They walk for what seems like endless hours. Animus Leading the way, lighting up the staircase with her bright glowing white eyes. The others follow with their own lights of glowing orbs of blue and green lights. The orbs hang about their wrists, each being powered by energy stones. Only the sounds of footsteps fill the every spirling chamber. No one knows where or what is before them. Animus herself, has no idea what lies below but feels something in her heart of familiarity.
“Animus Lux?” The silence is broken now from a deep voice of one of the warriors. This startles the group. Animus stops in her tracks and looks up at the speaker. Her eyes blind him, as he throws his arm up to block the blinding light.
“I am sorry. Do you have a question?” Animus says as her eyes dim to a lower glow.
“My name is Ruhko, Ruhko Strathern. I wish no disrespect in asking, but where are we going?” Ruhko asks with eyes of wonder and some fear. He's been told of the phrophecy of the great War Goddess and her deads and of her coming. His own life was based on these moments. He still feels shivers and chills from standing and following a such a legend.
“Are you in charge?” Animus asks curiously.
“Yes, I am. I've been in many battles and have personally trained each and every one in this outfit. These people look up to me. But now I look up to you. For their own fear and curiousity, do you know what is ahead of us? Do you think we have something to fear?” Ruhko asks as humbly as possible.
“To tell you the truth Ruhko Strathern, I do...not..know. I feel...comfort? I feel like something has been pulling me in this direction for over 2,000 miles that I've traveled. Something makes me feel that it is to be. That I HAVE to continue, no matter what. An instict so long forgetton in my own memory, that it is lost to me. I only know the drive. The drive is what keeps me going. I'm sorry if this is not a good answer. We shall find out.....together. That is the most honest answer I can give.” She says as she now looks past Ruhko, lost in her own thoughts and wonders for the first time in a long time, if what she is doing her own will or a uncontrolable pull beyond her own understanding. She stands there in thought, as the others look to eachother in wonder.
“We trust you, Goddess, to what ever degree it will take us. But as long as you have our own will in hand, then that is all I need to hear.” Ruhko says, trying to get her eyes to meet his.
“I will defende you and your people. I MUST defend you and the camp. At all costs. It seems that is will lead to something far greater than I can imagine, but I do not know what?” Animus says stareing straight into Ruhko's eyes. He finds himself now admiring her as a beautiful object, then almost as a normal woman, except with blue skin and glowing green lights. He stares deep into her eyes and becomes lost in the strangeness and tenderness of them.
“Let us continue Ruhko Strathern.” Animus says, breaking his stare. She feels that if she could blush a deeper shade of blue, she would. They continue down their long journey, deeper in the deserts heart. Hours go by and they rest and eat what rations they brought. Animus only stands and looks forward. They continue for endless more hours. After awhile, they begin to notice light comeing from the walls. They see intricate patterns laced into the walls with green, blue, yellow, and orange lights. As they descend, the lights become more intricate and the amount of light becomes brighter and brighter. Ruhko examines the lights and see's a pulsing rhythm in them. Very quickly they notice that the staircase becomes wider and wider and more light now streaming from a bottom source. Eventually they come out in an opening.
Before them is a sight that no on above ground could ever imagine. They stand on large landing made of a beautifully carved marble pillers. The look out at a incredibly vast tunnel. Not just a tunnel, but a tunnel city. It seems to stretch far ahead of them. Below them is something evern more incredible. They stand at the foot of a massive river or waterway, running down the entire base of the city tunnel. On either side of them are buildings and massive sculptures of creatures of absolute imagination. The sculptures are clothed as if they are gods holding up the very tunnel city itself, all the way down. Ruhko notices that there is an unkown source of light just about them. As if the tunnel knows they are there and has lite a large part of the tunnel they stand in. Looking up, Ruhko see's birds flying around. There seem to be massive crossways running back and forth into unknown depths on either side of the tunnel. He now notices plants. Plants and vines and flowers have overgrown everywhere in the tunnel. He thinks that they sustain life this far down. “for how long has this great world been down here” he thinks to himself, stareing into a dream of a world deep below the blistering heat of the desert lands above.
“I feel something. I feel something familiar.” Animus says closing her eyes and concentrating. She sits down with her legs folded and her arms resting upright on her knees. To Ruhko, she looks like a smaller version of the great godlike structures before them. They standing, both looking at her and still stareing in the the incredible sight before their eyes. Ruhko looks up and see's the ceiling of this great tunnel city. Even up in the roof, are built in homes and balconies. All seem overgrown with aged old vines hanging and along the way. Some of the birds have made their homes in these long forgetton places.
“We must move forward” Animus says, again startling the group. She stands up and points towards the deep tunnels darkness. “What we are looking for is in that direction”
The group looks in the direction, then at her.
Ruhko and the others now begin to walk down a flight of intricate stairs. The stairway split left and right. The decide to take the left side. Listeing, the group hear an abundance of sounds. They hear the water way as it falls down like steps in the distance. They hear the birds songs and cries from above. They hear animal noises from all around. This makes them feel a bit on the edge. They, simultaniously, take out their weapons. Animus, now once again takes the lead. They follow a large pathway at the bottom of the stairs. To one side of them are ancient homes and shops. The other, the large running waters of the might tunnel city. Ruhko looks over into the water way. It seems deep. He stops suddenly as he see's a school of fish swimming. He's never seen this amount of water, let along a school of fish. The rest of the group stops and look on also. Animus does not notice and continues on. The group stres on when suddenly the waters start to churn. The school of fish swim quickly ahead. All of a sudden a massive creature comes shooting out of the water before them. It's as large as one of their home tents, back at the village camp. It has many eyes and whiskers and a massive jaw full of razor sharp teeth. It shoots straight up, engulfing the entire school of fish and then slamming back down in to the deep waters below. The entire group fumbles back in absolute horror and surprise. They all get drenched. With their hearts beating out of their chests, they get themselves together. Animus had turned around to see the fish dive back and splash the group. An emotion, she can't even remembers suddenly hits her, and she makes a small but audible....laugh. The group look back at her in shock. She looks back in the same shocked look.
“What was that?” Animus asks herself, looking down at the ground for some answer.
“A big fucking monster?” One of the women warriors response lighting fast. They all look at eachother, and begin to laugh outloud. Animus cracks a smile. She can't remember ever smiling in her life, at least, not before she lost her humanity and her family.
“We must continue. Time is important, and we must make the most of it.” Animus quickly stops smiling, turns to the serious goddess, and continues. The group straighten up and follow. They travel for hours. Ruhko notices that the light of the tunnel seems to always follow them. When he looks back, the tunnel where they came out of becomes dark. He wonders about this. He wonders if the Goddess herself is having an effect. Perhaps the tunnel itself knows she is here. Perhaps the tunnel is leading them forward. After awhile, they rest in what seem like a large fountain. Amazingly, the fountain still runs. It stands from the ground all the way up to the roof. It is in the shape of a massive half man, half creature. It's wears a robe and holds a incredible pot of water that is streaming out and onto the base. They rest before it as only small rodents before a giant. Animus walks over to the fountain and looks at the water. She analysizes it.
“It is safe for drinking” Shey cups some of it in her hand and takes a deep drink. She suddenly stops what she is doing. She doesn't drink water. She has no need for it. The rest of the group do not notice as they fill their own canteens and drink from the fountain.
“What is wrong goddess?” Rohko asks.
“I'm not sure. I don't drink water. I have no need for it. I might've even done some harm to myself. But if felt natural, it felt like something I wanted or needed to do.” Animus says stareing at her wet hands. She is becoming more and more human. She is becoming more instictive of her previous life. She finds it curious and comforting. She closes her eyes for a second. Her enhanced hearing and detects something. She opens them again. Her arm opens up in a large cannon and her eyes go bright red.
“Something is coming, get ready” Animus says now posed for battle. The rest of the group stop in their drinking break and listen.
Suddenly a massive roar comes from one a massive side archway. It echo's through the tunnel. All the birds in the area now begin to fly away out of danger. Rohko and the others arm themselves and await what now comes thundering out of the darkness and makes the ground shake with each heavy step.