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#RuinsOfRakhana – September 4, 2016
All night the storm rages outside, although the winds slowly died down with the arrival of dawn, the sharp light of the morning sun beaming into the makeshift camp inside the tunnel, hitting the cliff-face head on. Namira has faded in and out of conciousness a few times during the night, but has remained to weak to do anything, and she is now asleep in the tent. The night has been calm outside of the weather. No attacks, and no
Renala is already in the side room before the staircase, poking around in it while she waits for the go-ahead on her search. The asari has only been there for about a quarter of an hour. She's geared up and ready, though she has not taken any clips yet.
Nathan has sorted out the thermal clips amongst the group and has separated them into two piles. Away Team and Scavenge Team. He has taken three of the spares. He's geared, armed and ready to head out. He's stood by the barricade, weapon resting on his shoulder as he gazes out to the wreck of the Blood
Jason would have instructed Nathan to simply distribute the thermal clips evenly, regardless of condition. 3 clips set aside for each person. After checking up on Namira, he joins Nathan near the door, awaiting Ehanis. "She's not gonna make it too much longer..." he says with a sigh, his gaze fixated on the tent.
Jessica is in the tent, watching over Namira as instructed. She has made it quite clear that she's not happy about it, however. She has followed Jason around through most of the morning, trying to negotiate to take Nathan's place on the away team and giving a laundry list of reasons as to why she should be out there instead of him. None of them were particularly compelling. Especially considering she's barely able to walk.
Ehanis emerges from the tent fully geared up, including helmet. "We just have to hurry up and get out of here," she says, having overheard him.
Korio is near the door, rifle in his hands as he waits for the others to leave so he can take his position atop the crate once again.
Steve finally joins Renala near the stairs, geared up and ready to go. "Grabbed your thermal clips for ya." he says, extending a hand towards the asari. "The others are just about ready to head out. Said we were good to head on down."
Nathan looks between Jason and Ehanis, nodding towards the asari. "Easier said than done," he sighs. "She'll make it, Jason. I'm not planning on letting her die...". His mood has seriously soured since yesterday and Jessica's attitude hasn't done much to help. His M-55 is resting on his right shoulder, the weapon cleaned and checked.
Jason sighs once again and shakes his head. "We've all seen our fair share of combat, Ten... She was shot through the fucking throat." he says, "You don't survive something like that. Hell, if I'm being honest? I didn't think there was a snowman's chance in hell that she'd make it another sixty seconds when I sat down beside her..." he admits.
Renala nods and takes the clips. "Thank you," she says. "Then let's not waste any more time." She reloads each of her weapons and puts the last clip in her Locust's holster.
Nathan clenches his free hand and opens it a few times. Unfortunately, he has seen his fair share and Jason's words ring true. It was a truthful miracle had survived this long, in fact. He sighs and nods softly. He glances to Jason, but remains silent.
Steve nods in turn. "Headin' down. Wish us luck." he announces over comms before entering the door starting down the stairs. "Got a few of those breaching charges from the crispy one." he says to Renala, "Don't seem like we've got much less, so we should prolly avoid usin' 'em if we can. But at least we got options."
Ehanis frowns. "And yet she survived the night," she says. "That luck might last us long enough to get her proper medical care."
Renala follows behind him. "I'd start with the floor we checked yesterday," she says. "It would make most sense to keep communications controls close to the surface. Less wires to run through rock and concrete that way."
Jason continues to stare towards the tent, nodding slightly as Ehanis chimes in. "I gave Jessica instructions to feed her and give her water if she wakes up." he continues, sounding almost guilty as he says it, "I assume neither of you have a problem with that." It should probably be a question, but it's not. The implication is quite clear. He doesn't really care if they have a problem with it. As Steve chirps over comms, Jason
turns away from the tent, facing the desert outside. "Copy." he responds, casting a glance between Ehanis and Nathan before nodding through the doors, "Let's go."
Nathan nods, not raising any concerns about Jessica tending to the woman. He moves over the barricade, first one out as he rests his weapon in both hands. He turns his gaze this way and that, before pointing off in the direction that the truck escaped yesterday. "Should we head that way, toward the ruins?"
Steve takes the stairs slowly as they descend. "Works for me. I mean if ya wanna stay close to the surface, we ain't even seen what's through the door up here, though." he says with a gesture towards the rusty door they passed by the previous day as he reaches the first landing. "Ain't gonna get through it without a lil' elbow grease, though."
Jason steps out behind Nathan, not immediately answering as he takes a quick survey of their surroundings to get a feel for their options.
Renala stops near the door and shines a light on it. "We could try to get it to open," she says, "but I'd rather leave it be for now than use explosives near this rusty stairwell."
Steve glances down towards the grated floor, stepping somewhat heavier with his next step, as if testing the integrity of the stairwell. "When you're right, you're right..." he says as he continues towards the open door. "So what sort of shit are we lookin' for, anyway?"
Renala frowns, following him down to the next floor. "Anything resembling communications controls," she says. "I can't tell you what that looks like, though, because I failed to anticipate this happening when reading up on old drell tech."
Steve sighs loudly. "So.... we're just stumblin' 'round in the dark? Both literally and figuratively. This should be fun..."
To the West: The blast door. To the North: The dusty plains, covered in an additional layer of sand after the night, stretch on for at least 2km before encountering a sand dune, slowly, slowly edging closer every week. To the East: Flat, dusty grounds stretch for about half a kilometer before the concrete rubble slope they arrived from takes over, stretching upwards and blocking the view. To the South: After some distance of flat
Jason gives a few nods. "Looks like that's our best bet. No telling how far we'd need to travel before coming across anything worthwhile in any other direction." he agrees, starting off in the direction they arrived from. "Pace yourself and make sure you speak up if you need to take a break. It's hot as fuck out here and the last thing we need to be doing is overexerting ourselves or killing what little power we have left in our
Korio slides the crates back into place once the others have exited. A moment later, he can be seen peering over the top of them. "Be safe." he offers as they begin their journey.
Renala chuckles. "That worked for us yesterday," she says. "There are rooms leading off from the laboratory, maybe they contain anything of interest."
Nathan falls into step beside Jason, nodding. "Aye, aye." He holsters his rifle as not to put any unnecessary strain on his arms. He turns his gaze this way and that, using his HUD to try and see anything of import out there in the wastes. Which, at the moment, seems unlikely. "Man, what a fucking dump... I thought humans were self-destructive...".
Steve nods as he reaches the landing with the open door and continues inside. "Yeah, I saw that. Guessin' the labs are prolly where we're gonna find what we're lookin' for anyway, right?" he asks. Though he has his SMG in his hand, he's not being overly cautious considering they cleared this area the previous day.
Ehanis follows the others, turning around for a moment to wave at the drell as he calls them out. "Mhm," she says. "I'll keep my biotics to a minimum too if we face resistance."
Jason snorts humorlessly. "You really think we're that far off from something like this?" he asks with a quick gesture around, "I think maybe we just got lucky. Went right for the rockets early on so we could blow the fuck out of each other from longer ranges. Had the unintended side effect of leading us to other planets to destroy before Earth got the chance to cave in on itself. So yeah.... maybe we're better off than this
Renala enters the hallway as well. "I'd assume so," she says. "It would make sense to keep that past an electronic door." She has not even drawn a weapon.
Nathan shrugs his shoulders. "You have a point," he admits with a nod. He turns to look at Jason, walking backwards for a few steps. "Honestly, the part I'm glad about is that we didn't end up like this because I sure as shit wouldn't want to have been rescued by a bunch of jellyfish." He shudders and turns around to walk forwards again.
Steve continues down the hallway. "Might be worth havin' a look around the rest of the place, too, though. I figure if this place was in workin' order when everything went to shit, then they may have had some way of cleanin' the water. If it's as bad as they were sayin', could come in handy if we could get it workin'. We sure as hell ain't lastin' long without water, that's for sure."
Renala nods. "Of course," she says, entering the room where they first encountered the second krogan. "No amount of water is going to save us if we can't get a signal out, though."
Jason frowns through his visor at the mention of 'jellyfish'. "That fucker is dead when I get my hands on him." he says, "Just goes to show, you don't need to have an asshole to be an asshole-...." he trails off, cocking his head towards Ehanis. "Do hanar have assholes?" he asks, as she has apparently become his go-to source on hanar despite seeming as clueless about them as he is.
Ehanis shrugs, though she looks quite amused by the question. "I guess," she says. "How else are they going to... you know." She has opted to remain quiet as she has little to say about the state of Earth.
Day 1 (8AM). Underground: The Search of Sub-Level 2 has revealed several additional laboratories. None of them aside from the one that held the disk have power. The power source remains unlocated, and any useful equipment in the labs have long since broken down. There is some intact circuitry here and there, but little else. Outside: An hour's travel east has yielded little when it comes to scenery. Lots and lots of rubble and
ruins that have nearly been ground to dust. The uneaven ground is hard to navigate, and care is required to avoid the occasional threat of a jutting piece of rusted rebar. To the north sand dunes have started to rise above the rubble, and to the south stand some partially intact city buildings. A lone building stands to the east as well, largely broken down like all the others.
Nathan sighs, looking this way and that as he regards the ruins and the terrain. "Okay... I spy with my little eye, something beginning with... R."
Steve holstered his weapon once the scavenging began. "Junk. Junk. Junk..." he says aloud, knocking random items aside and off a counter as he looks about, "Just all junk, Ren. Any of this shit useful?"
Ehanis tilts her head, not understanding what he's on about. "Just tell us if you see something interesting," she says.
Jason glares at Nathan. "No." he says sternly, though a smirk crosses his lips. "You knock that shit off right now! Otherwise, I spy with my little eye, someone beginning with N that we're going to eat first when we run out of slime goop." With a sigh, he comes to a stop and begins to rotate in place, taking in the sights for a moment. He gives a point towards the south. "Few buildings down that way. Look a little less worse for
Renala shakes her head. "No, are there any rooms left to check on this floor?" she says. "We need to find the power source, too."
Ehanis shrugs. "What others options do we have?" she asks. "That's probably where we're going to face resistance, though, if there's anyone left after the Pack mowed them down."
Nathan looks at Ehanis with a dramatic gasp. "Asari don't play eye-spy? Man, you are missing out." He then looks to Jason and snaps off a salute. "Yes sir, cap'n, yes." He then turns to eye the buildings, sucking in a deep breath through his teeth. "I'd say they'd have already been picked clean. Buuuuuuut, yeah, we don't have many other options, so."
Ehanis shakes her head. "No, we don't," she says. "I don't think it's going to work, though, since we speak different languages."
Jason looks to Ehanis with a nod. "Might not be a bad thing to run into some people. Just because our experiences with the locals so far haven't been particularly friendly doesn't mean they're all going to be such assholes. Worth a shot at the very least." he says, starting towards the south.
Renala sighs. "We'll just have to keep looking," she says. "Might as well check all of it before we move on to the next floor." She is looking over some lab equipment, though with little interest.
Ehanis follows after Jason. "We can't understand them, and they can't understand us," she says. "I can't see how diplomacy is going to work."
Jason doesn't seem particularly deterred by Ehanis' observation. "Don't be such a pessimist. We'll overcome our differences through the universal language of friendship, obviously." he says sarcastically. "We'll figure it out. Either way, it's worth a shot."
Nathan falls into step with them, nodding slowly. "Yeah, friendship. Sunshine and buttercups and so on and so forth," he mutters. "...I am so expecting a fucking sniper right now."
Day 1 (9:30AM). Underground: More searching, more mostly empty rooms. And more long-dead corpses. Some of them still have most of their clothes intact. Lab coats, science uniforms. A military officer of some sort, still grasping an antiquated pistol, similar to Earth's 20th century designs. Outdoors: An hour spent searching the ruins yeild nothing of interest. Just bare concrete and debris. Picked clean long ago no doubt. From the
second floor they can see just a bit further. More city ruins in every direction. Most of them look barren and bombed out. It would take weeks to search them all.
Nathan throws a chuck of debris with an irritated sigh. "Called it. Picked clean." He peers out the window and throws his hands up in the air in frustration. "Look at all that!"
Jason sighs as he scans the distance. "Yeah... There's no way we've got time to poke through all of that." he says, looking for any shred of hope among the bombed out buildings. Any sign of something worth looking in to. "The further out we go, the longer the return trip. There's only so much we can do before we need to head back..."
Steve crouches down, prying the pistol from the dead drell's hand and looking it over. He gives a high pitched whistle. "Take a look at this old thing, Ren." he says, raising it up for her to get a look, "Ain't too far off from our old designs. Guess there's only so many ways you can kill a person, huh?"
Renala crouches down beside the officer's corpse, as well. "I'm more interested in the fact that it's drawn," she says. "Makes me wonder what they were fighting over."
None of the buildings visible from the location stand out as potentially more worthwhile. Just plain ruins, any features long-since blasted away by wind and sand.
The officer's pistol is battered and rusted. It's doubtful it's functional, but perhaps with repairs... the body itself is much like the others, aside from the stark gray uniform, now tattered and riddled with cobwebs.
Steve brings the pistol up, lining up the sights for a moment. "Long time ago, Ren. I don't think it matters too much to us one way or another unless they were fightin' over who gets the last seat on their spaceship they got parked on the roof." he jokes as he sets the pistol back down on the officer's chest and gives it a pat. With a sigh, he stands back up and looks towards the door. "Welp, let's go find us a whole lot more of
Nathan raps a knuckle against the side of his helmet, trying to think. "Okay, okay... locals... they inhabit some of this, right? Sooooo, why not try and draw their attention? Because we sure as shit aren't going to find anything worthwhile through all of this." He sweeps a hand at the city. "They've had hundreds of years to pick through the ruins. If we're to find
Ehanis joins the other two on the second floor, looking out into the city. "The ones the Blood Pack killed must have camped somewhere nearby, right?" she says. "I didn't see anything suggesting they set up camp in that place."
Jason looks to Nathan. "I mean, you're probably not wrong. But I'm not exactly sure there's any chance we're going to draw their attention in a way that doesn't result in everyone shooting at each other. Firing rounds into the air, screaming at the top of our lungs in a language they don't understand or setting a fire don't sound like the most peaceful of ways to get them in our corner... Not to mention, I'm not sure how I feel
about them coming to us. Last thing we need is to open ourselves up to an ambush. What do you suggest?"
Nathan raises his finger to make a point... then lowers it. "...Yeah, no, got nothing." He sighs and sits down on a chunk of debris, propping his head up with his hand.
Jason sighs in turn. "For now, we just keep moving and look for any sign of the locals or anything else that might be of use. It's unlikely we're just going to find food in 300 year old ruins, anyway. Even if they weren't long picked clean, I'm certainly not sticking 300 year old meat in my mouth..." He winces and looks to Ehanis, "No offense." he offers, although he gives no context as to what he means. "So-..." he gestures
out towards the expanse of ruins, "Pick a direction. My vote is towards the northeast. Seems as good a place as any, and there's still a few mostly-intact buildings to look through."
Nathan nods, simply conceding to whatever. He certainly doesn't have any better suggestions. "Yep, sure, sounds like a plan. We'll wander in one direction and see what we dig up." He stands up and turns to Jason. "...if we don't find anything and get back to camp empty-handed, I vote we eat Jessica first. She's already partly sliced up and cooked, after all."
Ehanis raises an eyebrow. "I'm not three-hundred years old," she mutters under her breath before nodding. "If I was a drell setting up camp around here, I would stay away from anything easily spotted from a distance." She does not give a vote on direction.
Jason blinks a couple of times. "That's a fucked up thing to say." he finally chimes in, furrowing his brow at Nathan. "I mean, we were all thinking it, but you don't go and say it." he continues, the smirk returning to his face. As Ehanis responds, he turns to her and puts his hands up defensively. "Yeah, of course not! You don't look a day over-.... two-hundred-...." he begins tentatively, as if trying to feel out his
Nathan cackles then looks to Jason. "Now who's saying the fucked up thing? Wrongly guessing a woman's age? Then fumbling around for the right one? Dammmmmn. That's just... dammmmmmn." He walks by him and makes to pat him on the shoulder.
Ehanis let's out a laugh, and shakes her head. "Ninety-four," she corrects. She follows Nathan as he starts to leave.
Day 1 (11AM). Underground: It seems like they must have searched the entire floor soon. One thing of interest has been found. A water filtration device. An antique, and in need of repairs to be sure, but possibly restorable to functionality with enough work. Outdoors: Their travel northeast leads them to another ruined building, seeming empty after a quick sweep. To the east, the direction that Pilgrim's Haven lies in, is more
rubble and ruins. Same with the south, and west, where they came from. To the north, sand dunes rise tall and steep, but not necessarily insurmountable.
Nathan kicks a pebble idly and looks up at the ruins. "So... through more ruins or towards the dunes?" He says with a wide sweep of his hand. "Who knows? Maybe we'll crest over the dune and see a thriving settlement on the other side?" It's clear by his tone that that is certainly not going to happen. More ruins... more desert... more nothing.
Jason gives a small nod as he pauses to remove his helmet and take a long draw from his canteen. "With our luck? Not likely. But it might be a good vantage point. It won't be long before we're running out of daylight if we want to get back before dark, and we're still empty handed." he says, allowing a small amount of frustration to show through. "Let's make these last few hours count." He caps his canteen and replaces his
Renala crouches down beside the device, and looks it over thoughtfully. "This thing could be have been used to process water," she says. "I didn't see any water source on our way here, so I'm not sure how much use it is were I to repair it."
Steve peers over Renala's shoulder, hands on his hips as he studies the device. "Well, it's all we got for now. Hand it over and we'll take it with us." he says, extending a hand out as an offer to carry it. "If the others come across a source of water out there, this could be a life saver."
Renala picks it up and hands it over to him. "I can take a look at it once we're done with this floor," she says.
Steve gives a shrug as he takes the device and tucks it under his arm. "Didn't see a whole lot more to rummage through on this floor. Maybe we should drop this off upstairs and take a look around at the floor above us before you go diggin' into a project." he suggests, "Like you said. We ain't even sure if it'll have much use if we ain't able to come up with any water, right?"
Nathan offers the pair a thumbs up and starts marching off in that direction. "Alright, check out the sand dune," he says with a sigh. "...I'm really starting to hate this planet."
Renala nods. "Yeah, we can do that," she says. "What about the door? Did anyone actually try to give it a little push?"
Day 1 (12:30PM). Underground: Further searching has revealed nothing of interest. Whatever was powering the disk lab is likely on a different floor entirely. Outdoors: The climb up the sanddune was not easy, or quick. Under the midday sun the sand is burning hot, challenging the armor suits' environment systems, and they frequently found themselves sliding back down, but after an hour they are up, and they do indeed have a good
vantage point. They can see far across the ruined city to the south. Many kilometers of rubble, and a few semi-intact ruins. To the far south stands many ruined skyscrapers, jutting out against the horizon in their broken form. To the east black smoke rises from beyond the sanddunes that have consumed much of the city. To the north and northeast the desert stretches ever on, a seemingly endless sea of scorching sand. The vague
outline of some kind of industrial building can be seen to the far north, smokestacks rising above the sand. In the northwest, closer to the cliff they have set camp inside, the desert seems to flatten, dry, barren earth stretching far. It's hard to see much that way because of heat distortions in the air however. In the southwest the city ruins give way to nature. Rocks, crags more varied terrain breaking up the monotony of sand
Ehanis narrows her eyes upon spotting the smoke in the distance. "I wouldn't normally suggest going towards the black smoke," she says, "but it's the only sign of, well, anything we've had today."
Nathan nods, peering across toward it. "Yeah, agreed. Smoke means people..." he says hopefully. "Whadya think, Jase?" He asks, turning back to Jason. "Risk it now or leave until tomorrow?"
Jason rests his hands on his knees, catching his breath after the difficult climb up the sand dunes. He's had his suit systems running low to conserve power, and that climb definitely left him feeling it. "Yeah..." he says simply with a nod once Nathan finishes speaking. "Where there's smoke, there's fire... And unless these ruins have been burning for three-hundred-plus years, then someone has to be nearby." He begins the
tedious process of removing his helmet and taking another gulp of water before continuing. "If we're going, then we need to commit to it, though. Which might mean camping out for the night depending on how far it winds up being. So conserve what's left of your water." he says pointedly, holding his own canteen up and giving it a slight shake before capping it and putting it away.
Steve returns to the upper floor door after dropping off their find and making sure everything is going well with those in the tunnel. At least well enough. He takes a position near the rusted door and places a gauntleted hand against it, pressing to test the strength of the door.
Nathan nods and mimics Jason's action, removing his helmet and taking a quick slug of water. He caps it off and stows it away, returning his helmet upon his head. "Well, I've never really minded camping, so... fuck it, why not." He turns and points towards the smoke. "And thus, the three, brave adventurers commit to their task! Onward!" He places a hand on his hip
Ehanis turns around to look west, towards where they came from. "Will we be able to get a message back to the others if we end up camping out here?" she asks.
Renala is standing on the landing next ot the door, waiting to see if Steve can get the door open on his own.
Jason groans at Nathan. "Do you have an 'off' switch? Because if I have to deal with you being so fucking peppy the entire trip while my balls are dripping with sweat, then I'm going to slap the fuck out of you." he says plainly, though his attention is pulled away when Ehanis speaks up. "I don't know." he responds with a shake of his head. "Away team checking in." he begins, activating his comms, "Not sure if this is going to
get through, but we spotted some smoke out to the east. We're going to head towards it, but I can't guarantee we'll be back before nightfall. If it gets late, we're just going to camp out for the night, so don't get worried." He looks to Ehanis and gives a shrug.
Nathan chuckles evilly, offering Jason a thumbs up. "You love it," he says simply in reply, already starting to move off.
Korio's voice crackles through the away team's helmets. "Copy. I will relay the message to the others. Be careful out there."
Steve glances back at Renala and gives a shake of his head. "It ain't goin' nowhere." he says. "Gimme a hand." he asks, bracing himself to put a little more force behind his push.
Renala walks over to the door and she tries to push it as well, though she's not hopeful it'll help much.
Steve grunts loudly as he puts his back into it. After a moment of realizing it's not going to budge, he sighs and takes a step back. "This ain't workin'." he says, stating the obvious. "So if you ain't too confident in blowin' it off the hinges, then we ain't got many other choices than to head downstairs and try another."
Renala nods. "Yeah, let's at least check what's downstairs before we risk bringing the stairwell down," she says before starting her descent down the stairs.
Steve eyes the door for a moment longer, sizing it up. Giving up really isn't his style, but they can always come back. He follows Renala.
Day 1 (3:30PM). Underground: The door on Sub-Level 3, the lowest floor, opens more easily, but each door beyond is closed in turn, slowing progress to a crawl. The corridors here are just as dark, the rooms lined with broken pipes and decayed, frayed remnants of wires hanging from the ceilings. Alien molds grow in puddles of unknown chemicals that once ran through said pipes. There is no dust this deep, and their air feels almost
damp, and it is cold. A stark contrast to the surface. Outdoors: For three hours the team walk through dunes of sand, with no end in sight. The sand may be safer than the concrete rubble, but sinking feet and scorching sun makes for slow and unpleasant travel. Anyone not running environment systems on high is bound to feel much like a foil-wrapped meal in the oven. Finally something comes into view beneath as they crest a dune. A
vehicle in the sand. The vehicle they arrived in. Black smoke is rising from the mangled wreck of the vehicle, pieces of metal lying strewn about. There is a sizzle of steam as water drips from cracks in the cab onto the scorching sand.
Nathan has drawn his rifle upon spotting the wreck. His attitude has dropped, mostly because he is sweating buckets. His HUD is scanning around, searching for the two occupants from earlier. "Man, I fucked it up badly," he says over comms.
Ehanis ' spirits are slightly lifted by seeing their employers possibly getting what they deserve. She draws her Locust, aiming it towards the wreckage while they approach.
Jason has mostly remained silent during the past few hours, deciding that it's better to remain silent than to openly vent his overheated-frustrations. As they crest the hill, he seems to find an extra bounce in his step. "Ohhhhhh, that fucker is done for!" he says, drawing his Revenant from his back. It takes him a moment to get his hands situated, given the damage done. But as soon as he does, his Revenant is shouldered and
The black smoke seems to becoming from the engine under the cab of the truck. The cab itself has blown open and the water is slowly leaking out and evaporating. It seems unlikely that Nathan's grenade did all this damage. The impact of the grenade's explosion is clearly visisble on the rear part of the truck. As they get closer, thin lines of glass can be seen in the sand, trailing up to the truck, and coinciding with scorchmarks
Nathan moves up to the truck, his weapon sweeping over it. "Holy... shit," he says, watching the water evaporate. He turns his weapon towards the body and starts to advance on it, never taking the barrel away from it.
Jason is more focused on looking for that fucking jellyfish. He nears the cab, peering into it for any sign of their backstabbing employer. "There's no way he walked away from this.... Or-... or floated.... You know what I mean." he mutters.
Ehanis isn't as quick to advance on the truck, but she is following Jason at a brisk pace. "Did your grenades do all this, Ten?" she asks over comms.
Through the crack in the cabin can be seen a purple, foul-smelling sludge floating in what little water remains.
Nathan continues to approach the body. "Naw, take a closer look. All I did was smash the back of it up. That shouldn't have caused it to crash and burn."
Jason winces as the foul odor enters his nostrils. "Well... Looks like that fuck face got what he deserved before we got a chance to deliver it ourselves..." he says, almost sounding disappointed. "Ehanis." he continues, returning to his resident hanar expert of the team, "Is this water safe to drink? As gross as it might be, I'd rather not die of dehydration if we can help it..."
The body is that of the last drell bodyguard. His scaly skin is badly burnt by the sun and already starting to decay. Right through the dead man's chest is a large hole, edges of both armor and flesh around it completely charred black. Whatever did it punched straight through him.
Nathan keeps a small distance from the body. He approaches very slowly and makes to nudge it with his foot. "Guys... either the locals have got some big fucking guns or there is something a hell of a lot worse out here," he announces over comms.
As Nathan nudges the corpse a fist-sized beetle-like creature skitters out across the sand as it is freed from the weight of the body, taking flight a moment after and buzzing around in a circle to get its bearings.
Ehanis frowns, casting a few glances around. "Whoever did this could still be nearby," she says. She walks closer to the truck when called upon to provide expert advice. "I wouldn't risk it when something has died in it," she says, "but... I'd choose getting sick over dying from dehydration."
Nathan yelps and jumps back, the terror filled memories of the spider still fresh in his mind. "More fucking bugs!"
Jason nods at Ehanis' recommendation before swiveling in place, bringing his Revenant up towards Nathan, "Wha-...! Are you shitting me?" he sighs, lowering his weapon. "Doesn't matter who did this. The truck is fucked and we don't have a whole lot of choices when it comes to camping out. Slug back the rest of your water and let's put this to good use before we find somewhere to settle down for the night." He gestures towards the
cab of the truck. "We're gonna have to find a way to boil it or something before I feel comfortable drinking it, but like she said, even dead-jelly-water is better than drying up." He rests his Revenant against his shoulder and lets out a deep sigh as he looks over the truck. There goes the easy way home, but at least Zelyner got what he was owed.
Nathan grumbles as he walks back towards Jason and Ehanis. "I'm a little tense, alright?" He mumbles back to the pair. He looks at the wreck and sighs, glancing back to them. "Well... we better get started setting up a camp. Sooner rather than later, eh? Although, I'll admit to being surprised that the truck hasn't been stripped. Armour plates and whatever
salvageable tech there is could be pretty valuable one way or another. Either as trade for the parts or for fortifying with the plates...".
The insect lands on Nathan's shoulder. It's an ugly creature, looking almost like a fat, brown mosquito, and it clangs a beak against his shoulderpad.
Jason looks towards the truck as Nathan mentions stripping it. "Wonder if there's anything in there that Renala could get some use out of..." he ponders aloud. "Guessing it has some communication equipment for getting in touch with the ship, right...? Something. Given the condition, I doubt anything is in working order, but maybe something she could fix up...?" he continues, mostly grasping at straws.
Ehanis brings out her canteen and uncaps it. "I'm not sure about camping out here before we know what did this to the truck," she says. She shrugs at his last question. "I don't know anything about that. Maybe we should bring home anything with an antenna sticking out of it?" She takes a long gulp of it and caps it again.
Nathan nods and, before he responds, slowly turns his head to stare at the large creature. "You... are... fucking... kidding...". His knife pops out of his gauntlet and he swings at it as quickly as he could, aiming to slice it off of him because fuck this it is a giant mosquito come beetle hybrid probably mutated and evolved from the nuclear fallout of this
Jason begins looking over the vehicle, searching for anything that looks vaguely nerd-like. If he doesn't understand what it is or what it does, he wants it.
The bug takes off as Nathan swipes at it. Seeming agitated, it buzzes around behind him with surprising speed and sinks its beak into his arm, penetrating right through the undersuit. A heartbeat later Nathan would find himself completely paralyzed, frozen in place, unable to move a muscle, as the insectoid flies off.