A rescue force composed of Vanguard officers and civilian personnel receive an emergency message from Newt Panderyn: The Thul have them aboard a research vessel near B’hira, a planet that is now home to the evil Ri’Kammi Hive Minders. The Thul want to make a deal with their old masters, the Ri’Kammi – allow them to live in peace, without Hiver intervention, and the Thul would provide many denizens of Sanctuary for the Hivers to wreak vengeance for their obliteration (during Arc I: The Price of Expedience). Can our heroes make it in time to stop the Thul and save their comrades?

– LoneWolf –

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A long narrow room with doors coming in from the left, right, and rear of the ship. There are some consoles near the front of the ship and some status panels near the rear of the room. There is a large window looking out towards the front of the ship.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Kai shrugs, “Not really sure. Never had a chance to test my range.”

MacTabar nods at Fireeyes and turn at Jest: “You are an engineer, am I right?”

LeBeau glances back “Well day wan us to surrender no only us, bu all o sanctuary fo some allies o dares. Day say day will take da children an da breeding pairs wha e’er dat means.”

Denick nods, “Try to reach the ship, one of the children is a mystic, he might be able to hear you.”

Jest’liana nods, “I am..”

Shadowfur glances around the crowd a bit, and spots Firemane. Oh good, at least someone else he knows decently here. Another Demarian too, even better. So guess who he goes to bug…

Kai nods, “Will do.” Kai reaches out psionically, trying to reach whatever he can on the other ship.

Rackman nods as he puts his gun away. “Yea, I know her too. I had the pleasure of her kneeing me in the nuts.”

Denick glances to Jest’liana, “Do you know if Newt is a telepath? I thought I heard that he was once.”

Firemane looks at LeBeau and gives a quiet growl, but otherwise stays silent and waits for Kai to finish.

“Newt is Ungstiri. Not a telepath. The boy, Remus is a Mystic though…” Jest blows a kiss to Rackman.

Kai continues, yelling psionically, “Can anyone hear me?”

Denick frowns, “Some Ungstiri and others of human decent have been known to be psychic.”

Fireeyes hmms, saying coldly, as nothing else seems prudent in his honorable eyes, “Well, they are looking for the correct genetic code right?” He looks down for a second, considering his next move, “Well, we perhaps someone can talk them into connecting with us, in… an exchange for the kids. I will offer myself in as a bargaining chip. While linked, someone should sneak onboard.”

LeBeau says, “Oh an aboud da Mystic, afder day tole me to surrender I tol dem to mo o less go to hell….an day said day were gonna kill da Mystic, doh I tink day ar bluff we need some options”

Kai shrugs, “Not a blasted thing.”

Jest’liana shakes her head, “I don’t think so.” She says to Denick. She looks to Fireeyes. “You might need to offer more than you. We could pick our best fighters and offer them up as subjects. Try and toast em.” She looks to Lebeau.

Shadowfur says, “Well, glad I’m not a best fighter if that’s our best option….”

Rackman raises an eyebrow as Jest blows a kiss at him. He is slightly stunned and then tries to focus on what is going on and tries to think of an idea. He then listens to Fireeyes, “and you know the risk is great, and I’ll try and sneak aboard”

Fireeyes looks to the others, “If anyone else is willing. Perhaps we can create a tasty enough bargain for them to take the risk.”

Denick closes his eyes, resting against his seat.

Firemane looks at Jest and shakes her head. “It won’t work, not if we end up in a locked room, or on a experment table.”

Kai looks around slowly, a thoughtful expression on his face.

Shadowfur uhs. “Yeah. What she said. That’d be much a Bad Thing ™” *cue ominous music*shakes his head: “No, I don’t trust these monsters. They will take you and not give the hostages back. I think storming the ship would be a better option, if we only can go past their shields.”

Jest’liana shrugs, “Then I say we go in fighting. If Snowmist dies, if Remus dies… we may still save the others. And we will definitely save any future test subjects.”

LeBeau says, “I say we mov en, ‘ll attempt to disable da ship’s generador. Dat should lower da shields an keep dem from running off, an en da confusion we should hav enough time to link”

Kai turns to LeBeau, “Would an escape pod make it through their shilds?”

Rackman nods, “and who knows what other species they may have”

Firemane nods at LeBeau and Jest. “My thoughts exactly.”

Jest’liana nods in agreement with MacTabar and LeBeau. “We have enough here to do carnage. But we damn well BETTER be organized.”

Fireeyes nods to Jest, “I guess the vote demands an attack.”

Kai asks again, “Would an escape pod make it through their shields? We may be able to get their shields offline by sending someone over.”

Shadowfur huffs a sigh, ears laying back slightly. Misty had better be worth this…

Firemane says, “But not until we are damn sure of the battle plan. I have no intention of dying before I finish this.”

Rackman nods, “That is what I said Kai. I’ll go over ok”

Kai nods to Rackman, “We still need to know if it will work.”

“Rackman you have no clue how to disable shields.” Jest snorts.

Shadowfur looks at Firemane. “And dying after it’s finished is acceptable?”

Rackman looks over to Jest. “I’ll blow the damn things up so they can not come back online. I’ll set this pistol on overload and make it backfire and blow what ever they use up”

Fireeyes looks around to the mass of people within this ship, wondering what plan they shall take.

Kai stands silently, listening and waiting.

Jest’liana walks over to Rackman, eyes grave.

Firemane turns to Shadowfur, it’s probably a good job you can’t see her eyes. “We have no choice, I’m not leaving anyone with the damn slugs.”

LeBeau shakes his head “As much as I hade to say dis if we ar going to do some sord o preemtive strike den dis es a military madder an Major Denick would be encharge. Da decision es hes

Shadowfur nods. “Ditto that. I’d just rather do it with my own brains still in my skull and not sucked out by some slime-infested space monster…”

LeBeau looks back at the console as he picks up some thing in his ear piece

Firemane turns to LeBeau and nods quietly. “Well Major Denick, it’s your field.. You lead.”

Rackman looks over to as Jest once again comes near him and he doesn’t look like he is about to back down from his words.

Kai glances at LeBeau, “What is it?”

Fireeyes turns his attention to LeBeau.

Jest’liana leans against the wall next to Rackman and looks to Denick.

Fireeyes explains a little of his plan, “I didn’t mean an -actual- trade. Just merely a coverup so we can link with them.”

Denick opens his eyes, and shakes his head as if to clear it, muttering, “To far…” He looks up, “I don’t insist on leading this, I have more experience in space than in the field, somebody might be more suited for the job.”

LeBeau says, “Ids an emergancy becon, some one has activade one aboard da Probos. Somewhere en da rear, ‘ll assume dat es where da hostages ar being keep an who e’er send dat firs message es no sending da beacon”

Kai says, “But what prevents them from just zaping what we trade straite to him.”

“We send someone who can defend themselves. Maybe more than one.” Jest says calmly.

Denick looks up, “I can get out of any restraints they put me in.”

Rackman looks over at her and then shakes his head. He then looks over to Fireeyes, then looks to Denick, “Look, you slap me in a space suit and help me find a way through their shields and I’ll get those shields down so you can get them off, ok. I am a private with nothing to lose but my life. I am willing to risk the chance if you can get me through those shields”

Fireeyes looks to Kai, “Perhaps they -can’t-. Maybe their teleportation technology requires too much energy, otherwise, they could’ve grabbed us all back there.”

Firemane snarls slightly and paces down to the far end of the room, trying hard to cover her frustration.

Shadowfur looks up at the mentions of restraints, and idly digs in a sleeve. “I’ve got some lockpicks in here somewhere…”

Kai shrugs, “But perhaps they dont /want/ all of us.”

Fireeyes again answers Kai, “Why not? Think, would they threaten us and tell us to back off if they were superiorly armed, or had the ability to decrew this ship in seconds?”

Kai raises his hand hesitantly, “I.. um.. I perhaps could ‘persuade’ them in this trade idea. It’s been my profession in the past to do just that.”

Shadowfur ahahs, and produces a small case from under his coat. “Someone said something about getting out of restraints? I’ve had to escape my share of cuffs before..”

“Denick, is that the choice? Send in one person to sabotage?” Jest says, ignoring all others.

LeBeau looks to Denick “Major yer en charge, ids up to yu wha we do. Do we try to take oud dare power source wit a volloy o shods fomr da Wolf o try to negotiade wit dem

Firemane turns and stalks up towards the front end of the cabin, waiting for Denick’s decision.

Kai continues, “I’ve got experience in acting as well as evading notice. If I made it in I also have a bit of computer programing, and….errr… hacking skills.”

Fireeyes nods, “It’s worth a try Kai. Afterall, we have a free chance with diplo relations, but only one involving armed conflict guys, and gals.”

Hunter looks from LeBeau to Denick.

Denick frowns, “I suggest negotiation, I do know that if we begin to fire on them, they will most likely kill the hostages.”

Jest’liana takes a set of lockpicks out of her shirt. It is a professional set… well used.

Shadowfur takes an idle moment while looking for his little toys to make sure he’s got his pistol.. Whew. Yep. Okay, now he feels semi-prepared…

Kai smirks slightly at Jest, “A good thing to have.”

Firemane smiles and pulls out a set of lockpicks of her own. “I think most of us can get out of restraints.” She grins.

Kai grins again, “Am I the only one that just stole the keys?”

Shadowfur smirks at Jest and Firemane. “Well, aren’t we a talented little bunch.”

Jest’liana smiles, “I am not about to get into a pissing contest with you, boy. Or any of you. Not when we don’t know what we are doing yet…” She says quietly.

Denick raises an eyebrow at the ammount of illegal tools being displayed, but turns his eyes towards LeBeau.

Fireeyes nods, “So they are the bargaining chips them? Even if they do take you guys, you -will- be on the inside, and Snowmist will be safe.”

Rackman shakes his head and is a bit ticked. He moves through everyone and heads to the cargo bay for some room.

LeBeau shakes his head “Major ‘m no asking wha yu sugges id es yer call as to wha we do. We eider sid here an talk wit dem which has don nodding so far bu see dem threan us an take Mist. We could try to sen someone aboard wit I tink es a stupid idea no madder who goes, o we try to disable da ship

Grainer looks to Denick, “Sir, if we do go with this diplomacy plan, I think it’d be a good idea to send in more than one person, an entourage as it would be..”

Kai glances at Rackman before returning his gaze to the general populus of the room.

“We have to do something now.” Jest says. “Sitting here is stupid.”

Firemane swallows and nods. “If Major Denick thinks it’s a good idea, I will go.” She shrugs. “But lets do something, and fast.”

Kai nods, “Yes, lets.”, then turning to Denick, “Whats the plan?”

Shadowfur nods. “Best we pick something and get on with it..”

Denick’s mouth turns into a hard line, and then asks, “Let me use the comm, we have to try once more before we send anyone in.”

Fireeyes nods, “How about a vote if Denick doesn’t feel like making a call. All those in favor of trying a little covert infiltration through diplomacy say aye, those oppose say nay.”

Kai says, “Aye, I’m for the covert way.”

Fireeyes votes aye.

LeBeau stands and motions to Denick to take the controls

Denick does so, and puts on the headset.

Kai watches Denick quietly.

Shadowfur says, “Aye. Can’t be any worse than what I’ve gotten out of before… I hope..”

Jest’liana walks overs over to LeBeau and murmurs.

LeBeau nods slowly to Jest and whispers back

Firemane turns to Shadowfur and frowns. “I hate to say this, but if they *do* get us, and we don’t escape, it will be one of the worst experiences of your life, trust me.”

MacTabar shudders

Kai frowns, nodding, “But we have to try to rescue them.”

Fireeyes says, “But we will be linked, to try other attempts as well.”

Denick curses, “They’re going to self destruct, disable them, now.”

Denick unmans the Navigation Console.

LeBeau mans the Navigation Console.

Jest’liana looks up sharply.

Kai gasps, “What?! Why?”

Firemane swears violently in Demarian.

LeBeau nods and goes into action

Denick mutters, “The buggers probably zapped themselves away..”

You feel a sudden jerk as the ship speeds up.

Kai begins muttering curses under his breath.

Hunter arches an eyebrow and mutters, “Oh hell…”

You feel a sudden jerk as the ship speeds up.

Fireeyes growls underneath his breath, “I suggest we get this attack organized in the airlock, while LeBeau handle things up here.”

Fireeyes heads into Air Lock.

Shadowfur snaps open his case, picks a few of the tiny tools out, and sticks them up under his gloves. Just in case. “Thanks Firemane, I really needed to be remi–” He stops with a yelp and looks up, followed by a best untranslated Demarian string of curses. Too bad the two Fire’s still had to hear that mouthful of vulgarity.

Denick nods to the others, “Get ready to board, I’d appreciate if you’d get them organized jest.”

MacTabar asks about: “What about the distress beacon? Do you still pick it?”

Kai continues frowning and cursing, then slipping into a street talk of sorts, “Can we kill da blasted hacks before they vape themselves?”

Firemane walks over to the airlock and looks back to Jest, waiting silently for her instructions.

Kai heads to the airlock again.

You feel the ship begin to slow.

Jest’liana nods, “Alright.” She looks to the others. “All boarding, get over here. And leave Lebeau and Denick alone, they can disable the ship fine without interfernce.” She walks to the airlock.

Shadowfur’s ears lay back as he follows. “And I didn’t even say it couldn’t get any worse, and it still did..”

You feel a slight force as the ship glides to a halt …

LeBeau says, “Ok da shields hav been lowerd bu day ar sed to self destru. I sugges a team go aboard fin da hostages an ged back here as fas as yu can”

Grainer follows Firemane’s actions and heads to the airlock, hand going to his pistol.

You feel a sudden jerk as the ship speeds up.

Denick frowns, “How long? Can you tell from any scanner readings?”

Kai pulls his right glove on tighter.

Jest’liana begins talking, not going through the airlock so that they can still hear Lebeau. “We go in. We stay together unless ORDERED to split. We head to the back where we got the readings and shoot anyone that isn’t us. Got it?”

Fireeyes heads towards the Airlock, poised for action, but not fighting for the front like a lemming.

Kai nods, “Got it.

Firemane reaches to the back of her lower arm and presses something. “Understood.” She seems remarkably calm.

Shadowfur puts away his case of toys, and pulls out his pistol instead. “This is gonna be looooads of fun….”

LeBeau says, “Da message said 37 blarnesh, yu tell me wha a blarnsh es an I can help yu oud wit a time frame”

You feel the ship begin to slow.

Kai holds his right hand slightly infront of him, aimed forwards.

You feel a slight force as the ship glides to a halt …

Denick curses, “Self destructs are set to minutes at most, seconds at worst, and it’s proably close to one of those.

Rackman returns from the cargo hold as he is a little more relaxed. He stands at the entrance of it and waits to hear what is going on.

You feel a sudden jerk as the ship speeds up.

MacTabar turns to LeBeau “Check again in 1 minute, so we can make a conversion”

Kai glances at Rackman, “We are boarding, coming?

Denick nods, “C’mon people, we may not have much time to get them out, lets get ready to do this.”

Grainer sees the private and waves him over to the group by the airlock, “Private, you’re over here. Get ready to board the other ship.”

You feel the ship begin to slow.

Rackman nods, “Hell yea”

Jest’liana nods, scanning the group. The normally sensual woman sounds like a drill seargent. “Alright. One demarian in front, other in back…might need your noses. Everyone keep up.” She heads to the airlock.

You head into Air Lock.

Air Lock

– LoneWolf –

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A small, narrow tube leading to the cockpit.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Firemane turns to Fireeyes. “You take point.”

The ring in the center of Kai’s glove begins to glow slightly green.

Denick unholsters his automatic pulse pistol, and holds it at the ready.

Shadowfur says, “Good thing we’ve got three cats here then..”

Rackman has his weapon drawn and ready.

Grainer pulls his own pistol out.

Kai mutters, “Now I get to field test this blasted thing.”

Firemane’s arms sprout 10 inch long lengths of steel.

Jest’liana looks at Rackman, and then the others and says quietly. “Nothing to drastic guys. We don’t have much time.. We are going to have to Run..”

Kai raises an eyebrow at Firemane, “Nice weapon.”

Shadowfur mrowrs softly at Firemane, felinoid equivelent to a whistle. “Niiiiice.”

Firemane chuckles quietly. “Thanks.” She turns to Jest. “I can run.”

Grainer nods to Jest, “So I gathered.”

Denick nods, “I’ll keep trying to raise the mystic boy telepathically.”

Fireeyes merely narrows his eyes, not drawing any secret weapon, pulling anything out of his jacket, just occasionally flexing a claw in anticipation.

Kai nods to Denick, “Do, that. If ya need help I’ll do what I can.”

Jest’liana smiles at Grainer and then Denick. She chuckles and takes out her blaster. The soft hum as it powers begins. She switches the safety off.

Shadowfur flexes his free hand, eyeing his freshly manicured claws, and really wishing he had a knife or something right now…

Rackman looks to Firemanes 10 steel blades and then he looks to Jest. He then gets ready to get aboard and do damage, note he is quiet.

“Anyone need a weapon?” Jest asks off handedly.

Kai shrugs, “Nope.”

Fireeyes nods to Jest, “I could use something.”

LeBeau arrives from Cockpit.

LeBeau has arrived.

“Anyone got an extra blaster? All I got is a blade for him?” Jest nods to Fireeyes.

Shadowfur hmms. “I’ve got a gun.” He shrugs a little. “Wouldn’t mind a good blade or something though… just in case this gets up close and brutal…”

Denick pulls the tranq pistol out of the holster at his left side, and tosses it to Fireeyes, “Set the dose as high as you can.”

Firemane pulls out her battle dagger and hands it to Shadowfur. “This do?”

LeBeau says, “Alrigh da ship es linked y god aboud 34 minudes to fin da hostages an ged back here”

Kai looks at Jest, “A blade is good.”

Shadowfur aahs, and chuckles a little at Firemane. “I gues you don’t really need it.”

Jest’liana nods, “Let’s go.” She moves to take point as well..

Denick nods, “C’mon people, let’s get moving.”

Rackman follows the group.

Kai nods following behind Jest.

Firemane nods leaves after Jest and Fireeyes.

Everyone goes aboard the Thul vessel Probos…

Shadowy Corridor <TCV Probos>

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A cramped, narrow corridor that’s about three feet wide and six feet high, with a layer of mist that rolls across the slick-surfaced deck plating. The gridwork walls are backlit by swamp green lamps. One door leads to the ship’s control center, while the opposite door accesses the laboratory.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Fireeyes looks at the locked doors, “Glad you have lockpicks.” He says aloud.

Shadowfur pads through the lock after the others in a slight crouch, already slipping into his familar street-life routines.

Denick glances up at the ceiling, now slightly glad he never made six feet.

[Loudspeaker]: Shelf-deshtruct in 33 blarnsh…

Hunter steps out of the airlock and reaches for his pistol.

Kai crouches slightly, being over six feet tall.

Rackman looks around sharply and nods. He stays at full alert and then looks around slowly.

Firemane is in a severe crouch as she leaves the boarding link, but she looks alert as she moves along.

“LeBeau, check the lab, quick. Last three stay and watch his back. Others, with me.” Jest says.

Jest’liana inserts her ID card into the slot by the Octagonal Door door.

The Octagonal Door door’s light flashes FAIL and remains closed.

Grainer has arrived.

Kai frowns, “Time for the lockpicks?”

Shadowfur mrrfs at the small size, and crouches down farther. “Hope this means they’re small aliens…”

Jest’liana moves to try and pick the lock on said door, eyes focused. “Yeah, or blow it off its hinges?”

Denick looks at the door, “Let me try.” He steadies himself against a wall, his eyes glazing over.

This is a fairly heavy sliding door with a small slot next to it, in a position so you can comfortably reach it with one of your hands. Above the slot are two small lights, one yellow and labeled “OPEN”, the other blue and labeled “FAIL”.

The door is currently closed.

Kai nods in full agreement with Shadow, “I know the feeling.”

LeBeau nods as he draws his pistol from its holster on his thigh and leans against the wall and ducks in towards the open door

Rackman gets ready to follow the group.

Firemane shakes her head at the complainers and moves to follow LeBeau.

LeBeau inserts his ID card into the slot by the Laboratory door.

The Laboratory door’s light flashes FAIL and remains closed.

Fireeyes inserts his ID card into the slot by the Octagonal Door door.

The Octagonal Door door’s light flashes FAIL and remains closed.

Kai frowns, and asks LeBeau, “Shoot it?”

[Loudspeaker]: Shelf-deshtruct in 32 blarnsh…

Rackman shakes his head, “Let me blow it open”

Firemane frowns. “I can pick it.”

Fireeyes moves back, letting the Vannies get a clear shot.

Kai says, “Try the picks first, no backwash.”

Denick shakes his head, to clear it, and says, “No time, stand back everyone, it might reflect the shots.”

Denick raises his pistol, pointing it at the door.

Kai takes several steps back but says, “Try the picks, if that takes too long, then shoot it.”

Firemane nods and moves back, her movements clearly restricted due to her lack of headroom.

Kai sighs and backs up some more, dropping into a half crouch.

Shadowfur uhboys and scoots out of the way of possible backfire, going down to all fours for the moment, but keeping his gun clenched tightly in one hand

Rackman nods as he aims his gun at the door they need open. “Tell me when” He stands a few few from it to try and avoid blast particles.

Jest’liana takes a breath, and her eyes narrow. She remains focused on trying to unlock the door. Though her eyes flicker to the action at the lab door.

Grainer crouches behind some raised piping to protect himself.

Hunter makes sure he’s out of the way and crouched down to one knee.

Denick notes to make sure everyone is away, then squeezes off a low powered test shot.

LeBeau pulls back along the wall standing near the tube leading back to the Wolf

“Make sure you aim careful…” Jest murmurs.

Grainer aims his pistol at the door, in case something appears after the portal has been blow away.

Rackman follows Denicks example and fires a low powered test shot aimed at the door as well to help his shot.

Denick mutters, “Hold your fire private…”

Rackman grumbles and stops.

CLICK! The octagonal door comes unlocked, then WHOOSHES open.

[Loudspeaker]: Shelf-deshtruct in 30 blarnsh…

Kai swings his hand towards the now open door.

The test shots don’t affect the lab door.

Shadowfur turns his attention towards the opening door

Firemane turns to watch Jest, but isn’t going to get closer to the shooters.

Grainer sees the other door open, and turns to aim there instead of at the lab door.

Kai looks at Jest, “Now how about you try the other door?”

Fireeyes walks towards the Octagonal, waiting for the rest.

Rackman turns as he sees the other door open, “what the hell?”

Jest’liana looks up, “Lebeau, take the others through here? I’ll try and get the lab door as well. Firemane, Grainer, Kai, stick with me….” She moves to the lab door.

Denick frowns, “Maybe we should shout? They might be able to hear us.”

Kai nods, moving towards Jest, “Anything I can help with?”

[Loudspeaker]: Shelf-deshtruct in 29 blarnsh…

Grainer nods and stands, finding a better position to backup Jest.

LeBeau moves back to the lab door and pulls out a what looks like a small computer with an ID card attached by some wires and he slides the card in the door and activates the computer and it begins to cycle thru door combonations

Firemane nods and moves to stand next to the Lab door.

Kai mutters, “again with that blarnish thing.”

LeBeau looks back to Jest “Ged to da bridge, see if yu can disable dat self destruc

The first combination failed, LeBeau.

Denick yells, “‘Mist!? Newt!? Can you hear us?”

Jest’liana smiles at Lebeau. “Or not…” She murmurs. “Switch ya’all… my group is going through the octanganalacalish door.” She says in a light tone.

Firemane chuckles and moves to follow Jest.

Grainer nods silently again and stands to follow Jest.

Control Center <TCV Probos>

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A dank chamber overrun with shadows, draped in ribbed black tubing, with gridwork walls backlit by sickly green lamps. A faint mist roils across the slime-slicked deck. Chains clink and clank in the darkness. Round-edged consoles are clustered near the center of the chamber, with glowing blue display screens that show readouts in an alien language that looks like so much scribbled gibberish. A narrow viewport, two feet wide and six feet high, bisects the front bulkhead.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Kai moves up to the Nav console, and begins to examine it.

Shadowfur has arrived.

Kai mans the Navigation Console – Probos.

Jest’liana walks in, blaster up and ready to shoot as she scans the room. “Kai… can you stop the self destruct?”

Firemane stays by the door, still bent over due to the size of this place.

[Loudspeaker]: Shelf-deshtruct in 28 blarnsh…

Kai mutters, “Seems standard enough systems. Though alien.”

Denick frowns, “Looks like the control center, you have this covered Jest?”

Jest’liana nods, “Go. Join the others.”

Kai begins to attempt to disable the self destruct code in the computer.

From Shadowy Corridor <TCV Probos>, LeBeau yells, “We ar comming, we jus hav to ged pas da door. Jus hole on”

Jest’liana looks over Kai’s shoulder as he attempts this, trying to gather all the knowledge she can.

Shadowfur’s tail twitches back and forth slowly. “Anyone else find it disturbing there isn’t anyone other than us here?”

Kai continues slowly pushing buttons, attempting to make sure of what they are as he works with them.

[Loudspeaker]: Shelf-deshtruct in 27 blarnsh…

Kai nods distractedly at Shadow, “Yeh. No kidding.”

IC comm from Denick: “Jest, we’ve got them, they’re in the lab.”

Grainer nods to Shadow, “I do….” He continues to look around, on alert.

“Kai, you /know/ this stuff?” Jest demands quietly, “I’m an engineer….” She looks to Shadowfur and nods.

Kai asks, “Anyone got a datapad, or what-not?”

Kai nods, “Used to do it all the time. Took down ATMs. Got the whole Timonae news station rerouted to Kora once.”

[Loudspeaker]: Shelf-deshtruct in 26 blarnsh…

Kai smirks, “How do you think I got my ship?”

Firemane shifts slightly, looking a little nervous. “This ship.. Bad memories.” She shakes her head as her gaze flicks around the room.

Kai continues pushing buttons, speeding up now as he familiarizes himself with the controls.

Jest’liana murmurs to her comm.

Shadowfur uuuughs. “Can we talk less about it, and just do it? And hurry?…”

IC Comm from Jest to Denick: ‘Good. Get them aboard the ship..?Kai is trying to hack in the system… we’ll join in three minutes….’.

Kai frowns, “I think I can take the reactor off line, but thats life support too.”

“They got the kids. Kai, you got two minutes, then we bug out no matter what…” Jest says. “Do not touch the reactor..” She grins.

Kai nods, “Good.”

[Loudspeaker]: Shelf-deshtruct in 25 blarnsh…

Firemane nods and smiles. “This is giving me a backache.” She deadpans.

Kai continues punching buttons, “Hmm, little strange in here…”

Jest’liana winks at Firemane. “You know it. You and Grainer want to head back. I got Kai’s back…” She looks sharply to Kai, “They could have trapped it…” She warns.

Kai asks again, “Think anyone has a datapad?”

Firemane shakes her head. “No, first on last off.” She says, voice calm.

Kai nods, “I know, its mostly file structure though, Obviously not any race I know.”

Jest’liana takes up the comm and murmurs again.

IC Comm from Jest to Denick: ‘What is the situation?’.

Grainer quickly searches his pockets, wondering where he put that morning’s report.

[Loudspeaker]: Shelf-deshtruct in 24 blarnsh…

Kai continues typing, “There’s engines……”

Grainer sighs, “Musta left it on my bunk…”

Kai shrugs, “Here goes nothing.”, He then attempts to hack the system’s access to disable the destruct.

[Loudspeaker]: Shelf-deshtruct in 23 blarnsh…

Firemane frowns and turns to watch Kai, her breath held.

Shadowfur says, “As you humans say, cross your fingers..”

The first attempt fails…with the following consequence…

“Okay. The kids are chained down, they are working on freeing him. Kai, if there is any problem at all, back off, okay? We still have a little time..” Jest advises, then leaves the determenation up to him.

Kai nods, not even bothering to say he’s Timonae.

[Loudspeaker]: COMPUTER TAMPERING DETECTED: COUNTDOWN ADVANSHED – Shelf-deshtruct in 10 blarnsh…

Kai nods at Jest, “Don’t think it worked.” Kai curses, “Ok, we go, out now!”

Shadowfur says, “No shit sherlock…”

Jest’liana’s eyes narrow. “Up. Now. Go.”

IC Comm from Jest to Denick: ‘Done. You got the kids?’.

Firemane swears in Demarian. “Not good..” She waits for the others to leave. “First on, last off, I mean it.”

You head into Shadowy Corridor <TCV Probos>.

Shadowy Corridor <TCV Probos>

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A cramped, narrow corridor that’s about three feet wide and six feet high, with a layer of mist that rolls across the slick-surfaced deck plating. The gridwork walls are backlit by swamp green lamps. One door leads to the ship’s control center, while the opposite door accesses the laboratory.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Jest’liana points, “Board the ship. Now.” She runs for the lab. She doens’t include Firemane in her order though…taking the woman at her word.

Shadowfur arrives from Control Center <TCV Probos>.

Shadowfur has arrived.

You head into Dim Chamber <TCV Probos>.

Dim Chamber <TCV Probos>

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Rackman steps out of the way, “Where are the aliens?”

Snowmist reflexively flinches away at the sound of pistol fire and their proximity.

Denick says, “Bastards probably zapped themselves away somewhere else.”

Jest’liana runs in, jaw tight. “This place has become socially uncouth, all…” She notes mildly, “The aliens left long time ago. What is going on with the kids?” Her eyes move to the table.

Newt says, “S-s-shoot the ch-chains and p-ppipe.”

Denick’s shot successfully blasts the chain holding one of Mist’s arms.

[Loudspeaker]: Shelf-deshtruct in 9 blarnsh…

Denick curses, and burst fires the bolt.

Newt says, “Ththuls g-g-gone. I sh-shot one though.” endingi t with a bit of scared pride.

Denick blasts the other one. Snowmist’s hands are free, but her neck and ankles are still bound.

Rackman nods, “Le Beau, Get ready to get that ship of your ready to go, if this ship blows the blast will be big and we need to hit Otherspace when he hits 2 Blarnsh!”

Denick looks towards Jest, “Blow out the bolt under his table.” he nods towards newt.

Jest’liana is already aiming. A half second, and she fires at the bolt under the table. She says, “You did great, Newt…great…”

LeBeau nods and heads back towards the main corridor to warm up the Wolf for departure

LeBeau heads into Shadowy Corridor <TCV Probos>.

LeBeau has left.

Jest’liana’s shot slams into the pipe, breaking it loose. It remains attached to the collar around Newt’s neck. His feet are still bound.

Denick continues to fire on the chains.

[Loudspeaker]: Shelf-deshtruct in 8 blarnsh…

Denick nods towards hunter and rackman, “Get those two.”

Jest’liana moves to the next grouping of Restraints, this set on Mern. She shoots.

Snowmist is completely freed now.

Hunter moves over to Mern’s table. He aims at the bolt under the table. He lets off a shot.

Denick gestures towards mern and remus.

Newt sits up the moment he can, “N-now the f-feet too.” He looks up at Jest, “J-jest?”

Denick nods to mist, “Can you get back to the wolf?”

Mern is freed.

Rackman looks around, gaurding the others. He then goes to help fee the others. He moves over towards Mern and gets under the table and looks at the bolts. He takes aim so tht he does hit mern at one of the bolts and carefully pulls the trigger to blow one off.

Snowmist growls in satisfaction as she finally sits up, rubbing her neck. “Yeah. Need help with the others?”

Denick shakes his head, “Just run back mist.”

Denick takes aim at the chains under Remus, opening fire.

Hunter turns his attention to Remus and takes aim at one of the bolts. He lets off a shot.

Remus is freed.

Jest’liana smiles and nods, “I’ll get it, sweets.” She doesn’t bother to see what effect her last shot for Mern’s restraints took, since Hunter took that. She shoots to free Newt’s feet, being /very/ careful with her aim.

Newt’s ankles are still chained.

Denick quickly strides over to the Mystic’s unconscious form, trying to sling him over his shoulder.

Snowmist slips off the table and turns to Newt, pulling out her own pistol. “Hold on, I got you…” She takes aim underneath and blows out the pin.

Jest’s shots free Newt.

[Loudspeaker]: Shelf-deshtruct in 7 blarnsh…

Jest’liana grins, “Sorry, Snowmist…” She winks. “All free?” She scans quickly.

Now you can sling people over your shoulders at will!

Snowmist snorts, shaking her head with a grin. “Come on then…”

Denick nods to hunter and rackman, “Privates, grab the other.

Fireeyes lifts one of Mern’ arms over his shoulder, attempting to lift the onconscious young human. He looks to Denick.

Rackman looks around, “who needs to be carried?”

Denick nods, “Let’s get the hell out of here.”

Snowmist heads into Shadowy Corridor <TCV Probos>.

Snowmist has left.

Hunter holsters his pistol, “We got everyone?”

Newt says with MUCH relief, “Thanks.” and he tries to slide off the table and onto the floor, only to wind up slipping on the slime with his weakened legs and landing in a thump.

Denick gets out of the room as quickly as he can with the boy slung over his shoulder.

Jest’liana moves by Newt. “Shall we depart?” She asks jauntily.

Hunter moves over and helps Newt up.

Denick has Remus.

[Loudspeaker]: Shelf-deshtruct in 6 blarnsh…

Fireeyes hauls Mern out, heading on without the others.

Rackman has no one.

Jest’liana grabs Newt and heads for the corridor..

Denick says, “Grab him and run, Jest.”

Fireeyes is carrying Mern with him as he steps through the airlock, careful not to bump heads.

Fireeyes has left.

Newt has left.

Rackman has left.

As the timer winds down, everyone escapes back to the Lone Wolf…

Air Lock

– LoneWolf –

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A small, narrow tube leading to the cockpit.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Jest’liana carries Newt further into the ship.

Cockpit

– LoneWolf –

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A long narrow room with doors coming in from the left, right, and rear of the ship. There are some consoles near the front of the ship and some status panels near the rear of the room. There is a large window looking out towards the front of the ship.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Rackman nods, “head count!

Jest’liana whispers, “You alright hon? You actually shot one of them? That is great…” to Newt.

Grainer sees the others arriving and visibly relaxes. “We’re all back? I suggest gettin the hell out.”

LeBeau nods as he turns to the console “Breaking da link and gedding us oud o here

You feel a sudden jerk as the ship speeds up.

Kai grins with relief, “About bloody time, Let’s get home.”

Denick nods, “Jump as soon as you’re able.”

Newt nods, still holding onto Jest tight, “In the eye… it screamed lots.”

MacTabar shouts: “Wait, there’s someone missing.”

Kai looks at Mac, “Who?!”

Shadowfur huhs? “WHO?”

Firemane seems to have withdrawn from the world around her, standing at the back of the room, her gaze utterly unreadable.

Fireeyes arrives from Air Lock.

Fireeyes has arrived.

Denick nods, “There he is.”

Kai asks, “That it?!”

Rackman says, “Go!”

MacTabar says, “That young man that was abducted at Glimmercoat’s. Where is he?”

Snowmist winces and brushes hesitantly at some goop smeared over her with a grimace. Glancing around, she makes her way over to Newt as soon as she finds him.

Grainer watches the viewscreen, waiting to see the other ship go boom.

On the viewscreen, the ship moves quickly away.

Kai points to Mern, “Right there.”

LeBeau looks back “Da self destuc stoped once we lef, ids head fo some rendezous

MacTabar oohs “Oh. Good”

Firemane looks up. “Kill it.”

Kai does a double take at the viewscreen, “Follow it then! its unarmed!”

Jest’liana hugs Newt tight. “You are the bravest kid I know, Newt.”

Kai mutters, “At least I think it is….”

Denick frowns, “Get me on the comm.”

Kai says, “When I was working at the nav of that boat I didn’t find any weapons at all.”

Snowmist slips up beside Newt and Jest and leans over the little Ungstiri.

You feel the ship begin to slow.

Snowmist whispers to Newt.

Rackman walks over to Firemane and smiles a bit, “Hey you” He then turns around as he hears the count down stoped.

Jest’liana looks up, and purses her lips, eyes narrowing. She doesn’t say anything though.

Kai spares a moment to grin at Mist, “Glad to have ya back in one piece.”

Newt hugs back tight and then asks, “Are they gonna blow up the ship?” He turns his head towards Snowmist and says, “I’m ok.”

Firemane returns her attention to her claws, as before, it’s probably a good chance no one can see her eyes, she doesn’t even look up at Rackman.

Shadowfur refrains to pouncing Misty, and instead just comments dryly. “Well, Sharp will be happy your’re safe. I was sorta hoping I wouldn’t have to put up with you anymore.” Well, of course he’s kidding, but no need to spoil his usual demeanor towards her just because they all almost got blown up and stuff

Fireeyes waves his left arm, the one not holding Mern. He grins slightly, “I guess sitting on our butts -was- the best way for once. Weird.”

The ship flares onscreen…and vanishes.

Kai frowns, “Can we follow it?”

Snowmist grins crookedly back at Kai. “Thanks. I’m kinda glad too.” She quirks a whisker toward Shadowfur. “Oh, I’m sure he won’t find out about this little incident at *all*, right Sharky?” she purrs.

LeBeau shakes his head “We could bu ‘m no gonna. We are heading back to Sanctuary

Denick nods, “Get us home, Mr. LeBeau.”

Kai nods, “Probably best. But they don’t deserve escape.”

“They won’t be coming back, Newt.” Jest reassures, even though she cannot make such a claim. She pauses to smile at Snowmist. “Terrorists and now Slugs. Mist, you attract trouble.”

Shadowfur eeehs. “What incident?”

You feel a sudden jerk as the ship speeds up.

MacTabar purses his lips: “If we let them go away, they might come back..”

Grainer frowns, “We should’ve taken the out. I agree with Mr. MacTabar…”

Firemane snorts as she hears Jest’s words, but does not look up from her inspection of her claws. “And we will kill every single one of them.” She says.

Rackman places a hand on Firemane’s shoulder, “Hey, you alive” He tries to get her to at least acknowledge he is there.

Kai nods, “And that matter transporter thing. Went right through our shields.”

Denick asks LeBeau, “Can you get me a sensors read of when they took mist?”

Firemane ignores Rackman’s hand

Snowmist rolls her eyes and gives Jest a pained smile. “Don’t I know it.” Nodding to Shadowfur, she says sternly, “Exactly.”

The ship roars and lurches as it enters OtherSpace.

Newt just keeps on hugging Jest, “Hope not.”

Rackman lowers his hand. “ooo…kay” He turns and heads towards the Cargo Hold, where it is quiet and he can relax and enjoy the peace . He heads that way.

Jest’liana’s eyes go to Mern breifly. But she continues hugging Newt, lending as much reassurance as she can. “Well. You know that we’ll always come for you.” She tries to keep her tone light. “Me, Sha, Lebeau, Mist… Teel would tear apart a ship bare handed, grrrr, to get you back.”

The ship shudders as it drops out of OtherSpace.

Kai frowns, “Well, at least I got an idea of the computer security, that will help next time.”

Newt turns his head away from Snowmist, “Thanks. Told them you’d come for us… How’s Rem tho? And Mern? They didn’t get nothin to eat…”

Kai sighs and walks over to Mern, laying him in a more comfortable spot then he was in.

Denick looks towards Newt, “We’ll get you all to med as soon as we get back.”

Firemane shakes her head silently, her claws apparently the most interesting thing in the world.

Jest’liana says, “We’ll get them to the medical facility. They’ll be fine.”

The ship roars and lurches as it enters OtherSpace.

The ship shudders as it drops out of OtherSpace.

Snowmist’s brow furrows slightly as Newt turns away, but she finally drops the issue and nods, straightening. “Glad t’see you safe, newt.”

Grainer sights, still looking at the empty viewscreen. “Still would have liked to see ’em die…” he mutters.

Kai continues to stare at the viewscreen, his fingers mimicking in the air what they did at the console aboard the alien ship.

Shadowfur sighs, and slouches someplace out of the way. “Well, I’m just glad we got our people out and it’s over with for now.”

MacTabar stares somberly at the screen and says: “Is there any possibility that we might learn how to block their teleportation abilities?”

Firemane gives a wicked smile and looks up at Grainer. “You will.”

Grainer nods to Shadow, “That’s just it. For now.”