Subsubsection: 25 June 2014 (rural Thailand, the Dance of Kra, and investigating the rig) Up Subsection: The Possibility Chalice Subsubsection: 6 August 2014 (more excavation, Babbage’s message, capture and escape.) 

23 July 2014 (into the excavation)

Not wanting to risk the lives of the local fishermen, or to draw attention to themselves by diving off a boat near they rig, the group decides to swim all the way out. After some sleep, they gear up (Thorfin reluctantly leaving his armour behind) and swim (Diamond towing Thorfin); they should have about an hour on the bottom.
They are not intercepted on the way down, and approach one of the airlocks at the side of the dome. Getting in is simple enough, with controls labelled in icons as well as Japanese, but some of the robot submersibles fire lasers at them as they scramble into the lock. When they have time to consider, they realise they’re now in a Nippon Tech reality.
The space inside the dome seems to be natural sea bed, and is broken up by various lightweight walls. The central cruciform area contains the corner of an ancient stone building, poking up from the sea bed; a black metal cube, about four or five feet on a side; a large Buddha-like statue; and a tracked robot, which seems to be inactive. The building corner has a small window opening, and there’s water inside. There’s nothing moving, and no sound; nobody seems to be about.
The team gears up again (though Diamond leaves her fins behind) and heads into the building. The first room seems to have been a prison of some sort; some bones are still loosely attached to a set of manacles on the wall, and the water surface is obstructed with detritus. The submerged doorway is partly blocked by the remains of what was once a solid wooden door.
On the far side is a large tentacular creature, something like a four-armed octopus with no visible eyes. It seems to be inactive; Diamond manages to sneak past, but it wakes when Thorfin tries the same thing.
Towards the far end of the room is a dim glow, and Diamond heads towards that; Thorfin braces himself as best he can and presents his shield to the tentacles, while Stephen tries to strike from behind with his knife. The creature grabs Thorfin’s shield, but he’s able to keep hold of it, and between Stephen’s cuts at the tentacles and Thorfin’s pick strikes into the thing’s main body they manage to kill the beast – just as Diamond returns with a large faintly-glowing stone that she suspects may be the light of Arashandara.
The group moves on, coming out onto a landing area: exits are a stairway down into what looks like a baby reality storm, and another room on this level. That has the outlines of footprints painted on the floor, and another opening on the far side. Diamond and Thorfin, remember the dance they studied above; many of the steps match it, but there are others which are entirely unrelated.
Stephen tries to swim across, and what feels like a powerful current pushes him back; he can’t make it more than half-way. Diamond, then Thorfin, follow the steps; Stephen didn’t watch the dance in detail, but is able to follow their example. All of them find that after the first few steps they enter a trance-like state which makes it easier to complete the remaining moves.
On the far side is a larger chamber containing a six-armed Buddha statue with a slightly reflective globe where its head would normally be. Hanging from one of its arms is a scrap of black cloth. Diamond, following the instructions from the temple above, approaches on hands and knees, and the others follow in the same manner; it’s easy for her to reach up and take the cloth, which appears to be a blindfold of some kind. Stephen swims around the statue, but can’t see any sign that the head-globe is intended to open or detach.
Diamond goes first down the stairs, wearing the blindfold to pass through the reality storm. It’s an unsettling experience, but doesn’t appear to do her any harm. A little further on, she removes the blindfold; the lower area of the stairs is rubble-choked, but an opening to the side leads into another corridor, and she moves on into a chamber with two more conventional Buddha statues… except that these are nodding and smiling at her. She feels some sort of spiritual pressure against her will, but is able to resist, though it’s distracting and she waits here for a minute or two.
The others follow, and join her in the chamber, similarly resisting the spiritual pressure. They move on into a larger room, with a well at the far end that’s full of fire burning even underwater. As they step in, the flames rise, and the water around them gets much hotter; Diamond and Thorfin retreat, but Stephen stays to see what will happen; he’s badly scalded, and follows them back out into the Buddha room.
 Subsubsection: 25 June 2014 (rural Thailand, the Dance of Kra, and investigating the rig) Up Subsection: The Possibility Chalice Subsubsection: 6 August 2014 (more excavation, Babbage’s message, capture and escape.)