Mar 8 2011, 04:15 PM
Exaltica: The Eden Awakening Saga
Episode 1: Sin Denial
"Emergency power conservation is in effect. All non-essential systems have been taken offline."
The recording of the woman’s voice is the first sound you’re able to make sense of. A dull ache of annoyance in the back of your head suggests that you’ve heard that recording before. You’re pretty tired, though, so your eyes flutter shut again and you drift back down into the depths of unconsciousness.
"Emergency power conservation is in effect. All non-essential systems have been taken offline."
Just as you’re about to fall asleep again, the recording plays again. It’s starting to get really annoying. You probably won’t be able to get any sleep until it stops. You suppose that means you’ll just have to get up (even if only to stop that blasted recording). It makes a pretty good alarm clock.
Your feet touch the floor uncertainly. You’re not sure if it’s because you’ve been asleep or because the artificial gravity in the ship is acting up, but you have a hard time standing up straight. Wait a minute, why are you on a ship?
As you try to gather your bearings, memories flood back to you in a disorganized heap of imagery. It takes a few minutes to sort everything out and arrange the memories chronologically. There must be something missing, though; no matter how you put together the disjointed pieces of your memory, you just can’t figure out where you are or how you got there. Maybe looking around will provide you with some clues.
The only lights on in the ship are the dim red emergency lights which illuminate only the essential areas. Inside rooms (whose heavy metal doors you must manually slide open because "Emergency power conservation is in effect. All non-essential systems have been taken offline."), it’s almost completely black.
The ship you’re on is fairly large; you’re able to gather that there are six decks and a sizable docking bay. Too big to be personal transport. A supply ship would have a larger cargo bay.
More importantly, where is the crew? And where is everyone else?
You’re all located on deck 3 and wake up in different cabins. Features on this deck: Cabins, storage, lift (deactivated), stairs.
Mar 8 2011, 04:48 PM
Lars started searching around his cabin, still awfully confused about what he was doing there. He held his head with his organic head, trying to soothe down the headache that was now piercing through it. Lars squinted his eyes, trying to see what was around him with little sucess but eventually he simply rose up his robotic arm and used the little light it emanated to try and make his way out of the room he was in, at least. Judging by the light that emanated from his arm, Lars was able to conclude it would need to be recharged soon but first he'd have to find his way out of that room.
The recording plays again and Lars grunts. "Funny thing is, this recording IS sort of non-essential. Oh well..." He mutters to himself, while searching the exit. He gets distracted for a moment and next thing he knows he smashed his face against a cold metal surface, most likely a wall. Despite the now pained nose, he followed the wall until he found the door.
Mar 8 2011, 06:28 PM
That voice . . . is female, Aiko thought. Mom . . . is she here?
Aiko blinked the sleep from her eyes and looked around wildly. "Mom?" No answer. "Dad?" She felt heavy in the darkness. "Anybody? Please . . . someone . . . help me!"
The robin's egg on her head told her she had rolled out of bed sometime during the night. It hurt, but the pain had dulled into a slight ache. Clutching her head with one hand, Aiko scrambled to her feet and felt the walls around her with the other. They were cold; the sudden exposure made her draw her hand back in surprise.
A door! I need to find a door . . . but wait! What's this in my apron? With trembling hands, Aiko traced the outline of a pistol. It was then that she remembered. She had shot a man.
Aiko threw her head back and howled.
Mar 8 2011, 08:40 PM
The first thing that Arel Mathis noticed when she was awakened by monotonous recording was the near pitch blackness of her cabin. It took a moment for Arel to realize that she was somewhere. But for some reason she couldn't remember how or why she was here. But for now the young woman shoved all of these thoughts aside. The darkness....was very unsettling. Beads of sweat started to gather on her skin as she realized that she was alone....in this dark room.
Arel moved a hand up to her forehead on instinct, reaching up to touch the smooth metal of the navigator's googles that were (thankfully) still there. Feeling her way around the metal rim of one eyeglass she managed to locate the smooth recess that indicated the presence of the light module switch.
Click.....A weak ray of light came from a pinpoint hole situated on the bridge of the goggles. The beam flickered and wavered...Arel had the sneaking suspicion that her single ray of light wouldn't last for very long. Her eyes scanned the room as quickly as she tried to gather information about her surroundings. The cabin seemed rather small to her, with foreboding metal walls that were cold to the touch. ...And there was a door.
FZZZT. Her lightsource fizzled out and died. CLICKCLICK. Arel pressed the button again and again but to no avail.
"Well looks like I have no choice then. The door doesn't seem to be too far..." Slowly she rose from her perch on the bed and made her way towards the door, "The door....was about 37 degrees to the left if I remember." One hand was spread out before her, as she turned to the left and felt her way across the wall. She first she found a console of buttons for what she assumed was for the door. Taking this to be a good sign, Arel moved further along the wall ...and eventually made it to the door. Arel reached into a pocket and withdrew a pair of dark leather gloves. There was no telling what could be on the other side of this door. Grasping the handle firmly with both hands, Arel managed to slide the door away from her. The dim glow of an unknown light source greeted her as well as a hallway full of rooms.
Suddenly a howl pierced through the air, Arel turned around and shifted into a defensive stance.
"That sounded like another person? Is this place being attacked or something?"
Mar 8 2011, 09:50 PM
"I shot him," Aiko sobbed. "I shot another human being. I hope he's not . . . "
The very idea brought her to her knees. She was meant to create, not to destroy. But who in his right mind would eat cake made by someone with blood on her hands? And what would her parents think? Aiko imagined her mother silently weeping into her hands---just as she was trying (but failing) to do now---and saying something like, "My Aiko-chan . . . what did we do wrong?"
Her father's reaction would be worse, she thought. He would just sit there and shake his head sadly. And yet Aiko wanted to be with them in spite of that, to feel their warm arms wrapping around her while they told her everything would be all right. She wanted that so badly. But they weren't with her now.
At least they're safe. If that man died, I'm going to hell for it, but at least they're safe.
That thought alone brought her comfort in the dark.
Mar 8 2011, 11:10 PM
Nate could hear it, the droning sound of the automated message waking him up from his sleep. As much as he wanted to put it out of his thoughts, it simply couldn't be done. After a few seconds, his tired mind caught up with him.
Wait. Shouldn't I. . . ?
His eyes shot open, only to see the dim room of a starship greet him.
"I'm on a ship! Why am I on a ship!?" Nate exclaimed, only to reflexively clamp a hand over his mouth. The last thing he needed was for someone to hear him.
His nervous rambling continued in his thoughts. Oh god, they caught me, didn't they? They found evidence linking to me on that cargo, or maybe someone ratted me out, or. . . or. . . !
Nate's eyes darted around the cabin, trying to find any indication of where he was. There wasn't a single thing that could clue him in on the nature of the starship. With a sigh, he began to go through the possibilities.
It can't be a standard transport ship, like the one I took. It seems too large for that. But if that's the case, what is this ship supposed to do? They probably did find me, and they're transporting me off to some special prison for terrorists or something!
He took a deep breath of air. One thing was for certain: He didn't know where he was, so he should stay calm and not reveal anything. There could be a rational explanation for this, after all. His mind calm, he finally took a listen to the siren that had been constantly going off and causing him to have a nasty headache.
"Emergency power conservation is in effect. All non-essential systems have been taken offline."
"What does that mean?" Nate asked. "Are supposed to be in some sort of hibernation? But it's impossible to sleep with that thing buzzing through our ears, which means. . . An emergency!"
His mind paused, letting him recall the situation from before. He gulped his saliva out of nervousness and took a feeble few steps over to the door, or what he thought was a door in this dim cabin. As expected, it didn't open automatically. After a good shove, it slid open. Almost immediately, Nate shielded his eyes as a second light, positioned exactly outside his door, shined inside.
Anything's too bright in a darkness like this, he thought.
With a second light, he could see a little better into the deep recesses of his cabin. There was a small dresser off to the side, a white bag on top of it. With a gasp, he ran over to it. As he felt around in the bag, he could feel all of his belongings, safely tucked away.
He pulled out a thin, rectangular device. It was his new laptop; the one he bought after the old one went up in flames. He flipped it open, followed by pressing the power switch up in the corner. After a few seconds, it didn't turn on. He tried again, then tapped a few keys on the keyboard. Nothing was working.
It doesn't seem to be damaged, so it's probably just a dead battery. Still, so much for this helping me.
He stowed it back away, and then slung the bag over his shoulder. At least he had something familiar he could hold onto. He needed the comfort, even if it wasn't much.
His breathing increased. He turned to the open door, and took a step towards it. Then another. In a few seconds, he would be outside, in the hallway. What would he find? A few steps into the hallway, and he heard it, a piercing scream in the darkness. His head turned to the side.
Oh god, what if this is a prison transport ship!? And what if they torture their prisoners! His deluded, impossible thoughts continued to bounce around his skull as he started to walk in the direction he heard the scream. I. . . I have to know for sure.
Mar 9 2011, 05:49 AM
Lars didn't get to hear the voices yet since he was still in his room, he slowly followed the wall, tapping at it until he eventually found the door as evidenced by the fact the sound of his tapping was different from the others in this area. There we go...Hopefully now i can get out of this place and figure out what's going on. He passed his hand around the door until he found it's handle and pulled it open with a quick movement of his robotic arm.
Looking from the outside, the first thing one would see would be a dark figure with a shining metallic arm. Lars then looked around, still not being able to see around properly and fixing his glasses in place. "Is anyone there?" He then looked at his arm, it's lights were getting even dimmer, it probably wouldn't be long until it shutted down.
Mar 10 2011, 01:12 AM
"Emergency power conservation is in effect. All non-essential systems have been taken offline."
Power conservation. Saving up energy. Were those idiots from the environmental protection agency here? Like hell he was going to deal with them right now. He had enough with rest of this week's stress as it was, and it's not like he was doing anything wrong. They should just let him sleep.
"Emergency power conservation is in effect. All non-essential systems have been taken offline."
Jesus Christ, again? Could they be any more obnoxious about this? Apparently they weren't going to let him sleep even if he tried his damnedest.
Fine, if they were so desperate to get him up, he would give them what they wanted. He'd wake up, and get out of bed for them. In fact, he was such a nice guy that he'd even be willing to help them put some of those non-essential systems offline, once he did.
Jun shuffled out of the bed he was in, tossing his meager covers aside as his feet touched the ground. It took a couple moments for him to open his eyes properly; more than he was really comfortable with, now that his thoughts were returning to normal. In fact, when did he even go to bed? How could he? The shuttle he was in was so stuffed with people that he could hardly even tie his shoes.
Also, nothing about the room was familiar at all. In fact, that part was pretty important, now that he actually bothered to think about it.
"Emergency power conservation is in effect. All non-essential systems have been taken offline."
Wait, was that an emergency announcement? A real one? A real, hell of a repetitive one? Said by a computer that required power to work?
"Yeah, great. You're sure full of yourself, aren't you? Taking off every other system, and considering yourself an essential one. The toaster's more essential than you are!" He shouted up to the corner the voice seemed to be coming from, in a voice as eerily sightly inhuman as the announcer's. Of course, even with their common trait, the only answer he got was the predictable one. He tried not to listen to it.
He also tried not to think too hard about his current situation, because now that it was sinking in, it was actually creepy as all hell. There was no way he had been here before now.
Now that he was really not wanting to go any further with that train of thought, Jun decided to just make his way to the door. If anything was certain, it was that staying in here during an emergency was a terrible idea.
He exited into the empty hallway. He heard a howl of pain. His remaining sense of ease was officially gone. This sucked.
Zhi woke up to the same sort of racket from the announcement that her brother did. However, her reaction to it all settled on a much more rational route. She realized immediately that something wasn't right and that, more importantly, she needed to get out of here with all the speed she could manage.
Contrary to what her tired body wanted to allow her, she pulled herself straight out of bed, and forced herself to become aware of the things surrounding her. Much as she suspected when she woke up, she found the room to be entirely different from anything she had seen before now. Something strange had happened, and she couldn't even begin to properly piece it together.
With that in mind, she only gave the room a quick glance around before leaving, in hope that she'd find some of her belongings by the bed. She didn't. The room was as empty of luggage as it was of people. Everything but the clothes on her back were gone.
Including, as it finally hit her, her brother.
Zhi's thoughtfulness shattered, and was replaced by an unshakable panic. Jun was gone, and the entire area she was currently standing in was completely unfamiliar. Anything could have happened and, as a result, her own family member may very well be in any condition, anywhere.
She needed to figure out where she was, immediately. She needed to tear open the door, and see the rooms following this cabin.
Zhi followed that need. The door into the hallway opened with a crash, and she stepped through it, determined to find the answers.
Mar 10 2011, 11:56 PM
It took several more minutes for Aiko to regain some semblance of composure, but she eventually got to her feet and scrambled out of the cabin. Her dress was soaked with sweat, making the bulge of the gun in her apron pocket even more apparent. OhGodohGodohGodIhavetogetridofthegun!
No good would come of keeping it any longer . . . right? Aiko made a mad dash down the hallway, glad to have found a goal of sorts. In any other situation she would have looked comical, but not today. Anyone unfortunate enough to meet up with her now would probably be convinced that the tall, willowy figure in the peach-colored dress and stained apron was some kind of demon bent on making a horrible meat cake out of human flesh and topping it with blood-infused Chantilly cream.
Aiko had lost her footing and pitched forward into something---or someone. Being careful while running was not a rule of which Aiko was often mindful, so she tripped and fell frequently (garnering her the nickname The Human Rolling Pin), but she still wasn't used to landing on people.
"S-s-sorry! I'm really, really, really sorry!" she yelped as she jumped off of him. She didn't know whether to be mortified at the awkward landing on yet another person or relieved that she had found someone else in this place. She was also relieved that the gun had not gone off from being jostled so much. It occurred to her then that she had disposed of the pistol's ammunition long ago, having given it---along with the other gun---to an elderly gentleman on the emergency shuttle, figuring the poor man could use something with which to defend himself. I hope he's okay, she thought. He was such a sad old man . . .
Then the latest victim of Aiko's steamrolling ways looked up at her, speaking in a voice that wasn't really his. The sound made her snap to attention.
"Sorry for interrupting your internal monologue," he asked, "but who the hell are you?"
Mar 11 2011, 10:43 PM
After stepping into the hallway, Nate's eyes darted left and right to check each door. Each one remained shut, much to his relief. Much like his cabin, the hallway was sparsely lighted. He could barely see any section of the hall that was more than a few feet away from a light. Before he could take a step, the sound of another shriek echoed through the hall.
Following the shriek, there was a loud crash. Nate took a step back, in reflex.
Did she try to escape? Maybe this really is a transport ship to a prison!
His irrational thoughts did little to calm his mind. Despite his fears, he took a tentative step forward. Then another. In less than a minute, he found the cause of the crash. Two people were on the floor, much like they had run into each other. In an instant, one of the two jumped back. Was she the girl he had heard? It was too dark to see for certain.
"S-s-sorry! I'm really, really, really sorry!"
That had settled it. It was the girl he had heard screaming earlier. But the other person, still on the floor, was a complete mystery; the darkness covered their body too well. Then, he heard the person speak.
"Sorry for interrupting your internal monologue," he asked, "but who the hell are you?"
It was a man, although his annoyed tone did little to make Nate want to go over and introduce himself. Instead, he stood there in the darkness, just watching the two.
What should I do? If I'm right and this is going to a prison, then these two could be dangerous criminals! But at the same time, if they spot me here, wouldn't they be more angry that I'm listening in on their conversation? Oh... What should I do?
He bit his lip, deciding to just wait and see how the event in front of him would play out.
Mar 12 2011, 04:06 AM
Immediately after exiting his room, Jun somehow managed to crash straight into something with enough force to knock him to the floor. At least, that's what he thought, until his eyes actually adjusted to the light enough to prove otherwise. Once he managed to collect himself off of the floor, however, he immediately noticed the real culprit: A crazed looking woman, gibbering to herself like she'd just seen twelve ghosts at once. He groaned in annoyance. He left his room in attempt to find someone who could tell him what was going on, but instead he got some loon.
"Sorry for interrupting your internal monologue," he snapped over to her, "but who the hell are you?" It was obvious that she wasn't going to do anything sane on her own, so he figured he'd just try to force her with a question.
As he was waiting for a response, someone else stepped out of another nearby cabin. It was a bit hard to get a proper look at them from the angle he was standing at, but the lack of babbling at least signified a vague possibility of the newcomer being sane. Not that he would bet on it.
"You too. Who the hell are you? Where is this, and why the hell won't that computer shut up?" He shouted over in the new guy's direction, not caring how weird the questions probably sounded. It would take a whole lot more than amnesia to look crazy next to his current company.
Mar 12 2011, 11:27 AM
Aiko was more than a little cowed by the severity of the man's tone and the fact that there was apparently some other stranger nearby (it was probably best to deal with him later), but she decided to take a deep breath and try to be friendly. No one would want to be anywhere near her unless she calmed down. "Aiko Moreno. I'm nineteen years old and I'm training to be a pastry chef. It's nice to meet you!" She held out a hand and smiled weakly at the man in front of her, but frowned when he refused to shake. Oh, well. She got that a lot. Dropping her arm back to her side, she smiled again---for she was genuinely relieved to find someone else in this place----and continued speaking.
"I don't know where we are. I'm as lost as you and Mr. Hide-And-Go-Seek over there. Maybe if we three look around together we can find a way out?" Her voice lilted upward, hinting at an invitation. Though they were almost the same height and she wasn't totally defenseless, she didn't want to make him angry. "Say . . . do you like cake? Or pie, maybe? When we get out of here---and if we end up in a kitchen somehow, heheh---I could make us something nice!"
Aiko knew she was an idiot for expecting an answer of any kind, let alone a positive one, from someone she had just run over in a frightened daze, but she didn't care. She just needed someone with her right now. Even if he thought she was crazy.
Mar 12 2011, 11:40 AM
Lars simply followed the yelling and shortly arrived at the where the scene was taking place, quickly making his presence know due to the faint light coming from his mechanical arm. He waved his organic hand over to the people ahead of him. "Hey." He greeted bluntly, arriving right in the middle of their conversation. "Answering to that last question of yours, it's going to keep repeating that announcement for at least a few more minutes before it shuts itself down to save energy." He looked at his arm and then back at the others. "Speaking of energy, i guess it'd be too much to hope any of you to have any kind of batteries, eh?"
Mar 13 2011, 04:48 PM
Arel slowly made her way towards the yelling, trying to maneuver around in the hallways. Here and there her foot bumped into walls or random debris. Being alone with little light was really frightening.
Thank god for my steel-toed boots. Lifting her goggles away from her eyes, Arel squinted to surmise what would be in the distance. However, even though her eyes couldn't see much, the voices that she heard earlier were definitely closer. It seemed that a small group had gathered right around the corner.
Arel proceeded to walk carefully towards the voices , but not before tripping over a thick cable that was on the ground. Instinctively, she threw out her hands out in front of her as she started to fall forwards, instead she landed on her left arm. Her goggles flew off her head and hit the wall in front of her before skittering to a stop directly behind Lars. A sharp spike of pain ran up the damaged limb as Arel rolled over onto her side.
Freaking cable. Would've bloody killed me if there was a crate or something nearby. I'm sure I would've bashed my head in.
Gingerly, with her right hand she felt the area that she had landed on. It hurt...but the limb didn't seem to be broken...or so she presumed. But no doubt there would be a rather large and ugly bruise there in a few minutes.
Arel was sure that the noise that she had made would alert the others to her presence....and unfortunately she couldn't tell whether these people were friend or foe. Gritting her teeth, Arel waited in the shadows of the corner to see what the response would be.
Mar 13 2011, 04:57 PM
Lars blinked a few times, hearing the sound of something behind him, he looked around to find a pair of goggles, he picked it up with his robotic hand, examining them for a second, he then looked around again and didn't take too long to spot Arel. He took slow steps towards her direction. Looking from Arel's point of view Lars would seem like a tall, slim figure, his mechanical arm emmiting a dim green light as he approached her. Lars approached her, stretching out his normal hand to her. "Need some help getting up?" He'd ask playfully, while holding her goggles out for her with his metal hand.
Mar 13 2011, 06:24 PM
"Need some help getting up?" The man with a mechanical arm extended a hand towards her.
"You're not hiding....anything dangerous in that arm are you?" Arel cautiously accepted the hand as Lars helped her up. Muttering her thanks, she took the googles from his other hand.
Taking a quick look at the item, she noticed that was was luckily no damage to her prized possession other than a small nick at one end of the frame. Sighing, she jammed the goggles back onto it's usual perch on her head. While doing so she noticed that the group was rather...ragtag in it's appearance.
"I'll take a guess and say that you all found yourself on this ship too?"
Mar 14 2011, 07:52 PM
Jun raised a hand to his head in frustration, while desperately trying to fight the oncoming headache. Apparently everyone else here was in the exact same situation as he was. While that was great and all when it came to not being completely and utterly alone in this creepy place, it was kind of useless in the actually getting answers department. On top of that, all of them seemed to be pretty worthless at anything that could get them out of here.
Including walking, as he decided after yet another person in the room fell over with all the grace of a drunken hobo. Surely the group of them would get far in life, together.
After eying the new girl with a look of doubt and obvious annoyance, Jun finally decided to cave in and be the one to get this awkward group going "Well, we're not getting anything done by standing here, so whatever. Let's just get out of here so that my ears stop bleeding." He mumbled in the most noncommittal attempt at leadership he could muster. He ignored the question about batteries. Who used batteries in this day and age, anyways? The sort of guy who shared a haunted spaceship with a baker, janitor, and some paranoid chick who doesn't know how to use her own feet, apparently.
Another door opened on the opposite side of the hallway, accompanied by the panicked footsteps of a woman in heels. Breathing heavily in her desperation and fear, she made her way around the corner, and into line of sight of the growing crowd. As soon as she was able to get a proper look of who all was there, she immediately charged for one, specific target.
"Holy shi--" Jun exclaimed as he was tackled from the side, into an unwilling hug. Zhi laughed in relief as her brother awkwardly attempted to break free from her hold, deeply relieved to see that her sibling was okay. After a couple seconds, it finally dawned on her that there were others in the room. It was enough to convince her to release her brother from her grip.
"H-hello." She greeted everyone with a nod, and clearing of her throat, as she attempted to regain her composure. Unlike most of the others here, she was rather well dressed, to the point of looking a little out of place. As soon as she managed to pull herself together properly, she presented herself with a polite smile, and a straight back. "Do any of you work here? I'm afraid I don't quite understand what's happening right now."
"None of us do, Zhi. This place is some kind of freaky ghost ship. None of us know how we got here." Jun piped up and answered her before any of the others could try. Even though his words were still harsh, he's obviously taking on a much friendlier tone with his sister.
"Ghost ship? With the emergency announcement on? Are you sure that's even possible? There must be someone here."
Jun just shugged. "Well, we haven't really gone anywhere. It's that god-awful blaring that woke us up. We were thinking of looking around."
Zhi paused for a moment to get a better look at the hallway, before finally turning back to Jun, with a nod of agreement. "That sounds like it would be best. It's obviously not safe here. We'll take care of introductions as we walk."
Mar 14 2011, 08:35 PM
Aiko looked at the newcomers and shook, wondering how in the world they all came together so quickly. She was scared. Even at school, she had dreaded being around too many people at once. But she knew that she had to do everything she could to keep these people here with her. If I'm alone for too long . . . I don't know what will happen.
The Human Rolling Pin smiled warmly, looking first at the woman in heels and then back at the young man she had flattened earlier. Apparently they knew one another. Siblings? Friends? They appeared to be related in some way, but she wanted to find out for sure.
"This Zhi must be your sister! You have the same eyes." She stepped closer to the two of them, staring with interest at their confused faces. "Oh, and tell me what your favorite kind of cake is! Or your favorite dessert in general! Do you have similar tastes? No, no, I shouldn't assume that. But sometimes relatives like the same things . . ."
Mar 14 2011, 09:10 PM
Was this woman still asking about cake? Did "Hey, let's get out of this hellhole and find out where we are." somehow translate to "Hey, I want to tell you all about my taste in desserts!" in crazy-speak? Maybe he should tell her that he likes the kind of cake with batteries in it. It would please both of the idiots asking stupid questions right now.
Zhi was much more willing to strike up a casual conversation right now, as long as they kept moving ahead at the same time. It would, hopefully, lighten up the mood a little. Plus, she felt pretty relieved that it was clear to the others that they were brother and sister, and not a couple, after her little attack earlier. "Yes, we are. I'm Shaomei Zhi, and this is my younger brother, Jun." She answered, motioning to her brother, smiling as she spoke. "As for cake, well... I'm personally rather fond of devil's food cake, to be honest." She laughed, almost seeming a little embarrassed about her cake preferences. "I suppose I just have something of a weakness for chocolate."
As soon as she finished her response to the question, Zhi glanced over to Jun, keeping her friendly expression as she looked him in the eyes. Jun remained silent for a moment as she did so, before giving in.
"Well, uh... sure, chocolate's pretty good. I like the stuff you all used to make on my birthday, I guess." Jun sighed, avoiding eye contact with the baker as he gave his half-hearted answer.
Mar 14 2011, 09:32 PM
Siblings... The word had a nostalgic effect on Arel as she watched the conversation taking place.
"Oh, and tell me what your favorite kind of cake is! Or your favorite dessert in general! Do you have similar tastes? No, no, I shouldn't assume that. But sometimes relatives like the same things . . ."
Arel sighed. This chick must have a few screws loose...but then again it is normal to freak out a bit after waking up to a situation like this.
The thought of cake though was very annoying. Already the navigator's stomach was churning in hunger. Maybe this...baker person could whip up something for them once they got out? She entertained the thought for a second before a sharp pain in her injured arm snapped her out of it. Massaging the limb with her gloved right hand, Arel spoke up, "Instead of talking about desserts and the such, a plan of action would be more beneficial in this type of situation, yes?"
Mar 14 2011, 10:00 PM
Oh, no. She'd done it again. She'd made herself look stupid again. They all needed to get off this damn ship, and here she was, waxing poetic about cake again. Aiko's smile wilted a little, but not enough for anyone but the most astute observer to notice. "S-sorry," she stammered. "I guess I'm more than a little homesick. I miss my kitchen, so . . . " She trailed off. Enough. No one wanted to hear her life story and she knew it. "I just wanted to ask what people might like to eat when we're out of here . . . sorry," she said, glancing apologetically at the girl. "So if you want anything in particular---if anyone here does---let me know, okay?"
Then she turned red and looked at her shoes. Aiko didn't want to say it, but she had no choice. People didn't live on cake alone, and surely her new companions would be expecting normal meals. She looked up once more for a brief moment.
"But I . . . can't cook regular food. Only sweets. I'm sorry. So please don't ask me for anything else . . . except rice. I can make rice. M-my name is Aiko Moreno, and I can make rice."
Mar 15 2011, 09:43 AM
Lars stared around at everyone, seemed like a lively bunch, but enough talk, this whole ignorance over what was happening was alredy getting on his nerves, despite him not showing, he let out a short 'ahem' and then started. "Well, first things first, considering there's no one here but us and we're currently on and since..." He started mimicking the ship's system voice. "Emergency power conservation is in effect. All non-essential systems have been taken offline." He then returned to his normal voice, chuckling and continued. "The first place we should go to look for anyone else should be the bridge. In case we find something there or not, we should then head over to this ship's main power source and see try to find out what triggered the power conservation systems. Also to probably figure out how much time we have until we run out of enough power so even the "essential systems" can be kept online." Lars glanced around one more time, trying to see an exit to the hallway they found themselves in. "I'm pretty sure i saw storage room door somewhere around her, we should go for it and search around, it might have something useful, hopefully we can find some kind of spare batteries or energy source or something before -" Just then, a loud beep came from Lars's arm, it's lights all slowly shut down and the arm simply "died". Lars sighed. "Before that happened..."
Mar 15 2011, 11:26 AM
There are two exits from the hallway that they're in: the lift (deactivated to conserve power) and the door to the stairs.
The storage room contains emergency medical supplies as well as bottled water and canned goods. There's enough disaster relief goods to go around for a few weeks. Well, assuming that the life support system on the ship doesn't run out of power. In the storage room, there are batteries which can be used for devices like flashlights, but nothing that would serve to power the ship.
Mar 15 2011, 11:51 AM
How many people are on this ship besides me? he thought.
Questions and statements were flown his way, but before he could answer them another person came up to the group. The only thing Nate could see about him that was unique was his mechanical arm. Lights were, apparently, installed in it as it gave off a fair glow. Beyond that, he looked to be a rather slim fellow, and his unusual hair also gave him a more distinct look.
Using what light he could from the man's arm, he decided to take a better look at the two others in the hall. The first that he noticed was the female, currently wondering what kinds of cake people liked. Nate was always fond of the rather standard white cake, but he couldn't let himself get distracted; he needed to try and figure out who these people were. She was wearing an apron, which, along with the cake talk, made him wonder if she was a baker of some sort.
His eyes then turned to the male, currently standing up. Just based on his few words, Nate could tell he probably wasn't going to be a friendly type. Beyond that, he didn't appear to be Caucasian, as well as not too muscular. He did, however, seem to be in far better shape than the man with the mechanical arm.
He decided to step forward, since it seemed like his presence was known anyway, only to hear a loud crash down the hall. He turned to see someone sprawled out on the floor, likely having tripped on something. The man with the mechanical arm went over to help her up, although she didn't seem too enthused to take his offer.
As soon as she was up, the 'friendly' man decided to speak up.
"Well, we're not getting anything done by standing here, so whatever. Let's just get out of here so that my ears stop bleeding."
Nate smiled a little at his comment. He obviously didn't want to take responsibility for the group. He looked around, and saw nothing else was happening. Taking his chance, he once again took a step forward.
A woman came rushing out of one of the rooms, hugging the person who just spoke up. She was obviously close to him, and they seemed to look fairly alike. Perhaps they were family? If not, close friends at the very least. She appeared to be very formal, if the dress clothes and high heels didn't already give it away.
The Cake Lady decided to keep up her cake talk, to which she finally got an answer from Miss Formal. At least she seemed to be friendlier than the person Nate assumed was her brother. The group decided to converse a bit, but it went silent relatively quickly.
Third time's a charm, I suppose. I suppose none of these people look like criminals... I guess I could be wrong about the nature of this ship. I hope I am.
He decided to speak up. "I probably should've spoken up sooner, but..." he paused. He didn't want to say his thoughts out loud. "Oh, never mind. Like all of you, I just woke up here too..." Then, taking a cue from the Cake Lady, who introduced herself as Aiko, he continued, "So, should we introduce ourselves? I'm Nate Mirrias. It's... a pleasure to meet you all."
He wondered if he was rambling, or what his first impression would do for everyone else. Even he had to wince at how he ended it; 'A pleasure to meet you all'? How hollow and fake was he going to be? Regardless, he hoped he could at least get to learn these people's names. It'd probably be better than calling them Cake Lady and Miss Friendly, that's for sure.
Mar 15 2011, 01:50 PM
Aiko smiled at Nate. He seemed friendly enough, she supposed. They all did, but Jun . . . he seemed sad somehow. If it weren't for Zhi, would he be able to function at all? She knew what it was like to feel alone, and she hated seeing other people hurt, too . . . but she couldn't think about that right now. They had to make preparations to escape from this place. "We should see if we can get some supplies before we leave. Is there a storage room around here somewhere? I'm sure there's food and water . . . medicine . . . oh, and maybe some batteries for your arm, mister," she said to the white-haired man.
"Who wants to come with me?"
Mar 15 2011, 02:03 PM
Scratched the back of his head, grinning widely. "Yep, i'll go with ya. I'm pretty much useless with this thing of mine on shut down." He said while patting his shut down mechanical arm lightly. "Right then, introductions..." Lars sighed some and then started. "Name's Lars Olimar." He shrugged. "I'm a teacher." He then turned again to Aiko. "Like i said, i'm pretty sure i walked past one while coming here so it should be back that way. Lars pointed out back towards the way he came. "While we search the storage room the rest of you could go and search for a way to the bridge."
Mar 15 2011, 02:11 PM
Arel mentally took a note in her head as several indivudals introduced themselves. Oh that's right, I guess I should do the same
"Sounds like a good plan, Lars. I just happen to be a ship pilot and mechanic so hopefully my skills will come in handy ...the name is Arel Mathis. I'll be more than happy to go to the bridge if we can find some batteries or something for my goggles."
Arel didn't want to run the risk of injuring herself again in the dark.
Mar 16 2011, 05:43 PM
"You need batteries too? Guess I'd better go find some right now!"
With that, Aiko bounced into the storage room. From outside, the only noises people could hear were "Ooooh!"s and "OW!"s floating over loud thuds and crashes. She had taken off her apron in order to use it as a makeshift knapsack and was stuffing as much as she could into it. "Where are you, batteries? Aha! Found some! Hopefully these will work."
Several minutes later, The Human Rolling Pin dashed outside . . . and into Jun again. He, along with a loud crash, accompanied many small tins and other provisions to the floor. She landed on her back this time.
"Heh, heh . . . I found some batteries," she mumbled. "Here." She sat up to toss them to Lars and Arel and then fell flat on her back again. "Ow! Sorry, Jun . . ."
Aiko rose with a red face, pulling him up from the floor before he could say anything. Then she picked everything up and packed her apron-knapsack for the second time.
"We'd better get going before I hurt anyone else . . ."
Mar 16 2011, 06:34 PM
After swapping in new batteries where necessary, the group proceeds to look for the bridge. At the end of the hall is the door to the stairs. It takes two people to pull the heavy door open, allowing them access to the dark stairwell. As soon as they step into the stairwell, they're assaulted by a wave of cold air. It seems that the door had been keeping the warm air in the deck they woke up on.
There are two decks above the one they woke up on and one below it.
Deck 1: Bridge
Deck 2: Cabins
Deck 3: Cabins and storage
Deck 4: Hangar and engine room
The door leading to deck 2 is tightly sealed and can't be opened with brute strength. Fortunately, the door to the bridge opens with minimal effort. The top deck is just as cold as the stairwell and the air is noticeably thinner. After walking through the door leading to the top deck, they enter a narrow hallway with another door at the other end. Once slid open, the dull sound of something falling to the floor is audible. Once a flashlight is shone upon the something, it becomes clear what it is.
A member of the crew lies before their feet on the floor, dead (probably) from a gunshot wound to the head. One can only hope that it was the gunshot wound that killed him and not countenance the alternative; his body has been brutally shredded as if by a wild animal, leaving him a mess of blood. He had apparently been lying against the door and fell in once it had been opened.
Once the flashlight is shone into the bridge proper, an even more grisly scene is revealed to them. A dozen other crew members lay scattered around the bridge, having suffered just as gruesome a fate. Only one person's body was relatively intact. His body is lying in a corner with a gun dropped nearby, dead from a gunshot wound to the temple.
A cold, still silence settles over the bridge before being abruptly broken.
"Emergency power conservation is in effect. All non-essential systems have been taken offline."
Mar 16 2011, 06:52 PM
Arel eyes widened as she surveyed the gruesome scene in front of her. The sight made her lose her appetite immediately.
"What...in the world..." She knelt down to examine a body. "It looks like most of these guys were torn to shreds by something...."
But more importantly, Arel had noticed the drop in oxygen upon entering the deck, and it wasn't a good sign. Oblivious to anything else that was going on, Arel focused on finding some sort of operations console. She approached one of the terminals that a crew member was slumped over on. Blood had pooled beneath him, but a dim glow was visible underneath it.
Tearing off her gloves, Arel proceeded to move the corpse off of the unit, the body dropping from her now bloodied hands as soon as she cleared it away from the console. There was no time to mourn. Swiping a hand over in attempt to clean it, Arel managed to make out a few words and diagrams
"Damn it. We're in a bad situation...The distribution of air on this ship is really out of whack. Since apparently this ship doesn't have a lot of power, some of the decks aren't receiving as much life support. So we need to be careful. And hope that we can somehow get enough energy to fly this rig elsewhere."
Arel continued to inspect the other consoles on the bridge, moving and shoving bodies this way and that, not minding the fact that her clothes were slowly becoming drenched with blood.
Mar 16 2011, 06:57 PM
After fiddling around on the console, Arel is able to deduce the following information:
- The engine has suffered a critical failure.
- An airlock on deck two is open, allowing oxygen to escape.
- The door to deck two has been magnetically sealed to contain the air loss.
- 80% of the ship's life support has been directed to deck four.
- Roughly two hours of life support remain.
She doesn't have access to enter any commands into the system, however.
Mar 17 2011, 03:26 AM
Plans were discussed, introductions were made, and not a single damn was given by Jun. He kept note of the names that were given out, but aside from that, he really didn't want to have to make conversation unless he absolutely had to. This place was giving him the creeps, and he really didn't want to deal with the extra stress. He would just address them when he had to, and they would do the same to him.
Either that, or they would run into him again, barreling him into the piles of junk lining the walls. Once this inevitably happened, he wound up collapsing onto a nearby tin, accumulating yet another bruise on his recently abused arms.
Aiko said something to him as he attempted to push everything out of his way, before offering her hand to him. It had all occurred so quickly that he had no way to tell who tumbled into him as it happened, but it wasn't hard to deduce that it was her, after her actions.
Even so, he reluctantly took her assistance up, and got back up to his feet in uncomfortable silence. He really wasn't sure how much more of this girl's clumsiness he could take, but, at this point, he'd much rather not have to concern himself with it. He would just keep his distance. He had less painful things to deal with, and he really didn't want to pick a fight with someone like her. For all he could tell, she could be thinking anything under that awkward exterior. Hell, what if she was crashing into him on purpose?
Jun moved to the other side of the hallway as they walked the rest of the way down, only occasionally shooting Aiko glances as he went. Zhi seemed to catch on to his discomfort, and moved over to accompany the girl he was thinking none-so-pleasant thoughts about. She kept by her side, ready to catch her by the arm if she ever lost her footing again.
"Don't get too bothered by him. He's just not used to social situations like this. He's used to keeping to himself." Zhi assured her before she could think too much about it.
Progress through the ship was made.
The door to the bridge opened. Something fell. A disturbing and familiar scent wafted out from the room, before the flashlight revealed the source. Blood leaked to the floor, slowly making it's way toward the doorway now that the body that it originated from was disturbed. Beyond that, the rest of the room was too disturbing to process.
Zhi stepped back from the door in horror, covering her mouth and nose as an instinctual response to the smell. Her stomach churned, but wouldn't let itself be sick. She had already seen too much. It was only her desperate desire to never see such a scene again that kept her terrified of what was laid out in front of her.
"Why is... what's going on?" She whispered from under her hand as she began to tear up. None of this should be happening. Everything about the current situation was just wrong. This wasn't just some kind of mistake anymore.
It was only after the shock of being pushed aside by Arel that Zhi could even begin to get a hold on herself, and even then, all it really managed to do was snap her out of her daze. In attempt to think the whole thing over sensibly, she steadied herself, and tried to take a better look around the room for anything aside from the dead bodies. Unfortunately, all she managed to catch were console that Arel was currently operating, and the disturbingly thin air in the room.
Figuring that Arel had found the only possible object that could give them the answers to the oxygen problem, Zhi forced herself to make her way past the slaughter, and to the other side of the chair Arel was sitting in. She watched as the other woman operated the terminal, hoping that she would be able to pull up something informative.
She did, but the answers it gave weren't as optimistic as she'd hoped for.
"Only two hours...? How long has this been happening?" She managed to croak from her quickly tightening throat. "We... no. We need to get out of here. We can't think about this right now. We don't have the time. This ship must have escape pods, correct? They must still be here... since..."
Zhi paused, before slowly glancing back behind her. The bodies of the remaining crew continued to fill her field of vision. There was no one left to take them.
Jun took a little longer to get a proper look at the room, due to his newfound desire to keep his distance from the others. As a result, he noticed everyone else's reactions before the room itself. It left him confused for a moment, but as soon as his sister got her chance to respond, it quickly dawned on him. He took another step back, tightening his fists as his imagination pieced together the scene for him.
"W-wait a minute..." He murmured, the artificial voice not properly expressing the amount of fear he was actually feeling, "Don't tell me they're all dead. The crew? The other passengers on this thing?"
No response. Either everyone was ignoring him, or they were too sickened by what they saw to even process what he said. The latter seemed more likely, right now.
As his confusion quickly elevated into panic, Jun lost all of his desire to keep away, and instead went charging straight into the room, pushing and kicking aside anything that got in his way. Even once he got inside, he didn't stop moving. He kept glancing around the horrific scene with little more than fear on his mind. Nothing even truly registered until he found the one thing in room more terrifying than the rest. He stopped everything, and stared.
"... Why is he still in one piece?" He eventually snapped, staring directly at the man with the hole in his head, "Why is everyone else torn apart like this when he-- this guy! Why did get out of this with nothing more than a bullet to the brain!?"
Zhi stopped staring at the console as if it was the most important thing about the room, and looked back to Jun. The concern in her eyes only scared him more. "Please, Jun... I don't think--"
"No! Don't try to tell me this isn't important! Look at him!" He shouted back, violently turning around to face his sister, "He's different! He just-just..." Everything beyond that devolved into nothing but noise as he finally snapped. As a final act, he kicked over the corpse that was bothering him so much, before collapsing to his knees. He let out a small, strangely human cry of distress, and buried his head in his hands, unable to take anything that was happening anymore.
"God damn it, this doesn't make any sense..."
Mar 17 2011, 10:20 AM
Lars thanked for the batteries and immediately switched them with the old batteries he kept in a slot on his arm, the lights on his arm took a few moments to light up again and in a few more moments, it was functional. As soon as they opened the door, Lars wrapped his arms around himself instinctively. "Brr...Chilly..." He laughed some and then continued.
Lars was shocked for a moment, his eyes being wide open and his glasses sliding slightly down on his face. After a moment of silence, however, he took a deep breath and fixed his glasses in place, at that very moment noticing the thin air that surrounded him. Lars carefully made his way past the bodies, trying to avoid stepping in either the bodies or the pools of blood that painted the whole room. Contrary to his previous playful and joker attitude, Lars was now serious, a bit of sweat alredy running down behind his ears. It's okay, it's okay, there's a completely logical explanation for this...They were probably carrying some kind of...Wild animal or something...It must've gotten loose. But that still wouldn't explain why we are here in the first place... Lars sighed.
He stopped right behind Lars and Zhi, doing his best to avoid touching the carnage. He checked the screen and put his hand on his chin, thinking. He snapped out of thought when Jun started freaking out, however, having not before taken notice of the corpse. As Jun kicked it, Lars noticed that the corpse bumped into something as it moved, Lars, again made his way through the mess, moving over to whatever the corpse had touched and carefully picked it from the pool of blood it found itself in. A gun... Lars looked at it and then back at the corpse. Lars slowly made his way back to the others and dropped the gun on top of a table.
"Then let's make it have sense..." Lars commented, he then turned around and started pacing around the room as he brainstormed with himself. "I think it's a bit early to conclude that we're the only ones alive in this ship, since there was no one else in our floor and if there was anyone on Deck 2 they'd probably have died due to the lack of oxygen. However, someone programmed the life support system to focus on Deck 4, which is where the the engine room is located, which probably means there's someone down there trying to fix it." Lars looked around the bridge once again. "I'm thinking all of this carnage was caused by some kind of wild animal or something of the sort, who obviously wouldn't have been able to program the life support system, which means that the whoever's trying to fix the engine room at the moment is most likely what's left of the crew. Of course...The fact remains there's only human corpses around here, which means that either that beast was alredy dealt with in another Deck or it's still loose."
Lars turned back to the others, putting both of his hands behind his back as he spoke. "So, our best bet would be to either go to the engine room and look for the rest of the crew or at least try to contact them somehow." Lars looked at the corpses again. "Of course, that's also likely to make us an easier target for whatever mauled the people here to death." Lars then turned once again to the "intact" corpse. "Also, i guess it's safe to assume that this guy commited suicide, considering his wounds and the fact the gun was so close to him. Now why would someone with a gun choose suicide over actually shooting whatever was attacking him? Simple, whatever it is, it must be very resistant, to the point where bullets would have no effect on it and this crewman decided that his death was innevitable."
Lars then fixed his glasses in place one more time before finally stating. "In conclusion, we have two hours to decide and do either of the following. Go down to hangar 4 and try to contact the people at the engine room, but make ourselves vulnerable to...Whatever's out there...Or we can simply barricade ourselves in here and HOPE that the people, if there are any considering they may have evacuated, down by the engine room can fix the engine before we run out of oxygen." Lars stopped for a moment, watching as the blood from one of the crewmen slowly made it's way closer to his boots. Lars stepped away from it in disgust and then continued. "Or we could go look for the escape pods as Zhi suggested...Weren't it for the fact we don't really know where we are, we can't use the escape pods to cross huge distances because neither would one have enough supplies for that and neither would it survive a trip through the Nexus..." Lars slowly held wrapped his fingers around his robotic arm as his mentioned the Nexus and his eyes half-closed and then continued. "And we don't really know if there's any hospitable planets around."
Lars's mood seemed to brighten up suddenly, he smiled playfully and chuckled as he finished. "Well, the decision rests up to you guys, i'm just brainstorming here.But..." He suddenly got serious again. "I hope at least one of us here knows how to use a gun..." His eyes were fixated at the blood-stained gun he left on top of the table.
Mar 17 2011, 10:37 AM
Aiko shifted uncomfortably as Zhi settled in next to her, but soon quieted. The sound of her apron-knapsack thumping on her back was oddly soothing. "Don't get too bothered by him," Zhi said. "He's just not used to social situations like this. He's used to keeping to himself."
"Oh . . . okay." Aiko tried not to look at him, but he kept glancing toward her. She noticed that he had bruises from both collisions. I hope he's not in too much pain because of me.
And then they reached the bridge.
It was horrible. Blood and meat and splintered bone . . . everywhere. The stench made Aiko's nose wrinkle, and she didn't know what she wanted to do more: scream, cry, or vomit. Out of the corner of one tear-filled eye, she saw Arel sidle up to a computer of some kind. Zhi followed close behind, and Aiko was left to try to process the scene as best as she could. Something had savagely torn most of these people to ribbons . . . and two people had been shot.
Shot with a bullet. Bullets came from guns. Like the one she had. She shuddered at the thought, but didn't dwell on it. The dead man (he was the only one she could call a man at this point) had a gun near him. Maybe he had shot himself to avoid a worse fate.
She could hear Zhi gasping something about two hours . . . and escape pods . . . and Jun yelling back at her about the man. Then the most heartbreaking sound entered Aiko's ears: it was Jun, and he was screaming in what seemed to be his own voice. Without another thought, she ran over and knelt beside him.
"Don't cry," she murmured. "Please don't cry. If you cry, I'll cry too." Before she could stop herself, Aiko wrapped him in a warm hug.
Mar 17 2011, 07:55 PM
Arel listened closely as she swept over another terminal. Well isn't he a smart one....Probably worked as some sort of professor or something.
She looked over at Jun and Zhi, who were pretty much panicking. Quickly, Arel turned back to her spot in front of the terminal. Glancing up at the main viewport of the bridge Arel searched for signs of where they were located. If they were close enough they would have possibly 3 options of escaping. Her deep blue eyes scanned the numerous points of lights that glittered in the darkness. After a few seconds, the navigator realized where they may be. Drawing a couple of symbols with the blood on her hands, Arel began to trace from memory a certain part of a starchart that she had seen. And then it hit her.
"Guys I need you to pay attention for a minute".
Whirling around towards the group, Arel slid her goggles off her head into her hands and turned on her flashlight in laser light mode. A beam of red light shot out onto the viewport.
"This...." Arel moved her goggles to make the laser point at a small cluster of 5 points arranged in a circle. "Is the Elren star system. And this..." She moved the goggles towards another cluster of stars arranged in a jagged line.
"Is the Met'al Belt". Both of these star systems can be seen from only a one location in space: Morgan, the moon of gas giant Archimedes...and my home. We must be about 3/4ths of the way from Morgan.and a nearby Nexus node...." Clicking off the light and sliding the goggles back onto her head she gave a small smirk.
"We have a chance to live, you can trust me on this one. Might be a tad bit slim but it's there."
Mar 18 2011, 01:41 AM
Aiko's arms wrapped around Jun's stomach without warning, startling him even further. Yet, for a moment, he kept still, taking in the warmth of her body. She was alive. Amidst the cold death of the room, it was strangely welcome.
Even so, after the first couple of moments, the unfamiliarity of it started to sink in. Once his emotions began to piece back together, so did his thoughts on the matter. This complete stranger was comforting him. He looked so pathetic right now that she felt the need to attach herself to him just to keep him from crying. She thought he needed her to keep going.
Suddenly, it felt like her arms were tightening around him. It was suffocating.
Jun snapped back, forcefully pulling Aiko's arms away from him. "Get off! What do you think--" He started to snap back at her, only to find himself unable to finish the sentence. By pulling back, he had also maneuvered himself into a position where he could get a good view of her face. She was terrified, probably just as much as he was.
His scowl softened, and his guard dropped a little. He wasn't particularly fond of this woman or her coddling, but she was still suffering through this like the rest of them. He didn't have it in him to berate her, right now. As much as he hated to admit it, she didn't deserve it.
The desire to keep her from pitying him again, though, was enough to drive him back to his feet, and into a more rational mindset. He stood back up, and slapped the sense back into himself, before glancing only halfway back to Aiko, behind him. "Look, worry about yourself, and not me. I don't need it." he mumbled, "And stop that bullshit about crying. You're more ready to bust out the waterworks than I am."
From the other end of the room, Zhi watched on, her eyes unreadable as she stared back at the two of them.
"--Morgan, the moon of gas giant Archimedes...and my home. We must be about 3/4ths of the way from Morgan.and a nearby Nexus node...."
Zhi's attention was stolen back by the familiar sound of her home planet's name, and the unfortunate memories that came with it. A chill ran through her as plans of heading back there were discussed, and the suggestion that getting out would require the trip back.
"... Morgan's a war zone. Going back there is almost as dangerous as staying on this ship, I feel..." She eventually spoke up, the heavy thoughts passing on to the tone of her voice. "They're not letting anyone out. The last shuttle out already left. It... it was the one we were on."
She paused for a while as she reminded herself of just how strange it was that they managed to jump ships entirely without even knowing. Yet, somehow, the node was just about as far as it was when she could last remember.
"... Or are you suggesting that we pass through the node? Do we have the means to do that?"
Mar 18 2011, 08:39 AM
He had pushed her away.
She had expected it, but still . . . she was confused. In that moment, when she had hugged him, she saw something hot and red around his body. Aiko didn't know what it was, exactly, but she had felt it burn intensely, as if a piece of it had entered her. Was it his aura? I felt his anger . . . it was like blood. But it was tinged with blue and yellow . . . sadness and fear?
Panic began to set in when she couldn't shake off Jun's burning red veil. She seemed to perceive things as he did now. Frightened, she looked toward the others to try to clear her mind, but she saw more colors. Surrounding Zhi was a mix of blackish blue and purple. Arel was shining green and blue and a calmer sort or red, though the same fear and sadness she saw in Jun ate at the edges of their colors, too. She noted the same phenomenon in Nate and Lars, whose core colors were brown-orange and gray-green respectively. What the hell is going on?
"Let's go somewhere . . . anywhere at all!" Aiko shouted at no one in particular. "Just get out of my head! This is crazy!"
Red. Brown. Blue. Yellow. Purple. White. Pink. Orange. More colors, more emotions. And none of it made any sense. The shades swirled around in her, threatening to overtake everything that she was. She thrashed around on the floor. "NO! NO! NO! I'M ME! NOT YOU! ME!" she shrieked. "I'M . . . me . . ."
Then she blacked out.
Mar 18 2011, 05:44 PM
Arel opened her mouth to speak but was interrupted when Aiko suddenly burst into hysterics:
"NO! NO! NO! I'M ME! NOT YOU! ME! I'M . . . me . . ." Aiko then slumped on the floor motionless, as Arel hurried over.
"Hey! HEY!!!!" She tried to get some sort of response, kneeling over next to the fallen baker. What in the world was that? Arel was worried that the other person was hallucinating or something. Her brother taught Arel about the horrors of war and such, so maybe it was traumatic stress?
"At any rate, I say that we go investigate the 4th Deck, that's where the MOST important objectives are. We need to check if the engine is ok first, and if not, check the hangar to see if there's any craft that we can use or escape pods. I'm not sure if this model carries them or not...."
She turned to Jun. "You. Carry Ms. Aiko for a bit will ya? I can't really lift anything heavy with my injured arm."
Mar 19 2011, 01:42 AM
Just as Jun fully turned around, he heard the sound of Aiko collapsing to the ground, followed by her panicked shouts. She wasn't just acting weird and on edge anymore. She had legitimately lost it. The woman had ghosts in her head.
With his temporary ease already shattered, Jun whipped back around to face her. "Hey! Snap out of it! This isn't the time--"
"NO! NO! NO! I'M ME! NOT YOU! ME! I'M . . . me . . ." Aiko interrupted him with a final string of frantic screams, before reaching her limit, and losing consciousness.
Jun stared back at her in disbelief. Was this normal? Did she usually have fits like this? There was no way in hell. Nobody just snaps like that. She may have been completely out of her skull from the beginning, but this was on a completely different level. Something did that to her. It had to.
As his thoughts drifted to the disturbing, Jun crouched down beside her, looking her over for anything that could have possibly hit her. Of course, he found nothing.
"You. Carry Ms. Aiko for a bit will ya? I can't really lift anything heavy with my injured arm." Arel directed him from her seat across the room. She was rather calm. Far too calm, in fact. On top of that, she was ordering him around, telling him to do something that he already planned to do. Did she really think he was that incapable? So much that she didn't believe he'd get the basic idea of not leaving a helpless person out here to die? He didn't like these people much, but, damn it, he was still human.
Despite his angry thoughts, Jun still did as he was told. Not wanting to waste anymore time in this god-awful room, he took Aiko into his arms, and attempted to lift her off the bloodied ground. He had a bit of strength in him from his janitorial job, so he was capable of handling her weight, but he doubted that he was quite fit enough to keep it up for long. She was still a grown woman, after all.
Even so, he was easily able to carry her out of the bridge. As he was doing this, however, he found himself maneuvering around the many obstacles in the adjoining hallway in rather awkward ways. Eventually he wound up tilting her backwards a bit; just enough to loosen something from her makeshift knapsack. It shifted through a crack in the folds, before making a fairly loud clack as it hit the floor. Catching notice of this, Jun turned his head toward the source of the noise.
It was a gun. The same kind he saw by the strange corpse earlier. Did she take it from him? No... it wasn't possible. She didn't get close enough to be able to take it. She had to have been holding it from the very beginning. She was carrying it around intentionally. Even if she was holding it for self defense, something wasn't right. Where did she even get it from? On top of that, she was obviously nowhere near mentally stable enough to be trusted with the thing.
Jun's grip around Aiko's neck tightened, starting to cut off Aiko's airflow. His emotions were processing the problem before his head. As far as he could deduce at this point, this woman wasn't just crazy. She was a homicidal maniac.
After Aiko's hysterics, Zhi immediately found herself agreeing with Arel. The thin air and stress of the situation as a whole probably got to the poor girl. The only thing they could do for her is get out of here as soon as possible.
It didn't take too much longer for the group to start filing into the hallway after Jun carried Aiko out. Zhi took to the back, intending to keep an eye on the others from there. She normally preferred to lead a group, but in a case like this, she could easily tell that Arel and Lars had a better grip on the situation, and were much more suited for the position. For now, she would just watch out for them.
As she walked, however, Zhi found herself approaching her brother, who was, strangely, stalled in the hallway. She stepped up beside him, and put a hand on his shoulder, concerned. "Are you okay? We need to keep moving." She reminded him, "The sooner we leave, the sooner we'll be able to forget about this. I... I know. I'm not taking this well, either."
Jun looked back to her for a moment, before picking up the pace again. His grip slightly loosened as he made his way ahead of his sister, keeping oddly silent as he went.
Zhi's stomach sank. Since when did he ignore her like that? He wasn't normally a social person, but this wasn't right at all. He was supposed to talk to her.
Yet, even as she worried, she kept on. They needed to get to deck 4, no matter the cost. She would have to worry about this later.
Mar 19 2011, 02:28 PM
As they were maneuvering through the halls, Arel heard a loud sound behind her, she turned to face the direction that the sound came from. A gun sat glittering dimly on the floor. Did...someone drop it?
Puzzeled Arel watched as Jun continued to walk forward with Aiko in his arms. "Hrm..." The navigator backtracked towards the gun and picked it up. "Seems like this dropped from somewhere. Does this belong to any of you?"
Mar 22 2011, 01:49 PM
Jun stopped moving again as the gun was mentioned. Still keeping his grip tight on Aiko, he slowly turned back to look at the source of the question. His eyes were narrowed, to the point that it was obvious to anyone that he was now in a worse mood than ever. He stared her down for a time, saying nothing for a good couple of seconds.
"... Yeah. That's mine." He eventually lied, "Put it back in my pocket for me. I don't have any free hands."
(If Arel does as he says, he carries on to 4th Deck.)
Mar 22 2011, 02:52 PM
Lars shrugged, since no one else volunteered he decided to take the dead crewman's gun himself, despite not really ever have learning how to use one, he had watched them being used in movies, hopefully that'd be enough. Other than that, he simply walked on with the rest of the group, an optimistic smile on his face at all times.
Mar 22 2011, 05:07 PM
Arel wordlessly deposited the gun back into Jun's pocket. Even though she was a bit wary of how he reacted, there were dangers on this ship and the more firepower they had the better of they would be.
Arel continued walking with the group until they reached the fourth deck. The door opened with a creak as she shoved it aside.
Mar 22 2011, 08:02 PM
The group travels down the cold stairwell to deck four. As soon as they pull the door open, a blast of warm air rushes out from inside, knocking anyone who was standing too close to the door onto the floor. The oxygen down here is much easier to breathe, allowing them to relax, a little.
Stepping through the door onto the fourth deck, they enter a short hallway with an intersection; the door on the right led to the engine room and the door on the left led to the hangar.
The engine room
Save for the emergency lights on the floor, the engine room is completely dark. None of the equipment was functional; the engine, the generators, and the consoles to control them were all failing to operate. Aside from the curious lack of functionality, nothing here suggests that the equipment was damaged; there's no sign of blood, gunshots, or broken machinery. The only aspect of the room that appears out of place is the fact that in the wall around the engine, there are eight circular openings which are roughly five feet in diameter and seven feet deep. Each opening has a round hatch attached to it, each of which is wide open, allowing one to ascertain that the openings were, in fact, empty.
As one might expect, the hangar is huge, occupying most of the fourth deck. A dozen vessels are docked in the hangar, including the vessels that Zhi/Jun, Aiko, and Nate last remember boarding. That's not what was most noteworthy about the hangar, however...
The smallest (and most unusual) of the vessels in the hangar is a wreck. It's hard to tell what shape it had originally because most of it has been disassembled and is lying in a heap around the largest piece of the vessel. The hull of the vessel is covered in scorch marks and burns as well as being pockmarked with bullet holes. Furthermore, one can hardly tell what color it was originally, because the machine is caked in blood from top to bottom. A close look at what was probably once a wing reveals a logo underneath the grotesque splashes of blood: Oraph.
Mar 22 2011, 08:26 PM
"I"m gong to take a look at the engine room. If some folks want to go check out the hangar you can." Arel announced this before running off to the engine room.
Once inside the room, Arel proceeded to take a look around...but upon first sight Arel knew that the prognosis was not good: none of the consoles were functioning. However the main thing that caught her eye were the open hatches in the wall around the engine. Walking towards the engine she realized what was wrong upon closer inspection of the holes.
"Damn.....this is worse than I thought....the ER cores which are used to produce an ER shield are missing. Without the ER shield this ship would pretty much explode in the Nexus. There should be no reason to take it away from the engine room..." The machines around her seemed to have taken no damage at all either.
What exactly happened here?!
Mar 25 2011, 01:57 PM
Jun headed into the hanger after reaching the fork, but found himself stopping near the door, immediately after getting into view of the ship that brought him here. He scowled even further, tightening his grip on Aiko even more.
"Those bastards... so they did bring us here." He snarled, "They were planning to kill us from the beginning..."
Zhi stepped up behind Jun not long after hearing him speak up. She carefully placed a hand on his shoulder in attempt to comfort him, but her face quickly wound up betraying it. Her eyes had drifted away from the transport shuttle, and toward the wreck of a ship beside it.
"Jun... I don't think they meant to kill us." She whispered, her voice filling with dread. "There's... something that got onto this ship."
Jun's attention quickly snapped to what his sister was talking about, only to be broken by his lack of willingness to believe what he was seeing.
"... This..." He attempted to speak, but his nerves got in the way. There was nothing sensible he could say about what was going on anymore.
Fortunately, Zhi interrupted him before he could make any more attempts, by pulling him away from the wreck. "We need to go. At least one of these ships must still be functional. Arel, Lars, can either of you pilot?" She looked back from her near-panicked sibling, and back over to the others. Her fear from earlier had disappeared, and was no replaced with sheer determination to escape.
Mar 25 2011, 06:07 PM
Aiko noticed two things upon coming to: she had a massive headache, and Jun was carrying her. Everything was a blur. Wait. Why was Jun carrying her!?
"What happened? Where am I? Put me down! Um, that is . . . put me down, please," Aiko squeaked.
She felt like crying. What had she done? There had to be a reason for this. And it couldn't be good.
Mar 26 2011, 12:16 AM
Arel turned around to see that...no one was with her in the room. Ah...quite embarrassing.... She headed out of the room and towards the hangar where the rest were gathered.
They were gathered around a wreck and it seemed that Aiko had regained consciousness.
"Sorry, I asked Jun to carry you while we made our way towards the 4th deck. You were freaking out or something." Arel knelt down to take a look at the wreckage. It was a ship unlike she had never seen before. A part of her wished that there were more time to fully examine or possibly even repair the vessel....
But unfortunately there was not time for such leisurely things.
"Well we can't stay on this ship for longer, I found out that the ER cores were taken from the engine room. No idea why....so hopefullly some of these ships are intact and in working condition."
Mar 28 2011, 02:29 AM
Jun nearly dropped Aiko as soon as she woke up, mostly out of surprise. When she started shouting and panicking again, however, he managed to regain his senses enough to keep his grip. It was clear that she really wanted to be let go, but after her recent behavior, and the theories he was beginning to form, he found it a bit difficult to just free her, and let her do whatever she wanted.
He had her gun now, though, so, really, if she wanted to hurt them so badly, he could just fight back. With the way she's been, he wouldn't be surprised if she got disturbed by the sight of him pointing her own weapon at her.
With those thoughts in mind, he hesitantly lowered the girl back to her own feet, and stepped back. He didn't say anything as he did so, and felt no desire to speak on the matter any further until the two of them got a chance to be alone.
At least, until Arel gave her half-assed explanation of what happened back there. As much as he didn't want to make an immediate scene, he really just couldn't stand the idea of letting her think that she just panicked back there.
"Freaking out? More like you had a complete mental breakdown. You were screaming something about being you, and then collapsed like a ragdoll. It was creepy as all hell." He explained with a bite to his words.
Once Zhi noticed Aiko waking up, and Arel's agreement to the idea of taking one of the shuttles, she began to make her way to the most familiar one. She approached the door to the shuttle she arrived in, and tested the door to see if it would open. If given entry, she would step in, and start looking around for signs of functionality.
Mar 28 2011, 04:42 AM
She could remember them now. The colors. The faces and voices of the dead. And now Arel and Jun---well, Jun more than Arel, because Arel seemed to pity her enough to be nice---were telling her she went crazy. All she could do was stammer an apology.
"I'm sorry . . . I don't know what happened. I just heard voices in my head, and . . . "
This wouldn't do. I mustn't panic, she thought. Aiko took a deep breath and exhaled slowly to calm herself. "Thank you, everyone, for . . . helping me."