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Chapter Eight: Drake's Dream!

Kaerri

Dannigan's Lady
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Elinor waves to the four men (for surely Reggie counts enough, at this point) with a general "You too!" in response to their farewells. Long goodbyes weren't high on her list of favorite things in any case, nor emotional ones. They'd see each other again, surely. Or not, if Fate had other plans. But that was for the future to decide. In the meantime, all the Wild Cards were in one place, Hercules seemed to be in a much better state of mind than when she'd last seen him -- and he was offering them all something she wasn't familiar with, but smelled enticingly like honey. She set aside all incipient gloom and doom and smiled up at the big tanker. "Thanks for thinkin' of us," she said. "That sure looks good, whatever it is. We've got popcorn an' drinks, too."
 

Dannigan

Kaerri's Man. =)
Supporter
Captain Hesperus Captain Hesperus Tag.

Heya Gang! I've been having issues attempting to not imagine, but write this scene for about two weeks now. There are just so many different ways to do it! I wanted it done a few days ago and, well, yesterday I was hit with a big migraine so... I'm going to just "talk this scene out." Kind of like imagining that you were all around our gaming table (yes, we have one!) and I was describing what is going on in the scene face to face.

So if this scene is a little different, but then again, you knew I was a little different from the get-go, right? =)

Enjoy!

So! Yeah. The Thing. John Carpenter's highly-nasty, nightmare-inducing horror film of such excellence as to stand tall with any of the horror films made during its time all the way up to the present. It's one bloody, fiery hell of a ride. It's also a darned good story. But you're not reading this for movie review - we're here for Broadsword and that's what we'll be focusing on. But for any of you who would like a little taste of The Thing without giving it all away, this clip will hopefully suffice. You might recognize some familiar faces from 1980s films too. =)

"The Blood Test | The Thing (1982)"

So... this masterpiece of horror set in the South Pole where Pacifica and the Broadsword are en route to (no one forgot about the submersible futuristic city, did they?). It's just the kind of movie that, when Reggie Booty innocently asks, "What's the movie you're watching about?" Those who evidently have seen it (Sharp, Murph, Stein) all kind of... go quiet iand take deep breaths.

Murphy is the one to reply, "Just the kind of movie people oughta be watchin' before they do a mission in Antarctica. Y'all have fun and be good."

"I'll walk you down," Captain Sharp nods to you all. Then they depart toward the hangar bay en route to leafy-green Brazil and everything that's been going on there.

* * *​

There's a point before the movie starts where each of you look over to see Beema, or rather Beema's thin legs and hindquarters sticking out from an air vent inside the Briefing Room you're in. She apparently is having a conversation with another Broo.

"Pan Galactic," the giggling she-Broo corrects. A male voice answers her.

The voice that responds sounds sleepy, irritated, inhuman. "What wrong?"

"Cho Cho no sleep here," Beema's voice echoes in the tunnel. "Pie-pa get mad at you."

"Why? I no mind if Pie-pa want sleep here."

"Because is Briefing Room. We use to watch movie. You go. Sleep my den. You know where is?"

"Yah. I go. Cho Cho thank Beema." Cho Cho the lean orange and black-marked Broo with the tired stuffy green eyes slowly emerges from the air vent while giggling Beema closes it up behind him and escorts him out of the Briefing Room.

Turning once to all of you, Beema shakes her furry little head and says with great certainty to you, "Broo sleep anywhere." Then she curls up beside Mario and faces the middle of the room where the computer will display the movie where all of you can sit surrounding it, your backs to the circular wall.

* * *​

Of the Character's you're not playing, Hercules's offer of undeniably-gourmet baklava is taken up first by Hitomi who gently offers to share a piece with Toph as she sits down beside her with a sigh of great relief.

"Sorry I was late," the Japanese-Polynesian gives an apologetic smile. "I had just put my earrings on in Sick Bay when I got a call from Captain Piper requesting I come down to Drake's. She needed me to sedate Scary Jerry who was letting loose with a Mega-damage shotgun in the bar during a near-riot with the rest of Adamantium. Tell you more later if you're interested?"

One by one, each of you who wants a taste of the Turkish delight get one thanks to Hercules's generosity. Mack is the last. The curly-haired surfer-become-boss stands back watching everyone else, making sure they get a go before she does, in case supply runs dry. And with sweet incredible treats like these, that possibly is very, very likely. Good stuff sometimes just doesn't last.

Mack doesn't question how Hercules got ahold of the box of what were to be peace-offerings from her to Hercules. Instead, she simply grins at Hercules without saying anything, but with a look that clearly and positively tells the big Greek, "Glad you're here with us."

* * *​

Trouble. Trouble puts himself between the movie and Ylva for its entirety, hissing appropriately during the course of the film. The Mewwoo never retreats for long, but stays at his "post" "defending" Ylva with terribly cute would-be roars that last until the credits roll.

Cera. Cera's take on this human form of entertainment is much like a scientist watching some kind of alien-made documentary. Cera stares long and coolly at the movie. Occasionally she asks short questions. The auxiliary specialist takes notice of who is "getting into" the movie and who is holding back. Cera doesn't seem to "enjoy" the movie the way humans do, but you can tell her internal wheels are moving the entire time. Culture. It's a human concept when you are born out of a body-bank gene-fueled tank solely for war.

Beema. Folks, you have to physically restrain Beema during the course of The Thing. When the evil makes itself known for the first time, Beema suddenly shrieks, "MONSTA! DIE, MONSTA, DIE!!" and leaps at the hologram, her small claws and fangs going for blood that isn't there. Pausing the movie briefly and explaining to the youngest Broo becomes necessary. Beema proves to have less of an idea about what a movie is, and the savage girl appears confused when she sees you are clearly unthreatened. But then... Little Miss Beema says something that is haunting in a way no movie really can be. Movies, after all, are meant as entertainment.

"Regess!" Beema shouts to you and points to The Thing. Among your versatile and diverse crew, only Cera nods along in understanding at this word. Beema yowls a warning to you with great seriousness as The Thing transforms its victims on-screen. "Wild Card! Regess do this!"

"Who? Does what now?" Mack pauses with a raised eyebrow.

Beema stands up and pantomimes wildly, her claws and fur standing on edge and her voice heavy with dark emotions. "Regess not like Regent. Regent kill people! 'Slave people for cultcha! Not Regess! Regess chief get you? She... change you! You not people no more - Regess make you... monsta!" Beema points at the paused 3-D holographic image of The Thing.

"Wild Card undastand?"

From Toph's side, Hitomi who has been letting herself get into the movie, looks around to each of you. Trouble stares at Beema and then at The Thing. Cera casually stretches her arms above her head before pushing her hair back behind her.

How do the Wild Cards respond?
 

Psychie

Princess Psychie
Toph is somewhat distracted from the movie by the cloying scent of Hitomi's perfume; or perhaps it was just her natural aroma? Either way, Toph was enchanted by it. The movie at least had a decent plot to it, making it somewhat tolerable to watch.

Then Beema tells them of this Regent and Regis. "There are two different groups of Invid?" She looks over at the young cat-girl with curiosity. "Which one are we going to be dealing with here on Earth, and how much is known about the means that this Regis makes her biological changes to people? I would love to see some of that data."
 
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Captain Hesperus

Harbinger of the End Times and Apostle of Ghan
Administrator
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Hercules watches the movie with a degree of mirth. He'd seen it before, when he was younger, and it had terrified him. But now he was older and smarter and he knew that movie monsters couldn't hurt him, so he sat and enjoyed it. Until...

Beema's outburst. She was so aggravated, so swift to violence, that it took him by surprise. He moved quickly and quietly, enfolding the young Broo in a gentle but firm hug that was as much reassurance as it was an unbreakable restraint. He slowed his breathing to bring his suddenly rushing heart back to a resting rhythm.
"Beema is safe. Beema is with friends. Wild Cards kill all the monsta, even Regiss. Wild Cards won't let Regiss hurt anyone, especially Broo.", he spoke gently, close by her ears, hoping that she wouldn't require excessive restraining, "Beema calm down and tell us of Regiss."
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
Mario leans forward at Beema's outburst, agreeing with Hercules. "He's right, Beema. We will keep you and the Broo safe from the monstas. That's our job, and we do it well. Don't you worry about us. Just tell us what you can about this Invid Regis."
 

Kaerri

Dannigan's Lady
Administrator
Supporter
Horror wasn't really Elinor's thing, but she was entertained enough (partly by watching the others in the room) until Beema's sudden reaction. When the Broo girl first jumped at the hologram, Elinor instinctively snatched at her to hold her back. However, when Hercules responded just as fast, Elinor ceded the position of primary comforter to him. He had the bigger and stronger arms, after all, and was probably more comforting to be surrounded by. Given the realism of the display, and the nature of the movie itself, she wasn't too surprised at the reaction, but it turned out Beema was afraid of much more than a piece of realistic fiction.

What or who a "Regess" was, or how it related to the "Regent," was as much a mystery to Elinor as any Wild Card (Cera excepted, apparently). She did wonder what on Earth made Toph think there were multiple groups involved, since nothing Beema had said gave Elinor that impression. Or, for that matter, how Toph and Mario had made the connection to Invid, which Beema hadn't mentioned at all. Both of them got a raised eyebrow of curiosity from Elinor.

"I think we understand," she replied, nodding. "This 'Regent' kills or enslaves his enemies, while the 'Regess' turns 'em into monsters. And they don't get along, I guess? All good to know. But it isn't really anythin' to do with the movie, OK? The movie's not just made up, it's made up way before anyone on Earth knew about real aliens, much less this 'Regess'."
 
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Dannigan

Kaerri's Man. =)
Supporter
Captain Hesperus Captain Hesperus Tag. =)

(Part 1 of 2)

"Grimes – 4ÆM"

Toph is somewhat distracted from the movie by the cloying scent of Hitomi's perfume; or perhaps it was just her natural aroma? Either way, Toph was enchanted by it. The movie at least had a decent plot to it, making it somewhat tolerable to watch.
Toph's half-breed senses are sharp for either of her species and moreso, her brain seems attuned to pay more attention to them and thus make better use of these gifts, resulting in Toph's natural perceptiveness being quite acute. Her nose tells her three things about Hitomi - her current scent is a mixture of three. One, her perfume is high-class and applied just enough not to be cloying but suggestive. Two, Toph smells the pleasant scent of lightly-applied cocoa butter - an addition to the perfume that works. Her nose is telling her that either this cocoa butter is somehow fresh or Toph is a Zentraedi football linebacker! And three, Hitomi's own scent is unusual in its healthiness.

Even without the first two scents, this latter smell is the smell of pure womanly health. It is pleasurable to smell all by itself. Even inspiring from a health perspective. Most people wish their sweat could produce smells that wouldn't reject; Hitomi's on the other hand makes her that much nicer to be physically closer to.

One can only wonder what Toph might detect had she been born with a Broo's true wild animal senses? =)

* * *​

Beema. Folks, you have to physically restrain Beema during the course of The Thing. When the evil makes itself known for the first time, Beema suddenly shrieks, "MONSTA! DIE, MONSTA, DIE!!" and leaps at the hologram, her small claws and fangs going for blood that isn't there. Pausing the movie briefly and explaining to the youngest Broo becomes necessary. Beema proves to have less of an idea about what a movie is, and the savage girl appears confused when she sees you are clearly unthreatened. But then... Little Miss Beema says something that is haunting in a way no movie really can be. Movies, after all, are meant as entertainment.
Beema's outburst. She was so aggravated, so swift to violence, that it took him by surprise. He moved quickly and quietly, enfolding the young Broo in a gentle but firm hug that was as much reassurance as it was an unbreakable restraint. He slowed his breathing to bring his suddenly rushing heart back to a resting rhythm.
"Beema is safe. Beema is with friends. Wild Cards kill all the monsta, even Regiss. Wild Cards won't let Regiss hurt anyone, especially Broo.", he spoke gently, close by her ears, hoping that she wouldn't require excessive restraining, "Beema calm down and tell us of Regiss."
Horror wasn't really Elinor's thing, but she was entertained enough (partly by watching the others in the room) until Beema's sudden reaction. When the Broo girl first jumped at the hologram, Elinor instinctively snatched at her to hold her back. However, when Hercules responded just as fast, Elinor ceded the position of primary comforter to him. He had the bigger and stronger arms, after all, and was probably more comforting to be surrounded by. Given the realism of the display, and the nature of the movie itself, she wasn't too surprised at the reaction, but it turned out Beema was afraid of much more than a piece of realistic fiction.

Beema's war-cry is as loud as it is passionate. When she springs at the holographic Thing, it is clear she wants to destroy it anyway she can. She claws and swings for vital points. The neck. The head. The groin. And she's going for blood with every wild swing as if running on pure instinct alone. She almost collapses off-balance when her first swing passes to clean through the holographic image. Expecting resistance, she stumbles but recovers quickly enough.

When Hercules comes to scoop her up, she hears the big fellow coming with a flick of her ear as it rapidly turns to hear better. The youngest Beastie makes no attempt to evade his movements. In fact, in the split-second it takes for her to realize it is him, Hercules sees her turning to him, her arms open, jumping into his embrace with wholehearted trust and faith in him, hiding herself inside his massive biceps, huge forearms, and hands. It is then that Hercules discovers that he's got a small, very tight, muscular little ball of energy inside his grasp. In the flicker of time that it takes for hyperactive girls to switch emotions, now Beema doesn't appear to be scared as much as she is tremendously overexcited. Hercules can feel little teeth gently and probably unconsciously gnawing on his forearm out of pure animal nervousness. The heavy, rapid breathing of the furry girl is only matched by her little heart which is beating like a bird's.

"Hurk-yoo-leez numbah one!" Beema whispers with great gratitude as she tries to make herself as small as possible inside his colossal arms.

A moment later, her excited orange eyes peek out the she begins rapidly looking from Wild Card to Wild Card, then Hitomi. She's rapidly looking at your hips, your back, and your thighs. While other Wild Cards are, of course, welcome to draw their own conclusions (including the following), Mario and Hercules independently discover something, perhaps due to their training as armorers?

Beema is looking for guns on your persons. Having seen a threat, even a holographic one, appear so suddenly for her, her first instinct is to attack first and then find defense - perhaps it is telling that guns of the first items she looks for. Because you are in your uniforms and off-duty, none of you have any. But that does not appear to dawn on wide-eyed Beema from trying to find out.

Beema paws her right hip in panting disappointment. "Knife not here. Sheesa sharpen," she says. "Drat." Beema gasps as she looks back to the images. "Beema going to be very tired after movie!"
 

Dannigan

Kaerri's Man. =)
Supporter
(Part 2 of 2)

"Beema is safe. Beema is with friends. Wild Cards kill all the monsta, even Regiss. Wild Cards won't let Regiss hurt anyone, especially Broo.", he spoke gently, close by her ears, hoping that she wouldn't require excessive restraining, "Beema calm down and tell us of Regiss."
Then Beema tells them of this Regent and Regis. "There are two different groups of Invid?" She looks over at the young cat-girl with curiosity. "Which one are we going to be dealing with here on Earth, and how much is known about the means that this Regis makes her biological changes to people? I would love to see some of that data."
What or who a "Regess" was, or how it related to the "Regent," was as much a mystery to Elinor as any Wild Card (Cera excepted, apparently). She did wonder what on Earth made Toph think there were multiple groups involved, since nothing Beema had said gave Elinor that impression. Or, for that matter, how Toph and Mario had made the connection to Invid, which Beema hadn't mentioned at all. Both of them got a raised eyebrow of curiosity from Elinor.

"I think we understand," she replied, nodding. "This 'Regent' kills or enslaves his enemies, while the 'Regess' turns 'em into monsters. And they don't get along, I guess? All good to know. But it isn't really anythin' to do with the movie, OK? The movie's not just made up, it's made up way before anyone on Earth knew about real aliens, much less this 'Regess'."
Mario leans forward at Beema's outburst, agreeing with Hercules. "He's right, Beema. We will keep you and the Broo safe from the monstas. That's our job, and we do it well. Don't you worry about us. Just tell us what you can about this Invid Regis."

"I tell! Moment... Bunka-bunka!" From inside Hercules's arms, Beema excitedly begins excitedly waving Elinor over to join her. "Come come! In Hurk-yoo-leez bunka! Hurk-yoo-leez no afraid monsta! No afraid machine! No afraid man!"

Hitomi chimes in with a grin, teasingly indicating Toph and herself. "What about us? Can we come too?"

Beema turns her head and briefly looks into Hercules's eyes. Then she turns back to Hitomi. Her answer is firm. "No. You too pretty."

"'Too pretty?!'" Hitomi exclaims. "And what does that have to do with anything?" But the confused and gorgeous Japanese-Polynesian is left only with Beema's breathless and highly-entertained giggling as reply as Beema continues to paw at Elinor.

Then the excited furry miss remembers she was asked an important question from multiple angles, some of which evidently confuse her.

"Ahh... 'Biolo...?' 'Data?'

Broo speak English as a second language and even then brokenly. Statements requiring higher English tend to be lost on them. She seems to comprehend Hercules and Mario's choice of words best at the moment. All four Wild Cards asking her at once proves to be too much for the savage girl. She retreats into the Hercules-bunker and from its safety, peers at Ylva and Trouble who continues to stalwartly defend the Scandanavian with all of his bitty kitty might.

"Wise Mewwoo! You ansa?"

Trouble inhales deeply and paws threateningly in the air. "Reeeewewrwr! MRowroaWReewr!!" which appears in your minds as, "Regent and Regess are baaaad! Don't let them get yoooou!!"

Beema's eyes narrow. "Okay. Was bad idea. Cera? You ansa for Beema? Please?"

This entire time, Cera of the Ura-Meltrandi has been as relaxed as one created for war can be. What she has lacked in fear during this, her very first human movie, she has made up in being greatly interested in the details provided thus far. The entire time while human Mack is cringing from the horror flick, Cera is instead intellectually-curious. The mention of the Regent and Regess only further cement her thoughtful demeanor. Cera glances back to Beema. Red eyes meet orange - two aliens from incredibly diverse backgrounds and histories - as different as they can be.

Cera nods slowly and casts her gaze on The Thing, frozen in its holographic and horrific state. "The Regent and Regess are the greatest of the Invid. As much as we Ura-Meltrandi hate the Zeki and loathe our creators, the Robotech Masters, there is no dismissing the evidence - the Regent and the Regess are, to us, the most dangerous beings in the universe."

Then Beema tells them of this Regent and Regis. "There are two different groups of Invid?" She looks over at the young cat-girl with curiosity. "Which one are we going to be dealing with here on Earth, and how much is known about the means that this Regis makes her biological changes to people? I would love to see some of that data."
Cera glances in a mixture of confusion and annoyance at Toph's statement. "Your conclusion, however you came to it, is in grave error. The Regent and Regent work as one. At least... twenty years in the future, they do. I know nothing about the Regess's methods; only that they mirror the Zeki-Zentraedi love of greatly and horribly altering things into worse things - creatures become monsters. Allies into threats. Friends," Cera looks each of you in the eye, "into mortal enemies. Underestimate them at your peril."

"I think we understand," she replied, nodding. "This 'Regent' kills or enslaves his enemies, while the 'Regess' turns 'em into monsters. And they don't get along, I guess? All good to know. But it isn't really anythin' to do with the movie, OK? The movie's not just made up, it's made up way before anyone on Earth knew about real aliens, much less this 'Regess'."
Just tell us what you can about this Invid Regis."

Mack raises her hand more out of school-born habit than anything else. "Why come here? I mean... first Lord Dolza shows up and kills most of us. Then the UEEF with the SDF-3 and fleet take off to the rumored homeworld of the Robotech Masters." Mack pauses and glances to Cera.

"It is no rumor. Tirol is real."

"And we're building up for the Invid to come here? Why do they come to Earth at all? What have we done to them?"

Cera sighs in reflection. "It is your Protoculture that draws them. The secrets of the SDF-1 and now... SDF-2. The Invid must have Protoculture. They enslave entire continents, worlds, solar systems, to take as much as they can."

"So there's.... no talking them out of this? The UEEF expedition to Tirol?"

"Doomed from the start, at least in my timeline."

"Oh man!" Mack puts her hand to her cheek. "This is heavy!"
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
Mario feels a chill go down his spine. This was getting into some very deep stuff, waaaay above his pay grade. "This time travel shit is giving me a headache! We can't recall the UEEF mission to Tyrol to keep the Earth safe because it has already happened in your timeline where you have come back in time to warn us and prepare the planet for its invasion! Its the whole 'Grandfather Paradox', but this time, its not on some sci-fi tv show, but here in our real lives!"

He looks around, and says, "Well, I'm going to hazard a guess that no matter what Invid we run into, it will do its best to kill us, so we should count them all as hostile and take them down with extreme prejudice. Along with the Zeki-Zentraedi and the Robotech Masters. Damn. So many enemies out there, all gunning for the Earth. I wish we had some allies in this fight."
 

Dannigan

Kaerri's Man. =)
Supporter
So many enemies out there, all gunning for the Earth. I wish we had some allies in this fight."
The moment Mario says this, Beema sums this up, looks at him, and begins energetically beckoning to him.

"Mar-ee-yo! In de Hurk-yoo-leez bunka-bunka! Iz safe here! You will see!"
 

Psychie

Princess Psychie
Toph looks over at Beema with a comforting smile. "Don't you worry, dear one. Whatever comes our way, the Wild Cards will prevail! How can we not when we have such strong, brave protectors for you like Mario and Hercules? You know that we will all do our part to keep Beema safe."
 

Dannigan

Kaerri's Man. =)
Supporter
Beema watches Toph like a wildcat under the protective gaze of her older brother or uncle. She takes in Toph's words and while her body language and keen eyes say, "I do not doubt you," her impish mouth replies, "Toph Kirin still too pretty. No enta bunka-bunka for you!" With that, she huddles down into Hercules's arms once again and, amused with herself, Beema gives Toph that savage little giggle of hers.

"Heheheheh!"
 

Captain Hesperus

Harbinger of the End Times and Apostle of Ghan
Administrator
Supporter
Hercules couldn't help but blush fire engine red at Beema's words about Hitomi and the female Wild Cards being 'too pretteh' to enter the protective embrace he had her in. He almost regretted unburdening his feelings to the Broo and dropped his head down beside her ear. Once he was close enough that he hoped no one else could hear, he whispered into the girl's twitching ear, "Beema telling Hercules' secret to Hitomi is bad. Please don't tell Hercules secret to others, make Hercules sad. Big sad."
He then squeezed her firmly but lovingly to reaffirm how he cared for her then lifted his head, hoping his cheeks were a slightly less alarming shade of crimson.
 

Dannigan

Kaerri's Man. =)
Supporter
Captain Hesperus Captain Hesperus Tag. =)

"'Too pretty?!'" Hitomi exclaims. "And what does that have to do with anything?" But the confused and gorgeous Japanese-Polynesian is left only with Beema's breathless and highly-entertained giggling as reply as Beema continues to paw at Elinor.

"Hurk-yoo-leez no worry! Beema neva tell unless he say so," Beema explains with a grin from under his cover while hugging him. "When Hee-toh-mee say question, Beema quiet! No ansa from Beema! Wild Card say Beema no have worry 'bout Invid? Then Hurk-yoo-leez no have worry about shush-shush! Hehehehe!"

Then she adds with a whisper and a glow of orange eyes. "Sorry I worry you. I stop now."

One glance Hitomi's way is telling. Hitomi's body language, position, and focus tells Hercules that Hitomi is interested only in keeping Beema's mind off of the young Broo's video-produced fears and that is where her mind on those matters end. Instead, Hitomi is intently listening to Cera's explanation and everyone's questions about the Regent and Regess - the Invid being the deadly subject at hand. Hitomi appears to have as much interest in Hercules's secret as Beema has in providing it - none. =)
 
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Kaerri

Dannigan's Lady
Administrator
Supporter
"I tell! Moment... Bunka-bunka!" From inside Hercules's arms, Beema excitedly begins excitedly waving Elinor over to join her. "Come come! In Hurk-yoo-leez bunka! Hurk-yoo-leez no afraid monsta! No afraid machine! No afraid man!"

Elinor joined Beema in one sense; she moved over to stand with Hercules, but made no attempt to enter the "bunker." She listened intently as Beema and Cera talked about the Regent, Regess, Invid, and the UEEF expedition to Tirol.

She shrugged at Mack and Mario. "All we can do is all we can do," she pointed out practically. "Whatever's beyond our reach, let it go. Which isn't to say we shouldn't be tryin' to extend our reach if we can. Which is why Broadsword's here, or rather now, in the first place, an' why we got selected. We might be pretty junior officers -- or enlisted," she corrected herself with a nod to Mario and Hercules, "but we've got what's needed now. So, we just do it the best we can."
 

Silanon

Four Thousand Club
Regent and Regess. Hard to know what to think, for the Swede. They're as alien as the Thing, and about as surreal. Some distant, unfamiliar threat - to her, at least. And yet, already present in the people's minds. Spreading fear, long before they arrive. So deeply engraved in the Broo's mind, it seems, that even an innocent moment of entertaining horror turns into...well, whatever this is, just now. The plan was to leave all this behind for an hour or two... the upcoming fighting, the worries, the threat. Instead, there are heroic cats and bunkers - concerns and fears.

Well - such is life these days, it seems. Mankind's worst nightmares, turned into reality. A world in ruins. Terrible enemies. And even worse foes on their way. At least there's technomancy, right? The ability to turn a projector on and off by force of the mind, while the entire world out there is going to burn...

"All we can do, really", Ylva agrees with Elinor, runs one hand over Trouble's back. Doing their best, chasing dreams. Putting mankind's weight on the Commander's shoulders. And on those who just left, of course. Gotta get to the Grand Cannon, somehow, too. Won't matter what Regess and Regent look like if the Invids are burned to ash by mankind's ingenuity. Just, getting there...
 

Dannigan

Kaerri's Man. =)
Supporter
Captain Hesperus Captain Hesperus Tag. =)
(Part 1 of 2 - The Wild Cards onboard the Broadsword in the Briefing Room)

Elinor joined Beema in one sense; she moved over to stand with Hercules, but made no attempt to enter the "bunker." She listened intently as Beema and Cera talked about the Regent, Regess, Invid, and the UEEF expedition to Tirol.
From over Hercules's folded arms extends one of Beema's, her outstretched hand reaching out as far as it will go and making silent snatching motions as if to somehow grasp Elinor and yank her into safety despite the fact that Elinor is well out of her reach.

She shrugged at Mack and Mario. "All we can do is all we can do," she pointed out practically. "Whatever's beyond our reach, let it go. Which isn't to say we shouldn't be tryin' to extend our reach if we can. Which is why Broadsword's here, or rather now, in the first place, an' why we got selected. We might be pretty junior officers -- or enlisted," she corrected herself with a nod to Mario and Hercules, "but we've got what's needed now. So, we just do it the best we can."
"All we can do, really", Ylva agrees with Elinor, runs one hand over Trouble's back.

Mack takes a long look at the paused holographic Thing that Beema attacked. Lying back against the wall of the briefing room, she thinks a moment after hearing Elinor's say and then nods. "For sure. Right on target, Elinor. We can either kill ourselves with worries or we can take it one step at a time."

Mack brushes aside her black hair and turns to the Hurk-yoo-leez bunker. She gives the big Greek a grateful wink and smile. "So does everyone understand that our movie here is harmless? Can't hurt anyone?" A pair of nearly-hidden orange eyes peer from a small space between Hercules's hulking forearms. They peer from Elinor to Mack. The little furry arm zips back inside. "'Moo-vee,'" Shirley says back to those eyes. "Like... no hurt Broo. No hurt Hercules or Wild Cards."

"No?" replies Hercules's forearms.

Mack thinks swiftly. Slowly and confidently, the Californian surfer shakes her head, her curly locks dancing from side to side. "No. Is... uh... story. Tale. Not real tale. Make believe. Pretend."

"Regent and Regess real!"

"Yes, but The Thing is no real. Pretend." Mack leans forward a little at those orange cat-eyes. "Tale. Unda-stand?"

Hercules felt a touch of nervous biting as Beema briefly nibbles on his skin. The youngest Broo's furry head pops up just long enough to stare deeply into Hercules's eyes. Indeed, in his caring gaze, the distant animal-hearted traveler and would-be shaman sees no fear in Hercules's eyes and that is more than good enough for her. Still, she does not come out from the Hurk-yoo-leez bunka-bunka. Beema's head hunkers down once again and watches from the tiny slit between Hercules's forearms. "Undastand. But Beema stay here."

Trouble turns about and clambers up on whatever part of Ylva she allows him be it legs, lap, or shoulder. "Mrrrooo?" The voice of a little boy enters the Wild Cards' and Broo minds. "You isn't skeered, are you?" Trouble the Mewwoo turns about to face the moo-vee, his tail swishing while his golden eyes regard only Ylva and the holographic projector.

From her relaxed position near Mario and Toph, Cera stretches and reaches for another handful of popcorn. "May we now resume the viewing of the destruction of humans and animals in the hopes they will find a solution to prevent their eradication?"

Mack picks up the remote. "We may! I for one want to see this damned thing get blown straight to hell!"

Cera adds. "And may we never run into such horrors. Some things in the universe are better left alone."

On that note, The Thing continues on until it reaches its thrilling end.

This is disgusting and horrific! Not safe for work unless you work in the horror industry! Wooo!
"Chest Defibrillation - The Thing (5/10) Movie CLIP (1982) HD"

More than once, your friends both planetary and interplanetary let themselves "get into it" with fun and exciting results. Hitomi shrieks and grabs Toph's arm at least twice, but Mack proves to have some good lungs on her too. Trouble hisses and swipes generously in defense of Ylva. In the louder, more violent scenes, small bits of popcorn seeds can be seen flying out from Hercules' bunka in long-ranged assault. Only Cera remains calm throughout. Deep in study, the cerebral Ura-Meltrandi often touches her thigh upon which her dimly-glowing tablet is stored. It is clear to anyone studying the alien that Cera is quietly and unobtrusively getting something done while watching The Thing and watching your reactions.

Perhaps in the hopes no one will need a blood test? =)
 

Dannigan

Kaerri's Man. =)
Supporter
(Part 2 of 2)

"Rain" by Hans Zimmer for the Blade Runner 2049 Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

It is during the loud and action-filled final scenes of the The Thing where even Cera's hands cease to move upon her tablet that the movie's hold becomes its strongest. The holographic projector, an incredible piece of technology in any age, allows the movie to do what great stories do best - collecting and keeping an audience's attention until its finale. At this point, everyone from Wild Card to non-Traverser, human to alien, is engrossed in one way or another in the dramatic and sense-filling conclusion of John Carpenter's horror masterpiece. No sounds can be heard from the Wild Cards.

Every one of you are watching these moments together.

Some of you are huddled together. Some of you prefer to sit alone. And yet, there you are. In one place. Experiencing something simultaneously. Something emotional, engaging, and altogether captivating.

Your mission to retrieve the ICE-9. Saving Commander Zyorna's life. Your struggle against the Zeki-Zentraedi. The Brazilian Grand Cannon. The thoughts of your families and how they might be faring. Your own hopes and dreams and nightmares. They are all gone for a little while, replaced by this make-believe voyage into horror and humanity in one of entertainment's highest forms. The Broo do not have this. The only theaters among the Ura-Meltrandi are theaters of war. If the Mewwoo produce movies, Trouble has not said. Something in this moment is purely human. A reminder of times before the Rain of Death. Before the words "Zentraedi" or "Meltrandi" or "Protoculture" or "First Robotech War" were ever uttered here on this beautiful spinning blue world called Earth.

A flood of feeling comes over each of the Wild Cards. For a brief moment, there is a sense of completeness. Wholeness. Togetherness. And with those sensations comes the unmistakable feeling of peace. The movie, each of you, the briefing room, everything takes on a bluish hue. Is this part of the movie? Is this a trick of your senses? Does it matter now that you are this deeply into it?

The Wild Cards experience this together. All of your cares and stress bleed away replaced by a great sense of... "okayness." Total contentment. No longing for anything really. Not even popcorn. Just a single moment in time filled with absolutely purity where nothing is wrong, nothing harmful can touch you, any of you, and the problems of the world as you know it seem very, very far away.

And that's all right too.

There begins another sensation. One that you are surrounded by something else. Something that wishes you no harm. Perhaps it or they are here to protect you. Whatever it is, it is a welcoming sensation. A simple understanding that something is watching you, perhaps following you when it can, and it will always be your ally. Yet you cannot hold it. Cannot put a name to it. Cannot communicate with it, at least not now. Or perhaps you have been communicating with it all this time?

The sensations drift away like the receding edge of water retreating from a lazy beach back into a calm ocean. You begin to become aware of your own heartbeats, your slow and steady breathing, your higher-than-normal temperature, only now noticing it was gone before. The blue haze gradually fades away. The round briefing room comes back into view. Your ears begin to take in the incessant hum of the Broadsword's mechanical and electrical energy all working and surging around you, every day and every night, ceaselessly. You feel the telltale minute pulls of the vessel as it carries all of you and everything within its hull as it travels through the Atlantic Ocean all under its own power.

Then you hear whispers from the soft and attractive female voice of someone caring and familiar. It is Hitomi. And she sounds focused and concerned.

"Hey... can you... see us? Come back to us."

Toph is the first to rise to wakefulness. The half-human is sitting beside Hitomi who is slowly waving her fingers in front of Toph's eyes.

Ylva feels her hair and cheek being patted by tiny paws and the querying mewing of a cybernetic kitten in her lap trying to get her attention.

Hercules gets a faceful of Beema. She is staring directly into Hercules's eyes with her own. Her cat-eyes are producing that soft and illuminating radiance Broo can create when they blink their eyes quickly. She has a look on her face that seems to be asking, "Are you in there?"

Elinor and Cera awake looking at each other as do Mario and Shirley.

One by one, you find yourselves taking deep breaths as you seem to return to your bodies. You are aware of your body again. There is no blue haze. And yet, as you look from Wild Card to Wild Card, each of you knows with absolute certainty - this was no dream! You remember the very end of the movie, but you do not remember the credits rolling from The Thing. You don't remember anyone turning off the holographic projector. You have no memory of who turned the Briefing Room's lights back on or how it got so very quiet in here. You have awoken and are sitting here with your non-Traverser friends and allies who are trying to find out what just happened to you. You have no idea how long you have been sitting here, but here you have been.

Together as if sharing a dream.

"Are... you... okay?" Hitomi softly asks. "Where did you guys go?"
 

Psychie

Princess Psychie
Toph looks around the room, feeling very confused. "I - I don't know. I've never felt anything like that before. It was sort of like being in the Blue World, but . . . not? Did everyone feel it too?"
 

Captain Hesperus

Harbinger of the End Times and Apostle of Ghan
Administrator
Supporter
Hercules blinked and started forward, scooping Beema back into his arms and looking around cautiously.
”What was that?” he spoke up, his tone uncertain, questioning, “I assume you experienced that. A feeling of complete union with each other, yes?”
He looked around at his fellow Wild Cards, the question hanging in the air.
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
Mario looks around the room at his fellow Wild Cards and says, "Wow. That. Was. Weird. I'm glad that someone else said something, or else I might just think that I was going completely mental!"
 

Kaerri

Dannigan's Lady
Administrator
Supporter
Elinor stares into Cera's face, confused by the feeling that she ought to be uncomfortable about what just happened, and yet wasn't. "Yeah...kinda like we were in the Blue World. Only not. Our own personal Blue World, but shared?" She shakes her head, finding the description completely inadequate, and starts over, thinking through the experience as she speaks. "I remember the end of the movie, but before the credits rolled, my vision went bluish, like I'd put on blue-tinted lenses. My sense of 'here and now' seemed to fade, like everythin' was at a distance, but that was OK. Everythin' was OK. I could feel the rest of you there with me, wherever 'there' was. It didn't matter where, because we were together, one unit. And then... there was somethin' else with us. Or someone. I don't know who, but they didn't mean harm, I'm sure of that. Maybe they even wanted to protect us. I don't know, just that it or they was an ally. And then I was back, hearin' and seein' everythin' like normal." Elinor looks around at the other Wild Cards. "Like that for y'all, too?"
 

Silanon

Four Thousand Club
The tension from the movie - despite Trouble's presence - gone. Instead, a barrage of other thoughts and emotions. Words, from the others, quicker to find their wits.

"Sounds... about the same?" It's hard to say, really. It's weird. And part of Ylva's mind quickly busies itself with shouting that stuff like that shouldn't be a thing. And yet they are. And it felt... good. Calming. In a way she can't quite comprehend. Maybe she will, in time. Maybe not. Maybe it doesn't matter, in this particular case. This little moment - it's a gift. No need to question it, not too much, at least. Her hand reaches out, tries to catch Trouble's paws and stop the attempts to wake her from whatever that was.

"Couldn't put it in better words, just..." She shrugs. There are no good descriptions for that, are there? The others tried, but this seems beyond words. "So... that 'presence'. Think it's still around? It felt like it would be - but I wouldn't know where to look. Or what for. A person? Machine? The Broadsword itself?"
 

Dannigan

Kaerri's Man. =)
Supporter
Cera sits frozen. Her back against the wall, she has lost all leisurely composure and is now stiff from shock. Her normally disciplined face and body are now a mixture of shock and uncertainty, but not fear. She holds herself, her arms slipping across herself and clutching her biceps. She looks to Shirley first.

"Leader Mack... what just happened?"

Shirley's hands are folded together just under her neck, her fingers pressing against her skin. Shirley's face is flushed red making her Californian blue eyes stand out more than normally beneath the unruly curls of her black hair. Shirley looks like she has run a sprint, for her breathing is quick as she, like the rest of you, appears to struggle to make sense out of the explosive sensations that just ripped through the room.

"I... don't know, Cera!"

Shirley looks around the room and at your faces for any sign of answers or even simple comprehension. She finds none.

Hitomi is up now, first checking on Toph who was sitting right beside her. Toph knows exactly what Hitomi is doing when the non-Traverser looks into her eyes and checks her breathing and pulse, except once Hitomi's fingertips and thumb press across the veins in Toph's wrist, Toph gets the feeling that Hitomi doesn't quite want to let go of her.

"Hitomi?" Shirley pants. "What..."

"You just vanished," Hitomi explains in a manner that holds no doubting of what she just experienced. "You just disappeared and reappeared in a matter of seconds." Hitomi's gaze goes to Trouble who is sniffing the air with intense interest you haven't seen out of the MechaKitten before. Then Hitomi shoots a look to the calmest person in the room by far - Beema.

The she-shamaness-in-training is no longer in Hercules's grasp though the huge Greek has zero recollection of letting her go or watching her slip out from his tender protection. Beema, for the first time since the movie started, looks genuinely and deeply... entertained!

Beema looks to Toph first. Her voice is quick and raspy in its excitement. "Toph Kirin? You see Commanda Kirin when you go?"

Toph did not. None of you seemed to go anywhere... physically.

Or did you? =)
 

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