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[Tara] Coming Home


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Morgan found the security bay, where a battered Yuan had just finished assembling her team, including a large, vicious-looking dog. The animal had the unmistakable golden hue of a Leonine Shephard with the breed’s characteristic black saddle. The god’s collar said, “Olivia” and it sat quietly and obediently next to blue-eyed man. The people and the dog wore the navy blue armor of the elite soldiers. “Ferro?” Morgan asked the room.

 

“Bridge, I believe.” The Jeeves in the room turned at his question, as helpful as their kind always was.

 

Giving the Jeeves a thumbs up, the mechanic turned and raced for the next big set of doors. That led to the bridge, where smoke poured out of the open entryway. Morgan felt his dread double at the thought of fire, an ingrained response after a lifetime in an enclosed system.

 

The danger here had already been dealt with. A used extinguisher sat in the corner while white foam covered one of the panels. Ferro and Sarr both had their heads in a console, poking at the wiring. Ferro was doing much of the work and he looked relieved when he saw Morgan. “I’m glad to see another wirehead. We’re trying to get the sensors booted--”

 

“What is your visual assessment?” Captain Sarr sat up, looking at Morgan. A thick blue bandage covered the left side of his skull but he looked better than Yuan. “How is my ship?”

Morgan had opened his mouth to talk to Ferro, but it trailed off into a grunt as he turned his attention to the Captain, “Sir.  Let’s just say I hope we’re on Tara ‘cause we’re not attaining altitude again...she’s in two pieces.”  Morgan explained, “Based on the echoes from deeper in the ship, there’re people in distress, whether it be from attack or crash, I can’t say, but there’s some weird sounds.  I arranged for emergency revivals and headed here to get details, Sir."

Fresh air...sunlight.  Let’s hope we live long enough to enjoy it.

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Talina stopped strumming and deadened the strings with the heel of her right hand as the irritated voice brought her back to the now. She opened her moist eyes and looked across the bay at the blond doctor.

Biting her lips she silently handed the guitar back to Jack, then lay down cradling her head in her arms she turned her back to the room and shut out the world.

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Gabriela roused at the sound of music near her, blinking fully awake as the last chords were silenced by Talina. She looked around the wreckage for a moment, clearly dazed as her mind tried to sort out the when and where of what she was seeing. She pulled herself up, stretching her arms and rubbing her hands over the dermaplast spray covering her cuts.

 

"Oh, man, I could really go for something hot to eat. I mean, I get it, we crashed and all, but those cryotubes are cold. And the last thing I had to eat was a mealpill." She made a face; mealpills were useful and cheap, but pretty universally reviled. 

 

She spotted the curled up redhead not far from her and made her way over. Squatting next to her, she studied the girl for a minute and then asked in accented English, "So, are you okay? I mean, just crying, not like internally bleeding or anything?"

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Talina heard the voice but didn't react for several seconds. It wasn't one she recognized and the accent was unfamiliar as well, she turn over partially so she could see. She was very pretty, except for the lack of facial piercings and no neck tattoos she reminded her of Nixie.

 

The red head looked past her then back at the young woman, she didn't seem to be much older than herself. but then we are all older than we seem now she thought. "I'm not crying anymore, I'm fine." She  just stared at the woman noticing the bandages, finally she spoke again " Your the one Henry carried in, you were hurt."

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Morgan

Sarr nodded and said, “You--”

 

“Sir, that’s not a good idea.” Bellamy turned to show a jagged tear down the front of her uniform. Though the dark blue uniform had been damaged, her skin only had a shallow scratch. “The more people awake, the more we have to feed and protect and now we have an unknown amount of supplies. If we keep people in cyro as much as possible, it might save their lives.”

 

The captain winced then nodded. Pulling out his radio, he toggled the button and started to speak in rapid Mandarin. When done, he glanced at Morgan. “Go with Cmd. Yuan and assess each cyrotubes. If it will support the inhabitant inside, ensure that it will remain functional. Otherwise, get the person out. There will be some essential personnel that we’ll spring anyway but Yuan knows those.” He paused then asked, “Are you armed?”

 

“No, sir,” Morgan said.

 

“Make sure you get a gun from Yuan.” He frowned and muttered, “We’re all going to need them, I’m afraid.”

 

George

They were ready to move out when Yuan’s radio crackled to life. “Commander, I’ve been told that people are being released from cyro. Please take your security team and stop them unless the occupant is essential personnel or in danger. We’re also on rationing until we can assess the status of our supplies. I’m sending an engineer to you to help you.”

 

“Yes, sir.” Yuan was frowning as she lowered her radio. “Kalnan, you heard?” At George’s nod, she said, “Please relay those orders. Once the engineer is here, we’re moving out.”

 

Everyone else

Roach grinned as the lift did exactly as she wanted but that euphoria faded a moment later when she realized that the creature was still alive. It was also, she saw, rather pissed as it continued to scale the fallen lift.

 

Talina’s statement was punctuated by a loud sizzle and tower of sparks, visible through the open doorway which dropped into nothing. A loud roar followed the lightshow.

 

Holding his sidearm tightly, Hiroki eased over and looked out. “Shit,” he muttered, peering down. “There’s a big red nightmare with lots of teeth climbing the debris, headed this way.” He waved for Jack to join him. “The rest of you might want to find something to arm yourselves with  and stay back in case Jack and I don’t kill it.”

 

Combat! Everyone, even Roach, gets a chance to act while it finishes climbing this round. Please post your actions and rolls by Sunday. Questions, which will happen, can be put in the OOC or directed to Mala and I in chat.

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Jack accepted his guitar back from Talina and had just finished placing it tenderly into its case, giving the Doctor a hard glare - partly because she had as much bedside manner as a shark, partly because he had to admit she was right... to a degree - when there was a sizzle and shower of sparks from the broken lift. A roar followed just after. That sounded like something worst than a terror turkey!

 

Jack flipped the lid close on the case and picked up the rifle, after giving Talina's shoulder a consoling squeeze. "Shit! Red, take care of the guitar - it was a gift from my wife." He stood up and hastened over to Henry, planting the stock of the rifle against his shoulder. He took a position on the other side of the lift entrance from Henry, giving him a tight, crooked grin. "Didn't think I'd be hunting so soon after landing."

 

He took a solid stance, then leaned out the open doorway, sighting through the scope of the rifle. "Jesus Fuck!"

 

It wasn't the height - as a very avid rock and mountain climber, heights didn't bother him. But the beast! Jack had seen some pretty extraordinary chimeras that had been released or escaped into the remaining wild spaces on Earth. This thing looked like someone had crossbred a gator and a komodo dragon, gave it a metric ton of growth hormones, then a flamboyant make-over, with too many teeth.

 

Jack took a steady breath, then eased his finger down on the trigger and fired. Better to get what shots they could when it was climbing rather than waiting for it to reach level ground among the wounded.

 

Actions
Firing on the Big Red Nightmare

3- Firearms = 3d6 (+ any modifier from the gun itself)

Asarasa *rolls* 3d6: 1+5+4: 10
[Asarasa] 12:44 pm: Eh
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"Da, da. YA besserdechnaya dama pytayetsya lechit' lyudey i derzhat' ikh v zhivykh.1 " Dr. Temnikova mutters at Talina's reaction to her as well as Jack's glare.

When she hears the roar from the lift shaft she closes her eyes and sighs.

"Eto prosto stanovitsya luchshe i luchshe. Bol'shoye spasibo , krasnyy .2 " she groans in her native Russian.

With a pivot on a heel she turned to look around. Spotting one of the dead birds she grabbed it by the neck and casually tossed it into the shaft knowing there was a good chance the creature might go for the easy meal instead.

 

 

Action
Trying to toss the bird close to the beast.

 

[Carver] 9:27 pm: Noir: To land it near the thing, you can use your Fighting skill, which is 2d6

 

Noir *rolls* 2d6: 6+6: 12

 

[Noir] 9:29 pm: Woo!

 

Translation

1 "Yeah, yeah. I am the, bad guy. You know, trying to treat people and keep them alive."

2 "It just gets better and better. Thanks a lot, Red."

 

 

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Sarr nodded and said, “You--”

 

“Sir, that’s not a good idea.” Bellamy turned to show a jagged tear down the front of her uniform. Though the dark blue uniform had been damaged, her skin only had a shallow scratch. “The more people awake, the more we have to feed and protect and now we have an unknown amount of supplies. If we keep people in cyro as much as possible, it might save their lives.”

 

The captain winced then nodded. Pulling out his radio, he toggled the button and started to speak in rapid Mandarin, "Commander, I’ve been told that people are being released from cyro. Please take your security team and stop them unless the occupant is essential personnel or in danger. We’re also on rationing until we can assess the status of our supplies. I’m sending an engineer to you to help you.”

“Yes, sir.” Came back over the radio.

When done, he glanced at Morgan. “Go with Cmd. Yuan and assess each cyrotubes. If it will support the inhabitant inside, ensure that it will remain functional. Otherwise, get the person out. There will be some essential personnel that we’ll spring anyway but Yuan knows those.” He paused then asked, “Are you armed?”

 

“No, sir,” Morgan said.

 

“Make sure you get a gun from Yuan.” He frowned and muttered, “We’re all going to need them, I’m afraid.”

"Sir...If I may ask..." Morgan started.

"Later, Chief. The Commander can fill you in on essentials." Sarr said.

"Yes, Sir." Morgan saluted and turned. He was annoyed he didn't get to talk to Ferro but evidently something was going on that superseded the crash. Probably what was causing the odd noises down in the cryo bay.

Morgan quickly retreated back the way he came and met up with Yuan, "At your service, Sir."

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George gave Yuan a second nod as he finished doing up the straps on Olivia's body armour before swinging his paramedic bag onto his back and picking up his rifle. Checking his rifle he walked over to the other security troops to fill them in.

 

"Ok if you didn't hear we are going to be doing a sweep back through the ship checking on the passengers and the cryotubes with the help of an engineer. If the tube and occupant are good we leave them be, if either look dodgy we pull the occupant out. Once we complete the sweep we'll form a perimeter for the passengers with one team while a second team will move down the levels to check on the supplies and equipment below. Clear? Then grab your gear, we move out when the engineer arrives."

 

Briefly contemplating the route ahead George scratched behind Olivia's ear as she sat patiently beside him. Turning he murmured softly to her, "Not the start we were expecting from this new world eh girl?" He smiled to himself and shook his head slightly as he spotted the aerial sticking up from her body armour. Activating his tactical radio on his vest he quickly put on his headset

"This is Sergeant Kalnan to all security personnel in the cryotube bay, report in with a sitrep."

 

Turning, he spots the man who had gone on to the bridge and approach Commander Yuan, so he moves to join them with Olivia padding along beside him.

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Moira managed to pull out a couple pieces of gear - a duffel bag and what looked like a much smaller version of something resembling Jack's guitar case. The pretty red-haired woman dug around under the cryo-tube for a moment, giving a couple firm yanks to something in an attempt to free it, but after a moment she gave up. 
 
She followed the small group back in a bit of a daze. Once they got there she settled down at first, trying to calm herself. She could feel a bit of shock, though she was aware enough to be able to identify it. She took several deep breaths, trying to focus on quelling the adrenaline rush and other physical effects of their sudden awakening. 
 
It didn't take her too long to calm herself down enough, and she had just stood up and started to look around when she heard the roar of the lift. She felt her heart jump up into her throat in panic, but did her best to quell the sensation. Instead she looked around, and after a moment she picked up the "stick" that Jack had been so good to leave behind. Better a stick than nothing at all, if it were necessary. But for now, she used to to gesture to the others in the group, motioning towards some nearby cover that might protect them from the creature's interest. She started giving instructions in a firm, crisp tone of voice - first in English, then in Spanish, and then down the list of main spoken languages until she was certain everyone had understood her.
 
"Go -- this way, over here.  If you can't fight, then you need to hide. Come on!"
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Jaime under the circumstances simply sighed as he took the bars. Well, so much for something to take his mind off the terror birds. This left him to pass out the bars to the redhead and to the Latina girl. "This seems to be all there is at the moment. Much as I revile that fact. Unfortunately, beggars can't be choosers, and neither can we when the wildlife is apparently intentionally trying to kill us."

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It wouldn’t take long for the bastard to get up to them, Hiroki noted with a frown. He reached over his head and took a good grip on a broken girder that jutted out into the Tara air. Leaning out carefully with his muscles bunching sharply from the strain, the toned man pointed his gun at the beast.

 

Breathe in. Focus. Breathe out. Fire.

 

Actions
Guys, I’m going to be really detailed on this so you can see what I’m doing and start to get a feel for the system.

 

Two actions, both on Tick 10

 

Action: Aim (Use an action to gain a +2 on your next attack)

 

Action (Athletics Attack): Carver *rolls* 6d6: 1+5+5+2+2+5: 20 +2 = 22

 

For the curious, he has a piece of equipment that grants him another die, and the +2 is from aiming.

 

Why is everything on this planet trying to kill us? He pulled himself back into the room so that he stood next to Jack instead of leaning out and inviting something to attack him.

 

Oh well. Still better than dealing with my ex-wife.

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Gabriela blinked up at the man holding out a ration bar to her and then glancing over to the woman shouting for all the useless people to go hide. The gunshots were freaking her out more than the sounds of whatever new eat-your-face creature Tara was throwing at them, so she scrambled up, grabbed the ration with a mumbled "Thanks" and scurried over the cover the woman was pointing at. She motioned Talina to follow her, assuming that the other teen had just about as much combat training and experience as she did - well, maybe more. She probably hadn't spent the past several years in and out of hospitals and sometimes laid up in bed for weeks at a time. "Aggressive" EAC was a polite way of saying "this is going to suck more for you than for the other walking dead people, but hey, don't worry, you'll die quicker anyways".

 

Actions
Action Tick: 10

 

Using both actions to move to the cover Moira has pointed out.

 

 

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Talina automatically took the second bar and held on to it as Jack and Henry rushed to the door and whatever was out there. She had been getting a grip until this, The Other woman the curvy redhead was saying something about hiding, and Nixie, no she's not Nixie, was moving, gesturing for Talina to follow. She did.

 

 

Actions
Since singing to the beast would likely get her eaten or shot by the Doctor :)

Talina will follow Gabriela and hide.
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Rochelle took a moment to survey her handiwork with some satisfaction. It was all there; the spray of sparks, the sheets of lightnining, the loud buzzing crackle, and of course the piece de resistance...the monster falling in a blackened husk, its claw-toes curling spasmodically from the torrents of current running through it.

 

Oh wait.

 

Her eyebrows lifted in surprise and no small amount of dawning fear.

 

That thing was still going. It didn't even CARE. Every time it touched the now-electrified posts it got cracks and sparks for its trouble...but while slowed, it was still climbing. It hadn't even dropped off!

 

The engineer looked around wildly, as if by sheer force of will she could cause military rocket launchers to appear out of nowhere here on the cryopod level. But reality stubbornly refused to rewrite itself. What the hell was she going to do now? The elevator didn't have enough power to really HURT that thing, it seemed like! What was it going to take?!

 

But then again, the elevator's power came through a series of step-down transformers, since the main power trunklines were designed to serve things that needed a lot more energy. Could she bypass that, and open the elevator shaft to the unfiltered output from the reactor? Oh, it'd burn out the driveshafts for sure. But in the few seconds they held out, they'd be sending a LOT more electricity through that thing. Ideally she could just open it up a little, increasing the power without completely wrecking the system, but it wouldn't work that way. This wasn't something that was ever supposed to happen; there was no way to 'partly' bypass the transformers. It was all or nothing. And if it didn't finish this thing off, there'd be no more electric fence to slow its climb down.

 

She turned to the controls again and starting sending commands.

 

The computer politely informed her that those commands were rejected due to safety protocols...which she then overrode. Deprived of its hesitancy, the computer meekly obeyed its suicide command, and opened emergency relays that Rochelle had shunted from the reserve battery output to the trunk line.

 

Oh man, this was going to wreck everything.

 

She threw the switch, and dove for the floor, covering the back of her head with her hands.

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George and Morgan

George frowned as he got only static first; then a voice responded, “Hello?” The speaker’s voice was hesitant and unsure with a Spanish accent to the English.

 

That was what they’d called a really bad sign in basic training. “Identify yourself.”

 

“Ivette Simas.  I’m biochemist.” Her voice shook as she said, “I found a security guard, dead. Then you started to speak on the radio, and I thought maybe you could come help us. There are people dead – those birds keep attacking us and they are very aggressive.”

 

“Where are you?”

 

“Near the rift, where the ship broke. There are things craw--” Her voice cut off suddenly.

 

“Ivette. Ivette!” George’s heart sank. Hopefully something was wrong with her radio. He knew it probably wasn’t a mechanical error.

 

“Are you my engineer?” Yuan asked Morgan as he addressed her in English. Off to the side, the K-9 soldier was talking on the radio; as his conversation progressed, Morgan realized she didn’t even understand English.

 

“Yes, I am, at your service,” he replied to her in the same, and her eyebrows rose.

 

“Very good.” She gestured for him to fall into position with them and led the way to the men’s cyrobay. She pointed to half the team. “You six, come with me and start assessing the women’s side. I know that I need to come and tell you who to open; I will do so after sweeping through the woman’s bay to attend to critical needs. Mallery-” she didn’t seem to notice that she was mangling his last name, “please start on the men’s bay. Ferro mentioned heavier damage to this side of the ship. Kalnan, stick close to Mallery and protect him as he opens tubes.”

 

“Yes, ma’am.” He cleared his throat and laid out the conversation he’d just had on the radio.

 

She listened, her expression growing grimmer with each word. “We’ll be ready when we reach the rift. Let’s go.”

 

The men’s group headed into the bay, their eyes roving over the cyrotubes. At first, their job was easy. Near the front, there was only minimal damage and most of the tubes were secure. Olivia grew increasingly agitated as they progressed, growling at regular intervals. The thicker fur around her neck and shoulders bristled with agitation.

 

“Is that sunlight?” one of the soldiers with them asked when they were halfway to the rifts.

 

Morgan glanced up from a malfunctioning tube at the golden light pouring through a hole.  â€œYeah. It looks like every vid I’ve ever seen of sunlight planetside.”

 

“Wow.” The woman shook herself after staring a moment. “Awesome.”

 

Perception for Morgan, rolled secretly (or right in chat): Carver *rolls* 3d6: 4+3+3: 10

 

Morgan smiled at her, sharing a moment of appreciation before returning to his task. The pod opened and two long tentacles shot out and grabbed at Morgan.

 

First the tangler tried to impose the Startled Complication on Morgan. Its TN was 12, and my roll for Morgan was a ten. Morgan rolled high enough to impose that the tangler couldn't impose the Complication and so combat starts. Morgan is first, then George, then NPCs.

 

Everyone Else

Jack’s shot went wide, missing. As he cursed and prepared another shot, Polina tossed the bird down the ramp, but the monster only eyed it before continuing. Hiroki’s shot hit it but didn’t stop it any more than the electrical surge had. It pressed on another few steps—

 

Lights blew out in the room and on the tilted ramp. There was a zapping whine and another fountain of sparks shot into the air. The creature was caught in a burst of electricity that locked up its body in a painful arch.

 

When the last buzz of sound ended, the red-scaled monster rolled limply off the ramp and back down to the ground.

 

Thanks to Rochelle, combat is over.

:D
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Alarmed, Morgan pulled back his arm with a surprised yelp. He looked at what startled him and immediately dashed back and away from the pod, "What the fuck is that!?"

 

Combat
Using movement on both action ticks to get as far away as he can and putting something between him and the tentacles.

Not running, just moving twice.
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Seeing Morgan move clear of the tentacles Kalnan moved to join him whilst covering the contents of the pod with his rifle.

The first thing going through his mind was 'How on earth did someone get an octopus on board and on to the passenger deck?'

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Dr. Temnikova looked down the shaft, watching the bullets and bird miss the creature until Henry's shots hit it to no effect. A frown crosses her face as she thinks quickly, trying to come with an alternative. The sudden surge of sparks catch her off guard and she looks back back down at the beast as it arches and then falls limply away.

 

"Hmm.. Seems electrical system has.... problem." she comments in English before looking to Jack.

 

"Are you sure you know how to use a gun?" she asks teasingly with a grin before turning her attention back to the shaft, trying to assess the damage to the best of her ability.

 

Just then she notice the form below.

 

"There is person, down there." she said, pointing at the person below. She pulled out her pen light and clicked it, trying to flash the person and get there attention, motioning for them to come up.

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Jack blinked away the spots in his vision from the sudden flare of sparks, still feeling the tingle of the unexpected electrical discharge on his skin and his teeth. That was a stroke of luck, Jack mused, disappointed with his shot. Working to get on the Melbourne for the last year, my aim has gone to rust. He would have to improve quickly, if all the creatures of Tara were this inherently aggressive. It's going to make any rock-climbing more dangerous if they are...

 

The leanly muscled man rolled his grey-blue eyes at the Doctor's teasing retort, his lips quirking in an exasperated grin. "Yeah, yeah. Give me a break, Doc. I've just woken up from a decade long nap. Some things are still gone to rust." Jack handed the Doctor he rifle and turned away from the lift-shaft. "Here, hold on to this. That 'electrical problem' seemed awfully convenient to me."

 

Jack walked back to his pack, assuring people in a variety of languages that the creature was down, at least one more immediate danger wasn't threatening them. He gave Talina and Gabriela a nod where he noticed them hiding and Moira a friendly smile. "Glad to hear I'm not the only one who is a cunning linguist around here. Things look safe enough now, but keep a look out and warn us if you see anything dangerous approaching. There's someone down there on the other side of the breach who might need help."

 

Jack removed two coils of sturdy composite climbing rope from the outside of his pack, and several titanium carabiners, clips and various lengths of webbing from interior pockets and walked back to the steeply sloped elevator shaft. He held up his gear when Polina and Henry looked over at him as he approached.

 

"It'll be easier and faster for them to go up or us to go down, depending on what's going," Jack explained, gauging the distance down the shaft.

 

Jack deftly secured the rope after finding a solid anchor point while the Doctor tried to get the person's attention with her penlight. While he may have thought the Doctor was unnecessarily blunt with the way she had spoken to Talina - and he had caught part of her muttered comment in her native tongue - he couldn't precisely criticize her keeping the noise down.

 

Jack laid out a piece of webbing on the edge of the shaft to prevent it from fraying or cutting into the rope, then with a flick of his wrist, tossed the remaining coiled length of the rope down the shaft, the end weighted with a clip to hopefully keep it from snagging on anything. He watched the rope to see if he would need to make any adjustments and to make sure he judged the length of free rope correctly.

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Talina had been clinging to Gabriela through the ordeal, both of them hiding in the debris being watched over by Moira, the red-headed woman. When she heard Jacks voice reassuring everyone that the monster was dead she crawled out and helped Gabriela up as well. She looked over at Moira. "Is there anything we can do?"

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George and Morgan

The two men backpedaled while Olivia held her ground between the men and the monster. She snarled and lunged as the ‘octupus’ came close to her, her teeth snapping on air. The tentacles whipped over her head, aiming for the closest humans. Alvarez found himself being wrapped up by the creature but George didn’t have a chance to worry: it was coming for him, too.

 

TICK 9 – Morgan moves

 

TICK 10 – Kalnan moves and it attacks: Kalnan, please make a defense roll vs TN 12. See me in chat if you have questions.

 

Everyone Else

“There is always something to do.” The speaker was an older woman, silver threading through her black hair. She looked down at Talina, reminding the teen of both some of her teachers and comedies with hardass grandmothers. “We’re going to need a way across to the other side of the broken ship and I’m guessing we can’t just take lifts anymore. Perhaps you can figure that out while we tend to the wounded.”

 

Polina turned as she caught the other woman’s ‘we’. “I’m no medical doctor,” the older woman assured her, “but I do have some knowledge of first aid. I am Dr. Kainene Madaki, physicist.” She offered her hand to the other doctor.

 

Meanwhile, Hiroki watched Jack pull out his climbing gear and prepare for the descent. “So this really is what you do, huh?” he asked the other man. “Professional climber?”

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"A passionate one, at any rate," Jack replied with a barked laugh, strapping his hatchet and knife to his belt and attaching a belaying device to the rope and the built-in harness on his rugged clothing. "A geophysicist by trade, a wilderness trekker and guide by preference, but the climbing, the climbing is just for me." He smiled then gave a snort as he threaded the rope around a simple figure-8 descender. "But it sure comes in handy at times."

 

Jack eased himself over the edge, checking the sureness of the rope and making sure the edge of the elevator shaft wasn't cutting into it. Nodding to himself in satisfaction, he rappelled down a few more steps then looked back up at the Doc and Security Officer. "Give me a heads up if you guys see anything dangerous coming our way that I miss."

 

With more surety than he showed handling the rifle, Jack rappelled down the sharply sloped shaft. He wasn't particularly hasty, but moved with a smooth economy of motion, checking for solid foot and hand holds as he worked his way down, looking for a good route that would be easier on a novice climber. It wasn't an unworked rock-face that Jack took especial delight in scaling, bit the elevator shaft wasn't that different than rappelling down a skyscraper of a flooded city.

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Dr. Temnikova shook the woman's hand and nodded to her with a small smile.

 

"Is good to be meeting you, Dr. Madaki. I am Dr. Polina Temnikova, medical doctor, biologist, botanist, pharmacist... many things." she said in English as she took stock of the woman for a moment.

 

"Nothing is serious though. Minor lacerations, abrasions and contusions mostly, unless person down there is hurt badly." she said as she turned back to the doorway, watching Jack descend.

 

"Careful, Jack. Animal might only be stunned." she commented down to him with a faint, wry smirk on her lips.

 

She then looks around the room for a moment, considering the situation thoughtfully.

 

"Does anybody have radio? Intercoms working? Computer terminal to be sending message to bridge?"

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Had it worked? There'd been quite a lightshow. Noises.

 

Rochelle cautiously looked up...and saw the pile of cooked gator meat. Relief flooded the engineer, and she got to her feet again and went to the base of the elevator shaft, gingerly skirting the well-done corpse she'd wrought. The lights on her level had gone out now and the elevator's electric were as fried as the beast, but she could see that wasn't true for the levels higher up.

 

She waved her hands over her head and shouted up, "Hey! Hey up there!"

 

Maybe she should have intercommed them BEFORE wiping out the power on her level. Thank God the pods had dedicated circuits at least.

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Kalnan used his rifle like a staff to block the tentacle striking towards him them quickly loosed a three-round burst into the centre mass of the creature in the cryotube. The resulting mess and its ceasation of movement suggested it had died and calling Olivia off he stepped forward to examine it more closely.

 

It looked like a three-legged/armed octopus but didn't give the feeling of an octopus; it's skin was more like a snake. In fact, it reminded George of three snake bodies merged into a single central body. It had a triangular mouth with razor-teeth and the 20ft long tentacles were six inches wide at the base and narrowed to a thin taper at the tip.
 
"God knows how that got in there, but we better check the rest for these things as well. Let me call it in first"
 
Reaching for his tactical radio he reports the incident into Commander Yuan, then gathers his team with weapons ready to continue checking the other tubes.
 
OOC
Using rifle to block - Weaponry roll on 3d6 target 12
[Rorx] 11:27 pm: Rorx rolls 3d6: 5+6+3: 14

smi_ninja[Carver] 11:28 pm: If you want to attack, you'll roll 4d6 to shoot at it.
[Rorx] 11:29 pm: Ok,
[Rorx] 11:29 pm: Rorx rolls 4d6: 5+4+5+6: 20
smi_ninja[Carver] 11:29 pm: You killed it.
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Talina looks at the School Mistress and wonders if every woman on this ship is an asshole, then taking a deep breath she looks around to assure herself that neither her brother nor father are here among the wounded. After a few minutes to make sure she thinks well if they aren't here then they have to be in their tubes still the other alternative she refused to even think about right now. So I'll do what the old bat wants and she makes her way to the elevator shaft and starts looking it over seeking way across.

 

Standing on the edge of the shaft she looks down at Jack, climbing down on the rope and over at Henry who was helping with guiding the rope. Henry cut a look at her, then put his attention back on Jack. Talina moved closer to the bulkhead on her left and looked out across the torn gap. Not being a really good estimator of distance she nevertheless figured it was no more than fifty feet or so at the break by the part of the hull that was unruptured. The hull itself while not broken open was bent with a hard crease at that point the bend had opened the walls and exposed pipes, conduits and supports.

 

Remembering how Jack had climbed to get her she thought at first that it might be possible to climb across then she noticed all the sharp edges and that there was very little structure that could support a persons weight and that even with a rope taken across as a guide it would be incredibly difficult to climb across maybe even impossible without jack's level of skill. She turned to go back inside and tell old bat and caught Henry looking at her again and smiled at him. "I don't think we can get across here, we might all have to go down there with jack and whoever that is. I better go tell that old lady."

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Hiroki watched Jack rappel downward, noting the way the man handled his gear. While it hadn’t been the first time he’d helped a man into a harness, it was the first time he’d seen someone climb like this outside of a vid. He studied the movements, knowing there was a good chance he’d have to replicate them at least once if they didn’t rig some way of getting to the ground.

 

At Poina’s question, he turned his head to glance at her. “I’ve heard nothing yet, Doc,†he told her, tapping the side of his head. A tiny black bud was just visible in his ear. “I haven’t sent yet but I’ve been listening. I’m guessing the radio boosters are down, otherwise, we’d have heard from Yuan at the least. And the nearest terminal is . . .†He pointed down the darkened hallway of pods stretching behind them.

 

At Rochelle’s yell, he looked down again. “Hold tight!†he bellowed through cupped hands. “We have someone coming down to you.â€

 

As Talina turned to go, he caught her arm. His index finger stroked her youthful smoothness once as he told her, “We need to stop and think about this. Do we want to go down at all? Is it safer up here? If we do want to go down, we should construct a lift or something. I don’t believe everyone can make it alone. What do you think, choti ciriya?â€

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Talina bites her lip as her senses fill her with confusion. The stroke of a finger causing goose bumps, the danger in the air causing her blood to pound through her veins, the look in Henry's eyes when he looks at her reminding her of the looks she would get from the older boys in the Down Below back home where she wasn't ever supposed to go but did anyway with her best friend Nixie. Her mouth suddenly dry she swallows, "Umm, I don't know I was just doing what the old lady Doctor, the physicist said." She kneels down beside the Handsome young man, and looks over the edge at Jack far below. A little twinge of guilt hits her , why she doesn't know.

 

Turning to face Henry fully looking into his eyes mere inches away, studying his face she feels flush, then quickly looks down again. "Why are they attacking us. I've studied animals in our Earth Studies class. I'm not an expert or anything but Animals don't behave like this.They should be running away from the ship. Not into it." She looks back at Henry into those Liquid eyes, and whispers,  "Are we all going to die"

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Dr. Temnikova's  brow furrows ever so slightly as something about the interchange between Henry and Talina just did not sit well with her.

 

"Bozhe moÄ­1." she groaned with a roll of her eyes.

 

"There is time for hormones later." she says in English with a small annoyance in her voice as she gave Henry a disapproving glance as she slung the rifle over her shoulder and knelt down to start feeling Henry's leg.

 

"I did not notice leg injury." she comments, examining his leg for a moment.

 

"I mean, why else would be standing here.. instead of walking to the terminal?"

 

"Go a bit higher, Doc." he said down to her with a wolfish grin.

 

"Sure. Bend over and cough. I'll get glove." she replied back to him  with her voice conveying her lack of amusement.

 

"Oh sorry. Out of lube." she adds with a sarcastic smirk and narrowed eyes.

 

"No stop flirting and playing the games like sports jock and do job, like professional." she scolded him sternly.

 

Translation
1 "Oh my god."
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Keeping her eyes on Henry Talina's face reddens, and her voice goes flat and cold. "Your right Doctor. I'm sure there's something else i could be doing." Abruptly she pushes herself to her feet and rudely walks past the Doctor bumping her, back into the makeshift sanctuary where she sits with her back to the wall fuming.

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Hiroki laughed at her, his expression indulgent. “I am doing my job.  I’m security,†he told her with a cocky smile. “You wouldn’t like it if something nasty came up here while Jack is down there and I’m off looking for a terminal that may or may not be working, and that anyone else who is here with nothing to do could find and use. In fact,†he added as some of his humor fled, “I’m not going to tell you how to doctor, so don’t tell me how to secure.

 

“As for you, choti ciriya,†he said as he turned to Talina, but she was already gone. He just looked at the doctor, knowing that people like her like to 'win' arguments even if they didn't really exist.

 

I am making up slang…

 

Choti ciriya – literally means ‘little bird’ but is a term for a pretty girl, usually one that is very young and seen as needing protection.

 

I made this, too:

Rikai – short for rikai suru, means understand?

 

--but Talina walked away. :P

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"You aren't helping, Doc," Jack growled as Polina's comment floated down to him. It wasn't really like rappelling down a skyscraper at all. There were plenty of protrusions, but the metal of the ship was too smooth and unworn, and the edges were sharp. He made down to the bottom of the elevator shaft, though he was banged up and scratched a bit more than he expected and the cut on his hand was bleeding again. I'll have to rig up a proper rappelling set-up to get people up and down that safely.

 

He unclipped himself from the rope and looked around, giving the woman at gracious nod of the head. "If that electrical surge was your doing and not just an accident, you have our thanks, ma'am. I'm Jack, at your service."

 

Jack looked around the level Rochelle was on, seeing if there was an easier way up or another way down. The original intent was to cannibalize the ship to start up the colony, but with the state it was in and the aggression of the native wildlife, they  might not have the option of sticking around.

 

"You see anyone else, or have contact with the command staff?" His lips twisted in a frown as he rewrapped the makeshift bandage on his hand. "Or an easier way off the ship instead of the grand Melbourne canyon?

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“Sir, I think I see how it got in,” one of Kalnan’s men was leaning into the pod, peering down pack the corpse that now filled the container. He sounded only a bit queasy as he said, “There was a hole near the feet, the fucking thing just climbed right in.”

 

Kalnan joined him, looking with a frown. The hole was only about eight inches wide. He took another look at the corpse; the older man’s chest had been mauled. George guessed that he’d died of shock and blood loss.

 

Morgan had rejoined them cautiously, his face pale as he peered into the tube. He didn’t say anything but the horror on his face spoke for him.

 

“Come on,” Kalnan said. “Let’s keep going.”

 

The light ahead of them became a wide, sundered breach in the ship. Light poured from above but a twist of metal meant that they couldn’t look out. Morgan saw the group of people he’d left behind, including his brother. It had grown considerably in his absence, and people were milling around. A number had already pulled out their belongings and the scene was one of chaos.

 

“Hey, Bot! Look!” Michael waved to him as he jogged over to the metal wall. “I made a window.” He stepped back to let Morgan see.

 

The other side of the ship was almost a hundred feet away at this point. Morgan could see, far to his right, the connecting wall of the ship, the thick bulkhead bent like aluminum. He saw people on the other side; a blonde woman and a dark-haired man. They had lines lowered and Morgan glanced down to see a man climbing down the wreckage of the ship with effort.

 

Yes, all PCs are in the same rough area now.

 

Rochelle and Jack stood in V-canyon created by the broken ship. The landscape that they can see is hilly and rocky, reminding Jack of the High Plains east of the Rockies. The purple-blue sky held only a few scuttling clouds and the reddish sun gave an orangish hue to everything.

 

A bright orange bird, as small as a hummingbird with huge, jewel-green eyes, darted in front of them. Contrary to their experiences so far, this bird merely buzzed at them and then dashed away again. Jack’s eyes followed it and so caught sight of something else: a glint of some body of liquid mostly hidden behind a curve of the hill.

 

Hiroki kept a sharp lookout while Polina tended to the injured. Several more people joined them from further down the ship. They carried a man with them; he had been conscious and moving around, only to collapse suddenly. As the doctors started to tend to him, the other people watched nervously.

 

Talina was being ignored. Even Hiroki had only given her a wink before turning his attention to their surroundings. She’d just built up a good sulk when something nudged her hip. She turned and looked down to see a small creature curling up next to her. It looked like a cross between a sugar glider and an owl – all eyes and cute. Its fur was a soft purple-gray color rippled with darker gray tabby markings. It blinked pale green eyes at her and chirped softly.

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As Talina made her way back, she could hear the other teen muttering in Spanish, obviously curse words. The girl was trying to lash together salvaged pieces of metal with severed lengths of cable and wiring. So far, it was not going well. When the sugar owl chirped, the girl jumped. Her eyes widened and she very very carefully began setting down the pipe and wire she'd been working on. So far it hadn't attacked. Which so far made it the only creature from Tara not be trying to kill them all as far as Gabriela knew. And it looked cute

 

Which probably means its made of poison and hate, she thought uncharitably. She hoped not; it kinda looked like the care cats that got brought around to the terminal wards on the station. She glanced up at Talina, silently asking what the other girl was going to do with her new 'buddy'.

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Stifling a scream from the shock of being touched but then seeing the ...things eyes and the soft almost plaintive chirp she instinctively reached down, slowly, to touch the creature. She stopped when she saw Gabriela, watching but when she realized she wasn't going to call anyone and was watching with as much curiosity as she had, Talina continued. The creature, like the rest of the things here so far, didn't seem scared of her and seemed to be waiting for the touch.

 

Until today Talina had never even seen let alone touched a living animal of any kind, but this one looked so harmless and cute she knew she had too. Her fingers gently touched the fur. It stopped the soft Chirping and looked at her with those big green eyes. The fur was soft and pliant, slowly Talina moved her fingers down the creatures back in a petting motion like she had seen in videos. It Chirped a couple of times as she stroked its back then settled in closer to her leg and began to coo softly. Talina couldn't help but smile and turned that smile to Gabriela who was smiling too.

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"I, uh, yeah," Rochelle replied awkwardly. It wasn't that she was typically awkward with people...she just didn't have a good mental reference manual for how to greet people who'd just rappelled down a crushed, burned out lift shaft after watching a giant alien dinosaur fry on the magrails. One more thing on the 'to do' list. God that thing was getting huge.

 

"I mean, I restored backup power to the rails when I saw it climbing up, and...you know it's not important? I'm just glad it didn't get to you guys." She looked down at herself and immediately wished she hadn't. Remembering that she was having this conversation in her undies wasn't helping with the awkward.

 

"So there were some medtechs around waking up people, but I think they probably got out of here about when...uh..." she waved a hand at the carcass. "...that thing showed up. Communications were down when they woke me up, and I haven't had a chance to try again since so, no, no contact with command. Who do you have with you up there?"

 

Her cryopod. It would have a locker with some clothes and a few keepsakes in it. She'd been so out of it when awakened that she'd forgotten all about it, and the medtech had obviously had other things on his mind.

 

Rochelle started moving carefully back as she and Jack talked, not trying to disengage, but rather just sort of mosey on back towards where she'd left her pod.

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Once the commotion was over, Moira had made herself busy checking on some of the survivors.  As the medical doctors made their rounds checking on people's physical status, the red-haired doctor had begun making her own rounds. She spent a few moments speaking quietly with each of the survivors, making sure everyone was adjusting as best as they could to the situation, trying to calm down those who were panicked or afraid. Some of them were just reeling from the disorienting experience of waking up in such a jarring manner, and for those people time and some security would be good enough.  But Moira knew some of the others might need some additional help. There would likely be at least a couple cases of PTSD as a result of such an experience. 

 

She had just finished a brief conversation with one of the men guarding the area when she heard the soft chirping sounds. She made her way a little closer, but stopped when she saw the two teenagers and the tiny creature. She watched quietly so as not to disturb the girls, a small smile tugging at the corners of her lips.

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"Bal'shoye spaseeba1. You make it clear why your job is being... what is term... speed bump for bullets and beasts." Dr. Temnikova replies.

 

"It must feel good to be useful. Keep up the good work.". she adds with a smug grin, giving Henry a pat on the shoulder.

 

She goes to turn when something catches her eye and she looks back across breach, waving her arm at the new people she's spotted. She taps at her ear with a broad pantomime motion and points at Henry. 

 

Translation
1Thank you very much.
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I’m puppeting some PCs to move things forward. Be warned.

 

Rochelle led Jack back to her pod. It sat oddly by itself and Jack realized it had fallen from a higher level. When he looked up, he could see two more pods hanging down the same hole. Their power connectors were all that was holding them in place. One appeared to be active still, though for how long was the question, while the other one was cracked and smeared with blood. If either one had fallen, Rochelle wouldn’t have survived being crushed under them.

 

The engineer hurried over to her pod and pulled open the personal belongings compartment, going through her things.

 

Morgan saw the woman lean out and wave at him then down at the man who’d been watching the guidelines. Michael, looking around him, said, “Hey, I think that she’s trying to say something.”

 

“Radio, I think.” Morgan looked at the material blocking their way. It was part of the roof that had folded down, which meant that it was heavily shielded. “Hey, I think if you come over here, your radio signal might get through better. In fact, I think there’s another security guy over there.”

 

Kalnan came and took a look. “Excellent,” he said and moved over to the opening.

 

Meanwhile, Gabriela, Moira, and Talina all watched the little creature. Without warning, it kicked up a rear foot and vigorously scratched its ear in what had to be the most adorable way ever.  Gabriela reached out and rubbed at its ears, like she’d been taught to do to the cat. She ended up mostly scratching its head and shoulders do its size but the chirping turned into a soft coo.

 

Jaime sorted the available food into containers twice – once because it should be done and he could, and a second time because it gave him something to do. It was nice to have something to occupy himself.

 

Something pinched sharply on his left shoulder. Jaime grabbed at it instinctively and felt the horrible body of something small and insectoid under his fingers. His shoulder hurt and he realized it was stinging him. He gazed at the now-crushed insect, starting at the long body with four spindly legs.

 

Almost immediately, his skin started to feel like it was hot and expanding away from his skin. It didn’t hurt necessarily yet but he had the bad feeling it was going to.

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