"Oh No!" Arkady shouted in horror when he realized that Chelydra wouldn't make it. "Retract into your shell!" As the door sealed shut, he hurried into the ship to search for a vacuum suit and an air-lock through which they might be able to save Chelydra. To the others in the ship, he said, "The turtle didn't make it, but he might withstand the vacuum in his shell. We can still bring him in through the air-lock."
OOC: suits? air-lock?
OOC: There is indeed an air-lock on the rear side of the ship. The space suits are in the closets by the air-lock door. Nike, having had training in off-ship missions as a marine, knows how to operate the air-lock, and Arkady is familiar with it as well, though a few holes in his memory exist.
How would you like to proceed? And Chelydra, do you retract into your shell, and do you do any other actions?
Edsan blinked as the fog above him lifted. Dim lights coming from metal cones graced a grey ceiling of some sort, and there was a faint shirring noise coming from a grey box with stripes on it. As he sat up and tried to get his bearings, he saw nothing natural; rather everything about him was metallic and manufactured. He felt cold, and alone.
There were five doors in the large room, one on each of three walls and two on the other. Three of them had the same sign on them: E-X-I-T in large red letters. He knew that it had something to do with "out". One had a diamond-shaped sign on it, an X inside covering a skull, and another had a black sign with S-U-P-P-L-I-E-S written on it in white, and the meaning of the word eluded him.
There were many other bedlike chambers in this room, but none of the others was open.
*What do you do?*
Hearing Arkady's warning the turtle-man swiftly secured all of his equipment to his combat harness. Then he pulled himself into his shell and prayed that his turtle metabolism would allow him to survive long enough for his comrades to rescue him.
Arkady's frantic gaze fell upon a yellow warning sign that reminded him of what an air-lock looked like. He rushed towards it and opened the pressure suit cabinet next to it. He removed one that looked big enough for him. He kicked off his boots and, as he dragged the suit up over his coveralls, he stared at the air-lock mechanism. It's operation made him realize that there were empty places in his memory. "Nike!" he called behind him, "I'm gonna need some help with the air-lock."
"I'm cold, and hungry...," thinks Edsan. "Must find something to eat..." The just-awakened bugbearoid thinks the doors obviously lead somewhere. Now, which one shall he take? Of the five doors, two get his attention: The door with the skull inspires in him a feeling of discomfort. The door with "S-U-P-P-L-I-E-S" written on it conjures images of food on his mind for a reason unknown to him, so he boldly chooses to open it.
The door opens with a creak, and the room beyond is only dimly lit by the light from the clone bay. Edsan can see the beginnings of shelves filled with a number of items. Everything that is not in a bottle seems packaged in a clear wrap of some sort.
**What do you do?**
Nike came running down the ship's corridor with the distinct cacophony of boots on metal. "You suit up, I'll handle the air-lock," she said, and hit a button that caused a keyboard to lower from a panel in the wall near the air-lock. Within a few more keystrokes, the first door slid open.
"Be sure not to lose your tether; it's the only thing that'll hold you and Chelydra in the bay once the doors open to the vacuum of space," she reminded Arkady, as he moved into the lock. With a whirring noise, the door slid closed behind him. CLANK. Whhhhhrrrrrrr. The outer door was open, and Arkady could see Chelydra nearby.
**What do you do?**
"Once the bay doors open to the vacuum of space?" Percy repeated Nike's words with exasperation. Depressurizing the bay was one thing, but getting flushed out into space was another thing.
He knew it was coming, but still the moment's importance was not lost to the technical crewman: "So we really are leaving Warden," he thought to himself somberly. He wondered if they would ever return. Before he lost himself in thought, he rushed to the control station Nike had uncovered in an attempt to help.
OOC: The SA provided some feedback on the following tech which I describe partially here
Percy recognized an auxiliary panel with a few controls and flatscreen monitor that suddenly blinked on when the airlock closed. It displayed the outside of the airlock. He could see Chelydra and Gregory both, still trapped outside the ship, and Arkady stepping off the exterior air-lock platform toward them. He looked at Nike helplessly. "I never had training with pressure suits. Or if I did, I don't remember...." he offered somberly, wishing he could help Arkady with the retrieval. "You think he can get to both of them before ...?"
Percy let his words drop off into silence as he and Nike watched the screen. His mind still on their eventual escape, he asked Nike how he could help. "I'm not a fly-boy," he said, then interrupting himself: "er, or fly-gal for that matter," he offered, realizing his attempts at gender equality were probably wasted on the all-business marine who most likely took no offense at his initial slang for space pilots, "but Warden's systems should be similar to this." He gestured toward the controls. "Give me a quick tour of the air-lock controls and I'll get 'em back in so you can fly this thing." Percy assumed Nike wouldn't mind (too much) his civilian self offering suggestions and even handing out some requests of his own, given the desperation of the situation.
Bottles = drink
Wraps = food?
Edsan's stomach rumbles; he must find nourishment to recover his energies after such a long period of sleep. His clawed hands eagerly search through the shelves for something edible...or shiny.
Chelydra huddles tight in his shell and awaits rescue in the thinning atmosphere of teh bay.
Arkady was inside the air-lock, coupling the re-breather interface to his face mask. It seemed so odd to him that some things about his profession, like the air-lock interface, had become foreign to him, while his memories of the procedure for 'suiting up' had been readily available. His palms became wet at the thought of what else he might have forgotten without even being aware of it.
From behind him, he heard Nike's muffled voice, as if from a distance, although she was less than a meter away. The only word he could distinctly make out was 'tether', for which he was infinitely grateful. Memories that had previously been unavailable came back to him in a flash. It was at that moment that the opposite door began to slide open.
He quickly reached to grasp the tether beside him. He pulled the tether clasp through two D-rings attached to the webbing of his environment suit and attached the clasp firmly to a third before stepping out of the air-lock. Chelydra's motionless shell lie nearby and Arkady headed straight for him while he trailed the tether behind him to provide enough slack to reach him. With his free hand, he rapped on the shell and shouted, "Come on!"
It was at that moment that Arkady realized that someone else had missed the boat. Several meters beyond Chelydra's shell:
OOC: 1) Gregory's body lay unconscious amidst the remains of the maintenace bot with which he had collided in a blind panic. Blood oozed from his forehead as several other bots attended to their fallen comrade.
or 2) Gregory was on his knees gasping for air. Arkady motioned for him to follow him into the air-lock, but Gregory was panic-stricken and oblivious to his surroundings.
or 3) Gregory was desperately holding on to the storage locker handle as the ship's atmosphere began to leave the hangar or some other grim end for our fellow clone.
Life is cheap on the Starship Warden.
At Arkady's rap on his shell, the turtle-man emerged from his shell and began to make his way to the air-lock. He kept one hand wrapped around the tether for security as he checked his web harness for a hook he could use to attach himself firmly. He gave the fallen Gregory a glance, but mourning his passing would have to wait.
COMPUTER TIME LOG - DAY ONE
09:33:59 p.m. - DP LOCK-DOWN CYCLE RED COMPLETE
09:34:00 p.m. - BAY OPENING SEQUENCE INITIATED
"No, I don't think there's any way for him to get Gregory, even if he is still alive out there," Nike responded, and then quickly showed Percy how to use the air-lock controls. For a computer guy, it was intuitive, so she just clarified the order in which things needed to happen and some vocabulary that might be foreign to him within the software. She rushed to the cockpit to continue readying the systems for take-off.
Rufus stood back, watching all the hub-bub with Amanda. They heard the initialization of the bay doors beginning, and then a secondary sliding noise from within their own ship, coming from down the hall to the left, toward the galley. "What do you suppose that was?" Amanda asked her furry companion.
Meanwhile, Arkady pulled Chelydra to his feet and pushed him toward the ship, after attaching a secondary tether to his combat harness. He saw Gregory's body, lying unconscious amidst the remains of the maintenace bot with which he had collided in a blind panic. Blood oozed from his forehead as several other bots attended to their fallen comrade, and his skin seemed to be an unearthly shade of blue. "Still, I can't leave him behind if there's still time..." Arkady thought, and just as he pushed Chelydra into the air-lock and turned for Gregory a secondary set of lighting engaged in the bay. The room glowed green, and loud machinations could be heard to begin. He/It/They, that universal enemy, was opening the bay doors.
**What do you do?**
Edsan found that a shiny dark liquid filled most of the bottles on the shelves, and most of the wrapped items seemed metallic in nature. However, far in the back of the room was a small, oblong box that made a humming noise. Inside were seven bottles filled with a clear liquid, and five comestibles wrapped in a shiny metallic substance.
As he sat down to explore the taste of these finds, Edsan saw a black box with an eye on it in the upper left corner of the room, with a small green light under the dark, glassy eye. Nothing else seemed interesting, and the comestibles were cold, but refreshing.
**What do you do??**
A black box with an eye, how interesting... Edsan wonders if it is alive.
He aproaches it carefully, not wanting to startle the thing. When he gets nearer he will attempt to touch it.
OOC: Based on Chelydra's picture, it would seem that his shell would provide little or no protection to his limbs, but that he could still retract his neck and head.
I am a little concerned that there might not be enough space in the air-lock for both Chelydra and Arkady at the same time, but his hemispherical shape may be an efficient use of space if the air-lock is cylindrical. I imagine that the air-lock design would be a compromise between functionality, allowing users to exit the ship with whatever equipment they might need, and compactness. If Arkady and Chelydra can both fit inside the air-lock, I doubt that there would be much space left.
OOC: Then again, the picture was not drawn specifically to be Chelydra. Just the closest looking one I've found so far. I see MA as science fantasy and possesed of a certain amount of B-movie loose reality. If this is being run as a grim & gritty hard SF game please someone let me know. Chelydra is fairly large however, so I doubt very much that there is a pressure suit aboard that will fit him. And yes, as a snapping turtle his head will go inside the shell but not his arms and legs. I sure hope he fits in the air-lock, and don't give the SA anymore evil ideas. ;-)
Arkady briefly pondered the strange color his fallen ship-mate's skin had become. What could have done that, he wondered? The temperature in the hangar would drop to a few dozen degrees above Kelvin when the hangar door was open, but it wasn't open yet. As if in reply, Arkady heard the stubborn groan of five century old machinery pulling open the great hangar doors. Gregory's fate suddenly seemed so terribly remote compared to his own and Chelydra's fate, as well as the rest of his crew-mates. He turned back to the ship, scanning the hanger for anything moving or out of the ordinary. He grasped the lip of the air-lock's platform and visually scanned the ship's underbelly for anything unusual. "We won't be going very far if this vessel is secured to the hangar, but I only brought the tools I need to survive out here, so survive I shall," he thought to himself as he hauled himself into the air-lock with Chelydra.
It was a tight fit for the two because of Chelydra's girth, but his shell made efficient use of the space in the cylindrical chamber. After a brief squeeze, he was in and pounding on the transparent portal through which he could see Percy attentively waiting at the air-lock controls. He flashed him the 'OK' sign with his thumb and index finger and held on with the other to a handrail.
OOC: I like the photo--though he's much bigger than I expected! lol And don't worry, he'll fit...
The contraption feels cold to the touch, and makes a whirring noise as it tries to turn away from Edsan's outstretched hand. The boxes that Edsan is standing on in order to reach the camera begin to sway, and they all come crashing down with a great cacophony. Outside in the bay, the sounds of a door opening and closing can be heard.
**What do you do?**
COMPUTER TIME LOG - DAY ONE
09:38:00 p.m. - SUBJECTS LOST OR DECEASED
........ INITIATE ALPHA SEQUENCE
........ PRIORITY: ACQUIRE NEW FOOD SOURCES
With some mechanical noises and the sound of pressurized air, Percy welcomed Arkady and Chelydra back to the small ship. "Whew! I didn't think you were going to make it for a minute there!" Percy said. Before there was any more time for pleasantries, a commanding female voice came over the ship intercom: "Arkady, please report to the bridge. Everyone else buckle in for departure."
**What do you do?**
"Wow!" - thinks Edsan - "I'm glad I didn't hurt myself in the fall..."
Someone (or someTHING) must have entered the room. Edsan bravely chooses to increase his chances of survival by hiding behind the nearest boxes (not the ones he just crashed down, of course).
He will stay still and very, VERY quiet trying to take a peak at whatever is in the room with him when he feels it is safe.
Arkady let the air from his lungs in relief. "Thanks, Percy," he said gratefully. Upon hearing his name spoken over the intercom, Arkady rushed into the command chamber and took the empty station next to Nike. As quickly as he could, he strapped himself into the grav-harness attached to his station. The harness would allow him to function normally under several G's. He hadn't the time, or the inclination, to remove his environment suit. Should the ship's hull be compromised by aging or by weapons fire, he would want another layer of protection. He opened his faceplate so that he could speak freely; the possibility of their electronic communications being intercepted was making him nervous. As he completed the clasps on the grav-harness he studied the controls in front of him. Would he remember their function? "What can I do, Captain?" he asked Nike.
OOC: grav-harnesses, GM? I imagine something like fighter pilots wear today: a liquid-filled harness that is able to push the blood from the extremities towards the torso and brain when it's needed, preventing black-outs during high-G manuevers.
This post assumes that Arkady saw nothing unusual in the hangar or underneath the ship before he entered the air-lock. I hope that he didn't ...
Percy had nodded his head at Arkady's thanks, and had taken over care of Chelydra when the pilot had left the air-lock chamber for deeper parts of the ship.
Percy rapped on the Lieutenant's carapace with his creased knuckles, white from their bending. "Hey, come out Lieutenant! You're safe in the drop-ship now!" He glanced at Rufus, who was more dog than man, moreso than Chelydra was turtle than man, and who so far was keeping to himself, huddled in the corner. Percy treated the oddities of the man/turtle and dog/man combinations--rather, lifeforms, and all the inherrent strangeness with calm. After all, they were in space, and he'd seen a lot of bizarre things since Warden had launched in 2277. Which made him wonder--what the exact date was.
Percy was glad they were finally safe. He hoped that was the case, anyway. He looked at the external monitor and frowned at the entangled mess that used to be Gregory and the maintenance droids. He pitied the man. He realized that Gregory was just another clone like the rest of them, but still, he had life and breath within him, even if it was for only a short time, and that meant something. It had to. Or none of this was even worth the trouble. Percy flicked off the monitor to the external camera grimly and shot Amanda a stoic glance. It wasn't a grand escape worthy of storytelling, with all the casualties they'd suffered in just one day. But he was glad for it nonetheless. They definitely needed some breathing room, and as big as Warden was, space was much bigger.
As Chelydra lay on the deck, the Systems/Technical crewman decided to see what the computer systems had to offer in the way of information. Before they left the hangar he wanted to try to interface with Warden's systems and finally get some straight answers. That damned crazy robot who blew itself up sure didn't yield enough answers for Percy's satisfaction. Specifically, he wanted to know where the ship was, what year it was, if there were any other pockets of civilized crew activity on the ship--or if this Watcher fellow had managed to commandeer all of Warden with his crazed robots and traps. He double-checked the lock on the air-lock and then turned his attention to the onboard drop-ship's computer system. Cracking his knuckles, he tried to log into the systems that the original version of him used to maintain, troubleshoot, and operate, and hoped for a successful fact-finding session.
OOC: Is there a workstation nearby Percy recognizes as something he can interface? If so, let's hope it has an accompanying chair with seatbelt. Percy knows full well the ride is about to get bumpy. Perhaps the air-lock bay is not the best place for such a system--in which case Percy will hunt for a workstation, science station, anything, elsewhere. Sure, this was a drop-ship, but he guessed it had some kind of interface to the mothership Warden.
Feeling the rapping on his shell, Chelydra realized that he had, at least for the present, escaped death once again. He stood up and looked around him. The air-lock was unfamiliar ground to him and triggered no memories. He decided to find a seat and strap in, in case the piloting memories of whom ever was going to fly this thing were as fuzzy as his own. As he was leaving, he caught sight of Rufus, "Come on, lets go find a place to sit and something to eat. Action always makes me hungry."
Sounds of rustling papers and the clinks that result from metal on metal came from the bay. Then, just as abruptly as they began, they stopped, and the sounds of opening and closing doorways could be heard once again.
Suddenly, the lights in the entirety of the bay turn off, and a faint buzzing noise can be heard.
"What the heck?" Edsan wonders to himself. Taking a peek into the bay wouldn't do him much good now. Or would it?
**What do you do?**
OOC: I liked the ideas of grav-harnesses, in case of a loss of artificial gravity and dampeners, and yes, he saw nothing unusual.
"This is getting weirder by the minute" - Edsan thinks.
He will leave his hiding place and grope around looking for the door to exit the now-darkened bay. He walks carefully hoping not to bump into something.
Where is the sound is coming from? Can Edsan pinpoint its origin?
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