A most powerful crimson color showers over the city, much like a blanket over a young child. The slowly rising sun's rays are caught and scattered by the mountains and further knocked towards the ground by the reflective clouds above, making a spectacle out of the clear skies.
There is a peddler on the street selling the most recent news of the city, bearing news of the most recent development of the city's engineers, the Chinook's weather control capacity, utilized to help farming efforts in areas with terrible weather. Either way, it's early morning for the day of departure, and the way to the meeting room is open, should you wish to take it.
Serenity‘ doesn’t look like she's gotten much sleep since yesterday when she manages to drag herself into the room.
Harriet heads on in, all geared up, and takes a seat. There's another strap over her chest, this one holding several grenades. It's kind of alarming.
Amal is there a little bit early!
Hughbert shows up with a half-downed mug of tea. He sits down and starts preparing a cup of Cor's tea, to go with and to compare.
Anton strolls into the room before plopping a paper down on the table in front of Harriet. "Got you an article on the Chinook's weather control system. Lots of mumbo-jumbo I don't care to read, but you eat this stuff up, right?"
As you enter you hear someone else you haven't seen yet speaking "I do appreciate the spirit those kids show, but couldn't they have been more cautious?" who speaks that is a woman with broad shoulders and well-trained body, dressed in office uniform with hair short and efficient. Her left arm is covered by the half-cape she wears while she gesticulates with her right "Whereas we did get their clearance sorted they had no regards for procedure"
Cor Caroli looks annoyed, and sighs "I know, I know, but they're helpful like that, plus I do trust our people to make up for any minor issues"
Pope Aldiva herself has turned away from the books and manuscripts she's been writing to watch the two talk, amused
Harriet: "You're the best, Anton!" Harriet grins and opens up the paper.
Hughbert halts tea-prep immediately upon noticing Cor's guest. He salutes, "Major! It's been a few weeks."
Harriet seems like she cares a lot more about that article than the major. Listen, they keep Hughbert around for all that 'social' business.
Amal waves cheerfully! (Kinda low-key though since it seems like this person is both Important and Grouchy.)
Serenity‘ slowly rotates her head on the table towards the new voice. "Who the hell is the new chick…?"
As you head inside, though, they all turn to you "Ah, Lieutenant, good to see you. I take the mission has been pretty hard on you?" the woman Hughbert addresses turns to the party "Ah, so those are the Fatebreakers. It’s good to meet you all in person" she offers her right hand "I am Major Celestine the High Guard"
Cor nods at the words "The chief of our country's military and police forces" she takes a seat at the table
Serenity: "Oh." Serenity closes her eyes again with a yawn.
Harriet: "Oh, uh, hi." Harriet looks up from her article for a moment, nods, and then goes back to reading.
Maj. Celestine: "Hrm… Quite a colorful group. Then again every group is in this city" she looks at Harriet "You must be the young engineer, Harriet. I must extend to you my thanks, your work on electrical energy storage was important to the Chinook's development" she looks at Serenity "As was your help on the university's labs, I admit the actual research was secret but the R&D division had a lot of praise for your aid in developing the green ragnite"
Amal: "Nice to meet you!" They salute! Proper protocol! …sloppier than Hughbert but that's a high bar.
Harriet: "Wait, you know about my electrical work?" Harriet looks up again, much brighter this time. "It went into the Chinook? Of course it did, they have excellent taste!"
The Major looks back at Cor "I better leave you to your briefing, goddess knows I don't want to have to punch you in front of your subordinates" she nods to Harriet "Indeed, it did. Your most recent work was very important, quite a few took n otice it of it but it happened right after you left" she then starts heading out "I'd wish you all good luck, but you're working with oracles, so I think you will need spectacular luck going forward" she says, before leaving
Amal grins. "It's okay, we -have- spectacular luck!"
Harriet: "See ya!" Harriet waves.
Cor Caroli sighs and looks up, the Pope can't help but giggle "If there is one person that won't take your theatrics, Cor" she sighs "Don't remind me…"
Anton: "We'll be out of the country by tonight anyways."
Cor Caroli then looks at the party "Well, let's get back on track here. The next plan was Orsis, correct? The objective there has only one point of contact, unlike the meandering ways I expected out of you in Terchuan"
Serenity‘ sits up belatedly, looking around and still seemingly half asleep. "Wait I worked on a new ragnite type huh wha -?"
Cor Caroli: "You will need to contact President Lumes, the current head of the country, and aid him in neutering the influence of the industrial lords who have, in effect, usurped his power"
Hughbert bids farewell to the Major on the way out. "That went better than expected. You have my thanks for your good behavior in front of my boss…"
Serenity: "Oh, Cor’s here…"
Serenity: "Cor." Serenity turns to look at her. "Cor your notes suck real hard."
Cor Caroli: "He was not very forthcoming with the necessary details, understandably given the methods of communication left for us. And yes Serenity, i'm here. Don't worry you don't need to wake up until you get back to the car"
Harriet: "Serenity, you wanna grab some coffee on the way out? You kinda look like you need it."
Amal: "That's not very nice, Serenity~!"
Serenity: "Yes."
Cor Caroli: "What else did you expect? This is not a precise science here"
Amal: "Oh wait you haven't had coffee yet nevermind you're fine."
Serenity: "I was kind hoping for something legiable but uh…"
Serenity: "I guess at this point the only real question is…"
Pope Aldiva: "I admit her handwriting can get terrible when she doesn't sleeps"
Cor blinks for a moment, confused "Oh, that part"
Serenity‘ then winces at the sound of her own voice, before calming back down.
Cor Caroli: "Do you even know what a ghoul is?"
Amal giggles quietly.
Serenity: "They’re like halfway between a zombie and a ghost?"
Cor Caroli: "Despite being named after undeads you see in stories, and named so due to their apperance… Ghouls are… Human monsters. In particular, Ghoul is the name given to those who still retain most of their mental capacity. Unlike the Wraiths who are… Vastly feral"
Cor Caroli: "I only saw that there was some key aspect of a leader of the Ghouls being involved with the government that led to a final positive outcome, I don't know why, but I know that there is correlation"
Serenity‘ scrunches up her face.
Cor Caroli: "It seems they have some particular piece of technology that would also be helpful for us, but I cannot ascertain what directly either"
Anton reaches across the table and grabs a lollipop. He sticks it in his mouth and goes back to being quiet.
Serenity: "I vote Anton and Amal deal with that part,:
Cor Caroli: "I don’t expect you to deal with any sort of person either, Serenity"
Amal: "I don't mind hanging out with ghouls."
Harriet: "I mean, they're not people, but Amal isn't people and she- he- you know, Amal's okay."
Cor just shakes her head
Serenity‘ stares at Cor for a moment, before grabbing a fist full of lollipops out of the bowl and shoving one in her mouth.
Amal: "You’re all adorable when you haven't had coffee yet."
Cor Caroli: "Well… That aside… It appears that Terra Medical has also apparently moved their main base of operations to Orsis territory, as of the last month. That's a target of opportunity"
Amal: "Maaaan, what are they -up- to."
Serenity: "Duno but they had Exceter steal a uh… light weight power suit, basically, that was particularly good at acceleration."
Cor Caroli: "And though I do expect you to be problem solvers, do please remind Lumes that you are not a kill squad" Cor looks at Amal "I do not know, but the most recent intel report we have indicates they seem to have built a very unique building in an isolated area, which appears to be a giant force gear. There's also a rumor among their own workers that some strange artifact is the reason for that"
Harriet: "Terra Medical, huh…? Well, of course we have to ruin their day."
Amal: "Maybe we'll stop in for tea~."
Cor puts a hand on her chin "Ah, the Boxer… Acceleration aside it's most particularly important aspect is the control mechanism, designed to react to the body movements in a very, very small level. It supposedly reacts to the movement of the body's muscles, so you don't need a complex control mechanism to utilize it. I have the feeling that was the important part"
Cor Caroli: "That's all the information I have at the moment, unless you think I am forgetting something in particular?"
Serenity: "Well I mean that too I guess but it's not gunna be super relavent to hitting him."
Cor Caroli: "Hrm… True"
Cor Caroli: "Hrm… I suppose with no further questions, you should be good go to"
Harriet: "I don't know the questions before I ask them yet. Gimme a couple months, I'm working on it."
Serenity: "Not questions you'd answer, anyway."
The pope blinks "Wait a moment" she goes over to a large book in the bookcase, it's cover entirely black "Here, I want you to take this with you. It's something i've been writing, it's in cypher because it's not something I want most people to know, but put some work on it and try to read it" she hands it to Serenity
Cor Caroli: "Wait you're giving her a copy of the Dark Verses?"
Pope Aldiva: "After all they've done for us, and the interest they've shown in the truths we hide, I figured they deserve a copy of what I remember"
Serenity‘ grabs the book, pauses, gives a look to the Pope.
The pope looks back at Serenity "There’s al ot of knowledge that's only been passed orally from a pope and divine oracle to the next, and that's kind of a bad idea, it gets lost and confusing. So I wrote it down"
Serenity: "Right but…
Serenity: "'dark verses'?"
Amal raises an eyebrow.
Pope Aldiva: "I've called it the Dark Verses because they're like verses in a prayer, yet verses that must remain in darkness and forgotten"
Anton: "Dark ages, forgotten histories, yes it's dumb."
Pope Aldiva: "I mean, that was Cor's suggestion anyway"
Cor Caroli: "Wh- Your holiness! Don't go pinning your naming schemes on me!"
Serenity: "Somehow, I am not surprised."
Harriet: "Sounds like the sort of pretentious shit I'd expect from the history department, honestly."
The pope chuckles "It's fragmented and strange information, I figured a name like that would fit the entire cryptic part of it. I hope it can be of some use to you in the future"
Anton: "How do you want me to approach Mai anyways, Cor? You never really gave a clear opinion on that."
Serenity‘ takes the book and flips through it.
Cor sighs "I don’t want to tell you to tear down her entire company and bring her back here on a stranglehold for imprisionment. Because I shouldn't be condoning scorched earth tactics. But I also feel very strongly about that, so I was going to leave it mostly on your hands on what to do"
Amal: "Tear down her entire company and bring her back in a stranglehold, got it~!"
Serenity: "Gunna shoot her."
Harriet: "I'll probably end up frying her, yeah."
Hughbert: "I'll make sure there's enough of her left to put on trial."
Cor sighs "Bloodlusty bunch, but I don't disagree" she looks at Hughbert "I'll be thankful, Hughbert. I knew I could count on you"
Serenity: "She started it."
Anton: "Don't worry. Amal knows [Life]~" He winks at Cor.
Serenity: "Huh."
Anton hops out of his seat before stretching. "Any-who, let's get this road trip started! New adventures await, everyone~."
Serenity: "I'll let you drive until lunch."
Serenity‘ slips out of her chair and then follows Anton and the other sout.
Amal: "Let’s get you all some coffee."
Cor nods "Good, since you've got yourselves a car there'll be no need to take official transport. Either way be cautious on your travels"
Anton visibly pouts. "And there goes my excuse to nab that book from you. Anything mind blowing?"
Harriet: "Thank Goddess for coffee. See you, bossladies." Harriet waves at the two and heads on out.
Serenity: "I'uno I'm still waiting for my brain to start parsing the cypher."
Anton: "As the future divine oracle I admit I am interested." He chuckles.
Hughbert finishes off his mug and leaves it behind, along with an immaculately penned note that says "Please return this mug home. ~Hughbert." The mug itself has the R+D insignia on it, hopefully that's a good enough tell…
The shower of crimson light yet bathes outside, your car is outside and has been parked in the Grand Chapel's front. It looks like it had one hell of a maitenance, the Chapel's own mechanic team had set up to fixing all the combat damage it suffered and repaint, it looks brand new. Thankfully none of it's systems were fiddled with, with good reason, probably. Whoever broght it here also left a map of Orsis in the front seat
Harriet: "Baby, you look great! Did they give you an entirely new paint job? I'm so happy for you." Harriet, predictably, talks to the car.
Serenity‘ plops herself down into the passanger seat, buckles up, and then returns her attention to the little black book.
The map shows a long road, there’s no direct way into Orsis, despite being directly in the center of the continent the Divine Aegis has no known route directly there. So you need to take a detour through the border with Terchuan. The travel is a somewhat long until you reach the border with Orsis.
Anton gets into the drivers seat before moping. "You know what the worst thing about this is? I can't even look into the future and see what you tell me about it while I'm driving."
Serenity: "I know, I'm the worst."
Serenity: "Don't worry it'll probably take a few days to get where we're going anyway."
The border is not a deeply guarded affair, in as much as it is a no-man's land. You've grown used to the plant life of Terchuan, but after a point, where you know is now the border to Orsis, it ends suddenly. There's a vast spread of completely barren terrain ahead of you, with a single sign showing this is still the road into Orsis, the road here is paved.
JayM: Also wild italic
Harriet: "That's kinda creepy."
Serenity: "Have you never seen the wastelands before?"
Serenity‘ sighs briefly at the book.
Harriet: "Before I started rolling out with you guys I’d barely seen the outside of the university."
Amal: "Ugh. At least the desert is pretty…"
Serenity: "… It just occured to me I'm probably the second most travelled one in the group. Huh."
The barren terrain is also something else… It's flat earth, it's been quite clearly stripped clean, perhaps as a defensive measure? It's not until eight hours after departing, as you head on further the road you finally see something approaching in the distance… A return of plant life but much more subdued, low shrubbery, a short tree here and there. And there's what seems like a town at first on your way…
Harriet: "My sort of development doesn't need much in the way of travel. So long as there's a place to test things out, I'm set."
Hughbert: "I don't often go out of town myself… I do send people to all sorts of places, though, so not much will surprise me here."
But as you approach closer you realize this can't be a town, there's a lot of… Containers here. Except the containers have windows, and doors. They're arranged haphazardly around some central area, there's trucks in this central area that seem to be makeshift shops. There's a paved way going straight from the road into the central area and then further ahead into the nearby hill before making it's way into a mine
There's almost nobody here except for a few younger people and a few odd adults
Serenity: "Holy fuck whoever is in charge of the mine here is a goddamn idiot."
Anton: "Just wait until we reach Terra Medical if you think this is bad~."
Hughbert waves a bystander down. "Excuse me!"
Serenity: "Ugh no it's -"
Serenity: "The diamond cutter they have is really badly designed or broken at fuck and either one of those things should be immediately obvious to any engineer with half a fucking brain and it's insanely loud fucking goddammit."
It's a young man stops by as you get by in the car "Yes?" he looks about just having reached his twenties
Hughbert: "We're travelers passing through, could you point us to a place where we can park and have a fine meal? We'd be grateful."
He scratches the back of his head "Oh, uhn, you're out of a luck, this is just a worker's camp" he looks back at the center where the makeshift shops are "If you need anything, I guess, you can get something to eat there. Don't expect your wallets to survive, though"
Hughbert: "You don't sound too happy about that. Is there a problem with the shops?"
Serenity‘ gives a really nasty look out in the direction of the mines.
Young Man: "Hrm… Well, you wouldn’t quite understand"
Young Man: "But there's not really anywhere else you can get food around these parts, it doesn't really helps when you spend almost all your money to eat"
He sighs "Sure enough you can get it 'on the tab' but this way it's going my wife's never getting out of this hellhole…"
Harriet: "Wow, that sounds pretty fucked up."
Amal frowns.
He shakes his head "Don't mind me. Nothing you can do about that"
Young Man: "Just go light on the food if you want to make it out of here"
Serenity‘ purses her lips together, then makes a very smug and satisfied expression.
After a few moments… You hear a loud whistling noise in the distance. Then you see what looks like a cloud of steam jetting out of the mine- No, scratch that, it’s a stream of blue fire, sign of high-density ragnite fire
The man's eyes go wide "SHIT!" and he starts fucking running towards the mine, you see quite literally everyone older than 9 doing the same
Serenity: "Huh."
Amal: "That doesn't look good…"
Harriet: "Should we be doing something about that?"
Anton glances at Serenity before giving her a look.
After a while the fire dies out, but there's a lot of smoke
Serenity: "Don't look at me I didn't tell it to explode."
Serenity: "Maybe they'll fix their shit now though."
Serenity: "An-y-way."
Hughbert: "Will you intervene if they don't?"
Serenity‘ makes a shrugging motion. "Nothing I can really do if their company is too cheap to get working gearing, I mean, I’m not really part of the Orsis safety regulations? If you wanna have some Words with them though I won't stop you."
Harriet: "I bet I could fix it."
Serenity: "Oh yeah no question there."
Amal: "I don't think anyone in Orsis has the money to do much of -anything-…"
Harriet: "Besides, if we fix their gear maybe they won't make us pay ridiculous amounts for trail mix."
Hughbert: "Their problems sound quite complicated. I believe we lack the time required to fix this particular homestead's problems and still tend to our main goal… But if there's anything we can do within a few hours, I'd likely agree to do so."
Serenity: "Well if the drill was just broken and they have some parts laying around Harriet could patch it up better than these assholes can,"
Amal: "At the very least, maybe eventually we can get the rest of the world to invest in Orsis, or something… this is awful…"
Serenity: "But if it was bad design then it's kinda out of our hands, and I couldn't tell which it was just from the noise."
Harriet: "Well, no use nattering about it when there's a problem right there!" Harriet opens the door and clambers out.
JayM: Sounds like sidequest time
Harriet goes to the mine, looking entirely too much like a kid with a new toy and not at all horrified like someone who just witnessed a terrible accident.
Serenity‘ considers for a moment, then sighs, closes the book and tucks it into an inside pocket of her jacket, then follows Harriet.
This is not something that looks like a town proper should, it’s more like a mass of containers in which people live. At the center are cargo trucks, converted into makeshift grocery stores and general stores. As you walk by them you realize everything here is tagged with the "Licies Mining Company" sign, all the containers, the trucks, even the storage of some of the food
The path into the mine is long, actually, and looks a little terrifying… It must have been a ragnite mine, down the path comes the trickle of ragnite leaking from the mine itself….
Harriet: "It's a good thing I wrote the book on safety, or this might be dangerous!" Harriet opines, cheerfully, hopping over a ragnite puddle.
As you head further up you see that the entrance of the mine got completely tore apart, like a terrible scar on the land it looks like it exploded from inside out, there's char marks everywhere, even the paving heading up here is burnt
Serenity‘ scratches at the back of her head.
Amal is extra horrified to make up for Harriet’s expression. (And follows close behind Harriet to heal her if they have to…)
Harriet: "Yeah, I don't know what they expected. You there!" Harriet flags down one of the people here. "I am going to fix your tech, and in return you are not going to make us pay a million dollars for supplies."
There's billows of smoke coming from the mine itself… At some point there was a pipe leading to a store unit outside but the pipe ignited from within, it lies in pieces- The ignition made it's way into the storage unit too, but thankfully without air to interact with it didn't go aflame, it's leaking, but most of the leak comes from the mine itself
Serenity‘ rubs at her leg momentarily, then glances over at Harriet. "Probably should ask for the foreman…?"
The person, a man at around his fourties who pretty clearly looks like he was too close to the flame when it went on "W-what"
Harriet: "Oh, right. Where’s your boss? I should probably tell him that instead."
Serenity‘ mumbling to herself "(And why the fuck would telling it to go to sleep cause an explosion…?)"
The man’s still shell shocked "What- Boss?" he points to somewhere off to the side. There's a trailer that seems like it was completely safe
Harriet goes over there, knocks on the door sharply. Rap-rap-rap.
The door opens as you knock on it, there's a man in there shouting at someone else "WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU'RE DOING, THE DRILL CANNOT BE SHUT DOWN!"
Harriet steps on in, leaning over with clear interest. "So why can't it be shut down?"
The man looks at Harriet, he's red "Because we can't lose production, which of you fucks decided to shut it down!?"
Serenity: "Pretty sure it was your faulty hardware…"
JayM: I don't think he realizes you're not one of his workers
Harriet: "Probably the smart one, because your shit is kind of wrecked. I'm gonna fix it and you're not gonna gauge us when we pick up supplies."
Harriet: "
Harriet: "Cool? Cool."
Serenity‘ rolls a shrug. And while Harriet might look like one of his workers, Serenity and Amal certainly don’t.
JayM: Who knows, Serenity
JayM: Wouldn't be sad if you did?
Anton jots down a note before passing it to Serenity.
Amal frowns harder.
[OOC] Serenity: im clean and wearing nice clothes :<
Harriet: "Geez, and people call me a jerk. Whatever, you're boring." Harriet leaves the trailer.
Serenity‘ opens the letter, looks at Anton. "No shit."
Anton: "I’ve seen futures where it happens, just sayin'."
Once outside, you're once again greeted by the sight of the billowing smoke
Serenity‘ then folds the note back up and slips it into Amal’s mouth.
Harriet: "Okay, so where's this drill? Hey, hey!" Harriet jogs over to one of the people who are, surely, still kind of concerned about all this. "Where's the drill of the hour?"
Amal: "mmmph!?!"
Serenity: "I guess there really are infinite possabilities if there was a version of me stupid enough to do that."
After a moment the one that was inside being chewed out finally steps outside "Sorry for that, he'll go crazy if something happens"
Amal: "mm uh mmffmf oopf uh mmff er"
The person is wearing an engineer's jumpsuit, they're showing clear burn marks on their body and clothes "Are you really just going to randomly fix people's machines, though?"
Engineer: "Look, the boss won't pay you a dime but I can share some food i've got back at my box if you want"
Engineer: "But right now, i'm going to be happy to have anyone that still has both arms working to help me out"
Harriet: "Sure, why not? We're here on a diplomatic mission, and apparently people like it when you solve their country's problems. Mostly I just like fixing broken tech, though."
Serenity: "It's sort of our job to go around randomly helping people are part of a peace keeping diplomatic convey… thing…?"
Amal realises there's gotta be some hilarious tea on Serenity on the note, takes it out of their mouth and reads it.
The engineer looks at Harriet weirdly "Wait, diplomatic? Where are you from?"
Harriet: "I'm Harriet Babbage, resident genius of Masharas!"
Serenity: "Amal don't play with your food."
Amal eats the note with a shrug. (Or they put it in their mouth and vanish it. Same difference either way, really.)
Engineer: "Masharas?" they start slowly building up a laugh, until they reach full crescendo and sdlowly stop it again "Oh man you're going to have a field day with the Mole Head"
Engineer: "It's… Come on, come with me"
Serenity: "Is that what you call the peice of crap that just blew?"
Harriet: "Finally," Harriet trots on after the engineer.
They lead you into the mine "There's no mask for the smoke, cover your mouth this smoke is bad for you" they look back at Serenity "The Mole Head, yeah. Bigass fucking drill and extractor combo"
Serenity: "Huh… i wonder if it shut down the extractor before it shut down the drill…"
Harriet pulls her goggles down, ties a cloth around her mouth. She was probably hiding one in her belt somewhere.
There is no way to see anything this close to the entrance, after a while they move you to a side tunnel less full of smoke. There's… A lot of people here, most in miner's clothes, all of them with awful burn marks. There's people of all ages, from ten to fifty "More or less. The extractor's piping system runs very, very hot because it doubles as part of the drill's assembly"
Serenity: "Ah. Yes, that would… do it."
Harriet: "Wow," Harriet deadpans. "What smart-alec thought that up?"
Serenity‘ pulls her shirt up over her mouth and nose.
The engineer looks around "You, you can run. Get team b out of there" he looks at someone else "You, get me a water projector unit!" he looks back to Serenity "If the ragnite keeps running then it won’t reach ignition temperature but if it stops, boom"
Engineer: "I don't know. You can't even start the fucking machine without outside assistance, it wasn't made to stop working until the vein's completely dry"
Harriet: "And how the hell are you supposed to maintain a rig that never sleeps?"
Harriet: "Goddess, whoever made this was dumb. I want to reach back in time and slap them."
Serenity: "It was making some really weird noises when we pulled in, I imagine some jury-rigged solution that needed proper fixing six months ago finally gave out or something…"
After a while the second person arrives carrying two things that look like large square metal backpacks that apparently has two cannons on the top. There is a large water container in the back. He hands one to Amal and puts on the other "You find a way"
Engineer: "More like twelve years ago"
Engineer: "I don't think this unit got taken in for proper maitenance since it was constructed"
Harriet: "I'm so mad just hearing that."
Engineer: "It's cheaper to just put some glue in it and worry later. Anyway, follow me"
Serenity: "Mmhm."
Harriet tromps on after him.
Amal asides to Harriet: "(Oh my goddess why were these people allowed to build machines.)"
Anton seems to be staying in the background. He probably doesn't look all that tech savvy to begin with so hopefully he can just stay back on this one.
Harriet: "(I don't know but I need to go revoke their licence!)"
He starts taking you further down the mine "The drill assembly is still burning" he looks at Amal "Kid, there's a lever in the bottom. Pull it and out comes water, we're going to put out that fire" he finally reaches a vertical drop "Hrm… Elevator's gone? That's why team b haven't gotten out yet" he looks around, there's a brass stair in the side "This way"
Amal nods and follows the engineer guy. THIS IS STUPID but they have a disaster to mitigate and they can piss and moan later.
He finally takes you down the stairs (wow they're hot) until you finally reach the drill assembly… There's four people here, one of them's on the ground and deeply burned. One of them has a clearly broken leg but is still resting against the drill assembly itself, against an open panel "Oh, hey! I think I got the flow to- Oh, crap, no I didn't!" they're working on it with a single hand, there's ragnite slowly pooling on the floor
Meanwhile, the ceiling is entirely covered in fire, as is the back end of the machine that looks like a long tube, the drill bit is inside the rock
Harriet: "Wow, this is pretty fucked up. Hey, guys, you think a cryogrenade or three would calm that fire down?"
Serenity‘ sighs, heads over to the panel. "I got it."
Amal is surreptitiously sending out waves of healing sparkles to keep people stabilised as they go. "(H- holy shit…)"
The engineer looks around "Fuck this shit… Kid, water on the engine, I got the ceiling" he looks back at the party "You- Ah, you’re on it"
Amal hits the lever and points in the right direction, as ordered!
Serenity: "Hughbert's probably better for getting the ceiling anyway,"
Water sprays in the back of the engine, the engineer keeps his water device aimed at the ceiling
Serenity: "Uh how do I get to the pump without cutting tubes out?"
Serenity: "Problem's deeper in."
The engineer looks at Serenity, kicks the side of the machine causing a door-like entrance to dislodge "Don't die"
Opening the door itself it leads to the guts of the machine. It's hot, the ragnite's still running and pooling inside, it's choking with smoke… But you could probably crawl through there to reach the pump system
Serenity: "That'll work. Please don't throw any of those things inside while I'm in there Harriet but feel free to test on the ceiling."
Serenity‘ climbs in.
Harriet: "Oh, fine." Harriet cracks a pin on one of her grenades, waits half a second, and tosses it up. "(Two, one…)"
Serenity` lets out a breath and makes a lot of motions with her fingers once she’s inside, subtly pushing the spilled ragnite out of the way with her powers now that no one can see her doing it.
Serenity: "Good Goddess this is EVEN DUMBER THAN I EXPECTED HARRIET," a shout from within.
Harriet: "IT'S PRETTY DUMB ALREADY," Harriet shouts back.
The frost grenade flies up- It triggers and drowns out all the heat in the area! The inventive solution chokes out the flames, cooling the area considerably. Between the two water sprays going on a light snow-like mist gathers
The air feels insufficient, still thick with smoke. On the other hand the loss of temperature makes the air easier to to breath
Amal: "Wow."
Serenity: "'Kaaaay."
Harriet: "SURE THING," Harriet yells, cracking the pin on another grenade and tossing it towards the back of the machine.
A thin layer of condensation forms on the shell of the machine for a moment, before it melts down
Harriet shrugs, and tries another one!
JayM: A second bomb! The condensation seems to stick now, the temperature is now down to 'bearable'
Serenity‘ crawls out a few minutes later.
The engineer looks at Harriet "Hah! Now that is a useful little thing"
Serenity: "Okay it won’t blow up until you turn it back on now."
Harriet: "What'd you end up doing to it?"
The ragnite seems to have stopped pooling
Serenity: "Uh bullshit with melted plastic and dia powder and other bullshit."
Harriet: "Oh, cool. Right, okay, let's have a look." Harriet heads on in!
Serenity: "It's not a good fix but I mean, when it cools off you can fix it instead of it exploding."
Serenity: "Gah no let it."
Serenity: "Let it drain and cool Harriet, inside is bad."
Harriet: "Ugh, fiiine."
Harriet: "Hey, you," Harriet turns to the engineer, "tell me more about this thing while we're waiting."
Serenity: "There is a LOT of ragnite just piled up in there." Serenity herself looks suspiciously dry though, only a little bit clinging to her boots and the bottom of her jecket.
The engineer puts down his backpack "This piece of shit?"
Harriet: "Yeah, this piece of shit. I'd like to know what I'm dealing with here."
Serenity‘ squints and looks around, before finding the proper shut off switch and pulling it.
Engineer: "The Mole Head drills into the earth with some ragnite you put on it then it uses the ragnite it mines to power itself further. It’s… A simple machine, pump assembly and drill bit are integrated, there's holes in the drill bit to draw in ragnite"
JayM: There is no power switch, Serenity
Serenity: "…Ok so I knew there wasn't a power switch but -"
Harriet: "What's the pump assembly you got in there? How long ago are we talking?"
Serenity: "Is there seriously not even an emergency shut down one…?"
Engineer: "You need an outside starter assembly to start it up, then you aim it down and let it go, keep patching up and reinforcing the mine as it goes along, stretching the collecting tube. It only shuts down when it runs out of ragnite to mine"
Serenity‘ rubs at her face.
Engineer: "I don’t even know if the pump assembly has a brand or anything it's this… Really simple thing using a kinectic force gear to force the ragnite to move further. And no, there's no emergency shut down switch"
Engineer: "Why would anyone care to install an emergency shutdown system? I mean they didn't even fucking bother to make it shut down in the right order"
Amal: "Yikes."
Serenity: "If I ever find who designed this peice of shit…"
The engineer sits down and sighs "What, what'll you do"
Amal: "Where'd you… where'd you guys -get- this thing from?"
Engineer: "You're going to fucking get yourself killed?"
Serenity: "Hmm?"
Engineer: "Amita & Sons isn't known for producing anything other than cheap"
Engineer: "And who produced every fucking piece of mining gear in this goddess-forsaken country?!"
The one with the broken leg looks at the engineer "Hey, man, calm down
Harriet: "Cool, a new entry for my shit-list."
Wounded Man: "If someone hears you then you're going to be thoroughly fucked"
Serenity: "It's okay we're not from Orsis we're allowed to talk shit and point fingers without bad things happening to our families."
Engineer: "Hear me?! Hear me! I want someone to fucking hear me! Like i've anything left to lose! My daughter works for Maelphas Logging, she's as good as dead already, my wife was taken goddess only know where twenty years ago and you know that when people disappear they don't return!"
Engineer: "The only reason I haven't taken this entire mine down with me is because you're here!"
Serenity‘ sighs, glances over at Anton.
Amal eyes get kinda wide, then really narrow…
Anton scratches his head before muttering to no one in particular. "(Yeah. I’m not really looking forward to the whole human experimentation front of Terra Medical either. No idea what's going on in Mai's head.)"
Harriet: "Yeah, this all sounds pretty fucked up."
Wounded Man: "Well, i'm just thankful you're not killing me when going nuts. But c'mon, i'm sure you can still find your kid somewhere, it's not like she's gone the work is just… Difficult"
Serenity: "(Start looking for a way to get the foreman to give a shit about his men, would you? I imagine it's going to be pretty needle in a haystack-y, though.)"
Harriet: "Hey, if I install an off-switch in this thing, do you think you'll be able to manage it so it doesn't explode into a fiery mess every so often?"
The engineer looks at Harriet, he's out of breath and not from the stifling air here
Engineer: "What…? You can do that?"
Amal: "Harriet can do pretty much anything."
Engineer: "Look… I haven't figure out how to… Heck, I can barely fix this thing when it break"
Anton shakes his head. "(Easier said than done. They're pumping out these strict production quotas because they have to. He's not in a good position either. No one is here.)"
Engineer: "But if you can… Well, at least it'll keep those fools alive a efw more days"
Engineer: "Not like it's wrth it… But fine"
Serenity: "(I know. Didn't say it would be easy but they're pulling all my 'give a shit about other people buttons' right now, which, really isn't fair.)"
Harriet: "Yeah, it's not gonna be that hard. And look, I'll poke around in the system and write you some instructions for upkeep. You know enough to follow instructions, right?"
Engineer: "That much I can do"
Amal: "…anyways… things will be changing around here sooner rather than later. So… try to hang in there a little while longer, okay?"
Serenity: "Where do you guys keep spare parts? I wanna figure out what we have to work with."
Harriet: "Cool. Oh, yeah, spare parts will make this much easier."
Serenity: "Off switch is top priority, but if there's enough shit laying around we could probably work on a super basic filter to make it a…. little less explosive."
Harriet: "Good idea." It's one of the highest compliments an engineer can give!!
The wounded man looks at Serenity "There's some outside, the storage shed is in the camp"
Serenity‘ nods, stops to give the machine a flat look briefly, then heads over to the storage shed.
Harriet: "Right, I’m gonna go grab some stuff. Uh, Amal, can you help that guy out? Healing's not really my thing."
Wounded Man: "I don't think you can get access to it without the foreman's permission but…" he sighs, and tosses you a set of keys "But somehow you can get in, because only the foreman has the keys, of course"
Serenity: "It's okay I can open locks without asking people."
Serenity: "Keep the keys - if I don't have 'em you can't get in trouble for it."
Serenity‘ tosses them back.
He picks them up "Right"
Anton: "(If we want to change something about this, we have to go to the company responsible for production here and Terra medical. The only way things here are going to get better from things we can do here is if the Foreman had an ’unfortunate accident'. And if we did get a future where a nice guy replaced him he'd be out by the end of the month when they weren't able to pay up.)"
Amal has been going around patching up the wounded, yeah. Burns without magical healing are Bad News. :(
Serenity‘ frown/nods to Serenity before placing a finger on the shed lock, mumbles something, then pulls it open.
Amal: "(Oh, yeah. I don’t need future sight to know -that-.)"
[OOC] Serenity: er, to anton obv
Harriet: "Oh, cool," Harriet says when she sees Amal Working On It. (She hasn't really been paying attention to anything which isn't the problem.) She heads on up and follows Serenity inside the forbidden supply cache! And immediately sets to inventorying and grabbing useful things.
Anton nods to Amal before gesturing to Serenity. "(She asked, though~.)"
There sadly is only so much Amal can do, but they're stable. You can't stop scarring, and that broken leg will need Actual Fixing later, but they'll recover fully in the future if they're cared for
Amal looks exhausted once they're done making the rounds, but at least everyone'll pull through. "(In Rissan we have a saying. 'Eat the rich.')"
Outside, you need to see the storage shed is nearby the ragnite storage units, there's six of them here each one of them gigantic, five are full, one is slowly leaking it's contents after the incident.
The storage shed is a large metallic box, reinforced. The lock is a surprisingly dense object, with a very complex mechanical lock inside, breaking it requires more effort than initially expected but you Serenity can get through it with ease
Serenity: "Wow."
Inside are the supplies, the parts are a little dirty and grimy, and there's definitely Not Enough spares for safety standards at all, but there's… Enough
JayM: Don't those people have actual buildings anywhere? It's all those boxes
Serenity: "With as cheap as they are I was expecting to only need to pop one bolt up and out of place, not all that."
Harriet: "Either things break down a lot around here, or they're really skimping on the spares."
Serenity: "That would have been hard with picks - uh, bother, I wager."
Serenity‘ gunna… go seal up that leak before joining Harriet in supply gathering.
Harriet: "Geez. We need to fuck up this Amita and Sons business. Just, like, on principle."
Serenity: "Yeah I’m not a huge fan of they way the people in charge of this country keep people in line."
JayM: It isn't difficult to seal the leak, thankfully. You can grab a plate from the supplies and weld it over the leak, it's going to do the job
JayM: Thankfully at least they had the decency to make the storage units airtight, with no air for ignition ragnite's safe from an explosive reaction
The supplies are there, enough for Harriet to make the off switch, enough for Serenity to make a simply filter system to keep the Mole Head in line
Harriet has a pocket welder, thankfully! She made it after her welding rig was too unwieldy to deal with a particular project, and hasn't gotten around to submitting it to the university yet.
Serenity: "Okay I'll get the filter you get the uh… actual repairs? Just gemme the exact dimensions to slot this in for when you get back in there…"
Anton chuckles before glancing at Serenity. "Well, at this rate the ghouls can't be much worse?"
Serenity‘ stops and leans backwards enough to look at Anton, then groans.
Serenity: "I don’t like how much sense that thing you just said made."
Harriet: "Yeah, sure thing." Harriet makes sure her cloth is tied back securely, hoists up her supplies, and starts back towards the mine.
The trip back into the mine shows the air has cleared, there's no obvious way to circulate air inside here, and you have the feeling there is no non-obvious way either
Serenity: "(Not without more money devices…)"
Harriet has to resist the urge to fix that problem too. She once read a fascinating paper on air filtration systems!
You see people leaving- carrying things, tools out. They're wounded, burned, both young and old. You finally get back to where the drill is, the brass stairs have cooled, but they have warped somewhat and are harder to go down. Carrying supplies down proves a logistical problem but you can solve it
Harriet is used to carrying a bunch of gear around with dubious line of sight to the ground, at least.
Serenity: "Okay Anton time to earn your keep -" Off loading all the heavy shit.
Anton can just fly some things up and down and ignore that awful staircase, yeah.
Harriet: "Oh, yeah, Anton can do it!"
Once down it's time to get to work, the drill has become effectively stuck in place as it can no longer work. But fixing it isn't difficult for Harriet, sure it requires draining the ragnite off of the machine, and then literally tearing apart the outer shielding so you can actually access the area that needs fixing (who decided to run plastic pipes in a system that runs this hot anyway? you got some metallic ones here, plus those won't move in a way that will unbalance the machine)
Harriet assesses things quickly, and then gets to work. Luckily, she has leather gloves to ward off heat!
Serenity, on the other hand, will need to get a bit inventive to get access to where she needs to put the filters. The filters will eventually need replacing, but it's not hard to make some instructions how to make more. The hard part is where you need to put them, they need to go before the area where the ragnite is used as part of the force gear, which means way ahead in the drill bit. It'll require some squirming around and careful moving, but you can get it installed. It'll be easier to do this when the big isn't deep into the earth
Serenity: "I wonder how many times this thing has blow up just trying to kick start the engine…"
Serenity‘ continues to find reasons to be thankful she’s small. Although worst comes to worst Amal looks pretty flexible……..
JayM: See, Serenity. Do you see this particular exhaust pipe right here? It exhausts from inside the drill assembly. Given the old damage on it you imagine that it probably ignites fuel inside itself at least every once in a while when trying to be started
JayM: Yet the inside is entirely unshielded, it's like someone took effort to make this so shitty
Amal probably actively shoves Serenity out of the way and cat-wriggles into the really tight spaces for her, yeah. Or at the very least they help out to get things done twice as fast!
Serenity: "Harriet is looking at this thing causing you physical pain too?"
Harriet: "Absolutely! Oh my Goddess, I'm so mad." Harriet is gutting the useless bits and replaces them with things which work a little better, remembering to stop every so often and jot notes down in her notepad for the engineer's use.
The engineer has, by now, left. And thankfully taken the wounded out as wel
JayM: There it is
JayM: Now it's… A machine worth going into beta-phase testing
Amal: "Hooooly smokes."
JayM: It's not going to self-destruct on shutdown
JayM: It can shut down
JayM: It's fairly less likely to explode on it's own too
Harriet gets to work sequencing the system to shut down in the proper order once the replacement repairs are gone, setting things up so that she can feed it commands to stop through a small device. The device itself won't fit in the casing, so she cuts a little hole in the casing and feeds wires through. She's sure to build the shutdown switch its own secure casing so it won't get damaged
Harriet by virtue of being housed on the outside of the drill. (And she's sure to place it somewhere where it can be accessed without too much loss of life.)
Serenity‘ put a goddamn cap near the exhaust point to at least point it away from both the drill and the tubing, at least.
Serenity` then takes a few steps back and gently pats the machine.
JayM: Well
JayM: That’s all you can do now
JayM: I suppose it's about time to head out
Harriet scribbles down some final maintenance notes, and goes to find the engineer she was talking to before they leave.
Amal: "…hopefully that'll hold it."
Harriet and the party heads outside… How strange, now that you look at it the ragnite spill is… Drier? And not in the normal pattern
Serenity‘ tilts her head, glances over at Anton curiously.
You find, outside, the engineer staring at the foreman’s trailer. Their pants are drenched in ragnite, their shirt has been drenched too and they hold it on their left hand in a ball, dripping. A piece of debris that looks fairly sharp in their right hand
They're breathing heavily… A cigarrete in their lips
JayM: They haven't noticed you yet
Harriet: "Oh. Uh. Shit. Someone who isn't bad at people should go talk to that guy, like, yesterday."
JayM: It doesn't take an oracle to know what's about to happen
Serenity: "Yeeeah…"
Harriet: "Anton, you're up."
Anton scratches his head. "Well, I guess this technically is still our problem. The possibility of him doing this didn't even exist until the explosion."
Serenity‘ winces.
Anton: "Me, though? Really? I’m a nice guy but do I really look like the negotiating type? You asked for this, I guess!" He waddles over to the engineer calling out to him. "Sir, I say sir! Do you have a moment?"
The engineer startles, they look at Anton "Ah… Please, go away…"
Anton: "Have you mentioned any of this to Carla?"
Anton: "Or were you just going to blindside her with the news?"
The engineer closes his eyes "How do you- Ah, no matter…"
Anton: "Those letters are one of the few things she looks forward to you know."
Engineer: "She operates the acid cutter… You don't last more than a few years operating those"
Engineer: "… She's going to be gone before I am, you know"
Engineer: "What use is… Hollow comfort…"
Anton snaps his fingers at the guy before grinning. "Well, lucky for you then that in a week that operation is going to be shut down. Permanently. Hi. I'm Anton, Masharas's upcoming Divine Oracle."
The engineer looks at Anton "What? How could you know it's going to be shut down?"
Engineer: "Pft… I don't trust this mystical bullshit… If there was something out there… They wouldn't let this happen"
Engineer: "Yet it does"
Anton: "Because we're here to topple this countries power hiearchy and shift it to presidential power. Whoops! That was classified by the way."
The engineer starts laughing "Ahahaha, really? Ahahaha, like you'd be the first ones doing that"
Anton: "I'm going to tell you how this is going to go down. Future #1. You believe me and decide to wait a week before doing something incredibly dumb. It turns out I was right!"
Anton: "Future #2. I reach you before you can do anything with that cigarette with my top of the line force boots. We tussle in the air before I restrain you."
Engineer: "If not even unions couldn't do, if the Icy Maiden couldn't do" he turns to look at you in the eye "What hope do you have you can do it"
Anton: "Future #3. You just surrender and we all enjoy some lollipops and trail mix!"
The engineer looks at Anton, looks at the party behind him, lookd at Anton again
Anton sighs. "Dude. I'm an Oracle. OR-A-CLE. I can see this happening right now, my man. And you just won the lottery of not getting screwed over by fate!"
Serenity‘ rolls a shrug, walks past Anton and goes to take a seat on the steps into the foreman’s trail. "Don't look at me I just talk to spooks, he's the future seerer."
They close their eyes… A scowl… And they spit the cigarrete at Anton, just tosses what he's holding in the ground "I've already been as screwed over as I can handle…"
Engineer: "I'm already trapped here…"
Anton: "If you haven't heard any news about us in a week go ahead with your blow up plan, then. Until then though…" He tosses the guy a bag. "Enjoy some trail mix~!"
Amal is doing <3_<3 eyes at Anton.
They pick up the bag, and sighs "… And it was me that promised you food when you first showed up…"
The fall over to their knees "What am I doing…"
Engineer: "What in the goddess' name am I doing…"
Anton: "Let me go on record though by saying that it's so not cool to leave your sister hanging like that. And you call yourself a brother?"
Harriet scratches at the back of her neck, glances over to Serenity with a grimace. He's having a lot of emotions and she's glad she's not dealing with it.
It takes a while before before they stand up again, and start heading back to town "Fine"
Anton: "We're going to make things right in this country. So until then you need to put on a strong front for her."
Engineer: "This is all I handle… But i'll hang in there…"
Engineer: "I'm still the chief mechanic I guess… Someone has to keep those other fools alive…"
Serenity‘ shrugs back at Harriet.
They just walk back down in a daze
Serenity: "We made that part a little easier already, at least!"
Serenity` points at the documents in Harriet’s hands, then the way walking away.
Harriet: "Oh, yeah, here." Harriet goes over, hands over her notes. "These should make maintaining that thing easier."
They pick up the notes, look at them in silence, and continues walking away
JayM: I think they're a bit beyond being capable of fully acknowledging you now
Anton frowns. "You guys do know 'Hey what's that!' tackle the guy with an image or being the bait is more my forte than talking to people, right?"
Serenity: "Anton."
Serenity: "You can literally see the future,"
Serenity: "And I remember something about you having honest to Goddess True Empathy?"
Serenity: "Verses like…"
Serenity‘ gestures towards Harriet, "Her,"
Serenity: "Or my general abrasive self."
Harriet: "We’re technicians, not talkers."
Harriet: "I can fix a machine easy. A person? That's way more complicated."
Serenity: "And Amal's…"
Serenity‘ glances over at the lil demon, "Out to lunch or something."
Harriet: "I think they’re just really impressed by what Anton did out there."
Serenity: "…Not even sure what hole Hughbert fell into either…? But I mean that was all you buddy, and it worked out."
Anton shakes his head. "Harriet would have offered to improve the equipment his sister was using at the camp that's dangerous to the wielder. She could have done it!"
Serenity: "Right but like,"
JayM: Serenity
Harriet: "I think Hughbert might be dealing with the other people here..? I dunno, I wasn't really paying attention."
JayM: Who do you think evacuated everyone else while you were dealing with the machinery?
JayM: With this many wounded too
Serenity: "He gets mad, she starts shouting back because that's what Harriet does and he's already thinking stupid thoughts…"
Serenity‘ was similarly not paying a lot of attention to people that weren’t Harriet while down there, yeah.
Harriet: "Yeah, that guy was having way too many emotions for me to actually deal with them all."
Harriet: "This sort of thing just isn't my wheelhouse."
Harriet: "No one blew up, so you did just fine!"
Anton nods. "Let's… head back to the car."
Harriet: "Sure thing. The foreman would probably just yell at us, and I don't trust myself not to slap him right now." Harriet goes to retrieve Hughbert, and swings back to the car!
Serenity: "Anton if I mess with the foreman's trailer is that gunna come back on the workers rather than just making him annoyed?"
Amal: "I wanted to see how you handled the situation compared to my approach!" Shit eating grin.
The car remains where you've left it, still in it's pristine condition
Somewhat refreshing to see it
Amal: "…and, you did great." It softens to a smile.
Anton ruffles Amals hair. "Don't worry little buddy. I got to see your approach all the same!"
Serenity: "Eh nevermind I already know the answer to that." She quickly writes something down on left over scrap paper, slides the under the trailer door, then heads back to the car.
Anton glances at Serenity before nodding.
It's somehow refreshing to be back here
Serenity: "Anyway uh."
Serenity: "Sorry about that I guess."
Anton: "Let's make sure to not make all that stuff I spouted empty promises, okay?" He gives her a nod.
Harriet: "Oh yeah, we definitely have to tear this the fuck down."
Serenity: "Yeah, fair enough."
JayM: You know
JayM: This was a such a bitter first taste for this country
JayM: Wonder if it can get worse
JayM: Wonder if it can get better
JayM: Either way, at least for a day, those people are going to handle
JayM: You're soon going to be on your way
JayM: But for finding empathy even on the most salty of your hearts, have [+10 XP]
JayM: It felt actually a little weird GMing this session
JayM: But I hope you had fun

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