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Chapter 19 (Original Archive)

supreme_arbiter 9/21/2002

[Group I: Horatio]

As he approached the end of the ship that was end up, he saw several feet above him a door of some kind, or at least, it looked like it might open. He couldn't tell, due to the distance above and the glare of the sun, if the holy writ of "Air Lock" was on it, but he could see a symbol similar to the one in the texts.

 ___  ___  ___  ___
|IS ||AG ||SS ||ELE|

The first button was yellow, the second green, and the third and fourth gleamed red. He wasn't sure, but it seemed that the fourth might have been blinking.

[Group II: Arkady, Percy, Chelydra]

The group made their way to the cockpit. Nike sat as Arkady had left her, in the bliss of the unconscious. As they huddle around her, Chelydra began looking at the controls, searching specifically for the security panel to see what information he could gather. The "Emergency Lock Engaged" buttons were flashing for all entrances/exits to the ship, "Hull Breech, sector 4" was flashing on a screen, but he couldn't make much sense of the rest of the flashing lights.

Arkady administered a shot of nanobots to Nike, and wiped her forehead gently with a "cold compress shamee" from the medkit.

"A cold compress shamee?" Percy said, incredulously. "What the heck is that?"

"I don't know, but it says to wipe over bruises and contusions, whatever it is."

Nike groaned and stirred a bit.

gammaben 9/24/2002


Percy watched inquisitively as Chelydra poured over the controls, and as Arkady used the medkit supplies on Nike. The marine looked a lot less intimidating when she was knocked out cold, he thought to himself. Not wanting to rubberneck too long at the sight of Nike's injuries, Percy turned his attention to Chelydra. "Where's sector 4?" he asked, pointing to the flashing warning of hull breech.

Percy did a quick check of his accoutrements. He'd left his bag in the airlock bay next to where he'd strapped himself in, but the laser pistol Nike had given him back on Warden was still tucked uncermonially under the elastic of his uniform's pants. He pulled out the pistol and looked at it. It felt cold, but he had a feeling it would warm up soon enough. Only then did he take notice of his toolkit belt pouch. He would not have noticed it if not for his intentional check of stuff. It felt to him like a wedding ring might feel to a married man.... he cocked his head and paused, lost in thought for a moment. Any memories he tried to grasp slipped out of his grasp as quickly as he sought them. He looked at his hands in afterthought. No ring. "Hmmmmmm," he said softly, and raised his eyebrows with discovery.

"Lieutenant, can we get a schematic of this ship?" he asked of Chelydra. It was time to get back to the business of survival. The business of recapturing his scrambled egg memories would have to wait--yet again. "What say you and me go check out this hull breech while these two play doctor?" Percy queried, thumbing toward Nike and Arkady, who seemed to be taking good care of--and with genuine interest for--the Captain.

publius1024 10/2/2002


Percy turned his attention to Chelydra. "Where's sector 4?" he asked, pointing to the flashing warning of hull breech.

"Chel and I have been," Arkady paused as the word came to him, "aft ... and we saw nothing. We were in the supply room behind your crash seat and saw nothing there either ... unless the breach was inside the weapons locker." He shuddered. "None of us saw a breach by the landing ramp. The breach could be in one of those two locked rooms just outside and on the right," he nodded towards the cockpit exit as his hands were busy administering the shammee. "I think the first door is the, uh ... the captain's quarters and the second door might be engine access, but I'm not really sure. The breach could also be on the ... " Arkady, facing the back of the ship, nodded to his left, "starboard side? You came from that direction, Chelydra, didn't you? Did you see anything? Any unchecked cabins?"

"What say you and me go check out this hull breech while these two play doctor?" Percy queried, thumbing toward Nike and Arkady, who seemed to be taking good care of--and with genuine interest for--the Captain.

Arkady looked up at Percy. When Arkady saw Percy's good natured smile, he couldn't deny his affection for Nike. His bruised and aching body managed to find enough spare blood to faintly flush his cheeks.

Arkady's thoughts drifted back in time. He recollected awakening, miraculously, in a quiet clone bay with no lights and no power (perhaps that's how he had escaped the notice of the Watcher?) There had been no sign of life anywhere in the cold, unfamiliar place in which he awoke. He could recall that he was a pilot. He could recall that he had happily spent many months and years aboard spacecraft with only the ship's computer to keep him company. Searching of clues, he had wandered the empty corridors, but his unanswered questions only accumulated and he had grown more and more alarmed. Nike was the first human that Arkady had seen and he had dared to hope that she would have the answers that would put his mind at ease. He had quickly learned that she knew no more than he did about their predicament, but his hope had not diminished. Now that he shared his fate with others, his hope had become affection and an indomitable will to survive.

Once they left the Warden, and he had seen the ship from the outside, he had suddenly recalled seeing the Warden in orbit around Pluto while she was still under construction. He realized then that the Warden had seemed so alien to him because he had never been aboard her before! Arkady had a moment of clarity in which he remembered that his job had been to transport men and materials between the Earth and the colonies on Mars and Pluto. He remembered one stop-over on Pluto in particular during which he had sold his DNA to the UWSC for a few thousand domars. He had been wondering what his former self had done with that money when the alarm bells and Nike started shouting as he blacked out ...

Arkady was still looking at Percy when he smiled ambigiously and said, "I agree." He placed the shammee on Nike's head, and searched for the weapon that he thought she might still have with her. (OOC: if it's readily available, Arkady will take it, for the time being) "I'll stay here until Nike's recovered." He handed the medkit to Percy. "Chelydra knows where Amanda is. Down the hall and turn left, I think." Arkady took a moment to open his bottle of water and drank half of its contents.

Zhaxier 10/3/2002

OOC: "Shammee" should be spelled "chamois" I believe ...:)

Stacinator 10/3/2002

OOC: Not if they're for sale on intergalactic infomercials! (or Earth ones that play on Fox channel 4 at 3am, for that matter) ;)

publius1024 10/3/2002


"A cold compress shamee?" Percy said, incredulously. "What the heck is that?"

"I don't know, but it says to wipe over bruises and contusions, whatever it is

Arkady turned the package over and examined the fine print.

"Hmm, that's strange. On the front it's called a 'Shammee', but on the back it calls it a ... ' He struggled with the word. Despite a liberal education and a cosmopolitan family, Arkady had no knowledge of French. "'Cham-oize'?" he ventured incorrectly.


supreme_arbiter 10/9/2002

Nike stirred at the touch of the wonder shammee, but no consciousness graced her mind--yet. Images from the dreamscape flowed gracefully through the plane of her imagination, and they were bizarre yet strangely peaceful. A man stood atop a large stage, in front of a gargantuan crowd, cheers and yells abounding. Signs communicating "Good Luck Warden" and "Our Time is Finally Here" were being held as the man stood behind the microphone. His words were inaudible. As her memory looked about the room, she saw, surprisingly, that the entire thing was inside of some kind of hangar, with all the doors closed.

A cool sensation drew her away from the crowd and toward the doors. She opened them, and saw the cold, unforgiving darkness of space. Stars flew past, and one shined particularly brightly. A cartoon bubble appeared near it, its arrow pointing right at it, with comic font printing "Home is here".

The cool sensation grew, and she became aware of pain in her head. As her consciousness trickled back to her, the pain grew until the images were gone. Instinctively, her hand reached up to touch the hurt, and felt another's hand, warm and soothing.

She opened her eyes, and saw Arkady. She smiled.

**What do you do?**

publius1024 10/15/2002


"Good morning, Nike," Arkady beamed. "I gave you a nano-doc shot. I think you'll be fine. Percy and Chelydra are fine too. They went with the medi-kit to get Amanda - she's been injured." Arkady offered the rest of his water bottle to her. "The air is breathable, but there's been a hull breach in sector 4 ... and we're not alone. There's a critter on the ship."

stacinator 12/16/2002


"Thanks." She rubbed her temple gently and closed her eyes. "Wait, did you say a critter?" she asked, fuzzily, though the clarity was coming more quickly with the receding throbbing still present in her head.

gpfarm 12/16/2002


"Down the hall to the left, yup that's where I left Amanda. Didn't see any holes in the ship, but I did see something moving outside one of the windows. Didn't get much of a look at it though."

Turning to Percy "Let's go check on Amanda first then we can go check on the hull and the rest of the ship. Never was much good at playing doctor anyhow, so I'll leave that to Arkady here, he seems to have things well enough in hand."

With that the turtle-man turned and began heading back to where he had left Amanda. Arkady's comment about unchecked cabins rankled a bit, he hadn't been exactly thorough in checking out the crashed shuttle to make sure there were no bad guys already aboard. He was slipping.

Markamorphosis 12/16/2002


Approaching the "Air Lock", the sheer magnitude of the moment overwhelms me. I freeze, unable to think or move. Time dilates and it seems that hours, days, weeks, even months pass before I am able to take action.

All the studying, the arguments, how could I have ever guessed that proof would one day be a mere hands breadth away?

Finally, with a sudden sense that time is up and with some skewed partial perception of a strange female voice ringing in my ears talking of the mothers of wooden planks, I lunge forward and press the blinking red light with the name of an ancient holy city written upon it. Then trembling with fear and exhilaration I step back to await destiny.

publius1024 12/16/2002


Yeah, a critter. Chel said he saw something moving outside a window, and we heard an inhuman scream a few minutes ago!" Arkady described the rooms that they had already checked and the ones that they weren't sure about. "There's that hull breach in sector 4, but none of us know where that is, do you? As if that wasn't bad enough, there's a storm coming. An afrimus cloud formation is forming in the Southeast, the ambient temperature is 107 degrees and the hull is over 150! So, are you still carrying a weapon? ..."

supreme_arbiter 12/27/2002

(Group I: Horatio et al) "NoOoOoOo!" Foryin screamed, lunging to slap Horatio's hand away--but it was too late. The light began to blink faster, and a voice came as from the sky. "Entry denied. Emergency procedures enacted."

Foryin, who had been huddling on the sand, fearing for his life, relaxed a bit. The voice, though foreign and mysterious to them, sounded female and soothing. Maybe Horatio knew what he was doing after all. The bird was now talking to them.


(Group II: Arkady and Nike) "Yes, I have a weapon," Nike began, "though I'm more afraid of the elements than any critters right now. 107? 150? We'll end up being baked in here if we can't either find shelter or get the ship's systems going. Even if we can find the parts for the systems, it could take us longer to fix them than would be safe for us to stay here. Not to mention any possible ILF's that might be a menace!"

Arkady smiled. Nike was acting more like herself by the moment. "ILF's?"

"Indigenous life forms. This ship is probably like a big shiny beacon for anything nearby that just screams 'Hey, come check me out!'" Any idea of the topography of the area immediately around us?"


(Group III: Chelydra and Percy) Chelydra and Percy made their way toward Amanda's last known position. "I swear, she was right here!" Chelydra insisted. He examined the safety harness that had been holding her in place.

"Well, Chel, we've all been a bit disoriented. No one will fault you for not remembering ..."

"She was right here, Percy, I know it. I may be slipping, but I'm *not* hallucinating. Look, the straps have been neatly cut. Someone, or something, released her from the harness." A further examination revealed one human footprint below her harness. "And it looks like she tried to stand."


Ed. note: Bud and Bailey entered play in Chapter 19 on December 27th 2002.

(Group IV: Asuda and Bailey) Bud, feeling the warm tingly feeling that lies between sleep and awake, tried to stretch his arms, but cool plastic thwarted his effort. He opened his eyes in a panic, only to look into the face of his pal, Bailey. He relaxed a bit, as Bailey opened the plastic doorway on the stasis chamber. The room around him was white, silver, and sparklingly clean. Medibeds and medivac droid chambers dotted the walls.

"Boy, am I glad to see you!" Bailey said, slapping him on the shoulder.

"Where are we?" Asuda asked, a bit confused. His memory was hazy and disjointed. He remembered their last orders, how they were on their way to carry them out, and then ... nothing.

"On some drop ship. This is where they brought us after they snatched us. Forgot to take your stimulant, eh Bud?" he said, clearly amused. "They grabbed us, drugged us, and then brought us here to put us in stasis. Our mole, Leroy, was in their group, and set my chamber incorrectly so that I'd come out of it. I thought, what the heck? I could use a nap! And the next thing I know I'm waking up as the ship is going down. I don't know if Leroy did something wrong, if he was really one of them and betrayed us, where we are, or who is in control of this craft."

"Great. Any good news?"

"Yeah, we survived the crash, man."

"Well, that's something." Bud replied, grinning.

Mike Johnson 12/28/2002



"Okay Bailey, let's assume Leroy was still friendly: he would have stashed some helpful gear for us when our 'nap' ended."

[working out a kink in his back/scanning the room]

"Still assuming Leroy's motives, other reasons your chamber wouldn't open...toxic environment." Furrowing brow, "if conditions were bad enough (or protracted) the mechanisms could malfunction."

[getting aprehensive]

"A crash landing could jar the mechanisms into operation..." (still feeling a litte hazy, like something glaring is missing).

"Crash...Crash...Crash LANDING!!"

"Bailey, we were a LONG way from any planet..."

lwmarti 12/29/2002


"Well, let's see what we can find out about our current situation ..."

Bailey moves to the nearest computer terminal as Asuda searches their surroundings for useful gear. He first tries to find their current location as well as the current date and time. How long have they been in stasis? Next, he tries to get a summary of what's happened between when they entered stasis and now. Finally, since he's a technician, he will try to find as much as he can about the status of the ship's systems.

publius1024 12/30/2002


Arkady looked out the window of the cockpit, hoping to see some chink of light above the sand which enveloped them. The glass was plenty thick and the ship's force fields (around the cockpit at least) seemed to have held during impact. He could see no light above the sand, but despite the uncertain volume exerting an uncertain pressure per square inch above him he felt strangely safe. Nike's recovery had had that effect on him.

"I haven't seen outside yet, but that sand is probably an indicator," Arkady said as Nike finished the last of the bottled water. He wiped the sweat from his brow. Although it was hot inside, he didn't suspect that it was 107 degrees. "Perhaps that's the air temperature outside?" he thought.

"There's plenty of supplies back aft, and a locked weapons storage, but we should go get the rest of crew now. Percy is our best bet at getting the systems back online. Are you OK to walk outta here?"

OOC: Assuming they make it out of the cockpit (turning left at the intersection) ...

As they left the cockpit, Arkady pointed at the two doors on their right and asked Nike, "Any idea what's in there?" It was curiosity that made him ask. He didn't actually want to stop and open them and possibly subject them all to more danger.

Ranger Ben 12/31/2002


"Ok Loo-tenant, I believe ya." Percy reached around behind his head and scratched as he thought. Maybe if we can tap into the internal sensors on this bird, we could track her. But if someone or something is sneaking around stealing our ever-dwindling crew compliment, there might not be time for that. Waaaaaaiiitaminute ..."

Recalling that he gained night vision after he turned into wolfoid form, Percy wondered if he could somehow track Amanda as a wolfoid better than he could as a human. "I'm gonna change my form. I might be able to track her better with a wolfoid sniffer," he said, pointing to his aquiline human nose.

Percy closed his eyes, slowly breathed in and out a couple of times, and opened his eyes again, looking down at his feet (so as not to forget them this time). "Wolf on!" he said suddenly and dramatically and mentally triggered his adaptation.

Mike Johnson 1/3/2003

OOC: Realizing the original version of the game was published before this was a scifi staple ... but would it be likely that Bud and Bailey (original crew members/non-clones) would possess some form of neurological linkage to the ship/subsystems &/or other crew?

Zhaxier 1/3/2003

OOC: AFAIK, there's nothing in MA1 rulebook about a human/machine interface, but there's nothing that explicitly rules it out. In ML, we took a bit of license with the Warden's AI, making it a so-called shell person, the most intimate marriage of man and machine possible, though Murphy gave up most of what it means to be human for the privilege.

Aside: If Bud and Bailey are indeed original crewmembers, they would have been in stasis much longer than the 200 year lower bound given by the IAS GM. Fact: Warden launched in 2290. Fact (established from Tinker's benchmark in IAS): the year in IAS is around 2790. Furthermore, if you take ML into account, then IAS must occur after 2781, which would be the soonest Warden could arrive at any planet. (ML takes place in 2780 and it takes a year to decelerate to orbital speed from any substantial fraction of c).

If a ship/machine-PC neurolink is allowed in IAS, one would have to consider its viability after the havoc to the ship's systems wreaked by the Cloud and by the passage of nearly 500 years of relative time. In ML, even the decidedly non-neural ship-machine link from Zhaxier's data pad and the Warden mainframe is down.

If my opinion counts for anything, I'd say "no" on a ship/machine-PC neurolink and "no" for a PC-PC neurolink between Pure Strains---in the spirit of IAS, this latter functionality would be the domain of mutations like telepathy.

publius1024 1/3/2003

OOC: I tend to agree with Z on this one, but I'll add that if it is allowed that it be a very dangerous mixed blessing. That jack from a human's nueral network formerly known as a brain (or more metaphysically, his mind) does not have a big yellow sign for all outgoing data packets to read that says, "Do not back up, severe tire damage!" Not only would a human with wetware be able to gain access to computer systems, computer systems would be able to gain access to him. They may even be able to disable his 'write-protection' devices, if any!

lwmarti 1/3/2003

OOC: Even though it would be interesting (after all, I'm playing the character of Stewart Bailey), I'm not sure that neurological linkage fits well in the MA world, although it's certainly within the realm of possibility, maybe even a likely probability, in the time frame that MA is supposed to take place in. Take a look at recent games that claim to be "hard" science fiction, like Transhuman Space or GURPS Biotech for ideas on this stuff and what we might actually see in the future.

The main reason that I think that it doesn't fit well is that I first played MA back in the 70's, so I will always think of it as reproducing the technology of cheap "B" movies! Not that that's a bad thing, mind you.

supreme_arbiter 1/3/2003

Group II: Arkady and Nike

Nike shook her head slowly. She looked at the two doors as they walked by, thinking, trying to recall some memory she had of being on a dropship before. But then it swam away in the fog that hovered around her consciousness. "My mind is still a bit hazy. My guess would be storage, or maybe some emergency equipment for the cockpit crew?"


Group III: Chelydra and Percy

At first, Percy the wolf's senses were overwhelmed by the acrid stench of burning components in the air. Then, slowly, his head began to clear, and he leaned down to sniff the straps and get a good blueprint of Amanda's scent.

"This way, turtle-man" he growled, motioning, and they headed in the direction of the set of double doors that Chelydra had seen earlier, across from the mess hall.

"Much earlier" Chelydra thought. Could it have been a mere few hours since they crashed? It seemed like years. He readied his weaponry, just in case. "No telling what's behind there." he thought, bracing himself.


Group IV: Asuda and Bailey

About halfway around the medbay's walls of cabinets, Bud was having no luck finding any useful equipment. "Ah well, chin up mate, still half a room plus medibeds to search," his Aussie friend Leroy's voice said in his head. "No, there's no way he betrayed us," Bud thought to himself. "No way."

Bailey's attempts to access the computer system, however, were more successful. "Hey Bud" he said in a preoccupied voice, "according to this, we've crashed on some planet quite a way from our original destination, and it has been a *really* long time since the original crew was around. Something about radiation. Oh wow, man, it looks like we've been asleep for at least a couple hundred years!"

Bud Asuda stood there, mouth open, astonished.

Bailey kept reading. The records of the intermediary period were scattered and broken, and some only told the story of a part of the ship, while others included shipwide events. It was clear that when the ship hit the radiation cloud, it had been disastrous for everyone and everything aboard, in some form or fashion.

He took his eyes from the screen and looked at Bud. "Holy shit, man. It's like waking up in the Twilight Zone."

Mike Johnson 1/4/2003


Group IV: Asuda and Bailey

Still shaken from Bailey's words reverts to the ingrained patterns of his training and attempts to assess their situation.

"Okay, 1) unknown duration/ but centuries-long sleep, so ...

"2) sketchy records since disaster: a} unlikely much of the original crew survived b}emergency protocols would have activated, apparently with less than optimal effect: who (if anyone) is running the show?

"3) this planet was not our destination, is it habitable/already inhabited?

"hmmm..." long pause while leaning on nearest wall.

[turning to Bailey]

"Dude, did your training cover this?" still finding their situation hard to digest, "Cause I missed the Twilight Zone contingency course ..."

[keeping an ear out for Bailey's response]

"I'm gonna finish searching the room. After that I think we should take a little 'walkabout.' By the way, I doubt the ship deployed itself ..." stretching more & going through some simple martial-arts forms.

pause, muttering to self, "C'mon Leroy, you remember that night in Green Sector, throw some shrimp on the barbie."

[thinking to self, my brain still feels a little freezer-burned: random thoughts of neurolinks (was that some story I read, or was that real)]

[OOC] I'm enjoying the posts regarding the neurolink: some points I'd not considered have already been raised. Either way works for me, just glad we're cool with discussing new ideas ...

lwmarti 1/5/2003


After Bailey gets all of the useful information he can about their current situation and the status of the ship from the computer, he checks his immediate surroundings for anything useful, and grabs the small but useful gear to bring with him. He makes sure that he picks at least one thing up that will function as a weapon, since he has no idea what's out there now. The last thing he tries to get from the computer is the current command staff, if the information is current, and any information about where the current command staff are.

"Bud, that's about it for useful info from the computer. Let's get out of here. Remember, I'm just a tech. I keep things running. Who knows what's happened to the ship up to now, so I'll be counting on you to take care of any unfriendlies that we meet."

Bailey heads out in a direction that looks promising, hoping to get to some sort of command and control center for the ship as soon as possible, assuming that things are still being run from from there if they're still being run at all. As he goes, he checks to see how much of the ship's systems are functioning, making a note of which are damaged, hoping to get an idea of where the ship has suffered damage and how severe it is. He also checks to see what systems accept his ID card for access, again, making a note of what seems to be operating correctly and what isn't. As he moves he'll keep an eye out for useful portable equipment, bringing anything that looks useful along.

OOC: Is the layout of the ship like the old book, with a big central elevator that takes you to all of the different decks, plus a few ramps here and there that you can use to walk up or down levels? If that's the case, he will probably try to get to the elevators. What can he determine about the current population of the ship from the computer? How many and where are they living?

Zhaxier 1/6/2003

OOC: Is he sure he's actually on the Warden? ;)

Mike Johnson 1/5/2003


[still searching & loosening muscles]

"Bailey, handling 'unfriendlies' is what I'm here for," thinking aloud, he adds, "But I'm hoping we'll make some new friends along the way ..."

lwmarti 1/5/2003


"As do I, Bud, but we have no idea what's out there now. For all we know, the ship could be under the control of some sort of creatures that are native to this place rather than the crew. We can't take any chances."

Mike Johnson 1/5/2003


"Roger that, Bailey." smiling, while focusing his Chi ...

Mike Johnson 1/8/2003


"Bailey, did your search turn up how much damage this dropship sustained/viability of repair?"

publius1024 1/13/2003


Arkady remembered living onboard other inter-planetary vessels. He could not distinguish them clearly, but they all had one thing in common: they were all crowded with equipment, and made economical use of space. "It's unlikely that this ship would have two storage rooms, although there's a separate weapons storage compartment in the supply room. Maybe your ID will grant us access?"

Nike and Arkady passed the two enigmatic doors and turned down the passageway to their left. "We'll have to explore the ship further when we don't have a crisis to deal with," Arkady said without laughing.

Markamorphosis 1/16/2003


A wave of immense disappointment sweeps over me. I was certain that my knowledge of the ancient texts would be sufficient to this task of opening this enclosure. Feeling a little snappish in my moment of failure I turn to my companion and in an attempt to cover I exclaim, "I find your lack of faith disturbing". This seems to calm him, or perhaps it is just his lack of knowledge of the significance of this moment.

Either way the exchange with Foryn calms me and I can return to the contemplation of the problem at hand. I now realize how foolish it was to assume the way would be easy. Thinking back I can remember now a passage that has always confused me but which now might make sense. It comes from the book of Saint Engineer and is known simply as his first canon law.

"Knowest that when you design the devices of holy service it is best those devices be devised in a way that their uses be easily known and understood by all who would use them in the service of our lord. The more vital the service that the device be used for the more crucial this canon becomes. Woe be unto he that fails to heed this appellation for he shall always be known as a bad engineer and future engineers shall mark his passage amongst us with derision and scorn."

I remember now marking this as an interesting example of the freedom allowed to us by our lord. The passage clearly shows that even a saint may undertake acts that he would deem evil and that even such a high holy personage as Saint Engineer regrets some of the acts of the past. Now thinking deeper I remember the passage that clearly drew my mind here.

"To understand the first canon, thinkest now on the example of the portal of the winds. Surely the critical nature of this needs no explanation and it should most surely be designed so that function and form serve the same purpose. Thus if thou designest thy portal with more than two buttons you have commited the sin and are a bad engineer."

In the light of this reflection I see now that this portal was built by those who sin. Considering that this is a vessel of the fallen this is almost so obvious that I laugh with scorn at my previous foolishness. Armed with the confidence that only reflection on the teachings can provide, I now reach for the green button and embrace my fate.

Ranger Ben 1/19/2003


OOC: Further clarification from the SA has confirmed that the "the direction of the set of double doors that Chelydra had seen earlier, "across from the mess hall," is the same doorway indicated by "6" on the Drop Ship map.

With Chelydra right behind him, Percy left the cut harnesses of Amanda's emergency seat behind, and headed toward the aft of the ship, following his nose to the set of double doors.

Cheldra: "The Crew quarters?"

"If that's what they are, then ayupr!" Percy said growlingly. Percy spied three colored plastic indicators: from top to bottom: red, yellow, green. Below the green indicator was a keypad. Below that, an access card reader. Pulling out his id card from his fanny pouch with his left hand, and his laser pistol with his right, he put his card to the reader. Looking back: "Ready?" An affirmative nod from the armed officer was his reply. Percy stood slightly to the side closest to the panel, and swiped his id card.

OOC: Description of access panel courtesy of the Supreme Arbiter, offline.

supreme_arbiter 1/20/2003

Group I: Horatio

Nothing happened. Crestfallen, Horatio sat down for a moment to think. The bird hadn't seemed angry, yet it denied him entry.

"Elevated one, what if the bird is wounded? Perhaps it is not able to open itself to us?" Foryn suggested nervously.


Group II: Arkady and Nike

Nike and Arkady passed the two enigmatic doors and turned down the passageway to their left. "We'll have to explore the ship further when we don't have a crisis to deal with," Arkady said without laughing.

"Yes" Nike said wistfully, "It will be a nice change to be able to operate in a relaxed way. I'm sure our brains are about fresh out of serontonin and adrenaline at this point!"

They paused as they heard what sounded like animal growls, and drew their weapons. "I guess that relaxation will have to wait for a while, my friend." Arkady said quietly, and they moved forward.


Group III: Chelydra and Percy

The doors slid open to reveal a long, wide corridor. There were doors on either side, and double doors at the opposite end. There was nothing moving, though a very soft beeping could be heard coming from somewhere in the section.

FYI: You see eight doors on your left, six on your right, double doors at the opposite end of the hall. Each door has a number and its own keypad/access panel, except for the last door on the right, which says "Recreation". Two red crosses grace the double doors ahead.

         /   \
  __12__/     \
 |_10 11|     |
 |_10 |  \_ _/
 |_10 |__|| |
 |_10 10_|| |
 |_10 10_|| |__________
 |_10 10_|| 4       13 |
 |_10 10_|| |       |  |
 |_10 10_|| |       |  |
  ___6____| |______4|__|
 |___   __   __________9
     |7|  | |
     | |  | |
      8   | |
          | 3
          | |
          | |
          | 2
      __/     \__
     /           \
    |             |
     \           /
      |         |
       \       /
        \     /
  1. Entrance to Cockpit (Door, currently standing open)
  2. Door with a CardLock, no sign
  3. Door with a CardLock; Danger sign
  4. Equipment room (No CardLock)
  5. Air-lock, Environmental Control Room (pressure sealed door) And Outer Console Area (Sensors, computer consoles, science stations)
  6. Door to crew quarters (No CardLock)
  7. Emergency seats (some of them)
  8. Double doors to galley/rec room
  9. Landing/entrance ramp.
  10. Berths
  11. Recreation
  12. Medical
  13. Weapons Locker


Group IV: Asuda and Bailey

Bailey typed quickly at the terminal:


The computer spit out an abbreviated list--

/COMMANDER: n/a--in care of maintenance crew b54, hanger 12
/PILOT: Captain Nike Thomason/marine corps
/data stream interrupted/error 8370

"Hey Bud, the pilot is the only one listed." He said aloud, still working. It didn't make sense.

/last flight logged approximately 3.436 hours ago/whereabouts unknown

/COMMAND[enter] SHIP STATUS[enter]
/emergency landing protocols initiated/landing and stable implantation of anchors achieved/shipwide damage/injuries reported: 1

/two secondary hull breaches/one primary hull breach/weapons inactive/life support protocols functional/secondary computer damage

/unauthorized id/access denied

"That's about all this computer is going to give us. Any luck over there?"

"Well, it depends on what you call luck, my friend." His search had taken him to a single door with a window. Looking through the window, he could see a room with only medibeds, and there was someone in one of them. "There's someone--looks like a woman--in there, and she's not moving."

Bailey stiffened. Sighing, he got up and walked over to the window. "You continue your search. I'll keep watch on the woman until we can find something to arm ourselves with."

"Ten-four." Asuda replied, and with renewed vigor, resumed his search. After what seemed like an eternity, his persistence was rewarded. "Eureka!" Bud said ecstatically. In the bottom of one of the medibeds, there were two backpacks. He held his find high in his hands for Bailey's benefit, then began to rummage through them. Each was stocked with a utility belt (including utility knife, rope, ammo pocket, holster and radio scanner), ultrathin all-weather gear, rations, a gun, a programmable sonic bomb and ammunition. "Now I *knew* old Leroy wouldn't let us down!"

After situating his own gear, he carried Stew's to him. "So, what do you want to do about that woman? Surely she's not alone."

Mike Johnson 1/20/2003


"Well Bailey," loading pistol "looks like she's wearing a Warden uniform." holstering, but not fastening (easier draw), same with knife.

"We may be looking at the '1 reported casualty,'" turning on headset radio (or clipping to belt if not headset) "and I agree, she's probably not alone," practice sidekick/1-2 parry-jab, "probably wise to assume the worst until we know otherwise." performs complicated break-dance/soccer kick.

"As you know,I've done some weird shit in the past ..." looks to see if Bailey remembers the 'last time,' "As you mentioned, 'unfriendlies' are my half of the partnership."

"Here's where I take point, & you cover my ass." pause to make sure Bailey is readying weapons, "I'm going in, try to keep out-of-sight while keeping an eye on me. If I run my hand through my hair, come in blazin. If I look up and then left, stay loose. If I scratch my chin find a place to hide or cover, preferably both." pause "I'll keep my radio on, just in case."

With that, (assuming we get the door open), Bud does a combination moonwalk-robot-electric slide (martial-arts had broadened quite a bit by the 23rd century) into the room with the woman.

During the "moonwalk" phase of entry, Bud silently mouths "UNITY" to Bailey ...

lwmarti 1/25/2003


"Here's where I take point, & you cover my ass." pause to make sure Bailey is readying weapons, "I'm going in, try to keep out-of-sight while keeping on eye on me. If I run my hand through my hair, come in blazin. If I look up and then left, stay loose. If I scratch my chin find a place to hide or cover, preferably both." pause "I'll keep my radio on, just in case."

"Fair enough."

Bailey does his best to provide cover to Bud as he moves off to investigate things, although combat of any kind isn't and never was his strength. With any luck, he will be able to keep his combat-free streak going for the next several minutes as Bud does his thing.

gpfarm 1/26/2003


"Well, what do you think Percy?" asked Chelydra taking in the available options. "I don't think Amanda was in much shape to be playing in the rec room when I left her, although it's just possible she was able to drag herself to medical. At least I think that's what those two red crosses mean, if she's anywhere around here that's where she'll be. Besides with the way this group keeps getting itself shot, banged, crashed and generally beat up we could use some more bandages. I'm going to go have a little look see."

Slowly the turtle-man edged into the corridor, listening to see if he could tell where the beeping was coming from and looking to see if there was any sign of movement or the passage of the missing Amanda.

publius1024 1/27/2003


Arkady fell in behind Nike as they turned left into the passageway. He watched their backs to make sure that whatever it was they were facing didn't have free reign of the ship to surprise them. He hoped that whatever it was, it consisted of flesh and blood. His fists would not be very useful against another renegade robot.

Mike Johnson 2/3/2003


With a wink of acknowlegement to Bailey, Bud incorporates removing, opening and taking a large bite from a ration bar into his martial-dance-arts.

While chewing, Bud ponders: Thomason ... Marine Captain Nike Thomason ... Pilot ... wonder if she's the one I sparred with a time or two on Deck 9? Wonder if they still have sunrise Dim Mak sessions by the lake?

Ranger Ben 2/5/2003


To confirm Chelydra's suspicions about Amanda making her way to the medical bay, Percy the wolfoid doppleganger sniffed the corridor to try to track further Amanda's trail. "Ret me see if I can get a wrhiff of wrhich wray she wrent," Percy replied.

As he sniffed the air, Percy Jenkins, computer technician and technical trainer, mused to himself about the calm with which he handled his current situation. Were his genes not so scambled, he probably would be useless baggage on this little expedition which seemed to go wrong at every turn. Twitching his wolfen nose, Percy was reminded of Rufus, and how the dogoid had reminded him of how much he liked dogs. He wondered, was Rufus another crewman clone gone wrong? Or was he a mutated strain of dog that had gained human-like sentience, descended from the original compliment of canines aboard Warden?

On the off-chance that Amanda had not ambulated herself this direction, but had been taken or led this way, Percy attempted to pick up any other odd smells. Her captors, maybe? He scanned the ground for oils or tracks--maybe another one of those crazed food processing robots had taken her, although how it got on board he was at a loss to reason.

supreme_arbiter 2/11/2003


Group II: Arkady and Nike, Chelydra and Percy

They followed the sounds, and as they rounded the corner at a brisk pace, saw Chelydra and Percy moving down the long hallway.

"Well, he's looking rather furrier than I remembered." Nike said with a grin.

"Hey, find anything yet?" Arkady asked, raising his voice so that he could be heard.

Chelydra turned, still trying to keep an eye on Percy's movements. Percy had tried for several minutes to find something that smelled human, and finally his efforts had been rewarded. "Yeah, Perce thinks he's picked up Amanda's scent, and he's following it." Chelydra replied.

Just then, Percy stopped at the two doors sporting large red crosses. "Svree wrent ihn vere." He tried to say. He waited as the group caught up, and, as Chelydra gave him cover and Arkady came up behind him, he began to push open the door of the bay.


Group III: Asuda and Bailey

The woman lay still, unmoving except for the slight movement of her chest. There was a tube connected to her arm at the elbow, one connected to a mask that was over part of her face, and one connected to her lower leg. A computer screen at the foot of her medibed read:

PULSE: 62. RR: 55. PO2: 97. BP: 98/55. T: 39C.

A muted beeping emanated from a box connected to the arm-tube, and it seemed to echo from sterile wall to sterile wall. The room didn't have any other obvious exits to the hallway, though there was one door that looked like it went to storage.

Bud looked up, then left, and motioned for Bailey to stay put. He wanted to check out that door before they exited in the other direction, just to be thorough.

Just then, the doors to the bay behind Bailey began to open.


Group IV: Shlitzee

Shlitzee moved about in the biomedical storage area cautiously. These fluids were precious--the loss of any one in the middle of a disaster could cost lives. Besides, the way they bubbled and moved was nothing short of beautiful to the robust robot.

It wasn't usually in her job description to repair medical equipment, but only two medibots had survived the crash, and they were both strictly patient-care oriented. One was about searching for more casualties, while the other came in and out to check on their new patient.

The IV pump that she was working on began to hum and vibrate with the right frequency, something almost indetectable to the human hand. But Shlitzee's trained eye and touch could see, and feel, that this was now a working piece of equipment.

Her list of things to repair was getting longer and longer, being added to constantly by the ship's care-bot and the medi-bots. But those bottles and vials looked too interesting ... a few more minutes to look about wouldn't hurt. It might even make her more efficient the next time.


Group V: Janus

The courier came scampering to his door, not noticing the tanned fellow sitting under a tree branch to his left. He knocked rapidly. Janus smiled. Part of his success had always been his ability to blend into his surroundings when he needed to. He watched as the maid opened the door, heard his query, and nodded in Janus' direction. The door then closed on the warm sun, and the courier headed toward the shadows where Janus was seated.

"Janus, sir?" he began. Janus nodded in reply, his weathered face belying nothing.

"I have a message for you from Tymbal of Spragni. He seemed to think it was most urgent."

At this, Janus's eyes lit up. "Well? What news do you bring?"

"Something fell from the sky, and landed in the desert not far from the sigai oasis. He believes that it is the thing that you have been looking for for some time."

"How long ago did this happen?" Janus asked, his heart beating quickly.

"Yestermorn." the courier replied. "Shall I return a message?"

"Yes." Janus replied, and then began to dictate.


Welcome to the new PC's!!
**What do you do?**

lwmarti 2/11/2003


Just then, the doors to the bay behind Bailey began to open.

Bailey dashes forward, past where Bud was practicing his flashy martial arts moves just seconds ago.

"Bud," he whispers, "over here," as he points to the opening doors and ducks behind any available cover as he waits for whoever opened the doors to step through. "Let's hope that you don't have to use any of those moves for real, eh?"

lwmarti 2/11/2003


(another priority malfunction-repair signal from medbay squeels inside Shlitzee's head, high-pitched and multi-tonal)

Sensuous reverie for the numerous fluids is broken by the repeated ASSIST QUERIES ...

"Damn!" husky feminine tone "Damn! Damn! And Damn again!"

Shlitzee's robotic speed deftly mixes a cocktail of the various liquids present, then vacuum sucks 2.3873 liters down.

Processes shifting immediately, Shlitzee stuffs "her" Kaftan pockets with several cannisters of pressurized "mixers," hoists another beaker full of the bubbling, frothing cocktail and powers the built in laser.

Bursting through the storage room doors, feeling more efficient by the nanosecond, the equivalent of a robotic slur creeps into her vocal modulators, "I'm comin' ya bastards! An I'm goin' fix that respirator ... PERMANENTLY!!!"

Mike Johnson 2/11/2003


(looking up from female on table at the sound of Bailey's words)

"Rhaawjrr." Bud acknowledges through mouth full of ratiobar, dropping to "crouching crane" form beside the medtable, drawing pistol ...

(Enter robot)

"... PERMANENTLY!!!" as the robot bursts through the doors, Bud spits out the contents of his mouth, "SHLITZEE!?!"

Baron Greystone 2/11/2003


Rising smoothly through the dappled shadows, Janus looked the courier in the eye. "Make all speed back to my good friend, Tymbal. Tell him that I shall join him as soon as may be. If he can keep the curious at bay until my arrival, I shall be most pleased. And I shall express my gratitude upon my arrival. Understood?" Janus inclined his head to the man politely, then placed a coin in the courier's hand.

Quickly and efficiently, Janus went about setting his affairs in order. He made plans to be away for some time, his business interests to be seen to by his partners. It was not unusual for him to be off on one journey or another; he made the current trip seem of no greater importance. He gathered supplies suitable for exploration and trade, as well as for defense. He wanted a mount and a pack-beast, a servant, goods suitable for expressing his gratitude to the Spragni, a gift for Tymbal, and trade goods that might interest men from the stars. At that point in his thoughts, he froze and it really hit him - he could soon be meeting with men who'd sailed the stars! He spoke a brief prayer of gratitude, then touched his forehead, and went about his preparations ...

Mike Johnson 2/12/2003


Bud spits out the contents of his mouth, "SHLITZEE!?!"

(Shlitzee cannot believe its photoreceptors, Officer Asuda!! Drinking buddy and best "friend" a bot could have)

[robot-speed montage of Asuda spitting various foodstuffs and liquids, usually at their initial contact moments)

Mike Johnson 2/12/2003


BUD can't decide whether to hug Shlitzee, or shoot her.

Some robots just have more "personality" than others ... This one had so much that he'd recommended total memory wipe and component strip half a dozen times. Each time the requisitions got screwed up and she lucked into service and upgrades ... Eventually she'd become a star informant in gratitude. As for the robot community, you'd be surprised what they see ...

publius1024 2/12/2003


robot-speed montage of Asuda spitting various foodstuffs and liquids, usually at their initial contact moments

OOC: I thought that was really cool, but I'm not sure I understand what the last part meant. The idea of a robot's perceptions of reality being different from the ordinary man resonates: mankind's consciousness (aka ego) focuses in on what it deems as important - Bud's words, his spewage, or maybe it's preoccupied with something not at all related to the present moment. But a robot's consciousness would likely resemble man's UNconsciousness which really does perceive everything at any one moment. Men sometimes become conscious of these more comprehensive experiences as intuition, but robot's would likely be able to directly access them.

So, is the <<stressed>> section above to be interpretted as Shlitzee cataloging all the visible places where food particles alight on the room's equipment, furniture and surfaces; or was something else meant?

Zhaxier 2/12/2003

OOC: I took this as Shlitzee "remembering" in typical robot fashion all the times before in which she and Bud made similar first contacts, with similar spewage on the latter's part.

Barnabus Honniker 2/13/2003

OOC: insightful line of reasoning Paul and glad it got a laugh Z As to the particulars of "Shlitzee Vision," the modifications in its past have lead it to a conciousness akin, but not identical, to humanity. With this in mind, it correlates events mulitply (as you observed) in catagorical relation to spacial events, organized in a temporal frame, without necessarily assigning degrees of emphasis. (Sorta like crossing a camcorder and a point mapper).

Conversely, it also has a flair for more abstract associations (such as a humorous "TV sitcom" style that it interprets as a quaint revisiting of anachronistic expression via non-organic entities, i.e. electronic media technique). Not to mention that this (and other) combinations of perception make Shlitzee "feel" simultaneously synthetic and organic in origin (however incorrect this may be).

whew, did that make any sense? unconvinced myself ... foreman, has the jury reached a verdict ... essentially, yes--it was a catalog of food placement and yes--a flashback montage of their previous meetings as to how that would be recorded into narrative form (which I'm understandably impressed with, BTW), that's a pickle...maybe a more concise version of my babble could be inserted?

musical undercurrent ... maybe Barry White, maybe Sonny and Cher ...

publius1024 2/12/2003


Following behind Nike, Arkady glanced at the nameplates on each passing door. He didn't recognize any of the specific letter and number designations, but he had a dim recollection that they were individual crew quarters. The thought of a bed, warm or otherwise, suddenly got the best of him and his headache returned. He still didn't feel that his injuries had been substantial enough to warrant the use of a nano-doc shot, but maybe if he could just lie down for a bit ... just a bit.

Gammaben 2/25/2003


Just then, Percy stopped at the two doors sporting large red crosses. "Svree wrent ihn vere." He tried to say. He waited as the group caught up, and, as Chelydra gave him cover and Arkady came up behind him, he began to push open the door of the bay.

Percy crouched slightly, in part to give others a clearer view over his shoulder, and party to give himself a good position from which to pounce. He shook his head as the door started to open, and thought about how easy it was for him to get into wolfman mode, and smiled. He never really liked werewolf movies, but now he was living one. As the door opened he sniffed the rush of displaced air to get any possible edge on his reaction time, and waited ...

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