May 25 2011, 04:10 PM
((OOC: Apologies for the lack of posts on my part, currently having exams in school.))
After an attempted night of peaceful sleep, again interrupted by the others trying to kill each other again. Lars woke up with a loud yawn, he reached over for his mechanic arm, which he kept de-attached while he slept. With some work, he re-attached it into place, grunting a bit as the connection of the mechanical parts to his nervous system wasn't exactly a very peaceful experience. After he was finished, he moved his arm around a bit, to make sure all was working properly. He then proceeded to get dressed and ready for the day, he gave up on using the Oraph uniform like he had previously intended to and simply returned to his usual costume, dusting off his signature labcoat before he put it on.
He then slowly put his glasses on, blinking a few times as his eyes adjusted to it. He then proceeded to go to his bathroom, going to brush his teeth, he took with his mechanical hand and the brush with his other, he let out a sigh of relief.
"All right, managed to wake up and so far everything has been well, no one is stabbing each other, no explosio-"
Just as he was about to finish that sentence, the ship started rocking around wildly, sending Lars knocking around the bathroom and bumping on the walls, also, as a mental reflex, he gripped the toothpaste a little too strongly and sent it's contents flying all over the bathroom.
Once the rocking stopped, Lars grunted and reached over for his glasses, which had fallen during the ruckus. "Eh...Spoke too soon, i guess." He put on his glasses and then glared around the mess, he then chuckled for a moment. "Heh...I wonder what would someone think if they walked in just now and saw all this..." He then stopped for a moment with a dumbfounded face. "Gee...To think that'd be the first thing I'd think of, I've been spending too much time with students..." He thought with a sigh, and then remembered. His students...He wondered how those kids woul- He shook his head, worrying wouldn't achieve nothing, it would only cloud his mind from the present.
He then heard the announcement about the ER core and quickly rushed over to put on his enviromental suit, that was when he realized he actually SHOULD have practiced this thing on earlier seeing as he took his own sweet time to put it on this time. He was finished putting on the suit and rushed out of his room, just in time to hear that Arel and Turk had alredy dealt with the situation, he stretched his arms out. "What? Did i really take that long?" He sighed with a bit of laugh. "Oh well, it's good news anyways."
He looked at himself, he really should take out the enviromental suit...But it took so long to put it on...He'd keep it on for the moment and remove it if anyone asked...As he started walking, he then realized this was a one in a life time opportunity, he gasped, never again would he have an opportunity like this , so, as expected from someone like him, that was one of the first things that came to his mind. He stopped for a moment and tried breathing heavier, as if intentionally trying to make noise. He wasted no time, he started pacing slowly around the ship and would unleash this on the first person that walked near to him. Still breathing heavily, he'd approach whoever that person was, rise up his fist in a imposing manner and then exclaim.
"I AM YOUR FATHER."
May 25 2011, 04:40 PM
Nate sat in the lounge at one of the seats that was far away from anyone else. He recalled his previous day of training with guns, and how bad a shot he was. He managed to hit the body each time for the most part, but in general he failed to hit any vital spots. As for knives, too many cut fingers while trying to help out his mother
I suppose secretly harboring a knack for firearms was too good to be true. At this rate though, I'll just be useless on this mission. I'm no good at fighting, and if it really boiled down to it, I doubt I could negotiate our way out of a life or death situation. Of course, if the planet is hostile I doubt any amount of negotiating skill would succeed...
He wished he had brought along his laptop. At least then he could distract himself from the grim reality he was about to go into. Plus, he could possibly even look up history on Persephone, provided it hadn't all been covered up. Of course, with how long it'd take him to pull the information anyway, they'd probably arrive at the planet anyway.
I should be out there, he continued thinking, looking at everyone else in the room. I should be talking to them all and trying to gain their trust. But there's nothing I can do anyway. I'll just be...
The ship rocked violently, throwing Nate from his seat and onto the floor. After the worst of the shaking stopped, he found himself slowly crawling towards the others. Soon, the rocking stopped altogether, and he found himself able to stand. At least, until he heard the announcement that he would die in around five minutes. He almost collapsed to the floor, but leaned against one of the tables for support.
Nate's mind swirled in panic, although he tried his best not to let it show. If he was going to panic now, he'd just be thought of as useless. Not that he didn't already think so, but he wouldn't let the others know that. Once Turk, followed by Arel, returned to the lounge, he finally let out a sigh of relief.
"We're safe then, I take it?"
May 25 2011, 07:01 PM
With the ER shield problem taken care of, the Lucent was back on track to arriving at Persephone. As hard as the captain tried to track it down, she could not figure out what happened to them. Did something hit us? No, that's impossible... It would have been stuck in the Nexus for 15 years. Nothing can survive 15 seconds of Nexus exposure, let alone 15 years. They hadn't even arrived at Persephone and they had already had a near-death crisis.
Well, no matter. They were nearly to point alpha. There's no turning back.
The Lucent passed through the Nexus Node, which closed shortly thereafter. A tense silence settled over the Lucent as its passengers waited with baited breath to see what would become of them. The Nexus Node was positioned near Persephone's moon, allowing them to jump almost directly into the blue planet's atmosphere. The immediate area surrounding Persephone was a graveyard of ships in varying states of disrepair, requiring clever navigation on behalf of the Lucent to avoid floating space junk.
Steadily, the Oraph craft approached the lonely blue world. The captain spoke over the Lucent's comm system.
"Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. As you can see, we've made it five minutes without being blown out of the sky and it looks like nothing has started moving toward us. We're currently on approach to Persephone, this season's #1 vacation hotspot. Today's itinerary calls for disembarking on the surface in 90 minutes, followed by a meet and greet with the locals and then a luncheon with our land surveyor as the rain location. In preparation for a luxurious, relaxing day on the beach, I'd like everyone to take this opportunity to slap on the lotion and suit up. P.S., Mathis and Liu, get your asses down to the hangar and prepare the shuttle for entry."
The captain brought the Lucent into a low-atmosphere orbit and gathered everyone in the hangar. The land surveyor was loaded up onto the shuttle and she sent Lars and Nate to double-check that all their supplies and equipment had been properly loaded, including four heavy metal crates which were unmarked save for the Tetracorp logo. Once everything was ready to go, they boarded the cramped shuttle and the captain guided it out of the hangar, into the cold void of space.
The blue-tinted expanse of Persephone was laid out stunningly beneath them and gradually grew more prominent as the shuttle began its descent through the atmosphere. Catalina took a calming breath to clear her thoughts. She wasn't going to say it, but performing surface landings was always one of her weaknesses. On top of that, she was still feeling rather nauseous and the fear of being shot down at any moment did little to help calm her nerves.
"We're breaking through the troposphere. Fifteen minutes until surface landing."
Persephone was a so-called cookie cutter colony, one whose terraforming adhered strictly to UF guidelines and as a result resembled many other terraformed worlds, such as Morgan. They were designed to emulate what history says the old world was like. Catalina brought them finally to a safe, if bumpy landing on a grassy plain. The sky was a calm blue-gray; rainclouds drifted far off on the horizon but the weather seemed otherwise agreeable.
A few scattered houses were nearby, overgrown to the point of nearly being lost in the tall grass and untamed tree growth. Not far from the landing point was a set of train tracks set atop a tall hill. "If we follow those 12 miles southeast, we'll wind up in Relto, the nearest city," Catalina explained. "Seems pretty quiet. That's good for us. Let's get the surveyor out there and move out."
May 25 2011, 07:34 PM
Reluctantly following orders, Turk headed down the hangar with Arel in order to perform checks on the shuttle, as well as loading the Surveyor onto it. "Make sure you enjoy relaxing jobs while you can, Arel. The fun starts after this, it seems." Turk commented, as he backed the Surveyor into the shuttle.
As Persephone came into view of the shuttle, Turk gazed upon the planet. "It's not right. It's off." He commented, looking at the blue planet. "It's too artificial." Turk looked over at Aiko, and motioned for her to get inside the Surveyor. "That hunk of metal is the safest thing right now, and it'll be the safest thing on the planet as far as we know." Before following his own advice, Turk glanced at the Captain, "Godspeed. If the local fire a missile, I'll be sure to look for your scattered and roasted bits."
Entering the Surveyor, Turk made a final check to make sure that everything was bolted down or stowed away in compartments. Following that, he buckled himself in, and opened up communications to the shuttle's cockpit. "This is Turk, the Surveyor is ready for landing or reentry, whichever suits you best, supreme captain of the Persephone Death By Oraph expedition."
After the shuttle entered the atmosphere, Turk waited for until the captain sent her next command. "If we follow those 12 miles southeast, we'll wind up in Relto, the nearest city. Seems pretty quiet. That's good for us. Let's get the surveyor out there and move out." Turk replied over the communications systems, "I'm deploying the Surveyor first. We should get our fireteam in after the I reach the ground. We'll be able to fend off any of the locals that want a ride in my luxury car. You know how they like to get on top of stuff." Turk suggested, with a hint of amusement. Switching on all of the Surveyor's systems, he sent another message back to the cockpit. "Once you're ready, withdraw all of the oxygen out of the rear deployment room. Once we open it up, assume that it's contaminated and no different from the rest of the planet."
May 25 2011, 08:29 PM
(IM between me and Sai)
Raina opened her eyes to the new world ahead of her. She was expecting decaying buildings, empty pools and barren wastelands. Instead, she got lush greenery, flowing pools of cool, crystal clear water and... was that music in the background?
"Something's seriously not right here." she mumbled.
The captain, long red ponytail blowing in the fresh spring wind, folds her arms and watches Raina with a look of amusement. "Not right? Of course something's not right. There's no one here... looks like we're the only ones left."
The brunette turned ther head to sideglance the captain. "Where's everyone else?"
"Alive, dead, what difference does it make? If they're not here, it's the same as if they never existed. They don't matter anymore."
The Mercenary smirked as she shook her head, facing what was in front of her once more. "Don't go all emo on me now, Cap'n."
Suddenly, she was face-down on the floor; unable to move. Her vision was going slowly but surely. With her last few seconds of consciousness, she heard manic laughter...
... and woke up tangled in her sheets on the floor, against the wall opposite of where she was sure her bed was.
"Well, that was fucked up. How'd I end up here?" She looked around. Everything was accounted for, albeit thrown around as if a mini-tornado happened to pass by. With a sigh, she got up and readied herself to face the day. With a quick swig of non-military issued hard liquor in its metallic grey flask, she donned her suit and stepped out of the room.
"Alright, everything's okay now. Relax, people."
Raina raised an eyebrow. What'd I miss...?
She was wondering what could have happened when all of a sudden...
"I AM YOUR FATHER!"
By pure reflex, she ducked as she turned around, outstretching her right leg to floor whoever had made the sudden noise.
Raina blinked as she caught sight of who was it that surprised her. A pale, skinny dude. I must be getting rusty.
She bent down and held out a hand. "Sorry about that. Reflex."
May 26 2011, 01:47 PM
"Aye, captain." Arel rushed off to prepare the shuttle that was to be used for their descent into Persephone. Earlier she had seen several abandoned ships and other vessels floating around...and she dearly wished that she had time to go explore them.. The sight of them honestly did wonders for her morale which had plummeted earlier on the journey after her incident. Even now Arel was embarrassed over how she had acted.
"Make sure you enjoy relaxing jobs while you can, Arel. The fun starts after this, it seems."
Yeah....I guess he's right. But I really can't wait to touch down on this planet....Who knows what I can find?
Situated behind the captain, Arel took note of how Fenbrook piloted the shuttle. ...A bit clumsy with landings are we? A small smile curled at her lips.
Arel initially little attention to the captain's instructions once she caught sight of the terraformed plalins. "Wow....it's definitely much more different than I expected it to be."
Honestly....it looks pretty inviting. I wonder if the air will be alright to breathe?"
"Let's get the surveyor out there and move out." After catching the end of the captain's orders, Arel quickly checked her equipment. If anything she wanted to be the first person (besides the surveyor) out on the ground. Grasping her weapon of choice, a rifle (machine guns were gaudy to her), Arel raced out of the shuttle to walk with the surveyor on the right side.
"Oh wow!" Arel exclaimed as she looked around. "I kinda wish we could actually interact with the locals honestly. We'd learn so much about what has happened here from them. The best way to find information is to ask people directly about it, after all." Arel crouched down to scoop up a fistful of soil and let it slowly drop through her fingers.
Soil's pretty much the same as Morgan's too.
May 26 2011, 03:36 PM
Lars fell to the ground, his suit and arm together making a somewhat loud thud as they hit the ground. Lars laughed to himself a bit, grabbed Raina's hand with his organic arm and managed himself up on his feet again. He took off the suit's helmet and chuckled, fixing his glasses in place and scratching the back of his head. "No worries, I had it coming, i guess." He looked at the woman in front of him for a moment and nodded a greeting. "Ah, yes, i remember you from the meeting. Name's Lars Olimar, pleasure to make your acquaintance."
He then sighed, remembering that he was previously called out be check the equipment. "Meh. Sorry, wish i could stay and chit chat but I was kind of supposed to be doing something right now." He smiled again. "I take it we'll be seeing each other again when we're walking the planet, no?" And with that, he put the helmet for the suit back on. Lars proceeded to the surveyor, to do as he was asked to, occasionally looking out through the windows to observe the planet. "Wonderful, overgrown plants everywhere, most likely overgrown bugs too and not a single inch of anything alive, other than the bugs, on sight yet. Oh well, at least i'll be able to think of it as a walk around the park and not a suicide mission into an unknow plane- Oh damnit, i just ruined it."
May 26 2011, 03:54 PM
Taking the Surveyor out onto Persephone, Turk made sure to broadcast a reminder to all members of the team. "The atmosphere is safe, but keep your environmental suit's integrity checked, and keep them sealed. We don't know if we're immune to this virus or not, and even if we are, anyone who is exposed likely now carries the virus inside of them, and can spread it."
Stepping into the Surveyor's airlock and decontamination unit, Turk stepped out of the Surveyor, and took a look around. "No locals. Plant life everywhere. No animals, as far as I can tell." Turk checked the equipment that he prepared for himself, and selected one of the knives that Oraph had prepared for the situation, as well as hesitantly grabbing a rifle and strapping it over his shoulder. Tapping into the communications network, Turk made a report, "No signs of life. No birds, no animals, no bugs. It's far too quiet. Stay alert everyone. As far as we know, this is the calm before the storm."
Turk began using the Surveyor's exterior equipment to analyze the atmosphere. "Air levels good. Chock full of a healthy serving of virus though. Who's hungry?" Turk didn't like this a single bit. "Surveyor is moving into proximity of Relto. Hopefully we can find some remains. Requesting fire support from ground team." Getting back inside, Turk had himself decontaminated, and sealed the entrance behind him.
May 26 2011, 05:43 PM
After ensuring his suit was sealed, Nate walked out onto Persephone. Attached to his right hip was a pistol, and to the left a knife. They probably wouldn't do much in his hands, they were much better than nothing. Nate followed behind Arel. He wasn't sure if she even noticed his presence, although it didn't really matter either way. Even if there was a nasty virus inhabiting the planet, Nate's interests began to pique. For what would most likely be a brief time, Nate felt himself returning to, well, his old self. Before Morgan, and before everything that caused him to be so far away from his family. It was the first time he could smile about anything.
I can hardly believe I'm going to be exploring Persephone! I wish I had a notebook, or something to write down what I'm seeing!
Although he was excited, he did his best to keep his cool. After all, even he knew he was downplaying all the possibilities this could go wrong. What if the suits couldn't protect them? What if they ran out of food? What if the natives were hostile? What if he got separated from everyone else? None of it mattered, at least for the moment. All he could see was a planet that was vastly different from his home, and he wanted to take in as much of it as he could.
His attention snapped back to reality as soon as he heard Arel's comment.
"The best way to find information is to ask people directly about it, after all," She noted, most likely to no one in particular. It was a sentiment Nate agreed with.
"Well, if people still live on this planet, I hope we can find some peaceful ones we can talk to. To be honest, I really wish I knew more about this planet, to be honest. Ecology, geography, climates, and not to mention flora and fauna! Even better is if I had a basic idea as to how this planet's population developed, all the way from its origins! I wish we could compare the Persephone from 15 years ago to the one now, and perhaps determine how much of the change is simply due to the cutoff from the rest of the universe. Aah... Isn't the universe's diversity just so... Magnificent?"
He was rambling. Nate knew he was, but it was the first time he actually felt excited about something, and for once he wanted to be heard.
May 26 2011, 05:51 PM
Arel took in Nate's rambling seriously.
"Isn't it? I mean there's lots that we can learn from other people. And just discovering it all...it's exhilarating isn't it? Honestly I really don't mind being on this 'death mission'." The navigator was pretty excited to hear another voice her sentiments. "........Although i didn't think of you as the type to be into this sorta thing...you seem...pretty reserved and all."
May 26 2011, 06:11 PM
After a while of following the train tracks, the group arrived at the remains of Relto. An eerie silence had settled over the formerly-vivacious city. The street and sidewalks have been completely swallowed up by overgrowth and crystalline water flowed freely in the lower elevation parts of the city. Buildings towered over them in various states of decay; some had collapsed as a result of unchecked plant growth while others had holes blown in them by explosives of some sort.
Local wildlife wasn't uncommon to see prancing freely through the streets. Cars, left abandoned, were now a popular nesting site for many woodland creatures. The scene had a paradoxically serene atmosphere, an illusion which was only shattered by the innumerable human skeletons that were scattered throughout, many nearly unnoticeable due to high grass or pools of water sprouting up around them.Persephone: Relto City
May 26 2011, 07:16 PM
"Well, to be honest, I'm more interested in humanity's history than anything else. Tracing back their roots, both on a planetary and universal scale. But when you look up stuff like that, learning details about how the planet itself influenced humanity's development on each planet kind of crop up naturally. Before, well, all this happened, I was studying for a degree in anthropology back on Balthasar, my home planet."
He paused for a moment, to think about her last comment. "And, yeah. I know I'm not exactly the most sociable person. Even back when I was a kid I was interested in this stuff when no one else was. So I spent most of my time on a computer, pulling up as much info about humankind as possible. It kinda didn't make me very easy to approach. Not to mention recent events..."
He stopped. Nate was heading into territory he didn't want to go over just yet. Before letting the thought trail off into silence, he backpedaled.
"But anyway, yeah, I love learning about different planets. It's my passion, so to speak. That said, we should probably begin focusing on the mission now. Relto City's just on the horizon, after all. I should probably keep watch on the other side, just to be safe."
It was a weak statement, as even he could tell it would take far longer to get there than what he was implying. He hadn't been talking to her for more than a few minutes, so there was no way they had walked a mile, let alone twelve. His pace slowed enough for the Surveyor to move past him, and after a short jog he was on the other side, away from Arel. It wasn't something he wanted to do, forcefully separating himself from someone he could talk to, but he was heading into dangerous discussion territory.
He spent the rest of the time in silence, fortunately with no confrontations along the way. The trip took far longer than even he had expected, which probably would make things harder when he wanted to talk to Arel again. Combined with this aching legs from walking such a long distance, any semblance of optimism in his mind was gone.
Arel seems to be the thoughtful type. She's probably wondering why I didn't want to get into that particular discussion right now. She'll probably think I'm hiding something despicable... To think, I finally found someone who's interested in the same kind of stuff I am, and I ruin it because of my carelessness. I just hope she doesn't bring it up if I talk to her again...
[The rest of this is adapted from a PM conversation.]
As soon as Nate had entered the city limits, he knew he wasn't going to find anyone. The buildings were in disrepair, plant life covered everything... and there were plenty of skeletons were scattered about. He was reminded of his time on the Venerate and seeing the dead bodies that were on the bridge, but he refused to let his feelings overcome him like last time.
Something, however, felt rather off about the whole place. It was hard to tell what, but then the answer hit him. There was a buzzing in his ears, sort of like there was a swarm of bees flying around somewhere.
"That noise... Please tell me I'm not the only one who's hearing it," Nate said, his voice beginning to shake a little bit.
He took a few steps forward, then turned and began looking at the area in more detail. Despite his location, the buzzing remained at a constant volume. It wasn't going to do him any good by himself. Turning on his communications system, he radioed in to the Surveyor.
"Uh, this is Nate. I'm wondering if you guys have any equipment that can help determine where this buzzing I'm hearing is coming from."
As much as he wished he could find the source of the buzzing, if only to clear his mind of the riddle, he knew it was impossible on his own. Hopefully, the equipment Turk requested didn't disappoint. It was the only thought Nate could think of as he waited for a response.
May 26 2011, 07:38 PM
"Check in with the Captain, Nate. See if she has any sonar equipment- The Surveyor can pick up vibrations from seismic activity, but it wasn't exactly design to search for living organisms." Turk responded over the communications network, wondering why Nate didn't have any handheld equipment.
Catching site of a collapsed section of the ground, which led into the subway, Turk broadcasted a message to nearby personnel. "Have someone check the subway station. I'm taking the Surveyor down into the tunnels- If anyone's alive, they'll be underground, given the overgrowth on the surface." He checked the locks on the Surveyor once again, and drove it into the subway. Raising the shields over the windows, Turk switched to infrared cameras, and began probing the underground tunnels for activity. Turning on the vehicle's autonomous controls for a moment, Turk checked the condition of his suit, and make a check on the air inside of the Surveyor. Clean.
Turk turned back to his passenger, who was still somewhat dazed at the fast pace of the mission. "Aiko, you alright?" Turk headed over to the girl, and checked on her condition. Mainly mental issues, no physical problems as far as I can tell. She'll be alright. Taking a moment to turn off the communications broadcast in the Surveyor, Turk continued to talk to Aiko. "We're fairly isolated from everyone else. Take the data unit that I gave you, and plug it into the mainframe to your right. The password is SpeechLiberation1791, in common language. Once you have everything loaded, look through the system for any mentions of cake, bread, or 'Luna'." Turk hoped that the mention of cake would encourage her to put a little effort into it, and make homing into the necessary data easier, basing it on combinations of elements that weren't common in known space. Turk turned back to the controls, checking on their current location. Before turning the communications broadcast back on, Turk motioned to Aiko that she would have to do it in silence.
Now, how do I explain... "This is the Surveyor team, we had a bit of a communications black out due to some unexpected issues that arose in the tunnels. How is everything out there?"
May 26 2011, 07:59 PM
Everything up to this point was a blur. Aiko vaguely recalled some kind of shockwave---a problem with the ship---and then it had ended. And now she was traveling across the surface of the suffering planet with Turk. He was giving her instructions now.
Pay attention, stupid!
"Gotcha, Mr. Liu . . . " she mumbled. With a click, the data unit slid into a slot on the mainframe, and the computer began to hum. She frantically typed in the password and hit the enter key. It was time to look for "cake."
May 27 2011, 01:53 AM
Everything shook, almost broke, fell into chaos, nearly killed them all, then was suddenly fine. In other words, it was about as stupid and irritating as anything else that happened that week, and at this point he hardly even felt the need to acknowledge it. In fact, that was exactly what he would do, or, rather, wouldn't do.
He did a pretty good job of it, at least by his books.
The moment that Jun let himself fall back into "Giving a shit again" mode was the exact moment that they were presented with the incredibly creepy scene of the city they landed in.
"... Jesus." He eloquently stated to the others the moment he had to take the place in. "It's like they took Morgan and gave it to a monster movie director. Are you sure we're on a real planet?"
When he glanced over to the Bigot in hope for an answer, he found her several feet away, and already heading out to the set. She must have heard her call to stage. Whatever, he'd just follow her and be an extra. Maybe they'd need a dead body at some point.
The comparison was actually working out for him. It was certainly easier than thinking about it as a horrifying ruin of a planet ravaged by a still living disease, while bearing a disturbing resemblance to his own home moon.
Except now that was exactly what he was doing. God damn it.
Zhi couldn't tell if the planet was beautiful or heart-wrenching. While on one hand, it was clearly the dead remains of a recent civilization, killed off by a still present threat, there was something strangely nice about the idea of the world recovering from it and trying to make everything right again. Every moment that she passed a bone, or the still remains of someone's home, she also passed a tree, animal, or sparkling pool of water. The planet was patching itself up on it's own. If they only managed to study and clear up the disease, perhaps respect for the lost planet would be paid.
Yet, as much as she wished she could, Zhi couldn't keep taking in the surroundings. They had work to do, and she was now in a position where she had to make sure it was done without question. She couldn't focus on the past. She would have to pay attention to what was happening right now.
When the captain broke off with Arel and Nate, Zhi took it as a sign to take charge of the people who remained. A quick look to the small portion of people she was left with, however, also struck her with unfortunate realizations of why she was the one in charge of them. One of them was Turk, the man the captain actively stated her distrust of, and the other was Aiko, the girl that even she had to admit was a little unpredictable. In Catalina's mind, she was probably just breaking away from danger.
With a sigh, she approached the two outcasts, willing to take on what the captain was too cowardly to. If Catalina didn't have the heart to work with them, then she would.
She allowed Turk to take control over the situation in the tunnels, simply because of his obvious advantage in experience. While she wasn't exceptionally comfortable with her position being a bit overridden, this seemed like the sort of situation where it was only sensible. She certainly couldn't work with the equipment.
When Aiko and Turk started to intentionally evade her, however, she decided that she should probably take action.
Not long after Turk tried to have his private conversation with Aiko, Zhi stepped into the room, looking slightly unamused by their secrecy.
"If you have something to discuss right now, it better be part of the mission. We don't have time to get off subject, and everything should be considered a possible danger. If you're doing anything I'm not aware of, then please tell me what it is, and immediately get back to business."
May 27 2011, 02:22 AM
Without warning, a comet strikes the surface of the planet and everyone is immolated. You all die. That's what you get for splitting up, you assholes. Suddenly, that doesn't happen.
Zhi's Team (Zhi, Turk, Aiko, Lars) - Subway Tunnel
Contrary to the serene, if hauntingly empty, scene on the surface, the subway tunnel is a nightmare. The infrared cameras on the Surveyor indicate an abundance of life, emanating thermal energy. The walls of the tunnel are being choked by thick, vein-like tendrils of some blackish substance. The deeper one travels into the tunnels, toward the heart of the city, the more thickly-clustered the tendrils are. As they progress deeper into the tunnel, they find that the ground is coated in thick pools of a putrid, blackish organic fluid with flies buzzing in tight swarms around it. The Surveyor is quickly painted in a coat of the stuff as it trucks ahead through the nightmarish terrain.
Although they're too far away to make it out visually, the infrared cameras indicate that there's a very large source of heat up ahead and that several smaller, person-sized sources are leaving it to approach.
Catalina's Team (Catalina, Arel, Nate, Jun, Raina) - Main Street
"Noise? What noise?" The captain asks of Nate, confused. "Does anyone else hear a buzzing sound?" Catalina stood where Nate had been when he first reported the sound, but failed to hear anything. When questioned, no one else reported hearing it, either. "Are you sure you didn't hit your head when we took that tumble earlier? Everyone else, keep your guard up just in case." The captain walked around with a sensor which reported back several different diagnostics. She clicked her tongue thoughtfully.
"No radiation, no toxic fumes... Picking up some NSA static, though. That's weird." She walked across the street, taking readings near different buildings. "No, it's staying pretty much the same. That's an even higher reading than at base. Are there still people here...?"
(Choose a place to explore.)
May 27 2011, 08:23 AM
Raina looked around her as the group walked along what used to be the main road of the once, she was sure, bustling city; her eyes a little wild and her stance a little twitchy. Something was off here. It was wrong. So very, very wrong...
Her hands hovered over the guns she brought along with her at both sides of her hips and her mind reminded her of the three knives she keeps hidden on her person. She was ready to attack anything at any time. Previous experiences taught her that to be overprepared is better than to be caught off guard.
May 27 2011, 09:35 AM
Well, looking on the bright side, no bugs yet.
He thought as he looked at the rotting city in front of them. Lars was still with his enviroment suit on, a simple pistol on his hip, which he could probably draw quickly with his mechanical arm, if necessary. He was too distracted by the wildlife and his surroundings to even notice that the communications broadcast had been cut off.
He watched in disgust as the black gooey substance attached itself to the surveyor, but more importantly, he took notice of the bugs. "Why does everytime I try to look at the bright side of things, destiny finds a way to ruin it..." He stopped for a moment thinking and then stretched his arms out a bit. "Well, looking on the bright side, at least it's not raining money..." His eyes scouted around, as if actually waiting for something to happened, he then simply dropped his arm and let out a short 'Meh'. He took another look at the substance, poking his chin as he thought. "Could this possibly be oil...? I'd imagine it'd be deeper down though..."
He then took notice of the infrared cameras and spoke out loud to himself as he watched. "Well, whatever those heat sources are they alredy know we're here. Survivors, maybe?" Questioned Lars as he dropped his head slightly to the others. "That big heat source could be a fire but...No, that would be stupid of them, the carbon monoxid generated by the fire would suffocate them all in a few hours." Lars sighed. "So uh...Turk, was it? If you don't slow down a bit you're going to end up using them as bowling pins."
May 27 2011, 10:02 AM
"Lars, I don't know which backwater you came from, but a planet contaminated by viruses so bad that it had to be sealed off... We're not looking to save anyone. In fact, even if I don't choose to run those heat sources over, you'll have to go out there, and kill them for me." The Surveyor moved closer to the heat signatures before Turk slowed it down to a crawl.
Withdrawing some canisters from one of the storage compartments, Turk handed them to Lars. "Get outside, collect some of that black stuff. And don't bring it back in here- Stick it in the exterior holding bay." Turk opened the interior airlock doors for Lars, and then motioned for him to get outside. He turned towards the Lieutenant, and clarified his actions. "We want to get samples before he encounter the hostiles up ahead," Turk pointed at the heat signatures on the screen, arbitrarily deciding that they were targets, "Since this isn't a humanitarian mission to save the people of Persephone, if we find any survivors, we'll either kill them and harvest their tissues for science, or we'll escort them back to the shuttle, where they can be frozen, and then subjected to live dissection and torture by our superiors for... science."
Turk waited for Lars to re-enter the airlock, before sealing it off, venting out the external atmosphere, and putting the decontamination system on full blast, keeping all parameters within the operating capacity of the environmental suits. "Welcome back. How was the local cuisine? I hope you remembered to get my order of takeout."
"Aiko, how's that search? If you can find cake, look for a larger search criteria. Look for 'Terra'." Turk mentioned to Aiko as an aside. "There's a difference between the artificial environments on terraformed worlds, and the real thing. Persephone, even in its... prime... was probably just as wrong as it is now."
May 27 2011, 10:40 AM
Lars sighed disappointedly at Turk's response. "Well, guess i can't argue with your reasons but..." He sighed again. "Oh well...Yeah yeah, i'll go and grab some of the gooey stuff for you to play with." He said as he waved his free hand and walked out through the airlock, instantly being glad he hadn't bothered to take off his enviromental suit since earlier. Before he collected it, Lars poked the black substance with his foot a bit. "Gee...This stuff's worse than my cooking." He mentioned as he collected the samples and then put them in the exterior holding bay, as instructed.
Then, after having decontaminated, he walked right back in the room where he previously was. Listening to Turk's question, Lars joked back and started moving his arms around exquisitively. "Ah, it was magnific, the black goo complemented perfectly with the bugs and also had an aroma that mixed quite well with the one of overgrown plants, I even mixed a little bit of pepperoni with it to make it just perfect." He then shook his head and went to find himself a seat, slumping his body against it with a sigh. "Well, at least we didn't have to deal with anything dangerous yet."
May 27 2011, 12:25 PM
Turk checked the camera in the exterior holding bay, and examined the canisters of black substance. "Doesn't look like it's reacting to separation from the rest of the substance. Let's hope it stays that way."
Turk turned over to Lars, and added some commentary to the mechanical man's comment. "If we're lucky, Lars, we're the dangerous ones. I hate to think that there could be something out there that could break through our armor." I'm going to get out of here alive. Starting the Surveyor back up, he slowly inched it towards the heat signatures ahead, maintaining movement, but keeping the engines running low enough to avoid detection. "The Surveyor isn't armed. Anything comes up, we'll either have to escape, or fight." Turk glanced at the Surveyor's passengers. Lars can probably fight or be used as a meat shield. I certainly hope the Lieutenant can fight, and I know I can handle some infiltration. Between the three of us, our combat level isn't that high.
May 27 2011, 12:58 PM
Arel was puzzled to say the least. "NSA static? Please do explain what NSA static is, Captain." Maybe it was one of those new Oraph terms.
Well if people are here I think they might take refuge at the subway station. Earlier she had noticed an entrance leading down into an underground subway station or something of that nature...But then again would it be a viable place for people to live?
May 27 2011, 04:17 PM
Zhi's Team (Zhi, Turk, Aiko, Lars) - Subway Tunnel
A half dozen people of varying ages came into view, running toward the Surveyor. Two of them are carrying crowbars. The people appear to be extremely pale and emaciated and walk with a limp. They don't seem friendly.
Catalina's Team (Catalina, Arel, Nate, Jun, Raina) - Subway Station
"It's a form of energy released during certain unexplained phenomena. I don't really know the science behind it," Catalina replies. "People on the street call it Sin. It doesn't occur in nature, so NSA emissions are a guaranteed indicator of human presence." On Arel's and Turk's suggestion, their group descended into the subway station. As they walked down the crumbling, weed-infested steps to the station, Catalina suddenly stopped. "Wait. There was just an NSA spike. We're getting closer to the source." Is it underground?
"What was--Get down!"
Something flew up from the station and bounced off the floor, shooting up in a parabolic arc toward them. Moments later, the grenade exploded in midair, causing the already-weak stairs to collapse.
May 27 2011, 08:54 PM
Aiko almost didn't see them coming, so engrossed was she in her task. But after several minutes of searching, she found what Turk wanted.
"Mr. Liu! I found it! Now what do I . . . oh," she gasped, her train of thought interrupted by the sight. "Those people look sick!" What little flesh remained on their thin frames was pallid and devoid of fat, and their eyes were sunken. Aiko gave a little cry and shuddered. "Can't we help them?"
May 27 2011, 09:02 PM
"Good job Aiko. Copy everything you found onto the data storage unit." Turk responded in a rushed tone. "Lars, rear compartment, rifles, get to it!" Turk commanded Lars, noticing that he was sitting and complaining, instead of getting rid of crowbar wielding.... things.
Reversing the Surveyor some distance, Turk stopped it clear of the black substance that coated the tunnels. "Lars, the two crowbars are your problem." Turk added, grabbed a set of combat knives. "Take care of them, and I'll get the rest. Don't worry about damaging the samples- We'll get better results from the knife kills." Turk exited the Surveyor, and waited for Lars to handle the armed hostiles.
May 27 2011, 09:23 PM
((OOC: I take it the attackers are to be treated as NPCs, tell me if otherwise.))
Lars looked over to the rifles and sighed, he should've practiced with the rifles and not just with pistols. He went over to the rear compartment, got the rifles and took a few seconds to figure out how to hold it properly, he watched as the two people armed with crowbars approached him, he aimed the rifle. "Okay...I've seen this in movies...I think i just gotta hold it like this and-" As he fired the first shot, the recoil was a bit stronger so he ended up shooting loosely for a bit. He managed to hit one of the two, right in the leg, the man fell to the ground, screaming in pain from having his leg shot. Lars shook his head. "Oh damnit...Sorry!"
Just then, the other man approached, Lars ducked just in time to avoid being hit by the crowbar. He got up and, before the enemy had the chance to swing the crowbar again, Lars improvised a punch right into the face with his face with the mechanic arm. A loud thud was made and echoed for a bit, followed by the sound of the man falling to the ground, unconscious, his face all red from the punch and now with a few teeth missing. Lars shook his head. "I'm not cut out for this crap..." He said with a sigh, looking at the unconscious guy in front of him.
He activated the communicator. "Hey, Lars here. Turk said that it might be a good idea to bring a few of the survivors alive and unconscious with us back to the ship, i knocked out this one fella here. Eh...He's lost a couple of teeth but i think he'll be fine, what do i do with him?"
May 27 2011, 09:36 PM
Turk noticed that Lars had managed to put down one of the attackers, and went down to check out the thing for himself. "Good job Lars. Stay on point." He mentioned, as he cut off the unconscious man's fingers and stuck them in a container. "Bind its arms and legs and throw it in the hold." Turk turned his attention towards the rest of the pale creatures. Holding knives in both of his hands, Turk ran into the group, cutting at the creatures' throats.
These aren't survivors. They're only human on the outside. "Five walking virus hives down," Turk noted over the communications network. "Lars, if you're done with that sample, get over here and help me put down the rest. Try not to damage them too much." Turk embedded the knives in the two closest targets, before retreating to allow Lars room to fire.
"Aiko, keep your eyes on the cameras and the seismic activity monitors. If this tunnel decides to collapse on us, I'd rather be inside the party van."
May 27 2011, 09:50 PM
THERE WAS GOING TO BE A POST HERE BUT THEN EVERYONE POSTED AFTER IT ANYWAYS AND I'M GOING TO LIGHT YOU ALL ON FIRE
May 27 2011, 09:53 PM
Lars made an outraged face as Turk cut off the unconscious dude's fingers. "Oh man, that's just disgusting." A chill ran through Lars spine as he desperatly tried to shake the image off his head. He then did as Turk had instructed, binding the man's arms and legs and then dumping the guy in the hold. "Sorry bro." He said with a sigh as he closed the hold's door and then turned to Turk, to help him with the rest of the survivors, despite how unwillingly he would do it. Lars decided he'd stick to the pistol he trained with earlier, since the rifle wasn't really cutting it. He held the pistol with his mechanical arm, allowing him steady and precise aim, he kept his distance and fired shots at the people's legs, aiming only to cripple and not to kill, letting out a muttered 'sorry' with each shot fired. "Is this really necessary? I mean, we alredy got our sample man, I see no reason to actually try to wipe out every single one of these guys." He said with a sigh, Lars never really was the type to show too much concern when people died or suffered but...He shot the last survivor's leg, making the guy also fall down, bleeding and yelling. "That's the last of 'em, we should get going now, no?"
May 27 2011, 09:54 PM
Aiko shut her eyes, wincing. This was all too much. She'd already seen enough torture and death to last her a lifetime, and now she could only watch helplessly as Turk cut off that poor man's fingers. Then she heard instructions again. But why wasn't Zhi saying anything? She was supposed to be in command, right? What was going on? Her stomach lurched as a fresh wave of nausea hit her.
"O-okay," she stammered, fighting the urge to vomit, "but . . . this is so WRONG!" Hot tears streamed down her face.
With a grimace, she turned her face to the monitors and prayed she would not absorb the auras of the lost.
May 27 2011, 10:15 PM
"Lars, shoot to kill. We either kill them now, or they come at us from behind later. These aren't survivors- We aren't talking about some sort of war or weapon. The only survivors are people who are virus-free. If they're still alive and walking around, they're carrying it. We can't save them- The only thing we can do is free them from the virus' embrace. Mercy killing, if you want to think about it in that way." Turk responded to Lars, while killing off the creatures that he had put down. "We're checking out that large heat source before we head back. We probably aren't leaving Persephone on day one."
Turk headed back to the Surveyor, giving himself a thorough decontamination. Once inside, he waited for Lars, before checking the camera, and moving the team closer to the larger heat source. "It's either a power source, or a really large walking virus hive." Turk noted, indicating the size difference between the still warm cadavers, and the larger heat source." Turning away from the screen, Turk asked the Lieutenant about the team's combat capacity. "Lieutenant, what other party favors did Oraph pack for us? Hopefully, explosive projectiles."
May 27 2011, 10:56 PM
As the group began to enter the subway, the buzzing noise in Nate's ears grew to a louder volume. With each step, it slowly rose to a greater intensity.
"Ugh, that buzzing's getting worse. It's starting to give me a headache," Nate said, his right hand moving up to his head in a futile attempt to try and quell the increasing pain.
Before he could complain any louder, Nate heard Catalina speak up. "Wait, there was just an NSA spike. Are we getting closer to the source?"
It wasn't hard to put two and two together.
Wait, with what the captain said about NSA... Does this mean I'm able to detect it? It was a thought he didn't bother to think about, considering the more definitive question he was able to ask.
"If you're picking up NSA, that means we've found life on this planet, right? I hope they aren't hostile, otherwise..." He slowly started to reach for his gun, wishing that he wouldn't have to actually use it.
Then, almost like it was an answer to his questions, he heard the click.
"What was--Get down!"
He didn't even see it until the contents inside exploded. Nate's body was thrown back, and he thought he felt it colliding with someone else's. It wasn't like he could verify it, however, as the stairs beneath them collapsed. Darkness swallowed up his vision, followed by some immense pain.
He wasn't sure how much time had passed since the explosion, since the complete darkness made it hard to tell whether or not he had actually blacked out in response. However, Nate could feel something heavy on his chest. Rubble? Or someone else's body? The intense pain racing throughout Nate's body made it hard to focus. He tried to mutter out a cry for help, but he was too weak. The force of the explosion combined with whatever fell on top of him made it impossible to muster anything more than a squeak. His arms and legs fell limp, and consciousness drained from his body.
May 27 2011, 11:36 PM
In one moment, everything seemed to be fine, and in the next, everything fell apart around her. In the same horrifying moment that she realized that they were under attack, Turk had already tried to take control over the situation. Considering how thrown off she was by the attack in the first place, she'd normally be at least slightly grateful for someone having their head on their shoulders during it. Unfortunately, Turk very clearly didn't.
Maim the people attacking them. Disable them and send them in for study. Cut off their fingers. Stuff them in boxes. Kill those who remain.
It was absolutely disgusting. In the moment that Zhi lost control of the group, Turk had ordered a complete massacre of the opposing forces. He didn't even know what the attackers were, and yet didn't even give his plans a second thought.
Even more disturbing was the fact that some of the others were following his lead. As if they honestly thought that his orders were a good idea.
Though, she had to acknowledge that it also prove that she wasn't taking nearly enough charge. She couldn't keep standing back, and desperately trying to piece together solutions for unfamiliar problems. She would simply have to step ahead and act.
Just as Lars was starting to drag back the body of one of the people he disabled, Zhi stepped in front of him, blocking his way to Turk, who she made eye contact with.
"Everyone, stop what you're doing for a moment, and listen!" She shouted to them all, taking hold of her handgun to reinforce her attempt to look strong. "Turk! I respect your dedication toward getting the job done, but you aren't the head of the team right now. Furthermore, your orders are morally objectionable, and based on nothing but assumptions. We will not be torturing, maiming, dissecting, or relentlessly killing anyone. We should disable those we can, do what's necessary for self defense, and keep our ground, but anything beyond that is unnecessary and uncalled for. Studying them is not our primary goal right now. Do you understand?"
Once she finished her speech, she slipped through the door, and took her gun into her shaking hands. She kept near to the others to make sure they didn't defy her orders again, but desperately tried to do everything she could to also fight off the invasion.
In her mind, she did everything she could to not panic. It was hard to keep lying to herself. She had no place here, and she knew it.
Once Jun finally caught up with the others, they were saying something about signals or something. In other words, he doubted that he needed to worry about it. The others could take care of the science and such. He was just there to pretend he was doing something.
Before he could tune everything out again, however, he suddenly found himself pushed down by some sort of unknown force. It pressed down on his body for a moment, before everything he was aware of flared up in pain. A previously unfamiliar part of his brain suddenly kicked into gear, nulling out the burning sensation as quickly as it hit, giving him enough sense and awareness to realize what just happened. They had a bomb dropped on them, and he was down. He was down and could very well die at any moment. With every thought that ran through his head, his vision faded more, reinforcing his fear, and leaving him desperately scrabbling for a final thought to latch on to.
In the end, however, all he could think was what a waste this all was. How if he woke up after this, he would have to give himself a proper last moment. This was pathetic.
May 27 2011, 11:55 PM
Zhi's Team (Zhi, Turk, Aiko, Lars) - Subway Tunnel
After a few more rounds of gunfire, Zhi's team disposes of their assailants. A second look at the infrared cameras reveals that more human-shaped points of thermal light are gathering around the large object in the distance. There are a full dozen now.
Catalina's Team (Catalina, Arel, Nate, Jun, Raina) - Subway Station
Catalina, who was in the front of the group and Arel, who was nearest her, were in front of the grenade when it blew, causing their bodies to be launched forward by the force of the explosion. Catalina flew down into the train station and rolled across the tracks, knocked out. The first person to awaken, nearly 10 minutes later, is Jun. He awakens to a sharp pain in his right arm. Closer investigation reveals that he had been wounded by a piece of shrapnel which had torn a hole in his environment suit and caused him to start bleeding.
Speaking of bleeding, he was leaving a trail of blood behind him. It seems that he's moving. Come to think of it, something is pulling on his leg. Ah, yes. That thing was a man holding a shotgun, dragging him by the leg down the subway tunnel.
May 28 2011, 12:01 AM
"Lieutenant Shaomei, the hostiles were limping towards us, armed with crowbars. Their behavior was unlike that of humans, even the insane ones." Turk addressed Zhi's objections. "Our objective here is to investigate the virus, as well as the situation the planet in relation to the virus so that we can attempt to prevent Morgan turning in to Persephone. Collecting research samples for the scientists at Oraph is one means of doing this- The long term effects of viral infection are unknown to us." Turk attempted to wake Zhi up to the reality of Persephone. "Look at these things? They look human, but they coexist with this black infestation. You may be willing to take the risks of allowing them to live, bit I'm not. If we don't make it back to the Nexus gate, because someone allowed a local creature to live and damage our protection systems, we get nothing. No pay. No benefits. Not even a tomorrow."
Turk was now well aware that this was no place for Lieutenant Shaomei. He didn't like working under someone who was willing to stick to 'morals' that could potentially hinder the job, or kill him. "You saw the city. Ruins, full of skeletal remains. This viral outbreak started 15 years ago- Anything that is still alive has adapted to exist with the virus, as new non-human organisms, or hosts for other organisms. 15 years. Those things we killed were human over 15 years ago. They should've died with everyone else, but instead, they became these... things." Turk glanced at the pile of cadavers that he had assembled outside. "We can debate morals some other time, when we're safe on the -other side- of the Nexus gate. Until we know what's going on, everything is a potential danger." Turk pointed at the suit that Zhi was wearing. "That suit is what protects you from the outside world. That protects you from becoming them. We're not only killing for self-defense, we're killing so that we can stay alive. If the hostiles get too close to the Surveyor, they can damage it, and I can't confidently say that we can safely walk through kilometers of that black stuff. If our suits puncture, we're not making it back to Oraph. I'll follow your orders, but take no risks. I may be working for Oraph, but I'm no soldier- Don't treat me like one."
May 28 2011, 12:42 AM
After the immediate threat was dealt with using, unfortunately, deadly force, Turk almost immediately started talking down at her again. While she was still trying to come to terms with what she had just done, and swallow the fear that she could hardly hold back any longer, he continued to push her. He thought he knew everything. He thought he was tough, logical, and the only one with any sort of intelligent thought on the team. He didn't even seem to realize just how condescending he was, or even able to acknowledge the idea of morality and emotional basis.
"None of us are soldiers of a typical sense, and I accept that." Zhi retorted, very quickly losing her composure. "However, that doesn't make you any less subject to our current hierarchy. If people start stepping out of line, then the entire group could fall apart. Your hasty actions are as much capable of endangering us as the people attacking. Furthermore, I understand that our ultimate goal is to understand the nature of the virus, but until just a few minutes ago, our main purpose was to survive and deal with the attacking survivors. We're here to live, and we're here to take as many people as possible out alive. Immediately throwing away the basic concepts of human rights in response to a problem not only goes against that goal, but is flat out sickening outside of a business perspective! I don't care what state these people are in right now! As far as we're aware, they're still human beings on some level, and are not to be treated as objects!"
Pain. Light. Air. Pain. Awareness. More pain. He was conscious again, and, as he's immediately able to discern, in a lot of pain. He supposed he should be glad to be alive, but it was a little hard to keep that in mind when being alive meant feeling absolutely miserable.
He was pretty sure there was a piece of glass in his arm, too. It was probably because it got embedded as he was moving.
... Wait. He was moving. If there was one thing he knew shouldn't happen right after surviving a bombing, it was moving. Particularly if it was happening outside of his own control. What the hell was going on? Where was he? Was he even actually alive?
Seeing no sensible answer to what was happening, Jun desperately tried to wrench himself away from whatever was dragging him, using as much violent force as he could immediately after losing consciousness. It was difficult. Everything in his body was pretty much lead right now. If lead felt pain.
Even so, after a bit of struggling, he was able to regain somewhat proper control of his arms, unfortunately only after his back got further torn by the ground underneath. Shit. With every passing second this was getting worse. He needed to do something.
Letting instinct take over for what he decided was a completely useless mind, his hand drifted to his belt. It wrapped itself around a metal handle, and slid the object out of it's holster.
Right. He had a gun.
Finally realizing the obvious course of action, he tilted his body over slightly to let him get into view of what was still gripping his legs. Before his head could really identify it, he pointed his weapon at it, and pulled the trigger.
The shot hit it's mark. Stopped by the bullet, his captor let go of his leg, dropping him onto the ground, and subsequently, allowing him to be thrown back by the gun's recoil. Unable to realize what was happening in time, he found himself tumbling backward, forced into a small slab of broken concrete. For a moment, the impact is enough to black him out again, but the urgency keeps it from lasting for more than a second.
His attacker was still here, and there was no way in hell he was going to let them drag him away. Mustering everything he could in his shaking, bleeding arms and legs, he pushed himself back upright, and faced whatever it was that had the gall to spit on his newfound determination.
May 28 2011, 03:41 AM
"Fucking Hell, Jan!!!" Raina screamed as she managed to dodge enough for the bullet to graze her eyebrow instead of zooming through her grey matter. "What the fuck are you doing?!"
May 28 2011, 08:55 AM
"...and we're here to take as many people as possible out alive." What? Turk could hardly believe what he was hearing. "We aren't taking anyone out of here alive. The only people that are getting 'taken' out of here are the ones that came on Lucent. The most humanitarian action that on the mission that anyone of us will ever take is freeing the local populace from the this virus. These things are remnants of people- People who should've died 15 years ago, but were instead forced to live in degenerating conditions, and under constant attack from the virus and changing environment. Unless we assume that they took pleasure in that, every year that they maintained their sanity, they suffered." Command hierarchy or not, Turk believed that Lieutenant Shaomei was not fit for command. With everyone word that she uttered, Turk found his suspicion that the lieutenant was letting her emotions affect her decision becoming more believable. "These creatures are no longer human beings, at least in their own minds. As far as they are concerned, we're human beings, and they don't like humans."
The newly appointed officer was bothering Turk. "You want to delay what we're doing here because of human rights, because you feel that our enemies are human on some level. Alright. I'll play along with you. Remember this, though. Every second that we spend down here is a second that we aren't with the rest of the team." Turk smirked inside his suit. "Can you hear that? Radio silence. We can't contact them while we're in the tunnels, and they can't contact us. Remember, Lieutenant, this planet is completely hostile- The air is full of the virus, and those black tendrils aren't a natural occurrence in completely man-made subway tunnels. If you can't do what's necessary to ensure that the four of us can survive, get results, and meet back with the rest of the team, I'll do it myself."
May 28 2011, 12:24 PM
Aiko watched in horror as Zhi and Turk continued to argue, noting the advancing figures behind them. This had to stop.
"We don't have time for this right now! More are coming, Zhi---get in, get in!" she shrieked. "And Mr. Olimar! We have to pick him up, too!"
May 28 2011, 12:31 PM
Turk finally took note of the oncoming natives. "Dinner is -NOT- served." He went back outside and grabbed Lieutenant Shaomei. "We finish this argument later. You need to stay alive for that though." Punching her in the gut before she could protest, Turk carried her inside.
Making sure everything was securely sealed, Turk checked the IR cameras. Too many. Broadcasting to Lars, who was some distance away, dragging back more samples, Turk apologized. "Lars, sorry. There are too many of them. We'll pick you up on the way back." If there was anything left. Turk started reversing the Surveyor back in the direction they came from, and once they were clear, Turk marked Lars Olimar as MIA. "We need to contact the others. We don't have enough firepower to get past that horde."
May 28 2011, 12:32 PM
Arel had been launched forward and pretty much flew into the train station just like Catalina was...except the pilot stopped abruptly after being hurled into a half-broken support beam. Her vision fading, Arel tried to crawl towards the captain, but eventually blacks out.
Later, Arel awoke to the sound of a gunshot. Opening her eyes, she could see a trail of blood and noticed that Raina and Jun were missing. The captain was sprawled a few yards away. Grunting, Arel got up from her spot and inspected her suit. Luckily she couldn't spot any rips, although then again her vision was now only half of what it used to be... But the pains in her back told Arel that there would be many a bruise to treat later.
Hurrying over to the captain, she knelt next to her superior and tried to wake her up. "Captain, wake up!"
May 28 2011, 12:52 PM
Zhi's Team (Zhi, Turk, Aiko) - Relto City
They successfully escape from the tunnel and arrive in the city proper again.
Catalina's Team (Catalina, Arel, Nate, Jun, Raina) - Subway Station
Catalina groaned and stirred as Arel shouted at her. Suddenly remembering the chain of events that led to her lack of consciousness, her eyes opened and she sat up, reaching for her gun. "What happened? Who attacked us?" She switched on her radio and called the Surveyor team. "Lieutenant, status update. We were ambushed in the subway station. Report back with your status and position."
Catalina tried to stand up and immediately fell to the ground again, clutching her left leg. "Tch," she muttered under her breath, carefully standing up again without putting her weight on the offending limb.
Lars's Team (Lars) - Subway Tunnel
Gaining confidence from the disappearance of the vehicle, the survivors begin to approach more quickly. In the dark, it's hard to make them out, but the sound of their footsteps sloshing through the fluid on the floor of the tunnel is both obvious and ominous.
May 28 2011, 12:59 PM
"Captain, the Lieutenant is unable to... report at the moment. We engaged hostiles in the subway tunnels- Virus-afflicted humans looking for additional targets to infect or eat. We collected a sample, as well as a few canisters of a black growth that infested the tunnels. We're back on the surface." Turk responded, noting that Lieutenant Shaomei was still feeling the after effects of his punch, as well as the rapid escape from the tunnels. Turk realized he was correct in assuming that everyone on Persephone was hostile- If the Captain's team was attacked as close as the subway station, there was likely more to this planet than he had seen in it's murky depths. "Lars is MIA. We weren't able to retrieve him before the hostiles could reach us. What are your orders?" If anything, the Captain is probably more likely to be adept at command.
May 28 2011, 01:16 PM
Lars dropped the rest of the samples, letting out a heavy sigh. As he watched the Surveyor drive away, he activated his communicator, trying to at least pass along a last message before they got too far. "Just saying, Turk, you're an asshole. Over." Lars then grunted, looking over at the forms approaching him. He muttered to himself. "Right...Time to go." Lars tried following the way that the Surveyor had taken while heading back up, he grabbed one of the crowbars and held it with his organic hand, while keeping the pistol on his mechanical one, he then slowly started walking, trying to tell how far the attackers were from him by the sound of their footsteps splashing on the goo, he muttered to himself.
"Well, it could be worse, at least i have a pistol and a crowbar and the suit is bound to offer at least some protectio- Wait a moment, i'm carryinga a crowbar and a pistol. And i'm also wearing an enviromental suit and glasses...Damn, if i had a goatee it'd be just about the right level of badassery." He sighed and pressed forward, ready to smack his crowbar against anything that got too close. His voice suddenly turned serious for once and he started speaking to himself again. "I'm not going to die here...There are still too many questions which haven't been answered. And there are still lots of things left for me to discover. I don't care if i'll have to smack my way out of here, they're not ditching me in this forsaken planet."
May 28 2011, 01:21 PM
By the time Nate came to, he wasn't sure about how long he had been out. What he was able to hear, however, was the Captain on what he could assume was her communications device. From how little he could see, the object on top of him was most definitely rubble. With the pain he was feeling all throughout his body, he knew there was no way he could even begin to lift it.
It was the most he could say. As soon as he said it, he winced in pain. He was having trouble breathing, and talking was even worse. Hopefully it would be a problem that was fixed with the removal of the rubble on top of him, although he doubted it. Has he lay in wait, his attention was drawn back to the buzzing that was still going on in his ears. With his hazy memory clouded by pain, he couldn't tell the relative strength of it compared to when it spiked before the grenade.
I hope they heard me, I don't want to be stuck under this rubble for too long...
May 28 2011, 01:32 PM
Arel moved over to the captain's side. "Here, let me help." Arel took some of the captain's equipment and slung it over her shoulders. All the while, she could hear Turk communicating what had happened to the Surveyor team.
"Lars is MIA. We weren't able to retrieve him before the hostiles could reach us. What are your orders?" ...they....did...what? Arel snatched the radio from the captain.
"So you just left him to die?! You could have picked him up in the Surveyor dammit! That thing can surely withstand a little beating. You know that those people....if they ambushed us like this....they WILL kill him. And yet you just left him like trash! Honestly, you're no better tha-" Arel resisted the urge to add more, she tossed the radio back to the captain. LIke hell I'm going to let anyone die here. That'd be too pitiful.
"H-help!" Arel heard Nate's call for assistance. Arel whirled around trying to find where he was.
May 28 2011, 01:41 PM
Aiko had heard enough. Doing what Turk had asked her with the data disk and the monitors was not a problem. She had promised to protect the data, after all. But this carnage . . . it was the old Turk resurfacing, the one who'd stabbed the doctor in an attempt to kill her. He was openly challenging Zhi's command, and now he had condemned Lars to die.
She turned to face Turk, tears threatening to blur her vision, and let him have it.
"You . . . lied to me," she shrieked. "You LIED! You said you weren't really like this . . . but you lied! You expect me to believe that we're the same when you just left Mr. Olimar to . . . to . . ." She trailed off, interrupted by unintelligible whispers in her mind.
What . . . ?
Without warning, she began to dry-retch. "They're . . . talking to me," she whispered between heaves. "They still have some kind of consciousness."
May 28 2011, 05:20 PM
"I did not leave Lars to die. We will return to retrieve him when we are reinforced by the Captain's team. You saw how he handled those guns- Precision aim, took out all of their legs. He would rather have them bleed out, prolonging their suffering. He's got the attitude of a killer... He'll be alright." Turk's tone of voice and facial expressions remained stoic as he addressed the leaving Lars behind. "As long as he makes sure that his environmental suit isn't punctured- He'll survive. These things are tough- It would take some kind of firearm or explosive weapon to damage them."
"They still have some kind of consciousness."
"Why wouldn't they?" Turk gave Aiko an awkward glance. "It's not like they're dead corpses just walking around looking for food. Did you listen to the briefing? The viruses leave the body after death- Those things are not dead. Nor are they human like you." Turk glanced around the city from within the Surveyor. "They're underground, miles away from here, and you can hear them? Get some rest- You've been like this since we were aboard the Lucent, it's not strange that you would be hallucinating. Sleep deprivation and a violent encounter where you saw virus hosts- virus hosts that would've been infected for 15 years- put down." Turk searched the vehicle, and produced a pouch of water, and some sleeping medicine, and handed them to Aiko.
May 29 2011, 01:13 AM
Turk's overly well trained punch left Zhi doubled over and essentially stunned for a good few minutes. A good few minutes open to allow her to watch the man's continuously more insane, hasty, and heartless decisions drive the entire mission into chaos. In just the short time that he left her disabled in, he had left Lars behind, lied to the captain about her current state, and continued to all around take excessive control over everything he could set his eyes on.
He was a legitimate danger to them. She couldn't keep letting him go on like this. This was her responsibility, and as much at the idea of having to stoop to his level sickened her, it eventually began to seem like the only sensible option.
As her breath and dexterity returned, Zhi's hand drifted to her handgun. She gripped it with a fierce determination as she watched Turk turn to Aiko in yet another attempt at one of his horrendous ideas. She couldn't hear what he was saying, but she didn't care anymore.
Keeping her steps light to avoid arousing his attention, Zhi slowly approached him from the back, drawing her weapon in synchronization with her steps. The only announcement of her arrival was the cold touch of the barrel against the back of his head.
"Turk, I officially declare you a threat to our mission and safety." She stated loud and clear, the fear clearly evident in her voice. "Drop everything you're doing, and back down peacefully. I don't want to have to resort to anything violent."
As she spoke, she glanced to Aiko, and tilted her head slightly in the direction of a coil of wire on the floor. She hoped the girl would get the idea in silence.
"Fucking Hell, Jan!!!"
... Raina. For God's sake, it was Raina pulling him the entire time? What the hell did she think she was doing?
Stunned both from the surprise of what really happened, and from the exhaustion the entire thing left him with, Jun dropped his weapon, and let himself fall back to the ground. His hand wandered to his bleeding arm, suddenly more concerned with keeping him in one piece than shooting allies.
"Ugh... What the hell were you doing? You put a goddamn hole in my suit." He quietly retorted, either too tired or ashamed to put much effort into it. "You didn't even let me go when I tried to yank myself away from you. I thought you were some kind of crazy native or something."
May 29 2011, 05:11 AM
"Yeah, well, I didn't want to drag you, but it was either that or let you be dead to the world; waiting to be dead to everything else." She remarked with a huff while crossing her arms.
She turned around, and sideglanced him. "And in case you're wondering, I couldn't find the others, so I didn't leave them to die."