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Atomic Sunrise 10: Exploration Eastward:Sand, Sea, & Stars-Rated R

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#41 Ishmael Autolycus

Ishmael Autolycus

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Posted 02 June 2015 - 06:01 PM

Enoch yawned, scratching his head as he shuffled toward the delicious smell of frying bacon. He'd long ago decided that mornings were part of an evil plot by- by- well, he hadn't figured that part out quite yet, or why this evil plot required the existence of mornings, but there was definitely a plot, and it was definitely evil, he was sure of that. It had to be, if it involved mornings. Worse yet, there were people who claimed to enjoy mornings, and even got up early so they could experience more of it. Voluntarily.

"...giant killer goldfish in the water."

Enoch stared at Somphit. "Please tell me you're kidding about the giant killer goldfish." He shook his head. "I knew it," he muttered. "Nothing good comes from mornings." He shuffled forward and accepted a plate from John. "Thanks."

Enoch turned and saw Varg sitting on his haunches, looking at him expectantly. He sighed. "Still the usual toll?" he asked, pulling a piece of bacon from his plate and holding it out. "Morning, everyone."

#42 Nikki Peppermint

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Posted 02 June 2015 - 07:35 PM

“You’re laughing at me? Cass, he’s laughing at me..AGAIN.”

Cassie honestly wanted to have sympathy for her partner...her best friend...okay, maybe her only friend...but the man just didn't learn in this particular situation.

"You gotta grease the paw a little, so to speak...you know that," she answered Rex as Mac rounded the side of the supply truck. "You just refuse to play the game. I've told you I can't help you if you don't play the game."

Unable to contain her own laughter at the mule's antics, Cassie laughed right along with Isabella. As Rex stalked away Cassie felt slightly bad and knew he needed his own "me-time". She actually wouldn't be going swimming with "the girls" except she was desperate for a bath. But, all in all, the women in the group were better than most she usually met. Except by the sound of the doctor's natural bath products, Cassie would have to endure Rex's comments about how girlie she smelled.

Somphit joined them dressed in a completely non-functional outfit, a robe of all things, and Cassie heard Isabella whisper to Sophie that the older healer had probably only brought one set of clothes. Cassie's eyebrows shot up.

"Well, that explains a lot," she muttered under her breath. Sophie raised her own eyebrows and glared at Cassie, who merely shrugged. Then she said aloud. "Okay then...off to get my bikini and sunscreen...and giant goldfish repellent. See ya' all in a bit!"

As she walked off, Cassie passed Enoch looking about cheerful as a man about to get eaten by a piranha. She clapped him on the shoulder. "Mornin', Sunshine!" she said to the Librarian as happily as she could and taking a deep, cleansing breath. "Don't you just love mornings?!"

Cassie headed off to the sleeping truck grinning to herself.

* * * * *

Sophie was horrified at the idea that Somphit had only brought one set of clothing. How in the hell had she--as the leader of this expedition--not even noticed that in the past three weeks of travel nor that she hadn't brought clothes with her? And did no one tell the poor woman back at the mountain to actually pack for a journey, or offer to get her new clothes in the week they'd been there? As Isabella spoke to the healer...and Cassie thankfully left before saying anything else inappropriate...Sophie motioned to John after he'd turned over a plate of food to Enoch. The guard disappeared into the huge supply truck to the storage area where they kept spare clothes, blankets, and other items...either for themselves or for trade. He returned with just a generic set of black pants, a shirt, and a small closed bag plus a thin but clean towel.

Sophie took the articles from him as he handed them down. She assumed for now that Somphit's shoes were still serviceable.

"...it’s going to be fine, just us women swimming, bathing," Isabella was assuring the healer. "...and when we get back I’ll give you ointment that should help ease the stiffness in that leg.” This was said to Ishmael, who simply nodded.

"Oh, I think it's a great idea to bring some water back. That'll give the men something to do," she replied to Isabella, thinking especially about Amet. Their giant did like to be useful. "I could totally use doing some washing. I was just thinking about that. Here, Somphit," Sophie said with a smile and placed the clothing on a folding camp chair. "These will do you temporarily. No sense in getting your robe dirty with the trek to the lake."

Just then Nemo walked into the group. ”Mornin’..Rex says to tell you he’s gone for fire wood.”

Sophie nodded and said okay, eying the young woman who'd come with him.

Myka eased herself close to the back of the supply truck and waved up at John. Sophie paused a moment then called out to the young woman. "Myka!"

* * * * * *

Myka was torn between smiling that Nemo had called her 'beautiful lavender girl' and feeling nervous that the 'parents' were apparently all present and accounted for. She was waiting to see who yelled at her first. Just as John handed her two plates of food, it was Sophie who yelled first.


Taking a deep breath she turned with her head held high...but one eye on Varg who was licking his chops after swallowing the bacon that Enoch had just given him.

"Eat up, Myka," Sophie said to her. "We're heading to the lake...for a swim...we need all of us there to take turns guarding. And...not you, Nemo. This is girls only right now."

Myka blinked in surprise. That was it? That was all Sophie was going to say. She exchanged a glance with Nemo.

* * * * *

"Okay, meet you all back here in a few minutes...unlike Cassie I won't be getting my bikini, however I do need some things...and everyone bring weapons, please. I assume Varg is coming with us?"

Sophie glanced at the dog chewing on yet another slice of bacon. He tilted his head to one side and raised his furry eyebrows seeming to look her up and down. Sophie remembered how exceptionally smart the dog...he...was and frowned. "Never mind," she said. "We'll be fine by ourselves."

Sophie turned to Ishmael and whispered, "Will you speak with Nemo about his actions yesterday? We'll deal with Myka." With a kiss, Sophie headed off to the command truck.

* * * * * *

Time Jump an hour or so ahead...so at the lake and wherever everyone else is ;).

Edited by Nikki Peppermint, 02 June 2015 - 08:34 PM.

#43 RJDiogenes


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Posted 03 June 2015 - 06:54 PM

It had taken Alexander a little longer to get going than he planned. By the time he had risen creakily from the cot, donned his Librarian's robe and hiking sandals, and limped out of the sleeping truck, just about everybody had dispersed.  Luckily one of the remaining guards had been able to fix him up with some leftover scrambled eggs (species uncertain) and bacon.  He ate the bacon with a vengeance.  Literally.

Then, as he trudged down the forest path toward the lake, his stiff muscles unlimbering a bit with every step, he was occasionally distracted by the sight of unusual vegetation.  It wasn't just the mushrooms and truffles that were mutated in this region.  He noted a growth of moss on the North side of a tree-- that migrated to the South side when he got too close to it.  He had never seen motile moss before.  Perhaps if he studied it in detail, he might discover a clue to destroy the mutant vegetation that had overrun Northampton.  He made a note of its location so he could come back later for a sample.

When he got to the end of the path, he realized that his distractions must have resulted in a wrong turn. Instead of the lake, he was confronted with a wide jumble of glacial boulders that were at least twice his height.  But he wasn't too far off-- he could hear the lake water lapping on the other side.  No matter.  He could easily climb over.

#44 Nikki Peppermint

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Posted 03 June 2015 - 09:00 PM

Cassie stood dripping wet at the edge of the lake, her leather sandals the only article of clothing she wore besides the towel wrapped under her arms. She'd had to expose her cybernetic arm that was attached to her right shoulder, but the other women had barely glanced at it.

For that Cassie had been grateful. She stared at her advanced metal hand, flexing the the finger joints that worked like real fingers still not totally understanding what all had been installed inside her body to make the limb work. Enoch would know...or maybe he just knew about what was in her brain and eye...the nanocomputer part...but whatever. Cybertech had been re-pioneered at Department 7, thanks to her father, but at the time there hadn't been any way to replicate the synthetic skin that had been described in the many manuals. But she had a nice, matte-type bronze coating that sealed everything in almost like skin.

"C'mon, Myka," Cassie said impatiently to the girl slipping out of her clothes behind a tree. "You're relieved of guard duty." She sniffed herself again.

Yep, all girlie and citrus-y, just as she'd feared. Well, maybe it would wear off before they all got back to camp. At least she was gloriously clean now. Cassie shook the water from her hair with her fingers.

"You have to go in the water. Sophie and Isabella aren't going to bite or drown you, you know...they'll just give you a little lecture on telling people when you leave. And you know by that, Sophie mostly means herself or Ishmael. She's kind of a control freak in a way, you know."

Cassie heard Myka stifle a laugh behind the tree. "Cassie! That's rude! She's just trying to keep us all safe. She's very...responsible." Myka's voice sounded like she'd uttered something distasteful.

"Besides, you didn't swim very long...don't you want more time in the water?"

The Department 7 Agent sighed. "If I'd wanted to be social, I'd have brought tea and cookies," she insisted. "I just wanted to get clean, and now I just want to get dressed and hold my gun to keep watch on you ladies. Look, just listen to them, nod like you are truly sorry, and get the damn lecture over with. Trust me...it'll blow over before you know it."

With that Cassie dropped her towel and basked in the warm sun for a moment. The humidity would make her skin sticky later on but for now the heat and rays felt good. She took her time finding her clean clothes amidst the piles of garments stacked on the rocks. Myka gave a little shriek behind her as the lavender-skinned girl dashed to the water and splashed in, long red hair flying behind her.

"Thanks, Cassie! Keep an eye on things!"

Turning around without having found her clothes yet, Cassie raised a hand to shoo Myka away. "Near, far, and in between...I see it all, you know! But you better hope I didn't just record you in all your glory for downloading later on! I know a tall, handsome young man that might be interested in...,"

Cassie laughed as Myka splashed her with water before diving underwater.

Edited by Nikki Peppermint, 03 June 2015 - 09:03 PM.

#45 RJDiogenes


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Posted 04 June 2015 - 06:57 PM

When the women arrived at the beach by the lake, Somphit removed her brand-new clothes, carefully folded them up, and put them on a low branch away from the shore where they would stay clean and dry.  Sophie had acted like the clothes were just something to tide her over until her regular clothes could be cleaned, but these were nicer than anything she had since she was a kid and her grandmother and aunt were still alive.

She waded slowly into the water, getting used to the temperature-- it was a bit chilly, as lakes usually are, but she was used to that.  She had spent her childhood farther North than this and there had been plenty of skinny-dipping, sometimes even in the Winter.

When she got up to her waist, she plunged under the water and popped back up again with a gasp. She felt refreshed for the first time in ages.  It was like being ten years old again.  Maybe this is what she needed to get rid of that murky fear that had taken hold in her brain.


The boulders offered plenty of handholds and footholds, so Alexander was able to clamber up in just a minute.  Holding up the hem of his Librarian robe, he walked across the top of the big rocks toward the sound of lapping waves.  And voices, too, come to notice it.  Some of the group must have already come down. No wonder the camp had been so deserted. Ah, yes, he could see the beach just a short distance away and everybody was there, swimming and laying in the sun.

Well, not everybody. It appeared to be just the women.  He stepped to the edge of the rocks and leaned over, squinting. Yes, they were definitely women.  No doubt about it, since they were all naked.  Fascinating.  He had seen many naked women, of course, in books of art and photography, but the only woman he had seen naked in the flesh, so to speak, was Ranesha and these women were quite different.  Ranesha had been the color of freshly baked brownies, and these women were much lighter than that. Some were tanned by the sun, but were still lighter than Ranesha.  Even Somphit, who had a naturally dusky cast to her skin, was much lighter. It was quite interesting how they all were so differed from each other, and very pleasant to watch.

Then he came to realize that he had leaned over a bit too far in his efforts to get a better look and suddenly he was plunging down the side of the cliff into the water.  Unfortunately, he couldn't swim a stroke.  Never could. Most of his days at the lake in Northampton were spent in the rowboat.  The water he had landed in was way over his head and he was sinking fast. Yes, he was definitely drowning. He'd probably be dead in about five minutes.  Good thing he had left his charger back at the sleeping truck, not that he'd ever need it again.

But then somebody grabbed him and pulled him up to the surface and floated him toward the shore on his back. When he got close enough, he got his feet under him and stood up in the water up to his waist, coughing.  He wiped the water out of his eyes and there was Somphit standing in front of him, looking very worried. And naked. And quite close.  "Thank you," he said.  "That was a troubling experience. I never drowned before, although I got water way up my nose once back in Northampton."

He looked around and there were all the women, standing in the water or along the shore, staring at at him, all of them completely nude.  "Say!" he said.  "You all look great!"

#46 Raeven


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Posted 05 June 2015 - 06:25 AM

Isabella sighed and tilted her face up to the sun....”This is wonderful Sophie, we need more moments like these, it somehow makes everything else worth it...well almost” She watched as Myka dived under the water....”do you think we should have a that chat with Myka when she surfaces? Now seems like a good time, we're all calm, relaxed”..she laughed “even you” she took a deep breath and smiled...”I am a genius....adding citrus to the soap was a great idea, it's so fresh..such a change from sweat, dirt and more recently pigs blood”

Her sense of calm disappeared as there was an almighty splash “what the heck was that?” she started wading as fast as she could to the shore.....she saw Somphit pulling someone through the water, the someone stood up and started coughing...”Alexander?”

Say!" he said.  "You all look great!"

Reminded of her nakedness she ducked back down into the water...”Alexander!!!! what are you doing here, how..” she looked up at the rocks...”you fell from up there? What were you doing up there...were you spying on us? Why would you do that?” she shook her head, Alexander hadn't struck her as the spying type, in fact she was pretty sure he wasn't...she looked back at Sophie and shrugged....”do you want to deal with this...I'm going to dry off and get dressed”

“Cassie, can you throw me a towel please”

#47 RJDiogenes


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Posted 05 June 2015 - 06:49 PM

.”Alexander!!!! what are you doing here, how..” Isabella looked up at the rocks...”you fell from up there? What were you doing up there...were you spying on us? Why would you do that?”

"Spying on you?" asked Alexander quizzically.  "Why? What are you doing?"  He tugged at his Librarian robe, which was hanging off him like theater curtains. "Great Scott, this thing weighs a ton when wet.  You women have the right idea.  Help me pull this off, will you, Somphit?"


After diving into the water and pulling Alexander back from depths and bringing him to shore, Somphit watched him cough up water with concern. She hoped he hadn't swallowed any into is lungs.  But he seemed cheerful enough and pleased to see all the women.

Then she saw Isabella duck down into the water in embarrassment, and looked around to see the other women covering themselves with their hands or grabbing their clothes. She remembered that most of the women back in the village had come from cultures with a nudity taboo, and it must be the same here. They were all upset.  She felt the walls closing in on her again, and shook her head to make the feeling go away.

"That's probably not a good idea," she said when Alexander started to get out of his wet robe. "Let's just get out of the water and find a place to hang that robe in the sun.  I think there's a big rock down the beach.  Did you know that in this part of the world most men and women swim separately? At least when they're skinny dipping."

#48 Nikki Peppermint

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Posted 05 June 2015 - 07:32 PM

”This is wonderful Sophie, we need more moments like these, it somehow makes everything else worth it...well almost...do you think we should have that chat with Myka when she surfaces? Now seems like a good time, we're all calm, relaxed...even you. .”I am a genius....adding citrus to the soap was a great idea, it's so fresh..such a change from sweat, dirt and more recently pigs blood”

Sophie laughed and splashed Isabella with a good face full of water. She'd almost forgotten about Myka's lecture and nodded. The delicious aroma of the soap was still almost intoxicating to her.

But the loud splash and commotion over by the rocks caught her attention, and she followed Isabella toward the shore wondering if Somphit had gone under or if something had fallen into the water. She tried to focus for a moment on the brownish bundle that Somphit was towing towards shore when suddenly Alexander popped up out of the water and stood on the shore sputtering and getting his bearings.

After Isabella's shriek of outrage, Myka popped up out of the water then ducked back down to her chin.

"What the heck!?" Myka said. "Who invited the men?"

"No one," Sophie said firmly. "I think Alexander just fell from the rocks. I doubt anyone even knows he left camp...otherwise, they would have told him not to come this way."

"Say! You all look great!"

"WHAT?" Myka shouted suddenly, standing up part way out of the water in indignation. "You mean he gets to leave camp without telling anyone? That is so not fair, Sophie!"

Peals of laughter suddenly rang out from the shore where Cassie stood, still holding mostly just her gun and shirt in front of her before Alexander had come tumbling down from above and making a spectacle of himself. Holding the shirt so that it barely covered anything, Cassie had burst out laughing.

Sophie was silent for a moment as chaos threatened to break out around her. To make things worse, it appeared that Alexander was about to disrobe...literally...himself. Myka covered her eyes with her hands.

"Make him stop!" she yelled. "Of all I've seen in my travels, this isn't something I want to witness!" With that Myka sank back down under the water.

With Somphit hurriedly attempting to get the six-fingered, large-headed man to move to a more private area of the lake, and Cassie now almost hysterical with laughter, Isabella also turned to her and shrugged.

"...do you want to deal with this...I'm going to dry off and get dressed. Cassie, can you throw me a towel please?”

"Oh for god's sake!" Sophie grumbled and dragged herself out of the water. She grabbed the second towel that Cassie held out and wrapped it under her arms.

"Alexander, Somphit's right...it'll be better if you just head on down that way a little bit. We understand it was an accident but still...you know, privacy is rare these days so...," she paused.

Myka had resurfaced with just her eyes and lavender colored ears above water.

"And just let me say this once and for all for everyone in general," she said firmly but eying Alexander for a moment. "We don't leave the camp without telling at least three people...myself, Ishmael, or Isabella or one of the guards...where we're going. There...now that's done. Can we all please get back to relaxing now?" she said trying not grin suddenly.

Edited by Nikki Peppermint, 05 June 2015 - 10:13 PM.

#49 Nikki Peppermint

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Posted 05 June 2015 - 07:39 PM

Once everyone had dispersed, John had finished cleaning up his foray into cooking breakfast...after giving Alexander a plate, then prepared to take his turn at guard duty. By the time he'd climbed to the top of the sleeping truck there was no sign of the Librarian anywhere. John put his high powered binoculars up and scanned the area. He thought for a moment that he caught a glimpse of the Librarian's robes in the trees.

"Dammit," he muttered. "Please don't be heading for the lake."

It was some time later that he found Ishmael. "Hey, Ishmael," John said. "I think Alexander's wandered off from the camp by himself. Far as I know, he didn't tell anyone. I caught sight of the general direction he was heading...uh, toward the lake. I don't think he realizes the women went out there. You want me or one of the others to go after him?"

Anyone else around would have been able to hear the conversation.

Edited by Nikki Peppermint, 05 June 2015 - 07:40 PM.

#50 Ishmael Autolycus

Ishmael Autolycus

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Posted 06 June 2015 - 12:45 PM

OOC: The first part is a joint post between Rae and I, the last bit is dealing with that curveball Nikki and RJ threw. :grr:


"A reconnaissance was a good idea," Ishmael said. "And the two of you did well in finding that village. But Rex and especially Isabella are not your message service. If either Sophie or I are in camp, you come find one of us first. Are we clear on that?"

Nemo nodded..”Yes, sorry,  Ish...Ishmael, I wasn't planning on using..I mean I didn't intend to just leave a message with Rex and Isabella, I was going to tell you and Sophie, ask you, I was going to ask you and then”... he felt himself blush....”we didn't want to disturb you, you looked, it looked like a private moment and I know you don't get many of them....but we should have waited, we didn't need to go rushing off” he stood up straight...”So yes we're clear, it won't happen again, I swear it”

"Now, tell me what you saw in this village, but first-" Ishmael drew a rough map of the coast in the dirt with the tip of his cane. "We're about here," he continued, marking their location with a small 'x'. "To the north of us, here where the coast curves out, is Hatteras. The Graveyard. You've got shifting shoals, tricky currents and storms that seem to come out of nowhere, and that's just the natural dangers. On top of that, Hatteras is, and always has been, a nest of pirates and wreckers." Ishmael paused. "I know there are stories out there that glamorize pirates, make them out to be noble defenders of freedom against a tyrannical government. Maybe that was true at one time, but pirates now are just Marauders with boats.

"Unfortunately, swinging wide to avoid the area adds at least a week to any voyage, if you're lucky," Ishmael continued. "The League sends in punitive expeditions whenever ship losses get particularly heavy, but there are so many little inlets and hidden coves it's impossible to cover all of them. The most we can hope for is to make them keep their heads down for a bit. Now, knowing that, which you would have if you'd talked to me before you left, what's your take on that village you saw?"

Nemo studied the map Ishmael had drawn in the sand....”Pirates and wreckers? I don't know much about the ocean..” he hung his head “ I should have spoken to you, I didn't think, didn't know what we'd find, the air smelled strange, Myka said it was salty and that's when she realised we were near the ocean....she said she'd seen it once before, the smell was amazing, so fresh, I just had to see, it was amazing....we had climbed up some rocks and when we looked over..there it was” he picked up a stick and leaned over the map....”we were up here” he made a mark in the dirt...”when we looked down we could see boats arriving here” he made another mark “Myka said they were coming into the docks, working docks” he made several more small marks denoting the village, the beach, the pasture “it looked like something from a book, it looked 'old' like from before, the houses were all in rows, close together, there were people, children, animals..it looked like a ..it looked nice...I didn't see any pirates, not that I'd know what a pirate looked like, just the boats coming in filled with fish, it looked busy, alive, but it was also peaceful looking” he looked up.....”and there was a road, or what looked like a road that curved around, I don't know if we'd get the trucks down there..oh and I think there was a wall, walls, not high ones, they didn't look like they were for defence...in fact..”he frowned” we watched for quite a while, no-one could see us up there, I don't remember seeing anything defensive...it looked just like a permanent settlement, the animals were in the pasture” he glanced at Ishmael..”It reminded me of how we used to live, before the trucks, before the Department....it looked like 'home'”

"Hmm." Ishmael rubbed his chin. "We're far enough south this village probably is exactly what it looks like, but it won't hurt to keep an eye out while we're there. Now, about this road-"

"Hey, Ishmael, I think Alexander's wandered off from the camp by himself. Far as I know, he didn't tell anyone. I caught sight of the general direction he was heading...uh, toward the lake. I don't think he realizes the women went out there. You want me or one of the others to go after him?"

"I don't suppose Alexander will realize why they'll get upset if he intrudes on their privacy, accidentally or no?" Ishmael asked. He sighed at the identical expressions on John and Nemo's faces. "Yeah, I don't think so either. All right, the two of you try to catch up and intercept him before he gets himself into any more trouble. I'll let Sophie know what's going on. Try not to get in trouble yourselves," he added.

Ishmael stalked down the path to the lake. "Herding bloody cats would be easier," he muttered to himself. He halted just before the final turn and called out in a quarterdeck bellow, "Sophie! I need to see you for a minute, please." He waited until Sophie came around the bend, wrapped in a towel, and began, "We've lost Alexander and- and you found him," he finished as he saw the expression on her face. "How upset is everyone?"

#51 Nikki Peppermint

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Posted 06 June 2015 - 09:43 PM

"We'll live," Sophie answered Ishmael, while trying to keep her towel on. "And although I find myself standing out in the open in nothing but...this," she said glancing down and shaking her head, "there was no real harm done. Alexander didn't mean anything bad, he didn't do it on purpose...he might be smart as they come in lot of ways, but the man is more child-like than not."

Sophie thought briefly back to the settlement where baths were mostly taken in the hot springs and the smaller ponds fed by waterfalls from the river that ran past. Ishmael had been there for some time with them and knew of the attempt at privacy but that it didn't always work out that way.

She linked her arm with his and pulled him toward the lake with her. "C'mon...everyone's dressed, it's safe," she promised. "Well, I suppose I'll have to duck behind a tree for a moment...so did you talk to Nemo?" When she heard about the conversation, Sophie nodded and explained that Myka...and now Alexander...were aware of what was expected, they decided to consider the situation handled.

* * * * * *

Hours later...about 5:00 PM:

Everyone had gotten a turn at the lake to clean up, and Amet had helped to haul several barrels of water to the camp for washing clothes. Lunch had been eaten while plans were made for an initial visit the next morning to the seaside village to simply observe. Sophie, Ishmael, Isabella, and Rex would be the initial scout party. If it seemed safe enough, contact would be made. The others had heard what Nemo and Ishmael had spoken about regarding pirates and more of what the village looked like...and the map in the dirt was recreated.

It was assumed that the road the trucks had traveled briefly on to reach the camp continued on around the cliffs, but they would travel on horseback to, at best, avoid alerting the villagers to their presence...and at worst to not appear too advance should they be discovered.

* * * * *

OOC: Okay, we're jumping right in...time for some danger again :evil:!!

IC: J/p between Ishmael and Nikki:

Sophie was still excited about the discovery that they were so close to the coastline and was looking forward to seeing the village and boats tomorrow that Nemo and Myka had discovered. She hoped the people were friendly, but they would still proceed with caution during the initial attempt to make contact.

The clouds from the previous day and early morning had returned and thickened considerably, after a brief respite while they'd been at the lake. As Sophie headed over to Ishmael to see if he was ready to eat she frowned as she glanced up at the sky and felt the first splats of rain fall on her face. The wind suddenly increased as well, blowing her hair around her face and gathering up the leaves on the ground, swirling them around in small, violent funnels. The fall leaves in those trees that had remained alive shook as their branches began to sway. Cold air began to descend all around them.

"Dammit!" she swore. "I was really hoping we wouldn't get rain," she said to Ishmael. "And this wind...," she began then reached out a hand to grab on to his arm to steady herself from a sudden blast that literally threatened to knock her over. "Where the hell did that come from?"

Ishmael pressed down on his cane, steadying both himself and Sophie against the sudden gust of wind. His leg had been aching since last night, in a way that he hadn't felt since- "Bloody hell." Ishmael's eyes widened and he looked up at the sky.

"Nemo!" he bellowed. "Saddle up Hipp and Willow, now! Abel! Dmitri! To me!" he called to the two closest guards. He turned back to Sophie. "I'll know better once I've seen the sea state," he said quietly, "but if this is what I think it is we're in for a rough time."

"Ishmael?" Dmitri asked as he approached, Abel following at his heels. "What is it? What's wrong?"

"Yes," Sophie interjected. "What are you thinking is wrong?" she asked in concern, frowning at Ishmael's sudden reaction.

"That's what we're going to check out," Ishmael answered all of them. "In the meantime, I'm going to need the two of you to go through the trucks and pull out every chain and cable you can find."

Sophie's eyes opened wide. John and Wynn hurried over to them as well, hearing the tail end of the instructions.

"How big?" Abel asked.

"Big enough to chain the trucks together," Ishmael answered. "If you can find something we can use for ground stakes, and some way of making sand bags, even better."

"We're on it," Dmitri said. Abel nodded, and the two men peeled off on their mission. John and Wynn went to inform everyone else to be alert.

Isabella had heard the sudden wind from inside the medical truck. She rushed out to Sophie. "What's going on?" she asked.

Sophie shook her head, staring at her best friend with worry. "I don't know yet. Ishmael wants us to go check something out. Something to do with this sudden storm. Look for John...he'll tell you what needs doing."

Ishmael limped over to where Nemo had their saddled horses waiting. "Bring all of the animals in," he ordered. "Put the chickens back in their cages, everything." He swung up on Hippocampus, Sophie mounted Willow next to him. "We'll be back in an hour. Or less."

* * * * *

The switchback trail up the side of the cliff was easy enough for the horses to navigate quickly, even in the growing wind. Then they found the trail across the mostly flat land, avoiding the rock formations.

Ishmael reined Hippocampus in as they topped the cliffs Nemo and Myka had discovered the day before. The wind was even fiercer here, and the two horses had to continuously struggle to keep their footing. A much lighter human would have been bowled over by the heavy gusts.

Sophie gripped her reigns tightly, squeezing the saddle with her legs to remain seated on the horse and squinted out at the water. Her first real sighting of the ocean...and it appeared violent, dark, and frightening...the waves rising and falling far out.

Ishmael needed only a moment to take in the rough, choppy seas and heavily overcast skies before turning Hipp around and dropping back into the lee of the cliffs. "Hurricane," he told Sophie tersely. "And a bad one too, by the looks of it."

"Hurricane?" Sophie repeated in awe, yelling over the wind. "I've read about them, but...," she added, her voice tight.

"Think of a tornado," Ishmael said. "Only miles across, and raining so hard you think you're underwater."

"The village!" Sophie exclaimed. "There's nothing we can do for them, is there?"

Ishmael shook his head. Sophie felt a wave of sorrow hit her...but Ishmael was right. Right now they had to save themselves.

"Sometimes, cliffs like this mean caves. Not always, but..." Ishmael shrugged. "Best we can hope for them now."

He urged Hipp back toward the camp with Sophie just behind him. "We're going to have to bring the trucks into as tight a square as we can manage, with the livestock truck and Amet's buggy in the middle," he continued. "Try to come as close to making them into one solid, heavy object as we can."

Sophie nodded. "That's what you were telling the others. Hopefully they've gotten some of that done by now. It doesn't seem like we have much time left."

As they reached the trucks an hour after they left, a gust of hard wind nearly blew Willow sideways, the horse whinnying in surprise. Sophie and Ishmael were already drenched from the rain that had fallen, but as of yet it wasn't the expected brutal downpour.

Nemo was there to take the horses from them, while the entire camp had erupted into activity and motion.

* * * * *

OOC: Okay, everyone...post your take on the storm and helping with the preparing the camp while Ishmael and Sophie were gone...and then we'll continue from there! Balth, if you join us here just jump in from this point.

Edited by Nikki Peppermint, 06 June 2015 - 09:53 PM.

#52 Balthamos


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Posted 07 June 2015 - 11:14 AM

Amet started hauling the barrels of water they'd collected on to the trucks hoping that their weight would contribute to Ishmael's plan. He looked around for instruction and saw Abel signalling for some help having moved one of the trucks in to the square. Amet used his bulk and strength to pull the chains tight in to what was hopefully a knot around what looked like convenient sticky-out bits on the back and front of the trucks. Water was streaming down his back to the point where he almost thought that he could breath, he had to steady himself as he simultaneously tried to breath through his gills and his lungs at the same time which for some reason absolutely didn't work. "I don't think I've ever not been glad to get soaked to my skin" he yelled over the wind and rain but even this close to Abel he didn't know if he could hear him. When they'd finished tying it up Amet went to the clearing here he and Cassie had first encountered their breakfast. One of the smaller trees that one of the wild pigs had crashed in to had toppled at some point during the day. He dragged pushed and rolled it roaring in to the wind as he heaved until he could use more of the chains to lash it to one of the trucks. He left the animals in the truck to Nemo but found his buggy and dragged it next to the truck and using some more chain lashed the two together before looking for anyone who needed help.

Edited by Balthamos, 07 June 2015 - 11:15 AM.

#53 RJDiogenes


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Posted 07 June 2015 - 07:05 PM

When Alexander glanced at the clock in the Medical Truck, he realized that most of the day had gone by-- he had gotten quite wrapped up in cataloging the fungal specimens he had found after that strange incident at the lake.  He had duly noted that somebody should be aware of his whereabouts at all times and that privacy was a thing that could happen in public.  It was at times like this that he really wished he still had Ranesha to explain the quirks of society to him.

But the clock said it was dinnertime and his stomach said he was hungry, so he opened the door and stepped outside, steadying himself with his left hand and covering his eyes with his six right fingers.  "Hello!" he said loudly.  "I'm coming out.  Does everybody have their clothes on?"  But before he could get an answer, a gust of wind picked him up and threw him ten feet onto the ground.  His disproportionate head made him decidedly top heavy and he had never done well in the wind.  He heard Ishmael shouting about finding chains and cables and realized that they would soon be in the midst of a powerful storm and it was time to batten down the hatches, as they used to say in the old pirate stories.

He got up and ran toward the group, his Librarian robe flapping in the wind, but another gust knocked him back down. The wind was getting stronger and was blowing away from the trucks.  This was going to be a problem.  He got on his hands and knees, kept his head down, and crawled against the wind back toward the group.  He had come across several coils of strong nylon rope in a compartment under the floor of the sleeping truck when he was looking for storage space for his specimens.  He had to tell Ishmael.


It had been a pleasant day after the amusing incident at the lake and Somphit had felt almost like her normal self.  Unlike Cassie, she had tried to appear somewhat stern to go along with the other women, but alone in the sleeping truck, as she folded her newly washed old clothes, she had found herself chuckling for the first time in what seemed lik a long time.

But then she heard the wind picking up suddenly, and so strongly-- the truck was swaying back and forth.  The truck was huge and weighed tons, but it was swaying back and forth.  She began to shake as the wind howled louder.  And that was followed by the sound of rain hitting the walls of the truck, faster and louder.  It sounded like bullets.  It sounded like a machine gun.  She ran to the door and turned the handle-- the wind immediately tore it out of her fingers and it slammed against the side of the truck with a bang.  The wind and the rain blew her back, staggering, and suddenly there was a blinding flash of lightning and a cacaphony of brittle thunder.  She put her hands against her ears and screamed.

#54 Raeven


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Posted 09 June 2015 - 06:05 AM

With Sophie and Ishmael gone, Nemo and Rex had gathered all of the animals back into the livestock truck, then moved the truck into the centre of the camp, the other trucks could be butted up and chained together to form a solid unit, the livestock truck was smaller and less robustly built, it would have been the weak link.

Isabella had spoken to John and decided to get started on making sand bags, not that she had access to any sand, she was hoping that soil bags would have the same effect….she went round each truck grabbing all the bags and sacks they used for storage when they were moving…she glanced up at the sky, it was getting darker by the minute, the rain was getting heavier and the wind was gusting…she wiped the rain from her face and started digging up soil and filling the bags.

After moving the livestock truck Rex had helped Abel make some heavy duty stakes…when he’s been chopping wood for the fire he’d come across a couple of fallen trees and branches, they’d used the axes to chop and shape the wood.

When Ishmael and Sophie returned Nemo led Hipp and Willow back into the truck, he rubbed them down and talked calmly to them, Willow was spooked and he didn’t want her to upset the other animals.

“everyone stay calm, it’s just a storm, it’s all going to be just fine as long as you all stay where you’re supposed to be”….he peered into the rear of the truck and looked at Mac….”that includes you” Mac flicked his ears….the truck rocked and Nemo peered out of the door….”it’s just Amet chaining the truck to his buggy” he whistled softly and Varg appeared…”can you stay with them..I need to go and help the others….I’ll be back as soon as I can, or Myka will” he clambered down out of the truck, he hadn’t seen Myka since they moved the truck…he ran over to Isabella

Have you seen Myka? Isabella nodded…”she was helping the others, she’s ok Nemo,I think she was with Cassie and now you’re here you can help me” she handed him the shovel…”you dig, I’ll fill”

Rex caught a flash of movement, he squinted… Alexander appeared to be crawling ….”pretty smart move librarian” he let the wind blow him forward towards Alexander, he crouched down….”You look like a man on a mission, you should be safe inside one of the trucks not out here….do you need any help?”

Isabella jumped as the camp was illuminated by a flash of lightning, as the thunder rumbled overhead she heard a scream, as the thunder subsided the scream continued…..she looked around, the door to the sleeping truck was slamming back and forth in the wind….”Somphit!!!”

#55 Nikki Peppermint

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Posted 09 June 2015 - 08:21 AM


"I've got her!" Cassie yelled to Isabella over the fierce wind and downpour.

This was all they needed...hysterics. The poor woman had been through so much since the camp where they'd all been poisoned that Cassie didn't blame her, but still...everyone needed to be calm right now.

"You and Nemo keep filling those sandbags! I'll let you know if she needs a sedative."

Having been tossing anything that could potentially blow away into the supply truck...after John had shut down dinner...Cassie was drenched. But most everything was now safe from the storm...except them. She had watched as John had pulled the supply truck into position while Dmitri guided the command truck in place. Once Ishmael and Sophie had returned all the trucks and Amet's buggy were in place and being chained together.

Luckily all the trucks were accessible to take shelter in. Cassie knew it was only a matter of time before they'd have to get in out of the storm or risk being blown away. She left Myka to return to the livestock truck to help with the animals now that the last of the horses were back.

Cassie leaped up the metal steps leading into the supply truck but was unable to close the door behind her. She gently shoved Somphit back while shushing the healer. She guided the woman to her small quarters and sat her on the bed. "It's gonna be okay," Cassie assured her. "It's just a storm. These trucks will keep us safe. Tell me what's wrong...can you calm down? Do you want me to find Alexander? I think I saw Rex with him."

Actually she'd seen Alexander on the ground and had been about to go to him when her partner reached the Librarian first. She'd glanced around for Enoch as well but hadn't seen him.

Edited by Nikki Peppermint, 09 June 2015 - 08:33 AM.

#56 Nikki Peppermint

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Posted 09 June 2015 - 08:36 AM

Climbing up the side of the livestock truck now that she was done helping Cassie, Myka finished the job of covering the animals. The top protective covering had been rolled across the top of the slatted truck like a giant window blind and secured in place, as well as one side panel. They were doing the job of keeping much of the vicious storm out. She didn't know what the material was but it was light enough for her to handle alone yet strong enough to keep out the rain and wind...and supposedly radiation from what information they'd discovered when they realized what the tubes along the top and sides actually were.

Except the wind was so violent that the material nearly tore out of her hands.

Seeing Nemo busy with Isabella Myka called out, "Amet!"

With fewer steps than any of them would have taken, the giant rushed over and prevented the long panel from whipping away into the storm. Between the two of them the protective covering was secured, leaving the back slats exposed and a way in and out for now.

"Thanks, Amet! I'd have lost it without you! You're going to have to find someplace to take shelter," she reminded him, shoving her dripping wet hair out of her face.

Myka heard Varg bark from inside the truck, as well as Mac bray. The stomping of the horses was added to the noise of the heavy rainfall. "I'd better get in there and calm them down until Nemo gets back."

Edited by Nikki Peppermint, 09 June 2015 - 10:10 AM.

#57 RJDiogenes


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Posted 09 June 2015 - 05:56 PM

Rex caught a flash of movement, he squinted… Alexander appeared to be crawling ….”pretty smart move librarian” he let the wind blow him forward towards Alexander, he crouched down….”You look like a man on a mission, you should be safe inside one of the trucks not out here….do you need any help?”  

"That would be excellent!" Alexander replied, raising his voice as much as possible-- which wasn't very much.  "Ishmael said we need chains and cables!  There are coils of nearly unbreakable nylon cords in a storage compartment under the floor of the sleeping truck!  Unfortunately, I'm having a little trouble with the wind!"


Cassie leaped up the metal steps leading into the supply truck but was unable to close the door behind her. She gently shoved Somphit back while shushing the healer. She guided the woman to her small quarters and sat her on the bed. "It's gonna be okay," Cassie assured her. "It's just a storm. These trucks will keep us safe. Tell me what's wrong...can you calm down? Do you want me to find Alexander? I think I saw Rex with him."

Pressing her hands against her ears, Somphit squeezed her eyes shut.  There was a bright purple slash the shape of a question mark in the blackness behind her eyelids from the lightning.  "The walls are collapsing!"  she shouted.  "It's too loud!  I can't see!  Alexander?  He's gone!  He's gone in the storm!"

#58 Nikki Peppermint

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Posted 09 June 2015 - 06:14 PM

Taking a deep breath so as not to shake some sense into Somphit Cassie instead patted the woman's shoulder.

"Alexander is just fine...I saw him nearby. Be right back...you stay there!"

Sticking her head out the the side door...and getting pelted with slashes of rain in her face for her troubles...Cassie screamed above the wind. "Isabella! Sedative!"

Then she looked down at the end of the sleeping truck and fought her way down the steps, holding on to the truck for balance as she made her way to Rex and Alexander. "He needs to get inside...NOW!" she yelled to her partner. "Somphit's losing it. And that is not my best skill set!"

Edited by Nikki Peppermint, 09 June 2015 - 06:21 PM.

#59 Raeven


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Posted 10 June 2015 - 03:08 AM

Rex helped Alexander to his feet, he kept hold of the librarian as the wind continued to whip around them….

Unfortunately, I'm having a little trouble with the wind!"

“Yeah, you and me both…how about I get you out of the wind and then I’ll go get the cords from the sleeping truck, I think I’m less likely to get knocked off my feet” he was just steering Alexander towards the nearest truck when Cassie approached

“He needs to get inside...NOW!"

He could just about make out what she was saying over the howling wind and driving rain….he cupped his hand to his ear…”Somphit’s lost what? Oh, you mean she’s…right, probably best someone other than you or me tries to calm her down…let’s get him to her”

Between them they half carried Alexander to the sleeping truck.

Isabella! Sedative!"

Isabella looked up….she could see someone silhouetted against the side door of the sleeping truck “Cassie?” she reached over and grabbed Nemos arm…”find Ishmael..if you can, see what he wants us to do with the bags….Cassie is shouting at me, someone needs sedating…I’ll be back as soon as I can”

She stood up and immediately got blown backwards, digging her feet into the wet ground she rounded her shoulders and bent her head, pumping her arms she made her way slowly forward, speeding up in between gusts….when she reached the med truck she grabbed onto the door handle and opened the door just enough for her to squeeze through, she grabbed a portable med kit, tucked it inside her jacket and headed back out to the sleeping truck.

She reached the truck at the same time as Rex, Cassie and Alexander, she hooked her arm though Alexanders….”thanks guys, I’ll take it from here….you two are probably better suited somewhere else”

When they were safely in the truck she pulled the door closed..she could see Somphit crouched down, her hands over her ears, rocking back and forth, she approached her slowly and crouched down in front of her and placed her hands on the woman's shoulders

"Somphit…shhh, it’s alright, you’re safe, I’m here, Alexander is here, we’ll keep you safe from the storm"….she glanced up at Alexander….”Sit with her..talk to her, I am going to give her a mild sedative because this storm isn’t going to stop any time soon and…it’ll be safer for her, for everyone”

She took the sedative out of the med kit and as Alexander sat next to Somphit she administered it….”she’s going to need you Alexander, you have to stay with her, make her feel safe” she smiled..”I have an idea…when I got scared as a child and couldn’t sleep, Joseph used to make me a ‘safe place’ usually it was just blankets thrown over a table, but I could crawl in and it felt safe…you could make a safe place here, use whatever you want”

The truck rocked as a strong gust of wind hit it…”I have to get back out there..if you need help..”she handed him a torch…”signal, don’t risk coming out, just keep flashing the torch”

Nemo worked his way around the camp, keeping his back to the trucks….”ISHMAEL??”

#60 Nikki Peppermint

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Posted 10 June 2015 - 11:47 AM

"….”thanks guys, I’ll take it from here….you two are probably better suited somewhere else.”

Cassie watched with relief as Isabella took over. She shook her head and looked up at Rex, water streaming over both of them.

"Did the doctor just insinuate that we're not people persons?" she shouted, a smirk on her face despite the storm raging all around them. "C'mon...let's find Ishmael or Sophie. They owe us some sort of 'what the hell is going on here' explanation now that they're back. The way they rode in it was like the very hounds of hell were on their heels."

Cassie was widely read in the genre of horror, science fiction, and other bizarre subjects from the old world thanks to the Department 7 library. She shrugged when Rex gave her that strange look he got when she talked about her weird fascination of the supernatural.

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