Station Park

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Description

Section B

The second section of Station Prime to be built. The section spins counter-clockwise to simulate gravity - at the outermost layer gravity is 75% of Sirian normal. Most of the section experiences lesser degrees of Microgravity The middle of the section is effectively free-fall.
Section B is holds the majority of air refreshing, bio-habitat simulations, and food creation for the station. Medical and biological labs are found in this area as well. The central column of this section of the station is a large supply of fresh water which serves multiple purposes as a swimming and recreation area, fisheries, and water reservoir.

The park - the closest thing to outside for the residents of the station is found in this section, as is the section of the reservoir reserved for swimming.

The exterior shell of this section of the station feature transparent bands that provide light for the hydroponic food supplies for the Station. While neither fisheries nor hydroponic farms are enough to completely feed all of the population on the Station, it provides most of the food needed by the regular population.

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Talk about a hell of a rush.

Talk about a hell of a rush. Its one of those moments where everything seems to kind of just slow down, despite it still all being in time.

She fortunately swallowed a yelp that formed as she watched Adrian get snagged, almost ruining the rest of their set up... but some how she managed...

The rest seemed a blur that is until everything suddenly stopped..and they were falling "What the hell?" she blurted out in surprise*

As they get pulled out of the sim, Pepper gives a little bit of a flail as she was a bit slow to adjust to the sudden transition. Though once it gets in that everything is ok, she just kind of goes limp and stares about a little wide eyed.

"Huh? Wha?!" pepper replied, utterly confused, and missing the joke...she is still a bit panic, having alingering break down still haunting her from the medical wing, so her brain isn't all that quick pick up.

Given a moment she would wise up to the remaining of the situation, but not much can be done about it now, other then they know... and so far it hasn't been in the news. She figured something like that even the hermit she is would have heard of it...

She would hang around a little for some better cheer, after all they did great even with the interrupting.. but there was a lot going on, and she was still rather shaken.

Sorry for the delay. Thank you so much! was an utter joy, and more plots! cackles

 

Despite the virtual danger,

Despite the virtual danger, Darcy can't help but hold her hands high as they ride down the waterslide - that is, until everything glitches out. The noclip forever fall is surprisingly terrifying for her, bringing up an old recurring nightmare, but she fights to remind herself it's all part of the sim.

The abrupt stop and the nameless advocate both come as a reassurance that things are, in fact, back to normal. Once she gets her literal feet under her again waking out of the sim, Darcy exchanges a look with Pepper and Adrian.

"Somebody remind me to tell Jake his boyfriend is on the loose again," she chuckles, running a hand through her hair and keeping one hand firmly on the sim chamber to anchor herself. Much as she jokes, the news comes as a surprise. Missing people? She'd've heard about that...right?

Jake was never shy about bending her ear about the abuses of the TB Admin and Darcy had seen first hand the lengths people in power would go to when she was aboard the Fleet out in space, so it wasn't hard to believe their mystery hacker. Maybe she'd try to track them down after all, find out what all this was really about.

Right now, though, there was a victory to celebrate and some serious need for a protein bar to finish steadying herself after all that. The sim was a hell of a rush, and she does her best to reassure the programmers that it was awesome up to the point someone else was clearly mucking with the code.

Thank you! This was a blast :D Also now they have Darcy's attention :3

 

There are a few visual

There are a few visual glitches as it's clear that the programmers are trying desperately to shut this guy down and get him out of their system. But his video keeps running. "Now, I don't know about you, but if I can get this information from the TB, imagine what they can get about us." He said with a shrug. "Just like breaking into this program. Nothing's all that secure."

A symbol pops up beneath his picture and he smirks again. "Come find us when you're ready. It's not even political. We just don't want to see bad things happen to our neighbors." He chuckles. "Well, who am I kidding. It's always a little political." He admits. He gives a little wink and an ok sign and then everything goes black once more.

The sim abruptly shuts off after that, and Adrian, Darcy, and Pepper are woken in their pods. The programmers rush to their side (those that aren't frantically working to figure out what just happened). They offer drinks or snacks and sincere apologies. None of them seem quite sure what happened there, and no one really seems happy about their fun escape being used for possible political stuff. With all the glitches that had been happening before, this is a serious breach of their systems and they are also unhappy about that to say the least.

Even without being allowed to finish the last wing, Pepper, Darcy, and Adrian have come in first place. They will be given some in-sim rewards (in the hopes that they will come back again and not let this spoil their time in the future). And they're also taking home some credits as an apology for how it got in there.

As they shut things down for the day, everyone seems a little rattled. Not necessarily curious, but it does seem fishy that someone would choose a game like this to try to recruit people... It just feels... off.

[The End]

Thank you so much for sticking through this long one! Sorry if it dragged. You were all fantastic! Any questions or followup just let me know. Otherwise I will have the writeup finished soon! Thank you again for the awesome session!

 

There is a soft hiss of

There is a soft hiss of static that cuts through the silence around them. In the darkness around them, a soft male voice is heard humming an old song about going to war. It's weird enough that it causes the programmers to pop in again. "Uh... Sorry guys... Something is wrong..." The programmer says in one of the most blatantly obvious statements ever uttered.

"No shit." The voice answers him back as the humming stops. The sound of the programmer asking who he is is abruptly cut short by a click. The man's voice sighs contentedly and then before them, they'll see a flat screen image of a man taken off of a web camera. He has tattoos all over the visible parts of his face and body (or at least his avatar does, because it looks like he's using some sort of software to completely hide his actual appearance). "That's much better." He says quickly. "Quieter already..."

Speaking directly into the camera, the man smiles a bright and cheeky grin. It's not only being broadcast to Adrian, Darcy, and Pepper, but also out onto the main screens where people are watching the game unfold. "I'm not one to pontificate... Well, I am. But today I'm feeling like brevity really is the way to go. Now, I'm not against fun. And you cool cats can have your sim back as soon as I'm done with it. But today's demonstration is about proving a point."

He looks to the edge of the screen and a list of numbers and names starts to scroll across it. "Seems like some of our friends and neighbors have gone missing. Seems like the TB and their buddies don't care much. And it seems like it's political given who these people are. Imperfect people. Those that make mistakes and are honest about it..." He says turning his deep brown eyes to the screen and staring intently out at his captive audience.

[More]

 

The waterslide is actually

The waterslide is actually pretty fun. It has loops and twists and it even circles around a mossy pillar in a tight spiral. A glance over will show that it makes the stone look like a Zoetrope that has an 8bit Harold juggling rocket cakes and dancing.

As Pepper and Darcy are about halfway back, suddenly everything freezes and they stop moving as though they hit a brick wall. Adrian will be suddenly dropped to the ground as Harold stops animating and freezes into his default position as he becomes noclip. There are about ten seconds where nothing happens except the ambient sound effects.

Then, they all drop through the floor and plummet down through the bottom of the map. All three tumble downward and they will be able to see the map above them with skinned outlines where things should be (just like falling through the bottom of the map in any video game). In just a few seconds, the dim map above them becomes nearly impossible to see. As they plummet downward, the ambient sounds stop animating, and there is no wind or anything to indicate how fast they are going.

They're just dropping like they're the hottest album of the year...

[More]

 

Everything starts to happen

Everything starts to happen in very quick succession. As though a floodgate of trigger events just opened and poured out a whole party for the game to track.

Adrian's plan is very solid. But unfortunately even though the AI is pretty advanced, but no programming this dynamic can possibly function with 100% accuracy. As he takes the trap out of his pocket, he's quiet as a mouse. But as he goes to throw it, the thing seems to malfunction. Instead of flying out of his hand, it triggers and sticks directly to his bony palm. However it's now turned on, and it attempts to try to slurp Harold in. Which ends up tugging Adrian right up into him. There is a moment of pause as even Harold seems a little shocked that his prey has come closer. But then he grabs tight to Adrian's arm that's connected to him. Adrian will start to feel a gentle squeeze in his real arm (actually quite pleasant), and there will be a flash of red on his HUD as he watches his health bar drop to 60%.

Just as that's looking pretty bad, Darcy and Pepper make their move. With the marks on the orbs and on the traps, they have no problem grabbing the two that they need while also triggering them to make sound to help Adrian. This causes the tower to start to fall, triggering Harold to come running. He lopes down the hall toward the library, trailing Adrian behind him like a fantastic bony scarf. But by the time he gets to the library door, both Pepper and Darcy are already on the slide headed back toward the start.

At that moment, the HUDs all pop up with two more objectives completed.
Ride the waterslide back to the start point- 100 points.
Escape with all party members above 50% health- 300 points.

[More]

 

As soon as she is able she

As soon as she is able she will mark anything showing up as a trap as being so. Giving Darcy the quick confirmation that she needed to ensure that treasure was there for the taking.

After that she finally took a moment of pause to kind of just breath a bit of relief as this was definitely one wrong move and game over. Thought it was quickly over when there was no immediate sign of Adrian.

Carefully making her way on back to the door to get site back on Adrian. As soon as she had a line on him and range at a safe distance she would get him the last of the shieldy pills she had - a just in case.

Then she herself would prep to take a ride down the slide.

 

Adrian would like to have

Adrian would like to have thought his plan was well thought out. Though, in that split second where the trap magnetized to the floor he realized just how wrong he was. A relatively minor mistake of forgetting the sound the trap would make and now here he was. Before he knew it Harold was at his side, and his breathing stopped, doing his best to make absolutely no sound.

Adrian's mind raced in that short window of time in which Harod stood next to him. There were a finite number out outcomes to this, and about half of them ended with him probably being dead. So there was a bit of pressure to get this right. Even if it was all just a simulation.

Doing his best to be both quick, and silent, Adrian reached for one last trap. At which point he slid to one side of Harold as silently as he could and tossed the trap down the hallway in the direction the group had just come from. Which, if all went well would hopefully make enough noise to get the attention of Harold enough to buy Adrian time to get away.

 

Darcy breathes a sigh of

Darcy breathes a sigh of relief upon reaching the new room, stopping short when she sees the tower of glass that seems to just dare them to move too quickly through the room. Spying the pieces of treasure in the stack, she glances at Pepper for confirmation before cautiously approaching.

She originally intended to take her time with it, but hearing the 'thunk' from the trap back where Adrian was at, she figures they only have seconds (if that) to grab and go. "Whoop - Plan G it is. Let's GTFO!"

She grabs for the two treasure orbs - leaving them closed for now, just wanting to take them with - and then heading for the slide. She waits next to it to make sure Adrian can reach them, otherwise she'll head back to help with distracting Harold.

Roll in case Adrian needs an assist - dodging Harold after trying to get his attention

 

As Adrian hangs back to

As Adrian hangs back to deploy the trap, there's a slight complication. As he finds a position that suits his needs, he places the trap and it connects. But therein is the rub. The tech that allows it to firmly hold ghosts also seems to have a somewhat magnetic component to it. So as it "seals" itself in place, it does so with a thunking sound.

And unfortunately that's all it takes.

Within moments, Harold is right beside Adrian. He pushes at the trap and Adrian will see long grasping hands that look like they could crush the trap in mere moments if it wasn't already glued down. He is momentarily focused on the trap itself, so Adrian will have one shot in order to try to get away somehow. Otherwise from the way Harold is starting to bob his head back and forth, he's likely to start widening his search of what caused the sound and Adrian will be caught.

[Go!]

 

With the cloak and her

With the cloak and her natural sneakiness, Darcy is off like the mouse poot she wants to be as she skirts Harold and starts down the hallway. She spots a couple precariously balanced vases on end tables that she'll be able to "disarm" by pushing them further back onto the tables as she moves. Many of the obstacles on the floor look like dual traps. One to break through the floor and grab someone's leg, and the other is the sound to draw Harold closer. But she's able to deftly avoid them as she leads the way.

Pepper is able to get her warning out before Harold grows close enough to hear her. And the marks she puts on the map also help Darcy on her way down the hall. As Pepper follows behind, she makes good time as well, and the two of them are able to get down the hallway in record time considering they have also managed to avoid the traps and prevent being heard.

When they open the door it is mercifully quiet on it's hinges. The room before them seems a bit more overgrown than the previous areas. And the holes in the ceiling let in a bit more light than before. In front of them, there's a tall stack of glass orbs in various colors. As they look at them, Pepper will see on her trap pings that all but two of them look like they're designed to fall and smash if tampered with. The other two will show up for Darcy as treasure of some sort (but they look like they must be opened to get the treasure out). So they know which two to touch, and which two would make a lot of sound in a hurry.

Just past the tower of glass is a loosened section of roofing that's fallen through the ceiling. It seems to make a rather perfect sluice shape that leads out the window. With the gentle rain falling in from the holes above, it looks a lot like their ticket back to the front of the wing.

[More]

Stealth Roll Success Breakdown: Darcy = Yes, Pepper = Yes, Adrian = No.

 

At the very least Adrian

At the very least Adrian could feel somewhat relieved that the man's death had been quick. Though the continued sounds of snapping bones or wood was unsettling, it at least told them they were safe for the time being. Unfortunately, that eventually stopped, and just before they could put enough distance between 'Harold' and themselves.

Harold looked rather gruesome. Though Adrian was more worried about the danger than what could kill them looked like. That wasn't to say he couldn't acknowledge how creepy the creature looked though. That he could most certainly do. Either way he was quite interested in putting distance between himself and Harold. Which seemed to be just what everyone else wanted as well. Weird how things worked out like that.

When the others were sneaking away, Adrian stayed back just a tiny bit. Once far enough away from Harold, he stopped, taking the time to try to silently set up one of their ghost traps. That way, if something went wrong, it'd at least buy them some time while Harold struggled to get out of the trap.

 

She couldn't help but make

She couldn't help but make the face as she finds basically what is a guantlet of traps down the hall way. She had a feeling they would be like that, as they do seem to be pushing the 'chase down' type of challenge here.

She would make all the ones she spotted, even the noise maker ones to urge caution.

Then as quietly as she could whisper but yet still be heard by the team, and quickly to try and not attract more attention. "There are all kinds of hazards and traps. Looks like you make noise and Harold comes to say hi." though once they get a good look of 'Harold, the creature's appearance seems to seal that theory in the firm affirmative box.

Though it seems Darcy had found the waterslide. At this point she really did not know how they would capture/banish a ghost considering the nature of avoiding Harold.

She followed along towards where Darcy gestured. Trying to keep an eye out on any potential 'safe' offshoots that they could possibly work with, while also trying to avoid the hazards and noise.

 

Darcy forces her heart back

Darcy forces her heart back into her chest as they effectively stare down Harold. Grateful for the invisibility cloak, she does her best to make like a mouse fart and stay unnoticed as she tries desperately to get a closer look at the water slide side of the room.

She gestures to Adrian and Pepper, making a little wave-like motion with both hands to indicate the slide before heading that way to scout ahead. She pulls up the objectives about a half-dozen times on route, just triple-checking them to be sure. Avoid Harold? A-plus Double Good. Everyone over 50% HP? Avoiding Harold oughtta help with that in a hurry.

Kill or catch a ghost. That one might get tricky. If they can nail the waterslide first and get some distance from Harold, maybe it'll give them enough time to find and nab a ghost before he hears the commotion and catches up.

Of course, that all sounds nice in theory, but without knowing if they can even GET to the slide without catching Harold's attention, Darcy isn't exactly feeling at home in this new wing just yet. En route, she keeps a close eye on the floor, hoping to avoid any creaky boards that might give the whole game away long before she has a chance to investigate...

 

As they all near the spot

As they all near the spot where the man had disappeared from, they will spot a looming figure coming around the corner. At first it's only shadow, but as it steps out further, they'll all get their first glimpse of it. It's built in a humanoid form, although it's clothed in so many tattered layers of cloth, it's hard to get a perfect look at it's form. It has a bit of a hunch to it's shoulders which is made more apparent by the mountain of heavy tattered layers it's wrapped in. Somewhere, deep within the hood, they can all hear a slow steady breath that is somehow more chilling than any sound would have been coming from that thing.

It takes a step closer to them, and it's then that withered old skin can become visible peeking out from beneath the hood and at various spots along the hands and feet. It seems like it's waiting for something as it pauses not far from where they all are. Now that it's close, they can all see Harold's face. Again, it looks vaguely humanoid, and yet at the same time it seems unlike any person that they've ever seen. With it's eyes and mouth crudely sewn closed, the creature turns it's head back and forth like a demented bobblehead as it seems to listen for any sound. But for a moment, he freezes and doesn't seem to move at all.

It seems as though it's here to greet them as they come into the new wing.

[Go!]

 

Darcy has no problem getting

Darcy has no problem getting her cloak going. For a moment she shimmers like a reflection in a pond after you've thrown a handful of rocks at it. Then the next she's completely gone. She can see a thin outline around herself and Pepper and Adrian will be able to see a faint glow where she is, but to the enemies in this wing, she's invisible.

As Darcy is looking around the basic layout will ping onto her map. It shows a pretty standard T layout where they are. And it looks like there are a few shorter hallways leading off the ends at each side of the main T junction that they're in. At the moment there doesn't seem to be much in terms of a place to hide. But on the right side of the hallway they're facing, she will see a little wash of blue grey. It has tiny waves in it, so it must be a basic water mark. Which if they're going to get the waterslide, it's probably to the right side where the man disappeared toward.

Pepper gets up toward the T intersection right alongside Darcy. As she does, she'll note that there are a few scattered traps that she can spot. Most of them look to be the "bear trap" variety. Weak spots on the floor designed to have you drop a leg into and be held in one spot until you can get pulled out. Oddly enough, aside from those, she'll only spot one other "type" of trap (although there are quite a few of both styles). The second type is noise maker style. Vases too close to the ends of tables, small piles of debris near partially open doors designed to fall over when opened, etc. She can easily mark all of the upcoming traps in their area. But it looks like everything is designed to hinder or make lots of noise.

As Adrian perks up his ears, he'll note that whatever had grabbed the man, seems to have done so quickly and rather quietly. The only sounds he hears are a few crunches that sound a bit like splintering wood or snapping bones. But from a distance it's hard to tell which of the two. But then it's eerily quiet. In fact for at least a minute as they all make their way further down the hallway, there's no sound at all coming from that direction. But just as he's about to reach the T shape, he suddenly hears a soft dragging sound.

[More]

Add a stealth roll with any applicable skills to this next post, please. It won't count for multi action if you also do something else. :)

 

The objectives for this wing

The objectives for this wing seemed a good degree more difficult than the others had been. Though, considering they'd just come from the section where things went haywire they seemed simple enough by comparison. Whether that would prove to be the case would have to be seen. Though, it did seem that his idea of them sacrificing one team member as a distraction so the other two could escape was not going to be the best move considering the objectives. Which meant reassessing and coming up with a new plan.

"Or, y'know, the person thought the same way as you and named it that in hopes it'd seem more ominous than it is." He replied as Darcy commented on the name. "Either way I expect we'll find out soon enough."

The normal looking NPC is enough to draw Adrian's attention from looking around. Though when the guy called out to them only to suddenly vanish he let out a sigh. The way he saw it, this was either an attempt at a trap, or someone had just got screwed over for being too loud and calling out to them. Either of which was moderately frustrating to have to deal with. Though the reaction of Darcy seemed to indicate that it was the latter and he just hadn't been able to see well enough. Vision is often hindered when having a light shined at you in a dark hallway after all.

While the others kept an eye out for traps and escape routes, Adrian instead focused his attention on the place where the NPC had once been. They likely still had some time before whatever had gone after the guy was 'done', so making sure to keep track of the sound from that area seemed like a good plan.

Whoops. Accidentally the rolls.

 

"Or the butler did it." She

"Or the butler did it." She quipped back to Darcy's bad joke, a bit of a remembrance of old and very bad mystery movies which this place had been giving the vibe. The ones where everyone runs around the obvious.

"Well least it wasn't named after the first thing they saw?" She wasn't sure if it was any better or not. "Course now it really does sound like the butler did it..."

That was about when she spotted the young man. "Uhhh..." was about all she was able to muster before he called out and then promptly got trampled and stomped.
"Ok then, um, so.. I think that pretty much confirms this wing is like a run the hell away wing. Which if they keep to the usual formulas probably traps and such scattered about, and likely dead-ends."

She took a quick look around, basically looking for something where she could do a little quite scratching in the hopes of not attracting maybe thats Harold trample beast. If she can find such a thing she will mark a wall with a couple of x's just to have a marker of sorts.

With that she will scamper off to get a little distance, but not too far ahead to let Darcy do her scouting bit. Keeping and eye out for any potential traps and their not so friendly shadow hulk.

 

Darcy's nerves are slow to

Darcy's nerves are slow to settle after the swamp wing, so seeing the jungle-esque haunted mansion she's pretty immediately on edge again - which in her case, of course, means awful jokes. "Looks like the butler took the weekend off, huh?"

The objectives flicker into view and she giggles a bit at the first one, nodding along to the next two, grateful it sounds like this one will be a fairly straightforward wing. That is, until the bonus objective drops. "...oh shit. You know if they name the monster 'Harold' it's gonna be the scariest shit imaginable. Why not Voltzagor, or The Executioner? No. We get freaking 'Harold.' We're boned."

Seeing the too-normal NPC, she wonders for a moment if the techs have entered the game to preemptively clean up any further glitches. But then, suddenly, he's gone, and Darcy's virtual fur puffs out in every direction at once. In a quiet, terrified voice, she says: "...Harold."

Turning to the others, she looks for somewhere to hide or, better yet, a way to an upper floor - one the shadowy hulk isn't currently using for indoor dining. "Run. Must run. Running times is now." For good measure, she activates the cloak to make herself invisible this round while she looks for somewhere for them all to escape to.

 

As always, their new

As always, their new objectives quickly ping to life in the HUD as soon as they're all in the new wing.
South Wing-
Ride the waterslide back to the start point- 100 points
Kill/Banish one ghost- 100 points
Escape with all party members above 50% health- 300 points
Bonus Objective- Don’t get caught by Harold- 250 points

Pepper and Darcy both note something unusual as they're looking around the scene. Down at the far side of the hallway, it separates into a T shaped hallway. A flash of light is visible as they look down and see a young man with a headlamp on. He holds a pretty standard video camera in his hand, and he looks toward the group. Pepper and Darcy will be able to look past the bright light that would have normally blinded them to see that he looks a lot like someone you might see at the canteen or just hanging out. Which his completely normal appearance is so unlike the other NPCs in the sim, it makes him look almost too real. Like he's actually going through the sim as they are.

All three of them can hear what he says as he spots the trio. The man calls out in a clear voice: "What are you doing here?! It's not safe!" He waves his arm to try to warn the group to turn back. But almost instantly as he does, Pepper and Adrian will see the light go missing. Only Darcy spots the hulking shadowy shape that slams into the man from the side and knocks him out of view. It was on him before he could even react and she can just make out the faintest crunching sounds of the headlamp being crushed before she also loses track of the light as it goes out completely.

[Go!]

 

The trip back to the next

The trip back to the next wing is quick and painless now that the heating and cooling in the pods have been ironed out. After crossing through the central hub, they find themselves back at the door to the very last wing in the simulation.

As the door opens and they're gently transported inside, the final wing seems to be a bit more straightforward. It looks a bit like a spooky mansion that's fallen to ruins. There's large open patches of ceiling missing above their heads and glimpses of starlight can be seen through the fingers of whispy clouds that dim the lights to keep it dark in there. The stone arched ceiling has crumbled down in most of the spots, leading to large piles of rubble as the path stretches out before them. But thankfully it doesn't look too hard to navigate. Jungle vines and tendrils of thorn covered alien plants have grown around the walls and along some sections of the floor. But to Darcy and Pepper they look more like decorations than dangers.

From where they stand, the group will see what looks to be a pretty straightforward "haunted tropical dungeon house" sort of layout. It looks a lot like a set that the old action movies would make when they didn't have the budget for a good haunted house or a cool desert ruin sound stage. So instead they would combine the props they did have into a bit of a hodge podge which never quite seems to hit the mark. This one looks pretty good considering the theme is so low budget, and it's clear that while this isn't a standard horror feature nowadays, they've skinned it to fit a genre that has personal appeal.

[More]

No worries! We're back on track to get through this in a jiffy, and likely only 2-3 more rounds at most. :)

 

Pepper just looks around

Pepper just looks around confused for a moment.

"Errrrr.." Which her confusion only grew as the quick developer mumble came back around as to the large WTF moment on what was going on in their game.

She kind of shrugged at the rest "Watch whatever bug is running around make the last boss invincible or something though. Stuff like that gets weird."
Though for the moment she kept the rest of her thought to herself, as considering the level of VR they were dealing with there was a bit of concern of possible bio feedback... it was annoying enough having that weird pin in limbs feeling after they do a check up on her prosthesis and she gets stuck with the new nurse whom isn't so well versed in reconnecting and yeah... least that is just annoying...

"Assuming it is able to be effected by traps. Some of the mobs seem to be able to resist the effects to a degree. Like back we had one mob in the trap but it was still clawing about and what not. Eventually it went in, but it could have done some damage. If they follow the usual pattern, the bigger bads are immune to certain effects, or at least diminished. So we would need a way to retreat quick should it prove to be the case. With minimal damage."

She added in walking along while trying to get a look at what may come next

WoW sorry, my brain really screwed up on this one. Its best to not try and think about what its thinking.

 

The first step of the plan

The first step of the plan seemed pretty successful. Let the others deal with things for a moment and try to get a good 'seat' atop one of the frogs. It was a bit easier said than done, and a bit less pleasant than expected, but it was done. Unfortunately, he hadn't thought through every step after that point enough to know how to adjust said plan to accommodate for the sudden problems the system seemed to be having.

The sudden influx of heat, followed by the creatures themselves bursting into flames was a good deal more disturbing than anything that had happened thus far. Not to mention unexpected. Though more importantly it was dangerous, which was why Adrian jumped off the frog he was on despite the cool air that he'd started to feel but a moment beforehand.

"So... bad news guys... we still didn't get to figure out who Whistler's children were..." He said, sounding almost a tad disappointed, though not incredibly so. Darcy's comment on the glitch was met with a shrug. "Alternatively, let's hope they don't and we get to just charge right through because he burst into flames and ran around in a circle..." It would certainly make the whole experience a lot easier, after all.

In the back of his mind some part of him worried about the events that had just transpired. But the techs said they were seeing to it, and he wasn't really thinking it could have hurt them all that badly anyway. So he simply tried not to worry about it.

They began heading toward the door and he spoke up again. "So, hear me out. What if we took the rest of the traps and strapped them to ourselves to activate if our friend up ahead decides to come after us?" He said, again open to other plans, but simply voicing the one that seemed most entertaining to him since the consequences seemed pretty minor. "Alternatively, strap them all to one person and they'll be pretty much invincible."

 

Darcy cheers, nearly losing

Darcy cheers, nearly losing the sapphire before biting down tighter, wincing at the icy feeling resonating through her molars. "Woohoo--oop! H'okay. I gob ip." Seeing one of the behemoths lining up to take the place of the golfed frogman, Darcy sets her feet for another swing when the heat spikes and she bites down on the sapphire out of reflex, having to fight not to swallow it from surprise.

When the fire erupts and the mobs go all T-pose, Darcy lowers her weapon, looking at the other players to make sure they're seeing the same thing and it's not her UI that's buggy. The word from the programmers has her chuckling, thinking it's a regular glitch, but the off-mic follow-up is...troubling. She spits the sapphire into her paw. "...oh boy."

"Okay, well, let's hope they get that worked out before the big boss encounter. In the meantime, GO TEAM US! Let's put a bow on this puppy and call it a day, yeah?" She gives Adrian's avatar a quick fistbump to the arm on her way to the door, hurrying on to the next wing.

Inwardly she's worried about being in a sim with this realistic a sensory system, during a horror scenario, when the programs are dealing with an actual ghost in the machine, but she figures they must have a fallback in case things go completely cockeyed, so she's keeping her fear reigned in for the moment, if only just.

Awareness for the new wing, trying to get a sense of what's ahead

 

The creatures are still

The creatures are still circling. One of the behemoths is still hiding, but the other enters the clearing. It seems to ignore the toad creature that Adrian isn't currently on top of, and it takes a few heavy steps toward Pepper and Darcy. The creatures look ready to attack.

Suddenly though, the heat spikes. It's really unpleasant for about three seconds. But the feeling on them is nothing like what happens to the creatures. In unison, all of them (even the two dead bodies) burst into flames. Out in the trees (blocking the way back to the exit) another fire starts up and it's clear that the missing behemoth was trying to block their exit before he too was roasted. They seem to freeze in place as the models aren't programmed for anything like this, and they go to their default pose as the fire destroys them.

Thankfully the programmer was true to his word, and as the others burn, Adrian, Pepper, and Darcy all start to feel the pleasant cool air blasting back into their pods. It makes the juxtaposition between what Adrian's standing on, and what he's feeling even more noticeable.

For a moment everything seems to go still (aside from the soft crackling of the fires). It's over in less than a minute and up pops the message that says that they've killed whistler's children and that they have completed all the objectives for the wing.

The voice pops back in. "Um... Congratulations! You found the hidden cheat codes! It just takes a few puns and head shots and one person jumping on the back of a frog to unlock!" David says. Convincing no one but himself. "Head to the next area!" There's a soft click like he means to hang up, but then it's easy to hear him saying away from the microphone: "Can someone tell me what the hell that was?!"

[Go!]

 

As Darcy bites onto the

As Darcy bites onto the sapphire, she can feel the chill blasting her face in the pod. It's a weird feeling, and just slightly unpleasant. Like biting into a popcicle to hold it without using your hands. But it holds steady and as the frog leaps at her after taking the hit from Pepper, she pops him back out of the air and across the clearing like a sack of bones and leathery skin. it does make a super cool croaking sound as it flies. It sounds almost like a froggy curse saying "Ribb... Oh-shiiiit..." It hits a tree and crumples. One down.

Pepper keeps her eyes on Darcy, and just spots the half burned leviathan leaps out of the dark behind Darcy. It lunges toward her, but Pepper shoots it directly between the eyes. It crumples up instantly and drops completely dead. They're down one of the behemoths as well.

With the chaos of the first feints going on, Adrian is able to blend into the shadows enough to get behind the frog that had licked the ground near him. It's watching the others and before it can leap, he is able to grab onto it. The bone spurs aren't very pleasant to touch, but he gets ahold just as it starts to try to wiggle him off. But he holds on pretty darn tight and it doesn't seem to be able to do it.

It's right about then that the heat that had picked up in the pods seems to go into overdrive. Even Darcy finds that the chill in her face seems to be overwhelmed by what feels the blast from a hairdryer filling their pods.

Almost instantly, a soft voice comes in. "Hey guys... No need for alarm... My name is David, I'm one of the programmers." Despite his words, it sounds like he's completely trying to keep his voice calm while he's anything but. "We're just having a minor issue with our firewall... Bear with us and we'll get you cooled down in a hurry."

I figured that a few days of rest might do us all good given how busy life gets during the summer. We're getting into the home stretch now, so we'll be wrapping up soonish. :)

 

This whole wing of the place

This whole wing of the place was already bad enough without adding the fact he had no idea what was actually going on. But they got one thing right at least, as the house seemed to be quite well and truly destroyed. Or would be at the very least. Unfortunately that seemed to be the easy part...

"Well the other three seem to be sticking around the tree line... whatever that means..." He paused a moment as he watched Darcy tumble from the tree. After which point he continued. "Since they all want the sapphire... what's the over under on starting a free for all by putting ourselves in the middle of them? Cause that's what the reckless idiot part of my brain says we should do... that, or say fuck 'em break the damn thing..."

Of course, either of those ideas would kinda have to wait, as it seemed they were about to be set upon by the frog creatures. But, luckily the frogs were focused on another target, and he was off to the side.

When the frogs headed for Darcy, Adrian took the opportunity to circle around somewhat. Weapon in hand he quickly attempted to jump atop the nearest frog, hoping to use the jagged bones that stuck out of the creature as a way of keeping himself on it.

 

It was mostly be pure

It was mostly be pure reaction she was able to get that shot off, the whole it moved pew! Though she was a bit unsure on what to think about it, as well they still had no idea the things real intentions and what not.

However once the thing was backed the hells up, it was then she caught sight of where it looked to be heading as she saw Darcy and the Sapphire falling of sorts (she is in a cat avatar afterall).

"Uh I don't think that thing was coming for me, instead it might have been after that Sapphire thing. This is like the weirdest and grossest game of keep away ever."

"So is there like another tree which is safe? Or would it be safer to assume at this point nothing safe, burn it all and dash off wit the gem?"
she spurted out, before offering Darcy a bit of back up in case those things try to flank her considering she is the gem keeper at the moment.

 

"A-ha! --whoop!" Darcy has

"A-ha! --whoop!" Darcy has just a half-second to celebrate before tumbling down the side of the tree. "Ow, oof, why, oh, heck." When she finally hits the soft tuft at the bottom, she groans slightly and picks herself up, getting ready for whatever reprisal comes from having wrenched the sapphire free.

"Okay, well, 200 points for gravity. Now then, froggy time?" She eyes the sapphire, worried that it hasn't vanished into her virtual inventory the way the other items did, suggesting that the developers intended for it to be steal-able, and there's really only one reason for that.

"Oy. I don't suppose anyone installed the duct tape mod before we came in here? Nurts." She glances between the sapphire and her big, two-handed mallet a few times before finally shoving the gem in her mouth and putting both hands on the mallet to take aim at the nearest frogman. "Fom an ett me!"

 

Adrian sees some movement in

Adrian sees some movement in the trees, but it's hard to tell what it is initially. It looks big, like there's the possibility of more frogmen. But as his eyes adjust and he sees the bright glow of the fire consuming the home they'd left, he can see that the behemoths are definitely circling them. They look to be waiting for something, but what isn't clear.

As Darcy rummages around in her inventory, she still has her trap from earlier. So she's able to get it set up with relative ease. It seems like the programmers designed them to be (mostly) automatic so as not to punish the teams too much. Just like when Adrian set his up on the cart earlier, the trap seems to have it's own set of near magnetic qualities. It locks itself into place just above the sapphire, and Darcy can hear the wind whistling and the sound of softly cracking wood as it tries to wrench it free.

The wheezing breath is heard once more. "Whhhaat are you dooing?" It says with a tone of panic and anger clear through the whistley wheeze. "Stop Thaat..."

But Darcy knows better than to let this thing get more entrenched. She's already seen what it's been trying to do. The trap is pulling and the sapphire doesn't seem to be wanting to let go. It's all very even. Until she works her hand in. For a moment, it pinches at her fingers and it hurts a bit. But she fights through the pain. Between her sudden pull and the trap's strength it comes tumbling out, and she goes tumbling down the side of the tree where she lands right on a tuft of swamp grass.

As Pepper readies her shot, there's a moment when the frogmen don't move. But it only lasts until Darcy drops. Then they start moving in a hurry. One leaps directly at Pepper, but she shoots it out of the air and it falls back. It looks really hurt but it gets back up on it's feet and starts to ready itself again. It's then that she will notice that while it seemed to be going toward her, it also looks like it might have been trying to get to Darcy and the Sapphire. Which makes sense given how everything in this sim seems programmed to want that thing badly.

[Go!]

 

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