[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.
 

Dadragon6

Active Member
Lower Path
Shack


Examining the smallish autocannon top to bottom, Keith took note of whatever manufacturer details he could find and memorized the specifics of its construction as possible weak spots, in case the crew happened upon the misfortune of going up against one of these during their travels. Mirico Designs, though, was not a name he recognized. He'd perhaps assumed the security tech would have been of Oakland make, but...

Grabbing one of the live hexagonal rounds, the informant rolled it between thumb and forefinger, analyzing its weight and theorizing about possible properties of the munitions, looking for any markers that might indicate its type. "Well, I'll be... take care in there, Rhea. Seems likely to me any turrets we find, deactivated as they may be, are still loaded with real ammo," he said, half-shouting into the forced airlock leading to the storage.

"As for weaknesses, aim for the munitions chamber. If it's too armored and you think you can thread the needle, shoot one down the gun's barrel. Else, targeting the rotor is the way to go—it'll still fire if activated, but can't turn to aim at anyone." Keith then turned his attention to the arcadian tablet, if briefly, clearing away the grime from the transparent glass and blowing into the port like a cartridge to remove a bit of the built-up dust. Maybe the Downrider's engineering department could get this up and running to speed... and then he'd have access to the information within.

The informant pressed two fingers to his right ear, holding the arcadian gadget with his left, and opened a comms channel to Marie and Reman. "Conroe. Argint. I've an interesting find—whoever was doing the repair jobs around here left behind a sort of communications device not too unlike a tablet. It needs some replacement wiring and a new battery, but if either of you are able to fix it we might have a chance at recovering the intel within," he said, in that same formal tone of voice he used whenever speaking to... anyone that wasn't Rhea, pretty much.
 

Pancakei

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Upper Path
Control Tower


The overlooking ramshackle sentry remained fixed on the two, but made no other movements. After a while, it continued it's quiet scan of the room, checking back on them whenever they came into view. The battery Aradia picked up fit into the device she pocketed earlier like they were meant to be, the battery cover snapping into place cleanly as the old, corroded battery was replaced. After a few seconds of tension, a white symbol flickered to life in the monocular screen. A series of glyphs, not letters, but foreign logos flashed across the screen in a brief boot process.

Within the now broken locker was a storage compartment. complete with shelves and a solid metal rack for clothing. Hung upon the rack were a few sets of protective gear, split into multiple pieces. First, a set of deep navy and grey bodysuits, carrying the slight scent of mildew but no visible damage. Built into the bodysuits were hardened knee, shoulder, elbow, and crotch pieces, as well as a compacted layer of metal slivers that laid in a flexible brigandine pattern underneath the suit. Then, there were protective vests made of woven fabric, plastic , and metal, with a form of metallic, reflective coating across the chest and shoulders. Lastly, round polymer and metal helmets with concealed opaque visors, with a black internal padding that cradled the users head. Compact gold antennas protruded from the back of the helmets, though no power seemed to be present. There were a total of three sets of gear.

A black box the size of a small briefcase laid on the top shelf, made of a highly durable material somewhat resembling coated steel. Try as he might, Glas could not wedge the box open- at least not in this form. A strange triangular keyway was the only defining feature of the box, other than an attached carrying handle.

After much fiddling, the nature of the device soon became apparent to Aradia. It operated like a telescope, held over the users eye. The buttons on the side of the device cycled through a variety of modes, with one pair controlling zoom and focus. What exactly these modes were was a mystery to the pilot, but they illuminated the device's viewing glass in a variety of hues. One mode in particular, blue mode, seemed to highlight... circuitry. Or conduits. As the small pilot scanned the room, a variety of pipes, conduits, and wires became dimly highlighted through the wall. An entire web of wires and sensory inputs were revealed along the inactive dashboard.

Another mode highlighted the world around her in a bright pink, though it was hard to decipher any initial meaning from it's psychedelic aberration. The only thing she saw was... right next to her. The purple glowing crystal created a notable distortion in the view, casting a white glow. As she fixated on it, something else came into view. A distorted shadow, highlighted by the strange filter. It was as if a fixed, faint silhouette was placing the glowing piece down. It was hard to make out details from the warped image, but it appeared to be human- at least close to it. After staring at the apparition for a few moments, there was a shift in it. As if it had reacted to the gaze of the pilot. A single, piercing glow of white peeled open from one side of the apparitions face, looking dead on at the pilot.

Tunnels

Dahlia threw the words of the not-exactly-trustworthy man about in her head for a minute as she paced the length of the spiraling platform before bringing up her radio once more. "Keep an eye out for any more creatures, there's word of a dangerous one lurking around. If you see one, standard behavior. Try and tranquilize it if it gets hostile." The captain chewed on her cheek for a moment, catching a glimpse of Marie as she flew off in the direction of the last seen androids.

OSC-01 picked up her own pace for a moment, peering down the tunnel the other two had just fled down. The Overseer turned to the Captain. Not quite happy with her compliance with the unknown man, OSC-01 kept her motives brief. "Seems we have a lead on the lost units. I'll keep them out of trouble," With that, the Overseer paced down the hall, halfway unfurling a glaive as they strode away.

Dahlia huffed, looking at the now translated signs. An attempt in breaking into the cells surrounding them was met with limited success, as they contained very little apart from sparse vegetation and standard cots. Still, encounters worth photographing, and photographing everything she was. Dahlia stopped her patrol at the entrance to the armory, slowing down to look at her tablet as the images sent by Reman came through. These most certainly looked like something OSC-01 could scan over, and she already knew Amelia from the presentation- it seems the Overseer was good on their word. That last one though seemed to stick to her mind, however, like a blot. It was hard to shake, but maybe she needed to wait and show the others. The captain shook her head and raised her radio again. "We have a... competent team headed towards operations. Ar... Aradia, Glas. Let me know when you're finished in there. We're headed for the armory wing."

The captain holstered the tablet, bringing out a large flashlight as she began to investigate the tunnel entrance.

---
Operations Corridor

It didn't take long for the duo to reach the fleeing robots farther down the tunnel. As Marie and Romulus approached, the two stopped and turned around. The two robots were most certainly not of Union origin, as they shared a more uniform design. They were bipeds with hunched legs and a slightly mantis-like posture, two arms each. Their left arm ended in a modular chainsaw, while their right remained a clean but thin mechanical arm. They were sparsely armored, with what little they had being comparable to industrial plating and protective cages. The black and green robots looked at the intruders and at themselves, releasing a sparodic conversation of low beeps and whistles between themselves.

As one turned, Romulus caught a clear symbol present on their chest. OAKLAND HEAVY INDUSTRIES, units GR-T287 and GR-T288, respectively. 87 and 88 backed up, pointing their saws at the two defensively as they scuttled backwards, giving the two a warning rev. The saws were most certainly electric. Farther back, the two could see a dark clearing, some form of larger room being guarded by the two. More concerning, the lights flicked on and off from the room, before turning on entirely. They were shortly followed by the hallway lights.


Power.


Terminal Room

The door within the terminal room didn't take too much to force open, the lock eventually snapping as the door opened wide to some kind of shaft. Directly ahead of the door was a small catwalk connected to a lengthy ladder, with the shaft being a few meters wide. Faint beams of sunlight assaulted his eyes from far above, shining through a partly-clogged grate far above him. The shaft ran for a good number of floors below him, before hitting a solid grate, with nothing but darkness beyond it. The documents he found earlier didn't specify exactly how deep the chasm ran. A gently and warm updraft rose through the shaft, flowing out through what remained of the circulatory system above him.

Reman again felt that familiar urge of being watched. This time, however, something was different. For the first time in a while, another voice spoke up from directly behind him as his driver-bearing arm was lifted. "Fascinating."

Remans entire body lurched as he jumped out of his skin, swinging around his pinned arm to catch a glimpse of whatever had just come from the empty room he left. The assailant- or perhaps passerby was a woman covered in cloak and apron, holding his arm with a frankly alien hand: warped and purple with crystalline growths running up and down it. He didn't catch the details of the figures face, but an eerie purple and orange glow permeated the sides of the cloak. The jump was enough for Reman to fall back against the railing of the conduit, toppling over it like a lever. The alien woman released his arm as he fell, sending him falling down the ventilation shaft.

The engineer hit the grate with a graceless thud, though the armor he was wearing combined with the updraft helped reduce the brunt of the impact. Reman laid there dazed, his vision coming and going as he peered back up the conduit. For one moment, the figure was there again- leaned over the railing. A single, blurry midnight blue protrusion was draped over the side of the railing, not unlike a wing. When his focus returned, the figure had fled.


Reman wasn't feeling quite right after the brief interaction, nor was his driver. While it had protected them from a possibly fatal injury, the mechanics of the driver were beginning to sputter and stop. In that one moment of contact, it's Echyllis battery had been drained immensely, with a dark purple spark emanating from the dying key. It wouldn't be long before his armor would begin to distort and fade. The engineer found himself lying on the grate overlooking an even greater fall, enshrouded in darkness below him. A light flickered and whined not far from him, revealing two narrow hallways that branched out from the access point. One led back in the direction of the ravine as he could figure form what little bearings he had to work with. The other led deeper into the facility. Alternatively, The rusty ladder that ran across the wall of the shaft could bring him back to the room he had just left.

Another light flickered on, this time in the shaft above him. One by one, the lights continued to flick on, deeper down the shaft. Even with the dots of yellow lights coming to life, the darkness of the chasm below was impermeable. It could be worse.


Lower Path
Warehouse


The live round Keith examined was of a rather nasty design, one that would make any veteran shudder. It was a bit larger than a traditional rifle round, lying somewhere between a heavy rifle round and a light autocannon one. The casing was hexagonal in shape, a strange one to be sure, but it had a specialized magazine and feed system designed to load them in an efficient honeycomb pattern. The back of the round was a flat copper plate with a variety of thin cuts made in it. One could asses that it might be fired not by a firing pin and primer, but by a specific electric pulse. The round itself was long and brutal, containing thinly rifled fins and grooves that ran the length of the round before hitting a hard white tip. Another round on the test table was ended in a shorter but far more serrated tip, like a hollow point taken to it's engineering extreme. It nearly cut the man just to feel the grooves in the projectiles. Whatever these rounds would hit would be shredded to pieces.

As Rhea cautiously waved the dart of Echyllis about like a signal flare, no response came from the turret. It hung there, responsiveness to sound, motion, or psychic activity. As the young teenager crept completely unaccompanied by adult supervision into the room, she moved over to the safe. There was still no movement from the security. The safe itself was a rather large fireproof box, composed of coated metal. The locking mechanism appeared to be entirely internal, with no visible hinges or levers, but there was a keypad and card scanner of some kind built into the right side of the safe. Small cracks and signs of aging were revealed by the faint purple light of the crystal, but something odd caught Rhea's eye as she scanned about.

As she stared at the manifestation of Echyllis, Rhea caught her own reflection. At least, what might have been. The child sparsely had access to a mirror before, but she knew for certain the reddish hue of her hair. The reflection was slight rotten and pale, looking uncomfortably at herself through the looking glass with longer, sun-bleached locks. Purplish and blue crystals had impaled her skin, but no cuts had been drawn. But their eyes, her eyes, they were the same. The image was incredibly discomforting, but not as much as what appeared to be a large.... bullet hole bored through her forehead, blood splattering outward from the wound frozen in time within the crystalline mirror.

There was a heavy, ominous whine as the tube lights suspended above the warehouse began to dimly light, arranged in a crossing triangular pattern.
 

ZweiHawke

Well-Known Member
Terminal Room

Reman could feel the pressure already, climbing up the grate with the fading strength of his steel key before rushing over to the end of the chasm and disengaging the key. He knew he was frail and vunlerable in this state, and he needed an emergency exit. The communicator on his machine started to flicker, the display failing to project and all options becoming harder and harder to capitalize on. The cyclone key was all he really had left in this situation, and knowing about what actually happens in caves, he followed where the wind flowed from the entrance, creating higher pressure in the cavernous environment where areas away from the entrance were. He would have to find where the air was coming in from to safely retreat to the Downrider.

Clutching the key, glowing slight;ly he lit his way through the cave, chasing his way to the entrance. The last message he left for the crew before being cut off; "Someone's in here with me, They've drained the battery from the process, beware someone with purp-"

Reman knew he was alone once again.

----------------------

Operations Corridor

"Oakland? Alert the others, there might be more active units in the area."

The light brought their situation foward, giving a clear vantage for the Artificer to formulate a plan for survival.

The matchup was almost ironic. Working together again with his former assistant in saving the future of humanity, at least from Romulus's perspective. This time though, there was no Inferno and no Veteran, just his wits and preparation. The unease settled in, and it was almost as if he paid Marie's actions no mind as he stepepd back slightly to get ready to evade if the bots started charging towards his position. Preparing for the worst, Romulus retrieved a bullet from his jacket pockets and clutched it with the primer facing his thumb, slightly alight and ready to be fired at a moment's notice if things went south.
 

Blizzard

Active Member
Tower
Human Glas


THUD!

CRASH!

WOOSH!


One after the other, Glasawyr momentarily inspected the ancient protective gear before carelessly tossing it over his shoulder. With each new item, he grew more and more annoyed at the abhorrent lack of foodstuffs within the locker. It was clear that the locker was meant to store items whose purpose was insuring the user's survival, so why wouldn't there be food?! Food was just as if not more important than armor! In the absence of armor, one could simply flee from danger. In the absence of food, however, there was no escaping the slow, creeping death of starvation.

Stupid humans with their stupid tunnels and stupid boxes.

At last, Glas came upon the locked briefcase, and his reptilian eyes lit up with interest and glee. Perhaps the food was inside this box?! It made sense, after all, to add another layer of protection for the most important items!

Once again, Glasawyr found himself in awe of his own genius. Oh, how much better off the universe would be were all creatures as clever as he! Now, to open the case, and devour whatever lay inside. He gripped the lid and tugged.

The case didn't budge. With a roll of his eyes, Glas tried again, harder this time, making a small noise of exertion. Once again, the case refused to open. Frowning, Glas held the case out and studied it. Not used to the concept of keys and locks, however, he missed the keyhole entirely. Thankfully, in his infinite cleverness, he came up with a solution that was sure to succeed!

CLANG! CLANG! CLANG!

Gripping the case by its sides, Glas proceeded to haphazardly smash the suitcase into the floor like a pissed off sea otter trying to open a clam, creating a cacophony of sharp noise from the metal hitting the concrete. Satisfied, the humanoid dragon inspected his handiwork, and was utterly shocked to find that the case was still intact!

Growling in frustration, Glas stood and looked around for any sort of solution, internally fuming at how difficult it was to find a snack in here. His eyes fell on the mini gargoyle, and he flashed his fangs at it ferally. Surely the worthless vermin was mocking him and his failures! With a pathological distrust of robots, and a need for an outlet for his frustrations, Glasawyr lunged at the gargoyle and grabbed it around the throat.

Seconds later, it was inside the locker, with the door shut, and the padlock back in place. The broken shackle was tied like a pretzel around the latch, preventing the door from opening again. Grinning devilishly and reveling in his petty catharsis, the dragon picked the suitcase back up and trudged over to Aradia. Perhaps she could succeed where he had failed.

Child, will you please help me open this? I believe there is food inside. What else would someone go through so much effort to protect?

Glasawyr held out the suitcase to Aradia, his arms passing right through the torso of the mysterious apparition, whom he could not see, and to be honest, would still utterly disregard even if he could.
 
Last edited:

Arbitrated

Well-Known Member
Tower

Aradia spent some time fiddling with the... Visual scanner thing. She suppressed a chuckle as she saw the slightly-bent internals of the watching gargoyle through the now-quite-firmly-shut locker. Something about the newest, draconian crew member was very... Refreshing. Something about how he acted instead of thinking, but he didn't try to put it behind any sort of lofty goal or something. Regardless.... The visuals seemed pretty helpful. She took a look, with her real eyes, to see if there was any sort of portable charger available - or, if all else fails, she could grab space devices and batteries. Marie would probably break a few trying to figure them out, but if most of the crew's enemies were going to be mechanical.... Seeing mechanical things would be advantageous.

And then she saw the figure. And it "saw" her. And it was spooky. And scary. And concerning. And.... Oh, no............. Oh, Glas said something.

Pocketing the device, Aradia blinked a couple times, turning her focus away from the apparation and right into the eyes of the dragon-boye. "Hm? I don't think food would be good but maybe it's refridgrated-" She briefly changed her verdict after the change in Glasawyr's expression, hoping to... Not accidentally cause the tower to be destroyed. She held the case in bolth of her hands, and took a look down the.... Probably-a-keyhole thing. She didn't remember picking anything up that seemed to fit the slot, but...

"It's definitely LOCKED, do you remember finding some sort of key? Triangular shape, fairly small, probably shiny?" While awaiting the dragon's response, Aradia transferred the weight onto one hand, pulling out the scanner thingie and - after doing a brief sweep of the room to see if there were any more spooky figures - swapping back to the "circuitry mode" and seeing if that would... Somehow allow her to check the inside of the safe. Hopefully.
 

speeder01

Well-Known Member
Lower Path
Warehouse


Rhea had many opinions about this little adventure they were on. The hallway was ominous, the safe was enticing, and the turret, while possibly dangerous, excited her- for why else would there be a turret here but to guard something rare, and valuable? Seeing... herself? In the reflection of that softly glowing crystal she'd been carrying about, ground her considerations of the safe to a halt, as she took a moment to process what exactly she was seeing, like one would an ink blot image.

It took a moment longer, to connect that image that she was looking at with the power turning on, and that ominious hum. And the now probably activating turret behind her. What she wanted to say was something along the lines of 'oh, Keith! the power is turning on! Please assist me in disabling the turret before it attempts to give me a lobotomy, so we can start working on opening that safe!' What came out sounded something like... Well, it didn't sound like much of anything, actually, but somewhere in the middle of that panicked deluge of noises, was probably a reason to donate what little she owned to the swear jar.

She actually wondered, despite the situation, if she should get a swear jar, actually. She heard sailors swore alot, and she was pretty much traveling with space pirates, who were sort of sailors! It was a fortune waiting to be made, risk free. That mental tangent aside, however, she finally centered herself, getting into a stance for the minimum possible time needed to actually use her power to its fullest effect- and jumped- a crystal pillar shooting under her from an angle to launch her across the hallway, such that she would once again be within range of the turret, and beable to do something about it.

It was only when sie was damn near under the turret, with her landing, twisting on the spot, her knees bent, and her palm low, but facing towards the turret, her fingers curled into a near fist- that she wondered if the smarter decision was to hide behind the safe, or simply vacate the area entirely. And then, she threw her palm upwards as she straightened herself to her full... insignificant height. Another, much more signifigant crystal pillar rising from the ground, being hurled into the turret as hard as she could manage. Gone were thoughts of precision- of finesse, she needed that turret dead and she needed it now!

Of course, despite her... frenzied state of mind, her heart pounding so hard she was sure that keith could have heard it from across the room, she still had the sense of mind to at least position herself such that she could use the pillar as cover incase this, perhaps ill advised gambit failed despite her throwing all her 'weight' into this crushing manuever, as well as using the ground below as a brace.
 

META_mahn

Well-Known Member
Operations Corridor

"Not only that, a similar model to the ones we saw in Alipier," Marie commented. "So clearly we've got a bit of a recurring villain here."

"Let's head back. We aren't equipped to fight this out, because there is definitely more. They also have control over the power grid, and I can't stop an industrial power grid, no matter how hard I try." As much as some anti-Sage propaganda said people like her could -- and she sometimes wished she did. "Might just be a good idea to let them walk away from this too. If they're linked up to similar units, then if we hurt one the entire horde might come for us."

With that, Marie started backing off, facing the robots.
 

Burgmond

Well-Known Member
Conduit

The two-faced thing faced the beast, making eye contact with the creature. It is there that the two voices began to converse at a million miles per hour, by the sheer power of absurdly mutated synapses in their shared, twisted brain.

The Shared Mind

Two people shared a roomy space of odd additions. The room had many things; it had a towering glass column that ran from the top to the bottom, with spongy consoles with instruments and interactable devices tacked on like spare parts. Ideas of new inventions were strung along the ceiling and the various bookshelves, as blueprints clipped onto the single string that run throughout the room. A bunkbed over in the corner, lights of flesh or metal sprouted from the walls, and tacky rugs that broke up the monotony of the floor's color scheme.

Tom's emerald green eyes glistened as he stared at a screen with furrowed brows, his hands running through his unkept, copper-colored hair out of a mixed sensation of impatience and deliberation.

Another being stood by Tom's side, with its blocky smile that was so wide you'd think you can rip the top half of its head with ease. Its unblinking, massive, yellow eyes were also trained on the same screen, its humanoid form writing with the purple ooze that makes up its whole body. The only indication that this was Juryrig, as opposed to monster with origins in cosmic horror, was the cherry red coat that it wore with the swagger of a antagonist from a anime.

The both of them looked at the same screen, with the beast square in the middle of the it. It waited for their next move.

"... Juryrig, we're going to need to kill this thing, right? Yeah, no, what?"

"Hm..." With a motion of his hand, one of the cybernetic screens of corrupted flesh, steel, and glass lowered from the roof. With this, Juryrig used it to play back the memory of the conversation with Bryce over the radio.

"I just don't think it's worth it to kill it! I mean, sure, it sprayed poison at some of our teammates, that could be a cause for revenge for them, I can get behind that. This could also just be its territory, though! It could just live here."

"M hm..." After letting that memory play, he played the older memory of the creature when it first arrived. The little creature was afraid and willing to kill; Tom had a point, after all.

"... Juryrig?"

"Give me a moment, brother. I'm thinking."

Microseconds outside this special place, were minutes to those in this control room.

"... So, brother. Our rivals are here... With our rival here, our goals are going to be jeopardized, I bet. Not to mention that blueberry really didn't like them."

"Well, yeah, I guess that comes with the territory... Where're you going with this?"

"So, Tom, my brother: these things live here. But the problem is that they're... They really can't do much, can they? They can just twitch and spew some fumes and run. Would it be excellent if they can do... more?"

"More...?" Tom, at first clueless, caught on when Juryrig's 'body language' changed to being uncomfortably eager.

"Juryrig, you can't be serious. You've done bad things before that I can't approve of, but you've never done this before!"

"Ah, yeah, counter-productive to our overall objective, but this is people you're talking about; not this sad little creature. They could use a few... modifications. Mother Nature can't do all of the work around here."

"... So, what, you're going to solve our problem by causing another problem?"

"A problem that EVERYONE would need to deal with. Besides, Bryce used us like a complete and utter tool; the least we can do is let him know what he used."

"... I hate your motivations for this, but... We're going to need every advantage we can get. If we can keep the Downrider crew out of harms way, fine. Let's do it your way."

"Heheheheehehehe..." With that, Juryrig pulled the lever on one of the consoles, the glass column thrumming with a corruptive light...

Juryrig lifted his visor; a thin piece of purple meat is on his face. He peeled it, and threw it in front of the creature. The food secreted pheromones, as if asking to be eaten.

"Here you go little fella; a little home advantage for the road! Now if you excuse me, I need to go back to the class; I'm supposed to be on a field trip!"

With a cackle, Juryrig-

Hold up, where did he go? Who thought giving him this much power was a good idea?
 

Pancakei

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Tower of Power

As Aradia swept the room with the scanner once more, she found that the unknown... entity had departed the location, with neither the pink or blue scans showing anything telling of its whereabouts. Turning her attention to the hardened case, the scanner brought up semi-clear results. The case partially obstructed the view, but the electrical components took the vague form of a handgun, and quite a large one at that. It was broken into multiple parts, and the pink viewing mode revealed a few thin rods of what one could assume to be echyllis packed in with it. It would seem that the keyhole was also integrated with internal electrical systems. Glas' upfront methods of entry had left the case fairly battered, revealing the metal layers tucked underneath its protective rubberized coating. Cracking open the case would require either a key, or ship-grade machining tools back at the Downrider. For now, the two had picked up a gain of protective gear.

Operations Corridor

The two Oakland units, 87 and 88, remained on the back-foot as Marie withdrew from the potential combat. Arriving at the scene- though merely tailing the whole time, OSC-01 tapped the engineer on the shoulder as she retreated. "Tell the captain we have contact with the units." The Overseer glanced at the two robots as they retreated towards the now lit room at the end of the corridor. "Grunts, common Oakland working class. Configured for terraforming. They should be mandated to avoid conflict."

However old the androids were, either they or time had finished the job. OSC-01 took stance beside Romulus, glancing back to see where Marie was. "Fight of back off, we need to have a chat."

The Overseer attempted communicating with the two units, but they fled without a response. A greater ruckus could be heard just around the corner, the cuffling of metal followed by a disgruntled amount of contorted noises that vaguely resembled speech. A moment later, a Gargoyle unit was sent flying mere meters in front of the two, slamming the brick wall and flattening into a disjointed pancake of metal and wire. The ramshackle unit slid down the wall, leaving behind the a smeared streak of oil.
"...They may no longer be operating under mandates."

Another voice rang out from the room. a distinctly synthetic one. "Request you, you, y- leave meeee ALONE? Rogue seer."

In a rather rare display of emotion, one of OSC-01's projected green eyes gained a raised eyebrow.

Tunnels

Outside the tower, Dahlia stood at the entrance of the Armory tunnel. As the lights flickered on, she looked up with a concerned expression. She brought up her radio, contacting Reman. "Reman, did you find another switch? The power seems consistent. Reman?.. Reman."

The Captain huffed, nothing but static coming through the radio. She uttered a quiet "Damn it" as she holstered the radio, sending a message active on all crew channels in case contact was re-obtained. "Keep your eyes peeled, I don't get a good feeling from all this. If things get too out of hand, we all bail out the way we came."

Dahlia took the time to document everything that had been occuring, at the location in case of fame or insurance. Normally she would be open to setting up an encampment, but something told her this place might not be hospitable for a nights rest. They were in for a long haul, wether she liked it or not. For now, the Captain could only hope the strained crew would be able to reconvene before anything bad happened. The Captain looked up to notice Marie backing out from the Operations Tunnel, and called out. "What's the situation?"

Upper Conduits

Reman trudged his was through the hallway, leaving the deep ventilation shaft behind. He worked his way torwards the feeling of low pressure, which happened to take him away from the ladder he fell from and deeper within. As he approached the door, Reman began to notice multiple oddities. Firstly, the air had a disconforting tingle, like that of standing near heavy electrical equipment. Secondly, the metal door had once been locked with a padlock, which now lay cut in two off to the side below him.

Opening the cracked door revealed to Reman a dark, cramped hall, the only sources of light being small hazard lights and the panels of various equipment. The hallway was tight, with large transformers and connectors to either side of the path, shielded with wire metal cages. The crackling of electricity filled the air as Reman walked along, searching for a way out. He could hear in the distance a disgruntled voice, though what it said and to whom it was adressed was completley unknown. The engineer made it to the end of the hallway, which opened up into a circular room filled to the brim with panels and switches- laid in metal boxes. A sign above him gave a proper waypoint, but the translation was slow and distorted- too much interference.

Upper Reactor Control

Below his feet, Reman could see a spiraling blue light, which highlighted the room around him as he entered. He could hear the distant clattering and the sound of voices- including Romulus voice beyond the spiraling web of machinery and fuses that seemed integral to this operation.

As Reman looked around, there were three immediate items of interest. To his right was a metal doorframe, which was lit in an eerie purple light. Within the rims of the frame, a warped display of color and light danced about, giving way to what appeared to be another section of the complex just beyond it- impossibly fit. The doorframe was sat next to an inlaid control panel, but it had been broken apart and juryrigged with custom electronics and a purple fuse not unlike what his keys were comprised of.

To the center of the room was a large metal box, blue and red in color. The container was sealed shut with a solid construction, and several wires had been recently disconnected from it. A large lever was attached to its side, underneath a red light. The front of the box was nondescript, save for a string of characters that spelled out EDWARD KD-537.

To his left, was a gun pointed in his general direction. The gun in question was some kind of accelerated rebar cannon, attached to the arm of one of those Gargoyle units. It did not fire however, instead lowering the cannon. A voice called out beyond it, aware of the language Reman spoke from past surveillance. It was raspy and hushed, but carried a strangely sweet harmony behind it. "Not a bot, but just as tiring..."


Looking past the now idle Gargoyle, Reman could see quite clearly the cloaked woman- the same one that had been at the top of the ladder... who knows how long ago since he went out. The woman was bent over a panel of electronics, feeling through them one by one as if looking for a particular circuit. "Your friends have sowed chaos and destruction here in a scale I cannot understand, but I have been told to be welcoming..." Every so often, the person would stop and pry out a cable, with not much regard for its stability. "So here we are." Indeed what he had seen draped over the rail earlier earlier was not a cape, but rather a dark cobalt wing protruding from at least one side of the figures back- though it looked shriveled and not all well.

The figure did not part from their work to acknowledge Reman directly, instead opting to simply raise her head. "This is a delicate operation," the figure said as she ripped another cable from a wall socket with a grunt, "don't break anything. What is your employment's true purpose here, Reman?"

Lower Path
Warehouse of Doom


Rhea's quick thinking was most certainly warranted, as not a moment after she began moving, the shots came quick and hard. High caliber rounds whizzed by the fleeing child, crashing into the vault behind her with a flurry of sparks and shrapnel. Round after round impacted the concrete, shattering it. The now active turret had not been treated as well by time as it had appeared, and it was quite inaccurate with its shots. Rhea's panicked assault had bought her time, however. The crystalline mass impacted the turret, wedging itself between the barrels of the cannon and briefly halting its progress as it was knocked out of alignment.

The victory was short-lived, however. The turret shifted positions, revealing a new electric sound. A loud crack echoed about the room as a beam of red energy split the crystalline casing open, beginning to melt away at it quickly. As it grew, it began to form a projected shield around the face of the turret. Rhea was behind cover, but it wasn't certain how safe she would be for long. Looking around the room, most of the pallet were of raw materials mot particularly useful to her current situation, though at least some of it could stop a bullet. Rhea would not be able to muster enough raw echyllis from the surrounding area to take it head-on. There was a pull on her neck, however. A tingling feeling originating from a pallet of barrels strapped down across the turrets line of sight. The markings on them were unidentifiable, but they were of a heavily-insulated construction with dark purple hazard warnings.
 
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