marlowe_tops: (sorceress glass)
Marlowe ([personal profile] marlowe_tops) wrote in [community profile] bakerstreet2017-03-26 12:13 pm

Sandal Punk AU


Sandal Punk AU

Icarus flew.


There are many myths of the wonders of Greece, Rome, and Egypt. Seven wonders, and tales of labyrinths and clockworks. Long-lost treasures in mausoleums filled with ingenious traps. The inventions of Daedalus and Archimedes, of myth and history, of the architectural wonders of Rome, the lost marvels of Atlantis.
Sandal punk is a subgenre of science fiction that takes the scientific and technological wonders of the ancient world and expands upon them. As steampunk has its clockwork computers and airships, so sandal punk has the wings of Icarus and the giant robot colossus of Rhodes. Perhaps the gods are real—perhaps they’re merely technologically advanced aliens or superhumans, in a science fiction past-future.


A. Adventurers in a Sandal Punk World - You’re an inventor, an explorer, a mathematician, a scientist, or perhaps Icarus here to sign up for the experiment and try on a pair of wings. Challenge the gods or simply explore the boundaries of science.
B. Sandal Tech Dystopia - The gods and kings of the world maintain their power by keeping the wonders of technology—call it magic—under the strict control of the elite. Question that control or abuse your power as a god.
C. The Dark Underbelly - Sandal goth, where the monsters of legend are real, magic and technology are blended, and the world is a dark, beautiful, and corrupt place, where all important plot points take place at night. Perhaps you are a monster—chimaera, lamia, medusa—yourself, with a lair filled with magical and wondrous traps.
D. Myth and present - Centaurs with cell phones, minotaurs on social media, gods reborn. The legends of the ancient world are now real in our world, and Aphrodite’s got a craving for a pumpkin spice latte.
E. Archaeologists of the past - Somebody call a librarian, because there are mummies on the loose! Re-discover Atlantis, time-travel to Ancient Rome, fight Sumerian deities, and desecrate some priceless archaeological site in the name of saving the world.

How to Play
- Pick a prompt or two and specify what role your character would have within that prompt.
- Tag around and have fun!
shieldborne: (listening)

[personal profile] shieldborne 2017-03-26 08:00 pm (UTC)(link)
Battle and conquest are anything but new to their part of the world. The land is tricky to farm but the earth is rich with ore, and it seems like every few decades some invader or another comes to take control. Then, a few years of light occupation followed by rebellion or yet another invasion. The people are fatigued by it. It takes a lot to rally their outrage any longer, and with so many of their able-bodied young men lost to battle, they have limited strength and will to resist.

Except for Steve, who, while he lacks strength, pretty much embodies whatever will to fight there is left.

The current occupying government would be mostly indifferent to his mouthing off and artistic shenanigans, but they're trying to forge an alliance with a greater power: Hydra. Whether anyone believes in real hydras any longer, or whether it's just a convenient shorthand for the unspeakable, dark magic they seem to wield, Hydra is not a force anyone takes lightly, and when they move in on Steve's village and the surrounding mines, the occupying government would rather negotiate than compete.

A bargain is made under cover of darkness, and a sacrifice chosen to seal the deal. Really, Steve is just unlucky, and a convenient patsy. He's far from an ideal sacrifice, in fact: small, delicate, too unhealthy to mine, and partly deaf, he's barely considered a contributing member of society. It's almost cheating, using him. They do it anyway.

He's pretty sure, when they weight his legs with rocks and toss him in the lake per their orders, he's going to drown, and it's going to be fast. He gets a good jump start on the process by yelling a few last curses at his captors before the waters close over his head.
hydras_arm: blank-faced (The Asset)

[personal profile] hydras_arm 2017-03-26 08:11 pm (UTC)(link)
The chill of these depths is possibly more dangerous than any other aspect, and it's the cold that may knock him out rather than actual drowning. The sensation is one of being sucked straight down, and maybe it's just the weight of the rocks, but maybe it's some other force that pulls him downward at a rocketing pace.

When things make sense again, he may feel the water that is sucked into his lungs at every breath, murky and tainted and icy. The first breath feels like torture, the next is just horrible, and the next... feels like inhaling something sour and dank, but that's it. There is no choking, or at least no more than he's used to on an average day, no loss of consciousness. Every breath is cold and foul, but not remotely fatal. It's very dark, but this is not the blackness of unconsciousness closing in at the edges of his vision, just an absence of sunlight. In what dim and sickly light there is, he sees weeds drifting on the current, anchored to crumbling rocky walls, some kind of tunnels or maybe an ancient sunken city. He feels watched, and it's cold, but if this is the afterlife it's surprisingly dull overall.
shieldborne: (theater)

[personal profile] shieldborne 2017-03-26 08:21 pm (UTC)(link)
The thing about cold water is unless you're conditioned to it (Steve's not), the sheer shock of impact will leave you gasping deep. His lungs have never been his friends. At best, they have a love-hate relationship: he would love for them to work properly and they hate to oblige him. Still, he thinks he feels a sense of betrayal emanating from them as icy water pours into them. How could you do this to us? He'd tell them it wasn't his idea, except hes already going into shock.

He surprises himself by coming up slowly lucid again as he approaches the bottom of the lake. By the time the stones bound to his legs come to rest in the silt, he's fully awake, and thinking clearly enough to be confused he's not dead. The cold water isn't nice. Neither is the darkness, or the fact that his hands are bound behind him and he's still tied to rocks. Still...very much alive.

After several moments of blank confusion, he opts to start twisting his wrists behind him. Maybe he can work himself free of his ropes. What he'll do then, he isn't sure yet, but he's willing to give his all in the attempt. His skin quickly chafes, and there's blood in the water.
hydras_arm: blank-faced (The Asset)

[personal profile] hydras_arm 2017-03-26 08:26 pm (UTC)(link)
Blood in the water is not a good thing, and he is really definitely underwater. The weeds drift lazily, his hair is clouding about his head and his clothes float and swirl a little as he moves. Somehow he is very much not drowning at all, though.

The scent of blood draws an eel and a few small fish over, and they come closer and make little attempts to nibble at his fingers, but any quick movements startle them away.

The sense of being watched intensifies, and after what seems like a long while of pointlessly struggling against the ropes, he feels the instinctual chill up his spine of something or someone close behind him. Suddenly the ropes at his wrists part and loosen.
shieldborne: (smol pensive)

[personal profile] shieldborne 2017-03-26 08:35 pm (UTC)(link)
He supposes bleeding into the water might draw predators, but then again if drowning hasn't killed him who's to say a predator would? Nothing makes any sense right now, and he has to do something, so he kicks and thrashes to scare the eel and fish away, tries to pant, realizes that doesn't work the same with water, and then freezes as he senses a close presence.

He pulls his hands to his chest as soon as the ropes loosen, and stays frozen in place, trying to decide for a moment if he wants to see who or what has freed him. It takes a gathering of courage, but he does, at last turn his head, eyes wide and searching the murky water.

Speaking, he imagines, won't happen underwater. Nevertheless, he opens his mouth and manages a small sound.
hydras_arm: blank-faced (The Asset)

[personal profile] hydras_arm 2017-03-26 08:39 pm (UTC)(link)
There is a figure standing behind him, taller than he is, but that's not to say it's unusually tall at all because he's short. Dark, long hair drifts around a pale unshaven face, the locks waving like tentacles in the murky water. The man is dressed in black, what of him he glimpses, but more distressing is his expression of blank disinterest. He looks slightly vacant, like an undead corpse hanging out at the bottom of the lake.

He might also look slightly familiar.
shieldborne: (listening)

[personal profile] shieldborne 2017-03-26 08:49 pm (UTC)(link)
He hasn't seen Bucky in a long time. Years. He vanished in the last round of fighting, one of those noble able-bodied men who were able to fight to protect their village, so they did. They died, too, and the village was conquered anyway, and if Steve was bitter about it--in so many, many ways--at least he wasn't the only one.

Everyone's lost someone important, after all.

This, though, is a little too much. Bucky looks pale, dead; there's more dark than light in his eyes now. It might make a lesser man scream in fear, in fact, but Steve...doesn't. He chokes on water, kicks in an attempt to free his ankles, then gives up and reaches out, just barely able to touch him.

"Bucky?" His voice sounds like it's coming from miles away, but the word is discernible, even in the water. "What the hell is going on?"
hydras_arm: blank-faced (The Asset)

[personal profile] hydras_arm 2017-03-26 09:11 pm (UTC)(link)
As soon as Steve begins to turn to face him, Bucky starts to draw back, angling away from him and drifting backwards with a little subtle push that speaks of how familiar he is with maneuvering underwater. Trying to face him may not have been the wisest move.

Not only is he wearing black, but his left arm and side seem enveloped in not black hair, but actual tentacles, inky and writhing. It may, in the darkness of the water, look as if he is being drawn in or grabbed by them, and they could probably reach Steve from here but they're not particularly grabby, mostly drifting on the current the same way his hair is, making tentacles and hair hard to distinguish from each other. They're not holding Bucky, they are in fact attached to and emerging from his left shoulder.

His expression flickers, a crease appearing between his brows, and his gaze focuses on Steve. "...Who's Bucky?" The voice is familiar, carried clearly to Steve's ears even through water. Possibly he can hear better down here than in the air above.
shieldborne: (serious)

[personal profile] shieldborne 2017-03-26 09:20 pm (UTC)(link)
"Wait! Don't go!" He sounds just a little shrill, more panicked by the prospect of being abandoned than his ego would like to admit. He drops his hands, though, folding his arms in against his body obligingly, partly to keep from chasing the other man away, partly out of revelation that there are some new appendages that should not be there and that he may therefore not want to make contact with.

His fists clench and unclench a few times, nails digging into his own palms, and he strains to meet the other man's eyes. "Don't go. You don't recognize me at all? I'm Steve."
hydras_arm: blank-faced (The Asset)

[personal profile] hydras_arm 2017-03-26 09:49 pm (UTC)(link)
His eyes narrow, but he's focused on Steve now, and he's stopped where he is, one foot lightly touching the silty floor of the lake as an anchor. He seems at home here, or at least very accustomed to moving around under the water. The tentacles drift and writhe slowly, a part of him, conveying bewilderment more clearly than the subtle frown on his face.

"You're a sacrifice." He answers after a moment, a flat statement, but there's nothing threatening in his tone.
shieldborne: (theater)

[personal profile] shieldborne 2017-03-26 09:54 pm (UTC)(link)
Well, okay. That part's true. Not that Steve is thrilled about it, even now that he's becoming aware death isn't imminent. He pushes his hair out of his face irritably as the current carries it into his eyes, and wonders fleetingly how Bucky can cope with his being all over the place all the time.

Gods, how long has he been down here? Alone?? His heart sinks.

"I...guess I am," he says, trying to keep his voice even. "What's that make you?"
hydras_arm: blank-faced (The Asset)

[personal profile] hydras_arm 2017-03-26 10:00 pm (UTC)(link)
"The monster."

That should be ominous and threatening, but his tone is utterly indifferent and matter-of-fact. He is neither impressed nor bothered by what he is, not flaunting it, just resigned. He is a monster, and that's pretty obvious with the black slimy tentacles coming out of his side, but as alarming as he looks he doesn't seem like he has any immediate plans to do Steve harm.

He didn't start out as a monster, he was made, and because he knew him before Steve knows the distinction in a way nobody else would.
shieldborne: (blue eyes)

[personal profile] shieldborne 2017-03-26 10:12 pm (UTC)(link)
"You're--" He starts, breaks off, and worries his lip. Has he been sacrificed to this strange, broken version of his old friend? "No." He says, quiet but decisive.

"No, you're not. You're my friend. Whatever they've done to you...whoever 'they' are..." Ohh, he is in way over his depth here, and not just in water. "You know me."

He reaches out again, which is probably not the greatest idea, but he's always been a little reckless. "C'mere. What are you supposed to do with me?"

Not that he's promising to go along with whatever it is fate has in store for him, but he's not going to be getting away any time soon, either.
hydras_arm: The Asset Defiant (defiant)

[personal profile] hydras_arm 2017-03-26 10:23 pm (UTC)(link)
This time he doesn't pull away, because he's already just a little out of Steve's reach. That doesn't put Steve out of his reach, though, because those tentacles are huge and long. One uncurls and starts to move towards him, blue-black suckers along the underside rippling in little suckling motions, and it almost comes in contact with his hand before Bucky seems to realize just what part of himself he's reaching out with and recoils a little.

His expression shows a flicker of revulsion, as if he's briefly disgusted with this part of himself. Then he glances down and away, swallows thickly, and recovers. There's something human in there yet.

"Dispose of you." It's a slightly unclear term, and after a moment he flexes his legs and moves toward Steve again, not exactly swimming, just using the easiest movements it takes to propel himself efficiently through the water. The tentacles curl and bunch and roil, gathering themselves up and back, away from Steve, as he bends towards the smaller man's ankles. Whatever he's going to do with him, he means to untie him from the weights of the rocks, first.
shieldborne: (theater)

[personal profile] shieldborne 2017-03-27 01:02 am (UTC)(link)
Steve freezes as the tentacle ripples toward him. Instinctively he wants to get the hell away from that, but...it's attached to Bucky, and whatever else is about to happen to him, he needs to find out how Bucky came to this state. His hand wavers in the water, but doesn't pull back. Still, he's deeply relieved when the other man moves to untie his ankles instead.

Which of the gods could have, or would have, changed his friend like this? Is he cursed, or blessed, or something else entirely?

"Bucky," he begins, then changes his mind, closing his mouth to watch him undo the ropes. If Steve were going to try to escape, now's the time. Now might be his only chance, in fact, before the crush and chill of the depths, or Bucky himself, tear him apart.

He looks up at the distant sunlight filtering down, and dismisses the idea of swimming to the surface as ludicrous. A skilled diver might manage it. He can barely dog-paddle. "Well," he says distantly, and puts his hand on Bucky's head, stroking once. "Don't expect me to make it easy for you."
hydras_arm: blank-faced (The Asset)

[personal profile] hydras_arm 2017-03-27 01:10 am (UTC)(link)
A knife comes out of his clothing, and from the cut ropes drifting away that were once on his wrists, it looks like he used it on those earlier too. If he really meant to harm Steve, he's had plenty of opportunity. Instead he just saws through the bonds on his ankles neatly, without more than a brush of his knuckles against Steve's leg.

The touch on his head makes him flinch slightly, but he holds still after, and tucks the knife away again. He doesn't seem sure what to make of the contact, but he stays crouched and curled up, head bowed before his old friend.

Now that he's free, Steve might expect to drift upwards a little, buoyant compared to the icy depths, but while he feels loose, floating, he feels no physical upward pull toward the surface.
shieldborne: (faint smile)

[personal profile] shieldborne 2017-03-27 01:24 am (UTC)(link)
Maybe there's some ritual to be followed here, Steve thinks. Or maybe 'dispose of' doesn't mean what it sounds like it means. But when the ropes come loose and Bucky stays crouched, like the light touch to his hair has frozen him in place, Steve wonders if Bucky has already done something, or neglected to do something, outside his normal protocols.

"Am I going to die?" He asks quietly. "Be honest with me, Buck. Even if you don't remember me."
hydras_arm: ohshi-! (ohcrap!)

[personal profile] hydras_arm 2017-03-27 01:29 am (UTC)(link)
"Yes. That... that is my purpose. To kill..." There's a hint of uncertainty in his voice, like a man in a play struggling to remember his lines. Steve can't see his face, but he's always been bigger than Steve and now he looks bigger still, shoulders a little broader and the writhing tentacles adding to is mass. For all his bulk, he seems utterly pinned by the gentle hand on his hair.

"I remember nothing. I have no past." He swallows again, tone calm and flat, but a sound like he's choking on the words all the same.
shieldborne: (smol pensive)

[personal profile] shieldborne 2017-03-27 01:38 am (UTC)(link)
"Well...thanks for hearing me out first," he says quietly, and continues to stroke his hair.

He said he wasn't going to make this easy for him. He didn't say how he was going to fight. "I guess people usually try to get away from you as fast as they can, huh? Sorry to break up your routine, but I'm not much of a swimmer."

He purses his lips, choosing his words carefully, then adds: "I remember. I remember enough for both of us. Who did this to you?"
hydras_arm: blank-faced (The Asset)

[personal profile] hydras_arm 2017-03-27 01:51 am (UTC)(link)
"Hydra. I am the weapon of Hydra." This part, he sounds pretty sure about. Why a hydra would need to turn a human into a weapon is a mystery, though, unless it's not A hydra, but something or someone else instead. Whoever has the power to turn him into a tentacle monster is clearly a force not to be tampered with lightly, though.

As Steve strokes his hair, he relaxes subtly. His posture barely changes, but the tentacles begin to unbunch and drift in the current again, lazy and slow.
shieldborne: (serious)

[personal profile] shieldborne 2017-03-27 02:02 am (UTC)(link)
"You weren't always," he says, clenching his jaw briefly. He doesn't know enough about Hydra to formulate any solid idea about what's happening here. All he knows is what he heard in town. Just another foreign warlord wanting to take advantage of his people, and sooner or later doesn't someone have to stand up and say no?

Clearly no one said no soon enough for poor Bucky. Steve wonders if there might be some way back, though. Men fight the gods in stories often enough, and sometimes they win in spite of being hopelessly outmatched. "You're my best friend," he tells him. "And your name is Bucky. And I'm sorry I didn't know you were here. I'd have tried to come for you."
hydras_arm: The Asset Defiant (defiant)

[personal profile] hydras_arm 2017-03-27 02:13 am (UTC)(link)
If he truly remembers nothing of his life before, then all of this is bewildering news. Whatever Hydra is, he's fought against it and lost, not his life but his self. That he's soothed by Steve's touch is a hopeful sign, though. Whether or not Steve can stand up to the whole of Hydra, at least he might be able to rescue Bucky.

"You're my sacrifice..." Head still bowed, he bites his lip. "You... are here. Now." He's confused, but there's something like hope, somewhere inside him. It feels a lot warmer the the murky icy waters all around and them and filling up their lungs.
shieldborne: (theater)

[personal profile] shieldborne 2017-03-27 02:23 am (UTC)(link)
"I'm here," he agrees. "And I'm not leaving you again. I mean...I'm not even going to try."

Because he's pretty sure if he tried he'd be caught easily enough. "I missed you. A hell of a lot."

Carefully, he bends and curls a little, awkward in the water, but wanting to reach him better. He puts one hand on his shoulder, the other still stroking his hair. "You don't remember anything but this? You live...here?"
hydras_arm: The Asset Defiant (defiant)

[personal profile] hydras_arm 2017-03-27 02:30 am (UTC)(link)
It's a strange sensation, to be floating here. There's neither the pull of gravity nor the buoyancy he might expect of water, just a directionless kind of void. There are subtle currents, though, and with practice he might learn to swim through it fine. Bucky seems at home here, but it's easy to overcompensate and send oneself floating off the wrong way with nothing to hold onto. Fortunately he has Bucky for an anchor.

He nods, and finally tilts his head to look up at Steve, gaze searching his face and brow furrowed in concentration. There's something familiar there, but it may take more work to pull out the pearl of memory in the tight clam trap of his brain. "When I'm not in use." It might be better not to think too much about what that means.
shieldborne: (faint smile)

[personal profile] shieldborne 2017-03-27 02:45 am (UTC)(link)
He's going to need the anchor. He's also not completely convinced that whatever magic turned Bucky into this creature isn't helping to keep him from drowning. Or from dying of cold. He's not comfortable, but he's not shivering or numb, either. It's a kind of calm, hollow feeling of physical misery. The way Bucky looks, pale and flat, he must feel the same discomfort.

At least neither of them are alone.

He frowns a little at the 'in use' comment, and the hand that was on his shoulder moves to cradle his cheek. "...okay. You, um, mind showing me around?"

Internally, he rolls his eyes and wishes he could hit himself in the back of the head for that request. Who in his right mind asks a tentacle monster to show him around his lair? Just Steve, evidently. He presses his lips in a thin line, but doesn't take it back. This is still his childhood best friend.
hydras_arm: The Asset Defiant (defiant)

[personal profile] hydras_arm 2017-03-27 02:53 am (UTC)(link)
The tentacle monster looks a little unsure what to make of the request too, but after a blink and a moment to process this, he gives a slow nod. It's a lucky thing that whatever masters he has don't seem to be around, but in their absence he's perfectly willing to take orders from Steve. He drifts up a little and takes Steve's hand in his own- he still has one left that's flesh and blood, so there's that. Steve may notice he feels just slightly warmer to the touch than the water, but not by much.

Keeping the mass of tentacles angled away from him, Bucky pushes off effortlessly to swim deeper into the tunnels, pulling Steve with him.