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What do you know? [closed]

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On their way to the metal opening, Darya nods at Alise over Erin’s head propped against her shoulder. “Thank you for the potion,” she murmurs, giving the mage-woman a weary grin. “You got any more for Erin? A healing potion, maybe?”

But that’ll have to wait until they get to the threshold of the restricted door. She lets Erin sit on an office chair resting against the wall and observes the wounds on the woman’s body. Judging them to be mostly shrapnel damage from the explosion, the sight of the blood is still worrying; however, there is no time to patch her up, not with the humanoid creatures and walking tank a concerning number of paces away from them. Giving the injured woman a determined nod, Darya then strides over to Alise, who has begun to assemble a barrier to cover them from the sight of the hostile things beyond.

"The door seems strong, I wonder if we have the time and combined strength. Or what if... we tricked the walker into shooting the door with one of its missiles? Could that work?"

There’s another plan. She thinks about it for a moment, hands absently moving to help strengthen their cover. “It’s, well—” Darya pauses, heaving up an office chair to prop it up against the makeshift barrier, “it’s a bit risky, and we’ve made this cover already. We’ll have to dismantle it for maximum effect, but there’s no telling what a missile blast can do to the door and, most importantly, whatever is beyond it.” She looks to the others, gauging their expressions, before she shrugs and places a hand on her hip. “I’m up for just ramming it open with brute force, but if you both think the missile is a better idea, I’ll have your backs.” Despite the circumstance, Darya scrounges up a smile and gestures towards the gap, that shimmering means of escape. “What’s the plan?”

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"Trying to lure a missile over here is going to require too much electorate planning. We have to somehow get it to fire here, then we have to get the fuck out of the blast radius, then try to get the walker to not shoot us when we come back to the door, presuming the zombies don't completely overwhelm the room in the meantime." Erin hurriedly shut down the idea, "It's not a great plan, but forcing it open might be all we have the time for."

Not caring for the talk of healing potion, as she felt there was no time to worry about it, she moved to the door as soon as Darya set her down, and began trying to find the best ways to get leverage.

"Try the card again first, maybe." she suggested, making sure to keep her hands away from the door when it was done, "Probably won't work, but it's worth a shot. If not, get something ready to wedge into the frame if we can manage to get it wide enough to slip through."

If there was something they could use to pry the door open, even better. Erin did not want to risk her fingers in an automatic doorframe made of solid metal.

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There’s nothing else for it; Darya turns and fishes out the keycard from the depths of her coat, grabs a piece of misshapen metallic debris from the aftermath of the tank’s missile blast as she makes her way to the door, Alise hot on her trail. “Then we better start working on it.”

At the guttural screech of metal grinding, a few of the humanoids shiver and jolt to attention, and the group’s precious window of respite begins to close up on them rapidly as the horde swells and turns to shuffle forward in their general direction. Despite the makeshift barrier, Darya knows it will not hold for long, not under the weight of the combined assault.

And there’s no telling whether the walking tank will decide to fire yet another missile at them. She is counting on its current distraction focusing on the swarm at its feet, but it is not a certain thing.

It takes a few grueling tugs, working together, as sweat trickles down drenched skin, but inch by inch, the door begins to give away, and the moment the gap gets wide enough to squeeze through, Darya quickly pushes Alise into the next room and gestures for Erin to follow them.

Lost in the frantic haze of panic, she whirls back to look at the area they have just vacated. They have got to do something about that opening, or everything will be for naught. “Find something to close the door,” Darya hisses at the others as she takes covered position at the doorway, crouching low and reaching for her gun. She empties both of her clips, shooting at the nearest group of Others slowly gaining on them, trying to buy time for Alise and Erin behind her.

Edited by vielle

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Darya didn't have to gesture much to get Erin to follow, the woman was right behind her and Alise, practically pushing them through the gap in the door so she can get through herself. Once inside, Erin takes out both her guns, keeping one in her right hand in reserve while left-handedly firing the other through the opening at the approaching others. Darya was urging someone to close the door, but Erin couldn't really hear it over the sound of the combined gunfire from the two of them.

Luckily, Alise was on her toes, clamping her magnetic disk thing onto the door, then using that leverage to pull the door shut. The sound of clanking against the metallic slab could be heard from the other side, but it was unlikely the Others were going to break through a barrier as sturdy as this one.

"Nice job." Erin nodded at Alise, though the latter woman didn't seem particularly receptive to former's praise.

This was probably still due to Erin's own cockamamie stunts when it came to doors. 

"Hope they have a back entrance." Erin added, standing up and trying to brush some of the blood, bone and shrapnel off the surface of her clothes, "Let's get that damn part."

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The fortified door opens into a metallic corridor.

On one side spread an array of monitors; some of them are on and flickering snow, others are off, others are off and fractured, but for the last whatever force compromised their integrity was not enough to also scatter shards of glass substrate to the ground. It was a frail mortal anger that did this damage.

On the wall opposite are sheets of metallic hull, incongruent in shape and thickness, a haphazardly arranged carapace forced to fit over something which was at one time sleeker and elegant but which had been compromised, which was now degraded and broken, which had given way to the endless assault on the outside and would continue to do so if left unchecked, so it was checked with slabs of metal and boxes full of debris to weigh it down and obstruct anything or anyone who made it on through.

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Attribution

The other end of the corridor had no door. It emptied out directly into the pit of a laboratory which Darya and Erin could immediately tell was better equipped in proportion to how much smaller it was than the lab they just left behind. It is clean and it is sleek; all the monitors and equipment is intact but only some of it has power; the map they saw with the doctor suggests that the far northern wall feeds into a narrow alley just in front of an armory and water well, but no obvious exit makes itself known.

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Attribution

Even with the thick doors and the distance between them and the past, both women could still make out the faint but distinct sounds of war and its various promises.

Current goals: 1) Identify / acquire the isotope. 2) Find a way out with minimal death

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Darya sags against the metal doors, closing her eyes and breathing ragged for a moment. With the barrier between them and the hostile things beyond finally in place, the adrenaline pools out of her veins, replaced by the encroaching sense of fatigue. In the slight haziness that envelops her line of sight, the shining glorious thread that shoots out from her chest flickers in and out of existence, bending and translucent like sunlight underwater. She does not know if it is tied to her exhaustion, but she wishes she could see the colors just a little bit more clearly. It’s comforting, to say the least.

There is no time to fully rest, however, not when their time limit continues to trickle down the longer they stay here.

"Let's get that damn part."

She wearily nods, getting to her feet and giving Alise an encouraging smile as she passes by the woman. Her quick thinking had saved them all, for now; who knows what would have happened without her?

Casting a glance down the corridor, Darya trails behind Erin’s determined stride, looking over the monitors with slight trepidation. As they reach the end of the metallic hall, where the area suddenly widens out into a sleek laboratory unlike the one they have just left behind, she immediately moves towards the monitors that seem functional, trying to determine the location of the isotope within these walls.

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Erin began examining the various machines, trying to find something that might accept their keycards. A scanner or a slot or a slide or something, anything. But so far she had found nothing that fit the bill. Unfortunately, she was no computer hacker, so there wasn't much she could do in that regard either. Then again, maybe the password wasn't something so hard to guess in the end.

Sitting at one of the consoles, she typed in the word "isotope" and hit enter, just to see what it did.

If nothing else, she used the moment as she was sitting to reload her guns and pluck some metal shards from her skin. All the while she tried to brainstorm some simple potential passwords for the computer, hoping it didn't have an automatic lockdown mechanism if you failed the password too many times. 

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With Erin and Darya’s combined powers—which is really just Darya sneakily looking over at the other woman as she tries out various combinations of words and numbers to finally gain access to her particular terminal; Treiller597 isn’t exactly the most unique of passcodes—they are eventually provided with an expansive collection of scientific notes, complex diagrams, and schematics for machinery beyond Darya’s limited knowledge for such things. Not really her forte, these things, and a faint ache begins to brew in the back of her head.

It takes her a suitably average amount of time to sift through the data, combing through parched-dry jargon and rambling field notes to finally gain some sort of direction from the information presented. “The notes are talking about that thing in the dish over there,” she suddenly pipes up, extending a hand to gesture to the dish covered by an orange cone just a few paces away from the terminals. From the corner of her eye, Darya watches Alise quietly come over and examine the material inside the container, loudly taking note of its prismatic set of colors and the geometric nature of the object within.

“You think that's the isotope?” Darya turns her questioning gaze to Erin, waiting for the other woman’s input on the matter at hand.

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"Your guess is as good as mine." Erin replied, only briefly glancing over her shoulder at Alise and the substance.

She resumed looking at the notes, wanting to be as thorough as possible, at least, so long as the barricades against the Others were holding up. There was no way they wanted to return to the doctor with the wrong stuff, especially since they probably only had one chance at this. Further trips into the lab would mean the others would probably have overrun everything, not to mention the biological structure of the adventurers themselves may no longer be stable enough to be this close to the nexus. They had to be sure they had the right shit the first time.

"You don't see anything else that could possibly be what we're looking for, do you?" she wondered.

If only they had a way to raise communication with the doctor or the military guys back in the safe zone. That way they could just have the doctor confirm everything with them before they moved on. Unfortunately, Erin was no tech expert, and even though she knew enough to recognize communication equipment, she would not be able to fix it if it were broken or being interfered with by the nexus. Even so, she added radios, intercoms and walkie-talkies to her internal list of things to search for. Eventually she spotted what looked like a telephone line running out from the central console.

"Okay, let's see if this works."

Picking up the receiver, she first tried speaking into the line, and with that failing, she looked for a card or note with a list of extensions or something to that effect, at which point she'd try to connect with the gatehouse or barracks.

Edited by Tyler

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There is no information on the terminal or near the sound-powered telephone to suggest it has an ability to direct its call whatsoever. There is no dialing mechanism, no switchboard to which one can plug and unplug cables, only the handle containing microphone and speaker.

Erin picks up the line and it doesn't ring. Lines like this don't ring, since they don't 'dial out' but are instead constantly connected between two points, like a sophisticated string-and-tin-can parallel. Erin receives no response after speaking, then shouting, into the line.

Five minutes later a light goes on above the phone. When picked up, the following can be heard:

# = static and hissing

Quote

"-otop # -trometer # -ange cone # -cape hatch # -ral cons- # -urn it arou # -ack!"

(OOC: Erin and Darya have been in the lab for 1 hour and beyond the threshold for 2 hours.)

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Darya returns to sifting through the notes, trying to find something she can present in response to Erin’s query when a sudden click rings out behind her, and apparently—

“You found a telephone line!” She exclaims, moving over towards the other woman to peer over her shoulder at the promising discovery.

"Okay, let's see if this works."

It takes a little while, a few minutes for something to come out of the receiver, but then out comes a message rendered indiscernible by the wheezing and popping of static. Perhaps it is the encroaching feeling of exhaustion, or perhaps the rapid depletion of left-over adrenaline, or perhaps Providence has seen fit to smile upon them again, but after a tense moment spent in deep thought, the two women both seem to effectively divulge the syllables torn out of the statements by the static noise, the words hidden by the hissing pops of machinery transporting verbal messages over long distances.

“The isotope is in the spectrometer. Under the orange cone. You have to take the escape hatch under the central console. Grab hold, turn it around until it slides open. Hurry back!”

Darya gives Erin a long, hard look, and then springs into action, moving towards the isotope and deliberating how best to carry it without jostling the container around too much. “You take care of the escape hatch, and I’ll hold on to the isotope. If anything hostile comes along, you’ve got more firepower than I do, so to speak, so you cover for us.” She pauses as she stares down at the spectrometer, giving it a considering glance as she gathers her thoughts. “Let’s go get ourselves back to base,” Darya quips; she can’t help but grin.

Edited by vielle

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Erin didn't understand the message quite as well as Darya seemed able to, but the big about the escape hatch was the part she had understood most clearly by implication. Heading over to the central console, she began fiddling around looking for it. After a few minutes, it popped open, and she looked back to make sure the other two women were in tow.

"Got the goods? Let's go then!"

She took point, figuring she would need to lead the way in case they ran across anything hostile, since their rear was probably safe for now. Alise could follow from there anyway, ensuring Darya was in the middle and thus the safest. Not that Erin liked putting someone else in the safest position, preferring to always reserve the best positioning for herself. But at this point, trying to get put in the middle would just be an time-wasting argument, and they had wasted enough time as it was.

Thus, they proceeded into whatever lie on the other side of the escape hatch, hoping to return home without further trouble or incident. As if things could ever be that easy.

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Both women must take hold of the central console and exert considerable effort in concert to turn it in place. They make three full revolutions before a telltale click sounds in the confined room, and then the console lifts slightly off the floor and slides out of the way to reveal a hatch. 

The hatch reveals a vertical ladder which leads straight down into incomplete darkness. Once at the bottom there is only one way available to them - forward. A dozen paces or so brings with it a nearly physical wall of stench and reveals a sewer entrance.

(OOC: Pretend that brick wall is just an open doorway.)

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Attribution

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As they work together to reveal the hatch and take turns shimmying down the ladder to arrive at the bottom of the shaft, Darya takes a moment to lean against the wall to catch her breath and check the spectrometer to assure its safety, tucked under her arm, and then the group moves forward into the darkness. The very second she takes a generous whiff of air to calm herself down—

There had been words whispered under her breath.

Crude words. Colorful words. Numerous words.

“Oh gods,” Darya says, stuffing her free palm against her nostrils, trying to block any more of that awful stench from reaching her lungs. “Did not expect that,” she continues, voice muffled under the stretched fabric of her cuffs. Looking around in the hazy shadows cast by the lowlight, she realizes they’re standing at the entrance of what seems to be a sewer, a narrow metal bridge stretching out over the wastes to the other side of the room. She can’t distinguish anything beyond the open doorway at the far end, but there’s something about the darkness that makes a shiver crawl down her spine.

“This feels way too ominous,” Darya murmurs, low enough only for her own ears to catch, and then heaves a sigh, turning her gaze to catch Erin’s eye. “Further on?”

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Erin really ought to be more prepared something like this, given the number of times she had ventured into less-than-pleasant places or engaged in less-than-pleasant jobs. Yet, as they stepped into the sewer and the stench reached her nose, she reacted quite strongly with a string of curses of her own, while lifting her shirt over her nose. Her own body odor is a much preferable smell by far.

"Further on and hopefully away from here, yes please." she answers Darya's inquiry, urging the group forward.

She hopes the catwalks over the sewer are not rusted out or structurally unstable, because she figures she'd rather blow her brains out than fall into this shit. This literal shit. And knowing her luck, she wouldn't die or drown in it, but would instead be overtaken by the nexus's influence and become an Other, with her Other form being some sort of sewage golem. Yeah, that would be her shitty luck. And seriously, she needs to stop thinking these shitty thoughts about shit, because it's really putting her in a shitty mood. Shit, why is that all she can think of right now?

Erin briefly looked down at the filthy sludge under the catwalk, just about a foot or so under her feet. 

Oh yeah, that's why...

She quickened her pace to cross the bridge, eventually coming to the doorway. She didn't hesitate to enter it, following the corridor as it twisted around and led to a stairway. Unfortunately, this stairway only led deeper into the sewers, which was not what Miss Hale had been hoping to find. Still with her shirt over her nose, she grumbled some more as she continued to lead the way. At least there were no walkers down here? Right?

Edited by Tyler

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