Twin Suns Supply: Darkened SeasAllow me to introduce you to the planet Murray. Originally, this frontier planet was an ice ball floating near the outer edge of its star's habitable zone. That is, until terraforming pioneers settled here and started pumping gases into the atmosphere to warm the place up. This did achieve the goal of melting the ice, but the process released more gases from underneath the sheets, causing a runaway reaction that turned this place from a sunny ocean getaway into a dark, dangerous planet constantly battered by a worldwide maelstrom.
Humans, as stubborn as they are, remained here for some time, unchecked by galactic governments. Drilling and fishing settlements came and went on its surface, and rumors circulated of more mysterious things happening beneath the waves. Nobody was quite sure what was going on, but more stories kept popping up about how one fisherman saw lights deep in the water, or a weather satellite picking up strange energy waves from the middle of the sea. People speculated, myths propagated, people claimed they found record proving it was a sunken space ship, or a vault full of gold, or the answer to life itself. Nothing concrete, of course, but it was enough to inspire people to go searching for these unclaimed treasures.
People looking for those treasures were called Riggers, because the unforgiving sea required special equipment to explore, and their impatient hands jerry rigged submersibles to descend into the waves. Very few came back, and none with treasure. Only more stories. That's how it was. Riggers had big dreams and empty hands, that is until you and your team of Riggers somehow came across a mysterious datachit during one of your outings. It was just lying there in an old box you found in a rusty shed out by the coast. It didn't seem very promising at first, but upon plugging it into your own console, you found that it carried a ton of encrypted data and a set of coordinates leading to some spot in the middle of the ocean. You're not sure what it could mean, but you've spent enough time on this planet to know people would kill for this kind of opportunity.
It looks like you guys had your first clue.
Another rainy day.
The team had gathered in their usual place, a previously abandoned basement office space. It was below a single story building, which also happened to be an old office owned by a financial firm or something similar back when people needed that kind of thing. It had been abandoned for some time before yours and a few other teams of Riggers decided to move in and use it to store supplies and possible leads. It had been fixed up pretty well, all things considered. The walls hadn't caved in and the water damage was moderate at worst. There was even a receptionist in the lobby, a nice woman named Maria. (She didn't do a lot as a receptionist, though. Not many people came seeking out Riggers. She was always waiting with a smile, even on the stormiest days, however. And she made a mean pot of coffee.)
Some might call your team's space a situation room, others might see a command center, and some: a complete mess. In truth it was somewhere in between. It had several tables set up in the central area that once was filled with cubicles, each one covered in something. Papers, gun cleaning tools, half-built contraptions or computers. The type and amount of clutter varied depending on who's table it was. The floor was similarly also messy, multiple wires snaked along the aging linoleum, leading to various lights and machines in the center of the office.
The northern part of the room had several doors set into it, each leading off to private offices that had been converted into living spaces, for those long nights on the job. Each door had a small sign with the handwritten name of each member of the team on it.
The southern wall was mostly bare, with a few small windows at the top edge that could see out into the concrete lot in front of the building. As usual, it was raining hard and the windows were now partially submerged, obscuring your view of the front.
The western wall had several bulletin boards on it, each mostly covered in photographs, printouts, and clippings related to previous attempts at trying to find the treasure. The rest of it was mostly plain, except for a few holes in the drywall, put there over time by smaller conflicts, fits of rage, or the occasional explosion. There wasn't a lot of excitement here most of the time, but when there was, it usually got very interesting.
The eastern wall had two sets of doors, one heavy wooden door that led to the stairwell, and another pair of thick metal doors that were supposed to be for the elevator. The elevator winch had been rusted and scrapped years ago, however, so now it was mainly there for aesthetic purposes. There was also a table dedicated to food and drink, and sitting on it were several unopened bottles of water, a coffee machine, and an open box of donuts Maria had brought down earlier that morning. Now that the afternoon had arrived most of them were gone, leaving only crumbs.
The entire room was in a state of organized chaos, built up after several months of trying to find that fabled treasure. Of course, none of it brought you any closer to the goal, except for that datachit.
It was sitting next to one of the old computers in the back. It was a small storage drive about the size of a wallet with a bright yellow plastic case. It had a retractable cord set in the side so it could be plugged into a device, and three small lights on the top of it. Two reds, and a green. Currently it sat inert, but someone could plug it into the computer and attempt to decode the data on it, or log into the Extranet and try and find some information on the coordinates.
The sound of a speeder's hover engines spinning down in the lot above is accompanied by a low rumble of thunder. The muffled sound of a door being thrown open comes from upstairs, followed by several demanding voices. Maria's voice replies, but the words are hard to make out. She sounded worried. The people didn't sound like any of the other Riggers in the building, and none of them owned a speeder. It wasn't uncommon for loan sharks to come looking for Riggers to pay off their debts, treasure hunting was an expensive hobby with few payouts, but Maria knew how to handle those types. This was different.
A few of you could go up and see what the commotion is all about, or stay unnoticed and listen to it play out.
I'm just the narrator, your characters are free to do pretty much whatever they want in this world, so long as they get the right rolls. If you need something clarified, or want to know more about a certain thing, don't hesitate to ask in the OOC thread or send me a private message.
Jeremiah, being the way he was upon hearing the commotion lifted his g36c and began walking off towards the door. He didn't plan on shooting anyone so he didn't decide to rack back the bolt to load a round.
Being of a rather small build for what he was, it was easy for people to likely underestimate what he could do. However he did wait for anyone else to decide to follow him.
Jason, still reclining in his uncomfortable office chair, lazily places his hand on his AR leaning against the table. "She's probably got it covered. Relax."
The noise upstairs breaks Jamie out of his daydream and makes him jump in his chair. "Seems we've got visitors."
Grabbing his gun he heads towards the stairs. "Alright Jeremiah, I'll be right behind ya." He goes to the point where he can hear what is being said without actually entering the room, making sure not to be noticed.
Blanchard Glover, up until he'd heard the commotion going on upstairs, had been sitting at his desk, combing through notes on a few lesser-known lunar cults that might be useful in the future, and lazily chewing on a hunk of black licorice. Pulled from his study by the urgent voices of those above, though, he cocks his eyes to the entrance, a bit of severity written on his features.
"Yeah, she probably does have it covered, but I'd say it's better safe than sorry in this business, Jase." Glover mumbles, his hand darting into his maroon jacket to thumb back the hammer of his revolver, nestled comfortably into its side holster.
"Yes go run toward the danger, that seems healthy. I've been burned once too many times to enjoy doing that anymore." He said while sitting at the computer table, reaching instinctively at his missing left ear. He then plugged in the datachit into the nearby computer and tried to access it that way, since they haven't got the chance to try that yet.
At the time of the event, Alex is sleeping on the couch. When he heard the commotion, he woke up. "Is that the cops!?" He gets up frantically off the couch and grabs his rifle.
Oliver quickly stopped what he was doing and armed himself with his SMGs.
"I hope it's not damn pirates"
The Gang Investigates a Workplace Dispute
Jeremiah, Jamie, and Blanchard
You three form up, and enter the stairwell. It is a three story tower, with steps leading most of the way up. Rainwater snakes down the stairs in small rivers, pooling at your feet and disappearing into a drain in the floor. The talking is louder in here, and echoes harshly off the concrete walls. You still can't quite make out what they're talking about, but as you make your way upstairs you start to get a better idea.
"-told you already! It's not here!" It was Maria. She sounded angry.
"And I told you I don't buy it. Now move aside or we'll make our own way through." said an unknown voice. It was deep, gruff, and calm but with a hint of malice.
You three make it up to the top of the stairwell, and finally get a look at the situation.
The lobby was a simple affair. It was a pretty small room to reflect the small business it used to serve. At the back of it, near the stairwell entrance was a hallway moving left and right, presumably to more offices. Behind you was the stairwell again. In front there was a desk with a large glass barrier set in front of it, with holes at waist level meant for passing papers through. It was made of bulletproof material, and the large spiderweb-like crack with pieces of lead still stuck in it proved it. The desk didn't cover the entire front, however. It's L-shape created a walkway employees and visitors could use to get to the stairwell and elevator.
Right now that walkway was being filled with a woman in her early 30's wearing a grey pinstripe pantsuit. Her arms were out, pressed against the glass on the left and the wall on the right, and she was staring down a man wearing an armored suit and styled like old police special forces body armor, but this one had any insignia removed, leaving only matte black. He was nearly a foot taller than she was and as such you could clearly see his face. He was bald and older looking, with a burn scar on the side of his head. He had a five-o-clock shadow and a stern, but controlled frown. His eyes were covered with sunglasses, which were an odd sight on a planet that was constantly cloudy. Maria blocked your view of whatever he was wielding, but you could make out the butt of a rifle. Five other people wearing similar gear were standing in the lobby as well, but you couldn't see their faces due to their helmets and visors obscuring most of it. You could see their weapons, most of them carried sleek, rectangular rifles with glossy black casings and holographic displays near the grip.
At the top of the stairwell, you three try to remain unseen.
JEREMIAH [High Cover] [9 + 2 = 10] vs MYSTERIOUS STRANGERS [Preoccupied] [2 - 1 = 1] COMPLETE SUCCESS
JAMIE [High Cover] [Stealth]  vs MYSTERIOUS STRANGERS [Preoccupied] [NO NEED] CRITICAL FAILURE
BLANCHARD [High Cover]  vs MYSTERIOUS STRANGERS [Preoccupied] [NO NEED] CRITICAL FAILURE
As you three reach the top of the stairs and peer into the lobby, Blanchard slips. Tumbling forwards, he barrels into Jamie and you both slam into the door frame. Jeremiah, who had luckily been watching your rear, gets out of the way quickly and remains unnoticed.
The strangers are now aware of the presence of two people in the stairwell.
The man suddenly stops talking, looking back at the stairs. Maria tries to protest, but she is unceremoniously shoved aside as the group approaches.
It looks like a good time to either try and get up and talk out the situation, get back downstairs in a hurry, or get ready to go hot.
Or, of course, you could try something else.
Jeremiah and Jason
You two lounge in the office, going about your business and listening to the talking upstairs. It starts to get heated before you hear two THUMPS from the stairwell and it stops suddenly. It's silent except for the rain for a moment, and then you hear footsteps. Heavy, booted footsteps.
You plug the datachit into the console, and the far left red light flickers as the data is loaded into the computer. For a moment, nothing happens, then the same information pops up. Tons and tons of encrypted data, and a coordinate.
However, when you check the coordinate against the map, you see that it's moved slightly. It's now a little further northeast than it was the last time you checked.
The encrypted data does not change, and the encryption seems far too secure to break with your skill. You'd need a professional to take a look, or the decryption key.
You similarly sit around, hearing everything the other two hear, except when Holland activates the datachit, your listening device makes a clicking sound a couple times.
Faces his rifle towards the floor and gets ready to talk his way out of a situation, not wanting to face 6 armed goons over something they know jack shit about, however his gun was still infront of him and ready in case they decided to take a shot on him.
Glover curses silently as the mysterious armed men in the lobby spot two of the three who set out to the stairwell to investigate. Well, there goes the quiet approach, I suppose. At least I can make a wild guess at what these gents are here for. Coughing quietly and standing up straight with a disarming smile, he makes his way over to the small group with his arms raised in greetings.
"Why, welcome, welcome! I suppose you boys might be here to sign on with the crew?" He asks, knowing all too well this obviously isn't the reason, his eyes looking over the silent ones as he turns to the leader, smile still written on his face. "Aniseed twist?" Glover asks, holding out a small red piece of candy to the man. Getting the situation moving peacefully could give everyone else time to acclimate to the coming events...
Upon hearing the thumps, Jason sits up straight, taking his feet off of the crate in front of him. "Maybe Maria doesn't have it. Heading up, keep... Doing whatever." Climbing out of his seat, he flicks off the safety on his 805 and quickly walks towards the door.
Jamie stands up, massaging the the spot that will surely turn into a nasty door frame shaped bruise. Muttering under his breath, "You would be the one to trip upstairs, wouldn't you?" He makes sure his revolver is concealed the best it can be before walking towards the group of armed men.
Holding his arm out towards the leader to shake his hand, "How's she hangin' gentlemen? Please forgive our entrance, sometimes we get a little excited when there's company. There just hasn't been shite going on 'round here." Giving what he imagines is a very charming smile, he waits for a response.
The Gang Tries Not to Get Shot
Jamie, and Glover
Getting back to your feet quickly, you two extend greetings and attempt to defuse the situation.
Glover [Diplomacy] [9 + 3] vs Mysterious Stranger  COMPLETE SUCCESS
Jamie [Silver Tongue]  vs Mysterious Stranger [No Need] CRITICAL F- Nevermind, Glover's got it handled.
((He got a 1 the first time I rolled that score and re-rolled it. He got a 1 again.))
The stranger stands before Glover, and you can feel his gaze through the opaque glasses. You also get a very clear view of his rifle. It looked similar to the ones the others were carrying, but this one had more scratches and scuffs in the paint, along with a few dark stains on the exposed metal. The housing towards the grip had an unknown mechanism sticking out of it, obviously some kind of custom modification. It was a pair of green plastic cylinders the size of pill bottles held sideways in place by a couple of grey steel plates, and had a mess of wires running from it into the dark body of the gun. It gave off a low but noticeable hum.
The stranger doesn't say anything for a moment, and right when it looks like Jamie is about to say something, he firmly pushes the candy bearing hand back and says "No thank you. I'm not here for a job interview." He lets his rifle down, letting its muzzle rest against the floor as he says, "We're part of the Third, and we're here to search your compound and then we'll be on our way." His voice was stern, and businesslike. "So if there won't be any more disturbances-" he looks back at Maria. She glares at him. "-then we'll get to it." He starts to move past you two, and the group prepares to follow.
You listen to the conversation from inside the stairwell, remaining hidden easily. Nothing sticks out to you, until he mentions The Third. Nobody really knows about them in this part of the galaxy, but it jogs your memory of your time as a mercenary. The Third is also a group of mercenaries, but they're usually hired by corporations to guard midworlds from pirates. They're almost never seen this far out.
You think harder  and you remember that face, too. That was Cinder, a squad leader for the Third. He used to be part of their assault arm, paid to "get rid of" certain groups that were holed up in hard to reach places. At least, that was before he earned the name Cinder. He got it from a close encounter with a raider wielding a fire bomb, along with that burn scar on his head. He wore the glasses because he lost his eyes in that as well. You imagine he got a cybernetic replacement or something similar after that, and was moved to a more supervisory position after it all. That was years ago, however, and you're not sure what he could be doing here with those goons.
In the basement...
You decide to check out what's going on upstairs. Entering the stairwell, you hear people talking upstairs, recognizing the voice of Glover, but someone else responds that you don't recognize. You keep your gun ready as you start to make your way up. Arriving at the top, you see the lobby as well as Jeremiah hiding in the doorway. Beyond it, you see Glover and Jamie talking to a strange man wearing sunglasses and a suit of black police-styled armor. Several others dressed in similar attire mill about behind him, along with Maria who was dusting herself off to the side. It didn't look like there was going to be a fight, but you do hear the man say "...we're here to search your compound and then we'll be on our way." He sounded calm, but serious. "So if there won't be any more disturbances then we'll get to it."
Holland and Reagan
You two remain downstairs, Holland keeps typing away at the computer as Reagan lounges in a nearby chair.
Deciding to drop the whole sneaky vibe he took a quick step down a couple steps before hurriedly rushing down the stairs and back to the room they held up in, not caring if he was noticed though thankful he was able to remember the man who stood out most.
(RNGesus is not liking me so far ;-;)
Making sure the men can't hear, Jamie whispers to Glover, "Alright, think about this. Obviously these guys aren't going listen to us, if we're going to deal with them the other way, while they're in the stairwell is the best time. If we're up here shooting them in the arse and our boys downstairs shoot them in the front, they'll take fire from both sides with no cover."
Jamie places his hand on the handle of his gun and waits to see if Glover has any other plan.
Jason pushes past Jeremiah on the stairs, lazily holding his rifle across his chest. "You know these guys?" He asks Jamie and Glover. He seems to be taking up quite a lot of space on the stairs, although it's difficult to tell if he's doing so intentionally or not.
"Fuck that three times over I won't let any goons find me," Holland says as he unplugs the datachit, "Or this."
Holland would then put the datachit inside of his armor and went over to the elevator shaft and would begin to climb up the ladder.
Glover takes the lead in front of the group, leisurely strolling in front of the mercs at a pace just fast enough to be normal, hopefully with Jamie close behind him. He silently thanks whatever moon-gods or sun-queens that happen to be listening as Jason stops them on the stairs.
Gesturing quickly to the big man with the glasses, Glover stops the whole procession somewhat dramatically, turning to Jason. "Oh, y'know, Jase, nothing too much. These boys are with the Third, they're here to make a routine search. We know how it is, right?" He states these words lightheartedly, but just a bit louder than someone in normal conversation would, stopping once again for a little longer to chuckle and pat Jamie on the shoulder, before beginning to move once again at his former leisurely pace.
The Gang Decides to Avoid Direct Confrontation
You successfully disengage from the group and head back downstairs, not worry about being spotted since nobody had noticed you in the first place. Plodding down the stairs, you brush shoulders with Jason who looked a little worried.
At the bottom of the stairs, you see Reagan and Holland lounging around, then Glover's voice comes down from above...
You step ahead of the stranger, and
BLUFF CHECK (because Glover doesn't technically know they're members of the Third)
Glover [Diplomacy] [10!] vs Everyone Within Earshot [No need] CRITICAL SUCCESS
manage to pluck the right answer out of thin air. "These boys are with the Third, they're here to make a routine search." Your voice echoes clearly through the stairwell, and anyone standing in it or nearby can hear your message without issue. The stranger's stoic face twitches when you say their name, but otherwise doesn't react as he continues down the stairs. The rest of your group and his trail behind.
You're ticking away on the keyboard as Jeremiah comes down the stairs. More footsteps can be heard from the stairwell, and you hear Glover's voice echo from inside. Knowing that you won't be alone for much longer, you grab the drive and switch the computer off. Reagan's listening device stops clicking as you do.
You dash over to the elevator doors, and without much time left try and heft them open.
Holland [Melee] [3 + 2 = 5] vs Doors [Heavy]  JUST BARELY
You try and pull them open on your own but only strain your aging muscles. Using your hammer, however, you manage to jam the handle inside the gap and, with significant effort, pull them open. The elevator shaft opens up before you. It's almost completely dark inside, except for the dim light inside your office. You squint and peer inside.
Holland  vs The Dark  NOT QUITE
You can barely make out anything in the dark, but you see there's the floor of the shaft a few feet below you and a ladder across the way. You jump in, and fail to notice that the floor you thought was solid was actually a dark pool of water. You sink up to your waist in the murky pool, and you feel your boot collide with something sharp. Luckily, your heavy duty mining suit is meant to protect against stuff like that and you proceed unharmed.
You wade over to ladder and grab on, pulling yourself up one rusty rung at a time. The metal groans and shivers, echoing into the inky blackness as you ascend out of sight.
Glover takes the lead, and you follow keeping your gun at the ready.
You reach Glover and posit your question. He replies much louder than you anticipated, but the message is received none the less. The stranger and his group push pass your indecisive stance as they continue downstairs.
You continue to lounge on the couch and act natural.
Pipes up as he sees Holland moving away from the desk and into the elevator, walking over he says, "It's a group from the third, the leader of the groups name is Cinder, I seem to recall he had a bit of an accident with fire and lost an eye, just a heads up they are well armed so don't let them see you when your leaving." he'd say before commenting on the sound of a now dripping outfit, "By the way, try and keep your shit from getting too wet." he'd finish before moving to take Holland's place at the desk and lean back.
After the group of Third have passed him on the stairs, Jason goes to follow, hesitating as he looks back up towards Maria. Sighing, he waits for a couple of seconds before following the group down, tightly holding his rifle.
Glover leads the men on over to the room of operations, casually swaying his arms about. "Well, here we are, eh? Do what you gotta do, I suppose." He states dismissively, casually whispering something quiet to Jamie as he gets out of the group's way. "Might not need to do any shooting, Jay, if these boys can't find what they're looking for, there's not much they can do, eh?"
Grudgingly, Jamie follows as the group goes downstairs, visibly on edge over the intruders. As he gets to the bottom he reaches into his pocket and takes a sip from his flask to calm his nerves before leaning close to Glover, "Aye, perhaps, but don't be complaining when it looks like a war zone after these chancers make a mess of the place."
The Gang Hopes for the BestJeremiah, Jamie and Glover
You three hang inside the room, and attempt to act natural. The mercenaries reach the room and fan out, pushing over piles of papers and overturning wastebaskets as they search for their target. One of the mercenaries pulls out a device, looking like a boxy video screen mounted on a pistol grip with a plastic cone mounted to the front of it, wide end pointing outwards. It clicked quietly as they moved around the room.
Before you depart down the stairs to an uncertain future, you give one look back at your stalwart secretary. Unfortunately, she's nowhere to be seen. Sighing, you follow your team down the stairs.
You make your way up the ladder, and for a moment a thought passes through your head about the lack of an elevator car thus far.
Holland  vs The Dark  SUCCESS
As if summoned by your mind, the looming floor of the danging elevator car comes down to meet you. The ladder is set in the wall in such a way that you can just barely squeeze past it, and so you do, shimmying up the ladder.
At that moment, a couple of mercenaries find the open elevator doors and peered inside. One of them turns on their helmet light, and looks up into the shaft.
Holland  vs Mercenaries [10!] ENEMY SPOTTED
The merc with the light on calls out, "Boss! Got a tango in the shaft!" Without stopping to reconsider their phrasing, they point their rifles at Holland. "Hold it right there!" one of them shouts.
Cinder shoves his way past a couple of his subordinates as he storms his way to the elevator doors.
Cursing silently under his breath, Glover coughs loudly, making his way over to the group of mercs with a faux-confused look on his face as he peers into the darkness of the elevator shaft. "Stanley? I thought you were off work today, mate! An honest man's toil never ends, eh?" He calls up into the shaft, laughing and pointing up at the man on the ladder. "No worries, boys, that's the building's handyman, Stanley. Probably fixin' up that death trap they call a lift."
Sighs lightly as he gets up, hands nowhere near his rifle instead moving to his pack to pull out a bottle of water. He'd began thinking of saying something that'd likely get him shot but decided against it, instead looking up at the ceiling then to the stairwell, walking over to the door he'd lean against the wall somewhat casually, if not awkwardly due to his pack.
Jamie goes stiff for a few moments, like a deer in headlights, with an expression on his face of a mix of anger and I-told-so. Thinking to himself, "Yeah, a handyman, he sure looks the part alright... Fine, I guess we're doing this." Jamie takes a deep breath and closes his eyes. His expression changes to calm and happy as if there was no problem and he walks up beside Glover.
"Oh yeah! He came in earlier while you were in the toilet, been in there for a while." He then speaks more directly to the group, "Poor bastard's been having a hard time getting it to work, thing's been broke for longer than I can remember."
Jacob begins thinking up plans of what to do if the talking idea doesn't quite work out. Noting their almost complete focus on the elevator shaft, he realises that he could totally boot one of them into the pit. If the plan doesn't work out, he attempts exactly that, going for a big boot to the spine. If it (somehow) works out, he continues standing there silently.
The Gang Tri- OH GOD HIT THE DECK
Glover and Jamie
You two try and pass off Holland as your heavily armored and somewhat damp handyman. The two mercenaries consider what you've said-
Jamie and Glover [Smooth talkers] [3 + 3 = 6] vs Mercenaries [Not in the mood] [7 + 1 = 8] FAILURE
-but they don't buy it. "That ain't no handyman!" one of them says. The other says, "Opening fire!" and takes aim at Holland.
BEGIN COMBAT - SURPRISE ROUND
Jason - SPRINGS INTO ACTION
DROP KICK [FIGHTER] [3 + 3 = 6] vs MERCENARY 2 [Distracted] [5 - 1 = 4] HIT
The second mercenary readies their rifle, but Jacob sees the motion and charges them. He jumps into the air, both feet pressed tightly together as he collides horizontally into the back of the black armor. The mercenary is caught completely off guard, and the shot they were trying to make goes wide. The beam of light ricochets off the wall and flies past Holland, zipping up the shaft and managing to hit the pulley system holding the car aloft at the top. The metal pins holding it in the crumbling ceiling shudder and groan.
The mercenary stumbles forwards and falls into the dark pool of water,  and she stops moving completely. The light on her helmet filters out through the bottom of the pool, and you can see the water become clouded with blood. She does not move.
BEGIN COMBAT - ROUND 1
MERCENARY 1 - He stands at the entrance to the elevator shaft, and points his rifle at Holland!
MERCENARY 3 - Kicks the food table over on the eastern side of the room, sending napkins, donuts and coffee flying. He hunkers down.
MERCENARY 4 - Hunkers down next to MERCENARY 3
MERCENARY 5 - Stands at the northern side of the room, and points her rifle at Jason!
MERCENARY 6 - Hits the ground in the center of the room, and points his rifle at Jeremiah!
CINDER - Reaches the elevator doors and prepares to strike Jason with his rifle!
There's just enough time for everyone else to realize what's happening and get ready to fight, flee, or find cover.
Having his rifle infront of him he slips out of the room and behind the door before taking a shot at the big bad, aiming his rifle from behind cover he'd decide to shoot at Cinder and try and take him out first so long as his shot was clear.
Scrambling to his feet, Jason glaces up at Cinder. Grabbing at Merc #1, he spins them around and throws them at Cinder, and then attempts to make it to cover.
Spinning on his heels, Jamie sprints away from the now hostile mercenaries. "WHAT DID I SAY!? Should have listened to me, but noooo!" As he's yelling, he slides in behind a desk. "Ya just had to keep pushing it!" Having vented some anger, he peeks around the desk and points his gun towards the mercenary aiming at Jason.
"Was worth a shot, though, eh?" Glover grunts towards Jamie, before whipping the hand in his jacket out to reveal his revolver. Taking advantage of his natural dexterity, he backs up quickly towards the desk Jamie hid behind, fanning the hammer of his revolver and firing off a few shots in quick succession at Mercenary 6, before hurtling himself backwards over the desk and next to Jamie.
The Gang Goes Hot
You leap to your feet, and shoulder charge the mercenary.
Jason  vs Mercenary 1 [No need] CRITICAL FAILURE
He sees you coming from a mile away, and sidesteps you as he sweeps your legs out from underneath you with his rifle. You tumble down into the water, and land on top of the other mercenary you knocked in there earlier. You taste blood.
You step back and get behind the doorframe, and ready your shot.
Jeremiah [Fighter] [7+3 = 10] vs Cinder [Veteran] [9+3 = 12] Grazing shot
As you raise your rifle, however, Cinder's head immediately turns towards you. You swear you see his left eye glow red for a second. He leaps backwards, rolling behind a table as your shot grazes his shoulder. It tears the armor, but you don't see him flinch.
Jamie and Glover
You two fire quips between eachother as Jamie jumps behind a thick wooden desk, sliding to a stop on the linoleum. Glover follows suit, moving backwards as he fires off a volley of shots from his revolver.
Glover [Reflex] [9 + 2 = 11] vs Mercenary 6  Hit!
The revolver's thick slugs find their mark, slamming into the mercenary's side! Two of the slugs slam into his torso, bruising through the body armor. The third goes wide, and tears through the flesh of his neck. Dark, crimson blood sprays in a glistening arc through the office. He lets out a gurgled scream, panicked, as he tries to hold back the torrential flow with his hands.
Glover lands behind the desk neatly. Jamie's turn.
Jamie takes his shot at the mercenary by the elevator, bracing his firing arm on the table.
Jamie  vs Mercenary 5  Hit!
He takes in a breath, one eye closed. Aiming carefully, he squeezes the trigger of the pistol. With a loud, hard retort, the bullet is let loose from the barrel and screams across the office. It burrows through the side of her helmet, burying itself deep inside her cranium. There's no exit wound, and only a small trickle of scarlet fluid exits the half inch hole. The barrel of her rifle dips, and for a moment she stands completely still. Peaceful, almost. Then gravity catches up with her and her body crumples to the ground, lifeless and empty.
((ApatheticExcuse won't be able to post for a little while so I'll be taking over his character for the time being.))
You roll over the back of the couch you had been lounging in, and peek over the top. You take a shot at the mercenaries hiding behind the table on the eastern side of the room.
Reagan  vs Mercenary 3 [Hunkered down] [8 + 3 = 11] Miss!
You can't quite get a bead on their position and the .44 magnum bullet blasts a hole in the table, harmless to your assailants.
Mercenary 1 - Fires at Holland!
 vs Holland [Slim profile]  CRITICAL FAILURE
The mercenary squeezes the trigger of his rifle, and the laser shot zooms forwards. A red beam of light illuminates the dark shaft for a moment, and Holland has nowhere to go. The shot strikes him in the foot, and he feels the heat burn the sole of his foot. That hurt.
Mercenary 3 - Fires at Reagan!
 vs Reagan [Low cover] [7 + 1 = 8] Miss!
His shot goes wide, flying over the couch and making a dark burn mark on the wall.
Mercenary 4 - Fires at Jeremiah!
 vs Jeremiah [High cover] [2 + 2 = 4] Hit!
Her shot manages to grab Jeremiah in the arm! The sizzling ray sears your upper arm, leaving a gnarly but cauterized wound. The pain, however, is very much there.
Mercenary 6 - Suffers.
He writhes and squirms on the ground, sputtering and gurgling in a pool of his own blood. He chokes out one last agonizing groan and raises his hand towards the sky. His arm goes limp shortly after, and he dies.
"You ruined my clothes!" he'd shout out quite aggravated before letting 4 shots ring out into the room thanks to the fact his gun was set to full auto, each of them moving towards the person who just shot him in the arm. Despite the pain he was feeling he decided to muscle through it.
(I go somewhere for the weekend and people die. Whelp, I shoulda saw this coming.)
Holland will jump from the ladder toward the man standing in the elevator opening and smash him with his hammer.
Groaning, Jason spits out blood and climbs to his feet. Grabbing his rifle, he tries to make his way over to the ladder up.
"Worth a shot? Ya really this is a good time for puns?" Chuckling at his own joke Jamie yells out to his group, "Oy, try not to blow the leader's head off if ya can help it, alright? I think we'll have some questions for the gobshite!"
His grin fading away, he leans out again, this time aiming at the the third mercenary hiding behind the table.
The Gang Gets Blood on Their Hands
You slide down the ladder, no longer pinned by the dangling elevator car. Gripping your hammer in one hand, you turn to face back towards the open doors and spy your target. Tensing your muscles, you leap off the ladder and across the gap, bringing your hammer down over your head.
Holland [Melee] [Foot injury] [8 + 5 - 1 = 10] vs Mercenary 1 [1!] Hit!
With a high pitched whine, the reaction wheels spin up, accelerating your swing. The mercenary can do nothing else but stand in dumbfounded confusion at the man dropping out of the darkness on him. The hammer head collides with the man's helmet with a loud, meaty CUH-RRACK and you see the helmet collapse inward as his head is destroyed by your strike. Blood and viscera splatter outwards in a perfect semicircle, painting a line across your chest and arms.
ALRIGHT HOTSHOT, NOW STICK THE LANDING CHECK
Holland [Foot injury] [5 - 1 = 4] vs The Floor  Just made it
You land heavily and flinch with the impact, but you stay on your feet. You are now standing in the elevator doorway.
You turn around the corner again, and take aim at the mercenary hidden behind the table across the room. You steady your rifle for a moment, then let the bullets fly.
Jeremiah [Fighter] [5 + 3 = 8] vs Mercenary 4 [10!] Miss!
The mercenary surveys the room for threats, and sees you turn the corner. She swears loudly, and ducks behind the table. Your bullets eviscerate the place where her head would've been.
You get up, standing in the murky water, clothes dripping and smelling faintly of copper. Spitting out the blood, you grab the ladder and feel it vibrate as Holland leaps over your head and kills the mercenary standing at the doorway with a falling swing. You're spattered with some blood, and continue to climb.
You lean out onto the floor, and take aim at the table across the room.
Jamie  vs Mercenary 3  Hit!
Just before you squeeze the trigger, Jeremiah fires his rifle at the table. The fourth mercenary sees it coming ducks, saying "Shit!" loudly. Her partner behind the table says, "What?" and peeks over the edge. You take the shot. The bullet zips across the room and manages to hit between the armor pads on his shoulder and chest. The bullet penetrates all the way through, and there is a brief sputter of blood from the wound.
"Ssshit!" he yells, gripping his shoulder and falling backwards behind the table. You can hear the fourth mercenary yell, "Jackson!"
You pop up behind the couch and take another shot, this time at Cinder.
Reagan  vs Cinder [Veteran] [5 + 3 = 8] Miss!
Your revolver's barrel dips, and the bullet embeds itself in the linoleum a few feet short of your target.
Mercenary 3 - "Damn it, Jackson!"
She hunkers down.
Mercenary 4 - "I know, j-just pass me the injector!"
He hunkers down.
Cinder - Fires at Holland!
Holland [Fighter] [Foot injury] [2 + 3 - 1 = 4] vs Cinder [Veteran] [5 + 3 = 8] Hit!
Cinder hefts his rifle over the desk, muttering "Gotta do everything myself." He squeezes the trigger, and the two cylinders attached to his rifle housing begin to spin and glow with a yellow energy. They start to throw of sparks and the rifle activates with an electric BWRMMMMMM as a brilliant orange ray leaps forwards and he drags it across the doorway. It burns a glowing red line into the concrete, cutting one of the rungs of the ladder as it slices through Holland's torso armor! White hot pain courses through your gut like lightning, and then is suddenly replaced with a numbness and a resounding feeling of dread. That hit did some serious damage. Holland's armor seal has been breached.
"On a roll today, eh, Jamie?" Glover laughs to the man beside him, still in cover behind the desk. Four more shots in the piece, plus my scattergun in this here desk. He thinks to himself, thumbing the hammer of his revolver back and taking careful aim one-handed, the way he prefers it, before firing off another shot, this time at the table Mercenaries 3 and 4 are currently hiding behind. The crappy thin furniture the gang keeps in this office shouldn't provide too much protection, and Glover wagers the weighty rounds in his revolver can penetrate without too much difficulty.
Lets go of his rifle with a sigh and quickly pulls out his revolver, taking aim he peaks around the corner once more and goes to take one of the five shots he had with the thing before needing to reload. The barrel pointing once more at Cinder now that the person he was shooting at was no longer visible.
Grunting, Jason hooks his arm around a rung on the ladder, hanging about level with the elevator doors. Bringing his assault rifle up, he aims a shot at whoever is in front of him and isn't on his side. Hopefully Cinder. Fuck that guy.
Seeing that the remaining mercenaries are either pretty well suppressed or otherwise distracted, Jamie comes up with a plan. "I'll go get the drop on them, wish me luck."
Keeping his gun at the ready, peaks out to make sure he still has a window of opportunity. Staying low and going from cover to cover, Jamie tries to sneak around to flank the two mercenaries behind cover. If he makes it, he'll unload the last four bullets in his revolver at the two, if things go south, he'll just try to dive to the nearest cover.
The Gang Finishes What they Start
You stand up from behind the desk, and level your revolver at arms length, squinting your opposite eye. You take a wild guess as to where the two mercenaries could be behind the table, and make the shot.
Glover [Blind shot] [10!] vs Mercenary 3 or 4 (Coin flip! It's 3) [No need] CRITICAL HIT
The gun jerks upwards with the powerful recoil as the slug whips across the room, punching a sizable hole in the table and striking something on the other side. You hear something heavy hit the floor back there, and then the voice of Jackson say, "Babe? Bea? No, God, Beatrice- !" His voice cracked.
Sounds like you hit something.
You climb up the rickety ladder, and as the laser cuts through the chamber you smell a mix of ozone and burnt food. You cough lightly and turn your body around, hanging off the ladder commando style as you take aim with your rifle.
Jason [Fighter] [Rifle one handed] [7 + 3 - 2 = 8] vs Cinder [Veteran] [2 + 3 = 5] Hit!
You pull on the trigger and a chunk of hot lead flies forth, striking him just under the arm. The pullet penetrates easily, and you see him flinch in pain. His aim is thrown off completely by the shot.
You get low, and hustle your way around the outside of the room.
Jamie [Stealthy] [9 + 3 = 12] vs Mercenary 4 [Distracted] [9 - 2 = 7] Sneaky!
You peek out from behind a desk and observe your targets. What you see behind the table, however, is somewhat different than what you expected. The 4th mercenary was sitting up, with the front of his armor sporting a growing dark stain from his previous wound. He had taken his helmet off and you could see the back of his head, bowed over the 3rd mercenary. He was cradling her head in his lap. She had her helmet still on, and you could see a hole in the side of it, fresh blood still oozing out. The 4th mercenary looked like was crying, muttering something like, "You were right, you were right... We should've left... You were right..." He doesn't notice you.
Just as you read your revolver to fire, something explodes in the center of the room and a piece of shrapnel knocks your aim off. Your shot goes completely wide. The mercenary, however, doesn't take notice.
You leave your rifle by your side, and instead pull out your pistol. You align the sights, and take a breath.
Jeremiah [Fighter] [8 + 3 = 11] vs Cinder [Veteran] [4 + 3 = 7] Hit!
You fire your Mateba, the loud retort of the .44 magnum signaling doom. The bullet spirals forward just as Cinder flinches from Jason's shot, causing him to jerk his rifle upwards. The bullet rips through the casing of the two cylinders on the weapon, and for a moment nothing occurs aside from Cinder gripping his now sucking chest wound. Then, the rifle's housing begins to spark and fizzle, and you see something almost resembling fear on Cinder's face. He throws the rifle into the air and ducks down as it explodes overhead! The blast rocks the room, knocking Holland back into the elevator shaft and causing Cinder to slide a few feet away. The elevator car groans ominously and the bolts holding it to the top of the shaft shift ever so slightly. Everyone else manages to keep their footing.
Cinder rolls over, facing upwards. His sunglasses had been knocked off by the force of the explosion, and now you see what he had been hiding. Where his left eye should've been was a ghastly burn scar, overlaid by several smaller surgical cuts. His right eye looked the same, save for a small trapezoid shaped piece of metal set over the socket. Four small red lenses were set into the front of it.
Cinder sits up, and coughs. A bit of blood drips out of his mouth. He looked pretty beat up.
"Well, you got me." he says, simply. "You boys put up a pretty tough fight."
Glover shakily ducks behind cover as Cinder's rifle explodes, breathing a sigh of relief as he realizes he went unscathed throughout the entire shootout. Wow, maybe those moon-kings are looking out for 'ol Blanchard, eh? Standing from his position behind the desk and tucking his revolver into the holster concealed by his jacket, Glover vaults over the desk, walking on over towards the fallen form of Cinder.
"Ooh, ouch. Had that rifle set to well-done, eh? I prefer medium-rare." He prods a bit, before disdainfully spitting the aniseed twist he'd offered the merc down onto the floor. "Shoulda taken the damn candy, overcooked bastard..." Glover mutters, not even really focusing on Cinder himself as he turns and jogs over to the elevator.
"That didn't sound too good, boys. Jason, come on out; Holland, grab my hand, I have a feeling I'm gonna need to patch ya up." He stoops down and holds his hand out as he says this, reaching as close to Holland as he can.
Cinder, for some odd reason grins at Glover's statement. He chuckles, and then winces, gripping at the bleeding wound beneath his arm. He otherwerise remains silent, observing the movements of everyone in the room.
Sighs lightly and moves over to the one who was talking about a Bea, "You should've left.. you shouldn't have even come here to begin with, and Cinder, what the fuck happened to you, I heard you lost your damn eye but why were you still working for the third after that. None of this would've happened and the majority of you wouldn't be dead right now!" His words came out somewhat soft if not somewhat pissed despite the burn across his arm still causing him lots of pain.
"I really don't take joy in killing people who don't deserve to die, none of the men or women needed to die here today."
Holland would pass out from the pain of being lasered in the gut and then thrown back into the pit at the bottom of the elevator. He'd lay on his back, arms outstretched and wait till someone came for him. Not the worst situation he's been in but close...
Jason throws his gun across the shaft, followed by throwing himself over. Upon getting across, he looks around the room at the dead bodies. "Anyone other than Holland get hit? Speaking of, where is Holland?"
Jackson goes silent and doesn't look up. He simply takes the helmet off of Beatrice's body and looks at her face, gently brushing strands of dark hair out of it.
Cinder shakes his head, still grinning. He looks at Jackson and says "You don't get it. You don't just 'quit' the Third. If you get injured, can't fight or anything, they stuff you behind a desk handling supply requests or something. But you never leave." He coughs some more, flecks of red coming out of his mouth. "That's what they did with me. I couldn't fuckin' stand it, so I convinced them to let me take over this mission. This was supposed to be my big break." He laughs to himself. "Guess I lost that too."
Goes to softly pat Jackson on the back before getting up from his knee, "Yeah, guess you fucked that up too, and ruined this guys life and got many of the others here killed, what the fuck were you even looking for anyways?" he'd say trying not to be a complete dick to the person who he figured just lost either his girlfriend or wife.
Turning to look at Jason he'd simply say, "I got caught in the arm by a laser but I'll be fine, the wound was cauterized as the laser past it just hurts like ever loving hell still." he'd reach back into his pack and pull out the bottle of pain pills before taking two of them.
"What the-" Jamie spits out as he is knocked back by the blast. Groaning as he pushes himself back up, the smartass joke he was about to make catches in his throat as he takes in the scene before him.
He looks at the mercenary holding his dead partner, muttering to himself, "Shite... You never get used to it." The idea of giving condolences comes to his mind but he realizes that it would be the last thing he'd want to hear from the people who just cut down his whole squad. Instead he just crosses himself and looks towards Cinder.
Jamie starts to walk to him with a scowl on his face and his hand in a fist. Ready throw insults at him before throwing blows, but his words are once again swallowed when he hears Cinder talk. His hand opens and his face softens slightly, knowing all too well how difficult it is to leave a life similar to his behind.
Regardless, he still wants more information so he looks down on him and speaks in a firm voice, "Alright ya fuck, so what were you here lookin' for, and why's yer boss want it? What was worth these poor bastards lives?"
The Gang Picks Up the Pieces
Cinder shakes his head. "Wouldn't you like to know." He puts his thumb on his chin, in a thinking motion. "Just knowing what's out there... That can drive a man to do some crazy things. You wouldn't believe what I know about that treasure. Hell, it could-"
A voice perks up from the back of the room.
"Shut the fuck up, Adrian."
It was Jackson.
Cinder turns around with some difficulty, and you all see the mercenary helmetless. His hair was cut back in a short buzz, and his face had a tannish complexion with soft features and irritated, red eyes. You could tell he'd been crying.
In his hands he was holding his rifle, aimed from the hip at Cinder.
"I think everyone's had enough of your shit." He flicks a switch on the rifle, and the telltale bweeeee of a charging laser rifle emanates across the room. "You didn't know anything about the treasure coming in here. And you don't know anything now. So just shut. Up."
Cinder grins again. "Finally growing a pair, eh Jackie? About time. I was worried you were going soft on me."
Jackson remains stoic. "No." He lowers the rifle. "I am going soft. I'm done with this mercenary shit." He lets go of the weapon, and it clatters loudly on the floor. With that, Jackson bends down, and gathers up Beatrice in his arms and begins to walk out. Cinder grabs his leg as he walks past. He looked almost worried. "Hey, c'mon, this is work. Shit happens. Don't go walking out on me now." Jackson glares at him. "This-" He hefts up the body. "-this isn't 'shit'. I quit." He kicks off the hand and continues up the stairwell. Before he crosses the threshold, he says over his shoulder "Everything he knows he keeps in a briefcase that's in the speeder. The combination's 45-63." And he walks out.
Cinder sets his jaw and makes a tsk-ing sound, muttering something under his breath.
You swing across the gap  vs  with relative ease, landing on the other side. As you look around, you can't seem to find Holland, until you hear some gurgling sounds coming from behind you, in the elevator shaft. Looking in, you see Holland with a massive gash in his armor and a grievous burn wound across his stomach. He was half submerged in the water, with his legs sticking out and his torso and head under the surface. Judging by the bubbles, he was having trouble breathing.
Something changes upstairs.
You hear the sound of Jackson walking across the lobby, and you hear the door open and close. A set of lighter footsteps crosses the room quickly, some muffled words are exchanged, and the light footsteps continue across to the stairwell at a markedly faster pace. You hear someone descending the staircase quickly.
Holland would at least attempt to wake himself up to prevent the possibility of drowning. Perhaps just sitting up against a wall would do the trick.
Groans as he hears the sound of another set of feet rushing down the stairs, moving over behind a table he'd sit down now that it was tipped and it gave him cover. His thoughts were whoever was rushing down the stairs wasn't a friendly group of people but unless bullets started flying he wasn't gonna start shooting.
"Ah shit, hang on bud." Dumping his backpack and gun by the elevator doors, he hops down and grabs his arms, pulling him up and holding him up for Glover to grab. After they try and haul him out, Jason climbs back out and grabs his gear. Listening to the footsteps he thinks for a second. "Probably Maria. Hopefully Maria."
Jamie looks over to the elevator shaft and the people scrambling to help Holland. I'd go to help, but at this point I'd probably just get in the way. The footsteps in the stairwell gets his attention and he turns to face it. As an extra precaution, he takes out his revolver again and points it at Cinder, "Alright then, 'Adrian,' don't try anything smart."
(any room for a resident lurker who used to RP?)
The Gang Gets the Ball Rolling Again
You manage to grab on one of Holland's vertical legs, and with some difficulty  vs  haul the man out of the elevator shaft and onto (mostly) dry ground. The water drains out of the hole in his suit, and after some coughing you hear his breathing return to normal.
You're pulled out of the water suddenly, and with a loud splashing noise and a metallic thunk you find that you can breath once more. However, that feeling of dread in your stomach has turned into a knot that weighs deeply on your gut. You should seek medical attention soon.
Someone arrives.The footsteps finally reach the stairwell door, and you look to see a familiar face enter the room. It was Maria. She was wearing an olive drab rubber poncho with the hood up. Rainwater still clung to the surface of it and her arm protruded through the split in the front. She was holding a derringer-like pistol, with gunmetal barrels and an ivory grip. The barrels were wider than you normally saw on that kind of weapon.
"Guys! I'm here! I'm h-" she said, flinching as she sees Jeremiah ready to fire in her direction. She pauses as she takes in her surroundings, noting the three injured men and several dead bodies lying around the office. "-hoooly shit."
Her arm disappears into the poncho and she says, "You guys really can handle yourselves." She walks over to a nearby desk. "Well, while you guys were busy I took some liberties of my own. Check it out." Her arm reappears and with it, a thick black briefcase. It was obviously reinforced with dark metal plating on the corners and on the handle.
Cinder looked angry. "Hey, where the hell d-" He starts to get up, but his forehead brushes against Jamie's gun. He sneers. Maria continues, "I can't figure out how to get it open, but it looks important." She hefts the briefcase onto the desk and with a satisfied smile turns around to face Jamie and Cinder. "So what are we gonna do with this guy?"
It seems that you could try and crack the case, attend to your wounds, or deal with the prisoner.
Or you could do something else.
Places his revolver back into it's holster before going and giving Holland a pain pill if he could swallow it down, trying to ease the pain for a bit, "The code is 45-63, and this place is bloody enough now that the fighting's done." he'd say, "Anybody know proper first aid, I can numb the pain with the pills but someones gonna need to stitch up that wound.. and I'm gonna need some burn salve for my arm."
"Their vehicles," Holland sputters between every word, a trickle of blood forming at the side of his mouth, "Should have a kit in them. If they were hired by Twin Suns, then their ship would have an onboard automedical station. You fucking death squad won't kill Holland today... No, not today..."
He then lays flat on the ground after swallowing that pain pill.
"So, what will we do with you?" Jamie asks to cinder, still holding him at gun point. "Say we do let you go, which ya really wouldn't deserve, how do ya think yer boss will react to this? You'd be a dead man walkin', wouldn't ya?"
Cinder coughs, more forcefully this time. He wipes away a droplet of blood from his lip. "Killing me here would be doing my boss a favor. But I got something you might need." He pauses, drawing in a breath. "If you guys are serious about this treasure, you'll need a way around the island. Take my speeder. It's linked to only start if I show it my implant, but if you let me go, I'll deactivate the lock. It'll be yours." His words are slower now, and his breathing is more labored. He's not smiling anymore.
"Wait, your implant? So, is this like a proximity thing or...? For your sake, I hope it's not, 'cause there ain't much stopping us from just cutting it out and stealing your speeder anyway..."
Cinder sighs. "It's an ocular implant, sparky. It's connected to my brain. If that connection gets severed, it won't function." He sounded tired.
"Well, unless there's any other ideas, letting One Eye Willy here unlock his speeder for us would be pretty useful..."
Looks at Cinder before letting out a sigh, "Unless you have a way of repairing internal damage I don't think you'll be getting very far, coughing up blood says that much." he'd say his expression once again soft, "I'm gonna need a refill after this is done.." he'd end up finishing before offering a pill to Cinder to also ease his pain. "Oh, don't let Holland sleep, he needs medical attention before hand or things are gonna go south."
The Gang Learns Something New Every Day
A Secret is RevealedMaria looks at Jeremiah with a puzzled expression. Turning back to the case, she enters the code on the small keypad and with a satisfying *click*, the latches holding the case closed become undone. "Wooow." she breathed. Pulling open the case, she looks inside. The interior was lined with a purple velvet padding, with a small sheaf of papers strapped to the bottom side and a small pistol strapped to the top. Maria promptly removes the papers, laying them out on the table.
Appearance: Yellow data chit with small attached cord, approximately 7 cm x 5 cm x 3 cm. Cord ends in a UDB.
Location: Last seen in an estate sale on Miller island. Contact said it wasn't sold and was left in the shed.
Attendum: It's not there. Remind me later to kick my "contact's" ass.
Attendum: We got a signal. Looks like some sorry bastard plugged it in. I'm putting together a team and we're heading out. It looks like it's in an old Rigger hideout. It should be an easy grab.
Notes: The datachit is nearly indestructible for some reason. Not sure what it's made of but it definitely isn't plastic. Whenever it's accessed by a computer or other electronic device, it emits a unique wavelength of electromagnetic radiation that can be picked up by microwave recievers and some radios. Signal is harmless to humans, probably used as a beacon. Lucky us.
Attendum: Get this: According to a rumor, the chip has a code on it that lets us find the exact location of the second artifact. This is gonna be our big break.
Appearance: A large computer core about the size of a basketball. Heavy, but human transportable. It's rectangular, but dimensions have been hard to confirm. It is normally covered in completely dark metal, but according to a contact when active it becomes illuminated with blue glowing lines.
Location: Last recorded aboard the ship "猫爪子" Roughly translates to the DV Cat's Paw. Apparently last owned by a few members of the survey arm of Sinopec. Not sure what they're doing out here, though. Maybe chasing treasure.
Attendum: The ship's location has been hard to nail down. We talked to the local tracking station, they said the ship went dark after a storm about a week ago. It doesn't help that scanning sattelites can't get through the clouds over the region it was lost in. We're going to have to do this the old fashoined way.
Notes: According to some local legends, this artifact was known to case insanity in those who had it. Not sure how this came to be, it doesn't emit any abnormal signals like the first artifact did. Sounds like just another bullshit rumor.
Notes: All we have is the name. It crops up everywhere in stories. Some say it's the key to all healing, other say it's a superweapon, others still claim that it doesn't even exist. All we know is that we need three artifacts to open the Chamber. This has gotta be the third one.
Maria can't tear her gaze away from the pages. "Holy shit." she says, quietly.
A Man Bargains His LifeCinder shakes his head. "I've done worse. Besides, I know a guy." He looks up at Jeremiah, then at the barrel of the gun pointed at him, then to the outstretched pill. After a moment he sighs, and with a shaky hand takes the pill and downs it. He mumbles a thanks. "So are you gonna get this pistol out of my face or what?"
"...So we gotta track down three... Keys? To open
Pandora's vault the Chamber and get us some loot? Sounds tedious." Jason looks over the papers some more, then moves his gaze over to the pistol strapped to the case.
Maria looks at Jason, "Are you kidding?" she asked, incredulously. "This is the closest anyone's ever been to the treasure. We're breaking some serious ground here."
Jason's gaze, however, is brought to the pistol sitting in the upper part of the case. It was unlike any handgun you'd ever seen before. The grip was shaped like it had been carved from a larger shoulder stock for a rifle, curving inwards but protruding much further back than normal, looking almost like a flintlock. The barrel was large and longer than average and had what looked like a small tube magazine underneath, but the most interesting part of this gun was the box strapped to the side of it. It was a small console interface, complete with an old screen and keyboard. It was about the size of a normal gun magazine. Several colorful wires ran from this box into the metal of the firing chamber. The whole thing looked old, maybe even antique, but well cared for.
The console sat dormant, and you notice six shotgun slug sized rounds set into the velvet next to the pistol. They were colored bright orange, and each had two small pieces of metal sticking out of their ends.
"P-pistol!?" Jamie blurts out. "I oughta put a round in ya just for that! Do ya know how hard it was to get this antique beauty?" He slowly lowers the gun while glaring at Cinder. He turns and walks a little away and starts muttering, "Don't like it in yer face huh? Let see if ya like it when I shove it up yer arse..."
"Just remember that it doesn't take long to draw a gun and shoot if ya think about doin' anything funny."
Jamie starts looking around the room again while taking a drink from his flask. He remembers one of the mercenaries using a strange device to search the room with and goes to look for it, out of curiosity if nothing else.
Looks a little more closely at the shotgun rounds, the outer casing made it seem like they'd be dragons breath rounds but he didn't have something to use them in so he'd turned away. Looking over at Holland, "Anyone wanna help me find something to treat the wounded?" he'd ask before he'd started walking towards stairs waiting for a reply or someone to follow him.
Cinder mumbles something about "compensating" but otherwise stays quiet.
As Jamie searches the room, he finds the body of the 6th mercenary still warm in the center. He had thrashed a lot in his last moments, and many of the loose articles on him had gone in several different directions. You find a few spare charge cells for his rifle, scattered a few feet away alongside his dog tags. His name was Kenneth. Nearby, display still on, was the machine he was using to scan the room. Upon closer inspection you see that the beeping had stopped and the scanning display was devoid of any abnormalities, aside from a few flecks of blood. There's several buttons running alongside the display with labels written in Sino. You imagine with some know-how, you could modify the device to try and read different wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation.
Here's another installment of Hibou's Weird Background Information
These will pop up occasionally whenever I drop some information that probably warrants explanation. They'll also make their way onto the OOC thread for easier access, if you're into that kind of thing.
In the 23rd century, language has changed a lot. Borders have become less defined, culture is more diffused, and trade is booming. So, the formation of trade languages is common among interstellar merchants. Some trade languages are used in such a large context that they become official languages of some factions. Sino is an example of that kind of circumstance. It is an amalgam of separate langauges that originated from the eastern Asian continent and Indian subcontinent, featuring heavy influences from the Mandarin, Korean, Japanese, and Tibetan languages. At the present day, it's one of the most widely used languages today, and many people speak it alongside their own native language. As a result, bilingualism isn't just common, it's the norm.
Other languages that grew up like Sino include Balto (A wide reaching mix of languages originating from eastern Europe), Indo (Incorporates the linguistic traditions of the Middle East, North Africa, and the Indian subcontinent), Nilo (Primarily Creole with some other influences, like Afrikaans, Swahili, and even some Arabic), and Roma (The closest thing you'll get to English, it also incorporates Spanish, French, German, and other romance languages.)
For the intents and purposes of this game, you guys won't have to worry about language. It's understood your characters know enough to get by pretty well in this future, and if you can't understand a language, it's probably for plot reasons.
Anyway, on with the show!
Jeremiah takes a closer look at the rounds, and while he can gather that they appear to be the size of a 20 gauge round, they lack any priming cap and could not be fired out of a conventional shotgun.
Looking up from his new toy, Jamie turns his head towards Jeremiah, "Right, let's get 'im stable before anything else." He sets the scanner somewhere it won't get stepped on and walks over to Cinder.
"So, was Holland right about the autodoc? If so, we're going up to unlock it and you'll get to trot off yer merry way."
The Gang Cleans Up
Cinder looks confused at Holland's mumblings. "Auto-doc? There's no auto-doc. That guy's delirious. The speeder's just a transport vehicle, not an ambulance."
((Since Dec seems to have ghosted us, I'll be puppeting Glover for the time being as well.))
Glover, who had been digging through his medical bag as they spoke, finally surfaces. With several items in his arms, he waltzes over to Jeremiah. He tells him to stay still and pulls out a piece of cloth and a bottle. The liquid inside was brown, and as he poured it on the bandage the room is filled with a very strong scent of lavender. He gingerly presses the bandage to Jeremiah's wound and ties it securely. Jeremiah's arm tingles a bit with the application, but after a moment it's replaced with a soothing numbness.
Glover then moves over to Cinder. "Alright, on three I'm gonna plug your wound. One-" He unceremoniously and remarkably quickly stuffs a roll of cotton into the bullet wound and tapes it over. "Shit!" yipes Cinder. Glover pats the bandaging. "That will help a little bit, but the rest of your bleeding is internal. Better find a surgeon soon." He smiles at Cinder and moves to his final patient, Holland.
Holland's wounds had gone from serious to nearly fatal since the fight, and it looked like a serious challenge to treat him well. Glover summons his medical knowledge, [6 + 4 = 10] and gets to work. With a trained hand, he removes the burned and necrotic tissue from the burn and splashes it with a sterile smelling solution. Luckily, Holland had passed out and didn't flinch with the pain. After that, he pulls out a thankfully modern looking bottle, and squeezes out a large glob of a greenish-white paste onto his hand. Rubbing it into the wound, the singed tissue begins to look more lively and visibly starts to mend. "It's gonna take a while for that to heal completely, but he shouldn't die any time soon." He finishes off the treatment by placing clean, white bandages over his stomach. It looked pretty successful, and once Holland wakes up, he would find that he felt much healthier because of it.
Maria watches on with a fascinated expression, mixed with a little bit of disgust. "Gnarly." she says, simply.
Jeremiah, now fixed up and ready to go, grabs Cinder by the arm and hoists him up. Between the painkillers and the bandaging, he seemed strong enough to walk, and the rest of you follow them as they tread up the stairs.
The party arrives somewhere new.
The group arrives outside of the lobby doors, and enters the stormy outside of planet Murray. Above them, the perpetual storm rumbles and rages as it always had. Dark clouds swirl and rain pours down on their heads and shoulders. In front of the group is the lot of their building, a cracked and dilapidated asphalt plot between the office and the small road beyond. Across the road was a rough cliff, and then the endless dark ocean. There lot was nearly empty, save for a few vehicles and a long defunct street light. To the left there was a small cruiser parked, a compact vehicle with room for two people and a plain white paint job. Beyond it was a rocky field with little else built on it. On the right, there was an old red van sitting on four wheels, and parked next to it was what must've been Cinder's speeder. Beyond it was another strip of old office buildings.
It had a remarkably large chassis for a speeder, the entire thing being one large box set on several smaller hover generators set into its underside. Its side had several plates of what was assumedly armor, as well as a door on each side. There was a larger set of doors on the back end. The vehicle itself was painted black, and it was broken up only by the large rectangular windshield set into the front and the company's markings. The large roman numeral III sat on its sides in angry looking red paint. The driver side door was mysteriously still open, and the paint had small scratches on it where the latch was supposed to hold it closed. Maria looks away.
Jeremiah leads Cinder over to the speeder, and he climbs into the driver's seat, and looks up at the roof. A panel set into the metal slides over, and a camera looks back. A moment passes, and the speeder roars to life, its engines pushing it off the ground and forming a ring of dry ground underneath.
Cinder looks back at Jeremiah. "She's all yours." With some difficulty, he climbs out of the vehicle and back into the rain. "Pleasure doing business with you." he grumbles. His purpose spent, he walks off onto the road, heading out into the storm with his arm gripping his side. If the group had anything left to say to him, this was their last chance.
"Good luck ya bastard, lord knows you'll need it." Having nothing significant to say, Jamie just watches as Cinder walks away.
Turning back to the speeder, he starts to look it over. "We're goin' to want to give her a new paint job, wouldn't want people gettin' the wrong impression when they see us in it."
Mara watches Cinder go and remarks, "You know, I almost feel sorry for him." She throws a glance over at Holland. "Almost." After hearing what Jamie had to say, she perks up and replies, "I don't have any paint in the office, but there's an old leftover tarp lying around in the back that we can throw over the top. It should cover it pretty well." With that, she retreats back inside the building for a moment, and returns, dragging behind her a large blue plastic tarp. The rain pattered loudly against it. "I just need some help putting it on."
Jason checks out the gun's weirdly out of place screen.
(soz for the tiny post but tests and i'm a lazy twat. mainly the second one)
Jason examines the device attached to the weapon, taking in each detail. The main body of the screen was made out of some kind of hard plastic housing, the screen itself appeared to be an old LCD display. This type hadn't been in widespread use in the galaxy for several decades, but one could still infrequently find them attached to old salvage and junker rigs out here in the Rim. The screen was currently off, but he noticed a small red switch on the top of the housing that was currently in the 'off' position.
The most intriguing part of the screen was the keyboard. Instead of a touchscreen input, it had small buttons that clicked softly when you pressed them. There were eight, arranged in two rows of four. The top row's buttons were labeled from left to right as F1, F2, F3, and F4. Very informative. The bottom row of keys were labeled as well, from left to right they read SPK, OVER, GO, and END. None of the buttons seem to do anything with the device off.
In the top right corner of the housing was the only piece of identifying information. It was some faded writing in old-fashioned cursive letters. Most of it had faded away, but you can make out the first three letters. "OL Y".
Flicking the red switch on over to the position that's not 'off', Jason looks up at the rest of the group. Deciding that it would probs be more helpful to help Maria cover the speeder, he dumps the weird gun in Jamie's hands.
Decidedly looked around the speeder, cheeking out every nook and cranny of the thing making sure to take were all the electronics are along with any moving parts incase the thing got shot up and they'd need to repair it. Afterwards he'd cross his arms rifle now strapped to his back. Lightly rolling his shoulder he'd look down at the bandage and softly scratched below it, seemingly quite calm giving how it was still very likely raining as that's what the weather was always like.
He flicks the switch on the box, and the LCD screen flickers to life! A big blue progress bar appears and ticks slowly across the display, and the box itself whirs and clicks as it boots up. He then promptly tosses the weapon over to Jamie-
-who tries to catch it.
Jamie [Oh god what] [3 - 1 = 2] vs Flying pistol  Ouch!
It catches Jame squarely in the nose and his head recoils back. His arms fly out forwards to balance himself, and the gun lands neatly in them. His face is slightly scuffed, but he's alright. The progress bar on the weapon nears completion.
The third member of the team with a name starting with "J" circles around the speeder, taking note of its various systems and gadgets.
Jeremiah [Not much of a mechanic] [4 - 1 = 3] vs The Speeder  Well, it sure looks nice.
He has trouble finding any hidden gadgets or gizmos hidden inside the vehicle, but he did get a good look at all the obvious features of the speeder. It had two front seats, one for the driver and one for their co-pilot. The steering column was capable of being pushed forwards and out of the way for easy movement, and there were a number of smaller switches and buttons set into the dashboard. In front of the passenger seat was the glovebox, but it's locked shut and looks like it needs a key. Though, someone with experience getting past locks shouldn't have too much of a problem getting into it, he gathers.
Behind those seats was a large separator wall of dark metal, and in the center was a doorway leading into the back. In the rear of the speeder there were six seats lined up with their backs against the sides of the speeder, three per row. They all featured fancy harnesses and small racks for weapon storage. The back of the crew compartment had a large, heavy door set into it. There were a three more storage trunks in the floor, and as Jeremiah rummages through them, he finds two stun grenades and four more charge packs for various energy weapons in the first trunk. In the second trunk, he finds a spare helmet. In the third trunk, the latch seems stuck. Giving it a harder tug, the platform itself rises up, lifting him through a hatch that opens in the ceiling!
And back to Jason.
He helps Maria drape the tarp over the vehicle, and they start running a cord under the- A whirring sound comes from inside the vehicle and something pushes the tarp out of the way before they can secure it. It's Jeremiah, rising up through the roof. He looks confused.
Jeremiah is now standing on an elevated platform inside a circular opening in the roof of the vehicle. Along the circular opening is a rail and an empty mount for what must've been a rather large weapon. While it is missing its weapon, the clamp looks like it could fit any firearm and would greatly stabilize it while firing. Nearby, a large blue tarp sits on the roof as the rain patters against it.
Maria puts her hands on her hips and looks up at Jeremiah. "Nice." It's hard to tell if she's being sarcastic.
Raises a hand himself before letting out a brief sigh, "This was not my intention.. could someone help me out with getting this thing back into the speeder?" he'd asked quite plainly seeings as he tugging on the latch and that caused the thing to start rising he didn't know how he was going to get it to go back down, "I'll help with the tarp once we get this thing back inside."
"Ah! Ya bastard! You can figure how to get down on your own." Nursing his nose, Jamie looks down at the gun, but rather than just wait for the gun to finish doing whatever it is its doing, he goes and takes a look at the locked glove box.
The Party Gets Their Island Legs
He tugs on the lever that got him up there and with a clank and a whir the platform moves back down and the hatch closes above him, leaving only a small circular seam where the hole once was.
Leaving through the back door, he helps the other two put the tarp over the vehicle and secure it. The speeder now lacks any conspicuous identification.
congratulations, you have solved my DOOR PUZZLE
Itching to get his tools to work, Jamie stuffs the weapon into his jacket and clamors into the vehicle. After settling into the passenger seat, he examines the locked compartment. The glovebox seems fairly run of the mill as far as glove boxes go. It was a small door set into the dashboard with a handle and a circular lock that likely held a latch in place behind the plating. This one was, however, made of a thick, textured plastic that seemed fairly resistant to physical damage. Jame's previous experience with getting into places he shouldn't comes back to him, and after fussing with the lock for a moment, he imagines he could crack it pretty easily with the tools he has.
A growing storm, and a voice?Maria produces the briefcase from her poncho once more, and sets it on the driver's seat. She doesn't say anything for a moment, simply looking at the shiny black plating. She almost turns away, but then stops and speaks up. "I guess you guys are gonna go after that ship." she says, as nonchalantly as she can muster. "But, I couldn't help but notice that this-" she pats the side of the speeder. "-isn't really suited for the sea." She leans away from the vehicle and looks at Jason. "I have a friend who could fix that." She cocks an eyebrow and smirks slightly. The expression gives off the air of someone who's never actually made that face before. Before she can elaborate further, Jamie's jacket starts beeping.
"What the-?" "Startup complete! Estim-ay-ted time since last startup, 5356 days. Whoo-wee! 'Bout time I got these boots shakin' again!"
The muffled voice was coming again from Jamie's jacket pocket. It sounded like an old text-to-speech program, with its oddly drawn out syllables and misplaced emphasis, and was compounded by a cheesy western accent.
"An' who do I have the plea-sure of workin' fer today?"
Jamie gives a slight jump at the sudden voice coming out of his pocket, "The shite is it now?" Taking the now talking gun out and staring at it for a moment. Not seeing any other way of input he just starts talking to it. "Well I'm Jamie." As interesting as it was, he still wants to get into the glove box so he sets the gun down on the dashboard while he gets to work on the lock waiting to see if the gun responds.
Looks off towards the building they were once in before heading inside, "Well, I feel like the storms only gonna keep getting worse, best to get inside before we get absolutely drenched." he'd say waving off towards the speeder before disappearing into the stairwell, likely heading back into the office.
The Party Meets A New "Face"
The gun's screen was lit up completely, and on it was what looked like a thermal camera feed alongside several digital gauges. "Pleased to meat you, Jay-mie! My designation is Ol' Yeller, your combat assistant." it chimes. He sets it on the dashboard and gets to work on the glove box.
Jamie [Rogue] [7 + 3 = 10] vs The Glovebox  Open sesame!
He works his lockpicking tools into the small silver circle, and after a few moments and a final twist the lock opens with a satisfying click. The glovebox's compartment pops open, and inside you find a hefty pistol, a matching magazine, and a tablet computer.
The pistol had a boxy, black frame, resembling a police sidearm of yesteryear. It's weight and magazine showed that it fired some thick, powerful rounds in sets of eight. The tablet computer was similarly black and boxy, showing no other buttons than the screen. A blinking light on its corner showed that it was active, and merely in sleep mode.
"Y' got some fast fingers, Jay-mie. Mighty fine work." beeps the gun.
He disappears back into the building. Crossing through the threshold, but it doesn't quite feel the same anymore. The rain continues to come down in sheets outside, crashing against the sides of the building. Inside, the muffled noises sound like waves on the ocean. The desk was empty, dirty bootprints traced jagged lines across the tile floor, and the air felt stale. [Memory] [1 + 3 = 4] vs  He feels uneasy, but can't quite place why. A presence seems to linger in the elevator shaft.
Moves over to the elevator shaft and looks down into it, kinda confused about the uneasy prescience he was feeling, he even went as far as to pull the flashlight from his bag and shine it down into the water.
"Well thanks... Ol' Yeller." Jamie takes out the tablet computer and tries to turn it on to look through it. "So uh, what all do ya actually do?"
The Party Figures Things Out
The gun's monitor flickers, and a low resolution of a smiley face wearing a cowboy hat appears on the display. "My primary function is to calculate n' deliver electric shocks to disable various targets. S' thanks to the biometric scanning array fixed to the front of m' gun, and the orange rounds that I fill with energy based on the size n' status of the selected target. I also got a second function as yer 'combat companion', givin' ya tactical advice n' whatnot. A'course, you can assign me a new function whenever ya like." The face on the screen winks.
As he speaks, Jamie shares his attention with the tablet. After a few taps, the screen turns on. It currently is opened to some kind of data file, upon closer examination it appears to be a mission dossier that one of the mercenaries carried.
Operation Treasure Planet
Mission Commander - Adrian "Cinder" Akers
Lieutenant - Jackson Fletcher
Medic - Beatrice Fletcher
Technician - Abbey Hays
Fire Support - Ayo Caron
Private - Gabriel Hale
Private - Efe Fabre
Current objective: Acquire the Eye
-Coordinates indicate it's being held in an old office.
-It's likely occupied by some Riggers or hobos. It should be an easy grab.
-Plan A: Pretend we're police inspectors, search and seize.
-Plan B: Go hot. Interpol doesn't care what happens this far out.
Next objective: Regroup at the docks
-Talk to Fatin about getting a boat/scanning equipment.
-Send Gabriel home, everyone knows he gets seasick.
-Plan A: Locate the ship, assess the situation, board and acquire the target.
-Plan B: Sink the ship and let the salvage team handle it.
-Tell Cinder he's sexy.
-Kick Cinder's ass for editing my dossier.
-Start asking locals about The Heart
-Seriously, we have no info on it. At all.
-Try larger explosive loads on the Chamber door?
He walks across the lobby, deeper into the foreign building. Gripping one door with his hands, with some effort he manages to pull the doors of the elevator shaft open. Before him was the elevator car, hanging slightly below the edge of the entrance to this floor. The car was dark, but otherwise uninteres- KSH-WING
The elevator car suddenly starts to descend, and Jeremiah sees the cable anchor that held it aloft whip past him as the entire assembly screeches downwards in the shaft. With a resounding BOOM, the car crashes into the bottom of the shaft, crumpling like an eight foot tall aluminum can. The tiles quake beneath his feet, and the shock of the impact causes the building to shiver. A spray of dark water shoots back up the shaft, along with some dust. As it settles, so does the tension in the room. The presence had disappeared, but whatever was at the bottom of the shaft was likely crushed beyond recognition now.
Jason, having spaced out very slightly, shakes his head as he returns to the world of conscious thought. "And who would that 'friend' be?"
Jeremiah started swearing as he saw the elevator shaft fall, "Fucking god damnit why!" he'd say before going down stairs, as he had intended to do before opening the elevator shaft, if there were stairs just to see exactly what if anything had been crushed.
Maria steps back from the vehicle. "Her name's Samar. We, ah, worked together a while ago. She's got a place on the island that we could hole up in and maybe make some modifications to the old Cindermobile." She taps the side of the speeder with her shoe. "She's pretty good with machines. Especially ones that can survive out there." Maria nods towards the ocean. "It's a small island, she's only about fifteen minutes away or so if we don't break any traffic laws."
As she finishes her sentence, something heavy and metallic crashes into something else inside the building. The ground shakes somewhat, and Jeremiah's voice can be heard from inside. He's swearing up a storm.
Maria throws a worried look at Jason. Drawing her derringer again, she heads inside.
Jeremiah quickly descends the stairs, and reaching the bottom takes in the scene.
A haze of dust sat in the room, making it hard to see and breath, which wasn't helped by the lights having gone out on this floor. Luckily, Jeremiah's flashlight cut through the dust and darkness with ease.
Near the elevator shaft most of the furniture had been overturned and riddled with shrapnel. The bodies of the mercenaries similarly had large pieces of sheet metal sticking out of them. At the elevator shaft itself, the floor nearby had been completely soaked with a dark fluid. The elevator car could be seen inside, half crumpled with the cable spooling into uneven loops on top. A light fixture above Jeremiah's head sparked and fizzled. It was evident that the office had seen better days.
"Heh, easy grab alright." Jamie looks over the tablet one more time before storing it back in the glove box next to the gun again and closes it.
Picking Ol Yeller back up he starts to ask another question, "So are ya-" however it's cut off by the crashing sound coming from inside the building, "-hold that thought, that sounded bad."
When he gets downstairs he looks at the elavator, "Sure hope there wasn't anythin' important in there." Looking around the room a bit he starts talking to the while group, "Ya know, if we're serious about goin' after, whatever this actually is, we should get on it. The sooner the better, this place could come down on our heads at any time."
Sighs lightly as he starts over turning the mercenaries that were in the room, trying to avoid catching his hand or arm on any of the shrapnel that had pierced their bodies. He mainly was searching their bodies, pockets, clothes in general for identification, maybe the spare bullet if they were to carry something on them. Casting a somewhat scornful glare at Jamie he'd let off a faint sigh, "I need to be more careful with what I pry open, felt a presence in the shaft, soon as it went crashing down it was gone, doubt it's still there, most likely either crushed, or never existed. Though I do feel sorry for this bunch, doubt any of them are alive."
The Party Takes A Closer Look
He follows Maria into the building and down the stairs, coming across Jeremiah searching through what looked like a disaster zone. His flashlight cut a bright cone through the dust and appeared to be the only working light fixture in the room. As he finishes his sentence, a couple pieces of plaster crack off the ceiling and break apart at his feet. Maria coughs lightly, waving the dust away from her face.
Picking across the room, he takes inventory of the former mercenaries' possessions.
Mercenary 6 - Splayed out, staring at the sky.
One Matterhorn MK4 Laser Rifle
Five spare energy cells
One .44 semi-automatic pistol
Two extra speed reloaders, 6 .44 bullets each
A broken radio headset
A bloodied set of body armor, with matching helmet
A set of dog tags. His name was Ayo Caron.
A small necklace with a religious symbol made of silver.
Mercenary 1 - A headless mess.
One Matterhorn MK4 Laser Rifle
Two spare energy cells
A bloodied set of body armor, and some helmet fragments
A set of dog tags. His name was Gabriel Hale.
A bottle of aspirin.
Mercenary 5 - A crumpled pile, like a dropped doll.
One Matterhorn MK4 Laser Rifle
Two spare energy cells
A clean set of body armor, and a bloodied helmet.
A set of dog tags. Her name was Efe Fabre.
A neatly folded photograph of herself and another man posing in front of a coastal view.
A handheld radio.
Mercenary 2 - Crushed.
After going through these possessions, the presence seems to have faded completely.
Ol' Yeller beeps from the stairwell, "No livin' bio-signatures detected here. 'Cept you folks, a'course."
Sighs softly as he gets up, trying to steal his own nerves at the gruesome sight that was there. The one thing that kept going through his head was that he killed the group in some way but he had to put that aside for his sake, any everyone else's. Deciding to walk back out he wiped the blood that had accumulated on his hands off his hands, carrying some of the ammo up with him, as much as he could fit in his pack and the handheld radio. Pressing the button on the radio he said, "Hello, does this thing work?" before letting go of it and making his way back to the speeder having not wanted to be in the building any longer.
Jamie looks around at the bodies again and walks around to them. He stops at the mercenary he killed first and squats down next to her. Pulling off her dog tags and shoving them into his pocket he holds up the photograph and mutters to himself, "Sorry about yer loss boyo." As he stands up he flicks the picture back down on her and moves on to the mercenary spread out on the ground.
Unclipping the silver necklace he puts it on. "I should probably feel worse about this. Oh well." He also picks up his helmet and puts that on as well, "They didn't really help them out too well, but ya never know."
Waking over to grab the scanner he took before he heads to the stairs following Jeremiah, "Well I suppose there's nothin' else but to see that friend you mentioned Maria."
Jeremiah's radio makes a clicking sound as he speaks into it. It's evident that it's working, but nobody seems to answer.
Jamie acquires a new necklace, someone else's dog tags, the scanner, and a helmet. The helmet fits snugly, and the visor tints his his vision slightly as the lights become less harsh. Maria coughs again, and then replies, "Yeah. Let's get out of here. We probably don't want to stick around to see if anyone comes looking for them." She starts up the stairs. "Once everyone's in the speeder, I can take you guys over to her garage."
Decidedly climbed into the speeder, lounging in the back on the raising platform though this time he decided he wasn't going to wrench on the lever and send himself through the roof again, atleast not yet. "Probably wasn't the best idea to put the tarp over it if we were gonna ride in it." he'd told everyone, voicing his own concerns about driving blind if the front window was covered.
Getting to the speeder and hearing Jerimiah's worries, Jamie makes sure that the tarp is good and tied down at the front so it won't flap down while driving. "Don't worry about it! Got it covered."
The Gang Gets On The Road (Again)
You all make your way up the stairs and clamor on into the speeder. There's enough room in the crew compartment for all six of you, and Maria gets into the driver's seat. As she familiarizes herself with the controls, you take stock of yourselves.
Your medical instincts kicked in a little while ago and you've taken the initiative to remove the upper half of Holland's suit to better tend to his wound. With your medical expertise, [8 + 3 = 11] vs  you remove the bandaging and successfully properly clean and dress the wound again. You even administer some local aesthetic. He'll probably be up to full health in a matter of days, and the painkillers are probably appreciated as he's finally starting to come to.
Consciousness returns to your body, and you see that you've been moved inside the speeder. Glover is kneeling in front of your seat, packing up his doctor supplies. Looking down, you've been stripped down to the waist except for a neat white bandage across your abdomen. You notice that your wound is feeling significantly better.
Your investigative mind couldn't keep you away from that briefcase, and you're currently mulling over the three papers, trying to discern some greater meaning from it all. [4 + 3 = 7] vs  All you manage to get is a headache.
You pile into the back of the speeder with the rest of your crew and get settled for the ride ahead.
You opt to ride on the floor, taking extra care not to launch yourself through the roof this time, and lay down a couple tarp-related pointers.
You climb out one more time and adjust the tarp. Maria looks up from the complex dashboard and gives you a thumbs up. Turning to the controls, she goes back to pushing buttons seemingly at random.
As the rest of you get situated, a radio suddenly turns on nearby, and you hear some jazzy music come from the cockpit. (https://youtu.be/yeedn9ma8sg) You hear a few more clicks and clacks as the windshield wipers come on and off, but the music continues. "Sorry! I can't find the off switch!" Maria calls from the driver's seat. You hear something hit the metal casing of the dashboard and the engine suddenly roars to life! "That's what I'm talking about!" cheers Maria. Something else clunks into gear and the speeder lurches forwards, and you all feel the speeder turn onto the road and quickly accelerate down the coastal highway towards a new location.
A few jazz songs later...
The speeder turns right after a little while and you all feel it slow to a halt and the engine shuts off as it lowers itself back onto the pavement. The handle on the back door turns and it's thrown open again, with the familiar silhouette of Maria in her rain poncho standing there. The storm is there behind her, as it always is, and rain patters down noisily against the speeder's roof. "End of the line, fellas." she beckons you all out.
You all have arrived at Samar's Garage
Those who exited would find themselves standing in a smallish lot, this one more riddled with grass filled cracks in the dark pavement. Faded yellow lines mark four empty parking spots, the fifth currently held by your own enormous black vehicle. Behind the group was the coastal two-lane highway you had been riding on, and further beyond that was a rocky cliff followed by and endless choppy ocean. This building appeared to be the only one around, it was surrounded by mud-filled lots that extended a few miles out on either side.
In front of all of this was a small building. It was a single story affair, and was obviously some kind of mechanic's garage. On the left were several curtained windows leading up to a wooden door with a "CLOSED" sign hung in its own tiny glass window. Above the door was a large metal sign that had a curly logo painted onto it. Most of the lettering had faded, but you can see it used to say "MECHANIC - 24 HOUR". The right side of the building was dominated by two large metal doors that looked like they opened upwards to allow vehicles into the shop.
Perception check [10!] vs [No need]
It becomes immediately obvious, however, that these garage doors would never open. In fact, they weren't doors at all, but rather elaborate murals painted onto the side of the wall. Maria makes no comment, and walks up to the door. The smaller person sized door was very real, and she started knocking. "Samar. It's me." she said. The building didn't respond. She knocked harder, rattling the sign hanging in the door. "Samar!" Still no reply. She tries to let herself in, to no avail. She sighs, frustrated, and turns around to face the gang. She doesn't say anything but she gives you all a large shrug, which is the universal sign of, "I got nothin'."
You could try looking around for clues or another way in or try and get through the front door somehow.
Or, of course, you could try something else.
Opted to start knocking on the glass window by the front door, looking to see if it was just simply a normal window that would be in most shops or if it could open up. If he found it wasn't able to open he'd try and find another way inside for the time being.
Jason sits his rifles against his seat as he shuffles out of the Speeder. "We could always just knock the door down. Wouldn't earn us any favours, I'd expect."
Jamie quickly hops out of the speeder after Jason and puts his hand on his shoulder. "Hold on there now, there doesn't need to be any knockin' down of doors! After all, locked doors haven't really been that much of an issue for me in the past." He finishes with a big cocky grin and takes his hand off Jason. "After all, it's not really a B&E if there's no breakin' is it now? If we can't find any other way I'll take a look at it. "
The Gang Cases A Place
You knock on the window and determine that it's a real window, and made out of a fairly sturdy glass. The curtains block your view of the inside, but you note that the oriental designs have faded somewhat, likely to due to exposure to the faint sunlight.
Maria shakes her head. "Yeah, I don't think she'd appreciate that."
Jamie and Jeremiah
You two take a walk around the garage, looking for any possible entrances. As you round the corner to the back of the shop you see two possible entrances. There is a ladder that leads up to the roof of the building, and there is a back door made of a single heavy piece of metal covered with chipped blue paint. Tugging on the handle reveals that it is, in fact, unlocked. With a peek, you see that it leads into a dark hallway. Perception check [10!] vs [No need] Clear as day! There is a sudden flash of lightning nearby that clearly illuminates a human-like figure standing in the back of the hallway. The person's skin is a grey-ish and they stand completely still. The vision fades quickly back into shadow before you get a look at their face, and you don't see anything else. Thunder rumbles above you.
It looks like you could try making yourselves known, entering through the back door, or you could check out the roof.
Or you could try something else.
Jamie takes makes sure his revolver is at the ready and leans close to Jeremiah, "I don't feel to good about this, but that might just be me." He leans up against the door frame. "If I open the door and ya shine a light down the hall we can see who it is, should we be needed to react to anything, we'll be ready." He puts his hand on the handle, ready to fling it open, "Unless there's a better idea?"
Shakes his head, pointing towards the ladder, "We should try to roof but first, we need to ask Maria what they look like, the person inside had grey skin so you should probably stay at the door incase they try to exit, I'll go ask her and come back around with an answer, it'll be the deciding factor." he'd say before proceeding to do what he'd said, though handing Jamie his flashlight first.
"Bein' the two sharpshooters here, apparently, me and Jamie can probably handle the door in case anything gets ugly-which might just be us getting a bit paranoid, eh?" Glover chimes in, reaching into his jacket to thumb back the hammer on his holstered revolver.
As a sidenote, when the group had exited the office building, he'd pilfered two of the mercs of some loot. One, of the silver holy symbol, and the other, of a bottle of aspirin.
The Gang Considers Their Options
Glover and Jamie
You two take cover near the door, watching it for any movement. You can't hear anything inside, but you keep your weapons at the ready just in case.
You wave Maria over and ask the question. She gives you a look of confusion and says, "She's a human being- Her skin's brown, not grey. I dunno if there'd be anything or anyone who would fit that description in there."
Maria steps back, giving the door and the two armed men a wide berth as you take the opportunity to check out the roof. The ladder's rungs are slick with the downpour, but you get up okay and haul yourself onto the building's roof. It's at a slight slant to accommodate for the constant runoff, and is for the most part bare except for a large air conditioning unit on the right and a skylight on the left.
The skylight is constructed out of two panes of glass each at an angle to form an upside down V shape. Peering into them, they lead into a large open room that looks like some kind of workshop. It's hard to discern what is inside because the only light is what's coming in from the outside, but you can make out a few things.
Various tables are set up around the room, each covered in tools and wires. In the center is an enormous object shaped somewhat like a teardrop. It's covered by a large sheet and you can't discern any more details. The windows themselves have latches on them that can be undone from the outside, but you can tell it'll be a long drop down.
Sighs before walking over to the edge, waving down at the people at the door, "Head inside, I'm gonna see if I can sneak in through the skylight. And Maria, either get back to the speeder or follow them inside with the derringer you've got." he'd said, knowing it was a long drop he thought he'd take his chances and went to unlatch the skylight, rather than jumping down gunghoe though he thought he'd take it slow and try and grab the ledge to hang himself a little lower and make the drop just a bit less far for himself.
"Well, suppose we do this then." Jamie flings open the door and shines the light down the hall with his other hand on his gun. "Samar?"
(Also Dec, Jamie was already wearing the silver necklace but Glover can have it if you want)
Jason slides back down the ramp of the speeder, having just grabbed his Bren 805 so that he could feel relevant for a change. Heading in with Jamie and Glover, he briefly pauses to ask what the situation is, but decides against it. While Jamie is being all cautious, Jason continues down the hallway, letting his rifle rest against his chest as he goes. "Lady? You alright there?"
Jamie just looks dumbfounded as Jason walks past but that look quickly fades into anger. In an overly loud whisper, "God dammit ya arsehole! Bargin' past others plans is how people get hurt ya langer!" Despite his emotions he remains outside the door holding the light down the hall. He mutters to himself, "If shite happens it'll be to him."
The Gang Heads Inside
You quietly unlatch the window, clamoring over the ledge and letting yourself dangle off the wet sill. Some water trickles down with you into the dimly lit workshop, forming a puddle next to one of the tables. You prepare yourself mentally, and let go of the ledge. [10!] vs [No need] Catlike! For a moment, you hang in free fall and watch the rain drops hang in the air beside you, then the ground rushes up, but you're ready for it. You tuck into the landing, and roll away neatly, coming to a stop underneath the workbench practically silently.
You take in the rest of the shop from below. The back of the room had an enormous rack of tools ranging from wrenches and welders to more obscure looking whangjangs and doohickeys. Your view of the front of the room is obscured by the enormous machine covered in a sheet. Underneath the cloth you see several mechanical winches holding it above the ground. On the western side of the room, there is a thin window set in the wall several feet off the ground. Below it there is a frumpy looking couch with a blanket tossed over it and nearby is a table with a microwave and several stacks of cans, some empty and some untouched. It looked like someone had been living in here. On the east side of the room there was a set of double doors, still closed, but you see a light shine through the gap between the doors and the floor.
You shine your light into the hall and illuminate the figure standing at the end of the hall. It's an antique diving suit, complete with grey rubber body coverings and a shiny spherical brass helmet. The tiny porthole in the helmet stares back at you in the otherwise empty hallway as Jamie brushes past and enters the building. You both call out to Samar, but the building remains silent.
The hall itself is fairly bare, on the left side there is a pair of blue double doors halfway down the hall, and at the far end on the left there is another single door with a small window set into it. Across from that, there is another wooden door made mostly from glass that appears to lead into the room in the front. On Jamie's right, closer to you there is an open doorway. As he passes it, however, a bright floodlight suddenly pours through the opening!
You brush past Jamie and enter the hall. Everything seems fairly normal, until you pass the doorway on your right. Looking in, it's completely dark- [Investigator] [No need] vs [10!] Ghostly! -and you can't make out anything. Suddenly, a blinding light flicks on with a mechanical CHUNK and you're dazed! All you can hear is the sound of heavy, metallic footsteps accelerating towards you from inside the doorway. You attempt to get out of the way [Off guard] [3 - 2 = 1] vs  but can't quite make it as two cold, hard arms wrap themselves around you and you're lifted into the air! Your world turns upside down, and your head connects with the hard floor. Stars flash in your eyes and the arms release you as you crumple to the ground and attempt to remain conscious  vs , just barely hanging on to the waking world.
And back to Jamie
Jason flinches as the light turns on, and raises his arm up to shield his eyes. The light starts to bounce as you see what appears to be a heavily armored bomb disposal suit with two giant lamps mounted to the side of its helmet charge out of the doorway and grab Jason! With an inhumanly fast gesture it wraps its arms around him and lifts him in the air, bending all the way over and suplexing him into the concrete floor! Your gun at the ready, you fire off a .44 round  vs [Lumbering] [7 - 3 = 5] and the round connects with its shoulder, but to your dismay it ricochets off of the thick armor with a spray of sparks.
The assailant stands back up and with a loud, grating synthetic voice says "INTRUDERS DETECTED. LETHAL FORCE: AUTHORIZED." and charges you!
Seeing Jason get thrown about draws out an involuntary ominous chuckle from Jamie. "I told ya so don't even come clo-" However his brief satisfaction fades as the hulking mass of armor turns towards him. "Shite." After taking a quick shot at it an immediately figuring out he might as well be using a BB gun, Jamie spins around and does his best to keep his distance.
As Jamie is running he has a thought. "Good a time as any I guess!" He reaches into his jacket and fumbles around to find 'Ol Yeller. "Hey a, ya think ya can do anything about this?" His words are hasty and said with a worried tone.
Ol' Yeller's screen flickers on with the same cowboy smiley face, but this time it has a worried expression. "M' sensors are indicatin' that that mean mother hubbard is robotic 'n nature. Protocol fer disablin' fellers like that s' to fully charge onna my shots n' try and land it as close as ya can to onna its critical systems. Accordin' to my thermal scans, it's got a warm spot on its back. S' more n' likely that's somethin' important, so that's where I'd shoot. A'course, a shot with high n'uf charge hittin' anywhere is likely to gum up the works one way 'r 'nother." As he finishes his sentence, the gun quietly emits a high pitched whine and the hairs start to stand up on Jamie's arm as if exposed to static electricity.
Jamie's eyebrows furrow in a look of concentration and determination. Having the armored robot chase him outside he stops running and turns to face it. He starts running a circle around it to try and get to its back, if he can't, he'll just shoot at the center of its torso. "Come on ya big tin can! Let's see what ya got!"
Walks over to the door and softly swing it open, reading his G36C rifle he peaks around the corner, figuring that it was the group or more specifically Jamie with his flashlight. Given this room was dimly lit if at all he didn't want to stay in it for too long and if he saw the robot and it's back was turned he'd unload a 3 round burst into the thing, if he could see it's front he'd try to stay hidden from the thing as not to gain any more injuries.
Jason stands up quickly and grabs for his Bren, ending up just dragging his hand around his chest for a second before falling over again. Groaning, Jason spends a couple of seconds lying on the floor, cradling his head. Using the counter to prop himself up, he tries to fire a shot at the metal devil with his AR in one hand.
The Gang Meets The Welcome Wagon
After a few moments spent staring at the lights spinning around your head you struggle to a firing position and try to make a one handed shot at the hulking robot.
Jason [Fighter] [Dazed] [Single handing a rifle] [3 + 3 - 3 - 2 = 1] vs The Robot [Lumbering] [2 - 3 = -1] Wow.
The muzzle of your gun bounces around in your fuzzy vision and you pull the trigger. Despite all odds, you hear the satisfying sound of the bullet impacting something metallic. Almost immediately after, the rifle's recoil causes it to launch back up into the air and hit you square on the forehead. Surprisingly, this actually helps you out of your stupor and you find that you can see clearly now.
You quietly make your way across the floor of the workshop and slide the door open. Peering into the hall, you see Jason a few feet ahead of you also trying to make a shot. He doesn't seem to be having much success aiming ho- He pulls the trigger and you watch in awe as the robot twitches with the impact of the bullet, but unsurprisingly seems wholly unaffected. Not to be outdone, you grab your rifle and take aim.
Jeremiah [Fighter] [6 + 3 = 9] vs The Robot [Lumbering] [Unaware] [4 - 3 - 2 = -1] Hit!
You squeeze the trigger on your gun and three short retorts send a spray of lead at the back of the attacker. One bullet becomes embedded in its armor, another ricochets off the side of its arm, but the third manages to knock out one of its headlamps.
You grab Ol' Yeller and start running. The screen flashes green, signalling it's done charging, and you feel the pent up electricity stored inside the chamber. You spin around in the muddy turf and face the robot. Each step rattled the ground as the hulking thing charged at you, and you try to get around it- [Rogueish] [3 + 2 = 5] vs The Robot [Lumbering] [9 - 3 = 6] -but you can't quite keep your distance away from the thing as an armored hand shoots out- [3 + 2 = 5] vs  -and grabs you by the neck! The servos in the glove twist inwards and you're lifted up into the air! Your airway is constricted and you feel your consciousness begin to slip away, but you manage to squeeze the trigger of Ol' Yeller. The gun's magnetic coils hum and the round silently zips out, connecting with the torso armor. As the robot's circuits begin to overload, the hand stops tightening as its remaining lamp flickers, and then shuts off.
The robot has been defea- The lamp flickers back on again and the grip returns, tighter than ever! Suddenly, out of the corner of your eye you see an olive green rain poncho charge up towards the robot and-  vs [1!] -leap up at the machine, arms wrapping around its head! You hear Maria shout, "Hands to yourself, fucker!" as the robot stumbles and drops Jamie to the ground as it starts swatting at the woman now hanging off its back.
Crouched down to try and steady his aim just a bit more with the machine thrashing about, "Let go!" he'd shout before waiting a couple of seconds, taking the shot at the things back once more, having switched the thing up from burst down to semi-auto right before hand not wanting to send a hail of bullets at whoever was clinging to the robot.
Jamie falls to his hands and knees coughing and sputtering. He chokes out a command as he slowly crawls a few feet away, "Re-*cough*recharge!" He collapses and rolls onto his back, arms stretched out to aim at the machine, pulling the trigger as soon as Ol Yeller is ready.
The Gang Fights The Robot Revolution
Maria shouts back at you, "Don't have to tell me twice!" She puts both her feet against the back of the robot and pushes off as the robot makes a swipe at her- [Agile] [8 + 3 = 11] vs  -but misses as she arcs through the air and makes a neat three-point landing. The robot spins around to pursue her, and you carefully make your shot- [Fighter] [4 + 3 = 7] vs [1!] -and squeeze the trigger. The bullet flies forward and strikes the robot directly in its face plate, shattering the protective glass! The glint of an optical lens shines through the rain as it takes a moment to regain its balance.
Beaten, sputtering, but conscious you grab Ol' Yeller and issue your command. "Preppin' another Yeller special!" the gun beeps, and after a moment it blinks green having reached full charge. You pull the trigger. [10!] vs [No need] The robot swivels its head to face you, and the shell cuts through the air flying perfectly through the shattered glass and attaching itself to the electronics inside. Electricity arcs everywhere inside the suit as the robot lets out a synthetic scream, twitching and flailing as its circuits are electrified! It stops suddenly, bending over as a blue hazy smoke wafts out of its helmet. Then, it jerks back up and its metallic voice grates, "Recharging complete. Motor efficiency, 200%." It charges you, but this time it's significantly faster. It's on you in a moment, both arms raised above its head, ready to strike. Just as it's about to swing, a voice comes from around the corner of the shop.
"Pimblokto, that's enough."
The voice is unfamiliar, but the robot responds by lowering its arms and stepping back. It beeps, "Returning to sentry mode." From around the corner steps a woman dressed in a olive green raincoat and matching boots. She's tall, standing easily over six feet. Her dark hair is tied back in a bun giving you a clear view of her serious expression and grey eyes that were filled with a cold fury. Although, her most attention grabbing feature was the double barreled shotgun she had gripped in her left hand.
"You better star-" she begins, but is cut off. "Samar?!" exclaims Maria, quickly getting to her feet. Samar blinks, looking confused. "Maria?" she responds, and then lowers her gun. "It's actually you." she sounded amazed.
"Yes, it's me, you asshole!" Maria didn't sound angry, however. She sounded like she was holding back laughter, as if teasing her. She runs over to the newcomer and wraps her arms around her, burying her face into her shoulder. "Why do you always have to be so dramatic?" Samar still looks dumbstruck, but returns the hug. "I, ah." she looks at Maria, then to the robot, then to the people it had just assaulted. "I suppose I have some explaining to do." She steps over to the back door. "Let's do it inside, away from the storm." Maria trails behind her, waving at the others to do the same.
She flips on a switch in the hall and the lights come back on in the shop, illuminating the utilitarian building. If they chose to follow her, she'd lead them into the front of the building, into the very room they had tried to get into through the front door earlier. Inside, there was a cosy rectangular room that looked like it was once a waiting room for someone else. The side of the room near the door had several curtained windows with a couple old armchairs. On the opposite side there was a long counter, on top of which sat a small tea set and several mechanical tools. Along the counter were several stools and behind it sat a large and important looking office chair. The walls had several framed pictures of various forested landscapes. One of which featured herself and what must've been Maria standing in front of a tree trunk that was wider than both of them. The floor of the room was covered in several patterned rugs which completely obscured the original flooring but gave off a homey feeling. The entire place smelled faintly of lavender.
It looks like you could follow Samar and Maria into the room and get some answers, or try something else.
Looks back off towards the workshop, then where they were going, "Do you mind holding on with the explanation for a couple of minutes, I'd like to close your skylight if that's alright with you?" he'd ask trying to be at least a bit reasonable.
Rubbing his head where he got bashed on the noggin, Jason grunts. "Stupid... Robot-thing. So you're who we came here to see?" He lets his rifle go back to it's position hanging across his chest, then mumbles something about it being worth the trip under his breath.
Samar pokes her head into the workshop and sees the water dripping onto the floor. "Ah, yes, please. That would be greatly appreciated." she says to Jeremiah.
Maria is the one that turns to Jason and says, "Yep. Everyone say hi to my wife, Doctor Samar Naji." she gestures towards the woman standing next to her. She waves awkwardly and then turns to her spouse and says in a whisper, "I would have appreciated some prior notice to this meeting." Maria blinks and then looks to the group, saying "One second." They both turn away as Maria gets her back up to speed on the hunt with a lot of whispering and wide gesticulation. After a few moments of this they turn back around and Samar claps her hands together and says, "Well, it seems you have all had a very eventful day to say the least."
Jamie sits up from the floor blinking rapidly and his arms slack by his sides, trying to recover from almost having his head caved in. He isn't totally cognizant of the conversation until he catches a part that confuses him. "Wife? But she said friend... And why was she so surprised to see her... Probably nothin'."
He pushes himself off the ground and walks over to the group. "So, does yer body guard have somethin' special about gettin' shocked or is it just a tough bastard?"
Walks the way they all came in, climbing up to the roof to the best of his abilities before pushing the skylight down and latching in, it'd have taken atleast three minutes given that the ladder was still a bit slippery before he got back, "Alright it's shut. It's a good thing I told you to get off the robot or whatever it's name was." he'd say once he got back.
Samar's eyebrows go up and she says, "Ah, yes. Well, Pimblokto is a 'tough bastard' as you say. The plasteel plating he wears came off military submarine I salvaged some time ago. As for the electricity, well- I programmed him to lie." She stops looks at the group, then recognizes the inane statement she just made and explains further, "A robot who lets you know exactly what kind of damage you're doing to it isn't very intimidating, but if he announces he's getting stronger the more you hit him, then the attackers are more likely to disengage. It's psychological warfare, to a degree. But, to answer your question, he's actually quite vulnerable to electricity. You most likely shorted out his main battery with that very peculiar weapon." she says, nodding towards Ol' Yeller.
She pauses for a second, and then continues, "I should apologize for your, well, forced encounter with him earlier. I saw your, ah, intimidating choice of transport and immediately started preparing for a fight. It hadn't occurred to me to check and see who got out. It's quite fortunate my spouse was the one that brought you along, or else our meeting might have gone differently."
She turns and looks at Maria with a grave expression. "Although, some prior warning next time would have saved us all a world of trouble." Maria makes an exaggerated shrug, feigning innocence. She says, "I guess it hadn't occurred to me that you'd be so ready to send out your crazy robot manservant." Samar doesn't seem satisfied, but she crosses her arms and lets the topic go.
At Jeremiah's comment, Maria says, "Yeah, I came pretty close to becoming victim to the world's biggest bug zapper. Nice call." Samar nods in agreement, saying, "Thank you, for both of those actions."
After a moment of silence, the doctor speaks up again, "So, Maria tells me you are looking for a ship, is that correct?"
Looks over at Samar before giving a light shrug, he'd move his hand down to the wrapping around the burn he had on his arm and the miss match sleeve length. "We are looking for the ship, though I kinda blanked out when it came to why we actually came here, we 'commandeered' the transport from the guy who brought a group and ended up shooting at all of us as you've probably been told." he'd said.
Jamie cocks his head to the side and thinks for a moment. "That... that's pretty amazin'! Smart too! Ya see I might be able to put somethin' together that looks like 'im, but a lot of that programin' stuff, over me head. Uh, sorry if I fried it all up. I'd be happy to repay ya if I did, at some point..."
While he's talking, his attitude turns from a childlike excitement into a more serious tone once he starts to calm down.
"Ah, yeah, we'll be needed somethin' that can survive out there, we're lookin' for... well I guess a computer, right guys?"
The Gang Gets Technical
Samar smiles at Jamie's compliment. "Thank you. Pimblokto should be an easy fix, you don't need to worry. But if you lend yourself to mechanical things, I think you'll find yourself at home inside my workshop. It has most of the things you'll need for your search, like- Well. Why don't you let me show you, instead of tell you?" With that she stands again and exits the small room, walking over to the double doors your group saw earlier. Pushing them open, you see the workshop again, but this time the lights are on. The interior looks more professional in the light, with the various workbenches and equipment having been kept fairly clean. The assorted tables were arranged in a radius around the enormous sheeted object elevated in the center of the room.
"This-" Samar begins. "-isn't my workshop." She pulls out a small electronic device about the size of her palm from her coat pocket and taps on it a couple times as a mechanical whirring fills the room. The worktables fall into the floor and are replaced with sleek steel tables covered in modern, high-tech instruments as power cords drop from the ceiling. Enormous industrial machines rise up from the floor along the eastern wall. The tool racks on the walls spin around to reveal enormous computer monitors showing maps and topography of the planet along with several grainy camera views of boats, water, and buildings. Underneath those the tables are replaced with several consoles made of a white plastic and covered in glowing and blinking buttons and knobs. The couch and microwave on the back wall slips into the floor and is replaced by several hammocks and a full kitchen, complete with a stove and a fully stocked refridgerator. The only thing unchanged in the room is the enormous object in the center, sitting where it is, sheet still in place. Over some unseen PA system, another jazzy tune (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lt6XLo6Y1kU) starts up.
Samar puts her hands on her hips, satisfied with the transformation. "This is my workshop." Maria sighs. "I never get tired of watching that."
She spins back around to face the group. "If it's a ship you are looking for, you'll find it here." She strolls over to the monitors. "I have two jobs here on Murray. I build things, and I keep tabs on everything else." She taps a few inputs into the console and a camera feed goes full screen. It's a video of a large ship, and it's hard to tell at first but it seems to be mostly underwater. Only the control tower and the bow of the ship stick out from beneath the waves. After a few moments you discern that it's partially sunken, but doesn't seem to be sinking any further. "I believe this is what you're looking for. The Dao class Cat's Paw. Went missing about eight days ago, last reported carrying a very special computer out to sea. One of my recon drones picked up a ship out there that matched the description just last night. Which brings me to my next surprise."
With extra flourish, she turns on her heel and pulls out the electronic device again. Pointing it at the sheeted object, she presses a button and the sheet falls away. Underneath it is a large and impressive submarine. It's in the shape of a teardrop, with a small tower on top and fins on each side. Two large engines are mounted to each side of its tapered end. It's covered in a gleaming steel skin, but some plates are missing and you can see pipes and wires sticking out of its body.
"Meet the Ophelia." Samar says, beaming. "She is my own creation, built to withstand some of the toughest obstacles this ocean can throw at her. Once she's completed, she'll be able to take you wherever you need to go." She rubs her chin. "Of course, I still need to finish her. I have all the parts I need, but it will still take about a week to complete. I imagine your group could use that time to rest, and you could utilize my workshop to repair or modify your gear to your needs. I can also fix up your speeder to work out on the waves. I could even fit one of them to work as a floating command center filled with scanning equipment to help you guys inside. The other will carry your boarding party and actually approach the ship. I'll leave that decision up to you."
Do you choose to take the Ophelia out to reach the Cat's Paw, or do you want to modify the speeder? This is a lot to take in, maybe you want to ask a few more questions, or do something else entirely.
Looks around the shop in awe, hearing the talk about the Ophelia he walks further into the room, "I'm not a mechanic by any means, but I would like to try my hand at water proofing my guns, among a few other things." he'd said as he began to look over the computers and other things taking in the sight before him.
"...Riiight. Nice place. Very fancy. So, you think you can make the speeder we totally didn't steal work as a command centre? Get the feeling a sub'll be better for assaulting a ship." Jason asks, checking out the room a bit. "Oooh, got any tritium paint around here? Or a sight. Anything I can stick on this." He points at his Bren.
Jamie's glee returns to him as the workshop really comes out, a big grin growing on his face. "My god woman, I would have loved to land a job like this ya lucky lass! It's just great! "
Thinking about the options before him and hearing Jason's idea, Jamie proposes his idea. "Would it not be possible to make the speeder dockable to the Ophelia? Then we could use the Ophelia as a main vessel and just pop off the speeder to get to the shallows. It'd be the best o' both worlds!"
"Either way, seein' as how we'll be underwater a lot, I'd like to see if I can throw together a little rebreather for me, or anyone else that wants one for that matter."
He also eyes the kitchen in the back, "Say, I don't mean to be greedy or nothin' but have ya got anything to drink back there? That whole, almost dyin' thing, sorta got me nerves goin'."
Samar considers what Jason and Jeremiah asked of her for a moment, then says, "Well, if you can't find what you're looking for in the workshop you could ask Pimblokto to fetch it from storage. In fact..." She calls over her shoulder, "Pimblokto?" The robot you had encountered earlier thumps its way over to the workshop and pokes its head in. "Yes, Doctor?" it beeps. "Can you go downstairs and see if we have any tritium paint or steel-friendly sealant? Oh, and while you're down there grab your spare battery." The robot responds, "Yes, Doctor." and thumps off towards the door at the end of the hallway as you hear its heavy footsteps fade down below.
Samar remarks to Jamie, "Well, the information we gather is quite valuable. Doubly so on a planet like this. It pays the bills, as they say. As for the docking, it would probably be best to have only one vehicle approach the Cat's Paw at a time. Besides, the scanning equipment gets fuzzy if it's closer than twenty meters or so. I'll leave it for you to decide which one goes up to the ship, but we could look into having one tow the other." She snaps her fingers when Jamie mentions a rebreather. "That does remind me, I have some scuba gear for you. It's an older model that runs off compressed air, but it is a step above drowning. If you want to make some upgrades to it, then be my guest."
Maria perks up at the mention of liquor, saying "Well, I know Mrs. Straight Edge over here doesn't keep any hard stuff around but I think she's got some red wine chilling in the fridge if that's your thing. If it isn't, I think I still have half a bottle of brandy in the freezer. It should be behind the astronaut ice cream." She meanders over to the freezer and roots around in it, pulling out a brown bottle with an ornate label. True to her word, it's half filled with a somewhat sweet smelling alcohol. She sets it down on a work table and gestures to the kitchen cabinet. "There's glasses in there. Don't go overboard."
As she finishes her sentence, Pimblokto shows up in the doorway again, carrying several items including a phial of tritium paint and some waterproofing supplies. It also has a heavy looking battery the size of a microwave oven and a few scuba masks. Samar looks at his haul and seems pleased. "You read my mind." she remarks. "I did no such thing." responds Pimblokto. Samar simply pats the robot on the shoulder. "Of course. Well, why don't you set that all down and we can take a look at your main battery." The robot dumps all the items on a nearby table except for the battery, and follows Samar out of the room.
Maria watches them leave and then turns back to the group. "Well, nuestra casa es su casa." she says, gesturing to the workshop. "If you guys need anything, we're just across the hall. Don't burn the place down, alright?" She winks at the group and then exits the workshop. The door swings shut behind her and the gang is left alone in a room once again.
Jamie walks over and takes the bottle of brandy and looks at it, "I don't normally go for such fancy drinks but it'll do." Pouring himself a glass he takes a long sip while he looks around the room.
Taking another sip he walks over to the pile of scuba gear. "Guess I'll be messin' with this stuff for a little bit, I'm sure I can make it work. How complicated could a rebreather be?"
After scrounging up a fine enough paintbrush, Jason gets to painting up his sights. "Y'know, I've been thinking. This whole plan? Probably not gonna work out. But... Fuck it. Y'know? We die, we die. 'Nother pile of bones in a pit. We live? Legends. There's no downsides!" His speech sounds slightly slurred as he continues mumbling. "But this whooooole thing is pointless anyway! We're just gonna find some... Some, like... Tentacle monster thing. There's not gonna be anything worth it. Anything you have to work for ends up being, being... Urgh." He gestures wildly with his hand, getting paint all over the stock. "Pass that brandy."
Jamie just cocks his head and looks at Jason as he talks. "Does no good thinkin' like that." He hands him the bottle of brandy. "If I had gone into every problem with that in me head, I'd still be at home, never leave 'less its for more booze." He swirls his cup around and chuckles as he takes another sip. "Point is, who cares what'll happen? It'll come no matter what. Just live your life and if there's a chance to make to make it better then fuckin' take it! There's nothin' that's pointless if it stands a chance at improvin' the time ya got." Jamie downs what's in his glass and takes the bottle for a refill before handing it back. He turns to walk back to the scuba gear and starts to grin. "'Sides, tentacle monster sounds like a hell of a way to go."
The Gang Works On Some Personal Projects
The gang discusses life, their future, and what awaits for them at the end of it all. And gets a little drunk.
Overnight, Jeremiah's burn wound has healed nicely. All that's left is a patch of fresh skin.
Holland's stomach has healed considerably. It's not back to normal, but most of the pain is gone and your chest cavity isn't exposed to the open air anymore.
Jason's Bren A2 AR now has enhanced tritium sights. You'll be able to make shots more quickly, and more easily in the dark.
Jamie had worked hard on improving the scuba gear, and thanks to your experience jury rigging equipment managed to- [Jury rigger] [10!] -really make your mark on this equipment! Not only does it now function without the need for an air tank, the glass in the goggles has been reinforced to protect against small arms fire and bright lights. In addition, you added a side mounted light for hands free illumination and reworked the way it sat on your head to be more comfortable and even look pretty intimidating.
The sun falls, and rises again. It's a new day, and everyone's gotten some well needed rest.
It is the dawn of a new day.
Rain patters gently against the skylight in the workshop. It seems lighter today, it might even stop for a few minutes if you're lucky, and today you're feeling a little lucky.
Maria comes into the workshop. She's taken off her rubber poncho and secretary outfit and now wears a pair of sweatpants and a loose fitting t-shirt. The shirt has the logo of a band on it that hasn't been popular in a couple decades. Her slippers make a shuffling sound as she crosses the room. "Morning, fellas." she says. "Samar wanted me to check in on you bunch. Make sure you were eating and all that. And- Woah." Maria takes notice of Jamie's handiwork, seeming impressed. "Nice stuff. You weren't kidding about knowing your machines." She blinks and shakes her head, getting back on track. "But yeah, she'll be in here in a few to work on the sub. Oh yeah, we learned a little while ago that there's enough space in both machines so that whichever one you take, you could bring one of us along if you want. Samar's good with machines and computers, Pimblokto is- Well, you know what he's good at. I'm pretty good at getting into places I shouldn't be. Of course, you could just choose to just do it with your squad as it is, that's cool too." She shrugs. "As always, it's your mission, so the choice is yours." She bends down and pulls out a frying pan from the kitchen cabinet, flicking the stove on. "And while we're talking about choices, what do you guys want for breakfast?"
You guys finished your projects in record time, and can start new ones if you want to.
Also, you've got the choice to take one of three people aboard the ship with you.
You can take...
Samar - The Roboticist She's a SPECIALIST, and is skilled with [Mechanics] [Robotics] [Computers] [Surveillance]
Maria - The "Secretary" She's a SPECIALIST adept at [Lockpicking] [Hacking] [Stealth] [Agility]
and of course, you have Pimblokto - The Metal Menace He's a FIGHTER and is good with [Grappling] [Strength]
...or go alone. Leaving them behind means that you'll get additional information from the command vehicle, and while one operates the equipment the other can give you pointers on things relating to their skills. It's not as good as having them there with you, but you'll have all their skills at your disposal.
"I vote on taking the robot. I can personally vouch for him hitting things good." Jason yawns. "Ooh, bacon and eggs sound good. We got those?"
"Heh, thank ya, I take pride in me work. I suppose I'll second the body guard, long as he won't go shortin' out in the water. It'd be better to have you watchin' over us too, and heaven forbid should somethin' happen to one of ya and leave the other, wouldn't be wantin' that now would we?" Jamie stands up and stretches. "If yer offerin' I like me eggs scrambled please, and uh, is there a shower I can use? I'm feelin' pretty grimy."
Considering that he was able to such a good job in such a little time on his rebreather, he wants to use the rest of his time on a little bit bigger project, a suit to go with it. For the most part, it would look like an average scuba suit, only with light armor, nothing that would constrict movement. The big difference however is that he's going to try to make it self propelling by building in a sleek water jet on its back were an oxygen tank would normally be. The goal in mind is to have something that, while providing no benefits on dry land, would not encumber him like a heavy tank and flippers would.
Lets out a faint sigh as he unwrapped the wound and sets the bandages off to the side before going out to decidedly start water proofing his guns, "Breakfast would be nice." he'd said as he was working, "But no alcohol for me."
The Gang Enjoys The Most Important Meal Of The Day
Maria nods, "Check and check. And the shower's in the bathroom. It's across the hall through the doorway Jason got suplexed by. Oh, and if you use any of the soaps, make sure to put them back exactly where you found them. Samar's really particular about that." She reaches into the refrigerator and pulls out a small carton of eggs. She digs some more inside, but can't seem to find what she's looking for. She pulls out a small necklace she was wearing under her shirt. It's a small silver locket in the shape of a heart. She presses the release on it, and instead of opening it makes a clicking noise. She holds it to her mouth and says, "Samar, can you tell Pimblokto to bring up some more bacon? We're out up here." The locket makes some rustling noises and you hear Samar's voice come through a tinny speaker. She sounds like she just woke up, and answers in Indo. <<Yes, he heard you. He's on his way.>> After a moment, Pimblokto shows up with a vacuum sealed package of bacon in his robotic hand. Maria gladly takes it, tears it open, and throws a few strips onto the pan. "Thanks bud. Also, while you're running, go find your water gear. You're headed with our friends onto the Cat's Paw." Pimblokto replies, "Yes ma'am." As he stomps out of the room, Maria says over her shoulder, "I should tell you, Jamie, that we can handle ourselves. But if I'm being honest, I appreciate you sending Pimbo. While I was over at the office we didn't get to spend a lot of time together. It'll be nice to get to work with her again."
With that, she starts prepping breakfast. The bacon is done well, crispy and greased. The eggs are light and fluffy, and you can taste the bacon fat she cooked them in. Maria herself grabs a couple bacon strips and is about to leave the room before she stops herself. "Oh yeah, almost forgot." She reaches into her pants pocket and pulls out a small box about the size of her hand. Opening it, she reveals six earpieces set into some styrofoam packaging. They're small and inconspicuous, colored black and compact enough to fit entirely in the ear. A small extrusion of plastic extends forwards both as a method of stabilization and as a microphone. "These are for you guys. They're already tuned to the frequency mine-" she tugs on the necklace chain "-and Samar's are on. Just press the button on the outside there and speak. It's a lot easier than yelling through a wall." She sets the box on the table next to the plates of eggs and bacon and saunters out of the room. The doors swing shut behind her.
Six days have passed
Holland's stomach has healed almost completely. There's a gnarly scar left, but Glover's treatment has worked well. He's ready for duty.
Jeremiah's arm has healed completely. The skin has reformed perfectly, leaving not a single mark. (Nor any scars to tell stories about. A shame, really.)
Under Samar's direction and judgement, she's outfitted the speeder as a surveilance vehicle, and made it seaworthy. She even gave it a new paint job. Now, instead of the solid black and ghastly logo, it's covered completely in blue and grey digital camouflage patterns. It also sports a large metal tube that looks something like a telescope mounted to the weapon ring.
Jeremiah's G36 is now waterproof, and can fire underwater. With the extra time, Maria helped him create an underslung harpoon launcher as well. It only has the one small harpoon, but it fires just as well underwater as it does on dry land, and does so almost silently. It is mounted on the G36 and can be fired at any time that the rifle can.
With the extra time Jason had, Samar advised him on creating a shock absorbing stock. He can now fire full auto without suffering a hit to his accuracy.
Holland took the time to patch up his suit and fix up his hammer. It now swings with greater force than before.
Jamie got to work creating a diving suit to match his mask. Gathering up the materials, he set to work- [Jerry Rigger] [4 + 3 = 7] -and made some pretty nice hardware. His diving suit is reinforced with kevlar. It provides some protection, and does not hinder his movement. Strapped to the back was a pack made of two cylinders strapped to one another. Each cylinder housed a small propeller to push water through them and help him move through the water. Between the two cylinders is a bank of re-purposed energy cells that were originally designed for laser rifles. With it, he can move about as fast as a person could jog on land, but through the water.
It's the morning of the seventh day. Samar's putting the finishing touches on the Ophelia. The submarine has come together nicely. It's silver hull is whole once again as Samar works inside the machine to get it ready for deployment. Poking her head out of the tower on top, she asks the gang, "She will be ready for you shortly, and then we can head out. We're going to want to get to the ship as soon as possible. According to my surveillance drones, it's drifting towards a patch of sea that's in a dead zone. Something in the area interferes with long range communications, so my drone's can't go in there and the scanners can't pick up any useful data. I'm not sure what's causing it, but I am sure that if we lose it in there it could take another week before we find it again. By then it could have sunk completely and be lost on the ocean floor, which is not a great place for a computer. So if you guys want to do any last minute stuff, now is the time."
For those of you keeping track at home, here's a quick mission summary.
The Gang will be piloting the Ophelia, a small custom made submarine. Samar and Maria will be in the speeder, monitoring the mission from
a safe distance within their scanner's optimal range. Pimblokto will be accompanying the Gang on their mission onto the Cat's Paw.
Their mission is to find "The Mind", a powerful computer core that's shaped like a sphere about two feet across.
"Ya know, even if I don't get to use this much in the ship, this suit came out pretty fuckin' cool. I'm ready for this, let's do it!" Jamie gathers his equipment and gets into his gear. He can't help but picture himself as some sort of off-brand, underwater superhero.
Jeremiah decided to set his pistol off to the side given he hadn't had enough time to 'waterproof' the thing, "Your right, it does look pretty cool, but lets keep our wits about us, no telling what's gonna be inside that ship."
The Gang Sets Off on a New Adventure
Samar gives the gang a thumbs up and descends back into the submarine. There's a few clangs, shudders, and for a moment the turbines start spinning. You hear Samar mutter something and the submarine stops moving once more. She pops back out of the top and says, "All right, she's ready for her crew!"
As you all clamor into the small submerisble you take in the interior. It's very utilitarian, many pipes and wires are exposed to the interior. Your feet clang on the metal grate floor and you have to bend down slightly to avoid hitting your head on the roof. Each side of the sub is lined with several seats, enough for the gang to sit in relative comfort and safety. The front of the submarine sports a large seat with a complex harness laid over it. In front of it, there sits a U shaped steering wheel and a large yellow lever. Dials and gauges surround the steering column. Above it is a control board filled with switches and buttons, along with one big red button off to the right. On each side of the pilot's seat are a number of monitors that show various camera feeds of the exterior of the submarine. Pimblokto is seated comfortably in the chair already and turns to face the crew. He waves cordially, and you notice his helmet has been replaced with the old brass helmet you saw on the diving suit in the hall. In addition, the spaces between his armor plates have been covered with some stretchy, presumably waterproof plastic.
Samar points to the controls at the front of the submarine. "Pimblokto will be steering because he knows what all those buttons do. But in the case that he's not able to, the wheel controls the direction of the sub and the lever controls the speed. In an emergency, you won't really have time to worry about those switches so don't worry about them now. The big red button is the emergency eject. All the seats are rigged so that when you press that button they will be launched out of the sides of the sub and packs in the back of them will inflate and pull you to the surface. I recommend you hold your breath whe- if that happens."
She points up to the entrance in the ceiling. "Maria and I will take the speeder around the cliffside and meet you on the ocean. The submarine has its own way of getting down, and I think you'll like it." She starts climbing the ladder but stops halfway. "Or you might not. In any case, buckle up." Without any further explanation she pulls herself out of the sub and you can see her climb down its side and exit the workshop.
You all get into your seats and make sure your straps are tight before Pimblokto flips a switch and you hear a loud, metallic CLUNK as something underneath the sub moves. On the monitors you see the room suddenly move up as you start to feel weightless. The submarine is falling through a trap door in the floor! Pimblokto doesn't say a thing as the camera feeds are enveloped in darkness and you hear the wind whipping past the sub. Then, something clinks against the hull of the sub and you feel gravity return quickly as an unseen winch screeches and whines as it slows the sub. Finally, you hear it splash down into some water and Pimblokto throws the lever. The hum of the turbines starts up and you move through the dark water and out through a hole in the rocky cliff face.
The refurbished speeder pulls around as the Ophelia exits the cave. The radios crackle as Maria's voice comes over the channel. "Alright! You guys made it out okay." You hear Samar say in the background, "Of course they made it, I personally triple checked the deceleration calculations." There's a short pause, then Maria continues, "It's gonna be a little bit of a ride, but lucky for you guys I managed to pull some blueprints of the ship we're headed to. I'm sending them to your screens now."
One of the leftmost screens flips over to a heavily annotated image of a ship.
"That's what the Cat's Paw looks like on the inside. The labels are rough translations, but the important thing are those green dots. That's the water level. Anywhere below that and you'll need your SCUBA gear to breath. The red circles are the most interesting part, though. Those are possible entry points for you guys. One and two are just doors that came on the blueprint, but three is something new we found through sonar imaging. Apparently there was a hole blown in the side of the ship, which is why it has sunk so low this far. It might be worth checking out, assuming it's safe to do so. There's a lot of unknowns."
Samar's voice now comes over the radio, more clearly than before. "We will leave it to your team to decide where to go. Pimblokto can take you to any of them using the Ophelia. We'll hang back and monitor the ship as well as your progress."
Your crew can decide to enter the ship through entry 1, the door above water, entry 2, the door underwater, or entry 3, the hull breach. Or you could try something else.
Jamie thinks for a few minutes and then leans forward to talk to the crew. "Well, let's see here... First, do ya think its better to split up and take two entrances at once, like me an' someone else going through the breach and the rest of yas go up top, or possibly all three entrances if ya really wanted to be that thinned out, or go all at once into one? After that, I've got a feelin' it would be in one of the labs so I suggest we head to them first either way, be that to meet up or just get to them. What do ya think? It's been a while since I've planned a uh... "salvage" mission so any input is welcome."
Looks over at Jamie for a moment, "Do we have enough tanks to all go into one of the ones that are submerged? If not then we can split the group a bit, two through the breach the rest through the bridge." He'd say as he leaned back into the seat. "I'm not really a great planner but I do agree with where you think we should head first."
The Gang Makes Their Approach
You do a quick inventory, everyone has their equipment, a tank and a SCUBA mask. They will provide enough air for you to breath easily for about an hour.
Samar comes in over the radio. "I'm not sure which entrance would be the most advantageous, but I would not recommend splitting your forces." "Yeah. 'Cause that always works in horror movies." chimes in Maria. After a brief pause, Samar concedes, "Yes. It would be counterproductive."
As she says that, something causes the sub's sonar to ping. "Ah, we're in scanning range of the vessel." says Samar, sounding almost excited. "I'm not picking up... Anything. The ship is most certainly there, but it's not showing any signs of life. There's no sounds, no heat signatures, and no distress beacon. The vessel doesn't seem powered either, and the computer core you're searching for is likely either unpowered as well." Samar sighs. "If it were powered, I could try and pinpoint its location with the heat it would generate and the power it was taking in. According to the blueprint, the backup power is stored in the lower deck towards the bow. I believe the room is labeled b-pow on your map. Perhaps you could start there."
Maria's voice comes in. "Oh, shit." "What is it?" asks Samar. "By the time you guys get to the ship, it'll already be in the dead zone. Radio communications might get choppy from there on out. So if you guys can't reach us and need an evac just- I dunno, make a lot of noise. Shoot up a flare if you have one. We'll get the message and pick you up ASAP."
Jeremiah sighs and nods, "If we need to get the backup power running we'll need to go in through the hull breach as that'd be the fastest way to get there." he'd remark over the comms or however they were talking to the other group. Looking over at the big bot then at the rest if the crew he unstrapped himself and decided to go around the sub, crouching but still he felt the need to walk around to calm his nerves.
"Yes, let's go investigate the ghost ship with next to no radio support. Because that also always goes well in horror movies." Jason sighs. "Entry 3 is probably gonna be the shortest route, but entries 1 and 2'll let us find where the thing is in the first place. We could also probably salvage some crap from the storage room up there..."
Jamie looks over to Jason, "Well if we're just comparin' everythin' to a horror movie then we probably will get attack by a tentacle monster!" Not to feel left out, Jamie sighs as well. "Hold on though Samar, if we'll be in the dead zone you wouldn't be able to find it if we turned the backup power on or not. But I guess it'd be best to turn it on, better lightin' would help at the least. If we can go through the breach we can get to the power and sweep each room from the bottom up for the computer and any shite not too waterlogged and leave through the bridge, or if ya wanted, we could go in through observation, (I'm assuming that's what obs is) then go down to power and then do the same, there'd just be more backtracking. Course, with yas only havin an hour of air, that might be a problem, ya wouldn't have time to do a good search. 'Less ya want to hang out and look in the parts not underwater while I look for anythin' that is? "
Jeremiah looks over at Jamie and gives a light shrug, "Either way the ones with tanks shouldn't be rushing or running, we'll start consuming oxygen at a higher rate if we do, and that's assuming all the area's above water are still safe to breath in. That assumption would be correct if no plants had made their way inside and started decomposing causing unsafe levels of carbon dioxide." he'd remark.
The Gang Reaches Their
As you get up and start pacing the ship, you're overcome with a severe feeling of vertigo. However, it quickly fades.
"Alright guys, we're in the dead zone. We're gonna stop the speeder here and let you go on ahead. If you need us, hit that button on your earpiece and speak. The interference is pretty mild right now so we should be able to communicate easily." says Maria. The radio crackles a bit as she speaks.
The submarine slowly comes to a stop and you can see on the monitors the back end of the ship. From here you see the back of the control tower, along with the second entrance underneath the water: A large, bulky ship door with a wheel in the center for opening the latch. It sits neatly in the center of the first deck. Looming over the door is a crane. The line on the crane is wrapped around a long metal rod, and behind the crane you see that the antenna that was supposed to be mounted there had been torn off. The deck itself is barren, and on the back of the ship you see a few places for ropes to tie off, and underneath those the two ship's propellers. They both sit silent and still in the murky water.
On the right side of the boat curled strips of metal stick out of the hull right where entry three is marked on the map. Bits of debris and oil float over that area, bouncing and bobbing with the rain that beat down on the water's surface.
Pimblokto turns around in his seat and says, "We have arrived. Do you have an entrance decided?"
You could split up and go through whichever entrance you want, or stay as a group and go through one door as a unit. Or you could do something else.
"Im thinkin' in the breach and out the bridge, gets everythin' done. Any objections?" Jamie stands up and gets ready to dive, looking towards the group for their response as he puts on his rebreather.
Looks back at Jamie, "No objections here, thing that's the best idea anyways."
The Gang Gets Wet
Pimblokto turns back to the controls. "Navigating to entrance three." The sub lurches and you hear some motors running in the walls as the ballast tanks fill and the vehicle sinks down towards the breach. The hole grows larger on the monitors as you pull up and you get a view into the interior of the ship. Through the clouded water you see the shape of two long blocks of metal with wires and tubing covering their exterior. You don't see any movement except for the warping of the light through the water.
One by one you climb up into the tower of the submarine, and a door slides shut underneath you. As you secure your breathing equipment, the chamber fills with cold sea water that slowly covers you from toe to head. As the chamber fills, the top hatch opens and you swim out of the submarine and through the hole in the side of the ship. The first thing that you notice is that the hole is circular and very large. It's diameter is about the same as Pimblokto's height. The strips of metal around the gap all point outwards like spikes lining the exterior of a castle wall, or the teeth of a hungry beast.
Samar and Maria crackle in over the radio again, "Be sure to look out for anything unusual in there. It's not like Sinopec to just leave one of their research ships floating out in the sea like this."
The radio goes silent.
[Music, for your consideration.] (https://youtu.be/7m-FLhebhqk)
Your group enters the ship.
Inside, Pimblokto activates his head lamps once again. The light cuts through the dirty water and you get a look at the engine room proper. The room is fairly spacious, but the majority of it is occupied by the two enormous motors that powered the ship. At the back of the room they connect to the hull of the ship and presumably the turbines outside. Towards the front of the room there are several control boards for the engines. The control panels have been smashed beyond repair, their wiring floating free in the water, bleeding out of its case. The door that led into the next room is shut, the wheel used to turn the latch has has a crowbar stuck through its spokes, making it impossible to turn without removing it.
Everyone [Jason - Investigator] [8 + 3 = 11] vs The Dark, Murky Water 
Above you, bobbing towards the ceiling is a body. It's dressed in a white lab coat and some black pants. It's black hair is in a loose mess around its head, and it's face is pressed against the ceiling, obscuring its identity.
Jason swims up to the body, checking the pockets of the lab coat they're wearing.
If he don't find shit, yo, he'll just try and yank out the crowbar.
As Jamie glides through the water he comes to a stop outside the ship to admire the jagged breach before going in. Once he is, he'll go to inspect the interior damage as well, just to try and see if there's any evidence as to what caused everything other than the fact that there was an explosion of some sort. Finishing with that, he'll follow Jason to look at the body along with him to see if there's anything interesting on or about it.
The Gang Gets Closer
The breach is in a fairly circular shape, and the curling of the metal implies some kind of explosion. [Mechanics] [5 + 3 = 8] vs  More curiously, the metal curled outwards, meaning the source of the explosion came from the interior of the ship. Inside, there is a matching scorch mark on the side of the generator opposite to the hole, confirming that the explosion originated inside the vessel. The generators themselves are intact, which is a blessing considering that they appear to be fusion generators. A breach in one of these while it was online would have resulted in an enormous fireball that would have consumed most of the ship.
The destroyed controls have several dents in them, like they were struck by several dull but strong projectiles, or one large object several times. The screens and buttons took the brunt of the abuse. Judging by your mechanics knowledge, they look beyond operation in their current state- to say nothing about the electronics being exposed to sea water.
During your exploration, you do notice a yellow and black toolbox sitting open on the floor of the engine room. It's filled with several wrenches, screwdrivers, and other mechanical maintenance tools. There's also a spool of electrical wire sitting inside.
You two approach the body. As you get closer, you notice the hands- they're curled up into tight fists. The skin can hardly be called skin by this point. It's taken on a grey, almost rubbery looking texture. Checking its pockets, you see a lanyard sticking out of its back pants pocket. Pulling it out, you see what must've been this man's name. "Tao Lee". Underneath the name is a picture of a tired looking man with messy black hair and a pair of circular glasses. He must've been somewhere in his 40's when the photo was taken. Inside the lab coat is a small black stick with a camera on the front. It looks like a personal data tracker, the kind of thing people use to create video journals on the go.
You turn the body over to confirm the identity, but you are instead greeted by a gruesome sight. His face, neck, and upper torso have been burned completely. It's a mess of charred bone and flesh, and you cannot make out any identifying features except for the black hair clinging to its scalp.
Jamie grabs the camera and stores it away figuring they could look into it more once they weren't underwater. Finding the tool box he swims down and grabs it, "If the backup power room looks anythin' like this... Well these would come in handy." He moves over to the door and waits for someone else to continue forward.
While Jamie sets to desecrating the dead, Jason flinches away from the body, humming. "Jesus, what kinda shit has to happen to melt your face off?" Shuddering, Jason moves over to free up the crowbar from the door.
The Gang Opens One Door, and The Rest Stay Open As Well For Once
As you wiggle the crowbar free from it's barricading position, the metal door creaks and groans. With one final yank the tool comes free and the door swings open, beyond it is a smaller corridor. Like the engine room, this corridor is currently filled with water. It's only about twice the width of the door, and square in shape. In the center of it is a ladder, and it extends upwards towards the upper decks of the ship. Across the room is another door similar to the one you just opened, but this one has caved slightly into whatever room is beyond it and shudders as you move through the water.
The near silence of the ship is broken up again as you hear a familiar voice crackle in over the radio.
It was Maria. She seemed to be having a relaxed conversation with someone.
"You know I detest spiders." says Samar. "Well, yeah, but you could've made a bug zapper instead of a huge-" Samar cuts her off. "We're getting a signal."
You hear Maria say something under hear breath followed by the sounds of her scrambling around.
"Test, test." There's a pause, then you hear Maria imitating the sound of a telegraph machine. "I'm news anchor Maria Naji and we're coming to you live with the evening headlines-"
"Eh, right. What's your status down there, guys? Find anything interesting?"
Responds quite simply with a, "If you consider a person lacking a face as interesting then yes, nothing much else seeings as we haven't gone very far in yet." rather than keeping the gun at the ready he decided to leave it strapped to him and around his back while he moved around to allow himself some freedom of movement. "Mind handing me the crowbar, doubt we'll need it but I'd like to hold onto it for a bit."
(top tip, a sentence entirely in italics is generally considered to be thoughts. you weird psychic.)
Jason looks at Jeremiah, at the crowbar, and then back at Jeremiah. He shakes his head. "No." Slipping the crowbar through the belt loop on his pants, he heads up the ladderino.
Jamie looks around the engine room once more before responding, "Yeah, there was definitely some sorta foul play, or at least some nasty accident. Not sure but a got a recorder and later on I want to see if it's not too water damaged to get it workin' again, might have somethin' on it."
Hearing Jason's reply to Jeremiah, Jamie turns to face Jeremiah and gives an exaggerated shrug before going through the door as well. Looking up (diagonally?) the ladder as Jason on goes to the upper levels, "If ya really want to go on up now I won't stop ya but I'm still goin' to see about the power first." Turning back to face the next door, he glides over and peeks into the open door to see what lies ahead.
The Gang Opens One Door Too Many
"Yikes. Well if it's any consolation, we're not picking up any movement except for you guys." says Maria. Samar adds, "Pimblokto might be able to read the recorder. There's a port in the back of his head, but you'll have to remove the helmet to get to it, so be sure to do that when you're not underwater. It's not good for his electronics otherwise."
"I am fully capable of functioning without waterpoofing, and can reach processor speeds up to 150% of the standard rate." protests the robot. "You see?"
You grab onto the rungs of the ladder and hoist yourself up, floating past the hole in the second deck as if you were weightless. You arrive in what is labeled on the blueprints as Lab 1, and it looks like that label is accurate. The ladder runs through the center of the room, continuing up towards the bridge. On each side of you, running most of the length of the room are heavy metal cabinets that look bolted to the floor. Similar cabinets run along the outer edge of the room. Beakers, clipboards, pens, and computer parts litter the floor. The water tugs and nudges them, making them look as if they're being controlled by some invisible string. Soggy torn pieces of paper float lazily in the water, illuminated barely by the minimal light coming in from the two portholes on each side of the room.
Behind you is the door to the mess hall, if the sign above it is to be trusted. The door is shut tight, but you notice it has several small dents in it and there's a dark stain on the floor that creates a trail leading through its threshold. In front of you is the door leading to the second lab. This one is closed as well, and there doesn't seem to be anything irregular about it.
You grab the wheel that controls the latch of the door. It squeals and creaks in protest, but you twist it all the same. The bolt seems to be bent along with the rest of the door, but with some effort you finally pull it out of the way and- WHOOSH -the door swings open suddenly and water starts to shoot through the opening! You try to resist the flow-  vs  -but can't seem to escape as you're pulled along with it through the bathrooms! For a second you're riding on top of a wave as it hungrily fills the waterless room. Shower and toilet stalls rush past your face as the far end of the room and its slightly ajar door shoot forward to greet you. You try to stop your momentum by grabbing onto something, anything and- [6 + 3 = 9] vs  -manage to grab hold of a stall door as the water surges around you and you're submerged once again. The door to the crew quarters is thrown open as well by the current and you hear it crash and rock ahead.
You're still in the bathrooms, and looking around you get a feel for the room. There's four stalls on each side of the room. Each one is made out of what appears to be some kind of sheet metal, and they look fairly cramped. All the doors have been thrown open, save for one shower stall on the left side of the room and two bathroom stalls on the right. The floor and ceiling offer no additional secrets, looking like they are made out of the same sheet metal that formed the walls of the engine room.
You hear the ship creak and groan, and you all start to get a sinking feeling as the floor shifts under your feet.
[Music, for your consideration] (https://youtu.be/lJqeinHqmCQ)
Samar comes in over the radio. "I'm not sure what just happened, but it seems the ship has passed its buoyancy equilibrium. If you don't want to sink with it, I recommend you get to and start the backup generator as soon as possible. After that, the emergency pumps should kick on and start getting rid of the excess water."
"Shite the fuckin' bed god dammit! Thought that might happen!" Jamie kicks back off the stall towards the next room, doing his best to get to the backup power as fast as possible. "I can fix it!"
The Gang Does Some Plumbing
Knowing your time is limited, you kick that pack into full throttle and kick off the stall. Sputtering through the water you glide through the doorway and into the crew quarters. As you pass through the crew quarters, you get a cursory look at the interior. The hallway juts to the right, and on the right there are several portholes looking out to the dark and empty waters. On your left, there are several doors, each with a label.
They're all shut tight, even with the rising water, and you have to turn your head slightly to read them as it becomes apparent that the ship is rotating to a nearly vertical position. You reach the end of the crew cabin and fly through the open door. The storage room has been half filled, and the flow has slowed down considerably now that the sea water has reached the level outside. You push through the layer of boxes that are floating on the surface and charge past the shelves, throwing the last door open and entering the backup power room.
The backup power room is a fairly small room, not even half the size of the engine room. It's dominated by an enormous gas-powered generator in the center. Several jerrycans lie haphazardly nearby, but there's no time to check if they're full. You locate the machine's controls and are greeted by another control panel covered in switches and buttons. The interface is unfamiliar, and the labels all in sino, but using your mechanical knowledge- [3 + 3 = 6] vs  -you figure out the right combination of presses and switches, punching in the code as the generator slowly chugs, grinds, and finally hums to life.
"Power's returning to the ship! Nice job, guys!" Maria commends over the radio. Samar adds, "Pimblokto, shut that door to the engine room and contain the breach."
"Affirmative." Pimblokto drones, grabbing the door and pulling it shut. The water rushes through the increasingly small opening- [9 + 3 = 12] vs  -but he gives it one large shove and it shuts. With a single turn of the door's wheel the door groans and shudders, but it is locked into place.
A humming sound fills the ship, and the lights flicker on across the ship. Many of the fixtures are broken or flickering, but it's clear that there's power now, and the sinking feeling stops as the ship begins to right itself.
Jamie backs up against a wall and slides down it with a large sigh. "Christ, that coulda been bad." Wanting to let a little time pass so he can calm down and let the water pumps' do their job, Jamie calls to Pimblokto, "Oy, Mr. Roboto, come here would ya, before we do anythin' else I wanna see if we can't get into this camera."