Masks-616 #24 - "Some Old Forgotten Words and Ancient Melodies"

Last time

Sync and GW have snuck through the underground city, set up Alex’ backpack of stuff to recharge his equipment.

Alex and Tahi and Kiln are down in the central chambers of the temple, analyzing the mods that took place at the hands of the former Temple Guardian, at the apparent behest of the gorilla tribe – prioritizing them over the health of the temple, apparently. Tahi finds this a bit shocking.

Joey and Mette are in the receiving room, had a heart-to-heart, followed by a lip-to-lip.

Up on the Roof

Roddy – laying out the unfoldable solar panels with GW.
Tiff - This kind of team thing is new to you guys.
R - Weeks.
GW - Seems like a lot for a couple of weeks.
R - (mutters about Central America and orbiting death lasers and accidents)
GW - Kinda cool. You didn’t seem like a team guy and now you have official school colors and uniforms, you’re all official.
R - We kept breaking things until Hellbinder couldn’t do anything else.
GW - You keep doing that thing where you don’t acknowledge that you guys are really doing this. It’s not accidental. This is you guys. How did this happen?
R - It was an accident. It just keeps working. I wasn’t a team guy, but these guys keep helping, and it keeps working.
GW - Cool. Lame, but cool. If I didn’t know you, then I’d think you were a Chad. It’s like you’re skipping school and going straight to the part where you save the world. That’s pretty …

… I did that a couple of days ago with the Golem thing. I mean, we’re in Africa! People ask you stuff, and they’re agreeing! You’re so chill about how not chill this is! I just didn’t figure that this is where we would be, this – you’re pretty good at some of this. You got … like … [punches shoulder] … you have planning down, just so relaxed about it. Kinda weird.

Shifting labels! --> +Superior, -Danger.

He’s about to talk about super-powers … It’s okay your super-powers sparkle … I liked She-Ra when I was a kid … but then the gorillas come. (“Oh, thank god.”)

Gorillas – There are things out here, watching for living creatures. Get back where it is safe. The bugs … they serve the Enemy.

Back in the Temple …

Alex is trying to hack into … any- and everything. Deciphering the temple iconography / lexicon. And starts to see the connections. And the more complex they get, and even desperately convoluted … things in the new system were being hacked, and even hacked badly, to get at least some effect. And Alex can make pretty solid guesses as to what effect they were looking for.

So, e.g., they don’t have surface-to-air lasers or offensive systems. Is that because those bits were brought here, or because it didn’t occur to someone. A lot of hiding, concealment, intel gathering, preservation / maint / repair.

Kiln, heading to outer rim of the shebang to see if they could figure out what was the last great effort. The Guardian was not preserving the temple, but … something else.
UNLEASH POWERS to perceive and understand [and … activate?!] --> 11!

Nothing obvious. It’s not like here’s an obvious hand panel, or the Guardian’s head sitting there. But … see … the Guardian’s pattern. Pareidolia?

No, the actual presence. Reaching out …
… and as if this was what was being waited for. Waiting for Tahi? The Gorillas … really feels like it was … waiting for Kiln?
(Immediate self-doubt.)

The eyes flare up, the glare cast shadows and make the impression of the Guardian’s body more obvious, visible, fingers, hands … almost like Han Solo in Carbonite …

Alex - a different type of hack, all the runes for sight, understanding, storage, memory, language, interpretation, extrapolation, jump the queue to a higher order stuff …

Images in the air above it. The Ancients As They Walked the World as Giants … flashes of Kiln’s time, people in the world, wars, growth, battles against Fluvis … that enemy’s fading away … time changes, geography shifts, people killed on forbidden lands, others come to settle, civilizations rise …

A fearful blackness, stars, ships, ships rising up and leaving the planet behind … seeing the figures in the star like astronomical features, but they are the Great Ancients in shadowy forms, turning … and looking … and waiting for the ship approaching … and their regard is not kind, reminded of this place they left that still vexes them.

And then the cycle starts again, hopping back and forth like a dream …

Kiln calls out to Alex and Tahi (who have been watching this).

Alex – is this real? Unleash Powers --> 11!
This lines up with what Kiln and Mette have both said. Not a complete fever dream … but … a timeline? But feels like a nightmare, an internal thing, stuff I was worrying about and went to bed after drinking a lot of coffee and the results is visions of what awful stuff could happen.
Notes that the present era is just a fearball, nothing specific, nothing about Joe, nothing right now, nor decades before.
Bits true, known, likely, and fear of what happened.
So … a fragment of the Guardian … having a nightmare? Warning people bad shit is happening?


  1. Bring to a better focus, wake it up, get some reasoning.
  2. Deal with nightmare fugue state.
    to Kiln … Make like a Paladin and lay on hands while we heal this thing.

Meanwhile, Back on the Love Seat …

That was some kiss.
The Earth moved …

… is moving. IS MOVING.
Humm, vibrations, off-kilter washing machine.

“I – we – uh – we should find out what’s going on.”

Off to the center of the temple … into the hallway …

The guards are shook. “Hey, wait a sec.”
Grogun … hurrying along down the hallway from the other direction.

And between us … a Temple Guardian appears. Clearly not Tahi. More … statuesque. More falcate facial features, less human. There! Then Glitches. Then back.

"Sarn Gor. King. You have returned. I expected you to be the one who … activated … I was expecting you … I – "

Gorgun, surprised recognition. They must be in the main temple, this way!

The temple keeps trying to send messages / talking while we’re going. No eye contact, must keeps popping up, like a recording laying back. Never complete a sentence.

I was unable to determine who would be your current interitor, but I do know that that that that…
… visitor from the future!
… threat from the future … past … I get those two mixed mixed mixed …

Feels like recordings.

When you eventually meet me, we we we we …

Get to the main chamber, main archway, Grogun stops, staring. J and M pull up and stake stock of what’s going on.

TG - Oh oh oh oh oh this is bad [gone]

J - What are you guys doing with my temple?

The Temple

Bits and pieces of sound playing … perceiving … shouting between Alex/Tahi/Kiln …

A thinks, someone took the pilot to the aircraft and scraped them off to fit into an autopilot – so trying to give them more space (storage, RAM, processor) to work in.

Roddy and GW:
Sense what’s going on. “Did you do something?!”
R is hoofing it back as quickly as possible.
“Hey, where you going?”
GW - We’ll keep up!

A - (Comfort & Support with Soldier) --> 9!
They hear you! What do they hear?
A - (Sitrep) The people you are here to protect and guide are doing well, there are people from outside to help them, but we need to talk with you now.

TG in front of Joe reappears atop part of the structure. Looking around, seeming to interact with the space. Looks at Alex. - I expected this, you’re the outsiders who brought the king back. So that’s where we are now. Okay. (Glances at Tahi) Welcome, sister.
T - We don’t usually call ourselves that. Sister, you’ve made a few modifications.
TG - Yes, the Great Calling. So much going wrong, so much of the Great Enemy.
T - (Makes a face that the Ancients are the Great Enemy?)
TG - Thank you for your information all that has happened. Have the attacks begun?
A - Series of ongoing attacks. (Motions to the others, plus Grogun)

Images overhead have steadied … less vivid, echoing the conversations.

TG - King? I am reassured your people are still well. (Images of her history with the king of these tribes.)
History of the king, then the king’s bodies.
Flashes of all the work that went into … where the body became …
But not where Joey came in, because the system was automated by that time.
TG - You are who I feared and hoped would come to the tribe, from teh outside. Your name?
J - Joe.
TG - Good, strong. A pleasure to meet you.

TG sees Mette
Images shift.
The Fear Ball … tangle of potential, nightmare-terrified.
Connective tissue … the transition from Joe to Mette.
The ship taking off. Space. The stars. The sense of loneliness.
TG - You are also someone I both feared and anticipated. A promise and threat from the future. You are welcome, but feared.
M - I do not intent to cause you distress. I am here for Joe.
TG - I think … that’s good? (Maybe 73% sure)
M - My own prognostication says that’s a good thing.
J - (arm around M’s shoulders)

TG - Not what I was expecting. I am far more than I was, have been for a great number of years. Thank you (A). I know the expression on your face. You are a soldier and guardian. You did not bring me back for casual conversation. Why are you here? What needs to be done?
A - (verbally cracks their knuckles)
Princes Bride Let me explain

Fluvis. Joe body. Lots of reasons.
TG - So … you are young. Which I was not expecting. Refreshing.
M - I am here for one reason – to prevent the future from occuring.
TG - You are from the future. Unexpected. And, my nightmares, welcome to hear. Fluvis is the threat? He is one of the Ancients.
A - Bugs upstairs.
TG - Where are they who woke me?
K - Yo.
TG - I waited, etc., so long … how are you here?
K - Healing pod. Woke up, future.
TG - WHERE WERE YOU? A temple? A simple healing pod in a fortress?

K - It was in a temple, but … that temple was destroyed by the time I awoke.
TG - Amazing
[Images. Battles. Massive destruction.]
Fluvis is still here, waking up, active, searching for this temple, and this seems to coincide with your waking. That he knows you have returned, looking for a prey long lost.
M - Maybe K is here because of Fluvis, not the other way around.
TG - That’d be cool.

TG is avoiding direct contact with Tahi.
TG - You’ve brought combatants, fellow warriors, come here … seeking answers, and seeking how to defeat him.
J - Yeah!
TG - I can only assist. I never had that power.
A - Assistance is all we need.
TG - What is your plan?
J - Punch him a lot of times.
TG - This is the last fortress. Sister, does your temple still stand?

GW - (takes R’s elbow) Can I say something?
R - Sure. Move the story along.
GW - (Look) All right, we got a fortress, place they were trying to find forever, a bunch of people to kick ass, and a guy who wants to kick our ass … let’s bring him here and see what happens. Either K woke up because of him, or vice versa, but he’s wanting to find you. M, everything you said about this is something you said this would happen here.
M - And that is why you are the leader of the this team.
GW - Huh wuh now? Never mind. Big neon open sign where they can see it.
J - I worry about the people here.
GW - Seems like the stuff that’s gonna happen is supposed to happen here. We can lure him away with the ship, but where to? Doesn’t like K, doesn’t like me, probably want like R …
All - shrug, nod.
A - Best place for our defense here.

A - (Runs to G) The device to make a super-gorilla is right here, right? Any reason to have only one?
G -(Ultra-bemused. Like, can you make a lot of Jesuses from the Eucharist?)

K - (reaction to causal link question between Fluvis and their awakening … or maybe no cause at all … what resonates?)
–> (K woke up in reaction to the danger in the world.)

–> K - Stand and fight. Fluvis corrupts, and running gives him more time, more targets.
TG - Of all the people in the world, these people can resist his corruption as well or better than any others. That has been part of my great labor. These people are pure.
Grogun - None of us are unfamiliar with battle, such a luxury.
A - These people deserve better.
Grogun - We hide here because of the temple. But it would be good to be in the sun.
J - If this is where you are willing to fight, this is a good place.
Grogun - If you fight with us, we are willing.


And last time, everyone felt Closer to the Team

Alex - Image of Self
Roddy - Image of Self
Joey - Image of Self - the king of his people
Mette - Image of Self - know what’s going on
Kiln - Image of Self

donnybrook is coming

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@fragolakat suggested (in an inquiry I didn’t see until after the game) that this clip might, somehow, fit in …

There was also a comment in-game about the Lost in Space time portal.

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My thought on what might happen when Kiln touched/tried to activate the temple’s tech. Reason I didn’t nab it myself is because my google fu was lacking and I couldn’t figure out what to search to get what I wanted.


It’s high tech instead of magitek, but I also imagined:


With a dash of Jack Kirby …