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Chapter 36 (Original Archive)

supreme_arbiter 7/19/2006

OOC: I have to apologize for missing something. The ship Irsa and THX are exploring is not on an even surface. The cliff behind the ship has partially collapsed and is exerting pressure on its port (southern) side. The northern side is slightly higher than the southern side. The difference isn't enough to be dangerous, but it's enough that I need to squeeze it into the archive :) Sorry.

IAS Turn 10: Up the Downed Staircase

Irsa climbed the slightly uneven stairs. She held the handrail to keep her balance. The stairwell was dimmly lit by natural sunlight. At the top, circular windows in the corridor to her right still held their glass panes. THX flashed its spotlights down the long, dark corridor to their left. Irsa saw an open doorway in the middle and a tangle of tree roots at the end. She turned around and went toward the windows. They lined the entire north wall of the corridor. Two closed doors were the only features on the opposite wall. She looked out the nearest window and saw tree branches, strands of ivy and the ruins in the excavation below. Just on the other side of the glass, sat an empty nest of twigs and feathers.

end transmission

Elizabeth 7/19/2006


"Hey back on the main ship. THX and I are on the second level of this ship. We're checking out the first door on the left side of the right corridor." Irsa says.

Then Irsa and THX head to the first closed door to check it out. Have THX check for radiation and if there's none, check the door and see if it opens.

gglassdr 7/20/2006


Since it found the first radiation leak, THX-1138 has had its radiation detection gear on continuously. "Irsa, this unit is monitoring for radiation leaks harmful to biologic life and mechanisms. However,
September 8, 2555: Mike has completed repairs on our visual sensors. We can now see we've safely reached a star system. Mike will have the rest of our damaged systems working soon. The damage was caused by a stupid screw! One of the screws used to mount the propulsion control device to the ship's computer interface was too large. It pierced a circuit board beneath it and caused a short. I wish the technician that installed the device was here right now.

September 9, 2555: Amrit has determined we are in the Rho-1 Cancri system. Rho Cancri is a binary star system. The two stars are separated by 1,100 astronomical units (the distance between the Earth and her sun). They either have an eccentric orbit or are two entirely separate star systems passing close by one another. Rho-1 is a yellow-orange star with an Earthlike planet orbiting it. Rho-2 is a red giant. Amrit has been unable to detect the Warden, or any other artificial energy signatures nearby. We are descending toward the only habitable planet here, named in the Sagan telescope database simply as 'Rho Cancri'.

September 11, 2555: Mike has finished programming the ship's computer to monitor transmissions. Each sweep of the frequency spectrum will take several hours.

September 13, 2555: Despite the presence of two other crewmates, I feel utterly alone. Sometimes I swear I hear the distinct cry of peacocks. I know it's just the sound of the engines, or a pipe cooling, but it unnerves me. Instead of medicating, I've been listening non-stop to the Bach cello suites.

September 15, 2555: Amrit has been observing the planet's solitary moon and has discovered long, regular lines running parallel and perpendicular to one another. He thinks they might be the remains of the Warden. Mike thinks they look like cities. I'm not sure what they are. I've changed course for the moon to get a closer look.

September 18, 2555: As we draw closer to the moon, the mysterious lines on the surface are becoming clearer. I'm convinced there's something artificial down there. The computer has detected no transmissions yet. If there is life on this planet, why does it remain silent? "however, your biological systems might be in need of rest or nourishment. Do you need recuperation?"

Elizabeth 7/20/2006


"Oh. Yeah, some food would be nice." Irsa looks in her left check pouch for her food. She pulls out some dried fruit, a bag of peanuts and a full water bottle. She eats the fruit and nuts and drinks half the water. The bag goes in her belt pouch for disposal later. The water bottle goes back in her check pouch. "Now on to the first door."

Irsa checks out the door for writing and to see if she can open it.

supreme_arbiter 7/21/2006

OOC: THX hasn't detected any radiation since passing the two unopened doors on the bottom deck. The door they stand at now is not radioactive.

IC: The nearest door had no passcard reader or any writing on it. It was similar to doors on the Warden that opened when something passed in front of them. Irsa waved her hand in front of it. The door made no sound or motion.

OOC: A clarification: <> The next sentence could have been interpreted as saying the two stars are the same distance as Earth and Sol. One astronomical unit (1 AU) is the distance between the Earth and Sol. For instance, the distance between Sol and Pluto (on average) is 40 AU. The distance between the two Rho Cancri stars is 27.5 times the distance of Pluto and Sol.

Elizabeth 7/21/2006


Irsa will push on the door trying to slide the door out of the way since there's no power supply to operate the door.

Jamar Matahachi BBS 7/22/2006

OOC: It's me, Paul 8) The Yahoo client has been driving me nuts so I'm trying gmail. IC: Irsa pushed on the duralloy door but it did not budge a millimeter.

Elizabeth 7/22/2006


Is there a doorknob on either side of the door?

Jamar Matahachi BBS 7/22/2006

no, there's no doorknob. This door was built by someone who trusted their technology!

Elizabeth 7/22/2006


Irsa pounds on the door a few times and then turns and goes to the nearby corner. She is feeling a bit tired. "How long have we been exploring this ship so far, THX? I think I'll rest a few minutes."

gglassdr 7/23/2006


THX attempts to push on the door while it computes the time interval of ship exploration.

Jamar Matahachi BBS 7/30/2006

Irsa pounded on the door a few times and listened. The robot and Irsa heard a faint scuttling and then silence. Irsa walked down the hallway past the windows to the far door. It was identical to the last one: no cardreader, no doorknob and no power. It resisted her efforts to push it open. THX tried its superhuman strength on the doors but they would not budge.

They turned the corner and saw another long hallway sloping into the darkness. Three open doorways lined the wall to the right. The floor at the end of the corridor was sprawling with roots.

THX computed the time interval of ship exploration. The robot paused for a moment. "42 minutes since we entered dropship."

Elizabeth 7/30/2006


Irsa heads for the first door on the right and looks in. Anything interesting?

gammaben 8/2/2006


[[OOC: Catch up time! No, not ketchup. Geez, I must be hungry.]]

As he followed the progress of Irsa and THX-1492, he eureka'd aloud at the image of the Hercules class ship he'd just found as a result of his searching through the Pandora's database of ship designs. "Got it!"

"Something you'd like to share with the class, Mister Jenkins?" Nike said as she turned her head from the video screen to face Percy. As she awaited his reply, she tilted her head even further to the side, then back again slightly in a constrained move, stretching her neck muscles and extending her head vertically a bit like a baby velociraptor emerging from its egg.

"Ship schematic for Hercules class, Cap'!" He copied it into the local buffer so he could send it through the open channel to THX-1492. "How about we send it over to the robot so they're not exploring completely blind?" He grinned as he sifted his memory of the recent video stream with the map. "And it looks like we're not the only ones with an engineering-cum-rad zone. I wonder if they have their own irradiated engineering bot?" he queried aloud, thinking of Pandora's permanent reactor room resident, Terminus the nervous robot. "That rad zone they passed--I think that was the door to the drop ship's engineering hold."

[[OOC: The map is in my grubbly little hands but I will let the SA forward it to THX-1492.]]

With a nod from Nike, he punched the commands to send the map. Clicking on the audio feed to THX and Irsa, he reported his find and the incoming transmission.

He then scanned the controls for a way to split the video screen to show the live feed on the left and the map on the right. His next task, live tracking of Irsa--hopefully through a heat signature detectable by the satellite--or at least from a triangulated position from the video feed, if he could manage it from his newly tapped control over the satellite empire.

"Whoa," he thought as he pondered the further use of the satellite. "Uh, guys?" Percy continued, after disabling the comm. "If there's someone controlling these satellites and they find out I'm tapped in, they might change the password. Perhaps I should change it first, or code myself a back door. If I change it then it would definitely alert whoever might be running them to our access." The technical dilemma both concerned and excited him. And his teachers thought he was wasting time "exploring" (hacking) the back door to the mail gateway of the HP12000 back at school when he could be studying his operating systems notes instead.

Jamar Matahachi BBS 8/7/2006

IAS turn 11 - Turning a Corner

Irsa turned the corner and headed for the first door. She looked in and saw hooks lining the wall. A few lightweight suits, helmets and boots hung from them. On the far side of the room, two open doors revealed small chambers with circular doors on the other end.

Through the next door, Irsa saw a tangle of broken pipes and thin, collapsed walls. Both rooms were dark except for THX's spotlights.

Back on the Pandora:

Percy managed to display the Hercules map on a display side-by-side with THX's video feed.

Next Percy hoped to track Irsa with the satellite, but there were no devices installed to triangulate her position. The satellites were passive communications devices, but his newly tapped satellite empire provided a host of protocols to transmit a broad spectrum of media.

Percy asked THX to send him a GPS feed. The signal came through immediately. He loaded the coordinates into the ship's GPS software, but it was calibrated for a different planet, one orbiting Eridani. The coordinates matched the map, but the distances were incorrect.

"Oh," Amanda exclaimed, watching over Percy's shoulder, "I might be able to figure it out!" Amanda returned to her console and examined THX's partial map of the planet. She compared the longitude and latitude with the distance and determined the planet's circumference and distance between seconds of arc. "It's a simple bit of trigonometry," she explained matter-of-factly as she configured the GPS software. In front of the Hercules diagrams and THX's video feed on the bridge monitors, Amanda displayed a spinning globe on the holoprojector. A red dot appeared on the distant continent where THX and Irsa explored the abandoned dropship.

OOC: What will Percy change the comm-satellite password to?

-end transmission-

Elizabeth 8/7/2006


Irsa checks out the small chambers with circular doors after collecting a suit, helmet and boots.

Jamar Matahachi BBS 8/12/2006

Irsa entered the room and collected a suit and helmet. Neither looked like they would fit her comfortably, but she thought they might be important. She tried packing them away. The helmet fit in her backpack, just barely, but the suit was too bulky. She held it up, examining the complex system of tubes and wires. She carefully set it aside and tried on a pair of boots. They were too large for her feet, but they were better than going around barefoot, as she had been. She pulled the plastik fasteners as tightly as they would go. Her toes wiggled around a bit, but perhaps she could find a pair of socks to make them fit snugger. She picked up the suit and went to check out the two small chambers.

Each chamber was identical. Each door had a wheel-like handle. There was a small computer interface on the wall beside each door. Their small, glass monitors were smashed beyond repair.

Elizabeth 8/12/2006


Irsa looks at the doors. She tries to turn the wheel handle of one door to open it. Does she open the door?

supreme_arbiter 8/13/2006

The handle rattled slightly as if it wanted to move, but the door remained closed.

OOC: THX-1492 could probably open the door.

Elizabeth 8/13/2006


Irsa turns to THX. "THX, could you try to open this door?" thinking that since THX is likely stronger than her, he could get it open.

gglassdr 8/14/2006


THX-1138 states "Irsa, the probabilities are 87% that this unit can open this door." The robot extends its manipulating grapples and just as it is about to exert its superhuman strength to open the door..................................
September 21, 2555: There are several constructions on the moon's surface. They were clearly made by intelligent life! Many of them are large buildings, very large. Perhaps they are hardened against more than just cosmic bombardment. Long, wide corridors connect several of them. Craters have destroyed some buildings; ejecta obscure others. Mike thinks they've been long abandoned. I am inclined to agree. We're transmitting images and data back to Eridani.

September 22, 2555: We're orbiting the moon's farside. Amrit has deployed telescopes and is scanning the moon's surface in greater detail. Mike is deploying a fleet of orbital probes to continue the search for the Warden. At present, the farside is completely lit by the sun.

September 27, 2555: The farside of the moon has only a few of the features we observed on our approach. Amrit has launched cartographer drones to map the moon's surface. The orbital probes have been arrayed and Mike has linked them to a relay network so we can access the array from the other side of the moon. We're setting a course for the nearside.

September 28, 2555: Amrit, Mike and I watched the planet rise over the surface of the moon from the cockpit this morning. Besides brief telescopic images taken during our descent to lunar orbit, this was our first real sighting. The planet seems cold and barren. The polar caps are white with enormous glaciers. Only hints of color peer through the clouds around the equator.

September 29, 2555: We're in orbit around the moon's nearside. Only half of the moon's surface is lit by the sun. It's waxing toward Full. Mike is preparing a fleet of probes. Amrit is making observations of several structures on the moon's surface.

October 3, 2555: I've thawed Ken and Marie. They were naturally shocked by our location and the fate of the Solar system. We all are. The daily discoveries Amrit has been making are keeping our minds off our troubles. We are preparing a dropship to explore the lunar surface.

THX then attempts to open the door.

gammaben 8/15/2006


"Whoa!" Percy said at THX's latest revelations. He made sure the recorder was on to save the transmission so he could compile the log snippets into a single file for later. But more importantly, he wanted to give Irsa and THX a heads-up as to what was beyond that door. "Guys," he said into the live full duplex radio connection. "That room you're in is labeled as 'entrance' on the Hercules map. You see it?" he asked, confirming that THX had a copy of the Hercules map he'd tried to send to it. "Those must be airlocks."

Muting the comm for a moment, Percy added, "I guess we should stop bringing up the fact that THX keeps recounting the logs? Don't want to give the robot a complex or anything. And by the way, Amanda, way to go with the map math!" he acknowledged to their fellow Warden escapee. That she had found a way to help with their ongoing mission must have made her feel a bit redeemed for having tricked them originally back on Warden, Percy mused. The thoughts of their battle with the wolfoids and his subsequent transformation into a wolfoid suddenly seemed to him to be more than coincidence. Just how many parallel lines of thought could he maintain? "That's what Post-Its are for!" he whispered, as he wrote himself another note to visit the medical bay to see if his wolfoid condition could be diagnosed or at least further explained.

supreme_arbiter 8/19/2006

THX returned from its journal entry and grasped the wheel on the door. If the robot had heard Percy's warning, it did not acknowledge it. The wheel creaked and strained, as metal sometimes does when it sits idle for centuries. The wheel turned slowly at first, then faster as THX spun it. With the heavy clanking of sprung steel, the door suddenly opened outward.

Beyond the door they had a view of the excavation. The floor dropped away from the doorway's edge at a sharp angle. The ground was 20 meters below their feet.

Elizabeth 8/19/2006


"Another way out. For me anyway." Irsa says. She flies out and around the dropship and then returns to THX. "It feels good to stretch my wings a bit." What did Irsa see of the surrounding area?

Jamar Matahachi BBS 8/20/2006

"Another way out. For me anyway." Irsa says. She flies out and around the dropship and then returns to THX. "It feels good to stretch my wings a bit."
LoL :D
What did Irsa see of the surrounding area?
Irsa flew around the nose of the dropship. It was below her and to the left. Most of the southern side of the ship, the side facing away from the ruins at the bottom of the excavation, was covered in dirt and vegetation. A large tree was in the landslide just above the ship. An even larger one faced the nose of the ship. Both sheltered the dropship with the shade of their giant leaves. Their roots ran along the surface, often as big as their trunks.

Elizabeth 8/20/2006


"About what I thought happened. Partly buried in dirt and a giant tree growing next to and into the ship." Irsa says to THX. "Let's continue our explorations."

Leave room by open door. Enter next open doorway. What do we see?

supreme_arbiter 8/21/2006

They continued down into the hall and through the next open doorway. The room was pitch dark. In THX's spotlights, they saw a tangle of broken pipes and thin, collapsed walls. She entered the room a little deeper and saw broken fragments of mirror, tile, masonry and porcelain.

Elizabeth 8/21/2006


Irsa will look through the debris carefully in search of valuables.

supreme_arbiter 8/22/2006

Irsa looked around and found several nice sized pieces of mirror. She admired her green feathers in them, but they were too sharp and jagged to be useful or safe. She found nothing of interest, but she kept looking. At last she found a strangely shaped plastik device. It was half a meter tall, white, perfectly flat and shaped like a capital letter "U". It had once been connected to something at the bottom of the "U", but the two hinges were now broken.

Elizabeth 8/22/2006


OOC: I found a toilet seat!

Irsa asks THX what the plastik thing might be.

supreme_arbiter 8/22/2006

OOC: I found a toilet seat!
Hah hah! yup

gglassdr 8/27/2006


The robot examines the object.

supreme_arbiter 8/27/2006

It is in fact a toilet seat :) white, forcibly removed at the hinges.

Elizabeth 8/27/2006


On to the next door along the corridor. Irsa has her weapons drawn in case something is dumb enough to stalk her.

supreme_arbiter 8/29/2006

IAS turn 12 - Grotesquerie The room inside was filled with rows of medium-sized bins separated by thin, sturdy partitions. The hallway outside turned past the heavy roots that had grown into the ship. Irsa could see they'd come in through windows similiar to those on the other side of the ship. The roots had swolen inside and grown larger than the size of the windows. The roots had been unable to break the duralloy and ballooned into grotesque figures. Pools of water formed on the floor in pockets between the roots.

-end transmission-

Elizabeth 8/29/2006


First Irsa will check to see if passage is possible through the roots. Then Irsa will check out the bins to see what's in them.

gglassdr 8/31/2006


THX-1138 asks Irsa what the object is.

Elizabeth 8/31/2006


Irsa tells THX what a toilet seat is, giggling. "We found where the humans on this ship got rid of their bodily wastes." Irsa says.

supreme_arbiter 8/31/2006


Irsa poked her head around the corner and gazed into the corridor beyond. THX shined its light into it. The grotesque roots left only a narrow, twisting cavity through the corridor. Irsa was small enough to squeeze through, but not THX. Just around the corner, however, was an open doorway.

THX's lamp couldn't illuminate the chamber without climbing over the roots, but Irsa could see in the dim light a row of nearby chairs fastened to the deck.

Elizabeth 9/1/2006


Irsa decides to check out the room with the bolted to the deck chairs. She wants to find out what is in there.

gglassdr 9/2/2006


Irsa tells THX what a toilet seat is, giggling. "We found where the humans on this ship got rid of their bodily wastes." Irsa says.
The robot replies, "Biological organisms are inherently inefficient. Mechanisms are far more efficient."

gglassdr 9/2/2006


Irsa decides to check out the room with the bolted to the deck chairs. She wants to find out what is in there.
THX decides to wait here until Irsa gets back.

supreme_arbiter 9/2/2006

OOC: I almost forgot this!
Irsa will check out the bins to see what's in them.
Irsa found several short straps at the bottom of the bins, but otherwise they were all empty.

OOC: There wasn't much to that room but if there's anything you'd like to do in there before you stepped into this next room please be my guest :)

Irsa stepped into the room. Her footsteps echoed softly from distant walls. Irsa could tell without having to see the room was enormous. Slowly her eyes adapted to the dark. She saw dozens of rows of chairs facing her. The cieling and the wall to her left were burned and damaged. She saw two closed doors on the opposite wall and an open doorway along the wall to her right.

THX-1492 waited for her beyond the roots.

Elizabeth 9/2/2006


Irsa comes out of the big room. She gets out her knife and cuts a piece of root to make a torch. She gets it burning and tells THX-1492 to go back around to what should be the other end of the corridor. She'll meet him there.

supreme_arbiter 9/2/2006

THX *can* fit through the doorway into the large room. He can't squeeze through the congested corridor between the two open doorways, but he *can* get into the room with all the chairs. Is that your reason for lighting a torch, or is there another reason? I'll allow her to find some dead portion to burn if she still wishes.

Elizabeth 9/3/2006


She'd like THX to check the large room out while she climbs over and between the roots to the other end of this corridor. She needs a light source to see by til she meets up with THX again.

supreme_arbiter 9/3/2006

Ah! I see that makes sense. Unless THX/George has any opposition, I'll post tomorrow what THX sees in the large room with seats, and Irsa sees in the depths of the root choked passage.

gglassdr 9/4/2006


Irsa comes out of the big room. She gets out her knife and cuts a piece of root to make a torch. She gets it burning and tells THX-1492 to go back around to what should be the other end of the corridor. She'll meet him there.
THX complies with Irsa's request

gglassdr 9/4/2006


She'd like THX to check the large room out while she climbs over and between the roots to the other end of this corridor. She needs a light source to see by til she meets up with THX again.
THX will reconnoiter the large room

supreme_arbiter 9/4/2006

IAS turn 13 - Passengers and Fur

OOC: Argh! 'Objection' was the word I was looking for in my last post, not 'opposition'! At least George knew what I meant, thanks ;)

Irsa came out of the big room. She took out her knife and cut a dead piece of a root hanging from the ceiling. She used the flint in her backpack to get it burning. She told THX to check out the large room while she climbed through the root-encrusted corridor. She'd meet THX at the other end. THX acknowledged her command and Irsa climbed into the roots.

THX stepped over the roots and stooped to enter the doorway. The robot stepped into what it knew was the passenger seating area. It shone its lights around. Firearms had damaged the LED monitors on the front wall and ceiling. As THX walked through the room, it noticed the rows of chairs were intact but badly worn. Some had been slashed. The seats and the pockets on the back looked like they'd been lived in and chewed on by something small and furry.

By her flickering torchlight, Irsa climbed through the passageway. There was just enough space for her small frame to fit. She noticed the roots had not penetrated all of the circular windows along the corridor. The duralloy walls around some of the windows were uncovered. Through the windows she saw dirt and occasionally the inside of a small burrow. Brown fur lined the walls. She climbed over more roots and passed more windows with roots ballooning from them. Soon she saw the other doorway at the end of the hall.

She started to walk toward the doorway but froze. She caught a movement from the corner of her eye. A small, furry, four-legged creature with two horns stood on the root beside her. It was poised to jump into a nearby window that had no roots coming through it. The window was broken and missing. Dirt had spilled onto the roots from a small burrow. The creature noticed Irsa was looking at it and froze in terror.

-end transmission-

Elizabeth 9/4/2006


Irsa looks at the small creature. She considers what to do and decides to offer it some food. Getting a food pouch out of her right check she removes some seeds and dried fruit and puts it closer to the hole than the horned bunny is. She then stands back and puts the pouch back. And waits to see what the creature does.

supreme_arbiter 9/6/2006

The small creature remained perfectly still for a moment, then it sniffed the air. It cautiously approached Irsa's seeds and dried fruit. It touched them with its nose, sampling the food's aroma. It bit off a piece of fruit and stared at Irsa while it chewed contentedly.

Elizabeth 9/6/2006


Irsa nods at the creature and then turns to enter the room.

supreme_arbiter 9/8/2006

THX stood beside the doorway. Irsa gazed around at the room illuminated by THX's spotlights and her torch. Firearms had damaged the front wall and ceiling. Tiny broken portions lay in piles on the floor. The rows of chairs were badly worn. Some were slashed. The seats and pockets looked like they'd been lived in and chewed on by something small and furry.

Elizabeth 9/8/2006


"There's a sorta rabbit out in the hall. Looks like they've been using this room as expanded living space." Irsa tells THX thoughtfully. "I'll take a quick look around for loot." Irsa looks around for anything she can carry.

gglassdr 9/9/2006


THX asks Irsa, "What will be the status of the Leporidae creature? Ingestion or companionship? ......... ...

............ ......... .....clumb. ......... ......butxk. ......... .......shudder. ......... ..
October 5, 2555: The chosen site is one of those we initially thought was the Warden from a distance. We can now see it was once a large community. The area is punctuated by craters that have ruined some structures. Some of the craters are themselves cratered. Amrit is analyzing the crater patterns to determine their age. He thinks these structures were abandoned millions of years ago. Mike is preparing seismic probes to place on the lunar surface to get a better estimate.

October 6, 2555: Amrit and I have landed on the moon. The sun was directly overhead in the middle of the lunar day which lasts about 30 Earth days, very much like the moon we are familiar with. It comforts me to think the celestial dance may be universal. We immediately set up the seismic probes and a mining device to extract minerals from the lunar soil, then we set off to explore. We easily entered several buildings opened by meteor damage. We discovered metal devices mounted to the walls. Several empty niches may have once held other devices. The robots detached a few to take back to the Alexandria. We explored further into the ruins through open doorways that were roughly human shaped. Some were rectangular; others were circular or nearly so. They revealed a warren of rooms filled with very little debris: some empty containers of unusual shapes and empty shelves. We also found several flat but low constructions that we've called furniture, although they're too low for normal human use. They are usually constructed of metal, but we found some wood and fabric. These pieces were remarkably well preserved in the vacuum of space. Even more amazing were the numerous, white sculptures we found in nearly every room. They look like ceramic trees. They are bent into various shapes but all look strikingly similar. The smallest one was about 50 centimeters tall; the largest was over two meters. Amrit and I think they were objet d'art, but Ken thinks they were security devices. Mike thinks they may have been used as lamps but no power source can be found. We tried to bend a few of their branches but they were brittle and broke off. Inside there were long strands of white fibers. The robots have stowed many of these artifacts in the dropship.

October 7, 2555: We found a corridor with a metal wall and detected a large empty space beyond it. The robots cut through the wall, but there was an atmosphere beyond. As soon as they punctured the wall, the door blew into pieces. One of the robots was completely destroyed and a few others were damaged. The air blew out with gale force. Amrit and I hid in a nearby room so we were not injured in the melee that followed. The wind blew the room's contents into the corridor. They smashed into the walls and each other and shattered into hundreds of sharp fragments. After the space beyond the wall depressurized, we ordered the robots back to the dropship with the remains of their fallen comrades. We're exploring the space beyond the metal wall right now. There is a hole torn in it large enough for us to step through. There's a large, long corridor on the other side. Rails made of ceramic run along the ceiling. On the walls there are giant murals. The murals are gouged in places, possibly by debris blown through the rupture. The colors are badly faded. Portions are bubbled into a red mud. However, enough remains to recognize humanoids in the murals. Their faces are featureless except for a ridge on either side. Some are uniformly dressed in black costumes. They are slaughtering other humanoids that resemble children and old men. I pity them. In my imagination, I hear their long dead voices crying to be remembered.
............ ......... ......... ......... ......... ......... ..

"Irsa, In this unit's memory banks are several edible concoctions called recipies which use flesh from such creatures, especially from the country once known as France. If you wish, this unit can transfer this information for downloading and hard copy printing."

Elizabeth 9/9/2006


Irsa gives THX a look of extreme distaste. "I am a hamster. Mutant yes, but still a hamster. We are herbivores. That means we do not eat meat." Irsa checks on the rabbit outside the room. Is it still there? Irsa wonders about befriending it and keeping it as a pet.

gglassdr 9/9/2006


THX responds to Irsa, "Database updated"

gammaben 9/10/2006


"Whoa," Percy said at THX's latest log regurgitation. He silently checked to make sure the ship's computer was still recording everything for archiving, replay and analysis. He glanced at the others on the bridge and grimaced to whomever met his gaze.

[[OOC: I forget, who's on the bridge? I used to keep track of all this stuff but with my hard drive reset to 0 a couple weeks ago I lost all my notes. Speaking of which, I hope Percy's and Nike's char sheets are up to date as we lost them.]]

He turned on the active comm. "Irsa, THX, the room you are exploring is listed as 'Passenger Compartment. ' It seems likely to me that if there were any crew that survived for any amount of time, we might find evidence of them there." He turned off the comm. Like Irsa, he didn't feel it was wise to again tell THX he had played some long forgotten recording completely unawares.

He tried to add the rabbit-esque life form to the GPS-tracking, just to see if he could get a heat-sensitive lock on it. Perhaps there were other life forms he could discover before they discovered Irsa and THX and Becka.

supreme_arbiter 9/10/2006

I forget, who's on the bridge? I used to keep track of all this stuff but with my hard drive reset to 0 a couple weeks ago I lost all my notes. Speaking of which, I hope Percy's and Nike's char sheets are up to date as we lost them.
Everyone's character pages should be up-to-date. If anyone notices something is missing, please remind me and I'll fix it. For instance, Irsa's page shows she's carrying the suit, boots and helmet she found on the Hercules dropship. The character pages are listed on the homepage.

The characters on the bridge of the lifeboat Pandora are:
Nike, Percy, Amanda, Horatio and his five students, Bud, Stewart, Shlitzee and Caleb (13 people)

Chelydra is patrolling the ship.
Drake was last seen in the galley eating the last of the food.
Arkady hasn't been seen since everyone left the rec-room to watch Irsa, Becka and THX explore the ruins.

supreme_arbiter 9/10/2006

OOC: Yes, the Pandora's computers are still recording everything THX says, sees, hears, etc.

Irsa found nothing of interest in the room. The far corners smelled of urine and feces. Dirt and small pellets covered the floor. Among the rows of chairs she spotted a partially gnawed piece of paper in the pocket of a chair. She opened the pocket and removed an ancient pamphlet. The pocket had kept it in remarkably good condition. On the cover was a painting of a city with tall towers surrounded by green gardens. The largest building was an enormous hemisphere with green terraces on one side and a mirror-like, C-shaped surface on the other. Irsa opened the pamphlet and saw photographs of the same city inside. The heading said, "Welcome to New Alexandria, capital of a whole new world!"

[ this point THX suggests a rabbit-supper :) ...]

Irsa carefully placed the pamphlet in an outer pocket of her backpack and hurried past THX. She checked outside the room for the rabbit-like creature. She wondered if she could befriend it and keep it as a pet. The food she had left was gone. Other rabbits had appeared. They sat in the broken window and crouched in the hallway. The rabbit Irsa had fed approached her but froze when it spotted THX. It made a faint noise and all the other rabbits fled through the window. Irsa's rabbit was the last to leave the hallway. It sat at the edge of the window and looked back at Irsa without withdrawing any deeper into the burrow.
He tried to add the rabbit-esque life form to the GPS-tracking, just to see if he could get a heat-sensitive lock on it. Perhaps there were other life forms he could discover before they discovered Irsa and THX and Becka.
Sorry, no result :^(

The team on the pandora is limited to what THX's sensors can detect. The GPS signal THX is sending only gives his location (incidentally, the only reason the team on the Pandora can read his GPS data is due to Amanda's math skills - the Pandora's GPS equipment is calibrated for a different planet and satellite network; THX's is calibrated specifically for this planet: Rho Cancri). THX has infrared and ultraviolet sensors but he/it has to engage them himself, and they're only useful within line of sight. The crew on the Pandora can't remotely command THX.

Zhaxier Cole 9/11/2006

[[OOC]] My memory is fading, but I believe these pix are from Appleseed or Aeon Flux, both excellent movies. Nice!

publius1024 9/11/2006


Zhaxier is correct. Those three images are from Appleseed :) The Appleseed city is how I envision New Alexandria and the other cities built by the UWSC colonists: well designed urban living without blight, a modern hanging garden of Babylon.

Elizabeth 9/11/2006


"Don't worry little one. The metal one won't hurt you. Would you like some more food?" Irsa says as she offers the bunny some more food.

supreme_arbiter 9/11/2006

Chapter 34: Excavating the Past

Another chapter is finished! Irsa, Becka and THX journey to the excavation and explore the area outside the Hercules dropship. Becka and Irsa experience their first sunrise and their first rain. THX-1492 plays the first of several entries from the captain of the Alexandria's journal.

supreme_arbiter 9/11/2006

I forgot to add, chapter 34 has a brand new map of the excavation area and dropship! There's a small version in the chapter that is a link to the larger version. Here's a direct link to the larger image:

supreme_arbiter 9/13/2006

"Don't worry little one. The metal one won't hurt you. Would you like some more food?" Irsa says as she offers the bunny some more food.
THX remained in the passenger cabin. The creature sniffed Irsa and ate the food from her paw.

Elizabeth 9/13/2006


Irsa will if the rabbit allows it, stroke it back gently.

supreme_arbiter 9/14/2006

The rabbit-creature calmly looked up at Irsa as she stroked its back. It showed no fear of her and affectionately licked the downy feathers on the back of Irsa's hand.

Elizabeth 9/14/2006


"I have to leave this area now. You and your family and friends take care." Irsa says to the rabbit as she strokes once more. "Come THX, let's move on to the next area to explore." Irsa and THX head to the bend in the corridor and go left looking for an open door.

gammaben 9/15/2006


"Awwww, can we keep him, please? Please?" Percy said sleepily and softly. He felt the atmosphere on the bridge was devolving into a somnolence befitting a movie of the kind he'd experienced not too long ago in the recreation room. He felt there was something else they could or should be doing, instead of watching the remote exploration.

"Cap, what's our long term plan? Not that I'm getting an itchy save-the-Warden finger or anything, at least not more so than before. Maybe it is just that this is the part of the episode where we skip ahead 2 hours for the next exciting plot point. Waaaaiiitaminute, that's it!" Percy sped up his rate of words as he got more excited about his esoteric revelation. "Ever wonder what happens during the time between, before it syas '2 hours later,' and after it says, '2 hours later'? That's where we are! We're in that off-screen time where no one ever knows what happens! Does that mean nothing is going to happen? Maybe we should make something happen!"

Nike thought for a moment, considering Percy's words. "Want to make something happen, Mister Jenkins?" Nike paused for effect without taking her gaze from the viewscreen. "Go make me some coffee!"

Percy's face fell from exuberance to a sigh with a smirk. "Well, let me know if anything happens out there, anyway," he said. Percy left the bridge and took a stroll to the mess hall.

"Amanda, please monitor Percy's station; ensure the transmission, recording and other systems stay online." Nike fought back a yawn.

gglassdr 9/15/2006


THX attempts to copy Irsa's stroking of the rabbit. :)

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