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Friday, October 26th 2018, concurrent with Let's Fall in Like


Athletic Field


The Autumn Dance was still thrumming away in the Auditorium, Astrid's raucous guitar roaring and screaming into the night, as two of Claremont Academy's magically-inclined students went out on an impromptu ghost-hunt.


"I believe it to be here." Dio stabbed at the ground with his powerful tail, the junior hierophant having prowled and sniffed at the baseball diamond for a good minute after they'd arrived "But my skills for divining secret tunnels are...they're not very good."


Cocking a head at Nicole Whitfield-Hall, AKA the teen runesmith Salvo, wielder of the mighty battle suit known as Bellios, the young green dragon asked "Can you see anything? You've got several different kinds of sensors, if I remember rightly. The book didn't mention anything about any security, but fair enough to guess Summers wouldn't want just anyone prying about. That at least is familiar, the obsession with secrets."


Sitting on his haunches, the reptile gazed about the school grounds. "It's difficult to believe that this is Earth. It looks, feels and smells so different from the Earth I know."


The Academy grounds were eerily quiet and deserted. A few lights were on in the dormitories, but most of the students were dancing or partying elsewhere. A cold, sharp wind blew in from the sea, carrying with it salt and a rattling in the branches of the towering oak trees that loomed high above the pair. In greener months, the oaks were a comforting, reliable presence. But now they stood like eruptions of bone in the harsh, distant electric lights lining the walkways.

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Thus suited within her armour, Salvo stood in the middle of the baseball diamond, watching the dragon stalk around the field. The two cut an imposing scene. The beast of myth and the obelisk of steel, cutting long shadows on the ground against the lights.


She could feel the excitement within her chest rise with the promise of the ghost. And the hunt had barely started. Dio was right, this was more fun than the dance. Dio had even less reason to attend the Fall Dance than she had being, you know, a dragon.


She grinned at Dio's request, opening her eyes to the sensory suite.


"I thought you'd never ask." In an instant, she could see everything around her, like the world was a picture in her mind's eye and she the painter. The Auditorium was still in full swing with the dance and she could see the students mingling and dancing. Leroy kissing Judy before she pulls back. Pan and Zenith dancing on air above the courtyard.


She forced her mind away from it all, centering her focus into her immediate surroundings. Then she switched into magic sensors and began shifting through the noise.


"How can an Acolyte of Ghorummaz not be able to find the tunnel?" She asked absently as she divided the search area into a grid pattern, determind to search it inch by inch. "You're supposed to be into earthy stuff. Magma and earth and the world beneath us, our eyes, and everything."


"Be easier to find it if we had a copy of the records. Summers keeps this up and I'd be even more tempted to bring out my hacking kit again. I mean, I'm already here trying to dig up one of her secrets. What's a few dozen more going to hurt?"


Salvo's armour kept stock still as she continued her search, though her visor turned to keep Dio within her vision. She couldn't help but snort. "I get look and feel, but is eternal peace and love supposed to make the world smell like a baby's butt?"


An anomaly appeared and she pointed it out the Dio. "Hey, burrow on that spot for me will you?"

Edited by Zeitgeist Blue
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"Never said I was any good" Dio said drily, but he set to work at once, lunging for the spot Salvo indicated and becoming a flurry of motion, broad claws and forelegs clearing and sweeping away the turf with tremendous speed. Dirt burst from the growing hole, shrinking into a neat ring attached to a metal trapdoor in the center of the excavation. As he worked, Dio went on "Besides, that was a reference book. You can't just take those from the library it'd be wrong."


The dragon prodded the trap, sighing wearily as he found its edges. "Too small for me, Salvo. You'll be effectively alone. I'll change to my ethereal form to get in, but I won't be much use if there's not space for me to rematerialize."


With that, Dio seized the trap door and gingerly tested it. It moved freely under his claws. 


He frowned...or at least his pupils narrowed to slits and his voice became a soft growl "Not like Summers to leave a lock off.


A quick heave, and the door opened, revealing a chute with a ladder leading down for a long, long way into darkness. The dragon peered down with one eye, tongue flickering in and out as he tasted the air. "Fresh. Bit piney. Nobody's in there."


Standing back from the aperture, Dio nodded to Salvo "Head on in, I'll join after cleaning this up and shifting to the ephemeral plane." His eyes closed, and the dragon began arcing and curling, weaving and swaying, hisses and whispers escaping his lips as the great green hierophant began to smooth and shape the grass and dirt back into place, coaxing life back into the broken things and joining them once more into Ghorummaz's grand design. 

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Salvo walked over to where Dio was digging, making sure to stay clear of the flying clumps of dirt. She didn't want to get any on her armour, not when she had just applied a new paint job.


"Yeah, very wrong," she replied drily. "Summers might get pop a vein if we stole that book and we wouldn't want that."


She set a knee down and looked over the entrance as Dio opened the trapdoor, her own senses verifying what Dio's had. The tunnel was empty.


"You sure she knows about this?" She asked, then realized it was a stupid question. There was no way the headmistress didn't know every noom and cranny in her backyard. She'd been in enough things to know when something wasn't supposed to be.


Salvo glanced at Dio beginning his spell then she tapped her faceplate with a clink. "Don't take too long now. If this leads to what I think it does then you wouldn't want to miss it for all the Earth-2 dragon buffets."


Then in one quick motion she stood and let herself drop down the tunnel. She didn't bother with the ladder, her armour would make it too awkward clambering down, so she controlled her descent with short bursts of her thrusters, quick fires in the growing darkness.


The light from the world above began to grow smaller.

Edited by Zeitgeist Blue
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