- Being 1
- Detection 6
- Insight 1
- Stealth 1
- Biology 1
- Detection 6
- Stealth 2
- Arcane 1
- Detection 5
- Electronics 1
- Stealth 2
Jssra: I believe we were going to try to figure out why people were attacking us, now that we’re in Saint Mary and have overwhelming firepower on our side.
Karelzarath: Oh, yes. The filthy cyborgs.
Kassil was pretty sure the consensus reached was ‘Feral scavengers’.
Kassil: But if you want to probe farther, you can.
Em: But we sold them to our employer?
Jssra: Also, the live specimen/ratman.
Em: for the trust bounty?
Em: so we don’t have the option to go Dr. Mengele on them now?
Kassil: Indeed you did turn them in for the bounty.
Karelzarath: We have plundered their booty. Wait, that’s not quite right.
Jssra: We got the meatsack corpse back for a little while. No reason we can’t ask for the other.
Karelzarath: True. We haven’t met our weekly quota of contagion-release yet.
Jssra: Speaking of. Do we have a lab tech, yet?
Kassil: Nope. You’re apparently in line behind a rather obnoxious cryptogeneticist who keeps throwing fits because he swears he needs more help.
Jssra: Feh. How about the CT scan of the meatsack?
Alasdair ponders having a “chat” with Mr. Osbtructive.
Kassil: The guy’s name is given as Professor Taylor.
Kassil: You’ve got the CT scan. It doesn’t produce much in the way of really interesting results.
Jssra: Are Thad and his minions still gone?
Kassil: How long do people take training?
Em: about a week it looks like (double checks her numbers)
Jssra: Around 3dy for Ananda.
Karelzarath: ~12 hours, I believe.
Kassil: So you basically have Em’s week of training to faff about otherwise.
Ananda then picks Alasdairs’ brains for a further eight, which she likely needs persuading not to drain in a single workday.
Em: okay, 57.5 hours she’s at it
Karelzarath: Holy bejeebies
Em: cackling madly at the end of each day as she stomps on the “thou shalt not suffer a witch to live” commandment more and more
Kassil: You weren’t kidding about the week part.
Em: (since ultimately, all of that is magic related, about 60% of it directly)
Jssra: (I told her what our CDP total ought to be.)
Karelzarath: And that’s no more than 3 ranks per?
Kassil: Alasdair is having his brain picked.
Kassil: Care to go through that, or…?
Karelzarath: I think it mostly amounts to Wielding theory.
Jssra: Something of that nature.
Kassil: Okay then.
Em: trying to split the Thaum?
Kassil: What are you doing?
Kassil: Presuming that Em’s training is done, unless you intend to fill time otherwise.
Jssra: Does Saint Mary have any special hoops to jump through for working on live-captured specimens?
Kassil: You have to get approval from the researcher working on the project.
Kassil: You’re primarily a field team, remember.
Kassil: AKA, the ‘bag and tag’ squad.
Jssra: Who’s that, then? Thad?
Kassil: He’d be one, yes.
Karelzarath: Well, he hasn’t said we can’t…
Ananda , while waiting for Em to finish training, puts in a request to wake up the rat-man to see if it shares a language with anyone. And if so, talk with it.
Ananda: (Or, I suppose, Alasdair could just mind-delve it. But given last time, I expect he’d be more cautious.)
Kassil: You can make a Networking roll if you like.
Kassil: See how well you can navigate the channels to get your request pushed through.
Em: Osaka networking mode o_o
Jssra: Couldn’t happen at a better time, I suppose.
Kassil: You’re politely informed that your request will be delivered to the appropriate researcher.
Em: (Cloudcuckoolander from cute funny schoolgirl anime)
Alasdair is not willing to risk spelunking that thing’s mind.
Kassil: You get a strong sense of ‘Oh good, another field team thinking they belong in a lab’ from the people you deal with.
Ananda: After Em is done training, we’re probably ready to head out to Site 17 again, unless there’s something else time-consuming that needs to get done here.
Em: I hope whatever has Circe finds her fascinating o_o
Em: but my terror of what we’re finding led me to feel upgrading skills was critical at this point
Ananda: Okay, then. Onwards.
Em: I just had a thought.
Em: Why don’t we get some equipment and haul back those capsules with the suspended animation critters?
Em: I’m sure our employers would be fascinated by THOSE
Em: then we could get enough bounty to get some real armor and gear :)
Em: and maybe survive the next horrible thing to happen to us
Alasdair: Because Bad Things will happen if they lose power.
Ananda: Let’s try looking around the room we passed through on our way there, instead.
Em: so we bring along power supply?
Kassil: It takes a bit of looking to find Serek, who evidently spent a fair portion of the time alternating between studying and sleeping, but you get underway on the eighth day.
Ananda: (Dead NPC storage! :D )
Em: or maybe I can handle power supply?
Em: while you guys haul?
Kassil: The path is getting familiar by now, enough that even Alasdair has little trouble finding his way along the rough excuse for a path to the base camp.
Kassil: When you get there, a few burly sorts are hacking away at the nearby plant life with machetes, while the rest of the camp crew haul the chopped-off foliage to a central fire that looks like it’s been going for well over a day straight, with a plume of greasy black smoke hanging overhead.
Alasdair: That’s new.
Ananda flags down the nearest employee, “What’s the pyre for?”
Kassil: “Plants got aggressive a couple days back, started trying to swamp the perimeter.”
Kassil: “Poison weeds, mostly.
Kassil: We’ve been pruning ’em back out of the growth zone since.”
Em looks at Alasdair “Can you mind delve plants?”
Alasdair: “I’m not sure I’d want to if I could. The sort of intelligence they’d have…”
Ananda nods, shrugs. “Plants can take a while to get moving on this large a scale.”
Kassil: You get an odd kind of look from the worker, but she doesn’t say anything more as she continues hauling the bundle of chopped plants to the pyre.
Ananda notes to the others, under her breath, “And this is why you break camp every day, even if you don’t plan to go anywhere.”
Ananda hurries after the worker, “Could I have a sample of that one?” She points to a particular branch.
Alasdair chews his lip, trying to decide how foolish he feels today.
Kassil: She stares at Ananda, then very warily raises the bundle up for Ananda to take a cut at.
Alasdair scans the area around him out to 1 km for mental signatures.
Ananda picks over the bundle of vegitation and uses her knife to aid in breaking off one herbaceous sample, one of green wood, and one of mature wood, if she can find it.
Ananda finds a rock to use as a table and examines them. These species shouldn’t move this fast, on this scale. Why are they?
Alasdair: “Well, good news is they’re not intelligent or being directly controlled by something that is.”
Em: …do animals sometimes go nuts in resposne to massive wielding manifestations?
Ananda: “Good to know. These species don’t normally move on our timescale, though.”
Ananda pokes a leaf with the tip of her knife to see if it responds.
Kassil: Em, you could always try a Biology or Arcane check.
Kassil: The leaf folds around the point of contact, like a pair of fingers trying to grip something.
Em isn’t really a very good scholar outside mechanical bits but wracks her brains for hearing about something like this anyway in case it caught her attention in passing.
Ananda raises an eyebrow. Moves the knife-point back and forth to see how strong its grip is.
Kassil: No stronger than any other leaf; it shreds rather qucikly in contact with the knife’s edge, and doesn’t seem to have any real gripping power.
Ananda wanders over to the perimiter and watches the plants’ response to one of the workers with machettes.
Kassil: Ananda, you see the plants recoil a bit when chopped into; the workers are apparently familiar enough with the reaction to correct for it on each swing, making sure they chop through the plants rather than simply splintering them all over.
Ananda: Do the plants respond at all aggressively?
Kassil: They appear to be trying to stretch toward the camp.
Em: has anything new been brought into the camp?
Kassil: Em: Who are you asking?
Em looks for whomever would be in charge of what teams were bringing in and tries to get a spare moment of their time, and then checks with the quartermaster, trying to cover odd supplies from base or new finds from out here
Kassil: You don’t really get much out of the camp quartermaster, and no one else seems to really know much; your team passed through here, followed by another team comprised almost entirely of lesser nephilim. You all had some rather odd bundles with you, but nothing that stuck around.
Ananda: (Is a log kept of when teams enter and leave the Site?)
Ananda is kneeling next to the stump of a bush, peeling bark off of a branch as it re-grows.
Ananda visibly puts the plants into a mental file and closes it. She gets up and dusts herself off. “We’d need a microscope and maybe chemical assays to figure out much interesting here. We’ll take samples back. Let’s move on.”
Em nods “I guess it was just a weird coincidence. Maybe someone is experimenting with the viewscreen to our reality.”
Ananda smiles, “Lets hope not.”
Alasdair chuckles. “If their curiosity is anything like ours, that won’t go well for us.”
Em: What’s our plan of attack this time?
Em: for the site?
Em: maybe try to get through the door again now that we’re a bit more enlightened?
Ananda: We’ve gone down corridors A & B, so C is probably in order. Continue around through E until we find something interesting, or if not, head down a level or two.
Kassil: That’s a lovely way of phrasing it. ‘plan of attack’.
Em: (The Unknown. It resists us. it must be conquered!)
Em: Sounds good. Alasdair, give us an expressway down?
Ananda: (We don’t need one for the top level.)
Kassil: (She’s referring to section 1-C, the thoroughly trashed administrative area on the primary Site’s first floor.)
Alasdair: C does sound like it’s next on the list.
Alasdair: Being the orderly souls we are. ;)
Kassil: On your way in… Who’s leading the way?
Em: our praying mantis :)
Kassil: You’re approaching the stairs to the motor pool level of the entry when you catch a faint, musty smell and spot something the color of old ivory on the stairsteps.
Em takes up rear as usual sneakily.
Ananda pauses and holds up a hand.
Ananda sidles cautiously towards the stairwell to get a better look at the thing. And/or anyone waiting for a curious person to do just that.
Em keeps looking behind us attentively and sneaks along.
Ananda motions the group forwards, commenting in a whisper, “It appears to be the welcoming committee. Not a very lively bunch.”
Em waits till Ananda’s looking her way and signs “Perfume? HERE?”
Kassil: Anyone who moves forward to Ananda can see pairs of skulls on each step, one on each side of any given step, all arranged to look up at anyone standing at the top.
Alasdair: “That… wasn’t here before.”
Ananda notes to Em, “I don’t smell it.”
Alasdair shakes his head “No” while looking for anythign else out of place.
Em beckons to come back to where she is to double check? She elaborates, “Heavy perfume. Whore scent. Strange!”
Ananda does so. Sniffs.
Alasdair: “Smells like decaying death to me. You must frequent strange brothels, Em.”
Em looks weirded out but shakes her head, “Too many drugs back then. My bad.”
Ananda: “Smells musty to me.” She moves on to examine the skulls for signs of alteration, like the other skeletal remains they’ve found here.
Em reloads her rifle quietly and waits for the more alert folk to move forward
Kassil: The skulls all appear to be human. Ananda, you do notice the skulls appear to be sorted by age, with the skulls of elderly people at the top and the skulls of what you would figure to be young teenagers at the bottom.
Ananda shakes her head at the skulls, “No obvious modifications.” She takes a few pictures for later note, and continues downwards.
Ananda: (It is not traditional to exhume people for Dia de los Muertos. Also, the party isn’t for another few months.)
Em follows, hoping the phsyical task of reloading has helped get her head back in the present.
Kassil: As you head down the steps, when the last of you (Em) reaches the bottom, you all hear a soft scraping sound; looking back, you see that the skulls have all turned to face the foot of the stairs, now. Em, they all seem to be staring straight at you.
Alasdair hmms and makes note of this fact.
Ananda takes another snapshot.
Em sticks out her tongue
Em figures it’s that or roll up and gibber
Em signs, “Skulls moved. Staring at me.”
Kassil: The skulls appear to be inanimate otherwise.
Kassil: They don’t respond to Em sticking her tongue out at them.
Ananda signs, camera-mode P-Comm in one hand, ‘Smile.’
Em goes with it and smiles
Ananda snaps a photo and transmits it to Em.
Em gets her breathing back to normal and resumes following the group
Em makes a bravado filled thumbs up
Ananda continues on.
Kassil: The rest of the descent into the Site is fairly typical, although the long hallway’s lights have developed a faint, annoying buzzing sound.
Ananda looks crossly at the lights from time to time.
Alasdair does his best to tune out the hum.
Kassil: You enter the main Site’s top floor to find it as you left it, aside from a trio of slightly bloody bootprints leading from the elevator shaft back out the hall; presumably they belong to the lesser nephilim team that was apparently in the Site while you were in Saint Mary.
Em ponders if anything she knows say the lights should be buzzing like this?
Kassil: You could roll an Electronics check, sure.
Kassil: Well, they might be getting a little worn out and probably could do with being replaced, but it’s nothing major.
Kassil: Heading to sector 1-C?
Ananda: Hallway 1-C.
Kassil: The doorway is wide open – there’s not much option, the door has been half-melted and deformed to the point that it’s stuck most of the way open, with numerous bullet scars showing that it was probably used as cover during an intense firefight.
Alasdair: Bullet holes from the hallway or the main room?
Kassil: The passage beyond would be fairly pedestrian, if it weren’t for the bullet marks in the walls and the occasional scorch marks suggesting that some fairly powerful armament was put to use in here. It’s only a short walk before it opens up into another quasi-cube-farm of medium-height ceramacrete walls, arranged in a defensible pattern. Chunks are knocked from the top of multiple walls, and some
Kassil: show signs of being subjected to intense heat and some form of corrosive assault.
Kassil: What desks were in the area are little more than slightly dusty wreckage, and even now you can smell a faint, lingering stink of scorched electronics from all the equipment that was apparently made to self-destruct.
Kassil: There are half a dozen doors leading out, not counting the hallway you entered by.
Ananda: Are they the standard design with windows?
Kassil: They’re all partway open.
Em signs, “Double check debris?”
Ananda signs, ‘If you prefer. I’ll check the doors.’
Alasdair signs, “At this point, question everything.”
Ananda has a look down each secondary hallway, closing and latching the doors as she gets to each.
Ananda: (They do have the same style of bar-lock, correct?)
Kassil: They do, but the bar locks are on the other side in this area; if you want to latch them you’ll need to either wield or lock yourself in the room on the other side.
Ananda: Ah. Not bothering, then.
Em: (what skill should i use to double check if anything salvageable from a failed self destruct mechanism?)
Kassil: You don’t need to make a check, they’re all pretty much congealed muddles of metal, plastic, and glass.
Kassil: For sifting the wrecked desks, you can make a Detection check.
Ananda: (Anything interesting down any of the corridors?)
Em checks the desks anyway then, though less hopefully.
Alasdair watches up the hallway and back toward the main room.
Ananda brushes off her left sleeve while looking into the sixth office, though it appears no more dusty than the rest of her.
Em sighs and reluctantly signs, “Alasdair. Smelling whore again. Something attacking my mind?”
Ananda whispers, “Wrecked offices, all. Nothing left of note.”
Ananda writes off this section and moves on to 1-D.
Alasdair points to a spot of goo on the floor. “Is this the source?”
Em shakes her head, “No. That smells like rotting meat.”
Alasdair shrugs, “I’m not smelling it. Probably an isolated Site effect.”
Em: Worried if something’s messing with my mind?
Ananda , waiting in the doorway to the main room, notes, “All reports from the Site indicate that it messes with everyones’ minds.”
Alasdair: “Let’s try D corridor and see if the smell follows you.”
Ananda: “I’d be interested if you were immune.”
Em ahs and follows
Kassil: As you turn and head back out, you all catch sight of something, briefly, by the doorway of the main Site floor; whatever it is, it’s gone too quickly to make out anything more than that it was a bit bigger than a person, and possibly humanoid in shape.
Ananda shakes her head, once. She moves on with renewed caution.
Em slows down and follows suit.
Kassil: No trace of whatever it was, as you move across the main floor and enter the doorway at 1-D; the door here is nearly twice as thick as the other doors thus far, which makes the fist-sized hole through it all the more impressive.
Alasdair also goes on high alert.
Kassil: Alasdair, you’re pretty sure that even with a specialized Wielding effect you’d have trouble re-creating the damage it took to make that hole.
Kassil: The hallways beyond it shows signs of gunfire, lighter than 1-C, but there are more numerous burn marks and suggestions of plasma fire chewing into the walls. There’s a thin mist hanging in the air, swirling gently in light from the overheads.
Ananda checks its composition with her SMM.
Kassil: The SMM doesn’t pick up anything unusual.
Alasdair signs, “Maybe just mist?”
Ananda signs, ‘Likely.’ and continues on.
Kassil: The hallways leads to a formerly secure airlock, the doors buckled by some incredible force on the other side until the metal peeled open, wide enough you can all easily pass through into the hallways of labs on the other side. Or, rather, the wrecked ruins of labs.
Kassil: Numerous pieces of machinery, melted and deformed, occupy places amid piles of ash that were likely once tables. Others have been shot to pieces, broken fragments scattered across the shelves that appear to be carved out of bare rock.
Kassil: Here and there, fire safes occupy corners, split open by brute force and gutted by flames.
Kassil: Everywhere, the mists twists and swirls, light enough not to obscure vision at all, occasionally showing glimmers of colors.
Em: (is there any common log left by other teams of their experiences in the site?)
Kassil: Presumably the official reports are collected back in Saint Mary.
Em: (right but they don’t share them at some webpage for other teams, to pool their knowledge of the site?)
Ananda occasionally pauses over a wrecked piece of equipment, but her eye is for documents and samples, which seem to be in short supply.
Kassil: You could ask when you’re in Saint Mary. The teams are largely considered to be competing, though.
Em contributes to the search carefully
Alasdair finds somewhere to hide and watch for the creature’s return.
Kassil: Alasdair conceals himsef as best he can, watching back down the hall; the relative wreckage makes it hard to find a decent spot to lurk.
Ananda gives up and continues on to 1-E without even a comment on her disappointment.
Alasdair pauses briefly, but follows.
Em follows too, wondering if someone decided to just go through blowing things up to see what would come to investigate
Ananda happens to look over Alasdairs’ shoulder on her way past. Pauses to sign, ‘Those weren’t there before.’
Alasdair looks at the skulls and starts, stumbling a few steps before regaining his composure.
Ananda signs, ‘Walk around and see if they follow you?’
Em: (This evening brought to you by Sex and Death.)
Ananda: (Life is contagious, and invariably fatal.)
Kassil: The skulls appear to be rather inert and uninterested in turning to follow Alasdair.
Alasdair walks over to the nearest one and nudges it with his boot.
Ananda walks a couple meters past them, and turns to look back.
Kassil: The skull makes a slight scraping sound as Alasdair nudges it, tiping over to one side as the uneven bones catch the floor and resist the movement.
Ananda photographs the skulls, and tags them ‘failed genetics 352’ for her own amusement.
Ananda makes a ‘shall we move on’ gesture.
Em nods and follows
Alasdair follows morosely.
Kassil: Leaving the skulls behind, I take it?
Kassil: All right. We’ll pick up next time with entry to section 1-E.
Kassil: 165 CDP for everyone.
Ananda: Yay, CDP.
Em: yay, more rope to hang ourselves