Ardiel Installation

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Ardiel Installation

On Sirian’s slightly smaller moon, Ardiel, an abandoned Zuxian habitat dug into the surface of the moon has been rediscovered by Belham Republic intel and brought under the fold of the Treatise Body Administration

A massive installation, the interior is largely intact despite years of abandonment thanks to Ardiel’s lack of atmosphere and tectonic plates. Regular impact to the moon has caused some minor shifting, but was largely accounted for during the installation’s design. Most interior damage appears to be due other factors.

While it’s believed much of the installation has yet to be explored, mapped and reclaimed, the areas that have been discovered already boast capacity for over a million residents, which is a promising prospect for the refugees fleeing the increasingly dangerous planet.

Power for the installation is provided by a mix of geothermal plants and shielded solar cells on the surface, though most of the latter are no longer in working order. Reclamation efforts have focused on restoring the infrastructure and exploring the many barred corridors leaving away from the established sector.

Living Quarters
The housing area in the established sector is packed with uniform apartments stacked vertically in suite arrangements, accessible by elevator or stairs. Each apartment has waste recycling, fold-up bedding and a newly-installed small remixer for the necessities.

The Waterfront
Part of the life support system within the installation is a man-made ‘river’ that helps both define and connect separate areas within the sector. Due to the low-gravity nature of Ardiel, the river is contained in a clear tube and not readily accessible except through regular maintenance hatches. The same sealed nature also avoid unnecessary evaporation.

A second large, clear tube runs along the ceiling of the sector, backlit to provide an artificial sense of weather or passing clouds in the subterranean habitat.

At ground level near the water system are several rooms clearly carved out for dining and entertainment.

The Starlight District
A high-society haven claiming the upper levels of the Waterfront, the Starlight District is a playground for the rich and influential. Home to many of the wealthy citizens from both Rohearn and Jahond, the Starlight District is flush with lavish luxuries, all brought in by the residents themselves.

Residency in the Starlight district was original gained by influencing the initial housing committee members when habitation of the section began. Since then, new arrivals to the district typically either need to buy out a current resident (no small task) or wait for someone to fall behind on the dues the district requires of its residents to keep its public spaces lush and entice the best businesses and performers.

To many performers, being invited to play at one of the many intimate venues in the Starlight District is a sign that you’ve ‘made it’ as an artist. Security generally keeps anyone who isn’t a resident, a personal guest of a resident, an employee of a resident, or an invited performer, from even entering the district.

Holographic Theaters
Using the same technology as exists on the Fleet vessels, the holographic theaters in the Ardiel Installation are much larger in scope. While the technology suffers the same limitations otherwise, the sheer scale of simulations that can be easily created in Ardiel’s holorooms is far larger than those on either the Fleet vessels or Station Prime

Sports Arenas
Domed arenas of various sizes are dotted about the reclaimed sector, some particularly large and capable of seating tens of thousands of fans. The fields suggest the Zuxian enjoyed sports spurned by the low-gravity environment involving impressive jumps, careful balance and aerial acrobatics. Exactly what they played is still uncertain, but the arenas themselves are broadly usable for planetary sports in some shape or form.

The "Forest"
The hydroponic systems of the Zuxian were left running when the Ardiel installation was abandoned, powered by geothermal systems and largely designed to be self-sustaining. Centuries without maintenance caused them to overgrow their original containers and spread throughout a portion of the sector, effectively converting it into a subterranean forest.

Plant and fungal life are all that currently reside in the ‘forest,’ although it’s large enough to make a decent home for at least some planetary fauna, if the refugees were able to rescue any.

The Tunnels
Corridors leading away from the discovered sector are often sealed or blocked by wreckage. Signs of damage that seem to suggest precision explosives mark more than a few tunnels leading away from the reclaimed areas.

Other tunnels are open but unpowered, but damage in the known areas has made the Treatise Body cautious about exploring the remaining compound. While there is no restriction barring others from venturing down the unmonitored tunnels, there is a general warning given that no one should venture down them unprepared.

Black Market
A secret ‘club’ not far down one of the ‘dark’ tunnels marked off as leading nowhere useful, where a criminal element can meet safely without prying eyes. All kinds of illegal goods and information can be bought and sold here, from drugs to military hardware to government secrets and illegal intrusion or spoofing software.

The market is also home to illegal events, from the pornographic to the pugilistic. No-rules fighting is a common event, with guns and explosives being the only thing outlawed. Exotic dancing, prostitution and illegal porn also call the market home. It’s also a great place to get forged paperwork, electronic or otherwise, or to purchase a whole new identity.

Transit Depot
Oddly discovered last, the Ardiel installation also contains a massive transit depot and hangar for space-faring vessels headed for the planet, the stations, or other ports on the same Ardiel installation. The depot was suspiciously empty of Zuxian craft when the first reclaimers arrived, suggesting that the Zuxian who abandoned the installation had time to scramble all spacecraft to evacuate the residents.

Connected habitats on the moon

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He shook his head at Adrian,

He shook his head at Adrian, just smiling a little. As far as crazy went this was on the lower end of the scale in his own experience. But it had been fun at least and no one died...

thank you maddy :) that was a blast :)

 

Adrian did what he could to

Adrian did what he could to help out, and then was quick to grab ahold of the rope once the metalborn was ready. Turning, he waited for the others to do so and using the oportunity to get a head count just to be sure, before hanging on tight as they were rocketed to the top of the chasm. At which point, as the metalborn collapsed he stepped over. "You okay?" He asked, unsure if he'd get an answer. Though the fact that the main problem seemed to be it's legs seemed to answer that well enough. At which point he the metalborn a small pat before standing up. "

"It also seems a lot of trouble could have been saved by taking the time to wait to see what the sign meant." He said, loud enough that the entirety of the group could hear then. The comment was mainly aimed at Dr.Knuleps, but in a more passive aggressive manner at those who had followed her lead without enough caution. "You're lucky noone died. Doubly so that it wasn't one of the ones who actually cares if they do."

 

".... opps."

".... opps."

Then he yelps as the two grad students reflexes kick in. And at this point he was sort of glad he was kind of on the small side cause getting hauled out of this mess was good. Very good cause yowch -

Jake quickly clips onto his rope for the escape, giving the grad student who hauled him out a quick grin and thumbs up. The rising explosion below gets a cheer - cause if you can't enjoy the escape what are you taking the risks for, right? "WHOO!"

"... ok not quite how that was supposed to go but we're alive right?" Jake leaned back to check the headcount again. "Yep - everyone's in."

He eyes the doctor then sighs, "Yeah, I got footage and some basic sensors. I'll send the footage -" He shakes his head on watching the doctor go right into the science babble, and heads over to the grad students. "Thanks, quick thinking there."

 

When things don't go exactly

When things don't go exactly as planned, it's always good to believe that you'll be rescued. Some days, Elena fancies herself the dashing heroine. And other days, like today, she gets swept away by the brilliant students who she had all the best intentions of helping herself. Soon they're back topside, outrunning the odd smelling fire and likely pointing thumbs over their shoulders with the most innocent 'it wasn't me' expressions ever.

As they are taken up, the fire and black foam seem to gurgle out as the ruins are engulfed. Of course Elena feels pretty bad about the accident, but hopefully they'll have some memories of the day. And at the end, isn't that the best find of all?... Well, probably not as good as being able to come back and investigate more.

Surprisingly as they get to the top, Dr Knuleps seems to actually be pretty happy with the whole thing. Or at least she's focusing on the silver lining. It seems like it raises some interesting questions. And though Elena won't be here to help get a sample, she's sure that whomever does will have plenty to grab from when the flames go out.

Looking to Jake, she can't help but grin now that they're out of danger. "Next time, I'll take the tub and you can take the beakers." She says with a little nervous laughter.

Thank you all so much for the RP! It was absolutely lovely. Madius, thank you for running! It was a blast and a half! ;)

 

Depositing the team in the

Depositing the team in the safety of the tunnel above, the poor metalborn assistant sparks and falls over, still operable save for its overclocked legs, but luckily, those can be repaired.

Dr. Knuleps, landing awkwardly as her noble steed collapses beneath her, looks thrilled beyond measure. "INCREDIBLE! Did you see that?! Amber, Tali, Wh-- whatever you name is, did any of you get a reading on that foam compound?? We simply MUST get a sample!"

The grad students look just happy to be alive, and none of them keen on going back down into the Death Chasm to tinker with the Black Foam of FLaming Doom just yet, but luckily for them, the good doctor is distracted by a beeping notification from her datapad.

Pulling it up, she blinks a moment. "...Ah." She gestures at Adrian to come over, showing him the symbol he unearthed earlier. "Seems it was a warning. 'Danger: Volatile Chemicals in Use.' I suppose we know what caused the bridge to fall. Seems something in the lab sprung a leak!"

Laughing, she gets to her feet, pacing back and forth excitedly. "Oh how fantastic! An entire lab suite suspended in a chasm! Do you suppose that was a safety feature? Isolate the dangerous scientists? ...Hmm, I know a few departments that might benefit from that design..."

She continues pacing and mumbling to herself for some time, but the important thing is that the team made their discovery and got back safely. For now, the other mysteries of Ardiel will have to remain safely hidden.

Probably for the best...

[SESSION END! Hope you enjoyed :) Sorry for the late start and end. Session Report and XP tomorrow!]

 

What Elena and Jakob lack in

What Elena and Jakob lack in grace, they make up for in decisiveness and courage. Helping to remove the beakers from the grad students goes very well until it doesn't - Elena manages to bumble one, dropping it straight into the growing green foam, which rapidly turns pink and begins popping occasionally, spraying all four of them with tiny drops of foam that tingle on their skin.

Not to be outdone, as it were, Jake gets the larger tub away from the second grad student, only to stumbled slightly once splashed with tingly pink foam, causing him to rock a bit and splash some of the tub's contents into the foam, which has now gone black and combusted with a strange white flame that's putting off an immense heat and smells a bit like cabbage.

Luckily, having works with Dr. Knuleps before, the two grad students, free of their burdens, promptly snatch up their would-be rescuers and all but carry Jake and Elena out of the tunnel system.

Meanwhile, topside, Adrian and James are just enough of an assist (exactly 10 PP each) to help Dr. Knuleps with the override on her metalborn assistant's thrusters. The assistant points everyone to the climbing ropes. Once they've got a grip, and the doctor is climbed aboard its back, the assistant fires his newly modified thrusters and sends them all rocketing up toward the broken tunnel entrance they started their descent from.

As they hang from the ropes for dear life, the others get a great view of the exploding black foam burning with white flame gurgling out of the fallen tunnel and consuming what of the ruins remains.

[MORE]

 

Adrian watched the mouth of

Adrian watched the mouth of the hatch as the others began to make their way back. Though the head count was off by quite a bit it seemed, as only three people climbed out. He was about to step toward the hole and call down for the others to hurry up before James did just that. At which point he instead turned his attention to the other task at hand.

He didn't know a lot about robots. Be they ones with boosters in their feet or not. But, he was at least competent when it came to tech and hardware. So he could offer an extra pair of hands at least to get things done a bit quicker. He hoped, at least.

 

James does a double take on

James does a double take on his suit and helmet in particular to make sure everything is on in order. Sure enough Jordis gives him the ok and he lets out a sigh of relief. He looks back towards the hole towards Jacob and Elena. "Good luck and the quicker the better!" He hopes they can manage a quick escape. Then he turns his attention back towards the metalborn. "Ok doc, my hacking skills are a little rusty but I'll see what I can do." With that James takes his go at the bit. If he can find a way to do it he would. Otherwise, well the alternative wasn't exactly a fun thing to discuss.

 

Jake looks over at Elena as

Jake looks over at Elena as he hears the help and points towards the room, leading the way carefully. It's when he gets to the door and sees what he sees that his eyeball twitches. "...."

He steps back to the other side of the door to hide the laughter. It wasn't the happy laughter, more the oh god what did they DO laughter. "Ok ok -"

"Elena - you get the two beakers I'll get the tub." Jake steps around growing sludge. "Second this is clear you walk to the door then run. Don't want you slipping in here." He nodded to the students then leaned in to pick the tub out of one of their hands and set it on the table.

He'll be following the same protocol shortly, keeping a good grip on that rebreather cause he doesn't want to get stuck in here either.

crosses fingers maybe the safety procedures apply?

 

"Those are really bad sounds

"Those are really bad sounds when it comes to students." Elena agreed with Jake. "Maybe they dropped a priceless lamp on top of an old fan they were just powering on?" She said with a little smirk. Of course it wouldn't be quite so comical or simple as that, but she could sure hope for the best.

She listens as Jake calls out for the two students. With any luck they might be quick to follow. But if they hear two loud thump sounds, it might be time to start dragging some grad students out like it was a Saturday night at closing time.

When it doesn't look like they're coming, she follows Jake and rushes that way. The sight that greets them is absolute madness. The growing pile of foam looks caustic and really unpleasant. And they look absolutely terrified.

"Ooooohkaaaaaay..." Elena says softly, reaching over to one of the two students and trying to help lower the beakers to the ground carefully. "We're just gonna set this stuff down and then head back to the ladder." She says, half trying to sound calm, and half trying to remind herself of the plan so she actually stays calm. She just hopes that she isn't so distracted by the foam that she makes things much worse.

I'm not entirely sure if her skill applies in this case, but I added it just in case it would work to help.

 

The doctor immediately goes

The doctor immediately goes to tinkering about with her metalborn assistant's legs, although to what end it's unclear.

Having to turn away from the now heartbreaking find, James is able to nimbly get back out of the wonky hallway and topside to join Adrian, the doctor and the metalborn. With the aid of Elena's calming words, the climber and one of the grad assistants make their way out in an orderly fashion.

All that remains then are the two students in the far room where the glass breaking sound came from. A moment after the doctor's call and Jake's follow-up, a meek 'help' can be heard from the same room. A harsh whisper of 'careful!' comes from the other student a second later.

Heading down and peeking his head in, Jakob can see the two students standing over a shattered beaker one of them either dropped or knocked off the slanted shelf. A strange white-green foam is rapidly growing out of the reaction the chemical is making with the floor, threatening to envelope the two students.

Unfortunately, the students themselves are somewhat stuck, one of them having caught two other beakers with unknown chemicals before they could shatter, the other having caught one large glass tub of the same. They both seem too terrified to move for fear of dropping anything else to add to the reaction. Unfortunately the growing foam isn't giving them much choice.

Up top, Dr. Knuleps curses as something sparks on the back of the metalborn assistant's rusted shins. "Damn! ...I don't suppose any of you can help me override the factory safety gauges, could you? We need to ramp up the thruster power to get clear of the gas cloud, or we're all about to become a great find for a future archaeological team..."

[GO! Assisting Dr. Knuleps is a Tech roll (DEX + INT), craft, repair or bypass aspects apply. Nabbing the students and running is either FIN (for carefully setting the remaining beakers down) or AGI (for grabbing the kids and running with all speed).]

 

Elena's comment didn't get a

Elena's comment didn't get a whole lot of a response. He wasn't exactly a 'people person' but he could tell it hadn't been teasing done out of malice. So confrontation wasn't the right response. And he didn't exactly know her all that well to know how else to respond. Instead, he simply went back to what he was doing.

Though, as Jake spoke up as well he looked over in the man's direction. "I'd much rather people not distract each other with emotions." He replied, speaking in a rather straightforward tone.

Adrian shrugged softly as the doctor spoke, not all that sure she was actually asking him but doing the motion more out of habit. Though, when a moment later the call went out for the others to hurry back his brow furrowed and he moved to put on his gas mask. Perhaps a move that was a bit premature, but one that he felt warranted in doing.

 

Jake raises an eyebrow at

Jake raises an eyebrow at Adrian. "Feeling left out, babe?" He smiled, "There's nothing saying we can't multitask. I mean... normally I need to at least go out for coffee first -"

But Elena popping down into exploring inside the hatch cuts Jake short and he just grins cockily at Adrian and cuts a sloppy salute his way before following her down.

"..." Jake taps Elena's shoulder. "Broken glass and hissing noise plus grad students - never a fun noise, right?" He stepped towards the door they'd disappeared into. "Hey - thing one and thing two! Check in!"

And that's when he hears the 'everyone out' call from outside and immediately glances down to check the x-ray film while he fumbles for the emergency microbreather that comes with the fleet uniforms. Paranoid? Hell yes. He's seen what even little spores can do.

"Everybody outta the pool!" He calls, doing a head count as grads pile out so he can make sure all of them are out. If the two near the breaking glass aren't moving Jake'll poke his head in to check on them.

 

James is beyond fascinated by

James is beyond fascinated by the lizard creature when he spots it. It's interesting to say the least, and frankly if he could carry the container on his own he's love to. He'd actually love to stay and study everything in this room immensely. Yet it also gave him some small chills. All in all it was a lot to take in.

Then the doc comes out loud and clear yelling for everyone to get out. James sighs but knows to listen. He starts moving as quickly as he can towards the exit, jumping and weaving his way through. Not taking any chances of some form of failure killing him off in this small space.

 

As Jake turns red, Elena can

As Jake turns red, Elena can't help but chuckle. To be completely honest, she didn't expect him to react quite that much. But seeing him get a little flustered is just the cutest thing she's seen all day. She'll have to remember that if she ever needs to make him blush, she's got ammunition ready for that. "Awesome." She said with a little snicker. "You know, I don't think I've ever seen that color on you. It's a good one."

As Adrian loudly groaned and complained, she quickly snapped her feet together. "Oh right. We don't want to puke on the artifacts. Got it. I always forget that part. But don't you worry, I've got something for your stomach if you're still that nauseous when we get back up to you." She said teasingly to Adrian as she patted her bag before shaking her head slightly and just heading down the tunnel.

The room doesn't yield anything of note other than some dirt, but Elena's not too worried about that. She looks at the rough layout and commits it to as much memory as she can. Just in case another of the rooms she might look at seem to be slightly off. That could potentially end up being helpful down the line.

As she hears the call from up top, Elena starts calling to those down in the tunnel. "Keep your buddy with you, and take turns on the ladder." She said, hoping to keep people moving in an orderly way. She can hear the worry in the doctor's voice, so she's not foolish enough to ignore that. But she hopes that there won't be too dangerous of a rush that way.

Elena, however, does follow the instructions, and she sticks with Jake. If he goes down the tunnel, so does she.

Sticking with Jake, but hoping to keep the others calm as they exit.

 

Despite Elena's pleasant

Despite Elena's pleasant distraction, Jakob keeps a close eye on the grad students - and a good thing, too. A pair of them head into a room toward the far end of the hall, following his advice from earlier, but he then hears a clatter and the shatter of glass, followed soon after by a very quiet hissing noise all coming from the same room. The grad students have yet to emerge.

Meanwhile, topside, the doctor is tinkering with something on the metalborn's back as if readying it for sample collection and transport when Adrian points out the flickering sensor. Dr. Knuleps gives him an odd look before picking it up and adjusting a dial on the side. "Hmm. Looks perfectly normal for-- wait." She narrows her eyes at the small screen. "Why is the fluorine count so high? That's odd--"

As she says it, the sensor suddenly spikes, and stays spiked. "...oh dear. EVERYONE OUT! Grab whatever you can, we'll label it later! It's time to go!"

[GO!]

 

Heading into the first room

Heading into the first room on the right-hand side of the fallen hallway, Elena recognizes the rough layout. It doesn't look like a residence, but a workspace, with desks and shelving arrayed to allow a number of workers to share the space. It even once had large windows so workers could look out into the chasm itself, although sadly in the fall those shattered, letting in dirt from the cavern floor that has since obscured any other good findings in the room.

Poking a bit further down the hallway, James makes a number of discoveries ahead of the grad student team. The other rooms also appear to be workplaces, although those on the left (and upper) side of the fallen hallway appear to be labs of some sort based on the equipment and specimens housed there.

He spots in the brief light from a scout drone that one of the large containers that seemed to contain only fluid in fact houses the remains of a large, suspended creature resembling a prehistoric animal he'd only read about in children's books or bad sci-fi remakes. Two other specimens in similar suspension are in neighboring tanks. Each would be a remarkable find all on its own...

[MORE]

 

As the doctor headed over to

As the doctor headed over to check out the symbol Adrian stepped aside, looking around for the time being just in case there was anything else in the area. Though, the flickering of the air sensor was the first thing he really noticed, and was certainly cause for at least a small amount of alarm. "Is that thing supposed to be flickering like that Doc?" He asked, motioning to the air sensor. He kinda figured that he knew the answer already. But it was more a way to bring it to her attention than anything.

The interaction between Jacob and Elena was met with a rather loud groan. "Could you not? We're kinda on the job." He said, rather pointedly, in their direction. "I would rather not ruin priceless artifacts by projectile vomiting."

For the time being he stayed up top. There didn't really seem to be much to found, but he figured it couldn't hurt. Plus, considering how many of the others had headed in it was probably a good plan to have at least one less person in the way if they all had to scramble to get out.

 

As the grad students all

As the grad students all seemed to sober up a bit Jake nodded to himself. Admittedly, he'd seen the exact same cowboying it up look on recruits faces on the Extravia. He was gonna have to tell Jesira one day that her whole 'glower till they submit' thing actually worked. But then he'd have to admit he was imitating her in the field and she might kill him.

"Ok then -" He stepped back to give them the go ahead and nodded to Elena. "You and me?" It's only then that the rest of her words actually register and Jake blushes HARD blinking a few times as his brain catches up. "... I uh -" He scrubbed a hand back through his hair grinned. "I'll... keep that in mind."

The blush isn't really going away quickly either, so he just nods to her trying to cover up quickly how much that threw his 'big bad prepped for combat' mode off kilter. He's a flirt sure, he's not used to someone starting it though. All sensors on record he's more keeping an eye on the grad student teams and where they're going for the moment.

 

Elena gratefully takes Jake's

Elena gratefully takes Jake's hand to get up. The embarrassed heat in her cheeks starts to fade as quickly as it can, but luckily it's just awkwardness. That never lasts too long. As he puts on his best Jesira voice, Elena looks over with a smirk. "Oooh, dashing. You can order me around any day... or night." She says giving him a little teasing wink.

Taking her time, she waits a bit for some of the others to head down before heading after them. She's not sure exactly what they will find, but she doesn't want to accidentally step on or break anything else that they might need. So letting some of the students go first seems like a perfectly good way of making sure that the important finds get documented in a hurry.

She heads along with the group (and her buddy) so that she doesn't get too separated. As she does, she tries to keep her eyes peeled for anything interesting that she can help point the students toward.

One of the first rooms on the right will be the one that she chooses to enter (if possible). She pokes her head in first, but then she'll walk in and look to see if there might be any clues in this room.

First room on the right and straight on til morning, please. ;)

 

The grad students nod to Jake

The grad students nod to Jake - it's not a hard sell, though it's clear the reminder helps. They've all been taking the doctor's lead long enough that some of her reckless abandon has been rubbing off on them, but the caution quickly reminds them exactly what they're walking into.

Heading below, James gets first look at the tunnel, which is remarkably intact given the fall it took. It tilted as it fell, so he's standing in a slightly rotated hallway. The corner it landed on barely crumpled - a testament to the power of Zuxian engineering.

On first look, he's not able to spot any particular explanation for the bridge section's destruction - there are no sides of blasts or burns, no bodies strewn about. Whatever caused it to fall, it doesn't appear to have been violent in nature.

Topside, as Adrian calls attention to the symbol he unmasked, the doctor heads over to take a closer look. "Hmm. I haven't seen this one before. Strange. It could be the name of the section, the logo of the company that built it, perhaps even an advertisement for an ancient Zuxian breakfast cereal. One moment..."

She calls up a program to begin working on decoding the symbol by pattern-matching with similar symbols and color usage to try and triangulate the original meaning. As she does, Adrian's keen senses spot something troubling. The air sensor, currently clipped to the doctor's hip but still passively scanning, flickers again a few times before returning to its nice, calming "everything is fine" green.

[GO! Anyone heading down into the tunnel, please give me an AWA roll along with any other actions, and let me know if you wish to explore the side rooms. Thank you!]

 

Adrian was a tiny bit

Adrian was a tiny bit surprised when Dr.Knuleps seemed to seriously take his comment into consideration. He did think it was a possibility, mind you. But he hadn't expected anyone else to think so as well. "One would assume they would have good reasons to do it if they did use explosives. Poking around to find out the reason may not be the safest plan." Not necessarily a bad plan. Just not a safe one. Which, he was pretty fine with so it didn't matter much to him.

Which in turn was why Elena's comment was simply met with a brief. "Kay." Along with a small nod.

As he wanders around a bit he ended up finding the small plate. Which he then proceeded to investigate further. First by taking a few quick pictures of it with his datapad, then by crouching down to get a closer look at it, though was careful not to touch it just yet. "Don't suppose any of you know what this says, do you?"

 

As they look about and James

As they look about and James doesn't find much he is a little discouraged. Then Elema ends up finding this hatch below the dirt just a little bit. Interesting enough. So as Knuleps send a drone in once it's ripped open he waits patiently. The hologram comes up and he is once more interested in this place. He wanted to take one of the rooms down below, explore it for what he could. "Heck I'm ready to go right now, ho else is?" Whenever they are given the ok James would be ready to look around.

 

Jake eyes Dr. Knuleps for a

Jake eyes Dr. Knuleps for a long moment, eyebrows crinkled together a moment as he thought on just what to say and how about that. But as others found more useful material in the cavern he tucked the container into his pocket - spotting Elena tripping. He offers a hand to help her back up. "You ok there?"

Hatch open and Jake reached his arm up to his face to shield himself. Take one spore up the nose and you learn to be a little wary out here. But the readings came back green, so that was good.

"Niiiice." Jake murmured. He caught any grad students before they went down. "All of you - have at least one other person with you at all times. No exceptions - have a buddy and keep in eyeshot of them. Got it?" He eyeballs the hell out of all of them, giving the best Jesira 'I have authority' sound to his voice that he can. "Whatever brought this section down means it could be unstable footing - so be careful in there."

 

As Jake softly mutters a non

As Jake softly mutters a non accidental explosion, Elena looked over quickly. She figured he might be on to something there, because if it was as strong (and intact) as she described then it needed to have been something very strong to knock it free.

As James mentions that the doctor seems fun, Elena chuckles and gives him a nod.

Adrian's comment drew Elena's gaze. She looked at him with slightly wide eyes as he mentioned something escaping. But soon after a smile started to pass on her face as well. "You might be on to something with that. I'm definitely letting you go first." She teased with a little dry chuckle. Of course, the Doctor's words don't exactly inspire confidence that there's no danger down here either.

With feet on the ground, Jake also mentions that it's hollow. Elena hazards a light tap of her foot, seeing if there's any give before she actually puts her weight down to start moving forward. It'll make her steps slower, but if there's any gaps in what's holding them up, it might be the best course of action to go at a snail's pace.

That slow speed comes at a big cost and Elena ends up taking a tumble. She's just glad that she doesn't get too scuffed in the process. Thank goodness for low gravity! Luckily the doctor turns it into a good lesson for the students. Perhaps Elena will get credited in the book as "lady who very much fell onto the door". She stays back as they send in the drones to scout the interior and she tries not to crane her neck too much to watch, but it's hard as the images start coming in.

 

With the help of Dr. Knuleps'

With the help of Dr. Knuleps' mechanical assistant, the hatch is wrenched open. The grad students start to crowd into the space before the doctor shoos them away, scanning the air coming out of the cavity before anyone dares go close enough to get a good whiff.

The scanner flickers a few times but eventually settles on a calming green shade indicating that the air is breathable and toxin-free. The doctor smiles, nodding to Elena and taking a moment to lecture her grad assistants. "Let that be a lesson in humility. Like many of the great discoveries, this finding began as an accident. When things go differently than you expect, look twice. Unless it's about to explode, then only look once, and run."

With a nod, she sends one of the scout drones in to map the interior of the tunnel. She brings the display up as a hologram for all to see in three dimensions. At first, there's a single, long hallway, as expected. More than half of it is intact, which is amazing.

And then the scans reveal a side room. And another. And another. Two more on the other side of the hall. All told, it looks like more than seven at least partially intact rooms branching off the main tunnel. The bridge between sections appears to have been a section in and of itself, though what these rooms were for remains a mystery until they get a closer look in person.

[GO!]

 

The grad students make their

The grad students make their awkward descents and begin the process of carefully walking over the site, taking samples of soil and the occasional fragment of what looks to be Zuxian construction.

James and Jakob have no trouble doing the same, finding only the occasional unremarkable fragment here or there. At first it seems like the dig site may not yield anything more than broken bits of tunnel and ancient dirt.

Hearing Adrian's theory on the tunnel collapse, Dr. Knuleps nods, currently fiddling with something on her datapad until it projects a small model mock-up of what the tunnel might have looked like while intact to help them map the edges of the dig site. "Yes, yes, possible - we cannot rule out man-made intervention, although hopefully it left some mark of the nature of the destruction. Would the ancient Zuxian's use explosives in the bowels of their own living space, or was this cast-off from a conflict within the tunnel itself? And if so, what were they fighting, and why?"

As she goes on, Adrian will uncover a small plate of what looks to be the same material as the tunnel walls above, only this piece is much larger than the hand-sized fragments the others have been finding. It also bears an odd mark, barely visible in the low light but for the high contrast even after years of fading. While the symbol isn't one he recognizes, it does give him a vague sense of alarm nevertheless.

At the same time, several meters away, Elena manages to catch the toe of her boot on something as she searches about. Thankfully Ardiel's low gravity keeps her from injuring herself as she topples, but looking back to where she tripped, she sees what it clearly a handle. A little clearing reveals a hatch under the dirt, and a quick knock will echo the same hollow sound Jake heard earlier.

It seems there is indeed an intact cavity amid the collapse, and they now have a way into it without any digging or blasting...

[MORE]

 

"Sounds like someone

"Sounds like someone destroyed the bridge so that something couldn't escape and wreak havok on the surface." He said, speaking rather flatly as if what he was implying wasn't at all a terrifying thought. "That, or it was done to keep people away from whatever is inside because it's far too powerful for mortals to be trusted with."

As everyone was hooked into their harnesses Adrian went silent once again. Though he did give a slightly amused exhale through his nose at how simplistic the demonstration was. Then, as the doctor hopped onto the back of the Metalborn he watched the two curiously as they stepped off the cliff. Though understood why they hadn't needed harnesses a moment later as the thrusters kicked on. After which point he simply headed over and scaled his way down to the bottom.

Once he made it to the bottom of the cavern he took the time to look around while the others made their way down.

 

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