The denizens of Sanctuary have found Comorro Station, but continue to struggle to find the Thul, who are said to hold the key to getting back to the home universe. Genkhun the bartender at Comorro offered to help – in exchange for Hekayti credits. This complication leads the Sanctuarians to try to strike deals for Hekayti currency with two factions of the Hekayti who apparently are locked in an ongoing civil war. The Sanctuary Senate meets to discuss the next step…

Senate Chamber

Tiered bleachers are divided into three sections for spectators by two descending aisles that lead down into the well of this spacious chamber. Bluish-white spotlights are aimed from the rafters at the large ovular wooden table at the bottom of the well. The table is surrounded by thinly padded chairs that are reserved for the senators who consider legislation aboard Sanctuary. Microphones and data displays are arrayed around the table, with speakers and large viewscreens providing the sound and visuals to the onlookers in the stands.

Firemane shifts a little in her seat, her gaze moving to the Nemoni vessel as the comm crackles.

Urfkgar wakes up at the crackling.

Rainhawk nods to the Nemoni, “Please do so. Ah, Senator Gumble. The Nemoni were just going to relate the tragic events of yesterday to us.”

Kirk nods to Frey, “This ought to be good. I like talking to the Nemonis. They are really nice.” He looks over towards the Nemoni ship.

Gumble steps into the Chambers, his arms trying to carry his staff, datapad and several notes. He bustles down the aisle and proceeds to the head of the table.

Volanta sees that his attention is no longer needed and he looks back down to his datapad.

Freyssinet smiles at Kirk, and whispers.

The comm crackles, “First, some background. The Elyissians are a race that has declared a one sided war on us for the past 20 years. Despite our policy of non-aggression, they attack us at every turn.”

Freyssinet whispers to Kirk.

Rainhawk listens attentively.

Jest’liana searches again, and comes up with another small silver disk. She throws it a little in the air and catches it idly, listening carefully to the Nemoni story.

The comm crackles, “We’ve made many peace gestures, but all were refused. Yesterday’s attack…which claimed the life of our President, and my father, was brought about by the renegade Nemoni who defected with General Richardson. They sold us out to the Elyissians…”

Kirk nods to Frey as he lsitens to the story as well. He begins to think about stuff.

Rainhawk frowns as he hears the confirmation of the death of the president.

Gumble sets up his station and nods to both Rainhawk and the Nemoni vessel. He listen attentively, a concerned smile on his face.

Freyssinet frowns and whistle softly.

The comm crackles, “I wish to formally make my apology for all the trouble they have caused you.”

Gumble clears his throat, “MMMmmmmm There is no apology needed, sir….it is we who should apologize to you…for not keeping you as safe as we should…”

Kirk takes one of Freys ahnds and looks over to her smiling. He is really happy. He still holds his thoughts about the story to himself.

Rainhawk says, “The honorable senator from Castor is correct. But tell us, what motivates these Elyissians?”

Electric blue sparks begin to fly from some parts of the Hammer as the crew begins some necessary repairs.

The comm crackles, “Conquest, and the desire to prove their military might.”

Falkenberg leans over to whisper something to Jest.

Falkenberg mutters to Jest’liana.

Rainhawk frowns. “Do you know if these attacks will continue?”

Jest’liana mutters to Falkenberg, “… introduction…”

Rainhawk has left.

The comm crackles, “They should not continue. By my order, our forces have launched a full scale invasion of the Elyissian homeworld in retaliation for these attacks. They will bother us no further.”

Gumble turns to the Nemoni, “MMMMMmmmmMMM do these Elyissians have a specific base of operations set up? Perhaps if we were to find them, we could settle this….mmmmmmm”

A flash of blue light comes as Rainhawk suddenly…goes

Freyssinet falshes a smile at Kirk as he takes her hand, and follows the discussion.

Falkenberg blinks.

The comm crackles, “Senator Rainhawk?”

Pendleton snaps his attention toward the now vacant chair.

Jest’liana straightens a little, “Did you see..?” She asks to Falkenberg.

Falkenberg rubs his eyes. “I didn’t know Qua could do that.”

Gumble turns to Rainhawk and does a doubletake, “Rainhawk????” He looks around startled. “MMMmmm Where are you?”

Volanta looks up from his datapad. He scratches his head slightly.

Kirk blinks as he doesn’t like what he jsut saw.

Marcus looks up from where he had been studying his shoes and focuses on where he believes had /been/ a now gone Rainhawk. He stands slowly and looks over towards Pendleton, head quirked to the side in silent questioning.

Drezin chuffs as he realises the Qua Senator is nolonger there. “What?” he hisses.

Freyssinet startles and frowns at Rainhawks’s dissapearance. “What the heck ..?”

Urfkgar clacks his teeth and looks around.

Firemane’s eyes and body turn towards the blue flash, and her ears flatten as she half rises from her seat. She gasps in Demarian.

Merram sits up straighter as his gaze settles where Rainhawk was, “What tha…” He mutters.

Gumble looks up to Volanta, “Security…mmmm…locate the Senator…”

Pendleton gets to his feet and backs away from the table. “Major Marcus, launch Gettysburg. Keep an eye out for a Thul vessel.”

Jest’liana’s eyes shoot to Ebonpelt, and then Firemane. She purses her lips.

The comm crackles, “Lieutenant, perform a full sensor sweep. AYe sir…I get no sign of him, sir.”

Volanta grabs his comm-link from his belt. He speaks into it, “All units, report in if the Qua senator Rainhawk is sighted.” He comes down from the gallery to inspect the site.

Gumble looks back to the Nemoni, “Nemoni, mmmmmmmm do the Elyissians have the technology to do this?”

Marcus nods to Pendleton, looking over his shoulder, eyes immediately finding Kirk. “Drop the game, playboy. Get to the Getts. Gettysburg crew, you’re with me.” He turns and weaves his way inbetween seats to head for the exit, dodging several stunned audience members in the process.

Freyssinet turns to Kirk, looking concerned, and whispers.

The comm crackles, “Even WE do not have such technology, Senator.”

Freyssinet whispers to Kirk.

Falkenberg hmms. “Obviously SOMEBODY does.”

Urfkgar stands and moves to the exit.

Torlonodae arrives from Command Quarter .

Torlonodae has arrived.

Description of Torlonodae

This creature appears like a walking Venus flytrap. Its head is flat, with a wide horizontal mouth. The edges of the mouth have many interlocking ‘teeth’ which appear fleshy and soft. Two eye-like organs on the sides of the head appear like soft, glassy green jewels. The head perches atop a tall barrel like body, which combined with the head gives the creature a height of about 6 feet. Spaced equidistantly around the top of the body are 4 limbs. Each extends about 3 feet to the tips of the fingers, which number 6 on each hand are about 7 inches long each. The arms and the fingers are thin and appear somewhat delicate. The arms appear to have no joints, instead they appear to be almost whiplike. The body continues down and ends in a tangle of fleshy limbs which appear much like a root system. When the creature moves these roots make a shuffling sound on the floor.

Gumble closes his eyes and concentrates, trying to locate the mind of Senator Rainhawk with his own.

Torlonodae shuffles in from the outside, and heads straight for the Senate table.

Pendleton glances toward the plant being.

“I believe that the species would be the Thull that we are talking about.” Jest drawls. She stands up.

Torlonodae says, “My friends, doom has come upon you all.”

Marcus lifts his eyes and nods to Torlonadae as he passes.

Ebonpelt looks up at Jest.

Marcus steps through the double doors into the command quarter.

Marcus has left.

Volanta kneels down my Rainhawk’s chair and begins to survey it carefully for hidden devices.

Falkenberg turns and looks at the speaker.

Urfkgar steps through the double doors into the command quarter.

Urfkgar has left.

Merram gets up and nods slighty to Frey, “Good day Doc.” He says as his comm cracklys. He slips out of the room as he answers, “Y’s sir…”

Merram steps through the double doors into the command quarter.

Merram has left.

Kirk looks to Frey, “Got to go.” He kisses her Cheek and head looks to MArcus and Pendlton. He salutes and then he looks to Torlonidae.

Drezin focuses on the walking plant with nictating eyes, “Doom?”

Gumble opens his eyes and turns to Torlonodae, “MMMMmmm What is the meaning of this? Who are you?”

Snowshadow blinks, and rubs his eyes, actually looking attentive for the first time the entire meeting.

Falkenberg looks at Torlonodae, then at Jest. Inclining his head toward the alien, he says, “You ever seen one of THOSE before?”

Torlonodae says, “Genkhun, the bartender of Commoro, has sold out you all to the Thuls. He learned of your being trapped here, and through his network of contacts, sold that information to the Thuls.”

Torlonodae says, “You should have paid him like you promised.”

Ebonpelt sighs tiredly….

Firemane has risen to her feet as she watches the Vanguard leave, muttering something under her breath in soft Demarian. As Torlonodae approaches her eyes narrow, and she swears very, very violently and repeatedly, although not loudly.

Ebonpelt says, “Yama? You were handling negotiations.”

Volanta turns from the table to look at Tor, he glances about to the other Senators.

Freyssinet looks at Torlonadae, amazed. “Shht..” she swears.

Gumble turns to Yama, “NMMmmmmmm what…did…you…do…”

Drezin has left.

Jest’liana nods, “Old friends here.. Plant people. First guys we met, I think.” She says mildly to Falkenberg. “Okay, first we go kill a bartender…” Her tone is light.

In a flash of blue light, Drezin vanishes.

Falkenberg shakes his head. “No, I don’t think we’ll have time to do that, babe,” he says, looking at the spot where Drezin was.

Torlonodae says, “The Thuls are making use of the information they’ve aquired…you have little time.”

Pendleton shouts. “Clear this room! NOW!”

Gumble looks back to Drezin, “Senator!” He turns quickly back to Torlonodae and approaches him, “Stop this! Stop this at once! MMMMmmmm”

Falkenberg nods and looks over at the military types. “Isnt there something you should be doing??”

Jest’liana stiffens. “Firemane… If they are going after Senators, you might want to stick by Ebonpelt. Now. Damn…”

Falkenberg grabs Jest’s arm. “Let’s get out of here.”

Volanta turns to the other senators, “I agree with Pendleton. Get out of here!”

Torlonodae looks to Gumble. “I am not the one you should be saying that to, Senator. It is the Thuls.

Kirk steps through the double doors into the command quarter.

Kirk has left.

Pendleton pushes Gumble toward the steps. “Let’s go.”

Torlonodae says, “I recommend you protect yourself, before they take you too!!”

Ebonpelt rises to her feet. “C’mon short people – I can run faster than you. Go! Get moving!

Gumble says, “MMMmm but how…how are they doing this? Why?”

Ebonpelt says, “We can meet elsewhere….”

Freyssinet is livid as one other person disappears. She steps out.

Volanta clears people out of the aisle so the senators can make their way out eaier.

Freyssinet steps through the double doors into the command quarter.

Freyssinet has left.

“But they might…” Jest protest. Her eyes seek out Fire’s and then Ebonpelt’s. “Come with..” She moves with Falk, but is being slow to wait for the two Demarians.

Falkenberg shoots a glnace at Gumble. “Senator, Shut UP!” He hustles toward the door with Jest.

Falkenberg steps through the double doors into the command quarter.

Falkenberg has left.

Gumble looks frantically back at the table then starts going with the flow of traffic as he is pushed towards the steps.

You feel a tingling sensation running through you as reality around you begins to shimmer and go gray, fading into shadows, and then…

Dim Chamber

A dark chamber with a low ceiling that seems to drip chains that ooze with a greenish-gray slime that issues from small refreshment pores in the ceiling. Arrayed in a formation that suggest a malignant black flower are eight round-edged examination tables that seem designed for just about any manner of life form – complete with restraints. Trays near each table are stacked with ominous-looking implements, bristling with sharp edges and cruel twists. Oval observation monitors glow bluely above the head of each exam table.

Disorientation ensues as reality once again begins to take shape around you…but in a different place, flat on your back, with your arms and legs restrained in tight straps.

Gumble looks about, flustered. “What? Wh-…mmmmmmmmhow?”

Gumble is now strapped to a table, with company.

Drezin grunts and strains against his bindings, eyes wide with rage. “Let me go.” he hisses.

Gumble says, “Rainhawk! mmmmmm Drezin! You are alright!…..mmmmmmmm”

Description of Shog

A sluggish creature who appears capable of lifting its domed head to about four feet in height, with a wrinkled mass of brownish-gray body that trails off behind it into a tapering point. The alien has no legs, and seems to get along by way of slithering locomotion. It does have two stubby arms with three long pruny digits on each hand. Slime oozes in the wrinkled grooves all over its body. It has one heavy-lidded baleful reddish-yellow eye (the other is a prune-wrinkled socket – and a cluster of writhing tentacles sprouting from the area that coincides roughly with the chin on other creatures. Small black bugs skitter about on the alien’s body.

Shog slithers and slimes its way around the room to regard the newcomers. “One of you I will releasssshhe. But only one. Sssho you may deliver a messshhhage.”

Rainhawk asks, “What is the message?”

Gumble turns to Rainhawk, his head seeming a bit uncomfortable, “MMmmmm what do they want?”

Drezin hisses and continues to pull at the bindings that wrap his arms.

Shog munches on some of the bugs that stray too close to his tentacled mouth. “Firssshht, chooosssshe. Who returnsssshh?”

Rainhawk says, “Gumble. Gumble should return.”

Shog tilts his mounded head. Tentacles wiggle. “Why?” His eye drifts toward the Castori. “What shhho ssspessshial about thisssh one?”

Gumble closes his eyes and concentrates, he then attempts to send a long-range telepathic message to Colonel Pendleton. ~It is sluggish creatures. We are strapped to a table on a ship I think.~

Gumble closes his eyes and concentrates, he then attempts to send a long-range telepathic message to Colonel Pendleton. ~We are okay.~

Neither message reaches its destination.

Shog slugs his way to the head of Gumble’s table and activates a drill that begins to whine and snicksnick nastily as it descends toward the Castori’s forehead.

Drezin grunts as he continues to struggle, “The Vice-Chair must return.”

Gumble opens his eyes and immediately stops the telepathic sends.

Rainhawk explains, “If you want your message delivered well, he is the one to do it.”

Shog draws back his head. “Vissssshe-chair? Thisssssh ssshoundssshh important. I keep him.” He points a finger at Drezin, and flings slime at the Grimlahdi in the process. “What are you?”

Gumble turns to Rainhawk, “MMMmm I cannot just leave you both here….”

Rainhawk says, “I believe we will be fine.” His eyes roll up toward the drill. “I hope.”

Rainhawk has a drill poised at his forehead.

Drezin hisses sharply, “Apex!” Spitting at the thul over him, his bristles lay flat atop his head.

Gumble looks up at Rainhawk’s drill then back to the Shog, “MMMmmm Please….we will cooperate, do not harm them! MMMMmmmm Please!”

Gumble is showered with Grimlahdi spittle.

Shog ahhs. “Apekkkssh? Thissssh too ssshoundssssh important. I keep you.” His one good eye settles on Rainhawk. “You, I sssshend back, with demandsssh.”

Gumble says, “MMMMmmm I am sure we may come to some agreement….what is it you desire….mmmmm…”

Shog shlorgles toward Rainhawk. “You will return. We will help Sssshanctuary return – and give your politisssshianssssh back – when our intermediary ressssheeeves 500,000 Hekayti creditssssh.”

Rainhawk asks, “Who is your intermediary?”

Shog wiggles his mouth tentacles. “Genkhun, at Comorro Stasssshun.”

Rainhawk keeps from nodding his head. “We can do this without your holding our people hostage. We are a peaceful people.”

Shog chortles blorglingly. “Yesssh. Ssssho we ssshaw when your people attacked ussssh some monthssssh ago.” He points at the empty eye socket. “Sssssho we sssshaw when your children did thissssh!”

Rainhawk says calmly, “You attacked us first. Holding our people prisoner is poor diplomacy in our cultures.”

Drezin growls, “You stole them! How dare you expect us to be helpful when you attack us first?”

Shog waves a slimy hand dismissively, splattering Rainhawk with goop.

Gumble turns the two, “MMMmm please gentlemen…this will not helpp matters.”

Shog slithers over to a control console. “You wissssh to complain? I can give you much to complain about. Or you can remain shhhilent, and ssshurvive.”

Rainhawk nods. “You have the advantage. I will deliver the message.”

Shog bobs his head and begins pressing buttons.

Gumble turns to Shog. “MMMMmm Please. Let these two go…mmmmmmm….I will remain your prisoner until you receive your money….just let these two go….”

With a flash of light, Rainhawk vanishes.

Rainhawk has left.

Shog shorgles. “You may relakkkssh and await word from my intermediary.” He slimes toward the door.

Gumble is shocked by the sudden burst of light again and tries to keep Shog’s concentration away from making Swiss Grimlahdi.

Shog inserts its ID card into the slot by the Out door.

The Out door’s light flashes OPEN and slides open.

Shog has left.

Gumble sighs and rests his head back. He looks around the room with his eyes.

Gumble sends a quick message to Drezin, ~Well at least Rainhawk is out of danger.~

Drezin grunts, “Yes.”

Gumble closes his eyes and concentrates, he sends a long-range message to Dahan, ~Help! You MUST pay them their money.~ This message too goes unreceived as Sanctuary is much too far away.

Drezin suddenly lunges as far as his restraints will allow him, attempting to break what he can.

A tendril of slime spills down from the chains overhead and splatters Drezin’s face.

Gumble turns to Drezin, then looks up at the source. “MMMMmmmmmm Drezin, be careful.”

Drezin heavily snorts as he drops back, spraying slime abit with the force of exhale. “This place discusts me.” he hisses angrily.

A small army – a platoon, really – of black-shelled bugs skitters across Gumble’s chest.

Gumble’s eyes open very wide! He slides back and forth trying to rub them off against the straps.

Some of the bugs make a beeline for Gumble’s mouth.

Gumble closes his mouth firmly.

Daunted, the bugs move on to some other orifice. His nostrils.

Gumble closes his eyes and tries to Mental Nudge the bugs into wanting to jump off of him onto the floor.

The bugs, unfazed by the psionic attempt, begin to poke and probe at Gumble’s nostrils.

Drezin hisses angrily. He turns his head to look at the nearest restraint, wondering why it is so hard to remove.

Gumble suddenly snorts quite fiercely blowing a gust of wind out his nose.

Drezin might notice the restraints are chain.

The bugs are hurled backward – along with a bit of Castori snot and dribble, which coats the lower part of Gumble’s face. And he can’t do anything about it, unless he uses his tongue…

Gumble is NOT using his tongue!

Shog arrives from Shadowy Corridor .

Shog has arrived.

Shog slithers back into the chamber.

Gumble lets out a sigh of relief and lies back, then looks over at Drezin. THe opening of the door startles him a bit.

Drezin raises his head slightly, to look at the Thul with rage filled eyes.

Gumble looks over at Shog curiously, but does not speak. He sends a quick message to only Drezin, ~Shhhhhh…don’t speak. Let’s see what he wants.~

Shog approaches the now empty table where Rainhawk had been lying. “My sssshourssshesssh tell me your comrade hassssh returned sssshafely. Your people are reacting, it ssssheeemssssh, by sssshending sssshipssssh to Comorro Sssstasssshun, perhapssssh with vengeanssssh on their mindssssh. I assshure you, if any harm isssh done to Genkhun…commenssshurate harm will be done to you. Pray for their resssshtraint.”

Gumble looks down at Shog, “MMMMmmmm I give you my word, there will be no harm done to you…mmmmmmm”

Gumble says, “….mmmm or Genkhun….”

Shog laughs blorglingly. “Your word meansssh nothing. You hold no power over thessshe humansssh.”

Gumble says, “MMMmmmmm This…this is about money is it? Merely wanting money? mmmmmmmm?”

Drezin continues to glare at the Thul, but lets Gumble do the talking.

Shog twiddles his slimy fingers. His mouth tentacles wriggle. “Fundssssh that will assshisssht the Thul in rebuilding their glorioussssh empire. The Ri’Kammi have given ussssh thisssh realm asssh payment for our sssshervisssshesssh.”

Gumble nods as best he can. “MMMmmmmmm…Very well…I can personally make sure that your payment is delivered….”

Shog bobs his slimy head and rolls the one good eye. “That issssh in thisssh Rainhawk’ssssh handssssh now. You mussssht sssshurvive. That issssh all.”

Drezin growls lightly, but says nothing.

Gumble’s eyes raise slightly, “MMMMM oh to be sure to be sure. You are mmmmost correct. And I definitely hope you receive your funds.” He turns towards Drezin. “But you don’t need him…..mmmmm….I am the Vice Chair of the Senate. He is merely the Grimlahdi Senator. His importance is not as acute…you see…many of the other races don’t LIKE the Grimlahdi.”

Gumble says, “You may as well toss him back and just hang on to me…mmmmmmm”

Shog narrows the single reddish-yellow eye. “No like him?”

Gumble turns to Drezin, “No….mmm…why many of his race were at war with the others there are hardly any negotiations. mmmmmmmmm No one likes the Grimlahdi that’s what they say, so you’d hardly get a price for him…mmmmmay as well let him go and concentrate on the price you’ll get for the Vice Chair….mmmmmmm”

Shog approaches Drezin’s table and activates the drill, which swirls and swickswacks as it descends toward his pebble-fleshed forehead. “I kill him, ssshave everyone trouble. Yesssh?”

Gumble says, “NO!”

Shog stops the drill about a breath shy of Drezin’s forehead. “No? Why? You ssshay you no like him.”

Drezin turns his head to glare at Gumble. “What are you doing?” He hisses harshly. “I am Apex! All Grimlahdi respect me. It would be bad for you to harm me.” he growls to Shog.

Gumble says, “When I say…no one likes him….I mean of course that um….his politics, yes…his race keeps a definite balance to the group, yes.”

Shog studies Drezin quietly with his eye, then shlorbs gruntingly, flinging bugs and slime all over Drezin’s face. He withdraws the drill to about six inches away from the Grimlahdi’s face. “Fine. In ssshow of good faith, I sssshend him back.”

Gumble nods his head relieved, then winks at Drezin. “MMMmm good. No need of him causing you trouble…right?”

Drezin glares at Gumble, but looks thankful in a way.

Shog slithers over to the control console.

Shog presses several buttons and enters coordinates.

Gumble sends to Drezin ~Do not sell us all out. I will die here if need be~

Drezin nods once before he is sent back.

A glow begins to consume Drezin.

Drezin has left.

And then he is gone.

Gumble sighs and smiles, and looks back at Shog. “Well…now it is just you and me.”

Shog burbles gurglingly. “And I prisssshe ssssholitude.” With that, he slithers toward the door.

Gumble tries to figure out what prissshe means.

Shog inserts its ID card into the slot by the Out door.

The Out door’s light flashes OPEN and slides open.

Shog has left.

Gumble sighs very relieved. “Shurikin, my brother, I shall be joining you soon…mmmmmmmm”

Gumble closes his eyes and ears and nose and all other orifices and begins to meditate, humming quietly in preparation for his fate.

Gumble lies on the table in quiet contemplation, neither in fear nor in pain, and reflects in meditation.

Gumble hums to himself low and monotoned.

Gumble is left here alone without food and water and with many unpleasant distractions about him. The slime drips from the ceiling dousing his body.

The next day…

Dim Chamber

A dark chamber with a low ceiling that seems to drip chains that ooze with a greenish-gray slime that issues from small refreshment pores in the ceiling. Arrayed in a formation that suggest a malignant black flower are eight round-edged examination tables that seem designed for just about any manner of life form – complete with restraints. Trays near each table are stacked with ominous-looking implements, bristling with sharp edges and cruel twists. Oval observation monitors glow bluely above the head of each exam table.

Nyarla arrives from Shadowy Corridor .

Nyarla has arrived.

Gumble lies still on the table, his eyes closed, a low gutteral hum emitting from his throat.

Slithering towards Gumble, Nyarla bobs its head slowly as it nears Gumble, eyes opening and closing as it regards the furred creature.

Gumble continues humming low, his eyes still shut. His breathing is very shallow and barely noticable.

Having closed upon Gumble Nyarla extends a long, thin finger, poking the unmoving Castori, in the process leaving a slimy streak to coat his fur.

Gumble takes a long bloated deep breath and exhales slowly.

Seeing little change Nyarla slowly shifts its bluberous body, fingers now reaching out to the small tray that lies near the bed.

Gumble breathes heavily again, long and slow. Then his breathing subsides and returns to normal. Slowly, his eyes begin to open.

Slender fingers tighten around a tubular apparatus which it raises , bringing it inches from Gumble’s head. With the push of a button the instrument comes alive, the sounds of a drill filling this cavernous room.

Gumble opens his eyes and stares up at the creature. His eyes wander slowly to the drill. A smile comes acroess his face. “MMMMmmmmm your master will be displeased with you ruining his toy…mmmmm”

Nyarla continues, examining first the drill, then with slender fingers Gumble’s head, “You misssunderssttand. I am hisss asssissstant. I would sssimply be continuing hisss resssearch.” its slimy fingers poke and prod Gumble’s head mercilessly. Small insect like bugs crawling up and down its arm and body.

Gumble’s head tingles as the fingers slide across his forehead, “MMMMmmmm and if you damage me, then what will he say…mmmm…will he reward you for damaging that which will give you your money? mmmmmmmmmm I think not…if you’re lucky he will just kill you….”

Voice tinged with what you might call amusement it corrects Gumble, “Ssso much to be learned from you.” several of the bugs that cover Nyarla’s body now crawl down its arm and over Gumble’s face. “Sshhurely your mind isss worth more then and money. Shog will ssssooon realize that.”

Gumble tries to remain calm as critters scurry across his face. He snorts heavily to blow them away. He closes his eyes and gently tries to mental nudge Nyarla with the following suggestion, “Harming the Castori will displease Shog. I should leave him.”

One of the small bug like creatures crawls into Gumbles mouth in an attempt to escape the blowing air. Nyarla puts down the instrument she now holds and instead picks up a sharp curved instrument, she runs this instrument at first lightly and then with a bit more force across Gumble’s scalp, “Sssoo much to ssseee.”

Gumble spits the bugs into the air, then sends an unidentified short-range message to Shog, ~Your assistant is damaging your ransom~

Nyarla presses the instrument down with a force just short of what would be required to pierce the skin, “Tell me, how mucch could we learn.”

As a brownish trickle of Castori blood begins to bubble from the puncture as the knife barely penetrates, Gumble opens his eyes. “You will learn a lot more if I tell you…mmmmmmmm”

Nyarla lifts the instrument putting it back down on the tray as its tounge darts out to capture one of the small wandering bugs. It swallows the bug before contiung, “Then sss..tell me.”

Gumble looks back at the creature, “What is it you wish to know…mmmmmmmmm”, then sends the unidentified message ~Shog is returning~ to Nyarla’s mind.

Nyarla responds, “You mind it..” she pauses, head slowly turning to regard the door. After a moments pause she looks back towards Gumble, “I will go but you willl tell me want i waant to know.”

Gumble smiles back at Nyarla, “MMMMmmm but of course….”

Gumble snorts and spits more bugs from his mouth.

Shog arrives from Shadowy Corridor .

Shog has arrived.

Shog slithers oozily into the chamber.

Nyarla slowly turns, beginning to slither towards the door, she stops as Shog enters.

Gumble looks over at Shog, his head having a slight knife puncture.

Nyarla speaks, “Ancient One, i have been ssseeeing to the sssspecccimen.”

Shog slorthles in Gumble’s direction and leans over the furry creature, staring at the incision with a baleful reddish-yellow eye. “Thissssh damage, isssh it permanent?”

Nyarla slowly turns its large body, “It issss not. Sssoon it will disssapear.”

Gumble looks up at Shog and begins to moan and groan, “MMmmmmmm ohhhhhh eh rixxxxspendooooo plxeeeeiiiiii ayyy oooomamboooo”

Shog draws its slimy head back, wiggling the mouth tentacles and exhaling a fetid gust of wind at Gumble’s face. “Why doessssh it behave ssssho?”

Gumble stares closely at Shog, “Ixitchitl rooooowan ni ni ni.” and then a short unidentified message into Shog’s head, ~The Castori is damaged.~

Nyarla laughs shrongigly, “It isss trying to desssieve you.” It says before slithering closer to the two.

Shog blinks that single baleful eye. “It sssshpeaksssh within my mind. Thisssh troublessssh me. Sssshilenssssh the creature.”

Nyarla slithers towards the tray of slime coated instruments, “The sspessimen may be damaged.” it warns as it extends a tentacle, long thin fingers wrapping around the drill.

Gumble makes clicking noises with his mouth, then sends to Nyarla ~A Curse upon all who desecrate the Castori~

Gumble continues making noises with his mouth, then sends to Shog ~A Curse upon all who desecrate the Castori.~

Shog writhes its mouth tentacles. Bugs flit and skitter across Gumble’s chest. “No drill. Apply the noksssshussssh fumessssh.

Nyarla wiggles the mouth tentacle slowly as the drill is brough down to the tray. In its place it raises a large orange mask, small tubes extend from the mask into an unseen compartment under the examination table. Bringing the mask to Shog’s face it places it over the furry creatures snout, making breathing difficult. “Ssssilence it.” it says as it turns, dissapearing from the Castori’s view as it slithers behind the examination table.

Gumble stares up at the ceiling, seemingly at peace. He coughs slightly as the fumes begin to affect him. “MMmmmmm My brethren….soon…*cough* I will join you…*cough…mmmmmm*cough*..mmmmmm*cough cough*…” He closes his eyes.

Shog glances gloopingly toward Nyarla. “Monitor hisssh vital sssshignssssh. Do not allow him to ekkkssshhpire.”

Gumble begins to drift off. His breathing stops almost completely as he goes into somewhat of a hibernation state.

Nyarla slowly shakes the mouth tentacle, “I will do sssho. He willss not exsspire.”

Gumble heartrate begins to drop.

Shog bobs his mounded head. “Good.” With that, he slithers oozily back toward the door.

Gumble’s heartrate begins to drop.

Nyarla’s eyes yellow-red eyes turn towards the monitors and watch them unconcerned.

Shog inserts its ID card into the slot by the Out door.

The Out door’s light flashes OPEN and slides open.

Shog has left.

Nyarla slithers towards the monitors eyes carefully watching them until it s task is taken by another.

The noxious fumes of the Thul begin to consume Gumble’s body as he is left to them an entire day. Gumble retreats into a forced hibernative state, a state which prevents him from inhaling too much of the toxic gases, most likely saving him from choking on them. In the meantime, bugs continue to crawl about his flesh as the next day dawns…

Dim Chamber

A dark chamber with a low ceiling that seems to drip chains that ooze with a greenish-gray slime that issues from small refreshment pores in the ceiling. Arrayed in a formation that suggest a malignant black flower are eight round-edged examination tables that seem designed for just about any manner of life form – complete with restraints. Trays near each table are stacked with ominous-looking implements, bristling with sharp edges and cruel twists. Oval observation monitors glow bluely above the head of each exam table.

Shog arrives from Shadowy Corridor .

Shog has arrived.

Shog shumbles into the chamber, chains tinkling overhead. Its mouth tentacles wriggle and crawl with bugs.

Gumble lays still, the orange gas mask still secured over his snout. His vital signs, barely existent.

Shog slorthles into position near the Castori and, with a slime-dripping hand, removes the mask from Gumble’s face.

Slime oozes from Shog’s hand, dribbling down Gumble’s cheek. The Castori does not move. No sound of breath is heard either.

Shog leans over the Castori’s face, regarding Gumble with a baleful reddish yellow eye. “Isssh it alive?”

Gumble remains still and silent.

Shog pokes at Gumble’s chest with an oozy finger.

The monitors continue their slow somber blip, indicating Gumble’s life force is somewhere inside, but very faint.

Shog grunts blorglingly, spilling bugs and slime on the Castori, then grungles its way over to the mechanical control panel at the foot of Gumble’s bed.

…blip………..blip……..blip……..

Shog fithers the tentacles where its mouth should be. “If ssshleeping, good. If dead, good. Me run tesssshhtssssh.” He flips a switch. A particularly nasty drill with a head that looks like three razor-sharp dinner forks fused together – clumped with gunk and matter of some kind – begins to whine and descend toward Gumble’s head.

Gumble remains silent.

……..blip……blip…..blip…..blip……blip…..

The bugs scitter and scatter across Gumble’s body. Some leap off onto the floor. Other make homes within caves they find on Gumble’s body.

The drill descends toward Gumble’s forehead, and then a shimmering blue light distracts the Thul, who deactivates the drill just millimeters from the Castori’s skull.

….blip…blip…blip…blip…blip…

A short message is sent to Shog’s mind, ~What….want……..~

The light coalesceses into a sort of shimmering cloud that both is and is not there. It is like the image of something passing just in the corner of one’s eye. The Thul’s attention is fixed on this manifestation – and it totally ignores the transmission of the Castori.

“Shog,” comes a hissing multivoice. “Your plans are proceeding?”

Gumble remains still, showing no signs of apparent life. The monitors blip more steadily now.

Shog blithers its tentacles. “Yessssh, great Mind. They prossssheed assssh planned. Theeeessssh creaturessssh will be back in your sssshway sssshoon enough.”

“Good,” the multivoice replies. “We have our own plans for them.” With that, the manifestation disappears.

Shog glorgles, retracts the nasty drill and waggles a slimy finger at Gumble. “I sssshave ekkkssshperimentssssh on you for later time.”

Gumble’s eyelid stirs slightly and lifts a crack.

Gumble transmits a short message, ~make…deal…~ to Shog.

Shog oozes around the table and glares down at Gumble with a singular eye. “Deal. Sssshpeak. I lisssshen.”

Gumble raises his eyelids a bit more, ~I…help…you…..agains…Heky….let Sanctu…go~

Gumble breathes heavily as a large flow of air returns to his lungs.

Shog blinks that single eye. “Help againssssht Heky? What isssh Heky? Thul need no help from you. Need money to fund risssshing empire.”

Gumble strains and closes his eyes, then sighs opening them again unable to transmit.

Shog pats a slime-drippy hand on Gumble’s furry shoulder. “Worry not. If your companionssssh value your life, they will provide what isssh required.”

Gumble tries to speak amid the slime and bugs in his mouth, “MMmmmmmmmm show you…secrets…of…” He sighs again.

“Sssshecretssssh of what?” the Thul inquires.

Gumble pants heavily staring back at Shog as another bug scurries down the back of Gumble’s throat causing him to cough.

“Maybe we teach you sheeecretssssh of pain. Of horror,” the Thul says.

Gumble looks back up, “MMMmmmmm of *cough*…the mind….”

Shog draws back, mouth tentacles wriggling like the heads of an upside-down hydra. “Ooooh, the mind. A powerful thing. Yessssssh. The mind. You teach. Tell Sssshog how sssshmall-brained Casssshtori mind workssssh.”

Gumble slowly shakes his head, “MMMmmmm I wil teach…everything to you….but first….*coough*…let Sanctua..ry……goooooo….”

Shog flings slime on the bear-creature’s snout. “No. We will help Sssshanctuary when we ressssheeve the money.”

Gumble snorts some slime out of his nose…”MMmmmm and other races too….I know…and can teach…knowledge…is more powerful…than money…”

Gumble nods his head slowly, “MMmmmmm I can turn knowledge….into…money…”

Shog points at the wall where the manifestation had appeared. “You have nothing compared to the powersssh of the Hive Mind. You can teach ussssh nothing that we cannot already gain.”

Gumble looks back up at Shog lifting his head slightly, “MMMmmmm then why you need us….to get you money…?”

“We wisssh to purchassssshe ssshertain…allegiansssshesssh.”

Gumble nods understanding a bit more, “MMMMmmmm soooo…you not only need money…but you require others to make your deals…for you…with others…that hate you…..correct? MMMmMMMMM?”

“It isssh too complekssssh for your undeveloped mind to comprehend fully,” Shog replies. “But you approach cognisssshun.”

Gumble nods, “Ah…mmmm….but I doooo understand….mmmmmmm….you require….mmmmm an ambassador to see to your needs…of diplomacy…and negoatiation….”

“Yessssh,” the Thul replies. “And your Sssshenate isssh now working on ssshuch thingsssh.”

Gumble nods, “mmmmmm so why not…have one permanently…mmmmmmmmm…why not…use me…mmmm”

“Oh, no, Cassshtori. I think not,” the Thul replies. “You are ssssherving your purpossshe well. Remain here, asssh inssshuranssh.”

Gumble spits some more bugs out and pants exhaustedly, “mmmmmmif you release Sanctuary back to their home without further…incident or harm now…I shall remain…here….and put my diplomatic and political skills …to…your use…as you wish….mmmmmmm”

Shog blurgles, flinging slime and bugs. “NO! We musssht not offend the Ri’Kammi who have been sssshuch generoussssh masssshterssssh.”

Gumble nods, “Yes….mmmmmm….I have met them…they are very generous….mmmmmmm”

Gumble says, “MMmmmmMMMMm in fact…they have sought US out…on a number of occasions..mmmmmmm I do think they favor our..mmmmmm….services….”

“We will releasssh you. We will assshissssht Ssshanctuary,” the Thul explains, “when all criteria are ssshatissshfied. Then you will be returned to Ssshanctuary and I will assshissssht in returning Ssshanctuary to your native universsshe. There, the Ri’Kammi rule onssshe more.”

Gumble gulps, “…and if they dont?”

“If your friendssssh fail…you will perisssssh. And ssssho will they,” the Thul states slimily.

Gumble says, “MMMmm but why would you help…us…””

“We have our orderssssh,” Shog says, and then he begins to ooze toward the exit.

Gumble says, “mmmmm and what promise do we have….mmmmm that you will uphold your end of the agreemtn…mmmm”

Shog slorthles toward the door. “Get your ressssht, Cassshtori. If your friendssssh fail…you will need all the sssshtrength you can manage.”

Gumble sends to Shog’s mind, ~I do not fear you~

“But you sssshould.” The Thul slithers away.

Shog inserts its ID card into the slot by the Out door.

The Out door’s light flashes OPEN and slides open.

Shog has left.

Gumble lies on the table breathing heavily, the mask no longer on his snout, but on the floor. His face drips with slime and bugs.

Nyarla slithers oozily in the door and towards Gumble, “sssleep well?” she asks menacingly.

Gumble closes his eyes briefly and sighs, “MMMMMmmm yes I did.”

Nyarla moves rhytmically towards the try of instruments, “Goood, Bessst you are not assssleep for thissh prossedure.”

Gumble opens his eyes and glances toward Nyarla, “MMMMmmmmm as I told your master, I do not fear him, nor you…he doesn not wish to hear me talk nor make any deals….mmmm…I therefore have nothing to say…”

Nyarla picks up the drilling instrument and turns it on, a high piched buzzing fills the room, “That iss good. Ssssillence isss bessst from sssubjectsss>”

Gumble breathes heavily, then closes his eyes.

Nyarla turns and slowly slithers its body towards Gumble’s head. The tray, within reachign distance. Slowly the drill is lowered towards Gumble and towards his skull.

The constant whine of the drill gets louder in your ears, the sound increasing in pitch.

Gumble’s breaths subside and lower, then cease. The monitors blip slower and slower.

The drill is pressed against Gumble’s skull, the pressure of the drill against the bone slows it. The sound of chipping bone joins the deepening whine of the drill.

A trickle of brown blood begins to flow out of the hole around the drill. Gumble’s head winces but his calmness continues, the machines dip down and become irregular blipping slower still.

The drilling continues until the sound deepens considerably as the bone is completely drilled through. At this point Nyarla stops the drill and removes it from the newly formed hole. Holding the drill in its left tentacled hand, its right hand reaches to the tray where it removes a suctioning device, its diameter about that of a pencil. This device is then placed in the newly created hole.

Blood continues to pour out. The machines blip slower until they are many seconds apart. Gumble remains silent and unmoving.

….blip………..blip………..blip……………blip………

Eyes moving languidly to the monitors, Nyarla turns slowly and places the drill back on the tray, a small bug crawls off of its hand and across the slime coated instrument tray. Ozzily moving towards a small console next to the bed, Nyarla begins pressing various buttons. behind you the sound of moving equipment can be heard, though not seen.

blip…………blipblip beeep beeeeeep blip…….blip……blip….blip….blip

Gumble opens his eyes suddenly staring with intensity at the ceiling.

Directly above Gumble’s head is a large, black Claw, one would say large enough to surround a man. It is held there by a mettalic track that runs the length of the bed, “You are no longer asssleep. Good.”

Gumble stares up at the claw as he feels the blood flow out of his head. He tries to speak, “MMMMmmmmmm brothers….”

Tears well up in his eyes.

Nyarla seems uninterested, it turns, slowly slithering back to her position behind Gumble’s head. It reaches towards the tray and wraps its long slender fingers around a mettalic pen like device. Positioning it in its tentacled hand it turns its attention once more to Gumble’s skull.

Gumble grits his teeth and squints, “mmmmmMMMMM I….be with…you…mmmm…soon…”

Nyarla turns on the device and a laser shoots out from its tip, its destination the edges of the recently made incsicion. With careful precision the laser is moved so that it touches all the edges, sealing any bleeders.

Nyarla asks as it works, “Do your ssspesssies sssspeeak to themsselvesss alwaysss.”

Gumble’s head shakes under the restraints. The charred sizzle rings through the cavern and fills the air with odors of dried blood and burning Castori hair and flesh. Gumble’s eyelids sink slowly down.

Finishing its work with the laser the thul returns it to its tray, in its place picking up the drill.

Gumble blinks his eyes slowly up and down and glances up at Nyarla. He moves his mouth to say something but no words come out.

The whine of the drill comes alive once more as Nyarla begins drilling a second hole, horizontel from the first.

Gumble closes his eyes and squints, as if in pain. A short message jumps through the air out of the room. ~ …mmmmm….~

Once again the noise deepens and the drill is turned off, then removed from the newly maid hole.

Blood spurts out of his head again, his eyes open and smile up at the ceiling affectionately. They then close to rest. The machines on the monitor slow once more.

The pencil shaped tube is removed from the first hole and now placed in the second. The drill is placed down on the tray and the laser is picked up, It once more performs its job of sealing the bleeding blood vessels.

The monitors decline their beeping rate once more until only a faint pulse is heard.

Having finished sealing the bleeding vessels Nyarla puts down the laser and once more slithers to the small console next to the bed. And once more the sound of moving equipment can be heard as the claw moves to hover over your chest and then opens.

Nyarla asks, “Sssstill ssleeeping?”

Gumble’s eyes remain shut and his mouth hangs opens loosely.

The machine twitters…….beeep blip….blip….blip….beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep and flatlines.

With the push of another button the large claw like device lowers and then closes once it has wrapped Gumble’s chest.

Pulses of energy emerge from the claw into Gumble’s body. It shakes slightly as the monitors clip to life into a sudden normal pattern.

Nyarla returns to its work, slithering to her instrument tray where its grabs a hold of another, pen looking device. This one it uses to cut between the two recently drilled holes.

The bone cutting continues, until a piece of skull is removed and placed on the tray to its right.

Shog arrives from Shadowy Corridor .

Shog has arrived.

Shog shurgs into the chamber, oozing a trail of slime and bugs behind it as it arrives. “Inquisssshitor, what issssh the sssshatusssh…?”

On the tray along with various instruments lies a small electronic box. This box is picked up with slender fingers and placed into Gumble’s now open skull. “The prosssedure isss almossst complete, Ancient One.”

Shog bobs a mounded head, mouth tentacles writhing. “Mossssht eksssshellent.”

Gumble eyes flutter open and look around curiously, “MMmmmmm I’m not…dead?”

Gumble peers down at the claw with a rather horrified look on his face as he feels the thing, seemingly alive, feeding pulses into his body.

Nyarla laughs shorshily, “Ssseeemsss that you are not.” it says before picking up a sharp pointed instrument. The instrument makes its way into Gumble’s skull, its exact actions unknown.

Gumble peers over at Shog.

Shog blorgs oozily toward the table. “We are sssshending you back, Cassshtori. Thissssh will demonssshtrate that the Thul are capable of mersssshy, yessssh. But our mersssshy isssh in limited sssshupply. Inquisssshitor, how long until the devisssshe activatessssh?”

Nyarla removes the pointed instrument and returns it to the tray, “Approxximattely 48 glornssssh, Ancient One.” it informs Shog as it delicately grabs the peice of skull that was originally removed and placed it back where it once was.

Gumble looks blankly at Shog. “MMmmmmmm is…that…a fact…”

“Sssshplendid,” says the ancient Thul. His baleful reddish yellow eye fixes once more on Gumble. “Any attemptsssh to tamper with the devissshe will be…ekssshplosssshive. We will rendessshvoussssh with Ssshanctuary in two of your dayssssh. If you have the fundssssh, the devisssshe will be deactivated and we will prepare to sssshend your vesssshel home.”

Nyarla grabs a circular device from the tray and runs it over the cut areas, a slight humming noise is heard as the bones fuse back together.

Gumble’s head shakes under the restraints, “MMMMMmmmmm how… thoughtful…..”

Shog approaches the control panel for the teleportation system. “Announsssshe when the ssshpessshimen isssh prepared for sssshipment.”

The circular device is lowered to the tray and Nyarla nods, “The Ssspessimen may be sshhhhipped ansssient One.”

Shog nods sglorgingly. “In two dayssssh, Cassshtori.” He draws back on a lever and Gumble becomes consumed in blue light.

Gumble looks up at Shog, “We will get…mmmmmmmm….yours funds….we are a peaceful race…and mean no …harm….” He pants as the worry is now showing through his voice.

Senate Chamber

– Sanctuary –

Tiered bleachers are divided into three sections for spectators by two descending aisles that lead down into the well of this spacious chamber. Bluish-white spotlights are aimed from the rafters at the large ovular wooden table at the bottom of the well. The table is surrounded by thinly padded chairs that are reserved for the senators who consider legislation aboard Sanctuary. Microphones and data displays are arrayed around the table, with speakers and large viewscreens providing the sound and visuals to the onlookers in the stands.

Gumble materializes in a flash of blue light.

Gumble appears on the table dripping with slime and bugs. He falls over onto the ground.

Gumble’s appearance:

This is a grey Castori about four foot in height but he has definitely seen better days. The robes he wears are badly torn and dripping with slime and bugs. His face shows immense exhaustion and is dripping with brown blood and greenish oozing slime. His whole body smells quite horrible. The top of his head shows badly burned flesh and fur in a large circular pattern. His eyes are barely open.

Yama spits out the drink he was brooding over.

Yama says, “Jesus H. Christ Guzzling Soda pop on a flatbed! Get yourself cleaned off, man!” He nearly stumbles out of his chair, fumbling for the remains of his drink.”

A small red LED on Galactix’ Camera Array comes on, and a slight crackle comes out of the speaker.

Melissa arrives from Command Quarter .

Melissa has arrived.

Gumble lies on the floor, his eyelids nearly shut. He is breathing quite heavily and erratic. “MMmmmm no…stay away…”

Melissa enters, medkit strapped across her chest, “Whats going on in here?” she asks as she steps inside.

Galactix says, “Thank goodness, Doctor. It seems Senator Gumble has been returned.”

Yama is hastily downing more of his brandy. He points , setting the glass down with a thunk. He points a quivering finger at Gumble. “He’s back! The little bug-eyed bastards let ‘im go! Get those things /off/ of him!” His face is a rather nice shade of green about now.

Melissa looks up towards Galactix’s voice an her eyes then move to the senate chambers as she attempts to spot him. Finally, she sees him laying on the floor, “Senator!” she rushes towards him.

Grimalk arrives from Command Quarter .

Grimalk has arrived.

The bugs on Gumble scurry about his body, then scurry off towards Yama.

Melissa is nearing Gumble’s place on the floor, her medkit is strapped across her chest.

Grimalk strides regally into the senate chamber and gazes around with the demeanor of someone checking for termites.

Small Battleship arrives from Command Quarter .

Small Battleship has arrived.

Small Battleship drifts in from the outside.

Melissa is nearing Gumble’s place on the floor, her medkit is strapped across her chest.

Grimalk descends the stairs, his voice booming: “Senator Nels!”

A mixture of slime and brown blood drip off the end of Gumble’s nose. He turns his head and looks up at the doctor. “MMmmmm no….get away….”

Grimalk seems not merely to be oblivious to the matter of the slime-soaked, traumatized ursinoid, but to be actively disinterested. “I see.”

Melissa stops when she’s a couple of feet from Gumble and squats down near the ground, “I’m not gonna hurt you Senator..” her voice is soothing, “Just want to scan you..she pats her medical kit, “Thats all.”

Yama thumbs back to to the all-too-Gummied bear. “As you can see. The Thul aren’t exactly the most convient fellows to deal with. As our budget requirements just skyrocketed 300,000 credits from the prior arrangement, this is a bit of a..sticky” He says, looking back at his companion”..situation.”

Melissa shifts her eyes to yama about to speak, irritation crosses her features before she looks up twaords a hypothetical location for Galactix, “Galactix, locate Dr. Freyssinet, tell her to get down here, STAT and advise as to the situation.”

Gumble murmurs, “Yama….mmmmm…send me away….”

Grimalk locks his eyes on Yama. “Senator Nels, you have not taken these dealings very seriously. It will be my recommendation to the rebel faction that we withhold any financial support for your efforts. Clearly, you are not trustworthy creatures. And the three wisdoms take your problems with the Thul! We have a war to fight. Good day.” With that, he turns and marches back toward the steps.

Galactix says, “Dr. Freyssinet does not show up on my security camera network. She may be aboard a ship.”

Gumble lifts his arm slowly, trying to grasp Yama.

Melissa shuffles closer to Gumble before removing her medical kit and opening it up on the floor.

Yama exhales through his mouth, blowing out in frustration. “If he /isn’t/ in the rebel faction..?”

Melissa growls slightly, eyes shifting to Yama, “Can we forget about the rebels for a moment and worry about the Senator.”

Gumble grabs at Yama’s arm and pulls him forward. “Two days…” he utters.

Grimalk steps through the double doors into the command quarter.

Grimalk has left.

Yama winces as his suit’s arm is savaged by the evil machinations of the Thul, and their slime. “What, eh?” He says, as he pulls off as quickly as possible.

Gumble pants heavily and looks up at Yama, “Two days…before we are all dead.”

Melissa frowns slightly at this piece of news but she is already busy pulling out a medical scanner, interested in this one patient, for the next two hours rather then the next two days.

Yama raises his eyebrows. “Bugger. The Thul?”

Gumble glances back at Melissa excitedly and grabs at the scanner in her hand excitedly, “No…mmmm…don’t you understand? You must not tamper….mmmmm….or we will die….”

Melissa looks back at Gumble but does not fight as he grabs her arm, “Look..i’m not tampering, i’m scanning you, trying to figure out what those bastards did to you and then how i’m going to fix it.”

Gumble’s head wobbles then falls backward as he goes into a series of mumbling.

Gumble utters, “Bomb….I have…a bomb…”

Freyssinet arrives from Command Quarter .

Freyssinet has arrived.

Yama looks about, his eyes darting in panic. “Hell!”

Kirk arrives from Command Quarter .

Kirk has arrived.

Melissa takes these to be silly ramblings, “‘course senator….we gotta get you up to med bay alright..” she informs him of everythign every step along the way. Reaching into her medkit she pulls out a pneumatic injector and frowns slighlty as she presses it against Gumble’s arm.

Yama bites his lip, leaning into Melissa. He whispers to her ear. “Can we quarantine him on say, Yptarn?”

Kirk steps in with Frey.

Gumble is lying on the floor by the senate table covered in slime, bugs, and blood. Melissa and yama are stooped next to him.

Melissa looks back towards Yama and her eyebrows rise, “What?! Are you crazy? He needs to be in med bay, for what crazy reason would you want to put him on a planet?”

Freyssinet enters the room with Kirk, followed by 2 medics handling a stretcher. “Senator Gumble ?” She exclaims ; and nearly runs toward him.

Gumble turns to Yama, “If we don’t get them their money…mmm…..we have no choice but for me to leave……mmmmm…..”

Kirk looks over to Grumbles and winces at the sight. He looks to Frey and hen back to Grumble.

Freyssinet kneels toward Gumble, and calls the 2 medics. “Put the senator on the stretcher !” To Mel “OK, how is he ?”

Yama shifts his head to Gumble. “If he’s a bloody bomb on his person, how do we really know when it’s going to get off? You’re going to risk the /entire ship/ on the Thul’s ability to program a bomb effectively?”

Gumble grabs Yama again and pulls him forward, “Not ON me….mmmmmmmmmm….*IN* me…..”

Yama grates his teeth at Gumble’s manhandling. “Either way, a large bleeding bomb in the ship!”

Melissa is squatting next to him, scanner in hand. She frowns as she shifts towards Gumble, preparing to assist the medics in moving him, “There are no medical facilities on Ytarn how the he..” she pauses as the senator gets excited, she places a hand calmingly on his shoulder, regardless of the slime, “Easy Senator..easy..relax..”

Melissa turns her attention to yama and orders sternly, “Senator, Shut up. We’ll talk once i get him to med bay.”

Freyssinet frowns as Gumble and Yama speaks of a bomb. “We’ll take good care of you, senator.”

Yama stares. “Fine. If you’re not willing to take necessary steps to preserve the ship, i’m going to have to speak with Pendleton.” His jaw is set firm as he moves out the door, slimier than before.

Yama steps through the double doors into the command quarter.

Yama has left.

The 2 medics, winking at the sight of the slimy castori, get ready to put him on a stretcher at Melissa’s signal.

Melissa turns back to Gumble, it takes a moment to collect herself before she speaks, once again in a soothing tone of voice, “Alright Senator..we’re going to move you onto the stretcher, might be a bit uncomfortable but only for a moment..”

Gumble lies back breathing heavily. “I….mmmmmm…no need to risk yourselves….get me….off this …ship and get them their money….” He continues mumbling.

Gumble seems to be staring off into space now.

Melissa places her hands under Gumbles back, “On the count of three.” she instructs the medics, “1…2…3!” and she lifts.

Kirk hears the word bomb as he speaks up, “Doctors, I am afraid that we are going to have to place the senator in a control enviroment now. We don’t need that bom going all in a bad part of the ship, assuming that is doesn’t blow us allup.”

Freyssinet flashes a quick “Sorry” look to Kirk, and asks Mel softly “Did he receive any drugs already ?” To Gumble, she pats his arm trying to reassure him. “No way you get off this ship, senator. Don’t worry for us” she says her most soothing, mezzo-soprano low voice.

Melissa nods slighlty as he’s hoisted and moved onto the stretcher, “Mild pain reliever, al we have in the kits now.” she says with some distaste.” she then shifts her attention to kirk before looking back to the medics, “And he’s getting moved to med bay, you wanna cordon the deck off or whatever, fine. But he needs medical treatment and he ain’t gonna get it sitting here.”

Freyssinet turns to Kirk. “We have no time for that, I fear. We must bring him to Medbay.” She nods at Mel, and tells the medics “Go on, put the senator on the stretcher.”

Kirk nods, “I’ll clear the path.”

Kirk says into his commlink, “I want deck one cleared for a path t the Lifts then a path cleared on deck 6 straight to Medbay, medical emergany!””

Gumble continues mumbling, “mmmmmm….the thul….not to trust them….”

Kirk nods and looks to the Doctors, “You have a clear path.”

Melissa nods towards the door, “lets move it..keep him steady.”

Gumble closes his eyes and seemingly falls unconscious.

Freyssinet grins quickly in thanks to Kirk. “We follow” ; then she stands up with her crutch, and head out with Melissa and the medics.

Melissa continues monitoring him with her scanner as they move toards the door.

Melissa steps through the double doors into the command quarter.

Melissa has left.

You step through the double doors into the command quarter.

Command Quarter

Bright white lights gleam from overhead mounts, illuminating the angular gray bulkheads in this broad chamber near the relative top of the Sanctuary colony vessel. Footsteps echo along the riveted deck plates. Security cameras swivel, taking in a full sweep of the domed chamber.

Colonial police, Vanguard enlisted personnel and warriors from the Nall Clawed Fist Fleet stand guard outside a pair of large double doors marked with a stylized dove bearing an olive branch in its beak. An archway leading into a high-ceilinged chamber is emblazoned with a glowing blue disc. Another chamber has double doors marked with the icon of a small humanoid figure seated at a desk. A sealed hydraulic door at the extreme forward end of the chamber is marked with a bright crimson circle.

Antigrav lifts are available for passage to lower decks.

Freyssinet arrives from Senate Chamber .

Freyssinet has arrived.

You step up to the tube door and press the call button

Kirk arrives from Senate Chamber .

Kirk has arrived.

The lift door slides open quietly

A way to the lift is clear as people stand out of the way.

You enter Lift 1.

Lift 1

A cylindrical chamber, large enough to hold perhaps a dozen humanoids. Soft lighting from the ceiling shines off the curved steel walls. The only item of interest is a small panel listing possible destinations and controls.

Freyssinet steps in through the door

Freyssinet has arrived.

Melissa steps in through the door

Melissa has arrived.

Kirk steps in through the door

Kirk has arrived.

Freyssinet enters the lift with Gumble – on a stretcher- and 2 medics.

Melissa seems to be continously scanning gumble as she stands next to his stretcher, eyes on the scanner.

Freyssinet pushes a button on the lift panel.

A disembodied electronic voice says, “En route to Medical Quarter”.

Melissa grumbles to herself as she monitors the scanner.

The door slides shut with a whoosh.

Trillan is leaning against the back wall of the lift, straightening at the sudden crowd that squeezes in.

The lift begins to accelerate downwards.

The lift decelerates.

The lift stops and the door slides open revealing Medical Quarter

Kirk steps in and then steps out as the door opens.

Kirk steps through the exit

Kirk has left.

Melissa steps through the exit

Melissa has left.

Freyssinet steps through the exit

Freyssinet has left.

You step through the exit

Medical Quarter

The angled bulkheads in this relatively small pocket of air and steel within the Sanctuary colony ship are painted sterile white and emblazoned with bright red crosses indicating that this deck is dedicated to medical arts.

Custodial bots routinely sweep whirringly across the floor and along the walls, doing their best to eradicate harmful bacteria and other contagions from the chamber. A slot in one bulkhead is marked with the lethal-looking crimson flower signifying biohazards and a label: MEDICAL WASTE.

Archways lead into Sanctuary’s medical treatment, forensics examination and biohazard containment wards. Antigrav lifts are available for passage to other decks.

You head into Medical Bay .

Medical Bay

The medical bay would rival a fully equipped planetside hospital. It has been divided into operating theaters, isolation wards, intensive care wards, recovery rooms, and examination rooms. Doctors offices have doctors from every race know to allow those coming here comfort in relating to someone of their own kind. A pharmecutical dispensing facility has been set up with around the clock staffing to allow those with minor aches and pains access to medications. This area is kept super sterile and clean as a pin.

Freyssinet arrives from Medical Quarter .

Freyssinet has arrived.

Melissa arrives from Medical Quarter .

Melissa has arrived.

Gumble’s eyes drift open again. “MMmmmmm Rainhawk….Drezin….are they all right? MMMmmmMMM?”

As they enter med bay has already been prepped for their arrival, a private room in ICU has been cleared and awaits the Senator, two armed guards standing outside of it.

Kirk arrives from Medical Quarter .

Kirk has arrived.

Freyssinet rushes into Medbay. scanning Gumble. “Yes, they are alright, senator.”

Thazz arrives from Medical Quarter .

Thazz has arrived.

Kirk walks with the group heading to the MEdbay.

Thazz casually walks into the medical bay, glancing around.

the 2 medics carry Gumble away in the ICU room prepared for him, clearly disgusted by the oozy castori.

Gumble smiles, a seemingly calm expression crossing his face. “MMMmmm good…..ahhhhh he believed me….”

The medics stop just beside the bed as Melissa asks, “Senator..think you can make it onto the bed with our help?”

Kirk looks to Melissa, “Should I call a bomb specialist in from the Vanguard?”

Gumble weakly looks over at Melissa and gently shakes his head. “mmmmmmm No…….”

Freyssinet rushes after the medics, and enters ICU with them.

Thazz walks over to Kirk. “Hello. What’s going on here?”

Kirk looks to Thazz, “Please stand back. Medical Emergancy.”

Thazz accordingly gets out of the way. It’s obvious that he’s quite curious and has no idea what’s going on.

Melissa nods slowly, placing an already slime covered hand on his shoulder, “Alright..on the count of three we

Gumble’s ears perk up slightly as he hears Kirk. “MMMmmmm no…it won’t help….must not touch it…” he turns back to Melissa, “Doctor…you must promise me….you will not touch my head at all….mmmmmmm…promise me….”

Freyssinet inspects Gumble’s circular burn on the head.. “How did you get the burn, senator ?”

Melissa says, “On the count of three we’ll move you then. 1…2….3.”

Freyssinet inspects Gumble’s circular burn on the head without touching it. “How did you get the burn, senator ?”

Freyssinet frowns. “Is it connected to the bomb ?”

The medics lift on three and the stretcher is remoed, the Sneator now lies on a traditional med bed.

On further inspection, Freyssinet also notices to pencil sized circles burned in the side of his head as well.

Melissa shifts her eyes to Frey and frowns slighlty, “You missed the Thul’s first time around didn’t you?” itsobvious she did not. She shifts her eyes to Gumble, “One thing at a time, alright Senator? Now…your choice.” she seems to be giving him as many option as she can, “Shall we clean you off first, give you something for the pain, or see about yoru injuries?”

Freyssinet acknowledges Thazz’s presence, and whispers to him.

Kirk stands back now and out of the way as the doctors go to work.

Freyssinet whispers to Thazz.

Thazz nods at Freyssinet’s whisper. “Thanks.” He turns and walks out of the medical bay.

Gumble looks back to Melissa, “Get me the Senate…get Pendleton…”

Kirk looks to Frey with curouisty and then to Thazz. He wonders as a part of him wonders about that. He looks back to Frey.

Gumble spits and a blue and purple bug ejects from his mouth and flies across the bed. “MMmmmm and get these horrible things off of me….mmmmmm”

Melissa shkaes her head slighlty, “Thats Senator Yama’s job, Senator. Not mine. Mine is to get you better..now pick from the choices i gave you. I’m sure you’d like to get somethign warm in your stomach..or get this slime off of you.”

Melissa nods slightly, “We can do that..” she shifts her eyes to Freysinnet, “Hvae the nurses get a portable bathing station in here.”

Gumble falls unconscious again.

Thazz heads into Medical Quarter .

Thazz has left.

Melissa frowns slighlty as he does so, eyes moving up to the monitors as she tries to pinpoint just why he keeps losing conciousness.

Freyssinet nods to Mel, and call nurses. “A potable bath,at ICU”. Then she asks Kirk in a pressong tone “Please, Darling, step out of the ICU. It could become more dangerous.”

Kirk steps from the ICU and walks into the waiting area.

Spotting one of the insects crawling on her own hands, melissa steps to the sink, turning the water on, she effectively removes the bulk of the slime from her hands while flusihgin the little bugger down the sink.

Freyssinet bites her lips and follows the monitors too. “So, what else should I know about the Thulls, Dr Fernandez ?” She asks.

Kirk heads into Medical Quarter .

Kirk has left.

Melissa speaks over the sink, “They’re interest in us is inreality an interest in our brain matter..particularly the pituary gland.” she turns the water off and turns back towards Freyssinet, “last time it was several children which they abducted, unfortuantelly, althugh technologically advanced it seems they don’t bevelieve in anesthetics..but then again, we’re effectively large lab rats to them.” she says walking back towards Gumble.

2 nurses step in the ICU with the portable bath.

Freyssinet frankly grimaces at the mention of Kids being lab-rats. “I see the type … Did those children had any hormonal problem afterwards ?”

Gumble drifts into unconsciousness, where he remains for another day.

The three day ordeal comes to a close as Gumble is returned to the Sanctuary, but it is far from over. Gumble still has a bomb attached inside his head set to explode in two days, IF he lasts that long with the immense head trauma and loss of blood. Tune in next week for the exciting conclusion to our story…