tense, minutely so. His jaw works. “So the Kensei guy, you… saw him?” He diverts back to the original topic, but not before there’s a brief shared glance to Miles on the previous note. He heard him. How gauche.

Oh no. Miles went there.

A breath of laughter is caught in Asi's throat, but not entirely quelled as she hears the comment, glancing quickly but knowingly in his direction before she looks back to Tae and Eve. She follows along with a suitably neutral expression, tracking between the two as they speak— until it doubles back and settles on Eve. Asi blinks twice in silence, her gaze turning questioning.

Something this piece of nuance has been lost on her until now. Adam Monroe was Takezo Kensei??

Though maybe her look of concern is just due to the energy that crackles along Eve's form. Who knows.

Tae’s silence is because of several things. Chief among them is that this is where Eve always loses people. Karen Chamberlain, and now Tae-hwan Ko. His expression shifts through a few incredulous shades, ending with his raking of fingers through his hair and drawing in a sharp breath. He doesn't look surprised by what Eve says, but only in the way that someone isn't surprised when a known provocative celebrity acts provocative. Tae’s sigh, though, is a more impatient one now.

“Right,” is the first thing Tae manages to say, an awkward and patronizing smile replacing his once more earnest one. “Well, that’s… a wonderfully interesting story, Ms. Mas. I'm sure I'd love to hear more of it some time but ah,” he motions toward the cave mouth, “I am due to continue scanning the cave.” Which brings his mind back around to what Luther asked, something he'd nearly brushed off and forgotten in the light of Eve talking about clearly improbable things.

“I don't see anything,” Tae explains with a look to Luther. “I am things. My ability is classified as psychometric mediumship. I invite past events to play out using myself as a vessel, so to speak. I can hear and feel what someone in the last heard and felt — emotions, sensations. But I can't see the past. It's more like, I'm experiencing a moment in their lives. Very helpful for an anthropologist,” he notes with a flash of a smile, “but also very hard to prove on paper without physical evidence to back up anything. But anthropology is a lot of building from nothing…”

It's clear that for as good-natured as Tae is, Eve’s approach might be a bit too bold to keep him from dismissing the claims outright. Not everyone has lived their experiences, or seen the things they've seen.

"It's all interesting hmm?" Eve is not deterred in the slightest. "Perhaps… this was the man." Maybe there was a mirror in the moment that Tae had experienced who knows. Digging into her backpack and out comes one of her sketchbooks, flipping through the pages as she mutters to herself, "Stories, stories. It's hard to prove the truth, isn't that nutty?" A snicker of laughter and then she's turning the book over in her hands to show Tae with that brilliant, too wide smile a sketch of Adam's face, her sketches of faces are usually more detailed. More time put into them then the scribbles that sometimes were produced while she was in a fit. The man is not dressed like a samurai, instead he wears a nice black suit. A bloodened katana sits on his shoulder, a drop splashes on his lapel.

"Anyway, you should continue to scan the cave! Far be it from me to deter a Seer from dropping down a rabbit hole." Seriously, it was rude she felt when people interrupted her when she had been in the middle of doing her business of seeing into the future and acting upon it. Slapping the sketchbook closed with a soft huff of a sound in a tone of excitement. "We can chitty chat when you're finished! Mmm?" Eve's foot nudges a rock and she looks down suddenly, probably trying to make sure it isn't an actual dragon's claw there to drag her away.

Shuddering slightly the former seer turns her gaze over to her friends. "Let's let Brother Seer work!"

Asi’s laugh has Miles’ expression looking a little bit more smug, though he has the good sense not to pursue that any further, lest any awkward questions be asked. Instead, he quiets again, his hands shoved into his pockets as he looks from Luther, to Tae, to Eve when each one speaks.

Some years ago, Luther had been the giver of such looks to Eve as well, and thus upon recognizing that look from Tae, that sigh from Tae, that awkward yet patronizing smile, he frowns and steps forward to close distance up to Eve's side. A display of solidarity, silent support for the former seer, shows in the man's simple way of looming beside Eve.

But even Luther knows Eve can be a bit much. He reaches a hand out to the woman's shoulder. Steady there, Eve. "So you of all people should know, then. Don't count her story out," he rumbles flatly. "As you said, it's not like anthropology's an exact science either."

None of what they're doing right now is. Technically. Luther blows out a rough sigh of his own as he looks around the cave, lingering on the rocky features for a touch, then glances back to Asi briefly before turning back on to the anthropologist. "Listen. We're here looking for answers to some questions, too. It has to do with a story," he pointedly doesn't call it a legend, "about Kensei and the Dragon."

Luther blinks several times, in a way showing that even he can't disbelieve the reasonings. "We're trying to learn about why it's so important to people. Why it's not just a story. But it's important enough so that it reached out halfway 'round the world and pulled us the rest of the way to come here. Possibly to where it all started."

It's the most he's said the whole trip. Luther peers straight at Tae then, the stare not exactly plaintive, but more that than interrogative. "Do you understand what we're looking for? Can you help us, Doc?"

While Luther speaks, Asi's shoulders settle, tension relaxing. The precision diplomacy he deploys hopefully strikes the chord they need to gain an in with the researcher. She gives him a small, grateful nod when he looks back at her. Doing good, big guy. For her part, she means to speak as little as possible to avoid creating more questions than gaining answers, at least for now. She got them through the door without too much suspicion, now it's time for them and their mission to lead them forward.

It's not the first time in her life she's been a human cardkey, nor will it be the last.

She sidles a step closer to Miles, who might know a thing or two about that, too.

Braced against the possibility — vanishingly small as it is from his perspective — that Eve Mas is right and Takezo Kensei is alive in the modern world, Tae pinches the bridge of his nose and rolls the entire situation over in his mind. Once he’s taken that moment to square himself, he runs a hand through his hair and looks up at Luther with a thoughtful, though silent, expression of uncertainty. “Setting aside whether or not I believe that Takezo Kensei is alive today,” he says with a slow sideways motion of one hand, “I am someone who knows a great deal about his personal history, thanks to my work. And here you are, American heroes and their immediate friends, I imagine?” A look to Miles at that, “And a JSDF officer,” he adds with a motion to Asi. “I don’t think you’d come out here if all you wanted to do was waste my time.”

It’s the closest Tae will get to conceding to Eve at the moment.

“But all that, I can tell you, this isn’t where his story started…” Tae slowly stands up, looking to have recuperated from the fatigue of his ability use. “What I’m picking up here felt like a… lover’s quarrel? What I channeled before you arrived was an argument Kensei was having with another woman, Yaeko.” He nods to Eve. “Now, linguistic drift being what it is, I’m only so familiar in the mixture of Japanese and Ainu that they were speaking so some of the… uh… some of the specifics and minutiae of the context might be lost. Kensei was arguing for — and I can’t rightly explain why yet — sealing himself in the cave to die?”

But Tae waves his hand in the air. “Takezo Kensei’s story doesn’t start here though. It starts when he leaves the service of the Shogunate and comes to side with the Ainu people of Hokkaido against imperial advancement. After he makes that flip, he travels to Mount Kisou-Ontake on the mainland to… according to the story written a century after the fact, learn the way of the sword from the Dragon of Kisou Mountain.” Tae spreads his hands. “I don’t think we’re to interpret that literally, especially because Kensei already was a formidable swordsman before this time.”

Tae exhales a sigh through his nose. “What I do think, is that it’s a worthwhile site to examine. I know the purported location he met the Dragon at, there’s a meteoric crater lake at a peak in the Kisou range. I was planning on taking an expedition there in two or three months, but…” Tae lets his shoulders rise and fall. “You do have my attention, and there’s weeks of archaeological work to be done here that I’m, honestly, getting in the way of right now.”

Looking to Asi, Tae raises one brow, judging the temperature of that suggestion with the local law enforcement. So to speak. But then he’s squaring his attention back to Luther. “I don’t know if there’s answers to… whatever you’re looking for in this cave, but I’d be willing to entertain your curiosity if there is. Maybe… you could explain your side of the situation over a drink after the fact?”

It may be lost on Luther, but everyone else can be fairly certain that Tae was discreetly asking Luther — and Luther alone — out for drinks.

"There is no time to waste so myself and gorgeous companions thank you for seeing through to… hmmm reason. As you will." If it weren't for the look that Tae had just given to Luther then the former seer would have begun to raise havoc and force the issue.

Thankfully for everyone involved, Ko has an attraction to bears.

Eve waves her hand dismissively at Tae's unwillingness to take the dragon part seriously. "Some have called Luther here a Dragon… Sun God. When you expand your mind to examine myths and then the Gifted or SLC-E that we know of today… would it be out of the question to say there was someone there with Kensei?" Eve tilts her head with a questioning look, "Perhaps not someone who taught him the way of the sword but perhaps he was given.. something else." A slow smile crosses her lips and the pale woman takes a hand through her midnight raven mane.

Crater. Meeting site of the Dragon.

Eve makes sure her face is turned before her expression twists into an erratic mix of things. Excitement. EUREKAHoly FUCK. Then a sly smile and she looks over at Luther and winks. "Well Hot Hands here is really good at making drinks even, you should see our suite."

What suite? They'll have one.


"We do so very appreciate you taking time to indulge us. That sounds like a lovely idea! When are you free to travel to the crater."

“Best friend,” Miles quips in a subtle ‘correction,’ but that’s all he says. For the moment. He’s clearly listening, though, his more focused expression belying the nonchalance in his voice. He glances to Asi as she comes a little closer to him, before his gaze moves back to Eve as she speaks.

Throughout the bit of impromptu (alleged) history lessons, Luther tries his damnedest to look like he understands. He doesn't, really. But there's some parts he picks up on as far as interests goes, with the bits that Kensei was arguing with Yaeko, that he was inexplicably trying to seal himself in the caves, that he shifted allegiances, and that he met a dragon to learn about swordsmanship. The last one gets a furrowed brow, further directed at Eve when she begins comparing him to a dragon, or a sun god. Like Tae, Luther seems to believe that, "The Dragon's a person, then?" At least, that's his conclusion.

The mention of the crater hooks him too, but the time frame Tae mentions for examining the site gets a mild shake of his head. "We don't have that sort of time to wait a couple months." Luther turns a look to Asi and Best Friend™ Miles too, before he turns back to Tae and his offer for drinks… And Eve apparently volunteering his services as a bartender. The mention of Hot Hands earns Eve a shot of a glance and a snort.

The discretion isn't lost upon Luther so much as it is muddled together with a variety of other mixers, creating a confusing flavor of possible actions. "Well… we're here already," he considers. "So, let's go in deeper, and maybe you can show us what you found out so far." The words come out measured. He hadn't expected to be confronted with the information thus far. In truth, he hadn't expected very much at all.

"What about where you said Kensei wanted to seal himself off?" Shoulders rolling up and back in a shrug, Luther continues to check back between Tae and the others in case of differing opinions or alternate options.

Oh boy. How the conversation has turned. Asi shoots Miles her glance when Tae passes his comment, by nature of him being the closest person she's standing next to. It also lets her catch sight of that look that Eve wears, one that she has to exercise her poker face not to react to seeing. The bottom line, which she tries to cling to, is that Tae is still willing to talk with them.


The silent inquiry he directs her way is met with a moment of thought ended by a small nod. "So long as the historical sites are not disturbed," outside of what was archaeologically planned, "there should be no issues." Her voice lifts as she admits, "Myself, I'd be interested to see what you uncover. History is worth uncovering, preserving, and retelling." Asi's gaze shifts to the anthropologist with a small nod. "Maybe we'll find another small piece here today?"

She gives a small lift of her head to indicate she's on board for pressing on here, seeing what other story the cave might yet tell them.

Dusting his hands off on the thighs of his pants, Tae nods to the others. “Afterward, sometime, I would love to hear your stories. The war, survival, rebuilding… I know you all lived it, but— it’s all so very dramatic?” There’s a hint of a smile at that, before Tae adds, “I wager River Styx misses a lot of the details.” Which is Tae’s greatest understatement.

But he lets that topic fall away for another time, jerking his head toward the masoned entrance of the cave. Most of the archaeologists have gone inside by now, and as Tae leads them through the sturdy door that keeps the cave closed off to the public, he begins explaining the historic significance of the site. “As I’d said, this cave was found in 1957. It’s not spectacular, with regards to the overall spectrum of caves in Japan. Local folklore in the town of Towa down the hill says that this is a place where a dragon slumbered under the hill after a long battle. I’ve spoken with the townspeople and there’s very little history regarding the legend, though I suspect it may have originated with the Ainu that lived here centuries ago and has… you know, mutated over time.”

Through the doorway the cave doesn’t open up much. It’s limestone, the walls glisten with water and the reflect the lights of the electric lamps set up on the floor and run from the power cables running in a line anchored to the ceiling. “Most of the side chambers are smaller than a closet, this walkway here,” he motions to the catwalk they’re on that descends through the main entrance of the cave, “is about as good as it gets. Much of the rest is underwater.”

“The argument I felt outside, it was… I was Takezo Kensei, for a moment.” Tae gestures to his chest, “I felt his fears, his helplessness. He’d been talking to a woman he loved, named Yaeko. The uh, the way the story goes a princess? But she wasn’t, not really. Not from what I’ve gathered.” Tae looks down to the stairs as he moves, then up and over his shoulder to the others. “Kensei was experiencing guilt over something he’d done, possibly having killed someone? I couldn’t tell for sure. But he was worried about a future date, something he knew was forthcoming, and… he said he wanted to be sealed up in this cave. Bury himself alive in it…” Tae shakes his head. “I’m half expecting to find his bones in here. Maybe that’s what happened to Kensei…”

Then, with a look to Eve he adds. “If, ah, he isn’t alive today, that is.” Tae still doesn’t believe.

Down the metal stairs, view of the archaeologists only just comes into view. The majority of them are clustered around a narrow opening in the lower cave’s northwest corner. Barely half the width of a common door in a house. Down here the water is a few inches deep and Tae makes a motion to grab a rope guideline affixed to the nearby wall. “This part isn’t usually traversed by tourists, they go up and over,” he motions to where the rest of the walkway goes overhead. “This area here is flooded, but we found this…” he says with a gesture to the narrow opening, “which is a little— ”

Suddenly there’s an eruption of commotion from the archaeologists and three come walking out of the cave, shouting at each other. One of them has something in his gloved hand, which looks like an unrecognizable shape of red and white covered in calcium deposits from the limestone. Tae sticks with his guests, whom the archaeologists seem far less interested in. “Dou yatte?” One says to the other, shaking his head.

At first the archaeologists seem careful, but then, after a moment, one of them just crushes the artifact. Flaky pieces of calcium fall from his palm as he opens it, and in silence the other archaeologists stare in confusion at…

A pack of Marlboro cigarettes.

At first, Tae looks upset. But then, considering something, he just looks confused.

"Much much more than a princess is Yaeko," He surely noticed she had already said the woman's name before he even had the chance. The title though bringing to mind a damsel in distress and though Eve had met the woman during her possession… something about that didn't sit right with her.

"Yes yes love, if. I do wonder how I even knew the name Yaeko, don't you?" A light shrug of her shoulders. "A great battle… maybe the first time it was sealed. Wounded." Musing more to herself than anyone else, she flips through her sketchbook and comes to the one of Yaeko. Crimson red kimono and wild gold glowing eyes. A man, samurai. Kensei stands next to her trailing blood from the tip of his katana. "Was it before this?" That question is asked louder though she still isn't looking at anyone. Peering around and finally taking her sunglasses off to reveal crimson blood red glowing eyes, she squints. It was so interesting being here.

When all of the commotion happens Eve whirls around and looks down at the artifact that reveals what really shouldn't be there in the first place. Unless. "Got here first." There's a huff of breath and Eve runs a hand through her midnight mane. Red lightning trailing after. "It's not undiscovered then, he or…" The former seer thinks of her now dead mentor Angela in that moment.

"Could you perhaps use your precious gift on that there box? Brother Seer the answer to the mystery lies right before you."

Miles has fallen quiet again, his gaze moving among the speakers, but when those fossilized Marlboros get brought out, his eyes widen, and he lets out a little snort, half-amused and half incredulous.

“Anyone going to smoke those?” he finally asks. “Or can I call dibs?”

Luther only catches the tail end of a snorted laugh upon the mention of the missing details on River Styx, and he keeps it together with a brief look down to the humble path they walk. "They covered it with 'based on a true story'," he adds with a significant sidelong glance at Miles. Maybe the other man's watched some of that programming too. Loosely based programming.

Although, what they're looking into now seems an even more farfetched version of reality. "Do you got some fancy robocam that can map out these systems now?" He glances to Asi, brow arching briefly to the technopath as if to confirm if that's a Thing. He shrugs. "Seen it in the movies."

But speaking of movies, the relaying of Tae's experience as Kensei refocuses Luther's attention. He shares an additional look at Eve particularly as she pulls out her sketchbook. What questions he may have posed skitter away into the dark corners of the cave in favor of the sudden commotion over the cigarette pack.

Miles calling dibs gets the teleporter another glance. Luther exhales roughly, and after some blinking, lifts a hand that provides a soft, ambient lighting glow emanating from it to shed some actual light on the area around the gathered.

The sight of the Marlboro pack makes Asi narrow her eyes, a glance shot in Miles' direction before he speaks. Did he drop them when he was here before? Eve's murmur makes her suspect maybe not, and Miles' quip confirms it.


"Maybe Kensei was feeling a little nostalgic," she mutters, not feeling bold enough with that thought to voice it any louder. Asi glances Tae's way, speaking up. "If you aren't too pressed after your last demonstration, Mr. Ko."

Tae's dark eyes flick from one figure to the next, then to the cigarette pack, then to Luther. “The archaeological team will be using small submersible drones to explore the back caves, yes. But that won't start until the fall.” With that out of the way he slowly looks back to Eve, then Asi.

“My ability doesn't work on objects,” Tae explains as he starts to walk toward the cavern the archaeologist came out of, motioning for the others to follow with a jerk of his head. “So I suppose you're in luck if you want to take a puff of, ah, calcium-cigarettes?” He flashes a quick smile to Miles. “I have to be in a location, then I can… feel backwards for echoes of the past.” As Tae enters the small cave ahead of the others, the two other archaeologists in the room look up and slowly move toward the walls, watching Tae with the fascination and uncertainty one might a celebrity. His mostly-American entourage is likewise viewed the same way.

“In here… I can get a sense for my surroundings. If you would all stay quiet, I can see what’s…” Tae slowly closes his eyes and raises his hands up, palms out, to about shoulder level. “See what's here…” he finishes, distractedly.

For a moment everything is quiet. Archaeologists crowd around the small cave to watch Tae work, and a static charge begins to fill the cave. It's felt as a tingle through the spectators, in the hairs on their body starting to stand on end, in a chill down their spines. It's almost like the feeling one would imagine a ghost elicits by proximity.

“I…” Tae starts to say, brows furrowed, “I already called them. Are we just going to leave her in there with him?” For a moment it’s impossible to diss out exactly what Tae is saying or why. Until it suddenly becomes clear that it's someone else’s words coming out of his mouth. He even pantomimes smoking a cigarette as he moves with eyes closed.

“No, I really don't think we can trust her. They found her sealed in a cave, Kaito. Behind a wall of rock. Her clothes were rotting off of her and Adam— Adam’s trying to tell us that Nazis did this?” Tae has no grasp of the weight of what he's saying, of the names he's invoking. “I don't believe her and I'm starting to not believe Adam either.”

Tae's head turns to the side and he mimes crushing a pack of cigarettes and throwing it to the ground. “No. We’ll take her back to the States. Once we’re done sanitizing everything here, anyway. But you and I need to have a little talk about our Adam problem. Because Charles and the other people who came from the camp don't seem to be willing to question his story, and I'm sorry.”

Tae shakes his head. “I don't think he was born when he said he was. And I don't think Nazis walled a woman up in a cave in Japan.”

Sparks start to emit from Tae’s hands, and he sucks in a sharp breath, opens his eyes, and shakes his arms out with tiny sparks crackling off of his fingertips. “Oh! Oh that— was much more recent than the 1670s. Very vivid. More like the 1970s or something.”

Tae seems confused. Who wouldn't be?

"Mmmm. Eve's head lolls to the side as Tae does his thing. Literally communing with the spirits of the past.

And what he has to say…. well it just makes her light up even more at his confusion. She can't help but feel a little tickle when someone that doubts her is confronted with truth. "The Company Founders. Primatech Paper. Kaito Nakamura. Charles…" He wasn't exempt, he erased so much. Eve wonders how Moni feels. "They worked with Kensei/Adam before their deaths took them, a collective sigh exhaled from death over them." Eve watches the sparks that spring from his fingers and she grins raising her own hand to mirror his gesture.

"Sounds like… Adam told them the Nazi/Vanguard locked away… Miss Yaeko but that must have been a cover up. Sneaky sneaky is the Blonde Haired Plague. He's been adamant on keeping his doings secret. For the good of of the world." Eve looks over at her friends as she steps closer to Tae, her temple twitching. "Could it have been someone else? Another immortal woman who meant so much to Adam?" Eve scoffs and shakes her head. "This little nugget thinks not."

"I do hope my claims seem to hold some validity for you now, Ko-Ko." There's a snort. Definitely an undertone of silly men.

Miles cuts a glance at Luther, and he smiles a little wryly with a shrug as his hands spread out at his sides. He just can’t help it, apparently. The smile widens as he looks back to Tae, but it fades when that strange sort of play begins. He manages to keep quiet like he was asked — it’s easier to do in the midst of his own confusion. He stays so when it ends, though he does look over at Eve as she speaks, briefly.

Slanting a look to Eve, Luther checks the woman's reaction to the one-sided, one-man play being re-enacted in the present. Certain names evoked, certain pronouns, certain actions are all studied. Not only that, but the static that fills the small cave, he can feel the energy pressing upon his ability. It's distracting at first, resisted. But then he gives in to the charge, and his glowing hand brightens incrementally with the steady build up of sparks jumping and pulling towards his hand.

Luther watches Tae, grey-eyed gaze following the man lost to the vision of events. It's almost as if the energies being drawn in drown out the others and Luther doesn't notice, until the first few seconds have passed, that his hand stretches out towards the sparking fingertips of Tae's. Once he finally catches himself, he straightens quickly with a rough clearing of his throat. The hand that was reaching low pulls up and aims for the archaeologist's shoulder instead.

"You alright?" The question comes masked with concern, considering Tae's weakened condition just a few minutes prior.

The moment that Tae begins to fish for a moment in time, Asi's hand goes to her pocket, produces her phone to grab a recording of whatever it is that he finds. All she does is hold it, but the screen backlight fires and visibly cycles through programs. The way the air itself changes as he draws his power to him prickles her interest, brow furrowing while she listens, trying to work out context from what he finds. Anything to place it.

The names of Company leadership being invoked draws Asi's immediate attention, posture straightening. A glance is leveled in Eve's direction as she carries on, and her arms slowly come to fold across her chest, phone still in hand.

Which lifts away and snaps a silent (don’t tell her coworkers) still of Luther and Tae. And Tae’s expression.

“I'm alright,” Tae says with a hand moving up to the side of his head. He reiterated that in Japanese for the archaeologists in the cave that don't speak English. “It's just— I wasn't expecting something so recent. It's like, have you ever had your volume on too high when watching a video on your phone? Because you expected it to be quiet?” He makes a disconcerted face. “It's like that, but everything.”

Shaking his head, Tae looks to Eve with furrowed brows and uncertainty of how to parse the staccato list of proper nouns she threw in his direction. Worry, though, shadows his features rather than any real lack of understanding. This isn't a man who is confused by the references, it's someone who suddenly understood the enormity of what it is he's dealing with. But Tae says nothing, just parts his lips and exhales a slow sigh. “I shouldn't do this again,” he says rubbing his forefingers and thumb together, “not today. Too much charge.” A charge Luther could feel in the air.

“I… I'd like to— ” Tae shakes his head, looking down to the floor of the cave. “I need some space. A nap. And a hot meal, not particularly in that order.” Dark eyes lift up to Asi, then swivel over to Eve. “I'll take you to Mount Kiso,” has no amount of uncertainty in it now, “soon. But you have to promise me something.”

Tae swallows tightly, then looks down to the pack of cigarettes.

“You tell me everything.”

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License