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#RuinsOfRakhana – September 19, 2016
Renala frowns and puts the cap back on her canteen. "Well, we'll be able to get a message out to Pilgrim's Haven," she says. "That's our primary objective, anyway."
Jason nods a few times, taking out his own canteen and drinking from it. "In a worst-case-scenario, we can try and get the thing running. But the most likely scenario here is that we're able to get the comms equipment running. At the very least, finding this thing gives us options. Which puts us better off than we were yesterday."
Korio rehydrates and takes a seat near the cliff wall. "Perhaps it's simply a shuttle. If that is the case, I do not think it would be too difficult for us to figure out how to operate it."
Jessica shrugs her shoulders as she stretches out and tries to work her legs a bit by pacing. "Is fine. I can fly it." she says casually. "I once steal a shuttle in Adrasteia with my brother. Is not so hard to fly."
Jason perks up, looking Jessica's way. "You... stole a shuttle and figured out how to fly it?" he asks.
Jessica shakes her head. "Mmmm. No, not so much. I steal it and we crash into a wall right away. But did not seem so difficult."
Seriah lets go of the strecher once it is down, unbuckling the straps of her breather mask and letting it hang to the side of her mouth as she grabs her canteen, taking a long swig before looking around, studying the rock walls silently.
Renala chuckles. "I could read a manual and pretend to know what I'm doing," she says. "Won't be the first time I've done that, or the last."
Jason nods to Renala. "I'll take it. Just-... don't let me know you're pretending." he says, settling back into a sitting position beside Namira. "With any luck, Zelyner's ship is still waiting back at Pilgrim's Haven and we can bullshit a little to get picked up. They don't have to know what happened..." he says.
Renala nods. "I'll show them my recordings when we're aboard," she says, "that should be explanation enough."
Jason leans back, resting against his hands. "I'm not so sure it's a good idea to show that to anyone on the ship. They were his crew after all. Might be best to just hand that off to the proper authorities once we're home and safe. For all we know, Zelyner and his crew could've known exactly what was on that disk when they set out on this expedition."
Renala hums thoughtfully. "Fair point," she says. "If they knew, that could mean they who took out Zelyner's truck and ran off with it." She sighs. "But they're our only chance at getting out of here in the next few days."
Jason nods in agreement. "So we keep tight lipped, say things went sideways. Keep the details to a minimum and hope they're still here. If it was them who took out Zelyner, then they're long gone anyway, though."
After some rest and rehydration, the group heads out again, their guide leading them on through more and more winding rock passages, and even a cave or two. There has been no sign of anything to eat, although Seriah has gathered some of the dry shrubs for purposes unknown. After another three hours of walking they now find themselves scaling a rocky ridge. Not an easy task with the stretchers.
Jason trudges up the ridge, doing his best to keep Namira's stretcher stable. "Come in, Ten." he attempts over comms, giving a sigh as silence is the only response. "This is fucked. There's no way the others are going to be able to find their way here. Not through cliffs and caves..." He glances to Renala, "We should be able to get in touch with them if this ship's communication equipment is functional, right?"
Renala is struggling a bit keeping Jessica's stretcher stable, and it might make it somewhat uncomfortable for her. "Not exactly," she begins. "Our broadcasts should be able to reach them, but they won't be able to respond to it until they're in range. We can ask the hanar ship to sweep the area surrounding their target, though."
Jessica groans and shifts in place. "Arms. Straight." she repeats, as she has many times during the past few hours. "Is not so hard! Maybe you should be in the stretcher and I should be carrying it, mmm?"
Jason ignores Jessica's bickering and nods to Renala. "Still. So long as we can get a message to them, we can at least guide them to our location. It's better than nothing."
Renala nods to Jason, ignoring Jessica's complaint as she has done, for responding to her bickering has so far proven futile. "Of course," she says. "You shouldn't have let them go off on their own," Renala mutters.
Korio is still at the rear of Namira's stretcher, not doing nearly as well of a job at keeping Namira's stretcher steady as Jason, given the lack of robo-arms. "Once we crest the ridge, I believe I may need another breather..." he huffs, doing his best to maintain his composure. "I apologize... This is not the easiest of tasks, however."
Jason gives Renala a sidelong glance. "Because I had a choice, right? I told them to come back. I ordered them to come back, Renala." he spits, quite clear he's offended by her implied accusation that he mishandled the situation, "Short of running after them and dragging them back, I did all I could. Namira can't defend herself. Jessica can't defend herself. If Kell were to attack us while they were gone and I was out there
Jessica frowns. "I can defend myself just fine. Is just a small wound." she insists, but gets no response from Jason.
Renala frowns, taking a few seconds to come up with a response. "Sorry, I shouldn't blame you," she says. "This walk is wearing on me, and... I do worry about them."
Jason gives a sigh, nodding to himself. "You and me both." he says, "On all accounts. They're tough, smart, and they have the advantage when it comes to tech. They're gonna be fine..." he assures Renala, a hollow promise that he himself barely believes, but now isn't the time to deal with such worries. He gives a glance over to Korio, simply nodding silently.
Seriah looks back to make sure Renala is ready before pulling the stretcher up the last distance up to the top of the ridge, groaning from the effort. As they reach the top the other side finally comes into view. The rocky landscape gives way to an ocean of sand, interrupted by rock pillars that stick out here and there. Up ahead, kilometer or so distant is a mesa. Sticking out of a depression in it is the top of a ship, a bulky
Renala grunts as she lifts the stretcher up the last bit. "I trust Steve to be able to handle it if it goes to hell," she says, "but I'm not so sure about the other two." A smile does show up as she sees the metal structure ahead of them.
Jason goes to respond to Renala as he climbs over the edge of the ridge, but his mouth merely hangs open as words fail him. A short chuckle finally escapes him as he takes a few steps forward- enough room for Korio to climb the last few steps- and simply takes in the scenary. "We found it!" he exclaims, giving a warning glance back to Korio before lowering his end of the stretcher to the ground, "We fucking found it!" He looks to
Korio huffs loudly as he climbs the last few steps nearly on his knees before letting his end of the stretcher down in time with Jason. He sucks in a few deep breaths, too winded to even worry about the ship right now.
Jessica sits up atop her stretcher studying the ship in the distance for a few moments before a frown crosses her face. "I do not think I will be able to fly that..." she seemingly decides.
Renala chuckles. "For once I'll trust your judgement, Kaya," she says. She stops and begins slowly setting the stretcher down, hoping Seriah follows suit.
Seriah smiles, able to discern the enthusiasm even if she doesn't understand the words. She puts the stretcher down and then gestures to the right, further down the ridge, where an old wooden plank has been laid out, leading to a nearby rock pillar about 3 meters into the air. From that one another makeshift bridge, this one a sheet of metal, leads on to another pillar. Looking further it becomes clear that this rickety path
Jason looks across the chasms, then back to Seriah, pointing a finger at her on his good hand. "Did you do all of this?" he asks.
Seriah , of course, has no idea what Jason is saying, and looks questioningly at the human. "Fin in fa ba aren."
Korio lowers to his knees and sits back against his boots, placing his hands on his thighs. "Did you build these crossings?" he asks Seriah between deep breaths, hoping to somewhat translate for Jason. "Those?" he clarifies, pointing towards the makeshift bridges, "You?" he adds, pointing to her.
Jessica climbs off the stretcher and back to her feet. "Is this going to be sturdy enough for us to cross?" she asks nobody in particular as she studies the makeshift bridges.
Seriah furrows her eyebrows, confused by the question. She shakes her head and then looks down at her chest, tapping a finger against the faded emblem on the panting. "[Aliens] dran fot. It in qen [they] fat ill."