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Entrance of the Gladiators

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GM

????

????, Freedom City, New Jersey

Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

???? PM

 

Ace Danger

When Ace awoke he found himself in a room of mirrors.  His lips were notably dry.  Having no memory of how he came to be in what appeared to be a funhouse mirror room, Ace could take comfort in the fact that he seemed to still possess much of his equipment.  But, it was hard to say if the internationally renowned man of mystery was traveling a little light when the past few hours were a haze.

 

Arcturus

When Arcturus awoke his mouth felt unusually dry.  He found himself bereft of memories of the past few hours.  Leaving him with absolutely no explanation how he found himself in a seemingly empty corridor.  Empty, but not silent the sounds of bells and whistles flooded his head.  Accompanied by a loud thud every so often as the sound of an object colliding against a nearby wall reverberated through the area.  The opposite of the corridor seemed to open up into different pathways, whereas the path behind Marcus seemed to have no other hallways and simply a single door.

 

 

Wayward

Valerie Cain had some vague notion of what how she found herself in this predicament.  After all, it was during her concert that things took a turn for the ugly.  She was just about to start her set for the crowd, after warming them up with a plead to donate their old toys to the charity drive funding the concert.  That was when the gas hit...

 

But, that was then.  Now Wayward found herself playing for an entirely different crowd.  A pack of lions encircled her.  Armed only with her wits and a low cheaply made microphone, Valerie Cain transitioned to her latest career move as a lion tamer.
 

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"Every toy given makes a diff-"

 

Val freezes.  One moment, she's riding the high of thousands of people, all ready for a show.  The next?  She feels nothing.  And... did the mike just cut out?

 

She looks down to see the cord cut clean, then up to see...

 

Well.  That was not how she'd planned to spend her day.

 

Reflexively, Val backs up in a defensive stance and reaches for her belt, where she'd normally keep her staff... when she's not on stage.

 

The star looks around, then to the lions, then to the mike in her hands.  Gotta make do with what you got.  She raises the mike high in the air and cracks the severed cord like a whip.  "BACK!" she shouts out, raising her other arm in the air in an effort to look big and loud and scary, "BACK, I SAY!"

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"uhhg, never get in a drinking contest with an asgardian."  Ace murmured to himself as he rose and rubbed his eyes before trying to take in his surroundings with greater focus.  He quickly checked for signal on his phone or coms though had little illusion that whatever force had apprehended him would be so kind as to leave him a line to call in backup.  Staring out at the myriad reflections of himself in all directions he sighed and began picking his way through the maze of mirrors keeping one hand to the left hand wall as he went, if this was a normal mirror maze it just might get him out.  Then again if experience was proof this was unlikely to be a normal maze.  Focusing his mind he let of of reliance on sight and let himself feel the air around him and opened himself to a wider world relying on ancient techniques of the Shambala monks to pick his way along seeking exit or allies.

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"Ugh..." Marcus groaned and forced himself upright. Trying to remember how he'd ended up where he currently was seemed like a fool's errand; searching his memory revealed nothing. He wasn't even sure where 'here' was. Was this that cult's doing? Was someone playing a prank on him? One way or another, he needed answers, and those weren't going to waltz down the hauntingly empty corridor to him.

 

For some odd reason, he felt like a rat in a maze.

 

The door behind him seemed like the most logical thing to try his hand at... and if it wouldn't budge by normal means, he was hardly above knocking it off its hinges. To start, however, he did the courteous thing and knocked. As hard as he could.

 

 

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GM

 

Half the lions tilted their heads in confusions.  Appearing like oversized cats before once again taking an aggressive pose and nearing their way to the rockstar.  One of the lions crouched down, posing as if it were about to leap on top of Valerie and turn her last tour into a farewell tour.  Suddenly the lights were turned down in the room, save for a single spotlight shining brightly on Wayward.   "And now taking center stage.  The one, the only, Madame Mufasa!"  A voice rang out from somewhere.  There was a sort of hight pitched Kikiki cackling before Valerie heard the microphone cut off and with it the chance to retort.   Before the lights got turned down, Valerie had a clear look at the fact that she was in what appeared to be a  cyclical circus stage.  The only exit on the other end of the room.  Up the stairs.  And past the lions.  

 

*          *           *

 

Ace was traversing the maze with absolute ease.  Or at least he wasn't running into any dead ends.  The weird thing was he couldn't "feel" anything on the other side of the mirror walls.  As if it was pure emptiness.  No walls or floors.  However, what he did end up finding during one of his many turns was a large man with the head of a bull.  As well as matching hooves that it angrily began stomping on the ground before lowering its head into a charging position.   One stomp from the Minotaur made a slight crack on the ground with a very distinctive noise.

 

The floor was glass too.

 

*          *           *

 

The door in front of Arcturus swung open in response to his knocking.  On the other end?  A tightrope standing over a pit with another door on the other side.  Looking into the pit was a continuation of the previous hallway in that all Arcturus could see was pure darkness.  The walls, however, were ornate stone design.  With six different statues of clowns holding knives spaced out between them.  The clowns' eyes seemed to almost follow Arcturus as he peered into the room.  

 

Looking closely, he could make out another door in the distance.  He would just have to make it all the way across the room past the tightrope to reach it.  Aside from the lifeless statues the werebear had yet to find any signs of life or answers for his displacement.  Simply more and more darkness.

Edited by HG Morrison

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"...huh."

 

Marcus was pretty sure he wasn't dreaming at this point. Had he been drugged? Spellbound? Both? He couldn't really tell, and as much as he hated to admit it, the entire situation was beyond creepy. The darkness, the tightrope, the clowns... it reminded him why he avoided circuses. He was pretty agile, but his paranoid mind could see a myriad of things going horribly wrong if he tried to just waltz his way across. And he certainly wasn't going to do that in bear form.

 

The thought briefly crossed his mind to flying across, but the last time he tried it, he'd nearly been knocked from the sky by an angry water god. His control was terrible and the space was less open than he would have liked...

 

Right. On with it then. Marcus extended both his hands, settling into a combat stance. The Beast Rune burned to life against his shoulder, and Atmos the Wind Rune formed on both his palms. "Soul of the Beast, spirit of ferocity and solitude, let me be your vessel..." He spread both his arms apart and clapped, engulfed in a violent if brief whirlwind. When it died, Marcus had transformed. Slightly bigger than his natural form, Arcturus was a large humanoid tiger, wearing the green and gold tights of his costume.

 

"...yep. This'll do."

 

Without hesitation, the animagus darted forward, a burst of wind in his wake. His plan was simple--run through the hellscape of a lallway as fast as possible. 

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Sometimes, this hero thing is so weird.

 

I wonder...

 

Val taps a button inside one of her bracelets that's supposed to call the camera drones.  If she's gonna be in the Circus of Doom, may as well get some footage out of it.  It's times like these she really needs to reconsider not bringing her staff on-stage.

 

With a dizzying surge of speed and strength that has her joints shrieking at her, Val leaps to the nearest support for the tent, and tosses the mike around the pole, catching it in one hand while holding the cord in the other, giving her a safe perch above the lions' reach to survey the area from.

 

"Ya think maybe we can skip the lion taming, maybe go for a song and dance number or something?"

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"hmmm" Ace mused briefly confronted with the Minotaur, "And me without my twine."  

 

Replaying the last few twists and turns of the maze through his mind he hoped this minotaur was not so canny as the originator of the legend as he bolted back to the planned intersection.  Setting his feet firmly, body carefully posed in challenge to the beast Ace threw his voice to taunt the creature as if he was on the far side of the hall.  "Sorry no time for autographs old chap."  he taunted with a saucy grin, "I simply haven't the time for every fan."    

 

The he waited prepared to dodge out of the way should the beast turn on him or follow it out of the hole to whatever was or was not outside the strange maze.

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