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7 mos ago
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The wall shook as Atlas drove a colossal fist into it, yet for all the weight that the titanic cyclops could put behind the crushing blow, the crystalline surface was hardly even marred. A low rumble of frustration escaped his throat, and he glared balefully at the hazy wall in some futile attempt to peer through the great translucent and catch a glimpse of whatever lay beyond his cage; all the other assembled cyclopes just gawked at the scene.

Synros spared a glance over his shoulder as the giant made another attempt to break their temporary prison. He had hoped that he would have heeded his advice immediately, for his trust and belief in the Creator was absolute, but he should have known better. With a slight shake of his head he returned to the task he had assigned himself, walking among his people and bestowing names upon them. He felt it was his duty to do so, an obligatory part of being their assigned leader. He knew in time they may have chosen their own, but the act of being given a name had been the catalyst to making him alive. The other Cyclopes deserved to feel the same sensation.

Steropes. Brontes. Belos. Abydos. Ariphron. Mikon. The names came one by one and felt natural, as if they weren't being bestowed or invented but had been there all along and were simply now being revealed by Synros. Each of the cyclopes accepted their given name.

A soft throbbing called upon Atlas to unfurl his fist and lift up his great brawny hand to inspect it. The dull grey stone of his fingers had suffered no obvious damage, but a few tiny fissures and cracks had formed. They would take time to heal, and with that realization Atlas reluctantly yielded. That had been the third (and would be the final!) attempt that he made to batter his way out of their vessel. He finally turned around, and his great eye swept over the heads of all the other cyclopes and singled out Synros among the crowd. "You were right," he admitted. "Got to wait until Creator thinks it time." Though he'd finally accepted it, he was still anything but pleased. Atlas slumped down against the wall and sat for the first time since his birth.

"As I said, he would not create us just to leave us stranded within a cage. However I am impressed with how sturdy he made these walls if even your fists cannot break through." He turned away from their kin to face Atlas properly, who while seated might have been mistaken for a large boulder were it not for that glowering look he wore on his eye. "I am certain that our journey is nearing its end. At least this portion of it." Silence punctuated Synros' claim.

Eventually the light of Heliopolis struck their crystal vessel at just the right angle, and the chamber that housed the journeying cyclopes was suddenly awash with cascades of prismatic color. The scintillating light exploded into rainbows that dazzled and awed the cyclopes, at least for a time. The colors were all so grand, so exciting, and so welcoming compared to the utter darkness of the place where they'd been born, or the normally monochromatic glassy surface inside the crystal. It seemed as though it was another personal gift, sent to them by their Creator; it represented a promise that there was something waiting for them, something grand and vibrant and unknowable and exciting. But then the crystal gradually shifted such that the light no longer struck it at that perfect angle, and the beauty of that sight was gone.

Synros remained stunned for several moments after the brilliance of the rainbows had finally faded away, his singular eye opening and closing slowly. Even with all the information that he had been given by the Architect he could hardly fathom the beauty that had just graced him and his people. When the awe finally faded to a simple appreciation, and desire to witness it once again, his attention once more fell onto Atlas. "Could you ask for a surer sign that our Creator favors us Atlas? Why else would he give us such a magnificent sight, something that was nothing less than divine?"

Yet Atlas seemed a stubborn and shortsighted friend. "Can touch steel. Can feel Creator and Creator's decrees. But that? Can only see for few seconds. Was nothing."

He remained sullen and slumped against the wall, and for the first time in their lives, some of the other cyclopes began to murmur. They look to their nearest neighbors and instinctively called to one another by name, mulling over whose philosophy was right. If Atlas noticed them talking, he certainly didn't care. He didn't even move, and something about the silent giant was daunting enough that none of the other cyclopes approached him, much less addressed him directly.

A frown formed upon the face of Synros, provoked not only by the words of his friend but also the spark that had been created in their wake. There was no question in his mind that the Creator was watching them and always would, he simply could not understand the disbelief that had begun to grow in some of his kin. Eventually it would have to be addressed and dealt with, but for the time he had no inclination on how to go about it.

The assembled crowd found themselves so preoccupied with this conversation that as their great crystal vessel drew nearer to Galbar and hints of light from the Blue creeped through the smoky walls, the subtle change went unseen. But then there was a more brilliant hue as brazen orange began to wreathe the crystal, its descent so fast that it set the air aflame and cut through the sky as a fiery wound.

At this point they had been descending for longer than they had been within the home of the Architect and Synros was far from unaffected by this fact. Frustration had made itself known to him and he briefly entertained the idea of mimicking Atlas's earlier attempts to free them. This idea was quickly quenched, partially due to the fact he did not believe he would be any more successful than the giant had been and because he had no idea what waited beyond. He could only hope they would make landfall soon for the sake of all of the cyclopes. That thought was interrupted by a rumble as the entire crystal trembled, punctuated by a sharp crack as some of its outermost surface flaked off in the atmospheric drag. The turbulent descent made Atlas instinctively find purchase for his hands upon the wall behind him, and he clutched onto it with the same crushing grip that he'd earlier demonstrated to Synros.

The demigod was quick to follow the example of his friend, planting all four of his hands onto the wall to stabilize himself. Despite the chaos of the present situation he could not stop his lips from lifting into a smile, for to him it was as if his thoughts had been transformed into a prayer heard by the Creator who answered near immediately.

Many of the cyclopes also ran to the walls and clung to them, whilst others grasped at crevices or uneven parts of the floor, but still some were left standing in a daze with nothing to take hold of in sight.

Then the impact happened. Nothing could have prepared them for it. It was as though the entire world was engulfed in a blinding flash, and then there was an unending hail of dirt and rocky shards and even bits of crystal that had been near instantaneously pulverized to sand. Choking dust filled the air, and sound lost all meaning entirely as their ears and minds alike were nearly shattered by the boom. They were thrown every which way and utterly engulfed in storms and waves of debris, as helpless and overwhelmed as a fallen autumn leaf swept up in a tornado. Were it not for the resilience and power and might of their stony bodies, and perhaps even for something like luck of destiny, they would have all died. As it was, many of them did die, but their deaths were at least as close to instant as one could ever hope for.

But many of them survived.

Synros was among those who survived the explosive landing. When the crystal vessel had began breaking apart he maintained his grip on the chunk of wall he had been holding. He refused to let go even as he was launched away from his kin, sailing through the air with the crystal locked firmly below him. His flight, which felt like it lasted ages, eventually came to a close with him landing skidding along the ground upon his impromptu shield. By the time he came to a complete stop the crystal had finally sustained enough damage to break into smaller pieces, the four largest still held within his grasp and now they possessed jagged edges. Slowly he pushed himself to his feet, his glowing eye swinging towards the direction he had came from where he could just make out what remained of his former cage.

For a moment he was transfixed by the sight, but he was broken free of this hypnotism as pain burst from his entire back. Craning his head as far around as he could he stared down and saw dozens of shards embedded within his stony exterior, though most failed to penetrate very deeply. With many of them out of his reach he had no choice but to push the pain into the depths of his mind, he had a task to attend to after all. Besides a few chunks of cyclopes around him, including the head of Abydos which brought him a measure of sadness, none of his kin were anywhere to be seen. The need to regroup with his people burned in his chest and he knew his best bet would be to start from the object that was their ride down. With a destination in mind Synros began the trek back towards the crystal ship, or what remained of it anyway.

As the dust slowly settled, the sounds of the wildlife reluctantly returned. Here, there was a tree that had been shorn in half and practically reduced to a heap of splinters. Right beside it was one that had survived, and beneath its branches was a mighty cavity where great Atlas had struck the earth and by his own weight half-buried himself. They were of course far, far from where the crystal had landed, on the rim of the crater.

A small bird dared land on a branch of that tree and look down at the strange boulder below. The mundane creature had a simple mind, so it soon turned its attention elsewhere and chirped its favorite song. Below it, Atlas stirred.

To his ringing ears, the shrill song was sharp and painful as a lunging spearpoint. The shivering agony voice awoke a great rage in his heart and summoned him back from his slumber, and with a bellow he tore himself free of the ground and was in an instant ripping the branch free from the tree and pulverizing the queer morsel that had tormented him with its sound. The tree's great trunk shifted when the hulking cyclops then rested his back upon it.

His head was still throbbing, so he sat in silent contemplation and willed the pain to trouble him no more. Atlas' will was iron, but not even it could work so fast. So his eye peered out across the crater from where he rested beneath the tree. He saw the shattered corpses of some of his brethren; it seemed as though they had been made of weaker stone than he. Some were still whole, though none of them yet moved. Atlas let out no more than one grunt as he suffered the agony in his head and waited. Heliopolis, that strange burning light in the sky, pestered Atlas nearly as much as the bird had. Fortunately for Heliopolis, it was too far away for the Might of the Cyclopes to reach out and crush. Atlas nonetheless offered it a baleful glare, and it returned the stare, but eventually it shrank away to hide beyond the horizon like the cowardly thing it was. In the dying light of dusk, Atlas perceived the silhouette of one lone cyclops in the crater below, walking towards the remnants of the crystal.

It could be only one--Synros. Atlas heaved himself back onto both feet, shrugged off the pain, and began to march down the pulverized hillside and into the great crater. As the air grew dark and cooler, some of the other cyclopes began to stir and awaken. 'Good,' he thought, 'maybe spear still has head.'

His kin lay scattered around him, some beginning to show life but far too many exhibiting the stillness that one can only achieve in death. He wanted nothing more than to fall to his knees in the sight of his failure, it was his duty to watch over and protect the children of the Creator, yet he knew that such an emotional display was not a luxury afforded to him. Synros had no choice but to remain strong for those of his people that had survived. Upon seeing the hulking behemoth that was Atlas he sent a silent prayer to the Creator, the survival of his friend was a small blessing in the face of the devastation that had claimed the lives of dozens.

With great care, stepping around the bodies of the dead, he made his way toward the giant cyclops. "Thank the Creator you survived, Atlas. When I first saw what had happened to our prison I feared I was the sole survivor. I should have known it would take more to fell you." As he spoke he gave his ally a firm clap on the back before turning towards the others who had finally found their feet. He had had little time to prepare a proper speech and instead decided to follow his gut.

"Cyclopes look around you, see those who will never rise again. They were weak, unsuited to see the beauty of the world our Creator made. Those of you who still stand, who still draw breath, you have proven yourselves worthy. Worthy to gaze upon this land and worthy to call yourself a cyclops. You have the strength needed to survive, the drive to claim what you want as yours. Weakness means death. Let the corpses that surround you cement that fact into your very core. Every single one of us must be strong, stronger than the stone we were born of, stronger than any obstacle that tries to slow us. Those who falter or fall behind will be forced back in line or they will be forgotten. For now we are wanderers, but this shall not last forever. We shall find a place to call home and claim it as ours."

Synros turned away from his people and turned his gaze skyward, his upper arms extending outwards with his palms up. "See your chosen Creator, we survived our brutal arrival upon your world. The weak were culled and only the strong remain. Mentally we are prepared to face all challenges, yet we lack the material to put your gift to use. Hear me Synros, the First Cyclops, and deliver what we need to fulfill our purpose."

As if in answer, the sky was suddenly aglow with a meteor shower. Atlas was the first to notice it, but the other quickly followed his gaze and witnessed a thousand falling stars streak down to land somewhere close. With little more than a low growl that rumbled from his chest and throat, the giant trudged at a leisurely pace (made swift by his giant strides) towards the near horizon. "This way," he told Synros and all the others.

Eurysthenes was gone, and with it, so too had the cold fury welling up inside the Architect's ancient bones departed. The worst of his concerns were now addressed; it would be some time still before the most dangerous one of those little gods invariably was drawn to the Core. Eurysthenes would have time to make preparations, and one could hope that its half-borrowed-half-stolen powers over the mind would enable it to drive off any prying fools that drew too close to the Core and the secrets that it held.

Even here, at the very edge of the Barrier and boundary of the universe, the light of Heliopolis dimly shone upon the hollowed moon that housed the Architect's palace, light cascading down from the great fissure above into the darkened expanse of a flooded throne room so grand that it held a small sea. Great, elongated shadows of the columns all around rose from the water surrounding the island that was throne room's dry and raised dais. Together the assembly resembled the bars of a cage, though its function was anything but. The pillars merely obscured the view of whatever else lurked in the darkness of his endless hall beyond that lonely island crowned with a throne. The Architect came to realize that there was no longer any need to leave his throne room open to the outside world and exposed to prying eyes. With a snap he conjured a great magical barrier that walled off the skylight torn into the ceiling above, and then with but a thought that ethereal and invisible seal became a very real one made from tons and tons of solid stone, perhaps a mile thick. With that entrance gone, that wound marring the surface of his planet mended, there was now complete and utter darkness within his throne. But that was of no matter, for he did not need his Eye to perceive the world of his making.

He waited in utter stillness and silence and darkness, a statue indistinguishable from all those stony pillars around except in size. An age passed, but to him it was not even the blink of an eye. His Eye hadn't blinked in untold aeons. He sensed the quarrels and plotting of the various so-called 'gods' as they squabbled among one another. As one tapestry of strife blended into another, he watched on and felt nothing. Perhaps there was some disinterest and apathy to speak of if such things could even be called feelings. He directed his interest not towards the vessels that he'd borne here and vested power into, but rather their creations. For the majority of the vessels, bearing such fruits was their purpose, their overriding imperative, the reason that they'd been called into this existence. And so they did, quickly and tirelessly...but even as their erratic work went at a pace far greater than any work that would have been borne of his slow and cautious hand, it seemed sloppy, marred, haphazard, and of a scale far too small and a plan far too shallow in scope. He saw much, and no flaw or weakness could help but be dragged out from the shadows by such a scorching gaze. And though his body had but that one singular Eye that seemed to sprawl across his face and swallow his entire head, it was truly just an outward reflection of the all-consuming, singular-purposed mind within.

The Architect was grand, and enlightened, but also absolutist. He could look into his mind and see his own aspirations as easily as he could look to the left or right and pierce through the darkness to see the cavernous expanse of his throne room. When he looked into his mind, he perceived a path, a mighty road, and its every bend and contour was visible and already meticulously plotted, and yet when he shifted his gaze away from the Imaginary and back into this reality he'd created, where the road had yet to be fully paved, the makings and the route of the path were...different. And he loathed and abhorred it, and by extension, loathed and abhorred the wretched vessels that were paving it in tiny deviances to the manner in which he'd expected and intended it. There was a time, long ago, when he placed more value in control and his own power than in anything else, and that Architect would have never suffered the presence of any others in the realm of his creation. But time could wear down mountains and change even the most seemingly immutable, and so this Architect of the present had forsaken that control in favor of...brevity. He suffered their suboptimal and fallible creations, because even hideous and horrifically flawed (and that meant a great deal to him, for in his eye something was made ugly and near worthless by a single perceived imperfection), their creations served and worked towards his grand purpose.

He only wished that he could have have both brevity and beauty.

Frustration welled up inside of him, and he almost recoiled in shock--it was unbecoming and rare that he ever felt emotion of such intensity, or even experienced emotion at all. A brief meditation restored clarity to his mind and gave him perspective--perhaps there was a way. He had been thus far, out of habit, and perhaps for good reason...




...but why should he? If they were content to wallow in the muck, then he could take matters into his own hands, at least for a moment. In doing so he would also lay a challenge, set a precedent. He would descend down toward the proverbial mud, just close enough to not sully himself, and reach out to plant a single seed that might sprout into a blossom. Driven by example and inspired by what beauty could arise from the filth of imperfection, perhaps then they would rise in naive and foolish hopes at outdoing the work of their master. That would help bridge the gap between the quality of their works and his. He imagined that they would take to the challenge and be easily manipulated into creating better works through such a manner, and they would be more content and happier for it, as the alternative was that he demand they do as he required, yet he knew that beings which thought themselves independent invariably chafed under the power of unquestionable decrees coming from a higher source. It was in their nature; with intelligence and greatness there inevitably and unfortunately seemed to come some yearning for independence, for something more

His musing was interrupted by the soft plop of a single water droplet falling down from the newly-restored ceiling above. In breaking the oppressive silence that had reigned for so long, that water droplet might as well have projected the jarring sound of a falling boulder. Far from being a distraction, that sudden tumult was what guided the Architect's thoughts. The ancient being focused his senses upward (yet did not so much as even shift his neck or move his gaze!) to perceive the ceiling above. Already, stalactites had started forming above. He probed at the strange stones, feeling their every detail.

Those objects would suffice.

The palace trembled as he uttered two words, ”Take form." Far above, the stone of the wet and dripping stalactites bent and splintered. Small cascades of loose stone fell down into the throne room, rattling as they fell upon the tiled floor of the dais by his throne or spashing loudly into the waters around it.


In the very moment that the Director of the World roared that decree, the stones became sapient. Not just sapient, but also free. Released from the clutches of the ceiling above, they cascaded down, down, and down from the enormous height of the ceiling above.

"AAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!" screamed the first of the living stones to tumble.

The fall would have been enough to shatter their rocky bodies, even if their descent ended upon the water instead of the rocky island of his throne's dais, but by the Architect's will this was not so. Unseen forces caught them and arrested their movement, and they were left suspended in the darkness floating somewhere halfway between life and death.

Terror filled the mind of the first living stalactite, to be given life and stripped of it immediately seemed such a cruel fate. A fate that did not come to pass as he and the others that had fallen with him suddenly stopped their descent. The terror however did not dissipate, instead it was replaced with fear brought upon by blindness. No matter where his singular eye looked all there was to be seen was utter darkness. "Where am I? What am I?" asked the first.

The others offered no words or thoughts of contemplation, only guttural bellows. Though they had existed for mere moments, the sense of falling was one that carried an intense, instinctive fear into their cores; though they hardly had concepts of self or the world, they already grasped what it meant to face doom. Even as cavernous as the palace was, it was so enormous that their shouts did not even echo. The darkness swallowed the sound just as surely as it swallowed their orientation. To say that the darkness was absolute would be a lie, though; they could not see one another nor their surrounding nor even that place above from whence they came, but they could feel one thing--it was a great Eye, somewhere below, staring up intensely at them.

As in for the first of their kind, his eye continued to flick around the surroundings, searching for something. It wasn't until he felt a nagging sensation somewhere within the depths of his mind that had been suppressed by the fear that his gaze fell upon apatch of darkness where he somehow knew to be massive orb. He wanted to be afraid, wanted to flail and scream as the others did, but his instincts forced such thoughts down. Whatever the orb may be, it was not a threat. At least not at the moment. So rather than be seized by fear, he continued to lock his eye with the only thing he could perceive. There was a visceral feeling, that of motion. The orb grew larger, and he understood this to mean that it was coming, that he was approaching it.

And then there was a jolt, and what followed was the strangest sensation: he was on land, balancing precariously for the first time on the long and thick two appendages at the bottom of his form. ”Synros."

It was not an order, not a question, not a statement, but a name. His name, given to him by his creator.

With a name bestowed upon him he was no longer the first of the living stones, but the first of his kind. Synros. He spoke the name over and over in his mind, for the first time feeling truly alive.

What followed was a trail of thoughts that no ears could detect, audible to his mind but not to those of his peers. ”Many are your kind, that you need never be alone. And great are your body and mind, wrought from stone. But for every sharpened point, there is a tip that must go before all else and clear the way, and unto you this task falls."

His creator was speaking to him directly, not only was he given life but also a name and a purpose. With great slowness, forSynros had not yet adjusted to having a body, he dropped down to one knee. "I shall accept this task and lead my brothers. I shall teach them, show them how to survive. As the first this is my duty and I shall not fail you. But I have to ask, we are made from stone but what is the strongest stone?"

"Stone is not so strong," the ancient answered, "for it, like you, has yet to prove itself. Steel is strong! Steel is what a humble stone can hope to become, if it is tempered and tried and yet survives,  triumphs, and thrives. Steel carries with it an aura of mystery and challenge; the world is a dangerous place, and it will test you. I have bestowed upon you many gifts--the drive and the knowledge to mold stone into steel, but that is all only in the mind. You must stay true to this art, holding on to it and never letting go until it has touched you not just in mind but also in body and in spirit; you must craft steel, contemplate its mystery, and come understand its discipline and incorporate that into yourself. Only then will you become whole."

Synros lowered his gaze away from the magnificent orb, focusing instead where he knew one of his four arms was located. He felt strong, yet according to the creator this was a lie. If the world was dangerous he would need to become strong enough to not only lead his people, but defend them from threats beyond their strength. "I have no choice but to become like Steel. I will bend it to my will and make it my own. I shall be an example for my people, those who follow in my steps and remain true to the gifts you have granted us will become strong. These secrets we shall also keep, for you have seen fit to enlighten us and us alone in this manner. This I swear."

"My Eye will be upon you," the Architect vowed in turn.

Suddenly there was light, and though it was faint by any other standards, in a void so black as the palace its radiance seemed more akin a roaring inferno than a flickering spark. The light came from somewhere behind Synros, but still it washed over him and engulfed his vision in its overpowering white. The other cyclopes, still suspended above, winced. Some instinctively shielded their eyes to stave off this strange and unfamiliar new burning sensation, whilst others squinted and tried to peer at the source. It was the bulk of a colossal crystal, light scintillating out from the heart of the great gem as it slowly rose from the water. The crystal was nearly perfect, save for the gaping hole in its side and a sizable hollowed cavity visible within. It beckoned to the cyclopes and their bodies, and they would have been helpless to fight its pull even if they had the desire to do such. So they were swept by unseen forces into the crystal, and then before their eyes, the crystal grew and sealed them inside. It was hard for them to gaze through to perceive whatever was beyond, for clear as the crystal was, it still was very thick. Furthermore, the darkness outside left them with little to witness. So they were not privy to where the crystal traveled, or even how it moved, but they were vaguely aware of the sense of motion. Theirs was a journey that felt long, but compared to the insignificant length of time that they'd spent upon this world even an hour might have felt like an eternity. The means of perceiving time and its passage had yet to impress itself upon their minds.

The cyclopes rested within the crystal largely in stillness and silence, just as they had done for so long as inanimate stalactites. With all in the same circumstance, having been imbued by their almighty progenitor with the same knowledge, they simply found no reason to speak. But Synros was different--he had been told more, given more, and bore the mantle of leadership. Many of the cyclopes turned instinctively toward Synros in understanding of this natural hierarchy; however, there was another whose towering presence dominated the chamber. He was a giant of giants with bulky and sinewy hands, arms with bulging muscles powerful as iron bands. And those around that one were conflicted as they looked over their shoulders to Synros, yet moved their feet elsewhere as they gravitated toward the giant. They clung to his presence as they were trapped in a great storm that threatened to spirit them away and he a mighty palm, the only cover or hope left in the narrow world before them, a salvation graced unto them by their god himself.And as for the giant? He rested, leaning back against the wall in a way that made him look ever so slightly smaller (though still colossal!) as he waited with utter ease and solemn calm.

The demigod took in his people with a tight expression upon his face. He had shown respect and courtesy to his creator, but a different approach would be required with the cyclopes. They were new, blank canvases just as he had been before the Architect filled him with purpose and knowledge. Like him they were weak currently. Mere stone. It was his duty to elevate them towards true strength, that of steel. As his radiant red eye roamed over his kin, it fell upon one that stood out from the others and not solely due to his towering frame. This giant exuded power and purpose, which meant he would either be a formidable obstacle or a worthwhile ally for the demigod. Synros made his way across the crystal, his upper arms crossed over his chest while the lower pair hung at his sides. He paid no attention the the cyclopes that divided him from the giant, most were aware enough to move out of his path while those that did not were pushed aside. He finally stopped when he was a couple meters away and lifted his head to meet the eye of the larger cyclopes. For a moment it seemed that he had become stone once more as he sized up his potential competition. It was his hope that they would be able to work together without a show of force, but he was prepared for that possibility, "You have also been chosen by The Creator it seems. It was arrogant for me to think I would be the only one."

A stare from the cyclops' great eye answered Synros. At first it seemed like a baleful silence, but then it became clear that it was just the giant struggling to find his tongue for the first time. "Told that I am the Might of the Cyclopes; like shaft of spear, part pushes the point. Because without pillar to hold up, stone crumbles." There was a small cluster of crystals that jutted out from the wall of the much larger gemstone that was their vessel. The colossus wrapped a brawny hand around the greatest part of the outcrop, a single chunk of quartz that jutted outward like an accusatory finger, and effortlessly broke it free. He held it between his two hands and pressed down on either end of the crystal, one hand on its point and another on the jagged edge that he'd torn free, and the gemstone held strong and true. But then he pressed but a thumb on the long flat edge and chortled as it broke in two. Then he let the shattered pieces fall onto the ground with a grunt, his demonstration finished.

Synros watched with interest as the giant first removed a piece of their vessel from one of the walls before demonstrating the title he had been gifted by The Architect. He remained silent for a moment before letting his eye drop to the ground, examining the piece of quarts that had once been the point. While it was broken in two, the point itself remained in tact. The larger cyclops had proven two things, at least to Synros. A weak pillar lead to the breaking of stone, but even when the shaft breaks the head of the spear remains in tact. "Might of the Cyclopes. It is a strong title, but a bit long. Were you given a proper name to go with it?"

"Atlas," was the rumble that answered him.

"Atlas. I am Synros." His voice wasn't nearly as deep as the rumble of Atlas's. He took a moment to let his gaze roam around their crystal chamber. All of their kind stared at the two, the ones furthest from them had their focus on Synros, while those closest were even more torn than they were before. Like the others they had an innate understanding of the hierarchy that made them look towards Synros for leadership, but they could feel the strength and stability that radiated off of Atlas. Command had to be established between the two. "We have a problem that needs to be fixed Atlas. Look around, tell me what you see."

So tall was Atlas that his gaze drifted right over Synros' head, and indeed over those of all the other assembled cyclopes large and small, and found its way to the far wall. "A cage," he answered as hints of sudden realization and fiery rage crept into his eye. Those around him edged back as his fists and jaw were suddenly tightened, though the colossus hadn't even realized it.

His eye narrowed briefly as he took in Atlas's words. He hadn't even considered that aspect, too focused on the divide that existed between their people. He had no way to know how long they had been contained within the crystal. "That is not what I had been talking about, but you are right. I do not enjoy being trapped. However our cage was made by the Creator. We will have to trust that we will be released when he believes the time is right." Synros turned to acknowledge the giant form of Atlas once more, taking note of the rage in his eye and hoped it would calm enough for them to address his concern. "Atlas our people are divided. As the Might of the Cyclopes I want you to be my right hand. If we stand together, so to will our kin."

"You already have two," the giant impulsively answered. His eye darted briefly to Synros' two right arms. Mentioning the Creator had at least seemed to quell his subtly rising before it had boiled over. He said without speaking that he would rather their wait be a shorter one, though. This one's blood ran hot. 

"If you want...friend, ask for friend. Not for hand, not for tool."

A grin spread across his face at the brashness of Atlas, the first time his mouth had moved in such a way. "You are right. I have plenty of hands, but far too few friends. Will you join me in leading out people?" Atlas put one of his great arms though the fork of Atlas' two right limbs, wrapping it all the way around the demigod's back and effortlessly bringing the smaller cyclops into a crushing embrace that lifted his feet from the ground.

After a few moments, he half set, half dropped Synros back down. "Friends," he affirmed.

Caught off guard by the giant's embrace, Synros felt the air leave his body. He gave a cough as he was set down, taking a moment to regain his composure. "I am honored to call you friend Atlas."  He tiled his head down in a slight nod before turning his attention to the Cyclopes surrounding them. "We are one. There is no great divide and no need to feel torn in allegiance. This was but our first trial, but it was also the first victory. We are heading towards our Creator's grandest work, hopefully sooner rather than later we shall arrive."

@QueenOfTheLand Unfortunately I must take back my interest. I do wish you the best of luck though!

His body stiffened as he watched his fellow Ensigns wrapped up in ropes and yanked into the sky. He did not however have anytime to do anything about it as right after he found himself bound in a similar manner, though it seemed that more ropes had been needed to lift his larger frame. The tension did not leave his body until he was fully deposited on a rather comfy couch, set directly between the two women he had briefly seen on the dock.

Even with the new found closeness he had no opportunity to speak to either of them as their Captain decided that it would be the perfect time to introduce himself. While Salamanca was a rather unique individual, Cedric actually found him rather delightful. During his time sailing under Leo’s employment he had ran across more than one magician, and his current superior was by far one of the best he had ever seen. Naturally though he did not allow his amusement to show beyond a very faint smile.

Once Salamanca had finally exhausted his extensive array of props and set about beginning a proper briefing, Cedric’s smile faded completely once more and was replaced with steely determination. He joined the blue haired woman in examining the map, taking note of any water sources large enough for him to use in order to accelerate his movements. Fortunately there were a few near their destination, though he knew he would have to walk once they started ascending the mountain itself.

With their main objective in a stationary location he turned his attention to the two bounty posters they were shown. While they were not necessarily part of their mission he was certain that it would aid their cause to have these two men eliminated in one form or another. By the time they arrived at their destination he had a firm picture of the two deeply embedded in his mind.

He hopped off of the ship after his compatriots, enjoying the feeling of sand beneath his feet before his attention was caught by the sight of the retreating bandits. His gut reaction was to pursue them himself while the other two continued to their primary target. He was too slow however as the blue haired woman had already begun following the group and rapidly disappeared into the trees.

Rather than let himself continue to be torn by indecisiveness he turned towards the remaining Ensign, who was already heading towards the mountain.

”Continue towards the base. We will join you as soon as possible. Be safe and be smart.”

With his piece said he quickly dove into the river that lead into the forest. His speed in water allowed him to catch up to Aria and the bandit group just as she issued them her ultimatum. Before they could have a chance to rush her he leapt out of the river and took position on the opposing side, trapping them between himself and his blue haired teammate.

”I strongly urge you to listen to her. Surrender is your best option.” As he spoke he settled into the base stance for Fish-Man Karate, eyes hardened and scanning the group waiting for any of them to make a move.
@Geyter No problem! It happens man. With the river there that means I know where Cedric will be heading! So I will try to get a post up tonight.

Also added another Karate technique, feel free to review it and let me know if it is acceptable.
I'm just waiting for a message from the GM about my post.
@Geyter Working on my post when I can. Work has been crazy, I am so very sorry.
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