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Aberrant: Children of Quantum Fire - [Interlude] Quantum Rapids [FIN]

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Participant Notes
This fiction will involve Starseed, Shaman, Kamiko, and Justin's character once able to join.

This thread starts a few hours after the conclusion of [interlude-Beta]A Jungle Den

Kamiko was all a flutter. It was still early in the afternoon. At least to start getting ready for her trip would be the easy part. All of the gear her Mom allowed her to take with was handpicked. Mostly prototypes though. The concept of relying on barely tested gear was... somewhat exhilarating. As she gets the raft and pump unpacked and laid out in the back courtyard, she receives a call over her comlink.

"Kamiko dear... thanks for sending that message regarding Starseed... odd... I didn't see her on the log. Then again I never see any of the names. Might have been a last minute addition. But I digress... space? You're going to space now?" Doryoku's sigh could be heard even if you were standing a couple feet away. Kamiko cringes, and before she's able to speak her mother continues. "Well the least I can do is make sure you're protected. I hear Starseed will eventually need spaceworthy equipment for her crews as well... talk about ambition. I think I can spare that one JAXA prototype. Let me know how it feels and don't go into the vacuum without wearing it. I know you can walk out there in your favorite skivvies but... just do it for me, alright? In any case, thanks for the text."

Before Kamiko could say a word, Doryoku closes communications.


Then another ring. "Kami-chan!"


"Yeah, you know that training I was talking about? I just sent someone down there to help you out. You seemed a bit unsure about things. I think you and him will hit it off."

"Definately." She sighs. "Where are you?"

"Minneapolis. Stopped there for a bite. I haven't had a Juicy Lucy for... quite a while. Well... more like ten."

"Well, be sure to tip well over there."

"Hell yes I will!"

"And thanks."

When Long closed his comlink, Kamiko flops down on the unrolled and deflated raft. Her head resting on a clear bag with 4 deflated life vests sitting in it.She plugs the pump into the first of a few valves on the international orange raft and starts pumping. In Japanese, there was some stenciled text translated meaning "Search and Rescue - Shinjuku Ward" on the side.

"Sometimes I feel like this raft... all the potential to do wonderful, amazing things and yet I'm not ready..." She muses to herself as she continues pumping. She had already changed into a full whitewater suit, another hand-me-down from Doryoku's search and rescue projects. The helmet on her head fit right, but felt a bit off. Perhaps it was just she hasn't had a need to wear one outside of her flight suit.

"Hmm... the water temperature is within human tolerances, but the extra buoyancy of the suit should be welcome in rough waters. Mom said she needed a test in disaster conditions. This is as close ot getting hit by a tsunami I wanna get."

She rises up with the raft as she continues pumping, she starts to feel her impulses kick in.

"Crap not now... not here..." she thinks as her free hand moves towards the neck of the exposure suit and slips the neck gasket over her mouth carefully. "What if someone sees..."

She had picked a quiet spot of the palace, a spot really not traversed except on special occasions. She made sure no one would be using the court... just so that everyone could get set easily and without disturbance. But what if her companions find out?
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He had heard that pumping sound just a moment ago then it had stopped. Shaman fought down the urge to call out. How hard could it be to spot a brightly colored girl and a spacefarer. He ran a hand through his tangle of unruly blonde hair. He had neglected to cut it since ... since he came to the Congo and it was beginning to show. It wasn't a concern for him.

'Call out.'

'And say, "I'm lost"?'

'How about "Have you seen my python?" ?'



'You wouldn't.'

Shaman wiggled his toes in the muddy loam.

'Wait. I got it!'

"So, Kamiko," he projects in a loud voice, "how tough do you think these rapids will be?"


'Let's hope she's close enough to hear us.'

'You worry too much.'

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Kamiko is distracted from her internal struggle, already having blown a couple breaths into her suit before letting go of the suit neck. It's snapping back almost like a rubberband on the wrist being snapped hard.

"Huh? Oh... Hi there Shaman. I was just thinking of what risks we'd indeed be looking at... well... risks to typical humans. All three of us don't really need to breathe and could probably take most of what the rapids can give... except me I'm sort of fragile. There are spots along the river where the rapids are particularly fierce."

She straightens out her suit, showing signs of now having some trapped air in it. "As for the suit and stuff, it's all about high visibility more than staying afloat. I need to see where everyone is and everyone else should have that same benefit. The vests down there also have a GPS transponder and a locator beacon so if you should somehow get knocked unconscious while in the water it should be easy to find you for a rescue." She says, pointing to a watch on her wrist with what looks like a map on the face. She then puts her vest on, gritting her teeth a little bit. "Oh... no need to inflate the vests, I will with mine but that's just for testing purposes."

"Great I'm being Mom's gunea pig while I'm fighting off another attack... Focus Kami... focus..."

Yep, spending a willpower to resist. Shaman distracted her enough to allow rationality to set in.

She takes a deep breath and remembers what her psychotherapist told her.

"Sorry, just a little nervous.... I don't wanna pop anything or break anything. This all has to go back after I'm done, you know." She says with a nervous giggle.

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Shaman smiled at the young nova.

"What was the thing that guy in the Daedulus League said? Oh yeah; Everyone can see Jupiter, but they go for the moons."

"I intend to get wet. I don't know. Sometimes I get the feeling that we are all running toward the goal that we don't enjoy the journey. I want to do this because its fun, and you never know when you might be able to get free for some fun time again. We're like kids still. That's not going to last much longer, and ... I feel that's a pity."

"Meh, let's just do if for the fun and worry about tomorrow when it gets here. We can do that for one day, can't we?"

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"Well of course, why you think I do this?" She says with a smile, starting pumping again happily. "And it's sorta fun riding one of these. You know when I was training up I had the privilege to do a training run with the Japanese Coast Guard in regards to rescue swimming? I got to wear all the gear and everything... of course my gear had to me made a little smaller since I was about 2 years younger at the time."

Her grin gets bigger. "I'm a big gear nerd personally... It's just me I think. Although all I want to do is help people. So it was a adventure to get to know what can do. I can teach some of what I know to the rest of the den if anyone would be interested. I think the more prepared we are to save lives the better."

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"Your Coast Guard time reminds me of an exert I read on the Opnet ..."

Shaman took a pose, half-holy and half-defiant.

"I think it went something like this: 'Truth be told, they have always been among us, helping us in weakness and celebrating our strengths.' That was Isegara Ineka's Small Gods/The History of Novas in Nippon."

"I guess it is always easy to thing that novas are seen the same way all over the globe. It simply isn't so. Everyone has a cultural filter with which they deal with power, privilege, and responsibility. Some will see us as we are, others what they hope we are, and still others what they fear we represent."

He shrugs and gives her a questioning look.

"How do you think it will turn out?"

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"Just in time, Starseed. We haven't even gotten our fine craft to the water's edge."

He waited for the Extra-terrestrial nova to appear. He wore is often-doffed congenial expression.

'Are you thinking what I'm thinking?'

'Peaches and creams are the nectar of the Gods?'

'No Pinkie, we are going to take over the World!'


'Seriously. Open your eyes.'

'Ummm ...'

'Your about to go down a river with two beautiful girls.'


'And we are going to get all wet.'

'Did I bring a towel?'

(Gibb's Slap)

'What was that for!?!?'

'Girls ... wet t-shirts ... just me ...'

'Oooohhhhh ...'

'Sometimes I think you need flashcards.'

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In the distance "Hi! I hear you - coming!" said Star as she picked up her pace, jogging through a few copse of trees. She has totally lost track of time. After realizing that she didn't need to make things too financially complicated to finish the Far Star, and having a few marketing flashes, a bunch of her had been up all night furiously working on a business plan. The realization came that she didn't even need a financial presence, she could just negotiate third party contracts with everyone and for everything she needed to finish the first ship. Revenues would come from rich people who wanted to play astronaut - and they would have to prepay.

... but this trip was about friends, not work. So all of that was put aside for this version of Star. She'd tell Kami about the idea later ... she's gonna be so excited. Especially because she can do the Japanese end of things - and there was going to be ample opportunity for a bit of national pride and family recognition to shine through there.

Mental note - when you get back, suggest that we should start learning Japanese. Ask Kami for help, and for Op-net apps that she thinks are best.

Coming out into the clearing, she saw Kamiko and Shaman and wave "Hi Hi! Oh, you're almost all ready. Just let me know what I have to do. I have never been rafting before."

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Kamiko giggles. "So eager... Well... we'll get to that in a few minutes. Just getting situated and then I gotta load the raft. We'll take the raft and supplies through a warp. Makes things easier if we can launch right from here to the riverbank."

"So... anyone here not know how to swim? Or have any issues with fast moving water? Fair question to ask."

She finally completes hand-pumping the raft and sits on it.

"This reminds me of the time we went on a little excursion out to the deeper drop-offs of Tokyo Bay... Doryoku lives trying to find goblin sharks. To be honest my dad hates diving unless there's catching food involved. Lucky the tuna populations in the area have soared in recent years so he's been in seventh heaven. I stayed on this raft pretty much playing support. Was fun actually. Got lots of reading time in and got a good swim in too."

She smiles to Starseed. "I got some good news later I can share, but I'm not sure if this is the place."

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not normal operating procedure - please read
I'm helping play in Justin's character, hence the double post.

As she completes her thought, her phone rings... but from a completely suspicious number.

"Hold on... 123 456 7890? Unlisted... What in the bloody hell..." She says in Japanese. "Better not be a telemarketer.."

She activates her comlink and answers. "Hello. Who is calling and what is this regards. This number does not accept solicitations." She says in English.
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"I see you are the same as always, Kamiko." A familiar baritone voice filled the earpiece. "I know your father spoke to you about sending someone." Dan smiled. He remembered much of kamiko's childhood, especially once her real parents had passed away.

"Don't tell me that you don't recognize my voice." for years dan had been someone she knew. he tutored her in a variety of subjects, though over the last few years it had become far more intermittent, with it having been a full year since she last heard Dan's voice.

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"Da... Dan-sempai?" She says in Japanese... An old friend and mentor has returned from a LONG absence... and at the right time. "You... everything is alright isn't it?"

"I'm in the Congo. Einherjar's kingdom, actually. It's surprising, I'm making a bunch of new acquaintances... and a friend... she's a bit odd, but all novas are... Anyways... how are you? And do you need a landmark to get to me? Be prepared, it's a bit warm."

She straightens out her suit and hits a button on her comlink, sending a encrypted waypoint to Dan's op-phone.

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"Sensei would be the proper term, Kamiko."

He nodded having her position. "I'll be there in a few minutes. until then stay where you are."

It took about two minutes for him to arrive, Sonja in his arms. The scene unfolding made him sigh, and he walked up and tapped her hard in the forehead. "You know what it's for, calm yourself down." Sonja hid behind him, shy around the others there.

Dan looked to Shaman and Starseed and nodded. "Forgive my rudeness. I'm Major Hawkins. Kamiko's a student of mine, and her father sent me to help."

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Kamiko rubs her forehead. "Sorry, Sensei, and thank you..."

Dan always had a way of distracting her from her problem. Usually involving a quick rapping on her head followed by laps around the neighborhood. For an hour.

"And I'm getting situated now... thanks. These are Starseed..." politely gesturing to Starseed "... a expert in space sciences, and Shaman..." Moving to Shaman in a clean gesture. "Einherjar's son."

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"Nice to meet you Major" Starseed said, shaking his hand firmly. Seemed the right ting to do for a military man.

Wow, Kami was connected... and had some strangeness going on with her teacher. Teachers weren't supposed to strike students ...

Of course, some sort of link to Nippontai perhaps - and Japan. Different culture, check.

Star continued "A Major of ...?" and noticing the cute child added "Oh, and who is this?"

Star spoke sweetly to the little one - Hoping to draw little Sonja out a bit - holding out her hand in welcome.

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"Formerly the United States Marine Corps, then of DeVries for almost twenty seven years."

He nodded. "Kamiko's father and I go back a very long ways."

He motioned to Sonja. "This is my daughter Sonja." The young blonde girl smiled to them both, but remained behind her father for the most part.

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"Oh dear... you brought Sonja didn't you..."

Kamiko raps her head in frustration. "think... think... Okay... what to do Kami..." She whispers.

"Alright..." she sighs. "Keep an eye on he, Sensei. Please. I'm... not comfortable having little children on what would be a possibly dangerous endeavor. I know she won't drown on the trip but accidents happen, and..."

Kamiko starts to look like she's about to have a breakdown.

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'Wow, kind of scary.'

'Kind of like Dad.'

'Yeah, but without the family tie.'


"Hello Major Hawkins. Nice to see you. Sonja, you too."

'Starseed shook his hand.'

'Maybe we should too.'

Shaman extended his hand to Major Dan and offered it to be shaken.

"What brings you here on our little outing? Has something gone wrong for Kamiko at home?"

'What makes a guy bring his daughter out here?'

'I think somethings up.'

'Is this guy a bodyguard, or a ... an instructor, as he claims?'

'A lot of questions.'

'Now, if something is going wrong, would he tell us?'

'There's not likely to be immediate trouble.'

'Yeah, his daughter is here.'

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Dan regarded Shaman. "A son of einherjar, eh? I figured he had at least one."

"Nothing is wrong, just her Father asked that I take a more hands-on role in her training and oversight, as he is unable to do so." The odd feeling of touching Shaman made him pull his hand away. "warn someone next time when contact has some effect."

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Kamiko adjusts her glasses, seeing the sudden jolt of Dan pulling away. Reminding her of the situation during the meeting with Sakura. "Dan... there are some novas... perhaps... that contact should be done with care of here. Shaman as far as I know isn't one of them. Sakura... she has this quality about her that is..."

The warm feeling of respect and trust floods back in. "Well... uncanny."

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In an effort to break the uncomfortable - no the serious - moment, in line with her habit of often just saying what she thinks, Star pipes up

"Maybe we should start getting the raft and gear in order. After this, we can all do a cup of tea and sit down. Really get to know each other ..."

The whole feeling of family that Kami and her teacher had, the connection ... made Star a little uncomfortable. Yes, it was probably just her that was uncomfortable. It all reminded her how much she missed Dad, and how much she missed who her Mom used to be ... and right now she needed light hearted fun.

She also needed chocolate. Which she did not have.

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Kamiko takes hers off and starts putting it on Sonja. "These were designed to be put on most anyone at a moment's notice." She says as she adjusts tight a couple straps on Sonja. "There... might feel a little big once I activate it... then again we'll probably want you in the raft..." She pulls the lanyard and the loose fitting vest inflates to the point it looks like a puffy sleeveless jacket. Kamiko makes sure everything is firmly in place before heading to her raft again.

She grabs one of the vests in the bag and tosses it to Dan. "You're familiar with the MK-7 S&R model pfd... just inflate it now pulling the lanyard or just wait until you hit the drink and the auto-trigger takes care of things."

She tosses two others to Starseed and Shaman and puts on the last one herself. "Wasn't expecting 5... but we got 5... this raft is built for 8... I think we got things covered."

She claps and smiles as she rummages through her bag. "You guys help me get the gear in the raft... I'm getting our... transport expert out." She says pulling out some paper... more like alot. She then holds her hands out and the paper she scatters about the ground begins to swirl into a mass. "RISE!!! DAI KAMI-SAMA!"

Quantum Construct Roll
Kamiko *rolls* 8d10: 9+4+9+6+9+2+8+8: 55

[Kamiko] 8:49 pm: YESH

[Kamiko] 8:49 pm: Quantum Construct roll

[Kamiko] 8:49 pm: Making our "extra help".

5 successes - Successfully summons the Paper Juggernaut, scaled down to only 2 meters tall instead of the 8m listed.

Paper Juggernaut (Humanoid) - 8m Tall, MStr 2, Str 4, Sta 4, Dex 2, +2 Soak, +12 Hurt Levels

* Weakness to Sonic Powers (Complete Shutdown)

* Half-Effectiveness against fire

* Longevity

The large, hulking, 3 finger and one thumbed paper golem seems to relish being brought into existance. It is more Kamiko's own will, projected into the paper and brought to life as a fragment of her mind. "Alright... time to handle the heavy lifting... Dai Kami-Sama will take care of portaging the raft... and the accompanying gear... at the locations I planned. We'll probably be making a day of this, so at the half-way point for the portage we can camp for the night. We'll be back in Kinshasha by tomorrow afternoon if everything goes well."

She has Dai Kami-Sama give a thumbs up to Sonja. "Heh... Cool huh?"

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Kamiko giggles. "Did I ever tell you I like your energy?" She says to Starseed. "Maybe you have the heart of a star in you after all... that much energy... you gotta have some sort of hydrogen reaction going on."

She moves her bag unto her raft containing the tents for the trip into the raft, Dai Kami-San helping along. "Well Shaman... let me know when you're ready."

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Shaman looks mortified.

"Oh, yeah. Crap! It's been so long since I even thought about touching someone. I sort of lost my common sense for a second."

'Dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb.'

Looking to the raft, and then the rafters, his smile returns somewhat.

"I'm ready now. I've never done this before - with a boat - but it can't be worse than belly riding down a snowbank, right?"

Turning to Starseed,

"One of the benefits of this trip is that I believe we can all handle ourselves. It kind of sets aside the worry and responsibility we have for one another, except the willingness to see that each one of us has a good time! Let's go."

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Kamiko nods and grabs a bit more paper. "okay... Dai Kami-San..."

Kamiko's paper juggernaut picks up the raft with ease as she starts to form a circular portal out of paper and a aperture of her Paper Tesseract forms. Her golem goes first.

"Now, since Sonja is the youngest here... she should always have two people with her at any time in the jungle, particularly on the portage hike. I got first aid kits and what not in the orange bag and our food is in the green one. The blue one has our tents and I took the liberty of getting some dry clothes... used up my allowance on that. I... didn't know you or Sonja would be here though, Dan, so hopefully you stay dry... I do have other suits like mine in the orange bag if anyone wants to wear one at least to keep their clothes dry."

She smiles as she keeps the gate open. "Well... after everyone."

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Dan nodded. "We've camped before. You'll find Sonja knows what to do in most situations." He smiled Sonja's hand in his as they walked through the second gate in as many hours. Again, she yawned when they exited the other side which made him pick her up. "Camping and rafting right after we got here. Your mother would have loved a trip like this."

The young blonde nova reached up and stroked his cheek, in exactly the same manner Sarah had. He shook his head. "Still, I have a feeling we'll have fun. With a son of the King with us, I'm sure we will be monitored."

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Starseed practically skips through the tesseract. Most days for her were work of one for or another but this was fun. Her boots weren't perfect for this - but she was tough enough that it wouldn't matter. All her stuff attuned, check. All the gear that she had put on ... also attune that so it doesn't get banged up. Oh yes, and put on the azure aura - safe and sound. This was here actual body, after all ...

For the rest, she followed along - paying close attention on the proper way to do everything.

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'I'll never get used to this.'

Shaman moves through the gate, but does so carefully. He could literally feel the pulse of the earth shift beneath him as he crossed the threshold. Doing so cause him to take a sharp intake of breath.

"if we get wet, Sonja can use my clothes. I get by just fine. It won't be the first time I've had to hike a bit wet."

With the new ground under his feet, Shaman reached out again with his senses and began to feel secure once again.

Using Nature Mastery to get a general feel for the plant and animal life in the area 3q - 94q remaining (he was using this in the last scene as well).

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Kamiko giggles. "To be honest, if I didn't have to test the gear out I'l hit these rapids wearing just what I was wearing at the meeting. But... I get stuff out of the deal I can't get with my allowance."

"Okay..." Kamiko says with a sigh. "...Goodbye, Kinshasha"

She steps through meeting everyone on the other side and closing the aperture of the warp. She has her construct carefully set the raft so it's not yet taken by the currents.

"...and Hello Congo!" She says with a smile.

She hops in, taking some rods and screwing them together and hitting a button causing some membranes to pop out of one end forming a paddle. "Yeah... she thought of everything. I recommend when you grab a oar to have that loop at the middle attached to your wrist. It'll avoid being literally up the creek without a paddle."

"Also keep Sonja at the center of the boat since that's where the center of gravity is and she should have any issues if we get rocked bad."

She maneuvers the gear also towards the center, making sure the weight is evenly distributed.

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"Does riding a log down the rapids count? Maybe it shouldn't. I almost drown. On the plus side, the was four years ago, so maybe I've picked something up."

'Like not drowning?'

'You say that like its a bad thing.'

'How about "Not letting other people drown?" ?'

'Yeah, well there is that."

"How about we make a buddy system? You know, like if we go into the water, we know who to look for, and rescue if necessary?"

'Woot! I'm going to get paired up with a girl!'

'Right. And Major Mite isn't going to re-arrange the vertebrae if we try something.'

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"Hehe, well I'm not the toughest of the bunch here, but I do know a thing or two between rescue swimming, rowing in bad conditions, the whole nine. Having a Mom who has constant training with the Japanese Coast Guard and local search and rescue teams with fire departments and what not helps in personal training."

She locks her oars in place as she sits in the best position she can next to Dan, handing him an oar. "Okay, Star, Shaman you got front oar duties. Once we're set I'll have Dai Kami-Sama push us off."

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