All prompts covered. Three points for Lumin!Tunnel Entrance
In the old days these tunnels carried mine carts loaded with coal and ore through the mountains, first hauled by beasts of burden and then by an automated system. The tenders of both crept about in the shadows of the many intersecting access and maintenance tunnels, rarely seeing the sun, and legends of secret societies, cults, and hidden treasure have endured even to the present.
Now this crumbling aperture sitting forgotten under the newly bombed out bridge to the west is sheltering yourself and a handful of other commuters caught in the raid. The Global Unity dropships can still be heard overhead, as well as gunfire and explosions worryingly nearby.
Broken segments of decaying rails and more than a few signs of animal life are scattered across the concrete floor, and against the left wall is a bench, scrawled over in crude graffiti and hardly in any better shape than the rails. Near the bench a tall, thin man paces back and forth, sucking on a cigarette. The smoke is not doing the air quality in this musty place any favors.
About a half dozen people are in the group huddled further down the tunnel, away from the western entrance and near a stone archway leading deeper underground to the east, talking in hushed whispers. Standing just a bit apart from them, looking bizarrely out of place, is a woman in the stately regalia of an ancient queen.
Fragments of rotten wood and metal more rust than iron. You kick a section aside and grimace as it crumbles to pieces, leaving a colony of tiny black beetles scampering for their lives.
Untidy wads of nesting materials and...other evidence of rodents abound. A glint from within a pile of shredded paper catches your eye.
You find a wristband stamped with the logo of a construction company. The reflective screen is cracked but pressing the button on the side proves the flashlight function still works. You pick it up.
A record spanning the decades of countless souls who ‘wuz here’ is scrawled across its stained and weathered surface, along with depictions of male anatomy in various levels of skill and detail. A broken coffee cup lies just underneath it.
The blue plastic handle has snapped off, but this stainless steel mug still has a hefty weight and looks capable of holding liquid. Ancient coffee coats its interior with a brown crust, and a faded logo of an energy company is emblazoned across its side.
Okay. You pick up the broken cup. For some reason.
Hollow cheeks and worried blue eyes are framed by tousled blond hair, shot through with grey. He wears a long brown coat of a prestigious brand that once would have cost a small fortune, faded and threadbare at the elbows now and hanging too large over his thin frame. The man cringes at every distant (and not so distant) explosion and breathes in a fresh lungful of smoke.
He sees you watching him and gestures apologetically at the cigarette, but makes no move to put it out. “Only vice I have left, my friend, and trust me when I say I need it right now.”
With flowing sleeves, a high lace collar, and brilliantly red corset and skirts embroidered all over with gold, not to mentioned the jeweled tiara, this auburn-haired woman looks like she stepped out of a thousand year old painting. A closer look reveals her finery is torn in a few places and her hair is mussed, while she herself looks pale and shaken. While she checks herself in a mirror and dabs at her eyes, with a jolt you suddenly recognize her as the theatrical actress, Genina Leigh, whose face you’ve seen projected onto billboards all over the city this past month.
A flash of blinding light from outside arrives simultaneously with a deafening explosion that knocks you flat. Chips of concrete and dust rain down from the ceiling, and when you crawl to your feet at first all you can hear is the ringing in your ears, followed by a frantic hubbub from the others.
“The bombing is too close. We need to get out of here!” one woman exclaims.
“And what? Run out into the middle of that?” snaps another.
It’s pitch black that way.
>press button on wristband
A tiny white lens set into one corner blinks to life, starkly illuminating a twenty foot radius around you.
You make your way eastward into to the tunnel, and after a moment the others make haste to follow.
The remnants of the rail line continue along the bare concrete tunnel until it disappears into the seemingly endless darkness ahead. As you walk you pass the occasional empty and broken down mine cart, and once spot the tail of a rat disappearing into a crack in the wall.
Someone in the group groans as your light falls upon a jumbled collection of masonry, smashed carts and packed dirt up ahead to the east. “All that walking and we’re still trapped here...”
It completely blocks the way forward. But looking closer, you spot a shadowy opening set into the tunnel wall to the north, just on the edge of the cave-in and only partially covered by the debris.
You shove the shattered frame of a mine cart aside and enter the opening. The others follow.
There’s no rail here, as this tunnel is in fact quite a bit too narrow to accommodate a mine cart. Hushed into nervous silence, you all continue to walk along, passing several similar entryways and others which have been sealed off by iron gates as the path you follow twists and turns this way and that. At some point, the concrete walls and ceiling are replaced by rough bricks and even patches of cobblestone.
After what seems an eternity, everyone gives a collective cry of relief as the beckoning glow of sunlight becomes visible up ahead to the north.
The view up ahead is half obscured by brambles and greenery, but seems to open onto a wide ledge just above a quarry of some kind, one of the many in this area that were shut down decades ago.
Your way to freedom is unfortunately blocked by a locked iron gate.
A door of iron bars secured by a padlock.
It rattles in your grasp and doesn’t seem especially strong or secure, but you’re still not able to bust past the lock with your bare hands.
By this point, more rust than metal.
>hit lock with cup
Getting a better grip on the heavy steel mug, you bring it down sharply to smash against the padlock. Once, twice, thrice...and the rusty shank on your side of the gate snaps in two, the lock on the outside of the gate falling with a clatter.
Overgrown Ledge With a View
The gate swings open and you all push your way past the brambles and onto the wide, rocky ledge. Genina is having quite a bit of trouble with the thorns snagging her queen’s attire, and the moment you pause to help her means you don’t at first see what everyone else is staring at, mouths agape.
To the south, surprisingly far away by this point, you see the city, smoke rising up from the recent attack. From here you can’t even hear the sirens, though thankfully the Global Unity ships seem to have retreated.
To the east...
What on earth?
A massive bronze orb looms over a series of platforms and walkways, looking easily large enough to contain the 15-story office building you work in. Glowing symbols of some bizarre and unknown language are etched all over its surface. Below, tiny figures patrol while holding guns which, even from this distance, seem quite large.
Meanwhile, you can’t see any obvious way off of this ledge.
There’s a sudden whirring sound and a drone zips up, hovering in the air in front of you all. “Drop all weapons and do not move,” a raspy metallic voice declares. “You are trespassing on East Lekos military property. A squad will collect you soon. Resistance will be fatal.”
“Actually, we’re here already,” a man’s voice drawls. “Now keep your hands where I can see them.”
Raising your hands, you slowly, cautiously turn around and see a group of intimidating figures crouched on a hover platform and pointing laser rifles at you, all wearing black full body and face armor with glowing green visors over their eyes.
After some stammering attempts by your group to explain how you came to be here, the leader curtly cuts you off. “Yes yes, we know about the tunnels. And apparently we missed one, so thanks for drawing that to our attention.” He sounds sincere, although not particularly happy. No, not happy at all.
“Anyhow, welcome to our humble little archeology site. You’ve just found the remains of the Lost City of Amaris. And that...” He pauses, holding his weapon in readiness as his companions surround and handcuff you all before ushering you onto the platform. “...is a problem.”
e: writing prompt points which are special and different, not the other kind