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Shadow Tide [IC] - Page 6
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  1. #76
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    Richard looks over to Calisia and smiles "What? oh, hadn't thought to look" Richard swing his glow-rod over the frozen figures going from near to far. " let us see here..." Richard said mostly to himself as he studies the frozen figures starting with the ones nearest to himself then outward to the farthest moving as necessary.

  2. #77

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    "That is.... astounding," Thaddeus Soorkoot replied to Griggs' insistence that he "get his hardware to level six asap."

    "Blake," Soorkoot then said to the uniformed officer beside him. "Those new arrivals have found the next piece of the puzzle."

    "Oh?" Blake all but lifted an eyebrow to peak over his datapad at the scientist. Welding goggles like those resting on Soorkoot's forehead dangled around the officer's neck. Though an age between 65 and 70 years was apparent in the ware, lines, and minor scars of Blake's face, he bore himself with the strength of someone half that age. There was a hint of incredulity in his tone, "I'm sure it's something worth our immediate attention, but really, Thad, I think I've finally gotten this thing working."

    "Really, yourself, Blake," Soorkoot made no effort to mask his irritation, even though arguing with one of these warrior types who would no doubt be overrunning the place in days. "I really think you can pull yourself away for an hour to take a look." Soorkoot dropped his hydrospanner among the neatly-arranged tools atop the chest beside him. It was unlike Soorkoot to just drop tools, even if in the place where they belong. He turned upon his heels, and threw out his parting volley, "And when are you going to stop carrying that sidearm in the research facility?"

    The colonel is close to a full head taller than the scientist, and he looks side-long at him as he turns to follow, quips, "I'll stop carrying my blaster when I no longer feel threatened by you, doc." They each smile at the ridiculousness of this.

    In the depot, there is one prominent exploration vessel that could be a small Mon Cal freighter. There are three submersibles on the right. Each is slightly smaller that a snub-fighter, and in various stages of repair. A slight-shouldered, yellow-haired man in grease-smeared overalls is giving instructions to a behemoth of a droid who is now gently setting a massive cylinder of pipes and wires at its commander's feet.

    "Hello, Wade," Soorkoot says on approach.

    The yellow-haired man turns and nods.

    "We need to borrow D-Bex, if you can spare him."



    Researchers began pouring onto the level-six chamber from lower levels within minutes of Renna breaking news of the find. Bright lamps were quickly placed on tripods at the mouth of the new-found chamber, and upon first examinations a consensus brewed and steeped --spreading from one nodding head to the next-- that what they were looking at was indeed some an antediluvian skirmish captured in a flood-tide of carbonite. Griggs had said as much to Soorkoot when he'd first been contacted by Renna, and now there was no denying it.

    Atop the blackish swell, Rick steps gingerly between the heads and shoulders, the anguished and angry countenances, like a farmer stepping through a patch of haunted pumpkins. The surface, though not wet, offers very little traction for his boots. Other than the figure with his hand near the inside wall, the one who appears to be looking back to bellow or receive a command, offers any indication of a control panel, switch or device operating the massive wall-of-a-door that has been removed to allow the team's entrance. Where his hand nearly touches the wall, Rick can see a vague humanoid-hand-sized rectangle.

    "Hey, what are those?" Sestia exclaims pointing at a round barrel-like object within the entrance to the left, some three meters behind Rick. The object has a dull sheen, and seems to bob on the carbonite's still flow.

    "I think those were the containers for the carbonite," Talya explains, recalling the storage casks she'd encountered in one of her uncles' research depots. "Look at that one, she says cooly, pointing at one of the casks aloft and embedded at the top of a black fountain of ice just inside the doorway. "Those casks exploded, or were punctured by something."

    The work lamps now on tripods before the chamber's opening unveil suggestions deeper within of a neatly carved immense cavern. Beyond the frozen figures in the foreground, what appear to be the faces of individual buildings can be made out vaguely -- their dark thresholds and second-story windows are deep black rectangles needling the curiosity of more than one of these people of science. Perhaps for the first time in centuries the eyes of sentients have at last looked upon them again.

    So enrapt by all that is before them, no one seemed to have noticed the sounds of the immense servos and gyros -- the rhythmic metal metal-on-stone of the IW droid IW droid entering the level-six chamber from the stairs to the left until the nearly four-meter tall labor droid was almost within the crowd of preparing-explorers. Carried to all the excitement on two flip-down seats (probably an adaptation added by Wade, the submersible dock supervisor) are Dr. Soorkoot and the Stormtrooper officer the party members would recall working on some kind of engineering project in the warehouse level of the KRRF. Up close, the trooper's black uniform melts easily into the room's darkness, except for the rank-tabs over his left pectoral denoting colonel. Though not armored, there is an air of impenetrability about this soldier, and though aged (perhaps in his late-sixties) there is a cultivated strength in his movements.

    Each of these men step down as the droid stoops for them to do so. Soorkoot says something to Renna as he steps toward the group, and the steps forward to the new chamber's opening. He peers into the maw of this ancient world almost expectantly. Then, as if a switch had been flipped in his brain, he turns on his heels and says, "D-Bex," pointing to the mass of carbonite that had rested against the door over the aeons, "can you cut this?"

    The IW droid folds its immense pincer inward, and a smaller arm flicks out from somewhere beneath where its skull would be if it were an animal. "Affirmative, Doctor." And the light vestigial-like arm emits a stark-blue cutting beam, then the beam extinguishes as if it had been testing the apparatus.

  3. #78
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    Richard Looks at the last face and then does one last sweep of the faces from where he is standing and then says " There are Suarians in this group but none of them are Kwa, these look more like Murachaun's than anything else. Which means it looks like my theory holds at least some water." Richard smiles as he takes in a deep breathe as he suddenly feels really good and then starts to look around more to see if he can find someone watching him.
    Last edited by Vice Man; 28 April 2012 at 03:39 PM.

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    "D-Bex," pointing to the mass of carbonite that had rested against the door over the aeons, "can you cut this?"
    As the large droid finishes his brief self-diagnostic, Talya moves casually toward Soorkoot and clears her throat softly.

    "Pardon me, doctor.", she begins in her soft core world accent, waving a hand toward the carbonite, "But are you certain that cutting into this is the best idea?"

    She pauses for a moment to inspect a small portion of the recently discovered scene, then continues, back to Soorkoot, still studying the carbonite.

    "Not only can we not begin to guess what's concealed beneath the surface...but carbonite has been known to have an...interesting...effect on biological entities. I've heard of microbial contamination across entire sectors being traced back to contaminated carbonite samples. When heated, the carbonite melts and releases the microbes...weakened, but otherwise unharmed. After a brief incubation period, the new infection makes it's presence known. While I don't recall any such infection causing a far-reaching epidemic, I doubt this dig's sponsors would appreciate such an unfortunate setback."

    She then turns to once again face the doctor, "That being said, it's not unreasonable to wonder if this", she motions over her shoulder to the carbonite-encased scene, "might not have happened intentionally. And that whatever threat it has frozen, might not once again thaw...and become active..."
    W.W.G.D. - What would Grimace do?

    What kind of dust?
    Dirt-laced dust. Probably originating from the ground.

  5. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by coldskier0320 View Post
    "That being said, it's not unreasonable to wonder if this", she motions over her shoulder to the carbonite-encased scene, "might not have happened intentionally. And that whatever threat it has frozen, might not once again thaw...and become active..."
    Calisia nodded. The Tagge lady was right.
    While everyone was examining the frozen aliens - let Richard divide them into their various breeds as he desires - Calisia noticed the back of the chamber, or rather that the chamber did not appear to have a back. In fact it appeared to open out onto...he couldn’t be sure in the light, but it looked almost like a street. Were those building fronts he could see?
    He kept his holorecorder trained on what he could see beyond the chamber as he addressed everyone.
    “Are those buildings back there? Looks like this ‘temple’ was built in front of...a settlement? Which makes me wonder if the frozen aliens were attacking or escaping...escaping from what or with what?”
    “Can someone shine some light back there too? 4B?”

  6. #81

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    Soorkoot glances soberly between the three newcomers as they offer their ideas. His eyes rest and linger on Talya. His words begin slowly, under heavy eyelids and in saccharine tone -- leaning toward the young lady, hands now behind his back as if he will pace behind a lectern: "Ms. Tagge.... Allow me to exp...."

    "She has a point, Doc," the colonel interjects with a tone that diplomatically crosses protective warning and camaraderic assurance.

    "Very well," Soorkoot concedes with a huff. "I'm certainly open to suggestions."

    Quote Originally Posted by Cali:
    “Are those buildings back there? Looks like this ‘temple’ was built in front of...a settlement? Which makes me wonder if the frozen aliens were attacking or escaping...escaping from what or with what? Can someone shine some light back there too? 4B?”
    One of the researchers who's joined the party from level four hears Cali, and walks to one of the tripods, slides it forward a meter or more. Looking back at him he says, "It's deep dark in there. To really see something we're going to have to go in." The lights really only reveal suggestions of the building fronts that must be at least fifty meters into the cavern from where the researchers now prepare.

    "Are you suggesting I enter ahead, Mr. Aramathus?" 4B offers. "And Ms. Tagge...." The droid now stands between the two, but closer to the entrance. "I am equipped with six drilling capabilities. Two of which are intended for such situations. Further, I can take a small contained sample, and run a diagnostic before releasing it for exposure. Given the nature of the substance -- which surely seems to be carbonite -- I could even re-seal any opening I make."

    The droid lifts his right arm at the elbow. His hand is drawn into his bulbous forearm, and a circular spinning blade (like those one might recall seeing used to cut holes in antique doors in order to seat handles and locking mechanisms) extends four or five centimeters at 4B's wrist -- like a sharp spinning bracelet. "Simply say the word, masters."

    "Oh, yes...." Soorkoot says lazily, looking down at the droid, as if remembering the automaton had these capabilities. Suddenly the engineer reaches into the inner pocket of his coat and produces his comlink. He steps away from the group for a moment, lowers his head over the device: "Yes, place the canisters in my personal transport. No incinerations."

    Turning to face the depth of the cavern, Rick observes a slight, but obvious decline, as if the substance on which he stands had flowed over steps before solidifying. He is surprised at how slick carbonite can be, despite the fact that it is quite dry.



    Dr. Halkus stepped off the lift under the dome. Rather than going on to his lab, he chose to take a few moments to finish a cup of tea, look out at the ice, and come to terms with the decision he'd just made. At this moment, he had no doubt, L7 was positioning the canisters of the Nanarium compound in the incinerators. There will be other discoveries, he told himself. Haven't there always been?

    The flimsy cup of tea was hot in his fingertips. He shifted focus from the ice to the reflections in the dome of all the young scientists now behind him who'd thrown there connections to the safer halls of academia to put their names among those who would undoubtedly live on through the aeons in association with the greater find of the century. Work under the dome had taken on its full pace. The space was electrified by comp screens glowing into a myriad of faces, and by the hustle of moving data from department to department when waiting on network channels just made one anxious. So happy and hopeful, Halkus thought.

    The physician carried the cup as if it were still full when moving toward the anteroom of the lift that would carry him on to his own lab space. In the lift, he spoke, "Lab." The system recognized his voice, an granted him access to the lab by lifting him to it.

    Ando, not quite at its peak, shown through his high quarter of the dome at a sharp angle. The dome had been designed to refract and augment brightness while cutting UV and passive solar heat (accept at the frames where the heat was collected as operations' power). Nonetheless, Charli's form, standing near Cophrigan monkey's cage, was a slouching silhouette.

    "Charli," Halkus hailed. "I did not expect to see you up and about."

    The figure turned abruptly and stood just long enough for Halkus to take in the sight of his student. A wound just below her right jaw had begun to clot with a deep black scabbing. A wave of sadness passed through the physician. In his alarm, he was compelled forward to help. But then, too, a black-purple ichor ran over Charli's teeth and had poured over her chin to now coat it and speckle her smock where blood from the wound at her jaw had not already left its stain.

    Charli lunged past the work table toward Halkus, and it took no time for the brilliant doctor to surmise the tragedy and trajectory of infection from the monkey to his beloved student. In fact, while dodging her reach he caught a glimpse of the open cage door, and at that instant tripped on the furred form on the floor -- its neck broken, head under a shoulder in an impossible posture, and that black-purple ichor he'd seen spill over the lower teeth of snow mice, and yes, this primate.

    Charli had not been here for the primate trial. She'd not known.... These thoughts distractedly winking through his mind as he scrambled in a crab walk to get to his feet. Charli was nearly on him now, about to fall upon him, and the man's heart beat so hard his temples ached. Her hands clawed at his waste and his knee met her chin in time to keep her teeth from descending into his abdomen. The canvas-thickness of Halkus' lab coat protected his backside and hips as he worked from beneath Charli to his feet and the door to the catwalk. Charli was recovering from the blow to her chin. Instinct laid Halkus' palm to the control panel that opened the door onto that length of balcony overlooking the dome's main workspace. And instinct conveyed him out. Charli was through it and after Halkus before he'd even thought about how to close her within the lab. And the force of her embrace took them both over the rail to the table of comp consuls five meters below.

    Charli's fingers dug into Halkus' back, her teeth seeking to meet through their grip at the doctor's left pectoral. The wind was knocked from him upon impact. He could not conjure words of warning to the researchers, could not work the voice to tell them to stay back, could not tell them (with tears of loss and confusion) to shoot Charli dead before she could bite one of them. Instead, the love and admiration each of those young scholars felt for Halkus (so many having come here in hopes that he or she might be chosen as the one to be mentored by the great man, as he had mentored Charli) drew quickly to the locked and fallen pair.

    Charli darted up from the doctor's inert form, and was upon the first of the researchers to come close enough to help. He did not expect Charli's mouth to open monstrously at his throat and open it as she did. The next to arrive attempted to peddle back from this savaging, and Charli was on this second's back. Were her feet upon the second samaritan's shoulders'?!. And she screeched. This bore a chilling effect deep enough to stall those from attempting to escape or give aid to the victims. By the time Charli had swallowed a piece of her fifth victim, the first of the bitten researchers was on his feet, his mouth now working black-purple ink out over his teeth. By the time he'd reached the group headed for the lift, two other bitten researchers were joining him in has attack upon the yet uninfected.



    Around the time Halkus had stopped off for his midmorning cup of tea, his slender, insectoid-headed protocol droid, L7, had descended to the level one warehouse. He disembarked from the lift pushing a repulsar cart loaded neatly with round, half-meter tall canisters of the substance Halkus had taken to calling Nanarium. Of course the droid had been ordered to destroy the contents of these containers after the physician had discovered the compound's treacherous nature. And that is just what L7 had set out to do this morning. All of the RA-7 droids were quite loyal to the KRRF researchers, especially in comparison to other Imperial issued droids. This was in large part due to Thaddeus Soorkoot's reconditioning of them upon their arrival. He'd disabled all protocols prioritizing Imperial authority, and upgraded the memory and functionality of each. And the Imperial authority designations he simply replaced with Thaddeu Soorkoot. Rather than making scheduled data drops to Imperial networks, these droids monitored the KRRF activity and routed significant information to an encrypted, ghost, subnetwork. So now, though L7 had removed the canisters from Halkus' lab as ordered, the droid had been redirected.

    Wade, stuffing an oily rag into the large front pocket of his overalls, stepped from the submersible hangar to meet the droid. "What do we have here, L7," he asked, sweeping his fingers curtly at the canisters.

    "Dr. Soorkoot would like these secured in the cargo hold of the Iskaloni Diver, if you please."

  7. #82
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    Richard turn towards the buildings and shines his glowrod over in that general area and down towards the ground to see what else may be close to where he is standing. "This is very interesting, very interesting indeed"

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    It had been niggling away at the back of Calisia’s mind: he felt like he recognised the stormtrooper colonel. Something about the man was frustratingly familiar, Cali just couldn’t place what exactly it was. The ghost of a memory that smacked of satisfying and justifiable retribution.
    He shook his head to clear it, partially catching Soorkoot talking into his commlink.
    "Well, 4B if you could get us some samples," he said, drawing a glow rod and aiming it toward the buildings as the whine of 4B’s drill dipped in tone as it bit into the carbonite, "How about we take a look around?”
    He felt a tingle run up his spine. Spending so much of his time researching from behind a computer console the prospect of exploring this newly discovered area had his pulse racing.

  9. #84
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    Talya glances around, uncertainly for a moment, before making up her mind.

    "Sestia? Shall we?"

    And with that, she turns in toward the depths of the chamber, beaming her glowrod around the interior. Tyko and Arna, for their part, seemed to be familiar with their headstrong charge, and had already moved in to proceed with the two young women.
    W.W.G.D. - What would Grimace do?

    What kind of dust?
    Dirt-laced dust. Probably originating from the ground.

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