• If you were supposed to get an email from the forum but didn't (e.g. to verify your account for registration), email Wes at [email protected] or talk to me on Discord for help. Sometimes the server hits our limit of emails we can send per hour.
  • Get in our Discord chat! Discord.gg/stararmy
  • 📅 May and June 2024 are YE 46.4 in the RP.

RP: The Wayward Unlisted (Ep. 6)

Nan was so excited to be going on an adventure he practically bounced in to the hangar to meet everyone. He ran right up to the edge of the hangar and peered out at the lush world with joy written all across his face. He wored his usual outfit of jeans, T-shirt and blue jacket with his backpack bulging on his back. Strapped alongsie the backpack was an almost two foot metallic tube. Moving ponderously behind him came his rebuilt FARS unit as it came abreast of him as if it too was reveling in the peacefulness of the planet, though it did slightly turn and spoke, "Nan honey, please don't forget your mask. We wouldn't want anything to happen to you and deprive this universe of your brilliance."

Yes, it was arrogant of the machine to say and a little of out character for the commonly free thinking units but almost everyone on board knew by now that the Mother unit Nan had rebuilt had been left without a true AI. It was just a program Nan used to assist his role as computer and drone specialist and could not make full decisions without him. In response he nodded eagerly and went to grab a mask, "Yes Mother, you can go ahead and gain some altitude, run Homebase Patrol protocol and keep in contact Gabi please."

"Of course dear," It said as it hovered up and out of the hangar to begin a high patrol of the vicinty surrounding the Anbruch, using it's enhanced optics, thermographic imager and parabolic mic to give an increase in security for the ship. It would also act as a default homebase for any of Nan's flying drones in case something were to happen.

Nan strapped on the mask and adjusted the SEP 2 at his side and eagerly looked at the rest of the crew, "So, who wants the best partner for the field trip? This is going to be soooo great," he said basically ending with a low squeal.

During the captain's briefing in the hangar, Janelle kept herself outside of an arm's length distance from the group while she listened impassively. She stood with her weight shifted slightly to one leg, her thumbs hooked on the inside of her belt buckle in a casually nonchalant posture, her long auburn hair pulled back into a loose ponytail and secured with a thin black band. She wore the same clothes she had on from before - the tight white T-shirt tucked sloppily into the fatigues - but now strapped to her right thigh was a holster so thin it almost blended into the leg of her pants. Jutting out of the top was the grip of a sleek-looking black pistol.

She eyed the pile of filter masks that Stefan indicated, and the skin on one side of her nose as she sniffed sharply, a quiet but nonetheless mildly perturbed snort in response to the possibility of contaminants outside. It was the only thing that broke the stolid expression on her cold, aloof face, but it conveyed its intent well enough; she was visibly less enthusiastic about what was to be found out there than the drone operator nearby seemed to be. She didn't put forth any other protest, however, and dutifully retrieved a mask for herself as instructed, pulling the strap around her head and affixing the breathing apparatus around her nose and mouth.

She squinted a little as the light poured in from outside as the outer door opened, angling her face a little away for a few seconds while her eyes adjusted to the queer greenish light. Nan's rather animated invitation earned him a blank stare followed by the faintest hint of a patronizing smirk. The young woman at first made no effort to match herself up with a partner, but her eyes scanned the rest of the group and then settled back onto the Minkan. With a what-the-heck shrug she stepped forward, her eyes glimmering with a touch of something that seemed to say "this oughta be good."
Surface of Unknown Planetoid - Anbruch Hangar

Tanja noticed Anna try to head off on her own and put a hand on her shoulder to stop her. Shee then looked around to everyone. "Make sure to check the locations I mentioned. Those areas should be somewhat safe and they're not that far from the ship." The captain then picked up a mask for herself and put it on before looking to Nan. If you find anything weird, examine it before you touch it Nan, and call to ask -before- you try to bring back any 'pets'." The young looking woman would not be out mothered by Mother it would seem.

"Also keep an eye out for caverns," Stefan spoke up after he let Tanja finish. "The amount of water we can see on the surface is not enough to sustain this level of flora, there is a possibility for large underground water sources and possible sinkholes."
Ash had her regular outfit on: dark sleeveless turtleneck, cargo pants, boots, and her hooded trenchcoat. She had her two pistols, laiz on her thigh, 9mm under the arm. Aside from bringing a small shoulder bag for anything interesting she should find, she carried very little. She gratefully accepted one of the filter masks and hopped down the ramp, excited to begin exploring a completely new world.

Stepping out of the energy field and into the world's atmosphere, she simply said "Wow," standing in awe of the foreign ecosystem. The Iromakuanhe pulled out her datarod and attached it to the small HUD projector that was wrapped around one horn. As the HUD lit up she began scanning for anything of interest, mainly metals or any kinds of technology.

"Alright, who wants to partner up with me?" she asked, grinning behind her filter mask.
Ana, paused by Tanja, looked to the captain and nodded. "I won't go too far from the ship. You know that." She gave a half smile and shrugged a bit before continuing out once more. Though, again, she made no attempt at partnering up. Not that she didn't want a partner, but she just didn't want to stop anyone from venturing however far they really wanted to go.

Theoretically, Ana knew this would be good for her. To be out of the confines of the ship, even if just still within sight of it. But she was never one to really be comfortable away from what she considered "safe". With that in mind, and knowing how she can be, she would rather stay with either the group as a whole, if everyone was going in the same direction, or as close to the ship as possible...just in case something were to happen.
Planetoid Surface

As she strode purposefully over to where Nan stood, Janelle craned her neck up to casually watch his drone zoom up into the sky, her right hand held up against her forehead to shield her eyes from the glare of the alien sun. With little more than a nearly imperceptible nod of acknowledgment, the faint patronizing smirk still on her lips beneath the translucent breathing mask covering them, she eyed the Minkan appraisingly for a few seconds before looking back over her shoulder. She scanned the rest of the gathering crew still standing inside the hangar with cool, analytical impassiveness, apparently already keenly aware of who was going to pair up with whom despite having just met the group.

As the captain preemptively warned her selected partner against doing anything rash, her eyes returned to Nan, one brow cocked slightly with a look that didn't actually seem all that surprised. The ghost of a grin never faded. "I'll keep him honest," she called back to Tanja without looking, then held her open hand out to the side in an "after you" gesture.
Hangar -> Surface

A little bit fashionably late it seemed but not nearly as late as Bird Brain, or at least that's what Quinn noted when he came down into the hangar in order to head out and about. He studied the whole situation for a moment and scooped up a mask as he reached where they'd been laid out, expertly fitting it over his face and adjusting the straps.

He went out of his way to come up to Ana where she could see him coming and then reached around slowly to make sure her own mask was fitting appropriately. "Come on little mouse." He murmured softly to her. "Stay close and we'll be back before you know." And he raised his voice "We'll be back before long Tanja, just alert me if anyone runs into any trouble." Since he was the primary medical staff once again of course.

He held his hand out to Ana "Come on, lets go see if we can find this body of water and investigate." Yes that meant towing her off some where further from the ship, but he was armed with quite a bit of weaponry and had even brought the rifle with him so as to deter, or stop, anything that decided to pick on the pair of them. He waited, deciding to let Nan babysit their newest crew member and fairly certain Adiel would team up with Ash and that left Stefan and Tanja together and finally Gabi to watch the ship.
Surface of Unknown Planetoid - Anbruch Hangar

"I will go with you," Gabi spoke up and stepped towards ASh, rather surprisingly. They never really were the kind to exert a lot of effort in things but they seemed ready to go, with a Zen Arms FEAR rifle resting in front of them on a sling. Of course, they did not need a mask since they were mechanical in the first place.

Once everyone had a mask, Tanja ushered everyone off the ship to let them get to work.

Surface of Unknown Planetoid - Open Plains

Outside of the ship, the ground was soft, or rather it was cushioned by the bed of moss that stretched as far as the eye could see. The sky was clear and the air flowed with a light breeze, it was warm like a late spring but it felt good in contrast to the usually colder temperatures in the ship.

Everyone has stepped out of the ship facing the north but the supposed formation in the distance could not be seen, it would be a long walk. In fact, the only indication of any of the things Tanja spoke of was to the south-west, what could possibly be the beginnings of a forest could be seen in the distance.

"Quinn and Analiese will search for the body of water, Nan and the new one will investigate the forest, and that will leave the large formation to Ashtoreth and myself. The Anbruch will feed map data into your communicators, and make sure to call occasionally and keep the captain updated on what you are doing. If that is understood, move out."

Analiese wrinkled her nose at Quinn, doing her best not to make the mask unseal itself. "Fine. But I am not swimming!" She placed her delicate hand in his large one and walked off, finding the moss a bit odd to walk on, but not too odd. It was like the fancy rug that her previous owners had in their living quarters. She did remember being on that...once. "Soft...I wonder what it would feel like..." She bent down then to touch the moss with her hand.
Nan had stood there truly distracted by the expanse before them of this unexplored planet, his unusual silence a notable absence. This was it, the whole reason he came out in to this world. He had longed for excitement and adventure, his wanderlust had been undeniable even from a young age. He brushed a few stray hairs of dark hair out of his eyes so he could soak in even more of this incredible opportunity.

He turned his head toward Tanja, his eyes sparkling in barely contained excitement. His look, for any who noticed, showed admiration, thankfulness, and possibly even a little adoration. It was all this woman, the one who took a chance on some punk kid from Yamatai. He displayed his usual large toothy smile and turned to Janelle with a laugh and a dismissive wave, "Don't listen to the Captain, that only ever happened one time and it didn't actually cost that much to get that guy buried."

He looked out toward the distant forest as Gabi handed out the assignments and nodded in acceptance. While certainy not as exciting as the prospect of that giant formation, Nan knew all sorts of interesting things coud be hidden in the forested areas of this planet. As if he were a young child about to cross the street he reached out and took Janelle's hand in his, "Come on, this is going to be super fun. We can call this our first spy lesson. I was think I could be called Nan, Jun Nan, double oh awesome."

Janelle watched the way Nan looked at the captain, one eyebrow cocked upwards as she connected the dots in her head between that and the maternal tone that Tanja had taken with him moments earlier. The faint trace of her grin was still there when Nan looked back at her sidelong expression, her face angled off to one side.

The thin eyebrow crept up even further when the Minkan vaguely mentioned the after-effects of his most recent antics, however, and her smirk wavered a little. She seemed to reassess him all over again, scanning him with her eyes as if uncertain what to make of this potential new discovery. She had barely had the time to formulate a response in her head before all at once, alarm bells went off in every single corner of her mind. In an instant, before she was even aware of what had happened, she had felt Nan's hand snake its fingers around her own, uninvited and unsolicited, and had snatched it away quick as a serpent's strike. It happened on sheer reflex, without conscious thought, even before the message had traveled enough milliseconds to make it from the nerves in her fingers to her brain.

It was then that she realized her other hand was balled up into a tight fist. Thankfully she hadn't actually lashed out, but from the way her fingernails were digging into her quivering palm, it was clear that on some unconscious level, she had ultimately meant to. A dazed, glassy look washed over her eyes for a second, and she relaxed the curled-up hand, flexing her fingers open and closed a few times at her side, then rubbed one of her temples. "Sorry," she muttered to Nan, sounding strangely as if she was as surprised by her reaction as he might be. As if hoping that distancing herself from what had just happened might make it un-happen, Janelle pointedly turned her eyes to the distant forest, shielding her eyes again from the glare of the overhead sun. "Let's get going, then, 'Nan-Jun-Nan.' It looks like a long frackin' walk." The way she addressed him, referencing his likening of himself to a spy of old holovid legends, was dry and without much expression, but the sarcastic overtone was palpable and made it plenty obvious that she had done it on purpose rather than as an honest misunderstanding.
Quinn laughed, the sound carrying back to the ship and those starting off in their own separate ways. "No" He purred softly. "You don't have to go swimming." That was probably ill advised given they knew very little about where they were exploring right now. He released her hand in order to let her kneel to touch the soft bed of moss below them, fairly certain that was something she hadn't ever experienced before. Quinn took a small square sample, tucked it inside one of the numerous storage containers he had stashed in his pockets. "There'll certainly be more to explore. Come along little Mouse." He decided he liked that nickname for her and until she decided to protest it's use he'd use it.
Ana stood once more when he said they should continue on with their exploration. She looked all around, trying to take it all in as much as she could, but it was just a bit too much. "I wish I could take off this mask...but I know that we are being safe, huh?" She did note his use of the new nickname for her. She didn't mind it. She knew she was as timid as one. "Do you think we'd find flowers?" She looked up at him in excitement. She had been around flowers before, but those were cultivated. These would be wild, free, and maybe even different from any they had seen before!
Ash nodded at Gabi, surprised that she was coming along instead of Tanja. She shrugged and continued onward, scanning for anything of interest with her datarod.

"Exciting, don't you think, Gabi? Setting foot on a new world??

The Iromakuanhe observed her surroundings carefully, recording as much data as possible as the pair of them began the trek towards their distant objective.
Open Plains Outside Anbruch

When Ana reached down to touch the moss, it was very soft, almost pillowy. It didn't just have a spongey squeeze, but even the fibers were liking coarseness, and it was gentle on the hand. However, it left some kind of residue on her fingers. It could have been a pollen of some kind, but fortunately, it did not cause irritation to the skin, so it likely was not dangerous...at least through contact.

"Excited...that is not how I would describe it. Anxious is more appropriate. We do not know what to expect on this planet, there is a real chance of danger. I don't know how anyone could be excited at this." Gabi spoke with a flat tone as they followed Ash, eyes scanning the environment for any sort of clues

Each group went their separate ways and began their missions.

Enroute to Forest

It was a bit of a walk for Janelle and Nan to make their way to the forest, but as they approached the outskirts, they could see the moss begin to thin, and the ground became visible. The soil looked rich and healthy, despite the abundance of plants that must have been draining it of nutrients.

The trees in the forest looked enough like regular trees on any given planet, their leaves were so dense, along with eh moss it was easy to tell that this planet was very good to its plant life.

That might not have been all on the planet though, through the trees and across the forest floor, they could see discoloration and downed branches, a trail of sorts. Something had been through the area, but there were no tracks to be seen.

Enroute to unknown Formation

As Ash and Gabi walked, they could feel the ground slowly get harder underneath their feet, the moss carpet had grown thin as they headed towards their objective. They could see the formation in the distance, what they could see was a cliff face, roughly 20 meters high, but by far the more intriguing sight was the shadows that floated around the feature.

Gabi paused a moment and narrowed their eyes as they saw the feature less than a kilometer away. "Those shadows, they could be birds of some kind...though rather large."

Looking for water

Ana and Quinn walked on with almost no change in the scenery. However, the scenery quickly changed for Ana as she went from facing forward to face down on the ground, barely able to catch herself in time before hitting. However, the sudden fall threw up a cloud of 'pollen' around Ana.

The reason for the fall? There was a small divot in the ground, it was hard to notice because the moss had almost completely covered it. And upon careful inspection, it looked like there were more of these divots ahead.
Looking for Water

Ana let out a small squeak as she fell to her stomach, cushioned by the pillow-y moss. Glad she had the mask, she knew that had she breathed in that much dust/pollen/whatever, she'd have been coughing. Whether or not it was dangerous to breathe in. "Woah...careful of that first step!" She stood back up, now covered by the green dust. "Alright, TB...time to scout ahead for more. Give me a clear path." She set the bot down and let it roam ahead. The disturbance of the pollen/dust left a noticeable trail for Ana and Quinn to follow, avoiding anything that would cause them to trip.
Ash continued the trek along with Gabi towards the rock formation, noticing that the ground was gradually becoming more and more firm as they approached the cliff face. She was still scanning for metals or any synthetic materials to see if there was any previous or current civilization they might run in to. But she looked up at the dark shapes floating arounded the top of the cliff and removed the safety on her laiz pistol. Hopefully those things were not predatory, but there was nothing wrong with being prepared.

Janelle did her best to weather the Minkan's incessant yammering along the way to the wooded area, only paying attention to his prattling just enough to offer a brief nod or grunt in acknowledgement at the appropriate places. She wasn't annoyed or put off by his talkativeness, strangely, and in some ways even found his eccentric company a bit entertaining. For almost the entire latter half of the long walk she had found herself hiding a smirk at some of his odd observations of their surroundings, despite her relative unease at the stillness of the alien environment.

As they approached the wooded area, however, her meager appetite for his one-sided conversation all but instantly left her, and she stopped him from starting another non-sequitur monologue with a raised palm, staring at the path that someone, or something, had clumsily smashed through the trees. She felt her right hand resting on the butt of her gun, unaware of any conscious decision to place it there in the first place, and scanned the treeline with intense attentiveness, her dull hazel eyes filled with the focus of a survivor.

She didn't look at Nan when she spoke, her voice low. "What do you make of that?"

Nan was originally taken aback by the semi aggressive hand snatch but soon shrugged it off. Not everyone liked to be touched, he knew that, heck his family was a prime example being as rigid as they were. He did however take Janelle's more forgiving nature to his chatting to heart and laid a particularly colorful and diverse, if he did say so himself, tirade of the merits of coding in Alpha versus Trinary and his personal preference on Yam-pop music.

He was about ready to discuss the finer points of his favorite cereal when Janelle stopped short and raised her palm. Not really thinking he gleefully high fived his new compatriot seeing that he finally broke through her defences. Though he was certainly perplexed when she so quizically asked about the clearly animal trail ahead of them.

"Um, it's an animal trail. Did you not know that? Though would you look at this plant life, to think, we are in uncharted territory and still the trees look familiar. Genetics and evolution are the best am I right?" He seemed to crouch and look at the broken debris, "No tracks though, perhaps a crawler or a slithererer, or whatever the right word is. Let's get some eyes ahead of us."

Nan swung his backpack off his shoulders and seemed to rummage around for a few moments pulling various odds and ends out, he laid a small round ball of metal on the ground and also took out what appeared to be a small buckler. He tapped a small device on his temple, prompting a digitized transluscent golden holo visor to slide across his eyes, almost immediately the small metal ball floated in to the air and began floating off down the trail. He stood and resecured his backpack, carryng the buckler in the crook of his arm.

"Come on, this is going to be SO much fun," he said with a smile and a skip as he slowly moved in to the forest.

Janelle shot Nan an incredulous "are you kidding me!?" look when he slapped her raised palm, and for a fraction of a second even looked like she might respond to the inappropriately-timed attempt at camaraderie by clocking him square on the chin. Instead, she merely let her hand drop and stood by, her hand still on the butt of her gun and the other one's thumb hooked just beneath the front of her belt as she watched him produce the drone from his backpack and activate the shimmering, ghostly visor on his face.

She didn't at all share the Minkan's enthusiasm to go charging after whatever had plowed the corridor through the vegetation, but it wasn't difficult to spot the comfort she took from realizing what purpose his technological toys would serve. Something about what lay ahead niggled at her, like a tickle in the back of her mind, but at least this way they'd have some advance warning if there were any nasty surprises in their path.

The incredulous look crossed her face again, her jaw going slack as she watched Nan skip ahead of her, looking so much like a schoolboy off to an extracurricular activity for which he'd been impatiently waiting all day. He was several strides ahead of her when she snorted a single, half derisive laugh in spite of herself and moved off after him.

"Eager little bastard, ain't you," she muttered under her breath, smirking.