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#Salvaging – August 13, 2013
Renala shakes her head, her expression thoughtful. "I don't know," she says. "Didn't one of the datapads' log entries also refer to something like that, or am I misremembering it?"
Steve shakes his head. "I don't think so..." he says. After a few moments of silence, he lifts his head to speak again, "What else do we have to go on?" he asks, looking towards Renala, "You think he's talking about the men that abandoned them? Maybe whatever these guys had was valuable and the others decided to come back for it... But I didn't notice any tracks that would indicate they came back around... Did you?"
Renala | "Who else could it be?" Renala answers. "And no, though I didn't really look for them." She glances towards the back of the truck. "I could go out and check."
Steve nods and stands from his seat. "I'll go with you. If what they had was valuable enough for those guys to come back up here and kill for it, I'd assume Hnipinn would be willing to reward us handsomely for returning it."
Tyranniac| The part Fera is inspecting doesn't seem to have any electronic components. It looks like it might have been part of the turning mechanism of a larger device.
Renala stands up in turn. "Yeah, it might be," she says, "but I doubt they're just going to give it to us." She takes a few steps towards the back of the truck. "I'm a bit worried we might have to face whatever caused the carnage out there."
Steve follows behind the asari. "If they're still in these mountains, I can't imagine they'll be able to mount much of a resistance. This weather has to be taking a toll on them and their equipment."
Fera'Sel shakes her head and sighs, then lowers the part to her lap and looks towards Renala as the latter moves towards the back of the truck.
Renala climbs out of the truck. "Yeah, I didn't think of that," she says. She looks at Fera. "We're just going to check if another vehicle passed through here recently." She assumes the quarian have listened to the omni-tool's recording. She takes a few steps to the side of the truck and looks over her surroundings to see if there's anything that resembles truck tracks.
Tyranniac| There are no tracks to be seen nearby. The forest is to the east, there are open plains to the west and sloping down to the north. Further up the mountain to the south is a cliffier area.
Steve checks the tracks they had been following, attempting to figure out how many unique sets of footprints there are, and whether or not anyone returned down the path.
Steve gives a frustrated sigh and returns to the rear of the truck and waits for Renala to finish her investigating
Renala looks around thoughtfully before stepping back to the truck. "I can't see anything to tell us where they went," she says. "I'm not sure if there would be any point for them in going up," she points southward, "but that's not much more than a guess." She is shivering a bit as there's nothing to keep her head warm.
Steve rubs at the back of his neck, "Where they went? Unless they suddenly sprouted wings, I'm not even sure if they ever came up this way... It looks like everyone that came this way is right there." he says, nodding towards the corpses strewn about, "But that doesn't make any sense... It looks like the only lead we have left is the hunters..."
Renala thinks for a moment, and then nods. "Yeah, seems so," she says. "If it were the people in the other truck who did this, they could even be off-world at this point." She heads back to the truck and climbs inside.
Steve climbs in behind the asari and moves over to the speaker. "Hey..." he begins, holding down the talk button, "Nothing else to see up here. All we have left to go on is the tracks leading into the forest. Let's head back that way."
Tyranniac| The speaker comes to life after a moment's static: "You've got it." A sigh and faint mumbling about the mission being a bunch of wasted time can be heard before the transmission cuts out.
Steve returns to the rear of the truck and closes the door before retaking his seat beside Renala. "It doesn't add up. There's no other tracks leading to, or from, those bodies. How were they attacked?"
Renala takes her seat and buckles up. "Snow could have covered the tracks, yeah," she nods in agreement with Fera. She looks towards the turian. "Even then, someone must have gone to take this device the omni-tool recording mentioned."
Exactly. A ranged assault might explain how they were ambushed, but it doesn't explain how they lost this device he was talking about. Someone would've had to of moved in to retrieve it.
Renala is sitting a bit leaned back, eyes closed, but she hasn't had any luck sneaking in a nap during the trip.
Steve has been sitting with his head against the wall, bouncing his leg quietly during the duration of the return trip.
Steve stands up and approaches the speaker once again. "Any chance of navigating this truck through the treeline, or are we going to have to follow the trail on foot?"
Steve sighs. "Alright... Wait here, we'll be back soon." he says before turning towards the others. "Well... Hope you're all wearing comfortable shoes."
Renala picks up her backpack from underneath her seat and picks out three clips and what seems to be a wrapped energy bar and puts the stuff in her jacket's pockets. She closes the pack, unbuckles herself and stands up, streching a bit. "Hopefully that won't be another dead end." She puts the backpack on.
Steve nods and moves towards the back of the truck. "I guess we'll find out soon enough." he says, opening the door. He steps outside into the snow and begins moving towards the treeline.
Renala follows Steve out of the truck and towards the treeline. She shivers for a moment once as she's out and feels the biting wind, but doesn't complain.
Steve breathes into his hands and holds his warm gauntlets against his cheeks for a moment, acknowledging the cold for the first time. "Shouldn't be so bad once we're past the treeline... Hopefully it'll shelter us from the wind." he says, as much a reminder to himself as the others.
Tyranniac| As they start moving into the forest they would notice not only the wind being largely gone, but the thick, snow-covered branches of the high trees blocking out a lot of light.
Renala lets out a faint sigh of relief as the wind seems less here in the forest. She looks at the ground to see whether the tracks of the hunters are still visible.
Fera'Sel follows behind Steve and walks deliberately towards the forest. She glances around as they begin to enter it. "I have a bad feeling about this..."
Steve continues to follow the tracks as best as he can, glancing around for anything out of place as he does so.
Renala follows, also glancing now and then to see whether there's anything or anyone out of the ordinary.
Tyranniac| An attentive person might noice some brief movement at the corner of their eye as they move deeper into the forest.
Tyranniac| Young human is just walking after the others, not really putting much effort into anything.
Renala snaps her attention towards the direction, but she did not see it enough to say anything for certain. She shakes her head wordlessly and continues walking.
Renala | "Anyone else think they saw something?" Renala says in a low nervous voice, her hand outstretched and pointing in the general direction of the slight movement.
Renala | "I don't know," Renala says. "Thought I saw something moving. Could have been an animal, though."
This place is likely to be teeming with wildlife. It's probably nothing to worry about... Still, stay alert.
Renala nods and continue walking, but glances towards the direction of where she saw the movements quite a few times.
Steve stops short of the stream. "Looks a little dodgy." he says, examining the frozen path. "We should probably go one at a time, just to be safe." he continues, looking towards the young human, clearly implying that he goes first.
Tyranniac| Young human grumbles annoyedly but moves towards the stream "Ah, man... why do I have to go first?"
Fera'Sel stops a couple steps behind Steve and looks around nervously. She activates her omni-tool and begins slowly typing on it while she looks. After reaching the overload program, she keeps it on standby. Just in case.
Steve sighs and furrows his brow. "We need to see how stable it is. My hardsuit weighs me down, and I'm sure Fera's suit is pretty heavy." he says, suspiciously leaving Renala out of his reasoning, "If it starts to crack when you're crossing it, just turn back and we'll know it won't hold us. We can begin looking for an alternate route around."
Tyranniac| Young human remains annoyed as he steps out onto the fairly narrow stream, slowly but successfully making his way across.
Renala steps closer to the ice. "I'll go next," she says and begins crossing it once the human is across. She does step on the spot where the ice was refrozen, not having noticed that fact.
Fera'Sel gasps audibly and steps forward in case she's needed at all, suddenly forgetting all about her nervousness.
Renala gasps as her foot breaks through, not at all considering the posibility. She stumbles forward as her foot going through makes her lose her balance. She lands on her knees jsut after the hole, but that also meant her foot didn't go much deeper into it than enough to soak her shoes and the lowest parts of her pants. "Ah fuck," she expresses her frustration and tries to get up.
Tyranniac| The ice starts to crack under Renala as she stumbles, but it doesn't break. Young Human, having just moved up the steep other side reaches down with a hand to help pull her up.
Renala takes his hand with a nod of thanks and gets up, shivering as her right foot has just been immersed in near-freezing water. She turns towards the others. "Yeah, I'm okay," she says after a moment, "though a bit cold."
Steve appears relieved once Renala has made it up the other side. He stands at the edge of the stream and assesses the damage done to the ice.
Steve moves further down the stream, attempting to put some distance between himself and the cracks that have already formed. "Wait until I'm all the way across before following..." he says to Fera before taking a few tentative steps out onto the ice.
Renala looks at Steve as he takes his trip over the ice, a bit of worry in her expression as he was in a armored hard-suit. She then looks at Fera. She seems to be freezing a bit still, but doesn't complain any.
Fera'Sel steps gingerly onto the ice as soon as Steve stops. She tests her weight on it and takes another step if nothing significant happens.
Tyranniac| The ice seems to hold as Fera steps onto it, but the trees above rustle and more snow falls.