Pilgrim's Reach


Certified Subdomain
Original poster
Posting Speed
  1. Speed of Light
Writing Levels
  1. Douche
Preferred Character Gender
  1. No Preferences



"The situation is a critical one. Another attack will get us all killed."

Wakefield shifted through the papers on the table, his brow creased with the dual weight of desperation and regret.

"I've calculated every option. But it's no use. At best one of us will make it out alive, but everything we've won so far will be lost. We'll have to start again from the beginning."

He leant back in his chair, chin rested on one hand. The leader's eyes were blank with the hopelessness of the situation, but still he looked up and met the gaze of each of his colleagues around the table. They all had their own stacks of paper, their own frowns and half-formed questions. Like Wakefield, they were seeking a way out... a light within the darkness.

Just a choice. Any choice.

Wakefield's hand moved across the table. "It doesn't matter anyway. We're out of time. The enemy have regrouped. We fight or we die."

A quiet sigh escaped his lips as he picked up the dice and began shaking them whilst looking at the person seated opposite him.

"The Orc party is charging towards you, howling their warcry and readying short swords. You have the initiative, so you get to attack first."


The Rec Lounge, the best lit room on the Merkabah, was built onto the upper starboard side of the tank. There was some slight shadow from the main turret above, but for the most part the bank of windows caught the harsh light of the wasteland sun. It gave the bar a distinctive shimmer, much unlike the claustrophic darkness in other parts of the Ezekiel. The lounge was about five minutes walk from the bridge and another five to the forward hangars. And, of course, it was big - designed to accomodate the entire population of Estragon Base for the return journey.

But for now, with the skeleton crew of volunteers, it felt like just another part of the ghost ship... large, echoing and a little chilly.

It only added to discomfort of the crew members who Wakefield had coerced to play his game. He had told them it would be therapeutic - a chance to unwind. Wakefield always believed that structured fun was the best kind of fun.

"So," the Counsellor's soft voice continued as he shook the dice in one hand and arranged his Monster sheets in the other, "What are you going to do?"
CLICK, a flash shone onto everything in an obnoxious flare of light from one of the windows as a picture was taken, the light bouncing off of the glass and splashing across everything in range. A picture of the wasteland, a picture of the life outside, then she turned viewfinder on the rest of the crew.

"I'm bored. I don't want to play this..." Sabrina stated simply, aiming her camera right at Wakefield for a moment, it was merely inches away from his face, a sense of personal space was obviously unknown to the girl as she took a picture, zoomed in on his left eye.

CLICK The flash went off again, before she started snapping off pictures of the table, the paper, the dice, the other players. Mostly, though, she focused on Waker. Since he was the instigator of this odd game that she didn't bother to learn, he was caught in the cross-hairs of the chronicler. "I don't like this!" She exclaimed after a while. A barrage of flashes and clicks hit everyone after a moment. This, in her own little way, was her weapon. She could blind someone for a couple moments if they were unlucky enough to be gazing in that direction. She got up from her seat, pacing around the room, then gave an exasperated sigh before taking more pictures.

"I don't want to learn how to play, I don't want to play, I don't want to do it at all." She complained further, unleashing another attack of flashes on Waker. "THIS." Click. "IS." Click. "MY." Click. "THERAPY." She exclaimed. "All I want, is to take my pictures! I don't need to be in this!" She cried out finally, pacing around the room again, more clicks and flashes going off. Annoying? You bet. Bratty? It's as expected. Idiotic? Sometimes. But the biggest truth about the situation was that Sabrina did not like taking to orders, or sitting still for very long, as well having many problems with frustration.

"Can we just get going?! I have a job to do!" She hollered.
Alex usually didn't socialize with the others on the Ezekiel. He was a loner at heart. The only reason he was here was because of his love of gaming. He hadn't played a good RPG since basic." If you don't want to play the game than what are you doing here? There are many people onboard to socialize with, we want to game, you don't like that don't hang out with us." he wished he hadn't said the words as soon as they came out of his mouth. he didn't like being confrontational. he looked at his character sheet. His druid didn't have very many spells left. "I'll cast wall of thorns" He declared as he rolled his dice.

Grunting, Gregor eyed his character sheet, and then looked at the table. Seeing the next person in the initiative order act, he took a drink of his whiskey, and then turned his eye towards Sabrina... they're almost fanatical chronicler. "We ain't even left yet, n' your film's running dry. Best simmer down girl. They're be plenty o' time for the evils that caress the dustlands to smile all purdy like between their manwiches so you's can get a nice kodak moment.."

"I's suggest that you sit down, and have some fun in a way that don't much irritate so many of the others." Turning back to Wakefield "Sending myself into a rage, I charge off towards the main body's left side. Should give everyone enough time to save my ass, and prep up somthin' nice." He finished with another drink of his whiskey, and a light puff on the cigar in his hand, before retrieving dice of his own, and shaking them in his large hands.

Gabriel had sat quietly through most of the game, in an attempt to concentrate. But this little girl had really started to get on his nerves. His Rogue was too squishy, and taking uber damage during this particular outburst. Before she had even the slightest chance to respond he added, "Yeah, shut it you little twit!" He wasn't too excited to create animosity this early in the trip, but he figured that with THIS one it was inevitable.

He heaved a slight sigh, and scanned the game board with his icy blue eyes, calculating the odds of his next roll.
Shaking the dice in his palm, he turned his icy gaze to sabrina. "Why are you even here? This is no place for children."
Gabriel opened his fist, and the dice bounced across the table top. Snake eyes.

Nick lounged in his seat, staring at his character sheet as the others conversed. He ignored the young girl, trying to stay forcused on the task at hand. He calmed his anxiety, the idea of loosing this game didn't appeal to him considering it was the most productive activity he'd had a role in in a few days. Cool, calm and restrained.

He eye'd his characters stats. His mage had a wealth f Mana left, however his defense was at rock bottom. Their main line of defense ,now that Gregor's warrior was to surge forward in an attempt to stall the horde of orcs, would be a thorn wall, against any enemies that continued on their path despite Gregor's efforts. So, there was really only one move he could make. He'd have to attempt to take out as many of them as he could before they reached his companions and himself.

"I could create a blizzard, followed by a shower of hail. It'd slow them down and hopefully take a few of them out. After that I could enchant two weapons to cause ice damage. I should have a small amount of mana left for when they reach us but at close range I'm not sure how much use i'll be."
Sandor stared blankly at the character sheet in front of him. Both hands were folded beneath his chin, his elbows resting on the table, a frown across his face. He was frowning partly from the attitude of Sabrina, partly due to the game. Sandor didn't know the first thing about the game when Wakefield had convinced him to partake in it. This far in and Sandor still didn't even really understand the basics or the character sheet laid out in front of him that told him he was playing a "ranger" whatever that meant. Still, maybe if he could make heads or tails of what was going on…

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"Can we just get going?! I have a job to do!" Sabrina hollered, the camera held tightly in her hands. Sandor closed his eyes to the next barrage of pictures, his concentration broken.

"Charming girl, no… really" he thought sarcastically. Only a few days in and she was already getting on his nerves, the least she could've done was to decline to join in. Or at least politely wait it out. <o:p></o:p>

"Back to the game…"

"I'll, I don't know what I'll do. Anyone? I still don't quite understand this." Sandor said quietly, opening his eyes and looking at those still seated.
Wakefield had just finished working out the area of effect for Alexander's wall of thorns. He winced as Gregor started talking and shaking his dice. "Gregor, it's not your turn. You have the lowest initiative."

Gregor's unpatched eye frowned back at him, not understanding the concept.

"See, we go in order of i--"

That was when Gabriel suddenly snapped at Sabrina, "Yeah, shut it you little twit!"

Wakefield put down his Monster sheet and tried to intervene, "Gabriel..."

But the gunner talked over him again as he returned his glare to Sabrina, "Why are you even here? This is no place for children."

Wakefield sighed, then sighed again as Gabriel threw two six-sided dice across the table. "Gabriel, we use D20s in this game. And you only need to roll one..."

Then Nick cut in, describing in great detail what spells he was planning to cast. It almost sounded like a medication prescription. Wakefield lifted his hand and tried to stop the doctor. "Nick, this is version 3. You can only cast one spell per r..."

"I'll, I don't know what I'll do..." came Sandor's voice. The Gunship pilot was almost asleep on the table and this, more than anything, bugged Wakefield. "Anyone? I still don't quite understand this."

"Sandy. Your body language is not hel--"

Sabrina hollered, "Can we just get going?! I have a job to do!"


With a heavy clunk, Wakefield closed the DM Manual and sat back. He moved the manual to the edge of the table and made sure its edge was in line with the table edge. Then he brought his hands together, clasping them as he took a breath in the silence.

"Your job, Sabrina, is the same as everyone else's. We are here to mount the first major Surface expedition in 10 years. We are travelling into the unknown, with a crew of less than two-hundred, in a vehicle that may or may not be able to withstand the post-Rain environment."

He gathered up his dice and placed them in a jar, closing the top with a sharp twist. His movements were at odds with his soft voice... somehow cold... as if coming from a distant place within him. "As Counsellor, my job is to evaluate whether we, as a team, can survive the physical and psychological stresses of this journey. If I find that we cannot, then I must report to Command exactly who is and who is not fit to continue."

He checked again that the DM manual was in line with the table edge, then placed the pencils in a neat row on top of it, before looking again at Sabrina.

"Now, Miss Lit, I appreciate that you are here by popular demand to document this expedition. And I appreciate your..." he searched for the word, "... energy... But your restlessness is a key indicator of stress and ill-discipline. I invited you to this game to give you a chance to integrate with the team. But you cannot stay even stay in your seat for more than two seconds."

He glanced down, adjusting the pencils slightly, then looked at her again. "This presents a problem - for myself... for the team... and for Command."

"Initiative?" Gregor responded with his eye narrowing slightly. "The hell..." he reached for a copy of the Player's Hand Book that Wakefield had supplied the players, and leaned back while skimming the book's index until he found the page describing initiative. Promptly flipping to it, his eye slid from left to right as he began combing the text. "Right..." he then said with a few slight nods, and for the moment understood what Wakefield had been talking about. "Then... never mind. I'll try again on my turn." Taking another drink from his glass, he glanced around the table as everyone else began to start pitching in with their irritation.

It seemed like the crew was already starting to hit a few kinks... that wasn't a good start to the mission as the Ezekiel hadn't even been fired up much yet. "Oh... looks nice..." Gregor then said as he'd flipped back to the chapter about feats, and had began reading the description for Cleave. "Heh heh..." Puffing as his cigar, he flipped his character sheet over, and wrote the word 'Cleave' onto the top left corner to remind him to look at it more later, and talk to Wakefield about it when he got the chance. "She just needs to relax a bit, Wake..."

Grabbing an empty glass from the counter that was off to his side, he poured it with a shot of whiskey, and slid it across the table towards Sabrina, hoping that she'd manage to catch it before it slid off, and crashed into the floor. "Have yourself a drink, and simmer down, girl. We can't come back if you run out of film."

[DASH="blue"] Sabrina turned a quirked-up eye to every comment made towards her. She wasn't going to listen to these fools. They didn't know her. They didn't care. Why should they? Why should she bother getting to know them? Why should she care about what they call her? What use was all of this?

At Wakefield's words, though, she soured.

"I-" She started, but found herself catching a glass that was slid to her. Ok. She liked that right there. MUCH BETTER. "Ill take your thoughts into consideration, Wakefield." She murmured before she took a sip of the drink. "I apologize for my behavior, I'm just not used to working in a team..." She explained with a smile half-quirked on her face. "Oh, and I'm disciplined alright, but not in group work... I'm a photographer and chronicler first, human and life second.... I'll have you know I was trained by one of the most knowledgeable men on cameras." She boasted, and due to her history, or even just her behavior, it couldn't be known if she was just blowing air, or if she was telling the truth.

She continued though.

"Also, I.... never really took pictures just now... merely practicing. Camera's empty, see?" She explained as she opened the camera up, exposing the lack of film within. "I want to make sure I can get off a quick barrage if we have to move quickly and I don't have Snapshot with me." She spoke, mentioning her bike as she sipped more at her drink.

"Also, in reference to who called me a twit and a child: I'm twenty-five. I know I'm hot, but I'm older then I look." She remarked, running a hand through her hair. Vanity was obvious in her. Confidence was a key ingredient as well. "I know all of y'all have your testosterone going all over the place, and I know all of you are pissed because there's no women on the ship for you to get cozy with, but don't take it out on me." She remarked, rolling her eyes before knocking back the rest of the drink. "Wow, nice talk! I feel better already!" She grinned. This was just a game to her... trying to learn how far she could push people, learning her boundaries. It wasn't elegant, but starting fights were something Sabrina was good at.
Gabriel's face turned red, his position in the military had him constantly grouped and labeled with his almost primitive genetic cousin, "the straight male".
However he also knew that letting this bit of information go to the other crew members this early on could prove to be disastrous. His lesser genetic cousins had proven on countless occasions that they were prone to ignorant rage at the slightest mention of such things.

He let himself calm down, and his face faded to it's original pale white.

Narrowing his gaze on Sabrina's once again, he smirked "Oh, I'm so sorry ma'am. I mistook you for a twelve year old boy... But with that haircut, and that flat chest of yours, who wouldn't?!" With all of the attitude she had previously shown, he winked at her and stretched back in his chair.
He folded his arms, and let an expression of arrogant pride take over his face.

One eyebrow still raised he turned his head to Wakefield. "Can we continue please...?"
"There is no need for that antagonism, Gabriel." Again, Wakefield's voice, soft and precise, sought to undercut the tensions in the Rec Room. The 'banter' was already drawing stares from some of the flight crew who had come in to drink at the bar and who till now had tried to keep their heads down in case Wakefield invited them to join the therapy game.

"This is a joint military and civilian mission and we are to treat each other with equal respect." He opened his hand and gestured towards Gabriel. "You, Gabriel, are representing the Vladimir Defence Force and are the son of Colonel Pierce, a man without whom many of us would not have survived the Rain at all. You owe it to his memory to conduct yourself with integrity."

He made the same gesture towards Sabrina, even as she zoomed the camera towards his face again. "And you, Miss Lit, are here to report. Not to provoke the military personnel tasked with protecting you. If you wish to be an informal observer to this rescue mission, I suggest you conduct yourself with more discretion."

He clasped his hands again, the nails immaculate, the skin almost raw from scrubbing. "Each of you were invited to this session because your training was incomplete. Command did not have the time to evaluate your longterm psycho-social stability, and so they have asked me to complete the report." He looked around the table, his face the picture of neutrality. "I would very much like to reassure Command that none of you are going to present a problem."
The atmosphere in the room had changed drastically, even the air tasted different. Although he hadn't lost interest in the game, Nick respected the fact that asking to continue could wait until a later time. As the other's argued he reached for the pot of coffee on a tray next to their table and poured himself a cup. The contents had chilled slightly but it was of no concequence. He listened intently to everything Wakefield had said, nodding or half-smiling at his attempts to read and resolve the situation. The chilled coffee in Nick's polystyrene cup had turned a tinted grey colour but before he could set it down a certain comment caught his attention.

"Oh, I'm so sorry ma'am. I mistook you for a twelve year old boy... But with that haircut, and that flat chest of yours, who wouldn't?!" Nick almost choked. He cleared his throat and shook his head. This wasn't a good start. He necked the remaining contents of his cup, sat it down and receeded into his former lounging position to observe Wakefield's reaction. It was perfect. He was firm, however polite and careful with his words. From every point of view he was the perfect man to lead. Besides his obvious reserve and intelligence he'd already showed his ability to control the other members of the crew.

Nick decided that it would be best to keep his head down at this point. He stared blankly into space, considering a few analytical notations he'd drawn up only a few days previous. Along with physical evaluations of each and every member of the crew there were phsyce evaluations, until now he hadn't questioned those that were missing. Over the last few hours he'd drawn up his own evaluations of each person in the room, however he'd keep them to himself.
Metris was having problems.

For one thing, the name her connection had given her sounded very fake. Gladys Raenin? Really? They couldn't think of anything better? The ID card scanned just fine (she had tested it), and looked genuine, at least.

Metris was still counting herself lucky to have made it this far. She'd spent the first night, shoved into a crate and left in cargo, too afraid to come out for hours. She had tried to sleep in that sweltering box, but only found herself praying that her connection had made good on his promise to not put any crates so close to hers that she wouldn't be able to get out.

And now that she was on board, she had only a very limited map of the Ezekiel's layout. The cargo and recreational areas had relatively low security, but as for the other levels, she had no idea. She needed more. She needed a detailed map of the Ezekiel.

And she needed a shower.

But that wasn't going to happen anytime soon.

Metris wiped a bead of sweat from her brow, and peered down into the empty hall, through the grate. The ventilation shafts were narrow, but Metris was a small thing, and was able to fit herself inside.

Not much for comfort, but hopefully, it would be safe for her to move, soon.
"Each of you were invited to this session because your training was incomplete. Command did not have the time to evaluate your longterm psycho-social stability, and so they have asked me to complete the report."

Sandor arched an eyebrow at this statement. The notion that someone was going to evaluate his 'Psycho-social stability' didn't quite set at ease with him. Then again, what if Wakefield decided they weren't up to the task, kick them off the tank platform?

"I would very much like to reassure Command that none of you are going to present a problem."

"Problem?" Sandor thought. He leaned back into the chair and crossed his arms across his chest. Taking a glance at everyone else around the table he looked back at Wakefield and spoke.

"No sir, won't be a problem as long as no one else is."
[DASH="blue"]Sabrina smiled back at the insult, and smiled further when Wakefield had spoken, nodding quietly. She wasn't going to answer that insult. She wasn't going to be the one resorting to silly insults on appearance just for one little outburst.

Smirking to herself, she studied her camera, checking it over to make sure it was in the usual perfect condition she left it in. She then adjusted the strap and hung the item back around her neck, then came to rest at the table, her elbows and forearms alighted upon the surface, followed by her chin, when rested on her flesh while she remained standing. Her eyes glanced at everyone before grabbing a camera and sweeping around the room with it, focusing in on everyone's face.

"I apologize for my behavior, I just like knowing how far I can push the people I'm going to be around. I'm pretty sure there won't be any issues on my part." She explained quietly and then stationed her camera around her neck again, almost caressing it before she let go of it.

"So, Wakefield... what do we have to do to prove that we're cleared to go?" She asked with another wide, cunning smile. She was looking forward to this outing. No one could stop her from going. She'd find a way to cling onto this mission. She was good at that kind of thing. She was like gum that was stuck to the bottom of your shoe.
Watching the whole commotion Draug just kept reading his book in his undisturbed corner. ( Well I'm glad I chose not to play it otherwise I might of gotten involved and I prefer not to have to sort others differences). ( I don't think they even notice me.) Finishing of his scotch in the only pitch black corner in the room Draug sneaks closer to better hear the whispers on the other side of the R&R room.

"Wow that Civi is a firecracker I hope I don't get stuck being her security escort on the ground..." "Yeah me neither, I don't like people who purposely push people's buttons to see how far they'll go." " Yeah and if you guys get any louder Wake will here and both of you if not all of us, even us flight crew will get to be her sec team next time she ventures outside." " Well first sign o' trouble and I be droppin' her." And the convo continued until Draug sneaked up on them. If he would've had Sabrina's camera he would've snapped pictures of all their faces when he tapped one on the shoulder forcing him to turn around. It was like chaos and right after the first guy fell out of his chair Sabrina started taking pics with the camera she wished she had film in.

Smiling Draug all most burst out laughing. He just looked at the flight crew, security team, and mech engineering team with a big old smurk hidden under his half mask. The reaction of the guys when Sabrina started taking pictures was even funnier. They started scrambling over each other in blind confusion from her camera's flash. Then wake approached wondering what was going on the same time the Chief Mech Engineer started speaking to him and Draug couldn't help but let out a snicker at that. After the short fit passed he signed to Wake that he should ask the security team, the flight crew, and the mech engineers what was going on with Sabrina present.
"Vr-simulation finished." The cool headed A.I. voice instructed.
"Ejecting pilots now, Please Standbye...."
All 8 of the squad were ejected from the V.R. rigs, gathering in a circle they started to discuss how they couldve done better, and how they operated their systems. The V.R. Simulation had been a game where each of the 8 pilots were given one of 2 random positions in the mammoth tank, thus to ensure that if one of them were taken out in battle, the other one could switch out to make it home safely. While in battle, They would be given commands by a master A.I. against an enemy force that outnumbered them, and could reproduce inside their base. A variety of problems could arise such as, the Mammoth tanks radios stop working, power failure of the tank, one persons controls being disabled to pretend that they were taken out, treads coming undone, etc....
After conversing for several minutes Cpl. Faerich bid them well and that he would meet up with them later in the Rec lounge for some drinks.
Faerich himself however had some plans that he thought were more important. He was supposed to have already been at the rec lounge, however he and his crew had just started the simulations when the request from the Counselor came through.
Wanting to get straight to his tank as quickly as possible he went straight to the closest elevator that took him down to the vehicle bay's level. After reaching the level Faerich quickly walked in the direction to the vehicle bay, remembering about a manual he had left inside his pilot seat of the mammoth tank. After finally getting to the vehicle bay he went straight for his tank's holding cell. Entered and scanned his password, plus badge the doors to the cell opened, revealing the giant metal monster he cared so much for. Getting up close to it he looked it over, once, twice, thrice. Then went into the cockpit sat down, picked up his manual and started reading on how to use the tanks long range radio, keep it maintained, and how to fix it, plus the backup short range radios that could be used to relay individual orders from Mammoth Tank to Mammoth Tank.
After several minutes of reading he thought he heard a loud metallic crash come from the vehicle bay... Wondering what it could be he got up and left his tank to have a look around. All the while thinking to himself (I haven't seen anyone else down here. I wonder if its a parasite?)
Moro was lost in a source book when Draug cause one of the others to fall over. He ignored the chaos and stood up calmly. "Shit it's the LT!" he heard from the group of security. He walked to the one who had pulled off the prank. "Did you really have to do that?" he asked draug"It's been seven days and you already are acting like some delinquent civilian. I suggest you keep your immature pranks to yourself. The last thing I want to see in the field is a lack of unit cohesion, something which that little stunt you pulled off will ensure." Moro didn't want to confront the man but he knew it was his responsability to do so, especially when the other members of the security staff were already present. he left Draug and began talking to the other securtiy personel.
Metris fumbled about in the dark vehicle hangar, trying to find her way by feel alone. She had not intended to come in here, but the ventilation system came to a sudden end just above this room. She had no choice but to cut through to make it to the other levels of the Ezekiel.

Unfortunately, she wasn't the most graceful of girls.


Metris' heart dropped into her stomach when her hip tipped the the flimsy table, loaded with tools, to the floor.

But at least she was fast.

With a speed she did not know she possessed, Metris rushed through the dark, away from the fallen table, and took cover underneath a car. She clamped a hand over her mouth to silence her breathing, and prayed that no one heard.