Animus Veritas: Humanity's Last Home

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  1. "Throw your dreams into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back: A new life, a new friend, a new love, a new country." -Anaïs Nin.


    Five days ago, the Animus Veritas has commissioned a military outpost on Alvalossa. The first of its kind, it was meant only to be a temporary settlement to search for an abandoned vessel. It was found yesterday, and a scouting team of two was sent inside to investigate and acquire the core if possible. One hour ago, we lost contact with that scouting team, with their audio logs published on public records for volunteers to step forward to form a rescue squad. It took only fifteen minutes to assemble names from list brimming with hopeful souls, and equip them before rushing them to the core. Only people currently near the core of the ship were selected, to allow for the fastest possible deployment times.

    At the core, the volunteers selected were each given a list detailing their expected role in the squad. As well, they were each given a badge representing their squad: A three striped background with a yellow-green-yellow pattern, with a bright eyed salamander over-top of the background. This was to identify them from other squads, should they find themselves looking for unfamiliar faces: The salamander would identify them to each other. It was a simple pin-badge they could wear either on their shoulder or on their chest.

    Moments later, a large portal appeared that showed a foreign looking planet from their own desert world. Veritas then politely reminded them to put on their gas masks and wished them luck before instructing them to step through the portal to their mission briefing...

    Alvalossa - Planning Phase

    Upon reaching the jungle-marsh planet, the first thing everyone would immediately feel is their weight decreasing slightly: Despite it looking similar to Earth, it seemed all of them had stepped onto a planet with a lower overall mass than that of Earth. Despite this, the relative air pressure outside was suitable enough for them to feel comfortable. Still, the military outpost had cleared enough jungle to create a short perimeter between itself and the surrounding area, save for the occasional tree within the compound. Simple tents lined the interior, with tanks using mean looking plasma cannons patrolling around the fences. All in all, highly secured and alert to possible intruders. At the centre of the outpost was an especially large tent, and inside was a man in a blue coat. Some of the group would have likely met him--and possibly even drink with him--at least once: One of the best tank commanders in Animus Veritas.

    Marcus straightens out his blue coat and motions to the side of his head, where each member of Salamander Squad would likely have a communicator/radio they could use to talk to him and members of Animus Veritas. "The air here makes it hard to hear through the gas masks when out in the great outdoors. Plus, comm check. Tap tap, and all that good Techie nonsense. Never seen these things go haywire but, hey, first time for everything." Marcus states with a grin as he motions to a map on a table in front of himself. It seemed to be of the crashed ship, though it was only partially complete. It seemed likely that Veritas had mapped the path the communicators took as they searched the ship. "There's seventeen of you? Good, perfect number for splitting up into three groups! We'll be sending five tanks with you, I'd encourage you to ride on them until you reach your scenic destination of a dead ship covered in trees. Yes, you heard me: Covered in trees, as in, the trees are growing on the ship, and apparently some roots are inside the ship's interior." He taps the map, and a three dimensional holographic projection appears of the incomplete design. Marcus' eyes almost seemed to light up with a childlike sense of glee as he stepped around the table so they could see both him and the hologram clearly.

    "You can enter the ship here, where the original scouting team of two cut a hole into the interior with plasma torches. Behind this hole is a service shaft going up and down the ship, allowing you to access any deck from that location. Convenient, huh?" He chuckles and sits on the table, continuing to point out individual points on the three dimensional map. "We've narrowed down the location of the missing woman, Egidia Fullcrum. She is either on the middle or upper decks, in one of these two rooms." He motions to a pair of rooms: The upper room looked like crew quarters, the middle room looked like a cargo hold. "It should only take you a few minutes to get there once you enter the ship. Keep in mind that the middle deck is where her communicator is. The upper deck is where we detected her last transmission. Her last transmission was roughly an hour ago, the transmitter last moved roughly forty five minutes ago. Both trails are cold, but that's the best we can offer." A look of disappointment crosses his eyes before he takes a deep breath and points to the lower decks, to a large room that looked to be surrounding a large, spherical object. "The component the two were looking for is located here. I would like for a third team to retrieve that component. It's a server of some sort. I don't understand the specifics, just that the ship needs is badly enough for me to mention sending a third team in there while going on a search and rescue mission, so it's gotta be important, you know?"

    He clears his throat and stands up straight. Leaving the holographic map open, he motions to three people standing a few feet to his left, who each stepped forward as he mentioned them by name. "Here are three other people, from the outpost here, who will accompany you. Let me introduce you if you haven't met them before: Katrina Molnya is a mechanic and a genius with technology." Katrina waves and smiles, adjusting her gas mask uncomfortably before waving a second time. She carried a small laser rifle, but seemed more comfortable carrying the myriad of tools in the toolkit on her back. Marcus motions to the second person in the line. "Zeetch Vanderfeld, my brother and a kindly medic, if you're into that sorta thing." Zeetch rolled his eyes but smiled nonetheless at Marcus' teasing tone, and stepped forward, bowing politely. Zeetch has a materializer box with him. Marcus motions to the last person in the line, a woman wearing grey metallic camouflage, carrying a heavy looking laser rifle. "Marietta Cowen, our local moody sharpshooter ghost chick. Has three confirmed kills against targets bigger than our tanks so far in her two day stay here." Marietta stepped forward, but remained silent and cold as she examined the people around. It seemed she was shy more-so than anything else.

    Marcus sits down on the edge of the table with the holographic map, the blue light from the map illuminated part of his face as he crossed his arms and looked at Salamander Squad with hope in his eyes. "It's up to you. We need a minimum of four of you searching the upper, middle, and lower decks respectively. I'll let all of you decide amongst yourselves what to do--but decide quickly. In the next five minutes, preferably, because every minute counts... No rush." He chuckles as Marietta Cowen motions to the map, speaking with a quiet, almost unassuming voice. "The lower decks are where they seemed to encounter the most problems. We should put the majority of our focus there, animals don't tend to wander far from their nest, so that's where we will logically encounter it again. Besides, as cold as this is to say, after forty five minutes of no movement, it's quite likely that the woman is dead." Zeetch shakes his head and looks to the group, his eyes lit up with sympathy at the difficulty of their choice, and his tone reflected that. "That woman has a name, it's Egidia Fullcrum. She needs our help, and that's why we are being sent in to begin with. The component can wait: We should send more people to look for Fullcrum, in case the creature hasn't decided to stop hunting Fullcrum and attacks whoever starts looking for her." Katrina merely shrugs and raises her hands: She wasn't getting involved in the decision making, and wasn't going to offer a suggestion here.

    Everyone in the tent was now looking at Salamander Squad: It was up to them, now.​
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  2. Alkazar stood there with his cybernetic mask fixed onto his face and his cybernetic parts beginning to recycle his air through ancillary systems. His techtacles flexed around him as he studied the display as Marcus gave the briefing. He almost snapped at Zeetch, only his enhancements removing the tone of contempt he had for a moment. "Forget the woman, she is non-critical. People can be replaced easily, all one has to do is the horizontal tango, wait nine months and commence training for eighteen years. Unlike the ship, it is irreplaceable. The component is all that really matters. What the Animus wants it gets." Despite the neutralising tone of his implants none could mistake the tone of awe and near total worship.

    He studied the hologram intensely. "As such I would request that Marietta join me in searching the lower decks for the critical components, I have the expertise and equipment to free the device from its housing." His gaze crossed everyone. "We serve the ship. Mere people can wait."
  3. Anthony placed a hand on his stomach feeling the sudden decrease in weight. It felt weird but he was fine, not too uncomfortable. Walking through the outpost, Anthony took note of the high security. It was a military outpost, he expected no less. Once the squad made their way into the large tent, Anthony’s posture would become more straight and proper. Anthony listened carefully making sure he understood everything that came from Marcus’ mouth. In short, three teams for three decks, two to search for Egidia, one for the component. Anthony wasn’t sure what he would want to do if he even had a choice.

    Anthony’s attention placed to Marcus as he motioned towards three people to his left that was to accompany the squad. Anthony waved after they were introduced. Zeetch he had known previously, not close enough to call his friend but they got along due to their similar attitudes. Katrina he probably only spoke to once if at all. She looked familiar but Anthony couldn’t quite recall if they had interacted before. Marietta, on the other hand, he had no idea who she was. It seemed she was skilled though, reliable.

    After suggestions were thrown back and forth between a few people, Anthony decided to speak up. He glanced over Marietta before his eyes locked onto the weird tentacle man, Alkazar. “We don’t have eighteen more years though, which is why we shouldn’t give up on Egidia.” He looked over to Marietta after saying the last bit. His voice had a nervous, meek tone to it but he made his opinion clear. “She’s useful, and frankly we need every last person we can get so Animus can survive. So I don’t think abandoning Egidia on the chance that she’s dead is a good idea, especially since there’s a chance she can be brought back even if she was.” Anthony held up his Materializer Box to further his point. If his role in the group wasn’t clear then it was now.

    Anthony took a breath. “I would like to search the middle deck. Egidia’s last transmission was in the upper deck, so it’s possible that afterwards she made her way to the middle and is holding out there currently.” Anthony eyed the squad, waiting for their decision.
  4. Kain
    Giant spiders and insects were to be expected. It appeared they had stepped off onto a fucking nightmare of a planet. Kain had dealt with as much before, big bugs, which is precisely why he was dismayed to face the sort again. Being eaten alive was by far one of the worse ways to go. If there was any redeeming facet to the mission that lay ahead it was at least they'd be escorted by those beastly hunks of metal Marcus commanded.

    Kain was silent as the commander explained things and introduced three more. All of them were people Kain knew but Marietta and Zeetch were more than just acquaintances. Zeetch had fixed him up a time or two and he had been on other assignments with Marietta, though as always she was too distant to truly know. Then Alkazar spoke up followed shortly thereafter by April. Both made a good point but Kain was far more inclined to agree with Alkazar.

    There was a kind of 'No one left behind policy' amung the warriors, at least when other warriors were concerned. In the thick of a fight you needed to know your brothers wouldn't turn tail and run if things got too heavy. You needed to know every soldier at your side would remain there until you all returned together. It had cost numbers before but everyone fought harder because of it, and Kain could guess in the end the policy had saved more lives than it had cost. As far as Kain was concerned however, that policy applied to warriors, and it applied to people in the fight at the moment. They were risking themselves on a chance the woman was still alive. A woman who had been on her own for some time now and in all likelihood was probably dead. Kain didn't think the policy should apply to corpses as well.

    "I'll go to the middle deck as well," Kain spoke with a frown, disapproving his own decision. "You brothers have fun, I'll be the babysitter this time" he addressed his fellow warriors, females and males both despite calling them all brothers. He rolled in shoulders in a stretch and looked to April. He had seen him a few times before, in fact he had seen nearly every face present at some point or another, but this would be the first time he worked with the majority of them. "Kain and Abel," he spoke musingly.
    #4 Atlas Child, May 4, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2015
  5. Varsel Crossford

    "All is not lost, Rolland. Communication was simply lost."
    "...That's just a toned-down way of saying he's been killed..."
    "Brother... you musn't digress. For all hope is not lost - the dead body has never confirmed despite Edgia's panic, and some of the finest medics shall be with us on our mission."
    "...So you're going, then?"
    "That is correct. In the name of our true God, Animus Veritas, I hereby swear I will do whatever I can to find him and bring him back alive."
    "...Varsel... you..."
    "It is time for me to depart. Stay in good health, brother - and try not to drink so much."

    ~ ~ ~
    As if the conversation was being replayed to him in an audiobook in his mind, Varsel remained still, his large and notably muscular body leaning over the table as he thought long and hard about the current situation. He'd made a promise back on the deck of his God, Animus, to attempt to bring back Derringer alive, and Edgia was also an extremely important part of this mission. Varsel had prayed whilst travelling here - and he was sure he was ready for this mission. With the Veritas Blade and his courage, he was sure with the correct teamwork, the job could be done quickly and easily. He would be the shield of a squad... and whilst he wanted to help the Animus Veritas by getting parts for the God, it was clear in his mind what needed to be done.

    Varsel's breathing was steady, and he turned around at the sound of the fellow worshipper's words. Human life wasn't important, apparently.

    Most would have thought Varsel too would have prioritised the Animus Veritas above finding survivors, but, although Varsel also worshipped Animus Veritas, he had a different philosophy to the techtacled male.
    "Alkazar... brother. Our Lord Animus is our saviour and we owe our lives to the sacred being... but I must disagree." Varsel said, his voice loud by nature and almost a little too well-spoken. "It is true our Lord Animus Veritas is our saviour, and at some point we must do our best to repay them, but if human life weren't a priority - why would the Animus Veritas risk its own life to protect us?" Varsel leant back, folding his arms, his breathing heavy inside his gas mask.

    "I believe that in order to please Lord Animus Veritas, recovering survivors would be the morally correct path. It is true we require the parts to save many, and I have no objections to focusing on parts. But, as our medic Anthony here suggested, we need every pair of hands. Therefore, both parts and survivors should have equal priority. That is my take on the situation."

    Varsel paused, closing his eyes and thinking for a moment, before opening his golden eyes once again.
    "I don't know if any of you are aware of this, but Derringer isn't a confirmed death." Despite some unsure looks from the crowd, Varsel continued. "I believe there is a chance Derringer is still alive. His transmitter may have become broken in the heat of the attack, and he could be holding on to life as we speak. I am aware that the chance of his death is high, but it is still worth the risk."

    Varsel mumbled to himself slightly, thinking hard about his desicion on where to go. He didn't care what other people thought of him - he'd been called crazy, a freak, the worshipper of a mere piece of extremely complex A.I., but that didn't matter. He always thought what the Animus Veritas would want him to do.

    "I shall go to the upper deck, and act as the shield of the upper deck squadron. I believe that the chances of Edgia being in the upper deck are the highest, and if Derringer were to be somewhere, I believe he would be in the upper deck also. It seems like a good place to suit my close-quarter abilities, too."
    Varsel paused, and turned to Zeetch with a light smile.
    "Zeetch, my brother... I respect your passion to find Edgia. I can see it in your eyes - every deck, especially lower, needs medical support. But unless you or any of my brothers or sisters have objections, I would like you to come with me in case Edgia or Derringer is found mortally injured. And whilst I will try my best not to be injured on the mission, your medical skills would be appreciated."

    Varsel was certainly a curious individual. For those who hadn't been with him on a mission before, it may be a wonder how he talked so much. And how he talked in general. But he made a promise; he planned to keep it.
    [ TL;DR: Varsel is going to the upper deck and requesting Zeetch to come with him. ]
    #5 Jakers, May 4, 2015
    Last edited: May 4, 2015
  6. Despite the quickly organized mission and the slightly disoriented move from Earth to Alvalossa, Kiera felt focused and ready to go. The gas mask was uncomfortable, and the colored pin on the left shoulder of her light blue jumpsuit was an unfamiliar and distracting weight, but she ignored them by focusing on her purpose for being there. She was finally doing something of significance to help Veritas, something more than petty repairs and finding scraps of a bygone age. There were obviously some dangerous things around, but that wasn't anything to worry about. The scouts hadn't been equipped for or expecting a fight and there had been only two of them, so it wasn't surprising that they'd been hurt and had to flee. Things would be undoubtedly different when a prepared team went in.

    Marcus' long explanation of the situation felt extremely tedious when balanced against her eagerness to get to work, but Kiera paid close attention to it as best she could. The clarification that their goal was a server came as a surprise: she had expected that the things Veritas needed were rare resources that couldn't be found or synthesized on Earth, some kind of metals for delicate structural work or fuel sources to keep the ship's systems running. At first she figured that maybe the server could have information on where to find such materials on it, but on second thought Kiera decided that the data itself could be the valued and necessary component. She was much better with the mechanical workings of technology than doing things with programming and the like, so it wouldn't be surprising at all if she was simply ignorant about how useful the server and its data could be.

    After the details were given and introductions were made for Katrina, Zeetch, and Marietta, Marcus laid out the plan to split up and people started debating the best course of action. Kiera knew Katrina fairly well, so she wasn't surprised the mechanic decided to let others do the talking. She'd seen the others around Animus Veritas, but none of them could even be called acquaintances really, so this was more or less her first impression of them. Marietta's pragmatic approach appealed to her, especially when contrasted with Zeetch's backwards thinking; Kiera knew Egidia and had spoken with the woman a few times, and she agreed that they should save her, but as far as she was concerned the primary objective of the mission was to secure that server for Veritas. It would be sad if they lost another person, but if the choice were between going after one or the other she would have picked the server without a moment's hesitation. Luckily for Egidia, there were plenty of people on hand to take care of both objectives at once, so there was no need to make such a harsh choice.

    After letting a handful of others make their thoughts known, she spoke up to secure her place in what she felt was the most important group. Those who worshiped Veritas as a god, despite her direct objections to such treatment, made Kiera distinctly uncomfortable so she simply sidestepped that whole mess and gave her own reasoning for the choice. "I'll go to the lower decks. It sounds like the place that could most use extra explosives, and you can never have too many Techies on hand for dealing with sensitive equipment like a server." Choice made, she stepped back to let others take their turn chattering on far too long about their own reasoning.

    Rather than bothering to listen closely to them, Kiera engaged the neural interface to her Materializer Box and envisioned what she wanted to make. Some generically useful explosives seemed the best bet rather than making specialty pieces before she knew she'd need them. She decided she'd set the box to make two high explosive fragmentation grenades, the kind that she knew how to make that were about half again as powerful as a normal one and took half again the time to make, and then five plain old run of the mill frag grenades after that. She couldn't be entirely sure they'd all be done before they got to the abandoned ship, since she wasn't sure how long the debating and travel would take, but at least she'd have a few on hand in case of immediate danger, and that would have to be good enough for now.
  7. Steven Jones and S.A.L.U.S.

    While the rest of the volunteers were offering their services, Steven was putting the finishing touches on a modification to his headset. During the prep time before this meeting, he'd taken the frequency they were using and programmed it into the device on his left forearm, an old piece of tech that looked like a tablet with rounded edges. After a few more button presses and a moment waiting for Kiera to finish signing up for the device retrieval team, a click was heard on everyone's headset followed by an introduction.

    "Greetings, fellow volunteers. I am the S.A.L.U.S. Technician Assistant Virtual Intelligence, but you can call me Sally!" the voice stated in a friendly, canned tone. "After analyzing the information given about our current mission and comparing the data to known qualities of my operator, I would suggest that Steven be sent to the upper levels of the alien ship. Following the proposed suggestion of fellow volunteer Varsel, I believe that we would have higher rates of survivability and success by bringing Zeetch Vanderfeld with us to search for survivors. Steven, is there anything you would like to add?"

    Steven, who was attaching his Salamander Team badge to his shoulder, simply typed a few words onto the surface of his tablet, a second robotic voice in everyone's headsets saying "Sounds like a plan." After a moment, he wrote another message on the tablet and the male robotic voice said "Sally, Open Scavenging Application."

    "Opening Scavenging Application."
  8. Thoko Ekhinos

    “But I don’t want you to!” The small, five year old girl was flushed with rage. She braced herself against the bulkhead door as she shook her head enthusiastically; small water spouts of brunette hair bobbling in turn. Her swarthy skin highlighted her pale blue frock which hadn’t been cleaned in days. She was one of Thoko’s younger siblings and the last thing that stood in his way before the rescue mission, literally.

    Thoko leaned down to the fiery toddler and spoke in a warm, understanding voice. “I don’t want to go either. I would rather stay here playing with you until I was a bucket of wrinkles like Old Man Watkins.” He quickly pinched a particularly ticklish spot on his sister’s stomach to simulate winkles. She let out an involuntary giggle before quickly regaining her pout. “But there is a lady out there who wants to get back to her sister, and she won’t be able to if I don’t help. I’ll be back before you even miss me.” He pecked her soft, sweaty little forehead.


    The jungle was muggy. Thoko loved it. Sweat rolled freely down his exposed forearms which were disproportionately muscular to his lean body. His brunette hair was tied neatly into a bun with a light blue scrap of fabric. His smudged turquoise jumpsuit was rolled up to his knees and elbows and partially unzipped at the neck. He hated cloths; such tedious things.

    The only thing more interesting than the cocktail of recruits for this rescue mission was the sinister yet inspiring jungle which surrounded them. The trees were magnificent. Thoko was captivated with their arches, leaves, root systems. Nature was the ultimate architect and he could not help but be giddy about the works of this alien designer. Thoko barely managed to pull himself out of his wanderlust at the abruptly started briefing.
    Thoko felt a lump form in his throat as he recognized the commander of the gathered team, Marcus Vanderfeld. Thoko’s older brother—the family prodigy—had been killed on a mission by raiders while under Marcus’s command. It had been a large drama within the tribe and would likely have been the gossip of some pubs throughout Animus. However, that was years ago; old news to anyone and everyone. It was even before the death of his mother. Before his father had become the brunt of hushed jokes and spoken pity. It was back when his family had a name and a purpose. Now the meek Thoko, standing at shoulder elbow height of many of those assembled around him today, was the last representative of their cause.

    Thoko stared at Marcus Vanderfild like some animal in a zoo. Thoko did not understand his world enough to be angry at his brother’s death. The man was filled with the same mindset of bravado and bloodshed as his brother. He assumed—as he had been told countless times—his brother had died living that same testosterone dripping dream. However, he did not want to rehear those stories from this man. There was nothing he wanted said or done for him from the likes of a Vanderfeld. Thoko smoothly sidestepped out of Marcus’s view behind the comparatively hulking silhouette of Varsel Crossford. It was only once the warrior lunatic stared his monologue that Thoko regretted his decision. He felt a shiver crawl down his spine every time the phrase “Lord” was zealously shoved into the title of Veritas. Something inaudible along the lines of “…fucking mental…” slipped Thoko's lips.

    It was then that he realized the frailty of his mission. He did not know Derringer personally but he had cared for his children on multiple occasions. They were often found playing together with Thoko’s younger siblings. The three had slept on his community floor, shared his rations, and been a part of his and his family’s life for ages it seemed. When the word went out that Derringer was MIA, Thoko had jumped on the chance to rescue him immediately. But now he felt differently. Seeing the machines of war that were needed to patrol this toxic world and hearing the stories of tank sized beasts lurking in its depths, Thoko felt sure those children’s father was dead. It was a sight no one would want to see if they could avoid it. However, Thoko thought it an injustice to see those kids’ dead father, for their sake. The picture of mangled remains would be seared into his head and every time those children smiled at him he would see the raw, broken smile of their father. He was not going to the top floor of that haunted place.

    He regretted the situation. He regretted being here. Why did he sign up for this stupid mission? The only place he felt useful was the lower deck but it had Techies galore about to shove themselves into the hive/den/killbox of some ungodly beast. He knew Kiera vaguely from their shared line of work and trusted her competence immensely, perhaps more than his own. She had earned everything she had including her profession. Her plight of independence was alien yet admirable. He didn’t want to watch her die. He wanted to complete this mission and go home to his plot of soft green grass and loved ones, like Derringer should have wanted. But he was here and needed to save his face as much as anything. He could not go back on his word… His word was his father’s word now.

    “It’s to the middle with meself.” Thoko found himself saying without thought. He almost regretted speaking at all. His gut told him it was the best choice and he rarely ever second guessed instinct. It didn’t stop his stomach from flipping. The realization that he was about to be in a horrible place still took its toll. “Marietta, if you’d like to kill things withus, I’ve a feeling whatever is gnawing on that communicator will need some help giving up its chew toy.” A bead of sweat rolled down Thoko’s face as he made is murky attempt at a joke. He really just wanted to come home alive. Her experience with this vicious planet was probably his best bet.
    #8 Helios, May 7, 2015
    Last edited: May 7, 2015
  9. Ruth ran a hand along her chin, or at least the part of her chin that was not obscured by the mask she wore to help her breathing on this bizarre planet, and pondered the options that she had. She had the choice to explore one of three floors, and each one came with its own goals and dangers. Ruth paid close attention to the opinions and decisions of her new companions, all the while deciding where she felt like she would be most useful. While her first impulse was to help search for Egidia Fullcrum on the middle or top floors, finding herself fully in support of the Veritas’ policy of placing human life above all else, Ruth could not deny the importance of finding that server component.

    She looked to those who had opted for the middle and upper decks, and while she spent a few moments to judge them and to work out where she would be most useful, Ruth’s decision came quicker than she thought it would. If Fullcrum was found but injured then there was very little Ruth could do to help, but at least she might be of some use determining and retrieving the component for the Veritas safely.

    She would head to the lower deck.

    That was not the only reason Ruth wanted to head to the lower decks. Ruth felt somewhat protective over the two techies of the group who had opted for exploring that section of the ship, even if she did not know them well. Almost every member of her family had been part of the very same caste, and Ruth felt some kinship with the strangers. They felt familiar, and that was enough to sway Ruth’s decision. Besides, Ruth was sure that they would not turn down an extra gun on the team.

    She tapped her foot slowly against the floor, an old habit that she had never quite broken, and then opened her mouth to speak. “Ah’ll go with the lower deck, if that’s a’right. Ah know a little bit about the tech they’re workin’ on down there, and if worst comes t’worst then at least ya’ll have an extra gun on hand”.

    Although Ruth flashed a small smile it was obscured by her mask, but that did not discourage her in the slightest. She felt confident, both that they would secure the equipment that was oh-so important to the Veritas and that the other groups might find Egidia Fullcrum alive and well.
  10. Salamander Squad was probably the gayest thing ever.

    Of all the creatures of the old world, great and small, Veritas had assigned them a mud-dwelling scrotum beast as their mascot. Where was Tiger Squad, Bear Squad or even Seal Squad? Have there been so many teams that Veritas had to resort to the literal bottom of the food chain? Whatever the reason, Screecher couldn't help but try to hide the gaudy pin under the lapel of his red jacket. He knew very well what purpose it served and what could possibly happen if he was misidentified, but he really didn't worry about that. Looking around at the assembled crew of freaks and homos he counted himself as pretty unique. Someone would have to be functionally retarded to misidentify the infamous Linus Umber Kristoph Agatha "Screecher" Love.

    Most people there were unfamiliar, save for a few scant glances when walking through halls and maybe a hunt or two with more notably rugged individuals. Still, the only one there he knew by name was Marcus and it wasn't a very welcome sight. A few times in the past, the younger and definitely more immature Linus had attempted to take some of the famous Commander's tanks for a joyride. Not that he succeeded, the intricate controls had proven for to complicated for the young hunter to understand and he only managed to cause the poor vehicle to overheat and fry the engine as well as cause a great bit of superficial damage to the interior. He'd never forget when he was wrenched out of the driver's seat by Marcus himself who threatened to beat the boy silly. He didn't, thankfully. Screecher's father beat him well enough when he returned with the news that another bout might have outright killed the boy. He tried his best to not make eye-contact with the Commander. Linus didn't think him the sort who'd easily forget their past transgressions.

    Such avoidance would not last long, Salamander Squad had to make decisions. A bad call. Linus wouldn't trust those around him to pick a good holofile, let alone decide the fate of some poor woman and whatever techie crap they were sent here to secure. Servers? The fuck were those? Not something Screecher wanted to screw with, his past experiences with delicate technology had almost always ended with them breaking under his careless handling. No, it looked like he would have to go on save Emilia, or whatever her name was. Maybe they'd find the homo as well. Alive or dead, that would look good.

    At first he thought to volunteer for top deck, his flying capabilities might be more useful there, but looking at some of the other top deckers he quickly changed his mind. Some creep that could only talk though a robot and a freaky zealot with far too much love for Varitas. Middle deck it was.

    "Uh," He spoke up, "I'd like to take the middle deck." He spoke quick and loud at the direction of Marcus, though not right at him. Hopefully the Commander would simply jot Linus down without paying too much attention to who he really was.
    #10 Snakey, May 9, 2015
    Last edited: May 17, 2015
  11. This was not the turn of events Morris had expected, but then again such was the nature of emergencies; the meeting would have to sadly wait. The audio logs seemed to have done well enough in drawing volunteers and the Veritas had been quick enough to select a group from the pool. As his power arm expanded and formed around his body he eyed the badge in his hand. As the torso portion formed at last, he smacked it in place onto the thick armor before his vision went black as his head was encased. The darkness lasted only momentarily before a gentle hum filled the area around him; the core powering up to activate the armor. His field of view brightened as the HUD booted to life just as the portal formed and he stepped through with the others.

    A quick group march brought them to the compound’s main tent where he just vaguely recognized the face of the man who greeted them. Vanderfeld or something along those lines, Morris wasn’t too sure, but he did associate the man with the large rumbling vehicles that drove around the raised fences. The communicator in his helmet crackled to life as it linked with Marcus’ and, staying where he was, he looked over the heads of the group’s shorter members. Given the apparent distance between their current location and crash site, it was nice that they’d be provided with a ride; conserve energy and all that.

    His eyes narrowed and the helmet’s visual suite naturally zoomed in slightly to compensate, showing the projection in greater detail and clarity as Marcus began to outline information and details. His skillset seemed as if it’d work well enough in all three levels that Marcus had pointed out, so ultimately it was his loadout that pushed him to head for the upper level. Hopefully there’d be enough room and airflow for him to actually swing Firebrand around.

    He was a bit surprised to see one of the three individuals to accompany them; after all Morris had rarely seen Katrina out of her workshop back onboard the ship… well unless getting into trouble counted. Then again a mechanic who could deal with mechanical issues would probably be invaluable on an old wreck. Zeetch, like his brother, wasn’t someone that Morris recognized, but it was always nice to see a fellow Medic around. Marietta, as a Hunter he’d seen on a few hunts, was a welcome sight if not for her bubbling personality than certainly her skillset.

    It seemed the brief came to an end here and aside from a few words from two of the members that’d be accompanying the larger group, a silence fell over the tent as people deliberated in their heads. The first person to speak made Morris wish the silence had been kept rather than broken. His gaze swept over the heavily modified individual, wondering if they could even be called human at this point, before he dismissed them from his thoughts. The lower decks had never been considered as an option really, and all the better he supposed.

    As more and more spoke what was on their mind, Morris was glad that the composition was mostly what he was familiar with. There was a fair share of strange individuals such as the tech-freak, a mute (why was he allowed in combat scenarios?), and the verboise ship worshipper, but that was about on par he supposed. People had their quirks and what not, working with a number of different groups had taught Morris that fairly well over the years. Unless they proved to be problematic the best course of action was generally just to hold his tongue and get things over with.

    Given that the middle deck seemed to have a fair number of people attending to it, Morris figured he’d be better on the upper level. After stating so, he unhooked the two canisters from his belt loop and reached around back to pop them into the open slots. Hopefully there'd be a few more guns to fill the group out. Maybe Marietta would accompany the three of them, but he imagined the sharpshooter would be limited in the smaller spaces of the crew's’ quarters. Nonetheless he extended an offer to both her and Katrina; Zeetch's medical expertise would likely be best used where combat would be seen to both stabilize and allow combatants to rejoin the fight. The man's frail condition was factored in, but with how large the lower level group was getting there'd be safety in numbers.
    #11 Zombehs, May 11, 2015
    Last edited: May 11, 2015
  12. Prior to departure.

    ”You going on a mission are you?” His father raised a eyebrow. The man had gotten old, he was no longer the spry, quickfooted hunter he had once been. In fact, he was far more decrepid then Nolan had ever seen him. The younger hunter shrugged at his fathers question.

    ”I do what we always done Dad. Mother raised me to be a hunter, you raised me to be the best.” He said as he started to pack his things. His dad narrowed his eyes at the upstart of a son he had apperently raised. But he soon relented and his face turned into a mask of impassive patience.

    ”Good Hunting” He said finally. Noel simply nodded and slung the rifle over his back as he left.


    As the portal opened, Nolan slipped on the gasmask. He could hear his own breath filter trough it, a rasping noise that was calming to the veteran scout. It was the calm before everything headed down shit creek and he relished what moment of tranquility he could get. The Ranger closed his eyes and took a deep breath that made the filters whirr with activity. He mentally went trough a checklist of every piece of equipment he had. The camo cloak was turned off, showing itself in a dull, leaf green color with silver circuits peaking out here and there. The hood allready drawn over his head, casting shadows over his face. As his eyes snapped open, the sensations of his surroundings snapped back as a sharp contrast to his introverted meditation. He followed after the other trough the portal, making his way to the tent. The feel of foraign soil under his feet was something he could never get used to. The difference was like day and night and it was jarring.

    Nolan listened with a impassionate look on his face. There was a retriaval mission coupled with the search and rescue. He would not bet any money on the missing person being alive, but as a fellow scout he was not going to leave without at least some confirmation of his fellows demise. His eyes keen, he primed his rifle.

    ”I'll go with the mid level. A cargo space means more space and could use me to cover the angles.” He spoke, his voice steadfast and unwavering. ”And I am not letting a fellow scout be abandoned, trinket or no trinket. If she is alive, we will find her. If she is not, the least we can do is to confirm it for her next of kin.” He said finally, letting his voice betray a little emotion at last. He was only human after all.
  13. Salamander squad was probably the greatest thing ever.

    Kholar had killed literally every beast worth killing and several that weren't back on Earth, even a fair number of humans but he had never killed an alien. Today would change that, even if he had to go out of his way to do it. It wouldn't be possible at all if it weren't for his position on salamander squad. He placed the pin on his left shoulder and put his gas mask on before being one of the first few people through the portal and onto the alien world of Alvalossa.

    The first thing he noticed was the change in gravity. He jumped up and down a few times, both to get used to it and amuse himself a little. The difference was almost negligible and he was no techie but he supposed he should get used to it before moving around much and especially before going into battle. He pulled the power sword off his back and spent about a few minutes performing practice swings and movements before replacing it and determining he would be alright to fight on this planet, if not a little better off. He blinked and realized the others had moved past him and seemingly none of them had taken the time to really adjust to their new environment. He rolled his eyes and hurried towards the tent, while hoping his sister would have the same like of thinking.

    Stepping into the tent he was just in time to hear Marcus start to speak. He took a spot behind most of the others and kept silent through the entire briefing, perking up slightly at the mention of the lower deck being the most likely area he would encounter a fight. Upon hearing Kain speak he looked at his fellow warrior and gave him a nod, silently thanking him for volunteering for the simpler guard duty. He even maintained his silence through the zealots speech, though he did roll his eyes several times. Finally, he looked back at Marcus and spoke. "I'll be headed to the lower deck. To hell with the rescue mission I came here for a fight and to get the part that Veritas needs." he rumbled rather impatiently. He glanced at Marietta and remembered Marcus' bit about assigning one of the three to each squad. "Lower decks should take Silent McBroody. We already have enough techies headed down and the upper deck squad sounds like it needs a medic." he said as he began to glance around for his sister in the crowd. He hadn't wanted to do so before during the briefing in case it caused him to miss something. Now however he was wondering, though he knew she would follow him down to the lower decks. They never split up.
  14. Aimee Vera

    Aimee plays with the dangling bone bead wrap of white and dark red at her wrist as she steps through the passage to Alvalossa. She holds her breath despite wearing her helmet with a built-in filtration system, always worrying that the magic that filtered the air might falter in the transition between worlds. A prayer silently passes on her lips as she clenches the beads tighter.

    Upon transiting to the new world, her visor steams up and she finds herself blinded. She ducks, to the side, suspecting an ambush as the blade extends from her gauntlet and her suit adapts to the environment, cloaking her presence. Everything movement felt far lighter; she felt nimbler upon this planet, if only by a margin, but now was not the time to focus upon that as she listens out for any movement through the helmet of her suit, muffled as it may be as she was temporarily blinded. Nothing comes through. She sighs out and directs her visor to open so that she would be able to see once more.

    She probably looked like a fool, but her eyes flutter in disbelief at what greets her. Her eyes scan over those upon the mission, taking note of each of them and what they might bring to the party. In the end, she was left with only one thought:

    Salamander squad was probably the sexiest thing ever.

    Of those who lived upon Veritas, there would have been a number that could have been far less fortunately blessed by Her in the way of natural beauty. However, what she stared upon now was a smorgasbord of Adonises. Sure, there was a few who she could have done without, namely the metal monstrosity that was Alkazar and much of the female competition, particularly Sade.

    Her eyes focus upon Sade as the others converse and she composes herself, closing her visor once more to let her see nothing more than a reflective mask even as a smirk passes over her lips. It was just another chance to show up that bratty techie. She had it in her mind, already. It would be thanks to her that they would be able to find the lost scout and she would get them all back in one piece, relatively unharmed and then everyone would be paying her attention.

    As Marcus wraps up and everyone says their bit, Aimee was positively glowing at the prospect of going to the upper deck. As it stood, it would look like she would have the boys all to herself in that party. “I think I will join you guys on the upper deck,” she shifts closer and slips her arms about Zeetch's, purring behind her mask as she draws him after her, “Zeetch, sweetheart, why don't you join us. If our missing scouts turn up, they might really be in need of your Godbox.”

    Kyine Lherox

    A small hand grasps her green vat dyed furs that stuck out so much against the dark reds of her kin. It tugs her back before thumping to the ground and wrapping tight about her leg and whining, “You can't go, momma!”

    Kyine reaches down and traces through the light brown hair of the boy clinging to her leg and looses a soft soothing coo, “Oh, hush hush, now, Roth...”

    He buries his face against her thigh and continues to hold tight, small fingers digging into the soft leathers beneath. “You just can't... Not you and uncle too.”

    She traces along the back of his head before grabbing the back of his shirt and hefting, “Come on, stand up. You know what your grandfather teaches you. You must be strong, like your clan. You want to be like Kohl, don't you?”

    Roth sniffles and wipes at his nose, slumping against her and grasping the fur of her shawl, fretting over it. “Just like him...”

    “Then be a good boy for your mother, now, and take care of your grandfather while we are gone. He needs a strong man around the house to help him with the chores. Maybe he will teach you some while we are gone.”

    “Like to hunt?”

    She cups his chin and looks Roth in the eye, “I told your grandfather last time we left that you are still too young to be handling a gun. If he puts another one in your hand, I will string him up for dinner myself, Rothuin Lherox. Mark my words, if I find out you were playing with them again when I come back, both your hides will be tan...” She softens and dips down to kiss his brow, “He can teach you to string up traps and how to hunt with a proper tool, not a weapon that will blast your face off.”

    Roth grins for a moment before his face begins to sink again and he buries his face against Kyine's belly, “Momma, you and uncle are going to be okay, aren't you?”

    She massages over his back, “Of course, sweet heart. Your uncle Khol always takes care of me and I always make sure his meathead doesn't get hurt too bad. We'll be back, don't worry.”


    The way of Veritas to Alvalossa left her disoriented and just a bit nauseous. Kyine finds herself clutching her stomach through her chestpiece and looking just a bit green as she takes a few moments to adjust after coming through. Her goggles fog with the sudden shift in humidity from the interior of the great ship that was their home and this strange new jungle world. To her, the air felt thick, like a wet wool blanket wrapped snug about you and impossible to breathe through as she tried to keep from heaving up the burrow dogs they had stewed for lunch.

    Still, she tries to keep her calm and takes off her goggles, wiping her brow that was already beading with sweat as she was still acclimating to the heat and clears her goggles upon her fur cloak as she surveys the surroundings, gas mask rattling like a cragadder with her heavy breathing. Already she felt she would be coaching those who survived the horrors of this boggy jungle through their night terrors. The entire climate seemed like a hostile environment that not even predators were safe. To be the apex of the food chain here would speak a great deal about the creatures here... And had they not already been shown they were not at the top of the order by the scout's reports?

    Kyine takes her time reaching the meeting place. Not only to allow her rattled nerves to ease but to allow herself a chance to adjust to the strange gravity. Carelessness in this environment would leave even a veteran dead for no other reason than he was not used to the new way to place their weight. Thankfully, it was minor, albeit uncomfortable as she felt off-kilter with some of the familiar weight of her armor no longer wresting upon her quite the same. It was not the only thing uncomfortable for her, though. She still had not seen Khol since coming through. She did not think she had taken that long since coming through. She must have been addled longer by the commute than originally believed.

    The caretaker makes it to the meeting site without any further complications, however, and settles in, listening carefully to the report and tallying off the caste markings of those who were already deciding upon which way they would be going. Her jaw clenches as she hears Kholar volunteer to head towards the lower deck. It was so typical of him to throw himself into what was likely to be the most dangerous leg of the mission. A frown creases at her brow, clicking her tongue as she counts heads again on those who had volunteered to go along with Khol. He was to be the only hunter, judging by their markings. It practically set it in her mind.

    She weaves through the crowd and leans up against him like a personal wall, smirking, “Going into the heart of darkness, not knowing what they'll find or if they'll even make it out alive: the Lherox siblings take on the beasts of Alvalossa, a pack of snarling frothing fiends each ten feet tall. Using nothing but their bare hands, they tear the monsters apart, one by one and arise victorious, the heroes of Veritas, protecting the puny technicians as they fiddle with the fuseboxes. Hmm, well, I suppose it is as good a starting point as any to begin our epic.”

    She sniffs and flexes her hand, a steam of silver passing over her palm before flooding back into her suit, “I'll be heading with you to the lower decks, Khol. I'll watch your back on this one...” She screws her face up, thinking of who he had asked to bring along before spying the one he must have denoted as wanting to come along. “Silent McBroody? More like small, dark and gorgeous. Brilliant, as well. Any woman who can shoot like I've heard she does has to know a thing or two about being a hunter.” A warm smile passes over her lips as she winks at Marietta, “I say you come with us, too. We could use a sharp mind and sharper eye going into the depths of hell.”
    #14 Snowball, May 14, 2015
    Last edited: May 14, 2015
    • Bucket of Rainbows Bucket of Rainbows x 1
  15. Irving was only sure of a few things as he watched the small group stand together and adjust their salamander sigils. First off, Sade wouldn't be here if it weren't for him. Secondly, he wouldn't be here if it weren't for Sade. Volunteering to venture forth for Animus was the only thing he could think of to keep both himself and the girl alive. Of course, Sade had decided she, too, would put her life on the line for the sake of the ship. The two of them were just too used to having each other's backs at that point.

    He fidgeted with his gas mask, adjusting it to be a little tighter around his face, and he searched the crowd for his blonde companion. Clyde was carefully ambling near him, metal legs still not used to the decrease in gravity. When he still couldn't spot Sade, he instead decided to listen what everyone else was saying. They were dividing themselves up into teams, each to a different level deck, and he continued to let his eyes rove over the ragtag group before volunteering himself. He wasn't much of a fighter, so he really didn't want to go charging into the lower decks with guns blazing, but he noticed a distinct lack of medics headed down that way. Reluctantly, he spoke up and his words tumbled out with a gruffness designed to mask his trepidation, "I'll go to the lower deck to keep them alive." With that, he hoped to blend in once more and he kept silent, noting each and every one of the strangers and observing their particular characteristics. Even if he didn't quite understand where each one of them came from, in terms of their willingness to fight and their expertise in tech and combat, he figured that their sheer dedication to Veritas ought to be an indicator of their character. He would trust them to keep him from getting skewered.

    Standing apart from the others with the Salamander Squad badge pinned to her shoulder, Sade couldn't believe that of all the volunteers who put their names forward, both she and that lurker managed to get the call to duty. What could Aimee really contribute to the group? She'd be more likely to sneak behind her teammates and rob them blind than to actually fight for them. Probably. Why else would she spend all that time practicing breaking and entering? If she was going to go to the upper deck, the upper deck would need a stalwart hero to keep that sneak in line. Even as she heard Irving volunteer to go to the lower deck, Sade had made up her mind.

    "Upper deck sounds fine to me, too," she announced, trying to take enough time so that she didn't appear to be jumping on right after Aimee, "I figure my drones might come in handy for a search and rescue."

    She glanced towards her rival, who was now slung across Zeetch like a cheap scarf, and scoffed. If she was going to treat this group like a dating pool, it was really a good thing that the upper deck had her along to temper out the hormones. Giving the older girl another sideways look, Sade turned away with an offended huff. It was just too mortifying to watch. She ducked past a few of her new squadmates in hopes of getting in a few words with Irving before they had to separate. Luckily, she didn't have to go far, as the tall, dark haired man placed a hand on her shoulder and moved them both a bit closer to the group, awaiting their orders.

    "Be careful," he muttered, not looking down at the blonde as he didn't want others getting nosy.

    Sade made a face, just a few steps more mature than blowing a raspberry, "I will do whatever my team asks of me. Besides, I can handle myself."

    Loosing a long, low sigh, Irving rubbed his temples, "You..." He stopped and thought for a moment. At least she wasn't going to the lower decks, he reminded himself. "You've already made an impulsive decision, Sade. Choosing a mission just so you can compete with your friend?" He raised a gloved hand to keep her from interrupting and decided he had done just about enough lecturing, "Be careful, that's all I'm asking."

    The blonde playfully saluted and flashed her companion a grin, "Sure thing, IV. I know enough to stand back and let the warriors take the beatings as I bomb the enemies to hell and beyond." She gently nudged Irving, "I feel like I should be worried about you, instead. You're so tall that you make a nice, easy target. Watch your back while you treat people's wounds, alright?"

    The medic waved a dismissive hand and Clyde snorted in response. He'd seen carnage and battles before. She hadn't. He knew exactly what he was getting into, and he silently hoped he wouldn't have to use his gun, but years of experience taught him to know better. Strange as it was to admit to himself, he was really only nervous because he was going to be away from Sade for the first time in years. The two of them were something of a package deal, being thrown together fifteen years ago and running ever since. It's not that he doubted the young techie and her clever drones... it's not even that he didn't trust Veritas who had sent them out on this mission in the first place. Maybe, just maybe, he was starting to feel something like a father might when he has to send his child out into a war.

    Sade, on the other hand, felt no such tension, and was instead feeling a bit jealous of the scruffy old man. Not only did he get to venture to the most dangerous deck, he also got to see Alkazar in action. She was practically licking her lips. What she wouldn't give to hard-wire those tentacles to be remote controlled. Imagining an octopus man she could send into the front lines, tentacles waving and battering enemies... it was equal parts epic and hilarious. She regained her composure as she began to really feel the humidity weighing her down. The sooner the mission would start, the better. Wiping away the condensation that had formed over her goggles as she jokingly fantasized about messing with the metal man, she gave Clyde a playful pat between his horns and stood beside Varsel, glancing at what she thought was a green tattoo upon his cheek.

    "Zeetch should probably go with the lower deck," she piped up, almost involuntarily, "They're going to be in need of more than one medic in case the situation turns grim." As much as she wanted to pretend she was doing this to spite Aimee, she knew better.

    From several feet away, Irving couldn't suppress his grateful smile.
    • Bucket of Rainbows Bucket of Rainbows x 1
  16. Among the volunteers Gerrit stood silently and steadily, remembering what his wife had told him before he set off for the junglescape. Though most of it was her typical worrying, she was nonetheless supportive of him and sent him off in goodfaith after some convincing. The children, she said, would miss him. Gerrit could only answer with a half-smile as he left them for the center of Veritas to risk his life for the ship. Among the others who undoubtedly had similar responsibilities back home Gerrit wondered how many wouldn’t see their families again. Derringer was top of the list and it would only grow larger as time passed idly by.

    “I’ll go to the upper decks.”

    Gerrit’s response was abrupt and quickly spoken. By his count he was one of the last to decide aside from the three others Marcus had tasked to help them. All three seemed content to merely listen after their introductions. As it stood Gerrit had little preference on where he went, however, the seeming lack of scouts poised to go to the upper decks, where the primary focus was finding someone, was a gleaming indication of where he might be the most useful. If not him than at least his drone might be of help if Sade’s didn’t already do a better job.

    It didn’t seem as though there were any objections to his decision. Gerrit doubted many of the ragtag group knew him all that well, and his knowledge of them was similar. There were slight exceptions, though most of what he’d heard was simply that. He wasn’t very trusting when it came to friends of friends of friends telling tales and did his best to leave behind most of what he’d been told. As it stood now he knew of Zeetch, that Sade’s drones far outranked his own, and that the two longwinded people of the group would be accompanying them as well. Joy.
  17. "You brothers have fun, I'll be the babysitter this time" -Kain, Page 1.


    Marietta Cowen looks around at the Lower Deck squad as they volunteered. Her eyes seem to examine them one by one in a cold fashion, marking equipment before faces, though it didn't seem to be out of any contempt or malice for them in any way: Rather a disconnect in herself that seemed to fade slightly every time her eyes went to someone's face, a slight upward curve reaching the corners of her lips. It was reserved, but it implied at least some level of care within the cold woman.

    To Alkazar's request, she nodded politely and added nothing more. Yet, she also kept some modicum of distance from him, likely unsettled by his complete lack of humanity. Her eyes shift from Alkazar just in time to catch Kholar's comment. Again, nothing but silence: As though the comment hadn't even been heard. Finally, Kyine spoke, and Marietta's mouth curled into a small smile. "Your flattery is appreciated and understood." Her tone reflected appreciation, though was reserved in volume. It seemed that she was more focused on the mission at hand, though the response to the flirtation was certainly not that of disinclination...


    Zeetch blinked with surprise at being the most requested. Marcus glances at him and chuckles as Zeetch wrings out his wrists nervously. He ends up swallowing back his nerves and taking a few deep breaths, patting his materializer box comfortingly. "Yeah. Alright. Okay." He mutters to himself reassuringly before examining the upper deck team. There was a great deal of comfort reflected in his eyes, he seemed very comfortable with them. Far more-so than he likely would have been with the other two teams.

    He looks at Varsel and grins, though there was a hint of uncertainty in the timid way he looked at him. "I'll do my best, though, I do hope you don't mind a lack of faith on my part on the topic of godhood. That is, I mean, er, that, I don't have any issues with it, or anything, I just..." He sighs, scratching the back of his head. "Yeah. I don't believe, I hope that's okay." His attention turns to Steven, and he appeared somewhat confused by the talking wrist computer. It was likely that even if he understood the technology, that it was still an oddity. "A mute? Veritas could repair that. So could I, er, with the proper equipment. Not here, obviously. At least, I think I can." As he examined Steven's neck, looking for some sign of long term injury or surgical scar that would imply otherwise, he feels the coiling embrace of a pair of feminine limbs around his torso. Hearing breathing in his ear, he tilts his head back and glances at a familiar looking woman underneath the gas mask. Her words only further confirmed it as his breath caught in his throat momentarily. "I... Uh... No." He pushes her away and takes a couple steps closer to Varsel and Steven. "Sorry. This isn't an appropriate time to even be thinking of such things." Underneath his gas mask, his flushed cheeks spoke more of embarrassment than anything else.


    Meanwhile, Katrina glanced at Marcus as he motioned her to join the middle deck team. Not one person had asked for her, and as she walked over to them, she crossed her arms over her chest and began to roll her fingers over her forearms. She didn't even really look at them, so much as keep her gaze towards the dirt. She stops beside them and taps one of her feet on the dirt impatiently, looking to Marcus to continue the briefing. "Well! Way to make a girl feel welcome, boys. If it was any chillier I'd ask for a jacket." Quietly she reaches into her toolkit on her back, instinctively knowing where a small, palm-sized, silver-chrome coloured metallic ball was as she pulled it out and tapped it on the head. A pair of aluminium wings pop out of it, along with four spindly legs underneath it. She gently pats it on the head and then whispers something inaudible to it. It takes off and stays close to her, flying a couple feet above her, seemingly to keep watch for trouble.


    Marcus looks at the three teams and nods with approval. There was more than enough people for each assignment, and they had organized fairly well all things considered. Marcus motions to the north of camp. "Head straight out a few hundred meters. There, you'll find the main gate, nothing more than an over-glorified fence gate really. Outside are the five tanks I've assigned, they'll lead you to your destination. The tank column CO is named Jimmy Bunker. Now, get going." He waves them off as he returns to the desk, turning the map off and pulling out a small data device, akin to a USB Key. He tosses it to Zeetch, who catches it and looks at it curiously. "Use your box to make a copy for everyone while you get to your destination, bro." Zeetch rolls his eyes. "Right, bro." Marcus grins. "Bro. You're a salamander, bro. Isn't that just adorably queer, bro." Zeetch stares up at the the top of the tent and shakes his head, though there was a smile on his face. "You can stop worrying Marcus. Tell our mother that we'll be back for dinner, and we won't be late this time."

    From there, it was a simple matter to depart for the tanks.


    It would take about an hour to travel through the jungle canopy while riding on them. Some of the tank drivers seemed tense as the magnetic coils in their main cannons remained charged for the whole duration of travel. Aside from the occasional curiosity-seeking lizard, the only other notable event was spotting a few kilometer long stretch of extremely intricate and tight webbed canopy, work which would take hundreds of millions--if not billions--of spiders on Earth. Traveling through it, everyone got the most unsettling impression that they were being watched, and that if any of them tried to run through it alone to get back to camp, that they would die very quickly unless they took a long, risky detour around it.

    Soon enough however, they arrived at a several kilometer long hulk of a ship. Most of it seemed buried underneath the surface. Notable, the surface underneath the tanks was no longer comprised of dirt at this point: It was comprised of long, thick, green tendrils, which seemed to spread out in every direction for an unimaginable distance. It was quite possible that the sheer mass of plant life had spread out from this location first. The tank CO pops the lid on his tank and climbs out, looking around with sheer awe as he then turns to the three teams. "Hey, just figured you should all know that the sensor packages in the tanks can't find any solid earth underneath this plant mass. They only manage to penetrate to about five kilometers in depth, too, so it's quite thick, and somehow it ain't dead. It could possibly make up a significant amount of the planet's mass here." He looks at the warriors and scratches the back of his head: A light blue ribbon tied around his arm signified his caste to be that of a techie. "Er, right. Ahem. There's a lot of living plants here that haven't seen the light of day for thousands of years. There is no reason they should still be alive, but they seem to be, and they can resist our technology's ability to read through it. So basically, if something is sneaking through the ship, especially in the lower decks, we probably won't be able to warn you about it... Good luck!" He unceremoniously ducks back into his tank and shuts the hatch behind him.

    A few meters ahead of the three teams and five tanks was the side of the ship. There, a plasma torch was laying on the ground beside a cut open hole in the metallic exterior of the desolate vessel. Inside that hole was a ladder, which led to every deck on the ship. It descended into pitch darkness, though the upper and mid level decks appeared to have either flickering or low level lights still functional. They had a little time to plan: Who would lead, at what pace they would move out at, and so on.

    Marietta Cowen taps her laser rifle and frowns a little. She retrieves a flashlight and a few flares from the tanks and attaches the flashlight to her rifle, then looks to the others of the Lower Deck team: She could lead competently if necessary, but was assuming the position of following by default. Her eyes held uncertainty as she looked at the hole in the ship that led to the ladder to the Lower Decks. Pulling out a pair of night-vision goggles, she slips them over her eyes but doesn't turn them on yet. Her breaths were steady, her pulse low: She was ready.

    Zeetch Vanderfeld coughed and adjusted his gas mask, looking over the frighteningly large, metallic structure before them. "This is smaller than the Animus Veritas?... I suppose I never really got to see her from outside... This is really putting some perspective on things." He pulls out several copies of the map, they were no bigger than the palm of a person's hand as he tosses one to each member of the Upper Deck, Middle Deck, and Lower Deck teams. "Just tap the button in the middle of the device and a holographic map will appear. Tap it again to make the map disappear. When you're inside the ship, it will show you where you are. It has to remain stationary to work properly and it needs open space, if you try to open it in a closet for instance? It'll come out a garbled mess. This will prevent us all from getting lost." He then looks to Varsel and bows his head. "I defer to your judgement, Varsel. You should probably lead the way."

    Katrina Molnya smiles as she pulls three more drones out of the kit on her back and activates them one by one. "Stay ahead of us a few feet my darlings, and beep if you spot any trouble." They respond by always remaining a few feet ahead of the Middle Deck team, an early warning system to protect them from any ambush. Katrina then looks around at her allies and gently pats her laser rifle. "See? I'm useful. Maybe next time one of you won't forget how useful I am when I fix half of your stuff! Now who wants to go ahead and take the charge in finding Egidia's radio?"
  18. ”This is not a playground. Nor a popularity contest.” Nolan spoke in that same, to serius for his own good voice of his. Like a teacher reprimanding someone. ”But if it will make you feel better. I'll let you wear my camo cloak sometime.” At that, he cramile, that while not alien to him in any sense of the word, seemed out of place with the situation. The ranger tapped his gasmask and nodded to everyone present now that they had their crew all together. They were a rowdy looking bunch, some really young faces looked back at him. He cursed inwardly, how many of these were proven talent?

    ”Names Nolan. I'll be your designated marksman.” He said and hitched his thumb back to indicated the scoped rifle on his shoulder.
    Kain enjoyed traveling, he enjoyed traveling with tank support more. The massive things were death on threads and provided a man such as himself withe assuring presence of city leveling firepower. Less Assuring was the notion of going in essentially blind. He was going over the information yet as he paused due to Katrinas comment ”Just Keep your eyes on the mission” He said as he slung the rifle from shoulder into his arms in a fluid motion."You can't fix anything if you're dead." Without giving it much thought he began to give directions out of habit. Whether or not anyone listened to him was another thing entirely.

    ”Linus to the front. I want that hammer of yours ready to.. well smash things. Your jump jets make you ideal to tie up enemy elements for me to pick off. Kain, keep our medic safe. I'll scout ahead. Katrina, make sure you keep that sweep updated and shifted, I don't wan't any suprises.” He slung the coat over him and while his movement revealed him, he still moved on soft feet, riflebutt to his shoulder. Using the scope like a binocular of sorts from time to time. Every now and then he would stop crouch and just dissapear out of sight as his cloak stabalized from lack of sudden movement.
  19. Kain - Middle Deck
    Kain stepped towards the opening on the ship, prepared to take point and lead the way into the darkness but the hunter in the group had other ideas. Instead it looked as if the jetter should take point to which Kain simply shrugged and waited. It didn't matter to him who led or who gave orders, and Nolan's plan sounded as good as any he imagined. However, Kain had a mixed impression of Nolan as he liked the man's attitude but wasn't fond of people he didn't know telling him what to do. It was better then one of the kids doing it he supposed. If he really was just to be a babysitter within the group so be it, but he cursed himself for volunteering for the task.

    Once more Kain looked over some of his other companions for the selected mission. Linus had a bit of a penchant for recklessness such as joyrides, and if the kid lived up to rumors he'd be the first one to piss Kain off. One of the techies, Thoko, was foot shorter, meek, and came from a family that had allowed itself to become a joke. Kain didn't have high hopes for Thoko or the rest of the group for that matter. Maybe it was better that Nolan was trying to take the lead, especially since the other options didn't look too enticing. He could probably do it himself but it didn't take a genius to tell he didn't exactly have the temperament for leadership. If he had known he would be getting this lot from the start he would have definitely chosen one of the other groups.

    Scowling, Kain moved into his position. He looked over the medic with judging eyes and decided the kid didn't look anything close to something resembling a fighter. He lifted a heavy hand and pointed a lone finger at the young man," Don't move too far from me and don't do anything fucking stupid." He dropped the hand to his side and turned back around to face the ship. He finished by saying, "And I'll do what I can to keep you alive."
    #19 Atlas Child, May 18, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2015
  20. Varsel | Upper Decks

    Everything was decided, and the day ahead would either follow a path of darkness or a path of light. Either way, Varsel felt ready for this. A test to prove his dedication to the Animus, and a way he could even slightly repay them. Failure wasn't an option, and neither was giving up. He'd do whatever he could, and with an able team assisting him, the ray of hope grew brighter.

    Varsel gave a brief chuckle at Zeetch's worry that he didn't believe, shaking his head. It was absolutely fine, because Varsel knew everybody had a different philosophy when it came to the Animus Veritas. Some saw it as an extremely intelligent robot, whilst others just didn't care. Varsel believed the Animus was more than just an A.I, but whether the Veritas was a God or not, he wished to serve it till death.

    "Of course not, brother. Everybody sees our Lord Veritas through different eyes. Whether you believe or not, I would never make something so petty interrupt our mission." Varsel told Zeetch whilst they were travelling in the tanks, a comforting smile on his face. "Believers or non-believers, we are all brothers and sisters bound by the Animus. I shall protect whoever I can at all costs."

    The world outside was threatening, but Varsel felt no fear. Deep breaths. In and out. He had a feeling today would be successful; it felt like Lord Veritas was watching him at this very moment. Today would be a good day.

    ~ ~ ~
    Soon enough, they arrived, and the half-buried wreckage was there. After carefully listening to everything and taking the holographic map in his hands, Varsel chuckled at Zeetch as he bowed, before his face turns serious and he gives a curt nod.

    "Very well. As the Upper Deck team, our squad formation will be simple and effective. Morris and I will lead, ensuring no harm comes to those behind us. If a hostile comes in contact with us, we can both hold it off whilst anybody with combat drones can shoot said hostiles down." Varsel paused, examining everybody. Hrm... hopefully at least one person here would be able to back them up with ranged support. Then again, combat might not even be necessary - tracking down survivors would most likely be the trickiest part to this mission. Well, for Varsel anyway.

    "As far as finding Derringer and/or Edgia is concerned, I'm quite sure a few of you have scanning programs installed, so it shouldn't be too hard tracking the two down. And to top all of that off, Zeetch will be able to heal anybody that may get injured in the course of our mission. We should be hasty, and waste no time - Edgia or Derringer could be in trouble as we speak." Varsel said with confidence. "From what I can tell, our team is perfect for this mission. The only way we won't rescue Edgia and/or Derringer is if they aren't in the Upper Decks."

    Taking a small, dagger-like weapon from his pocket, and swinging it in an arc in front of him. In a swift motion, the dagger extended into a large, gleaming greatsword. The Veritas Blade. Even in an age of technology, a blade such as this could certainly get things done. Varsel made sure his power armour was properly equipped, and wielded his alloy shield in his other hand. Satisfied with the quality of his equipment, he turned back around, looking at the ladder leading to the upper deck. It was a mixture of excitement and dedication within Varsel's heart.

    "For Animus, friends. May our Lord watch over you. I don't know of everyone's skills here, for it's the first time I've worked with a squad such as this... if you possess a skill that will come in handy in a situation like this, now's the time to tell it to everybody." Varsel said, preparing his equipment. He never thought of himself as much of a leader, merely a shield - so the chances were people would have other ideas. Nonetheless, his team was seemingly perfect and had all the elements they needed to finding survivors.

    Perhaps he could keep his promise to Rolland, and please Veritas both in one day.
    #20 Jakers, May 19, 2015
    Last edited: May 19, 2015
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