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Chapter 27 (Original Archive)

stacinator 1/23/2005

Nike

Nike couldn't bring herself to do or say anything except a very unprofessional look of open-mouthed incredulity. Given her proximity to the guests, she said nothing as she recovered, but gave Shlitzee a nod to show that she registered the information.

"Horatio, I'm sure that it is in our database somewhere," She said as she tried not to look too guilty as she b.s.-ed her way through not alarming this healer guy. "May I ask you to refresh my memory on how your people came to be on this planet?"


supreme_arbiter 1/28/2005

Turn 9.1

Shlitzee led David into the operating room then went to the medical supply room to mix a potent sedative. Nike and Horatio waited with him in the operating room. Horatio put his arm around him and said, "You'll be fine. These people are our friends. They'll take good care of you."

Nike asked, "Can you refresh my memory on how your people came to be on this planet?"

Horatio looked confused for a moment. "Well... Long ago, our people lived in a great city called Earth, but Earth was a wicked place and doomed. They left Earth and settled in a place called Eridani. One day, a great metal bird called Warden arrived. She, too, was from Earth. When Earth was swallowed by fire, she carried a great many people away. But Warden had been badly injured by the poisonous clouds that arose from the city. Many of her passengers were sick and dying, but Warden mysteriously flew away into the wasteland before they could join us.

"Our ancestors took a solemn vow to save Warden, or die trying. They followed her for many years, but somehow lost her trail. They arrived at an oasis in the wilderness where they expected Warden would eventually arrive. The place was called Cancer. They waited and searched the skies, but she didn't come.

"Then one day, a demon appeared from the wilderness. He looked and spoke like a man, but our ancestors were not fooled. For six days, the demon tried to convince them to abandon Warden. He tempted them with gold, treasures and worldly pleasures. Each night he returned unsatisfied to the wilderness. On the seventh day, the demon attacked their camp. When they fought back, the demon revealed itself. He had the body of a man and the head of a wild beast, like a dog or a wild pig. He was terrifying to witness, but he was no match for our ancestors and they destroyed him.

"That night, an amazing thing happened. Everyone shared the same dream. Each ascended toward a bright light. There they found themselves surrounded by family and friends. Each was told they had won a glorious victory and would be rewarded. When they awoke from the dream, they were in a beautiful garden filled with plants and animals. They settled there and called the place Eden."

Shlitzee returned with a sedative. "Ok," she said, with a little digital reverb added for emphasis. "It's just a little pin-prick. Soon you'll be... comfortably... numb... Relax, and enjoy it."

"Eden," David said as he slipped into unconsciousness.

"Eden is surrounded by desert," Horatio continued. "In vain, we sought a way past it. Our people grew and formed new villages, like the Oasis at Sigai where we are from, but we are still surrounded by sand. We dream of finding Warden one day. We are all very excited by your arrival. Please tell me, have you come from beyond the desert? Have you heard of Warden, or know where she is?"

end transmission


stacinator 1/31/2005

Nike

"Yes, Horatio, I do know something of Warden, but I must think about what you've told me before I give you more answer than that. I do not wish to confuse you or mislead you, so please understand." She paused, trying desperately to recall all of her mostly botched diplomacy training. She had never had the patience for it, really; she got by when she had to. Dammit if this wasn't one of the times when she had to. She looked at Horatio kindly and said, "Tell me, do you have anything in Eden like a library, a place with records, books, or histories?"


supreme_arbiter 2/4/2005

OOC: The Afrimus storm has passed the intrepid clones and crew of the Warden, but in another location it has only just arrived. In this turn, besides moving things along for the PCs, I will continue the adventures of Janus. To recap., Janus and his caravan were on their way to Sigai when they saw the storm approaching. They sought shelter in the ruins they found in the shifting sands of the desert...

Piles of sand slowly formed around the saddle as it kept the wind from their shelter. Time passed and it grew unnaturally dark inside the tower. The men lit candles. The piles of sand were nearly a meter tall when at last they saw Janus ascending the stairway. He checked the entrance. It was secure, and the Leviathan was soundly sleeping. Pleased with what he saw, Janus removed a heavy backpack from his saddle bags. He paused for a moment and glanced at each of the men. "Anyone afraid of demons?" he asked quietly.

"No," Micah replied. "No way!" Jethro interjected. "If we were, we wouldn't have come in here," Malik said calmly.

"You should be afraid," Janus warned them, "but not paralyzed. We can leave the leviathan alone for a while. Come downstairs if you wish." Janus led the way; the men followed. The stairs were regular and steep. They descended several meters. At the bottom, the stairs bisected a narrow passage that was sealed at both ends by makeshift, masonry walls: the corridor seemed to have been walled up. Long metal cylinders ran along the ceiling.

A short distance between the two ends, another corridor branched off into a long, narrow room. An uneven ledge ran along each side a half meter high and a meter deep. Between the ledges, the corridor narrowed. The walls showed signs of carvings and frescoes, but they had long been obliterated by deliberate gouging. At the end of the corridor, the ledges ended and in the open space beyond, there were two stone pedestals. The furthest was only a few dozen centimeters tall, but about the size of a man. Sharp metal bars stuck out at odd angles from the top. The closer pedestal was smaller and taller, but shattered into several pieces of featureless rock. At the back of the room there was a doorway from which a delta of sand had poured.

As they marvelled at the silent ruins, they were observed by a curious creature. It was no larger than a human hand and had a long, skinny face and limbs. It carried several scrawny roots in its mouth and several more underneath one of its arms. It stood up tall on its hind legs to get a better view of the strangers. As Janus and his men approached, it ran off on three legs (clutching its precious roots) and crawled down a drain between the two pedestals.

Janus set his backpack on the ledge and scrutinized the wall behind the pedestals. A wide crack in the wall ran part way across the ceiling. Portions of the masonry had fallen away and left holes along the crack's faultline. The interior of the wall was uniformly of the same hard, rocky substance. In one place, a meter from the floor, the crack revealed a rusted, metal surface. Janus scratched and prodded the material around it with various tools. He took a small piece of wood from his pack and wrapped it in a heavy cloth. He placed it above the metal surface and gently tapped it with a hammer. Janus put his ear to the wall in various places. He distinctly heard something moving inside.

Hammer and chisel in hand, he began to excavate the surrounding wall.

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

Nike looked at Horatio kindly and said, "Tell me, do you have anything in Eden like a library, a place with records, books, or histories?"

"Oh yes," Horatio's eyes sparkled. "At the seminary in Eden, there are many books: histories, documents, maps, scriptures, all precious and rare. They are jealously guarded, but the priests will probably let you see them. They'll be eager to talk to you."

Shlitzee fastened David's head to the head rest. The rest of his body was already restrained. Horatio watched with interest. She produced a flashlight from the chest beside the operating table and flashed it in David's eyes. "Hello," she called. "Is there anybody in there? Just nod if you can hear me. Is there anyone at home?" She turned to Horatio. "He won't feel a thing," she said then made a sound like a drill cutting into bone. Shlitzee laughed. "Just kidding. It's painless. He's only sedated to keep him from moving." Horatio tried hard to appear unaffected by Shlitzee's grim humor.

Shlitzee pressed a button and a pair of sensors extruded from the table, one on each side of David's head. She injected a preprogrammed dose of nanodocs into his neck then plugged a data lead into the operating table and silently observed the nanodocs' progress toward the site of the operation.

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

Percy and Arkady made their way back to the airlock, making a stop in the empty food storage room to pick up a couple of empty containers. When they arrived, the airlock computer informed them that the main door was blocked. A computer monitor showed the rear of the ship partially buried in sand.

"Waaaaaiiitaminute! How are we supposed to get outta here? The main exits are underneath us!"

Arkady silently pointed up. A smaller, hand operated door was on the ceiling.

"Ah! A redundant door! An excellent design decision, I should add." Percy led the way up the reset rungs in the airlock wall. He spun the handle and the door cracked open. Percy pushed his way out the door then took the boxes from Arkady.

The terrain around them resembled a crater, with the ship in the center. Vast areas of sand in the crater had a glassy appearance. The sun was descending. It was still hot outside and they wouldn't have daylight for much longer. They immediately set out looking for lifeforms.

"Ugh," Arkady said. "Here's one. It's dead allright. It's so dead, I can't even tell what it looked like! And it's been fused with the sand, like they melted together!" Arkady tossed the carcass in his box and wished he had some gloves. "I was looking forward to my first contact with extraterrestrial life. I didn't expect it to be road kill!"

"Here's another," Percy called. "They're not very big, are they?" Arkady nodded. "This could take a while."

"Hey fellas," Amanda said over the comm device. "I see you on the ship's computer. I'll help you find what you're looking for. Arkady, there's one right below you, not too deep."

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

end transmission

OOC: New players are welcome. Is anyone interested in developing a character in Janus' party, Horatio's party or a robot?


stacinator 2/8/2005

Nike

Cool move SA!


supreme_arbiter 2/8/2005

Aw, thanks!

:D

Not to change the subject, but... I've been watching Ghost in the Shell on the Cartoon Network. It's fantastic! It got me thinking about clones. I once figured they would expect and receive (in most nations) the same rights as regular humans, but now I'm not so certain that's feasible.

Consider property rights. Anyone who can get a tissue sample can clone anyone else (the movie Gattaca is a vivid portrayal of the difficulties involved in keeping your own tissues private!) A criminal with enough resources could clone a wealthy citizen or their heir and make off with a fortune. Zoom Wombs, such as those that created the clones in IAS, make such a scam even easier and faster.

There is at least one difficulty with such a scam. Clones, like identical twins, have dissimilar fingerprints. Their DNA only determines the disposition of fingerprint development, but their formation is determined mostly by their interaction with the womb. A clever criminal might be able to find a way to develop a clone with identical fingerprints. If that's possible, what would protect the property rights of the original? How could anyone prove they were who they claimed they were?

Hmm.. I'd better consult my lawyers...

:)


Zhaxier Cole 2/8/2005

Interesting! Some observations after a little digging on my own:

If the cloning tubes of Warden fully control the artificial uterine environment, then it is reasonable to assume that all clones output from the tube would be identical to each other. For example, IAS's Zhaxier would share both the genotype and phenotype of ML's Zhaxier. However, because the tubes cannot possibly duplicate the environmental conditions that the original Zhaxier experienced from embryo to maturity, the clones of Zhaxier could never duplicate the phenotypical characteristics of the original.

Hence, it's a good thing Warden doesn't run on fingerprint identification! But what about the retina recognition-based Command Level security in ML?

It turns out that retinas and irises are even *more* sensitive to phenotypical variation than fingerprints are; in fact, your genetically identical left and right irises are no more statistically correlated in their features than your left iris is to mine! (See http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/users/jgd1000/roysoc.pdf).

So it would appear that the Warden planners would need to think of an emergency security protocol that would have to grant the same access to an officer and his/her clone. In other areas of Warden, all that is needed for access is a sufficiently high-level color band. (The access by mere ID card to the G10-G11 armories in IAS being a notable exception which I cannot rationalize unless Nike and Chelydra were also wearing security bands at the time.) I'm thinking that the possession of such a band, together with a plurality of other successful genotypical comparisons to data filed at the time of the mnemo-genetic snapshot, will be sufficient for Command Level access.


supreme_arbiter 2/9/2005

LoL - thanks Z. Fortunately for the IAS players there's little (if anything) onboard the lifeboat that requires more authorization than a passcard.

BTW, what's the status of Murphy's Law now that Shipman has been gone from the group for some time? Could he be returning someday? Will someone else take the GM reins? (I certainly don't mean to put you on the spot, but I think we're all looking at you ;)


Zhaxier Cole 2/9/2005

Hey, stop staring! One would think I was walking around naked! ;) The Murphy's Law PBP game is waiting for Zhaxier's next move. Once that happens, ghost_of_warden may decide to return then. I haven't heard that the GM has any intent to seek a successor.


Craig Brain 2/10/2005

I have good news!

You might be interested to know that a Metamorphosis Alpha movie is now being drafted, based largely upon MA3e, with elements of the orignal edition. Jim Ward is currently writing the treatment / script outline. I have read the original drafts of the treatment, and I'm pretty excited about this prospect.

The company that has agreed to produce the movie is Pisces All Media, an Australian gaming company that has also signed up Ken St. Andre, and started to bring Tunnels and Trolls back into production. Pisces All Media are currently producing a movie based upon some of the works of H.P. Lovecraft.

Jim and I are planning to use the pics and artwork for the hardback edition of the rules (which are shortly due to be released to our play-testers, minus a lot of the artwork).

Hopefully, the movie will be the fuel on the fire that we need to re-establish MA as a mainstream game in it's own right.


gammaben 2/11/2005

Ok, if there's a movie, that means it is time to start speculating on who the cast will be for the MetAlpha IAS movie. Yes I know I'm behind in my posting for IAS, but I couldn't resist a quick stab at some characters.

Playing the part of ... will be ...:

Chelydra - Raphael (the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle)
Zhaxier - Samuel Jackson (from his bald Star Wars days)
Nike - Sigourney Weaver (from her younger, kickbutt, Alien, days)
Percy - Harrison Ford (Waaaaiiiiiaminute, I'm not a nerfherder!)
Rufus - Don Messick (voice for CGI Rufus)
Sharneste - Michelle Pfeiffer (voice for CGI Sharneste)
Arkady - Stellan Skarsgård (Captain Tupolev, Hunt for Red October)
Amanda - Jenette Goldstein (from her younger, tomboy, Aliens, days)
Gregory - Casey Kasem (from his Shaggy days)
Horatio - Brian Blessed (from his Blake's 7 religious zealot days)

Well that's all I have time for right now. IMDB rocks! :)

Ben

P.S. Like how I picked out superstar hunk to play me? Heh heh!


stacinator 2/14/2005

Well, here are my votes! Good idea of a game, Ben.

Playing the part of ... will be ...:

Chelydra - Arnold Schwarzenegger
Zhaxier - Ice T
Nike - Jennifer Garner
Percy - Dominic Monaghan (aged with make-up, of course)
Rufus - Charlie Sheen as the voice (actual character CGI)
Sharneste - Sharon Stone as the voice (actual character CGI)
Arkady - Sean Bean
Amanda - Anne Heche
Gregory - Matt Leblanc
Horatio - David Wenham
Bud Asuda - Scott Bakula
Shlitzee - Brent Spiner in drag
Janus - Brad Pitt (I'd particularly enjoy this one.)


publius1024 2/13/2005

I'm not as hip to actor names as y'all (but now I'm a _little_ hipper for having Googled your suggestions ;)

Percy - Martin Short -or- Chris Rock
The Watcher - Donald Pleasance

stacinator 2/14/2005

That's so funny, because the other person that I suggested to Ben for Percy was Martin Short!! HA!


supreme_arbiter 2/25/2005

Meanwhile, in another region of the desert...

Micah and Malik searched the room and discovered little besides scraps of metal. Tantalizing clues hinted at the wall's former decorations. They found flecks of paint of unfamiliar colors: rich purples, blues and vibrant greens. Alas, there was too little left to determine the scenes or patterns once depicted. Jethro dug through the sand that had poured through the doorway. More sand was all he found. He suspected the roof beyond had caved in.

Janus carefully removed the rocky material from around the metal surface. He soon discovered where it ended a few dozen centimeters to the right. Further digging revealed where the metal surface ended at the bottom, to the left and on top. He stood back to survey the excavation: the flat metal surface was about a half meter tall, less than half a meter wide and perfectly rectangular. Janus continued to scrape away the material from around it. Jethro lit new candles as the old ones burned out. At last, Janus found the back end of the metal surface. A little more work and he was able to pull it away from the wall. He was now convinced that it was a box of some sort.

They went upstairs and Janus looked for a way to open it.

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

end transmission


katrinalieff 3/1/2005

Is it possible to get involved in this group? I can make a PC an' all...


supreme_arbiter 3/1/2005

Hi again Katrina :)

Are you still interested in starting a native pure-strain-human character? That would be great! Robot characters are also an option.


supreme_arbiter 3/4/2005

Several people have been asking me off-list (and Katrina has asked me on-list :) about new characters. Here's a little detail about possible character origins (no spoilers here, these details have either been detailed or implied in past turns):

Natives:
There are three tribes: Rota, Spragni and Hithari. The Rota are mostly traders and craftsmen. The Spragnis are mostly farmers. The Hithari are ruled by an authoritarian theocracy. The Rota and Spragni are descended from the Hithari. All three tribes are Galtites, a fictional religion. PCs do not have to be Galtites. A group of NPC Spragni is already in play with Horatio onboard the lifeboat. A group of NPC Rota is already in play with Janus in ruins in the desert.

Robots:
Nearly any sort of robot (maybe not a warbot :) can be started at a remote location within reach of the current players.

And hey! While I'm wasting the bandwidth :) I have another nominee for the IAS 'film':

Playing the role of Janus: Morgan Freeman

Speaking of Janus, I'll post a brief turn next week in which we'll learn what's inside the box Janus found.


katrinalieff 3/6/2005

--Yes, PSH would be fine. Spragni sounds like a good option.


supreme_arbiter 3/7/2005

Great!

The quickest way into the game is to start as one of Horatio's students. The only thing we know about them is that Foryn's the oldest, and David injured his head and is in surgery now. There are three other students. You can start as any one of them to get right into the action alongside the current players (feel free to change name/gender if you wish to play Foryn or David.) The students are learning to be Galtite priests. If you'd rather not role-play a student priest, you could also start in the nearby village of Sigai.

To get a feel for character creation for a PSH native, check out Horatio's character:


Choose a name, age, height and weight (preferably but not necessarily in meters and kilograms), hair color, eye color, and sex. Roll 3d6 and total the results (3 - 18) for each of the following statistics:

Radiation Resistance
Mental Resistance
Strength
Dexterity
Leadership Potential
Technical Aptitude
Constitution

Feel free to move numbers around to match the type of character you have in mind (strong, intelligent, charismatic, etc.) Determine Hit Points by rolling 1d6 for each point of Constitution. Also add some background flavor text to flesh out your character if you wish.

Post the above stats here or email them to me directly: either way is ok. If you have an image you'd like to use, please email it to me so I can put it in the IAS archive.

Welcome aboard :D


supreme_arbiter 3/7/2005

I forgot to mention, Chapter 23: Portal of the Winds gives some background on Horatio and his students:



katrinalieff 3/13/2005

I have a question; I was looking through your saga that is posted on the home page site, and one of the PC's was formally used, but is now NPC"ed. Can I use that one; I thought she looked real cool! Plus I've been reading the chapters to get feel of her character


supreme_arbiter 3/13/2005

Is Amanda the character you're thinking of? I have no objections. I think the person who once played her has left the group and won't mind. Amanda has a colorful past: she was originally an NPC, became a PC in chapter 13, and became an NPC again in chapter 16.

I think it would be great if you'd like to pick up an NPC :) I did the same thing when I was a player, with Arkady.

BTW, there's another new character coming soon... Perhaps tonight?


supreme_arbiter 3/13/2005

Yikes, I just noticed that Nike was listed as an NPC! I hope Stacy didn't notice :) I hope that wasn't the one you meant Katrina. Stacy's playing Nike.


katrinalieff 3/14/2005

Actually it WAS Nike (DRAT!). But, I'll take Amanda if you wish. The only thing is that she has no weapons listed. Does this mean I can "pick up" some?

One more thing, before I go too much further…this is a Play by E- Mail is it not? I can't do chat room games, I use someone else's computer, or public ones.


supreme_arbiter 3/14/2005

A new character has joined, THX-1492:


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

Memory check-sum... ok
Veribot Systems Verified
Loading sub-systems...
THX-1492's visual sensors came online. The room was well lit so there was no need for the infrared spectrum. THX-1492 stood up. Its legs had recently been oiled and they moved easily. The robot looked around and saw it was in the middle of one of the ancient buildings their team had been excavating. A high, stone ceiling hung overhead. Giant pillars etched with patterns left by a forgotten race framed exits in front, to the right and left. No other robots or humans were nearby. There was no sound at all besides the distant call of jungle birds.

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

Meanwhile, somewhere in the desert...

The box was rusted shut, but Janus managed to pry an end up. He worked carefully, for fear of damaging the contents. When he managed to open the lid a portion of the way, it snapped off above its hinges. Janus held the lid and his breath as he looked inside.

The box was filled with a dark fibrous mass. It tore into dusty pieces under Janus' fingers. Beneath was a large, carved stone. Janus lifted the stone from the case. It depicted a humanoid sitting with a bright green jewel in its lap. Its face was flat and featureless. It held its arms in front of it as if holding something invisible. Strange glyphs surrounded the figure. Never before had Janus seen anything like it. He lightly brushed the fibrous dust from the stone. The vivid colors literally glowed with an internal light centered on the figure's chest and the jewel in its lap.

Janus searched the rest of the box. There was only one other item inside: a white cylinder with unusual markings on one end. Janus placed the stone on the floor in front of him and examined the cylinder. He tried to activate the device, but there were no buttons or levers. He tried to open the device, but there were no seams.

Finally, having consumed nearly a dozen candles, Janus decided to take a break from the puzzle. The men blew out their candles and lay down for a rest. Outside the afrimus storm howled, punctuated by the periodic sound of lightning striking sand.

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

end transmission


supreme_arbiter 3/14/2005

Actually is WAS Nike (DRAT!). But, I'll take Amanda if you wish.
D'oh! Sorry :(
Amanda is yours if you want her.
The only thing is that she has no weapons listed. Does this mean I can "pick up" some?
You sure can! :) The crew left a few weapons in the supply room just before take off. There's also a munitions locker that no one has looked inside yet. If you don't find what you're looking for there, you can probably make it with the matter compiler in the ship's hold, but Percy's currently on a mission to gather enough carbon to build a replacement part for the engine. More on that soon: we're waiting for Percy to whittle away his email inbox... :)

There's a map of the ship at the bottom of Chapter 25

Amanda has been through most of the ship, and the portions she hasn't been through she has heard about over the communication device embedded in her skull (all the clones, except Chel mysteriously, have these 2-way comm devices.) Her security card will currently let her into all areas except the Captain's quarters.
this is a Play by E-Mail is it not? I can't do chat room games
It is. Our personal lives are all so busy that I wouldn't want to contemplate trying to arrange a chat session :)


gglassdr 3/14/2005

THX-1492

Initiating Threat Analysis.................No Threat Detected

Initiate Preliminary Exploratory Program................Discover Humanoids and Verify Status

THX-1492 decides to explore each exit to front, left, and right. It is looking for any humanoids, especially familiar ones, and any terran type electronic systems to repair.

Failing this, it will attempt to find an exit from the ancient structure.


katrinalieff 3/15/2005

->It may take me a little while to get into the swing of things. I have to go read that last couple of chapters to figure out what exactly is going on.

->In the meantime, I will have Amanda go procure a sidearm, with holster. Also, I will look into the munitions locker-provided I can get in to it. Let me know what she will have the choice of. Also, is she alone in the ship?

->In the future, do I post here, or somewhere else?


gammaben 3/16/2005

Let me jump in to say that I hope to get back to posting for Percy this week!

In the meantime, I'd suggest reading the SA's archive for the material published so far about Amanda. In short, she's a mathematics teacher crewman of Warden, and is a clone of the original Amanda. She was one of the first NPCs the original characters encountered. Anyway, you should post here. She's definitely not alone on the ship, and her current locale is the medical bay which is also the current locale of several other NPCs and PCs.

You could just read starting from chapter 4 "Separated" to get the full history of Amanda, at least as far as her involvement in the "Initiate Alpha Sequence" game. But you might just want to read from the beginning. She gets knocked unconcious between chapters 17 and 18 and wakes up in chapter 22. I'd read all about her so you can get the feel for her character, if you are interested in providing good continuity from her previous string-pullers to you.

Welcome to the game!


publius1024 3/16/2005

Let me jump in to say that I hope to get back to posting for Percy this week!
Yay! Welcome back from RL (who needs it ;) I've been holding off the release of the narrated chapter 26 because Percy hadn't yet posted a reply to the turn that ended that chapter. In the interest of catching you up to speed without forcing you to read the raw chapter notes, I'll post 26 tonight.
She's definitely not alone on the ship, and her current locale is the medical bay
Incorrect. Amanda is in room 2 (Dining) where she is using a computer terminal's lifesigns monitor to direct Percy and Arkady in locating carbon.

Nike, Shlitzee and Horatio are in room 8 (Operating Room) where one of Horatio's students is undergoing surgery.

Chelydra, Bud and Bailey are in room 16 (Captain's Dining) making sure the rest of Horatio's students don't get into trouble.

Percy and Arkady are outside the ship collecting animal carcases killed by the storm that recently passed.

The ship's map is at the bottom of chapter 25. I know that's a pretty inconvenient place for it. Next turn there'll be a brand new page for the Lifeboat map.

BTW, this is my normal,

non-SA-funny-looking-hat-wearing email address :)


stacinator 3/16/2005

Glad to have you! Even if you did try to steal my character... ;)
LOL

Seriously, glad you're a part. The more the merrier.


publius1024 3/16/2005

In the future, do I post here, or somewhere else?
Yes, this is perfect. Post on the Yahoo group site, or you can be lazy like me and just reply to emails sent to the group and change the Subject name 8)

Chapter 26 is up on the IAS site:

The Afrimus Storm

This brings the narration up to the last 2 turns.


gammaben 3/18/2005

Percy

Percy had mixed feelings about collecting the dead creatures. He laughed at Arkady's comment about first contact with extra terrestrials. On this planet, they weren't exactly "extra" but they were still foreign to them all the same. If these recently expired creatures weren't ... recently expired, they might be running away from the strange extra terrestrials who had crash landed on their planet! Then again, if there were other humanoids on the planet, Percy guessed he and the rest of the Warden escapees might not look so foreign.

The duralloy suit-encased technical trainer snapped himself out of his musings and started to help Arkady with the carcass collection. Inevitably, soon he was distracted again, as the curious Percy took note of the ship's position in the sand-turned-glass crater to gain a good ol' fashioned eyeballs view of their landing site, and also surveyed the immediate area and horizon of the planet.

When Arkady had filled his containers he noticed Percy's were only partially filled, and on top of that the Warden crewman seemed to be on a sightseeing tour. "Take a picture, it'll last longer!" Arkady joked as he approached Percy and the hatch to the ship.

"Oh, heh, sorry. It's just..." Percy trailed off, completely lost in view. "It's just I never actually thought I'd live to see the day we set foot on, well, wherever we are. Then again, _I_ didn't," he said somberly, refering to his original self. "Anyway, it's amazing to me, I mean, here we are collecting ... whatever these things are, on a planet half way across the galaxy, so we can recycle their carbon--dang I hope these things are carboniferous--to make reactor parts! HOT DIGGITY DOG!" Percy pumped his fist involuntarily.

"Ok, I guess I just had to get that out of my system. You can go ahead back to the recycler and dump your collection without me." He held up his partially filled containers. "I'll finish packing my Tupperware and meet you back inside in a bit."

His suggestion for Arkady to head back down without him wasn't completely motivated by speed and efficiency. Percy hoped to have a few more moments alone with the vastness of the planet before he rejoined civilization. Or at least, what passed for civilization, considering the Warden lifeboat's crew compliment was scrambled gene clones, inadvertent cryo-stowaways, and loopy robots!


supreme_arbiter 3/20/2005

THX-1492 decided to explore the front exit first. It stepped over a fallen gate into an excavated trench that led off into the distance between enormous columns and ruined arches. Succulent plants grew from the trench walls. A deep rut with robotic footprints ran down the middle.

There were no humans or robots around.

The robot returned to where it had rebooted. It turned and walked toward the exit on the left. Sunlight streamed into a large, excavated pit outside. A wide ramp led to the surface. At the top, THX-1492 saw rocky, desert terrain as far as it could see.

It stopped for a moment to process an error. The surrounding area did not match its visual recordings. It turned around slowly, examining the area. Over the top of the exposed structure's roof, THX saw another pit.

A resounding crack caught the robot's attention. The sound was followed by a human voice. It was crying in pain. THX turned to find the sound source. Nearby, there were two half naked men. One was cowering. The other stood above him wielding a long metal rod prepared to strike.

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

The terminal in the dining hall was unfamiliar, but Amanda soon got the hang of it. She managed to calibrate the lifesigns detector application to varying depths around them. "Radio on," she said, activating the comm device she'd only recently learned was installed in her skull. "Percy, Arkady, there's an enormous carcass on the other side of the ship from you. It seems to have been some sort of plant: there are lots of branches leading away from it. Some are a few dozen meters long!"

There was probably more than enough material in that one plant to suit their needs. She directed them to its location then turned off her radio by saying, "Radio off."

"That'll keep them busy for a while," she thought while she wondered what to do next. Chelydra, Bud and Bailey didn't need her help watching their guests: they all had weapons.

Amanda left the dining room and wandered toward the back of the ship looking for the supply room. Inside, Amanda found their bags where she had left them before they had left the Warden (in the inertial dampening shelves.) She smiled at her forethought. Her fellow crewmates had dumped them in the hallway on boarding.

Amanda casually inventoried the equipment in the supply room. First, there were the possessions they had brought onboard: a munitions bag, a duffle bag, several fist sized pods (5 red, 5 blue and 6 green), a pod launcher, a protein disruptor pistol, a stun ray pistol, a dart ejector, an auto-adapting stun gun, a Duralloy shield, a mini scope, 3 solar energy cells, 9 Hydrogen energy cells, a heavy wrench, 4 crude spears, and a sharp, twisted piece of plasteel.

The other shelves had more equipment: 75 blankets, 195 water bottles, 6 jackets, 22 empty jacket hangers, 3 small identical devices, a hand radio, several maps and brochures, 8 issues of Guns & Ammo Magazine, a hard bound book with a cloth cover, and a set of binoculars.

Satisfied that she'd looked in every corner, Amanda approached the door labeled 'Munitions'. Unfortuantely, the door required a passcard and Amanda had lost hers weeks ago. The Watcher had taken it.

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

Percy walked to the top of a dune and surveyed the alien landscape. The open sky above him took his breath away. Most of his life had been spent under the Warden's claustrophobic sky. The sun wouldn't go down for at least another hour, but two extremely bright stars were already visible. He watched them for a moment and was at peace.

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

Nike watched over Shlitzee's shoulder as she monitored the nanodocs' progress. It seemed tedious. Shlitzee made eye contact with Nike and was silent for a moment.

"Do you mind? This could take a while."


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

Meanwhile, somewhere in the desert...

The men slept for several hours. When they awoke, the only light in the room was the dull red glow that emenated from the unusual stone. The air was quiet and stale. The Leviathan was still asleep.

They roused themselves quickly and removed the saddle from the entrance. Sand had covered the exit. They dug the sand away and shoveled it down the stairs. After several minutes, a cool breeze blew down on them. By the time they had cleared a path, the Leviathan had begun to stir.

Janus careful packed his findings (even the rusted, metal box) in his bag and helped the men move the Leviathan outside.

Night had fallen. Janus listened carefully for several minutes. He called the names of the men who had run off, then listened again. There was no answer. The four men packed their bags. Only three men could ride the beast with the baggage, so they took turns walking. They set out north and then headed east looking for their companions.

There was no sign of them. Even the tops of the ruins they had discovered were buried beneath the dunes. The desert had erased all evidence of them. Sadly, the men turned southwest and headed for their destination.

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

end transmission


gglassdr 3/20/2005

THX-1492

"Input sensors record hostile humanoid action. Violation. Violation. Harming of violent humanoid is unauthorized. Injured humanoid must be assisted to medical facility. Violent humanoid must be restrained to prevent further damage to self or injured humanoid."

"Working..............Analysis completed...........Appropriate action in process......."

THX-1492 announces itself loudly to the half naked men. "Humanoid! Warning! Further damage to injured human is not authorized! Cease! Desist! Protection Order Authorization in Progress!"

And to make sure its point is understood, THX-1492 extends its robotic arms and moves towards the two humans, intending to either scare or restrain the violent human to prevent injury to the other one.


stacinator 3/20/2005

Nike

"Yes, you're right. My time would be better spent elsewhere." Nike responded with a sigh. She suddenly seemed so tired. It was as if all the adrenaline that had been pumping through her with crisis after crisis had evaporated, and she was left feeling a bit like a limp dishrag.

"Radio On. Bud, I think we need to have a recon team go outside and scout the perimeter manually; but I think that that particular team needs to be sharp, and therefore needs rest first. So you and I will take the first rest, then go out. Percy, you continue to work on things from the computer end while Arkady takes a rest. In five hours, you two switch out. Amanda, for the time being, help Percy and Shlitzee out as they need it, and if you begin to feel as if you need a rest, take it. You may not be completely recovered yet."

"Bailey and Chelydra, you continue to keep our guests comfortable and supervised. Find out all you can from them about the terrain, customs, leaders, weather,... anything is helpful. When Bud and I return from our sleep and recon, we will take over and you can get some shuteye. Shlitzee, if and when you feel as if you need to take some rejuvenation time, please let me know. Otherwise, keep on it."

She took a breath and continued. "Bud, meet me in the crew quarters, pick a room that you like and get some zz's. I'll see you in five hours. Percy, please have us woken in exactly five hours. We are to be awoken immediately in the case of any emergency. Thanks, everyone. Radio Off."

She sighed again. "Shlitz, can you do a quick scan of my head? I'm feeling woozy and am having a little pain returning. Then I promise, I'm off to bed."


katrinalieff 3/23/2005

Amanda

Amanda rummaged through the munitions bag that was left in the Inertial Damping Shelves, looking over the contents she remembered (and discovered) the contents: First, there were the possessions they had brought onboard: a munitions bag, a duffle bag, several fist sized pods (5 red, 5 blue and 6 green), a pod launcher, a Proton Disruptor Pistol, a stun ray pistol, a dart ejector, an auto-adapting stun gun, a Duralloy shield, a mini scope, 3 solar energy cells, 9 Hydrogen energy cells, a heavy wrench, 4 crude spears, and a sharp, twisted piece of plasteel.

Looking toward the other shelves she spied more equipment: 75 blankets, 195 water bottles, 6 jackets, 22 empty jacket hangers, 3 small identical devices, a hand radio, several maps and brochures, 8 issues of Guns & Ammo Magazine, a hard bound book with a cloth cover, and a set of binoculars.

Feeling an odd sense of "nakedness" w/o a sidearm-peculiarly brought on out-of-the-blue…she decided to pick up the Proton Disruptor Pistol and check it for ammo. Looking also for a holster. Finding no holster, she figured that she would just have to carry the thing with her back to the monitoring station.

[Ooc: in the event that the pistol is, or is not loaded, she will do the following]

a) Pistol IS loaded: Amanda heads back to the Dining room where she will continue to use the computer terminal's life signs monitor to direct Percy and Arkady in locating carbon.

b) Pistol is NOT loaded, and there is no ammo except for the locked locker: Amanda speaks into her "headset", again slightly weirded out by its recent attachment: "Radio…ON!" she spoke (too loudly). "Excuse me, Nike? Could you come up to the Internal Dampening Shelves? I want to get some ammo for this pistol out of the locker, and you know that I had my access card taken from me." She does not say anything more…


supreme_arbiter 3/24/2005

The human ceased his assault. He turned and saw THX-1492. "Otha," he grunted threateningly. "Meta otha." He ran at the robot with his weapon raised. "Morta!" he shouted.

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

Nike: "Bud, ... you and I will take the first rest, then go out."

"Roger," Bud replied over the radio. "Strange as it seems after being in suspended animation for who knows how long, I'm actually a little tired. I'll be in my quarters, as soon as I choose one that is."

...

Nike: "Bailey and Chelydra, ... Find out all you can from them about the terrain, customs, leaders, weather,... anything is helpful."

"We've been chatting a little. They're training to be priests of some sort. When we press them for details, they start spewing words like living light, the word of Galt, scriptural exegesis, miskatonicalogical, mumbo jumbo and a bunch of stuff I couldn't understand. They said one thing that seemed odd: they said they were too old to be priests in Eden. They also described their home. Sigai sounds like a small but well protected farming community in the hills nearby."

...

"Shlitzee, if and when you feel as if you need to take some rejuvenation time, please let me know."

"I've been plugged in this whole time. My batteries are at full charge."

Shlitzee had one of her robotic assistants check Nike out again, but she was fine. She took a pill out of the medical supply room. "Chew this. Swallow some water from the sink and call me in the morning."

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

Amanda picked up the Protein Disrupter pistol. Her original self had had little experience with guns. Her current self was even more unfamiliar with them. Fortunately, the device was fairly intuitive: there was a business end and a trigger. She checked to see if it was loaded but couldn't be sure. There didn't seem to be anything missing and there wasn't a helpful display with the ammo remaining. It looked loaded, but she wouldn't be sure until she tried to fire it.

OOC: We haven't used the item complexity tables much, but I'd like to try it for a while. The weapons that have been used previously will be 'grandfathered': no need to roll for them. Some of the weapons brought on board, though, have not been used and are more complex. They will require the clones to figure them out before they can be fired (the pod launcher, the needler and the auto-adapting stun gun). All weapons will have to be figured out to reload them (and the gun fight in the long corridor leading to the hangar used a lot of ammo...) One last comment: Bud and Bailey are not clones, but freshly thawed humans with their memories intact. Bailey's knowledge of weaponry is not nearly as extensive as Bud's, however.

end transmission


gpfarm 3/24/2004

Chelydra

Hokay...

I think I’m back online with the story. Thank you for the archive, it helped.

Chelydra to Bailey> ‘Is that Nike? Tell her we may want to check out this Sigai after we’re sure the storms have passed. But carefully. I’m not too keen on joining the “living light” just yet. Besides we’re going to need a resupply sometime and it sounds like the only place open. I just hope the local beer-equivalent is served cold. Well, no, at this point I hope the local beer-equivalent is served at all.”


publius1024 3/25/2005

Chelydra? Yay!
Thank you for the archive, it helped.
Dude, np! :)

stacinator 3/28/2005

Nike

Shlitzee had one of her robotic assistants check Nike out again, but she was fine. She took a pill out of the medical supply room. "Chew this. Swallow some water from the sink and call me in the morning."
"Thanks Doc." Nike responded, giving a mock salute, then headed out the door.

As she walked, she wondered what role Amanda would play in all of this. As far as she knew, Amanda was unarmed. She hadn't told Amanda to go and get herself a weapon, and she wasn't sure how she felt about Amanda having one. Could she be more of a danger to herself and her allies than to a potential enemy? Nevertheless, each person had a right to be armed in this critically dangerous situation. Still...

"Radio on. Bailey, could you please ask Chelydra to meet with Amanda, make sure she is armed and see if she knows how to operate any weapon she may choose safely? Let me know if there's a problem."

She continued down the hallways to the crew quarters. The thought of Amanda made her head hurt. "Amanda had clearly had feelings for me," she thought, feeling anxious and uncomfortable as she remembered the kiss. She had always resisted romantic entanglements, even the heterosexual ones that might have ordinarily been welcomed... at least, she had since he died; since her whole world had changed. She rubbed her temples and tried to push the unbidden and momentarily unwanted memories away from her conscious mind.

She approached the Captain's cabin, slid her passcard and entered.

OOC: What does she see in the Captain's quarters?


supreme_arbiter 3/28/2005

She approached the Captain's cabin, slid her passcard and entered.
The first room to greet her was the Captain's lounge. Comfortable sofas and tables lined three walls facing a large video monitor in the fore wall. Two cabinets in the corners framed the video screen.

The door closed behind Nike and she proceeded across the room to the opposite door. Again, she slid her passcard. The door opened and revealed the Captain's inner sanctum. The room was similar to the other crew's quarters: a wardrobe, endtable beside the bed, a desk and chair and inertial dampening shelves next to the desk. The chair was fastened to the floor, but it could move forward and back several centimeters.

Besides being just a bit larger, the Captain's room was different from the regular crew's quarters in four ways: there were two extra chairs; there was a window above the desk; the bed was a single bunk (instead of the triple bunks in the crew's quarters), and there was a private restroom behind the door in the aft wall.

Fading daylight filled the room from the window.


stacinator 3/28/2005

Nike

Nike slid her weapons, jumpsuit and accessories off and sat them on the desk. She stepped into the restroom to look around. "Not half bad," she thought, eyeing the facilities. Smiling to herself as she thought of a hot shower (however unlikely it was out here on this particular ship) she slid onto the bed, naked and exhausted. Pulling the blanket up over her, she looked up at the daylight, which was lazily tossing tiny pieces of dust about in its rays, and breathed deeply in the quiet. "Ah, what a luxury this is," she thought, "even for just a few moments."

With that, Captain Nike Thomason closed her eyes, and sleep claimed her.


gglassdr 3/29/2005

THX-1492

THX-1492 computes the humanoids hostile action. According to its programming, it cannot allow itself to be harmed, but it also cannot allow the humanoid to be harmed. It considered physically restraining the humanoid, which it could easily do. But this might hurt him. Obviously this was a primitive life form. Perhaps it could be frightened off?

THX-1492 deploys both of its heavy duty grappling claws and all three of its tentacle manipulators all the way out to twelve meters and begins to wave them around. At the same time it turns on its broadcast power receiver to random space static and turns the volume up while flashing its rotating white spot lights. It moves toward the human in a threatening manner predicting that this display should scare him away.


katrinalieff 3/29/2005

Amanda

OOC: Ok, what does Amanda need to do to figure out the complexities of the ray gun? I think almost `everyone' instinctively knows which is the business end of one-they are made to be held that way. But I realize that she couldn't "field strip" the thing.

Amanda picked up the Protein Disrupter pistol. Her original self had had little experience with guns. Her current self was even more unfamiliar with them. Fortunately, the device was fairly intuitive: there was a business end and a trigger. She checked to see if it was loaded but couldn't be sure. There didn't seem to be anything missing and there wasn't a helpful display with the ammo remaining. It looked loaded, but she wouldn't be sure until she tried to fire it. So she decided to wait patiently for Nike to answer her inquiry. All the while toying with the weapon, trying to figure it out, w/o looking down the barrel

OOC: Here's another annoying question….what is Amanda feelings toward Nike? I just wanted to know to be able to play them out. I read about the kiss in the chapter 6 or 7, I think it was. It makes the story… "interesting"…


stacinator 3/29/2005

Nike

Just wanted to let you know I'm not purposely ignoring Amanda... I thought that if the gun was loaded, then the text where she inquired of Nike wasn't applicable? I'm confused...


gammaben 3/30/2005

Percy

Percy walked to the top of a dune and surveyed the alien landscape. The open sky above him took his breath away. Most of his life had been spent under the Warden's claustrophobic sky. The sun wouldn't go down for at least another hour, but two extremely bright stars were already visible. He watched them for a moment and was at peace.
"Well it's nice to see some real sky anyway, for a change," Percy said aloud, realizing Arkady probably had already descended into the ship out of earshot. He took one final breath, gathered any carcasses he could still fit into any containers that had room for them, which he had with him, and climbed back into the ship. "Shall we save the planet?" he told Arkady, holding up his makeshift recycle bins.

"I thought you wanted to save Warden first!" Arkady said as he closed and secured the hatch.

"If you can't save the ship you love, save the ship you're with!" Percy started whistling as they made their way back to the recycler. His disposition had brightened significantly, even if he was still a quirky middle aged man with a dead end job. The thought hung in mid-air as he corrected himself. His job wasn't so dead end anymore. Training future generations of Warden technical experts was the old Percy's job. "Look out, uh, planet! Here I come!" he exclaimed!

Arkady paused, wondering if Percy had finally cracked, then continued to follow Percy to the recycler in the garage.


supreme_arbiter 3/30/2005

I thought that if the gun was loaded, then the text where she inquired of Nike wasn't applicable? I'm confused...
I liked your naptime post! Let's keep it, and the GM will use his Time Manipulation mutation... and meet Nike and Amanda in the supply room for some equipping. Arkady's been meaning to get a sidearm too. Anyone else for some arms?
OOC: Here's another annoying question... what is Amanda feelings toward Nike?
You've got me :) I think it's been left mercifully ambiguous so you're free to create of it what you wish. If you've already read chapter 7, you know all there is to know about the context.

Chapter 11 briefly mentions it ("While she ate she wondered where the others were and what Nike was doing. She wondered if they were thinking about her. She remembered the kiss with Nike and giggled a little.")

...and chapter 15 ("It wasn't like her to take charge, let alone slap someone. It surprised her. It reminded her of a kiss not so long ago.")


katrinalieff 3/30/2005

Amanda

Amanda waits for Chelydra to arrive (I'm not sure if that was a `private' or `public' broadcast-in any case, Amanda, still perplexed at her new found desire to arm herself, is now aware of another peculiar sensation; the desire to `own' a firearm. She looked longingly at the pistol, admiring its colors, features, and smooth/angled contours. She thought to herself: "I wonder if I used to be a `gun nut'. This IS an odd sensation, but I can't seem to take my eyes off of this thing, and my desire to `possess' one, is a little overpowering…"
She continued down the hallways to the crew quarters. The thought of Amanda made her head hurt. "Amanda had clearly had feelings for me," she thought, feeling anxious and uncomfortable as she remembered the kiss. She had always resisted romantic entanglements, even the heterosexual ones that might have ordinarily been welcomed... at least, she had since he died; since her whole world had changed. She rubbed her temples and tried to push the unbidden and momentarily unwanted memories away from her conscious mind.
While Amanda pondered her new found `feelings', if you could call them that-and I guess you would, she suddenly noticed that her ears were very warm: "Must be that some one is talking or thinking about me." She thought to herself rubbing them.


katrinalieff 3/30/2005

Amanda

ok, then. This makes things even more `interesting. What does the gm have to say on the subjet? I'll keep her going this way.


gammaben 3/30/2005

Percy

OOC: If it wasn't already clear, the Radio On/Radio Off stuff so far has been like a PA System. Everybody hears it. The characters haven't yet tried 1-1 communication with the radio system. Since Chel didn't have a comlink in his head, Nike asked someone else to pass that request along--and at the same time, used that request as a de facto reply to Amanda, I think, anyway. --gammaBen
Amanda waits for Chelydra to arrive (I'm not sure if that was a `private' or `public' broadcast-in any case, Amanda, still perplexed at her new found desire to arm herself, is now aware of another peculiar sensation; the desire to `own' a firearm.

supreme_arbiter 3/31/2005

1) Re: Amanda's request for assistance - Sorry, I could have been more specific about Amanda's provided options. The results didn't really fit either, but in retrospect, they fit the -unloaded- option closer. Should I assume that Amanda said the following? "Nike? Could you come up to the Internal Dampening Shelves? I want to get some ammo for this pistol out of the locker, and I don't have an access card." (note: Nike didn't know she had no passcard)

If yes, Nike, did you reply thusly (with a little something extra so as not to snub Amanda? :) "Bailey, could you please ask Chelydra to meet with Amanda, make sure she is armed and see if she knows how to operate any weapon she may choose safely? Let me know if there's a problem."

The next turn will take place in the munitions locker. Arkady's been itching for a sidearm as well :D

If Amanda wants to fiddle with the weapon before anyone else arrives I'll allow it. Go to the Dice Server: and select d6, 3 Dice/Roll, # Rolls=15 email the results to supreme_arbiter@yahoo.com Otherwise, whoever arrives at the munitions locker will put their heads together and the player with the highest Mental Resistance will roll.

2) Re: the kiss - Short of continuity (i.e. what's been done can't be undone) you're free to develop Amanda in any direction you'd like (I sure did with Arkady ;) I think what you're doing with her is fine :)

3) George, you get double exp pts for THX's response :) It was so in character, it made me laugh :)

However... never trust a smiling GM :)

I'll post a new turn on Sunday along with a site update: a better map of the ship with detailed supply room contents.


katrinalieff 4/1/2005

Amanda

because Amanda is no idiot, and neither am i. i figure she will wait untill some one gets there to give her a hand with it. i doubt she'll be waiting long. i will also continue to develope this love/like/ annoying intrest ass is already set up.


stacinator 4/1/2005

Nike

because Amanda is no idiot, and neither am i.
Eh?


supreme_arbiter 4/2/2005

because Amanda is no idiot, and neither am i. i figure she will wait untill some one gets there to give her a hand with it.
A wise move ;)

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