"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. Prologue 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.