The journey through the darkness was no different than the previous one, resulting in Caleb and Gryph emerging first from the portal. Caleb again gasped for air..but instead found water inundating his lungs. In shock, he attempted to cough the water out while desperately swimming upwards as quickly as he could. Gryph was not as lucky; for an owl is not the best of swimmers. His desperate attempt to move only resulted in him separating a fair distance from the other two who would emerge behind him.
Gizmo comes out dragging Mogwai behind. She quickly struggles for a bit before racing towards the surface with her counterpart in tow.
Jameson emerges into the water, apparentally only marginally worse for wear. However, the aspect of water seems to bother the Rocket trainer little. He grabs the flailing owl and begins making quick strokes upwards, seeing if he could get to the surface. If there was one.
Fortunately, the distance to the surface was not overly far. Caleb thrusted his head past the wall of water and into the air, gasping relentlessly for air. Water stretched all around, though three notable islands could be seen..one of which a short swimming distance away. Caleb waited to see if the others would emerge before paddling towards it.
Jameson does not so much emerge with Gryph as he throws the owl out of the water before surfacing. He looks around for a moment before sighting the islands and giving a small sigh. "This better not ruin my jacket."
Once they're out of the water, Mogwai adjusts enough to swim on her own. After a short distance she asks "Umm... how is it you're swimming with that heavy armor on?" Gizmo promptly begins to sink before resurfacing a little later "By not thinking about it. Dick."
Caleb kicked his feet in place as he reached for a pokeball and held it up. "Gryph..I know you're Shade's servant, but this is for the best.." said the teen as he pressed the button on the ball and threw it towards the Noctowl. The ball opened up and spit out a red beam, consuming the pokemon inside and closing itself. The ball fell towards the water and floated on its surface as Caleb swam over to retrieve it, then changing his course to the nearby island.
Jameson focuses his efforts to swimming, keeping pace with Gizmo for a little bit before eyeing the moogle. "Need some help there short stuff?"
Gizmo chuckles "I'll be fine. I've got a little magic of my own, sorta. Thanks though, it's appreciated." Mogwai seems to actually be enjoying herself, switching to a backstroke as she follows the others.
As Caleb approached the island, he began to trump through the water until he reached some distance up the shore, proceeding to plop down on his back. He reached into his pocket for Gryph's pokeball and released the owl beside him. "Well guys..that does it. We walked right into his trap. Clearly he intended to drown us. I mean..where are we anyway? I don't see any 'sacred darkness' here."
Jameson settles himself on the shore, and removes his jacket and hat, settling them in a pile next to him. "Well. Either there's something on the islands, or he wants us to go down far enough into the water that it turns black. If it does turn out that way though, I don't see most of us here making it."
Gizmo runs her hand across the sand "There's legends surrounding this place, you know. They say one of the first people to come to the cleft came through here. There's also stories about the world this came from. Something about a tower... and timelines."
Caleb remained silent as the others discussed their thoughts. "...three islands, situated in a specific angle. We are likely in the El Nido Triangle. It's true that the depths of the ocean are encompassed in darkness, but..could that be his own reason? What else could these three places have in common?"
Jameson peels off his shirt now, and begins wringing it dry. "Look. I wasn't brought here my expertise in darkness lore. Figure it the fuck out."
Mogwai ponders this "Hmm... they're all places with great mysteriosity?"
Gizmo chimes in "The wormholes. The original entry points into the cleft. That's the uniting theme here."
"..Wormholes? Like the ones we fall through when we enter the cleft?" asked Caleb, turning his head towards Gizmo. Gryph shook his head slowly, "Not quite..the wormholes she's referring to are different. Special. And very powerful. But what does he intend to accomplish? It's not as if anyone can just reopen such a thing or claim its power in any form. The time that the certain individuals who fell through those holes is long gone."
Jameson grunts. "Aren't we going through these portals? What if the asshole's just painting a road and we're going through it blindly, giving him what he wants?"
Gizmo elaborates "Well, Mogwai may have a point... sorta. These places are unstable, and have special properties. Or at least, so I've been led to believe. He may be seeking to use these properties for some reason.
"Are there any more places where these..origin wormholes appeared? Maybe we can ambush him?" asked Caleb he sat up and took his cap off to wring the water out, still amazed that he didn't lose it from the swim.
Jameson rolls his eyes and pulls his damp shirt back on. Really what he had said earlier was true, he wasn't here for expertise, so it was probably better to just let the rest of them hash it out.
Gizmo seems to debate what to say for a bit before remarking "Our next stop isn't a wormhole."
"Huh?" is all Caleb says as he glances over to Gizmo. "Why not?"
Gizmo shrugs and points to Gryph "Ask him. He put it better than I can."
Caleb and Gryph blinked a couple of times, slightly confused. The owl's eyes pulsated a little as its mental voice spoke up. "..well, traveling to either of the remaining locations where origin wormholes appeared would take too long. If he hasn't visited them already, he would before we could arrive..traveling through the darkness is simply that much quicker." Caleb sighed as he plopped back down on his back again. "So we're back to square one.." The owl shook its head. "Not quite."
"We now know that he is after places of immense power linked by darkness. Surely there is one place we know he will end up?"
Mogwai shrugs "Shade Palace? Err... no... umm... Angel Tower? Wait...."
The pieces began to come together for Caleb as he spoke up. "..The Mana Holyland. Right..we knew that from the beginning. But..Kalin was transfered there by agents who willingly took him. How would he get in? And where?"
Jameson doesn't understand a goddamn thing that's being said, so he continues to wait.
Mogwai thinks about this "By pretending to be Kalin?"
Caleb glanced towards Mogwai suddenly, his eyes widening. He formed a fist with his right hand and clashed it on his other palm. "..Oh, damn! You're right! Kalin was whisked away outside of Barrel Volcano, but those agents seemed to be able to see..well, the entire cleft. Could there be a place that they would see more readily than others that isn't guarded by a mana spirit? Where Darkrai could pretend to be Kalin without anyone getting in his way?"
Mogwai says 'How far do you think they guard anyway?'
Gryph began to rise up and stretch his wings, turning his head to empty any remaining water out. "Perhaps what you seek is the Sea of Wonders. The Mana Holyland was once there before it became what it is now."
Mogwai and Gizmo say, almost in unison "I've always loved the view across the sea of wonders."
Jameson says ' So what, we're going swimming again?'
Caleb sat up and began to rise to his feet. "So that's it then..he's marking places where there were origin wormholes, leading up to his trip into the Mana Holyland." He then nodded towards the moogles and Jameson. "Only problem is..how do we get there? The 'Sea of Wonders', that is.."
Gizmo smirks "Nah, we can ride. I know a guy." she frowns "...will know a guy. Fuck."