War and Pieces

Tremor Gets Lost

For when one sets out alone, much is at stake

[11:35:44 PM] Doc: LOG START
[11:36:55 PM] Doc: The fog is still thick here, but looking up, you can faintly see the bridge far below with your X-ray vision. You’re far too high to see anything else.
[11:37:23 PM] Doc: You know which direction you have been travelling, so you know where to go, but you have no idea what’s along the outer edges.
[11:39:21 PM] Ben: Tremor retracts his Claw-Space Creeping Unit, falling down onto the section of bridge that is now visible, in an attempt to broaden his field of vision.
[11:40:21 PM] Ben: He does, however, utilize his Paramagnetic Tether Beam to slow his fall by latching onto a section of ceiling above him.
[11:40:34 PM] Doc: You see more fog below you. The bridge creaks warily and you realize it’s only attached by a few points, and has no sections on either end.
[11:40:52 PM] Doc: The bridge is untraversable.
[11:41:16 PM] Doc: This section, like the others, is cleanly severed.
[11:41:23 PM] Ben: Tremor hoists himself back up and continues back along the ceiling with his Claw-Space Creeping Unit.
[11:41:49 PM] Ben: But first, he examines the severed segment to try and identify the cause.
[11:42:38 PM] Ben: “The bridge was in fairly decent condition when we arrived, so I’m guessing this wasn’t the work of those stupid beetle things…”
[11:43:09 PM] Doc: You investigate it. The end is cleanly severed, but a thin lip of bent metal seems to indicate that this was done with some kind of huge cutting tool, like a sawblade or daiklave. There’s little to no heat damage, and what is there can be attributed to friction.
[11:44:47 PM] Ben: Tremor makes a mental note of this, and continues onwards.
[11:45:53 PM] Doc: Upwards on the ceiling, you feel a little agoraphobic. You’re not used to being this exposed. Yugash is in very tight tunnels, and you can always see the walls and ceiling. And the mines, even more so.
[11:47:33 PM] Ben: “…Damnit Glass…if you’ve gone and gotten yourself in serious trouble while I’m putting up with this crap…”
[11:48:55 PM] Ben: Tremor starts feeling really anxious, but continues onwards, hoping to find some stable ground to lower himself onto soon.
[11:49:23 PM] Ben: However, the realization that he will have to traverse this same path on his return also looms in his mind.
[11:50:39 PM] Doc: You do not for some time. After hours of tension (pun intentional), you encounter a huge round hole in the ceiling, leading into some kind of vent through which slightly warmer air is passing. The bridge below is mostly gone, and has been for some time. It will take months, maybe years, to repair this damage, if only because it is so hard to reach.
[11:52:57 PM] Ben: Tremor enters the vent, feeling much more at ease upon entering the more enclosed area, but still gingerly lowers himself onto the portion that would be ‘down,’ in the event of instability.
[11:54:55 PM] Doc: The tunnel is very hot to the touch. It occurs to you this might be the “short way” that was mentioned earlier.
[11:58:51 PM] Ben: “So, I guess this leads pretty close to the Elemental Pole of Steam, huh?” Continuing down the path, Tremor curses to himself that he didn’t have his Industrial Survival Frame updated with the submodule that provides protection from the element of steam while he was in Kamak.
[11:59:40 PM] Ben: While this is going on, he also thinks about the Arbiter and his behavior during the group’s time in Kamak.
[11:59:51 PM] Doc: It’s hot, but it’s a nice change from the bitter cold of Kamak. Still, the walls are painful to touch near other vents. You can understand why the Kamaki Alchemicals were reluctant to come here.
[12:00:57 AM] Ben: “He kept showing off all of the architectural details, being all proud of the stuff in his city, but he must have known about the disease…”
[12:01:17 AM] Ben: “…Was he trying to distract us from it?”
[12:03:12 AM] Ben: “Putting on a show to make his city out like it was really impressive…when in reality, they’re being beset by something as bad as this?”
[12:05:17 AM] Ben: Tremor rips segments of his parka up and wraps them around his feet to try and keep them from being harmed from contact with the heated vent.
[12:05:35 AM] Doc: Your musing is interrupted somewhat by what feels like a brief blast of very hot air. It’s no problem, really. It’s uncomfortable, but not very powerful. On the other hand, you feel the air start to build as it rushes backwards, a jet of cold air slowly building. And you realize this isn’t a vent. It’s an intake.
[12:09:00 AM] Ben: Tremor looks around desperately for something to grab onto.
[12:09:59 AM] Ben: He also prepares to reactivate his Crawl-Space Creeping Unit to try and hold him in place, should he fail to notice anything.
[12:10:17 AM] Doc: Nothing but super-hot vents. And it’s too late. The air comes rushing in, blasting you into the tunnel, flying so fast and tumbling you around. You’re not sure what’s going on…
[12:10:43 AM] Doc: You wake up, face-down, in a pool of condensation. It’s a good thing you don’t need to breathe.
[12:10:56 AM] Ben: “…Ow…”
[12:12:02 AM] Ben: Tremor lifts himself up, taking in his surroundings as he does so in an attempt to find something to help him with determining his present location.
[12:13:30 AM] Ben: “Oh the crap I have to put up with for these guys…”
[12:13:52 AM] Doc: You’re clearly in another tunnel. There’s a lot of icy rime on the walls, but it looks like an air-conditioning unit. And the place feels hollow. You examine the area and find no trace of footprints. You imagine you’re quite off the “short way” at this point.
[12:14:11 AM] Ben: “…Well fuck.”
[12:15:47 AM] Ben: Tremor starts comparing the temperatures of the different sides of the tunnel, and even checking the directions of incoming air to try and get back on the path.
[12:17:27 AM] Doc: It’s much colder on the path with the rime. It feels like the air is being channeled that way. You feel occasional puffs that could be the last breath of the huge gusts like the one that brought you in here. Sitting in the pool of filthy water is a lot of old debris, including some scrap metal. It looks like lots of other stuff goes through this machine. The way back is slightly warmer, especially in the walls, but only slightly.
[12:20:24 AM] Ben: Tremor turns in the direction that the wind is coming in from and starts trying to work his way back, using his Crawl-Space Creeping Unit to provide extra resistance against the air flow.
[12:21:42 AM] Ben: “Oh, the CRAP that I have to put up with for these guys…”
[12:23:01 AM] Doc: You feel another gust buffet you, and the vent rattles as you near the… valve. It’s a one-way filter. That makes sense, when you think about it.
[12:25:04 AM] Ben: With a bit of unease, and feeling both annoyed and disheartened, Tremor turns around and continues the other way, hoping that the path he’s been forced onto is closer to his intended destination.
[12:26:49 AM] Doc: The path rattles further on. This air-conditioning unit is not well-maintained, and you can practically smell the rust. Your echo visor indicates that, yes, not only is this hollow, there’s some movement outside it. Scuttling, probably some fix beetles, and… something else.
[12:28:02 AM] Ben: Tremor begins increasing his pace, hoping to locate an exit to the vent he’s in quickly, and hopefully without meeting up with whatever else is outside.
[12:29:31 AM] Doc: The vent leads into some tunnels… a mine shaft! You’re at home here! What’s more, you can feel traces of recent activity. It seems this was just starting to be excavated, and it leads further upwards, towards some kind of establishment. Probably.
[12:30:05 AM] Doc: The traces, to be honest, could be older than it feels, but you hope this is residue from lamps. It’s hard to tell without light, but it smells like oil.
[12:30:57 AM] Ben: Tremor activates his Light Intensification Filters to try and get a better view of the area.
[12:31:21 AM] Doc: It’s definitely lanturn oil, and it’s fresh! You’re in a recently used mine!
[12:33:10 AM] Ben: With his understanding of tunnels and mining, Tremor begins to gradually ascend further up the mine shaft.
[12:34:02 AM] Ben: “If there is a mine here, that means that it was constructed by a group that might know the area better.”
[12:35:16 AM] Doc: You feel a faint tingle on your fingers as you ascend. That could only come from quick-rust, an acid miners use to clear away iron and steel impurities from other, more useful metals. And what’s more, there’s traces of a faint bluish powder around one of the auger points. You gather a sample, hoping to have a look when you’ve got access to better tools. There’s a slight possibility this is jadeite, an impurity that forms on deposits of jade!
[12:35:46 AM] Doc: This could be a BLUE JADE MINE.
[12:39:06 AM] Ben: A tinge of optimism starts to trickle into Tremor’s mind. The possibility of a Blue Jade Mine could potentially mean that the materials used to create him may have been procured from this location, meaning that the possibility exists that he is in closer proximity to Ot.
[12:40:10 AM] Ben: As bizzare as he knew it felt, and as much as he wanted to doubt it, Tremor couldn’t stop himself from continuing to grow more anxious as he continued up the shaft.
[12:40:59 AM] Ben: “This is stupid. There’s no chance that that’s the case,” he told himself.
[12:41:03 AM] Doc: You hear a blasting cap go off up ahead. Dust rains down for a moment. You realize you should probably move.
[12:41:18 AM] Doc: It might be a good idea to let them know you’re down here.
[12:42:07 AM] Ben: Tremor pulls out a flash grenade and detonates it in his hand, releasing a bright flash and a small explosion, while shouting, “Wait, stop!”
[12:43:48 AM] Doc: You hear shouting from up ahead. “Someone’s down there! There’s a guy down there? Did anyone see that flash? Was that a flashbang? Stop blasting!” After a few moments, “Hey guy down there, move! The tunnel’s still not open enough. We’re gonna try and break you out. Can you see us?”
[12:44:49 AM] Ben: Tremor looks up the path, trying to see through the dirt and debris, then activates his Mass-Penetrating Scanners.
[12:46:02 AM] Doc: You see a team of miners moving rocks around, trying to clear the recent debris away from the obstruction blocking the path. They’re moving rather quickly… it looks like they’re trying to clear space to break through to the tunnel in which you’re suspended.
[12:46:52 AM] Ben: “Yes, yes I can! Hang on!” Tremor backtracks until he finds an alcove to duck into until the debris is completely cleared.
[12:47:15 AM] Doc: “Let us know if you can’t find a place to cover. We’re gonna blast you out. Where’s the opening?”
[12:47:24 AM] Doc: “Shine a light through or something!”
[12:48:19 AM] Ben: Tremor plants another flash grenade next to the area, then shouts back, “Hang on, I’ve planted a flash bang next to the spot! It’ll go off in 3…2…1…”
[12:49:09 AM] Doc: “No! Wait, we’ve got guys there! Don’t set off more…”
[12:49:24 AM] Ben: Tremor stops the flash grenade from going off.
[12:50:40 AM] Ben: He then shouts back, “I’m not seeing an opening here; I might need to blast it open on my end! Clear your men out of there before I do so!”
[12:50:52 AM] Doc: “How are you seeing us without an opening?”
[12:51:05 AM] Ben: “I have Mass-Penetrating Scanners!”
[12:51:23 AM] Doc: “Ah, guys, he’s gonna blast himself out! Move back! Safety!” After a few moments, “CLEAR!”
[12:51:47 AM] Ben: Tremor then plants a pair of shrapnel grenades next to the spot, returns to the alcove, then detonates them.
[12:52:24 AM] Doc: There’s a crack and a lot of rumbling as the passage crumbles inward, sending a blast of debris past you and creating a dust cloud. When it clears, you see lights pointed down at you.
[12:52:51 AM] Doc: “It’s a Champion! He’s got scanner charms! Get him up, lower a scaffold or something!”
[12:53:33 AM] Ben: Tremor activates his Flash Shutters to get a better view at the other miners.
[12:54:23 AM] Doc: There’s quite a number of them. They’re pretty filthy right now, covered in grime and sweat, but they seem to be lowering ropes or something to set a metal platform to you, attached to winches and safety harnesses. “We’ll get you out of there, Champion!”
[12:55:37 AM] Ben: Tremor looks further up the shaft, then asks, “Where is this? What city have I arrived in?”
[12:56:41 AM] Doc: “You’re not near a city. We’re an exploration crew. Our city got separated during the Elemental War. We’ve been trying to reestablish contact with Sova for years! We’re trapped down here!”
[12:57:24 AM] Doc: One of them notices your torn parka. “Oh, you’re not one of ours.” He looks a little crestfallen. “Are you from Kamak?”
[12:58:02 AM] Ben: “I just left Kamak a while back; I’m trying to get to Ot.”
[12:58:13 AM] Doc: “Ot? You’re Yugashi?”
[12:58:55 AM] Ben: Tremor sighs, realizing that he said something that he most likely shouldn’t have.
[12:59:13 AM] Ben: “…Okay yes, I’m Yugashi.”
[12:59:21 AM] Doc: It gets very quiet.
[1:00:03 AM] Doc: “You keep away from our city, you bastard. You’ll never get there as long as we’re alive.”
[1:00:31 AM] Doc: A few whispers go around. You catch the word “sabouteur” and “mine”.
[1:00:35 AM] Ben: “I have no intention of going to your city; I’m just trying to find a companion of mine; a doctor.”
[1:01:07 AM] Doc: “We haven’t captured any of yours, if that’s what you’re implying. Get back in your hole before we blast you back in.”
[1:02:16 AM] Ben: “Look, I’m about as happy about the events of the Elemental War as I’m sure you fellows are, but wasn’t it petty misunderstandings between Sova and Yugash like this one that caused it in the first place?”
[1:02:40 AM] Doc: “We’re not interested in debating politics. Get the fuck away from us or we’ll bury you alive. With ourselves if we must.”
[1:02:56 AM] Ben: “I’m trying to do something to prevent a similar catastrophy from happening between Ot and Kamak!”
[1:03:27 AM] Doc: “We don’t… wait, you’re trying to establish connections with Kamak? Is that what you’re doing there?”
[1:03:46 AM] Doc: Several of the miners take off up the tunnels.
[1:03:57 AM] Ben: “We were trying to establish diplomatic connections with Kamak.”
[1:04:42 AM] Doc: “Thanks for the info. But it won’t save you. We don’t trust turncoats.”
[1:05:13 AM] Ben: “Wait, what? I’m not a turncoat! What do you mean?”
[1:05:37 AM] Ben: “Are you guys saying I’m a traitor!?”
[1:06:10 AM] Doc: “It doesn’t matter how much information you give us about Yugash. We’re not helping you. Find your own damn way to Sova if you want to defect. Let them deal with you.”
[1:06:25 AM] Ben: “I’m not trying to get to Sova!”
[1:06:33 AM] Doc: They seem to think you’re giving them info because you want to defect to Sova. Or at least pretend you are.
[1:06:45 AM] Ben: “I am just trying to find my way home!”
[1:07:12 AM] Doc: “Well, then. Just go back the way you came. Here, we’ll help you.” One of them pulls out a blasting cap.
[1:08:18 AM] Ben: “That was a one-way tunnel back there…” But Tremor’s sentence trails off once he sees the blasting cap. “…Really? Are we really going to do things this way?”
[1:08:36 AM] Ben: “I thought Sova and Yugash had moved on past all this fighting and war stuff.”
[1:09:15 AM] Ben: “What was gained from it? Nothing. It merely wasted resources for two groups that were already short on supplies.”
[1:11:29 AM] Ben: Realizing that the group isn’t going to listen, Tremor releases his grip, drops back down the tunnel, tosses a grenade down an alcove he had used earlier to blast it open, then quickly dives in.
[1:12:22 AM] Doc: There’s shouting, and an explosion, and a rumble. The tunnel starts to cave in, and metal shards crush the end of the tunnel behind you. There’s no way you’re going back up that way.
[1:12:58 AM] Doc: Several things hit you, but your charm protects you from the collapse.
[1:13:27 AM] Ben: Tremor begins running down the path he’s now entered, hoping that he can find an alternate exit that is both closer to Ot and not occupied with more guys from Sova.
[1:14:00 AM] Ben: “This just keeps getting better and better,” he muses to himself sarcasatically.
[1:14:32 AM] Doc: There weren’t any other passages aside from the main vent. But the air conditioning unit seemed old and hollow. You could probably burrow your own way through. It’s what miners do, after all.
[1:16:11 AM] Ben: Tremor starts tunneling further down the path back towards the main air conditioning vent, using his grenades to create openings.
[1:16:35 AM] Doc: The thing collapses like a rusty tin can.
[1:16:42 AM] Ben: “Stupid tunnel, stupid Sovans…”
[1:16:51 AM] Doc: And when you rise from the rubble, unharmed, you find… you’re in a pile of rust and tin. Huh.
[1:16:51 AM] Ben: “…STUPID FUCKING VENTS!”
[1:17:23 AM] Ben: Tremor looks around, trying to take in his surroundings quickly and carefully.
[1:19:13 AM] Doc: It’s very dark. No problem for you. It’s also a crumbled, damaged area. It looks like this place hasn’t seen maintenance in ages. A trickle of cold water from above draws your attention to the scraps of rusty metal around you. It looks like something crawled through here a really, really long time ago, maybe decades, and it’s begun to collapse since then. The tunnel is scraped all around, but not smoothly.
[1:19:34 AM] Ben: “…I sincerely hope that I find Glass soon.”
[1:19:58 AM] Doc: There’s really not much in the way of anything nearby. No machine spirits, no drones, nothing of the sort. It’s awfully quiet, but the dripping of water keeps your echo visor working, faintly.
[1:20:10 AM] Doc: You start to suspect you’re looking in the wrong location for Glass.
[1:21:13 AM] Ben: Tremor tries to look around for another path to take, something to get him out, something, anything that might give him some chance of finding some semblance of…
[1:21:32 AM] Ben: …but he stops himself before he can think the word.
[1:22:25 AM] Ben: That one word, that single, stupid word that gives him any semblance of reason to detest his own creation, and complete reason to detest his name.
[1:23:10 AM] Doc: LOG END

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