Cold Stone Cold Wind

Act One

The Ground Rules

Samuel says, "A few ground rules.
1: All OOC communication will be on PR2 Channel or in pages to Skye. No OOC chatter here not directly related to the plot at hand. Questions for clarification are fine.

2: This is semi-consent. I'm not out to hurt anyone, but damage can and may happen. You accept that by remaining.

3: 1-butt. Everyone has one but. I'm not a rules savant, I'm not an encyclopedia. If I make a bad rules call, you are allowed to object. Once. I will evaluate the objection then rule on it. We continue forward from there without further argument.

4: Story comes before rules. I don't particularly care if, in the end, you have the dice to try and bitch slap the dragon based on the rules presented in the SR-Companion, Dragons of the Sixth World , the dragon is probably not going to be phased much by it.

5: We're here to have fun.

The Meet

And thus, comes the classic call.

Through a network of fixers and connections and Johnsons, Samuel has a small file built on Silk, a recent arrival in Denver. Someone who knows a few things about 'things' while also having the ability to handle herself.

In addition, there's Ophi, a recent college graduate from the Pacific rim, come to Denver at the request of Samuel.

The email is simple. Join 'Mr. James Finn' at a small family restaurant for Thai and business discussions. Come alone, come only moderately armed. Nothing obvious. The Restaurant is located in the PCC sector, in one of the more popular nightclub districts that have sprung up in that economically supercharged district.

Called 'Thai me up'.

Kassandra arrives at the aforementioned time, leaving a meeting at the nearby Olympic center to head over to the resturant. The small elven woman slips into Thai Me Up, lips twitching at the double-entendre therein. The woman waits to be seated, mentioning to the hostess the party that she is here to see.

The party was listed as 'Finn'. The waitress smiles, gesturing with a menu. "Right this way. Mr. Finn is already here."

Samuel is seated in a back corner booth, his trademark suit and tie fastidious in detail. He has a menu in front of him and seems to be studying it in detail, despite the fact that he probably memorized it hours ago.

"Thai me up, please."

The Taxi driver looks at him crossly, British handlebar twitching above his lips, "I'm sorry, whut didja say?" Akkarat Hanuman sighs, slumps and says "Can you take me to "Thai me up"? It's a place. Please hurry." The Thai man groans as the British man grins in a wicked mind-in-the-sewers way, "Right o'."

The trip isn't long, and the fare is rather cheap. Quietly the Thai man leaves no tip and walks into Thai me up, meeting the waitress, who ultimately, like a lot of people, starts speaking Japanese to Akkarat Hanuman, assuming him of Japanese ethnicity. Without correcting her he follows her to the room for Mr. Finn.

When the others arive, Mr. Finn stands up. "Thank you for coming, please, have a seat, order some dinner, a spot of something to drink." The booth is almost sectioned off from the rest of the restaurant, private in its construction. He sits back down. "I am James Finn, and I will be your host this evening."

Kassandra takes a seat at the booth, ordering tea in a quiet voice at Mr. Finn's suggestion. She nods to their host, settling in and folding her hands on the table before her. The woman glances to Hanuman and then to Mr. Finn, eyes wandering both men before the inevitable business begins.

Akkarat Hanuman says, bowing slightly, "Thank you, Mr. Finn." He twists the clip on tie, fabricating the lie and making it look like a real one. His black jeans and sports coat a little dirty from…what is really apparent at the moment.

Sitting back down, 'Mr. Finn' cracks his neck with a weary sort of way. "I have a particular place I need particular information from. It's out of the way. It's somewhat of a priority and it's somewhat.. unorthodox. ARe you gentle-people capable of unorthodox actions?"

Unorthodox. Out of the Way. Priority. Kassandra runs the statements through her head, all of which seem to indicate something that pays well, in credit or other tangible benefits. The elven woman nods slowly, leaning back in the relative comfort of the book. She smiles towards Mr. Finn, keeping the smile friendly and professional rather than coquettish. "I believe I am capable of such, Sir."

"Sure sure, yes." The Thai man says, with an agreeing smile. Then he tilts his head a bit, "Uh, yes, how much? Money? And what? Yes and what will it be that we are doing?" Akkarat Hanuman clasps his hands together, leaning forward.

Samuel appreciates a woman who can answer a question without flirting. It's a lost art in the Denver Shadowscene, it seems. He nods to Kassandra as he takes his drink from the server who has returned. When she's gone, drinks set down for all, Samuel comes back to business. He places a small WNG on the table and turns it on. Not so uncommon in most restaurants when business is being discussed. "How much money. That is open to negotiation depending upon how much support I will need to provide, but for your time, I can open an offer at 30,000 nuyen. This is as much as a years salary for most people, so I feel it is a reasonable sum for what I am going to ask of you."

Kassandra pours a cup of tea deftly, and while she doesn't show the intricate skill of a geisha, some of her movements indicate she isn't a stranger to tea ceremonies in general. Steam rises from the cup, staining the air with comforting aromas and warmth. The elf doesn't dicker about payment, instead indicating with a small nod for Mr. Finn to continue, her interest piqued.

The Thai man couldn't be quicker to agree to the sum, "Of course. Divided among the two of us? That sounds grand." He looks at Kassandra and says, "I will be working with you, yes? My name is Ak—Uhm, yes my name is Patwrick Swaize." He smiles and looks back at Mr. Finn.

Samuel can't help but chuckle at the name. "No, Mr. Swaize. Each. Of course, dependent upon how much actual support you will require to complete the mission. As I said, it is something of a special case, so I don't expect you to have the required gear… on -hand-. "

Kassandra offers a smile to Mr. Swaize as well, "Charmed." She doesn't respond in kind as of yet, perhaps feeling things aren't final just yet. She turns her attention politely to Mr. Finn again, mentally logging the information he is laying out.

"I can work with things." Akkarat Hanuman says, hands making a sphere in the air, "But what is the special case?"

Samuel reaches down to his briefcase, producing a map of Antarctica. "It's cold, its dry, despite being made of ice, and its a warzone of competing corporate and national interests. Before I move forward with this briefing, I need assurances of non-disclosure."

The Thai man leans back, as if he's going to say no just on the fact that it's going to even be about cold weather. He remembers that figure however, and how much it'll buy him. "OK. Yes, I will not disclose this. We not going there are we?"
Kassandra raises an eyebrow, nodding, "All right. I will affirm that what I hear at this moment and place will not be spoken, written, or otherwise discussed by myself with outside parties."

Samuel glances at his watch as Mafen arrives at Thai Me Up, the little thai restaurant in the club district of the PCC sector, called about a job of unusual scope and nature. Because your late, you get no preamble RP. Cope.
Mafen sits down rapidly to listen to the pitch (or catch up on what he missed), and copes.

Samuel purses his lips. "Antarctica is a warzone. The corps do not maintain public records for where they keep their facilities, but they are usually on the bones of old national stations. Easier investment. Now, what is concerning, is this. A 72 to 1525 kHz band range transmission. It comes on once a month, then disappears before we can triangulate it. It's a radio signal… analog. It concerns us. We want it investigated."

Samuel puts out a map, showing the rough location of the transmission:

The map

SRAntarcticacopy.jpg

Kassandra leans in to look over the map, chewing on her lower lip. The woman leans back again, formulating a comment, her hands wrapping around the warmth of the tea cup before her. "Method of entry?"

Samuel looks to Kassandra. "Thats where negotiation over the 30,000 base pay comes in. It's entirely dependant upon what you have available to yourself. You're a subcontractor here. I, the client, can provide you with goods as required, but its preferred that you have your own."

Mafen nods. "What timeframe do we have to get there? I can provide my own transportation, unless we need to be there in a few hours…"

"Well, since we managed to finally triangulate a signal, its a fair bet that someone else has." Say 'Mister Finn'. "Time is always of the essence. Any transport I provide would be somewhere in the range of a 2-3 days out. It's simply unreasonable to expect faster transportation. Once you reach the circle, you would need to switch to weatherized transport anyway."

Mafen leans forward slightly, and shrugs. "Could semiballistic airdrop a survival pod. Have been done before." He hesitates a moment, and shrugs. "More expensive than payout though, obviously. I'll take your transport."

Kassandra chuckles at Mafen's comment regarding a drop in a survival pod. She simply nods to Mr. Finn, "I believe we would be greatful for your transportation, Mr. Finn, despite any modification in payment."
"Let us speak about survival gear. This is an arctic environment. Your snow-suit simply will not suffice. Do you possess polar/arctic gear, any of you?" Asks Samuel.

Kassandra glances towards the other two before commenting, "I personally do not at present, no; that said, I know a few people who might be able to point me in the direction of some should other courses fail."

Mafen tilts his head at Samuel. "Will the temperature range exceed negative ninety-eight celsius?"
Finn, that is. Who is Samuel???

Samuel thinks on that. "I do not think so. It's summer in this region right now, but I cannot promise that. Antarctica is a barren place, and wind chill is the major threat, not outright temperature." He shrugs then, pulling another piece of paper out of his stack. He offers it over, a copy to each…

The Gear

Transport (Round Trip) 3,000 Y
Polar Survival Suit 3,000 Y
Arctic Survival Tent 500 Y
Snow Shoes 100 Y
Polar Survival Kit 600 Y
Crevasse Detector 500 Y
Filter Contacts 50 Y
Package Total 7,750 Y

"This is my package."

Mafen nods slowly. "The price is acceptable. I will take everything. Better prepared than deceased."

Kassandra looks over the price list, ticking off the items. She nods as well, "It seems more than reasonable." The elven woman sips from her tea, watching the men discuss the mission. She seems content to observe for the moment.

Mafen tilts his head back, leaning backwards in the seat. "Does this include a rolligon out to the site?"

"I do not make a relationship with a runner based on trying to nickle and dime you. I prefer to pay a little more to ensure you come home, than try and save 20 Y. As to rolligon… could you be more specific?" ASks Mr. Finn.

Mafen explains, "Oh, an arctic-rated transport for safe movement across the ice. A few manufacturers make them specifically."

Kassandra frowns, trying to place what a 'rolligon' is. The woman waits for Mafen to explain what he means. She nods as the explanation comes, interjecting, "Transportation, then, once we touch down?"

Samuel shakes his head. "I am not providing that in transport, but if you require a specialized vehicle once on site, I can look in to what can be arranged. If I cannot locate, or you cannot locate, I am sure a charter service in the area can provide something. It's a question of transporting it."

Mafen lists over the info he's gathered so far, tilting his head back and forth in processing. "How long does the signal transmit before going dark again?"

Samuel checks a paper… "88 seconds."

Kassandra considers, "Eighty-eight seconds, once a month, in a few days from now. We'll need to be relatively close as well, I assume?"

Mafen nods, "Alright. We will need two scanners, two radios, batteries and some mounting bracks to mount them safely on the ice to get the accurate triangulation. Providing that, I'm ready to go."

Mafen comments, "Do you have a recording of the signal, so we can hear what it broadcasts?"

Samuel nods slowly, considering the run before them. "I will provide a satellite phone as well. You might understand, there is no domestic cell service or matrix. We do have a recording, but its… encrypted somehow. We have been unsuccessful at determining the form and function of the encryption. It's quite complex. I can provide a sample if you require."

Kassandra nods, "A sample would be quite helpful. I have another question as well .. I understand you want to know what the signal is, but .. what past that? How far do you want us to go? Is this just a look-and-see expidition or are you wanting us to .. plant a flag, for all intents and purposes? For that matter, if there is something there, is there a finder's fee attached to our payment?"

Samuel smiles quietly as Kass gets to the real heart of the matter. "I see." Says Samuel, leaning forward. "If you find something there of interest, it belongs in principle, to my clients. However, reasonable people do not have a problem with proper reward for services rendered. Now, to be fair, planting a flag is only as reasonable as the probability the flag would be honored. It's a question of what is there, who else wants it and who can get boots on the ground fast enough."

Kassandra returns the smile, nodding slowly, "And your client would like to be the first to have boots there, hence the satellite phone. I'd suggest a back-up method of contact as well, in case we find something but do not want the transmission monitored? Perhaps a burst locator beacon?"

Samuel nods. "I can do that."

Standing up from the table Akkarat Hanuman, known to the table only as Patwick Swaize, holds out his hands, "No no, Mister Finn. I will tell no one what I have heard, not that they believe it, but the cold is too much for me. I go now, good night yes?" He says, waiting at first and then scooting backwards out of the booth.

Samuel bows his head to Ophi. "I will contact you later about… contracts more suited to your skills. I felt this mission may be an interesting expansion of your abilities."

Kassandra watches Hanuman back out, her expression neutral. She waits for the man to make his exit before the briefing can continue, taking interest in Finn's comment to the gentleman.

Ophi has left the plot

Mafen watches Ophiophagus leave and looks up at Finn after he's gone. "Well, provided you have what you need, when do we depart?"

"AS soon as you can prepare yourself." SAys Samuel, placing a sat-phone on the table. "It has a linkup for connecting to a FUP. It will not support matrix immersion, but you can use it send email or look up particular sites in tortis mode. Don't abuse it. It's expensive."

Mafen picks up the item, sliding it into his greatcoat. "I'm ready." He hooks his fiber optic cable into his datajack, and starts to work on analyzing this 88-second signal.

Kassandra sips her tea, offering, "I can be ready within a few hours; I don't carry much of the gear I might need on my person, at least not for lunch." She offers a smile at that, blowing on the liquid to cool it before taking another sip.

Samuel nods, standing up. "I suggest getting alcohol based de-icing solutions for your firearms and other exposed gear. A lesson I learned the very very hard way while operating in the Urals." He offers a nod, before stepping out. "Enjoy the meal."

«Plot» Samuel says, " Mafen will now be initiating the decoding of the 88 second signal. This will not be a quick or easy task and will run in the background."
«Plot» Kassandra says, "I will be contacting Iron Jon (R2 Gunsmith) for the appropriate solutions and upgrades for any weapons I might take. Please deduct any costs from payment at the end of run for bookkeeping sake."
«Plot» Samuel says, "GM: Noted"
«Plot» Samuel says, " FIXER has left the building. LEgwork and other such issues can be handled now."
«Plot» Mafen says, "What do you need to be rolled for the decryption for the decryption of the code? Decking + HP, or computers?"
«Plot» Samuel says, " Computers, no hacking pool. It's not a digital signal, so I don't see the bonus to being in it. I'm open to counter."
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Computers:
2 3 4 4 4 5 5 9
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Computers for "KP 2":
1 1 2 3 3 4 8 21
«Plot» Samuel says, " Mafen's computer will be running the decryption program. It has no estimation of when it will be complete. It fluctuates between 5 minutes and 6 days. Somewhere in there, is when it will be complete.
«Plot» Mafen says, "Whee."
«Plot» Samuel says, " Any other legwork, or will we be shuffling to 'colder than fuck airlines'?"
«Plot» Mafen says, "Sounds like we're good to go on the shuffling down to Antarctica."
«Plot» Kassandra says, "As we are leaving in several hours, I will limit my actions to research of any and all information regarding the region we are travelling to, concentrating on such topics as: signal transmissions, overland travel, and research projects there"
«Plot» Mafen says, "PST."
«Plot» Kassandra says, "That can be an ongoing project as we travel. just reading and learning."
«Plot» Samuel says, " Moving right along."

Act Two

On Station, Ice Station Palmer.

2 days later.

Dunkelzahn International Airport. A charter flight is arranged from Denver to Havana. From Havana to Rio in Amazonia, then further down the coast to Beunos Aries, then to San Carlos on the Falkland Islands (United Kingdom). From there, to Ice Station Palmer…

From there, the two runners meet up with the promised gear. It's still got price tags on it. It's in a crate with no markings at all.

Kassandra collects the aforementioned gear, adding it to what she has brought with her, spending some time to make sure everything is set up properly. Travelling with an off-kilter pack is more tiring than necessary, and a hazard in combat to boot. The woman takes the time to get to know the new gear as well, making sure to know how the toys work. She'll take care of this soon after arrival.

Mafen checks out each bit of equipment, running it against the assorted expected specs and confirming everything is as advertised. He familiarizes himself with the stuff that he hasn't used before. This isn't his first time in the Antarctic.

Sven. His name -has- to be Sven. If there is a god, this tall nordic man's name MUST be Sven. "Oh jah.. let me shoooo joo how to be putting der suits on. Cannot be getting wrong, or be getting stiffs!"

"Stiffs?" The woman manages to say the word without putting any sort of sexual flourish on it, which is a difficulty of 8.7. Kassandra allows Sven to explain how the winter garb works, taking care to watch how he makes everything fasten. Her life could depend on it, after all.

Mafen does a quick check to see if he recognizes Sven, and then allows the man to instruct him on the proper way to wear this stuff.

Sven is a local, in so much as there are locals in Antarctica. A guide, a sherpa, a security guard. With so many corps operating in the area, its a good place for someone with skill to make some money. He is freelance, but seems to be attached to your little expedition. "Ohh jah. Got the cold in, de cold stays in, joo get de stiffens and toooo tousend yeeears from now, j00 be found, looking like joo did jesterday!"

Sven then eyes Kassandra. "Do I have to keep up the accent, or do I seem credible without sounding like a fracking nordic caricature?"

Kassandra says "As bad as all that?" Kassandra chuckles faintly, then nods, "I think you can forgo the accent .. unless you -really- want to." The elven woman laughs at that, shaking her head a bit. "It was entertaining, though, and after this long trip a laugh was quite refreshing. I hope your knowledge of the gear and our terrain doesn't fade with the accent, however.""

Sven smirks, gesturing then to the Kit. "Okay. In here we have the standards. Compass, but don't trust it. Magnetics in the Arctic are getting weirder every year. Signal mirror, saftey pins, wire saw, very good for cutting ice, flashlights, batteries, microflares. You know how this stuff works, I will assume, given who hired me to assist you. This kit will contain pretty much everything you need for the next 3-4 days, but it will be sucky. I suggest buying some food stuffs from the camp bases here to compliment. You're going to need -high calorie- foods. This isn't Miami."

Mafen listens to the banter, not really commenting on it. Hard to remember to keep up the small talk sometimes. He attaches another securing strap, watching his internal temperature slowly rise on the output of his diagnosis processor as each piece of equipment is strapped on. He takes note of the requirement — He'll need four times the high calorie food someone else would need, which will be a LOT of food.

Kassandra nods, listening to Sven go over the gear, "Buy, eh?" She glances around their surroundings, "The general provisioner is fairly well stocked here, then?" Kassandra busies herself as she watches Sven go over the gear, attaching the bits and pieces she brought with her as well.

"We get a lot of executives on retreat and so forth. Back during the Orchicalcum rush, we had everyone and their mother come looking for rock." Sven shrugs then, looking out of the hanger. "You can find much here. not so much in consumer electronics, but you can find what you need. One hanger over, is my helo. We will use that to approach the Ronne Ice Shelf."

"How far from the ice shelf to the estimated location of the target signal." Mafen looks over the assorted items, and is ultimately a pretty boring guy when he's not crushing skulls with his bare fists!

"Signal?" Asks Sven, looking to Mafen.

Mafen shakes his head. "Nevermind."

Sven shrugs, going back to stowing gear in plastic all-weather crates.

Kassandra covers for Mafen, "How long will it take you to have your ride ready to go?" She clips a few items to easy grab on her belt, "and for that matter, what did the guy who hired you tell you, so we aren't at cross-purposes?" She keeps the words easy-going, casual.

Sven glances to Kassandra… "I fly you, I keep engines warm. I keep you alive in so much as I keep you from making stupid american mistakes on the ice. I fly you back. What you do there, is not my concern."

Kassandra laughs, nodding, "Sounds pretty much like him." As if she knew. "And we'll try to keep down the stupid American mistakes. We'll need a bit to gather some other gear, food, and so forth. We'll leave in say … two hours?" She glances to Mafen to see if that is alright.

Mafen nods at Kassandra. "That's acceptable." He heads for the doorway and down the corridors, to pick up food. The most nutritionally fit he can find that is still easy to pack.

Food here ranges from sealed packets with chemical heaters built in (Designed to be hefted by a servant who proabably eats something else) to high impact nutribars that taste like the shit that shit ate then shat back out, but can power a fission reactor (This is what the servants eat).

"I fly a Sea-Dragon, weatherized. I can stay on station for 25 hours, but then, I have to leave. Batteries for the de-icer will run down and I don't have fuel to run the engines that long. Also, any foul weather and you have 15 minutes to get back to the chopper, or I leave. I come back as soon as the weather breaks, but you may be there for a week."

Taste is not an important issue in this situation, though space is. Mafen divides out his available pack space by caloric content. If the nutribars give me more, he'll load up with those.

Kassandra nods to Sven, quietly clicking chips into the slots hidden behind her pointed ears, beneath the mass of hair. The elf mentioned, "Sounds fine to me. We'll just have to pack extra and hope for good weather." She offers a smile at her optimistic point of view on possibly being marooned in an arctic prison.

«Plot» Samuel says, " Food Supplies = 600 nuyen for 2 people for 1 week, Nutribars. Shit that shit shit. Tasty. Will be deducted from mission total."
«Plot» Mafen says, "So I need four times that amount."
«Plot» Mafen says, "Symbiotes & suprathyroid."
«Plot» Mafen says, "And let me pack an extra 2 days at that rate too."
«Plot» Mafen says, "Just incase."
«Plot» Samuel says, " Okay. Call it 3000 total for the both of you, in terms of variety and nutrition"
«Plot» Samuel says, "For 9 days"

For her part, the fixer will pick out nutribars and a few MRE-level foodstuffs for variety purposes, as well as fill out her gear with other items of interest and/or duplicates of some of the things she already has.

The Tail (Combat)

«OOC» Samuel says, "Bhot of you, give me perception checks, open test"
«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls Intelligence for "Perception Test":
1 1 2 3 3 5 5 22
«Game» Backup to offline storage commencing. Game may freeze for a bit…
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Intelligence for "All mods.":
1 3 4 4 4 5 5 9 11
«Auto-Judge[]» Samuel (#799) rolls 8:
1 3 3 4 4 5 7 7

Man. Kassandra is out buying her food and so is Mafen. One thing Kass will notice is that, you know, its hard to surveil someone in Antarctica. The airfield is only so large, the colors are monotone and its hard to be sneaky when your bundled against the cold. But yeah. Kass sees the guy. Mafen notices it as well, but after Kassandra; You are being followed.

Mafen checks the receipt for the food, looking over it. He scrawls his signature on it, then flips it over and writes something on the back. A few moments later, he hands the clipboard over to Kassandra. "Take a look. Let me know if everything looks alright."

Kassandra glances over the clipboard, leaving the really nifty and overpriced arctic flashlight sitting on the shelf. She looks over the message written, looking up and nodding to Mafen, "Seems everything is in order." The elven woman hands it back and nods once. She didn't seem at all surprised by the information from Mafen, taking it better than many would. She says outloud, "Think I am going to stretch my legs, wander around a bit." With that, Kassandra moves out, perhaps acting as bait and/or distraction to let Mafen do his thing.

Mafen nods, fake-checking the gear and looking for good cover and approach — as best he can — to the monitoring site. If he has to go out for a way, that's alright — just needs a good path to get up on them, preferably cutting out any easy fleeing on their part. He tries to look as natural as possible — which, for Mafen, is pretty damn unnatural.

«Plot» Mafen says, "Perception?"
«Plot» Samuel says, " Go for stealth, actually. You're trying to find a good route to outflank a tail."
«OOC» Mafen says, "Heh."
«OOC» Mafen says, "What skill does stealth default to? ; P"
«OOC» Mafen says, "Erm, attributer."
«OOC» Mafen says, "Generally I just walk right up to things…"
«OOC» Kassandra says, "Stealth is a quickness skill"
«OOC» Samuel says, "Quick, like kass said"
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Quickness for "Stealthily approaching, maybe…":
1 1 1 2 2 3 3 4 4 8 9
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Quickness for "Stealthily approaching, maybe… ~KP 4":
2 2 3 3 3 4 4 4 5 5 11
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Quickness for "Stealthily approaching, maybe… ~KP 6":
2 2 3 3 3 3 4 4 5 8 11
«OOC» Mafen says, "Guess that will have to do. 11 - 4 = 7. *shrug* I will watch them though, and if they seem like they are getting ready to run for it, give chase."
«Auto-Judge[]» Samuel (#799) rolls 6 vs TN 7:
1 1 2 3 4 4 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Samuel (#799) rolls 6 vs TN 7 for "KP 1":
2 3 3 4 5 11 = 1 Success
«Plot» Mafen says, "Full out run."
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Athletics vs TN 4:
4 5 5 = 3 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) has the Attribute Quickness with the value '11'.
«Plot» Mafen says, "So 44 meters a pass?"
«OOC» Samuel says, "Neg. Lets give you a 2/3rds movement penalty for snow, ice, wind and bulky ass clothing"
«OOC» Samuel says, "Luckly, thats applied to him too."
«OOC» Samuel says, "SO 14 meters a turn. Still, VASTLY fast for anyone. Are you charging at the guy?"
«OOC» Mafen says, "Sure, unless it looks like he's on a vehicle, in which case I would quickdraw and open fire."
«OOC» Samuel says, "No, he's just a guy in a snow suit, trying not to be seen. He's probably using optics and is about 100 feet away."
«OOC» Mafen says, "So 30 meters."
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Initiative with a result of 28.
«OOC» Samuel nods.
«Auto-Judge[]» Samuel (#799) rolls 2 for "+9":
2 10
«OOC» Samuel says, "so 17"
«OOC» Mafen says, "So unless he has like… some trick up his sleeve, I should reach him pretty quickly."
«OOC» Samuel nods. He's gonna spot you once you start charging.
«OOC» Samuel says, "So thats your action. His, will be to 1: Be shocked that an elven locomotive is barreling down on him, and 2: Try and get the ice plug out of his gun."
«Auto-Judge[]» Samuel (#799) rolls 7 vs TN 5 for "Ice plug":
1 1 3 3 5 5 15 = 3 Successes
«OOC» Samuel says, "Okay. Now, he's gonna try and shoot you."
«Auto-Judge[]» Samuel (#799) rolls 7 vs TN 4 for "Smartlinked, but +2 diff for fumbling.":
1 1 4 4 5 5 5 = 5 Successes
«OOC» Samuel says, "He'll stand on 5."
«OOC» Mafen says, "Damnit. He's going to poke holes in my new cold weather gear."
«Plot» Mafen says, "Soak."
«Plot» Mafen says, "Damage code?"
«OOC» Samuel says, "COlt manhunter model, 7M, staged to 7D."
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Body vs TN 2:
1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 4 4 5 5 5 5 = 9 Successes
«OOC» Samuel says, "Yeah, you soak. I'll pose."
«OOC» Mafen says, "If I knew it was just routine surveillance, I wouldn't care, but who knows who he might be? : )"
«OOC» Samuel nods. Kas, making any actions?
«Plot» Kassandra will hit the deck as people start shooting.
«Plot» Samuel says, " Mafen's 2nd action."
«OOC» Mafen says, "No way I could notice that while out here, Kass. : ("
«Plot» Mafen says, "I don't want to kill him. I'll just keep moving."
«OOC» Samuel says, "Pose it."
«OOC» Samuel says, "You'll reach him on the third pass"
«Auto-Judge[]» Samuel (#799) rolls 7 + 3 (CP) vs TN 2:
2 2 2 3 3 4 4 4 7 13 = 10 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Samuel (#799) rolls 7 + 3 (CP) vs TN 2:
1 2 3 3 4 4 4 5 5 10 = 9 Successes
«OOC» Samuel says, "7M+5=9D, 7M+4=8D"
«Plot» Mafen says, "That's not how ranged rounds stage, is it?"
«OOC» Samuel says, "I think it is. Once it hits d, stages raise power, instead of extra boxes of damage."
«Plot» Mafen says, "Wouldn it be 7D+3 and 7D+2"
«Plot» Mafen says, "I think that's unarmed."
«Plot» Mafen says, "Not sure tho"
«Plot» Samuel says, " I'll do it your way. :) 7D+3 + 7D+2"
«OOC» Mafen says, "That makes it much harder on me. : )"
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Body vs TN 2 for "D+3, needs 14 succs.":
1 1 3 3 3 4 4 5 5 7 8 8 9 11 = 12 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Body - 12 vs TN 2 for " KP 7":
2 13 = 2 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Body vs TN 2 for "Need 12 succs, D+2.":
1 2 2 2 2 3 3 3 5 5 7 10 13 16 = 13 Successes
«OOC» Mafen chuckles.
«Plot» Kassandra says, "Free Action: Activate Cyber, Action: kick out at the shoplifting putz"
«OOC» Samuel says, "Go for it. Unarmed. Is there a mod for being prone?"
«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls 4 (Skillsoft.Brawling) + Combat Pool: 4 vs TN 4 for "Base TN 4.":
2 2 3 3 3 3 3 4 = 1 Success
«OOC» Kassandra says, "stand"
«Auto-Judge[]» Samuel (#799) rolls 5 vs TN 2:
1 3 4 4 5 = 4 Successes

The snow-suited individual who's watching, keeps his eyes on Kassandra. HOwever, something seems to bother him and he slowly starts to extract himself, moving back and away from the situation. A good agent withdraws before he's burnt. HE's starting to feel hot.

Mafen's telescopic supervision notices the tail start to flee, and gives up all manner of stealth. He's never been good at stealth anyway. He drops all pretense and starts a hard dash for the surveiller, gyros within his legs whirring up to almost-audible above the din of around as they struggle against the weather and bulky equipment. He's still moving very fast for something that bogged down and heavy. *million dollar man sound effect*

Kassandra for her part, is pretty much doing what she said she would: she is wandering around sightseeing and stretching her legs. She keeps a weather eye on her watcher when she can, and likely cannot help but notice Mafen take off running and the watcher's reaction.

Poor Hector. He was hired by god knows who to follow these two noodnicks around for a while and see what they are doing at Ice Station Palmer. It's known they hired Sven and his helicopter, which means they are going to the interior or far coast. Now, suddenly, the tall elf of the pair is charging at him like a freight train, complete with steam from the ears. He pulls his gun, a colt manhunter pistol, the other hand trying desperately to get the damn plug out of the barrel. It'd be really bad to fire it with the plug in.

"Oh Drek!" Says he, getting one shot off.

Tink. The round impacts on the shoulder, maybe. He'll be digging it out of the realskinn later. Doesn't even slow him down. Guy doesn't have to die, just has to learn to be more careful in the future…

Kassandra squeeks as gunfire goes off, falling awkwardly to the ground, no doubt cushioned by what her mama gave her as well as the ample snowgear. The smaller elf of the pair keeps her eye on the battle but stays low, not invulnerable like Mafen.

Yeah. Gunfire kind of draws the attention of the staff. And everyone else. Theres some other people hitting the ground, theres some that appear to be reaching for radios and one, one tries to reach for a bag of Kassandra's stuff while she's on the ground.

Thunk thunk thunk thunk thunk thunk. Mafen's feet pound into the ground, moving closer and closer toward the shooter. So far, he's the only one that has broken the law — He fired first, all Mafen was doing was running. Legally it should be clear… as far as laws go to middle-of-nowhere places like this.

Poor Hector. He sees the man shrug off the bullet like it was nothing and, quite possibly, the urine-reclamation system of his cold suit starts working overtime. He rattles off two more shots now, at closer range and without the issues involved with trying to unplug the gun.

Tink. Tink. More stitchwork for the realskinn. Diagnosis processor flashes in Mafen's field of view: 'Skin penetration, armor condition optimal, damage superficial…' and so on.

Kassandra watches Mafen running like a madman, bullets apparently unable to slow him down or even stall him. The small elven woman shakes her head, which brings her peripheral vision near enough to see someone reaching for her … hey! My stuff! A mental switch snaps, sending artificial reflexes and information into her system. She lashes out with a sloppy kick towards the bag-lifting thief, missing by a mile.

And yet, Paulo has to change his angle of approach to avoid the kick, which he instinctively does. He goes wide, missing her, but also missing the bag. "Merde!"

«Plot» Samuel says, " 3rd pass. Mafen reaches Hector"
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) has the Attribute Strength with the value '13'.
«Plot» Mafen says, "+2 for two cyberarms."
«Plot» Mafen says, "I want to just grab and restrain him."
«Plot» Mafen says, "What covers that?"
«OOC» Samuel would give you an unarmed attack for a graple. I don't feel like looking up the actual rules for a situation you are -clearly- going to win :
«OOC» Samuel grins.
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Aikido + 5 vs TN 4 for "Grr.":
2 2 3 4 4 4 5 5 5 7 = 7 Successes
«Plot» Mafen says, "Stand."
«Auto-Judge[]» Samuel (#799) rolls 6 vs TN 4:
1 3 4 5 5 9 = 4 Successes
«OOC» Samuel says, "3 to you. you manage to tackle him and take him to the ground. Pose it."

Mafen hurtles toward Hector, closer by the second as the shots ring out. Suddenly he digs his heels into the ground, coming to as quick of a controlled stop as he can — slamming into him with his full weight would probably kill the dude, and he's no good to him dead. He brings up an arm in a clotheslineish move, wraps it around the man's neck and tucks his limbs back toward him, knocking the man's center of balance far too high and knocking him over. He crouches, one arm pressing the man's chest into the ground and the other hand squeezing the fist with the pistol. Mafen speaks with increased volume, not bothering to pattern the text other than just raw voice modulation, a mechanical sounding "Who hired you." issuing from between his not-moving lips.

«Plot» Samuel says, " New Round. Kassandra, you may init if you wish to chase after Paulo. Otherwise, he's disengaging and running"
«Plot» Samuel says, " Slowly."
«Plot» Samuel says, " Okay. More like waddling."
«Plot» Kassandra says, "Negative. He isn't an issue."
«Plot» Samuel says, " ; nods. RP on."

Kassandra will rise to her feet and gather her belongings. She frowns after Paulo, a rather futile gesture given the amount of her face probably covered by goggles and hat and other stuff. She spares a look towards where Mafen is having hot sexy funtime in the snow.
Hector goes to the ground, born down by the weight of Mafen's charge. He grunts, and you can hear a rib or two snap. The manhunter goes skittering across the ice, disappearing in to a snowdrift. "Que?" He asks, looking at Mafen like he doesn't understand.

Elsewhere, Paulo is making his way out of the area.

The Interrogation

«OOC» Mafen checks his mental inventory of linguasofts plugged into the extra ports on his deck.
«OOC» Mafen says, "No portugese."
«Plot» Mafen says, "I'll activate spanish, and try to see if he speaks it."
«Plot» Mafen says, "He's probably just playing dumb anyway."

Mafen glares at Hector, and comments, "A quin trabajo para."… hopeful, but unlikely. He atteps to grab the man's right arm and right leg and heft him up and over his shoulders, before attempting to lift him up.

"Que! Madre di mios!" ANd then the GM exhausts his built in spanish and defaults to english, though still in spanish. "My ribs! You have crushed my ribs! Put me down! I will not be manhandled! Put me down!"

Mafen stops, and sets the man back down in the snow. "Who do you work for?"

Kassandra trods through the snow towards where Mafen is playing with Hector, tsking quietly. She takes a measure of the staff and patrons of the base, taking note of how much of a ruckus they are causing. The small elf nods absently, looking to move in an intercept path to the decker slash terminator.

The ruckus over, others are starting to come out. "I heard gunshots!" Calls one man at the far end of the field. If there are 'authorities' here… They will be arriving soon. "Hired me for what? I was standing here! You run at me! I defend myself!"

Mafen glances over the man's equipment for surveillance devices, not holding him down. "That sounds likely. It's a nice day for a lie in the snow a few hundred meters out. You fired first. I have video evidence. I merely began running. I thought perhaps you had gone unconscious out here in the snow." He peers through the equipment the man has.

He's got goggles with camera and zoom built in and a snow suit designed for no color (like zippers or seams) to show from the outside. yeah. He's kinda rigged for snow surviellence. "Look, work is hard to find. Someone says watch, I watch. Let me go now, no harm, no foul, si?"

Trudge, trudge, trudge. Not being a cybernaught, Kassandra has a wonderful trip through the snow towards Mafen and his unwilling guest. She moves along briskly enough, keeping track of the little things, like any sherrif-type people, stuff like that. When/if she gets close enough, she calls out, "Who is your friend?"

Says Hector… "I would not call him an amigo, and I do not know!"

Kassandra offers a polite laugh to Hector's comment, answering, "I meant your name, amigo." She shivers somewhat dramatically, "It is cold out here, isn't it? Why don't we go inside somewhere warmer and have a drink, get to know one another?" The elf continues her approach, puffing along towards the pair.

Mafen grabs the goggles, pulling out the optical chip and then handing them back to him. He doesn't say anything yet, still thinking.

His head yanked forward by the removing of the goggles, Hector says "Hey! Hey! Okay Okay… We… we go inside. We talk some. Not much, Hector needs to work, reputation to maintain, but we go inside."

Kassandra tilts her head, "Why didn't you say so, Hector? I think I can find you some work." The small elf indicates back towards the buildings, "Shall we?" She starts that way, perhaps trusting her new companion and Mafen to follow.

Mafen waits for Hector to start moving before following him inside. Seems he's playing the 'bad cop'.

Hector moves with the pair of them, across the ice-mac (Like tarmac, but not so much) to the hanger where Sven's been loading his helicopter. "Vat eess Diss, yahh?" Asks Sven, sliping back into the accent.

"Nuu Passengers?"

Kassandra casts a look towards Sven, shrugging a bit. "Could be. Our friend Hector here was very interested in what we were doing, I thought that he might want to have a drink and talk." She puts no extra emphasis on any word, no extra meaning behind anything she said. Either she means it, or she is playing things closer to the vest.

Mafen glances at Sven, and at Hector. "What were you paid?"

Kassandra pulls up her goggles, pulling various scarves and hats and other bits of protective cloth away from her face. She asks Sven, "Do you have a quiet place where Hector could have a drink with us? Just any old closet or workroom would do."

Sven blinks. And then blinks again. "Why you got hector? He's a sherpie. He just lifts heavy things."

To which Hector says: "Yeah! I just lift heavy things! When someone says hey, I'll give you a thousand Nuyen and a ticket -home- to take pictures.. Hector does!"

Kassandra leans against a nearby crate (or whatever), asking quietly, "Who."

Hector raises an eyebrow. "Hey, hey… I have no assurances you're not gonna kill me and dump me in the snow! I want assurances!"

Mafen eyes up at Kassandra, raising his eyebrows, wondering if Hector needs any more brute persuasion. He seems content to let Kassandra do the talking.

Kassandra smiles winningly, "Assurances?" She considers the word, then shrugs. "You have my assurance that if you -don't- tell me what it is I want to know, I will have my rather sturdy friend remove body parts from you. You have my assurance that if you don't tell me what I want to know, I will bleed you out over the course of the next week." The elf moves forward, "You have my assurance that you will die painfully if you don't start talking … now."

El Gulpo.

Hector exhales… "Her name was… ah… Alyiah. She. Sounded russian, maybe. She wanted me to watch for new guys coming in to the area… hiring charters supposed to be going over the Ronne. Look." he says, holding up his hands. "I came here with an expedition that went bust. I didn't get paid, I had no ride back to the mainland. I do odd jobs, trying to keep fed and warm. Trying to save the money for a flight back to Sao Paulo, you know? She calls me up, offers me enough, then has me shipped a box with the toys."

Kassandra interjects, pacing the room, "Toys?" She gives Hector some more rope, letting him talk for the moment. She seems to have done something like this before.

Mafen peers at Hector and at Kassandra, not wanting to reveal anything operational in front of the spy.

"Yeah… A box with those goggles, and a new snowsuit… and that gun. Oh shit! The gun! She's gonna make me pay for that, I know!"

Kassandra nods absently, "Yes, I imagine a good gun is very expensive down here." She continues pacing, her footsteps the only sound for a moment, "You were telling me how you were going to contact her, if you found anything out?"

Mafen's deck chirps.

"Satellite phone. I tried to use it to call my wife, but it calls only one number."

Mafen checks the image link, opening up the window of output from the deck.

Decryption complete

This is Ice Command Hel, this is Ice Command Hel. We have made a discovery, Berlin Command. A discovery of magnitude. The legends were correct! It is as was written! Request immediate reinforcement from SS Paranormal Division Immediately

Message repeats

Kassandra smiles brightly, "Oh? I'd dearly love to see that." The elf continues pacing the room, glancing towards Mafen. "You know, I sort of like you, Hector. Sven seems to think you are a nice guy, and even though you shot Mafen here a few times, I doubt he holds a grudge." She pauses for both comic effect as well as to give the other elf a chance to comment/glare if he wishes. She continues, "I think I really only have one last thing to ask you … have you been checking in on anyone else?"

Mafen shakes his head at the 'holding a grudge' comment. No grudge. He pores over the message carefully. Oh my.

Hector eyes Kassandra. "Hey, hey now. I've been a team player here, lady, but I've done nothing wrong! This guy comes charging across the snow at me, like a land train! I spooked! He hurt me more with tackling me than I hurt him with shooting him 3 times! I need some consideration here! Can you send me home?"

«OOC» Samuel says, "Mafen, intel check. TN 12"
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Intelligence vs TN 12:
2 2 2 3 3 4 5 8 10 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Intelligence vs TN 12 for "KP 7.":
1 2 2 3 4 4 5 5 8 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Intelligence vs TN 12 for "KP 9":
1 2 2 3 4 4 5 9 17 = 1 Success

Kassandra nods, "I can and will, provided you get me the sat phone and answer my last question."

You paged Mafen with '88 second transmission. 88 is a number of significance to the Nazi party, as, taken separately, 8-8 is the alphanumerical for H-H, Hiel Hitler.'.

Mafen looks over at Kassandra, placing his hands in his coat, waiting for him to finish with the spy. He looks over at the heli and Sven, and back at Kassandra, trusting her to figure out the best thing to do with him.

Hector glances down at his hands, then back out the door. "Okay. It's in my snow-shelter. I've been tunneling in to a solid snow bank for a few weeks.. its kinda cozy, as things go. Uh… I need to go back there to get it. I share it with a friend, Paulo."

The Arctic Aroma Incident

Kassandra gives him an 'uh-huh' look. "I see. Well, I'll put it to you this way. I -really- want that phone. I want it so much I'd be willing to pay you to go get it for me, and then to take a long vacation, maybe back home. You said that this woman was paying you? I'll double that."

Mafen shakes his head. "Negative. Can't let him go back to his equipment — sixty five percent chance of him alerting his employers. Can't accompany him there without a twenty four percent chance of a lethal ambush. Perhaps he should just accompany us."

Hector raises an eyebrow. "I could… go now. I would be slow, my ribs, they hurt. They hurt a lot…" When Mafen speaks, Hector sighs… "Look. I… Uh… I just want to go home. You can't blame me. I spooked when the.." HE glances at Mafen… "what -ever- he is… charged at me. I hadn't been taking naughty pictures, I hadn't broken in to your stuff."

Mafen shrugs. "It's nothing personal, there's just no way to verify your story. We can't take the risk until later. Would you mind accompanying us?"

Kassandra nods absently to both Hector and Mafen's words. She digs in a pouch on her belt, casually strolling the room. She stops next to Hector abruptly, turning and spraying something into the air.

«OOC» Kassandra says, "I am spraying a lavender-cinnamon smelling substance."

Hector narrows his eyes. "Hey, I can't go with you. I don't have the gear, I had to sell some of it just to eat, you know? I just want to go -home…" He breaks off when she sprays him. He jumps, backing up and wiping at his face. "What the frag?? What? What was that? What have you done to me?"

Mafen looks a moment, then nods. "Regrettable, but it had to be done."

Kassandra starts strolling away from Hector, pocketing whatever it was that she sprayed. The woman turns, leaning against a crate and folding her arms. "You'll want to keep very calm, Hector." The elf keeps her voice flat, almost monotone, "My friend here was right, there is a certain level of danger involved. That spray evens the odds. You see, you've been infected with a rather ingenious nano-tracking system. Quite benign, really, unless your heart rate goes up. Adrenalin does … things .. to it. in any case, just a way of tracking you, in case you decide to run off without delivering the phone."

«Plot» Kassandra says, "Kassandra has used one dose of High Society-level perfume."

"Those trackers are worth more than your life. Try to take good care of them." Mafen scoffs and turns for the Helicopter. "Go back and get your radio. We'll get you some cash for medical and your trip home. If you dissappear and call your employer, we'll know."

Hector, the poor slot, looked -horrified-. "By the holy mother, I won't betray you! I'll get it! But how do I get it out? How do I get these… things out of me?"

Kassandra smiles and claps the man on the back. "The answer to -that- will come when you return. I'd move quickly, were I you. These sorts of things tend to break down in cold weather, and all sorts of random mutations occur."

Hector looks about to vomit. He glances at Sven (who, to his credit, is keeping a straight face…) then at Mafen, then back to Kassandra… "How… how long…" his voice drops in to a serious, worried as all hell tone… "How long do I… -have-?"

Kassandra looks non-plussed, shrugging. "These things vary. Sometimes hours. Sometimes just a few minutes." She waves a hand towards the exit, "I'd hurry, were I you."

«Plot» Mafen says, "I'm actively listening to commlink chatter as he runs off, searching for anything that might be a sudden new signal on the spectrum."

Hector turns then, running as fast in a man in a polar survival suit can run. Which, unless you are Mafen, is not really very fast. No new com chatter pops up.

Kassandra watches Hector rush out, waiting for his little pitter pattering feet to trail off before remarking, "We should load up and be ready to go, just in case he is a -really- good actor and has new friends that want words with us."

Sven waits until Hector is out in the wind, and thus, can't hear… and then just.. busts in to laughing. Laughing so hard he has to lean on the helicopter just to stay on his feet. "What was that, Chanel #12?"

Mafen feigns some laughter while Sven comments on the maneuver. He then motions for Kassandra to follow him behind a crate, and as soon as she does, he replays the radio message using his voice modulator playback for her. "Very interesting." He exchanges radio frequencies with her so they can communicate clandestinely.

Kassandra remarks, "Something like that," to Sven before being drug behind a crate for a clandestine meeting. She listens to the playback, clicking her tongue and muttering, "Well, that's nice." The elven woman remarks, "We should probably get a move on, things are going to get very tight, I imagine."

Sven can be heard loading a few more cans of fuel on to the chopper. "We are loaded! We can go when you like, but I prefer to drop you in the morning, rather than the afternoon, so you can work and set up camp without worry. HOw you feel? I fly whenever, but I offer advice!"

Kassandra glances to Mafen, remarking to both men, "I feel like time is of the essence. I sort of feel like sitting here might bring about some problems, and I feel like we are going to have company, either in the air or after we land."

Mafen shrugs. 'We will have to just work quickly. We don't have the time to idle here another day." He listens across the commlink bans, picking out any interesting frequencies and decrypting them.

Nothing new on the comlink freqs.

"So, passengers! Are we going tonight, we have 5 hours of daylight left! Enough to get there, put down, and maybe… 30 minutes of light."

Kassandra starts securing her gear and running diagnostics on her system. "We go as soon as little Hector comes back. I will be you dollars to doughnuts if we sit here overnight either your chopper gets blown up or we end up in a shootout."
Mafen nods. "30 minutes should be adequate." He checks his eyeclock, setting it into countdown mode so he can see how long until the next transmission — if it keeps to the schedule.

T Minus 19 Hours till next transmission.

The Return of Hector

LOG ON

14 Minutes pass. Hector comes back in, hawling a snow-sled by a rope over one shoulder. He's huffing, he's puffing, he's scared as all hell he's about to die because he's got good-smelling nanites ALL UP IN HIS BLOOD. He falls to his knees, exhausted from the exertion, near Kassandra…

Kassandra looks down from her preparations to Hector's form, hands still busy in securing the last few remnants of her gear to her body. She says quietly, "Just in time, Hector! I was starting to worry about you." The elf bestows a warm smile on the exhausted man, hands deftly going to a differant pouch along her belt.

"Huff. Puff. Wheeze. The… huff puff box… huff puff… everything… but the gun… ohmygod… ohmygod…"

gun… ohmygod… ohmygod…"

Mafen steps toward the sled, pickined up the man's gear, looking for the radio and any accompanying radio codes. He also pores through whatever is left for anything of interest, loading it up onto the chopper for checking en route.

«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Intelligence for "What's up with all this gear? All sensory mods.":
1 2 2 2 3 4 4 7 11

The Gear appears to be, a surveillance work-kit for dummies(tm). Idiot proof camera, instruction manual with plastic coated pages, a satellite phone with extended battery. A small wind turbine to generate power to charge various batteries. It's not spectacular, but it is good for the conditions.

Kassandra nods, keeping her voice low, soothing, "Take your time, Hector, catch your breath before you have a heart attack." She reminds Mafen, "The phone," before handing the exhausted sherpa a dermal patch from the pouch along her belt. "Take those, you should be right as rain." The elf nods once more to Hector before stepping away to head to the chopper, apparently trusting Mafen to figure out what all the toys are.

Hector looks up. "Hey! You said you could get me home! You can't leave me here! It's fraggen cold! I've already lost two damn toes, now I have broken ribs and no job!"

Commlink-Mafen> Mafen says, "I have a 5k certified credstick. Should cover his expenses. Him leaving the area would be good for us."

Kassandra pauses at the door of the vehicle, turning slowly to look over Hector, "Remember your heart rate, Hector. You are getting worked up again," she reminds, absently looking around. She nods slowly, waving lanquidly to Mafen, "Pay this good man and point him north. Hector," she remarks, looking at the porter, "it has been a distinct pleasure. When you are warming yourself on a beach somewhere, think of me."

Hector looks downright SCARED at that. Kassandra just gave the classic 'bad guy in the movies' cliche about ensuring the loose ends are tied up. Slapping the patch to a now exposed bit of Neck, Hector tries to stand, to get away from Mafen.

Mafen walks up towards Hector swiftly, reaching into his jacket. A moment's hesitation… and he removes a certified credstick. 5000, should cover travel. He hands it over, along with a playing card with two printed email addresses, and one password. "If you are looking for more work, drop an email there. Sorry about the ribs. I trust you can book your own passage out." He turns again, heading for the chopper, careful to load himself up on the main body instead of stepping on the rail, watching Hector on ultrasound.

El Blink-o. El Blink-o.

Hector stares at the credstick… and then the card. And then back to Mafen and the woman who walk away from him. "Gra… gracias! Gracias mi amigo! The ribs, they are nothing! Your mother was a blessed saint and your father a kind man!" With that, he stands, holding his ribs, and starts to zip up his suit. "Gracias! Hey! I'm supposed to Report in in like, an hour! She may call you!"

Kassandra settles into the craft as well, strapping herself in and checking the straps twice. Diagnostic lights glow a warm green on the outskirts of her vision, indicating all her skillsoft systems are reporting that they are ready to go. With a mental shrug she dismisses a number of the distracting updates and reports from her visual range, leaving only a tiny window in her display with the general map of the area and the location of the transmission upon it. She graces Hector with a smile, speaking to him before closing the craft's door, "I hope she does. I imagine we have a lot to discuss. Goodbye, Hector. Via con dios."

Mafen nods at that, going over the rolling record of his last few minutes, pumping it through his voice modulator and fitting it to his secondary pattern. He answers, in Hector's voice, 'Understood.'.

Act Three

In To The Wild White Yonder

The aircraft is surprisingly warm, insulated with heat from the turbines mixed with fresh atmo to make a pleasant environment. Hector blinks at the Borg, but finishes his suiting up and gets ouy of the way of the rotor wash.

"Hokay, boys and girls!" Calls Pilot Sven, who should be noted, is not a rigger. "Now we shall be lifting off and heading north by north east, across the pennensul and on to the Ronne Ice Sheet. It looks like you're looking at the uprising in the middle of it. It splits the glacal mass in two and in the summer, sometimes there are channels."

Kassandra shifts position, spooling a datacable out and connecting to the device attached to her personal comm system. From there, she snaps the cable in behind her left ear, a small platinum datajack visible once she moves the hat and hair out of the way. She concentrates, making the mental connection, sending word-pictures and thoughts through the transducer and into the radio. She nods absently to Sven's comments, taking a few deep breaths to prepare herself for liftoff in this eggbeater.

Commlink-Silk> Kassandra says, "Do you need her to call to trace the phone location, number, or whatnot?"

«Plot» Mafen says, "Is the phone set up with a history or anything? If not, yeah…"
«Plot» Mafen says, "Only dials one number, should be able to link up to it and determine that."
«Plot» Skye says, " The Phone, has a keypad, but it only accepts incoming calls. One call is in its memory, and it would take some work to trace the call back to its source."
«Plot» Mafen says, "Well, we have 5 hrs. I'd like to start tracing it if possible, but leave the line open incase she calls."
«Plot» Skye says, " You're over Antarctica. Cell towers are not here. Do you have a sattilite linkup for your deck?"
«OOC» Mafen says, "… yes… at home… : )"
«OOC» Mafen says, "Guess we can do it later."
«OOC» Skye chuckles.
«OOC» Mafen doesn't just magic it with him like most runners…
«OOC» Skye nods. Gear brought along is sort of important on this mission. That said.
«OOC» Skye says, "The sat phone you were given by Mr. Finn, does have an FUP. It supports tortis, but not ASIST."
«Plot» Mafen says, "I'll hook up to the FUP and run it tortoise. Write a script or something. WOuld be computers w/o hacking pool, right?"
«OOC» Skye says, "Aye."
[Plot Room 2] Mafen says, "Grappling hook… 400 meters grappling hook line…"
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Computers for "Brr, it's cold out here.":
1 1 1 2 2 2 5 5
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Computers for "KP 10.":
1 2 2 2 3 3 4 4
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Computers for "KP 12. GRR.":
1 1 1 3 3 5 5 9
«Plot» Mafen says, "Okay, I'll have to roll with the 9. ; P"
«Auto-Judge[]» Skye (#405) rolls 7 + Hacking Pool: 4 for "Hiding trace route":
1 2 3 3 4 4 5 7 10 11 21
«OOC» Mafen says, "Geeze."
«OOC» Skye says, "Yeah. You're gonna deadend at an Azanian RTG"
«OOC» Mafen nods. Will have to try again later with the full brunt of my computing force.

The tortoise mode is so very annoying. Slow. Clunky. Manual interface. Slow as fuck connection. Fuck is slow, in antarctica. It will be a while to run the trace program

Mafen shakes his head. "Trying to trace but not optimistic. Too slow, caller was good at covering his trails." The cyborg-elf tilts to the side to peer out the window at the never-ending cascade of white, and the sun already dangling menacingly low on the horizon.

Kassandra nods, adjusting the sun goggles to protect her eyes. "Well, it was to be expected." The female watches their progress, trying to keep from fidgeting too much while they head off to their fame … or doom.

THe landscape is harsh, but beautiful in its way. What may be surprising is the amount of small stations out here. While not zipping by every two minutes, they are regular enough that it seems Sven is angling for them. "Antarctica is full of homesteaders and isolates!" He calls from the cockpit. "Usually mages, living alone. Can't live out here without constant resupply unless you have magic!"

Kassandra snaps, her fingers muffled by gloves, "I -knew- we forgot something. We should have packed a mage!" The woman laughs, clearly amused at herself even if no one else is. She does keep an eye on all these little spots of isolated humanity, however; it might be important later, especially if they are having to hoof it back.

Mafen glances out of the window, looking back toward Kassandra, and over towards Sven. Over the ceaseless noise of the chopper, he utilizes his comm to get a clear message across. «So. Downtime. Small talk?Are you from the Tir?» On Sven's comment, he leans forward to shout at the man. Not menacingly. It's just choppers are loud. "Interesting. Probably a good place for quiet research!"

Mafen shakes his head. «I don't like mages. Never as professional as I'd like. Always unpredictable.»

Commlink-Silk> Kassandra says, "The Tir? Oh heavens no. A nice enough place, I suppose, but no, I am not from there. As for mages, well, they have their uses, like any tool."

"Thats what they say. Sometimes, they come in to the stations, looking for some company. Mighty lonely, but they say the magic down here's a little odd, a lot cleaner. No human pollution or ecological damage. I just kind of shrug and then dump my sump-tank when I'm flying."

Kassandra laughs politely, shaking her head. She speaks aloud, leaning in a bit so that Sven can hear her as well, "I'll have to take their word for it. I don't think I am quite ready to forego all of civilization for 'cleaner magic'."

The Call

About 56 minutes in to the flight, Hector's phone lights up. It doesn't ring, it just sort of lights up, lit from within by LED's.

Mafen glances at Kassandra, and picks up the phone, answering in Hector's voice and in Spanish. "Hello?" He raises his eyebrows, doing his best to sound like the total rube Hector was.

Hector was just a stupid guy in a bad situation.

"Report." Says a female voice that sounds vaguely Russian, but the vowel sounds are off.

Kassandra watches Mafen and the mystery phone, folding her hands in her lap. And now a few more questions for the day, and perhaps a few answers if they are lucky.

"I saw two arrive by plane. They chartered a heli, loaded up with four weeks of comestibles and headed southwest, towards Vostok. I have footage of them loading and preparing. No audio."

«Plot» Mafen says, "How hard to trace the live call?"
«OOC» Skye says, "Open test, -4. Arbitrary number, yes, but if you know a better mod for trying to trace a call across a satilite phone in tortoise mode, let me know :)"
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Computers:
1 2 3 3 3 4 5 5
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Computers for "KP 13, goddamnit!":
1 1 2 3 5 5 5 10
«Plot» Mafen says, "I'll go with 10."
«Stats System» Invalid roll: Cannot find stat matching "4:hp".
«Auto-Judge[]» Skye (#405) rolls 7 + Hacking Pool: 4:
1 1 2 2 3 4 5 5 7 11 14
«OOC» Skye says, "You trace her farther back. Cairo."
«Stats System» Invalid roll: Invalid tn "alyiah's intelligence".
«Auto-Judge[]» Skye (#405) rolls 8 for "Alyiah's intelligence":
1 2 3 4 5 5 5 11
«OOC» Skye says, "Give me an acting or impersonation roll, or default to charisma."
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Charisma for "Blargh.":
1 4 5 5 7 9
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Charisma for "Come on, do better than that. KP 14.":
1 1 2 2 5 8
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Charisma for "KP 16. : (":
2 2 3 4 13 15
«Plot» Mafen says, "Phew, there we go."
«Auto-Judge[]» Skye (#405) rolls 8 vs TN 11:
1 2 2 2 3 3 5 5 = 0 Successes

"This is interesting. How are you feeling, Hector? Is the space heater helping to keep you warm?"
"I don't have a space heater miss. You know I am flat broke. It is freezing here as ever."

Kassandra concentrates, sending a message through the transducer: «She can probably hear the helicopter.»
She seems to relax. "Alright. Where are you? I show you traveling across the Ronne. Did you find work with an expedition?"

"Yes miss. I hoped to get out towards Vostok to track them, but I got on a supply copter to haul some goods for some mages. Not going out that way. My apologies, but that was above and beyond what I was told to do anyway."

"Do you need the equipment back?" Mafen continues, doing his best hector impersonation.

"Indeed, Hector. Why were these two so interesting to you?"

"You said to be on the look out for two arrivals. So They were two arrivals. They look like either tourists or corpers to me."

She nods. "And they met the other criteria?"

Commlink-Silk> Kassandra says, "Aha. I know that accent. Sounds like Israeli to me. Reminds me of some folks I met while in the Middle East."

"A man and a woman. Wasn't that the criteria?" Mafen opens up an image link window, checking the line trace and seeing the deadend again. He punches up an instance of his R10 agent, uploading it to a couple hosts down the line, loaded up with his trace program and locate programs, and having it report back to his dead drop address. Though a complex program, the MP size is fairly small and shouldn't take too long over the satellite link.

«OOC» Mafen says, "Just uploading an agent to the public systems, and telling it to work on locating the decker then emailing me. They're autonomous systems."
«OOC» Skye nods.
«OOC» Mafen says, "That way it can use masking and stuff from the other side."
«OOC» Skye nods.
«OOC» Mafen says, "Sat max speed is 100 mbps/second, so I'll connect through our sat link, and it should only take a few seconds to get it across. So computers roll, moderate difficulty, then they roll 10 dice + 10 pool to find her."
«OOC» Mafen says, "Utility rating is 8, so TN - 8."

The woman on the other end of the phone hmms quietly. "Hector." She asks, her voice going cold.

"… Yes miss? Did I… do something wrong?" Mafen continues, though becoming slightly distracted with the work he's doing on his cyberdeck.

Commlink-Mafen> Mafen says, "Have Sven turn us off course a little, so that she can't plot a progression to our target."
"Why does Paulo report you are currently buying food. In Paulson Station?"

Kassandra taps on Sven's chair, moving up to quietly remark to him to veer our course a bit.

"I do not know, miss. I am most certainly not there. A lookalike perhaps?"

«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Computers for "Agent upload.":
1 1 1 2 3 4 5 5
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Computers for "Agent upload, KP seven-freaking-teen.":
1 2 2 4 4 5 10 17

"Maybe there is something nefarious going on with Paulson."

Kassandra listens intently to the conversation, hanging on every word. She fidgets with the sudden urge to confront the other woman, but stills herself, settling for just listening for the moment.

THe Helicopter banks to the right, turning slowly and gently. Not a sudden, emergency course correction, but the sort of thing one may do as you simply continue on your way. Sven's done this before.

Line Disconnects

Mafen cracks open the casing on the phone, removing the GPS sat locator chip while retaining the rest of the electonics within, through in a slightly less than salvagable state. He unlatches the door and tosses it, with the battery, down into the snow drift as they pass by some aspergers-afflicted Shaman's hut.

«OOC» Skye says, "Okay. Lets handle the agenty stuff."
«OOC» Mafen says, "So you'd roll for the lady hiding her tracks, then I would roll against her top - program rating (8)."
«Plot» Mafen says, "Well, not me, but the agent would."
«Plot» Mafen says, "Depending on how many hosts I got to upload data too, that's how many tries I got in."
«Plot» Mafen says, "Prolly only got one, since she disconnected on the next beat."
«OOC» Skye nods.
«OOC» Skye gives her a standard computers+hacking pool to cover her tracks. She's not expecting POor HEctor to be Termafen III: Judgement day
«Auto-Judge[]» Skye (#405) rolls 7 + Hacking Pool: 4:
1 2 2 2 3 3 4 4 4 4 5
«OOC» Skye says, "Oh love of god. She's KPing."
«Auto-Judge[]» Skye (#405) rolls 7 + Hacking Pool: 4 for "KP":
1 1 2 2 3 3 4 4 5 8 9
«OOC» Skye says, "Still… huh."
«OOC» Skye says, "Seems impossibly easy for you to track her. Does she add her masking?"
«OOC» Mafen ponders.
«OOC» Mafen says, "Well, we could go without the TN bonus I guess."
«OOC» Mafen is sure that would factor in somehow.
«OOC» Mafen says, "Oh!"
«OOC» Mafen says, "Detection factor"
«OOC» Mafen says, "Her detection factor + her roll."
«OOC» Mafen says, "So 9 + her DF. Her DF is her masking + her sleaze program rating / 2."
«OOC» Skye ooohs. Right. She drops her evasion, raises masking, detection factor of 12.
«OOC» Skye nods.
«OOC» Mafen nods. So… 12+9 - 8 = 13.
«OOC» Skye nods. A respectable TN
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls 10 + 10 (pool) vs TN 13 for "Good luck, old friend…":
1 2 2 2 3 3 3 3 3 3 4 4 4 4 5 5 5 7 11 11 = 0 Successes
«OOC» Mafen says, "No KP for agents. : ("
«OOC» Skye says, "It will trace her back to her local RTG. Tel Aviv."
«OOC» Mafen says, "It was a valiant effort."
«OOC» Skye says, "It really was. :)"
«OOC» Skye says, "If she hadn't dropped the evasion to raise masking, you'd have nailed her with 2."

Mafen checks his matrix dumpsite over the satline a few minutes later. "Tel Aviv, then cut off. She's damn good. But I could find her from the local RTG, even if she's modded records. Later, I suppose."

Kassandra nods, settling back in her seat as Mafen explains his trace efforts via comm. The elf seems ill-at-ease by the meeting, perhaps a sense of foreboding. She indicates to Sven to continue their efforts towards the drop-off, the better to get them on the ground; time, it seems, is of the essence even more so.

Commlink-Mafen> Mafen says, "Best we could do. Shame I can't get full ASIST mode out here."

Commlink-Silk> Kassandra says, "True. We'll have to make due, and be ready in case she has other elements out here."

Ronne Ice Shelf

The sun is hanging precipitously low in the sky by the time the helicopter has made the 900 mile journey from Ice Station Palmer. It's coming in on a northerly course, from the south. As such, the helicopter climbs to about a thousand feet, giving a broad, expansive vista. This really is the cleanest place on earth.

"Hoookay Passengers! I touch down on ice! You unload crappa! Get off my chopper, I move to rock, set down for while!"

Kassandra makes a thumbs-up gesture, preparing to disembark when the chopper lands. She pats her belt, pack, and other gear, making sure she has everything and is ready to go.

Mafen checks for flights from Antarctica to Tel Aviv idly on the satlink before disconnecting. He nods as the heli half-touches down, holding some of its weight up with the upwards thrust. A shitty way to have to unload gear, but whatever. He grabs as much equipment as he can carry (That's a lot.) and hauls it off the chopper, already removing the first of the radio beacons to set up the perfect triangulation.

Interestingly enough; there is no direct service from Israel to Antarctica.

Mafen mumbles under his breath, "Of course. Airlines these days."

Kassandra scrambles out as well, taking what gear she can; she isn't anywhere near as strong as Mafen. She settles for getting things together and waiting on the decker slash terminator to set up the beacon. Her eyes scan the horizon, looking over the rather bleak terrain.

You, Madam, are in Antarctica. The very definition of 'bleak'. Only crazy men and those forced come here these days. It's a sort of purgatory. nothing really stands out save the rise of the rockmass that dominates behind you. You have been set down by a channel that runs up in to the island, near the leeward side of the ice shelf. ABout a mile away, the water is clear. But here, it is still a half kilometer thick with ice.


«Plot» Kassandra says, "Gear Carried: Polar stuff + personal belongings: Chips, firearm, extra clips (4), goggles, Savior medkit, comm+transducer, compact+perfume"
«Plot» Mafen says, "I've got my guns in cyberholsters in my legs, 6 clips carried, cyberdeck + chips within it, offline storage of 10k mp, cable, Then everything in the backpacks. The cold weather stuff and food. Comm, radio, commlink, etc, all that stuff is in my head."


Kassandra waits for Mafen to get ready, eyeing the area before them. "So. I suppose we need to start making camp soon? Or did you want to press on?"

The gear is huffed out in rapid order, leaving the Helicopter to peel up and away. And now, you are in antarctica. The ice in the air from the rotorwash (You hope) slashes at the suits, creating an audible roar and the feeling like someone is rubbing sand paper across your clothing.

Mafen removes the drill form the kit, and sets the anchoring spike, lifting the antenna and hooking the battery up to the receiver. "This will radio us with the relevant information once the signal goes off." He finishes the configuration. "No. Press on. Get the other radio towers set up. Head a kilometer onto the ice." He removes the crevice detector. "It's fucking cold." He grabs the other antenna/anchor/radio kit, and starts out. "You set up camp 800 meters north of here. Just radio me when it's ready and that way we can test the triangulation. I'll meet up with your signal." He stops, realizing he's just barking out orders again. 'If that plan works with you that is. Any other suggestions?'

«Plot» Mafen says, "Mafen is saying, he'll head out a kilometer east to set up the other radio stand, his personal radio will be the third one and the processor, and then you set up camp toward where we think the signal is, about 800 meters across the frozen water."

Kassandra shrugs, the movement a bit muted what with the polar gear. She says, "800 meters north. Got it. No, that all sounds fine with me." With that, the small elven woman starts out, trudging along with the necessary gear to start up camp. At the rate she moves, she will probably just be getting there by the type robot-man finishes running all over the South Pole.

«Plot» Mafen says, "I'll take a doubletime march out to the designated place, syncing off my internal gps and orientation system. Should be about 40 minutes round trip, but I'll stop every thirty seconds to check the crevice detector. However that works. If we were advised to check more often, I'll check more often, whatever the recommended was. : )"
«Plot» Mafen says, "I'll eat/drink water as needed. Brought plenty."
«Plot» Kassandra will go set up camp and attempt not to become a meat popcicle.
«Plot» Mafen says, "Sure you okay with that? You could tag along with me if you want, just don't want to be setting up camp when it is already totally dark."
«Plot» Mafen says, "But the signal will be going off right before the sun comes up."
«Plot» Mafen says, "Though, technically, the nighttime during the summer here is pretty short. Forgot about that."
«Plot» Skye says, " Okay. Kassandra. To move nearly a kilometer in the acrtic, on target, I'm gonna want some rolls. Most of this shit is already in Mafen's ware. 1: A navigation roll. Keeping a straight line is harder than ya think. Intel, TN 5. Then 2 body checks, TN 4, then TN 6, as you get tired from huffing all the stuff alone. then a final intel check to set up up the transponder correctly"
«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls Intelligence vs TN 5 for "Nav check. I think I have a compass, not that the damn thing is worth a spit.":
1 3 4 4 4 7 9 11 = 3 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls Body vs TN 4 for "Sure, let me drag all this crap through the middle of a frazzle razzle grrr":
2 2 3 7 = 1 Success
«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls Body vs TN 6 for "Getting tired now.":
1 2 7 7 = 2 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls Intelligence for "Setting up a transponder. What does this button do?":
1 2 3 4 4 4 5 8
«OOC» Skye says, "Okay. Gimmie some 'trugen through the snow haulen a sled poses."

Commlink-Mafen> Mafen says, "I'm available by radio. Give the word and I will run back at top speed."

Commlink-Mafen> Mafen says, "Probably too late if you get attacked though. Be careful."

Mafen swiftly moves away from the camp site. An aerial view would show the two ants diverging, Mafen hauling the very heavy antenna, anchor, and drill along with the crevice detector and his own personal backpack and frame. He moves very quickly for the snow, but still being careful to avoid the occasional crevice down to certain death, buried hundreds of feet beneath the ice.

Huff. Huff. Huff. Kassandra pauses, feeling sweaty beneath the insulated polar gear. "Great," she thinks, "I'm a snow dog." The elf pushes along, dragging the sled full of gear behind her. She stops every so often, catching her breath, the air cold even through the breath mask, her lungs and muscles burning from exertion. "I gotta get in shape," the elf thinks, pushing past the pain to continue going. She vows next time to hire sherpas to pack the gear along, or at least to bring a troll.

«Plot» Skye says, " Thanks. You can pose setting up your camps. I only feel the need to test Kassandra, as Mr. Mafen over there coudl freeze solid, thaw out, and go out for a beer."
«OOC» Skye says, "Though. Actually."
«OOC» Skye says, "Mafen, body at 8"
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Body vs TN 8:
1 2 2 2 3 4 4 4 4 5 5 5 8 15 = 2 Successes

Kassandra starts setting up camp. The process isn't as quick and easy as one might think, or even as the 'trix sites had made out. Fortunately, the elf had read over the manuals back at the Ice Station, instead of trying to puzzle them out in the rapidly-dwindling sunlight. Still, she is a trooper, and has done something similar to this before, only it was in a desert, not a frozen desert, but a real desert.

The holes in Mafen's snow suit, are showing their annoyance. Ice keeps getting in to the suit, melting, flowing down from the holes and keeping Mafen from being able to properly insulate. This will be an on-going issue.

Mafen grumbles, watching the readout from the rapidly freezing realskinn. This is problematic. Microtears form, heating and cooling efficiency are rapidly thrown off. No handy gortex patches to seal them up. Aggravating, but hopefully manageable.

Camps, with variying degrees of success and physical trauma, are established on roughly the grid Mafen thinks he needs to locate the source of the transmission (Due in 9 hours, 3 minutes and 52 seconds).

Commlink-Silk> Kassandra says, "Okay .. think .. I am .. set up."

Kassandra will, after setting up camp, find a nice warmish place to have a lie down. She will force down nutrition as she can before setting her internal alarm to awaken her in time for the transmission. The woman is beat down, having expended more effort in the last few hours than in the last few weeks.

Mafen checks the bolt, battery, antenna and receiver as Kassandra's transmission comes in. With just 2, you can get a bearing if not a pinpoint. He runs the calculations in his head, checking the relay from the other two as he starts to head out back towards their original landing site.

The Warmish place, is in the tent. It's built with durashock poles, like any other camping tent. Only these are rated to nearly 500 points of direct pressure, allowing snow to pile up and over you without collapsing the tent. Inside, a chemical heater is pumpout out warmth as quickly as it can, actually managing to overcome the wicking of heat away through the four thermal layers of the tent itself.

Mafen Plays with Towers.

The radio appears to be functioning properly. However, it is clear that ice may build up on it over the night if its left exposed.

Mafen ponders. Electronics function well in the cold, no moving parts, but could still be a structural risk. He attempts to determine the chance of failure in the 9 hour time limit.

«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Engineering:
2 17

Mafen realizes it is not a question of the damage to the electronics, but the build up of ice creates more weight, more wind exposure, more wind exposure makes more ice, more ice is more weight… its very possible to simply lose the transmitters if they fall over and are covered in the snow.

Commlink-Mafen> Mafen says, "Need to reinforce transmitter buoys. Will improvise what I can. Will be slightly late."

Commlink-Silk> Kassandra 's voice comes through the comm, sounding blurred with sleep. "Er…ok. Stay warm."

Mafen works out the rope, sinking anchors into the ice and loosely connecting ropes to each. He looks at his blinking, dropping internal temperature, flashing yellow now on his diagnosis processor output transparently overlayed on the bottom right of his field of vision. Shaking his head, he pulls each rope slightly taut and ties it, then goes to each again, further securing it and pulling it very taught on opposite sides, kinda like changing a tire. Once the transmitter is solidly secure and the ropes anchored deep into the ice, he surveys his work and packs up the equipment, heading back to the first transmitter.

It's still butt-cold, mr. Bigglesworth, but Mafen holds up well enough. He can tell though, its going to get harder, the longer he pushes.

Oh the weather outside is frightfull, but the fire is so delightful. Kassandra snoozes, dreaming of sugarplums and hot tubs.

«OOC» Skye says, "Gimee a body check, 9."
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Body vs TN 9:
1 1 2 2 2 2 3 4 4 4 7 11 13 15 = 3 Successes
«OOC» Skye says, "And a final check at the end of your rigging, body at 10."
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Body vs TN 10 for "Cold, cold, cold.":
1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 3 3 3 5 5 8 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Body vs TN 10 for "KP 18":
1 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 4 5 5 7 7 10 = 1 Success
«Plot» Mafen says, "Do I need more succs?"
«OOC» Skye says, "You're not gonna go down, no. It's basicaly an L wound. 1 more to soak entirely."
«Plot» Mafen says, "I'll just take an L."
«Plot» Skye says, "nods. Its stun, won't go away until you get warm. If you stay out too long, may go physical"
«Plot» Mafen says, "How far tell the next tower?"
«Plot» Mafen says, "And how many more hours?"
«OOC» Skye says, "Well, you placed the first tower at touch down point. Kassandra is 800ish meeters 'thataway'. I assume, the other tower is 800 meters 'thisaway'."
«OOC» Kassandra says, "damned antartic directions"
«OOC» Skye says, "And you are making probably 2-3 clicks an hour in the snow so.. a half hour out to your camp, an hour to set up, a half hour back to the touchdown for the radio, then an hour setting it up… then a half hour back to your camp…"
«OOC» Mafen nods.
«OOC» Mafen says, "Well, gonna have to tough it out."
«OOC» Mafen says, "If I start to freeze to death, I'll just call for Kass to drag me to shelter."
«OOC» Mafen chuckles.
«OOC» Skye says, "You took off for a 5 hour flight with 19 hours. You spent 1 hour at base before splitting. half an hour out, an hour ther,e half an hour in, half an hour out… 8 and a half hours."
«OOC» Skye says, "You still have 11 hours."
«OOC» Mafen nods.
«OOC» Mafen says, "Great."
«OOC» Kassandra will save your head.
«OOC» Skye says, "SO make me the two body checks, at 11 and then 12, for the trudge back to your camp."
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Body vs TN 11 for "Argh!":
2 2 2 3 3 4 4 4 4 4 5 5 5 10 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Body vs TN 11 for "KP 19":
1 1 3 3 3 3 4 4 4 4 5 5 5 8 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Body vs TN 12 for "Second check.":
1 2 3 3 3 4 4 4 5 5 7 8 8 10 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Body vs TN 12 for "KP 20.":
1 2 3 3 3 3 4 5 5 5 5 5 5 11 = 0 Successes
«Plot» Mafen says, "No succs on either."
«Plot» Mafen says, "2 more Ls?"
«OOC» Skye says, "2 L wounds. M wound, +2 by the time you get back to camp."
«OOC» Mafen says, "Covered by my 'ware. Still, not pretty as far as flashing red indicators."
«OOC» Skye nods.
«OOC» Skye says, "This is gonna overload the trauma damp soon. Its not a single impact. It's constant abrasion and fatguie."
«OOC» Skye says, "Entirely different than simply torquing down the bodies reacitons to minor issues."
«OOC» Mafen says, "Well, trauma damp doesn't work until it bypasses the damage compensator."
«OOC» Skye ahhs.
«OOC» Mafen says, "I have to take a D wound to get the trauma damp to work."
«OOC» Mafen says, "I wish it was synergistic like that. : )"
«OOC» Mafen says, "But it works off feedback from pain, so until I feel pain, it doesn't work. : /"
«Plot» Mafen says, "So how accurate was I at determining Kassandra's location? Close enough to see the shelter and find it? *brrr*"
«Plot» Skye says, " Working on a V, I assume you are 800 meters from her, at camp 3. She is at camp 2, while the touchdownt site, is camp 1. You know roughly where she is, yes."
«OOC» Skye says, "You need to reinforce your radio stand, then make it ot her postion, and pray she reinforced her radio stand."
«Plot» Skye says, " Either way, you've got a cold fucking day ahead of you."
«OOC» Mafen says, "Got mine reinforced."
«OOC» Mafen says, "I can reinforce hers when I get to it."
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Body vs TN 14:
1 1 2 2 2 2 3 3 4 5 5 5 5 7 = 0 Successes
«OOC» Mafen says, "Jesus."
«OOC» Skye nods. One more check at 15, on your way to her.
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Body vs TN 15:
1 1 1 1 3 3 3 5 5 5 5 5 9 10 = 0 Successes
«Plot» Mafen says, "So that's 5 L wounds so far?"
«OOC» Skye says, "Okay. You're there, but operating at 5boxes."
«OOC» Skye says, "Internal diagnostics are -screaming at you-."

Mafen cracks some handwarmers, sliding them into his jacket around near where the holes lie. Not going to be pretty.

Mafen watches the internal temperature guide drop down to blinking-red warning levels. Fuck. Still has one tower to reinforce too.

Mafen trudges his way back through the snow into the night. Working off low-light and eyelights, he quickly rigs up the rope in the same way, noticing the stiffness in his limbs and the solid ice that is forming around the holes despite the warmer. Very bad. Must get moving. He quickly finishes the rope rig and shrugs, looking it over best he could for an indicator of security, and starts moving, stiff-legged and slowly, towards the base camp.

Trudge trudge trudge. One last relay to fix. Mafen scrolls rapidly through the list of all the warning messages, internal lubricants complaining about freezing temperature conditions, guardian angel complaining about nanite operating temperature guidelines, his eyesight is a mess with warning messages.

Warning. Unacceptable temperature threshold reached. Cease activity and return to warmth immediately. Warning. Cessation of nanomaintenance on right anterior segment. Error. Checksum failed, left lower limb. Error. Signal dropped, right index finger. Warning. Lubricant dispenser malfunction, torso section 7-G. Warning…

And so on. But Mafen can patch up what he needs when he gets inside. He'll tough out the complaints, dimming the overlay slightly, and throws the rope over the antenna, breaking out the drill with his stiff limbs to root that antenna into place. He eyes the entrance to the shelter mournfully as he goes about his work.

«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Body vs TN 16:
1 3 3 3 3 3 3 4 4 5 5 5 9 9 = 0 Successes

Meanwhile, inside, its a toasty 60 degrees. The chemical heater will keep working for 18 hours before it needs to be changed, providing a comfortable, but not overly warm, interior temperature. Its sort of sad. Mafen can even SEE the heat whisping away on thermographic.

Kassandra sleeps peacefully, warm and comfortable. Her internal clock ticks away the seconds, blissfully unaware of Mafen's soon-to-be frozen form outside.

Tik-tak. The ropes are ratcheted into place. Even with the stiff, near-frozen limbs, Mafen gets the work done. Before long, the transmitter is nice and secure… or as secure as this line will hold up in the freeze. At least he can use data from his radio in his head as a last resort, he remembers, as he switches it into analog mode for the night — a tricky software patch for sure with such advanced equipment. Finally, he heads over to the latch on the little tent-like shelter, unzipping the first doorway, pausing a moment to consider the best way not to expose Kassandra to the absolutely horrible temperatures outside.

«OOC» Skye says, "Mafen, roll a single die. The higher you roll, the more extream the weather."
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls 1:
4

Back At Camp

And so… Mafen is out of the cold. All three relay points are set up, powered up and anchored from the wind. AS the sun is gone, long ago, the deep cold of the night whips through. Howling wind batters the side of the tent, the sound of scratching ice crystals constantly rubbing across its surface. But. It's warm. The little camp stove has fuel, and food is available. After all of that, not only is Mafen cold to the bone, but a normal man would have blown through 5000 calories.

Easy.

Mafen peers across the cylindrical, reinforced shelter, thick cloth-ceramicy barriers protecting the cold, as he seals all the layers protecting them from the outside. He peers at his limbs in the normal light, noting the frost and ice and icles on the more noticable parts. Leaning down for a quick self diagnositic, there's a crack of ice across his midsection breaking, and Mafen unzips his first and second jackets to get into it, stripping out of the snow gear partially to help get the heat to his body faster and remove the ice. He sends out a test beacon to the control systems on the radios. He drops down to the little stove, pulling out nutribars and an MRE-style meal, activating the heater and shoving three nutribars in his mouth to quickly get some calories into his system.

Kassandra opens one eye as the temperature in the tent changes from toasty to holyshitchilly. Her left hand closes around the grip of her pistol, which in turn immediately illuminates a firing recticle across her vision, computing firing trajectories in the dark. Her natural vision compensates for the relative lack of light in the tent, allowing her to determine if Frosty the Snowman is Mafen or a soon-to-be-dead trespasser. Her voice rasps, still on the outskirts of sleep, "If you aren't Mafen, bleed quietly when I shoot you."

"Please don't shoot me." Mafen comments, removing his hood and face covering, as to facilitate the whole eating thing.

«OOC» Skye says, "9 hours til signal."

Kassandra grunts in aknowledgement, cancelling the fire order to the gun and letting go of it. She plops her head back down, burrowing back under any blankets, jackets, hats, scarves, and pillows she can find.

"How much sleep do you need a night." Mafen comments inbetween bites, being careful not to talk with his mouth full.

A muffled voice issues from beneath the mound of things Kassandra has climbed beneath, "Depends. 8 hours is a luxury. Four to five is about average."

Talking with your mouth full wastes calories.

Mafen activates the chemical heater in the second MRE as he begins to down pouches of the first one. Beef stroganov. Why in the world do they make such odd flavors. Once that's done, he speaks to Kass again, probably much to her annoyance. "Signal is due in 9 hours. How did the camp set up go? I had to reinforce the transmitters. I normally only need three hours but I need to go into maintenance mode for a while. Six hours probably. Will set the ears for alert. But one of us should stay up. Unless you aren't worried about ambush."

Outside, the wind howls. If someones coming, no sound alert system in the world is going to hear it.

A few moments pass before the voice issues forth once again, "If they ambush us, maybe we'll get lucky and they will transport us to somewhere warm to execute us." The woman sighs, the mound of crap atop her moving a bit, "Sleep. Diagnose."

True. And all the wind at the walls makes it hard to know someone is clawing at them… or just firing rounds into them. Mafen sighs, and nods. He the new MRE, another one, and another one, then four more nutribars, and then sits in place, locking his limbs and going to sleep — eyes dropped into diagnositic mode, scrolling colored data from the medical routines as the various problems are worked on by his nanosymbiotes, guardian angel, and assorted cyberware maintenance systems.

The Call. Part Two.

Sleep? Sleep is for the weak.

The Satillite phone provided by 'Mr. Finn' rings then. Interestingly enough, the ring tone is 'Travelin man', a tune thats at least a hundred years old.

I'm a travelin' man
I've made a lot of stops all over the world
And in every part I own the heart
Of at least one lovely girl

I've a pretty Seniorita waiting for me
Down in old Mexico
If you're ever in Alaska stop and see
My cute little Eskimo

The sound of a gun cocking can be heard from beneath the pile of warm things. The woman's voice comes out, "I am going to shoot that." Kassandra begins to unearth herself, looking for the noise.

The phone continues.

Oh my sweet Fraulien down in Berlin town
Makes my heart start to yearn
And my China doll down in old Hong Kong
Waits for my return

Pretty Polynesian baby over the sea
I remember the night
When we walked in the sands of the Waikiki
And I held you oh so tight

Kassandra grabs the phone, answering it. She clears her voice before speaking in more or less normal tones, "Hello?" The woman, true to her word, has a pistol held lightly in her left hand. Other than that, there isn't much of the female that isn't covered in some form of protective gear.

Mafen remains as still as could be. Despite the posture, he's as comfortable as if he was floating in the ole' genevat chamber back home. And sound asleep.

"Salutations, Ms. Silk. Finn here. I am curious as to the status of the mission. Theres a report of an incident at Paulson Ice Station. Sit-rep, please?"

Kassandra rubs at her eyes, a near impossibility given her situation. Plus, she has a gun in one hand and a phone in the other. She unearths her mouth to speak more clearly, "Ah, Mr. Finn, how pleasant to hear from you this cold winter night. An incident at Paulson you say? When did this occur?"

"Approximately 12 hours ago. If it's unrelated, very good. I wished to check in, in case it was not. How progresses the mission?"

Kassandra shakes her head, clearing her thoughts. "Ah. That might have been my compatriot speaking with Hector. A pleasant local fellow. As for the mission, it goes fairly well thus far, with but a minor complication."

"Complication?"

Kassandra answers, "Well, I say complication, I suppose that would all depend. Do you have any friends in Tel Aviv this time of year?"

"Not since the last flair up between the Islamists and Israel. Any luck decoding the signal?"

Kassandra hesitates, then plows forward, "Well, yes, we did have a spot of luck at that. Tell me, are you familiar with political parties prior to the turn of the century, especially those from Europe?"

Kassandra plows forward, not waiting for Mr. Finn's response, "The entirety of the signal reads: "This is Ice Command Hel, this is Ice Command Hel. We have made a discovery, Berlin Command. A discovery of magnitude. The legends were correct! It is as was written! Request immediate reinforcement from SS Paranormal Division Immediately."

Mr. Finn is quiet for a long moment. "That makes the Israeli connection. Proceed with caution. You may find Mossad trying desperately to ski."

Kassandra says "Indeed. The young woman who wanted to speak with Hector was quite put out, given the exceptionally expensive equipment she had shipped to him.""

"Finn out."

DISCONNECTED

Kassandra stares at the phone for a few minutes, lost in thought. She absently tucks it away, sparing a moment to look over at Mafen. A mental click moves up her alarm by a few hours, and with that the woman tries to get back to sleep. She stares at the ceiling of their little tent, bothered by the fact that Finn was bothered.

The Morning. (Sig minus 180)

The sun is a dim blue line on the horizon when the alarms go off, waking people up. The micro processors in the tent recognize the awakening of the people within, kicking extra heat in to the room.

Does Mafen dream of electric sheep? He's not dreaming right now, at least, just coming down off of the sedative his guardian angel administered for him. The jolt-alert activates him, his eyes momentarily black as boot-up messages and reports scroll as the audio and visual systems come online. He does the quick calibration routines, tests his hand joints and proceeds to stretch and test the rest of himself, and check the prolonged damage from the extended cold last night, see if they managed to patch everything up. As he does that, he grabs a couple nutribars from his pack.

The internal damage is mostly repaired, but the real skinn will have to be replaced. It's brittle and discolored where it was exposed.

assandra wakes up and takes a quick biobreak before coming back to scarf down breakfast .. or whatever this is pretending to be. The woman checks her gear to see if there was any damage or change in the middle of the night, including stripping down and making sure her gun didn't ice up. Her gunsmith told her that they were treated against that, but better safe than sorry.

The gunsmith gave lubricants and ideas for what he thought were 'cold' conditions in the rocky mountains, maybe the Urals. Good thing you checked your firearms, because there is infact, ice that might jam the gun. Cleaning it is a simple matter.

Mafen finishes his 'breakfast', and removes the rest of his external jacketry, scrounging up materials out of the cold-weather kit to try to figure out a way to make a seal, if not cover it with a couple layers. "Three hours."

Kassandra nods, going about the work to make sure her weapon is in tip-top shape, going as far as checking and reloading each clip. She checks on the robot-Mafen, making sure he didn't freeze up in the middle of the night as well, engaging in morning small talk while they wait.

«OOC» Skye says, "MAfen, Armor B/R, or default to int."
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Intelligence vs TN 8:
1 1 1 3 3 4 4 4 5 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Intelligence vs TN 8 for "KP 20, for the love of god.":
2 2 3 4 4 5 5 7 9 = 1 Success

Ducttape. God love it. All weather, all temperature ducttape. It's in the kit. It works just fine and in the manual for the suit, its EVEN RECOMMENDED as a temporary patch.

Mafen's fingers work clumsily but quickly on the armor, patching it up best he can with the duct-tape. He eventually thinks he's got a good seal, and continues talking with Kassandra. "He should be interesting at least. 3 hours." He finishes up the patch and sets the coat to the side. Without looking directly at her, he comments. "Your eyes. Are they synthetic? Color seems unrealistic."

«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Intelligence for "Smokey brown eyes? Are those cyber? : )":
1 1 2 3 3 3 4 5 10
«OOC» Kassandra says, "They seem organic."

Kassandra laughs, "No, they are as real as can be. I never had the nerve to have my eyes replaced." The woman loads the last clip of AV rounds, mentally making note to replace her investment if possible. She sighs, slipping the clip into the weapon and checking it. "I hope that we don't have to shoot. I would be most put out."

Kassandra adds, "So what is the plan? We lock on the signal and then trudge through the snow and ice to go see what is making the racket?"

Mafen nods slowly at the note. "It's not so bad. I have my old eyes in a plastic paperweight at home." Looking down a second, he realizes that sounds a little creepy, and chuckles. "Lock on, then trudge through sounds about right. Anyway. Sorry for the comment, just noticing they were a high hue and saturation for the color. Rare, less than three percent of the population naturally. The kind of color they sell. Was wondering if you had beyond norm visual acuity for your metatype." He checks the radios, seeing if they weathered through the night with a quick signal.

Kassandra eyes Mafen with regard to the paperweight comment. She opts for chuckling along with him, "No, normal visual acuity for an elf … that is why I have these." With that, the woman taps the goggles strapped to her head. They read Zeiss down the side, and seem to be heavily modified. The elf leans back, remarking, "Mr. Finn called last night. He seemed a bit .. disturbed .. by the information about the signal as well as about the Israeli woman. He suggested we be on the look-out for Mossad skiiers."

"Most disturbing. If Mr. Finn is disturbed, we may be in trouble." Mafen straps on his cold weather gear, layer after layer, balaclava and hood, and and checks his comms with Kass.

Kassandra affirms the comm transmit, checking her connection with the device via her datajack. "All right. Come on, Mr. Signal."

Mafen nods slowly, tilting his head back and forth and running a quick diagnostic, seeing what damage remains from the extreme cold. 3 hours still remain until signaltime. He checks his fixed up gear and gets re-equipped for heading out into the snow. "Hard to imagine what the third reich would have been doing out here. Resources would have been intense. Maybe an early sub could have made it out here, but it would have been freezing…"

Kassandra fidgets, waiting for the signal. Not really much going on till they get some idea of where they are going. "Perhaps. Or maybe there was a base here that they found out about, doing … something." She shrugs, waving a gloved hand towards the empty terrain outside. "I am not much of a scholar about them, but I have often heard that they liked magic."

«OOC» CinderBlock says, "Perception, both players please"
«Plot» Mafen says, "Visual or audio?"
«OOC» CinderBlock says, "Audio"
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Intelligence + 5 (ss) for "Hearing amp -2 TN, Spatial recognizer w/ High Freq -2 for location, select sound filter +5 dice.":
1 1 2 2 2 3 3 4 4 4 5 8 8 11
«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls Intelligence for "Perception check. No modifiers.":
2 3 4 4 4 4 4 11
«OOC» CinderBlock says, "Mafen, general int check. + TP dice."
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Intelligence + Task Pool: 1 for "Hrrm.":
1 1 2 3 4 4 4 4 9 10

Kassandra: Something goes 'thump' outside. You barely make it out over the general sound of wind and rattling snow.

Mafen: You hear the sound of a bipedal creature, probably 3-400 pounds, a wide foot print. It seems to knock in to one of the supply crates outside, perhaps trying to get in. Complication: THere are no indigenous creatures in Antarctica.

Commlink-Mafen> Mafen says, "Odd. Creature outside. Doesn't sound human."
Commlink-Mafen> Mafen says, "quiet."

«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Parazoology + Task Pool: 1 for "Hrrm.":
3 3 8
«OOC» Mafen says, "Curious what kind of creature/paracreature that could be, not counting that we're in antarctica. : )"
«OOC» CinderBlock says, "You don't have enough data. Maybe a yeti?"
«OOC» Mafen nods.

Nothing lives in Antarctica. This is an accepted zooalogical fact.

Kassandra tilts her head, eyes narrowing as she hears something, or thinks she hears something. She spares a glance towards Mafen as he comms at her. The elf nods silently, her left hand moving with exorbinate care to extricate her pistol. The warm glow from the smartlink immediately fills her senses, the targeting and trajectory computers beginning to spin out computations.

Commlink-Mafen> Mafen says, "Can't let our shelter get smashed. I'll go out and distract it. You shoot it if you can."
Mafen stands, quickly unlatching and zippering the exit door to open the way into the Antarctic wasteland.
Commlink-Silk> Kassandra says, "Alright."

Kassandra tips down her goggles and takes a deep breath of warm air before Mafen opens them to the cold. It is never easy, not even out in the middle of friggin nowhere.

«OOC» CinderBlock says, "Quickness test, TN 9 please."
«BBoard» New message (ooc9/57) from David (#9863) on Proposals: Alternate Proposal.
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Quickness vs TN 9:
1 1 2 2 2 4 4 4 4 4 4 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Quickness vs TN 9 for "KP 19":
1 2 3 4 4 4 5 7 10 11 14 = 3 Successes

Outside, the Silap Innua currently pounding on the plastic crate, turns when the zipper sounds. It howls, a sort of wind-through-rocks sound. It lashes out one snow-turned-solid limb, a wave of something passing over Mafen… but it doesn't really have much effect in all fairness.

It looks something like a 900 pound gorilla, only if it were formed from a blizzard of still blowing snow.

MEAT PEOPLE NEED TO DIE! (Long fucking combat)

Mafen blinks twice. Okay. NOT GOOD. Wishing Kyo was around, he reaches into his jacket to grab ahold of his probably useless pistols. "Spirit… spirit!" He calls out, half to Kassandra and recalling something Witch Hazel told him.

Of -course- it is a spirit. That would be so much more inconvienent. The small elf hunkers down, trying to see what Mafen is doing with it, making a mental note to order ordinance that can harm things of this nature.

«Plot» CinderBlock says, " Mafen spends this turn pulling his guns. It's not as easy as it might be in Denver. Kassandra hunkers down. Spirit unsuccessfully tried to use its 'accident' power on Mafen. Mafen is however, as dexterous as a russian bunraku whore with no spine and 2 hits of novacoke in her."
«OOC» CinderBlock says, "Mafen may init."
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Initiative with a result of 25.
«Auto-Judge[]» CinderBlock (#6071) rolls 1 for "+21":
2
«OOC» CinderBlock says, "23 Init for spirit"
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Laser Weapons + Combat Pool: 5 vs TN 2 for "First shot, first gun, redo again!":
1 1 1 1 2 3 3 4 4 8 = 6 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Laser Weapons + Combat Pool: 5 vs TN 2 for "First shot, second gun. Geeze. : )":
1 2 3 3 3 4 4 5 9 11 = 9 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Laser Weapons vs TN 2 for "Second shot, first gun.":
1 2 3 4 5 = 4 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Laser Weapons vs TN 2 for "Second shot, second gun.":
1 4 4 9 11 = 4 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» CinderBlock (#6071) rolls 9 vs TN 6:
2 2 4 4 4 4 5 5 7 = 1 Success
«OOC» CinderBlock says, "Mafen, roll WP, TN9."
«OOC» CinderBlock says, "And then, yeah"
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Willpower vs TN 9:
1 3 4 5 5 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Willpower vs TN 9 for "21.":
1 2 4 4 4 = 0 Successes
«OOC» Mafen shrugs.
«OOC» CinderBlock says, "Mafen is 'Confused'. He's unsure what he was doing here…
«OOC» CinderBlock says, "Kass, gimmie an int check, TN 6?"
«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls Intelligence vs TN 6 for "Uh oh":
2 3 3 5 5 5 5 8 = 1 Success
«Plot» Kassandra says, "Readying objects this round."
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Willpower vs TN 9 for "Activating oxy-rush, attempt.":
1 1 1 2 20 = 1 Success
«Plot» Mafen says, "Activating cyber is a free action. 2 more attempts, free actions as simple actions."
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Willpower vs TN 9 for "Kamikaze auto-injector.":
2 3 3 4 5 = 0 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Willpower vs TN 9 for "Jazz auto-injector.":
1 1 2 3 5 = 0 Successes
«Plot» Mafen says, "Fails. Oxy-rush activated, kamikaze/jazz not. Mafen turns, taking a few steps away from the tent."
«OOC» CinderBlock says, "Gimme a stealth roll, Kass."
«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls Stealth for "you dont see me":
2 4 5 8 11
«Auto-Judge[]» CinderBlock (#6071) rolls 9 for "+2 TN for distraction, +2 TN for sustaining effect.":
1 1 2 2 2 2 4 5 5
«OOC» CinderBlock says, "Default to quick if you don't have 'flamethrowers'"
«OOC» CinderBlock will give you -2 for 'wide dispersal'
«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls Quickness for "Die you snowy piece of crap.":
3 3 4 4 4 14
«Auto-Judge[]» CinderBlock (#6071) rolls 9 vs TN 4:
2 3 4 4 4 4 5 7 9 = 7 Successes
«OOC» Mafen says, "Maybe it will spook him at least."
«Plot» Mafen says, "Activate Kamikaze auto-injector."
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Strength vs TN 8 for "Blargh, sucky to default.":
1 1 2 3 3 3 4 4 5 5 7 8 21 = 2 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Strength - 2 vs TN 8 for "KP 22.":
1 1 2 3 3 4 5 5 5 5 11 = 1 Success
«Plot» Mafen says, "3 succs, will have to go with."
«Plot» Mafen says, "Oh, str+3 L! So 20M damage."
«Plot» Mafen says, "Before the melee back."
«Plot» Mafen says, "In which he brutalizes me. ; )"
«OOC» CinderBlock says, "Damn :)"
«Plot» Mafen says, "Yeah, still pretty useless, but heh."
«Plot» Mafen says, "Trying! : )"
«Plot» Mafen says, "Def. need to raise cyber implant combat."
«Auto-Judge[]» CinderBlock (#6071) rolls 9 vs TN 6 for "+1 for L, +1 for active presence of fear inducing weakness.":
1 1 3 3 3 4 5 5 8 = 1 Success
«Plot» Mafen says, "Sad that it's still TN 2 to soak."
«Auto-Judge[]» CinderBlock (#6071) rolls 9 vs TN 2:
1 1 3 3 3 3 4 5 8 = 7 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» CinderBlock (#6071) rolls 9 vs TN 6:
1 1 1 1 2 4 4 4 5 = 0 Successes
«OOC» CinderBlock says, "Uhho."
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Strength vs TN 8 for "Counter!":
2 2 3 3 3 3 4 4 4 5 5 13 19 = 2 Successes
«Plot» Mafen says, "Got to save my last KP for really needing it. So, another 20M. ; P"
«Auto-Judge[]» CinderBlock (#6071) rolls 9 vs TN 2:
1 1 2 4 4 5 5 9 16 = 7 Successes
«OOC» CinderBlock says, "End of round. Next round. Inits?"
«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls Initiative with a result of 14.
«Auto-Judge[]» CinderBlock (#6071) rolls 1 for "+19":
3
«OOC» CinderBlock says, "21"
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Initiative with a result of 22.
«OOC» CinderBlock says, "err, 22"
«Plot» Mafen says, "I'm going to attack with both hands."
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Strength vs TN 8 for "Should boost power.":
1 1 1 1 2 3 3 4 4 5 5 7 8 = 1 Success
«OOC» Mafen says, "FOrgot to do that the other rounds."
«OOC» CinderBlock does not quite understand?
«OOC» Mafen says, "+hr combat twoweapon."
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Strength vs TN 8 for "Second hand attack.":
1 2 2 3 3 4 4 4 5 8 10 10 10 = 4 Successes
«OOC» Mafen says, "Should have done that for each attack."
«Plot» Mafen says, "Since I was attacking with both hands."
«Plot» Mafen says, "And have the ambi for it."
«OOC» CinderBlock nods.
«Plot» Mafen says, "So that's 3 succs again. 20M."
«Plot» Mafen says, "And he gets to counter."
Huh? (Type "help" for help.)
«Auto-Judge[]» CinderBlock (#6071) rolls 9 vs TN 6:
1 1 1 3 3 5 5 8 22 = 2 Successes
«Plot» Mafen says, "Ouch."
«Plot» Mafen says, "Power?"
«OOC» CinderBlock says, "9M"
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Body vs TN 2:
1 1 2 3 3 3 4 4 4 5 5 5 9 11 = 12 Successes
«OOC» CinderBlock says, "And the second attack; can he counter?"
«OOC» Mafen says, "No, only gets one counter."
«OOC» Mafen says, "Second attack is just a 'comp skill'."
«OOC» CinderBlock ahhs. Gotcha. How odd.
«OOC» Mafen says, "To boost power of your first attack."
«OOC» Mafen says, "It's a good HR really."
«Auto-Judge[]» CinderBlock (#6071) rolls 9 vs TN 6 for "Attacking Mafen back now, on its own pass.":
2 3 4 5 5 8 8 10 10 = 4 Successes
«OOC» CinderBlock says, "9D before stage"
«OOC» Mafen says, "Pretty limited, with the effective halving."
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Body vs TN 2 for "Soak.":
1 1 2 2 3 4 4 4 4 4 5 5 5 9 = 12 Successes
«OOC» Mafen says, "Oh"
«OOC» CinderBlock says, "Teh soaked."
«OOC» Mafen says, "Forgot to counter!"
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Strength vs TN 8 for "Countering?":
1 1 1 1 1 2 3 4 5 5 5 7 11 = 1 Success
«OOC» CinderBlock says, "Yeah, try that first."
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Strength vs TN 8 for "Comp.":
1 1 2 3 3 4 4 4 4 4 7 10 17 = 2 Successes
«Plot» Mafen says, "Reduced to 9S, but still not fought back."
«Plot» Mafen says, "And soaked above."
«OOC» CinderBlock says, "Kass?"
«Plot» Kassandra says, "Fire!"
«OOC» CinderBlock nods. Roll it!
«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls Quickness for "Hey, is it hot in here, or is it just you?":
1 1 2 3 3 5
«OOC» CinderBlock says, "It's otherwise engaged."
«Auto-Judge[]» CinderBlock (#6071) rolls 9 vs TN 5:
1 2 3 4 4 5 8 10 20 = 4 Successes
«OOC» CinderBlock says, "No damage, but it really pisses it off."
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Strength vs TN 8 for "Come on, lucky shot.":
1 1 2 2 2 3 3 3 3 4 4 5 5 = 0 Successes
«OOC» CinderBlock says, "Isn't there a TN mod for 'friends in combat', lowering it for the people with more?"
«Plot» Mafen says, "No comp on a total failure."
«OOC» Mafen nods.
«OOC» Mafen says, "BUt only for melee, not for ranged."
«OOC» CinderBlock says, "What is it. I'm thinkin she's close rnough to provide the distraction factor, what with the flamy."
«OOC» Mafen says, "You choose to either add +2 to his TN or decrease it to your friends."
«OOC» Mafen says, "-2 to hit, that is."
«OOC» Mafen says, "'Friends in melee' bonus."
«OOC» CinderBlock nods. Okay. So reroll, TN 6.
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Strength vs TN 6 for "Whee! Die bastard!":
1 1 1 1 2 3 4 4 5 5 5 7 8 = 2 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Strength vs TN 6 for "Comp.":
1 1 1 1 3 3 4 4 4 5 5 8 15 = 2 Successes
«Plot» Mafen says, "20 M again. : )"
«Plot» Mafen says, "Before counter."
«Plot» Mafen says, "Maybe I'll nail him on the next counter…"
«Auto-Judge[]» CinderBlock (#6071) rolls 9 vs TN 2:
1 2 2 3 3 4 4 4 11 = 8 Successes
«OOC» CinderBlock nods.
«Plot» Mafen says, "His go."
«Auto-Judge[]» CinderBlock (#6071) rolls 9 vs TN 6 for "Okay, swiping at the bitch with the flames.":
1 3 4 5 5 5 8 10 11 = 3 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls Brawling vs TN 4 for "Dont hit me":
3 5 = 1 Success
«OOC» CinderBlock says, "No combat pool?"
«OOC» Kassandra says, "I'm saving it for the dont die test"
«OOC» CinderBlock grins.
«OOC» CinderBlock says, "9S, neg 3 for your cold suit, neg what… 2 for your FFBS?"
«OOC» Kassandra says, "if I can wear it with this"
«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls Body + Combat Pool: 8 vs TN 4 for "Serious damage, attempting to not die.":
1 1 1 2 2 2 4 4 4 5 5 5 = 6 Successes
«OOC» CinderBlock looks. Uh. Holy shit.
«OOC» CinderBlock says, "Guys? Any attack he makes, physically on you? -8 TN."
«OOC» CinderBlock says, "Cold suit. Cold monster."
«OOC» Mafen says, "-8? Why?"
«OOC» Mafen says, "Oh, cool."
«OOC» CinderBlock just looked it up.
«OOC» Mafen says, "She soaked it anyway : )"
«OOC» CinderBlock nods.
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Strength vs TN 6 for "Come on!!!":
1 1 1 1 1 2 2 3 3 4 4 4 5 = 0 Successes
«OOC» Mafen grumbles.
«OOC» Mafen says, "Counter"
«Auto-Judge[]» CinderBlock (#6071) rolls 9 vs TN 6 for "MEAT PEOPLE NEED TO DIE!":
2 2 3 3 4 4 7 8 13 = 3 Successes
«OOC» CinderBlock says, "9S, reduced to 1S by the cold suit, reduced to -22S by Mafen's powerful butt."
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Body vs TN 2 for "What an abominable creature.":
1 1 2 2 3 3 3 4 4 4 4 5 5 10 = 12 Successes
«OOC» CinderBlock says, "And now him."
«Auto-Judge[]» CinderBlock (#6071) rolls 9 vs TN 6 for "FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, THERE ARE MEAT PEOPLE IN MY HOUSE!":
1 2 3 3 3 3 4 5 16 = 1 Success
«OOC» CinderBlock says, "You get to counter, mafen"
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Strength vs TN 6 for "Counter!":
1 3 4 4 5 5 5 5 8 9 9 11 15 = 5 Successes
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Strength vs TN 6 for "Comp!":
1 1 3 3 4 4 4 4 4 5 5 5 8 = 1 Success
«OOC» CinderBlock says, "ooooh"
«OOC» Mafen says, "Finally to 20S! : /"
«OOC» Mafen says, "Not enough I'm afraid."
«Auto-Judge[]» CinderBlock (#6071) rolls 9 vs TN 2:
1 5 5 5 5 8 8 10 15 = 8 Successes
«OOC» CinderBlock says, "Damn."
«OOC» CinderBlock says, "New Init"
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Initiative with a result of 20.
«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls Initiative with a result of 10.
«Auto-Judge[]» CinderBlock (#6071) rolls 1 for "+19":
2
«OOC» CinderBlock says, "21"
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Body vs TN 5 for "Addiction":
1 1 1 2 2 2 3 3 3 4 5 5 5 13 = 4 Successes

Editors Note: A Whole bunch of crap ehre was clipped due to it being OOC rules discussion and figuring out how spirits work. The end result is the beast is immune to the damage.

Mafen draws his laser pistols, bringing them to bear on the spirit. He looses four blasts directly into the center of the creature, seeming to do absolutely nothing to it. He frowns slightly, a little regretful that he's just out in the open for the moment.

Mafen suddenly forgets what he was doing. He flips his visual processor on and off. Was he running at diagnositic? Symbolic errors plow through his visual cortex as image links lose their focus and Mafen keeps hitting diagnositics.

You paged Kassandra with 'The gun-lube you were provided is not flammable. but the aerosol delivery system, is.'.

Kassandra ducks back into the tent. Mafen may be confused, but Kassandra hardly knows that. Instead, the woman starts patting at her belt and packs, trying to find something. She tunelessly hums "Frosty the Snowman" under her breath, shaking her head in disgust.

The spirit, confidant that Mafen is now going to wander away and not bother it anymore, seems to turn back to the crate it had been inspecting. You know, the one with your food, ammo and other required gear in it.

Kassandra slips back to the front of the tent, eyeing the Abomitable Snowman. Mafen seems busy doing an acrobatic routine, which is never a good sign when you are being attacked. The small woman holds forth two objects with more confidence that she feels. She slips forward a few feet, hoping she is in range, and activates the aerosol delivery system for the gun lube with one hand, smacking the microflare to life with the other.

The flame whooshes out, catching the icecube off guard. When its back starts to melt, it whirls around, letting out a HORRIBLE screech. Flame. Fire. What the fuck is -this- shit? And hey, that hurts! It looses a bit of its form and gets a little fuzzy as it starts to back away, dropping its sustaining of the confusion.

Mafen's confusion suddenly abates. What the hell? Lost time. Seizure? Who cares. He activates one of his autoinjectors, flooding his body with a combat drug, and turns, two hand blades popping out of his… hands… as he dives for the creature.

Mafen's dive slams into the creature, and his hand blades sink into the spirit's material form. But don't seem to do much.
The beast whirls to meet Mafen's charge, the Elf and the snow blending for a moment. When Mafen reappears, its with snow all over his hands. The beast roars, before attacking Mafen. Again.

Mafen dices up some more snow. t's like fighting the weather — useless and futile!

Mafen sweeps in again, both blades flying into the snow, rage building from the battle-drug. He can't seem to find anywhere to strike, when the Snowman counters.

Kassandra eyes the battle, with Mafen rolling around with a snowbank, for all intents and purposes. The little woman hits another puff, trying to see if she can at least get its attention, maybe give the larger elf an opening.

The snow monster turns, lashing out with a suddenly formed blizard appendage. It washes over Kassandra…

Kassandra flows like water, or so she'd like to believe. Actually, she sort of falls over, letting the rush of cold whatever flow over her, the suit buffering the monster's icy hold.

Slashing, diving, soaking through the spirit, Mafen is determined to cut this things heart out, once he figures out where in all this snow it is.

Thwack. It's like being taken up in an avalanche, only the avalanche is very angry. But overally, the damage is minimal.

The Abominable snowcreature, utterly unsure what the hell to do with these meat-people, steps back and then is just -gone-. A complex action to dematerialize. Snow howls and rages around, but soon dies down to the usual wind.

Mafen stands there, hyped up on combat drugs and breathing heavily, even with the oxy-rush coursing through his veins. He turns around twice. "Come on! Geeze!"

Kassandra waits patiently, watching the snow and surroundings for the tell-tale signs of rematerialization. The microflare hisses and burns, her fingers waiting to inject more alcohol-based fluid into the air.

And yet… nothing out of the ordinary. It's pretty boring, except for the fact that it's 9000 miles from civilization.

Mafen steps back a couple feet towards Kassandra. "Invisible, you think?"

Kassandra lets out a breath, shaking her head. She signals over the comm: «Seems all clear to me. Maybe it decided to find easier prey.»

Mafen nods slowly, sending the signal to his blood filter to start processing out the kamikaze. Doesn't reduce the crash, but its good to take care of these things properly. "What a pain." He checks the timer and climbs back into the tent.

After pushing the food crate back up against the wall.
T Minus 10 Minutes to Signal

Kassandra makes her way back into the tent as well, after getting rid of the flare. She works on getting warm again, waiting for the signal to issue forth. The only commentary she may make during that time is soon after entering, "I hate magic."

Mafen nods slowly. "Me too." He sits back, checking the cable to make sure he's hooked up to his deck for processing, and awaits the signal. "8 minutes to go. Let'see where this thing is."

«OOC» CinderBlock says, "Sorry. Back. Was doign dishes."
«OOC» Kassandra nods
«OOC» CinderBlock says, "The wife likes clean dishes."
«OOC» CinderBlock says, "I like a wife not throwing dishes."
«OOC» CinderBlock says, "Thusly, cleaning them is a good investment."
«OOC» Kassandra laughs
«OOC» Mafen says, "NP. : )"
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Mathematics + 6 (math gpu):
1 1 2 2 2 2 3 4 5 10 11
«OOC» CinderBlock wants a GPU!
«OOC» Mafen wants his stolen encephalon back
You paged Mafen with 'Bearing XXX.XXX.XXX, range of perhaps a mile.'.

And so time passes. At the moment, almost to the nanosecond (Because we all know Mafen counts in that cycle..) The transponders all light up at once. The southern most transponder lights up a .0003 second behind the northern most… Triangulation is underway.

Mafen marks a dot in his orientation system, overlaying it on his display. "Over there. About a mile. Ready for a hike?" He stands, glancing across the equipment, wondering exactly what they will find.

Kassandra rises to her feet, "Sure. Remind me to get a snowmachine next time we are out this way. Or a team of dogs. Or to send someone in my place." She makes sure her gear is ready and she is protected against the wind and weather before motioning towards the exit.

Mafen unzips the shelter, and secures it best he can as he lets Kass out (if she comes out), and starts treading off for the long mile.

Kassandra follows behind Mafen; after all, it isn't like she is going to be able to be in front of the cyborg. Still, the little elf seems game, trudging through the winter wonderland before them. All there is between them and their target is maybe Frosty the Snowman, some Nazis, and goodness knows what else.

The Snow has died down, leaving the sky clear and brilliantly blue. The sun is low in the sky, not ever quite reaching a zenith. TO the north lies the barren island that dominates the Ronne Ice Shelf, splitting it in two. The signal seems to be coming from that island. Further refinements to the triangulation give an exact GPS readout of the signals location.

Mafen keeps the crevice detector active as they head forward, taking all the precautions he can imagine as they trudge along. The ice shelf can be extremely dangerous.
You bet your sweet patootie it can be. Unless you have a Cyber Patootie, in which case you bet something else.

Kassandra keeps a bit of distance between herself and Mafen. Not a great deal, but enough to not fall into a deep icy pit of death with him, should something break.

«OOC» CinderBlock says, "Perception checks, both of you."
«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls Intelligence for "Perception Test, no current visual mods other than elfvision":
1 2 4 4 5 5 5 10
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Intelligence for "Visual. EVERYTHING!":
2 3 3 3 4 4 5 5 11
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Intelligence + 5 (ss) for "Hearing.":
1 1 1 2 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 4 4 9
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Intelligence for "What is that?":
1 2 2 2 2 4 5 10 11
«OOC» Mafen says, "We shoulda brought skis."

In the distance, maybe 40 yards off from your current location and not quite on route to your destination, both of you spot a bit of color in the snow.

Mafen turns his head, zooming in and flipping through visual modes, ducking.

Kassandra drops to one knee, tapping her goggles to dial up the magnification.

Both of you see as you zoom in, only a streak, given the perspective you have. A small shallow in the snow hides anything else… but it is crimson.

Commlink-Mafen> Mafen says, "Red streak. Odd. Investigate or continue?"

Commlink-Silk> Kassandra says, "It could be something of interest."

Kassandra hefts back to her feet, speaking through the transducer into the comm: «If it is someone watching for us, then we have already been spotted. If it is something else, it may give information on what is going on, or our foes. We should flank it and take care.»

«OOC» CinderBlock says, "Gimmie stealth checks and further perceptions as you get closer."
«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls Stealth for "Er….Polar suits count as camo? :)":
3 3 4 5 11
«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls Intelligence for "Perception test. What are you?":
1 1 1 1 3 4 8 10
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Stealth for "NOT STEALTHY.":
4
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Intelligence:
2 2 3 4 4 4 5 5 5

While Mafen crunches through the snow like a juggernaut, Kassandra is able to sneak quite quietly. Additionally, Mafen is otherwise occupied with thoughts of… whatever juggernauts think of. Kassandra however.. sees a greusome sight. Perhaps 5 men. They had snowmobiles. They had a full expedition team, looks like. But now, they and their basecamp, are quite dead. Shreds of flesh and sprays of blood. This couldn't have happened bit an hour or so ago, perhaps… Five men dead.

Mafen continues drudging through the snow, following Kass's advice. Somehow he misses the site that comes into view. Maybe he was thinking bout the warm genetank back home.
Kassandra slows her approach, calling over the comm: «Halt! Five bodies.» The small elf crouches, looking around before disturbing the scene. She slowly pans as she approaches, looking for signs of tracks, either on foot or other vehicles.

Mafen stops, allowing Kass to point out the scene. «Unusual.» He turns, proceeding toward the bodies, checking thermographics to see if they were recently killed.

No tracks in, no tracks out. Lots of tracks during the melee. It looks like 3 of the men got to their feet, spent shellcasings are melted deep in to the snow. THe men were armed. But unprepared for whatever got them.

Kassandra keeps searching as she comes in, slower than Mafen due to the snow, biology, and her search. The elf frowns behind her snow mask, shaking her head. «Do they look like they were mauled by Frosty?»

«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls 22 (gas spectrometer) for "Any traces of interest — gunfire residue residuals, decay gas.":
1 1 2 2 2 2 3 3 3 3 4 4 4 4 4 4 5 5 5 7 7 14
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Intelligence:
1 1 2 3 3 4 4 5 5
«OOC» Mafen screams!
«Plot» Mafen says, "Hopefully at least enough to tell something. : /"

Gunfire. Ozone.

Mafen hrms, leaning down toward one of the bodies, examining the wounds.

The one Mafen is examining, appears to have been struck with lightening, given the contact burns and no other external damage.

Kassandra lets Mafen play with the dead bodies. She examines the vehicles and any existing gear, to see if they are functional, if their are markings, what they are carrying.

No markings, no documents, no papers. Nothing. Aside from the bodies and gear, none of these men would officially exist. Radios exist, but are not currently on. They seem to have their snowmobiles in a fashion as to allow them too, to triangulate the signal.

Kassandra murmurs, "Great." She digs through what supplies they have, if nothing else than to augment what the two runners are bringing with them. As it is her field of expertise, the woman habitually checks their weapons and ammo, perhaps for an insight, or just as one professional to another. She glances towards Mafen's gruesome work, interjecting, «Check them for tattoos or some marks? Maybe a nice sign that says "We work for the bad guys and this is where they are?"»

Mafen examines the rest of the bodies, taking photographs of their lower jawline (if intact) and grabbing a few genetic samples. «Nothing. They're spooks. Probably will not return anything on a cellular scan check.»

Mafen glances at the snowmobiles. Working?
Two are torn up. One seems functional.
Commlink-Silk> Kassandra says, "Well, we can use this one, it seems. Might make things a bit faster."

Commlink-Mafen> Mafen says, "Maybe they were torn apart by something that doesn't like snowmobiles. Two snowmobiles being torn apart seems like it possibly could have been that. But they don't appear to have been in motion at the time. Let's chance it. We'll get there much faster."

Mafen hops on the snowmobile, weighing down the beast of a machine with another beast of a machine. He clicks the engine on, checks the stuff on it and gets ready to roll.

Mafen glances around. "I would wager it was the same kind of spirit that attacked us. No obvious tracks and the sky is clear. But seems to have been either a really big one or more than one." He clicks the snowmobile on and motions for Kass to climb aboard.

Kassandra tucks the radio onto her gear, climbing on the snow mobile. She looks for somewhere sturdy to hold onto; she's seen Mafen run, after all. No doubt he drives the same way.

Mafen is entirely sturdy — the fleshy part gives way to depleted uranium composite armor a half inch down. But there's also handholds, if you don't want the dramatic hero and heroine soaring through the snow-covered plain at a rapid speed to their inevitable fate shot.

Act Four

THe Bunker

But everyone does.

Mafen's built in GPS leads you, without error, to the spot the transmission is coming from.

It's a hilltop.

Covered in snow.

No transmission towers.

Nada.

Mafen glances carefully around the area, flipping into the thermographic and ultrasound, looking very carefully. His eyes eventually drift… downward. A deep sigh moves his heavy frame.

Commlink-Silk> Kassandra says, "Er…there is nothing …. it's under us, isn't it."

Commlink-Mafen> Mafen says, "Or something even stranger is going on."

Kassandra gazes around as well before comming to Mafen. She follows his downward gaze, clicking her tongue. «What? It is a magical realm that only appears once every 88 days?»

From up here… theres an expansive view of the world around you. The sort of thing that you just don't get anywhere else. The horizon is maybe… 80 miles out. And its white, or blue, looking on the direction you go.

Mafen sits down in the snow and ice. He talks. "Anything is possible." He surveys the three-hundred and sixty degree panorama, taking a long picture just to remember the scene, more than your standard surveillance shot. "Beautiful, though."

After a minute's appreciation, he'll get up and dig the entrenchment tool out of the pack. Unfolded, he glances at the ground. "Worst comes to worst, we could build a shelter under the snow, I guess. Or one of us could go back and get the shelter."

«OOC» CinderBlock says, "Give me a strength check, then a body check, Mafen. Open roll"
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Strength:
1 1 2 3 4 4 4 5 5 5 8 9 10
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Body:
1 1 1 1 2 2 3 3 3 3 3 4 7 8
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Body for "KP 23.":
1 2 3 4 5 5 5 5 5 5 8 8 9 11
«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls Strength:
4 4 5
«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls Body:
1 2 2 5

Kassandra shakes her snow covered head, speaking as well. She seems to dismiss the view for now; having humanoid bits that can freeze off does that. "Let's dig for a bit, see if we can unearth a door."

Yeah. It's pretty lopsided as to who 'gets more work done', but thats because one of you has a nuclear furnace for a heart, and one of you is a cyborg.

It takes a good 90 minutes of digging in a semi-concentric circle before Kassandra's shovel impacts something hard, and not just ice. Something metallic.

"Ow!" Kassandra shakes her hand, "I think I hit something … maybe the center of the earth." She looks with disgust at the veritable mountain of ice and snow Mafen has excavated vs. the tiny hole she has created.

Mafen peeks his head up out of his hole, and climbs out of the first embankment ramp. He moves over toward Kassandra, glancing. Wow. Definitely missed that on ultrasound. He helps clear around it with the e-tool, trying to see what it is.

Kassandra helps as she can. This is the most physical labor she has done since Cairo, or maybe even before. Still, the little elf digs with the smaller spade, trying to find out what treasure they are unearthing.

«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Intelligence for "Matching to the any architectural memories he has as they unearth more and more.":
1 1 1 2 4 5 5 13 15

Yep. It's a hard thing. Made of metal. It appears to be an old radio-shell. Aluminum, painted flat white (non-reflective) and obviously man made. No real markings on it, but as you go lower, there is infact, a hatch built in to the side of it.

You paged Mafen with 'Its exactly what it appears to be; a metal shell placed around an radio tower, to prevent damage. Probably retractable.'.

Mafen checks the hatch, eyeing the lock or hinges. He's got a trick up his sleeve if it looks rusted and stuck.

Which is good. Cause it may not be rusted, but it's so iced over, it's gonna need a trick or three.

Kassandra drops the spade, "Aha!" The woman settles back, letting Mafen deal with it. He is designed for things like rusted doors, overturning tanks, blocking gunfire, and so forth. She does interject with, "Going to have to melt the ice on it."

Mafen closes one eye, and steadies his head. HE comments, 'Not a problem.' As a laser beam with some intensity shoots out of his left eye, searing into the ice and metal, producing licks of steam into the air as the hatch heats up rapidly.

«OOC» Mafen says, "First time I've gotten to use it!"
«OOC» CinderBlock says, "-awesome-"
«OOC» Mafen says, "Probably simpler to use some heating packs or something."
«OOC» CinderBlock says, "But this is -cooler-."
«OOC» Kassandra laughs

Kassandra stares at Mafen. "Unbefuckinglievable."

Mafen laughs slightly, shaking the laser. "It… comes in handy…" He carefully continues the heating and, if the hatch remains stuck, the cutting.

«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Strength vs TN 8:
2 2 2 3 3 4 4 4 4 4 9 9 11 = 3 Successes

The Hatch, slowly, but surely cracks open.. and then swings out… It's big enough for two people, in the end, to walk through side by side, but clearly, thats not going to happen right now.

Mafen picks up the entrenchmenttool. Time for round 2.

THe Hatch in question, is much like the back of a tractor-trailer truck, two tall doors that open outward, set at an angle in to the hillside.

A little while later, Mafen-machine… clears the SECOND door. And you can yawn them open.

Mafen nods, smiles, and climbs out momentarily to open the pack and eat ten nutribars.
The inside, when you open the door… is surprisingly…

Warm. Warm air wafts up from the hole, though no lights are on that you can see.

Kassandra examines the doors while Mafen refuels. The woman cycles through the various visual modes on her goggles, left hand staying near her pistol. She leaves it holstered for the time being; she watches and waits.

Interestingly, while the doors are open, the warm air does not seem to stop at a single puff, remaining a fairly constant flow, but not forced, of warm, dry air.

Mafen finishes up, checking his caloric content readout on the diag processor readout as it slowly ticks up into his system. He nods, and stands, flicking red eyelights on, and glancing at the darkness, unholstering a laser pistol from deep in his jacket.

«Geothermal vent? Should I seal the door behind us, incase the Mossad get their people out here?»

The architecture is steel reinforced concrete, then a layer of steel anchored to provide space for insulation, then a thin metal sheet over that, to create firm walls. Very military in that respect.

ufront.jpg
Unter Meer Boot-Kommando-,
Kälte-Stone-Fraktion
Gewidmet neunzehn achtunddreißigg

To that end, no ones really surprised at what's been found here. Yeah. You kind of saw it coming.

«OOC» CinderBlock says, "Quick translation, as umlats don't care for Simplemu:"
«OOC» CinderBlock says, "Under Sea Boat Command, Cold Stone Division, Dedicated 1938"

Kassandra nods slowly, pulling away various scarves and the like, "Yeah, best to do that. Real question is this, my friend: Is this where we call in the calvary? Job was to find what was making the noise … which we have sort of done. I'd like to have Mr. Finn get some boots on the ground here as we look around, before the Mossad or the Nazis or Saeder Krupt comes calling."

Mafen nods at Kassandra. "Let's call him. It will take him some time to get there anyway. We'll see what he has to say." He walks over to Kassandra's pack, after a mental inventory shows he's not carrying the satphone (though almost everything else!). Have to back out a little to use it…

Kassandra lets Mafen get the phone, taking up position to watch down the warm hallway, in case evil zombie Nazis come creeping up. And, did I mention, it is warm.

Mafen lifts the phone up, checking for a signal before slinging it on his shoulder, standing in the entryway to the protected radio tower hatch of the ancient building. The sun low in the sky, the bright white against the ancient metal, Mafen and Kass strike quite a figure in the frozen desert. He clicks his fiberoptic cable into the phone and calls the number.

As it happens, there are no evil zombie Nazi's coming up the stairwell. But if there were, it would be AWESOME. Totally awesome. Zombies are cool, Nazi's are cool. ZOMBIE NAZI's would be, a whole new world of cool.

The phone takes a moment to connect, then dial out.

"Finn." Comes the answer, cold and tinny from the other side of the world.

Mafen transduces, but offers Kassandra a link up from his deck in the form of another fiber optic cable if she wants to listen in… Not that she necessarily has anything to do that with, unfortunately. He transduces, "Mafen here. We found the source of the transmission. Shall I send the coordinates or should you just copy them from the phone."

Finn is quiet for a moment. "Transmit the data. This line is secure. What have you found?"
Kassandra already has all the cables she can deal with plugged into her at the moment. She shakes her head, keeping her eyes on the opening. Her pistol is still holsters, her hand ready to draw, cycling through vision mods as needs be.

No noise, other than the soft whistle of air. No light is seen… just the warm breeze.

Mafen transmits the data. "77 degrees north 51 minutes 33.574 seconds south, 61 degrees 17 minutes 57.331 seconds west. It is a building, still warm, engraved with a german 1940s era military founding plaque, buried under a sheet of snow and ice. Signal comes from a buried, protected radio tower. Building is still warm."

"Still warm. Thats… technically impossible with 130 year old technology. I'll dispatch a team, but you're on your own for at least a day. HOld the fort."

"Correction. Building IS warm. I cannot confirm that it has been warm for 130 years."

"Understood. Orders stand.

Kassandra murmurs, "Tell him about the dead guys."

"Understood. I'll secure the phone up here and set up a wireless relay with a radio to make sure you can reach us. I'm going to secure the doors shut — we've had some company, professionals, military or corporate, killed by the local spiritual wildlife."

"Quickest I can have ground team in place, is 23 hours and 30 minutes. I'll need details as we go as to what the nature of the facility is. If it's warm, I need to know why. Proceed with caution."

Mafen clicks the phone off, pulling out a microtransciever from his electronics kit. He starts tinkering with the satphone and the transciever, laying out a tiny battery with the two and linking them up.

«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Electronics B/R for "Jury-rigging a wireless relay for the satphone.":
2 4 10
«OOC» CinderBlock says, "YEah, thats no real issue."
«Plot» Mafen says, "It'll desecure the line, but in an emergency, I don't care. : )"
«Plot» CinderBlock says, " ; nods."

Mafen sits the phone down somewhere it still has reception with the door shut. He then closes the doors, retracts the polychromatic irises and starts welding the door shut, unless Kass stops him. The procedure would take about 10-20 minutes.

Kassandra shrugs and continues watching down the hallway. It isn't like they don't have time. Of course, if they are being chased to the exit they are screwed. The elf starts shucking some of the heavier gear, given the ambient temperature here. Hiking around as a giant ball of gear isn't very easy.

Immediately inside the doorway, is an abattoir. A killing room. A pair of gunslits in the wall give a field of fire on anyone coming in the door. In one, there is till a weapon of some sort, perhaps a fully automatic rifle. The construction is poured concrete, which makes one wonder how they hell they built it.
"We'll set up a temporary camp here, I guess, for scouting down into it. We can recut the door when we want to get out, or to let Finn's men in." A couple missteps send a bubble of steel onto the ground, but Mafen corrects best he can. He then proceeds after ole' Kassandra.

«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Engineering + Task Pool: 1 for "Structural integrity of the weld?":
1 2 4
«Plot» Mafen says, "Not so great. But, still, better than nothing."
«Plot» CinderBlock says, " it will slow someone down, but not much if they have any tools at all."
«Plot» Mafen says, "*nod*, that's fine. Enough to come through on the microtransciever. : )"
«OOC» Kassandra says, "It -is- warm enough to get by without the snowgear in here, yes?"
«OOC» CinderBlock says, "Quite. I would say its 55-60 degrees."
«OOC» CinderBlock says, "Colder at the moment, as you just blew off the toplayer, but its getting warmer again."

Kassandra has gotten down to basics while waiting for Mafen, restrapping belts and essential bits of gear to her now much smaller form. The elf runs a quick check on her skillsoft systems, draws her gun and checks that it works, and in general paces around waiting while Mafen secures the exit.

«OOC» CinderBlock says, "WHat are you guys doing for light?"
«OOC» Mafen says, "Eyelights."
«OOC» Mafen says, "Red."
«OOC» CinderBlock nods. Kass?
«OOC» Mafen says, "Low-light and thermo and ultrasound too."
«OOC» Mafen says, "Her natural eyes should see through the ambient light generated by my eyelights okay. Or her goggles."
«OOC» CinderBlock nods. Kass? :)
«OOC» Kassandra has the flashlights from our kits

Inward, the party progresses.

Behind the killing room, is a vault door. On it, is the eagle and swastika, along with 'Mitteilung Zimmer'. It's a well defended door, so what lies beyond it would be important. A staircase spirals down, poured concrete the entire way.

Kassandra takes up a flashlight in one hand, drawing her pistol with her left. Her natural metahuman sight is several times better than that of a norm, or even of those with some technological improvements. The small elf takes a few dainty steps forward, hugging the left hand wall as she moves, prowling forward.
SO all is understood, behind the entry way and the killing room, there is a door and a staircase that leads down. The door says Mitteilung Zimmer on it, with all appropriate nazi symbolism. The paint on the door is… not quite fresh, but it is still bright.

Mafen follows with Kassandra, up towards the vault door, looking at the eagle and swastika and and frowning. He shakes his head. "Ugh. Nazis were the first major nation to understand the importance of branding and marketing. But what horrors it created." He looks at the vault door carefully, and the surrounding area, including the weapon in the slats.

«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Intelligence:
1 1 1 3 3 4 5 5 11
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Intelligence + 5 (ss) for "Audio":
2 2 2 3 3 3 3 4 4 4 5 5 7 8

The door is unsealed, but its been closed for some time. Not rigged for explosives or anything quite like that."

The door has almost a nautical door wheel on it, though any locking mechanism would be on the inside, if it is locked.

Kassandra glances at the cyborg, lips tugging into a smile. She mentally selects from her softs, bringing up former UCAS marksman Kaelan Christanson's abilities. Her pistol bobs effortlessly, tracking here and there as it awaits the fire command, an almost living thing in her hands. She taps the door with her flashlight, listening to the sound.

Mafen looks at the door, checking the thermal signature. "Odd." He grabs ahold of the nautical-style hatch, and stresses the metal a little bit, putting maybe a hundred pounds of force both ways, turning on his thermal vision and microvision to check for major stress sites and brittleness of the aged metal. Would be a shame to break an antique.

The door is thick and solid, but knocking it makes it rock a slight bit, clearly not sealed now that it has force applied to it. The door then, at mafens hands, rocks. It's not latched.

Mafen tilts his head slightly, gently pushing the door open, no more than necessary.

Kassandra brings up her pistol and light, aiming at the entrance as Mafen pushes the door. The woman takes a breath, releases, and waits.

«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls 22 for "Gas Spectrometer, olfactory booster. Air coming from past the hatch.":
1 1 1 1 1 2 3 3 3 3 4 4 5 5 5 5 5 5 8 9 11 16

It's more of a 'pull' the door open. It opens out in to the small, dark landing where you stand. The air smells musty, but has a faint tinge of ozone, like one might find around an electrical conduit. Oh. And bratwurst. With a 16, you always smell bratwurst where Nazi's are involved.

After pulling the door, Mafen proceeds forward, following along with Kassandra. The suspense is palpable. "Electrical smell… must be some kind of generator or high energy reactions down here. So unusual. Unexpected."

Kassandra moves slowly, carefully clearing the door and looking beyond. Where her light goes, the gun goes. She makes a mental note to have a light attached to the weapon, remarking aloud in a soft voice, "We are in a Nazi base from over a hundred years ago. This has gone beyond unusual and unexpected."

The room, the room labeled 'Mitteilung Zimmer', upon inspection, appears to be the radio room. Banks of WWII Era radio equipment line the walls. Dials, readouts and meters, but not a single LED or computer monitor among them. The main 'unit', if there is one, with a desk built in to it, appears to be on, a few of its dials and meters backlit by light bulbs, casting a dim, almost eerie glow.

Mafen flips on his german linguasoft, idly.

"Communications Room"

«OOC» CinderBlock says, "I'll take an intcheck from the both of you, visual."
«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls Intelligence for "Test, visual. low light, thermo if needed":
1 3 3 3 4 4 5 13
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Intelligence for "Low-light, thermo,ultrasound,nazi detector ray, etc.":
1 2 3 3 4 4 4 5 8

Mafen peers left and right, looking for the entrance to those fortifications with the killing slots. If a weapon hangs there, maybe a body hangs behind it. A body is a clue.

Kassandra, wandering the room and looking over the room, spots something decidedly out of place. A small desk has on it a plastic rectangle that is out of -place- with the rest of the gear here. Closer inspection shows a Sony laptop from circa 2004 with a wire running out of it and in to a conduit.

Mafen finds that yes, there is a gun still in one of the slots, but no, no body.

Mafen checks out the gun, attempting a vague identification. He leaves it be incase moving it will damage it, and heads through the rest of the rooms nearby.

Der Techensupport

Kassandra tilts her head, looking at the Sony. She relays through the comm, trying to keep as little noise as possible. «How bizzare. The Nazi's didn't have laptops, did they?» The elf turns, looking around in puzzlement.

Commlink-Mafen> Mafen says, "Nazis most certainly did not have laptops. Gymnasium sized digital computers didn't even exist until near the very end of the war. Did you find a… laptop? Perhaps this place has already been looted."

The gun; a Maschinegerwehr 42.

The small elf indicates the Sony with her light, moving away from the machine to let the decker slash juggernaut have a better look. She is, for the moment, the lookout.

Mafen moves up towards it. How… strange. He looks over the device, having no real clue how it works, checking for some kind of power button or fiber optic port.

"So… we know people have been here since the construction, at least." He reaches out to fiddle with the machine. How long did batteries generally last in 2004??

Not long enough.

It's easy enough to figure out how to open it. But my god! Look at that… a -keyboard-. And the monitor is huge! THats what, LCD? Pathetic. It's processing power can't be but maybe, what you would find in a childrens toy.

Kassandra transduces through the comm, "Perhaps they are still here. Given that the place is warm, and probably has been for a bit, there could be people elsewhere in the facility."

Mafen shrugs slowly. "This looks very old. Unless they're using it like a generation ship, I don't think they were using this deck." He picks up the machine carefully, looking for a fuel cell, or at least a manufacture deck. Maybe he can get power to it and see what it is hooked up to.

Picking it up, jerks on the cord that runs in to the wiring conduit. It's blue, thick and coated in plastic.
The cyborg is speaking words, she is sure, but Kassandra has little idea what many of them mean. She nods, the simplest thing to do with techs, and looks for an exit from this room.

The only exit is the room from whence you came, the the entry room and the staircase down.

«OOC» CinderBlock will take a perception check from Mafen
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Intelligence for "Drr. Help computer.":
1 2 3 3 4 5 5 9 9

Mafen will notice, as he looks the machine over, the power-port in the back. Helpfully labeled with a little electricity lightening bolt. Nearby, on the floor, sits a cord that may fit it. That cord, is plugged in to a surge protector from the same era. That surge protector is manually wired in to the wiring conduit.

Mafen gives it a shot, hoping for the best and not breaking out the digital multimeter. He steps back a little, and carefully reaches out a finger to hit what he has ascertained is the power button.

«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Computers for "Stop all the downloading!":
1 2 2 5 5 7 9 11

Whirrrr… click.. clannnnk (my god, they are using moving parts!)…. then the screen lights up. Windows 98!

Mafen watches with morbid curiosity, and shrugs. He tries a few gestures at the monitor, checking for basic motion input. He watches the splash screen go. "Couldn't possibly take this long." He tries speaking at it, which he knows some early computers required. "Display interface operations. Computer. Show 'net' stats. Net stats all."

Windows is updating your settings. Please stand by. DO not shut off of restart your computer.

«OOC» CinderBlock says, "Kass, while he's playing with the ancient brick, what are you up to?"
«OOC» Kassandra was looking for other items of interest, boxes full of krugerands, doors, etc
«OOC» CinderBlock laughs.

An inspection of the communications room reveals that, no there are no kugerands here, but there is a plastic bottle of… something… sitting next to an ashtray, a nudie mag and a crumpled pack of cigarettes.

"No, not update, display. Cancel update." He sighs, looking at the blue plastic cable going into the conduit, checking it out."

The Cable plugs in to the computer with a crude sort of plastic snap male/female interface. The blue cable disapears in to a pipe that runs along the interior of the poured concrete wall, near the roof of the room.

Would you like to restart your computer now?

Kassandra checks on the bottle, lifting it to sniff. An antique nudie mag, while amu….what year is the magazine?
And what brand cigs?

Mafen nods at the computer. "Yes, fine." He notices the box and the 'yes'/'no' and touches the LCD, hitting the yet button several times. He sighs, finally looking at that keyboard. He eventually hits the 'enter' key to confirm, getting in the mindset that this is keyboard-only.

Mafen glances over at Kass picking up the magazine. "Try not disturb the way things are. The historical state its in may be the relevant factor for Finn."

The elven woman glances at the man talking to an old computer, nodding. She remarks, "Somehow, I think our Mr. Finn is after more than a picture-perfect representation of how the old world Nazis kept their bases. He didn't seem like a museum curator." Still, she looks with her eyes and not her hands, taking note of the items in question, their years, their positioning.
The computer restarts.

The magazine is 'Loslyf', circa 2001. A south African lad-mag with busty women. The cigarettes are RJR Reynolds, Marlboro.

Mafen shrugs. "Me neither, but it's not my position to guess his motives. But then again, I'm the one messing with this antique computer."

Kassandra says "There is that."

Kassandra adds, "The smokes and dirty magazine look like they came in with the computer. How long until that thing tells us something?"

The computer boots fully now, showing a screen full of icons over a background of what looks like a family photograph. An older man, two children and a young woman, possibly an elder daughter or a young wife. The icons are in German.

«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Intelligence for "Do I recognize the pictures at all?":
2 2 2 3 4 4 5 11 11

Oh jesus, yeah, thats Gunter! No, you don't recognize anyone in the picture on the computer from before you were born.

Gunther! What are you doing IN THE PAST?? Mafen starts to work out the way the laptop works interface wise, he's a pretty smart cat. He can figure out a 2d computer, at least somewhat. After a few minutes wasted time trying to decode keyboard-only actions, he realizes the little profanely shaped bud in the center of the keyboard is a pointer mover, and starts using that to navigate the screen. "Very strange." He starts to search the computer for whatever he can find to fill in the gaps in the details, and look for what it is connected to.

«OOC» CinderBlock says, "Gimmie.. uh… Compters at TN 5. Clit-mouses are -fucking annoying and hard to use."
«Auto-Judge[]» Mafen (#6763) rolls Computers vs TN 5:
2 3 4 4 4 5 7 10 = 3 Successes

Kassandra hunkers down and waits for Mafen to play with his new toy. It isn't like they don't have twenty-odd hours to kill; whatever else is here will wait.

Geeks and technicians have always spoken their own language. Their own code. It's very apparent here, as you open file after file of technical documentation detailing what appear to be pre-crash computer networks. Talks about a satillite uplink to be installed soon, the upgrade of Cold-Stone base. Interestingly, you also find a list of ships and manifests detailing cargos from 1960 forward till about 2006.

Mafen grabs photographs of each file as they come up, making sure to drag the information back with him or his body. He searches diligently. «Upgrades, manifests, shipping information. Seems they have been dropping cargo off here since the 60s. But how would the nazis stick around so long?»

Kassandra shrugs, "I don't know. Just because things changed, maybe the word didn't get out to everyone?" The elf rises to her feet, "Alright. I am going to look around, see if there are more clues. That … thing … is incredibly slow."

In to the Dark

"Well, yell if you see anything interesting. I'll be down after you shortly if nothing interesting comes out of this."
At least, more interesting than the inventory and shipping information for a secret, huge nazi bunker in the middle of Antartica broadcasting signals for 130 years

Mafen will be 'downloading' information for some time. Lets shift our camera to Kassandra for a while as she, flashlight and pistol in hand, explore the dark, hot depths of an ancient Nazi bunker hidden in the ice of Antarctica.

Kassandra chuckles thinly, remarking, "I've seen this sim, I think." With that, the elf starts off to search the ancient base, leaving Mafen to his 60-odd year old toy.

The entry way. To one way, the now eye-laser-sealed exterior doors. To the other, the door you came from. Down, beckons the square concrete staircase.

As Kass walks off towards the staircase, Mafen comments over radio, «Oh really? How does it end?» : )

The cute one dies.

Kassandra will head ever-downward, comming back «The plucky heroine narrowly escapes being eaten by zombies, while the robot gives its life valiently to head them off. Mull on this a moment as well .. 100 and more years is a rather long time for this base to exist here. Didn't the ice melt or flow or change?»

«There's a tiny island directly under us, about 100 meters last survey. It probably sits or is rooted to the island itself, under it. If it's generating enough heat, the ice would be more pliable around it than just shove it like a glacier uprooting a village over a large timescale…»

To be fair, this base is built in to the rock of an island in the middle of the ice sheet, and is not itself, in the ice.

The elven woman grunts into the comm, taking it slow and easy down the steps. No sense in running. Speed, no matter what street samurai may tell you, isn't always a good thing.

The rise you entered on was several hundred feet above the ice sheet, near the front of Berkner Island (http://www.map-of-antarctica.us/antarctica-map.gif), close to where open water meets the island and twin ice sheets. Kassandra descends perhaps.. five stories down before coming to a dark hallway, roughly 20 feet across. It's very warm here, dry too. A very dry heat. The air seems to pulse, with the faintest smell of salt.

Kassandra sniffs the air, coming to one knee as she ends up at the hallway. The elf peers this way and that, scoping out the area with her flashlight. She starts forward into the hallway, relaying up: «Down maybe .. four, five stories. Smells like salt down here, air is very, very dry. Perhaps some sort of de-humidifier?»

What Mafen hears: Bzzzicchchhiiichhhh dry chchhiixxxiiixxxx humidifer?

Mafen grumbles at the radio problems, and stands, stopping his cataloguing for now. He heads down the stairs, testing the radio as he goes, looking for Kassandra. Lasergun in hand, just incase…

Kassandra mentally checks her connection to the transducer, shaking her head. The elf continues down the hallway, tilting her head to listen for any sounds. Her light moves here and there, searching for signs, doors, symbols.

Down the Hallway, she walks. Her footsteps echo in the darkness, indicating a long, long hallway. Her flashlight plays across an electrical junction with a very large, very obvious 'switch' on it. It reads: Verkehrsampel

Let there be light

Kassandra looks over the switch. She mouths the words, shaking her head. German is not really her strong point. Well, it is a switch, and switches are usually a good thing. The elf reaches out with her flashlight hand, attempting to put the switch in the ON position.

«OOC» CinderBlock says, "Gimmie a str check, TN 4"
«Auto-Judge[]» Kassandra (#9777) rolls Strength vs TN 4 for "Oh no, heavy switch!":
1 8 17 = 2 Successes

Well, it's not heavy so much as stuck. And its one of those old style switches you see in victorian horror movies.

But, it creaks… then SLAMs home in to the ON position.

And nothing happens.

Not for a moment. And then somewhere, there comes a thrumming in the air, like a high frequency pitch from a television set that builds in pitch until it exits human audio range… Not that that helps Mafen. Above, there comes a flickering glow that pulses, slowly gaining in strength. All down the hall, massive flood lights start to power on, revealing a long hallway that stretches for about 400 feet to one direction, then back behind you another 100 feet to a large door.

Commlink-Silk> Kassandra says, "Um. Uh oh?"

Mafen glances about, looking incredibly impressed. He examines the lights to see what kind of light they were using, flourescent, incadescent, halogen, etc, as he heads down the stairways quickly. He radios for Kass, «Where are you? Amazing that the lights work. That was you, right?»

Mafen, now in the stairwell, can hear that.

Commlink-Mafen> Mafen says, "No worries, we have to figure out what's generating the power here…"

Kassandra looks around as the lights start coming on. The place is massive, but that isn't her immediate concern. The real concern is if there is anything sitting around in the dark. «I think so. I found a switch and turned it on.»

The lighting is mostly arc-lighting, but occasionally there is something more modern patched in where an older system has failed.
And by modern, I mean, turn of the century.

Kassandra sets off down the corridor that is 400 feet in one direction. She clicks off the flashlight and slips it onto her belt, taking a two handed grip on her pistol..

Mafen continues down the staircase, hopign to catch up with Kassandra. «Heading down the staircase, you closeby?»
Commlink-Silk> Kassandra says, "I'm heading past the switch, down a very long hall."

Mafen files on down, looking for Kassandra.

Kassandra keeps near the left-hand wall, moving slowly down the hallway. She watches for more fun Nazi writing, doors, symbols .. maybe even another mystery switch.

Her footsteps echo along the main hallway. A truck could be driven down this hallway and plenty of room would be had to either side. Murals of great moments in German History are painted along some of the walls, along with rather creepy lower-level finger paintings done by children. The air is fresh, without a musty smell to it down at the lower levels.

At the end of this main hallway, which she reaches just as Mafen hits the bottom of the stairs..

A dock. And not just a dock, but a large dock. More like small harbor, inside what appears to be a natural cavern. Sitting in massive slings, not in the water, but stored and seemingly mothballed, 3 world war two era U-Boats, by the numbers on the hulls, U-1226, U-857 and U-740.

A truck, perhaps 1980s model, sits near the dock, its doors closed and windows up. The room is probably 50 feet tall, with three levels of observational windows built in to the rock. A pair of massive crimson and white swastika banners hang to either side of the cavernous room.

Commlink-Silk> Kassandra says, "Wow…."

Commlink-Mafen> Mafen says, "What?"

Commlink-Silk> Kassandra says, "Um. We have a dock, we have some type of watercraft, we have a truck .. All sorts of things with German writing and symbols."

The elven woman silently appraises all the merchandise, which is nearly impossible given she has no frame of reference. She keeps against a wall, scanning for any possible targets lurking in the observation windows, near the truck, along the ceiling.

Commlink-Mafen> Mafen says, "Watercraft? Small?"

Commlink-Silk> Kassandra says, "No .. old style submarines, I think."

If there is one thing that seems readily clear, there does not appear to be anyone present at this time. Moving through the dock area, there's a further passage leading in to the rock. To try and describe every passage here, would take an inordinately long time. What you have discovered, is the central nexus for an arctic research station capable of holding 500 persons and operating as a repair and resupply facility for German U-Boats and their crews… The thrumming power seems to be coming from a particular passage though.

And around now, Mafen makes it to the 'main' chamber.

Commlink-Mafen> Mafen says, "You.. are serious."

Commlink-Silk> Kassandra says, "Of course, why would I lie?"

Commlink-Mafen> Mafen says, "It sounded incredible."

Mafen steps up behind Kass, gazing at the ancient boats. "Every detail perfect. Not even in the water." He marvels for a few minutes, and then moves toward that thermographic signature in that particular humming passage.

Kassandra motions to Mafen when he comes into view before motioning towards the hallway where the thrumming comes from. She scoots towards it, pistol still bobbing and weaving.

The Source

Yeah, the thrummings definitely coming from this direction. THis hallway however, has a different form of construction. Instead of paintings and concrete, it looks like.. roughewn rock near the front, and what could be carvings further in.

Kassandra raises an eyebrow, frowning a bit. Everything was pretty much standard up until now. Change is bad. The woman glances to Mafen before moving in, searching…

Mafen glances at it, looking carefully at the carving, inspecting. He looks around at the rock and moves forward. How unusual. How interesting!

When you get about 100 feet down this passage, the carving becomes 'serious', with artistry and precision. The tunnel is no longer roughhewn, but purposefully carved and lovingly detailed. It's an odd sort of carving, a pictogramish sort of writing. A few universal symbols, such as 'man' and 'lightening'.

Kassandra pauses near some of the pictogramish writing, eyes narrowing. She traces one with a gloved hand, trying to place them if she can. The elf glances over to the elfborg, "Have you ever seen anything like this?"

Mafen thinks for a moment. "No."

Mafen continues downwards, slowly, trying to make sure he isn't grounded… just in case.

Kassandra follows Mafen, lips a tight line.

The strange carvings continue to grow more intricate, almost frenzied, the further down the corridor you travel. When you come to the next major chamber, it is a curious… curious sight.

There is no turbine. No generator. Instead, massive trunk lines for electricity end in… an obelisk that stands at the top of what can only be described as a miniature Mayan Ziggurat. The thrumming comes from the Obelisk, almost as though it were vibrating the air.

The room is perhaps 100 feet circular, perfectly so, with crystals set in to the wall at regular intervals. Almost on computer-like precision, small shafts of light leave the top of the oblisk to touch those crystals, each time, an almost musical note playing just beyond perception.

Mafen stares. He shuffles back and forth. "A magical power source. Amazing." He moves forward slightly, nodding slightly. "That explains the impetus to find it. Amazing." He shakes his head. "But why is that signal continually broadcasting? If they have been inhabitating it since its discovery, why would they keep broadcasting the signal that it has just been discovered… especially if they were trying to hide?"

Kassandra blinks once, then again. She starts to speak and then shakes her head. She does make sure she isn't between the obelisk and any of the crystals however. After a moment she finds her voice, "Maybe the people that were here were trying to find the rest of their group?" The elf shakes her head, "This is worth … do you realize what people would do for this?"

Mafen shrugs. "Anything…"

Questions are left with simple silence, save for the musical tones of the room, more felt than heard. If there is something here that can hear you… it doesn't answer.

Kassandra nods, her hands on her weapon tightening. "So we better get topside and hold off whomever shows up." She turns, heading out of the musical room, more irritated by things than she cares to admit, "And let us hope they don't know of a water way in. We should report what else we've found. Mr. Finn may want to step up his pace."

Mafen nods, and follow Kass back up. I guess they can set up camp in the killing slats and make natural good use of them.

«Plot» Mafen says, "Mafen will also work on welding the second inner door too, taking more time to do it right."
Kassandra helps Mafen get set up, asking, "When you dismantled the satphone … does it still work for calling out?"

Mafen nods, telling Kass how to use it.

Kassandra sets up the satphone, calling into Finn. Sure, he probably can't bend distance and time to get here faster. Then again, given what they have seen today, nothing seems impossible. He should know what he is walking into.

The telephone rings, then rings, then rings again…

"Finn." Says he, with an audiable yawn.

Kassandra says "Mr. Finn. I have an update for you."
Samuel rolls over in bed, reaching for a pad and paper. "I'm listening."

Kassandra says "I -strongly- urge you get some thaumatergical specialists on a plane as soon as possible, in addition to your bean counters, soldiers, and antiquers.""

"What have you found?" He asks, moving out of his bedroom and trundling down the hallway to his study. "You sound agitated."
Kassandra says "Just how secure is this line?"

"Let me call you back."

Click

Kassandra hangs up

A few minutes later, the phone rings.

Kassandra settles on the floor, gun seated in her lap. She holds the phone, waiting on the callback while watching the doorway.

Kassandra answers, "Silk."

"Huckleberry. Now. This is as secure as I can get without a wire involved."

Kassandra nods to herself, "It'll have to do. Keep in mind this is as important a find as has happened since .. I don't know when."
"I'm listening. I only have a line here for 98 more seconds. Routing across four Comsats, one of which doesn't offically exist. Get to the point."

Kassandra takes a breath and commits, "We've found a mystic generator that is powering this entire facility, in a cavern full of writing that may predate any hieroglyphs I've ever seen."

There's silence on the other end of the phone. "A locus?" HE then seems to shake off that idea. "No.. wrong area. Alright. I'll have a team there as soon as possible. Anything else of interest? What condition is the… ah… generator in? Can you describe it?"

Mafen continues setting up fortifications and equipment, moving everything he can and securing exits and doorways. If word got out, this would be very difficult to defend…

Kassandra says "An obelisk that stands at the top of what can only be described as a miniature Mayan Ziggurat. The room is perhaps 100 feet circular, perfectly so, with crystals set in to the wall at regular intervals."

Kassandra closes her eyes, describing the room to the best of her near-photographic memory ability.

"I've never heard of anything like it." He says quietly… "Okay. A team left Buenos Aries about.. 2 hours ago. I don't show any radar activity in your area, so you're either already surrounded or no ones out there."

Kassandra says "Affirmative. We'll hold things down."

"They show touch down on you… in about… 7 hours."
Kassandra says "We will be waiting."

Kassandra sets the SPU to counting down till touch down, checking the local time. It is going to be a very long night.

Come the morning, the Sat Phone rings.

Kassandra lets her half-closed eyes open, reaching for the phone, her left hand closing around the gun and bringing it up. "Yes?"

"There is a transport helo with 20 men on it approaching your position. This is the security detail that will secure the area. Give them a nickel tour… then get out of there. They and their reinforcements will take it from here."

Kassandra says "Affirmative."

Kassandra rises stiffly to her feet, motioning to Mafen. They have to unbar the door now.

THe Door unbarred reveals an arctic-weather chinnook style double-bladed heavy transport helo hovering about 600 feet away as men rappel down off it. It doesn't have any markings on it that would be recognizable. They form up and start the movement over, guns at the ready. NOt artic trained, by the look of them, but they seem to have an understanding of the snow.

They file past, in to the structure while one remains topside with Mafen and KAssandra.

"Well done." Says the older gentleman WHO IS NOT SAMUEL. Honestly, its not. Just another older dude. He is dressed in a cold suit, with the Draco Foundation Logo on it. They are hear to make an official claim on the facility. "Now get on the chopper. It's only got a bit more fuel to hover."

Kassandra nods, preparing to head out. She will give the older chap who is not Samuel a chip of the facility that Mafen could no doubt make with his various bits of ware, ultrasound, and so forth. It will have detailed notes on what they have seen, where to go, and what to look for.



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