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02/06/2006 2:14 AM


02/06/2006 3:04 AM

[align:center][b]DAY 1[/b][/align]

His footsteps echoed quietly as Lieutenant James Digriz made his way along a dimly lit passageway of a rarely used section of the bunker. Rubbing his eyes still as he walked, for he had only recently woke up, he steadily made his way towards the water pumping plant. Jim was currently off duty at the moment. He had left the Security Force under the capable guidance of Victor, in order to spend more time assisting his wife with caring for their sick daughter.

The water pumping plant had been the recent target of speculation towards the illness which had been sweeping through the bunker. So far, only the elderly and young children had been affected, although among these was Jim's 7 year old daughter, Lisa.

Jim's wife, Sarah had also been one of many to point the blame towards the plant. Her insistence had been what had prompted Jim into action. He had asked a friend of his, a talented young scientist by the name of Henry, to concur with Jonas - the chief engineer with looking into the problem. The last word Jim had heard was that they had also called in a young medical specialist to assist with the research, which didn't sound like good news to him.

Jim began to hear the perpetual churning of the water pumping machinery growing increasing louder as he approached the plant.

[Edited by Flark on Monday, February 6, 2006 3:41 AM]

02/06/2006 4:13 AM

Jonas ran a hand over his mouth, hardly noticing the din of the plant, as he looked down on the narrow walkway to the main pump from atop it. It was a walkway he'd spanned countless times over the years, but tonight he knew he'd broken his record. Again and again he brought himself right up next to the massive machine, listening to it groan. Something was the matter, there was no question about that, it was plain enough from the sound alone, but as of yet he hadn't been able to figure out just what the problem was.

Making certain his toolbelt was fastened securely around his waist, he mounted the ladder and began his descent. He'd had word there was going to be an impromptu meeting of sorts in the plant and he thought he should be there, ready to answer what questions he could. Even through his thick gloves, he could feel something wrong even in the vibrations of the place. He cursed under his breath.

How could there be a problem and he didn't know it? How could it have come up without any warning? He wished he knew the answer to those questions. Even more, he wished the weight of it didn't rest so heavily on him. People were sick and his pump was the reason why.

There were plenty of possibilities, of course. When it came to vital functionality, there were a litany of things that, if they failed, would bring the entire purification process to a halt. Only a handful of them could be eliminated by the fact that the water was at least still flowing. He'd already instructed the on-duty engineers, along with those called in for this task alone, to start running tests at every step of the process. Within the next few hours, they would have an answer.

Now at the bottom, he made his way across the walkway to the main area of the plant, pulling his gloves off and stuffing them in his back pocket as he went. He expected Jim at any moment, and knew Henry was already hard at work figuring out the problem in his own way. That meant he'd likely be there for the meeting. The young, and potentially underqualified, medic, Liara, had already given him a briefing on what the effect of the bad water would be, but he expected her as well.

Once across the walkway, he turned to take one more look at the machine towering over him. He'd been keeping that moody contraption in line for almost a decade. He knew its ins and outs better than anyone, but still he hadn't seen its failure coming.

"Damn it all," he muttered to himself.

02/06/2006 11:27 AM

Victor sat at the duty officer's desk, going over the roster for today. Jim had called him last night and left the team under his charge, in order to free up some time to spend with his wife and daughter. Mariko had urged him to do what was necessary and he had agreed, making this the fact that he was sitting here, instead of going over his morning routine, which was the gym.

Reports of sick people had come from all over the facility this last week, mostly the elder and the young, but so far one of their men had also reported himself as sick. People were pointing at the filtration of the water installation as the cause and a team was currently looking into this. The result was expected to come fairly quickly and a meeting would be held to determine a course of action.

He worried slightly, as Mariko was in the second month of her pregnancy, yet she still continually surprised him with her fitness. She did not aim to take it any easier until at least the 7th month and probably wouldn't give in to do so either. He smiled slightly and returned to the task at hand. The new recruits would have to be paired off with the seasoned ones, in order to complete their training. The only ones spared so far, were Jim, himself and Sergeant Merryweather, who he had put in charge of this morning's roll call. The sarge had performed admirably, a reason the more to smile. If the man kept this up, they'd have to promote him soon, to the rank of second Lieutenant.

Stepping on the tail of the devil as they called this, the latter came in and saluted briefly. I pointed at the chair on the other side of the desk and he sat. "What's on your mind, Frank?" I asked him, straight to the point as ever. He grinned and leaned a little closer. "People are getting restless, Victor, more and more the fingers are pointed towards the water installation." I nodded and sat back, then replied calmly.

"I am aware of that one already, Frank and they even may be right, although the team researching it hasn't come up with a conclusive answer yet. Did you double the guards at the entrances, as I have asked?" He nodded without any hesitation and grinned. "Aye, the new batch of recruits couldn't have come at a better time, although I paired each to one of the veterans, as you suggested. All we can do now is wait, I gather?"

"Yes Frank, while we keep things running as normal as we can in the meantime. If it weren't for the class that graduated early this year, we would have been shorthanded. They're fine lads, all of them in good shape and with a good will." Slowly Frank rose and shook his head, almost laughing and turned his head before he left the office. "Easy enough for you to say, you made sure they were in shape and in a shorter time then you had to. Some of them fear even the sight of you, let alone hearing that awful whistle again that you used in their training every time they made an error. I think that if you blew that thing now, they'll start doing two laps around the damn water installation, without you ever showing your face." Now both laughed and each went on with their tasks.

[Edited by Caelin on Monday, February 6, 2006 11:31 AM]

02/06/2006 12:22 PM

Liara shouted "Grand mama, hurry she's lost her pulse!"

Grand mama, hurried over with the medicine "It's gonna be no use if we can't get her to start breathing again girl. You know what to do now hurry..."

Liara quickly started to try and preform Cpr. It was still very early in the morning she had stayed up all night to watch this patiant she wouldn't loose her now. She finally got a pulse to start..."Grand mama hurry get the medicine into the Iv bag."

Grandmama laughed and proceded to get th emedicine into the girls iv. "Ya know Liara, I have been doing this more years then you have been alive, I think I know how to help a patient."

Liara face flushed bright red as she spoke at a barely adiable tone "Sorry mama, I guess I got caught up in it".

Grandmama gave Liara and gentle pat on the back "Liara ya need to speak up more, I mean not ten seconds ago you were shouting for medicine."

Liara smiled at her grandmama, and stood up slowly "I'll check the rest of the patients and then take some medicine to Victors, and I'll check on jim's daughter on the way to the meeting."

A few hours later as Liara walked the halls of the bunker quickly, appearing very lost in thought about yesterday... No matter how much they tried they couldn't figure out what caused it. Sadly the sickness had taken two of the bunkers elderly already. She was deeply scared for the children however. Her and Grand mama, have been working on a medicine to help ease the sickness some. However, no matter what they tried they couldn't figure out what cause'd the sickness, or where it stemmed from. Yesterday she had given some of the medicine to jim's daughter, and some of the other pateints (sp?) in the bunker. She was on her way to talk to vitor about his wife. She was scared that the sickness may spread to her well she was pregnant. She had been told that vitor was at the securities main office. She knocked on the door to where she had been told Victor was...

Liara held her head down and whispered gently... "V-victor... are you here?"

02/06/2006 6:28 PM

Normally the water pumping plant would hum with a noise not so easy on the ears, but bearable to those that had been forced to tolerate it's seemingly deliberate mishaps over the past years. It seemed to have a mind of it's own most times, and it took a good engineer like Jonas to read a machines mind. That's what had worried him when he had received information the night before...

Jonas had always had his work cut out for him fixing the damnable contraption that what could only have been a fool had thought up. The efficiency rating was far to low for Henry's standards, and he figured if he ever had time he'd look into fixing that as well, but other things always had him pressed instead...

Now as he walked around a circular grating conjoined to the water plant itself he had decided to give up all thoughts of fixing the infernal beast, and in fact had vowed never to come back. The noise was too much for him as it would turn out, as it was much different from the near-sound proof laboratory that he had back in the living quarters of the bunker...

His lens scope had been raised to rest on his forehead, though all his attention was placed on the object in front of him, held by two hands that moved vigorously from left to right. The PDA in front of him proved it was alive as it flickered from screen to screen, though each one bringing Henry back to the inevitable answer...

He had ran countless tests and they each told him the same thing, and that was the shear fact that if this sickness, or infantile epidemic, continued to spread the would all be vulnerable eventually. Even the fittest of the residents could last no longer than two years by his standards, and that simply wasn't acceptable...

His agile fingers that had been made masters of the keyboard in front of him now fumbled yet again, for what seemed like the millionth time today, due to the loud noise of the machinery. Half mad at his own mistake and even madder at the fact that he couldn't figure out the answer to solving it he was forced to vent his anger...

[i]Blast this noise! I can't get any work done working around here! Why must it be so loud!?[/i]

He muttered in his usually voice when he was frustrated, one that was low and spoken quickly. He was expecting Jim to come any moment, and had been since he had finished running the tests that Jonas had assigned to him. He decided to take a much needed break and set off to find him, hoping to have a quick chat before the 'big' meeting everyone had been talking about...

He slid his PDA back in its pouch and walked to the most likely entrance he would take to the plant. It wasn't quite hard to find him, as there always had been something that mad him stand out in a crowd, since they had been kids. Maybe it was the way he always handled pressure and could work good with people, save for the fool that chose to cross him. Once he saw him he approached him with his normal quickened pace, only to slow down and turn to walk beside him once he had reached him...

[i]How's she doing Jim?[/i]

He didn't need to say any names, they both knew of whom he spoke. Jim might as well have been family to Henry as close as they were, and of course any good friend is going to be worried about the well being of the other's family. Maybe that's what had driven Henry to such length to work himself to figure out the source...

[Edited by Tamachi on Monday, February 6, 2006 6:30 PM]

02/07/2006 8:03 AM

Upon entering the vast room which held the water plant, Jim spotted Henry who quickly made his way over towards him. It was obvious his young friend had been working around the clock to come up with answers to the cause of the problem, and judging by the stressed out look on his face, Jim guessed he hadn't come up with any good news. Henry approached him and turned to walk along side as they made their way towards where Jonas would be working. The Chief Engineer was steadily making his way down an access ladder on the machinery up ahead.

[i]How's she doing Jim?[/i]

Jim shrugged almost casually as he walked, although his head remained stooped and his eyes stared down at the ground before him, giving away his true concern.

"No better, no worse.." he replied. "I take it your water test results confirmed the plant to be the source of the sickness, but no answers as to why, huh?"

They approached Jonas who had his back to them and Jim almost thought he heard the man curse something to himself. When Jonas turned around to face them, his expression pretty much confirmed this, as well as the answer the question.

"Well, I guess we had best head off to the meeting and give everyone the bad news, huh?"

02/07/2006 12:50 PM

As Victor heard the knock on the door, it told him two things at once. One, this was not one of his men, as those would have probably peeked inside after their knock, secondly, he'd best go open the door. He rose and due to getting closer, he was able to understand the words spoken on the other side of the door, which brought a grin to his face.

Calmly he headed towards the door and opened it, looking at the face of Liara. "Morning Liara, what brings you around here? Nothing wrong I hope?" He held the door open in such way that it would allow her to enter easily, then pointed at the chair in front of the desk. "Come in and have a seat. What can I do for you?"

02/07/2006 1:59 PM

He continued to walk as he listened, slowing his a pace a bit to match that of the one next to him. He listened intently, hoping that there had been an improvement but deep inside he knew there couldn't have been...

No better, no worse

He sighed as he heard the news, unable to think of anything else to say. What could he say? They both knew this wasn't something she was just going to 'get over,' but that still didn't make it any better...

I take it your water test results confirmed the plant to be the source of the sickness, but no answers as to why, huh?

Now this time he did have an answer, and though it came a bit dismayed the speed of his tone would increase as he went on, an obvious sign he was getting a bit nervous...

[b]Actually, Jim, my tests haven't necessarily been to figure out where the disease is coming from, and even thoguh this is the only probable location I can't prove it. However, I have discovered something far worse...[/b]

He had managed to get as much out before they had got within earshot of Jonas, but he didn't really wanting everyone knowing the answers to his calculations before he had proved them entirely, even though he knew they were correct. He didn't want any unneeded panic before he had ran it by Jim...

[i]We'll talk later...[/i]

He finished in a more whispered tone so that Jonas wouldn't hear, and then almost immediate looked up to give him a nod. He had never was a talkative with anyone else like he was Jim, and if he was then the person he was talking to was more than delighted to tell him that he was being so...

"Well, I guess we had best head off to the meeting and give everyone the bad news, huh?"

[b]Sounds like a plan to me.[/b]

He said in his normal quiet voice, though somehow it was still audible over all the machinery noises...

02/07/2006 3:10 PM

Giving both men a nod at the sight of them, Jonas said simply, "Jim. Henry."

"Well, I guess we had best head off to the meeting and give everyone the bad news, huh?"

Stiffening his lower lip, Jonas nodded. "We'd best be on our way, then. I don't know what we're going to tell them, though." At the inquiring look he got from the others, he went on. "The problem's here. No doubt about that. I can't say what it is, but it's here. The pump's not acting right." And as an afterthought, he added, "If we could, I'd say we replace the whole damn thing."

Starting off with the other two men, he found himself wanting to say something more, which was unusual for him, but settled for the silence instead. He knew some in Jim's family had taken ill and didn't think the man needed any half-cocked words of comfort that would probably only serve to bring the pain to the surface all the more.

His thoughts strayed to the meeting, instead. Most of the council meetings in the bunker were open affairs, serving as a time for anyone that would listen to hear the state of their home, but this was different. This meeting dealt with the survival of the bunker's inhabitants, and the council had decided there was too great a risk for panic if the meeting was open to the public. Jonas thought that was for the best, again a rare thing for him, agreeing with the council.

Before they were out of the plant, Jonas gave another look back at the pump he'd worked so long to maintain that was now threatening everything they'd all created.

02/07/2006 3:27 PM

Was just about to knock on the door again when Victor opened it...A sort "o" escaped her mouth as she looked at Victor.

"Morning Liara, what brings you around here? Nothing wrong I hope?"

Blushes, and smiles softly, whispering "Oh, no nothing is wrong, I just..."

She continued to unaware in a mumbel toned. She looked up at your face when she was done, and saw a sign of "Huh?" and realized she had mumbled. She had gotten used to seeing that on people faces now that she just respoke her last sentace, when she noticed it.

Her face turned bright red, as she said hurridly "I just wantted to talk to you about your wife."

"Come in and have a seat. What can I do for you?"

She hurried over to the seat, and sat down. She was very nervous, although that was nature for her. You could tell there was nothing wrong if anyone knew her. In her hand was the medicine, Which she quickly placed on the desk infront of her.

She said in her usual soft tone, Not being as nervous anymore "I just wantted you to give this to your wife. I am worried because she is pregnant she may get sick. This medicine should help prevent her from getting "It". I want her to take it a teaspoon twice a day. Once in the morning, and once right before she goes to sleep. I also wantted to check to make sure you were Ok, Lately more people have been getting "it"..."

("it" refers to the sickness. The way she said "it" you coudl tell she was refering to the sickness. )

[Edited by Lunar_Rising on Tuesday, February 7, 2006 3:38 PM]

[Edited by Lunar_Rising on Tuesday, February 7, 2006 3:41 PM]

02/08/2006 10:25 AM

The three of them made their way out of the water plant and into the dimly lit passage from where Jim had just came. This sector of the bunker was deserted, save for a pair of Security Force guards stationed there. One was a white haired veteran on the verge of retirement. The other a fresh faced recruit still in his teens. Both braced up smartly as they recognised their Lieutenant passing by for a second time.

"Sir," acknowledged the veteran.

"At ease gentlemen," replied Jim.

Leaving behind the gloomy network of passages that was the Ergonomics Sector, they entered the Communal Sector which was also eerily quiet, despite the early hour. Glancing down at his wristwatch, Jim realised they were several minutes early for the meeting and would probably be among the first ones to arrive. Still, they continued on towards the dome-shaped structure traditionally used for important meetings and such. As he walked he gave a thought towards Victor, whom he'd left in charge of security affairs. Victor was a quiet but capable sort, who Jim valued greatly. He had little doubt that he would have kept things ticking over smoothly, but he did feel a little guilty about dropping him in the lurch because of his wife's condition. Jim made a mental note to pull Victor to one side after the meeting, and give him a few days off.

02/08/2006 12:31 PM

Victor nodded to Liara as he took the small flask and went on to reply to what she had said. "Well Liara, that more people are getting the illness, I am aware of that. It shows up on the reports we receive from the administration. You also have one of our men in the sickbay." He motion,ed to the photo on his desk, which was actually next to that of the duty officer's, albeit he hardly used it.

"Mariko isn't likely to catch it as fast as most others have, due to her habit of drinking tea. Boiling water, which is rumoured to be the cause of this, sterilizes the water. If the findings of the research team should confirm the water is the source if this, then we're going to have trouble. It means we would have to find a way to replace the waterinstallation or renew most of it. You'll probably get a result from the committee anyway, seeing you're one of our better medics."

He walked over to the kettle and asked her a question. "I was just about to have a cup of tea, want to join me?"

02/08/2006 2:42 PM

"Well Liara, that more people are getting the illness, I am aware of that. It shows up on the reports we receive from the administration. You also have one of our men in the sickbay."

~nods and smiles gently~ "He seems to be getting better each day, before you know it he'll be fine. The sickness seems to be getting worse with each new patient however.."

"Mariko isn't likely to catch it as fast as most others have, due to her habit of drinking tea. Boiling water, which is rumoured to be the cause of this, sterilizes the water. If the findings of the research team should confirm the water is the source if this, then we're going to have trouble. It means we would have to find a way to replace the water installation or renew most of it. You'll probably get a result from the committee anyway, seeing you're one of our better medics."

~blushed at the complement, he was one of the few to ever complement her~ "Oh, I kinda figured. However, if it was a simple as boiling water it would be much easier to deal with... The only problem is that more water you drink the more it seems to effect you over time. Even boiling the water doesn't seem to help much, only slow it down. I would really like it if your wife would take it, considering she's pregnant and I'm sure she will be more thirsty and hungry as the days go on."

"I was just about to have a cup of tea, want to join me?"

~shakes her head, and smiles~ "Sadly, No... I don't have much time, I have to go watch the patients at the hospital. My grand mama, has to go to this meeting apprantly. So I will be watching it in her place."

(OOC: Considering her grandmama, is one the the oldest vetern medic's in the bunker it makes sense that she should go...sooo yeah thats my logic )

02/14/2006 9:34 PM

Henry never was much for words, especially in a group of people, three being a group to him. Unless he had something he felt he needed to say or somethign that he knew was important he was normally content to sit back and watch everything play out, adding the occasional nod where needed...

And so was the case here as he followed Jim towards the Communal Sector where the meeting was set to be held. He didn't really know much more than he had found out on his own, and that was nowhere near enough for him. As they neared the dome-like building in the center of the sector Henry couldn't help himself...

[b]So when is this thing 'sposed to start anyways?[/b]

He said in a quieted tone only audible to Jim and Jonas. He was in a way eager to get it started, but at the same time he was dreading it, for he knew, like most of the others, that this meeting was not going to end pleasantly...

As he neared the small group of three stopped in front of the dome-like structure, Jim no doubt waiting to see that everyone who needed to be accounted for was and the other two just following his lead. Nothing like the calm before the storm...

02/16/2006 10:28 AM

[b]So when is this thing 'supposed to start anyways?[/b]

"In just a few minutes. Or as soon as everyone who is supposed to, turns up," answered Jim quietly as he ushered them inside.

The dome-shaped structure contained only a single room. This room held dozens of seats positioned in a circle around the outer edge, facing inwards. The room was designed so that decisions could be made democratically. There would be no prominent figure, and all attending would had an equal say in the decisions which would be made.

Already a few of the most upstanding and respected officials and citizens had taken their seats. Jim took up a seat and motioned for Jonas and Henry to sit either side of him, knowing all to well that a good few questions would be fired their way as soon as things got started.

02/17/2006 3:00 AM

Jonas took his seat, offering a nod to one of the officials looking his way. He could tell by the man's gaze that he was hoping to glean some information from the old engineer's body language. This only served to further agitate him. Considering the long night he'd had, he was surprised he could even be more cross.

"What are we going to tell them?" he quietly asked Jim. "That the pump's broken and we should all thank the nimrods that built such a damnedable contraption in the first place?"

He shook his head, annoyed at his own quiet outburst. "Sorry, Jim. Long night and a shitty morning. What [i]do[/i] we tell 'em, though?"

02/17/2006 3:28 AM

"What are we going to tell them?" he quietly asked Jim. "That the pump's broken and we should all thank the nimrods that built such a damnedable contraption in the first place?"

He shook his head, annoyed at his own quiet outburst. "Sorry, Jim. Long night and a shitty morning. What [i]do[/i] we tell 'em, though?"

"Don't worry Jonas, no one's going to push the blame on you," he replied sympathetically, fully appreciating the man's frustration. Secretly he hoped his reassurance would be true and no one would give him a hard time. "I guess we'll just have to give it to them straight, there's nothing more we can do. The purpose of the meeting is to share suggestions or ideas, as well as information. Hopefully we can avoid finger pointing and come to some kind of agreement on what is the best course of action to take from now."

02/17/2006 10:29 AM

Walking up behind the rest of the group in her old, quiet fashion. Ruthie said in a softer tone, but clearly audiable tone "How is everyone this fine day?"

Ruthie had a look in her eyes, like she everythign that was happening and what was going to be said before anyone said it. She always had, but she never said why. Looking at jim she said "It will be alright, no one is going to place a single ounce of blame on anyone. The pump broke because it's old... Nothing no one can do about it. We need to start getting all that water boiled before anyone drinks it though, however I'm not sure how much that helps... Mainly slows it down..."

Calmy taking her seat, and pulling out some knitting to finsh up before the meeting offically started. "If anyone could tell me when the meeting starts, it would be greatly appreciated."


Liara had left Victor's office about 10 mins ago. She quickly walked to the hospital towatch over some of the patients.... She felt like there was somethign wrong but she couldn't place her finger on it... LIke there was somethign she shoudl know... but didn't....

She walked into the hospital to see people rushing around and shouting she looked confused "Whats going on?"

One of the younger medical officer's said "We don't know some of the the first pateints went into cardiac arrest... Someone took a blood sample nnow to see what happened..."

Suddenly a shout saying a another pateint went into arrest, and Liara went straight to work "Hurry, everyone get as many people that don't need to be in here out. Everyone put on mask, and quarentine the pateints..." pointing at the young officer that she was tallking to " How many went under, and I want to stay with me... Everyone I said NOW~!"

He stuttered it was clear he was scared "Only six... but 3 more fever's have returned and seem to have gotten worse..."

Whispering "Ok... How much time has pasted sense the last one went under before I got here?"

He said as they walked to check on everyone "Only a few minutes at most..."

Grumbling under her.... "This is gonan be rough..."

(OOC : I hope that isn't bad... I highly doubt 6 is alot but enough tyo scare the people into sending some people out... If you want I can delete that part... )

[Edited by Dream_Knight on Saturday, August 26, 2006 1:24 PM]

02/17/2006 2:12 PM

As Liara left the office, Victor went to his locker, put on his securtity jacket, then headed out the door and locked it behind himself. The orders had been given and Frank would make sure they were followed up. With a slight grin he made his way through the walkways of the bunker, saluted to whenever he came across members of the team.

It took him around five minutes to get where he wanted to be, straightened his jacket, then walked inside, closed the door behind him and looked around at the faces, before walking almost casually over to Jim. "Well now, I see that practically everyone is here for the bad news, gathering from the long faces. So we definately have a water problem. Do tell, Jim, what exactly is wrong with it?"

02/17/2006 3:01 PM

"Well now, I see that practically everyone is here for the bad news, gathering from the long faces. So we definately have a water problem. Do tell, Jim, what exactly is wrong with it?"

"Hi Victor. We're not exactly sure, but we've had no success with trying to fix the problem."
Jim looked around the room at the anxious faces and counted that everyone was here that should be here. A few people were still indulged in their own private conversations so Jim spoke loudly to get everyone's attention.

"Welcome everyone. I trust you are all keen to hear about our research into the water facilitiy," he paused for his words to take effect.
"It had almost certainly been confirmed that our water supply is the cause of the recent illnesses. Jonas, our Chief Engineer has been working tirelessly around the clock, but unfortunately it the problem has been quite unfixable as of yet. Henry here has been conducting a series of scientific experiments on the water supply, but has not yet had time to finalise the results. With or without these results, a descision quickly needs to be made on our next course of action as the problem seems to be rapidly growing worse."

02/17/2006 3:59 PM

Clearing his throat as he stood, Jonas added, "The problem is with the pump itself. We haven't found exactly what's malfunctioned. It could be any number of vital systems. The problem is, since the creators of this bunker were a little rushed in finishing the project, we don't have replacement parts for half the systems that could be the problem."

Looking around the room, cocking his mouth to the side in a vain attempt to find the right words, he was feeling particularly helpless with the situation. Retaking his seat, he concluded, "If one of those systems turns out to be the problem, I can't say I have any suggestions for how to fix the problem."

02/17/2006 4:48 PM

Victor thought for a few seconds, then turned his head towards the crowd and spoke in a relaxed tone of voice. "There's three things I would like to add. First of which, there's absolutely not way that Jonas can be blamed for whatever happens to the water. On the contrary, if it hadn't been for him, we would probably have had this issue much sooner." He paused for a few seconds, to let his words sink in.

"Of course there is point two and three, which i'll address at the same time. There are only two things I can think of, that can contaminate our water. The first would be bacteria, which we can slow down by boiling the water. The second would be surface radiation, which we can slow down by iodine treatments, but our supply of that is not exactly limitless." With a turn of his head he glanced directly at Ruthie.

"Ruthie, this is where you and your granddaughter can help. To help determine the cause, you give a number of patients only boiled water to drink, the others you give an iodine treatment. If one of the two is getting worse, then the cause should be clear." Victor paused one more, giving people ample time to ponder on what he had suggested.

"One thing should be clear to all of you. With our current level of technology, the materials available and craftmanship inside this facility, we are most likely not going to be able to fix this, nor are we able to exchange the filtering system with a new one. To prevent a panic, we have to come up with a course of action."

02/17/2006 4:56 PM

"I believe that Victor is correct. The water facility has served us well for over a hundred years until now, but no machine is built to last forever. It is only through the hard work and dedication of men like Jonas that the facility has lasted as long as it has done.

The controlled use of boiling water and iodine solution sounds like a good idea to me, but the medical field is not my speciality. I have a suggestion for a course of action which I propose to you all. Why don't we send a small reconnaissance team onto the surface to explore our local surroundings? Who knows, the outside environment may actually be inhabiable by now? And even if it is not, who knows what useful artifact could be salvageable from above?

Our historical files tell us that our bunker was built beneath a military base. Surely our bunker is not the only one which was ever built? Could there be other bunkers like ours? Maybe we can find some answers by exploring the old military base above us? With the approval of the majority here, I wish to lead a small team of volunteers onto the surface to see if we can come up with any answers."

Jim glanced about the faces of his fellow associates, waiting for a reaction.

[Edited by Flark on Friday, February 17, 2006 5:23 PM]

02/18/2006 4:24 PM

"Iodine? Are you kidding me?" Shane responded. He couldn't believe what Jim and Victor just suggested. He had been silent up to this point, but he could not just stand by idly by.

"We're almost out. As it is, we might have to bring the capsules with us, if we do go to the surface." The information about the capsules was true: while everyone had their own shares, the stockpile had been running low, because Kearny had been trying to prevent other diseases from reaching epidemic proportions as of late. And when that ran out... Victor had the best idea, boiling would reduce the risk from bacteria while also reducing the necessity for the capsules. Hopefully, it would be enough, but going to the surface?! This was absolute insanity! No one could know what the conditions would be like up there, for all they know the warheads could have never set off, or worse.

So, there was only one real option. "And concerning a surface reconnaissance mission... I'll go." He was the only one with enough knowledge to understand what would be most likely be rotting their team from the inside out.

[i]Ah, pessimism, you were sorely missed[/i] thought to himself. He looked at Jim dead in the eye, and saw the image of his sister, and his failed training, flash before his eyes. And right after that, he saw the horrific images of his parents, lit on fire thanks to a backfiring heater... Shane averted his eyes. "Yeah, you really don't have a choice... Jim, I would like to speak for you for a moment when this meeting is over." And with that, retreated into a semi-daze of his thoughts and inventions.

[Edited by Diabloslayer52 on Saturday, February 18, 2006 5:16 PM]

02/18/2006 10:33 PM

Henry had been quiet up to the point when Jim had began to speak of goign to the surface, and in fact had stood after he was finished, only to be cut off by Shane as he spoke. It wasn't like Shane could have known, however, and Henry never was a very affirmative person, and had gladly taken his seat once again as Shane began to speak...

When he finished, however, Henry decided to stand again, hoping this time not to interrupt anyone else. It was an odd thing for Henry to chose to speak in such a large crowd, or large for him anyways. This time, however, was different, and lives were potentially, almost certainly be believed, at risk here...

[b]I believe that going to the surface may in fact be the best idea. From what I've gathered by reading about the past I can only imagine that something must have survived, and if the technology is here why not elsewhere?...[/b]

He said, or stuttered, mostly with his head down as he paused, not sure if he should say what he was about to say. He didn't want to start a panic, but he also knew that most of the people here were more leaders or standing people in the community, so he hoped they would understand. He raised his head as he continued, looking around the room with a sort of grimness in his eyes...

[b]All... All I know is that we must hurry. Like Jim said, my experiment haven't been proven yet, but no matter how I run the data time is never on our side. Im sure that's no suprise, but from what I can figure...[/b]

He took a deep breath as he looked back down. He knew everyone already knew what he was fixing to say, and that they were just keeping it supressed in the back of their minds...

[b]We have a year before we are all infected, maybe even less, and that's only for the fittest of the colony. The elderly and young have even less than that... Believe what you want, I know this isn't proven yet, but believe me when I say this... We have to hurry.[/b]

He said with a look to Jim, nodding as he sat back down. He hunched over in his seat to rest his elbows on his knees and stare blankly at the floor, unsure of what to do or say now. He had said his peace, and that had racked his nerves enoguh. He thought he had hated speaking in front of people before, but he had never had to tell anyone something like that...

02/19/2006 9:37 AM

Taken back by their brashness, Jim eyed the two scientists as if seeing them for the first time. He hadn't know what to expect upon suggesting the idea of going onto the surface, but their support seemed to be convincing others in the crowd as they chatted among themselves.

"Alright Shane, your knowledge could prove invaluable. Count yourself in," he replied with a nod of approval.

"Do we have any more volunteers for this proposed mission?" he asked the group.

02/19/2006 12:17 PM

Victor glanced at Jim and shook his head lightly, then spoke in a very calm tone of voice. "There's no way you can keep these two scientists safe by yourself and you have no idea what awaits you on the surface. Do any of you know which plants may be edible, or which animals may be poisonous? Aside from yourself Jim, who else has the heart to shoot to kill if needed? Or the skill for that matter?"

He paused briefly and glanced around, then found the face of his father-in-law between the council members, who nodded at him. As this was done, he resumed to speak. "I'll come with you Jim, leaving Frank in charge of the security, but we need to have an experienced medic with us. Ruthie, we cannot do without you here inside the bunker, but which of your staff is the most suited to come with us?

02/19/2006 3:27 PM

"Two scientists? I hadn't realised that Henry had volunteered too," remarked Jim with a wink. "Welcome aboard Henry," he said, briskly patting the young man on the shoulder before he could reproach.

Turning his attention now to Victor, a tinge of guilt flicked through his mind as he thought about the man's pregnant wife. It was only minutes earlier that Jim had been planning to give the man some extra time off duty. Now here he was about to take him up on the offer to leave her behind for a perilous mission onto the surface. Jim's heart wanted to say no, but his mind told him that the fate of everyone could lie within the success of this mission. He, as everyone else in the room did, knew there was no better man to ensure their survival into the unknown above.

"Okay Victor, that makes four of us. Now how about that medic?"

02/20/2006 11:32 AM

Victor, having worked with Jim for quite some time now, watched the latter after he had spoken up. With a few steps he was beside him and lowered his voice to a mere whisper. "My father-in-law thinks I should go with you, Jim, and I am sure that Mariko would agree with him, even in her condition. He will be looking after his daughter, while I am not here. You know how my family works, don't you? So stop making that long face."

With a light grin he glanced at Jim again, nudged him lightly with his arm, then pointed at Ruthie. "She is the one that knows which of her medics is the best suited for our trip onto the surface."

02/20/2006 9:04 PM

Ruthie was caught up in her knitting, and appeared lost in thought for a moment before she said "OH! Hush now Victor, if ya want to whisper into someones ear about me, at least make sure I can't hear ya first..."

Mumbling under here breathe about something as she stood up and surveyed the room...She was looking out at all these people, most she remembered when they were young... Some she remembers being young with...But sadly what she was about to say is gonna hurt some people...

Sighing gentle she spoke softly, but loud enough for everyone to hear "Everyone... The sickness is getting worse.... It's effecting the inside's... like causing the body to heat up from the inside out... It's horrific at whats happening... I'm not sure if it's contagious or not either... However... I would have to say everyone cuts down severly on the water supply... How ever boil it also.. Victor as you said... Iodine... Well I tried that... Same result as boiling... It helps but only so much... AS to who should go.... Well... Liara, She is the best, possible, even better then me... Espiciallly for surface missions. She was given a hebal medicine book from her grandfather..." ~sighing as he thought back for a moment, and breatheing and was about to speak when the doors to the room slammed open, and you see Liara stanbding there sweating...


She had stambilized 4 of tha patients... Sadly the two elderly died. She ran as fast as she could to where the meeting was to be held. She needed Ruthie... She saw the doors and tried to slow down, slamming open the doors to see her grandmama standing there. Tears were running down her face, but from a distant it looked like sweat. She sighed softly and gathered herself together, and stood up and bowed to everyone.

Speaking loudly and very out of character for anyone who knew her out of the hospital "Grandmama, Two more have died, and four are in serious condition... No one knows what happened but they were some of the first to get it. I'm not sure what happened but it seems it has gotten worse.... " Sighing as she looked at everyone and blushed a bright red... speaking softly "Oh...um.. sorry..." She was very very flustered....

Ruthie walked over to her gently and gave her Grand daughter a hug and said "I'm sure there fine, I'll go back to the hospital... I've said all I could for now. Althought you have a very, very important job to do ahead of you... but I'll understand if you decline to do it. No one will hate you if you do decline." She winked at her grandaughter and said softly as she walked past... "Talk to Jim, He'll fill ya in."

Liara blinked, and looked about blushing and moveing over to near jim and sitting quickly... She was very fine after the run by now so she looked fairly normal. "Sorry..."

(OOC: Liara said something that sounded the same twice for a reason ;) )

02/20/2006 11:40 PM

Watching the proceedings with a sour frown, Jonas grumbled inaudibly to himself. This was a moment he hadn't expected. Going to the surface had never crossed his mind, nor did he much care for the idea. To top it off, he wasn't at all pleased with the quick succession of volunteers.

Shaking his head, he cleared his throat and stood. "Now, I'm only going to say this once, so I want you all to listen well. You're a bunch of damn fools. There's no way around that. This ideas half-cocked and I don't like it one bit."

Looking around at everyone's faces, he nodded slowly, adding, "And there's not a damn one of you that would know a good pump from a stick in his... well, you know where. So, I suppose I'd best go along with you to make sure we find something useful. I don't have the same responsibilities around here some of you do. Hell, the only one I've got is the reason for the mess we're in anyway."

Leaning in close to Jim, he added in a whisper, "And I'd rather you didn't wink at me the same way you did the kid."

02/21/2006 12:20 PM

"You make a good point, Jonas. If the whole purpose of the mission is to find useful equipment or spares for the pump, we'd be pretty lost without someone who knows exactly what they're looking for. Well volunteered." Jim was hard pressed to hide his amusement as he spoke, despite the nervous tension which filled the room.

"Talk to Jim, He'll fill ya in."

Jim now turned his attention to the young girl who had just entered. She looked a little flustered as she made her way towards a seat near the newly assembled team.

"Liara, your grandmother has recommended your services to us as a medical adviser on a very important mission. We have just assembled a team of volunteers for a reconnaissance mission onto the surface. Apart from examining the environment, we'll be looking for useful equipment to repair or replace our problematic water pump. A medical specialist would be the final piece of the jigsaw. I trust your grandmother's judgement, so if you are willing to take part we'd gladly take you along. Are you up to the task?"

02/21/2006 12:53 PM

Victor glanced at Liara and made an addition to the words he had spoken, partly as an incentive and otherwise to boost her confidance a little. "A medic is something we cannot do without and your skills would be very useful, not to forget the fact that you may be able to collect herbs on the surface, that we no longer have down here, to create new types of medication. I may be able to assist you a little, with my knowledge of biology and plants."

He turned to Jonas and gave the man a shallow grin, then pointed out the obvious. "Jonas, if we are to find spareparts for that waterinstallation of yours, there is no other alternative for you then to come with us. Although I can certainly make the difference between a pair of pliers and a wrench, mechanics isn't a strong point of either of us."

02/21/2006 2:05 PM

Blinking, and looking about... "Sur-surface...?"... Her face turned bright red, she felt alittle warm. This was all confusing... So much change, too much happpening. She gots up to walk around and calm down.... Everything began spinning, she looked about to start to say something... Her eyes were getting fuzzy, She.. She couldn't stand... whats going on... Falling backwords and passing out... It was obvious she was Ok, and had just passed out. However everyonre jumped, some to run away thinking she had the virus, and some to make sure she was Ok....

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ (A Dream Liara was having ; ) To me it's the little things that make the rp the best, no? ) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

She was sitting there, looking about.. Her grandfather was infront of her. There was alot of water, it was somethign of fable they were on. A ship, Her grandfather had loved ships when his father told him about them... She looked about as her grandfather said... "Liara, Your a strong person, Join the team... They'll need you to go."

She turned around and looked at her grandfather "But...But I can't... I'm not strong... I can't..."

Her Grandfather had cut her off "Oh hush you, Stop fretting about little things. Your a strong person, just keep Couragious, and Brave. I know you have it in you."

She looked at him... Wait who was calling her nane... "Liara... are you alright.... wake up...Give her space everyone.." Turning around to look, and looking back at her grandfather... He was gone... It was dark.... Whats going on.... where am I... She saw someone a face.... She felt scared.... "Liara.... Liara wake up.... I said give her space...."


Waking up slowly, she was on the ground.... Everything was bleary...."Ow..."

Rubbing the back of her head, as she went to get up. Falling back down being very dizzy...."Ugh... what happened..."

(OOC: I had to put the dream mainly cause Liara wouldn't go through soemthign liek that without a very strong push... ;) if ya hate it I can rewrite it )

02/21/2006 9:27 PM

[b]Well I guess I had better go too, I think Im probably the leading expert of history before the bunker around here...[/b]

He was still sitting in the same position when he began to speak, unaware that Liara had passed out, though he stopped mid-sentence once he realized. He looked up to see the others had already came to her side, but decided it best to stand and join the others around her, unsure whether they had heard him or not, though he was not going to repeat himself...

He was already going on a mission that could by all means fail miserably, but he knew that this was the only way to prove he wasn't the weird geek that everyone thought he was. Instead, he stood with with his hands crossed over his chest, responding to Liara as he scratched the back of his head...

[b]Careful now, you just blacked out I believe...[/b]

He was interrupted yet again, thoguh this time he was ready as he quickly stuck out his arm to catch her from falling, though he himself about fell in the process as she fell back. He tried to regain his footing and did with so some success, but upon realizing she was still very dizzy figured it best to allow her to sit back down and regain her wits...

02/22/2006 7:49 AM

Standing back, Jim viewed the proceeding antics with a slightly disapproving frown upon his face. Upon asking her if she was up to the task; this wasn't really the response he had hoped for... Still, what was done was done, he wasn't about to withdraw his offer now. Besides, there probably wasn't even time to find a replacement...

Watching the young girl carefully as she came back to her senses, the Lieutenant waited in anticipation for her response...

02/22/2006 2:40 PM

[i]What an interesting bunch.[/i] Keary thought to himself, he knew how bad things could get on the surface. With the radiation levels what they were right after the apocalypse...

Still, Shane was having a bit of difficulty getting past Jonas's attitude toward everyone, including him, but that was not a high priority right now. That woman, Liara, had just passed out. [i]Great. This is not looking good, but I could hardly blame Jim for her faults.[/i] Maybe it was just a bit too much for her at the moment, or maybe she couldn't take it. If the latter was true, then she just might be in for quite a shock when she reached the surface.

He was pretty certain a few of them knew what to expect up there... Mutations... Bugs...Wastelands... All of this based on pre-rendered knowledge of past experiments of doomsday scenarios. In reality, Shane understood one main fact: There was one way of finding out, and that was going out.

Still, they had some time, but not enough... Keary sat still patiently and waited for the meeting's end. After all, he hardly knew anyone here, and it that was his fault; but there was still hope, if he could only get enough time to finish his machine, and maybe get Henry to help it along...

02/22/2006 5:47 PM

Blinking softly and looking about. The fuzz fro9m her eyes was gone, and she could see jsut fine. She saw the looks on there face, As if.. If she couldn't hanbdle it... Maybe she couldn't... BUt She had to try.. For her Grandfather. What ever was causing this sudden need for her to go up to the surface with everyone... She had to find out why...

Breatheing gently..."I-I'm sorry... I jsut got over whelmed..." Getting up again slowly, and turning to the one who had caught her "Thank you very much". Bowing slightly from a force of habit. Turning toward jim, and saying softly "I-I'll go... weither you want me to or not... I'll go". The way she said it was out of character for her. She blinked at how she said that, and turned a bight red "Sorry..."

Looking about, as if there was something missing... She asked "Who esle is going... and when do we leave?"

02/23/2006 11:22 AM

"Who esle is going... and when do we leave?"

"Good question... Myself and Victor will be supplying the military experience, just in case we happen to run into any trouble... Henry and Shane will supply the scientific expertise, Jonas the technical knowledge, and yourself of course for your medical skills." replied Jim, pointing out each fellow team member as he spoke.

"That makes six of us, which is just about right in my opinion. If there does happen to be survivors living on the surface, I'd prefer it if existence and whereabouts of the bunker remained a secret until we can establish their possible intentions towards us. The last thing we want is to bring unwanted attention here. Therefore I can not emphasise enough the importance of stealth throughout the whole of the mission...

As for when we leave, well we don't have much time to spare, but I do think it is vital that we exit the bunker under the cover of darkness. I know most of our team members have been working around the clock recently, and are probably in need of a rest. It's early morning now, I suggest we all head off home and see our families and try to catch up on some sleep. We should all meet at the Security Force HQ at the midnight hour tonight, where we can collect our equipment and prepare to leave. Does that sound acceptable to everyone?..."

02/23/2006 12:32 PM

Victor shook his head at Jim, then looked around and spoke softly. "Sorry for contradicting you, my friend, but I really think that the first time outside should preferrably not be at night. Early morning would be better in my opinion, as we can get used to the sight of it straight away, instead of the possibility of someone loosing heart the following morning, when we've already travelled a reasonable distance during the night. Unless you have nightgoggles lying around and spare batteries enough to feed them with." During his words he raised a brow and kept focussed on the faces around him.

02/23/2006 1:28 PM

Nods gentley, and looks at victor "I agreee with what he said... However if there is radiation outside... Sorry for sounding stupid... But if we open the door to outside won't all that radiation flood in?" Looking around at the faces trying not to seem stupid... "None the less, I say we all gather at the Security Force HQ about an hour before we're set to leave. That way we can go over what he did... Hey wait... Does anyone have a map of the military base above us... or possiblly a map of the general area...?" She was treating this like a medical mission... She could not be shy she jsut had to say it... She was shaking slightly from nerves but she was gonna be brave.. she had to be... Her face a bright red as she said softly "Sorry... It was probably a stupid idea..."

02/23/2006 2:03 PM

"Liara, you need not worry about radiation leaking in. There is a sophisticated airlock system installed at the entrance of the bunker. Admittedly it has never been put to the test of anyone actually leaving, but I'm fairly certain it should still work properly if Jonas and his crew have been keeping up with maintenance checks," he gave an over exaggerated wink towards the Chief Engineer.
"Henry, do we have any old maps of the base above us? They would be extremely useful... And Victor, onto your point about leaving the base in daylight..." Jim sighed. "I'll have to be honest and say I really don't like it. My priority above everything else has to remain the security of the bunker. If there are survivors out there, they may well view our bunker as a very attractive source of food and equipment supplies. If anyone happens to see the six of us come trundling out armed and well equipped they are most certainly going to come sniffing around here. I'm afraid none of us can afford to lose heart, no matter what we see when the sun comes up. Surely you must agree Victor? If anyone has even the slightest incline that they are not up to the task in hand, you should say so now..." with a serious expression on his face, Jim eyed his team one by one.

02/23/2006 3:50 PM

At these words Liara's heart felt like it stopped... Could she handle it.. was she ready... what was up there... Was the base covered in vines, and had the radiation been filtered away... Had there been other survivors... what had happened...w as it a barren wasteland.. should she go.. could she handle it...She shook her head of doubt... and looked at Jim straight in the eyes and saying very softly.

"No matter what happens up there, or what is up there I will go, and never turn back until are mission is done. I don't know why I have to go, but something deep inside compels me to go..." Her eyes looked off as is to stare into soemthign no one esle could see...

02/23/2006 5:05 PM

Henry hadn't had any objections when the idea of a night mission came around, at least not for seeing, that was. His headset had a night vision setting, but in a way he was a bit afraid of what he may see. He had actually shaken his head in agreement when Jim spoke of leaving around midnight, but as Victor spoke he stopped to listen to what he had to say...

It shouldn't be too hard to fix up some night vision goggles, especially if he had the help of Shane to speed things along. He would no doubt agree with Jim, mainly because he had decided to go now, and did not want any more time than was required in which he may change his mind. His mind drifted briefly as his imaginations ran of what may be on the surface, though he quickly snapped back when he heard his name...

[b]Maps... Maps, of course, they are right here...[/b]

He said thinking, moving his hand to grab his PDA once he had decided he did indeed have some. All the information that he thought relevant to the past and to other things that may help him in everyday life he had downloaded to his extremely advanced PDA, and he quickly thumbed through to find them as he spoke again...

[b]When this installation was built they left behind several blueprints, and also several atlases, both of the surrounding area and other areas... Here we go...[/b]

He said, letting out a deep breath as he handed the PDA to Jim, the screen vibrant with life, though the battery was a tad low, something he would have to do something about in the time before they set off. In actuality he wasn't really planning on resting much, his time would be spent checking the database of his PDA, constructing a solar-charging device for his PDA, and possibly creating some night vision goggles. That reminded him...

[b]And about the night vision goggles, I don't think it would be too much trouble for me and Shane to take on, if that's what you want to do. I think a night mission would be best, and if we have the capability to see at night we would have the upper hand, correct?[/b]

He said as he looked around at the others, suprised that he had been able to speak so much despite the group around him. Maybe this wouldn't be so bad after all...

02/24/2006 10:45 AM

[b]When this installation was built they left behind several blueprints, and also several atlases, both of the surrounding area and other areas... Here we go...[/b]

"Excellent," replied Jim, glancing only briefly at the PDA screen before handing it back. Computer's weren't really his strong point, but he trusted Henry enough to be confident they had all of the maps and blueprints they needed.

[b]And about the night vision goggles, I don't think it would be too much trouble for me and Shane to take on, if that's what you want to do. I think a night mission would be best, and if we have the capability to see at night we would have the upper hand, correct?[/b]

"If you guys really think you can come up with something so quickly, it would definitely give us the upper hand... Although I must stress it is essential that we all get some actual rest before we leave. It's all well and good having fancy gadgets, but if we set off outside already tired, we'll be putting ourselves in even more danger..."

Jim turned now to face Victor again, "Victor, I regard your knowledge and experience highly. I value your opinion as both a friend and fellow professional, and would hate for us to set of with mixed feelings. With all that has been said now, are you still set against leaving the bunker at night?"

[Edited by Flark on Friday, February 24, 2006 10:47 AM]

02/24/2006 2:37 PM

Softly everyone could hear "Wait.." before victor could reply Liara says "Jim wait... A computer may be nice and all but it's batteries can only go for so long... We should have actually maps.. Frankly we shouldn't rely on computers as little as possible. We can't deplete the bunkers batteries supplies for a mission we may never return from. Hell we may die the second we walk out there... We need to be realistic... We need things we can easily and quickly make things to replace it with should we need too. Taking night goggles is fine and all but only have two people have it who can scout ahead. If we said two people a bit ahead and have the rest move away from he bunk entrance but still near... We can be much better off. The two that go ahead should have a time limit... If they don't return we should just head back it or wait to die also...I hate to sound so cynical but we need to be realistic here... This isn't a little walk around the bunker to say hi to everyone. Sure we can takes guns, but we can't take enough ammo to deplete the bunker either. Should anyone get in we would have to leave enough so the security still be able to defend..." She had remained with her head down so not to look at anyone.. She hoped to not get in trouble for this.. but we have to think logically... Her face was bright red, and she was on the verge of hyperventilation...

[Edited by Lunar_Rising on Friday, February 24, 2006 2:39 PM]

02/24/2006 4:08 PM

Shane saw what Liara was getting at and jumped in to aid her. "I see where you are going. The base should be able to defend itself in case of an emergency, and we won't have an unlimited power supply once we get out there." Nodding more to himself than anyone else, he added "As for the night vision goggles... They shouldn't be a problem. I think I have a few prototypes that should be able to sustain themselves, if only I can remember where I put them..." Finishing by looking up, as if asking a higher deity for assistance in locating his misplaced prototype.

"Once I find it, Henry can finish it while I scrounge up some more materials for 'mass production'." He finished, smiling broadly at Henry, demonstrating no animosity over anything at all. If anything, Henry was much more qualified then Keary to finish the prototype, and Shane knew that. If they were to survive, there would have to be complete cooperation between everyone in this little expedition.

[Edited by Diabloslayer52 on Friday, March 3, 2006 12:33 PM]

02/24/2006 6:02 PM

Turned to shane and stood up slowly "No you don't get what I'm saying.. WE shouldn't be focusing on things that aren't all that much needed except to be wasting batteries the medical squad could use more in case of emergencies. As I said we onyl need like two pairs of goggles, and no more. That way we can send two scouts ahead to make sure the area is clear int he cover of night. Then during the day we can regroup and replan what we are to do, haveing better knowledge. Personally, I say Jim or Victor should be the only two with goggles. This isn't some little party trip for god's sake, it's something that this base depends on. We need to be very wise in what we take and leave behind. As for the prototype's I think that it should be enough. We shouldn't make anymore. It would be pointless for those of us without army trainig or army tactic's to have something like that. WE have the militar base above us, we can make a small encampment there and then move on to find better parts. If I'm correct we can spare enough rations to last us about two weeks. However, we need to hope there is more up there, if not we need to plan to stretch out the rations till we have better foreknowledge of what is going on up there... Personally, I think there are much better technoligy we can take that would be off better to take them some night goggles. We can make a fire and use it should we aboslutely need to." She looked at everyone in the face, and was a very brigth red, and shaking in a slight fear. "We can't take stuff we don't need. There are other people here who need it far more, what if one of those parts you take for stupid goggles could help to ease the pain or help cure the people here. We are doing it for them, not us. I understand the need for goggles but only for those who will be going ahead. I refuse to take something, or use something that may be needed for soemthing we have no prior knowledge of." She was breathing very hard and looked at the ground gently...

02/24/2006 10:44 PM

Liara's statement had not hit Henry all that pleasantly, and quite frankly he was not about to take it. No one had put her in charge, no more than any of the others besides Jim or Victor, and he knew for a fact that some of what she said was wrong...

[b]Well if you're worried about the battery supply don't be. My 'computer' runs on a rechargable battery, and soon it will be solar powered, and as for the 'stupid' goggles, they would only be used at night. Besides, they don't eat a battery a minute...[/b]

He paused slightly to catch his breath, nodding to Shane in agreement with his last statement about him finishing the goggles. He wasn't mad at Shane, though it may appear it, but he imagined that Shane would understand, being somewhat like-minded as himself...

[b]And as for a fire, that would be the worst idea I can think of. It would only draw attention, unlike night vision goggles, at least that's the best I can figure. Splitting up would be a terrible idea, as the radiation could affect each of us different, if there is any left, and as far as taking from the medical supplies... Do you honestly think that you can find any use for the basic components of 'stupid' night vision goggles? They are 'stupid' after all...[/b]

He said quite harshly, unaware and uncaring as to the way he had said it. When it came to technology he was always serious, especially when someone had managed to call it 'stupid' while he was around. He was never made fun of openly, but he knew that everyone looked at him different for spending more time in his lab than in the open, and she wasn't helping any...

02/24/2006 11:05 PM

Her temper flared, and she looked at him straight in the eyes and walked ot only inches from his face. Speaking very low,a nd very softly, still shaking from her statements "You want to make it personal do you? You have it easy... You can sit in your lab all day fiddling with gadgets and what not. Well I just had to fight to save the lvies of 2 people, and watch 4 die before me because I wasn't quick enough to help them... No it's easy for you to solve everything with bloodly technoligy isn't it? But our medical supplies requre batteries also... So fine lets says you take 15 sets of batteries for your "goggles"... What if well we're gone the medical squad needs those batteries to save someone dear to you? If you have anyone that is.... What if thos ebatteries could save a child who could later save the rest fo the bunker should we never return! Don't be a fool... and What happens if your PDA breaks? all I'm saying is if we bring the actually maps we have a safe fall should anything happen... Technoligy isn't perfect, and I guess you follow it's flaws don't you?" She turned away and said clearly to everyone "Until you have had to watch someone die before you that you were trying to save... Don't come at me as if I attacked you personally for an open statement. I'm not claiming to be inchagre, but you all have your people you have to protect.. My job is to protect this bunker from sickness.. Like Jim and Victor from violence... I am to heal you.. and help you! It may seem so simpel as two batteries but what if that sall they need to save just one person? All I'm saying is.. This is so risky we shoudln't be taking anything we may not have a need for... As for fire.. I'd like to know how you would cook food should we run out of rations... Also we can keep watch then too.... And small fires I assume should be easy to hind...." She looked jim square in the eyes, very shaken and it could be seen in her eyes. "I'm sorry but when it comes to peopel they come first... If you feel I should not go on the mission so be it... But please try to udnerstand where I am coming from..." She looked at all of them and then sat down, lettinmg her black hair cover her face, to afriad to leave, but to afriad to talk anymore...

02/25/2006 3:44 AM

Jim watched in dismay as the discussion turned into open argument. He did not doubt he had the most skilled people in the bunker for their designated tasks, but his concerns deepened on whether or not they could all get along.

"I'm sorry but when it comes to peopel they come first... If you feel I should not go on the mission so be it... But please try to udnerstand where I am coming from..."

"Liara, I agree of course people should come first. But we are people too... We are people who are risking our lives for the good of everyone. If our mission fails, so does the hopes of fixing the problem which is slowly poisoning everyone here inside the bunker... It would be stupid to jeopardise our own lives by leaving behind vital equipment..." he paused to let his words take effect, before continuing...

"I have no doubt you are more than capable in your own specific field of medical expertise, but please leave the technical gadgetry to the experts. Henry and Shane are only working with their designated tools and equipment which have been supplied to them. The science department is very self-sufficient. They aren't exactly using up valuable sources which could be used anywhere else. All of the batteries in question will be rechargeable, and I doubt the use of six for night-vision goggles will cripple the bunkers resources...

And onto the subject of maps, we need to remember that the entire landscape has probably greatly changed since all of the maps in our history department were written. Much of the towns and cities which once stood will probably be flattened, and the military base which was once above us may not even exist anymore. Keep in mind the purpose of the mission is reconnaissance. By taking Henry's PDA, he will quickly and easily be able to update the map details of any changes we find from the old records. Upon our safe return, this new information could be extremely useful for future expeditions."

[Edited by Flark on Saturday, February 25, 2006 7:28 AM]

02/25/2006 9:21 AM

He wanted to ask her whose fault it was that those people died, but didn't in lieu of what Jim had said. They had to at least get along until they got to the surface, and he realized that he was becoming just like Liara by getting angry. He listened to what Jim had to say, and having nothing else to add only nodded to Liara...

It wasn't a cocky nod given out of spite, his eyes would have to that much. He only wanted to express that he had been trying to say what Jim had just said. Nothing more and nothing less, it just so happened that he wasn't so used putting things into words as Jim was...

He decided not to say anything more, afraid that he would say something he wouldn't be able to take back. Inside he was ready to get back to his work bench until they left, tensions were rising and things could only get worse from this point, or so he thought...

02/25/2006 1:49 PM

Victor merely listened to the people around him, but curtly shook his head when Jim asked the question whether he was set against leaving at night. Not a single word came across his lips, but he knew that his friend would not need an explanation. "I'm of to spend some time with Mariko and will advise her to drink something else then tea. I'll be at the office before midnight, packed and ready."

He patted Jim on the shoulder and headed out of the meetingroom, straight in the direction of home, where he would bring the bad news to his wife, but he also knew he would not have to explain it, nor face a discussion. For this her father had taught her too well.

02/26/2006 2:29 AM

"I'm of to spend some time with Mariko and will advise her to drink something else then tea. I'll be at the office before midnight, packed and ready."

"Alright, see you there," nodded Jim as he watched Victor leave. "I think we should all do likewise and head off to get some rest. Henry, Shane, if you're going to work on night goggles, keep in mind that we'll probably need to wear them with respirators. If you need to check one out, go and see Sergeant Merryweather at the Security Force office and he'll open up the armoury for you... Are there any more questions or problems before we go our seperate ways?"

[Edited by Flark on Sunday, February 26, 2006 2:31 AM]

02/26/2006 8:50 AM

Shane put his hand on Henry's shoulder and once again smiled, thanking him for backing him up. He was, in all honesty, shocked by Liara's answers to his response; after all, he had jumped in to help her. Anyway, that was in the past, and they needed to put it behind them if they were going to move on. The one thing he was worried about was telling Jim about his little 'secret', and intended to as soon as this meeting came to a close.

He looked around, seeing if anyone else had anything to say.

02/26/2006 11:26 AM

Henry was actually more than ready to leave, not just because of Liara's and his little spat but mainly because he had a lot of work he needed to do before he left. He himself didn't have anything else to say, and looked around to see likewise among the faces of the others. He couldn't help if he was in a bit of a rush...

[b]How 'bout we get to woek on the goggles now, Shane?[/b]

He said as Shane put his hand on his shoulder...

02/26/2006 4:08 PM

She was still sitting, as everything caught up to her...She spoke softly not lifting her head... " I am sorry Shane, and Henry... I do not know why I acted that way, I don't really see the reson why I would... I ask both of you for forgive-ness..."

Tears fell from her face softly, She had lost four more... She wouldn't let this virus win... Everythign was still psinning from todays events... Getting up slowly and walking past jim and whispering so only he could hear "I am sorry Jim..." Quickly she began to run out of the room, shee needed to think before they left, and needed to be alone. She saw victor infront of her, She moved swiftly, and spun past him. She didn't need anyone to see her tears. She was out of sight in a few moments, and Walked around the bunker, in the area's where few people gathered. Sitting down on a bench, and letting everythign drift past... She would go to the Hospital soon enough... But she couldn't help anyone if she was so emotional high strung as she is now...

02/26/2006 5:09 PM

Shane saw Liara run out, but didn't pay it much mind. He was glad he received an apology, but there was no way Shane was going topside with her if she kept in this emotional state for much longer. He let go of Henry's shoulder and said "I will meet you in the lab in a bit; I just need to tell Jim about something..." And smiling deviously, added "I will tell you later." And with that, got up and started walking towards Jim.

02/26/2006 6:06 PM

He watched plainly as Liara got up and ran out of the room, though he was slow to speak when she had spoke of forgiveness. He was not so quick to give as she had been to ask, and maybe time would heal that. Either way she was gone, and his mind wandered elsewhere as Shane began to speak to him. He saw his grin and began to walk away, speaking as he did...

[b]I'm lookin' forward to it Shane. See you at the lab, just don't forget those prototypes...[/b]

He said, nodding a farewell to Jim as he exited the building. Liara was no where in sight but to be honest she wasn't even playing on his mind at the moment. Inside his head were racing equations and calculations for the solar panel he was going to construct, as well as other thoughts of the surface, though he tried not to think of those...

As he neared his lab he stopped, moving in front of the security panel, as if anyone was looking, as he typed in his security code. A sound resonated from the door as it slid open, lights flickering to life as he walked in. The door closed behind him, locking again as he continued on his way. No matter, each of the authorized personnel had their own security code so that they could record who had accessed the lab when...

It was by no means high tech, but security precautions had to be taken in case something was to go awry. He moved over to sit down at his own bench, one that was seat comfortably next to another, where Shane often worked. He pulled his PDA out and rested his elbows on the desk in front of him. He pulled out the stylus from its home in the side casing, beginning to draw up schematics for the solar panel as he waited for Shane and the prototypes...

[Edited by Tamachi on Sunday, February 26, 2006 6:08 PM]

02/27/2006 8:13 AM

The meeting room was filled with private conversations and shuffling feet as the rest of the occupants rose from the seats to leave. Remaining where he was, Jim stood motionless in deep contemplation. As the people hustled on by him, his mind was playing over the events and decisions which had just taken place. [i]I hope to God we've got everything right,[/i] he thought...

Jim's concentration was suddenly distracted as Shane moved towards him, giving a subtle signal that he would like to have a private word. "What is it, Shane?" he asked, eyeing him curiously. The noise began to died down now as the last of the congression made their way outside and the two of them now stood alone.

02/27/2006 1:05 PM

Shane noted as the last of the room's occupants, except Jim and himself, of course. When he was sure that they were alone, he shuffled his feet and let the grin split his face. "I might have a mode of transportation, once we reach the surface." And before Jim could fit a word in, he launched into a premeditated monologue explaining himself.

"Ok, I know what you are most likely thinking," Shane started. "Most likely along the lines of disbelief and incredible anger. Now, I have an explanation for this." Not pausing, (breathing as he went) he took a pen out of his pocket and began to review his model while giving some background information on the four-tired beast of a vehicle. "I don't really trust many people in this bunker. For most, I am a nerdy sci-fi/fantasy" (It was true, he had more B-rate movies in his room that rivaled the video room)"loser, who doesn't really contribute at all."

"And if they knew I had a working car, I'm sure someone would think that it was in their right to head to the surface, thinking that poor old Shane could never have what it takes to head up there. They would hit it solo, thinking they were doing everyone for the best." Shane was actually thinking of his own sister, Kim, as he stated this. She was suffering from standing down here as much as anyone else.

Continuing, he picked a scrap paper retrieved from the front pocket of his ever-shabby lab coat and began to sketch out a rough model of what the quad would look like. It, in truth, resembled an ATV with a top cab on it, but reduced to steel bars. We could carry two people, but I would leave the passenger open for cargo. With a makeshift attachment for people and extra cargo, we could double our distance and work!"

Shoving the paper into Jim's face, out of speed and excitement with no malcontent intended, he quickly looked into the light and picked up his other hand and began to count its specifics. "Now, it can average about 30 miles per hour with a re-chargeable battery, but on gasoline, it could reach up to 60 miles per hour! Were limited on gas but--I mean... Erm..." He began to fluster as he realized he had yet to look at Jim to see his approval or rejection. More then a bit apprehensively, he looked down at the lieutenant of the security forces.

[Edited by Diabloslayer52 on Friday, March 3, 2006 12:35 PM]

02/27/2006 1:34 PM

Jonas had been a bit sickened by the sight of two of his soon-to-be teammates arguing about something so simple. He'd taken that as an opportunity to slip away for the rest of the day. He hadn't even bothered to agree with Jim about the night mission.

[i]If anyone's losing their heart, then they're losing it. They'd all damn well better get used to it real quick.[/i]

Once at his humble house, he made for the bedroom straight away. He thought about calling his children to let them know about everything, but decided he'd just as soon let them find out when he was away. Then they couldn't try talking him out of it or give him any weepy goodbyes. He was feeling more confident he would only be gone a few days.

Undoing the buttons on his jumpsuit, he eyed his bed longingly. It had been too long since he'd had a decent night's sleep. He doubted he'd catch up on it too much today, though. It would catch up with him eventually. Young men could go days without sleep, but at his age, he knew it would be a problem.

[i]It is what it is[/i], he thought. [i]Nothing I can do about it now.[/i]

He sat on the bed with a creak from his joints. If not for the events of the past days, he'd never have noticed the sound. Now it reminded him of his machine. It was old and breaking down. He chuckled at the irony.

Just as he was resolving to lie down, the phone rang. He cursed it as he picked up the reciever. "Hello?"

"Hey, Dad." He fought a grown as he recognized Gabriel's voice, his youngest.

"Gabriel? How are you?"

"Alright, I guess. I'm at the hospital."

Jonas' heart dropped. "Why? What's the matter?"

There was a nervous laugh on the other end. "Nothing's the matter. It's Alice. She went into labor."

Breathing a loud sigh of relief, Jonas smiled to himself. In all the dismay of the last few days, he'd forgotten that his third grandchild, Gabriel's firstborn, was on the way. "That's great, son. How's she doing?"

"Good, so far. We haven't been here long, so the doctors told me to get whatever I needed done out of the way. He says we might be in for the long haul tonight."

"Well, if yours is anything like you were, it'll be days."

At that Gabriel laughed openly. Still, Jonas noted the nervousness of it. "I know, I know. I was always a hell of a burden."

"Stop that," Jonas started. He meant to go on, but was cut off.

"I know. It was just a little joke." There was a long pause. Jonas wanted to say something to get through it, but had the feeling Gabriel had something on his mind. "But, really, Dad... Thanks for everything."


"I just... I want to thank you for everything you did for us. I want to be for Laura as good a father as you were for me."

Jonas said nothing as his eyes welled with tears.

"I mean that. If I can do for her..." His voice trailed off a moment.

"Alright, alright. Enough of that," Jonas declared, his voice a bit shaky. "Thanks, Gabe. I... Thanks."

There was a voice in the background before Gabriel cut in hastily. "I hate to go out quite on that note, but I've got to go, Dad. I just wanted to tell you that. I'll talk to you again soon."

"Alright, son."

"Love you, man."

Jonas nodded, "Love you too." When the receiver went dead, he added, "Go get your family..."

Hanging up the phone, he looked out the window as the morning activity of the bunker was just getting started. Smiling to himself, he resolved to call Michael.

02/27/2006 1:48 PM

Visibly surprised and taken back by the sudden revelation, Jim took a moments consideration before speaking. He was slightly irritated by the fact that Shane hadn't chosen to bring this to their attention just minutes earlier when they could ahve made a group decision, though he was sure there must be a good reason for his secrecy. Maybe he had 'borrowed' parts from outside of the science division's proper allocation. What with Liara's outbursts about wasting equipment, maybe he hadn't dared. Due to the circumstances, Jim decided to ignore the possible illegal use of materials.

"Interesting Shane, [i]very interesting[/i]. If the surface is as lifeless and derelict as most predict, your [i]car[/i] might prove very useful indeed. The amount of ground we cover could increase ten-fold over what it would have been on foot. It may also prove invaluable for carrying any heavy equipment we might manage to salavge... On the other hand, I do have a few concerns. I was hoping to place a strong emphasis on stealth, especially upon our immediate exiting the bunker. Perhaps we should leave the car behind at first while we check out our local surrounding. If everything seems safe enough we can make the decision to come back for it before proceeding any further. Does that sound reasonable?"

02/28/2006 3:24 PM

Grinning broadly, Shane jammed the paper into his front pocket and said hurredly, "Thank you" before bolting out of the room to head to the lab. But before that, he stopped at the garage and headed for the back.

He was usually alone here, so he had devised a simple, but effective way to camoflage his vehicle. He had simply built it near a wall, and painted the tarp a color matching the walls, and made it as textured as the rest of the siding. quickly removing the tarp, and shoving it in the seat next to him, he opened the garage bay and turned the ignition.

This was the most delicate part- Shane had not yet started the "Apocoliypse Forever", or the Apocy, and still had consiterable amount of finishing touches to be applied. He heard the engine begin to turn, and finally heard the loud screech as the car snapped into gear for the first time. As he began to get comfortable, he adjusted the vehicle to him, and then slowly put his foot on the gas pedal. The car's rubber tires jolted Shane about two yards in around a second, and directly towards the now-opened (Shane had devised a remote for this very purpose) garage door, and quite close to the far wall.

However, he regained control of the metal monstosity, and soon fell in love with Apocy all over again. Switching to electric, Shane's beast reduced from a rumbling roar to a hum, but slowed down consiterably. [i]Hmm, gunna need to fix that[/i] Shane thought to himself.

He made his way to the lab, clicking the remote closed behind him.

02/28/2006 8:29 PM

The lab was like a second home to Henry, and most nights was his home when drawn out tests and inventions ceased to retreat and forced him to advance. He hoped tonight would be different, but it wasn't looking good, save for the fact that he had finished drawing up his schematics. Taking a final glance at his work and feeling satisfied, he stood from his stool, still staring at the schematics that lay on the desk before him...

[b]Quite brilliant, if I do say so myself Henry[/b]

He said with a slight chuckle, he always was the only one that understood his jokes. finally he took his eyes from the paper and set off across the lab, gathering the necessary parts and circuitry he would need. He stopped from a moment and peered outside the one-way glass thinking he had heard a strange noise. Assuring himself it was merely the water pump acting up again he set off back to work...

He had made several trips back to the work bench, though not out of being overburdened by weight, but merely out of precaution and thoroughness as he was careful to check the schematics upon each arrival. He made one final trip and set the small piece of solar panel onto the table, doing likewise as he sat on the stool beside it. Flicking down a 10x Magnification Lense from his headset he began to work, grabbing a few tools from the assigned places on the wall before him. He was satisfied to tinker until Shane got back with his 'little' secret...

03/01/2006 7:57 AM

Jim had only one final task remaining before he planned on heading home to spend the day with his family. With him and Victor due to be leaving soon, he needed to appoint someone to share with Sergeant Merryweather, the workload of the day to day running of the Security Force operations. Fortunately he already had the ideal candidate in mind as he purposefully entered the Security Force Headquarters. Sergeant Merryweather was sitting busily filling out paper-work at the duty officer's desk.

"Good morning Frank."

"Good morning sir," he replied, looking up from his work, "I've just had a phone call from the Chief of Security explaining how you and Victor will be leaving. He's already mailed me a full report from this mornings meeting."

Jim chuckled to himself. The old Chief hadn't said a word throughout the whole of the meeting, but there was no doubt he'd been listening to every word which had been said, frantically logging everything down for his reports. The Chief was more of a figurehead than anything else these days. The elderly man spend all of his days upstairs filling out and sorting through paper-work. Although he was officially in charge, Jim couldn't even remember the last time he had actually given him an order.

"He's a good old boy. I really don't know what we'll do when he finally retires..."

"[b][i]If[/b][/i] he ever retires," sniggered Frank. "I think he'll just spend the rest of his days upstairs in that office..."

"That's fine with me..." said Jim, who was genuinely fond of the old fellow appreciated the work he did.

"Anyway, Frank, I've got something important to ask you. Since you're going to be left in the lurch here a little, I was planning to appoint someone to work along side you. I've got someone in mind who is in line for promotion, though obviously I'd like your approval on the matter before speaking with her..."

03/03/2006 12:33 PM

Kim sat down at her desk and started reading and deciphering the paperwork in front of her. Her blond hair cascaded around her shoulders and fell almost to her desk. She had forgotten to cut it and it was getting a bit long, but it was alright- it wasn't interfering with her work, and that was the important part to her. Sighing deeply, she delved into her work.

Officially, she was off duty; but everyone in the force knew that Kim worked well past when the entire office was empty, and occasionally a coworker would find her knocked out from exhaustion on her desk-but all her work completed. The official jargon she read and typed in memos and records was almost her primary language now, and wrote it with fluent ease. She looked at her watch and sighed again, she was supposed to link up with a few of the others on the force and head out around the complex. However, she had barely finished her daily report, and there was still much to do.

Picking up the phone, while still writing, Kim waited a few rings until her partner, Jake, picked up. After a few moments, she heard a loud bang and the sound of tires screeching, and expecting a hoodlum to have broken into the garage and stolen a car, she stayed inside and let one of the active patrols take care of it. She hung up the phone and decided that Jake must have left with the others already, continued with her work. She heard footsteps, and finally a knock at the door. With a ending sigh, assuming it was Jake to pick her up, she headed to the door and opened it with a morose expression.

[Edited by Diabloslayer52 on Friday, March 3, 2006 2:03 PM]

03/03/2006 2:49 PM

Moments after knocking on her door, a gloomy look Kim Keary open it up to greet him.

"Good morning Kim," said Jim, hastily stepping inside before being invited. "I'm sorry I don't have much time to chat, so I'll have to make this quick." Making his way over to Kim's desk he pulled up another chair and sat down.

"Sit down, Kim," he continued in this uncharacteristic manner. "You're aware there was an important meeting this morning concerning the sickness currently plaguing us. Well it seems suspicions are all but confirmed that it is being caused by our water processing plant. Unfortunately it doesn't actually seem there is anything we can do about it at the moment. The old machinery is all but condemned and we don't have the necessary spares.
Anyway, a small team lead by myself and including Victor and your brother has been assembled in response to the problem. We are set to leave the bunker tonight and head up onto the surface to examine the environment, and search for salvageable equipment which my be of use.
With the imminent departure of myself and Victor, Sergeant Merryweather would have his work cut out running the Security Force on his own. This morning I discussed with him the appointment of someone to assist with the daily running of things. We both agreed that you would be the ideal candidate, and I'd like to offer you the position...
If you choose to accept, I'm sure the Chief will reward you with a promotion to Sergeant...
So, are you up for the task?"

[Edited by Flark on Friday, March 3, 2006 2:52 PM]

03/03/2006 3:38 PM

Arriving at home, Victor noticed that his father in law was already present and by the demeanor of his wife had spoken with her as well. Mariko lead him into the livingroom, where most of his gear was sorted out upon the table. Amidst his stuff, he noticed something that wasn't his, although he had practised with it on several occasions. Slowly he picked it up and withdraw the blade slowly from the sheath, which brought a smile to the face of Kenjiro. "I hope it will serve you as well as it has my family, son. Time you carry it and make us proud."

Victor glanced at him and nodded silently, while he weighed the reversed handled tachi in his hands. On many occasion Kenjiro had told him that the sword had been in their family for almost a milennium and it still carried the same razorsharp edge that it had the day it was forged. He slid it back into the sheath and held it in both hands, while making a short bow towards the old man, then calmly placed it back amongst the gear on the table. "It will be an honor, Kenjiro-San."

Mariko embraced him and smiled, then hugged her father. It suddenly made him realise that there was no way that she could have placed his gear on the table, after her father had arrived. She had known before he had left, that if men were chosen for a mission, that he would be among them, yet she had not spoken to him of it. Gradually he spoke and looked at both his wife and her father. "You two already knew that if they'd decide to send a team to the surface, that I would be amongst those to go. After I have left, Mariko gathered my gear and you came by before the meeting to bring the sword."

Kenjiro grinned and nodded, while Mariko simply smiled at him, the latter speaking for the both of them. "We had already counted on the fact that there had to be a course of action to decide upon. The logical choice for a team to head topside was fairly obvious, as was the choice of the one leading them. Both of us knew you would not let Jim go alone, if he would ask you to go. It is not in your nature to stand by idly, when a mission presents itself."

Victor glanced at their faces, then burst into laughter. When he stopped he took a long stare at Kenjiro and spoke softly. "I assume you will take care of Mariko while I am gone? Make sure she cuts down drastically on the use of water, yourself included. It is contaminated and not safe to drink, perhaps even so after boiling it down, so avoid all risk." They both nodded and promised to do so.

He disassembled the longbow and shoved it into the waxed cover, then stuffed spare arrowheads into a pouch on his belt, including two extra strings. Carefully he checked each item and packed it, whilst his wife and father-in-law headed to the diningroom. Once he had everything ready, he followed to join them.

Mariko had prepared a meal for the three of them and Kenjiro would leave them after they had eaten, to give them both the time they needed. He would be back before midnight.

03/04/2006 5:29 PM

Kim was flabbergasted. Before anything else, she had tried to salute, but she could tell it would be an effort in futility. She couldn't grapple with everything the lieutenant had just informed her of, but she made an effort to.

out of everything she heard, she siphoned a few key words: Surface...Me...Victor... brother, and finally, but not least, ...Sergeant. Kim felt she was being bribed into accepting the fact that her brother was receiving the assignment that would have surely been destined for her, but she was oddly unaffected. To her, Shane was as good as dead, now there was a chance to earn the promotion she had worked, and rightly deserved, for her entire life. [i]Let him get eaten by a radioactive monkey or whatever [/i] was the first thought in her head. Let her concentrate on controlling this crazy underground confinement chamber.

"Lieutenant, sir, it would be an honor to help control the bunker in both your and Instructor Victor's absence." and performing a quick salute, felt the urge to add whatever aid she could to the surface crew. "Is there anything I can do to help on the surface? You know the issue with my brother, but if I can help you with anything, supplies, etc...." She trailed off--Kim would be overjoyed to replace her brother for a number of reasons, but she knew Jim was the leader of this little excursion, and that they would most likely need Shane's expertise sooner than hers. Still, she would do anything else to aid the group heading up to the surface. Who knows, maybe they would be able to get out of this god-forsaken bunker and actually start living in real freedom.

03/04/2006 5:40 PM

Shane pulled up to the entrance to the lab. He was a bit apprehensive about what Henry would say about his Apocy, after all, Henry was the real inventor around here. He put on the brakes, and revved the engine twice just so everyone would know that he was here. After that, he covered the vehicle in a tarp, used more to attract attention than to actually divert it, he got up and started toward the door. He was almost positive Henry was extremely curious- Shane knew that he would be, in Henry's position.

He looked up and down the corridor, to assure himself that he didn't have an audience when he typed in the code to enter the lab. He was only a couple of inches when he started to punch his code into the pad, carrying an extremely nervious look on his face, which was unusual for him. Before finishing the code, he swallowed a few times, and felt in his lab pocket, to assure that his keys were there.

When he recieved confirmation by both feeling them and hearing the sound of the keys jangle in his pocket, he released a sigh of relief he wasn't aware he was holding in him. And with that, turned back to the keypad to finish off his code.

03/04/2006 10:54 PM

[b]Took ya long enough![/b]

Henry said jokingly as soon as the door was raised. He was standing directly on the other side, and once it was open had begun to make his way to the tarped object a little ways from the door. He was unsure what it was, but could only assume that it was some sort transportation vehicle, realizing now it was this he had heard earlier and not the water pump...

He had set aside his solar panel for the time being, though he more than likely still had several hours to finish it. It was coming along well however, and in light of that he had decided to take a small break, especially to see what Shane had been so hyped about. The look on Shane's face had been misleading, but Henry figured he was more nervous of how it would pass over than anything else...

[b]And behind tarp number one...?[/b]

He said enthusiastically, hoping to show Shane that he was excited to see what he had invented. Henry always was ready to see a new invention, and often times for ways to improve it, though he had a nack for aggravating people with that. The suspense was growing for Henry as he waited for Shane to remove the tarp, as he figured it was only right for the inventor to unveil his invention...

03/05/2006 10:28 AM

Jim felt a sense of relief upon hearing Kim's acceptance of her new role. He was fairly certain that the ambitious young woman would jump at the opportunity, which was part of the reason he had chosen here. Still, to see her reaction and hear the words was a weight off his mind.

"Excellent, Kim. Congratulations!" he said, standing up and quickly embracing her in a momentary hug. Again, this was quite out of character for the usually impassive Lieutenant.

"Is there anything I can do to help on the surface? You know the issue with my brother, but if I can help you with anything, supplies, etc...."

"Thank you, but no thanks. Everything to do with the mission is already being taken care of. Your concern lies with the running of the Security Force now. Frank has already been briefed with anything that you need to know, so I suggest you pop along and see him at the soonest opportunity," he continued whilst taking a few steps towards the door. Opening it with one hand, before stepping out he turned back around to face her and looked into her eyes more seriously this time. "I'm sorry I must go now, there is much to do. I wish you every success and know you'll do a good job... Goodbye Kim."

03/05/2006 4:22 PM

She had arrived at the apartment she occupied with her grandmother. He walked in, and on the table was a box... She knew what was in the said box. She started to shake a bit, as she walked over to it. A few tears falling from her face, as she picked up the box and walked into her room. On the box was a note from her grandmother. Telling her that she had the rest of the day off till she left to go up ground. She opened the box, and int he bow were two daggers, a book, and a very rare keep-sack family necklace, which was int he family before going underground. Long before actually, it' ssaid to have been int he family for almost 300 years. On the necklace was in the middle a sapphire necklace, and next to it were two amethyst necklaces.... The book was about herbalism. The daggers were in the family for some time, how ever they were not as dear as the necklace. Walking over to her closet gentley. Opening the door, and pullin gout black cargo pants with many pouches in them. Grtabing a blue sweater, and a light blue top. Setting them on her bed, she walked over to a bag on her side table. Opening the draws to the side table she pulled out some medicines, and other medical equipment. Opening the bag. She put the book in,. Along with refillign the bag with it's medicine, and equipment. She looked about the room, and nodded. Setting the bag aside, and walking into the bathrom. Turning on the water for her bath. She slowly stepped out of her clothing, and set them aside. Looking into the mirror and sighing...
Stepping into the bathtub, and sighing as he sat there and tried to relax...

03/06/2006 12:14 PM

[b]Took ya long enough![/b]

Shane smiled with relief. Henry was here, and apparently none the wiser to his little... diversion. Again smiling with excited anticipation, Shane looked back at his tarp and Henry again, waiting for the obvious question.

[b]And behind tarp number one...?[/b]

"Ah!" Shane exclaimed, drawing back his arm in an overly elaborate manner. Shane always liked theatrics, and always believed he had a knack for them. And finishing the movement, slid back almost horizontal to the car.

"This, this is Apocalypse Forever... or Apocy for short." Shane finished, ripping off the tarp with a self-assured smile. He took a step back, dragging the tarp with him and revealing the whole vehicle, nodding more to himself than anyone else at his creation.

[Edited by Diabloslayer52 on Monday, March 6, 2006 12:15 PM]

03/06/2006 12:27 PM

Kim felt drained by the time Jim left her workspace. She got up and stretched, and yawning, began to head out of the office. She still had some work to do, but it could wait until she became a sergeant. Smiling contently, she played a goofy game in her mind that she had since childhood. Whenever she got a new item or role, she would go though her daily routine; only implant that new item or position at the end of the sentence. Such an example would be [i]I'm going to brush my teeth tonight. As a sergeant. I'm going to eat breakfast tomorrow. As a sergeant. [/i] And so this would go until she felt prepared for the work ahead of her.

She turned down the corridor where she slept, a happy grin on her face. She didn't know what to expect, but she doubted that it would get too out of hand before Jim returned and brought them the news that the surface was stable, and that they could begin moving out into the new world.

With thoughts of the Earth in her mind, Kim entered her dorm, shut the door and just like she had her entire life, although unnecessary, locked it.

03/06/2006 1:50 PM

Determined not to let anything keep him from a few final important hours with his wife and daughter, Jim quickly made his way home. As he walked briskly through the quiet streets of the Communal Sector, he pondered exactly how he was going to give them the news that he would be leaving tonight. Lost in thought, he was barely aware of his surroundings. Before he had the chance to get a speech together in his head, he was suddenly outside of his home and had already unlocked his front door, stepping inside.

"James," called Sarah, bringing him back to his senses. She quickly came to greet him and give him a warm hug.

"How's Lisa, this morning?" he asked, kissing his wife.

"Not too bad, her temperature is okay and she's sleeping soundly."

Jim tried to smile, but couldn't hide his solemn look as he closed the door behind him. "That's good..." he replied. "Sarah, we need to talk..."

03/06/2006 9:58 PM

He stared on, the suspense building, no doubt purposefully on Shane's part, as he awaited to have the tarp removed. When it was finally removed he was drawn helplessly to the wonderfully crafted piece of machinery, given the resources avaliable in order to make it. His hands found their way to the hood almost instinctively as he raised it, taking a gander underneath to see if he could discern anything from the mechanics...

[b]Gasoline and electricity? Very ingenuitive Shane, I'm impressed...[/b]

He said as he closed it, running his fingers along the frame of it as he circled it once or twice, admiring its craftmanship a bit before walking back to stand by Shane, still amazed...

[b]Apocy, huh? I like it... You'll have to take me for a run in it when we get those goggles and the like done. I take it she's ready for departure?[/b]

He said, not entirely sure abotu the mechanics of engines and the like. He was more based around electrical circuits and computer interfaces rather than machinery, and he had suprised himself that he had discerned it could run off of gasoline of electricity. He was still looking at the Apocy while he waited for hie reply...

03/08/2006 12:09 PM

[b]Gasoline and electricity? Very ingenuitive Shane, I'm impressed...[/b]

Shane smiled at this, he knew the conditions they could very well face on the surface. How to get the engine to switch from the control was a bit tricky, though.

[b]Apocy, huh? I like it... You'll have to take me for a run in it when we get those goggles and the like done. I take it she's ready for departure?[/b]

At this, Shane coughed. "Err, this is her test run, and though she's running smoothly at the moment, I don't know if she can hold up to the surface conditions." His only hope was that she ran at at least 25% of her top efficency. "Also, she's going to need a solar recharger..." and muttering to himself "If there even is a sun left." getting off this line of thought, he began to think where the googles were.

Moving his hands about in an eccentric manner, face staring intently at the ground, he began to catalog what junk was buried in what level on his desk. After a bit deeper contemplation, he remembered where the prototype was on his desk. "Ok, get out your shovels," Shane said, smiling at his own joke and looking up to Henry, "We're going in."

03/08/2006 10:36 PM

He listened patiently and intently as Shane spoke, hoping to help in any way that was possible, though he doubted he we be of much help on the matter...

"Err, this is her test run, and though she's running smoothly at the moment, I don't know if she can hold up to the surface conditions."

[b]I see...[/b]

He had managed to get in to show that he was still paying attention as Shane continued on, and was soon delighted to hear of something he could actually help with...

"Also, she's going to need a solar recharger..."

[b]Now there's something I can help with![/b]

Exclaimed Henry rather loudly, not hearing Shane's next comment, as he thought of what he was making back in the lab, heading off shortly after Shane to find the schematics he had just recently drawn. He chuckled lightly at Shane's joke, although it only took him a fraction of the time as Henry always was the more organized of the two when it came to that, or better yet Henry was just extremely organized. Most anyone looked unorganized compared to Henry, and that always had been the way he liked it...

[b]Here ya go...[/b]

He said placing the schematics on a portion of Shane's desk that wasn't part of the excavation before returning back to his own desk...

[b]I think with a few adjustments you can get those to work, I'm not sure of the connections you have installed on the Apocy or I would do it myself. Just let me know when you find those prototypes...[/b]

He said as he drifted back to his work, work which was nearly completed, at least for his solar panel. It was no bigger than his PDA, and had been equipped to charge both his headset and PDA, something that would be quite useful up top if there still was a sun. He wasn't too far from being finished, but they still had much work ahead of them...

03/14/2006 12:54 PM

[align:center][b]DAY 2[/b][/align]

Dressed in his black military fatigues, scully hat, and armed with his own personal Beretta service pistol, Jim checked his wrist watch as he aproached the Security Force HQ. The time was now 00:03 hrs. A final goodbye which both Sarah and Lisa had insisted upon being awake for had not been easy. It had taken a little longer than he'd prepared for, making him a few minutes late instead of being early as he'd intended. Still, some things were too important to rush. He was sure each of the team members had all suffered their own heartaches in saying goodbye.

Jim entered the reception area of the Security Force HQ where Kim was sitting at the duty officer's desk. Through the open doorway to the right he could hear the sound of voices coming from the corridor which lead to the armoury. Simply nodding to her as he passed, Jim made his way towards the armoury in which all manner of specialist equipment was stored.

03/14/2006 2:55 PM

Shane had been working furiously for the past few hours, designing and making spare goggles that the team would use on their excursion to the surface. He had given his first model to Henry, who he relied on for fixing any errors and the electronic engineering side of the prototype. He had to change the shape around the respirators, be he found that to be surprisingly quick work. Unfortunately, everything else gave him a challenge.

To begin with, he couldn't find where he kept spare supplies in his closet. He finally made a trip under his desk and found everything he needed, in addition to the alarm clock he thought he lost when he was eight. Go figure.

After he was done, Shane worked on modifying the oxygen tanks that he would carry in the back of Apocy should they run into a desperate straight. Hopefully, the respirators should suffice, but emergencies do have a way of cropping up unpleasantly. Shaking off his thoughts, he finished modifying the oxygen tanks and began work on a cart to help everyone's carrying pack lighter, and make injuries less of an inconvenience. Again, hopefully it wouldn't come down to needing it, but safety was not something Shane was willing to skimp on.

He began to stockpile all the things he would need... He just hoped Henry would ask if he needed help. They were running dangerously low on time.

03/14/2006 10:02 PM

Henry had actually finished much sooner than he had planned, though it had not allowed him any extra energy that might have been saved. After he had finished with his solar panel and worked out all the minor kinks, though there were few, from the prototype goggles he had given it to Shane, and sometime after that he must have drifted off...

As he slept he dreamed of what the surface would look like, and to his dismay it was not pretty. The earth was barren, and what once may have been lush forest was now a desolate wasteland with lava filled crevices and pitch black skies. He dreamed that their entire expedition would fail, and was of course relieved when his PDA sounded it's alarm to bring him back to reality...

He fumbled about a bit regaining his coordination as he managed to shut off the timer, stretching his arms out over his head while rubbing an eye with his right hand as he turned to Shane with a yawn...

[b]How's things comin'? I must have dozed off, forgive me. I hope you're almost finished though, it's 12 o'clock and I don't believe Jim would want us late, eh?[/b]

He said as he stood from his chair, still a bit stiff as he took another yawn and rubbed his other eye, sliding his PDA in it's pouch and strapped the solar panel to his belt in front of it. He walked over towards where Shane was, interested in seeing what he had completed as he waited for him to reply...

((It seems that the Google Spelling Server is down, whatever that means, so please bear with any grammatical and spelling errors. Thanks, and sorry for the OOC comment IC Flark...))

[Edited by Tamachi on Tuesday, March 14, 2006 10:04 PM]

03/15/2006 12:27 AM

Jonas hurried into the Security HQ. He'd slept a bit longer than he'd intended, something he was admittedly thankful for. Nonetheless, he hated the idea of explaining why he was late.

He'd packed his things in a rush, all the tools he thought might be useful topside. He was more than a little surprised that his stomach was aflutter at the idea of seeing the sun for the first time.

Jonas came around the corner just in time to see Jim disappear through the door. Coming in behind, he cleared his throat. "Fancy timing. One of your boys told me you thought everyone should be armed for this excursion of ours." Appraising each wall, he smiled. "We kept this damn many guns, but we couldn't find room for spare parts. Makes ya wonder."

03/15/2006 8:44 AM

"Sir," acknowledged Lumsdon who was the chief armourer and stores man, as the two entered the large room. "I've prepared all of the equipment listed by Sergeant Merryweather, and then some. Weapons, ammunition, NBC suits, webbing, backpacks, rations, everything is here and in pristine shape. The only things missing are the respirators which were taken by your scientist friends..."

"Excellent," Jim stated, as he walked over to examine a night camouflaged NBC suit. "Help yourself Jonas, don't be shy."

03/15/2006 1:59 PM

With a wry smile, Jonas perused the rooms contents, setting his box of tools aside. "It's silly, but there's something about being surrounded by so many guns and being told you can have any of them that just makes a man happy."

Admiring a precision rifle, he ran a finger along its barrel. It wouldn't do for him, he knew, but it was a fine weapon. Moving past the rifles, he came to the automatic weapons. He knew what they were capable of, and that in itself made him wary of them. With his lack of training, they would be just as dangerous to his comrades as they would be to any potential enemies. Finally he came to the handguns. He'd gone through the first few stages of training to be on the security force years ago, and the only firearms they'd handled at that point were the smaller ones. This would be his best bet.

Though he knew them all to be of top quality, he couldn't help picking them up to look down the sight. Settling on a nine millimeter, he held the gun by the barrel and set it on the only clear table in the room. "This looks fine to me. No frills, just good, accurate firepower. Hope I don't need it."

With that, he joined Jim in picking out the rest of their equipment.

03/15/2006 2:09 PM

[b]How's things comin'? I must have dozed off, forgive me. I hope you're almost finished though, it's 12 o'clock and I don't believe Jim would want us late, eh?[/b]

Shane glanced over at Henry and laughed. "Have enough beauty sleep?" Shane said in jest. In reality, Shane had hardly noticed that Henry had even fallen asleep-- his work on the wagon had kept him very busy. He had actually finished it a minute ago; it was attached to the back very securely.

Grabbing the essentials, he dropped a few things he and Henry had been working on to show off at the meeting. Still grinning, Shane added "Yeah, I'm done. Wasn't bad, just took some... tinkering." And with that, Shane looked at him and nodded his head in the direction of the door. Walking out, he stepped over to Apocy and put the crate in the wagon. Stepping in the driver's seat, he chucked the tarp into the back wagon and started her up. Concentrating on making the engine turn, he said to Henry, "C'mon, let's see how fast she can go."

And when the engine turned, he looked up and, grinning deviously, said, "You can drive back."

[Edited by Diabloslayer52 on Wednesday, March 15, 2006 2:10 PM]

03/15/2006 5:25 PM

He nodded to Shane and grabbed what other things he may need topside, including a few spare batteries jsut in case something did for some reason go wrong. He didn't have much and he could carry it all, but he thought it would ride better in the back of the Apocy. Leaving the lab he turned to relock the door, and upon turning around noticed the additions to the Apocy...

[b]I like it...[/b]

He had said before Shane had spoken, and upon hearing Shane's words he quickly secured his few items in the back and jumped into the passenger seat. He chuckled at Shane's joke as they were fixing to take off...

[b]I'll hold you to that, but let's hope she goes light speed...[/b]

He said taking a look at his PDA briefly to check the time. He had made sure to charge it before he left, that along with his headset...

[b]Because it's six after already, so let's see it![/b]

He said as he turned from Shane to watch the path ahead, waiting for the sudden jerk as the engine roared to life once again...

03/15/2006 5:47 PM

( This is what Liara has on http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b379/Kinrasha/Outfit.jpg

She walked to the meeting room, and looked about. Not seeing but Jim, and Jonas...

She said timidly "Hello... " Looking over at the guns her eyes getting a bit wide... "Do...do we have to use one of those...?" Her hand drifted to the pendant on her neck, as she looked to jim. Her hair was back in braids instead of being able to flow around freely, Making it easy to see her face. On her waist were two knifes, given to her by her grandmother.

She looked about, and said softly "Oh.. Jim... ", Pointing to her bag, "This bag is full of medicines, and other things... Just in case of emergencies..."

03/16/2006 9:53 AM

Looking around for the specific weapon he had in mind, Jim half expected to see Victor lurking at the back of the armoury. Suddenly his attention was distracted by someone entering the room.

"Hello... " Looking over at the guns her eyes getting a bit wide... "Do...do we have to use one of those...?"

"Hello Liara. Yes I think it would be wise if you at least took a handgun. Grab yourself an NBC suit which fits, and take a backpack, rations and anything else you need."

"This bag is full of medicines, and other things... Just in case of emergencies..."

Nodding in response, Jim trusted Liara had taken care of everything they could possibly need in the form of medical supplies. He was busy climbing into his night camouflaged NBC suit, which he zipped over the top of his black fatigues. Next he slipped his arms into a set of black military webbing, and secured the buckled around his waist. To this he attached his ammunition, water bottle, radio transmitter and a couple of days worth of rations which fitted into a pouch. The rest of his rations, which made about 7 days worth in all, he began placing into a robust looking backpack.

03/16/2006 3:00 PM

[b]Because it's six after already, so let's see it![/b]

"It is?" Shane questioned, looking at his watch. The engine turned at that moment with a loud bang, as if noting the dire urgency, Shane pushed down on the accelerator and took off.

The first thing Shane noted was that his head smashed back to the protective foam pillow behind his head. Slamming on the break and turning the wheel, he pulled a quick 180 degree turn and then slammed on the accelerator, quickly putting distance between the lab and their destination. Shane was late, so he made sure he was running on full gasoline. If he kept up at this rate, there wouldn't be any left in the base, but still, he made sure that he was going top speed.

Mumbling about time, focusing on the road, he reached behind him and retrieved two pairs of normal protective goggles. Tossing one to Henry, he put his over his eyes, and made sure they were on securely. Making hairpin turns and the constant speeds was kicking up dust, and he didn't want his vision to be obscured.

As suddenly as the ride began, Shane put his vehicle to a stop, and looked over to Henry to see what his reaction was to the vehicle.

03/16/2006 3:05 PM

Jonas followed the security officer's lead, stepping into his own NBC suit. Over that, he buckled his own toolbelt, devoid of its normal occupants, all stowed in his box, and instead fitted his gun, with several extra clips, water bottle, and radio. Into his own pack, he packed his rations and tools.

"When are those scientist boys supposed to show up? We're already running late." As soon as he spoke, he idly wondered who was waiting on them. The only thing their tardiness did was prevent the bunker's problem from being fixed. A few minutes would likely make no difference.

But he had to wonder how long the problem had already been going on.

03/16/2006 7:23 PM

Henry had appreciated the effort that Shane had given as he tossed him the goggles, but all he could do was grab onto them and place him too his face. His right hand was holding onto a bar in front of him and his left had been braced against the roof of the cab, but now was holding the goggles to his face. He wasn't used to stuff like this, but he definately liked the rush of it all. As they stopped he couldn't help but cough from the dust that had caught up to them, but then looked over to Shane after he had regained his composure...

[b]Quite an experience... I think we can safely say if we do see anything up top we can out run them...[/b]

He said ending with a cough as he took the time to strap on his goggles. In truth he was a bit misplaced for words, but his face told the whole story. He was enjoying himself, even if it was somethign that he never dreamed he would do...

03/17/2006 11:59 AM

Vcitor had indeed been in the armory for quite a while now, gathering the gear he had need of. Slowly he approached from the back of the armory, clad in the same outfit that Jim just had hoisted himself into. As he stood by Jim's side, he handed him a Colt M4A1 Carbine and ammunition. "Looking for this were you?" He stated dryly, while he continued to stow the clips for his sig_sauer pistol into a pouch on the webbing.

At the side of his backpack he had attached the sword of his father-in-law and he looked as if he was ready to set off. On the left hip a pouch was visible, suspended from the webbing, which appeared to be waterproof and sturdy enough to deflect a bullet.

03/17/2006 4:04 PM

"Victor, I thought it was unlike you to be late," said Jim, grinning as he took the Colt. "Thanks, this is exactly what I was looking for."

Jim attached the the ammunition for the Colt to his webbing along with that for the Beretta, then set off in search for a good flashlight.

"When are those scientist boys supposed to show up? We're already running late."

"Ah, let's not be too harsh on them, they did have a lot of equipment to prepare at very short notice," examining a robust looking black flashlight Jim suddenly stopped short, "What the hell's that sound outside?..." No sooner than he asked the question, had he already guessed the answer...

03/17/2006 4:20 PM

[b]Quite an experience... I think we can safely say if we do see anything up top we can out run them...[/b]

Shane was glad Henry had enjoyed the ride. It had been a bit dicey at times, but they had both made it. Sighing as the stepped out of Apocy, he jogged to the back and grabbed whatever he would need from the lab. Turning to Henry, he once again nodded his head in the direction of the door. "We're going to need to run in there," Shane whispered, stretching. "Stay behind me, and we should be OK." And with that, bundled everything in his arms and dashed into the room, putting on his most important face.

"Ahem," He coughed at the man sitting at the desk. "Where is the crew for-" and apparently the guard knew what Shane was talking about, and gestured at the door with a friendly smile. "Thank you." Shane said curtly, and turning up his nose at the direction of the door, proceeded to walk face first into it with a loud bang.

03/18/2006 4:02 PM

Walked over to the guns, and looked down at them. She was shaking quite awful... Her hand reached down and picked one up... No idea of how to hold it, her hand postioning was very bad... Her hand was shaking and she fumbled with it. She looked at the gun, her hand was shaking very bad. She tried to turn away but it slipped form her hand,making her jump. She tried to pick it up but was shaking very badly.

She got up and turned away walking to the other side of the room "I don't think i should have a gun..."

[Edited by Lunar_Rising on Saturday, March 18, 2006 4:11 PM]

03/18/2006 4:16 PM

Narrowing his eyes at Jim, Jonas started for the door. "What [i]was[/i] that sound?" He had the distinct impression that he knew something about the noise that he wasn't saying.

Just as he reached for the door, something thumped against it from the other side, freezing him with his arm already partly extended. Looking back over his shoulder, he asked, "Any idea what that might have been?"

Opening the door, he fought a smile at the sight of Shane and Henry. "Doors. They need to open before you go through them." Looking him up and down, he added, "None of this is too complicated is it? I'm not so good with electronics..."

03/18/2006 11:46 PM

Henry was barely able to keep up with Shane as he ran inside, but managed to keep the pace as the reached the desk. The man had obviously expected them, it was just too bad that Shane hadn't expected a door...

[b]Watch out for that!!![/b]

He exclaimed as he realized what Shane was fixing to do, albeit it too late to stop it. The thud interrupted his sentence, though he decided to finish it anyway...


He fought to hold back a smile, but upon Jonas' comment he couldn't help himself. He was confident Shane would have done the same thing, and it was for this reason he didn't feel as bad when he let out a small laugh. He quickly regained his composure, or what was left of it, and replied to Jonas in Shane's behalf...

[b]We all get in a hurry every now and again, we just aren't all so lucky as Shane to have doors for speed bumps...[/b]

He said walking towards Shane to check and make sure everything was okay. He was quite confident it was, and the only really hurt thing was more than likely his pride...

03/19/2006 2:35 AM

With obvious discomfort, Jim was watching Liara's blatant inability to handle a firearm. Closing his eyes, he visibly shuddered as the weapon clashed loudly onto the floor of the armoury.

"I don't think i should have a gun..."

"Maybe you're right Liara," he answered meekly.

Narrowing his eyes at Jim, Jonas started for the door. "What [i]was[/i] that sound?"

Jim simply shrugged, delaying a response. They would all find out soon enough. Some things were simply easier to see for yourself than to try to explain.

"Henry... erm, Shane, well met," he said with a hint of sarcasm aimed at the later who was lying spreadeagled on the floor. "Come and get the rest of the equipment you'll need. Are the things you were working on ready?"

03/20/2006 3:01 PM

Jonas turned from the two young men at the loud crash. He saw the last clattering of the handgun on the floor before looking up to an obviously shaken Liara. He watched her another moment before turning his attention to Jim, who was obviously none too pleased with this development. Jonas resolved to take him aside when an opportune moment arose to talk about the situation.

Shaking the thought away for the time being, he put on a more business-like facade. "So, Henry, Shane; why don't you show us what you've been working on."

03/20/2006 3:03 PM

Shane's face turned a deep red-purple hue as he peeled himself from the door. He took the other's comments with grace--he knew had fortunes been reversed, he wouldn't have been able to stop himself from rolling on the floor in laughter. In fact, he found himself hard pressed to contain a small smile.

As he gathered himself, he motioned to Henry that he was ok. He grabbed everything he dropped quickly, and deposited it all on the table. "Well, I'm fine thanks for your concern." He stated mockingly looking over to Jonas. Moving on, he nodded at Jim and Jonas, "Yeah, were pretty much set. As far as we can tell, we don't know what to expect when we hit the surface. So yeah given the conditions, we're set, although I would have liked to send a small RCV up topside, but we don't have what we need for that." [i]Wouldn't have hurt to have one in the first place [/i] Shane thought to himself.

"Anyway, no point in lamenting what we don't have." Shane said with a flourishing, sighing motion of his arm. He loved theatrics, and took every advantage to make sure everyone knew. On during this gesture, he spotted the armory. His face visibly paled at the sight of the weapons, and although he knew how to use every one of them, he had no intention of using any of them. Shaking his head, he finished his sentence, "No, and we should have everything we need for the first recon." And with that, sat in the empty seat he now stood over.

03/20/2006 9:08 PM

He listened to hear what Shane was going to say about their progress, intent on following up behind him as he finished if need be. He had walked forth to stand next to him at the table, and now was standing across from the others as he began to speak after Shane had finished...

[b]Like Shane said, we should be ready to go on our end. We, mostly Shane, finished the goggles and I managed to work out the kinks in this solar charger...[/b]

He said, picking up a set of the night vision goggles as he spoke about them, and then setting them down to gesture at the solar panel that was holstered on his side...

[b]And in an emergency I should be able to convert it to charge any number of things if need be, but let's hope that doesn't happen, eh?[/b]

He finished as he looked around at the others, his eyes wandering from them to the weapons behind them. He had never been too fond of technology invented for the sole purpose of harming others, but he had grown to understand that some things are necessary, and so would be being prepared as well. He stayed in his spot, however, waiting for the other's reactions before he made any move to glance over something he hoped he never had to use...

03/21/2006 3:17 PM

For the next few minutes the armoury was a hive of activity as the team rushed around, climbing into their protective NBC suits, checking respirators, goggles, weapons, rations and the countless other items. Once everyone was happy with their equipment the team headed back outside of the headquarters to where the 'Apocy' was waiting.

The little vehicle looked quite sturdy and well constructed, and would certainly prove useful. Once more Jim found himself wondering how Shane had managed to keep it a secret all this time, but again he forced himself to push that question to the back of his mind. Partially to avoid any further questions about it, he hastily walked past it and headed off along the broad walkway which lead out of the Communal Sector.

The feeling of walking through the deserted bunker for what could well be the last time felt strangely surreal. Looking like a man leading his troops into war, he marched purposely ahead of the rest. Holding his rifle at the ready and with a face void of any expression, Jim was quite unrecognisable from his usual layed back demeanour.

Two Security Force guards stepped aside and saluted their Lieutenant as he passed through a checkpoint which marked the boundary of the Communal Sector. Jim didn't slow down but simply nodded as he passed them. From now on there was nothing other than this upwardly sloping road they now walked on between here and 'The Gate'. Dimly lit by the occasional low powered strip light it was a long and lonely walk...

04/03/2006 12:34 PM

Shane had thrown on his suit as quickly as he could. It took him a bit to make sure that the mask fit, and that the goggles went around the mask in the correct fashon. After making sure that everyone else was set, and ready to head out the door, Shane sighed and picked up his metal suitcase that would house a mini-lab until the mission was done.

He followed Jim, looking around. He had been forced under here, and wanted to truly observe the surface world. His concerns was that the world was still radioactive, and that mutations had survived above him, on the surface. Still, wearing a grim expression of determination, he followed Jim up to 'The Gate'.

04/04/2006 1:33 AM

Jonas fell into step a few paces behind Jim, to his left. With his handgun slung in a shoulder-holster, his pack with his tools and supplies, as well as his toolbelt loaded with various bits of gear, he felt somewhat encumbered, but didn't make issue of it. At this point, he knew adrenaline was helping sustain him, but wondered just how well he'd hold up later.

He'd worry about that when the time came, but it was something he was starkly aware of. He was much older than anyone else taking part in this mission; too old, probably. He'd half expected Jim to try talking him out of coming along. That he didn't only showed how desperate the situation really was. Whatever happened, he knew the outcome of the mission was more important than anything else. For the sake of everyone in the bunker, they had to succeed.

04/06/2006 11:18 AM

Victor approached Shane in a hurry, holding what looked like a crossbow that packed a considerable amount of punch, then tapped the young man on the shoulder. He pointed back towards the Apocy and shook his head. "If you want to use that thing topside, you'd best drive it to the gate, or will it come walking after us like a puppy?" A shallow grin followed his statement, before he pressed onwards.

04/07/2006 9:56 PM

Her eyes held little to no color, as she looked at everyone, she was very silent. She appeared lost in thougth as she walekd with the group...Whispering softly "How do we know that no one knows of the bunker? Is the gate visible outside? If not then what covers it?"
She blushed and looked down... "Should we be ready for a confrontation as soon as we leave the gate?"

04/12/2006 9:10 AM

Looking back over his shoulder, Jim wondered what was holding up Shane in the Apocy.

"How do we know that no one knows of the bunker? Is the gate visible outside? If not then what covers it?"
She blushed and looked down... "Should we be ready for a confrontation as soon as we leave the gate?"

"Liara, keeping in mind no one has ever left the bunker for over a hundred years, who knows what we'll find outside? If anyone is left alive on the surface, I certainly wouldn't imagine they would know about us. I have no idea if the entrance is hidden, it may even be obstructed, but if anyone knew about our presence here I suspect we would know about it by now. If anyone is alive out there, I'd prefer it if we were the ones doing the surprising. Let's just prepare ourselves for the worst and do our best to deal with whatever situations we encounter."

As the gate finally came out of the gloom and into view, two shadowy figures emerged out of the darkness and approached the group.

"Sir," the leading figure acknowledged with sharp salute towards his commanding officer.

"Bramwell," replied Jim, recognising the stocky security Force guard. "Is the gate functional?"

Taking cue, the second figure who was a young engineer stepped forward. "Sir, I've already re-activated power to both inner and outer doors. I've carried out all possible checks and the airlock decontamination process appears to be functioning properly. The inner door receives occasional maintenance checks so should be working fine. All that remains to be seen is if the outer door still works."

[Edited by Flark on Wednesday, April 12, 2006 9:11 AM]

04/12/2006 1:43 PM

All that remains to be seen is if the outer door still works."

With a sour frown, Jonas muttered, "It would be just perfect if it didn't work. As rushed as things were at the end, we should have considered that a very real possibility."

With a reassuring pat on the young engineer's shoulder, he said, "Well done, Hanks. It's out of our hands at this point. All that matters now is if those boys from a hundred years did their job right."

He had no idea what they would see on the other side of those massive doors, but he had the feeling he wouldn't like it. There was too much chance for something to go wrong that he'd actually be surprised if the whole expedition was uneventful.

Pushing those thoughts aside, he gave a curt nod to Jim. "There's only one way we're going to find out if that door works, and what's on the other side. You want to take point?"

04/12/2006 3:21 PM

Victor shook his head at Jonas and grinned, pointing at Jim as he spoke, his voice almost icy. "Great idea, then if there is something lurking outside, we can immediately return inside to pick a new leader for this expedition. Of course he will not be taking the point, since when do officers take the point if we can put others there? No, he'll stay put while I take a peek around, trying to keep the rest of you in line until I give the signal for you to come out."

During his camouflaged lecture he shifted his sight upon Jim and folded the bow into the cover. "As none of them have any real experience and you need to be able to lead this expedition, even if there are traps topside, I think I would be the most suited person to go out first."

04/13/2006 10:04 AM

Jim looked at Victor and sighed. He had specifically brought him along for his specialist skills and knowledge in combat, tactics and survival. To go against his advice at this early stage would seriously undermine his position in the team.

"Alright Victor, I'll trust your instincts. This isn't easy for me, but I'm going to let allow you to make the decision here. It's vital we do as much as we can to avoid compromising the bunker. I won't even attempt to deny you're the best man for the job... For god's sake just be careful out there."

Jim stepped forward and firmly shook his friend's hand. "Hey, first man on the surface. You'll be soon be famous," he said trying to lighten the mood slightly as he patted him briskly on the shoulder.

04/13/2006 3:06 PM

Victor shook Jim's hand and gave him a slight grin. "The moon would probably have been safer to go peek, but i'll be very careful. Besides, I better not get myself hurt either, mariko would kill me." He looked more serious now and pointed at liara.

"Best stand ready along with her, in case I need help." He flicked on the switch on his goggles, then took out his sword. Taking a few deep breaths, he slid his respirator in place and headed slowly for the door. "A small opening will do me fine, two short taps followed by a single and another two short means you can exit."

He weighed the blade in his hand, swinging it a few times from left to right. The blackened blade did not reflect the light of the bunker. "Ready when you are." He stated dryly.

04/13/2006 3:12 PM

Shane, a few steps back, didn't like way this situation was going. If Victor was going out first, then what if something went wrong and they didn't see him back here? But, since he had no say in the matter, Shane just shook his head and leaned on the nearest wall.

"I don't like this..." Shane muttered to himself. But still, the decision was not his, and it wasn't his place to interfere with the choices of the commanding officer. Despite being unnerved, Shane recognized that Victor would probably have the best chance of survival on the surface should something go wrong.

He just hoped nothing would go wrong.

[Edited by Diabloslayer52 on Thursday, April 13, 2006 3:35 PM]

04/14/2006 11:35 PM

Blink, and said almost suddenly, and out of nowhere. "Victor wait~!... I jsut remembered something important my grandfather told me long ago..."

Shakes her head upset that she had almost forgot "When you walk outside make sure to touch no plants, nor any plants that glow. Also cover your mouth... My grandfather told me the people who built the bunker may have put poisonious plants in front of the bunker to keep others at bay. If so, espiecally if it's an ivy within a hundred years with out being touched it could be everywhere.... Espiecally the spores..." thinks for a moment, and then walks forward... and digs around in her bag, pulling out a small white pouch. "Here, should you get cut place this on your wound immediatally, and don't move. It will slow any poison if there is any..." The pouch has on the front the word Victor...

She quickly moved to stand next to Jim should she be needed.

04/17/2006 1:22 AM

"Alright, Jonas, Hanks, do your thing. Let's get this inner gate opened up."

Looking at all the nervous faces around him, strangely he noted Victor appeared to be the most confident person here.

Jim wondered about his own outward appearance. Inside, his stomach was tied in knots. Not for his own safety, but for Victor's. He hoped he was doing reasonable job of hiding his fear from the rest of the team, but he wouldn't be able to relax until they'd heared Victor's signal for them to exit. The burden of making a decision to put someone else's life on the line was not an easy one to carry.

04/17/2006 3:26 AM

Victor took the pouch from Liara and slid it into one of his pockets, thanked her briefly and then looked around and twirled his finger in the air, as if indicating to get this show rolling.

"Get that door open, will you? I'd rather not grow old before I have to exit." He didn't waste much words, but was somehow eager to get outside now that the decision had been made. He turned his head slightly and grinned at Jim, then gave him a small nod, to reassure him that Victor knew the difficulty of his choice, but that it had been an inevitable one and one he was fully willing to take the chances of.

04/17/2006 12:27 PM

Jonas thought to voice his agreement with Shane, but kept quiet instead. Victor and Jim had made the choice. As far as he was concerned, there wasn't any changing that. Deep down, he understood the necessity of it, anyway.

Nodding to Elliot Hanks, a man he'd worked with the last seven years, Jonas led the way to the massive door before them. He and his fellow engineer came to the keypad at the side of the door while Victor waited for it to open. Palms sweating, Jonas keyed in the code that had been revealed to him when he'd been promoted to chief engineer. Only the highest ranking officials of each department knew it, and now Elliot Hanks was one of them.

The passageway shuddered as the long-rested gears came to life for only the second time. A loud groan that was heard even in the nearer communal areas echoed around them, followed by the first separation of the inner doors any of them had ever seen. Protesting as they went, the doors slid open, a rush of stale air accosting the awe-struck group.

Now they were all faced with the outer doors. Though identical to the inner doors, they seemed somehow more ominous.

"You'll have to wait in the airlock, Victor. When it's opened from the inside, the outer door is programmed to open as soon as the inner door has closed behind you. The outer door will only stay open a few minutes. If it closes behind you, there won't be any way for you to relay a message to us. It's much thicker than the inner door, so we won't hear any knocking.

"On top of that, if there is danger, you'll be alone with it for a full three minutes after we get your message. Once the outer door closes again, there is a decontamination process in the airlock before the inner door can open. I just want you to be prepared for that."

04/18/2006 2:25 PM

Victor nodded silently towards Jonas, then posed a few simple questions of his own. "Can the outer door be opened from the outside, after it closes behind me? Secondly, I trust that you can kill the lights, before the outer door opens? I'd rather not walk out there in plain view. There aren't many things inside the bunker that can last more then 3 minutes on their feet against me, so I should be allright in that aspect, unless the animals mutated to be much larger then they were before. Can you give me a more exact timeframe as to how long the outer door will remain open?"

He had fired his questions at the chief technician in rapid staccato, but at a flat tone of voice. Only Jim knew this to be a sign that Victor was nervous, as outward the man did not show any signs of it. Waiting for Jonas to answer, Victor rechecked his suit, webbing, goggles and respirator. He did not bother to check up on his weapons, as he had done that twice before he left his quarters.

[Edited by Caelin on Tuesday, April 18, 2006 2:30 PM]

04/18/2006 3:01 PM

Jonas listened to Victor's questions and gave a nod of understanding. "There should be a control panel outside. If it still works, you can open the outer door from there with the same code. Everything that's happened lately, I suppose I just assumed it wouldn't.

"The lights won't be an issue. They're programmed to go off just before the outer door opens, and come on when they close."

Considering the last question a moment, he cleared his throat. "What documents we've found about the mechanisms say the doors are programmed to stay open for ten minutes. It's not much, so you're scouting will have to be quick. Unless you're confident that you can avoid any danger and can afford the extra time in opening the outer doors."

Offering Victor another nod, though he'd have liked to do more if he'd known him better, he said, "Good luck out there."

04/19/2006 8:14 AM

"Jonas, we can't afford to risk opening both doors at the same time. If the air outside happens to be poisonous we don't want it flooding into the bunker."

Jim turned to Victor and began re-checking the seals on his respirator and suit. He sensed the delay was prying on his friend's nerves, so he got to work in a quick but clinical fashion.

"You're looking good to go, big man. Remember, if you feel anything overly sinister about the environment out there, get back asap so we can check you over. I doubt it will be the case, but radiation levels outside may still be too much for our protective equipment... Now then, let's check our intercom systems."

Jim switched on his standard issue, short range radio intercom system and did a quick check with Victor's. Once the radio check confirmed both units were working correctly, he gave Jonas and Hanks the nod to begin opening the inner door.

04/19/2006 8:55 AM

Shane watched the scene with a sigh. He truly wished he could help bring Apocy with Victor, but he decided with Jim that on the first mission, it would be more of a hazard than an aid.

Noticing Victor's question, he decided to answer the question about mutations. "If it's any comfort, you should be safe for the most part. It's survival of the fittest, just like it always was, and in a desolate landscape bigger is rarely better. Mutations are caused by radiation traveling though DNA, causing damage to specific receptors and codes." Shane commented; his specialty was chemistry, but he did spend quite some time on radiation and biology. "Anyway, chances are that, while different, these things are built for survival on the surface. We're not part of the food chain."

Shane grimaced as he dwelled on the question. "Yet."

04/19/2006 12:07 PM

Victor nodded to Jonas and thanked him for the info, then silently allowed Jim to double check his respirator and gear. When his friend was done he gave him a small pat on the shoulder and headed for the inner door. Before crossing the treshold he grinned and turned towards Shane. "Humans have always been part of the food chain, at the top of it."

Without further comment he walked inside the airlock and waited for the doors to open. Calmly he pondered on the code for the door, which he had never had to use before, but as an officer in security he knew it by heart. As the door started closing behind him he took up position just off to the left of the outer door, his sword ready in his right hand.

04/19/2006 1:15 PM

Jim stood silently watching Victor disappear behind the closing inner door. Taking a few deep breaths in an futile attempt to calm himself, he began nervously adjusting his intercom headset, making sure the ear piece and mic were comfortably in position.

The sound of the inner door thudding shut and sent an echo ringing ominously through the empty tunnel.

"Prepare yourself Victor, we're opening the outer door now," he whispered, before giving Jonas the nod to proceed.

04/20/2006 1:37 PM

Though he was looking at the same drab bunker interior as the rest of them, Jonas felt a nervous rush as he entered the sequence to open the outer door. A slight tremor in the floor was their only sign of anything on the other side. Whether that meant the door had opened, or the motors were trying in vain, only Victor knew.

04/22/2006 2:29 AM

With a shuddering of the floor, the massive outer doors slowly began to move and Victor move backwards with it, keeping his eyes locked on the widening space between the doors. The adrenaline rushed through his veins and pushed away the nervous feelings he had. Long had he trained for moments such as these and now they came into practice.

As the opening was wide enough to let him through he slid through the opening, his movements fast, accurate, but silent in his stride. For a second he stood still, taking in the scenery, then he was on the move again. Sounds came from all directions and the vegetation appeared to be abundant. The ivy that Liara had spoken of had not covered the path in front of the bunker entirely, seemingly not liking the tarmac too much.

Victor crept through the thicket, avoiding the path itself and found that the ivy was not able to penetrate his suit. Now there is a pleasant surprise.

He began to make his round to determine if the exit was safe and whether the bunker had remained unnoticed in these past years. Stalking through the shrubs as a shadow until he heard a sound, closer then the other had been so far. He froze and listened closely, but at the same time he was sure something moved in his vicinity. More careful now he began to move in the direction of the sound, since he had to make sure this would not pose a risk to the others as they exited the compound.

Closer it came and it even appeared to be intelligent, slowly circling around him, perhaps cautious to meet whatever it stalked, as most predators were centuries ago. Victor knew that the circles would get tighter every time, until the creature was confidant enough to attack and decided to break it's habit by going against the expected direction. A few minutes later, at least it seemed to be so, he caught the first glimpse. A brief glimmer of an animal, four legged and fur covering it's body. No doubt that this was a predator, but now in turn it got stalked, instead of coming after him.

Time seemed to be haywire, not able to tell whether he had been hunting it for minutes or merely seconds, but the animal had caught on and reacted violently. As if cornered, it turned in it's tracks and came at him, but Victor had prepared himself well. The very moment it leapt at him he moved sideways and struck at it. The blade of the sword cutting through the air and he felt a small resistance on the handle while he turned.

He did not kill it and the feeling of resistance was followed by a snarl, a hiss and then it came at him once more. More vicious then the first time and Victor had to move faster to avoid being torn open by the claws. Things became almost a blur, both of them fighting for their lives and both of them aware of that fact. The moon broke through the clouds above and this gave Victor the first clear view of the beast.

Three feet to the shoulder, around six feet long, long sharp claws and a set of teeth that a shark would be proud of. Its fur glistening in the moonlight and its yellowish eyes locked onto him, ready to try and kill. Victor countered every move the beast made, keeping it off balance. Then it lunged at him again, but this time it had been too slow. Once again the blade cut through the air, the tug on the handle much heavier then the first time, taking off its head in a fell swoop.

Victor breathed heavily and examined the animal. He had done some studying in the past hours on the wildlife before the apocalypse. This thing came closest to what had been described as a cougar, yet it was larger. He picked up the head and returned to the bunker. The door was still open, the fight thus could not have taken minutes, even though it had seemed that way. He slid inside and placed the head on the floor, before he used his communicator.

"Victor here, the exit is secure, Jim." Then he sat on the ground and checked his gear again. The pouch on his hip had clawmarks on it, but it was still sealed. He tempered his breathing and kept a close eye on the opening of the outer door.

04/23/2006 11:41 AM

"Victor here, the exit is secure, Jim."

"Good work, Victor. We'll be with you in a moment,"replied Jim, breathing a sigh of relief.

"Okay, Hanks, reset the airlock... Alright people, masks on and double-check seals. Let's have weapons loaded with safety-catches applied. Stay in visible sight of each other at all times. I don't want anyone wandering off alone doing any sightseeing."

Jim pulled his respirator over his head and fitted it into place. Unslinging his rifle, he moved forward to stand in front of the inner door and waited for it to open.

04/23/2006 2:25 PM

Shane listened to Jim as he relayed the directions. Double checking all of his seals, and that his mask was air- tight, he pulled up his briefcase with his left arm.

Shane could sense the tension around him as he stared at the airlock, waiting for the signal to be given, and the doors to open.

Although the doors were airtight, and no sound could be heard through them, Shane could have sworn he had heard sounds of combat through his radio (Which he had discovered moments later was at approximately ear-shattering volume when Jim spoke a moment later), and was anxious to make sure that Victor was still functional.

04/24/2006 10:08 AM

His mask pulled tight, Jonas entered the code to reset the airlock. A long moment passed when it seemed nothing would happen. Seconds turned into minutes, the group waiting anxiously. Finally, the decontamination process complete, the inner door began to open, revealing the dark, sealed airlock within.

A hand unconciously slid to the butt of the handgun at his hip as he nodded back to Jim.

04/24/2006 10:46 AM

A hand unconciously slid to the butt of the handgun at his hip as he nodded back to Jim.

Acknowledging the nod from Jonas, Jim quickly and quietly ushered the team into the airlock. No one spoke as the heavy doors slowly began to seal shut behind them. Jim turned to glance back at Hanks and Bramwell. In his respirator, he gave them an over exaggerated nod of reassurance before they disappeared behind the ominously solid doors.

Turning back to face his front, Jim gripped his rifle and braced himself as the outer doors began to slide open. As the gap between the doors began to widen, Jim saw nothing but an expanding blackness. Once the gap was wide enough, Jim pushed his way forwards and slipped outside. With his eyes he scanned the terrain out in front of him. Indeed, it looked like they were in the grounds of an ancient, abandoned and overgrown military base. Plant life and vegetation certainly seemed unharmed by the outside environment, which was an encouraging sign.

Finally, Jim allowed himself a glance up at the night's sky and felt awe struck by its vastness. For the first time in his life he could see the tiny glowing pin pricks he knew to be stars. For several moments he remained there, unable to shake away from the wonderous spectacle.

04/24/2006 11:25 AM

Jonas considered himself a practical man. He was the sort that always advised people to take things in stride and not get caught up in the moment. Most would expect him to shrug off something they found to be special.

That man was absent for this moment. He had followed closely to Jim and now stood next to him, struck silent by the vast expanse of stars. A pang of regret flashed through his mind that he had to view them from behind a respirator. He'd have liked to have beheld the sky with nothing in the way.

"That's a sight damned better than a ceiling."

04/24/2006 3:38 PM

"That's a sight damned better than a ceiling."

"I hear that." Shane chuckled. He too was awestruck by the expansiveness and gleam of the sky, but he had other tasks at hand. Deep contemplation came second-- his job came first. Clicking open his metal briefcase, he began to set up a temporary laboratory, setting out beakers, liquids, gasses, and different tubes and wire test-tube holders.

"Alright, first we should check the outside radiology levels," Shane explained, once again showing his flair for dramatics. "This area was relatively safe from direct impacts, but radiation could possibly spread from one region to another..." And with that, took out a proportional detector to try and evaluate how dangerous the situation was around them.

04/25/2006 3:31 PM

As Shane began his work with the detector, Victor clicked on his torch and lit the head of the animal he had killed, before he spoke up towards Jim. "Watch where you're treading, Jim, even though I doubt it will still try and bite. It did before I shortened the animal by approximately a feet or so. I found no trace of a second one."

Slowly he got to his feet and cleaned off the blade, just before sliding it back in the sheath, then got his bow out again. "The body is around 50 yards to the northeast, within the brushes and the ivy does not penetrate the suits."

04/26/2006 9:24 AM

The dim light of Victor's torch finally drew Jim's eyes back to earth. The expression concealed behind his respirator was temporarily startled as he viewed the bloodied severed head of a beast which Victor carried. Jim hadn't spent a great lot of time studying books on the subject of animals, but this was certainly a creature like none he'd ever seen.

"What the hell!?!?.. Err, good work, Victor... But what the hell is it?" Holding his rifle up vertically, he glanced once nervously over each shoulder, before doing a 360 degree pan of the area and stopped facing Victor again.

"There's one thing, with creatures like that roaming around here it lessens the chances of us bumping into any human survivors in our immediate vicinity, don't you think?"

The grounds of the military camp in which they were situated seemed quite large. There was no sign of an outer perimeter fence as far as they could see. Scattered around were a few buildings or hangers of different size, and in different stages of disrepair. From up here the entrance to the bunker appeared to be nothing more than just another one of them. The only tell-tale difference was the bunker entrance must have been made of much sturdier stuff, as it had suffered little or no damage over the years. On the ground was a damaged, worn out tarmac road running between the buildings. Off the road the ground was covered in long wispy grass and a thick thorny ivy and bush.

04/26/2006 12:55 PM

Victor grinned widely at the reaction of his friend. "From what I have read, the only animal that fitted the description of this in any way, was named a cougar. The archive said it was around four to five feet long and stood approximately 2.5 feet to the shoulder. This one here however was six feet long and stood certainly three feet to the shoulder. It is a predator that fed mostly on wildlife and avoided humans, but this apparantly hadn't seen one in ages, as it mistook me for tonights dinner."

He glanced around and looked back at Jim again. "I haven't found signs of a second one of these, so we can safely assume that we won't see any humans around the compound. I think Shane had a lay-out of the camp in his PDA, which we should take a look at. There had to be warehouses on this base and perhaps we can find some things that can be useful, such as ammo, etc."

04/26/2006 3:56 PM

Jonas was snapped out of his reverie Jim's words. He simply stared at the creature during their exchange, imagining it on the prowl. Of course, that meant imagining a body for it as well.

There had to be warehouses on this base and perhaps we can find some things that can be useful, such as ammo, etc."

Shaking his head, Jonas said, "I wouldn't count on that. As bad as everything looks out here, it's a stretch to think a building like that would still be in good shape. If ammunition or other kinds of equipment have been exposed to whatever weather this place has, it's probably no good anymore."

Scanning the horizon, he finished, "I'd still give it a look." He decided to leave out the little detail that he felt like he could go through every one of those buildings just to see what was inside.

04/27/2006 3:57 PM

Shane looked with a passing interest at the dead animal. To be perfectly honest, he wasn't really that surprised. He had seen Jurassic Park enough times to quote the movie, and one line by Jeff Goldblum, "Life finds a way" had always deeply resonated with him. Naturally, he wasn't that impressed with a mutated cat-dog thing.

Looking up and around, he finally got a glimpse of the surrounding complex. It really was a nice area...

And just then he saw the read out. "No..." Shane whispered skeptically. "Uh, well, it's safe... but a little too safe for my liking." Shane said to the others. He was no expert at radiology, but Shane did know that the reading on his thing so low would make Earth almost inhospitable. Instead of over-radiation, they should be worrying about the opposite now.

"It should be that the radiation is high enough enough to fry us alive.. But the radiation in this area is almost non-existent. Like 'No ozone' radiation levels. Something's definitely odd, maybe this thing's broken." Shane explained. And with that, he stood up and commenced bagging the proportional detector, or elaborate Geiger Counter, on his palm.

Shane let loose a long sigh. First time on the surface, and already his tools were falling apart. "You guys can go explore around, I still have some test to run. In addition to that, I need to try to fix this thing..." Shane trailed off, nodding at the object currently banging into his palm.

[Edited by Diabloslayer52 on Friday, April 28, 2006 1:09 PM]

04/28/2006 7:38 AM

"You guys can go explore around, I still have some test to run. In addition to that, I need to try to fix this thing..."

Jim thought for a moment. He didn't like the idea of splitting the team up so soon, but Shane and Henry did have work to do. They couldn't just sit around waiting, wasting valuable time.

"Okay, Shane, Henry, make sure you stay here next to the bunker entrance where we can find you... Liara, the guys are going to be busy working. I'd like you to remain here with them, watching their backs and acting as their eyes and ears," he turned back to Victor and Jonas. "Alright, let's go and do some scouting. We can start by checking out those nearby buildings."

[Edited by Flark on Friday, April 28, 2006 7:41 AM]

05/01/2006 2:41 PM

Glad at his assignment, Jonas nodded his somewhat biased agreement. "We might just find what we need in one of these buildings. I don't think it's likely, but the worst that can happen in looking is that we won't find anything." In the following silence, he wondered if that was really the worst that could happen.

"So, Victor, where can we find this warehouse?"

05/02/2006 11:34 AM

Victor pointed at the set of low buildings aside from what seemed to have been the main artery for the base. "Those were the offices, messhall and officers mess. The larger building a little way off to the right seems to be what we seek, according to what I memorised from the schedule Shane showed us on the PDA of his. The large concrete path in the distance is where the airplanes lifted off from, with the hangars to the side of them. I hope we can get into the warehouse, as most were built to withstand an assault, but not as thick walled as the bunker is."

05/03/2006 9:48 AM

Jim listened carefully to Victor recite the details which he had memorized about the layout of the base. There was no need to confirm it with Henry's PDA, there was no doubt in his mind that the information would be correct.

Without further delay Jim began making his way towards the large black shadow of a building which Victor had singled out to be the warehouse. As far as he could see in the darkness, one of the old decaying roads seemed lead a direct route towards it. Moving just into the very edge of the long wisping grass on the left-hand side, he began following it. With his back hunched and body stooped low, he tiptoed almost silently. All the while he kept his carbine up and ready with the barrel pointing out from the road.

[Edited by Flark on Wednesday, May 3, 2006 9:50 AM]

05/14/2006 11:53 AM

She looked around curiosly, She felt like she was trapt within a daze. She shook her head and looks around a bit. She was mumbling to herself softly "Stay calm, and Ready.. Don't let this all get to you". She was sur eno one could hear her, except for maybe the faint sound of her vioce mumbling something. She turned and look at the Scientists and said softly "How does it all look?".

As she spoke she knelt down and turned her bag pulling out a small book, and looking at the leaves around them. Flipping through the book and trying to figured out what it is. "hmmm..."

05/15/2006 1:12 PM

Shane fumbled with the test tubes in his gloved hands. He still wasn't happy with the test results from the the test he ran before, but the machine didn't seem to be broken, and there seemed to be some type of wind blowing around.

The wind, he could tell because it was throwing his experiments into chaos. He was trying to use litmus paper, shreded and dissolved in test tubes, to determine if some type of off chemical had been spewed into the air too acidic or basic to make it unbreatheable . But the wind kept causing the tubes to slip and fall out of his hands, and while so far nothing had broken, he had spilled some shreded litmus and dissoved litmus paper.

Sighing as his fifth test tube slipped in between his fingers, Shane heard Liara mumble something. Shane muttered something profane himself, then looked up at Liara. "Hey, want to give me a hand? I can't seem to get this-" Just then, the wind died off.

05/15/2006 1:24 PM

Following Jim's lead, Jonas mimicked his stance, drawing his own weapon, making sure to hold it low in case it should discharge. In the dark, it was hard to make anything out, even on such a clear night. He supposed if he was used to his surroundings, it would be much easier. Since he'd never seen anything like this, that was only a guess.

He would have spent more time surveying their surroundings, especially with regards to a potential threat, but had to keep much of his focus on the decayed road. At his age, one misstep could lead to disaster. That only heightened his realization that he could turn out to be a liability in this whole ordeal. But, given his mindset, that only made him more determined to prove that he could still stand with his younger counterparts.

A lingering howl in the distance stopped him in his tracks, the sound washing over the open area from somewhere far out of sight.

05/16/2006 8:32 AM

Jim froze on the spot as the eerie sound echoed out of the night. Momentarily he turned back to look blankly at the faces of his companions. He quickly dismissed it as nothing more than the howl of a lonely dog somewhere out in the distance. Focusing his attention back towards the warehouse, he set off moving again.

05/16/2006 12:11 PM

Victor, having taken the rear so Jonas would only have to watch to his sides, crouched for a moment and listened closely. He shook his head at the others and commented dryly. "That is probably some form of wolf, a cousin to the dog but with the instinct of a predator. The sound was on file, but this animal is surely still quite a long way off."

He gestured to Jonas with his right hand to follow Jim's trail, as his left was holding the bow. With both men in front of him having a firearm in their hands, this may have looked a little odd to the beholder, but Victor preferred doing things silently.

05/16/2006 2:03 PM

Upon hearing Victor's comment, the question of whether or not it was wise to split up the team so early began to plague Jim's mind yet again. Without realising he started to up the pace a bit. It was not long before they were directly in line with the building they had identified to be the warehouse.

The main entrance, which they could see from their position at the front of the building had been left wide open. From here they could see no sign of an actual front door on an entrance which was large enough to drive a truck through. The building itself was a square shape which appeared to be three stories high. The top floor had a row of windows, all of which had broken or no glass. From their position on the road, not more than 30 yards away from the building, they could see nothing of the interior, only dark and ominous shadows. All was quiet. All was still.

05/16/2006 6:45 PM

Her eyes froze on the Ivy infront of her. She had seen it before but it looked different. Slowly she held her hand out, She stood still with her hand outstrecthed, Suddenly the ivy began to move, and wrap around her fingers. She jerked her hand away quickly, and the ivy stoped. Turning towards Shane and looking at him "Shane.. Can you check this plant for poison possibly?"

Sighing softly, she pulled out her bag looking around in it for the pair of scissors she had brought with her. Pulling them out and Snipping a leaf of the plant off, only to have the plant quickly wrap around the scissors. She jumped back a bit startled by the plant. She stared blankly as a white ooze came from the plants leaves. The plant slowly work to pull the scissors into it, as the ooze started to harden around the scissors. "Oh... Might help if I can get a leaf sample.." She said mumbled under her breath.

05/17/2006 12:44 PM

Victor stared at the large entry and placed his bow on his back. What he was about to do was rather unwise with a bow, thus he put it away. With his right hand he reached for his gun and with his left he grabbed his flashlight, until he thought of something that made him put the light away again. He hadn't even switched it on.

"Flashlight will not be wise right now, it could be seen over quite a distance, in case there are survivors around. Certainly it will atract insects, which we might not have a means of defense against. Lane by lane and door by door, Jim?" Victor asked him softly. It was a tactic they used when searching inside the bunker, each covering the other while searching through the rooms.

05/17/2006 3:26 PM

Shane got up and started walking to Liara.

He was done with testing the chemistry of the air, and it seemed safe to breathe, but he still had his doubts. The world had just undergone a nuclear global holocaust and suddenly the air was breathable? Unlikely, the possibilities and statistics against the tested information was just too high. But still, if the air was breathable...

As he walked, he twirled a test tube with sulfuric acid in it. While the acid was not strong enough to melt the glass test tube, it could aid in other ways. "Yeah, hold up a sec," Shane said as he turned around to pick up a gallon jug of water. Then he heard it, a low, powerful rumble elevating in pitch until it was a ear-piercing shriek. And just as soon as it started, it stopped. It was far away, but looking over to Victor's dead animal-thing, Shane felt a sinking sensation as he remembered wolves hunted in packs.

It could be a non-existent threat, and just over-reacting, but if it wasn't, Shane did not want to be caught out in the open without a weapon. Snapping his head back to Liara, he shouted, "Cover me! I have some bases and acids!" As if everyone knew enough chemistry to understand that the two can react violently when mixed, and bolted to his supplies.

05/19/2006 8:11 AM

"Flashlight will not be wise right now, it could be seen over quite a distance, in case there are survivors around. Certainly it will atract insects, which we might not have a means of defense against. Lane by lane and door by door, Jim?" Victor asked him softly.

Jim nodded in agreement. Victor's suggestion of their old tried and tested tactic which they had used within the bunker made him think about switching his carbine for his more familiar handgun. After a brief moments though he quickly dismissed the idea in favour of the superior firepower of the larger weapon.

"Jonas, watch our backs," he whispered. "Let's keep it slow and steady, but if anything kicks off, run for cover."

Jim slowly began to stalk forwards out into the open and towards the warehouse entrance. Covering the open area to the front and left, he motioned for Victor to move along side him and give cover to their front and right flank. He hoped Jonas had the sense to tail them and keep his eyes to the rear.

05/19/2006 12:30 PM

Jonas didn't bother with a response to Jim's command. The security chief was used to trained companions following his orders to the letter. He would do what he could to keep with that image.

Giving them a moment's headstart, Jonas followed, carefully measuring each step, with his back to the men he followed. His footing was unsure, but with plenty of concentration, he managed not to stumble and make a fool of himself.

05/19/2006 2:21 PM

Nodding, and say "Ok... "

Quickly she moved to her bag, and sliding out both her knives, holding them in her hands like she was trained to. She looked around where they were, and moved quickly over to Shane "What are you planning on doing? For that matter what was that?"

She was trying to remain as calm as possible...She didn't know how much good she would be if more then one of those... Things came at her. She was quite confident she could handle one, Maybe two... but if more came they would be in trouble. She was very confused now, what did those things eat? Especially if the ivy appeared to be poisonous to some degree, and would clearly clog up the throat of anything that tried to eat it. She shook her head, and tried to remain focused. Hearing another shriek of what ever it was that's out there. Jumping a bit this time, it sounded like it might be moving closer though she couldn't tell. Her head was swarming with the progress of the day, so much in such a little time. She whisper in her head repeatedly, Calm... Calm... Calm.

05/23/2006 12:55 PM

"What are you planning on doing? For that matter what was that?"

"Trying to figure out which chemicals make a bigger boom." Shane responded hastily. Hoping he had the right chemicals, he stood up and turned around.

in one hand he had a tightly corked vial, and in the other, a airless plastic bag with some of the same liquid in it as the first. "Be warned!" Shane shouted, knowing full well that whatever, if anything, was out there it would probably not speak, let alone understand English, "Do not come any closer, or you will regret it!"

Then, he emphasized his point by opening and throwing the plastic bag onto the ground, which produced a loud hissing noise and a great amount of white smoke, in addition to the disintegration of the bag. Shaking slightly, and hoping that Liara couldn't see it, Shane continued; "Alright, if you can understand me, walk out of the b-bushes." Shane finished, stuttering. As soon as he was done, he realized that chances are whatever was howling out there was still out of earshot, and they still had some time.

"Alright, Liara, do you have a radio?" Shane whispered. He didn't think he'd need one, so he didn't pack it. Now Shane was learning the hard way what a mistake that was, and hoped she had packed a radio.

[Edited by Diabloslayer52 on Tuesday, May 23, 2006 1:05 PM]

05/30/2006 9:52 AM

Victor did not hesitate at all, as this way of covering an area was perfected by the two of them, so he swiftly covered the opposite side of Jim's movements. He did however take great care not to disturb anything that laid on the floor, sound being the last thing they'd need right now, in case they did stumble across anyone or anything.

05/30/2006 11:09 AM

The three made their way across the open ground and into the warehouse through the large open entrance. Once inside Jim sidestepped to the left so that his body was in front of the wall as to avoid a silhouette against the opening. Confident that Victor would be mirroring his actions over to his right, Jim's eyes quickly scanned the inside of the building as he held his rifle high and ready.

The room was dark but the lower floor appeared to be one huge store room with only a few office rooms at the far wall opposite them. Apprehensively Jim noted the places which could hide an ambush. There were some methodically placed support pillars and numerous large wooden crates scattered around. Most of the crates had been cracked open and even from here they could see that most of them were empty.

Looking to his right to watch for Jonas entering, Jim prepared to catch his attention and signal him over to his side...

05/30/2006 1:14 PM

Jonas passed under the wide opening apprehensively, unconciously tightening his grip on his sidearm. A light tap to his left snapped his attention there. Jim gave him a quick wave, to which Jonas quickly responded, crossing in front of Jim, putting his back against the wall to his left.

He hadn't the trained eye of his companions, his gaze swirling around the dark warehouse, while he told himself to stay alert. Anything could happen in a place like this. Everything was foreign now, and he knew it would be best to discount nothing. His adrenaline was in full effect now.

But, damn it all, it felt so good.

06/09/2006 3:01 PM

Victor slid into the warehouse, keeping low to the ground and moved into the shadows as swiftly as he could. Pressed against the wall he took a few seconds to scan the room, which was far too large to his liking and had too many objects strewn across the floor that could be used as cover. They would serve both ways, yet the risk of a trap appeared to be fairly high. He gave Jim a glance, then held up a closed fist, opened it and pointed with his hand held flat to the left. To the right he had spotted a bottleneck, the crates stacked in such fashion that the room between them was not much more then six feet. His signal meant not much more then to avoid the right side, but Jim would surely realise why he had made it.

Going through the center of the warehouse would be folly, possibly even suicidal, as it would leave them open to attack from all sides. He moved his hand to his face, spread two fingers and pointed the fingers consequently to his eyes, towards the offices, then the floor. The signalling was aimed to alert Jim to keep his eyes open, head for the office and keep an eye out for a way that would lead them underground.

06/12/2006 10:16 AM

Glancing to his right, Jim took note of Victor's hand signals and then replied with a nod to acknowledge that he had understood. Releasing one hand from the stock of his carbine he motioned for Jonas to follow before moving off. Pushing aside his thoughts that they could well be walking into a trap, he at least took some comfort in the fact that Victor was ready to give them covering fire should they need it.

Steadily he cut across the room in a sharp diagonal direction towards the left hand wall. Careful to avoid the patches of broken glass which littered the floor, he reached it without incident. There he turned his back to the wall and proceeded onwards by sidestepping, so as to cover as many angles as possible until he reached the far wall where the offices were situated. As he moved past them he could see there was nothing behind the pillars and crates, until, suddenly something on the ground caught his eye.

"Cover me," he whispered to Jonas. Before the man could reply Jim slung his weapon and ducked down. Climbing onto his hands and knees he began crawling between the broken crates and debris, moving towards the centre of the room. About 20 feet away from where he'd left Jonas he came to a halt behind a particular crate.

Still laying down on the ground, Jim picked up one of the objects which had caught his eye and examined it suspiciously. It was a an empty case which had been spilled from a rifle or automatic weapon. He looked at the crate which they lay behind and noticed it was peppered with what looked like bullet holes.

From the defensive positions in which the crates had been moved into, the debris and the broken windows all suggested a fight had taken place here. But surely the bullet holes and empty shells confirmed it? From history Jim had never heard anything about a fight here on the surface before their ancestors had sealed themselves into the bunker. Surely this suggested that this proposed fight here must have happened after that?

Wearing the cumbersome respirator, Jim was unable to sniff at the empty shell for any traces of the distinctive smelling gun powder which could still remain. He had no way of telling how long it had lay here? Regardless he slipped it into his pocket for Henry and Shane's analysis. Maybe they could somehow tell? Shuffling to turn around he began to make his way back towards Jonas, all the while thinking about questions such as where the bodies had disappeared to, and if the stores had been stripped of anything useful already.

[Edited by Flark on Monday, June 12, 2006 3:54 PM]

06/17/2006 6:34 AM

It had been a quiet night up until the moment the deep down under began it's quivering. She had been sleeping rather soundly when it first happened and as she woke she thought that she must be dreaming. "[i]Could it be[/i]?" She questioned herself as she slipped from under her sleeping furs. The woman stretched slowly as her one good eye slid toward the other furs which were in a tumbled state a few feet away. They were empty as expected. It seemed that their habitual occupant was out yet again, in the dark of night.

Her thoughts were brought back to reality as the tremor happened a second time. "[i]So it is real.[/i] " she breathed harshly through wrinkled lips as she confirmed the fact. Until that moment, she hadn't realized that she had been holding her breath at all.

The old woman almost felt young again with this new discovery. Her enthusiasm was mounting along with another feeling, one she hadn't had in some time, apprehension. "[i]We will have visitors before long.[/i]" She stated blankly, then began to dress. She would have some preparing to do. She had no doubt the Dwellers of the Deep would be upon them soon.


Silent as a fox hunting for mice, the occupant of the empty bed was out in full roam mode. Alert as always, the Topside inhabitant was used to the flora and fauna that populated the area and as such, was familiar with anything that might be out of place. Eyes, ears and limbs were always at attention in order to survive in this environment and that's just speaking about the wildlife.

When the tremors first occured it felt as though the earth was quivering from some small impact or aftershock. Such things had happened before. Anything was possible. Things had changed significantly since the time when the new world began, this much was known to all inhabitants of the Topside.

With a quickening of pace which belied both speed and agility, the subordinate sought out the cause of the disturbance. There was something serious happening. In this, the forest dweller had no doubt.

As the ground shuddering tremor happened a second time the nimble tracker was able to shift direction on the ground and find the general area that the tremors were stemming from.

[i]Sometimes being in tune with the earth was not as simple as it seemed to be. It was both a gift and a curse. Of course being without footwear helped too.[/i] The thoughts exited the underlings mind just as quickly as they had entered.

A tremendous leap up into the trees was made and slowly blending in with the foliage, the unfamiliar form began to search out the cause of the tremors.

And there they were...emerging from the large steel doors...

The tree offered good cover as the group below was observed in silence. [i]They certainly were queerly dressed beings[/i], came the thought.

From what the subordinate could decipher in the darkness they were quite a suspicious bunch, all hunched over and making hand signals or speaking in whispered tones to one another. [i]They had fancy tools too![/i] Now that was something worth looking into. Tools were treasure for those who could not make them in these parts.

The underling studied the newcomers closely and counted six bodies in total moving below. They split into two groups of three which would make things easier to observe. Less eyes the better. One group snuck off toward the larger buildings nearby, while the others were left behind.

Watching the people below with avid facination brought to attention the fact that they were all getting a little too close to the vines. If the wrong one got a hold of them they would be in trouble for sure.

[i]Did they not know that the vines were not to be toyed with?[/i] A "[i]Tsk Tsk Tsk...[/i]" of disapproval was emitted in a barely audible tone.

And then it happened...

One of the beings, a rather tall one at that, was swept up by a vine. He didn't even have the chance to make any noise as it wound about his body and pulled him upward. The observer made a lighting fast decision and brandishing a rather large bone knife, lept into action after the captive and the quickly moving vines.

Of course there was noise to be made with all the commotion but that couldn't be helped if the newcomer were to be saved at all.

Following the captive was the easy part. Freeing them, now that would be another thing.
With all six digits tightly wrapped around the bone knife, the Topside dweller began to hack at the receeding vines while moving through the trees after them. This particular vine type was carnivorous. It just happened that the victim had been completely unsuspecting and hadn't had a chance to defend himself. Not alone anyhow.

It took a good amount of hacking before the vines would relinquish their victim. Then without any warning, "[i]Release![/i]" came the small cry of triumph from the underling. Then,"[i]Ahhhhhhh![/i]" as the victim's body began to fall through the tree branches toward the ground landing him into the thicket below.

The savior launched downward after the fallen body. Hopefully the being was still alive after all that.

With a small thud the two six digit feet which allowed so much agility on the ground and in the trees landed firmly beside the fallen man. At this point they would be too far from the others to be spotted but, the rustling of branches and bushes would most certainly be heard by the two that were left nearest to the steel doors.

With a quick, almost methodical manner the underling took off the stranger's mask and checked for injuries. It seemed that apart from a bump on the head and the fact that he was unconscious everything was alright."[i]Everything will be just fine. [/i]"

Grabbing up some of the vine bits and tree branches from the ground nearby, the underling fashioned a travois and rolled the man onto it. There was no way to carry him otherwise.

The underling would not take the chance that the remaining five strangers were friendly. [i]That would be assuming too much.[/i] With slow determination the two made progress forward, heading toward the old woman's hill house. [i]She[/i] would know what to do.

[Edited by Sway_Greenwitch on Saturday, June 17, 2006 6:39 AM]

06/18/2006 9:58 AM

"Liara? A radio would be really nice right now!" Shane said in a panicked tone. As he turned around, he saw something that completely threw him off balance. The wall of vines was gone, and so was Henry.

"Screw this!" Shane whispered to himself. "Liara, you have 2 seconds to pack up." And with that, threw all his materials into his pack and started to look around. Seeing where Jim and the rest of the crew had splintered off to, Shane slipped out his knife from his sheath and hoped the blade would deter any incoming hostiles. A split second before making his way over to Jim and the rest of the team, Shane's reason won out over his fear.

Shane shouted, "Crap, I know I'm gunna regret this!" and headed over to where the vines once were. Noting that Henry was most likely near the apparently sentient plants when they had sprung to life, he saw the broken and bent foliage when the plants had quickly retracted, but he didn't see Henry's dragging footprints. Whatever had hit him, it moved fast.

With one strap of his pack over his shoulder, and his other hand holding the knife, Shane dearly regretted not bringing a firearm with him. Standing still, shifting his weight uncomfortably from foot to foot, he had a second to think. [i] He's probably dead![/i] A nervous jittery voice broke out inside his head. [i] But if he isn't...[/i] said a more calm and reasoning one.

Shane sided with the second voice. Snapping his head back to Liara, he said in an almost controlled voice, "Go back and get Jim. The mission's over, and if I'm not back in two hours, assume the worst." His voice cracked a bit toward the end, but Shane pressed on anyway. The dark canopy looked menacing and alien to him, but he continued in.

06/21/2006 9:42 PM

Watching the dark warehouse from his position, Jonas was left to wonder what he would really do if a danger was posed. He had no doubt he would fire on it, but didn't know what good that would do, when it came right down to it. The warehouse was dark, and the years hadn't done any favors for his eyesight, or reflexes for that matter.

The mission had only just begun, and already he'd questioned his usefulness more than once. [i]Any number of my boys could have come along. They'd have been just as good as me at finding something functional, but one hell of a lot more effective at something like this.[/i] He pushed the thoughts aside. He knew why he was here. It was something he had to do. He'd never been one to delegate the important duties of Chief Engineer. He saw no reason to start now.

He breathed a small sigh of relief as Jim re-emerged. Letting his guard down just a bit, he raised his shoulders in a mock shrug, the best representation of a question he could manage. "Anything?" he hoped it said.

06/22/2006 8:16 AM

Standing up, Jim unslung his carbine and leaned close towards Jonas's ear. Clicking his radio on to transmit so that Victor could listen in, he began to speak. Although muffled by the respirator, his whispered voice was harsh and serious.

"There are bullet holes in the crates and spent shells littering the floor. Most of the crates have already been plundered. I've got a feeling someone has already beaten us to whatever goods were stored here. I've collected one of the shells for analysis. Let's quickly finish our sweep and get back to the others."

Without waiting for a reply, Jim turned and proceeded to towards the offices at the back of the warehouse.

06/23/2006 11:39 AM

They were coming...can't be found, can't let them have his toys, his treasures...had to hide behind the 'light box'
"Brawthur? Wat we do?" The only reply being a finger to the metal ring placed where Brother's lips should be. Just then the sound of metal on tile rang out an extinguisher fell to the floor, the product of more clumsiness from him.
"Sawwie, I's sawwie!" he cried to Brother as a hail of sharp blows to the head rocked him on his heels.
"Git out there an' fix it! Now! They gonna' know we heer an' take the trayshur away like the othurs! You dumb F..."

Just then the man looking their direction started heading their way. They crouched deeper behind the computer desk in the main office, trying to hide what they'd found and wipe away chrimson stains lest they be found.
"Brawthur? Wat we do?" he asked again...

06/24/2006 2:28 PM

Shane was having serious difficulty fighting through the dense undergrowth.

He still had his knife, but now in retrospect wished he had opted for a machete. [i]OR a flamethrower[/i], he chuckled to himself. The real difficulty was his constant fear that the next step may be his last, that the next plant he cut just might come alive and try to eat him. [i] The environment is my enemy[/i], Shane said to himself, [i]and I must overcome it.[/i]

The dark sky certainly didn't help either, Shane found himself on the floor almost as often as he was on his feet. Still, he persevered and discovered a small clearing, about a hundred yards in. Breathing heavily, he clasped his upper thighs and began coughing, and in the dead center of this heavy coughing fit, Shane could have sworn he heard a muffled scream, and tried to deduce the direction.

He once again made into the thick canopy, struggling with the vines and felled trees as fiercely as with any human opponent. Suddenly, maybe twenty feet in, Shane stumbled into another clearing. This one was a bit bigger, and maybe five feet away was a large concrete building. [i]Sunuva[/i] was his last thought as something whacked him on the back of the head and dropped him into unconsciousness.

06/25/2006 2:01 AM

Jim halted just short of the offices, dropping down onto one knee he looked through the sights of his carbine and aimed from window to window. He was sure he'd just heard the sound of metal clanging on hard floor. Was there someone still in here?

"Victor, move up. I'm outside the office buildings but I've just heard movement inside," he whispered urgently into his radio.

The offices ran along the entirety of the back wall, with three evenly spaced doors leading inside. Between each of the doors, and the end doors and the walls; were numerous windows. Most of the windows were smashed, some clearly showing signs of firearm damage. Blinds were covering the majority of the windows, but even the few without; it was impossible to see anything inside. The only light in warehouse was the minuscule amount from the moonlight outside. The deeper they had moved into the building, the darker it had became. The offices at the back here were shrouded in almost complete darkness.

Jim was all too aware that tactically this kind of approach was extremely dangerous. They were sitting ducks out in the open here, while whoever was inside had the perfect position and cover for an ambush. Unfortunately there really didn't appear to be any other way to get into the offices, and he wasn't about to leave any stone unturned in his mission to help his people below. He only hoped they had been quiet enough so that whoever lurked inside was still unaware of their presence here.

"Victor, three doors ahead, take the one to the right," as he issued the whispered command he was already up and moving past the windows and towards the door in the middle. With his right hand held the carbine out in front of him, while with his left he signalled for Jonas to take the door to the left. Their only hope was that if the three of them burst in at the same time they might just catch whoever was inside by surprise.

06/25/2006 2:32 AM

Victors movements became as a liquid shadow, upon hearing Jim's voice through the radio. Swift and silent he went through the rubble, his course steadily towards the offices and his goggles giving him an edge that whatever it was inside of it did not have.Only a mere few seconds after Jim had stopped outside of the office with Jonas in his wake, he popped up beside them. He whispered lowly while he pressed the microphone against his throat. "Wait. Don't open the doors. Doors are too easy to boobytrap and if someone is hiding within, one or more certainly will be rigged." He pointed at the doorknob, then shook his arm wildly, as if electricity had been on it. "Why bother with the doors? The windows are just as easy." He grinned towards Jim.

06/25/2006 6:46 AM

"They're here", came the small feminine voice from a girl who was the youngest ofthe three, "three of them, coming through the 'dawers', Ollie better fix this NOW! Else we'll have to...you know..." as she spoke, she pulled out her teddy bear and stood in the middle of the inky blackness to await her fate with Brother and Olan.
"Brawthur, I's scayerd, I don wonna ficks it, I don no wats broke! I's scayerd..."
"Aw, Dammit Ollie, jus' sey hey! Tell em 'is aiight an we don want no troubul." Brother replied.
"Say haylo?" Olans eyes brightened as his skeleton-like jaw flexed into a sickening smile. Just then he stood to full height, towering high above normal men, his head thudding against the ceiling. His chains jingled as he grabbed the doorknob as Brother and Tierra jumped in front of the door, weapons in hand, screaming "NOOOO!!!"

[Edited by Dream_Knight on Saturday, August 26, 2006 1:23 PM]

06/25/2006 11:53 AM

Jonas kept close to Jim as he covered the distance to the offices. At his command, Jonas took a place in front of the left-most door, his handgun kept low, but at the ready. He took a deep breath to steady his nerves as he braced himself against the idea of barging through the door with his gun drawn. Something was in there, and he wasn't sure what he wanted it to be.

A person could be reasoned with, but if that person was in no mood for that sort of thing, they would have to be dealt with. Jonas considered himself a strong-willed man, but after living a sheltered life in the bunker for so long, he wasn't sure how he would react in just that situation.

But, Victor's concerns halted his thoughts. At the mention of traps, Jonas' gaze unconciously strayed back to the door. He'd never even considered the possibility. That served as another reminder that he was in over his head. Still, it had to be done.

"You boys pick a window. I'll cover your a..." He was interrupted by the scream from within. His heart skipped a beat as his gaze snapped back to Jim.

06/26/2006 11:40 AM

Turning towards it, Jim heard the thump, immediately followed by a sound which was like metal chains coming from close behind the door. There was no time to make a move for the window, whatever was in there was coming out!

Instinctively he positioned his carbine so that it was held at waist height and aimed at the door. Beginning to take a few steps backwards, his heart raced when he saw the door handle slowly begin to turn. Just then a desperate scream came from inside, causing his finger to unconsciously tightened on the trigger. Hastily he moved away from the door, backing into a discarded pallet on the floor and losing his balance. Toppling backwards, Jim accidentally let loose a short burst of automatic fire which ripped into the old wooden door.

The deafeningly loud crack of gunfire was replaced by an eerie moment of silence in which Jim lay stunned on the pallet. With his carbine still smoking, his eyes were wide with horror as he stared at the door, waiting to see what would happen next..

07/03/2006 6:49 AM

his eyes were wide with horror as he stared at the door, waiting to see what would happen next..

The small wooden door swung open then, first slowly, then flying open at the last second as the bodies of the two children called Brother and Tierra leaned against it, trying to stop the fall that came shortly after...it was obvious that the little girl was gone, two shots to the head and one that cut the side of her neck, making her look like a sickening backwards marionette with her head hanging at a weird angle. The little girl was bunched up in the arms of an older boy and as as the boy fell to the floor the exit wounds showed clearly around his shoulderblade and thigh. He probably wouldn't make it. Something BIG was cowering in the corner, covering its ears.

The world had exploded! Bright lights and a bunch of sounds like his Toy, but faster. He knew what his Toy was for...Olan was afraid...but Brother would fix it, Brother would save him.

"Brawthur?" just then he looked at the door he'd almost opened and saw it fall open, with Brother and Sissy leaned over...they hit the floor with a thud and Olan was scared again. He hid in the corner... He had to get Sissy...he couldn't hide anymore. He had to fix it now...

"Brawthur, I's tayke Sissssy. Give Sissssy..." he walked out to the door and looked down at Brother and Tierra, bending low, then seeing the blood.
"...brawthur?..."then he knew, he understood, something was wrong...Brother couldn't be...he wasn't...
"dead" Olan whispered as he looked up and into the eyes and smoking barrel of the man accross the hall. Tears welled in deep set, skull-like eyes, a deformed jaw trembled like a chattering skull...Just then, The most primitive sound...the sound of pain, fear, rage, and loss all combined in the throat of this monster and escaped in deafening roar...

The behemoth had walked into the doorway and looked at the bodies, looking up into the eyes of the man holding a still smoking rifle. A skin covered skull roared its anger and with one hand on each side of the doorjamb, tore the wall from the front of the central office (putting walls between it and the men on either side of him that fell towards them both) and charged towards the murderer, a wistling sound coming from the giant's shaking hand and the sound of loose chain dragging the floor. The structure vibrated with each punding step as the monster approached, twirling death above his head and coming in fast.

07/03/2006 10:08 AM

The scene which enfolded before Jim seemed to happen so quickly that he barely had time to react. He would have screamed if he could, but when he opened his mouth no sound came out. The sickening images in the next few seconds would haunt him for the rest of his life.

A boy stumbled through the doorway, in his arms he held the body of a young girl probably the same age as Jim's own daughter, Lisa. The girl was obviously dead from bullet wounds to the head which had killed her instantly.

The boy staggered forwards, also badly wounded by Jim's gunfire. He slumped heavily on top of the girl, landing just outside of the doorway, with an ever growing pool of blood around them.

A dark silhouette of something huge emerged from inside the office. As it approached the doorway Jim quickly realised it was a man, but like no other that he had ever seen. The man was huge, with gaunt, skull-like features.

"[i][b]Hold fire!!![/b][/i]" screamed Jim at the top of his voice. He was referring to the man just as much as his comrades who stood not too far away at either side of him.

Raising long, powerful ape-like arms above his head, the giant man approached, looking like he was intent on smashing the life out of him.

Jim's thought suddenly switched to his own well being and that of the team and the mission. A part of him, his natural instinct to survive, felt the urge to fire at the man to save himself from being crushed. Reaching his finger towards the trigger his eye caught a glimpse of the bodies laying between them. He couldn't do it.

Raising his carbine up towards his own shoulder, Jim rolled off the wooden pallet and along the ground to his left. With the agility that only a man moving to save his own skin could perform, he sprang t his feet and ran blindly towards where Jonas had been standing.

07/05/2006 9:00 PM

Jonas watched in silenced amazement at the scene that unfolded. He'd been startled by the first report from Jim's gun, but as the room quieted, he was dismayed by the first sight.

[i]Children.[/i] As the young boy and girl fell out of the darkened room, a low gasp escaped his lips. He hadn't expected to find any survivors here, but they had. And, it seemed, they'd just killed them. It had been Jim behind the weapon, but Jonas felt the implications of it just the same.

Dismayed at the sight, he was all the more surprised at the appearance of the beast of a man. He instinctively raised his weapon, but held there at Jim's call. For what seemed a long moment, though it was probably only seconds, the scene was still. The behemoth appraised the situation before letting out a grief-stricken wail at what he saw. Jonas and his companions could only watch, stunned.

"My god..."

Just as quickly as the situation had gone awry, it got worse. The monstrous man made quick work of demolishing whatever he could find as he set his sights on Jim. The security chief reacted quickly, darting away from the beast to make his escape.

It was only a moment later that he registered that Jim was coming his way. His first instinct was to fire on the beast that meant to kill his comrade and friend, but Jim had already given the order, and had made a point of following it himself. With that in mind, Jonas took two stiff steps back, turning his back to the behemoth, and scrambled to a run as Jim came even with him.

"Just what in the blue hell do we do with that?"

[Edited by Unbeliever on Wednesday, July 5, 2006 9:55 PM]

07/06/2006 7:54 AM

Following every few feet traveled with the unconscious man on the travois, the underling stopped, ran back to cover their tracks and then resumed again. It was beginning to be a long process despite, the surrpising strength of the four-foot five inch caregiver.

[i] "It's a good thing we don't live too far away. I don't know how much longer I can keep this up...I see we are getting close though."[/i]

The underling puffed softly while large tawny hued eyes glanced back at their charge to make sure all was unchanged.
Henry lay on the travois motionless, with the exception of his chest which, was rising and falling, albeit weakly.

She was anxious for Mama to have a look at him and tell her what she thought. It wasn't often that someone survived the grips of the carnivorous plants in this area.

Siri was just about home when she heard a spattering sound. It was like rocks hitting a door.Then, the roar of a beast she knew all too well.

[i]~Olan!...~[/i] He was practically family. Something was very wrong...

She was sorely tempted to leave Henry to go and see what was happening but, she had to get him to Mama before anything. She had to let her know that she was alright.[i]" I'm coming Mama, I'm coming..."[/i]


Whilst the underling traveled closer, the old woman finished getting things in order and prepared for the imminent arrival of whomever would arrive first. The fact that the furs still remained untouched was a large indicator to her that something had happened and she was preparing for the absolute worst.

It was at that very moment that she heard a faint sound. Luckily her hearing was better than her eyesight.[i] *Pit...pat...rata tata...tata...*[/i] Which was soon followed by a terrible wail of anguish which the old woman recognized immediately.[i]~ The children! ~[/i] The old woman's mental scream never reached her wrinkled lips.

[i] "So wrong...so wrong...just children!"[/i]

Mama Bezoune began to tremble slightly in anticipation of her grief. She shook her head gently and lifted her wrinkled hand to her face where it slowly ran over her tired looking features. She wasn't pleased with this new development whatever it might bring. [i]~Why was it when the dwellers of the deep down under came up, there was always trouble?~ [/i]

The old woman really wished Siri would get back soon, so that she knew that she was alright. If she had been more mobile, she might have gone looking for them as she had when she was younger. But nowdays, she found she had less and less energy for traipsing through the wild jungle with it's wild flora and fauna.

[i]*I'm coming Mama, I'm coming...*[/i] She heard Siri's voice clearly in the distance and breathed a sigh of relief. Then sputtered all at once: [i]"Good heavens child! Where have you been? Did you feel the tremors? See anything out of place?... hear the gun shots and Olan?"[/i] Her voice was laced with worry and concern. [i]" And what are you dragging there with you?"[/i]

[Edited by Sway_Greenwitch on Thursday, July 6, 2006 8:00 AM]

[Edited by Sway_Greenwitch on Thursday, July 6, 2006 8:04 AM]

07/07/2006 6:40 PM

Screaming his rage yet again, Olan watched as what once was within reach darted away to the right and run away. Ollie wouldn't let him escape...He swung his heavy arm chains overhead and heaved this arms out in front of him. There was no way he could miss, He'd avenge Brother He'd...There was a loud clang and a heavy grating sound as Olan's chains wrapped themselves around an exposed rafter, the force of his swing caving the roof in on his head...

Olan lay whimpering under a pile of steel and plaster...

"I's sawwie...please, no mor boolets...please", Olan began to cry and found te strength to pull a hand up to his face as he fell to sobbing.

07/08/2006 3:39 AM

"Just what in the blue hell do we do with that?"

Jim didn't reply. While they ran he heard the swooshing of the huge metal chain behind him. Instinctively his shoulders clenched and his whole body tightened up, preparing himself for the inevitable impact which would finish him. Instead of the crippling blow he'd expected, there was a loud clang and then a heavy grating sound came from above them. [i]The roof?[/i]

Jim dived, rolling forwards until painfully colliding into a wooden crate. The grating sound above was quickly followed by another, this time much louder clash which filled the whole warehouse with a thick dust cloud.

Thankful of the respirator, Jim gingerly picked himself up after the commotion subsided and was pleasantly surprise to find his body still intact. In the darkness and all of the dust he could barely see anything. There was no sign of Jonas, or Victor, or the huge man who'd tried to kill him. Jim picked up his carbine up and took a couple of steps towards the office building, stopping when he heard a faint whimpering sound. Just a few steps away he saw a pile of rubble with a huge steel rafter protruding out. There was movement!

Jim hurried forwards and halted when he saw it was the huge man buried beneath.

"Victor! Jonas!" he called out.

07/08/2006 10:35 PM

Jonas wasn't sure how, but he managed to keep pace with his younger counterpart. He was prepared for the worst, but that sure as hell didn't mean he had any intention of experiencing it.

When the building shuddered, his heart dropped. There was no way they could make it out in time. It let out a pained groan all around them, the tremors of which shook his bones.

Jonas heaved himself to the right as the building finally gave. He grimaced and let out a harsh grunt as he hit the ground and rolled into a tight arrangement of boxes. He braced his weathered frame against the impact that was sure to come.

The roar of the building's collapse drowned out all thought. He could only close his eyes against it, his head tucked between his arms as the world shook around him.

When everything settled, he opened his eyes, a bit astonished to find two of the main supports had fallen into each other, and now gingerly held each other up. The fragments of the roof that could have fallen on his head, were instead deflected by the heavy girders.

"Victor! Jonas!" he called out.

With a hand on one of the nearby boxes, Jonas got to his feet. "I'm alright!" he yelled, in case the radio had been damaged. "Now I just need to get out of this mess," he muttered to himself, as he pulled himself onto a bit of the wreckage, his joints creaking in protest.

"Oh, quiet."

07/20/2006 2:19 PM

"I'm alright!"

Jim breathed a sigh of relief upon hearing Jonas was okay, but where on earth was Victor? Temporarily having to ignore the trapped giant, he made his way through the settling dust towards the direction where Victor had last been seen. Carefully picking his way through the rubble, he gasped in horror upon seeing the slumped body of his most trusted companion.

"Victor!" Jim ran over to crouch beside him. There was blood on his friend's temple where it appeared he had been struck by a piece of the falling concrete. His respirator had been knocked from it's snug fitting position on his face and both of the eye lenses were smashed, rendering it completely useless.

Jim carefully lifted up the man's wrist to check for a pulse. "Jonas, quick, get over here!" he screamed.

07/20/2006 3:03 PM

Shambling over the wreckage of the warehouse, Jonas swore to himself at the scene. Granted, the building's structure would have weakened over the years, but the shear strength it would have taken to bring it down was mind-boggling. What had happened to these people to make them this way?

He hadn't the time to put thought to that, though.

"Jonas, quick, get over here!"

At the call, he hurried in Jim's direction. His pace was slower than he would have liked, amounting to little more than a lope given the unsteady footing. He wound his way through the debris, somehow managing to miss the fallen giant entirely, before finding Jim.

He was hovering over Victor. Jonas could see the blood already, and the grim look on Jim's face. A knot developed in his stomach.

He slowed as he approached. Victor lay still, but given the dust and debris, Jonas couldn't tell if he was breathing. In a grim, dutiful voice, he asked, "Is he gone?"

07/22/2006 5:26 PM

"Is he gone?"

"He's alive," confirmed Jim with a little more steadiness returning to his voice. "The bleeding doesn't seem too bad, but we probably shouldn't move him just in case he has neck or spinal injuries. His respirator done for, let's just prey the air here isn't harmful..."

The tragic events which had happened over the last few minutes had clearly taken their toll on the Lieutenant who's hands were visibly shaking. Hovering above Victor he looked uncertain of what to do next. In less than an hour on the surface the vital mission on which so many lives depended on was a risk of becoming a complete disaster.

"Keep an eye on him, I'm going to check on that big fellow, I think he's still alive half buried under the rubble," Jim stood up and quickly scurried off into the still settling dust cloud leaving Jonas alone with Victor.

08/04/2006 11:49 AM

Jonas took Jim's place next to Victor. While he was glad to here the security officer was alive, he felt ill at ease next to the unconcious man. He's only taken a preliminary first-aid class for his engineer work, and had no idea how to help the man in these environs. It was strange, just crouching over this man that he would have marked the most fit among them for their mission. To see him so helpless was unnerving.

It only served to remind him of everyone back at the bunker, who would only become more helpless if they didn't manage to find some way to repair the filtration system. Considering their plight now, it wasn't looking good. He only hoped Shane, Henry, and Liara were faring better.

08/25/2006 2:15 PM

Jim hurriedly made his way back towards the mound of rubble under which the giant was partially buried. The whimpering had stopped now but Jim could hear the big man's rasping breath as he struggled against the weight pressing down on him.

Stricken with guilt, Jim had no option but to try to help the poor creature. Doubting he would have the strength or heart to try to fight, Jim got down and began shifting the huge chunks of concrete to release him. As soon as he took some of the strain from the largest piece which had him trapped, the big man shuffled around onto his back and assisted in pushing it to one side just giving him enough room to squeeze free.

08/27/2006 10:22 AM

Shane shook his head slowly. At first, he didn't remember anything, and then he felt a weight at the base of his skull, and all of his memories came flooding back. Feeling behind his head, he slowly felt, then grasped, the large tree limb that had struck him from behind. Right now the object was resting quite comfortably on the back of his neck, but fortunately Shane knew that he was safe from spinal or head injury. Forcing the branch off of him with a twist of his body and a shove of the arm, he slowly rose to a kneeling position.

A wave of nausea and weakness almost knocked him out again. Fighting for consciousness, Shane dropped to all fours. Inhaling deeply, Shane pushed himself up, wobbly, but up, into a standing position. Standing still, he took stock of his situation. He still had his respirator, and his briefcase was more or less fully intact, but his suit was another story.

A large gash in the suit, and a little bit of skin, had been taken with the branch when he had moved it off of the back of his neck. There were numerous other tiny tears and holes in the suit were present from when he had dropped to the ground. [i]Suit integrity zero[/i] Shane thought to himself. [i]And if my readings are correct, Im screwed[/i]. Shane shook himself. He knew that if his readings were correct, he'd be dead already, so what did this mean?

Checking his hands, (partially to assure himself that there were no extra digits attached to them) and then his arms, then patting himself securely at his sides, he picked up his briefcase and was shaken by a startling boom and a large cloud of smoke, about a quarter of a mile away. Thinking of Jim and his team, then remembering Henry, Shane took off in the direction of the smoke cloud, hoping everything was alright.

[Edited by Diabloslayer52 on Sunday, August 27, 2006 10:23 AM]

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