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Chapter 12: H.U.T. (Original Archive)

supreme_arbiter 7/28/2001

OOC: Hi everyone, I [gene_queen_supreme] will be GM'ing from now on, seeing as the AlmightyPreviousGM™ has had to hand over the reins. Any questions? Need to ask the GM why you got turned into orange goo? E-mail me!

Happy Gaming!

gene_queen_supreme 7/30/2001


Nike scarfs down a sandwich, and catching Arkady looking at her, smiles. Something about his look motivates her to distract herself and move a bit faster.

"Ok people, let's go get Amanda. Then we can worry about finding our way around this place.... I still think we should do a brief check of each room to survey for better weapons---any objections? If not, let's move!"

amazonworshipper 7/30/2001


Sharneste follows Nike out the door, and immediately starts tracking the scent again. She moves quickly but quietly in a partially crouched position, ready to pounce!

gammaben 8/2/2001


"Ok, Nike, yeah, let's go." Percy is disappointed and confused that he has not been able to change form. Maybe he can only change into a Wolfoid. Nike reassures him with her suggestion that on a full stomach he might be more successful, so he runs to the food dispenser and orders himself a cup of coffee, black, like he likes it.

"Waaaitaminute, guys!"

The others, forming an entourage outside the cafeteria, turn back to Percy.

"I just remembered I like to drink coffee!" Percy grins from ear to ear and gulps down the not-too-hot caffeinated beverage, crumples up the paper cup in his hands, and, feeling invigorated, trudges back to the cafeteria entrance. "Ah, that was great!" Percy politely cups his mouth and chokes back a burp. "I feel like I could take on the whole Empire by myself!"

amanda_flockheart 8/3/2001


Drawing my knees up close to my chest, I sit in the darkness alone. I try not to cry but I can't help it as a few tears escape my eyes. I think about Nike and the others. After a few minutes, I rise to my feet slowly. The room I'm in is a very small empty room, maybe a closet at one time. I walk over to the door. The controls to the door on the inside have been smashed---on purpose, I assume, to keep me in here. In the darkness, I fool with the wires. I yelp out in pain as electricity from one of the wires shocks me.

[Amanda has become a PC, and thus we have groupings again:


zhaxier 8/7/2001


"About time! C'mon Tink, there's nothing salvageable in that trash can," Zhaxier says, pulling the Moonwerk General Purpose Technical Support Unit out of the dumpster and coaxing him toward the door. The invisible Blendoid pulls out his data pad and follows Tinker when the robot starts down the corridor after Sharneste. By Tinker's electric torchlight, he tries to avoid the shattered glass as best he can while querying his data pad maps for the token "G10" (a room?), which Amanda screamed out as she was abducted.

OOC: How far away from our current location are the two rooms to which Zhaxier v.n-1 left maps for Zhaxier v.n? Where is Ogre1994? Will Tinker join Arkady and Nike as NPCs? I volunteer to play Tinker if not.

supreme_arbiter 8/7/2001

OOC: Welcome to the game amanda_flockheart!

Zhaxier, Tinker is all yours. Ogre1994 no longer appears on the member list, and as I have no contact information for him, we need someone to play Tinker in the immediate future.

The two rooms to which the former Zhaxier left directions for his clone are 8 hallways and one deck away. A map will be posted under separate cover within the week.

Gammaben is quite correct in assuming that Percy has not viewed the hairy lurker long enough (5 min) to make the transformation. Extra experience points for nice role-playing of the failed attempt. However, further clarification is in order. Percy's mutation works as follows: a gun, wrench, clothes, armor, or anything else external to his body does not morph with him. He actually becomes the being. So Percy, unless you want to run around naked, I'd think about how the Hulk's clothes fit him after a few temper-tantrums. For now we'll assume that the Wolfoid's shape was not so large that it destroyed any external adornment on your person.

Any PC who has missed two consecutive SA moves will be recycled unless special arrangements have been made with me.



"So where are we going?" Arkady asks, as Nike begins to move toward the door.

"We're going to get one of our own," Nike says, almost too softly to hear. Whatever she is thinking quickly changes as she bellows, "Ok people, let's go get Amanda. Then we can worry about finding our way around this place.... I still think we should do a brief check of each room to survey for better weapons. Any objections? If not, let's move!" She wields her knife and makes sure her stun gun is within easy reach.

Sharneste follows Nike out the door, and starts tracking the scent again. She moves with a heightened sense of awareness.

Zhaxier follows Tinker, who in turn follows Sharneste. While sidestepping glass and getting the occasional wound on his feet, he tries to find a listing for G10 in his data pad maps with no success.

Percy still seems a bit shaken from his failed attempt at morphing into one of the uglies. He is thankful for the coffee revelation, for it centers him a bit, and gives him some hope---of what, he isn't yet sure. Nevertheless he feels better. He follows the group into the dark corridor.

As the group moves, they get about one and a half meters when they can make out another set of doors, both on the left. Sharneste begins to smell an approaching HUT (hairy ugly thingy).


In her small-walled, unlit cubicle, Amanda tries not to cry. "Nike would hate the fact that I'm sitting here whining and not being proactive," she thinks, rising to her feet to feel her way to the door controls. A small shock surges into one of her fingers, and she hears a clicking noise. Maybe it is more like static....

Her thoughts are confirmed when an automated voice begins, "You will rejoin the group from which you were removed and you will bring them to enviro-bay 12 to be harvested." A small flap in the wall lowers, and in the feeble light glowing beyond the opening, she sees an automated claw move a box of food into her room.

blaen_495 8/7/2001


Chelydra hastily swallows the last of his lunch and moves out the door with the others. As they approach the two doors to the left, he shifts his shotgun to the ready possition. "Only two rounds left; gotta make them count," he thinks. "That and find another weapon or more ammo quick."

Although he is confident that his shell will offer him good protection if things come to a hand-to-hand contest, he still prefers to shoot his enemies from a distance. The thought of taking a bite out of one of the hairy lurkers leaves him rather less than enthusiastic.

"Any scent of Amanda or our furry friends?" he asks Sharneste, "Sure wouldn't want unexpected company."

amazonworshipper 8/9/2001


Sharneste suddenly comes to a stop, crouching low and staring down the hall expectantly. "Smelly comes. Quiet!" She says in a low hiss as she waits.

amanda_flockheart 8/10/2001


Rubbing my finger, I look up when the small flap in the wall lowers and an automated claw moves in a box of food. I quickly grab the box and answer the voice, "I will," as I back over to the corner and sit down cross-legged on the floor, looking through the box. Being hungry, I don't waste much time. I do wonder where the others are and what Nike is doing. I wonder if they are thinking about me. I remember the kiss with Nike and giggle a little.

gene_queen_supreme 8/16/2001


Nike dashes into the first door, trying to be mindful of what dangers may await her in the room, but also of what awaits her in the corridor. Jamming the door open with her foot, she motions for the others to take positions in the hallway previous to the open door, such that when the beast approaches, she can get it from behind before it reaches any of them. Or at least try....

gammaben 8/17/2001


Uttering no words, Percy flattens his back against the wall between the cafeteria door and the one through which Nike has slipped. He grips his wrench tightly, its smooth metal a comfort, at least a bit of a reassurance that there is something he can use to defend himself. His thoughts in the intervening seconds drift back to his transformation into the Wolfoid, and almost subconciously, the Adaptoid lowers his bag of salvaged items down to the deck floor gently. He keeps his eyes, with their enhanced vision, peeled down the corridor, realizing that the company Sharneste has detected may come from any of three directions ahead of the band of clones, robot and mutant lioness.

zhaxier 8/17/2001

Nike: Nike dashes into the first door....

OOC: Ouch!


Tinker stops in the middle of the hallway before the pair of doors, opens his chest compartment and pulls out his Mark V Blaster pistol. "Zhaxier, are you in place?" he emits softly, shutting his compartment.


Zhaxier creeps up and crouches behind the robot. He draws his own pistol from his medical bag. "Right behind you, Tink."


Tinker shuts off his light and awaits the oncoming beast in silence. The light from the cafeteria door dimly illumines the corridor, but the robot knows that directed high-intensity beams of photons, lased or otherwise, may yet give them the advantage against these apparently light-sensitive creatures.

supreme_arbiter 8/17/2001



After Tinker shuts off his light, you hear it.

<shuffle, shuffle, shuffle>

You have the feeling that the noise would be imperceptible in any other setting, but the cavernous echoes in the sterile hallway make every noise seem incredibly amplified.

<shuffle, shuffle, shuffle>

Percy sees the HUT™ appear from around a bend in the hallway approximately 15 meters down. Sharneste, also aware of the creature, hisses quietly in anticipation.

"We've got company!" Percy whispers, nodding his head in the direction of the HUT.

The HUT makes its way closer to the group, walking in the center of the hallway and not seeming to notice the ragtag band. Then it stops right in front of the door where Nike lies in wait, and sniffs.


A door opens to Amanda's right. "GO," the voice says, and she obeys. The corridors are dark, and she has no idea in which direction to proceed.

What do you do?

amanda_flockheart 8/18/2001


When the door slides open and the voice says "GO," I don't waste a moment. I dart out the door and run down the dark corridor as fast as I can. I don't know where I am going but I don't want to stay back there. Anywhere is better than there.

amazonworshipper 8/19/2001


Sharneste leaps at the smelly with a savage roar, claws and fangs bared as she pounces, trying to bowl it over and tear into it!

gammaben 8/26/2001


The Adaptoid watches as Sharneste leaps into action. He clutches his wrench tightly and moves in closer to provide backup. He doesn't know the strength of the hairy creature. For that matter he doesn't know the cat-woman's strength. But he makes a bet to himself that she will take him out, having the presumed advantage of surprise. All the same, he waits for an opportunity to become a second subduing force, given the right angle and opportunity. He doesn't want to get too close to Sharneste's claws, much less get in her way.

His hesitation to strike as Sharneste does gives him the thought---are his human instincts, honed to focus on computer systems, the reason for his hesitation? He thinks about adapting his form to the Wolfoid again. Certainly his memories of his time as one before are quite clear, and as a Wolfoid he knew no hesitation, nor fear!

zhaxier 8/27/2001


Tinker snaps on his (for the robot does indeed align its personality characteristics with those of male humans) electric torch, and his pattern-recognition software instantly targets the bulbous eyes of the hairy beast. Within the second, his light cone narrows to a blinding width and centers on the beast's right eye, even as Sharneste sails through the air towards it from her low crouch.


Zhaxier has less of an angle from his defensive position behind Tinker's frame, so he waits.

supreme_arbiter 8/28/2001



"Left," Amanda thinks, "I'll go left!" She darts out her cell and runs down the dark corridor. After her initial left, she takes a right, then another left, then another right. She begins to tire, and the darkness is as spooky and foreboding as ever. "Ok, one more left" she says aloud, trying to break the spell the hallway seems to have on her speech.

Finally, in the distance she can see a dim light. She moves toward the light, more slowly now, panting with effort. As she approaches the light, the illumination in the hallway becomes greater, and slowly she begins to make out nameplates and numbers on doorways. "McKensie, 709" and "Thomason, 710" are the last two, before the hallway opens into a larger corridor with a glass ceiling on one side. Through the glass, Amanda can see the majesty of space. And then the sirens begin.


Tinker's light beam half-blinds the HUT as Sharneste makes contact, her claws sinking into its hairy flesh. But not far. The beast's hide seems tough, like thick leather, and as she tries to pull back for another slash, she finds that she cannot get her claws out of the HUT's skin.

To Percy, it looks like Sharneste is having some trouble, and he doubts that she really needs to be attached to the HUT to test its durability. He inches closer, waiting for an opening.

Sharneste, wild to get loose, and unable to get a bite in on the HUT's neck, bites the HUT in the shoulder instead, but her fangs meet armor-covered leather and seem to have no effect.

Angrily, the HUT grabs Sharneste by the upper shoulders and begins to squeeze. Sharneste's cries of pain jolt Nike into action. She leaps from behind the door and tries to drive her knife into the back of the HUT's neck. The knife breaks the skin, but doesn't go as deep as she expected.

Nevertheless, the HUT bellows in surprise and pain. It throws Sharneste clear, pulling out one of her claws in the process. Nike pulls hard, freeing the knife, and flattens herself against the wall behind the HUT. She feels Arkady's hand steady her shoulder, as if in reassurance. He crouches next to her, wielding something difficult to see in one hand.

Chelydra, unable to get in a shot up to this point without risking damage to Sharneste and Nike, watches and waits.

The HUT turns to run and moves several steps away. It travels much faster than Nike thinks is possible for such a clumsy looking creature, but with only Tinker's torch and the glow from the nearby cafeteria to light the hallway, only vague shadows can be seen. It pauses after a bit, just before escaping the faint cone of light, then becomes invisible in the inky blackness just before seeming to stagger against the wall.

Then sirens ring out. Emergency lights, dim and purple, flash wildly. The Dark Dweller is nowhere to be seen.

What do you do?

blaen_495 8/28/2001


The turtle-man blinks several times, trying to shake off the fugue state in which his turtle-genes seem to have placed him. The shotgun wavers as he looks for an opening. His friends are blocking the corridor, so reluctantly he allows the HUT to make good its escape. Then all hell breaks loose.

Hearing the sirens and fearing an ambush by more of the deranged robots that have been dogging his steps since he awoke in the clone banks, Chelydra pivots and scans around for any movement behind the group.

"So much for sneaking up on them," he observes wryly.

amanda_flockheart 8/30/2001


I stop for a moment and look up into the stars, watching their twinkling ["Yes they are twinkling." --GM] brightness, my breath a bit fast. It is wonderful, beautiful, and it holds me in awe, but it is also frightening knowing that this majestic ship, a one of a kind starship called Warden, 80 kilometers in length and 40 kilometers in width, built in the Trans-Plutonian Space Yards in 2277 and launched in 2290, is just drifting in space with no rhyme or reason, and no one at the controls. I shiver slightly at the thought as I stand there enthralled. When the sirens begin suddenly, I yelp in fright and take off running again like a well-conditioned lab rat placed in a maze to run for its meal.

zhaxier 8/30/2001


"Well, that was effective," the voice sounds from behind the robot, echoing Chelydra's sarcasm. He notes that Sharneste is favoring her hand, and, overcoming the urge to flee, he makes his way toward her.


"Indeed it was. We now know how tough the Dark Dwellers are and we can now be sure these beasts won't be after us in this lighting. Nope, it'll probably be security bots next. Real nasty. I suggest we keep moving," he gestures down the hall with his blaster. "Last thing we want is to be trapped."


Zhaxier says to Sharneste, making sure she smells him first, "Uh, I'm no doctor, but this shot should help with your hand." A regenerative, nano-bot dose floats out of the bag and hovers near her.

gene_queen_supreme 8/31/2001


"Oh great!" Nike says, looking back at Chelydra and the others. "Let's get the hell out of here. Zhaxier, anything on your data pad about G10, or some kind of escape route? Sharneste, you able to walk?"

supreme_arbiter 9/4/2001

OOC: Over the course of the last few posts, Zhaxier has taken 1 accumulated hit point of damage, due to wounds on his feet from glass. Sharneste has taken 6 points of damage, and her right forepaw is sprained badly. She is able to walk, but it is more of a limp, and she cannot move quickly. One claw has been ripped completely out of her right forepaw, making it extra sore.

20:45:31 RECALL LIAISON 2, 3, 4


In the distance, the sounds of steel slamming upon steel can be heard.


Amanda: When the sirens begin suddenly, I yelp in fright and take off running again like a well-conditioned lab rat placed in a maze to run for its meal.

Only this time, there is no cheese---only endless, unfamiliar corridors.

Not quite able to tear herself away from the comfort of the stars, she turns from corridor to corridor, keeping with the viewports. Suddenly she enters a recreation area, and collapses on a sofa, shielding herself with pillows and hoping for some sign of flesh-and-blood, of friendly, sentient life.

What do you do?

amazonworshipper 9/5/2001


Sharneste starts nursing her paw, licking it gingerly where the claw has been torn out. When Zhaxier approaches her, she looks at the needle warily, but allows him to treat her. She sniffs the air for the human girl's scent. She will go along with the group, but she's far more wary and far less energetic about it now.

amanda_flockheart 9/5/2001


I hide silently on the couch under the pillows. This is not turning out to be a very good day. My life was already a mess before I started running blindly to save it. Rising a little from the sofa, I look around. "Hello... anyone... hellooooo?" When no one answers, I slump back down on the couch and close my eyes. I just need a little rest.

zhaxier 9/7/2001


Nike: "Zhaxier, anything on your data pad about G10, or some kind of escape route?"

"Zilch on G10. Oh---wait," he says excitedly, whipping out his data pad, "here's a corridor marked 'ESCAPE ROUTE!'" He chuckles for a moment. "Escape to where, Butch? I know exactly where we are: nowhere," he fumes acridly.


"Zhaxier, why don't you take us to that lifeboat hangar I saw on your data pad earlier. It may house a weapons cache."


In the flashing purple emergency lights, Zhaxier's medical bag and data pad seem to whirl toward the robot in discrete jumps like an ancient Edgerton experiment. A silent aeon passes as he struggles with the sobering mantle of responsibility. The lifeboat hangar is close to room S8346-"Kaminsky," and he fears what he will find there more than anything else.

"Finally, a voice of reason," he says gravely, uncharacteristically. "Follow me."

publius1024 9/10/2001


Finding it difficult to remove his eyes from the levitating bag and data pad, Arkady says, "I wish we could pursue your friend Amanda, Nike, but it seems that whoever has taken her is holding all the cards. These sirens are not encouraging.

"Was that blind, hairy beast one of the brutes that took your friend? Strange, I haven't seen or heard them around the cafeteria. I suggest that we head immediately to secure the lifeboat, ASAP!"

"Tinker, perhaps you can carry your lion friend seeing as she won't be able to keep pace with us?"

zhaxier 9/10/2001


"Can do, Arkady. That is, if she'll let me," he balks, gesturing toward Sharneste.

gammaben 9/16/2001


Percy finally speaks. "Agreed, Zhaxier: let's get the heck outta here! These sirens are giving me the creeps!" He pauses and tilts his head slightly as if trying to retrieve a memory, but the feeling passes, and he catches Zhaxier's attention again.

"Just, uh, don't go too fast since we can't see you. Not that I particularly want you to turn visible again. I mean, when my life is in danger, the last thing I want to have is your hairy, black ass bouncing in the hall in front of me, leading the way to freedom!" He fishes in his bag a moment, producing Zhaxier's abandoned apparel. "You can always have these babies back, heh," he jokes, holding up the black silk boxer shorts (two pocket variety).

Suddenly, in the eerie lighting, a memory returns to Percy's brain a little more intact than before. "Waaaaiiiitaminute! I recognize that siren. We need to get outta here, pronto!"

Noticing everyone's puzzled looks [except Zhaxier's! --ed.], he continues, "Uh, ah, yes, that's it: evacuation! That's the E-VAC siren! This deck is about to be a really bad place to be walking around. Something, uh, yes---intruder alert, or contamination, or something. Dang, we probably had drills on these sirens. The original 'we', anyway."

He looks to Nike. "We best get moving, Cap'n!"

supreme_arbiter 9/16/2001

20:55:04 LIAISON 2, 3, 4 EN ROUTE

Nike: "Zhaxier, anything on your data pad about G10, or some kind of escape route?"

Zhaxier: "Oh---wait, here's a corridor marked 'ESCAPE ROUTE!' Escape to where, Butch? I know exactly where we are: nowhere."

Tinker: "Zhaxier, why don't you take us to that lifeboat hangar I saw on your data pad earlier. It may house a weapons cache."

Zhaxier: "Finally, a voice of reason. Follow me."

"Zhaxier, you're an ass, " Nike says with feeling. Remind me to beat the shit out of you when we're out of this safe and sound!" She is tired of Zhaxier's biting sarcasm, insults, and attitude. He needs to be taught a serious lesson in manners, and she itches to be the one to teach him, if they get out of this.

But for now, he is a part of the group. A smartass, unreliable part, but nevertheless, a part. She needs him uninjured. "Ok Nike, get a hold of yourself, you can't start letting your anger get the best of you, or your abilities as a leader become comprimised!" she tells herself, and takes a deep breath. The General always warned her of this in his "constructive criticism."

Arkady: "Was that blind, hairy beast one of the brutes that took your friend?"

"Yes" Chelydra answers for Nike, noting the smouldering look in her eyes, and thinking she might appreciate a few seconds to collect herself.

Percy: "We best get moving, Cap'n!"

"I'm not leaving Amanda," Nike says, eyes looking directly into those of the others. "I wouldn't leave any one of you, and I'm not leaving her. I agree that it's wise to find the lifeboat, and I'll accompany you, but if we haven't found Amanda along the way, then I'll be going back for her. The rest of you can make your decision when the time comes."

The hallway has an eerie glow. The kitchen lights seem to cast an ethereal halo around everything in the hallway---bits of glass, bloodspots, metal tiles. The pulsating purple of the emergency lights is almost hallucinatory.

Another Corridor:

Claus runs quickly down the psychedelic hallway, dodging blasts from the pursuing autobots. Gregory tries his best to keep up with Claus, but after all, he only has two legs, and he can't quite keep his mind focused on the running. These robots have sealed off the area, and seem hellbent on killing them, though he doesn't know why.

Someone or something must have totally pissed the Watcher off, and the autobots aren't asking questions first. "Oh, that would be hilarious," he thinks. "I can see it now, 'Excuse me, Mr. Human, are you the one who pissed off the Watcher? Because as a gentlemanly autobot, I wouldn't want to kill the wrong creature..." The thought makes him smile in spite of himself.

He suddenly senses, more than sees, imminent danger, and ducks behind a bulkhead. A loud <BOOM> resounds, followed by the shriek of a cat, and then silence except for the hissing of hungry flames. Even the sirens stop their beat, though the lights continue blinking.

Gregory peers around the corner only to see an autobot poking Claus---ripped to shreds by a hidden explosive---and checking for signs of life. There are autobots ahead of him and behind, but Gregory is fortunately near a four-way intersection.

[Claus reappears just in time to inaugurate and leave a new group. But at least he'll be sticking around in his own way.... ;)


Recreation Area:

Unbelievably, Amanda soon falls into a light sleep. Sometime later, a loud <BOOM> startles her awake. "What in the universe was that?" she asks the empty room.

publius1024 9/18/2001


The sickening sound of steel slamming steel makes Arkady wince. "If that's an evac alarm, let's get outta here, pronto! We can't help Amanda if we're dead! Maybe this section of the ship is going to depressurize or something horrible!"

zhaxier 9/18/2001


Percy: "I mean, when my life is in danger, the last thing I want to have is your hairy, black ass bouncing in the halls in front of me, leading the way to freedom!"

Nike: "Zhaxier, you're an ass. Remind me to beat the shit out of you when we're out of this safe and sound."

"Hairy??" Zhaxier ignores Nike's whining and takes off running down the shortest path to the lifeboat room. "Crikey, stuck between a bully and a bigot," he thinks, trying to remember why he returned to them at all. Having previously memorized the route, he replaces his data pad with his laser pistol as he runs.


The Moonwerk General Purpose Technical Support Unit easily keeps up with Zhaxier and keeps a visual lock on his "floating" medical bag. He comments discreetly to Nike as they race along, "You know, there is high probability that you are still alive because of him. Viable engineer clones like Zhaxier are priceless to security robots, who cannot repair themselves. They would have gassed these corridors by now, were he not with us. Statistically speaking, you are expendable."

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