The Hidden World: Part 1

December 3, 2014: Felicity Smoak went missing for a week after meeting Elijah Snow. This is what happened.

The Hidden World

It's some weird place.



  • A weird looking guide.

Mood Music:

One of the benefits of being Snow is that, even in the worst of the heat, he's still remarkably cool. Which is why, in the last two days, as he and Felicity have made their way down the Amazon, native guides carrying them in a longboat, he's been able to stay in his trademark white suit. Even being near him helps, as if he were a personal air conditioner, radiating cool air all around him.

He summoned Felicity to his private plane four days ago, whisking her off to Rio first, giving her a quick glimpse of the decadent city before they headed off into the north and the wilds of Brazil. The particular branch of the Amazon down which they go doesn't appear on any map. It's an outlier into the jungle, something that shouldn't even exist, and yet here they are. The guide seems strange and slightly inhuman, his eyes overly large, his fingers and toes longer than that of a normal man. He seems cheerful and polite, though, and he and Snow have exchanged occasional chatter in a strange tongue. The only harshness seemed to come when those large eyes rested too long on Felicity, resulting in a relatively sharp rebuke from Snow. The guide only shrugged and went back to work.

"We should be approaching the temple soon, Miss Smoak. Take out your laptop. I think you'll find something surprising." he says. Because, lo and behold, out here in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by parrots and panthers and piranha-ridden waters…there's a wifi signal.

They were gone for days, it seemed like. Traveling here and there, to odd places with the occasional question that Felicity asked of Snow, and being met with answers that seemed all too bizarre yet proven to be true by reasonable and logical explanation and proof.. yet unreasonable and logical by any means. Felicity was shell shocked of course, often times into silence and attempting to cope with what she has seen so far, and not seen but yet heard.

The guide was one of them, for she stared at him too. Occasionally when he looked her way, she glanced off to the side to stare into the murky waters, and back again once the guide turns towards his work. The bag that was slung upon her shoulders was soon shifted to cover herself, and only opened when he gave word with a silent and hesitant nod of her head.

Laptop retrieved, removed and placed upon her knees as she powers it up, a slight frown as the screen flares to life yet.. eyes widen in wonder as it manages to track a signal.

"Holy moly.." She murmurs to herself, and the first thing she does? Check her email. Never leave home without the intentions of doing so. Emails, are important.

After Felicity catches up on her communiques, the boat is soon pushed ashore by the guide. Snow helps Felicity to step off onto surprisingly firm ground, much of the land near the river oversaturated and nearly mud-like. The forest seems dense, entirely blocked off, but it's all a matter of angle as Elijah steps surely in a strange pattern, guided by a memorized map or an internal sense or simply by the damned luck of the Ghost as he follows a seemingly invisible path, a maze-like trail made invisible by angle, perspective and tricks of the light.

Finally, the pair emerge before a small temple, clearly ancient, of a pyramid style, flat at the top and with quite a few steps on each side. Atop the thing, is perched something shiny and difficult to identify from this distance - what is clear is that, the closer you've gotten to this temple, the stronger the signal gets.

"I'm told that, if you check nearby through your…whatever it is you do…you'll find that there are 'servers' here. Databanks. Which seems quite strange, given that this particular temple has been sealed off for at least fifteen hundred years. It's said that those who built it were forever cursed, hearing voices in their heads and sometimes bursting spontaneously into flame. The Temple of the Fire Ghosts, they call it. Jojen there took a great deal of bribing to get him to bring us here. He trusts in my 'magic' to protect us."

"Now, Miss Smoak, we're going to see if you can live up to the potential I saw in you. Those servers are, in some way, encrypted. And I need you to hack them."

She had to do it really, to send an email to herself just in case she turned up missing. She didn't really know Snow all too well, so it was a precaution just to make sure that she'd stay safe or.. someone could find or know what happened to her if someone decided to go looking. But at the end of the day, it would only be her mother. Her mother was the only one who cared about her.

Yet through all of the twists and turns that they've gone through, she kept hold of that laptop, watching the bars on her wifi signal shoot straight up once they moved around a few turns, and once faced with the temple she frowns a little and looks up, tears within her eyes but being fought back as she takes in a breath, attempting to be sure and true.

"Right. Burst into flame. Got it." She really wasn't much for words, she was scared shitless. There was even a moment where she felt as if she were going to collapse due to the stress; her knees constantly trembled but she didn't want to seem weak and fall.

"Wait a minute. You want me to hack them. Right now. I mean.. sure it'll be easy but.." She just didn't want to die by fire.

Elijah Snow nods simply, his hands folded behind him, "I understand your concern, but I believe that the accidents from earlier was a result of the sophisticated technology buried here - whether its source be extraterrestrial, extradimensional, subterranean or time-shifted - attempted to access the brains of those long ago natives, to transmit its information to them directly. The result was madness and death. I believe, however, the more sophisticated technologies of modern times will provide a smoother discourse."

The encryption itself, while certainly complex, has an alphanumeric base, meaning that, whatever its source, it was coded with the universal language of mathematics. It always came back down to ones and zeroes.

"I wouldn't have hired you if I didn't know your capabilities, Felicity. You can do this. Even if it seems like you can't…try. You might surprise yourself."

Felicity knew the steps like the back of her hand, she just didn't want to die! But as she held onto her laptop, she lowered herself to the ground, her bottom lip tucking in between teeth as she settles the laptop upon her thighs. Her fingers begin to work with blazing speed, her eyes shifting left and right as she suddenly stops.


Math, hacking, all of it was her game. So much that she attempted.. long back in the day.. to call herself the fastest gun in the midwest.

In other words? She didn't surprise herself. She just didn't say that she could do it faithfully outloud.

"…I.. don't know if I'm going to explode or not.." She manages to say outloud, slowly gathering herself to her feet while keeping a tight grip upon her laptop. She was surely waiting for her head to pop but.. nothing happened. Sweet!

The data that streams in certainly isn't anything normal. The packets of data seem to be hyper-compressed, as if it came in zip files, only far more dense, vast amounts of information in tiny little envelopes. It would likely overwhelm the memory of even Felicity's laptop without such packaging.

At the end of the download, a simply icon in the shape of a strange glyph appears on her desktop. It seems to glow of its own accord, casting an impossible radiance. I mean, it's only a graphic on a computer screen. Right?

"Please, click on that and open it," Elijah says simply. He puts a hand on Felicity's shoulder, cool but strong, continuing to re-assure her. But make no mistake, if she was going to work for him, she'd have to learn how to jump off of a few cliffs. This one might seem precarious, but it was only the beginning.

The information that bleeds through on her computer was able to be handled with a slight few modification and upgrades on her behalf. Memory, databanks, overclocking, everything that she could do to cheaply upgrade a computer that made it seem so expensive was apparantly worth it. Though, the heat began to radiate from her laptop caused her a bit of concern, which.. after the cool hand upon her shoulder, she got the idea to near herself even more to Snow just to compensate.

"Don't touch me, touch the laptop."

She clicked on the glowing icon upon her laptop with a few swipes and press of her finger, her lips pursing as she waits to see what she finds. Aside from fear of blowing up, this… this was just a little too interesting to pass up.

Elijah Snow laughs softly, keeping his powers prepared for any potential flare-ups. The screen of the laptop opens to a program, a small black rectangle that begins to scroll through a strange symbology, some sort of foriegn alphabet or font. Nothing that seems to resemble any recognizable alphabet anyway, more akin to the symbols one might find on a gaming console, with triangles, X's, Os seeming intertwined in a wide variety of ways.

The scroll starts slow, but builds faster and faster, the white text starting to blur and blur until it's matched by another glow.

In the air in front of Felicity and Elijah, the air seems to warp and shift, to writhe against itself. To bend until it snaps into a rectangular luminescence, a gleaming shaft of energy that slowly begins to burn less brightly, so that its contours might be seen.

Unmistakably, this is a door.

"Uh oh.." She murmurs quietly, watching as the screen begins to scroll.. slowly at first, then fast. She was nearly ready to throw her laptop to the ground, but once again, curiousity killed the cat and once the door appeared in front of them, she glances towards her laptop, then up towards the door again, baffled.

Without even sparing a thought or parting word towards Snow, she takes a step forward, almost as if she were lured to what was in front of her.

She wondered what could be on the other side.. there was no hesitation in her movements as she reaches out towards the knob to give it a turn left, right, then a tugging pull.

And then like that? She stepped inside..

Elijah Snow grins. That spirit of exploration, of course, is why he chose her. Yes, obviously, she was a masterful hacker, a genius and damn pretty to boot (you did NOT want to see some of the other candidates). But he could also see that element of transgression, hints of it in her background, in the psychological profile his people had made.

Felicity wanted more. More than just life behind a screen, much as she loved it. She craved adventure, discovery. She wanted to be something, someone. She wanted accomplishment.

And, what she wanted, he could offer.

Wordlessly, Elijah Snow follows Felicity into the unknown, the doorway snapping closed in their wake the moment he passes through…

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