Space Dust (Peregrine Falcon)

Peregrine

Waiting for Wit
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High fantasy is my personal favorite, followed closely by modern fantasy and post-apocalyptic, but I can happily play in any genre if the plot is good enough.
Aeva changed into the envirosuit with the kind of rote moment that could only be born from long practice. She sighed slightly as the suit wrapped around her skin, a shiver unconsciously running up her back at the cold contact of the suit that had just been pulled out of storage.

A moment later and the suit activated, running through a small series of procedures that caused it to conform to her body and adapt to her physique. The suit was powered off a small dust battery that could run for months. It wasn't a particularly complex piece of technology, designed to minimize any radiation exposure, absorb some impact damage, and provide a small physical boost that would make it easier to traverse the complicated, untamed wilderness.

Fortunately, Novon's atmosphere meant that they wouldn't have to worry about the helmet. The air was not toxic enough to require filtration, they did not have to worry about a sudden downpour of acid rain. As long as they were careful with water filtration and checked what they ate, the place was almost hospitable.

Aeva finished up by hooking several little canisters at various places around her suit. The envirosuit's gears whined slightly, adjusting to the additional burden of dust-expanded storage containers, but they didn't slow Aeva's movement down too much. Finally, she strapped the hand-held condenser into its holster at her waist.

Aeva immediately looked around as they stepped out of the hatch. The very first thing that struck her was the size of the plant-life around them. It hadn't been as obvious when they'd been descending in Starlight, the ship's display warping things just enough to increase field of view that the difference had been more subtle, but everything here was huge. The ferns came up to her shoulders easy, and she was certain it would take four or five people to successfully wrap their arms around the trunk. Even more so, the moos under thier feet had long, twisting stalks that could almost be mistaken as a type of grass if it wasn't so densely packed.

The second thing she noticed was the weather. It wasn't actually raining, but the air was filled with a dense moisture that sat at a strange halfway point between rain and mist. The water instantly began to dapple her suit and hair. "At least we won't have a hard time finding clean water," Aeva grumbled slightly, speaking mostly to herself even as her nose wrinkled slightly in distaste.

A faint noise from Asher had her snapping her head around, before her eyes finally locked onto the strange creature in the tree. It was high enough up that it was almost possible to miss, and it's unnaturally large eyes stared down at them.

"I wouldn't worry about it," Aeva said lightly. "Even though I feel like we've become miniature, that thing's eyes are unusually large. It's probably nocturnal, disturbed by the ship. I doubt it will bother us too much, at least until the sun sets."
 
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Falcon

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Fantasy, scifi, futuristic modern, fantasy modern, Action/adventure, Mystery, Fan-based,
Asher nodded as Aeva spoke. "And even if it does bother us, at least we know it's here." He said finally. This was quickly followed by a "It's kinda cute in it's own ugly way."

His eyes continued to scan the area around them and he turned in a slow circle, keeping his back to the ship for the most part. Aeva was right. It felt like they were in some child's doll house garden. Their ship was right for them, but all the plants were wildly out of proportion for what his brain wanted them to be. and the air, so full of the damp... For a moment he thought Aeva seemed displeased at the amount of waters in the air, at least he thought he detected a grumble in her voice. but when she didn't elaborate further he decided it wasn't something he should ask about.

"You're right. Dehydration wont be a problem. Do you want me to set up the condenser? or would it be better to wait until we've scouted a bit?"

Asher was fully ready to start setting up base camp, but the military in him wanted to assess the area a bit more. Check out the foliage, look for signs that they might be in danger from anything, But Aeve might have a different preferred order of operations, and as she had been doing this quite a bit longer than he had, Asher decided it would be better to ask before he went traipsing off for a look around.
 
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Peregrine

Waiting for Wit
Original poster
SECURITY DEPARTMENT
FOLKLORE MEMBER
Invitation Status
  1. Looking for partners
Posting Speed
  1. 1-3 posts per day
  2. Multiple posts per week
  3. One post per week
  4. Slow As Molasses
Online Availability
On fairly regularly, every day. I'll notice a PM almost immediately. Replies come randomly.
Writing Levels
  1. Adept
  2. Advanced
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Primarily Prefer Male
  2. No Preferences
Genres
High fantasy is my personal favorite, followed closely by modern fantasy and post-apocalyptic, but I can happily play in any genre if the plot is good enough.
Aeva shook her head slightly. "As moist as the air is, I imagine it would only take the condenser a few minutes to get us enough water for the day. We need to find a few regional catalysts we can use with the extractor first and foremost, since we don't have a large supply of dust on hand. We'll need to be regularly creating more to maintain our expenditure. That means exploring."

In the end, Aeva and Asher's instincts coincided, although Aeva's initial focus was entirely different. As a mobile, low profile team, it was normal for explorers to not spend more than a day at a single location. Rather than setting up a sustainable base camp, the most important thing was that the two of them would be able to maintain their daily expenditure of resources while on the move. Food and water were obviously critical, but their most essential resource was actually the limited dust supply. The tools they relied on to prepare their food, clean or condense water, set up barriers, heal their wounds, all relied on dust. Without a stable dust supply, at least enough for two people, none of that would be possible.

"You want to run me through what you know about finding good catalysts?"
 

Falcon

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Asher thought for a long moment, having that sudden sensation where something one knows they know gets wiped from the mind the moment they're asked about it. He had been chosen for this. he knew he knew the material. So why was he suddenly so nervous about potentially giving a wrong answer.

"Typically speaking," Asher paused thinking through his words carefully, " The more rare the material the better the reaction. Materials that seem to be a limited resource, plants that are either difficult to find or obtain, Minerals that only form under very specific circumstances, and as far as monster part go... Stronger and heartier tend to work better but those are also bigger battles. Tends to mean we have to go after the big predators."

He closed his eyes for a moment trying to recall the information. "While we probably should be making notes on everything, we only need to try the ones that are more difficult to obtain. Last I heard the scientists were still unsure why it works that way, but I'll admit that's not really the type of news I tend to pay attention to."
 
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Peregrine

Waiting for Wit
Original poster
SECURITY DEPARTMENT
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Invitation Status
  1. Looking for partners
Posting Speed
  1. 1-3 posts per day
  2. Multiple posts per week
  3. One post per week
  4. Slow As Molasses
Online Availability
On fairly regularly, every day. I'll notice a PM almost immediately. Replies come randomly.
Writing Levels
  1. Adept
  2. Advanced
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Primarily Prefer Male
  2. No Preferences
Genres
High fantasy is my personal favorite, followed closely by modern fantasy and post-apocalyptic, but I can happily play in any genre if the plot is good enough.
Aeva nodded, pausing for a moment in surveying her surroundings to take a peek at Asher as he spoke. Seeing the traces of nervousness in his expression, she couldn't help but chuckle silently to herself. How many times had she felt that exact same emotion whenever Emeryx had suddenly sprung a pop quiz on her? Perhaps it was common across all mentees.

"You are correct that we don't yet have a good understanding of what makes a good condenser," Aeva agreed. It was part of the reason explorers were so valued, because there was no formula to use for finding good dust sources.

"The most popular theory among HQ's researchers is there's some sort of energy or substance in the universe that objects are able to absorb and retain. When we run it through an extractor, that energy is then converted into Dust. The theory is that there's only a certain amount of that energy for each type of item in the universe. That means things that are rarer may be able to absorb a larger portion, because they don't have to compete so fiercely.

"Another theory is that the more vigorous a life force is, the more it is capable of drawing and storing catalyst inside itself. That's why old items and ferocious beasts often have good potential as catalysts.

"Of course, both theories doesn't exactly hold up when you consider the fact that we've set up breeding programs for some highly valuable plant and docile animal catalysts, and they haven't shown any reduction in capability." Aeva paused abruptly, smiling awkwardly. "Sorry. I can get carried away talking about these things sometimes. I find it fascinating, even though I don't really have the experimental creativity to be a researcher, so I like keeping up with the latest releases. Feel free to interrupt me if I start to ramble too much.

"Moral of the story, you're correct. Anything that stands out from its surroundings has the potential to be a good catalyst. However, it's also important not to overlook something that is both thriving and makes a good catalyst. Those are the most critical candidates for catalyst farming. What's more, we're likely going to need to rely on poor but plentiful catalysts to keep our own dust supply full while we're out here. So, this will be your first chance to train your explorer's instinct. While we're exploring, grab an item. Anything. Doesn't matter if you think it will be a good supplier or a poor one. Try and make a prediction about it's catalyst potential, and then we'll evaluate it. Sound fun?"
 
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Falcon

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Fantasy, scifi, futuristic modern, fantasy modern, Action/adventure, Mystery, Fan-based,
Asher couldn't help but smile as Aeva accused herself or rambling. He liked that she did it. It made her seem more human and less of a legend, and that helped him calm his nerves a little bit.

"Sounds good," he answered as she gave instructions for they're exploration outing.

On impuse he grabbed a spare data tablet to keep notes on, and quickly configured a three collum spread. One for the item, one for the hypothisis, and one for the results. A minute later it was tucked safly away in the front pocked of their specimen collection bag. He intended to fill that bag if he could. Preferable with things that looked promising but also not too terribly dificult to locate. Aeva was right. They could make do with smaller catalyst producers if they could find enough of them.

Asher hefted the bag prepared to follow Aeva's direction, but also taking stock of there suroundings. The was a new world, none of them knew exactly what to expect, and every instict in him was tuned to react at a momen't notice. Didn't mean he couldn't enjoy himself though. They were living the ultimate adventure. They would get to see places very few others ever would.

"If you don't mind me asking," Asher started, "What's your favorite part of all this?" With his free hand he gestured to the alien world around them.
 

Peregrine

Waiting for Wit
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Posting Speed
  1. 1-3 posts per day
  2. Multiple posts per week
  3. One post per week
  4. Slow As Molasses
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On fairly regularly, every day. I'll notice a PM almost immediately. Replies come randomly.
Writing Levels
  1. Adept
  2. Advanced
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Primarily Prefer Male
  2. No Preferences
Genres
High fantasy is my personal favorite, followed closely by modern fantasy and post-apocalyptic, but I can happily play in any genre if the plot is good enough.
Aeva couldn't help but nod slightly to herself as she watched Asher immediately begin putting her advice to practice on one of their data tablets. It was more common for supports to be the ones to train this kind of instinct, as it was also a support's responsibility to maintain their dust reserves and keep records on their encounters. Many low ranking combat explorers didn't bother with that skill.

However, almost all of the highest class frontline explorers had trained this skill, some by incident but others very intentionally. After all, when a dangerous situation arose, it was on a frontliner to choose their best course of action. Any frontliner who could quickly evaluate the risk versus benefit of any particular encounter would be able to make much more accurate judgements than someone who could only guess at the potential dangers.

As soon as Asher finished his final preparations, Aeva gestured him to take the lead, following half a step behind him. While there was no telling from which direction danger might arise on an unfamiliar planet like this, even the ground and the air weren't necessarily safe, the fact that it was standard for frontliners to take the lead was built into their very name. Meanwhile, it was Aeva and other supports' job to act as a wide range scouter from behind.

Wiping a bead of dew off her cheek with a trace of frustration, Aeva tapped a finger on two of the dust containers, releasing two small dots of blue and yellow dust. A support explorer's most common tools, Aeva quickly supplied the dust to her lenses, flicking through the various vision modes and causing the world to briefly dance in a collection of technicolor before she turned them back off.

"Well, I know a lot of people who are in it for the money and the honor," Aeva began, her eyes darting about, not losing focus on her job even as she spoke. "Truthfully, I also started it for the money. But that stopped mattering after a certain point. Now... I keep going for curiosity. We still know so little about dust and catalyst, and the answers have got to be out here somewhere. And there are so many things I've seen that seem almost unreal. Things I have no explanation for. And they make the world seem so much more incredible."

Glancing briefly at Asher, Aeva smiled. "What about you? It's not particularly common for military men to end up as explorers, although I'm sure the army would love to change that."
 
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Falcon

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Fantasy, scifi, futuristic modern, fantasy modern, Action/adventure, Mystery, Fan-based,
"Oh they would," Asher answered with a dry laugh, "But me... I supposed I wanted a change to explore and see new things without the certainty that we were also looking for a fight. And there so many places that only exploders will ever see." He half glanced over his shoulder both to make sure he was giving her enough cover, and to see if that was enough of an answer.

The other half of his attention was strictly focused on the path ahead. If it could be called a path. He was simple finding a relatively straight route to the north where the ground was mostly clear of debris. It was very different from his home colony. They plants here were bigger, had broader leaves, and to his eyes seemed to be more vibrant shades of greens and yellows with other splashes of color thrown in.

He kept his eyes out for animal life too. an though his ears picked up on what sounded like an occasional trill, He say neither the creature that made it, nor anymore of that first wide eyed fuzz ball that had greeted them on their arrival. It made him wary, to feel like the whole area was in hiding... but then he and Aeva were completely new to this place. For all Asher knew this was normal.
 

Peregrine

Waiting for Wit
Original poster
SECURITY DEPARTMENT
FOLKLORE MEMBER
Invitation Status
  1. Looking for partners
Posting Speed
  1. 1-3 posts per day
  2. Multiple posts per week
  3. One post per week
  4. Slow As Molasses
Online Availability
On fairly regularly, every day. I'll notice a PM almost immediately. Replies come randomly.
Writing Levels
  1. Adept
  2. Advanced
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Primarily Prefer Male
  2. No Preferences
Genres
High fantasy is my personal favorite, followed closely by modern fantasy and post-apocalyptic, but I can happily play in any genre if the plot is good enough.
Aeva laughed slightly at his comment. "I'm afraid you're definitely looking for a fight here as well. Mission objective is analysis on the critical organs of a giant, and I don't think it's going to let us take those readings peacefully." But, after her brief chuckle, Aeva sobered up. "But you're right about seeing things only explorers will ever see. Novon is a good find and has a high probability of becoming fully occupied, but there are many planets out there where the evaluation results aren't worth the effort to colonize and harvest.

"I remember one of the planets I visited early in my carreer was covered in crystalline insects. Had to have been one of the most beautiful sunsets I'd ever seen in my life, with all the light reflecting everywhere. But the ground was also solid stone and there was no water anywhere on the planet. Not worth harvesting, but still a remarkably beautiful sight."

Aeva fell silent for a moment, reminiscing at the memory. However, a second later she called Asher to a halt. "You should be checking these ferns, mosses, and the trees" Aeva said, gesturing towards the plants that surrounded them. "Normally... well, normally that's my job. But I'm going to make you do it for the experience. The closer a plentiful resource is to the landing site, the more critical it is to know whether it can be used for us to resupply after a trip, or if we need to ration our dust for return trips as well as expeditions out."
 

Falcon

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I have a shifting work schedule, so My online times will be random.
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  3. Prestige
  4. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Male
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  3. No Preferences
Genres
Fantasy, scifi, futuristic modern, fantasy modern, Action/adventure, Mystery, Fan-based,
"I'd have liked to see that..." Asher answered in response to her description of the planet. For a moment he let his mind wander, imagining what it must have looked like, but then he pulled himself back to the present and the task at hand.

The moment Aeva told him she wanted him to be the one to check the samples, Asher shifted into work mode. Pulling the test kit from one of his various pouches, calling up a reaction chart on the tablet he was taking note on, and beginning the documentation process for the first sample, he settled into the process. Of course that didn't stop him from sneaking glances at Aeva just to make sure he was doing everything correctly. The last think he wanted to do was embarrass himself by screwing up the fundamentals in front of someone who had apparently hand picked him.

He had taken several sample in the course of their short exploration, and he started with these, taking notes on the environment and location in proximity to the ship as well as why type of sample it was and any distinguishing factors, before performing the text itself, and noting down the type of catalyst reaction in the test tube, it's strength, and burn duration if there was any.

When he was done Asher handed the chart over to Ava to look over just in case he had missed anything, biting his lip a little as he waited for either her approval, or further instruction.