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Everything posted by SalmonMax

  1. "Hey, I never said I wasn't into it," Roach replied. She waved a hand at Evelyn and plopped down on a nearby chair. "Normally, chin-operated lights would be freaky, but the bar's been raised. Lightning hitting altars in mineshafts, evil books disappearing...weird creepy vibes like we're being watched all the time..." She leaned her head back against the back and shut her eyes. "Too much crazy in my life right now. Just someone, anyone, tell me what this is all about?"
  2. "Okay, one...I didn't LOSE it," Roach retorted. "It VANISHED. I had it, then it was gone. And two...I thought there was something off about this whole thing! I would say I hated to tell you so, but I think we ALL know that's a huge lie. I LOVE telling you I told you so." She thought for a second and shrugged. "Even though, I think in this case I didn't actually TELL you so, per se. It's the thought that counts. Anyway! This whole thing was just pumping us for info about the damn book, wasn't it? And the whole...altar of greyskull thing."
  3. Shayuri ducked down and somersaulted forward in time to let the blast from the robot howl over her and impact on the ground beyond as she nimbly leapt back to her feet. "This is going to take forever at this rate," she muttered as she put her hands together. "And I have better things to do with my time." Her fingers interlocked, then quickly made a series of rapid-fire, complex gestures. Immediately those that could sense chi felt a pulse of power from within her; like the distant rumble of a torrent that follows the opening of floodgates. She flung back her cloak, throwing it to the ground. Under it Shayuri wore a suit of armor crafted of overlapping scales that seemed like metal, but of an almost organic sheen, not metallic at all. The Dragon-Sage tugged at releases woven into the sleeves, and the ties that held the scale mail together loosened. ...and just in time. Shayuri was beginning to grow. Within seconds she was towering over what she had been. Her armor swiftly discarded even as black and red plated scales formed all over her body. Her hair was replaced by scales and her horns grew significantly, arching back and out from her forehead. A long, powerful tail took shape swishing behind her...and she opened wings that rose high up over her shoulders, dark and batlike and colossal. Her eyes gleamed with a hellish yellow-orange light...and a similar light burned in her chest, leaking out from between the armored plates that had taken shape there. The light throbbed with each beat of her heart. Then Shayuri opened her mouth impossibly wide, like a snake's unhinged jaw, and the glow from within her could be seen down her gullet as well. She inhaled and the light of dragonfire grew brighter and brighter until it was nearly too much to look at... She exhaled. A wave of unnaturally intense flame roared out from Shayuri, washing over the ranks of robots to her right, cracking the concrete and heating the metal of their hulls to a livid yellow-white, like steel in a forge. She then turned to her left and inhaled again. The ranks of robots to her left then found themselves likewise bathing in dragonfire as the smell of sulfur, burning vegetation and melting rock filled the air!
  4. The interruption to the training meant it wasn't actually time for her bridge shift to start yet, but Anri wasn't scheduled to be anywhere else either. After a second to chew on it, she decided to head to the bridge early. She wouldn't have a place to sit before the other science officer on duty left, but it would mean she was up to speed when it was time to take over. Not technically a regulation move, but she was satisfied in her reasoning and if command staff had a problem with it they'd just tell her to leave. She just missed Parker and Chen going into the turbolift, and took the next car up. When she got to the bridge Anri glanced around to see if there were any empty seats, then stood by the door, out of the way in case anyone else was coming up.
  5. "Jesus," Rachel blurted on seeing the operation of the drive. "That...we are going to have to do so much math to figure that out. Whatever it's using to keep the ship from just falling into the singularity isn't merging the frames of reference. That shouldn't even be possible, and...and this engine is exactly why. It's practically a perpetual motion machine." She shook her head. "And we've got no idea how to stop it, as it takes us halfway across the goddamn universe." On some level Rachel was aware she should be a lot more scared and angry than she was, but she had already dealt with the idea that Earth was probably long gone way back when they'd first gotten dragged out to the alien ship. Nothing had fundamentally changed about that now. The scale of the dragging maybe...but to her way of thinking that just meant it was even more imperative that she figure out how to tame this ship. If she did, then Earth and much more would be at their fingertips. Fail, and the crew would be at the mercy of forces outside their comprehension or control. "Is it weird that I'm kind of into this?" she asked, and glanced at Yseult with a wry grin.
  6. "Yeah, I'm with her," Ariel said, nodding at Deer-Stalker. "We had constant attacks over on this side, like someone knew you were gone. At first they put in some effort to look human. Later on...not so much." The memory of her own embarrassment on the first attack still felt fresh even after three days, and she couldn't help but feel a little bitter that the others had had what was starting to sound like some kind of vacation while the caern was threatened. She looked at Micki pointedly. "So...please tell us that whatever you found, or discovered over there was worth it."
  7. THank you so much for doing that tally, Mala!
  8. "Hank!" shouted Roach. "No no no. You guys don't understand. We don't have to buy fireworks this year. We can totally DIY it. I have been reading up." "Some cardboard tubes...a few chemical compounds in the correct proportions...and a WHOLE LOTTA BLACK POWDER." She wiggled her hips in an impromptu dance move. "It's all about the molds, turns out. You mix it all up, get it wet, put it in a mold and let it dry... I think we could get multistage skyrockets going. Like, solid-fuel rockets for the lift, then have, like...a couple of molds as payload...just gotta work on the timing." "Anyway, as much as I could go on all night about explosives, were we going to do spoooopy stories or something?"
  9. Kitsune's self-back-patting over how she'd solved the problem of the panicking crowds was interrupted by an unearthly bellow from the sea. A stark and very unwelcome reminder that the real problem here was not dealt with yet. Slowly, unwillingly, Sachi turned around to look at the monstrous thing and couldn't help but feel absolutely dwarfed. What the hell was SHE going to do to THAT? Her images were just that: Images. Fancy lightshows. And the homemade gear she'd managed to bring with her was designed to work on PEOPLE. Shooting a mountain like that would be about as effective as shooting...well...a MOUNTAIN. Even so, she couldn't just run the other way. The others would never let her live it down. So Kitsune ran down the streets a bit to get a better bead on the mossy tower, and concentrated HARD on her powers, coaxing a spray of photons to explode from the atoms in the air in very precise wavelengths and intensities. Similar bursts of infrared light caused pockets of heat in the air, causing it to expand and create sounds as well...and THAT had been a hard trick to pick up. All around the mass of moss there was a flurry of fireworks explosions...blinding flashes and bursts of light that sent sparks of red and blue and violet everywhere in their wakes. Accompanied by BOOMS and THUDS and crackles. It was like the final display of the biggest fireworks shows someone could see...the kind they set off over Central Park, or the Great Lakes. Blinding. Deafening. The creature reached up and swept an enormous arm through the images, and the change in air currents made distortions in them that almost immediately stabilized. So it stomped forward then...apparently completely unhindered by the display. Kitsune felt a sinking feeling in her gut as she realized she had no idea how this thing saw, or heard. Maybe it used totally different wavelengths. Maybe it used vibrations conducted through the ground. It was so...alien...who even knew?! The only thing she realized with clarity was that it was moving again. Directly towards her. As if it could tell she was responsible for the annoying images around it...and had decided to make them stop. Now she could run the other way.
  10. Anri taps her commbadge and opens her own line to the ship. "Odyssey, this is Lieutenant Jelal, acting on orders from Commander Idrudor. Bring the ship to one hundred meters from us and make the following changes to your shield harmonics." She squinted slightly at the engineering display, set to show details of the subspace envelope of its shields. Using her PAD, Anri sent a diagram of the anti-harmonic specifications that would 'cancel' those out. "Then extend the forward shields to include this ship. And have someone ready to transport us all out immediately once our shields fail."
  11. "That's why I'm suggesting this," Anri replied tersely. "Every other solution to the shield problem involves several minutes at the very least. Overloading the shields will take seconds. I can upload the data from here, then all they have to do is configure the deflectors and activate them. If they're standing by at the transporter...they could bring everyone back immediately once the shields are offline. It's the fastest solution I can think of."
  12. Lieutenant Jelal didn't waste time going to the two survivors, and not just because the thought of what that pinned man's innards might look like made her stomach gurgle uneasily. It was because she knew the fastest, best way to save the life of that injured man was to get him back onto the Odyssey. The shields had to be lowered. "A lack of gravity may be why he's survived this long," Anri said. "Commander, I'm going to see what we can do about the shields," she said as she found one of the few consoles that wasn't burned out or flickering spastically. "Let me know if you need me, but I think this is our best bet for bringing everyone home safely." The engineering LCARS terminal was functioning, but Anri could tell that something else was damaged deeper in the computers. It was sluggish to respond, and sometimes needed several tries to make a command work. Partial break in one of the data trunks, maybe. Or disruptions in the main computer core from fluctuations in the processing enhancement subspace field. Even so, she managed to bring up a diagnostic report. The results were staggeringly not good. The data linkages between engineering and shield control were severed by damage. It meant she couldn't just turn the shields off from here...and because they were a secure tactical subsystem, they couldn't be powered down without an authorized ship ID. So. In theory, they could use Starfleet emergency bypass authorization, but that would require time and she had serious doubts that this limping, wounded computer would recognize the codes as valid. She could jump into a Jefferies Tube, find the point of severance and connect to the data trunk from there, sending the command to deactivate the shields directly. Anri was no engineer though, and navigating those maintenance tunnels looking for something she'd only physically seen in training scenarios was a daunting thought. If they had EVA gear they could have someone do a point-to-point transport to the main deflector array dish and manually shut it down...but that was a nonstarter. They would have had to have planned for that prior to launching the mission to realistically make it work now. ...the shields were damaged though. Badly damaged. They'd fail on their own in another ten, fifteen minutes tops. In that condition, maybe the best way to lower them was just to force them down. Overload the entire array. A phaser blast could do it, but that would obviously not be ideal if they wanted survivors. But it didn't have to be a phaser. Any release of energy that interacted with the subspace field created by the shield array would work. Even if it was harmless to the crew. "Commander," she said, glancing over at the medic. "It's going to take too long to get the shields offline unless we overload the generators. Odyssey can come in closer and use its own deflectors to generate an inverse-phase field that overlaps this ship. These shields are so damaged, they'll burn out trying to fight it. I can send them what they need to generate the field, I just need you to give the order."
  13. Ariel had to run away, so I was waiting on that to wear off. ...which isn't much of an excuse, admittedly. I should have posted something for her. Just kind of hard to get the gumption to write a post about bravely running away. Sorry about that.
  14. "Robots, hmm? We'll see about that." Shayuri stepped forward and flung her cloak back from her shoulders, freeing her arms. Her fingers twirled in a complex dance before her, locking, loosing, locking again in a rapid series of signs. In the air before her a circle appeared, drawn in midair by blue-white light. She spoke then, in a loud, commanding voice that rolled over the field...carrying far longer than it had any right to. The language was rough sounding, maybe a little like German. As she incanted, runes appeared within the circle, one by one. Once the inner ring was filled with runes the entire array flashed brightly and erupted into a horizontal stroke of lightning that painted the entire battalion of robots in livid black and white for a camera-flash instant. It struck one of the larger robots squarely, and immediately the target was enveloped by an oval of translucent blue light. The two energies writhed and snapped at each other, and finally the lightning lanced through and licked over the robot's armored hull, drawing a blackened line down it. The dragon-sage swore under her breath. "All right then, the big ones have some kind of force field. Good to know!"
  15. Or Not sure yet on the pic...one of these, or maybe I'll find one I like better. Name: Anri Jelal Species: Trill (unjoined) Department: Science Rank: Lieutenant Background: Even from when she was young, Anri was 'groomed' for the Joining. Her father put her to bed with stories about the honor of it all, and how wonderful it was. She learned that her uncle, his brother, had been joined. So from early on she was challenged, and challenged herself, to excel scholastically. Her top of the class graduated won her a place at the prestigious Trill Science Ministry itself, where she conducted her thesis publication on studying the effects of persistent warp fields and subspace distortions on geological strata. Once that was done she submitted her application to become an Initiate for consideration for Joining, and was accepted. Unfortunately, after a grueling period of trials, she was not selected for the Joining. This was devastating for Anri, and in the end she decided to seek her fortune off-world, hoping to put the whole affair behind her. She enlisted with Starfleet, using her rather impressive resume of accomplishments and schooling to earn an advanced placement following the completion of an introductory training program. Her posting to the Odyssey is her first field assignment following an abbreviated term at Deep Space 5. Aspects Mental - Ad: Meticulous (good at catching errors), Creative, Scientific-Minded, Tenacious - Disad: Driven, Squeamish Social - Ad: Attractive - Disad: Defensive Physical - Ad: Athletic - Disad Skills - Ad: Astrophysics, Subspace Physics, Geology, Self Defense, Swimming, Public Speaking - Disad: Diplomacy, Games (any kind), Medicine Perks - Ad - Disad Training - Ad: Subspace Anomalies, Cloak and Phase Technology - Disad: Isolated Career
  16. "My ability to fly is a little limited," Shayuri admits, "but I've picked up a number of useful tricks. For example...if you have a good map and can mark where we are, and where we're going, I may be able to just teleport us there." "Or...or your ship! Even better! We can go straight there, then all ride in your ship!"
  17. Shayuri opened her mouth to argue, but paused to watch the image Dende conjured up. Her brows furrowed slightly as she took it in... Then she shook her head. "That's...interesting. But no, I know the situation with dragons. However, there is substantial evidence to indicate they may be devolved from visitors from other universes, a long time ago. Several ancient civilizations independently describe...in somewhat fanciful terms...highly advanced, highly intelligence dragon-like beings with incredible powers that visited them. Sometimes even more than once. They left behind myths, and legends, and...in some cases either left artifacts or inspired native humans to create artifacts in their honor. Or...sometimes out of fear." She held up a finger, then pointed at the image in the air. "But that is also very interesting. I would love to discuss this with you more sometime. It could go a long way to resolving some long-standing questions..." Abruptly realizing that everyone was waiting on her, she quickly cleared her throat and straightened her shoulders. "Having said that, artifact recovery is something of a specialty of mine. I'll help find and retrieve these dragonballs in exchange for an opportunity to talk about this 'eternal dragon' with you once we return with them."
  18. "Nope." Roach shook her head adamantly. "We can't do that, Ev. See...we don't tell ghost stories. We make them." She grinned. "We can start with the sordid tale of the Horror at the Forest Cabin. You'll love it. It has all the ingredients. Unsupervised teenagers...remote location...strange and sinister happenings...and of course...murder..." Rochelle let that hang for a few seconds, then tossed her hands up. "Or threats of murder anyway. Directed at us. By the victims. The usual. Oh, right, staying over? Let me check with my folks." She took her phone out of her pocket and held it up to her ear without bothering to pretend to dial. "Hey, can I stay over at a total stranger's house tonight? I dunno, it's a big place, they probably have room...they mentioned some kind of sex dungeon? I'm sure it's fine. Cool, thanks, bye." "Yeah, seems good," Roach concluded as she put the phone away again. "Thanks!"
  19. Shayuri watched skeptically, her mouth curved into a disapproving frown. "I don't know who you are," she began, "but I am going to need more to go on than your word for this. I sincerely doubt there are powerful artifacts called 'dragonballs' out there in the world. If there were, I'd have heard of them." With a touch of drama, she flung back her hood and swept her cloak out to the sides away from her. She had long, pointed ears with gold piercings, a pair of short, sharp horns sweeping up from her head out of her long red braided hair, and a spattering of red scales along each cheekbone. A pair of small reptilian wings poked out from under the cloak as she moved it out of the way. She was clad in furs draped over some kind of armor crafted from overlapping burnished copper-red scales. "I am Shayuri, the Dragon-Sage. I have traveled the wide world for years now, seeking every scrap of lore, every lost writing and artifact, about the ancient and noble dragons." Her gleaming gold eyes fixed on Dende suspiciously. "...and never once have I heard even a whisper of 'dragonballs.' If these things are real, as you claim, then I will of course join an expedition to recover them."
  20. Name: Shayuri Species: Human-Dragon Hybrid Affiliation: Independent Appearance Background
  21. "Oh, that one's easy," Roach said. "Did you ever see Mad Max? Fury Road? It's kind of like that, but without the lucid, rational storyline. Stick with us though, we'll make sure you get in with Bartertown. You can exchange your shinies for bullets and fuel, maybe do a round or two in the Thunderdome." "Got any silver spray paint?" At the dirty look Quinn shot her way, Rochelle spread her hands. "What? They'll need to get witnessed if they want to ride to Valhalla." She pantomimed spraying her mouth and then made a comically fierce grimace. "Rrrrr!"
  22. Meanwhile... Egypt - Catacombs under the Temple of Hibis North of Kharga Stone grated over stone as the walls slid apart again in the passage ahead of Shayuri and the three men who'd dared come this far with her. Locals, all of them, swarthy and swathed in desert clothes and scarves. They were rough customers, but Shayuri had looked for over week in more reputable quarters for local help and come up dry. The fact was that this expedition under the Temple wasn't sanctioned and was therefore either dangerous or futile or both...and regardless was illegal. That limited one's options. They were steady though at least. The other one had taken off running after the first trap had nearly killed them. This one was the fifth. "That's good news," said Shayuri as she pulled the now-crushed staff that she'd used to trigger the trap at a distance back. She had her hood up and a cloth mask protected her mouth and nose from dust and fumes. As such she looked almost normal, save the strange yellow-amber of her eyes. "Traps mean we're on the right path." The three men glanced at each other, and one said, "It also means it's more dangerous. More danger...more money." Shayuri grinned under her mask. "You want money, earn it. You and you, go to the carvings on the wall. The crocodile on the left, and the heron on the right. There should be release switches hidden in them. Hold those down until the rest of us are through, then I'll disarm it on the far end and you can join us." With a wordless glance at each other and her, the two moved to heed her instructions; the carvings were just short of the trigger plate for the crushing mechanism and though they put a brave face on, sweat beaded on their foreheads despite the subterranean cool. The demonstration of that trap had been visceral. It was all too easy to imagine one's body between the stone plates. Minutes later though they were all through, and there was just one obstacle to go...a deep chasm, across which was a wall of sandstone bricks, with an archway lined by hieroglyphs that led further in, with a chamber visible beyond. The anchor points for a bridge were visible, but the actual bridge had long since collapsed, leaving only a good twenty foot gap. The three henchmen swore quietly and started looking through their backpacks. "Do you have rope left?" "...no, I used it to pull that wheel thing..." "...what if we get the boards from the passage that led down here from the..." "Gentlemen," Shayuri interrupted. She held out her hands. "Come here please. We're too close to be stopped now. Take my hands." They hesitated, but when one of them stepped forward to take hold, the others followed suit. She started speaking in an unearthly language none of them recognized. Not English, not Arabic or anything else. The syllables were gutteral, alien. One of them yanked his hands free and barked, "No! Stop! What are you doing?!" There was a sound like a whipcrack then, or a peal of thunder. Glowing lines traced out geometric patterns that bent and twisted, and something like letters that no human hand had ever written. Dust and something like steam plumed up around Shayuri for a moment...and when it had passed, they were gone. On the far side of the gorge they appeared in similar fashion. The other two quickly let go and backed away, eyes wide. Shayuri looked back at the one left behind and called, "Don't worry. We'll be back shortly. Stay if you like, or head back." With a motion of her head, she added, "Come on, you two." They moved further in and entered a large open chamber with a high ceiling covered in frescoes who's colors had faded with age, but could still be made out. Stones were arranged in semicircular rows around a central altar; a raised platform with some kind of shrine atop it. And in the shrine... A stone. Almost like an absurdedly large pearl or opal perhaps...the size of a grown man's fist and perfectly round. Its surface shimmered with colors seen and unseen when light struck its surface. "That's it," Shayuri said hungrily. "The eye of Hibis...it was here all along. They just had to go deeper..." She took a breath. "All right, from what I've read, it's not meant to come out of that, so we'll have to break the altar open. You still have your crowbars, yes? We'll..." She paused and looked back. The metallic clicking sound, it turned out, was what it had sounded like. The actions on automatic pistols. Her henchmen smirked. "No. We have done enough. You break it open, then we will take the eye from here." Shayuri rolled her eyes and planted her fists on her hips. "Really?" she demanded. "And how are you planning to get back across the gap back there? If you were going to make your move, this wasn't the right time, guys! You should have waited until you were back with that other guy...and were back across...so you had your full force, and weren't dependent on me for anything. Ugh." She buried her face in her hand for a second and shook her head. "All right. Well you should know that I've spent a very long time looking for this, and I'm not letting ANYTHING get in my way," she warned then. "Hi." The voice was something new, belonging to none of them. Shay spun around, startled, and spotted a short, rotund man in weirdly stereotypical Persian attire...colorful vest and baggy pants...with skin that was so dark it looked actually black, like the night sky. Round, white eyes were fixed on her unerringly. "The Guardian of Earth wishes to speak with you about a matter of great importance," he explained nonsensically, in a deadpan voice that betrayed nothing. Shayuri looked from him back to her traitorous minions...who both had bug-eyed shocked expressions...then back to the...the genie? He was even standing on a carpet. As much as she was tempted to simply ignore him, some instinct caused her to at least act like she was taking him seriously. "Can...it wait just a moment?" she asked. "I'm kind of in the middle of something h..." "...No," was the immediate response, and the genie reached out to touch her without any fanfare or hesitation. ... And suddenly the subterranean gloom was a riot of light and color! Shayuri yelped in surprise and covered her sensitive eyes, stumbling away from the bizarre creature that had...what had he done?! "Who ARE you?!" she demanded, squinting between her fingers as she looked wildly around. "Where have you taken me?! Take me back at once! You have no IDEA what you've done!" Then Shayuri realized she wasn't alone here. Two others were looking at her quizzically. She did her best to regain some dignity, straightening up and squaring her shoulder. Still clad in a tan tunic and breeches, with a darker brown hooded cloak, worn leather gloves, and a white mask over the lower half of her face there was relatively little of her that could be seen other than that she was fairly tall and slim. She cleared her throat. "Are either of you responsible for me being here?" Shayuri asked, doing her best to sound polite despite her growing impatience. "If so, I'd be happy to talk in a minute or two if you could send me back briefly. I...was just doing something incredibly important."
  23. Hmm. What would be cooler? An engineer or a science officer? I'm a little torn!
  24. On seeing the fomori, Ariel suddenly felt something freeze inside her as conflicting instincts went to war. Draw her gun and warn them to stand down? Change into a giant monster and murder? Draw her gun? Murder? The sudden appearance of her packmate was almost a guilty relief as the thought that maybe she would just kill them all herself and spare Ariel the conundrum flickered across her mind. But no...this wasn't something that would just go away. If she didn't have to deal with it today, it would be tomorrow. And next time there might be a whole lot worse than a handful of Fomori. One of the fomors spotted Ariel standing there and seized the moment she'd squandered. He ran to her, arm tilted back to deliver a lethal knife blow before this witless werewolf could change! He felt the impact of the blade in flesh down to bone and shrieked in bloodlust and glee... ...the glee almost immediately winked out though as he realized he was too late. The knife had bitten into Ariel's left hand...but it could no longer remotely be called a human hand. Elongated fingers tipped with black, curved talons flexed. He could see the working of muscle and tendons too tough for a knife to do more than scratch under tough, bristly skin. The fomor yanked his knife out and desperately lunged to try to capitalize on whatever opening Ariel had given him... This time she caught his wrist and held him still, the knife never getting close. With a snarling, bloodcurdling noise that was somewhere between a howl and a roar, the creature Ariel had become put her claws to the fomor's collarbone, and ripped downward. Murder it was then.
  25. "Never seen a script like that before," Deezy remarked absently as she recorded the mural, making special care to get the 'writing' at the bottom. "You can see it has grammar. Need to find something that has it paired with a terrestrial language though...or a bigger sample maybe..." She glanced up at the rest of the mural. "Feels a little appropriate though, that kind of image on a passage. Line of folks, gifts in hand, waiting to see some kind of king figure. Almost like instructions." Deezy nodded at Emily. "Okay, got it. We can move on now. Let the water back in slowly, not all at once okay?" Emily gave Deezy a wry look...as if she was going to crush them all as water imploded on them...and with a gesture allowed the water to swirl back into the bubble she'd made. It filled gently, and finally they were all buoyant again. Deezy gestured up the passage and started swimming along it again.
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