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#RuinsOfRakhana – September 11, 2016
Day 3 (07:00). Nutrient Paste: 5. Meat Nuggets: 9. Water: 21L. Medigel: 1. Spare thermal clips: 15. Indoors: The night has passed uneventfully, although now as morning comes Namira stirs, mumbling in her sleep, sweat soaking her clothes as she twists and turns. Outdoors: The scavenging team made it back to the skyscraper they had cleared under the cover of darkness, and a fire for cooking the bounty of their hunt is easily hidden
from outside eyes in the depths of the building, light concealed and smoke disappating long before it flows outside. Fortunately for the group, the flying carrion feeder, while unappetizing to look at in its bloated, scabby form, proves edible, if not delicious, with meat reminiscent of chicken in taste, if not consistency. There has been no sign of the one that was watching them during the night, and sleep has gone uninterrupted.
As the sun rises and the cold of the night starts to fade away they're greeted by different weather today. A cloud-filled sky of gray and yellow, which is likely going to cover the rising sun at any moment.
Nathan has been awake for about twenty minutes by now, stretching himself out with a sigh. He peers out at the sky, letting out a low whistle. "Well that looks nasty," he comments idly as he gathers his equipment up. He holsters his weapons back onto his armour and quickly takes a sip from his canteen to start the day off. "So, how soon should we set out?"
Ehanis is woken up by Namira's mumblings and crawls over to her side. "Hey," she whispers as she pats her shoulder. "What is it?"
Korio has already geared up, armor plates and weaponry in place. He swaps his breather for his helmet once again as he takes a position near the edge of the building, scanning the area around them. "It looks as though it may rain." he comments, eyes moving up towards the clouds, "Perhaps this will be an opportunity to test out that water purifier back at camp."
Jason hasn't had a lot of luck with sleep, but he's managed to get a few hours in. He stirs and awakens as he hears Ehanis speak. "...What's going on...?" he mutters through a yawn, bringing a hand up to rub at his eyes.
Steve is standing atop the crate near their makeshift barricade, forearms rested atop their blockade as he watches out into the desert.
Renala is currently armoring up, having been awake for about five minutes by now. "Mhm," she says. "We should return, then. The acidic rain might not be good for our equipment."
Namira shows no reaction to Ehanis' question, continuing to stir uneasily, quiet grunts escaping under her breath.
Ehanis looks over her shoulder at Jason. "Something's going on with her," she says, keeping her voice low. "Get the medkit." Ehanis gives her a little shake before attempting to hold her in place.
Namira lets out an incoherent mumble as Ehanis shakes her, but her status remains otherwise unchanged.
Nathan nods. "Yeah, rather not deal with acidic rain... or radioactive." He grimaces as he glances to the others.
Jason gives a few nods as he attempts to wake up. He climbs to his knees, another loud yawn escaping him as he looks past Ehanis to Namira. "She looks like she's sweating..." he points out as he stands up, moving towards the flap, "We should probably try and get the moisture away from her body. Maybe mix up another concoction like Renala did yesterday. Try and get some more food and water in her." he suggests.
Korio nods. "That seems like a sound plan." he says, his gaze on the shorter tower he spotted movement in the previous night. "Still, while we are out here, it may be useful to look through the building I witnessed movement from. We are hours from camp, it takes less effort to give it a cursory glance today than it would to march all the way back out here and check it out tomorrow." he says, unfolding his rifle from his back and
The building looks much the same way as it did the previous day. There's no sign of anyone watching from the windows at the moment.
Ehanis begins removing the archeologist's shirt. "Did her stuff get blown up during the fighting?" she asks as Jason leaves the tent, not keeping her voice too low anymore. "If it's still there, bring a change of clothes and a towel."
Jason sighs, giving a shake of his head. "I don't think her stuff is here." he calls back, giving a cursory glance around. "Just set her clothes aside to dry off and keep her covered." he continues as he retrieves the medkit and looks for a piece shredded canvas from the destroyed tent that Ehanis can possibly use as a makeshift rag to wipe the sweat off of Namira.
Renala nods. "It doesn't look like a long walk, so we might as well," she says while attaching some of the few remaining armor pieces.
Nathan nods and cranes his neck to the side, a pop quickly following. "Ahhh, better." He shakes himself out to put some feeling back into his body before walking over towards the exit, peering through it. "Let's not waste any time."
Korio lowers his rifle and turns back to the others. "It looks clear. For now. I am ready to move out when you decide." he says.
Renala seals her helmet and starts making her way towards the exit, omni-tool glowing around her arm while she checks the armor's systems. "Let's get going," she says.
Jason collects a few pieces of canvas and returns to the tent with the medkit, setting it down beside Ehanis. "Here... Maybe you can use this to get some of the moisture off her." he says, handing the canvas pieces over to her. "I'm no expert, but I think keeping her dry is the best bet. We don't want her getting sick."
Jessica groans loudly as she's stirred from her sleep and rolls over. "Is too early for asari titties." she mutters in her half asleep state as she sees Ehanis removing Namira's clothes.
Day 3 (8AM). Indoors: Namira has calmed down after being attended to by the team, her sweating eventually reaching more reasonable levels after she recieves food and water, and the combination of rags and reduction of clothing keeps her dry and ventilated. Outdoors: The walk over to the neighbouring tower is uneventful. The temperature is rising more slowly due to the cloud coverage, but the air has an unpleasantly thick quality
too it. There is no wind. As they get closer they find themselves walking through something of a canyon in the rubble, which has become increasingly hard to pass over. This limits their visibility, but it of course makes them hard to spot as well. Up ahead can be seen something of a break in their path. A gap in the remnants of the five meter wide portion of paved street they're travelling along. They'd have to walk closer to see
more of the pit itself, but on the other side the street continues, the path turning left, guided by a massive piece of fallen metal that blocks the straight-ahead option.
Renala approaches the hole. "Is this the kind of pit Wolfe told us to avoid?" she asks, glancing at Nathan.
Nathan shrugs lightly, keeping a short way from the hole. "Eh... maybe? I mean, the last one was in the sand and was much more..." he shakes his hands as he tries to come up with a description. "Pitty?" He shrugs again. "Honestly, I was paralysed and pissing my undersuit in fear to take any really detailed observations."
Korio follows Nathan over towards the hole, remaining a good distance behind him. "Perhaps we should go around?" he offers. "With the state of these streets, however, that could prove difficult. It is your call, T'Iavay."
As Renala approaches the gap in the street she'd find that it's only about a meter wide, so easy to jump, but goes deeper than a person. More importantly, several metal spikes line the pit, their tips visible from her position. On one of them, a humanoid figure is impaled, likely having fallen to its death. The remnants of the plastic covering that hid the pit are still visible, fluttering in the wind as they've gotten caught on
There is no obvious means of going around, aside from backtracking and trying to climb over the unstable hills of rubble.
Renala takes a step back. "We should be able to jump across," she says. "This trap could mean there's a settlement nearby, though."
Nathan peers in and sighs. "Alright, that's better...". He then takes a few steps back and primes himself for a running jump. "Shall we?"
Korio nods to Renala as he steps past her, lowering to a crouch near the edge of the trap as he looks over the corpse. "Finding another settlement would be odd, given the proximity to Kell's compound." he muses. "Unless they're at odds, then it wouldn't make sense for them to remain separate... Be cautious."
The corpse is a drell, in the early stages of decay. Lightly dressed in a pair of tattered cargo pants and a bandolier carrying ammunition for some archaic weapon dropped at the bottom of the pit. The aesthetic of the drell's outfit is very much in line with those from Kell's settlement, makeshift armor plating lining the pants and traces of face paint still visible on the emaciated head.
Renala nods and takes another few steps back. "Our 'shadow' might be nearby, too, if that's the case," she says.
Nathan starts to take off at a sprint, pumping his arms. "Hup!" He jumps over the gap, landing on the other side. Obviously avoiding Korio as he does this.
Korio stands back up and takes a few steps back, waiting for Renala to make her jump before attempting his own.
Korio gets a running start and leaps into the air with grace and agility, landing softly on the other side. He casts a glance back once he touches down, Renala's mention of their 'shadow' bringing his paranoia on once again.
Nathan sticks his hands into the air with flair. "And he sticks the landing," he announce before making to walk off down the street and towards the bend. "I'm curious as how that poor sucker didn't see that? I mean... seriously, was it covered?!"
Korio walks alongside Nathan, retrieving his rifle from his back. "It appears as though it was covered by the tarp. It looked to be one of Kell's people, given his appearance..."
Renala starts walking towards the corner after watching the drell cross the gap. "Let's not stick around for long, then," she says. "In case Kell's people are planning an attack."
As the group rounds the corner they're greeted by a slightly narrower passageway, lined on both sides by steep slopes of rubble. Ahead is the skyscraper, an entryway consisting of a hole in the wall available up a slope of concrete. The slope is covered in makeshift barricades, mainly metal poles aimed outward, likely meant to slow down anyone approaching.
Nathan pauses and draws his M-55, holding it across his chest. "Well this doesn't look suspect at all...". He zooms in with his HUD and shifts his gaze from barricade to barricade. He then quickly looks up at the skyscraper, trying to gauge if there is anyone watching them from the windows.
Korio lowers his stance the moment the man-made hazards come into view. Dropping to his knee, he unholsters his rifle and begins scanning the area for any immediate threats. "It appears we may have stumbled across our friend's camp. Those poles do not look very inviting. But looks can often be deceiving. What are your orders, T'Iavay?" he asks, awaiting the asari's input as he looks through his scope.
Renala looks over at the barricades. "Let's go inside," she says. "You would have seen more movement here if this was a populated settlement."
Korio rises to his feet with a nod. "Understood." he says as he proceeds forward, slowly and cautiously, his eyes moving skyward as he watches the windows for any sign of movement.
Nathan advances up slowly, rifle pressed into his shoulder and raised upwards. With Korio looking up, he's going to look ahead, keeping his gaze on the barricades and the doorway.
Renala follows the other two towards the entrance, looking ahead except for a few glances upward at the windows.
As the team slowly advances up the obstructed slope Korio would feel a tug at one of his feet as they near the opening, and a moment later a bell-like sound rings briefly from somewhere within. A look down would reveal a thin, hard-to-spot wire strung amid the barricades. Following it with ones eyes one might spot a barely visible thread leading up and into one of the windows.
Renala frowns. "At least we have their attention," she mutters. "Let's get inside before they can react."
Korio's eyes dart down as he feels the tug and he goes perfectly still, hoping to not set the trap off. "That is not good..." is all he says as the bell begins to sound from inside of the tower. "I believe our presence is no longer a secret." he says, a small sign of frustration creeping into his voice. "My apologies. I should have seen it." As Renala issues his order, he nods and picks up his pace, rifle shouldered as he pushes
Nathan sighs and takes off after Korio. "Wonderful. Just wonderful," he mutters as he keeps an eye down on the ground every so often, just in case for further traps.
Before they have a chance to reach the entrance a hooded figure wrapped in a mismatched collection of tattered cloths and wearing a scratched and worn metal rebreather appears in one of the lowest windows above them, holding a scoped longrifle wrapped in sand-colored cloth. The figure removes her breathing mask and shouts: "Fen rhin fara! Fio ara a?!"
Korio's aim snaps to the hooded figure, though he says nothing, awaiting Renala's lead on the situation. His eyes briefly scan the windows, expecting an ambush to make itself known.
Nathan snaps his weapon on the hooded woman, dropping to one knee. "So there's our shadow," he comments dryly.
Renala stops and draws her Locust, but keeps it aimed down. "Drop your weapon," she shouts, hoping the drell has a translator.
The drell sweeps her weapon across the three of them, studying each one for a moment before looking up from the scope and calling out, weapon still raised: "Fot ara a kas qara? Kin Kell ran a?"
Korio continues to watch for any more hostiles. "We do not speak your tongue." he says, "But we mean you no harm." he assures her, hoping she might understand him. He lowers his rifle as a gesture of good will. Given the fact that she didn't shoot on sight, it's worth giving her the benefit of the doubt.
Nathan mimics Korio for the moment, holding one hand up to her. "Just calm down, alright?" He states to her before saying to the others, "You think she's an enemy of Kell's place? i mean, that looked like one of his folks back there, right? Must've been a trap she set up."
Renala watches the drell, but does not move or change her aim. "The drell could also have sprung the trap while looking for salvage," she says to the others.
The drell seems puzzled by the incomprehensible languages of the trespassers, although Korio's words seem like they might have been partially recognized at least. Most of her face is obscured still by the hood and a pair of goggles underneath. As they lower their rifles she cautiously lowers hers in turn. "A ara fen fa [skies]. A ara fet drell. Fot kio a bon?"
Nathan blinks and glances back to the woman. "Skies? What about the skies?" He pauses and thinks of a way to try and convey his question. He points to the sky and then slowly shakes his head, trying to mimic the action of rain falling with his fingers... which is just a series of waggling fingers.
Korio continues to hold his rifle downward. "She does not appear to be a threat." he says to the others as she lowers her rifle. At the mention of 'skies', he looks upward briefly. "I am sorry, but we do not understand your language." he repeats. "Drell. Yes." he says, touching his chestplate with his free hand. "We are lost, far from home. We seek only food, water. Communication equipment. Do you understand? Home...?" he looks
Renala is still watching the hooded drell. "Maybe she's saying we're from the skies," she says in a lowered voice to Nathan.
The hooded drell lowers her rifle further as Korio speaks, and she takes her gaze off them for a moment to glance up at the skies. Upon looking back to them she seems conflicted, standing in silence for a moment before saying "A fanah fion A bion that alala fen fa [skies] arall.". She holds out a hand as if to ask them to wait and then disappears from the window.
Korio eases up slightly, looking to the others with a brief shrug. "In any case, she does not seem to be looking for a fight any more than we are." he says to Renala. "Perhaps she may be able to help us. Kell's people managed to get their hands on an omni-tool somehow, so maybe she has one as well."
Nathan lowers his gun completely and glances between the two of his companions. "Yeah, because we're that lucky," he muses with a smirk. "But, hopefully, something good can come of this. We might not even return empty handed."
Renala nods. "I hope so," she says. "Melding is an alternative, but I'm not sure how to get her to focus with the language barrier in place."
Korio cocks his head to the side as he studies Renala for a moment. "That is-.... quite invasive, is it not? I'm not sure how she might react to such an attempt..." he says, clearly not fond of the idea, "Hopefully we can avoid escalating the situation."
The drell reappears shortly, now in the entrance in the wall. She's slung the rifle across her back, but keeps a hand on the knife sheathed on her hip. Her outfit is an amalgam of various pieces of clothing, all of them tattered and worn. Strips of cloth wrap around her legs and arms, covering the holes in torn pants and sleeves. Her chest, at least the upper half of it, is covered by what appears to be half of a chestplate
scavenged from a hardsuit, and her gloves and boots seem similarly acquired, all of them in the colors of Eclipse, although greatly bleached by the sun, and dirty and scratched to the point that it is barely possible to tell. She wears no undersuit however, and a hooded tunic of sorts covers most of the chestplate except the front. She wears a belt lined with a multitude of pouches, as well as the holster for the knife. A
bandolier of ammunition, likely for the rifle, straps across her chest, and a tool of some sort sits opposite the knife in the belt. "In a ara fet qara sio tin... a kroll krenka irio the [home]." she says, her voice softer now, but still cautious. She steps aside, nodding for them to get in, but her hand remains on the grip of the knife.
Renala frowns. "It's not invasive," she says. "Any thoughts and memories are pushed, not pulled." She pauses for a moment. "But yeah, it's not exactly something you'd do with a complete stranger." When the drell reappears and gestures for them to enter, she nods to Korio.
Nathan makes to slap Korio on the back, waving him forwards. "After you," he says as he holsters his rifle. "You're probably the one she'll talk to the most."
Korio looks to Renala, avoiding a response regarding the melding for now. It's neither the time nor the place for opinions on such matters. "It seems as if we're being invited in." he says, pointing out the obvious as he awaits Renala's instructions. Once Renala gestures for him to enter, he raises his rifle slightly in one hand, showing it to the hooded drell as he collapses it and stores it on his back before starting towards the
The hooded drell nods to Korio as he enters, and then turns her gaze to the next of them, watching their weapons carefully. As Korio enters he would find the first floor rather barren. A large empty concrete room, with most exits collapsed, however there is a doorless opening opposite where they're now entering, which leads out on the other side of the building. From a hole in the ceiling along one of the walls a rope ladder
Renala holsters the weapon and follows after Korio, casting a few glances at the drell's armor while she navigates around the barricades.
Nathan follows at the back of the other, stepping in after Renala. He gives the drell a once over. He can't help but sense a familiarity with her armour. He shrugs it off for the moment.
Korio merely steps aside once inside of the building proper and awaits their new friend's instructions. "Are you alone here?" he asks, not particularly expecting an answer, but hoping to keep the mood friendly by not letting silence linger in the air for too long.
The drell woman seems to be less on edge when they have all holstered their weapons, and releases the grip on her knife. She walks over to the ladder and climbs up through the hole, saying something likely meant to encourage them to follow.
Korio begins to climb the ladder behind the woman. "Someone should have asked those from the other camp if they would be willing to share their translation software. It would have made communicating with the locals much easier." he says.
Renala climbs up behind the two drell. "I did not think of that," she says, "and I wasn't expecting we would run into more of them."
The hooded drell rolls up the ladder once all of them are up. The room they find themselves in is fairly small. A few boxes stand along the walls, on top of them ammunition for the rifle, and seemingly a few other weapons. What looks like a few primitive, home-made grenades sit here as well. The window that overlooks the slope is to the right, and straight ahead is an open doorway leading to an elevator shaft. Minus the elevator,
of course. The drell looks to each of them for a moment before walking up to the open doorway and grabbing a hold of a rusty old ladder that lines the elevator shaft. She pulls at it a bit, as if to show that it's safe, before starting to climb up.
Nathan gazes around at the make-shift armoury, his gaze drawn to the primitive grenades. He quickly walks over to inspect them, his critical gaze picking its design apart as he runs a few thoughts about them. "Hmm."
The drell stops as soon as she notices Nathan, jumping off the ladder and walking quickly up to him while shouting. "Qa! Kio fet sion fesha!"
Nathan immediately snaps upright, hands held up defensively with palms outwards to her. "Woah, woah, hey, calm down," he says quickly. "It's fine, yeah? Was just looking." He points at the grenades and then taps two fingers to his visor. "Looking. Explosives are my area of expertise." He points to the grenades again and then points to the ones on his armour, making
Korio takes note of the weaponry stowed along the wall, though he doesn't make to intrude on her living space, unlike certain nosey human-folk. He continues to follow behind the mysterious drell woman towards the elevator shaft. "It may be worth another trip to their compound." he says to Renala as he follows," I don't know how long we're going to be stranded here, but it's beginning to look as though we may need to settle in for
the long haul. Being able to understand and interact with the locals would be beneficial." As the drell takes issue with Nathan rifling through her things, he follows right on her tail towards him. "He means no disrespect." he says, hoping to defuse the situation quickly, "He is merely... curious. Our apologies." He casts a glance towards Nathan that's hard to read, though disappointment is probably somewhere in there.
Renala chuckles, but stays out of that argument. She waits in the hallway, as well. "I'll bring it up when we get back," she says.
The drell slowly relaxes her stance, telling Nathan off one more time before pointing at the elevator, still looking at the human with a hint of suspicion, seemingly expecting him to go first now.
Nathan casts Korio a look, resisting the urge to flip-off the self-righteous lizard. He keeps his hands upwards towards her for a moment more before walking by her and grabbing the rungs of the ladder. He starts to climb, remaining silent for the time being.
Korio bows his head respectfully to the drell. "Again, our apologies." he repeats on behalf of Nathan, backing towards the ladder for a few steps before spinning on his heels and beginning to climb behind Nathan.
The drell follows next after Nathan. The ladder holds without issue, despite its rickety appearance. What seem like handmade repairs can be seen in several spots. The drell woman urges Nathan past several half-open, rusty doorways, upward floor after floor. It might be a bit of a rough climb for a tired desert-wanderer more used to elevators than ladders.
Nathan keeps on climbing with the prompts from the woman, grumbling somewhat as his arms ache. It wasn't due to a lack of strength or endurance, but mostly for feeling like a baked potato in his suit and spending the past couple of days wandering the wastes. At least, that's his excuse for the time being. "How much further?" He asks as he pulls himself up a few
Eventually they reach the top floor accessible via the ladder, as the rest of it is missing up above. Several floors up the sky can be seen through the shaft, presumably at the point where the building crumbled some time long ago. The door beside the ladder is wide open, and the drell urges Nathan to climb through.
Nathan more flops through than climb, staggering as he regains his balance. He shakes his arms about, hissing through clenched teeth as the fire in his muscles burns. "I miss elevators...".
Korio climbs out of the shaft with ease. Though whether he is unaffected by their long journey through the desert, or he's simply good at keeping those sorts of tells hidden beneath the surface is unclear. The long, even, deep breaths he sucks in as he follows behind would suggest the latter. "Yet another incentive for us to return home." he says.
Renala climbs out last, panting heavily. "Mhm," she hums. She looks towards the drell woman, awaiting further directions.
The hooded drell follows through after Nathan, stepping off the ladder with accustomed grace. She walks into the corridor, and down it, to one end, entering a doorless doorway and turning around, gesturing widely with both arms to the unfamiliar visitors. "Fin in the [home]." she says. The room is fairly large, but doesn't feel it, due to the sheer amount of stuff in it. Old furniture and crates line the walls along with a
multitude of shelves filled with all sorts of scavenged items. Larger prizes just stand on the floor instead. There are two windows to the north and one to the east in the corner room. Near one of the windows, in the corner, hangs a hammock, nearby it on a crate what looks like a radio of some sort hooked up to what looks like a galactic-standard power cell. Several rows of canned food line one of the shelves, and near a window a
rain collector sits on a table that looks like it would fold out on a scissor mechanism. On one crate sits an Eclipse helmet, battered but not nearly as worn as the armor she's wearing. An Avenger is stacked against a wall, next to it a thermal clip and what appears to be a crude attempt at a replication of one. Around a corner, out of view from the windows, and under a hole in the ceiling, is a firepit, over which a small lizard
is skewered. A bell hangs on one of the walls, a line running from it to a small hole in the floor. Seems the alarm system goes all the way up here. Among the seemingly endless trinkets are also several toys, mechanical, and a single scabby stuffed one, and a telescope folded up under a window.
Korio looks around the room as he steps inside, brows furrowed at first as he studies the bits and bobs from afar. After a moment, his expression changes, shifting into a smile. "This is her home. She has collected all of this..." he says, in case it wasn't obvious. He looks to her and then points towards the thermal clip, remaining where he is as to not rile her up again. "You... tried to build one of your own?" he asks, casting a
glance to Renala, "It would be valuable to be able to speak with her, T'Iavay. If she was able to amass such a store of items, she may be able to point us in the right direction to find the things you need..."
Nathan 's attention is drawn to the Eclipse helmet. He meanders on over to it and kneels before it, examining it. He glances to the Avenger and turns to her. Without saying anything, he picks up the Avenger, looking it over.
The drell shouts out "Bin a fen sioqis anararis?!" as the human touches the weapon, rushing over and trying to pull it away from his grasp.
Renala follows her into the room and looks around it curiously. "She may very well be able to help us," she says. "If you'd give me a few minutes, I may be able to illustrate what I intend to do with a hologram." She looks over at Nathan upon seeing the drell scolding him, and scoffs. "Not again," she mutters.
Nathan holds a hand up to her, stopping her from snatching the weapon. He reaches behind him and pulls out another thermal clip, holding it up to her. He slaps it into the weapon, then holds the loaded weapon to her. He pulls out one more thermal clip and holds it up for her to see. He then turns and points to the radio. "We can give you more. If you let us use
Korio gives a shake of his head. "Perhaps it is best if you stay away from her things." he suggests to Nathan. In case he hasn't gotten the hint yet by her frustration. However, when Nathan proposes the trade, he falls silent, awaiting her response. Or to see if she even understands.
Renala shakes her head. "That won't do," she says. "We'll need a larger antenna, not a radio. Our suits will probably get better range than that relic." She pauses. "Give her back her weapon and leave her things alone."
The drell sighs and pulls the weapon out of Nathan's hand, setting down where it was and giving him a pointed look, or at least she probably is - she's still wearing the goggles, so it's hard to tell. Now that things are settling down she lowers her hood and lifts the goggles to her forehead. She looks to be in her twenties roughly, with sand-colored skin with reddish-brown markings. Her eyes are a vibrant violet. A look of
confusion crosses her face at Nathan's offer and the subsequent discussion. It doesn't quite seem she understands it. She takes a step back to make sure all three of the strangers are in view before giving a light bow of her head and gesturing at herself. "Seriah."