Jade Imperium - One Small Step

Dieter 2007-04-23 20:59:08
The humor aside of seeing the tough-as-nails Deltas begin the overture to heave, Max goes about getting the green light for good atmo.

"Dr. Cavanaugh, commence with the testing! The faster we get this done, the sooner we can prevent America's Army from aspirating in their breathmasks. Specialist Greene, make sure your guys don't take off their masks. Hang in there, Andy." says Kilgore, verifying his readings.
Gatac 2007-04-23 20:59:25

Hugh lets his rifle hang from the sling, puts his hands on his knees and tries to slow down his breath as he forces the sick feeling back down.

"Control, we got...ugh...some problems here. Feels like every hangover I ever had all at once. Don't send anyone until we've checked our guys."

He sees that Max has made the shift without ill effects, so he calls out.

"Doc! Run your tests now!"

He shuffles over to the prone body of Stanhill and kneels down.

"Steady, Sarge. It'll come off in a minute. Slow breaths. Sumo, same deal. Don't take off the mask until we're clear!"

He shouts to Specialist Greene.

"What are you standing around for? Perimeter security! Kitty, we need barf bags here, pronto!"
fanchergw 2007-04-23 21:04:39
"Yes, sir," Semo barks, saluting the superior officer before departing.

The mention of a steakhouse does sound tempting, but Semo decides otherwise. That'd take too much time away from his nap and meals. Army food's always been good enough for him, anyway.

5 hours and 50 minutes later, SSgt Putupu presents himself in full gear, ready and raring to go. He waits patiently for the eggheads to open the portal. Then, when his turn comes, he forces his way through the gate.

Heat and humidity hit him like a Mac truck as the shift tears his guts into confetti. His body in open revolt, Semo collapses onto the soft green grass, clutching at his helm and abdomen. The urge to puke is overpowering and yet the need to wait for air testing is grave. Semo stiffens his will, trying to hold out as long as possible...
Admiral Duck Sauce 2007-04-23 21:39:49
"Ask THEM for barf bags!" Dr. Cavanaugh shouts back at Hugh, pointing at the Pit through the portal and frantically feeding the raw atmopheric data from the probe into her laptop. "Max, I could really use Andy's he-"

Tupolev violently shakes his head, the NBC helmet quivering like an executioner's mask.

"Sir!" Greene confirms before moving out into the thicker growth, sweeping right and left with his weapon.

Max works his quickest. His hands are slick inside the MOPP gloves, the pained sounds from the two sickest men spur his movements faster and faster.

Sumo wishes he had taken Dietrich up on his offer of a steakhouse now. They call "mess" hall for a reason, and he can taste it in his mouth now. He glances over at Tupolev, who is all kinds of fucked up. Vomit starts dribbling out of the mask and Andy can't take it anymore. He pulls at the snaps, heaving off his mask and then heaving onto the alien soil.

The test thus far reads all clear.

Sumo's not puking only because he's keeping his mouth closed. The vile fliud builds, choking him, burning his nostrils. Max gestures for him to do what he's gotta do, and the big staff sergeant rips off his own mask and finally gets relief.

Sumo and Tupolev exchange worried looks - Tupolev is about out of his mind. "Fuck! Fuck! Max, tell me we're green! For fuck's sake!"

"Well, it'll be several minutes before we know for sure-" Kitty starts.

Andy's a basket case, but the tests do come back with the all-clear. Cavanaugh shrugs off her face mask. The humid jungle air feels like air conditioning after being inside the MOPP gear.
Dieter 2007-04-23 21:48:43
We're clear. Thank God, we're clear. says Max to himself, thankful for the good readings.

He then realizes his assessment hasn't been vocalized loud enough for everyone to hear.

"WE'RE CLEAR! WE'RE CLEAR!" shouts the scientist, ripping off his own mask.

"Mesa Negras. This is Dr. Kilgore, atmo is breathable...Repeat, atmo is breathable."

Max goes over to Andy and helps him to his feet.

"Hey, hey. Andy. It's OK, readings are in the green. Deep breaths."
Admiral Duck Sauce 2007-04-23 21:52:00
*Copy that. Atmosphere is breathable. Taylor's team will be standing by for the next window.*

Next window? Everyone thinks. You look at your watches and the testing's taken a huge bite out of the portal lifespan. There's eleven seconds left by your count.

*See ya'll soon.* Dietrich drawls into the mic.
e of pi 2007-04-23 22:01:08
As he steps through the Gate, Luis is struck in the chest by the change in enviroment. No, wait, it's a bit lower, he realizes as he falls to his knees as his body voices its displeasure. A swith the others, he's not quite able to hold it long enough, though a bit longer considering he'd eaten less recently. Still, he's relieved to discover he isn't going to die or anything. Yet.

As he climbs, a bit unsteadily, back to his feet, he turns to the Captain. However, before he can figure out what to do next, the next comm comes in:

*Copy that. Atmosphere is breathable. Taylor's team will be standing by for the next window.*

Next window? Luis wonders, then checks his watch. Oh.

*See ya'll soon.* Dietrich drawls into the mic.

As the portal fizzles out, Luis looks back to the Captain again.

"What now, sir?"
Dieter 2007-04-23 22:04:11
Next window? Shit.

Max checks his watch, waving Kitty over to him and Andy's position.

"Stay close. The last thing this expedition needs is one of its three useful brains devoured as an appetizer for the native wildlife."

Kilgore checks his weapon, painfully aware that he may just have to use it.
Gatac 2007-04-23 22:32:28
"Everybody do what you have to!" Hugh shouts, barely keeping his own lunch down.

Once everything's sorted out, he begins issueing orders.

"Luis, cover our VIPs! Sumo, help Greene on the perimeter!"

He walks over to the science team, still shaking from that little moment.

"Re-run the atmo tests, slow and careful this time. I want to be sure we're not slowly killing ourselves here. Stay close, keep your guns handy, the zone is hot until I say otherwise."

He then jogs over to Greene and kneels down beside him.

"See anything out there?"
fanchergw 2007-04-23 22:51:41
Semo manages to hold out longer than the egghead, but that's about it. Moments after Andy pops seals and barfs, Semo does likewise. It's either that or suffocate on the stuff in his mouth and throat. Heaving repeatedly, Putupu can only hope that a few gulps of water will help wash the worst of the taste from his mouth.

He trades looks with Andy, knowing that they're already dead if the atmo is toxic. Fortunately, someone shouts that the readings are clear, and Semo gives a quick silent prayer of thanks.

Dragging himself up off the ground, Semo, checks his weapon quickly.

"No plan ever survives contact with the enemy," he says to no one in particular. "This one didn't even last that long."

Hearing the Captain's orders, Semo moves out to begin setting up a perimeter. He'll start with an area only slightly larger than the group and move outward 5 yards at a time from there.
Admiral Duck Sauce 2007-04-23 22:52:26
"Good question, top," Greene replies. He's taken the liberty of doffing most of his clothing, keeping the tank top and load-bearing vest. "There ain't nothin' 'round this crash site, but I can hear stuff movin' past that thick underbrush there." He points to a swath of jungle where Hugh can also make out several varieties of high-pitched squawks, like rodent or bird sounds. "I call it a crash site, sir, 'cause look." Greene turns back the other way, and from his position the "ruins" most definitely appear to be the long-dead wreckage of some vehicle's fuselage. The Gateway lies in the sunlight, propped up by overgrowth and part of the craft's skeleton. Skeleton is a good word for it - gantries and support beams arc overhead like a partial ribcage. Past a gaping hole into the hull lie several more Gateways. It looks like they were ensconced into some retaining mechanism. The alien jungle has reclaimed much of the wreck, but Hugh estimates that it's probably comparable in width and length to a jetliner's fuselage.

"Anyways, ain't nothin' round us, sir. Want me to move out a bit, get the lay of the land?"
Dieter 2007-04-23 23:10:40
"Way ahead of you, Captain." replies Max, his Toughbook already open and feeding the collected data through the spectra-analysis processors.

"Andy, when your equilibrium catches up with the rest of your body, re-run all the air collector data with a Level-4 scan. If this place has so much as ten particles per cubic meter of anything, I want to know about it."

Typing away, Max also has a brief moment of insight.

"Captain, you should make it clear to your men that any signs of illness...other than the *ahem* most recent nausea, should be reported immediately. There may be some sort of untraceable alien pathogen in the air that even my equipment can't detect."
fanchergw 2007-04-24 00:26:28
Hearing Greene's comments to the Captain, Semo moves at a measured pace toward the source of the animal noises. He won't leave the clearing, but positions himself between whatever and the science squad.

A look over his shoulder allows a better view of the wreckage. "Think it's some kind of space ship? Or more like an airplane? Might help to know if the owners were locals."

Max's comment about pathogens makes Semo's stomach lurch, but at least nothing comes up this time. Of course, there likely isn't anything left in there anyway...

Since he's been exposed this long, Semo proceeds to remove the rest of the MOPP covering. However, he retains his military issue clothes and gear.
e of pi 2007-04-24 00:53:47
Luis takes up a position a few feet away from the place where the "nerd herd" is starting to set up shop. He checks his weapon and starts scanning the jungle, hoping there's not too much out there. Despite this, he's still able to spare a glance at the wreckage. It's not much to look at, but he wonders why anybody would need ships and the Gates. He shakes the thought off, and goes back to keeping an eye on the jungle. "This is going to be a long thirty minutes," he mutters.
Gatac 2007-04-24 06:33:40
"Not yet," Hugh says to Greene. "Stay here, keep looking. If anything moves in our direction, make a sound, but hold your fire."

He jogs back to the portal, taking in the wreckage along the way.

"Gotcha, Doc. But honestly, we're all pretty shook up from the portal. I think we'll have a hard time telling whether it's ET flu, the heat or our impromptu barf-a-thon that's making us feel shitty. Speaking of which...Luis, I want you to stand down for a minute. Get out of MOPP, drink a bit, wash your face. When you're fresh, get over to Greene and relieve him."
Admiral Duck Sauce 2007-04-24 14:50:14
Everybody's shedded their MOPP gear now, sucking down water from their Camelbaks constantly. The "Nerd Herd" begins running a more comprehensive test of the atmosphere, soil, anything that could pose an immediate microscopic threat.

Semo's perimeter search takes him around the crash site. He disturbs a particular clump of tall, lush, green wheat-like grass and a flight of tiny flitting bug-things swarm into the air and disperse into the jungle, their wings humming away. He gathers himself and continues on his sweep. From where he is, he can see the skin of the alien vehicle better. It looks like a similar dull blue-grey material to the Gateway itself, and is bare of any markings. That's not surprising, as even future-paint would probably be stripped from exposure to the elements given enough time.

Semo's underneath some of the overgrowth covering the wreck, enjoying the shade. The alien sun is just a hair closer to white than Earth's sun, giving everything a fluorescent-lighting sort of look.

That's when he sees the bird. Technically, it's probably not really a bird, he thinks. It's sitting on a tree branch looking at him with black doll eyes, covered in what looks like long hairy feathers. It's about the size of a toucan, and is the same muddy baby-shit green-brown as the tree trunk - oh wait, no, it's greener suddenly, like the fronds on the ends of the branches. Semo realizes the birds's like a chameleon. It gives Semo an inquisitive "whoop?" noise. Its long beak is serrated.
e of pi 2007-04-24 18:06:23
Luis's stomache is starting to settle down to normal, so he moves out to take over for Greene. As he goes, he takes a long look around the area, trying to get a handle on the layout of the terrain.

OOC: Is Greene going to be able to fall back and cover the nerd herd if anything goes wrong?
fanchergw 2007-04-24 18:28:19
Period sips from his Camelbak is slowly washing the taste from Semo's mouth, and for that he's grateful. Still, as big as he is, he needs the constant influx of water just to avoid dehydration. At this rate, he's going to need to refill every few hours.

The sudden burst of insects makes Semo jump back a bit. At least he has enough discipline not to open up with his weapon. Gotta settle down; this alien planet thing has him more tense than he'd realized. Still, who knows what kind of dangers alien insects might present.

Taking a close look, Semo looks for any that remained behind. If so, he'll yank out a specimen bag and try to get one for the nerd herd.

Pausing in the shade, Putupu takes a gander at the hull of the ship. Looks like it might be made of the same material as the gateway. If he spots any small pieces, he'll collect one of those in a sample container as well.

After a few moments, a feeling of being watched creeps over Semo. Looking up, he sees some kind of bird-creature in the branches above him. It doesn't look dangerous, but he'd better keep an eye on it anyway.

Glance back at the nerd herd, he calls out, but not so loud as to scare away the creature. "Hey, Doc Kilgore! Got somethin' here you might wanna look at!"
Dieter 2007-04-24 18:32:21
"Kitty, you might want to bring your bag with you. Andy, keep running the scans." says Kilgore, moving cautiously over to Semo's position.
Admiral Duck Sauce 2007-04-24 18:42:47
Luis' hand on Greene's shoulder makes the specialist jump just a bit. "This place freaks me out, Stan," Greene whispers. "I'm falling back." The grenadier crab-walks around Luis' left side and heads back to cover Drs. Kilgore, Cavanaugh, and Tupolev.

The wall of thick brush gives way to jungle, a jungle whose canopy must tower over 100 feet. From deeper in, Luis hears the whoops, squawks, and chirrups of unseen fauna. He can also hear running water - might not be water, he thinks.

Out here, away from the vomit, out of the MOPP suit, the smell of the place starts getting to Luis. It smells off. Wrong. He can understand why Greene was getting jittery. In fact, as he takes stock of his position, he notices that aside from a few hovering... bugs?, nothing is really intruding on the crash site. Is it because the Delta team smells as bad to the indigenous life as they smell to the team, or something else?