Log Title: Introductions
Location: The depths of space
TP: Outward Bound
As logged by spacebound-veteran Imager
Its under an hour till launch, a few handful of Joes, greenshirts, and supplies are fully loaded onto the loaned Autobot shuttle Veracity, while the larger vehicles, medical, and supplies are packed up in the Crusader. While the mission is mostly under wraps, there's still a great deal of spectators involved in the EDC and earth military forces...
There’s a lot at stake. There’s also no going back. It looks as if Sci-Fi calmly and silently works with a series of controls and terminals as he computes the next decision as for how and what needs to be done. His visor blocks his eyes from anyone’s ability to see that he is, indeed, concerned and focused. Through his wireless headphones he smuggled on, he is listening to 1980’s synth pop. If anyone was able to hear, he’s rocking out to Depeche Mode currently. His right index finger seems to be gently tapping to the beat of ‘Everything Counts’ over a switch that he has yet to engage. He looks over some piece of electronics he has assembled. With a heavy sigh, he packages it all up and then heads to the Veracity to board.
There's a handful of Greenshirts split between the two vehicles as well. Volunteers, the lot of them. Among them is the recently exonerated Pvt. Nakamea, who stoically looks out the window.
Sci-Fi's extra equipment, some EVA suits and sensor gear gets strapped down and loaded up onto the Crusader nearby. One of the recruits says sheepishly to break the silence, "I guess I did join to see the world..."
PVT Nakamea boards the Veracity.
Wisp makes sure from outside that her jet has been packed in one way or another properly and won't suffer damage en route, and will have proper fuel and armaments, careful to look over her checklist carefully on the packing for it.
Speaking of fuel, there's a few external tanks that have already been skyhooked out to Earth orbit for the Joe's usage. The idea was to tow them via cable. Given the situation, they may be left in orbit, or brought down safely with the Crusader.
- << Tower to Veracity. I'm seeing green across the board. >>
- << Tower to Crusader. More of the same. Good luck now. >>
- Autobot Shuttle <Veracity>
- If you've been inside of one Autobot shuttle, you might as well say you've been inside all of them. A silver floor, silver walls, and a white flueroscent-light lined ceiling. The layout is quite simple, actually. At the very front of the room are two gray pilot-chairs, each one located infront of a small monitor -- a larger third screen spans the width of the windshield, covering from the top of the window to the ceiling. On the left, fifteen feet from the pilot's seat, resides the navigation station. Across from that is weapons control. Lining the edges are numerous seats; each one having a safety harness for those times when there's turbulence outside of the shuttle. A medical repair-table resides in the back left-hand corner -- across from a three-mech prisoner transport chamber.
- << Tower to Sci-Fi, you copy? Over. >>
General Hawk stands up to address the Joes present. "Well ladies and gentlemen, this is it. What we may find when we get there is an unknown, but one of our own is in trouble, and we're going to help her any way we can. Some say we may start an interstellar war, but we're not leaving Poise high and dry. So strap up, steel yourselves, and YO JOE!"
A couple of Greenshirts enthusiastically belt out a 'YO JOE!' while others look a bit more reserved. The situation is socially awkward.
Jinx slips into her assigned spot, and straps in. She looks *very* Nervous. She hears the radio, but as she can not see the pilot, she mutters, "Sci-Fi is the pilot??" Before her seat-mate can respond, however, her eyes, and attention is drawn to Hawk. At the end of his speak, a hearty "Yo Joe!" escapes her lips. However, the slight trace of discomfort, and possibly fear, in her eyes, might show how nervous she is about going into Space.
Wisp responds properly with "Yo Joe", but frowns otherwise, peering at the checklist again and going over how long it might take to get her jet set up if they need it on landing.
Wisp shifts in the seat next to Scifi, watching the controls and screens, to make sure everything stays in the green.
The tower comes to life again << Alright Veracity, Crusader. We're green for Launch. Escape calculations are on file. Its a momentous day for Earth, you all come back in one piece. >>
With that, a signal tone that had been going off to clear the landing pad turns off. Since the ships are space shuttles of high quality, there's no vertical launch rockets needed, just hit the skies...
Temera glances to jinx and shrugs. "Apparently, though at least he has someone watching the screens who can remind him not to do anything too silly. If she can reach the controls right."
There’s a pose from Sci-Fi before he responds. He checks his tablet. He eyes the status of the screen. 98 percent. He crosses his fingers quickly as he buckles up. The screen then flashes ‘Update Complete.’ He lets out a heavy sigh. The app store then releases a message that his Space Invaders game has updated and installed correctly. He actually grins before he responds now. He touches his comm-link, “Tower, this is Sci-Fi, all systems are go. Commencing countdown, engines on... Check ignition and may God's love be with you...” He pauses as he flips some switches and toggles. He whispers something, ‘Tell my wife I love her very much... she knows.’ He exhales and looks at the greenshirts, “Ladies and gentlemen, the General has turned on the Fasten Seat Belt sign. If you haven’t already done so, please stow your carry-on luggage underneath the seat in front of you or in an overhead bin. Please take your seat and fasten your seat belt. And also make sure your seat back and folding trays are in their full upright position.”
Jinx smiles over at Temera, and shrugs, "I was just blowing off some nervous energy... I've never been to space before. Never thought I'd go to space...." She shrugs again, and as the radio crackles again, her hands clench at the arms of the seat she is in.
NOW PLAYING: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9-Y_NFBh08
Temera laughs just a little bit and shrugs. "Not like I ever thought I would either. Totally new thing for most of us, I'm guessing." The Veracity starts to turn on the runway, and as it does, a cheer goes up from Earth's forces that watch. Even muted through the two vehicles, there's history in the making, and the people of Earth recognize it, if not quite sure what the mission is. Being a space ship, Veracity doesn't mind the wind too much as it takes off, Crusader launches two minutes later while Veracity and its crew takes to the high skies. Its not a rattling ride like one might expect, while there's turbulence, its akin to a standard flight....
PVT Nakamea white knuckles in her seat. She's a stoic sort, but this is an extraordinary event. She reflects on why she joined this mission to keep her mind centered. It sounded like something worth doing, something she could be proud of, something her family would be proud of...
"Is it too late to change my mind?" Jinx asks to Temera, softly, through clenched teeth. Sure, while at the moment it feels like a regular plane ride, eventually, she knows her stomach will be trying to rise up out of her throat... and if someone forgot to install a Gravity Generator, it might actually try it literally.
Wisp watches readings quietly, still frowning and making sure nothing bad is happening.
Temera shrugs at that. "Well, being unnerving that we're not in our own vehicle for this is relatively offset to me by the idea that it's built by people who go into space regularly enough that there's not that much chance of something going wrong."
- [G.I. Joe] Pit Comms Tower reports "We have liftoff."
- [G.I. Joe] Pit Comms Tower reports "Godspeed."
Fortunately an Otterbox is around the tablet that Sci-Fi has with himself. He jettisons it carefully towards a greenshirt. “I loaded it with some inflight movies to help pass the time and keep people’s serenity for our fantastic space voyage.” He seems too calm; almost like he’s done this view a few times. The tablet has a list of science fiction horror movies; Prometheus, Silent Running, The Midnight Sky, Stowaway, The Martian, and some others to boot. “Personally, I’d give ‘Solo’ a try.” He then starts to key in some commands on the terminal.
Sinatra grimaces, helping reassure the twenty giant gambian rats next to him in their travel-crates, each positioned to have a view out of the window. Right now however, with the noise and vibration of launch, it's all he can do to keep them reassured. It helps him avoid focusing on his own fear, which is occasionally making itself heard in the form of Swahili swearwords. At least there's no shaking like he sees in the movies... yet.
Wisp sits quietly watching, obviously not entirely comfortable, but not willing to admit it as she continues to monitor systems. The bright blue sky gives way to darkness, the crystal sharp clarity of space bringing those distant stars into focus. Bodies and cargo begin to float gently in seats before the gravity systems on the ship spool up, causing everything to settle back down.
After fifteen minutes, the Crusader appears in step behind the Veracity, and those extraneous fuel tanks are hooked on remotely.
<< EDC Gate One reporting in, coordinates are locked and readied. >>
The large warp gate, built mostly by the EDC space engineers with some alien assistance, glows slightly. There's no giant glowing portal to denote its on, but if one looks closely within the gate, they can see the rippling of motion between the stars.
During the initial gravity lessening, Jinx's hands unclench from the seat, and she pulls out what would look like an Airline Air Sickness bag. Yes, she knew this might happen, and she quietly uses the bag, to eliminate the problem her queasy stomach contents could have created...
The panicked squeaking stops when everyone begins to float. It's replaced by fearful, but surprised chitter-squeaking. "Is it safe to unbuckle?" Sinatra asks, holding his hand out in front of him and relaxing to watch it completely fail to drop.
Sci-Fi sets the navigation controls and then adjusts his seat and the strap. "Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die." He grins; watching his reflection on the monitor. “We’re going to want to be ready for anything. I can’t promise that all of us will make it home tonight. Though, I can promise we can get there in one piece.” He powers on a thruster to help assist with the gate.
Wisp glances to Sci-Fi. "You know, making people more nervous doesn't help..." She shakes her head and watches the instruments still, staying strapped in and monitoring the controls she can reach.
The ship moves forward towards the gate, and as its nose touches the gate, to the participants inside, the ship seems to elongate out dramatically, like a rubber band being stretched, and then with a pregnant pause, the rubber band is flicked, and the ship is flung out into deep space. This one, at least was equipped with an FTL drive, the Crusader, not as fortunate, which is why it was the cargo ship of this journey.
Lights streak across windows as time and space fold around the Joes, similar to Star Wars hyperspace but so....so much more elegant.
Unsurprisingly, the Crusader loses radio contact with the Veracity during transit. One can only hope both ships get through the gate unscathed.
General Hawk for the most part quietly watches out the window, gathering his thoughts for what is to come.
Temera looks forward, then outside, and winces.
There must have been a little more in Jinx's stomach than she thought, as the jump to 'lightspped/hyperspace' calls for another bag. She hopes no one tells her sensai, as she'll never live this down.
"Guys, we're coming up on the Devil's Anus! There she is. Our ticket out of here," says Sci-Fi to no one in particular. He looks back at Wisp after making sure that all controls are locked in correctly. "Sorry, I quote things to keep myself in persona." He tips his helmet as he collects himself back in the helm. "We've lost communication but hopefully we'll get back with them shortly." He looks back at Hawk and nods, "You know, you looked best when you were in that neon green Buzz Lightyear set up..."
General Hawk looks to Sci-Fi with a grin. "Who's to say I didn't pack it?" he says.
"Did he have to say green?" Jinx asks quietly. If anyone were to hazard a glance at the ninja, they might compare her face color to that of Hawk's Star Brigade outfit.
Wisp makes a face a little and shrugs slightly, continuing to watch the screens.
Temera winces at 'green' as well, and gets a bag for herself.
The actual transport only takes six minutes, Earth time, to travel that magnificent distance. As quickly as the Veracity entered the gate, it slows with a gentle skate to reveal an alien world. Blue-purple, ever swirling, with a parallel set of thin rings on it, something not seen in Earth's orbit!
Joes and Greenshirts all sit up, craning their necks to see the sight. Readings on the shuttle announce strange energy signatures emanating from it. While nothing looks harmful... from what the non-Cybertronians can tell, there's potential for issue.
Right on time, the Crusader pops out of the warp, as it slows, several mooring lines snap off, releasing tankers of fuel.
<< Ahh! We've lost tanks two and five. The lines came loose in transport. All...All other systems are good though, it was a surprise. >>
- GAME: Wisp FAILS a TECHNICAL roll of Immense difficulty.
- GAME: General Hawk PASSES a TECHNICAL roll of Extreme difficulty.
A long, slow breath finally comes from Jinx, as she tries to meditate away her anxiety. Her eyes close, and she begins to force herself to relax. She slowly relaxes, although, that radio call busts through her calm, and her eyes dart to the closest viewport, to see if she can see the Crusader.
- GAME: Sci-Fi FAILS a TECHNICAL roll of Immense difficulty.
The General is well versed in the capabilities of every ship in his fleet. 'every nut, every screw.' as the saying goes. He's certainly not stepping into this situation without having done the research. There was going to always be a chance for the Crusader to have issues landing on an alien world. Given the readouts and after communicating with the second ship, there's two options available. ONE: Leave the Crusader in orbit. Vehicles will be out of reach as it stands. The two shuttles are not freighters and cannot dock easily with each other. TWO: Accept the Crusader will be lost, and attempt a 'water' landing. High probability of the Crusader not ever taking off again, but a good percentage chance that at least half of the vehicles will be operable within.
Sinatra blinks at Sci-Fi and looks at whoever's nearest him "Is this guy like one of those cybertronian Junkions, spewing out movie quotes like that?" he asks, quietly "Or is he just trying to be funny?"
General Hawk frowns slightly. "We'd best put the Crusader in a parking orbit. We don't know how well it would take a landing, and I would rather not risk what supplies we have aboard. This thing should be able to take a landing a lot better."
Heads turn around in seats to look. Pvt. Ahndi Nakamea stares at the planet, slack jawed, having exclaimed the line moments ago. There's some laughter from the Greenshirts as she recomposes herself.
Greenshirt Timothy looks at Sinatra and nods, "Sci-Fi's one of a kind. One might say he's a living legend. He's like Rainman when it comes to these bad movie quotes and weird comic books, music, and junk." He offers earplugs. "Personally, I wish Snake-Eyes would train him to be quiet. "
Temera peeks out at the planet, raising her eyebrows a little bit. "Hmm, interesting place."
Sinatra nods in agreement with Tim. "I hear that." He says. He's distracted by a squeak from one of his rats that bears a suspiciously similar tone to Nakamea's. He looks out at the view and blinks. "...my father is /never/ gonna believe this." He mutters, pulling a cheap disposable 35mm camera from his pocket and taking a picture of the planet below.
Anyone looking at the rats will see them clinging to the bars, transfixed by the view. They're not staring out the window, though; their eyesight isn't that good. They're looking at the data-pad taped to the wall below the window, giving them a view through one of the cameras.
"Affirmative, HQ. The Crusader will be in orbit." Sci-Fi looks over his controls and then back at Hawk, "Do you want me to stay behind and attempt repairs? I believe that Wisp is more than capable of handling the landing here." He gives Timothy a glance and one at Sinatra as well. Unfortunately for those two, his visor hides the glare. "I don't want to risk damaging the mission but we will need access to our bigger weapons if the shit happens to be stirred." He grins a little, "And I'll be ready to bail you out." He exhales. "We're going to dock and hope for the best or do you want to land and then come back for the others, Sir?"
Jinx sighs softly, and She doesn't even bother to look at the planet. Her eyes are locked on the Crusader, and mutters, "We will miss that firepower..." She shrugs. It's not like she was going to be using a tank, or plane, or anything like that, but her mind does fixate on the fact that with the crusader up here, and them down there, what is the chance she'll get her spare change of clothes, or extra weapons, or dammit, the special food bars she brought along?
Temera glances to Jinx. "They'll likely unload it after we're down and unloaded, by making trips with the shuttle."
"I doubt these things will link up properly, we'll have to rig something up." Hawk says. "We can come back for it, but we need to get to ground and find out the situation."
Sinatra nods in agreement. "I hope so. Most of my rats' food is on board. I've only got maybe a day's supply here. And without the rat-bus we're going to need to walk everywhere." He shrugs. "Let me know now if you'll object to one of my pouchies climbing up you to rest on your shoulder if we have to move around a lot."
Jinx shrugs slightly at Temera, than turns to glance at Hawk, "Yes, dirt side sounds good...." Of course, to get there, they do have to ENTER the atmosphere, and isn't that where all the really bad things happen, in all those movies Sci-Fi likes to watch?
Wisp glances at Sci-Fi and shrugs slightly. "I guess I can land it, sure." She checks for the automatic landing procedures and whatnot.
<< We copy, Veracity. We've got supplies, but don't take too long down there. Read me? Over and out. >>
With that, the Veracity noses forward towards the planet. Hitting the atmosphere, it's quite similar to Earth, similar air density and pressure at least. Burning red streaks of fire gloss over Veracity and her crew as the team experiences re-entry, guided by the steadied veteran hands of Sci-Fi and Wisp.
When the world comes into focus, it's a sight. As above, it's far more blue and purple than Earth. A large water source seems reflective, perhaps mercury, as the ship roars on down from above. Assuming a remote location to land, to control the airspace, there are verdant green fields filled with plants of some strange sort, that makes a suitable site that should be securable.
Sinatra just holds on and mutters faintly in Swahili
A muttered, "Well, at least it looks pretty enough..." comes from Jinx, who, has stopped fretting, and is now, all business, or mostly, aside from the comment she made about the looks of the place. Her eyes go distant, as she begins to prepare herself for combat. She feels better, of course, because they are no longer 'in Space'. There are inside a planet's atmosphere, and she didn't get blown up. Always a win.
The shuttle flies onward to...
Folassian Forest - Nebulos
The Folassian Forest is but one part of the paradise that is Nebulos. It is a lush, green forest adorned with waterfalls. The arborials here are much different than Earth trees, though they have a beauty to them, only half of them seem to be lush with organic material, the others seem to just form intricate branches. There's also a large, constantly rippling lake of some thick, pearlescent liquid, that reflects the moons of Nebulos brilliantly.
Without an issue, the Veracity settles onto a high meadow, plants growing two feet tall like grass are blown over as the shuttle lands. Readings outside suggest acceptable to humans, and so the doors open....
NOW PLAYING: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-C-_pdzp5A
And a new world opens up before you. As a mostly agrarian society, plant life is the first thing that catches the eye. Several tall thin trees with hanging puffs of cerulean... leaves or equivalent. Off to the west, there was sighted some sort of structures, most likely a community of some sort. Add in a conspicuous lack of wildlife, and an odd taste to the air that's hard to explain, and you've landed on Nebulos, mind the mercury!
The shuttle unseals, with a slight hiss of pressure equalization.
As soon as the door opens, twenty noses poke through the wire of the travel-cages to sample alien air.
Sinatra takes a few moments to make sure that he's still alive, before opening up the cages and unslinging his rifle from its secure spot on the wall and hanging it over his shoulder. Still feels odd to carry it with the armour on.
The rats all gather around his feet, Obi and Bem hopping up onto his shoulders.
PVT Nakamea disembarks from the Veracity.
"Watch your step here, folks. This is unknown territory, so keep your eyes and ears open." Hawk says as he straps up his weapons. General Hawk disembarks from the Veracity.
Sinatra disembarks from the Veracity.
Jinx follows everyone off the Shuttle. She has her weapons on her, all stowed in various sheath's, or holsters, or in an equipment pack she is carrying. Other than the Naginta, which she carries, and a M-16, she she has slung over one shoulder. She really hopes nothing is going to jump out at them, and attack, as they land. Nope, not time for the Horror/Sci-Fi movie to get to that point, just yet.... right?
NOW PLAYING: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-C-_pdzp5A
Sinatra steps onto the surface of Nebulos.
The rats aren't so sure. They stop at the edge of the ramp in a little huddle, peering down at the Nebulos dirt like ducklings nervous about taking their first swim. Obi and Bem look disconcerted, holding on to the armour tighter. There's a lot of squeaked discussion amongst the rats huddled on the edge, body-language and tone suggesting that they're arguing about who wants to go first, and nobody wants to volunteer.
Sinatra sighs, and pulls a jar of peanut butter from one of his armour pouches. As soon as he opens the lid and breaks the seal he has the rats' attention. "Do not be such scaredy-rats!" He says in Swahili. "This is a whole new world! Do you want me to tell the other rats back in Joburg that you were all too scared to set foot on Nebulous? Come on, I've got peanut butter."
After a little bit more hesitation, they all run over to him, and he rewards them with some of the peanut butter.
General Hawk motions for people to take cover. "We're not alone.... we're being watched." he says, crouching down and looking to the west.
- GAME: Sinatra PASSES a DEXTERITY roll of Above Average difficulty.
Just as Hawk Speaks, Jinx points West, and moves one step in that direction, before she too, drops low. She brings her M-16 around, but holds it with the muzzle pointing straight up. No, not going to make an overly hostile move, just yet, but she will be ready to defend the group.
The rats squeak to alert Sinatra at about the same time Hawk does. He nods and crouches, unslinging his rifle. The rats forgoe their feast of peanut butter and huddle around his feet, looking west.
NOW PLAYING: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ccpi90ZMf5g
Wisp frowns and peers west as well, getting her carbine out and putting it over her shoulder in a 'stand by' position, not too threatening, but 'available if needed'.
The Joe take up their defensive positions, on guard. The figure, being made from cover, retreats into the high grass and moves at a fast pace, rippling the ten foot tall weeds in their wake!
Imagine that... Sci-Fi can't compute today. It's like he's having a bluescreen error. Maybe something else is bothering him. Who knows. He bites his lip as he exits. He readies his weapon systems as he starts to take advice from Hawk. He takes cover; perhaps not the best. With a wince, he looks over at his laser rifle's charging status. "I'm going to need a minute..." He whispers to himself before he kicks on his playlist. "Jarvis, give me my 'Epic Death Scene' playlist." He pauses as he sees there's no connection. "Crumbs. Going to have to go old school." He selects 'No Man's Sky'as he looks at over at his crew. He's prepared for this to be his last mission.
Sci-Fi's Hi-Fi Beats: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bS1yWpVlRlc&ab_channel=TheInspirationalMind
General Hawk frowns slightly. "Let's find out just who, or what, that is. Stay on your guard... move out." he says, as he heads towards the tall grass.
Wisp nods at that. "Yes, sir."
Jinx straightens, and moves towards the west, but slightly off the direct path to where they spotted the watcher. Instead, she moves into a flanking position, so that she is about 10 yards from the main group. She contemplates switching to a more silent weapon, but until she can see what she is up against, her best bet is to have something that might dent a robot, rather than just piss it off.
Temera slips for the grass, watching to see if she can find the spotted one either by heat, smell, or anything else. She hmms looking west. "Settlement is likely occupied for sure... Wonder if they came from there."
The Joes move into the tall, tall grass. Some glide through the stalks without issue, others rustle as they bump into every single one, and a small pack of rats scout the area around....
While Jinx and anyone else stealthy enough can flank and hide from sight well enough, when the Joes approach the end of the tall grass, they see...what appears to be similar to a rustic, Earth village. Stone on stone, houses set up with windows, a central paved stone area with a well....and a group of blue-skinned people of wildly different hair colors that are in the process of locking down their homes from the invaders!
General Hawk stops at the edge of the grass, and observes. "Did we land on Earth in medieval times or what?" he says, not approaching any closer to not spook the townspeople more than they already are.
Wisp blinks at that and frowns at the villagers locking down suddenly, whispering softly. "I'm not /that/ scary am I?"
Jinx toggles her radio, and transmits to the Joes. "General, I have spotted the watcher... or at least the town of the watchers. The kinda remind me of the Na'vi... except maybe not so elongated?" She doesn't even consider that there might be something blocking the radio signals. Who knows what weird atmospheric things might mess up the Radio Reception
The rats approach with Jinx, while Sinatra hangs back, swapping AK for pistol and putting an equally ornate damascene silencer in place before slipping up to join them. "No, I don't think it was you." She says. "They've... I know this behaviour. They've been attacked before."
Surveying the area, it appears Sinatra is right. Blast marks, signs of fire. Off in the distance, withered plants which may've been foodstuffs of some sort. The Joes have no doubt encountered victims of war in their past, and so they have yet again...