[Episode Three] Defile

Blizzard

Active Member
Yay! New friends! That means no more dark tunn- OH GOD DAMMIT!

The tunnels were silent save for the tapping of feet on the hard floor and the hushed conversations of different crewmembers.

THUD... THUD... THUD...

Oh, right, Glasawyr was there too. He had done his job efficiently and without complaint. After all, what good was a pack member who disobeyed the Alpha? Whether by their own means, being carried, or literally hurled across like a stone, Glasawyr had made sure his ground-walking friends had crossed the gap.

What's more, to show his loyalty to his new pack, he had taken up one of the most important, arduous tasks a pack had without being asked: supervising and caring for its children.

Hence, the other tiny red-haired child rode on his right shoulder like a parrot. For Aradia, the accomodations were actually pretty spacious and comfortable, provided she hung on and properly balanced herself. Since Glas' legs alone were as tall as a person, he had no trouble keeping up with the group, a problem Aradia had surely had before. From up here she could also no doubt see farther, and have a longer range for her spells. Lastly, in Glasawyr's mind, if anyone wanted to harm the child, they'd have to go through a very big, very hungry dragon first.

The expedition entered the first room with what looked like a crushed golf cart and the transparent billboard. But Glas really didn't care about that, instead stomping over to the metal gates which separated him from the
circular chamber beyond.

Glas looked at all that open air and involuntarily stretched his wings.

I long for the open sky, child. I hope we leave this accursed place soon. To answer your earlier question, I do not know how I got here. I was someplace else, and then I was here.

Those had been his first words to Aradia since the bridge. Now that they were here, though, Aradia was free to either hop off or start directing the dragon towards points of interest like a mech. Given Glasawyr's wings and stupendous strength, and the sheer verticality of the room coupled with the heavy doors, it wouldn't have been unwise to bring him along either way.
 
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META_mahn

Well-Known Member
Kind of Close to a Dragon

Ooh. Never been this close to a dragon before. A friendly one, too. Wait, no, stop. This is a genetically evolved machine made to kill things and burn the things it can't kill. And yet, eerily alluring. So many things unknown about dragons, so many unproven theories...like the materials their scales were made of, or how their internal combustion worked to produce fire...or even their innate connections with magic and abilities to shapeshift.

Of course, that was all far out of reach for Marie. Realistically, she'd probably fail to understand most of how the dragon ticked. She nearly failed in magic studies, one of the few things she did bad in of all things. Best to avoid how a dragon works. Stay with what she did know. That is...physics.

Glasawyr could only carry what it seemed like to be two people at once, so...she had to walk. The experience of riding on a dragon's back for a short duration across a gap was an interesting one -- very stop and go in nature, lots of twists and turns, somewhere between roller coaster and the pilot seat of a simulated fighter.

"More like tunnel bore holes. Much like the process as to how uranium was historically extracted." Marie postulated. "Bigger tunnels for personnel and large amounts of cargo, smaller tunnels for individual mine shafts. Using the strange...vacuum apparatus to extract what can only be assumed to be Kerolyne."

"And from the sounds...something's hiding out here. Watching us. Don't like it." Marie reached down into her lab coat pocket, her hand clasping around something inside. A faint light blue glow emitted from her pocket, outlining the shape of her hand and fingers. "If it's smaller than a dragon though, it probably won't fight...unless if it's whoever shoved a dragon in here."
 

Arbitrated

Well-Known Member
Awww yeah, riding a FREAKIN' DRAGON

Aradia was arguably even more distracted than Marie was, if that was even possible - sure seemed to be, at least for now. It helped that Glasawyr was carrying her... Which proved to be surprisingly comfortable. She'd figured all the scales would be super rough. They certainly were hard, though.... felt like bricks, almost. If bricks could move on their own. It wasn't until the booming mind-voice echoed through her skull that the magician realized what-all had transpired.

"Ah... Well, I don't think we'll stay underground for more than a few more hours. How long have you been down here again? Days?" Distracting herself from her distraction, Aradia looked about the room from her elevated perch. "Mine? Yes, this might be an extraction part. What about that, though?" Angling her flashlight up towards the top of the tower, she noticed it was rather shiny. "Looks like an observation post? Maybe a tunnel monitor... place?" She considered her options for a moment, then decided to ask, "Glasawyr do you think you could get me to the top of that?"

It was a bit of a push, honestly - the massive companion seemed to be extensively protective of the little wizard. It'd be disappointing, but rather expected if he declined. Then again.... Hard to really understand a dragon, when they weren't speaking to you. Pretty, darn, hard.
 

Dadragon6

Active Member
After kicking open the door and managing to break the deadbolt in the process, the ex-sergeant took a few seconds to roll his shoulders and relax his muscles after the physical effort. Dragging his goggles over his eyes and switching them to the night vision setting, Keith turned to Rhea and spoke up briefly. "Alright kid, this is the last shack. We should be rejoining the others soon after—don't want to get lost down here alone now, do we?" He gently laid down a free hand on Rhea's head before walking in, a slight smile on his face.

Readily identifying the remains of a turret project strewn about the square workspace in the center of the room, Keith was quick to approach the table and begin examining the mechanisms close up. Tools, a glass panel... maybe there were inscriptions of its manufacturers around? Perhaps blueprints could also provide some additional insight into the project. While dusting off the glass and inspecting the turret remains, the informant directed himself to the standby Rhea, and nodded over to the cheap airlock over at the far side. "Think you can pry it open, Rhea? Could use someone to weasel into the closed room and see what's in there while I take care of things on this side."
 

speeder01

Well-Known Member
Shack In The Cavern (still better than cabin in the woods)

Rhea found herself in something of a daze. Did she really just do that? Talk down a dragon? And accidently talk it into joining their... intrepid crew of misfits and weirdos? She couldn't help but track the dragon as it flew off... or, just jumped really far? she wasn't convinced it could fly at that size- barely noticing as Keith practically carried her away from the platform and lef her along to the next- and last shack.

Only after she felt her hair being ruined by the pass-a-fist did she nod and respond, absent mindedly as she transitioned to focusing on what was actually around her instead of the fact that she just Barded a dragon. "Lost- right, uh, don't want to do that... kind of wish we all had trackers for eachother incase that happens now that i think about it." But that was just another thing to not think about as she stepped into the cabin as well, eyeing the glass panel suspiciously and keeping her distance from it, not trusting it after the last few she encountered of a similar make. She wasn't exactly shy about making her concern known as she stared at it like it could be the next crystal to dig into her skin and dissappear forever.

But with some prompting, she turned her attention to the airlock and nodded. "Yeah just... keep the panel away from me... And also probably whatever might be on the otherside of the airlock?" She shook her head, then her hands, and hopped back and forth on the balls of her feet, trying to get back into the mindset of 'fun, exciting adventure into the unknown' instead of 'oh shit scary dragons and weird radioactive alien crystal magic!'

She had to get rather close, and then stepped to one side as she looked for a proper point to try and push against it... before finally nodding and taking a firm, stable stance instead of her usual very... loose one, and then with a mighty step forward, her heel braced against one of the counters, she Pushed with her palm, a flat crystal manifesting itself at an angle and wedging itself between the airlocks- and then she repeated the motion with another step forward to try and further force them apart. Hopefully, they didn't have magnetic locks, or were hiding some terrible plauge behind those doors... it didn't look really sealed, though, so that was something. She just hoped keith had enough room to carry all of what they were finding in here, becuase she sure wasn't going to help.
 

Pancakei

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Upper Path
Tunnels

I came here shortly after my last sleep, which came after my last feeding, and I am hungry now, which means...


Glas actually had to stop and think. He stared into space with a blank expression, and you could almost hear the dialup tone his brain was making as he tried to shift to a human perception of time.

Forgive me, my kind do not... measure things as you do. I have been here at most... five... seconds. Or hours. Whichever sounds more reasonable to a human.

Upon Aradia's request to explore the booth at the top of the tower, Glas followed her gaze and made a low rumbling noise of caution. He had cared for hatchlings before, but that had been in an environment that he'd known like the back of his hand. Furthermore, dragon hatch-lings were less prone to death than human cubs. The little one on his shoulder looked as if a good wind would topple her. He had no clue what was considered dangerous for humans.

Then again, the pack had brought their young here, so they must have thought it safe enough.

Exploration was important for a sound mind and body in childhood, and this strange place offered much exploration. Glas moved for the heavy metal gates.

Very well, I will carry you. Beware when we reach the top, for you cannot fly. Do not expect me to catch you should you fall. I will try, but do not expect it. Should I fail to catch you, you will splatter upon the ground like a rotten fruit. It would be a very stupid way to end your life. Do not die stupidly.

"....Noted. That's not part of my plan, anyways, but thank for for the reminder." The little magician kept herself attached to the scaled beast as he moved forward, thinking to herself, Only been here five hours? They got here about the same time as we did. I wonder how they didn't manage to see us?

He needed to make sure that the child wouldn't take stupid chances because she thought she had a safety net. After that poetic imparting of Draconian Wisdom, Glas realized that he was too large to fit through the gates. He didn't want to put on his human skin here. Not when he didn't have to. Besides, what was a mere barrier to a dragon?

Glasawyr gripped the bars and pulled, aiming to just rip them out of their moorings in the walls, inadvertedly opening the way for his new friends as well.

The gates groaned and popped as the steel bars of the aged gate bent. They were built to withstand quite some pressure, but by exerting force at just the right angle, cracks formed along their concrete basins. The rotating gates were ripped up from their basins, bringing with them a plethora of splintered concrete, steel, and exposed wire.

Glasawyr gently set the entire fence and gates aside, leaning it against the wall. No need for that pesky thing. The way was clear.

"Impressive."

From there, the dragon took out, crossing the rather large gap in what was a minor leap for the dragon. Together Glasawyr and company landed on the central tower. There was not much room between the folding bridge and the entryway into the tower, only enough for Glas to barely perch and let their riders off.

"Thankfully they bothered to install railings. And if it can hold your wait, I should be alright - thank you for the assistance, Glasawyr!" Aradia slid off of the dragon's armored back, setting her feet onto the metallic walkway with a light clang.

The bridge leading back to the rest of the group seemed to be operated by electric engines and pulleys, but could surely be convinced through forceful override. As for the entryway into the tower itself, it was a keypad-driven sliding metal door, though the lack of power (and nearby dragon) proved it relatively insecure, if stiff.

As Aradia and the other passengers addressed the entrance of the tower, there was an odd *schlorping* noise from behind. A young man with sun-kissed skin and flowing brown locks of hair walked up to join them, looking no older than 23 at the most. He was dressed very casually in a floral-patterned shirt, jeans, and white sneakers. He had boyish features, pointed ears, and familiar, reptilian, blue eyes. On his back was a canvas backpack, like you could buy at any department store, giving him the overall look of a normal college student. Only they were in an ancient gunpowder mine.

Let's make this quick. This is not comfortable for me. Like wearing clothes that are just a little too tight.

The more humanoid Glasawyr grimaced, displaying some unusually large canines, and stuffed his hands in his pockets and pulled some earbuds out of his bag. He placed one in his left ear, and soon one could hear lo-fi beats flowing from the little device. Soothing and calm, to try and distract him from the suffocating feeling of wearing his human skin.

Aradia turned around that the rather unexpected noise, noticing the new... Appearance of the newest member of the expedition. She smiled, smirked really, and turned forward again. So that answers that question.

Central Tower

Inside of the distanced tower was a relatively small control room, somewhat cramped even for the smallest adult among the crew. Inside laid an empty dashboard that spanned the run of the hexagonal tower, set below a series of one-way mirrors. Aradia and Glas could see out, but no one could see in. To their immediate left was a double-doored metal cabinet, held shut by an inconspicuous metal lock. Dead ahead of them was a small but... radiantly purple object resting on the dash.

As they approached the center of the tower, a terminal with life finally reared its head. All around the dashboard, faint purple interfaces opened, like light projected on suspended panes of glass. The light fas faint and flickering, but a series of alien characters came to life just ahead. It took a minute for the language to be processed for their language, but the translation eventually came in through Aradia's headband.


ACCREDITATION SYSTEM UNRESPONSIVE
UTILIZING SURFACE IMAGE 35298
--- --- ---
SYL-CLASS AUTHORITY ACCEPTED
SALUTATION, AOR-071714


Below the pre-existing message was a line of odd diagnostic statements and gibberish codes.

PM-SYS OFFLINE
COMMS OFFLINE
ECO-OP ENABLED
INSUFFICIENT AUX
REACTOR IS SILENT

WARDEN IS SILENT

The terminal gave nothing more, and trying to manipulate the text or... anything else in that matter caused the display to flicker and reread itself. Someone was here, obviously recent. The terminal was missing one of its top housing plates, with a strewn mess of wires reaching out from within to connect to some kind of fuse. It was powered by the same Echyllis system as the local Overseer and EvoKnight bunch, hardwired to a brilliantly purple rock encased in a tube of plastic and metal.

Among other articles on the dashboard was a small selection of abandoned hand-tools, and a few square batteries of a sort. There was a good chance given their size and shape that they could fit inside the scanner device she had come across earlier.

Two duo could not shake the feeling within the tower that they were being watched by a somewhat familiar presence. Rightfully so, as a ramshackle Gargoyle unit sat idly on one of the metal shelves rnning over the door. This unit was not like the ones that ambushed the group on Bivona, however. This one was smaller, and showed no signs of visible weaponry or aggression. It simply sat and watched,eerily tracking the two as they moved about with nothing but a quiet electric whir of mismatched motors.

---

As the crew wandered about the new circular room, a variety of signs came across their path. Dimly lit from the flickering tube lights that laid overhead, the group gathered their bearings. They had just come from the Management Level, with signs pointing to an intake point as well as Officer Holds. The group passed a rather large billboard filled with magnetic tiles that had long clumped together or fallen off. The title of the sign was translated quite clear: PRISONER EXCHANGE.

The various signs about pointed to other branching paths, including:
OFFICER RESOURCES
- OFFICER HOLDS
- LOUNGE
- ARMORY
MAINTENANCE AND OPERATIONS


As well as a plethora of signs along the likes of..
CELL BLOCKS A1-B6
SHAFTS B1-V87


It would seem that the group had too few feet to take every path. The two paths of most administrative use were guarded by large metal doors, though the owner of whatever kind of camp this was were sensible enough to have the doors remain open on loss of power.

The same could not be said for the many doors below the group, which were numbered in an alpha-numeric standard... hundreds of them. Holding cells. As Marie looke dabout for the possible source of agitation, she spotted a pair of robots scuffling about the lower path leading to maintenance. They weren't like the crude robots they had found before- at least slightly clean and still held together well. The two were smaller than humans, with a hunched mantis-like stance as they prodded about the tunnel. They were constructed rather efficiently and painted a color scheme of white, black, and safety green. One of the robots turned to spot Marie and the others briefly with a large, Pixy-like eye that rested caged within it's head, before the two began to scuttle away.

---

"Your call, but be careful. Given the flickering I don't think this place has much in it."
Dahlia hesitantly responded to Reman, before again looking at the incoming call.

The Captain raised the communicator once more, answering on speaker. "State your business."

"Hellooo, Downtrodders!"


Dahlia raised an eyebrow, trying to make out the scratchy recording. "This is Dahlia of the ISS Downrider. Who have you patched to us, Jury?"

The voice responded. "This is a friend who's offering a paycheck in exchange for something right down your alley." Dahlia shifted, squinting at the nameless display. The voice was familiar, but she didn't take money from complete strangers. It didn't take her too long to connect the dots "Wait a minute, aren't you that sleaze from Bivona that laid a trap?! I had good people get injured there," the Captain stated as she pointed at the in-no-way visual communicator.

"Sleaze??", the man repeated in a rather offended and betrayed tone. He recomposed himself a moment later. "The name is Bryce Arvero, with a captain title," he started as the Overseer perked up, looking back at the communicator. His voice shifted, however. "And I am sorry for that. Look I don't know of any traps but I oversee a lot of workers who aren't the brightest. Must have been some misunderstanding of orders."

Bryce's voice faded momentarily as it sounded like he took a bite out of something soft. He spoke again with a full mouth. "I'm willing to move past it if you are though, we're always looking for people to throw money at."

The Captain's eyebrows furrowed at the comment, still unnerved at the thought that the previous pain and fire could be set aside for money. "What the hell do you think you're doing here, trying to buy out my cre-" the Captain was interrupted by the Overseer, who pushed her slightly away as she spoke directly at the communicator. "You have a lot to answer for, Bryce Arvero. I saw what your workers did to my colleague."

Arvero rolled his eyes almost audibly, downing the bite of whatever it was he was chewing on. Some kind of sandwich. "And I can answer for it Triangles, but I'm a little busy right now. I'm a man of my word, believe me. Look, I'll be there later and we can all talk this out over some muffins or oil whatever it is you all like. " He paused, but not long enough to let any more hostile rebuttal come his way. "But since you all are already down there stomping around, you might as well hear what I've got to say, right?"


The Captain and the Overseer looked at each other and back at the crew, for once united in equal disdain- but he was right. Dahlia huffed and held the communicator up once more. She motioned to the crew to be on guard. "All right, you have thirty seconds."

Bryce clapped. "Fair enough. It's a weird place down there, the Defile. Lots of things left behind that are quite interesting. I've got a field operative and her new hire down there scouting around already, but it looks like you've already picked up the latter-" "Arvero," Dahlia hissed. "Right right. There's a bit of a nasty creature lurking around gunking up all the vents and mechanics though- real mean thing. Use your naturally destructive aura and go captrue of incapacitate it as you see fit. You'll be paid in full, whatever currency or material trade you fancy. Easy enough, sound fair?"

Dahlia glanced back at the crew, pondering back to the relatively innocent and clumsy creature from earlier. Killing animals wasn't high on her list, but they did have plenty of tranquilizer from Keith. She twisted her nose before returning to the deal. "We'll consider it."

"Reasonable enou-" was all Bryce had to say before the line was cut.


Upper Terminals

The wayward knight's adventures in switch flipping proved to be rather meaningless in the grand scheme of things. As he flipped through various buttons and switches, the lights both in the room and elsewhere flickered and dimmed. Two changes of immediate note came about from flipping a certain breaker- the first being a very loud, ratcheted slam.

The large door from whence he came had released its brake mechanism, causing the doors to slam shut. It seems going back to the central cavern the way he came was not going to be an option. Seconly, an overhead projector had flipped to life, displaying a faint message on the blank space ahead of him. It was difficult to read, but a transmission slowly came from deep within the ground below him.

LIQUIDITY ORDERED
DEEP FREEZE ACTIVE
AWAITING FINAL EXCHANGE

MIGRATE TO THE DRILL

After not too long, the projector died out- likely due to the current brownout. Reman was left with a few options- stay here and start decoding whatever materials he had found in wait for more power, try and find a way out through the vents, or break through the locked door at the back of the room.

Lower Path

On closer inspection, more details of the turret rig could be noted. He could see where and how the rounds were loaded into the twin barrels of the gun, as well as a third smaller barrel connected to an empty electrical socket of sorts. It wasn't far from a human autocannon in mechanics. A couple of dummy rounds cast from brightly-colored plastic could be seen both cycled through and about the gun, hexagonal in shape just like the presumably real ones found outside. The weared external plated bore the letters "A-07", and very little manufacturer detail. The only legible and translatable text came out to be "Mirico Designs." Given the uneven wear of the existing parts. the varied tools at hand, and the lack of an instruction manual or other company signatures, this could be plausibly more of an abandoned repair job instead of a ground-up design.

The handheld glass panel was surprisingly light but sturdy, resembling a communication tool vaguely familiar to the crew but executed with a stylish presentation none could beat. Despite being entirely transparent, nothing inside the tablet could be seen save for the metal casing that could be seen from within the unknown port. If it weren't for the vague wireframe around the edges, it would be invisible. Still, conductive elements could be seen from within the illusory port. A bit of shoddy wiring and a battery could easily charge it- if not up to standard.

The metal door was quite jammed, but through enough wedging force Rhea was able to force it halfway open. It was open large enough that both she and Keith could duck under it to enter.

Beyond the door was a moderately sized room, a little smaller than the cargo bay 'back home'. It was quite dark inside, but they could plainly see pallets and metal shelves filled to the brim with all kinds of raw materials- treated wood, metal, plastics, masonry products- all in odd packages or left raw in varying states of decay. Some of the shelves had collapsed over time, spilling dust and desbris all over the floor. A large safe could be seen in one corner of the room.

Dead ahead on the other side was another much larger door- or door frame to be exact. A large trapezoid shaped arch of metal and tile, standing before the stone wall of the dug out cavern leading to nowhere but hard rock. A control panel of sorts laid at one end of the archway, it's purpose unknown. Above the two sat another one of the turret rigs, completed and mounted to the roof. It 's twin barrels laid pointed downwards in a stereotypically deactivated fashion, though from what he could see with a flashlight, the turret wasn't nearly as corrosded as the others they had seen since.
 

Blizzard

Active Member
Control Tower

Anyone currently with Glas would notice that while shrunken down into the body of a twenty-something human hipster, it was slightly easier to read his thoughts for the simple fact that the human face was much more expressive than a dragon's. Dragons weren't capable of the plethora of minute body language ques that humans possessed, and thus mainly communicated through noise, posture, or their wings.

So when Glas saw the locked cabinet, he became immediately curious, as evidenced by the way his brow furrowed and his head tilted to the side. Not for any sort of scientific or expeditionary reasons. Like a cat before a closed bathroom door, he was just simply curious to see what was on the other side. He knelt before the cabinet doors and tried once to pull them open. It went about as you'd expect. So he tried again, a little harder. He made a very human sounding noise of frustration and scanned the cabinet in detail for the source. He found it in the simple padlock that had impeded his progress. It took him some time to do the calculations mentally, but he eventually concluded that the padlock was the reason the doors would not open.

So, he did what any sensible shapeshifting kaiju would do, and twisted the shackle of the lock apart with the same effort one would use to snap a pencil, tossing the now useless lock aside with a loud clang, like a chicken bone stripped clean of meat.

Yes, he was still very hungry. He wondered where that odd vent-crawling creature he'd seen earlier had run off to. He could still smell traces of it. Very faint, but with effort he could find it. With a little more, he could have it blackened and served with garlic butter sauce.

Glas cut off that line of thinking. He kept Aradia within view. He had an odd feeling that they were being watched. He heard the whirring of a machine with his sensitive ears that sounded... familiar. Though with the soft music in his ear and the sounds of hundreds of other machines, crewmembers walking around, and the groaning of ancient infrastructure, he couldn't quite place where he'd heard it before. His look of curiosity turned to one of concern.

Take care. We are not alone.

He sent out those words of caution to Aradia and anyone else who had come with them, and proceeded to open the cabinet doors.
 

speeder01

Well-Known Member
Lower Path- Goodie Room

Rhea peeked into the door, wrinling her nose at the smells within, narrowing her eyes at the sights as well. The things on the shelf were largley uninteresting to the echyllis munchkin- no, the real prize was clearly the SAFE and the Spooky Death Turret. Rather than walk in right away, she took her increasingly hardened, still glowing crystal echyllis and waggled her crystal at it, as she looked to her partner in exploration with a question. And also a psuedoplan.

"So, uh, where do you think the weakpoint on those turrets are? Becuase i don't want to go touch stuff in there untill its... you know, not working... for sure." While she was confident the room currently didn't have any power, who was to say it wouldn't turn on at an inopportune time, or have a battery powered turret? very scary, best to be poked only from a very safe distance. So instead, she waited, sharp needle echyllis being formed and at the ready to jab into the turret if absolutely neccesery- as hopefully directed by the Keith. Ohh, watch out for keith! Silly name.
 

META_mahn

Well-Known Member
Upper Path
Tunnels


"His field operative?" Marie asked. "Maybe...maybe we shouldn't incapacitate the creature then. If he sees some use out of it. Maybe the thing does something Arvero doesn't like, and if we take it out, we're just stuck with his field agent and whatever tricks she wants to pull at us."

"...not enough time to think about that. We need to follow those things." Marie noted. "Someone with me. I just saw two active Arcadian pieces of technology." She engaged her key, feeling the power of Voltage link up and augment her own natural-born power, before racing off a distance towards the direction she saw the robots flee...and then looked back.

Right, who was available to follow her in the first place? Aradia would have been great, but she was with the dragon. The captain and Osco were together and they were looking just fine. The last person available...

Oh, what the fuck. It was Romulus. Well, guess it's time to eat shit.

Marie sighed. "Are you following, Romulus?"
 

ZweiHawke

Well-Known Member
Console Room

The sudden metallic slam of the door behind him meant that there was enough power for whatever contraption Reman had stumbled into to finally reset it’s locking mechanisms. Noting down the projector’s words, he relayed them to the team as fast as he could. The pages he had across the room took priority first, as Reman knew he could probably smash the door open rather than try to pry it open again if he needed to escape the projection room. Whatever this place was, it needed some sort of final confirmation in the form of a ‘drill’. This was out of his depth. Completely indecipherable apart from schematics and maintenance routine materials, he had no clue about what they would be digging for let alone mentions of the deep freeze mentioned previously.

He decided to start with the papers next to the terminals to see what people were working on previously. The first document he turned to was a black binder with a matte finish. The binder was embossed on the side, but it was too faint for the translators to do their thing.

Inside the binder was a heavy pad of paper, scrawled upon with a mix of pre-printed templates and faintly-inked glyphs. These were… transfer records. Not for materials, but for people- or others so named. The scrawl was relatively translatable.

TITLE: Izbit Mal’or
BREED: Nepherian Talot
IN-LOCATION: 824 BR South Avisten
IN-DATE: 9-2-42/615
IN-POLICY: Theft, Vandalism
ASSIGNMENT: Defile/537
PID: 51/325
CLOSE

These records continued for quite some time. Different names, bits of information, crimes, sentences, all wrapped up in blunt profiles. Not all of it was readable but there certainly was a lot. Arestal, Balme, Elliocht, Korr, Squick, Tarrel, Y’vonne. Stil, no names jumped out to him. After a number of pages filled with intake logs and transfer notices, Reman eventually reached blank pages.

Reman logged the details of the profile with quick one-sentence summaries and moved on to the faded binder, trying to scrawl an approximation of the cover onto the blank pages before gathering other papers scattered around the terminal area, mostly those loose and without binding material. It was pertinent to check if any more of these were profiles like what he had already found.

The many loose leafs of paper he came across contained a variety of information, some more useful than others. There were a few finds of particular note: the first was a set of poorly-replicated drafts stapled together, showing some kind of air recycling unit. Large machines connected to vents and large shafts which ran from the surface to the lowest depths. It appeared- at least from the loose approximation of these papers- that one of the shafts ran across the back of this very room. A technical error it would seem, as some scrawled comments spitefully suggested.

The second was a set of copied warning posters, the kind that would be posted somewhere to notify others of more dangerous criminals. There were quite a few ugly mugs among the pile- ranging from humanoid to nothing like it. Tamalon, Na’bour, Ferguson, Dayren, Patrisha, Orthon. Perhaps the Overseer could try and find some matches. At the end were a few laminated ones, one carrying a familiar visage. The front was adorned with one of those bird-like creates, Snow white feathers and deep crimson eyes.

AMELIA ATHES
MUTANT AVECRIS
MARKED FOR TREASON, DESERTION, AND ESPIONAGE AGAINST THE COUNCIL OF AVISTEN.
ARMED AND DANGEROUS.
KILL ON SIGHT.

Folded behind that one in the stack was a poster that stuck Reman with an odd tingle. It depicted a far less ominous character, a shorter girl with auburn hair and mismatched eyes- though the poster creator tried their best to make them look like a threat. It was a name entirely unknown to Reman, but it did not stop an oddly sickening feeling from weighing down on him.

ARBITRATED SHAN
ARCOHYBRID TERRAN
MARKED FOR INVOLVEMENT IN PARCHEA, RESISTING ARREST, ASSAULT ON OFFICER.
WANTED ALIVE.

These entries were eerie to the unaware Reman, not really quite grasping the gravity of what and who these people were, but having the faintest feeling in the back of his mind that he should be at least taking a photo or two of the documents, snapping a few pictures before diving in further.

This begged the question also, what was with the odd framing of these individuals? They almost seemed poorly pinned as the criminal type, showing an almost false identity pushed forward into the frame. Is there a possibility anyone else that might actually be related to the crew be in this book? If anyone, what about Romulus? Is he known enough to be a part of the files here or is his amperian trouble a mark too far in the future to be noticed?

It was with these selfish thoughts that the mechanic snapped back to reality and observed picture to picture what the framing would look like on each one at a quick glance. What followed was only frustration, however. Fanning through the documents once more, Reman found no more familiar faces. It was hard to find the true age of the paper without some kind of chemical analysis, but the wear and tear on the non-laminated ones showed them to be quite old- likely predating even the Institute.

As Reman sat there gazing at the next book, he felt a strange feeling trickling down his next, even beneath the armor. The faint feeling of being observed.

Reman took the book and wandered off to the back before attempting to wrench the door open again. The pictures he took were also sent to the crewmates, to see if they could glean any information from any of the quote-en-quote ‘criminal records’ supplied on the desk.

If he couldn’t wrench the door open again, he’d shove another one of those steel pellets through the door to destroy it completely.

--------------------
Upper Path
Tunnels

Romulus was silent, just watching and following along, hand wrenched out of pocket to his discomfort. He had to make sure none of the crew members knew nothing about the bullets he stole from the rig until it was time for him to defend himself. Marie's sudden interruption of thought was unusual and brought his attention away from Osco.

"Following is not the right word. More like obeying orders at the current moment." Romulus paced down the pathway quiet and unassuming.
 

Arbitrated

Well-Known Member
THE TOWER... OF CONTROL
Views Upon Those Below


At Glas's mention of.... Something.... Aradia did a quick visual sweep of the room, turning around in front of the console which had drawn her attention. She spotted it, and nodded. "Looks like they don't feel like bothering us. For now. This yours, by the way?" Picking up one of the square objects, Aradia motioned towards the free-hanging observer. It didn't seem to give a response at the moment, so she just nodded. "Cool."

It took a few moments of fumbling around before the magician realized that, oh right, the battery probably eneded to get taken out of the device before she could put a different one in. A few more to actually get the hundreds-years-old mechanism to work. After what was, hopefully, a fresh battery got popped in, Aradia tried to turn it on. And while she waited, she took another look around the room.

"Well, it was definitely a prison. Heya, Glas-" It was apparent that the dragon was a bit too intrigued by the locker to probably invoke helpful advice on architectural decisions by Arcadia. He was, as it seemed, much more interested in their cabinet-making. "...Nevermind." I wonder if we can get that reactor started again. Turning on the lights wouldn't be too helpful, but at least all the computers would work... Well, no, that Warden might need the power too. So maybe, just maybe, it's a bad idea.

She decided, however, that the fuse might be worth more to some of the crew's investigation than a display saying that everything was broken. So, after taking another look at the possibly-powered-and-functioning device, Aradia looked for a way to safely decouple the crystal's tube from the rest of the machinery.
 
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