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Chapter 15: Herded (Original Archive)

supreme_arbiter 11/11/2001

............S&D TEAMS 3 & 4 ORDERED TO PURSUE


"That's an energy pod launcher, Arkady," Nike says, hurriedly. "It won't do you any good in the ship, unless you want us all to join the meandering spacedust outside. Just stay behind us for now. Let's move out!"

Percy and Sharneste exit the armory into---BLAM! BLAM! BLAM!---a shower of energy bursts in a huge assault by the 'bots. All of Percy's sensory inputs seem to be blocked out completely, and all he can think about is getting away: survival. The corridor seems silent and foreboding, and he can feel the pounding of his heart as its loud cacophony reverberates in his ears. Percy turns to run for cover behind Nike, Tinker and the others, who have taken up position in the hallway. Unfortunately, they only have one another to hide behind. He looks over his shoulder to tell Sharneste to hurry, but she isn't there.

Parts of Sharneste's body splatter onto Tinker as he lets his metal disruptor do the talking. Tinker's disruptor greets the head bot's right extender arm with a loud KABOOM as the arm disintegrates into tiny bits of goo. As Tinker continues to move backwards toward the lifeboats and fires again, Nike, Arkady, Percy and Chelydra move into the corridor with him. They flank him and move back as well. Soon Nike and Percy scout ahead for cover and/or escape (and/or Zhaxier) while Chelydra provides cover fire along with Tinker. The bots no longer pursue with as much aggressive vigor, most probably due to the fact that their prey are now armed and lethal. That, and unbeknownst to the ragtag medley of clones, the 'bots are waiting on reinforcements.

A Few Doors Down:

Gregory runs to the closest door and hits the open button. "Scan passcard please," a polite, sterile voice says softly. "This isn't good," he thinks, taking off for the next doorway. An animal-like scream resounds through the corridor. Rufus looks up quickly, as the all-too familiar smell of blood assaults his senses.

Amanda feels as if she will faint. Everything seems to move in slow motion as Gregory looks at the next door, looking worried. The scream brings her attention back to the hallway ahead. What she sees brings her senses back on line, full throttle. "Look! It's Nike!" she cries, relief in her voice. Ahead, her would-be rescuers are in a fight for their lives.

A Few More Doors Down:

Zhaxier's first thought---to run past the 'bots and get to S8346 or to the lifeboat---might very well have been one of his last but for what happens next. It is so hard to see amid the dust and smoke, especially with the surreal purple lighting, that he just doesn't see it. Molten pieces of hot polymer and steel cover the corridor floor all around where the wall once stood. A clump of hot debris melts its way deep into his foot, causing pain that threatens to overwhelm his conscious mind. He screams involuntarily.

The sudden noise close by gives the autobots cause for pause. They look for blood, but there is none, so they began to search the hallway bit by bit before moving on. Their orders are not to let anyone live, and they are going to be thorough. After all, they are top in line for the new upgrades if they get one more kill today. The Watcher has so promised.

What do you do?

Shrsholn 11/11/2001


Rufus, with double grip on the polymer axe, weaves about and dodges the near catatonic, human woman and tries to reach the better armed group, which is clearly under attack by the same forces which threaten his hide. Snarling at the intense fire from the boxes, Rufus is determined to link up with these new ones, and try and get out of this murder-ground.

Oh, if only he had an energy pistol, like the old Cougaroid, weapons Master taught him to use.... He will have to stay alive long enough to secure one. In the meantime, this axe will have to do.

"Wrum wron!" he shouts to the human woman that always blathers, as he keeps pace and even begins to out distance the male in his group. "Gun...get gun..." is all that really occupies his mind at the moment.

zhaxier 11/12/2001


"FRAK!" he yells as his foot erupts with blinding pain. At first he thinks he is shot. His mind, only having recently contemplated the grusome "Kaminsky" scene, eagerly spawns a subprocess to contemplate his own annihilation. But this wound is different from his former one---it continues to consume his flesh. As he kicks his foot free of the smouldering gobbet of plastic, his senses assault him. Bleuck! the smell of burning protein! Bleuck! the taste of ID card!

He realizes that he is huddled against an intact corridor wall. The hallway resonates with weapons fire and one horrible scream: Sharneste. "Dammit!" Zhaxier picks himself up and wrenches his thoughts free of his rampant imagination. "Must remain conscious," he determines, remembering waking up in the armory unblended. Hugging the right wall, he limps down the corridor toward the intersection...

...and the robots. He concludes that they have not yet detected him, and that's good. He shoots a glance behind him down the corridor, but it's hard to see anything through all the thick acrid smoke.

Abandoning his original plan as he passes a door, Zhaxier swipes his card and holds his breath, hoping it is not his last.


Tinker keeps firing at their pursuers as he backpedals. In between shots, his keen gaze punctures the smoke behind him and his pattern recognition software kicks into gear. He cautions the others ahead. "Heads up! Multiple heat sources further down. Three humanoid, two robotic. We'll have to go through them."

scottenkainen 11/13/2001


Gregory proceeds to make Amanda look calm and collected in comparison, as he totally loses it and begins running around the hallway like a chicken with its head cut off.

"Help, help! We're going to die, we're all going to diiiieeee!"

Shrsholn 11/14/2001


"...get gun.... Why are humanoids always so strange? ...get gun... get gun...," Rufus thinks as he struggles to extricate himself from the hysterical humans.

"Wret wror writ wrorefer wran!" Rufus shouts as he zags around the looney man. Rufus has nearly forgotten about his perpetual hunger... and that alerts him to the seriousness of the situation.

OOC: SA, is Rufus able to move up the hall to assist the others in battle with the autobots? He's not the kind of dog to hang out in a deadly shooting gallery when armed assistance is only a few dozen meters away, y'know. :-)

amanda_flockheart 11/15/2001


I don't understand what the dog means, but I don't really have time to think about it either. Everything is happening so fast. My world is spinning out of control like an orbit that strays too close to a repelling, fixed point and the strange man isn't helping matters acting like some crazed engineer. Without a second thought, I slap him hard across the face and it sounds like a gunshot. It stings my hand. "Snap out of it, man! I need the dumb man part of your brain here with me if we're going to stay alive. Now follow me!" I order. It isn't like me to take charge, let alone slap someone, but I do, and it even surprises me.

This is the stage where I start to pray.

"NIKE!!!" I yell almost out of reflex, my eyes already darting back and forth like a caged animal. Whether out of fear, sheer desperation, or both, I bolt towards Nike as I try to pull the man along with me. I have always felt safe with Nike and now I want a little bit of that safety back. I also know that numbers and integrating can only help us. The slap also reminds me of a kiss not that long ago. "Come on, we haven't lived this long to die now!!!"

Shrsholn 11/15/2001


Finally, the insane babbling female seems to have snapped out of her torpor. Rufus imagines that her slapping the human male is much like getting bit on the snout by Momma. Now the looney humans are following him as they all travel in the direction of the "reinforcements" presumably led by one named Nike.

"Wreesh! Wruts wrup writ wrat!?!" Rufus says to himself and all his ancestors (now obviously quite near him in his grave---er, dire---state).

Rufus is ready to leap over one of the dangerous boxes and ker-wack-it on the... uh, top of its box-ness with his newly found polymer axe thingy. "...ker-wack box, get gun... ker-wack box, get gun...," Rufus adds to his mental process.

publius1024 11/17/2001


Arkady tries hard to see ahead of them through the smoke and debris. "That lifeboat can't be too much further. What room number did the invisible dude say we are looking for?" he asks Nike. He cradles the pod launcher to his chest, careful not to do anything that is likely to set it off.

scottenkainen 11/20/2001


Gregory is totally stunned by the slap in the face---perhaps more so than is safe to stand around stunned, in the present circumstances. This woman is more than just a pretty face! Gregory follows her without voicing comment or protest, intent only on finding better cover from the autobots while he tries to come up with a backup plan to get out of this section if they can't reach the lifeboat.

supreme_arbiter 11/26/2001

............S&D TEAMS 3 & 4 EN ROUTE

A Few Doors Down From G11:

Arkady: "What room number did the invisible dude say we are looking for?"

Nike replies, "S8346, but I don't think that's the launch bay," she pauses, pressing her body tight against the wall to give the bots a smaller target. A scream erupts ahead of them. "That sounded a lot like Mr. SmartAss," she thinks, worried about him in spite of herself. Then she thinks that she hears someone yelling her name. "Maybe this is getting to me," she ponders.

Taking a deep breath, she moves out and continues onward. "We've got to get the hell out of here." She addresses the rest behind her, "Ok everybody, let's speed this up! I'd rather face the one set of 'bots between us and the lifeboat than the ones behind us. Let's move!"

Chelydra, already thinking the same, moves ahead on the left side, while Nike begins moving through a dense area of smoke on the right. Tinker remains the last of the group, continuing to provide cover for the others, and moving with them.

Suddenly, Nike finds herself face to face with a Jackaloid. "Who are you?" she says gruffly, pointing her gun at him.

A Few More Doors Down:

Amanda drags Gregory by the hand toward Nike and her compatriots, though Gregory seems to be following more of his own volition now, albeit still in a daze, as if he has made some sort of perverse peace with being blown to smithereens. From the sounds of weapon fire, and the fact that the bots aren't overtaking them as quickly, she reasons that Nike has raided the munitions depot whose location she blurted out during her capture. "Good," she thinks, "I hope they're kicking some Watcher ass to the nth degree."

Even More Doors Down:

"Access Granted, Engineer Cole. Have a nice day."

The doors slide open, revealing a woman's sleeping quarters. The room seems to flow in three directions: to his left, to his right, and straight ahead, with the nexus being a larger homey area with lounging furniture and tables with photos. Doors grace the far left wall past an eating area, the far right wall past a study area, and straight ahead past the sitting area. Zhaxier steps into the room, and the doors slide closed behind him.

What do you do?

[Rufus switches groups:


Shrsholn 11/26/2001


"Wrym Rufus. Wrat wror wrerwris," Rufus says, ears perked up, tongue lolling, and tail wagging happily. "Wrurry! Wre wrar wrin wrig wrubble! Wrimmie wra wrun...," he pleads to Nike for a gun.


publius1024 11/26/2001


Arkady knows Nike is right. They need to head down the hall and seek refuge in the lifeboat, and there isn't a second to lose. He hurries after her towards the right side of the corridor. His eyes dart between Nike's body just ahead and the door numbers to either side of him, and back again. "S8346," he says to himself, over and over.

gene_queen_supreme 11/26/2001


Reasoning that things can't get worse, and that an ally might help their odds, Nike pulls an extra gun---the special stun pistol---from her stash. "Here you go. Shoot the 'bots, not the humanoids." She rushes past him into the smoke.

publius1024 11/26/2001


"But watch out for our buddy 'bot," Arkady shouts, "He's the one blasting at the 'bots behind us!"

Shrsholn 11/27/2001


"Wroky Wroky...Wranx wrawrot!" Rufus exclaims, and grips the pistol in his right hand.

gammaben 11/28/2001


Percy risks a glance behind him and fires his newly acquired laser pistol down the hall, making sure to avoid Zhaxier's pet robot. He doesn't expect that he will hit anything---frak, he can't even see much with all the smoke and debris. But he figures it'd give the 'bots something else to dodge, or at least process.

Then, as he turns back forward, all of a sudden he remembers something, as the smell, sight, and sound of a dog---well, at least a dog-derivative---bursts onto the scene. He grins a big smile and turns to Arkady. "Waaiiitaminute! I just remembered---I like dogs!"

Just as suddenly as the appearance of his smile, triggered not only by the memory of a dog he once had, perhaps even on Warden, but also by the fact that he has regained a memory, the explosions quickly jolt him back to reality.

"Huh? Uh. Hm! Ah, reality!"

No dog of his ever asked for, much less received a firearm, Percy realizes as he becomes privy to Nike and the Dogoid's conversation. His last thought on the subject: "If this is what passes for getting back to reality, oh boy...."

Percy refocuses his attention upon staying in front of Tinker and behind Nike and Chelydra as the group continues down the hall. He notices Arkady's nervous glances at the room numbers and wonders when they'll reach their intended destination---or if they'll reach it.

amanda_flockheart 11/29/2001


Keeping the man close and my hand in his, we run onward as fast as we can. "What sane person can live in this place and not be crazy?" I tell myself.

"I've got a plan and it's as hot as I am!" I shout to him. "We keep running. It works for lemmings; it has to work for us." There is no rest for the wicked, because the wicked just run and run.

scottenkainen 11/29/2001


Gregory will allow Amanda to keep leading him by the hand, as he kind of likes it.... However, he breaks free as soon as he has Nike's group between himself and the autobots pursuing him. Live cover will do in a pinch, he thinks.

zhaxier 11/30/2001


Zhaxier breathes momentary relief in the comfortable confines of the nameless woman's apparently abandoned abode. "Ugh," he shivers involuntarily. "Pink."

He quickly heads as far left as he can go, closing the distance to the hangar (and also S8346) and searching for the ubiquitous access panels through which he---or rather, his former incarnation---frequently entered and exited Warden's labyrinthine network of Jeffries tubes in maintenance runs. If there is a way around the ambush, this Blendoid is determined to find it.


Like Arkady, Tinker keeps an optical sensor out for S8346, betting that Zhaxier's casual mention of the sleeper room indicated his plan of action. What does the Blendoid know about that room? Dude may be a propulsion jock, but his actions sometimes point to a faulty thruster. Wasn't it his predecessor Zephram Cochrane that said, "Orthogonal, original thinking is the hallmark of a successful engineer... or a dead one."?

Arkady: "But watch out for our buddy 'bot. He's the one blasting at the 'bots behind us!"

To underscore the drop ship pilot's point, Tinker gives the pursuing 'bots another burst of 'bot-bane from his M-3000.

Blindly running into an obvious trap does not seem to be the most strategic of choices, especially now that the 'bots behind them have slowed. If the human(oid)s ahead don't come up with something fast, he will not hesitate to blast a hole through the corridor wall for an alternate egress.

supreme_arbiter 12/4/2001

............S&D TEAM 4 EN ROUTE


"NIKE!" Amanda yells, moving quickly toward her former companions in the environmental bay. It seemed like so very long ago.

"Amanda!" Percy exclaims, and for once, he seems surprised.

"Amanda!?" Nike and Chelydra say, turning and then becoming excited and relieved to see her alive and well.

"Thank God you're alright! And that G10 was one hell of a find. Thanks to your tip, we now have a fighting chance," Nike says grimly, waiting to fire another cover shot at the 'bots, who have now begun to hang back a little, firing only enough to maintain their position and prevent the human[oid]s from moving in their direction. She wonders to herself why they are doing so: is there a trap ahead? Are they being backed into a corner? Are there reinforcements coming, bringing the "heavy artillery"? Whatever the reason, Nike knows that it isn't out of the kindness of their shiny metal hearts.

Chelydra moves ahead to scout again, and Rufus takes his place in the backward-facing ranks, keeping an eye out for encroaching 'bots. Gregory, not having a weapon, moves with Amanda to the center of the group, keeping a lookout for any unpleasant surprises.

"Nike! Percy!" It's Chelydra from just ahead. "We've reached S8346; it's the next door up. Want to try it?"

[Group merge:


A Few Doors Down:

Zhaxier moves past the dining area. In a moment's time he reaches the access panel and his thoughts become solely focused on getting it open.

OOC: The panel is bolted closed on each of its four corners with steel bolts, and is approximately half a meter wide and half a meter tall.

What do you do?

blaen_495 12/5/2001


S8346. That means nothing to Chelydra now. Somewhere he is sure lurks the buried knowledge of what the numbers mean. "All ship's rooms are coded by section and function. Within a section, numbers run...." It is all he can remember. He is certain that if he could remember how the doors were coded, he could find a better answer to the current situation than simply running away, or firing until their newly replenished ammo supplies run out.

He looks around the corridor for some clue that might help him to formulate a plan, or even a guess as to what is behind the door.

"Welcome to the party, Amanda," he calls. "It seems we have a few gatecrashers at the reunion, though. Must be from Tinker's side of the family."

scottenkainen 12/5/2001


Gregory is hesitant to speak up, for fear of drawing unwanted attention to himself, but there is something he is almost (literally) dying to know.

"I know this is a bad time for introductions and all, but I'm just wondering---since it seems we're all intent on reaching the lifeboat---does anyone have a clearance card that will get us past the door, provided we can get around the advancing autobots? Just wondering...."

Gregory looks about the group of strangers nervously.

gene_queen_supreme 12/6/2001


"I do." Nike says, moving more quickly. "Does anyone know exactly where Zhaxier went?"

publius1024 12/6/2001


Arkady eyes the newcomers with concern. "Are we being herded?" he asks no one in particular.

Chelydra: "Nike! Percy! We've reached S8346; it's the next door up. Want to try it?"

"Right behind you," Arkady says as he hurries towards them.

Gregory: "...does anyone have a clearance card that will get us past the door, provided we can get around the advancing autobots?"

"If no one had a clearance card, would that stop you?" Arkady asks the newcomer.

scottenkainen 12/6/2001


Arkady has a difficult time asking that to Gregory's face, as Gregory keeps twisting to get Arkady between him and every weapons fire that comes their way. While ducking and weaving, Gregory replies, "Well... actually it just did a... few seconds ago when I was at... the door to the lifeboat [he lies... -ed.]. Of course---yow, that was a near miss!---I don't happen to have the heavy ordinance on me... to blow open the door myself."

amanda_flockheart 12/9/2001


"I'm glad to be back with you Nike; I really missed you guys." My eyes tear up, but I try to hold the tears back and I bite my lip for a moment. I want to say more to Nike, but the time and place aren't right with everything that is going on at the chaotic moment. A couple of tears race down my cheeks, but I quickly wipe them away and compose myself, very happy to be back with Nike, now protected in the center of the group.

With the strange man at my side, I point to each person as I say their names to him. "That's Nike, she's in charge. That's Percy. That's Chelydra.

"Zhaxier, an invisible guy, is around here somewhere. If you see floating Cool-Mo-G sunglasses, that's him. Zhaxier used to be in my differential equations class. How could I forget a troublemaker with such a memorable name?"

I point to the man carrying the huge weapon, to the dog-mutant and to the robot. "I don't know their names. I think I said it before: I'm Amanda. What's your name?" I look at the strange man waiting for an answer.

OOC: Gregory = "strange man"

gammaben 12/9/2001


Percy raises a hand in a quick greeting as he is introduced to the crewman with whom Amanda has connected. He looks ahead to where S8346 is supposed to be, and checks for the robots ahead from which Amanda was running. The only thing he can think of is one hyphenated word. A word that describes the feeling he is having, and which was verbalized by Arkady:

Arkady: "Are we being herded?"

"Pac-Man." He shakes his head and tries to remember the connection, but it is lost to him. Noticing the odd stares, he blurts, "Oh, sorry. Er, let's save the pleasantries for when we're not being shot at, huh? Cap, shall we?" he says nervously to Nike, indicating his desire to stay on the move, at least until the shots have stopped.

Percy tries to keep his back to the wall as much as he can, and fires toward the nearest non-friendly robot when he feels bold enough to test his marksmanship.

zhazier 12/11/2001


Tinker's digitally enhanced visual scans into the occasionally sparse dust clouds ahead show that the robots between them and the lifeboats have given up ground---and lots of it. Through wisps of thinning smoke and ashes, he detects Chelydra peering around the corner of the intersection near S8346, and two robots moving away from the intersection toward the lifeboat hangar. "Goaltending," he computes sadly.

Rufus: "Wroky Wroky...Wranx wrawrot!" Rufus exclaims, and grips the pistol in his right hand.

Tinker frowns internally at the risk the Marine has taken in handing to a complete stranger a weapon that could be used against them. This lull in the robots' pursuit could have been timed with the insertion of an agent of the Watcher.... He keeps the Jackaloid in his peripheral vision just in case.

Nike: "Does anyone know exactly where Zhaxier went?"

Tinker registers Nike's question. As his hunch is just that, he doesn't answer.

Gregory: "...since it seems we're all intent on reaching the lifeboat..."

"A good assumption, human, and one that it appears the Arnolds have made as well. While the 'bots behind us appear to be holding their ground, the pair ahead is moving away from us---toward the hangar. If they disable the lifeboat, we are dead in the water. I suggest 'nuking' them immediately with the grenade launcher."


Zhaxier sighs at the lack of his engineering tools. Going "commando" does have its downside. He tries his ID card in the slot on top of a bolt on the access panel, but the plastic card is not rigid enough to apply sufficient torque.

Whipping around, he spies the silverware on the dining room table, and snatches the knife. As he plies the knife's edge to the bolts, he notes that the firing outside has diminished substantially. The telltale "zing" of Tinker's metal disruptor punctuates the corridor din every now and then, giving him hope. "C'mon you bastard!" he coaxes a bolt.

supreme_arbiter 12/12/2001


Chelydra: "Nike! Percy! We've reached S8346; it's the next door up. Want to try it?"

Chelydra's query hangs in the air for a moment as he continues to move toward the mysterious room. "We have no friggin' idea what's in there---it could be nothing that would help us, and then we would be trapped in some room with no escape," he thinks, recognizing that one reason for taking that door is the primal need to get out of the line of fire.

"No," Nike says, now running down the corridor and hurrying everyone along. "We've got to get to that lifeboat, ASAP. Let's go people!" She is surprised that no one, especially Tinker, knows where Zhaxier is, but there is no time for second-guessing right now. Percy is right: they have to speed this up and get the hell out of dodge.

Rufus joins Chelydra scouting ahead, with Nike close behind. Arkady and Gregory stick to the middle of the pack. Amanda stays close to Nike, and thinks she hears her say, "Holy shit, this is just like Waxmis 4." But in the noise and confusion, she isn't sure. She is indeed very happy to be back with the group. There is a certain safety in numbers. That is, after all, why she became a mathematician.

The ragtag band rushes down the corridor, and though the two scouts slow a bit in hesitation, Nike goes right past S8346 without stopping.

Behind Door S8346:

The silverware works well on the bolt, and soon all four bolts are loose. Hurriedly, Zhaxier works the bolts out and removes the panel. A 2x2 open space faces him, and he can see the innards of the tube system inside.

What do you do?

OOC: Visibility in the corridor has cleared a bit, since the 'bots have slowed their fire and pulled back some distance. It is still hazy (from small fires burning) but backup systems are working to put those out, so visibility will only get better (provided there are no more explosions) as time goes on.

The party is being fired on periodically from both sides, and though the 'bots on the hangar side cannot be detected (for what reason you do not know), they seem to be firing off shots about every 90 seconds. Every 30-60 seconds, a shot is fired from the opposite side. The blasts from the hangar side seem smaller and less powerful, though to the humanoids it isn't clear if this is due to distance or type of weapons fire. To Tinker, it is obvious that this is due to the types of weapons being fired.

Nike and the scouts go right on through the intersection (very carefully, of course).

The party, other than Tinker, is not sure of where the 'bots behind you are located. Tinker knows that they are very near the A&W depot, and closing, but at a slower rate than the party expects.

The 'bots out in front of you are not visible, and undetectable, at least at the moment. But Tinker guesstimates (based on the time differential between initial muzzle-flash and nearby explosion) that those 'bots firing weapons are approximately 125 meters ahead [well beyond the hangar doors --ed.]. From this analysis, Tinker also knows that the firing robots ahead have stopped their retreat.

The party is scattered from in front of room S8346 almost to the first doorways on the other side of the intersection.

The entrance to the hangar can be found at the double doors on the other side of the intersection, which Nike is now approaching.

Formerly Chapter 16: Spacedust

Shrsholn 12/13/2001

OOC: I don't think that Rufus knows where they are heading, so the room number is meaningless to him. As a result, he'll follow the group... for now.

scottenkainen 12/13/2001


Gregory raises his hand, as if he were trying to get the attention of a teacher in class. "Um, excuse me, everyone? But wasn't that what we were looking for back there?"

publius1024 12/18/2001


Arkady is a little confused when they get to the door which they had been looking, and the rest of the party continues on.

He pauses for a thought, then decides to approach the door. Since both of his hands are occupied with cradling the doomsday device, he kicks the bottom of the door a few times and puts his face to the edge of door to maximize his voice beyond the door: "Hurry up, we're movin' on!"

Carefully, but with alacrity, he resumes his moderate position between his comrades.

amanda_flockheart 12/26/2001


I want to say more to Nike to thank her, or do something to show my appreciation for her trouble, but it doesn't seem like the right time. I feel bad, as if I were teaching some engineers again (subtle reference to Zhaxier): z -> conj(z) is worse than bad.

Gregory: "Um, excuse me, everyone? But wasn't that what we were looking for back there?"

"I can't possibly tell you about it, but I hope you know it's very unpleasant out in space, if indeed that's where we're headed."

zhaxier 12/30/2001


Zhaxier puts the dinner knife and ID card in his mouth and climbs into the Jeffries tube. As he makes his way toward the hangar, he smiles at the thought: "And Tink said I wasn't a tubecrawler!"

supreme_arbiter 1/1/2002

OOC: As Zhaxier tried to enter the tube system, what body part did he put forth first? Roll 5d6 for damage.

gene_queen_supreme 1/1/2002


Amanda: "I hope you know it's very unpleasant out in space, if indeed that's where we're headed."

"I know," Nike replies, "but it's much more hospitable than in here at the moment. Besides, I have a plan!" And with that, she flashes a big grin at her friend in a fit of good humor amid the chaos.

zhaxier 1/2/2002

GM: As Zhaxier tried to enter the tube system, what body part did he put forth first?

OOC: As a propulsion engineer who had to make frequent trips through the Warden Wide Web of Jeffries tubes, Zhaxier would have been aware of the existence and type of security measures guarding access to the tubes, and would have taken the necessary actions to discern whether or not those measures were active before placing his body in harm's way.

scottenkainen 1/2/2002


Gregory lets out a sigh of exasperation as he lets his hand fall from the door to S8346. Clearly, the others are right. There is no time for a detour, no matter how important the contents of that room. He continues following the others to the lifeboat, and hopes everything can still turn out alright.

zhaxier 1/2/2002


From his ballistics calculations, Tinker notes that the robots firing ahead of them have stopped about 125 meters ahead---well beyond the hangar entrance and indeed beyond the hangar itself. He stops at the entrance to S8346 as Arkady kicks on the door. As the robot and the drop-ship pilot are last in line, Nike and the scouts are far ahead.

"Arkady, a well-placed grenade from your launcher could take out those robots 125 meters ahead of us. By my estimation, they have stopped far enough beyond the hangar that a grenade blast radius should not affect the lifeboat. Would you care to lend me your weapon and one grenade? The alternative is walking into a most certain ambush."

OOC: Tinker may not know what the grenades do, but I think he would know how to fire a grenade launcher, no matter how fancy it is. Given the explosions in the corridor that the 'bots' powerful weapons have already caused, he has no precedent for worry about causing a hull breech.

publius1024 1/2/2002


"I like your enthusiasm," Arkady says to Tinker as he quickens his step to catch up to the others closer to the hangar, "but we're probably too close to the bulkhead. I don't want to risk depressurization except as a last resort." Arkady is unsure if this robot has a super-powerful processor, capable of considering all the variables involved and determining the consequences of such an action, or if it's logic is buggy.

Either way, he grips the launcher tightly to his chest and hurries on.

supreme_arbiter 1/2/2002

OOC: There are many possibilities that account for a former tube-crawler making a mistake. Perhaps one of the foremost is that as a clone with a fragmented memory, Zhaxier doesn't recall the invisible laser grid protocols that take place when a deck has been sealed off. Regardless, I need to know which body part he puts first. And, I need you to roll for damage (he has already taken 3 pts of damage from the foot injury).

I repeat, which body part did he place first?

Nike: "That's an energy pod launcher, Arkady. It won't do you any good in the ship, unless you want us all to join the meandering spacedust outside."

Tinker: "Arkady, a well-placed grenade from your launcher could take out those robots 125 meters ahead of us."

Thank goodness Arkady doesn't have a death wish, or you'd all be spacedust.

zhaxier 1/3/2002


Tinker waits patiently until Arkady passes the intersection, then activates an immediate self-destruct that rocks the corridor with a minor explosion that vaporizes the robot and all that he carried.

Alternative added Oct 16, 2003 by Zhaxier: Tinker struggles with the hostile override signal until Arkady passes the intersection and until control is finally wrested from him. The self-destruct charge goes off with a minor explosion that rocks the corridor and vaporizes the robot and all that he carried.


Zhaxier pokes his head into the Jeffries tube opening. The security grid immediately explodes his head like a blood sausage. Blessed peace comes quickly and silently.

OOC: Speaking of death wishes... my participation has ceased being worthwhile. Farewell!

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