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Fantasy Far Passage

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Corrosion

Me Titan, Me Punch
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Kingdom of Arcadia, Edreign
Year 374 of the Fourth Age



It was just past midday, and the sun was shining on the land of Edreign, its warm rays of light perfectly complimenting the crisp and somewhat chilly fresh air on a perfect spring day. The Kingdom of Arcadia had just only come out of another harsh winter about two weeks prior, and now the land had once again been transformed from being covered in a thick blanket of snow to a lush and beautiful expanse of endless grass fields and hills.

For the people of the kingdom's capital city of Windfyre, they had celebrated with a feast consisting of the remainder of their stores for the winter and fresh produce that could only grow in the winter seasons. It was a tradition that had been carried down for millennia, ever since the very founding of the Kingdom over three thousand years ago at the beginning of the Second Age. It was a joyous celebration, for it welcomed better times and the much-anticipated Summer Solstice.

For the members of the Wayfarer Guild, it was much of the same. They celebrated in their own way, with plenty more booze and ale than most people elsewhere, of course. Not everyone within the guild celebrated the same as those who were born and raised in Arcadia, owing to the fact that the guild accepted brave souls hungry for adventure and thrill from all corners of the world, but they still partook in the celebrations like just about everyone else, no matter where they came from. After all, booze was the universal sign of friendship, no matter where you came from.

The celebrations had lasted for a week, and now that it was over, the Wayfarers, as the members of the guild were called, had returned to their normal life of adventure and other duties.

Fort Wayfarer Courtyard


Located in the mountains about a dozen miles away from Windfyre was Fort Wayfarer, home of the Wayfarer Guild. Built from the ruins of a kingdom long forgotten, the guild had reconstructed the mountain fortress a thousand years ago, and had used it as its headquarters ever since. It was quite a large complex, a full fortress, though still paling in comparison to the more modern ones constructed by Arcadia in more recent times. This was where the Wayfarers lived as members of the oldest and most prominent guild in all the land.

In the middle of the fort was the courtyard, a large space where Wayfarers would often train and spar with one another. Now, however, there were no sparring or training going on. Instead, a large runic circle had been drawn in the dirt in chalk, with an old man in dark blue robes and clutching a long wooden staff in his hand by it. A number of Wayfarers were opposite, all of them attending the demonstration.

"Now," said the old mage. "As you can see, I have completed the rune. This is but the first step of this procedure."

A young woman in the crowd raised her hand, wanting to ask a question.

"Yes, young lady?"

The woman stepped out of the crowd, flicking her long golden hair which draped down to her plate-mail armour. "If I may ask," began Elyscia Stormcrown. "What exactly do you intend to accomplish with this?"

The mage mage snapped his fingers together. "Ah, have patience, you will see in due time!"

He tapped his staff against the ground, the shimmering Calnxite attached to the top flaring as he did. "I'm not Grand Conjurer of the Mage College for nothing, you know! You see, what I intend to do her is to demonstrate an advanced spell that has never been accomplished before! My colleagues and I have spent many years researching this specific spell, and now believe finally have the knowledge of how to achieve our intended result."

"You've never tested this before?" Elyscia asked with a raise of her brow. She placed a hand on her hip. "Pray tell, what if something were to go wrong?"

"I have faith that everything will go according to plan," replied the Grand Conjurer. "You needn't worry."

"Right..." Elyscia said, not entirely convinced. "You haven't yet told us what you plan to accomplish."

The Grand Conjurer grinned. "Yes, I haven't," he said, before flourishing his arms in an oddly dramatic fashion. "I reveal to you that I have discovered a way to access a realm even beyond the Mistral Plane!"

There was hushed murmurs among the gathered Wayfarers. No one had ever accomplished such a feat, or even thought that there was another realm beyond the Mistral Plane. Also known as the Origin, it was the birthplace of all magic in the world, and where souls were born and where they would return to upon death. More importantly, it was also the abode of the Progenitor, said to be the creator of the realms.

"You mean to say you would pierce the heavens themselves?" Elyscia asked, skeptical. She crossed her arms.

"And beyond!" Said the Grand Conjurer. "Now, you will see the fruits of our labour! Harkin! Rumo!"

He snapped his fingers, and a pair of younger Conjurers took their places around the rune. Now each of the three mages were standing in a triangle. "I must ask you to stand back, for this might prove to be... hazardous. Ha ha!"

The Wayfarers did as they were told, stepping backwards as the mages began. The Grand Conjurer started with a chant in an ancient language, raising his arms. The two others did the same, and suddenly, the rune began to glow. The mages performed a series of gestures, and a bright blue aura surrounded them, spectral runes all similar yet different to the one on the ground appearing before them. Now the rune was glowing even brighter.

“In lacrimis. Non transiet. Quanto magis. In inanis paro,” the mages chanted as one. The rune glowed even brighter, as did they, and now the light was bright enough to shine like a beacon. Above, dark clouds gathered and swirled, and a perfect hole appeared directly above the rune.

The Grand Conjurer’s eyes were closed. “Et nunc faciemus. View luminis. Fere omnes…” His eyes suddenly opened, awash with an ethereal glow. “APPARUIT!”

A blinding beam of light suddenly shot down from the clouds, striking the rune directly. Reality around it seemed to warp and distort.

Elyscia took a nervous step back. “What is…”

The Grand Conjurer laughed. “Yes! YES! This is exactly what I have been looking for!”

The ground suddenly rumbled, and around the rune tears in the dirt suddenly appeared, ethereal fire erupting from below.

“That… wasn’t supposed to happen…” muttered the Grand Conjurer.

No sooner had the words left his mouth that the tower of light suddenly seemed to twist and distort, and then it suddenly seemed to widen.

Now there was panic in the Grand Conjurer’s eyes. “No! We must cease at once!”

“I can’t!” Shouted Harkin, straining. “I have no control!”

The beam of light had grown larger, and now was warping even more. Above, the clouds had darkened and now there were flashes of lightning from within.

Elyscia realised what was happening. She turned to the gathered Wayfarers. “Everyone, get down!”

The light exploded, consuming the three Conjurers and enveloping everything else in a blinding flash. Elyscia was knocked off her feet and hit the dirt, hard.

When the light receded, there was nothing left of the Conjurers but smoking piles of ash. They had been completely incinerated.

Elyscia shakily got to her feet, coughing a few times. “Is everyone unharmed?” She asked. “What in the name of the Progenitor was that?!”

She turned her attention to the rune, which was mysteriously intact. However, as she moved to take a closer look, she realised that it had changed. It now displayed a new, even more unfamiliar rune.



-----------------------------

CNECV Far Passage
Translight Transit En Route to Exoplanet Designated Huygens-381d
April 15, 2219

In a far distant reality the colony vessel Far Passage of the Consolidated Nations of Earth cruised through the universe a hundred times the speed of light, surrounded in a subspace field with its Torsion Drive.

The massive vessel over a kilometre in length was the newest in the Horizon-class of colony ships, great vessels constructed by the CNE to take humanity to new worlds that would take generations to reach within the span of only a few weeks.

For over seventy years humanity had been expanding across the stars, colonising world after world in its fledgling interstellar empire, fueled by the endless drive for conquest and the hope for a better tomorrow after having been bound to Earth for thousands of years.

The Far Passage was now on its way to set up humanity’s latest colony on the world of Huygens-381d, which of course was simply the designation for the planet as were all others discovered by the Huygens Telescope Array two decades prior.

Probes dispatched to the exoplanet had found it to have a breathable atmosphere, and extremely resource rich, which was why the Far Passage was loaded with equipment to establish a mining-focused colony. However, alien fauna had also been discovered native to the planet, and since it had a rather hostile environment, many of the creatures had evolved to be predatory. As a precaution, the ship also carried within it a complement of Corvus Security Corporation personnel to act as defence.

The ship had begun its maiden voyage twelve weeks prior, and now it still had two more weeks to go. With this long a journey, the vast majority of its crew and the colonists within were kept in cryostasis in order to preserve their lifespans and to shorten the journey from their point of view. There were only a few crew awake for their shifts, most of them maintenance personnel.

The Far Passage’s artificial intelligence program, the Colonial Intelligent Director, or simply CID for short, was the one responsible for overlooking the ship during the journey, along with the lives of all those within it. As an A.I., it had no emotions, and as such, hardly minded such a long journey, and was more than content with fourteen weeks of diligently watching over the sleeping colonists.

Twelve weeks had passed completely uneventfully, and it would be two weeks more until the ship had reached its destination, and CID would begin to awaken the colonists and crew to begin the next step of their journey.

Now, however, something would go wrong.

The ship suddenly shook, and warning lights and sirens flashed and blared over the mostly-empty ship. The bridge was completely empty as the bright tunnel of light outside passed on by the viewscreens, but CID still sounded an alert in its usual, upbeat but monotonous male voice.

“Alert: Unknown error. Warning: Torsion Drive is failing. Exiting translight.”

The Far Passage continued to shake violently, and outside, the tunnel of light vanished as the view was replaced by the inky blackness of realspace.

The red of the warning lights returned to the calm artificial light that lit much of the ship’s interior.

“Running diagnostics. Reactor online. Thrusters online. Life support online. Systems nominal. Alert: Torsion Drive offline. Unknown error. Recommend mainiantence dispatch immediately.”

CID analysed the space around the ship, and came to the conclusion that this was not the Far Passage’s intended destination. Something had gone horribly wrong, and it decided that now the best course of action was to inform the ship’s captain immediately, and to awaken its contingent of Pathfinders.

“Initiating emergency awakening sequence. Passing command to Captain. Awakening Pathfinders.”

Cryo Bay 15

Within the Far Passage were thousands of cryopods, each one holding within it a colonist or crew member stored in cryostasis. They were essentially in suspended animation, a deep freeze meant to halt their ageing and make long voyages pass by in the blink of an eye. This way, the crew did not have to weeks or even months aboard a vessel awake.

Cryo Bay 15 was rather special in that it contained the Far Passage’s Pathfinder contingent, two teams of nine each. These Pathfinders were some of the best humanity had to offer, charted out unexplored worlds and discovering new species and minerals, and also being the first to research them. In many ways, these were very similar to the explorers of old who discovered the New World on their wooden sailing ships hundreds of years before.

The bay was quiet, each Pathfinder in stasis in their pod, until the awakening sequence came.

A hiss of steam erupted out of vents located on the pods as the occupant was awoken, followed by the hatch opening.

Dylan Garrison was the first to awaken, sitting upright as feeling came back to him. He cracked his neck, which was rather stiff from weeks in stasis, and then stepped out of his pod. He took a moment to stretch and shook off a bit of frost, before clapping his hands together and looking to the rest of his team, who were all also in the process of awakening.

“Alright, guys, rise and shine!” He announced, clapping his hands together with a grin. “Looks like we’re here!”

He was dressed in a simple shirt and pants made from special synthetic materials, which was what everyone wore as standard when they went to cryosleep.

Dylan was feeling quite excited to lead Pathfinder Team Alpha. He had just graduated from the Pathfinder Academy of Earth the previous year, and at age 23, he was one of the youngest Pathfinders ever. Much of his team was made up of some veterans, with the exception of Vincent, who had attended the academy with him as his senior.

Inexperienced or not, he was not going to let that slow him down.
 
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Viper Actual

Ask me about my tourniquet fetish.
Grissom was awakened from his dreamless yet harmonic and calm slumber by a violent hiss as his pod was vented, de-pressurized and opened within moments.
Stepping out of the pod slightly hunched to avoid a collision with the pod hatch and his head, Grissom cursed, coughed and cursed some more as he planted his feet on the cold metal flooring.

After wiping his face Grissom turned towards Dylan with a faint grin. "Not too bad for stasis sleep, eh Dyl?"

Considering all the new faces and the nature of the Far Passage's mission Grissom was relieved that there were at least one familiar face around- even better that it was someone he could trust with his life considering that he'd seen Dyl grow up from the boy he once was and turn into a competent soldier.

Grissom glanced at the rest of the team and uttered a silent prayer because even if they were Pathfinders they weren't his Pathfinders, nor any of Grissom's veteran marines with ten plus years of service to back them up.

Nonetheless he would give them all a chance- just like he expected them to return the favor as far as Dyl's leadership was concerned.
 

Penlod

Lord of the Houses of the Pillar and Tower of Snow
Ilyanae Hiaenyiir's (Wayfarer) Perspective

Ilyanae Hiaenyiir stood among the assembled Wayfarers overlooking the Conjurer's runic circle. Sadly, at least to Ilya, there were few other Elves here. It wasn't that she disliked other races; it was the other way around, in fact. Most Elves were intolerable to Ilya, with their bigoted ideologies and ideas of superiority. However, at times like these where the other races' mages attempted feats best not attempted, Ilya felt like she was watching children, which made her feel very old. So here she stood, behind her fellow Wayfarers with arms crossed over her chest, watching with an incredulous gaze as the Conjurer spun his tale.

"Now," said the old mage. "As you can see, I have completed the rune. This is but the first step of this procedure."

A young woman in the crowd raised her hand, wanting to ask a question.

"Yes, young lady?"

The woman stepped out of the crowd, flicking her long golden hair which draped down to her plate-mail armour. "If I may ask," began Elyscia Stormcrown. "What exactly do you intend to accomplish with this?"

Hear, hear! At least someone has the sense to question him. Thought Ilya. What, indeed do you hope to accomplish... Ilya took a step forward with an expression betraying her curiosity.

The mage snapped his fingers together. "Ah, have patience, you will see in due time!"

He tapped his staff against the ground, the shimmering Calnxite attached to the top flaring as he did. "I'm not Grand Conjurer of the Mage College for nothing, you know! You see, what I intend to do her is to demonstrate an advanced spell that has never been accomplished before! My colleagues and I have spent many years researching this specific spell, and now believe finally have the knowledge of how to achieve our intended result."

"You've never tested this before?" Elyscia asked with a raise of her brow. She placed a hand on her hip. "Pray tell, what if something were to go wrong?"

"I have faith that everything will go according to plan," replied the Grand Conjurer. "You needn't worry."

Famous last words Ilya snorted but quickly muffled it with a small cough. A few nearby Wayfarers gave her a cursory glance, one or two let their eyes wander and Ilya gave them the iciest glare she could conjure. They quickly looked away with pale faces. She loves herself, but at times, having the body of an Elven maiden was tiring and kept her on edge when outside of Eshlynore. Ilya hated the lecherous gazes her body attracted. Men, and sometimes women, could never see beyond her female attributes and that infuriated her; she was more than her body! Whatsmore, women tended to avoid her like the plague, it wasn't her fault others thought her beautiful! Ilya scowled.

"Right..." Elyscia said, not entirely convinced. "You haven't yet told us what you plan to accomplish."

The Grand Conjurer grinned. "Yes, I haven't," he said, before flourishing his arms in an oddly dramatic fashion. "I reveal to you that I have discovered a way to access a realm even beyond the Mistral Plane!"

Still lost in her thoughts, Ilya caught the end of the Conjurer's sentence and her head shot up with wide eyes.

There was hushed murmurs among the gathered Wayfarers. No one had ever accomplished such a feat, or even thought that there was another realm beyond the Mistral Plane. Also known as the Origin, it was the birthplace of all magic in the world, and where souls were born and where they would return to upon death. More importantly, it was also the abode of the Progenitor, said to be the creator of the realms.

"You mean to say you would pierce the heavens themselves?" Elyscia asked, skeptical. She crossed her arms.

"And beyond!" Said the Grand Conjurer. "Now, you will see the fruits of our labour! Harkin! Rumo!"

He snapped his fingers, and a pair of younger Conjurers took their places around the rune. Now each of the three mages were standing in a triangle. "I must ask you to stand back, for this might prove to be... hazardous. Ha ha!"

Ilya reluctantly took a step back with a worried frown. Should I say something? This is considerably foolish; nothing good ever came from trying to reach another realm... Ilya tried to recall chronicles and histories from the archives in Eshlynore on conjuring but nothing relevant seemed to come to mind.

The Wayfarers did as they were told, stepping backwards as the mages began. The Grand Conjurer started with a chant in an ancient language, raising his arms. The two others did the same, and suddenly, the rune began to glow. The mages performed a series of gestures, and a bright blue aura surrounded them, spectral runes all similar yet different to the one on the ground appearing before them. Now the rune was glowing even brighter.

“In lacrimis. Non transiet. Quanto magis. In inanis paro,” the mages chanted as one. The rune glowed even brighter, as did they, and now the light was bright enough to shine like a beacon. Above, dark clouds gathered and swirled, and a perfect hole appeared directly above the rune.

The Grand Conjurer’s eyes were closed. “Et nunc faciemus. View luminis. Fere omnes…” His eyes suddenly opened, awash with an ethereal glow. “APPARUIT!”

A blinding beam of light suddenly shot down from the clouds, striking the rune directly. Reality around it seemed to warp and distort.

Elyscia took a nervous step back. “What is…”

The Grand Conjurer laughed. “Yes! YES! This is exactly what I have been looking for!”

The ground suddenly rumbled, and around the rune tears in the dirt suddenly appeared, ethereal fire erupting from below.

Ilya flailed her arms to steady herself then started grabbing, pushing people away from the runic circle as her survival skills kicked in.

“That… wasn’t supposed to happen…” muttered the Grand Conjurer.

With a quick, incredulous look at the Conjurer, Ilya thought, No sh- but she didn't finish her thought.

No sooner had the words left his mouth that the tower of light suddenly seemed to twist and distort, and then it suddenly seemed to widen.

Now there was panic in the Grand Conjurer’s eyes. “No! We must cease at once!”

“I can’t!” Shouted Harkin, straining. “I have no control!”

The beam of light had grown larger, and now was warping even more. Above, the clouds had darkened and now there were flashes of lightning from within.

Ilya's eyes widen and she sucked in a breath, Exalted One save us...

Elyscia realised what was happening. She turned to the gathered Wayfarers. “Everyone, get down!”

Seeing the coming hell-storm, Ilya quickly turned around and spotted a few Wayfarers behind her; she tackled them to the ground.

The light exploded, consuming the three Conjurers and enveloping everything else in a blinding flash. Elyscia was knocked off her feet and hit the dirt, hard.

When the light receded, there was nothing left of the Conjurers but smoking piles of ash. They had been completely incinerated.

Elyscia shakily got to her feet, coughing a few times. “Is everyone unharmed?” She asked. “What in the name of the Progenitor was that?!”

She turned her attention to the rune, which was mysteriously intact. However, as she moved to take a closer look, she realised that it had changed. It now displayed a new, even more unfamiliar rune.

Untangling herself from the two people beneath her, Ilya muttered an apology and tentatively got up. She looked to the piles of ash, once people, then to the rune with a confused and perturbed expression. What in the Great Progenitor's name happened....?
 

Penlod

Lord of the Houses of the Pillar and Tower of Snow
Kitamière De La Côté's (Pathfinder) Perspective

The hiss of the Cryofreeze hatch opened, filling Kita's muffled hearing. His body was stiff and chilled to the bone. He groggily pushed his eyes open, and with a numb face and half-away body, Kita quietly groaned, mumbling, "ughhh, I hate... cyro... freeze." He rubbed a hand over his face, then rubbed his eyes and looked up to see the other Pathfinders up and about. The leader of Kita's unit caught everyone's attention. That's Dylan, I think? I never really caught his name... Kita mentally shrugged, he would follow orders but that didn't mean he would get attached or try to make friends. He was here to explore, defend, and do science.

“Alright, guys, rise and shine!” He announced, clapping his hands together with a grin. “Looks like we’re here!”

Huh, cheery guy. Kita didn't know whether to scowl at him for being so happy and fine after the freeze or commend him. He chose a tone somewhere in-between, "so we finally reached Hugs **Kita's nickname for Huygens-381d** then bossman? That's just wonderful... fantastic..." Kita finished with relief and joy, standing himself up and stretching his muscles with a large yawn. His fatigue dissipated when he thought about their destination; Kita let a smile sweep across his face. A new planet, new plants, new animals, and a whole lot of stuff to discover. Grinning, Kita followed after Dylan "Bossman" and the others.
 

Lazaro1505

Skeleton Boi

  • AAF1FBCA-9C25-4C0B-9D15-8844152AA0EF.jpeg
    Jackal Hoofman

    Darkness.... it’s really the only thing he could experience throughout this ‘sleep’ of his... yet, it strangely didn’t bring the feeling of fear that a creature not of the night would usually experience within conditions such as this. Actually, it was kind of peaceful, something not many individuals like him would be capable of experiencing nowadays. Just the darkness within his vision, and nothing else.... nothing more, nothing less... just the dark. Although... it kind of feels.... off for him, considering he thinks of this peace as something.... annoying.

    And that’s when his slumber was interrupted with an audible hiss and the feeling of cold was felt on his skin, although not the bad kind, but still reaches that level where it is kinda uncomfortable... and here is yet another reason why he doesn’t like cryopods. ‘Should have just stayed awake for the 14 weeks and continued working on my explosives... but no, I needed to go in the cryopods as well with the rest of the team... what a bunch of bullshit.’ The man thought to himself as the hatch to his pod began to open and steam flowed into the air. He didn’t really wake up in happy mood due to two factors. Number one reason being the Afro mentioned cryopod talked about earlier, and the second, well, it’s the most important reason to this fact alone, and could have made it much better to bare with here. That reason was none other than... the very apparent lack of caffeine running through his arteries and veins.

    Of course, he wouldn’t be going around cursing everyone in his path for not have the sacred substance running through his veins, but his mood would at the very least be dampened until he can find a single cup of that sweet sweet nectar of ‘life’. So at the very moment, that would be his main focus for right now, as the man grabbed onto the sides of his cryopod and began pulling himself up and out of the pod, before doing a few stretches to get his joints working all over again. Don’t want to accidentally break his arms when trying to lift something after not stretching for 14 weeks.

    “You know... I can’t seem to recall the reason on why I couldn’t stay awake and continue working on my tools....” The man said out loud to himself, but really, pretty much anyone can hear him say it out loud. Yeah... he wasn’t gonna let that go very easily now. Still, he had to focus, as he began looking at the rest of his teammates from Team Alpha as well Team Beta, merely scratching the back of his head as the cogs began turning within his head again. He merely looked upon the simple shirt and pants he was wearing, and remembered how weird it was to not be wearing an complete suit of sturdy custom modified miner armor he was used to wearing... he did like being able to protect himself at all times with it, and usually, he only takes it off when going to sleep. Yet another thing to add to his ‘to-do morning list’ within his head... but right now, coffee is the main goal.

    “Well, good to know for a second time that we are here, but yeah, hopefully the time we wasted asleep could be made up for by blasting those hostiles to kingdom’s come once we get deployed. Anyway...” Jackal said as he tilted his head to the side in both directions, an audible popping of his bones joints can be heard, before he continued with. “...I suppose we should be getting ready for mission debriefing and deployment rather soon, but I need a cup of coffee to get my systems running again, so I’ll be seeing you guys after I get a cup of it in a few minutes, won’t take long to do so.” And with that Jackal had begun his journey of finding the mess hall and ordering a cup of coffee after his awakening. Maybe get a small breakfast as well to fill his stomach as well. After all, he hadn’t eaten for like... 14 weeks, and even though he was perfectly kept within stasis inside the cryopod, it’s still the same as waking up from a long sleep and getting nutrients for your body’s cells now.

 

Yakom011001

Archetype of Steel
It wasn't a great feeling, his skin snapping and crackling as he bent his body forward and the frost let go of his skin. Vincent Vance was rather rudely awakened far before he should've been, which was most concerning. Looking to his neural link's HUD, they're either ahead of schedule or something has gone horribly, horribly wrong. Groaning as he exited his pod, Dylan's hyper-enthusiasm made him chuckle a little. Looks like cryo-sickness hasn't set in for his dumbass yet, but he'll feel it. No doubt. More importantly.

"CID, give me the run down." Vincent spoke through his neural link.

Reactor online. Thrusters online. Life support online. Systems nominal. Alert: Torsion Drive offline. Unknown error. Recommend maintenance dispatch immediately.

So it was the Torsion Drive. Still, it was kind of annoying they'd been woken up considering there was no real reason to: they have one hundred twenty-seven crew members specifically for this shit. None of the Pathfinders knew how to work the Torsion Drive, and they had facilities specifically trained for fixing the damn thing. Vance couldn't help but sigh. Guess it was time to get this show on the road, regardless of how unnecessary it was.
 
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Clan Ize

Feliz is the only person I need to be happy
Katerina Ize

Command Accepted
System Startup Initiated...

Startup Complete, Now Running System Diagnostics...

Unit Designation K-1, Codename: "Katerina"
Battery Status: 100%
Memory Cache: Intact
A.I: Intact

System Functions: Operational
System Diagnostics Complete, 568,342,674 Startup Functions Successfully Carried Out.
Beginning A. I Activation

Hello World



Breathing. The word seemed to automatically come to her as she laid inside her pod charging. It was a comfy feeling when she was charging, or at least that's how her mind told her to describe it. It was quiet, calm and the continuous flow of energy going into her energy banks seemed to almost make her CPU a little slower to process things despite scans indicating it was performing at normal speeds. But none the less she enjoyed the feel of charging even if it always made her mind seem a bit fuzzier. However, the gradually increasing muffled sounds of clapping and human talking made her mind fill with only one clear thought which registered as a command "Report operational status to Administrator and rendezvous with the assigned unit leader " Almost immediately, a forceful urge to complete the command overcame her and soon enough she found herself listening to the soft hiss of her pod opening up and stepping out immediately to find Administrator Dubravko like she had been told. Running a scan on the now opened cryo pods to locate which one contained Dubravko. It didn't take long for one pod to come back with signatures that matched that of Dubravko's and it took even less time for Katerina to head over to him passing by multiple other unit members before finally arriving at his pod and laying out her equipment from her storage out before him. Now in front of him, Katerina stared at him for a bit with a blank emotionless face before deciding to impatiently slap him in the cheek lightly to draw his attention and to attend to her despite protocol defining that she should wait to get an administrators attention instead of taking direct actions. However, Dubravko was not an ordinary admin to her and therefore in her mind justified playful-like actions to him as Dubravko had been a roboticist working on her while she was still in development tasked with testing her during some of her final development phases and many times had spent numerous hours with her every day testing her to make sure she was up to standards and modifying her as he saw fit before getting sold to the Pathfinders guild and happened to be the only administrator she trusted under her own will.

"Hello, Dubravko, nice to see you again. All systems are currently online and functional. My next objective is to rendezvous with the assigned unit leader however any commands issued now will take admin priority and be put into effect immediately. Are there any commands you would like to issue to me?"


Katerina spoke in a monotone but soft voice to him so no one but him could hear her.



 
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slayerslade666

A Spastic Collection of Characters and Ideas
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Filo Cawnes
Wayfayer Guildmaster

Filo should've known better, truth been told.
When the Grand Conjuror had come asking for permission to utilize the courtyard of Fort Wayfarer, she hadn't thought twice about it. The college often did demonstrations for the members, hoping to entice profitable adventurers into joining their ranks, and sharing a portion of their riches with learning instruction.
It was more of a business transaction than anything, but sometimes the college's mages were a bit...well, overly ambitious. It's said ambition is second only to talent when it comes to mages, something Filo herself was very familiar with.

One didn't get to run the largest guild in Acadore without a sprinkle of ambition. And perhaps just a bit of luck... And cheating, but only that one instance.

At one of the balcony's overlooking the courtyard, Filo stood, hunched over the rail with her chin cupped her in hand. Her silver locks were disturbed by a slight wind, and circling high above a swarm of insects offered her a perfect view of the Grand Conjuror's shenanigans. No larger than a common dragonfly, the fluffy moth like insects acted as her eyes and ears, and several hovering above the crowd gave her access to the conversations at hand.

Had she known this blasted spell had never been tested before, Filo wouldn't have granted use of the yard. Such a grand display might make for a great recruitment tactic, but it could also put her guild members are risk. And the grounds as well.

Old man could've mentioned that this bloody circle would take up the entire yard. Honestly. Her blind gaze rolled skyward. Always wanting to cause a scene.

As it was a sizable crowd of the guild had gathered to witness what apparently was meant to be a historic occasion. Some were notably apprehensive at the notion the spell was untested, though all remained to see what would happen.

To think these fools thought they could extend their reach beyond that of the Mistral plane, that was some bold magic indeed. Filo would've be lying if she said she wasn't intrigued.
Two younger conjurors took their place on the circle etched into the dirt, Filo leaned a bit farther forward as the spell got underway.
Wisely the guild members stepped back, the Grand Conjuror had begin chanting, arms raised toward the sky.

The assistants followed suit and the entire rune sparked to life. Filo didn't recognize the gestures being made, or the verbal components, bits a pieces struck her as familiar. They were likely reworked phrased from the existing lexicon of conjuration magic, though she'd never seen such a display before.

Up above dark clouds began to swirl, forming a perfect hole directly above the magic rune. Filo's swarm dipped lower to the ground as a powerful wind swept through the air. An eerie feeling was creeping its way down her spine. She didn't like this, not one bit.

"That's en-!", her words were swallowed as the conjuror finished his chanting, and a blinding beam shot down from the heaves, enveloping the rune and the three casters.
Filo hissed in annoyance, as several of her insects were caught in the blast and vaporized. No sooner had they gone she was chanting under her breath, a new swarm taking shape in the air around her.

The beam was distorted, and rapidly growing in strength. In an instant it grew to be too much for the conjuror and his assistants to control, it steadily began to widen much to the caster's horror.

Bloody hell.

"Duck you fools!", Filo cried as as she vaulted over the railing. Plummeting toward the ground, she made a rapid series of gestures before crying out "Obice Ortum!"
She landed lightly on her feet, as a fluttering swarm of moths enveloped the wayfayers, shielding them from the worst of the blast as it knocked them all to the ground.

As the light faded, and all took stock of the situation, it became clear that the conjurors were all dead.

"Well now", Filo sighed. Dusting off her skirts, the guild master approached the group of bewildered members. "Is everyone unharmed?"

Dressed in elaborate silks of silver and blue, Filo Cawnes looked more like a fortune teller than a guild master. But there was a certain elegance in her walk, and in a quiet way she demanded the respect of those around her. Many in the guild had learned not to cross the mistress the hard way...

Her swarm circled her. The bugs reforms into a single entity, which was about the size of a cat. It hovered just over Filo's shoulder as she knelt down beside the ash piles.
1621310337610.png

"A moment for the conjuror, who's grand ambitions apparently were a bit too far fetched"
She placed one hand over her heart and her gaze moved downward, in what was common gesture of mourning.

"May they all find peace on the Mistral shores"
 

lj2k

entity
My mind, resting on the abyssal shores of oblivion, I feel the carousel of my subconscious gently derail and withdraw into an empty bliss beyond this world, into sullen obscurity. I raise my head to speculate the shimmering horizon through downcast lashes. A wavering lucidity comes in elusive gradations - momentary encounters with the sublime and indistinct meditations of familiar concepts; upon realizing these profound citations of the mind I was stirred awake. As luminescence swelled into my narrowed visage, conjoined with an external slap, I felt an aching soreness creep into petrified limbs. A calcified statue, a dormant relic that was laid to rest, suddenly uncovered and forced into animation. A putrid cavern of pallid sallow increased in escalation and I ripped open the hatch before me, spewing vomit portside as I gripped onto the sides. Heaving, and feeling like utter shit, I spat up bile and groaned a hefty sough while wiping my mouth. I spat onto the floor and rested my head on crossed arms. A searing throbbing sensation gnawed at my stiffened limbs and whipped the back of my head with a dull pounding. God, cryosleep was always a fucking gamble for this shit.

All the while I suffered, Katerina, dearest Katyusha... [meaning 'precious one' in Russian] would articulate her protocol as standard:
"Hello, Dubravko, nice to see you again. All systems are currently online and functional. My next objective is to rendezvous with the assigned unit leader however any commands issued now will take admin priority and be put into effect immediately. Are there any commands you would like to issue to me?"

I succumbed to the wretchedness within, head bowed over the side still, and grumbled, "Carry on." Regardless of my feelings at that moment, her presence did attribute a semblance of comfort - for which I was grateful. Luckily, Androids couldn't give a toss about emotions, so there I harboured no guilt for being shitty with her. I wallowed a bit more before hastily pulling myself out of the chamber. Katerina had already moved on when I planted bare feet on cold steel. I relieved the tenderness by ironing myself out through a series of popping clicks and murmuring stretches before retrieving my gear and donning the body and jumpsuit. Upon zipping up, I'd take in my surroundings and observe the unfamiliar stick of Pathfinders.

I knew they'd witnessed me purge my guts but I hardly gave a fuck. The 'craphats' (anyone other than us Pathfinders) would deal with my tacky chunder. Although one grizzled veteran with the air of a professional about him intrigued me, I wanted none of these Valhalla-worthy bastards to approach me. I snatched up my toolbox and shot Dylan, the inexperienced 'wetneck' commander, a glare of disdain, though aimed at his person in general, and not challenging his own gaze. Despite my carnal frustration regarding his appointment as section commander I'd dare not challenge his authority. Discipline was a fundamental virtue in this line of work and I shan't ever sacrifice the job I love over some petty fucking dispute.

I'd immediately abscond to the workshop, toolbox in hand, murder on my mind, dismissed the technicians milling about with a virulent "What the fuck are you still doing here?" then unlocked my office. I wanted nothing more than to just keep my head down and get on the job with no interference. After washing up and shaving my stubble into the quarter's basin, I began my duties as warden for the armoury. I expected some Pathfinders to request additional gear - or their own rifles, even.

I sat at my desk opposite a grate of bars with an opening to transfer items through and began fine-tuning the components of a high-capacity power cell. A radio hummed rhythm and blues in the background.
 
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Bob

From HR
Being gathered to Fort Wayfarer was no strange event. Considering the time of celebration from surviving the winter season, it's a given that many would be in a festive mood. But right now wasn't about that. It was a showcase, an event planned to reveal the breakthroughs by the highest ranked mages in the land.

Estella had situated herself above the walls, her legs dangling over the edge. She recognized the old man quickly. How could she not when every Conjurer this side of the world knew the appearance of a Grand Conjurer's robes. Seeing a demonstration from the highest echelons of magic was a great learning experience to have. Her own Conjuration was far from what they taught in the colleges after all. It was more practical, reactive, and adaptable to any situation, befitting of an adventurer's lifestyle and actions. That didn't mean she slouched in learning new spells, but the more extravagant and showy ones tend to be kept by the colleges themselves.

"No precautions..." Skrat commented through their telepathic link. The imp was hovering near one of the battlements, invisible to all. "Dangerous."

Estella looked on, listening to the mage's confession that it hasn't been tested before. Already alarm bells were ringing in her head as she looked around the conjuration circle. No fallbacks at all. Where were the abjuration fail safes? Something to immediately cut the flow of mana if it goes out of control? What about emergency tethering if a mass teleport happened and binding circles if a demon comes out? Even she couldn't believe one of the premiere mages of the Conjuration school would do something as stupid and reckless as to not have tested it several times before the exhibition showcase.

Yet as she watched the circle brighten and intensify, she felt the flow of magic from one dimension to another lose control. Without proper control of the circle, the consequences were already bad enough, but with this size? She couldn't imagine.

"Skrat," she said simply. The imp's presence immediately appeared next to her shoulder as she ducked behind the walls as the screams reached their crescendo.

Waiting a few more moments longer after the pillar of light disappeared, she stood up and looked down at the scene of disaster. No longer were there three Conjurers near the circle, simply a pile of ash from where they once stood. This... this was why she rarely ever did any large scale conjurations without proper preparations. To think that even the Conjurers of the college could overlook such a lethal mistake showed, their bodies evaporated by the very energy of the dimensional gate.

"Unknown rune, mistress," Skrat pointed out, her familiar nudging his head towards the new rune burned into the courtyard grounds. "Memorize?"

"Yes," Estella replied, her eyes drawn to it as well. Whatever they managed to summon could have gone through and landed somewhere else. She thumbed the dagger holstered behind her back. If needed, she'll need to summon one of the Amber Contract's explorers to see if they recognize the rune. Hopefully, it's not something too dangerous, but judging the strength used on the spell, it might be very well be.

Aboard the CNECV Far Passage

The hiss of the cryopod was harsh and grating, waking the woman up the worst way possible. Amelia's eyes fluttered open and the hatch for her bed these last few weeks opened. The familiar smoke of from the pod depressurizing and heating up made her wonder if her cigarettes were still in her office, or if someone nicked them while she was asleep. Either way, the grogginess in her limbs slowly waned as she stretched and popped any sore spots on her body. In many ways, she was glad that they were finally awake again. Sleeping was terribly boring at times, especially since she couldn't enjoy the vices that came with being able to walk around and, in general, being awake and active. Still, as she hopped out of her pod after stretching, she was told to report to their team leader during the briefing with other medical staff before the voyage. Who it was, she didn't particularly care, but they mentioned them to be quite younger than usual. That mattered little to her in the grand scheme of things, only that she gets her work ready for the checkups on anyone else coming out of cryosleep. After all, she had the bothersome, but important job of making sure they were all fit and ready to set foot on the new planet.

"Don't make so much noise, some of us actually enjoyed sleeping in for once," Amelia muttered as she walked over to the gathered Pathfinders. She gave a yawn, scratching a phantom itch on her tattoos before looking at the surrounding pathfinders. Looks like they were varied quite a bit, though that didn't really quite matter to her. The coordinator for the medical staff was quite clear in that regardless of their status, post cryo check ups were mandatory. They stressed it quite a bit, meaning that even with all the safety of the cryopods and stasis sported, the manual checks given by doctors didn't change. Given that she was the medical professional for the Pathfinders, she would be in charge of making sure that they were fit for planet side exploration, especially with how they were meant to check the planet first. "I'm gonna head to my office. I assume you all were briefed, but in case you doze off like I did, I'm the Pathfinders' doctor. Call me Amelia or Doc, I don't care, just make sure that you all stop by for your check ups. I don't care if you're the leader," her gaze stopping at the young team leader, "or whatever position they decided to slap onto your nametag, but the only way you get dirt side is a go ahead from me." She yawned again and scratched her neck, walking towards the door. "HQ's orders, whether you like it or not. I certainly don't cause that's just more paperwork, so the sooner that's over with, the sooner you can play with your Rigs. Have fun, or whatever. God, they better have the coffee machine installed in my office like I told those damn techies," she grumbled. "Or my fucking beer."
 

Corrosion

Me Titan, Me Punch
Supporter
Dylan took a few more moments to stretch, his joints popping as he did so. Anti-cryofreeze fluid was still running through his bloodstream, and as the name suggested, it was a specially-designed fluid intended to prevent the more harmful effects of cryofreeze such as freezer burn or the formation of ice crystals beneath the skin, both of which were said to be agonisingly painful. A side effect of the cryofluid was nausea and disorientation after awakening, but it was nothing compared to the two. Besides, it would only last a while before the effects wore off as the fluid was naturally flushed out of the body, as it was designed to upon the human body reaching its normal temperature.

The rest of Alpha was still in the process of awakening, each one reacting differently to coming out of cryosleep. Grissom was the first to recover, which was given since the old veteran had no doubt already gone through the process dozens of times before. Dylan was quite comforted by Grissom's presence. He and his mother had known each other, and it was really thanks to her that Grissom had decided to become a Pathfinder, after much persuading, of course. He had known the old soldier since he was a boy, and really, he was practically family.

"Morning to you too, gramps," Dylan grinned. "That new Toxin Scrubber I got installed before we left sure works wonders."

Indeed, he had only felt the aftereffects of cryosleep for a few brief moments after he awoke, and it was very minor. The Rapid Detoxification Device was a piece of magic, ridding his body of toxins and other harmful substances like a liver on steroids. In essence, he could chow down on poisonous food that could kill a human without any ill effects. It also happened to prevent the effects of alcohol, so that was something.

Out of the Pathfinders of Alpha, he knew Grissom the best. Vincet was someone he had befriended during his time in the Pathfinder Academy, and had graduated alongside him. Dylan had heard that the Earther's older brother had died just prior to the start of the Far Passage's voyage, and that Vince was acting as a replacement. Still, it was comforting to see another familiar face.

The others he was only acquaintances with. There was the towering Jackal, the team's demolitions expert and a tad bit too obsessed with explosions, Kita and Isaac, the two xenobiologists who couldn't be more different from each other, Katerina, the enigmatic young woman who had just been transferred to the team before embarking and had a rather conspicuous lack of emotions, Summers, the team's medic with a crass personality and mouth to match, and Dubravko, the cynical technician in charge of maintaining the team's equipment.

All in all, different as they may have been, the team was still made up of aces, the best of humanity.

"Seems like it, uh, Kita, was it?" Dylan scratched the back of his head as he turned to the taller xenobiologist. "Heh, fourteen weeks in cryo and a thousand light years from Earth. Still seems like of unbelievable, if you ask me."

He tapped the neural implant at the back of his head, activating the link. Immediately, an interface appeared before him, displaying information such as his vital signs and status. It also revealed the names of the Pathfinders in his team, which he could see by looking at them. Their names would appear next to them, along with their vitals.

The team began to leave the cryo bay to their quarters and elsewhere to prepare as they were to after arriving. However, the intercom sounded, and the rather grainy voice of the team's commander came through. "Attention all Pathfinders, please report to briefing room 15-A immediately. We have a situation."

Dylan blinked. That couldn't be good.

"CID," he spoke. "You there?"

"Hello, how may I be of assistance?" Came the monotone voice of CID.

"Mind giving me a sitrep? What's going on?"

"It appears that the Torsion Drive of the Far Passage has malfunctioned. Cause unknown."

The young Pathfinder frowned. "Malfunctioned?"

"Correct," said CID. "It appears that the ship has been brought out of subspace through unknown means. We are unsure what has happened."

That was... very bad. Whatever was going to be told at the briefing room, there'd hopefully be answers there.

He grabbed his jacket from a locker next to him and put it on, before turning to his team. "Let's get a move on," he said. "I want to find out what's going on."
 

Corrosion

Me Titan, Me Punch
Supporter
ELYSCIA STORMCROWN
Fort Wayfarer Courtyard

slayerslade666 slayerslade666 Lazaro1505 Lazaro1505 Penlod Penlod Bob Bob Crocodile Crocodile Yakom011001 Yakom011001
Many of the Wayfarers who had been in the courtyard had been knocked off their feet by the blast, and quite a few were still on the ground. Thankfully, none of them had been seriously hurt. In fact, it was likely that they could have been even more hurt or even outright incinerated by the blast like the unfortunate mages were it not for the fact that the guildmaster had jumped in and saved them all with her swarm of moths.

"Guildmaster!" Elyscia cried, bowing respectfully on instinct. "Yes, I am unharmed... thank you."

The other Wayfarers seemed shaken, but many got to their feet to bow to the guildmaster, thanking her for saving them.

Elyscia stood back up to her full height, before turning her attention back to the strange runic circle. She stepped towards it, studying it in detail. Elyscia wasn't exactly an expert in magic despite her being inherently gifted in Abjuration. Granted, this was Conjuration, which she hardly knew of, but she had studied it enough to know of most of the runes it used, and this wasn't one of them.

In fact, the rune before her was unlike any she had ever seen before, not in her books or even anywhere else. It didn't even match the same designs runes used at all.

"Guildmaster," said Elyscia, turning to Filo. "Do you know what rune this is? I've never seen anything quite like it."
 

Yakom011001

Archetype of Steel
Vance's mind wandered, as he let his body attempt to pass through the cryo sickness: he took note of each individual in the bay. He'd read up on the reports he was allowed; best he know who he'd be working with. Recalling them best he could, he knew that the team was constructed to follow basic CNE guidelines for team composition. In the academy, most all potential Pathfinders get specialized training for specialized roles they volunteered for. Alpha had three scouts, two vanguards, two auxiliary combat roles--sniper and heavy weapons it seemed--and several utility roles. Though he wondered why they had two xenobiologists, not that it was of any issues. He'd best get with his fellow vanguard for pre-strategy and whatnot. That said--

"CID, give me the equipment logs for Pathfinder team Alpha." He requested. It was simple, really. All equipment on the ship was to be registered and banked in the system, and all Pathfinders have access to their own teams list. In part because it would allow the Pathfinders to synergize better when they know what each other can do, but mainly because it saves time; Pathfinders are smart enough to share that kind of stuff themselves and this is just to save people the time and breath.

He noted a number of firearms, most pretty normal and Vance didn't pay much mind to them. There were a few though, that stood out to him. The first among them was the Model 17B: a veterans weapon. It was a rather impressive weapon, even among its contemporaries. Though, Vance liked to go much farther back. The other wasn't a single weapon, rather it was a single
person; one with far more weapons than they reasonable should. De La Côté? Checking to make sure it wasn't data corruption, Vance reeled when he found that his name actually reads like that. He was a veritable arsenal, considering he was in the auxiliary role. Even with an Izanagi MSAR! Wait, swords too? Of course, most interesting among them was a weapon he didn't think he'd ever get to see in person. It was a traditional ballistic firearm, cased bullets and all. The Harold Johnson Winchester 71 .50 Alaskan. His review was interrupted towards its end, when the team was addressed by Dylan.

"Let's get a move on. I want to find out what's going on."

Taking to Garrison's side, Vance addressed him.

"Looking to get into trouble this early in the morning, Dylan?" Vance joked.

Dylan was an underclassman of his, but his inherent aptitude for being a Pathfinder landed him with the title of the youngest ever to graduate from the academy. That drive however, also landed him in a number of sticky situations with the instructors: jumping in headlong as he does with the enthusiasm he has.


"Now you only owe me twenty credits."

While their backgrounds were much different, they still approached every situation the same. The hyper-analysis, the following decisiveness--regardless of the solution's validity--it was that which led them to their constant competition. While Vance was fairly ahead, Dylan taking command of Alpha team definitely evened the odds.

"Lead the way, bossman."

Corrosion Corrosion
 
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Viper Actual

Ask me about my tourniquet fetish.
Grimacing, Grissom waved and shook his head in reaponse to Dylan's comment. "You kids and your implants these days..."
He got down into a neutral push-up position on the floor before continuing;
"Back... In... My... Day... We... Had... Sticks..." Muttered Gris between reps before finally standing up and rolling his neck. "When we were worthy enough they gave us guns and when we proved ourselves further they clothed us, fed us and taught us how to be marines."

Grissom grinned. "Granted, you already know this considering I tell you the same stories over and over."
The veteran's friendly grin faded soon as several members of the squad walked off. Frowning, Grissom shook his head. Regardless of whatever routines that were in place you never walked off until your CO- in this case Dylan- had given his initial briefing and shared whatever intel he might have.

Walking off without letting the team know or without actual and relevant information was a surefire way of blindly getting yourself killed.
That said CID's echoing words were anything but comforting...

Grissom nodded towards Dyl before turning towards the squad. "You heard the man; fall in! Let's move, squad."

"No lonewolf shit," he said aloud to no one in particular as he fell in line behind Dyl.
 

lj2k

entity
"Attention all Pathfinders, please report to briefing room 15-A immediately. We have a situation."
Came the nettling blare, sneering at and jarring away Dubravko's peace of mind as he was in the tranquil midst of calibrating the brass rivets and metal spurs of a battery cell. He kissed his teeth, palmed his screwdriver on the desk, locked his office, then immediately made haste to formation. As he strode there quick-time, he'd contemplate Dylan's aptitude for the role but was humbled enough in of himself to realize that he'd fare no better in being charged with such an honoured responsibility. And the reason for that was? He didn't care for it. Dubravko was a salty, hardass veteran, with a headache, and he enjoyed being an asshole along with it - though never to incite violence nor dispute. Why would he? Aside from owing that to the enemy he never felt it logical for him to contribute such conflagrant spite towards the team. It wasn't solitude he craved, but understanding. He was sick of feeling complicated and he felt that only Katyusha understood this sentiment (even if it was but a cognitive understanding). A common conundrum for veteran soldiers was their pride; to never express the inner turmoil that ravaged them within. But Dubravko tempered such with vigilance and defied it. He drew power from it. That's why he was so fucking angry in combat, and irritable when not. Therefore, he justified his aloofness by protecting others from his bullshit, just as he protected himself from theirs.

He found success in his trade as an NCO - infanteering, gunnery, engineering - not leadership nor management, for he applied that to himself, and himself only. Dubravko felt suffocated, offended even, that he was expected to ensnare himself in the tangled construct of society's emotional coil, in whatever community that may be. He joined the Pathfinders as a means of an escape from it. He wanted to become entranced with like-minded individuals who hammered onto their objectives with assertion, nothing more, nothing less. He just wanted a job to do. He felt like a race apart from everyone else, relating more to the robots, their cold steel and work ethic, than his comfort-seeking human counterparts and their warm flesh. Go figure why he spent weeks at a time alone in the polar wilderness.

Dubravko made an effort to release the tension in his brow and unlock his jaw, seeming a bit more relaxed as he entered the room. "No Lonewolf shit," spoke Grissom. "For fuck's sake," he'd retort in his mind, disappointed. How weird that statement was considering that a fundamental asset within the Pathfinders was their unrivaled pride in teamwork. He wondered how the others felt about having such a cherished value of theirs undermined like that.

Actually, no, he didn't.

He fell in beside Katyusha, chin up and eyes front.
 

Clan Ize

Feliz is the only person I need to be happy
Katerina Ize

"Attention all Pathfinders, please report to briefing room 15-A immediately. We have a situation."

Pausing to listen to the Intercom, Katerina's software ran a search on the voice to identify who had spoken and quickly matched it to the Team Commander of the Pathfinders who had been stationed onboard the ship with his orders to meet at briefing Room 15-A taking immediate priority over her previous orders to rendezvous with the assigned unit leader and moving the old orders to be postponed and possibly discarded until further notice. With the new orders taking hold of her mind she fell in line similar to the rest of the group taking note of Dubravko who was behind her as well as an older human male who she soon identified as " Grissom ". Glancing around curiously she also identified Dylan who was the Unit Leader as well as numerous other Pathfinders in her team around her, pulling up the information she had access to about them as she studied each of them silently retaining an emotionless expression on her face as she watched them and scanned through their files. One in particular however caught her attention, a slightly older man who was listed as " Jackal " and was their designated explosive expert. Katerina had never herself been equipped with explosives and now ended up slightly hopeful that there was a chance she would get to see something large get blown up by him. However, she soon realized she was thinking about unnecessary things and quickly cleared her local memory catch in order to forget about it and returned to patiently waiting for the unit leader to make his move.​
 

Crocodile

Mister Zero
Thalarion emerged from the cover he'd taken when it was clear the chaos had finally ended. His tall, powerfully built frame moving with the usual predatory grace the blood mage seemed capable of. He looks down at the new rune, frowning more as it wasn't in any of his areas of study which on certain levels was a relief but then again it did mean it was likely conjuration which is field he generally did not dabble in.

"Of course they didn't test this grand ritual before trying it..." His tone a bit acidic in regards to the fallen conjurers. "For all we know they've branded this plane with some sort of dark glyph calling unspeakable things here."

As he grumbles that he was walking around the courtyard, helping other Wayfarers up who might have gotten trapped by rubble caused by the massive release of energy. He was checking wounds as well, sealing those he could with his magic as he couldn't heal but could at least staunch bleeding. He was very irked by the incident and reminded why the Crimson Order was so picky about who they recruited and trained to become Crimson Mages. Generally it meant not doing insanely irresponsible thing like tearing open unexplored holes in reality. The brawny mage sighs as he waits to see what they might consider doing even as he continues checking for injured or trapped people.
 

Lazaro1505

Skeleton Boi
D77B7453-AD02-4275-8B12-DF3C152CAC54.jpeg
Jackal Hoofman

... Well, Jackal would have gone to the mess-hall in order to get a good ole cup of joe, before:

"Attention all Pathfinders, please report to briefing room 15-A immediately. We have a situation."

And it already looks like his coffee break would have to wait a bit... as he stopped in his tracks as soon as the intercom came online, and already, that meant something was definitely not good, and cap’s small talk with CD (nickname for CID) definitely didn’t help this case as well, with some sort of malfunction occurring that caused the ship to subspace a bit early. Great, that meant they must have either came across some sort of anomaly that stopped them in their path or... whatever else that could stop the spaceship from continuing its journey. Hopefully it isn’t as serious as it actually was, and just something minor like the journey stopping a bit too early with the calculations... although the briefing part definitely suggested otherwise.

And he had to possibly go through an entire bloody meeting while on deprivation of the much needed caffeine to wake his systems up. Maybe there was some coffee being served at the briefing room, and by then, his mood can definitely improve. But now, the only thing that really annoys him other than the whole cup of joe situation, cryofluid that his body is still removing the last of, which, isn’t really as bad as he thought. Throughout his seven years within service after graduating as an young pathfinder all those years ago when he became 25, not only he had gotten a tad bit used to such before on the other times he had to get into a cryopod for a mission, but also because he definitely had far worse within his younger years and some explosions when he wasn’t as experienced or ‘smart’ back then, which made for a couple of very painful moments with those times he definitely had a bit more metal in his body than what is considered natural, and whether by some sheer miracle or his genetics, he somehow lived to the age of 32.

Yeah... to say the least, he had gotten used to the pain... or maybe is it because he was missing some nerves from damage done to them. He sure as hell don’t fucking know anymore. But anyway, they had something important to do as of now, and that was the big problem them had, as Jackal went back and to his locker in order to grab something real quick. No.. it’s not a revolver or some sheriffs hat... even though he was a pure-blooded Texan, he wasn’t going around looking like a clown yelling ‘Yee-haw’ everywhere now, but it was an hat he has at hand. Reaching in and grabbing out an normal old grey field cap with a sort of small decorative badge in the shape of an star put onto it. It didn’t really seem like much, but this was his father’s old field cap... well, before, ‘it’ happened, but he doesn’t really speak about it much anymore.

Putting the cap on and facing Dylan once again, Jackal could only give a thumbs up and said. “Well, I’m definitely ready to see what the hell is going on here..” and had awaited for the others to prepare as well, before eventually heading off along with the rest of them to the Briefing room. After all, he didn’t want to be this ‘lone wolf’ they speak off considering he was only really gonna go get a cup of coffee real quick and return, but eh, no one really knows what he was gonna be doing exactly, so it makes sense.
 

welian

#BlackLivesMatter
TEMAN ASHER

To see so much knowledge and experience go up in smoke like that.. That was why Teman kept his ambitions small. The Grand Conjurer went mouthing off, running up a tab he couldn’t pay. Now he was gone, and there would be no more passive-aggressive chess matches with him.

The elderly wizard slowly stood up from behind a slab of stone he had magically raised for cover. A couple other guild members also peeked out, having taken advantage of Teman’s generosity and basic will to live. He could see others already moving into to assess the situation – among them, the Guildmaster Filo.

“Madam,” Teman greeted her as she walked past with the young paladin Elyscia in tow. “May he find peace,” he repeated after Filo, and fell into step behind the women. Inside his sleeves, his hands were trembling with adrenaline. It was a miracle he was able to raise that slab in time.

“… The Grand Conjurer was a brilliant man, if… if foolhardy. I would assume that he achieved his goal then, of reaching beyond the Mistral Plane.”

He paused thoughtfully, then looked over his shoulder at the others. The sky had cleared up once more, but malevolent entities could appear at any moment. After all, he had not forgotten the incident with the drunken conjuror and the ten thousand flying roaches.

“We should ready a ward and prepare to encase the fort,” Teman murmured. “We could ask that blood mage fellow over there to help fight anything that comes through.”

“Not, er, that I’m you, Guildmaster.”
 

Bob

From HR
"Attention all Pathfinders, please report to briefing room 15-A immediately. We have a situation."

"Mother-fuc-,"she cut her self off as she seethed quietly.

Before Amelia even reached the door, CID's annoying voice grated in the air. Every fiber of her being reacted with such simmer frustration because of the announcement, a grimace forming on her face as she sent a baleful glare into the intercom that if CID was an actual being, he'd be dead within seconds. She was already itching to start her paperwork because if she didn't it's gonna pile up when the inevitable injuries start showing up. For her, getting to her office was important because it was a good time as any to calibrate all of her medical equipment so they work to her usual specifications. She's had her fair share of equipment failure in the field, mainly from the lack of proper calibration and maintenance. The Far Passage technicians were by far one of the best in the business, but it doesn't ease her mind unless she's gotten her hands on it and personally made sure it works. Of course, that didn't mean for all technology, but medical instruments were her forte after all, so she was quite knowledgeable to that extent. How else can a doctor save a life without knowing how to use the machine that helps them do just that?

In the end, Amelia pinched her forehead and swiveled around, moving to the further back of the Pathfinders, sporting a now growing headache from the incessantly loud announcement. Years and years of sleepless nights rear their ugly memories up briefly if only to remind her how she came to be such an irritable and brash doctor. She's lost sleep over patients before, even if death was simply an inevitable fate for all. Did she think she was good enough to be the Pathfinder's doctor? No doubt. Amelia was completely confident in her skills when she's in her element. It's why she was accepted and added to their latest expedition. But no one can see what the future brings and what dangers lie ahead. That's why she's here, to make sure that the dangers don't kill the crew.

She fell in line naturally, but without the discipline it usually entailed. Whether the leaders of this team were any good remained to be seen. Many times has she gone to conflict with leadership for their merciless views on their own soldiers, tasking the poor men and women to achieve the impossible in their broken bodies, if only to hold a little longer. It wouldn't be the first nor the last time she'll come to antagonize her superiors to make sure she upholds the mission she was given. How they see their fellow crew and Pathfinders will determine if she'll resort to the increasingly harsh and blunt words those who've crossed her receive, as well as the scathing reports against their character and disregard for the lives of their fellow man. Some part of her wants this to be different, if only because of the reputation the Pathfinders had, but she remains a realist when it comes to others, looking at their actions rather than words before making her judgement and expecting the worst. These people were known at a surface level, and perhaps that may be the deepest she'll get to some, but despite her outlook in life, she still has a shred of optimism towards others, even if she is scowling in every waking moment.
 

Corrosion

Me Titan, Me Punch
Supporter
Dylan scoffed as he shot a glance at Vance. "Come on, that's just Pathfinder intuition," he said. "Learned it from my dad, even if I didn't seem him half the time. Besides, the Academy taught us that."

He put his arms through the sleeves of his jacket. "But I really wanna find out what's going on. If the drive's malfunctioned then who knows? We could be stuck in the middle of interstellar space for all we know. Techs should be working on the problem now, though," he said, then frowned. "Don't think they'd need to wake us up for this, though. Something else must be going on."

Indeed, only the Torsion Drive of one other colony vessel had failed before, the Far Venture, and that was thirty years ago. The technicians had solved the problem within a few days, and the ship was back on its journey, making it to its destination safe and sound. The Pathfinders on that ship were never woken as there really wasn't a need to.

This really seemed to be CID's decision, and for it to make a decision like that raised a few eyebrows. CID was an A.I. that operated on pure logic, so it must have somehow calculated that awakening the Pathfinders was the most logical step. If the Pathfinders had been awoken, they had a mission. They wouldn't have been awoken if they didn't, or weren't needed.

Hopefully Accord would have the answers, which was why time was of the essence here.

Grissom had been appointed as Dylan's second-in-command, he frankly, he was thankful. Many didn't exactly trust such a young fresh graduate of the Pathfinder Academy who hardly had any real experience, and even within his own team he could see that they had doubts. The old soldier's authority was typically more than enough to get them in line, though.

"Thanks," muttered Dylan as he stepped towards the door and tapped the control. The doors slid open in two, allowing the team exit.

He led the team out and down the hall, where there were already quite a few members of the crew awake and about. He noticed that the majority were normal crew and maintenance, and that none of them actually seemed to be colonists. The actual colonists hadn't even been awoken yet, it seemed.

"CID, do you know what the cause of the malfunction is?" Dylan asked.

"Unknown, technicians cannot find any error. It would appear that the drive has simply stopped functioning."

Dylan frowned. "They can't find anything wrong with it?"

"Affirmative," answered CID. "As of now all critical components appear to be in working order, but the drive itself is unable to be reactivated. Cause is still unclear."

The team made their way into an elevator which took them upwards. The clear glass that surrounded the elevator allowed them to see the decks of the ship as they passed, and the activity going on within.

The elevator stopped a few floors up, leading them into a rather long corridor with a number of doors. One of them was marked Briefing Room 15-A.

"Let's see what's going on," said Dylan, before pressing his hand against the ID scanner. It scanned his biometrics and then flashed green, and the door opened.

The room itself was quite spacious, with several rows of seats all arranged in a semicircle around a central holotable. Surrounding it were three men: Jordan Forrester, or Accord, the commander of the Pathfinder detachment of the Far Passage, Captain Jacques Wavell, the captain of the Far Passage, and the last one being Anwir Vaughn, the commander of the Corvus unit on the ship.


Dylan stopped and snapped to attention. "Sir!"

Wavell raised his hand. "At ease."

Forrester wasted no time in addressing them. "Now, normally, I'd say good morning and treat you all to a nice breakfast after fourteen weeks of cryo, but unfortunately, there's no time for that now."
 

Viper Actual

Ask me about my tourniquet fetish.
The few looks and strongly-worded muttering in response to Grissom's words came as no surprise but at the same time he didn't mind it or care if anyone might think of him as being an annoying nuisance.
As long as the team communicated and worked together then honestly Grissom couldn't care less what some pretentious little prick or sorry excuse of a Pathfinder recruit thought about him.

While the mission ahead might not be a full-fledged military conflict the need for discipline, teamwork and a proper chain of command was more important than ever.

That thought echoed loudly as the door to the briefing door opened.

Snapping to attention, Grissom's face hardened as the man saluted. He made no sound or hint of movement until after Dylan was given the command to be at ease. Being their CO protocol dictated that everyone else were to wait until Dylan had followed through. It was a useless tradition to many a soldier but to Grissom it dictated that the common soldier maintained his position and stood his ground until a superior said or did otherwise.

Crossing his arms behind his back Grissom took up position next to Dylan and, should the squad leader be seated, he would stand behind his chair. Observing the three key figures of the Far Passage's leadership made Grissom's gut turn.

He had a bad feeling about this. Really bad.
 

lj2k

entity
Dubravko accompanied the Pathfinder unit and mulled over the situation to himself. CID wouldn't stir them awake without good cause. He controlled his breathing, suppressing the pang of anxiety that welled in the pit of his stomach but made sure to acknowledge it still. Until it became just an observation. Regardless, even for a veteran such as himself, the prospect of a mission would always turn his gut. As they manouvred down the hallway in amble unison, he could feel the amazed stare of some crew and personnel track their march. He shot a glare to one of the workers who was lounging within a doorway, staring. "Hands out your pockets, the only nuts you're going to find are in your fucking toolbox, craphat." Dubravko muttered.

He enjoyed the liminal sequence of the elevator journey up, feeling it was appropriate to determine how he really felt about the current state of affairs before exiting. He knew Dylan was reporting into the highest authority aboard this ship therefore appraised his expectations by being the 'grey man'. Dubravko decided to engage his own expression with an attitude of indifference as they entered the Briefing Room 15-A. Dubravko seethed with displeasure upon laying eyes on Anwir Vaughn. "Fucking prick," he thought to himself, retaining a neutral expression. Killing was one thing, but indulging in the practice concerning innocent, unarmed civilians was rejected with abhorrent dismay. Even Dubravko, probably one of the most voracious and combative bastards there, knew to leash the beast and put a fucking tame on it, despite drifting through the carnage. One thing he admired was his apparent wilingness to follow orders. Dubravko would respect the rank, not the man.

Dubravko stomped to attention and gave a rigid salute to the commanders a split second after Dylan and Grissom. He then stood at ease, next to Katyusha, once Dylan was allowed to. He resigned himself to a seat beside Katyusha should they be granted one. He'd eargerly await Accord's instruction regarding their mission.

Dubravko resisted eyeballing Vaughn.
 

Penlod

Lord of the Houses of the Pillar and Tower of Snow
Kitamière De La Côté's (Pathfinder) Perspective
"Seems like it, uh, Kita, was it?" Dylan scratched the back of his head as he turned to the taller xenobiologist. "Heh, fourteen weeks in cryo and a thousand light years from Earth. Still seems like of unbelievable, if you ask me."

Kita gave a hum in agreement; he felt the same way. Technology had made leaps and bounds over the past few hundred years, and he had trouble wrapping his mind around the ingenuity of Humanity. I wonder if we'll ever reach a limit to our potential...? His thoughts were cut short as the ship's intercom went off:

"Attention all Pathfinders, please report to briefing room 15-A immediately. We have a situation."

Hmm, that doesn't sound good. Kita looked to his fellow Pathfinders. Out of everyone here, the man named Jackal stood out the most. Kita was considered a tall guy by human standards — mostly due to his genetic alterations — but compared to Jackal, Kita felt small, something he hadn't felt in a long time. Kita strained his neck to get a quick look at the man.

If I remember correctly, he's the demolitions expert... Hmmm, a man who has a knack for blowing things up, I think we'll get along juuust fine. Kita let a phantom grin grace his features before he refocused. It seemed Dylan and — Vance was it? — were utilizing CID to gauge the situation. I never did like those things... Implants... Kita grimaced, remembering when he got his own implant. He would be checking his own feed for information right now, but it seemed redundant with those two already ahead of him. The seemingly oldest member of the group grabbed his attention while Dylan and Vance bantered.

Grimacing, Grissom waved and shook his head in reaponse to Dylan's comment. "You kids and your implants these days..."
He got down into a neutral push-up position on the floor before continuing;
"Back... In... My... Day... We... Had... Sticks..." Muttered Gris between reps before finally standing up and rolling his neck. "When we were worthy enough they gave us guns and when we proved ourselves further they clothed us, fed us and taught us how to be marines."

Well, that's one way of warming up. The man reminded Kita of the Pathfinders Academy's instructors and his superiors in the Neo-Japan Self-Defense Force with the way he conducted himself. Kita did a few low-key stretches to get himself back into the groove. His blood was still a bit chilled over, making him feel weird when he moved. Again, I hate cyro...

Kita looked back at his cyro-pod and hit the button to close the hatch, but not before saying a mental goodbye. Hopefully, we don't see each other anytime soon.

He grabbed his jacket from a locker next to him and put it on, before turning to his team. "Let's get a move on," he said. "I want to find out what's going on."

Kita nodded towards Dylan and got his own jacket from his locker.

Grissom nodded towards Dyl before turning towards the squad. "You heard the man; fall in! Let's move, squad."

"No lonewolf shit," he said aloud to no one in particular as he fell in line behind Dyl.

Kita hurried after his fellow team members and fell in line behind Grissom. No lone wolf stuff, eh? Kita let out a silent exhale. He respected the man and the way he worked, but as the team's sniper and one of the Xenobiologists, Kita felt that he'd be spending most of his time away from his fellow teammates. He'd either be watching their backs from afar or working in the ship's lab or the field. The only person Kita felt like he would come to see most often was the other Xenobiologist, Issac. So, it would be hard for him not to seem like he's going lone wolf. He shook himself out of his thoughts — problem for later.

The team made their way through the corridor, and Kita caught the stares of the ship's essential crewmembers as they passed. He rolled his eyes mentally at the blatant hero-worship a few of them displayed. The walk was brief, and they soon made their way to the elevator. Kita kept his posture relaxed but with a flat back; his mother always told him not to slouch, and now wouldn't be a good time to show unprofessionalism.

Dylan led them all into the conference room where three men were waiting.

The room itself was quite spacious, with several rows of seats all arranged in a semicircle around a central holotable. Surrounding it were three men: Jordan Forrester, or Accord, the commander of the Pathfinder detachment of the Far Passage, Captain Jacques Wavell, the captain of the Far Passage, and the last one being Anwir Vaughn, the commander of the Corvus unit on the ship.

Dylan stopped and snapped to attention. "Sir!"

Wavell raised his hand. "At ease."

Forrester wasted no time in addressing them. "Now, normally, I'd say good morning and treat you all to a nice breakfast after fourteen weeks of cryo, but unfortunately, there's no time for that now."

Kita gave a stiff but respectful salute and followed Grissom with hands behind his back at ease. Commander Forrester's words did not bode well, and honestly, Kita was rather hoping for a nice breakfast but that, it seemed, was no longer an option at the moment.




 

Bob

From HR
As the rest of the Wayfarers began to calm down, Estella had already cast a spell that teleported her a few feet from the mysterious rune, just behind the Guild master. Passing by a few other Wayfarers, she gave a small two finger salute to her. "I'd say it's a lovely morning, but that'd be in bad taste now wouldn't it," the rabbit beasfolk joked. "Still, I'm surprised that the Grand Conjurer of all people didn't bother setting up proper contingencies in case something did go wrong." She had a small grin on her face as she gave a sidelong look at the pile of ashes that were once the Grand Conjurer and his assistants.

Humming, she walked past them and inspected the rune,. Clearly alien and unknown from anything she's ever seen, and she's seen quite a bit thanks to being a conjurer herself. It didn't change the fact this was clearly dangerous, but feeling the magic on a conjuration spell always leaves a bit of 'residue' so to speak. Interdimensional energies aren't always agreeable with their own and tend to have some form of trail that traces it back to an origin. But so far, there was nothing to speak of. Whether she could tell if it was a just magic running rampant or an actual summoning would need her to study the circle in detail based on Skrat's memory. Regardless, she already told her familiar to give an accurate picture of the rune, which was thankfully simple in its design. There's an uncountable amount of planes beyond their own and if she can't find answers here, she was confident that sooner or later, the beings from the Amber Contract should give her something to work with.

While most of her conjurations tend to be small scale, it didn't mean they weren't just as dangerous as a massive spell like this. Dealing with the likes of beings from another plane was, in short, a gamble. The scale of power some beings work with is almost unfathomable and even with every bit of preparation done, she would only ever summon a fraction of a fraction of their power, enough for her missions to be achieved. Something of this scale lacked a sense of... dread so to speak. Worrying, yes because the effects of the spell were still unknown aside from the deaths of three mages, but the effects of summoning tend be very cut and dry. Either you summoned it or you didn't, the aftermath of it happens in a case by case basis. Whether or not it was successful remains to be seen, but judging by the lack of anything happening at the moment, it either failed or the summon was somewhere else. Hopefully it's the former.
 

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