ataraxites: (Default)
axmods. ([personal profile] ataraxites) wrote in [community profile] ataraxionlogs2016-02-21 10:38 am
Entry tags:


CHARACTERS: Ensemble production!
LOCATION: The southernmost undiscovered location.
WARNINGS: Disturbing imagery relating to fire and mutation.
SUMMARY: In the wake of the fires earlier this cycle, and the recently expanded tether limits, characters set out to locate the source of the affliction before it consumes what's left of their food source.
NOTES: Discovery is set February 20 and is reserved for those who sign up, and the setting is open in general from here on out.

Since the fires, the jungle has been a slightly quieter place, instigating exploration. The flames have made wide scars through various patches of jungle south of basecamp, with areas that have been completely blasted and blackened central to these locations, the thick underbrush crumbled to ashy soot that lifts finely into the air when disturbed. Thick tree trunks are still standing, but in the burned areas, canopies are withered away, letting in more sunlight through ashy branches.

The bodies of animals look roasted to the bone, and most were simply caught in the fire. Others appear stacked, and burned in pyres.

It takes almost a full day's hiking, and any Tranquility passengers who have set out south are accompanied by a collection of Tranquility crew, four in total, two men and two women, who seem only as stand-offish as any passengers might equally be to them. There isn't a clear trail to follow, although they pass the site of the inexplicably crashed WWII plane discovered some cycles ago, before pushing on towards the old tether limits. Past the old tether limits.

The terrain becomes steadily wetter, small streams running through muddy land, none of which bites acidic at skin, although none of the Tranquility crewmembers seem at all tempted to try to drink from it, a strangely metallic smell lingering in the air, and all the while, the jungle only gets thicker and more disorienting to navigate. Whether those involved wish to turn back lest they get trapped in boggy jungle when night falls, or wish to press on for a source of water, a reason to stay is discovered very suddenly, breaking through the treeline and into a clearing. A clearing that was never a clearing at all, until something massive broke the gigantic trees.

In the middle of an immense stretch of mud and shallow lake, trees crushed beneath it, a gigantic piece of the Tranquility rises up before them.

It's open to the elements, making a cave of metal, loose cables and exposed steel. It's disorienting to behold, less cohesive in form than the gigantic ship that shadows their basecamp, but it's clearly a piece of its inside structure broken off and cast here in the thick jungle. Entering in from the ground, the fact it's all been turned upside down makes itself more and more apparent. The floor is now the ceiling and the ceiling is now the floor, with bolted down work stations still fixed in place, and there's a slight incline that those exploring the dark insides of the ship soon find themselves out of the water. It's dangerous going, full of broken glass where cabinets and interior windows have long since shattered, and strewn about are various pieces of broken equipment and wrecked machinery.

The science department has seen much better days.

Level three leads, above, to level two, and then level one above that. Everything is in chaos and disarray, and utterly dark towards the central locations of each level. Sunlight and light rain angles in where corridors are exposed, making points of entry higher up for those who wish to climb (or otherwise). Travelling between levels within necessitate use of elevator shafts, empty of elevators.

Unsettling, surrounding the wreck, jungle creatures lay half-submerged in the shallow, muddy water. They've undergone drastic mutations, warping bone into jagged edges and twisting limbs with overdeveloped musculature to the point of being unable to move. It's unclear whether they drowned where they lay, or died of their afflictions, but the smell of rot occasionally drifts up off the water. There are giant fallen tree trunks and the occasional cresting of rock that make for some travel out of the water, for the determined.

A single, potentially recognisable smooth metal canister is open, floating in the thick water. There may be more where that came from.
  • This log covers the initial discovery of the science department by anyone who has registered their interest (along with four Tranquility crewmembers). This is an open sign up, so feel free to add your name and join in.
  • The location will then be open to anyone else who wishes to return to it or visit it after February 20.
  • Decisions regarding what to do with this site are entirely up to players. The dissemination and discussion of this information on the network is encouraged.
  • Please do ask questions to help facilitate exploration, or clarify anything that isn't clear.
  • forgodssake: (pic#7114250)

    discovery. ota.

    [personal profile] forgodssake 2016-02-21 10:15 am (UTC)(link)
    [ Charles had been among those tempted to head back, cede victory and let stronger, braver, more enterprising spirits go on as they like. He hadn't been far into the jungle since he'd been carried out of it, unconscious and bleeding, and even without any indication of the tether's pressure showing in anyone's mind, being past that former, invisible limit was inherently unsettling.

    Now, he's mostly frustrated with his inability to get much further. Already, people are cautiously prodding nearer the wreckage looming vast out of the shallow water, and he's climbed atop a fallen tree trunk, as wide as an overturned boat hull, to get out of wet mud and murky depths. He balances a hand against a hard angle of branch, three fingers splayed, the two terminated at the knuckle covered over.

    Scars aching and more than a little exhausted, his gaze is bright and spirited in zigzagging assessment. It isn't excitement so much as curiousity made wary from experience of nothing good ever happening, and sharper for recognition.

    After a moment, he almost laughs. ]
    sorrycharles: (hat)

    [personal profile] sorrycharles 2016-02-22 06:59 am (UTC)(link)
    I suppose it was too much to hope that this bit drifted into the sun.

    [ Erik hangs back on the shoreline, wretched as a drowned lion in the heat and the intermittent rain. His formerly white shirt sucks at his sides. A pack sits high on his shoulders, robust enough to sustain two.

    There’s an increasingly vagrant quality to the snarl of his hair, and his beard has scruffed in thick.

    He scans the pond surface without the slightest shift in weight to suggest he’s open to following any further, resentful at a glance of someone passing him (and Charles) by to have a closer look.

    The stench of monster rot fills his lungs and bleeds warm down the back of his throat. ]

    We can dredge the lake or drain the water.

    [ Period. He looks to Charles for affirmation. ]
    forgodssake: (#8414269)

    [personal profile] forgodssake 2016-02-24 11:40 am (UTC)(link)
    [ What?

    Charles' attention bounces back to Erik on a slight delay, before withdrawing, somewhat, from his progress, picking his way back along the tree trunk set deeply enough into the mud that it barely shifts beneath his weight. He doesn't jump ashore, twisting a glance back at the crumpled sandwich of spaceship interior nose-dived into the rancid lake.

    He would prefer it to be in the sun, that's true, but the fact that it's here presents a lure of curiousity. ]

    Draining might be necessary, but-- if there's some way to neutralise any active nanites in the water without poisoning the well completely...

    [ He trails off. He'd had months available to him to experiment, and frustration glimmers a little in the surface as he turns a look towards the nearest shape of dead thing half-submerged in the water when another gust of rot-smell drifts by. ]
    sorrycharles: (really)

    [personal profile] sorrycharles 2016-03-07 04:12 am (UTC)(link)
    [ How do you neutralize nanotechnology that has to date only demonstrated a weakness to other nanotechnology. Exasperation has put a fine polish on Erik’s good eye, and he breathes deep after Charles has turned, stifling the pressure mounting under his chest into a sigh. The well is already poisoned. ]

    Electricity, [ he guesses, haphazard, and without real hope.

    His pack is heavy. It stinks here. This is the worst part of the ship. By the by, he catches a glimpse of his own reflection in a boot-shaped puddle in the mire, and stalls out on further suggestions. He grimaces at himself instead, silent while his ego curdles in his gut.

    Damn. ]

    Ask the Miraxians.

    [ This is their wondrous human invention at work. Mud sucks at his boots as he turns to dryer land. He’s going to smoke. ]
    forgodssake: (pic#7114240)

    [personal profile] forgodssake 2016-03-13 10:53 am (UTC)(link)
    [ Electricity isn't so hopeless an answer, Charles nodding once thoughtfully, if not in the spirit of confirmation. There's a glance over at that sense of Erik's own frustration, winding into a coil, and a crooked, rueful smile cuts wry across his face.

    One that dims at the idea of asking the Miraxians, and he glances towards the few moving bodies that that describes, immediately more calculating in focus than he was before. ]

    That would be polite of me, [ he says, light, dry.

    Mutants aren't always polite. ]
    hairrands: (Neutral - Uncertain)

    [personal profile] hairrands 2016-02-28 05:27 pm (UTC)(link)
    [AJ's forged ahead a little, as one of the few who are trying their luck at hopping from jutting rocks and upraised roots to get closer to the chunk of ship. She's been uncomfortable throughout the trip thus far, and not just because of the combination of heat, bugs, fear of what she staunchly refuses to think of as anything other than rabid animals, and unknowns. Preoccupied with the state of her injured friend back at camp, she's been keeping her fears in line with the promise that they're going to figure this all out so that he won't have to run out into blazing fires like an idiot.

    She's gotten a feel for some of the other people who have tagged along, and isn't feeling especially optimistic about their chances... but she's putting a lot into faith, here, because so far it's been getting her through. All of that has had her keeping closer to the rest of the group than the clone generally would have, so she's gotten at least a bit of a feel for Charles and Erik and the rest.

    When AJ pauses on a stable root to scan the positions of the others, and spots Charles up on a high trunk... and snorts to herself because he doesn't look like the sort to be scrabbling around like a monkey, dishevelled or not.]

    How's the view up there?

    [He seems either shell-shocked or delighted. All she can think about is how this monolithic hulk of twisted metal is something she fully expects people to be going into, which isn't much cause for celebration, especially when she fears that the fires and sickened animals might have been set by something living in there.]
    forgodssake: (#8271966)

    [personal profile] forgodssake 2016-03-02 11:40 am (UTC)(link)
    Very similar to the view from down there, I suspect.

    [ Charles glances down and back after this report. If he is shell-shocked, it hasn't entered his voice; if he's delighted, it's tempered with a hefty helping of caution, but interest is a sharp presence in his tone.

    He isn't so high up, but high enough that he is cautious as he edges down the incline of trunk a little, branches shivering. He finds a place to half-sit, half crouch, peering out at the expanse of wetland, or whatever this terrain can be classified as. The curious are approaching, and his glance tracks them, equally curious, but more inclined to psychically ride along than attempt the journey inwards. ]

    I recognise it.
    hairrands: (Default)

    [personal profile] hairrands 2016-03-02 08:45 pm (UTC)(link)
    No shit!

    [Her attention is now entirely on him, half because she suspects the bedraggled man is about to fall face-first into the muck and half because she's inclined to help him up.]

    I'm gonna guess you're thinking it's a part of the ship.
    forgodssake: (pic#7372763)

    [personal profile] forgodssake 2016-03-05 01:23 pm (UTC)(link)
    Well observed.

    [ And her other observations as to his precarious perch mostly garner a few more creases at the corners of his eyes, but he situates himself carefully in response rather than call attention. Better above than knee deep in the water which, to him, looks dubious at best. ]

    I think it's a specific part of the ship, actually. The science department. Or, a majority bulk of it. And a little bit-- [ He glances back, but not at it, necessarily. Through the eyes of others. He puts out a hand, makes a gesture that connotes an overturning. ] --upside down.
    hairrands: (Neutral - Glare)

    [personal profile] hairrands 2016-03-05 06:10 pm (UTC)(link)
    So whatever's living inside it probably found the shit necessary to start those fires. I'll bet there's all sorts of toxic shit just leaking all over the place, let alone what you're gonna find in a nerd lab as big as a hockey stadium.

    [AJ is of the firm resolve that the fires and the mutated animals couldn't have been accidental, not with the scare that Rey had given her ages ago about a shadow beast running around... and not after her recent stint firmly believing she'd been dragged back to the torturous prison she'd come from. Even though there are said animals laying in the muck, slabs of scabrous muscle, she wouldn't bet her life on all of this being due to simple leaks.]

    You sound like you know about nerd labs, though. Anything you think would survive a crash for your place in camp?
    forgodssake: (Default)

    [personal profile] forgodssake 2016-03-10 11:01 am (UTC)(link)
    [ Charles gives her a peculiar look at this first part. Which isn't to say he's not drawing his own conclusions, his own connections, but they're


    to AJ's theorising. ]

    Likely none of the more delicate machinery, although perhaps some of our more enterprising minds might make some use of it, [ he says, despite this, focusing on what's relevant. Tangible. ] But the nanite canisters seem to have been toyed with, and those are sturdy enough to have survived. They'll need destroying [ he clarifies ] not salvage.
    hairrands: (Neutral - Uncertain)

    [personal profile] hairrands 2016-03-13 09:09 pm (UTC)(link)
    [That brings her up short.]

    And how are we supposed to do that?

    [If they were supposed to have survived a crash that left this hunk of ship in such a bad way, she can't see what a few nosy stragglers are meant to do!

    At least she doesn't seem dissuaded. She turns away, focusing on approaching the ship's ripped open hall so as not to straggle.]
    anybodies: (metamorphose 1)

    Mystique | Open

    [personal profile] anybodies 2016-02-23 12:47 am (UTC)(link)
    [There is a manticore walking around the wreck.

    Its four-legged gait is slightly halting, impeded by the loss of one hind foot. Despite this, it's a creature of predatory grace and sleek musculature, bound up in fair, scarred skin. There is an unmistakable humanness to it; the dome of its skull, the five-fingered splay of its clawed hands. These features are eerily at odds with its longer hind toes and sharply-angled hocks, the hyena-like hump of its back. And the fact that it has no eyes in the sockets of its skull, scarred out, dark, pitiless to look at. Its tongue dangles over-long out of heavy, fanged jaws.

    No trouble 'seeing' though. That much is obvious, from the way that it pauses by the water where the cannister is floating, turns its eyeless face toward it. Stillness settles in for an instant. And then it realizes it's being watched.

    Possibly aimed at.]

    Wait-- don't, it's me.

    [Maybe you recognize the voice, female, accent reminiscent of California rather than her brother's English glottal stops and finely-shaped consonants. By now, most will know Mystique as the blonde girl who been working the kitchen pits at camp more often than not. It takes a longer memory to recall that she was once blue, shapechanger, organizer of a battle effort, and piloted a fighting craft into enemy ship-space. Her scarred skin splits into splinters, and her blonde head emerges, blinking.]
    corpse_soldier: (shock)

    [personal profile] corpse_soldier 2016-02-25 10:56 pm (UTC)(link)
    [ Mystique is not the only monster still stalking this mass grave and its metal monument. A quicksilver golem in a bloodied, muddied uniform is making its way through the knee-high labyrinth of twisted remains, pausing on occasion to deliver a sharp, vertebrae-snapping stomp to any that appear remotely capable of recovery. Its movements are terribly precise, its progress both swift and deliberate, describing a path that draws it closer and closer to the center of the shallow lake.

    Upon sighting the still-ambulatory creature, the shimmering figure raises its gun and takes aim. Any hesitation is not due to a premonition; it is a conservative bent rather than a compassionate or clairvoyant one that stays its trigger-finger. The fight has been long, and bullets are irreplaceable. If it can safely kill this thing without wasting a bullet, it will.

    So it is this brief period of threat-assessment that prevents Etrepa from firing upon someone she knows, albeit a someone changed beyond all but distant human resemblance. Horror has no place on an ancillary's face, which remains impassive behind the featureless surface of her armor, but horror is what curdles in her singular stomach. Her gun remains leveled at the emergent blonde head, aim unflinching. Etrepa Seven's voice, while also recognizable, is tinged with reverb as it vibrates through the gleaming shield.

    What has become of you, citizen?
    anybodies: (light talk (blonde))

    [personal profile] anybodies 2016-02-27 06:08 am (UTC)(link)
    Nothing, [says Mystique's head, still attached to a weird hunchbacked, scarred up monster body. but the ugly machine of her borrowed form is dissipating, unzipping segment by segment. Her shoulders rise out balanced, clothed in a turtleneck. her spine, the skirt hugging her hips, the fold of her legs close to the ground. Her feet are the last part of her to transform. Boots, of course. Well-- a boot.

    It's the outfit she used to favor trampling around college campuses at charles' elbow. If she thought about it, she'd maybe have to acknowledge it's a form that feels safe in the face of real threat.]
    I'm a shapeshifter, remember? [Mystique rises to her feet. Her face, when she turns it toward Etrepa, is no longer a razor-mouthed eyeless horror. The baby blues are back, as well as the chipmunky cheeks, fair skin to go with her pretty hairs.]

    I just figured out it's easy to move around on all fours. For reasons.

    [She is still missing a foot. That much is obvious, when she reaches out with one hand to grasp the nearest piece of twisted wreckage jutting out of the earth. Even bipedal, Mystique's balance is far better than most. There's no urgency to the way she moves to secure herself, her stump hovering a fair few inches above the ground. She looks at the carcasses nearest Etrepa, possibly trying to identify bullet holes.] How's it going? Not a werewolf yet?
    corpse_soldier: (worry)

    [personal profile] corpse_soldier 2016-02-27 07:51 am (UTC)(link)
    [ Understand: it has taken a feat of will (and quite possibly a brand of insanity) for Etrepa to upgrade the assorted freaks and miscreants that form their strange little settlement to citizens. Seeing Mystique's capacity for the patently inhuman does Etrepa's carefully constructed coping mechanisms no favors. It takes a troubling length of time, at least in AI terms, for Etrepa to finally lower her gun. Though when she does, she does so decisively. ]

    Citizen Mystique.

    [ It is easier once Mystique looks like herself. Or rather, looks like the 'herself' that better approximates Etrepa's idea of what is properly human. ]

    I am unchanged.

    [ Her armor retracts, corroborating this statement by revealing her familiar, impassive face, its clean skin contrasting with her filthy uniform. ]

    There is the still the question of the administration of justice. Circumstances have deferred that question, however. [ Understandably. ] The more outspoken citizens have been discouraging, by and large.

    [ That this is true of almost all politics is not something that occurs to her. Her experience of civilian life is limited. She was a warship, not a station. ]

    This was part of your ship? [ Etrepa doesn't point, as that would be rude, but instead indicates with a subtler gesture towards the towering wreck. ]
    anybodies: (serious talk (blonde))

    [personal profile] anybodies 2016-02-28 09:00 am (UTC)(link)
    [Once she has her hand on the bit of wreckage, Mystique makes some effort to look relaxed. It's an adequate distraction from the weapon pointed at her head, and she's always found the process of pretending relaxing by itself.

    Still, it doesn't hurt when Etrepa finally moves her weapon out of murder trajectory. There's no outward change to Mystique's stance, her hip still cocked to rest against rebar, fingers loose around the top of it. However, she finally lets her eyes slide off the robot, swinging her stare around to the science lab in question. however, when she speaks again, she doesn't immediately go to answer the question.]
    When I first showed up on the ship, I kidnapped a couple people. Stole one of their shapes, and her comm device, so I could try and get weapons out of the Gunnery department.

    After, I sat in the brig for a couple days, and that was it.

    [Her lips flatten. Almost a smile. She looks back at Etrepa again.] These people always kinda leaned toward understanding. Even with killing, and even with cold-blooded murder, from someone fully in control of their mind. Worst punishment they came up with was indefinite imprisonment, I think. [Her eyes drop after that, attention shifting over to another stretch of mud. She leans over, sticks her fingers into it. Comes away with a spar of dirty metal, long enough to serve as a cane.

    She'd rather be quadrupedal, but that seems like a poor decision right now. Mystique would rather not even ask.]
    You're looking at the Science Lab.
    corpse_soldier: (stare)

    [personal profile] corpse_soldier 2016-03-03 06:00 pm (UTC)(link)
    A ship and a planet are entirely different jurisdictions. A ship does not have a civil society. A planet must, if it is to be civilized.

    [ Etrepa speaks with the force of axiom here, that unbending certitude a sign of a particularly AI-ish insanity. Not erratic behavior, but rather adamant, urgent purpose. A singular focus for her all-too singular mind. ]

    I do not endorse executions. Not of camp citizens. It is not a lack of severity, but a lack of accountability and efficacy. Imprisonment is inefficient and ineffective. We ought to have the means to reeducate offenders.

    [ It is as if Etrepa had forgotten her own question, and is surprised when Mystique answers it. What is the Science Lab? Oh- of course: this shattered metal hulk that presently shields them from the afternoon sun. When she re-registers it, she engages with yet another singular thrust. ]

    Did you have any AIs in your service at this lab?
    anybodies: (glance (blonde))

    [personal profile] anybodies 2016-03-07 06:41 am (UTC)(link)
    [Cane in hand, Mystique makes a game few steps toward the lab. She's fairly graceful about it, by the standards of regular people. And by now, she's not wasting nearly as much effort making pointless comparisons to her own previous, greater-than-Olympian standards. Instead, she concentrates mostly on where she's going, and then on the spectacle of the lab itself. Pausing only to knock a nanite cannister out of her way, with the surety of a golfer's swing. Whock.

    It skips across the soil and then skitters to a stop not far from Etrepa's last kill.]

    Not in service, but "AI" might've described some of the entities we had-- haunting the ship, [Mystique tells the other woman.] If you roll back on the network, you can read about some of them. Charles and Erik named one 'Moira.' But that one was probably more demon than anything. It seemed to have a lot of control over the Jumps, but wasn't too interested in technology otherwise. [She continues squelching up to the lab, and then stops by a tumble of crates at the sheared-off mouth of the lab.]

    The other one one was Smiley. Used to hang out on the network a lot. Communicated in red text. Sometimes seemed to be working for Moira, other times against. Tended to issue a lot of dire warnings for us. Hey, [she glances back at the other woman, and waves with her free hand.] Are you coming or what?
    corpse_soldier: (profile)

    [personal profile] corpse_soldier 2016-03-09 03:49 pm (UTC)(link)
    [ Mystique's urging breaks Etrepa from yet another revery, a fixed gaze that had settled on the lab. This time it has more practical purpose, as Etrepa brings her optical implants to bear, scanning various wavelength, trying to take the measure of the wreck.

    (This is not, however, to discount the emotion it evokes. The ruin of the Tranquility never fails to raise twinge of sorrow in Etrepa, roiling her lone segment's stomach. It is like looking at a vision her own lost self, though she knows not so much as a piece of hull plating survived her destruction.

    But it doesn't bear thinking about. There is work to do.) She steps forward at Mystique's urging, moving swiftly to her side. She makes no open offer of support, but she's certainly close enough that Mystique could use her for it if she so desired.

    This is beginning to sound like the plot of a popular entertainment, [ she comments, with what is probably wryness ] though with fewer spontaneous songs.

    [ She was never a great fan of melodramatic musicals, which - even through changes in fashion and taste and attitudes over thousands of years - always managed to retain the same stultifying formula. ]

    If something remains of these entities, I'd like to speak with them.
    Edited 2016-03-09 15:50 (UTC)
    doggedly: (pic#9551293)

    discovery || OTA

    [personal profile] doggedly 2016-02-24 04:47 pm (UTC)(link)
    [Years and years and a dog's age ago, Sirius Black woke up on the Tranquility in a grav couch that was, probably, smashed to bits when the old TQ smashed itself to bits. Today he woke up in a tent in the jungle and ate smoked salted lizard for breakfast which, if you close your eyes, can taste a great deal like bacon, or so he has said repeatedly to Remus and James and Kate, and anyone else who would listen.

    Once he was a pale English schoolboy, albeit a wizard as well, which gave him a slight edge on the latter of those adjectives. Now he's an intrepid jungle survivalist and explorer, less a few fingers, plus a few scars, hair long, beard coming in well, skin nicely and evenly browned under the smudges of dirt and mud and sweat. Good genes make all of this look somehow attractive. Time is a funny old thing.

    But exploration is what Sirius has always been good at. This puts him in the wreckage directly, fearlessly clambering over splintered machinery on the floor-ceiling, clearing away the worst of the glass with puffs of warm air from the end of his wand. Sometimes he sticks his wand between his teeth so he can grab for something that looks interesting. A wavery orb of blue light hangs in the yawning space above him, illuminating what the sunlight filtered through trees and wreckage doesn't quite reach. To passersby, he will display objects that he's found, most of them ruined. Make casual conversation with the air of a man who's having a good time because he is, in truth, a man having a good time.

    But there's an air of purpose beneath that. He's actually looking for something. A door, actually. With the ceiling on the floor and the floor on the ceiling, it's difficult to mentally recreate what this department once looked like, so Sirius fetches a stick and burns the end so he's got a rather large stylus. On one wall he begins to scratch out a map, pausing every now and then to squint at the ceiling-floor above his head, to get it right.]
    hairrands: (Happy - Smart)

    Re: discovery || OTA

    [personal profile] hairrands 2016-02-28 04:20 pm (UTC)(link)
    [If it's not too much to ask, AJ's going to stick with the magical asshole; better the devil she knows when she's already nervous about going so far from camp. She wasn't going to join this foraging crew, knowing that when boundaries are set by malevolent overlords, trying to press beyond them is a bad idea. Moreover, this is the direction that everything that had been hurled at them over the last week or longer has been coming from, and in her books, that's a stern 'run the opposite direction' option...

    But she's not out here to sate her own curiosity. She's here because if someone or something is setting huge blazes, and if Algidus is going to run out into them like an idiot snowball rolling into hell, she wants to bring back intel to keep him informed...

    And Sirius owes her a favour, and he seems to know his way around this derelict crap-stash.

    What that means is that AJ has been on relatively good behaviour, if sour-faced and outright horrified by the mutated animals piled up in the muck around the monolithic hunk of ship. Getting into the ship is making her gorge rise; every settling sound makes her twitch. Dark twisted halls of metal are not her favourite place... so the man's dry conversation helps, truly.]

    So what are you looking for, [she tries to joke--She's following along in the wake of his light, hands tight around her spear.] The chess club or something?

    [The moment she'd found out that this was some kind of science hub, her nerd alert had gone off. Pragmatically, she understands that this is an important find for a lot of reasons, but in typical AJ fashion she can't let it lie without token disparagement.]
    doggedly: (pic#9147394)

    [personal profile] doggedly 2016-02-29 02:58 pm (UTC)(link)
    ['Chess'. Please. Sirius shoots an unimpressed look over his shoulder.]

    Do I look like a man who plays chess? And that's with wizard chess considered as well, which is more brutal than the muggle version. [And in case she's struggling for answers, he'll just answer for her:] No. Come on. And I thought we were mates.

    [Or at least two planet-wrecked individuals who were capable of doing very important deals. Ask Sirius, sometime, to estimate how pleased he was when he found out that AJ and her alcohol was returned to them. Answer to that one: pretty bloody pleased, especially the alcohol bit. A man needs his alcohol.

    Anyways. In the chewed-up upsidedown belly of the ship, Sirius raises his wand arm a bit higher, illuminating more wreck with the thin bluish light.]

    I'm looking for whatever's good. And my void. [Bless. Touch of pride in the latter half.] What're you here for?
    hairrands: (Angry - Scowl)

    [personal profile] hairrands 2016-03-02 02:42 am (UTC)(link)
    [AJ had had an answer all lined up to his question, but with his interruption--wisely learned over the last few weeks, if he was at all a good judge of her blabber-mouth--Sirius got something useful in. Void... what was that supposed to be, some kind of wizard-prize or something?

    AJ cast him a sneer, though one not nearly as serious as she usually used.]

    Where I come from, when you get huge fires and hulked-out monsters running wild, it's not just shit-ass luck, it's someone's pet project.

    [She could be funny, too. Pet project. Ha.]

    Doesn't always work, but sometimes they leave useful shit lying around in the wreckage, dangle clues under your nose, try to fuck you up by making you take bigger risks... and anyways, whatever caused this hurt my friend. I'm making sure that if there's someone out here who started all this, they're gonna pay for it.

    [She rolls her shoulders, gripping her spear a little tighter.]

    But I'll take anything good. What's a void and how much will you pay for it if I find it first?
    doggedly: (pic#7372011)

    [personal profile] doggedly 2016-03-05 07:32 pm (UTC)(link)
    [Pet. All right, that's sort of funny, and Sirius humours the comment with a little grin before he directs his attention back toward their surroundings, his gaze tracing along the arcs of the floor-ceiling far above their heads.]

    Could just have been the ship, you know. Exerting a wider influence than before. I mean, beasts with strange mutations, that's pretty standard, for the old TQ. I once had a pet radio-active rat, she was awful. Came straight from the bowels of the ship. But--

    [He steps around a snarl of wreckage that's fallen across their path, a bit of ship so twisted it's been rendered unrecognisable. Its bulk narrows their walking space, puts them close against the wall for a bit.]

    Perhaps you'll end up being right. Perhaps it's a person after all. On your question of payment, now, I'll remind you that there's no currency, no gold or silver or anything, so rephrase-- what skill of mine am I willing to stake on the bet? [Guess. He raises and lowers his wand a few brisk times; the light itself bobs in response, casting the shadows weirdly.] Manual magical labor. Say, an hour's worth. If you find the void
    hairrands: (Neutral - Serious)

    [personal profile] hairrands 2016-03-11 03:31 pm (UTC)(link)
    ...And if this void thing isn't trapped. [AJ watches his light-casting wand bob with a faint sneer of disgust. She's seeing double-entendres where they don't need to be and she's wishing the crushed in ship would widen out again. At least she gets her wish a few paces forward, where the crumpled part of the ship leaves a great gash that reveals the sickly-bent struts of this floor's support-structure. The human considers this development with some careful consideration. It would probably be easy to nudge her into a hole and pretend it was an accident, though she might be so stiff and light-weight that she would kite down (up?) into the tangled webs of wire grating and snarled electrical cables.]

    Anyways, an hour's not that much, [she's saying.] You know how many weeks I spent on that one bottle? And now I have to start from scratch again on top of all of this fire and mayhem. I want a share in whatever use this void's got. On top of the hard magic labour.
    corpse_soldier: (Default)

    discovery | [open]

    [personal profile] corpse_soldier 2016-03-04 12:55 am (UTC)(link)
    [ Encased in her silver armor, her dark brown uniform dirtied from hours of sustained engagement with the ravening mutants, Etrepa Seven is not instantly recognizable as herself. The quality of her movement alone - measured to the point of precision, very swift when not totally still - remains unchanged as she picks her way through the groaning wreck of the Science Lab.

    Otherwise, she appears as a featureless statue of liquid metal, picking her way from deck to deck, achieving careful balance before taking each next step or leap. Occasionally she pauses to assess her degree of progress, and to be sure she has a safe means of descent, but otherwise she seems single-minded in her intent to get further.

    What is she looking for? Even One Etrepa couldn't tell you. While this is a return home for some, or at least a visitation of the familiar, this is a novel fragment of the essentially unknown. Indeed, even being inside a ship - a state of being to which she is far more accustomed than walking on a planet's surface - is made strange by the alienness of the vessel, its seemingly senseless construction, past even expectations of barbarian perversity.
    hairrands: (Neutral - Scorn)

    Jumping in here!

    [personal profile] hairrands 2016-03-04 03:25 am (UTC)(link)
    [If it wasn't for the fact that AJ had briefly spotted the robocop outside chatting with one of the mutants, she'd probably have thought that One Etrepa was the creature starting the fires and monstering-up the wildlife... but as it stands, now that she's had some time to wander around for a while on her lonesome, she's startled into yelling when she briefly spots the gleam of the non-human in the very dark interior of the ship.

    She's carrying an imaginary flashlight; imaginary because she made it herself and knows it will disappear soon, but it's enough to cast plenty of lumens on the other. She keeps the spotlight on her, more to calm herself down.]

    You scare the shit out of people for fun or did you happen to find something yet?
    corpse_soldier: (stare)

    [personal profile] corpse_soldier 2016-03-05 02:57 pm (UTC)(link)
    [ In the beam of AJ's flashlight, Etrepa Seven shimmers brilliantly, turned all at once into a distorted disco ball, all gleaming contours and scintillating surfaces, casting weird amoeboid blobs of light on the interior of the wreck. It only takes an instant for her optical implants to adjust to the sudden increase in environmental light, but for her brief moment of visual impairment she places her free hand - the other is finding purchase on piece of exposed duct - on her holstered sidearm.

    When she positively IDs AJ, the hand relaxes.. She's seen her around camp, even if she doesn't know her to be one of her network interlocutors. Thus, she doesn't know this is the second time she must remind AJ to watch her-

    Language, citizen.

    [ The reprimand is just as atonal in person as it is in text, rendered slightly strange from the reverberative quality it gains, emerging from behind the silver armor. Once Etrepa finds sure footing, bracing herself in what was once a doorway, she lets the armor drop, revealing her impassive face, dark eyes gazing steadily at AJ. ]

    Are you looking for anything in particular? This is a dangerous place.
    hairrands: (Sad - Second Thoughts)

    [personal profile] hairrands 2016-03-08 02:47 am (UTC)(link)
    [AJ pulls a sour face in Etrepa's general direction, the mixture of overwhelming scintillation and underwhelming reprimand combining to make her feel surly.]

    Only who got those fires going and who might have dumped whatever beefed up those animals outside.

    [...Though she has to admit, wandering through the site, that it's entirely possible that the crash, the angle of the ship, and the untended dangerous contents could very well have been the cause of both.]

    Hey, you're a detective... thing... right? Do you think it was someone, or do you think it was all sort of one big shitty accident?
    corpse_soldier: (gaze(hat))

    [personal profile] corpse_soldier 2016-03-09 03:32 pm (UTC)(link)
    [ 'Accident' is a tricky word for someone with Etrepa's background. Translated into Radchaai, the word carries theological and even metaphysical significance; it is resonant with notions of capital-D destiny. ]

    Accident brought us all here, citizen.

    [ There's no reprimand for AJ's foul language this time around. Knee-jerk though that reaction may be, Etrepa is not so dense as to let it disrupt an important dialogue. Dealing with the impropriety of the uncivilized is something she had to learn to cope with early on. ]

    If there is a culprit, what benefit could they be seeking?

    [ Truth be told, she's not a detective of any sort; she's a soldier or - more to the point - a machine made for killing. But she's also a tiny fragment of her former self, far from any annexation, and very likely more than half-mad. She does not correct AJ's presumption. Instead, she embraces it, as she has embraced the rest of her strange new circumstance. ]

    Speculation is unhelpful. If we can find the source of the contamination, we may discover evidence of tampering. That might suggest an agent. [ Besides, that is, the gods themselves. ]
    hairrands: (Neutral - Serious)

    [personal profile] hairrands 2016-03-12 02:38 am (UTC)(link)
    [AJ carefully approaches the strange being, raising the hand that isn't on her sturdy flashlight in the same way that she might to a stubborn, uncertain yearling. She can't help it, it's the way that Etrepa looks, and it's AJ's best attempt to try to make up for her misgivings... because Etrepa, at least, is stringing things together in a way that makes sense.]

    So let's find it. The tampering, I mean, the source of the fire, the stuff sending all those things crazy and murderous. If someone's behind it, it's because they want us all dead. You talked to anyone who's been around the spaceship for years? Something wanted them dead up in space, and it might want us dead now...

    And if it's not that, there's always as... assistants trying to sacrifice us to their crazy death gods.

    [She plays that off with a shrug, but it falters out near her ears in a shoulder-lock of tension that she has to crack her neck to adjust.]

    So you know what I'm looking for. You came from that way and didn't see anything? We should go this way. [Her flashlight illuminates a cluttered and dangerous path further into the belly of the fragment of a ship.]
    corpse_soldier: (aloof)

    [personal profile] corpse_soldier 2016-03-13 01:34 am (UTC)(link)
    [ Etrepa understands that AJ cannot know how uncouth she is being, lifting a naked hand towards her. She is a poor benighted barbarian, ignorant of civilized customs, like everyone else on this gods-forsaken world. Still, she isn't going to encourage improper behavior by way of acknowledgement. She'll annex these people yet, by there barest increments if necessary.

    She shakes her head, negative. Nothing from where she came. She turns to look at the path that remains untrodden, the way lit up by AJ's torch. Treacherous- but then again, this whole place better resembles the twisted involutions of fever dream maze than the layout of any human vessel, civilized or no.

    I will take point, but I rely on your guidance, citizen. These halls are entirely unfamiliar to me.

    [ Her armor extends once more, reflex action more than anything else, as she approaches the shattered descent. ]

    A rope would be helpful, should we reach any spots that have suffered severe structural damage. Would you happen to have one?