Mission 3 Epilogue pt2
Yep, it's here! Thank you for your patience, everyone!
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When Izel’s vision finally clears, she realizes she is being stared at. Everyone in their small party is watching her, curious and worried at her behavior. When they ask if she’s alright, Izel dismisses them with a wave of her wing, blinking away the remnants of her vision.
“I saw something - a vision about the gate. Speaking of which, can I get a report on how everything went in the city?”
Jay takes a step forward, but Nuri is the one who speaks first. “According to Pine, everyone is accounted for, including the escaped convicts. He and Zug are busy at work building a new facility within Rift City as we speak.”
Jay takes her momentary pause to finally give his part of the report, stating proudly, “Thanks to the Roaring Icebergs, the sinkhole problem is solved! Only a couple teams are finishing up, repairing some stuff and taking care of any of the buildings that still look like they might fall.”
Izel listens to their reports and thanks them for the information. After thinking things over for a moment, she says, “I’ll soon be discussing more permanent solutions with Hive Realtors in regards to our new housing problem.” Then the Xatu looks away from Nuri, her concerned gaze focused on Jay. “But, please, the gate - what did you find?”
Jay immediately perks up, and says, his voice laced with excitement, “Well! We braved the Ivory Forest and set up a trail, just like you requested. It’s surprising, the Ivory Sapper didn’t actually approach us. We could see him roaming but he just didn’t do anything. Maybe, since the gate was closer to the edge of the forest, and the trip wasn’t so short, we didn’t really bother him… But anyway, once we got inside, Konjac took notes while we tried to dig our way in. The stones around the gate were freakishly tough, though! We couldn’t seem to get through, no matter what angle we tried…”
“Well, of course it couldn’t be that easy,” Izel comments. Then she turns to Konjac. “So, what did you find?”
Like Jay, Konjac’s demeanor betrays his excitement. He begins chattering on immediately about the engraved rock they found. “The words- they were almost smoking! It was incredible! Outside of that, the actual text was almost entirely jumbled… written in a variation of some of the oldest known ancient glyphs we’ve been able to decipher. A bunch of scattered words and phrases. They were scorched into the stone pretty sloppily, like someone did it in a rush. It was hard to figure out the true meaning, but I think I got it!”
Konjac pauses to take a deep, steady breath, then begins to recite: “Bindings clamped, parts lost, the drowned depths, the pools of the moon, the great hall, the under…
“It’s a bit obtuse, but to me, it feels like someone is trying to tell us that, well- that this thing is locked up and it simply needs keys to open! I think the passage is someone trying to give us hints on where to find said keys. It’s like a treasure hunt!”
Izel looks stunned, only nodding her head before slowly turning to stare deep into space. After a moment she mumbles, “That… That’s right. That has to be true.” Internally, the Xatu considers what she was just told. It certainly feels like Konjac is on the right track. So this thing, it is a gate, just as she’d suspected. “If that’s true, then we need to see what is inside.”
Facing the others once more, Izel’s gaze becomes focused, and her voice returns to it’s normal, steady authority. She says, “Everyone, I need to know if any of you have any ideas on what the locations Konjac mentioned might actually be. I may have a theory on the location of one, but the others…”
Nuri takes the chance to pipe in. “The pools of the moon must certainly be referring to the forbidden path of Mycena forest. The moon is a strong symbol to pokemon out there and is associated with a few bizarre locations near the path.”
Not wanting to be outdone, Jay quickly offers theory of his own. “I know one of the places, too! The drowned depths sounds sorta like it could be talking about the old flooded labyrinth out in Fjord’s town! People find things in the water out there all the time. Sounds like a good place to hide a weird mysterious key.”
“You mean Atwell?” Izel asks.
“Yeah! I explored it a bit back when I was traveling.”
“That’s very interesting… Every location seems to be-”
Izal turns and stares out the window for a moment, and the party waits. Konjac is quiet, but is wiggling a bit with excitement while Genesect is holding still, artificial eyes attentive.
The pause in conversation lasts longer than they all expect. Just as the group begins to eye each other nervously, Izel suddenly turns around and says, “I don’t know what the great hall is referring to, but I have reasons to suspect ‘the under’ is referencing a certain historical event related to Dos. If that’s the case, it could mean that whoever locked this gate hid four keys near the four other developing cities.”
“I assume this means at least one of the guilds will be sent to locate these keys?” Nuri asks.
Izel shakes her head. “Not just one - both of you will need to go.”
Wren speaks for the first time, peeking out from behind his partner. “Excuse me? You do know we just finished picking up a mess that could have been avoided or at least diminished if the guilds hadn’t left the city, right?”
“I-I know, but this is important. The city will be fine in your absence for just a little longer while we secure these keys.”
Tiva is the next to speak. There’s a smile on her face, but her hesitance is obvious. “Are you sure Izel? The gate seems pretty spooky, I understand wanting to know what’s going on with it. But I mean, maybe we can find some other compromise. Perhaps only a few teams could go and-”
Izel cuts her off, feathers ruffling as she gets more worked up. “No, no, I see the visions-” The Xatu shakes her head hard, arms retracting into her body as much as they can go. “Everyone, the city- something is happening that I don’t understand, and that gate is responsible. I want the greatest chance of success. This is important. I’ll still have Pine and I’ll take the blame for anything that happens while you’re gone, but just- please. I need you all to go.”
She continues to shake a bit as the shocked group, quite unfamiliar with such displays of emotions from their mayor, take it all in.
Eventually Jay speaks. “I-It’s alright Izel. We’ll do it, don’t worry! But I think, maybe we should find some way to talk to you while we’re gone? A messenger, so if anything goes wrong we know to come back?”
Nuri nods. “I think we would all appreciate that the next time we came home, we didn’t return to find the city partially destroyed…”
At their acceptance of her plan, Izel seems to calm down. She lightly preens as she thinks things over. “Right, right, yes… that could work. I could always ask- ah!”
She looks shyly at the group. “Yes, I know what to do. You can be accompanied by Esther.”