July 20th 2008

Agent Hito is found chatting with an agent off to the Northeast of Washington. He experiences a sudden sensation of vertigo, and absence.
Wile, in the apartment building also feels it, to the south and west.
In the hospital Leibowitz raises an eyebrow "you coming or not?"
Theodore replies "lead the way".
The pair shadowstep to some cliffs rising above a beach. White sand and blue sea lie below. Theodore feels that it is slightly off, and strange. He is in the middle of the Atlantic, according to the sky. Leibowitz leads Theodore to the city.
"we've reached a point where your ignorance has reached a point where it has become a concern"
Leibowitz explains that all he wishes to do is to present Theodore with the 'facts' about Atlantis, in order that he and the other scions may make more informed decisions in the future.
There is a small fishing town of Mediterranean architecture, with fishing docks and jetties sticking out to sea. A couple of fishing boats ply the waves. At the top of the cliff….in the middle of the island there is a pit, with a city rising out of the hollow on a pillar. there are buildings in the pillar, and at the bottom of the pit is the sound of surf. They pass through palatial estates at the top. The people appear north-African.
Leibowitz expresses curiosity as to what the scions are trying to achieve in relation to Atlantis. Theodore remarks that he has done no 'lashing out', and Leibowitz apologises, saying that he sees all non-atlantean scions as more or less the same.
They travel to the bottom of the pit. There are elevators, but Theodore shadowsteps. Theodore’s powers work absolutely fine in Atlantis.
There are many boats and choracles, even people swimming. Leibowitz asks what Theodore knows about the Atlantian gods, which is little. He talks of the seals, and explains that the seals need to be destroyed, would anyone not do the same? He claims that the severing of the axis mundi was unforeseen.
Theodore tells Leibowitz that he does not judge his devotion, but the actions that result from it.
They enter the water and swim down. They descend around 500ft. There is a temple with ziggurat steps. the spire has been sheared off. There are serpentine shapes moving through the water (reminds Theodore of something he saw in Las Vegas) The temple doors are beaten copper, and looks like they have been bust open. The floor inside has crumbled away, and they descend deeper into the temple. There is a mosaic on the floor in the shape of a bowed triangle.. Many tiles have flaked off. There are many sarcophagi of beaten copper in a circle. between them are glass coffins with wires and tubes containing people. Alternating spaced in each glass container is Adam, Eve and Leibowitz. Each is wired to a different sarcophagus. There are seven glass, and seven sarcophagi. One is Leibowitz, three are Adams and three Eves. All are healthy and growing.
Leibowitz explains that the gods still sleep, gesturing to the sarcophagi. He wishes to see his people restored, and he believes that it is no ones place to stop him. He admits to being "adversarial"
Theodore explains that this attitude wins more enemies than friends.
Liebowits claims it is probably a side effect of the transference, and that they are all going mad. He talks about the times that he was killed, and about how Wile killing him released him from fate.
Leibowitz tells Theodore that he does not expect to be believed, or sympathy, but at least now, when they come to blows, at least he can be understood. Leibowitz takes a small amount of pleasure that he claims he is winning. Theodore talks of violence and struggle, and that he cannot ignore what Atlantis has brought, even should they be talking the truth. Leibowitz offers to open the libraries of Atlantis to Theodore, who accepts. Leibowitz dissolves into the water, leaving Theodore to swim up by himself. As he swims out, he can hear sobbing and thumping from one of the Sarcophagi…

Mr. Wile is in the apartment. He explains that he is waiting for Theodore to arrive back. A short phone call later, and it is discovered that the emergency hospital has vanished, according to Tommy.
Wile explains that he is trying to get halfway to the underworld. He is told that this would be close to suicide. Wile remains resolute. Wile starts off with his account of Pandora's box, and Orpheus' return from the underworld.
Margolies seems disbelieving that Wile wished to bring someone back from the dead because he thought they where an abstract concept. Wile assures him that this is more or less true. Margolise tells him that he can possibly open a gate, but it would be best to wait and think about things. Wile claims that he believes Hopes purpose is to repair the axis mundi. Wile decides to delay, at least for lunch, and asks if Renji is still about.
Hito sends a text to the Aesir about the masks. Ravencroft only sends a response "there will be a reckoning…there will be a reckoning…there will be a reckoning…"
Hito then calls Wile. Hito tells Wile he wishes to deal with the Masks. Wile claims that rescuing Hope is more important, and Hito tells him that he will be over in a moment.
Hito phones Theodore, and asks about meeting up. Theodore claims to be a bit out of the way at the moment. Theodore explains that Wile saved Leibowitz. Theodore explains that he is in Atlantis, and that it appears to be in the Atlantic. He tells Hito he will let him know when he gets back. Theodore notices that he is a couple of hours ahead of Hito, and decides that he is two hours ahead, and may be back before he left. "I tap you on the shoulder in a minute"
Theodore enters the Library. It is a reasonably conventional library, with the books facing the room, and reading tables in the middle. Leibowitz selects a scroll, which contains a survivors account.
He weighs it down, and Theodore begins to read. It is the account of an unnamed survivor, and it starts in the middle. He survived by floating, carried by the corpses of what was left of his family. He was picked up by a boat, crewed by "Egyptian scholars" and was carried to the library of Alexandria.
On the Day of Destruction, there was a great meeting in the Temple and a terrible argument broke out. Moments later the heavens opened up, and fire reigned down, death walked through the streets and people where eaten by pestilence, the very objects in the city rose up to destroy their owners. Even the ghosts where erased when they fell from their bodies. The death seemed to start at the temple and radiated outward. He mentions the Gods of the Norse, axes in hand beheading babes and children, the Azlanti tearing down the pillars and feasting on hearts, the Gods of the Africans, corralling the souls of the dead and chaining them. The Gods of the Egyptians came down from the Heavens and burned everyone with the light of the sun. The Amatsukami caused the spirits of the building and tools of the Atlanteans to turn against them, and there was a great fleet of warships, wielding Greek Fire.
He notices that the text has been 'enhanced' somehow, and it is a lot clearer than it should be. There is a faint impression of other text between the lines, that has somehow been hidden, or merely faded with time.
Theodore talks to the Captain, mainly to let him know where he is. The Captain asks why everything is dry. Theodore realises Atlantis has already risen. He calls Hito to let him know that Atlantis has already risen, or will in the next hour, and he might want to check it out on the official channels. Meanwhile there is a spirit watching Theodore. It is a veiled woman, dressed in a formal Hindu style.
Conversation reveals that she was around at the sinking. It is revealed not all pantheons where against Atlantis, and the Devetas and the Tuatha fought in it's defence. Her gods fought to save Atlantis because they felt the sinking was against the natural order, and no matter what, all things must have their time in the sun. She tells him not to read too much into the scroll unless he can read it all, and that it is not necessarily the truth. She tells him that there was no side of right and wrong, only different opinions, and now there is a great deal of bitterness. She refers to Leibowitz, telling Theodore that he will go to great lengths to 'right his ancient wrong', and will cause much suffering. She tells him that Demoisa, the youngest God is slowly waking up below, and don't seem to be dealing well. She tells him that he will be unable to save the people of Atlantis. Theodore tells her that if he does help them it will be incidental, he will focus on sheltering his own people. She tells him that "there will be a reckoning" Leibowitz approaches and Theodore stops conversing.
He takes Theodore back to Washington, to the graveyard.
Hito arrives at the apartment. Hito asks about the locations of the masks. Wile give Hito a list of cities, but tells Hito that he plans to recover Hope. Wile launches into his classical stories again, and relate his plan to rescue Hope. Hito is critical, and questions Wile's ability. Hito wishes him luck.
Margolise again advises against journeying to what Theo has termed, the '13th floor'
Hito tells Renji about the axis mundi being severed. He asks about children who may have the ability to repair them. Renji suggests he asks those who live in and protect the axis, and perhaps they would know. He asks Renji to get the word out, while he hunts the masks. The scions at the apartment tell Hito that they need to consolidate Washington first, but will see what they can do to help.
Meanwhile, Theodore heads back to the hospital. On the way, some homeless start following him. "The satellites are watching you…there will be a reckoning…Salsa! Careful – don’t go further than halfway. Take a seed man grow a tree! Trees are good. No connections right now. Just satellites and salsa."
Theodore persuades one to follow him into a dark alley. He gives him a swig of the Baron's rum, and then shoots the hobo in the head, killing him. The ghost appears normal, but is still crazy. Theodore starts to dissect the body of the hobo, using a very large knife. He notices that the bones seem not to be made of bone, but wood instead. The feet have been scratched, as if by many thorns. Theodore’s refined palette tells him that there is chlorophyll in the hobos blood. The iron in the blood is very vibrant too. Instead of scabs, the hobo appears to be clotting with plant matter. Theodore finds a sewer, and with some effort, throws the body down a sewer.
At the hospital there is still some ethereal hospital, but where the physical hospital should be, there is still ground, but there is also a vast shaft, where wails and screams come from. Theodore recalls his raven. He feels physically drawn towards the pit, so backs away quickly.
He calls Agent Hito. Hito tells him that they are back at the apartment. Theodore explains that Ravencroft may have fallen to "Hell".
Echo calls Wile and tells him that she believes that this will not end well, and that there is nothing that she can say to stop him. She tells him that he is playing into fate's hands, and makes him promise that he will definitely come back alive.
Hito calls Matthew and tells him to help co-ordinate relief efforts in Washington.
Hito takes out the Heart of Surt, now encased in the charred remains of a tile from Amensukihasi, from his coat. He tells them it is a tile from the first bridge from heaven to earth. Everyone moves away from him slightly. They ask if it is dangerous, and Hito agrees, but claims it is safest with him. He explains that it was once a connection between heaven and earth - not an axis mundi, but close. Everyone talks about the possibility of creating a new connection in lieu of the axis.
Theodore, Wile and Hito all see Wile's pet peacock, where it once was is a pale white figure, with long white beard. He wears a crown, and has a look of familiar hatred, like the peacock. Wile sees him holding a white sword, Hito sees a mirror, and Theodore sees him holding a skull. In an instant he is gone again, and once again the peacock sits in Wile's carrybag.
Theodore and Hito inform Wile that the man that he killed was Leibowitz, and in doing so, he freed Leibowitz from his fate. Wile expresses his ignorance of the fact, whilst the other's express their displeasure. Hito tells everyone that he plans to hunt down the masks, and asks for aid in locating them. He also suggests that we might see what the others can do to help repair the axis mundi, or forge new ones. Wile explains that he believes that there is a 'natural balance' for the three levels of existence, and that the axis mundi are part of that, and they would repair themselves. He claims that he believes that Hope is like a 'seed' that new axis can be born from. Hito and Theodore disagree, and suggest he does something 'useful' rather than pursue this course of obsession. The three scions agree to meet up again in a few days, and head off in separate directions.
Hito calls up Hideo Kojima, creator of the Metal Gear Solid games, and persuades him to create a game to "celebrate traditional Japanese culture and faith". The title, tetantively titled, "Legend of the Burning Heart" is announced on IGN shortly thereafter.
Theodore checks in at the graveyard in New Orleans, and discovers that the bones of the Marassa have disappeared. He contacts HR and Leila, and talks to them about what the Loa should do to help fix the axis mundi. He discovers there is to be a big party in San Francisco, and heads out, along with all of his followers to join in.
Wile takes a plane from Washington to San Francisco, and meets up with Lucy Davies. He talks to her over dinner. She talks about Hope's death, and Wile asks her how she knew Hope was dead. Lucy seems to recall receiving a telephone call from a "family member" but cannot recall one single detail about the conversation. Wile decides to accept this as proof that there is something decidedly out of the ordinary about the whole situation, and excuses himself from dinner, telling Lucy that he is planning on making a business trip "Down under".