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Messages - anthraxus

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One would think that it would be impossible to angrily open a auto-door, yet Katrine Korogo was so righteously indignant that Daniel Bowers would have sworn he heard it slide open a little quicker and more forcefully than normal.  He sat at his desk and held his breath as he eyed his boss, hoping with every fiber of his being that her anger was not focused on him.  He quailed under her thunderous gaze as she paused just inside the door and glared at him.  "You, with me." was all she said to him, and quick as a capybara he hopped up to follow her. 

She quickly walked down the hallway from the reception area towards her inner office, each click of her devilstrand heels sounding like suppressed gunshots.  Daniel noticed that her two assistants each glanced up with concern from their screens as the pair quickly passed by their offices, but he waved them off as he went by.  He proactively pulled up her schedule and recent correspondances that she had made visible for him on his internal heads-up display, but nothing jumped out as something that would get her this worked up.

Other than those first three words she said nothing until he closed the door to her office behind them.  He saw the icon appear to indicate that the surveillance supression was in place, and he nodded to her.  She continued to pace relentlessly behind her desk as he stood nervously.  "They did it! I can't believe it, but they totally did.  The unmitigated gall!" she said, practically spitting the words. Daniel stood still and waited for her to come to her own point.  There was a reason he had lasted longer than her last three personal assistants. 

After another minute or two of confusing ranting, she suddenly stopped behind her desk and stared directly at Daniel.  She said, "Bowers, McClure has disappeared. I know some TSS goons grabbed him, but they supressed the signal of the tracker I had on him and were able to shake the agents I had on him as well."  Daniel's jaw dropped in surprise.  He knew that Ms. Korogo had been keeping close tabs on Kelvin McClure, the investigator that had published several very bad exposés on certain practices of the Triad Survivalist Society and indiscretions of it's leadership.  He didn't know it was that extensive.

She said, "Bowers,  I need you to start clearing my schedule and making some arrangements for me.  I need neurotrainers and my lawyer ASAP.  I also need you to take Sweaty to the groomer and get her ready for travel." Daniel paled at the thought of having to deal with Katrine's pet yak, Sweaty.  She had grown up with the beast and loved it more than most people.  "This needs to be kept as low-key as possible.  We'll use the codename Keyhole for the operation.  That was the codename that McClure used when we talked."

The next quadrum was a blur of quick preparation, neurotrainer and nanite immune system integration as well as shifting control of her various companies to trusted associates or trustees.  At the end of it, she and Sweaty and ample supplies were transported to the Sumsummat orbital station and then loaded into a large transport pod to be dropped to the surface.  She had paid a substantial sum in bribes and blackmail to insure that she would be inserted near the general area she had found McClure had been dropped into.  The chances she was going to find him alive were slim, but she felt she owed it to him for the numerous times that his information had either turned her a massive profit, or prevented some tragedy to her and her businesses.  The last thing Daniel handed her before prepping for transit was a TSS Universal Trial Recorder.  "It's been scrubbed and tweaked by security so that it will transmit to us instead of them, but the Utilitool and library access will be critical for you," he said, the concern and worry easily readable on his face. 

"Don't worry," I said, "I've already determined what the outcome is going to be, and you know I'm almost never wrong."

She closed the transit pod and petted the sedated Sweaty.  As the sedatives began to impact her as well, she said, "Stay alive Kelvin.  I'm coming to get you."

The next couple of days were not as difficult on Kelvin physically as they were psychically.  Though he did not know it, twice while he slept other people wandered through his vicinity.  The first was a small caravan of traders that went past the shelter without so much as a second glance at it. The second was a single raider.  He could not find a way to enter the shelter so he stepped into the nearby caves and disappeared. 

After a week without any human contact Kelvin finally broke.  Late one night he began to morosely wander around the shelter and though he knew that he should stop, he just continued to widen the circling path he had begun.  Before he knew it, he also began to wander into the nearby caves.  He had seen them, of course, but knowing that caves tended to draw insects and he was not ready for an accidental encounter.  In this wandering fugue state, however,  he had no such sense of self-preservation.  He wandered into the dark and it was not long before the mandibles of a megaspider clamped down on the his leg.  His mind already mostly detached from his body, he quietly collapsed as the insects fell on him, lacerating and shredding his limbs as his thoughts continued to wander and drift away. 

In the dark, quietly, Kelvin bled to death from numerous wounds, his mind never returning fully from the sad wandering it had undertaken.

Crossing the river washed away the last of the transit goo and Kelvin discovered that it had server a function he was unaware of: thermal insulation.  He emerged from the water with teeth chattering and for the first time noticed the full bite of the near freezing wind that blew down the river valley.  Shivering, he rushed across the packed earth to the limestone ruins.  He used the Utilitool to quickly chop down a couple of small trees and built a campfire close to the first section of wall he planned to disassemble and then where he planned to erect a new wall.  It only helped a little, but just like all those times he disappeared into a story he was researching, Kelvin quickly disappeared into the work of taking this part of wall apart and putting it back together again over there.  His campfires crackeled and the herd of muffalo across the water were joined by a beautiful herd of wild horses.

He worked late into the night until he almost closed the wall of the new shelter.  Unfortunately exhaustion overtook him, and he built up the campfire as much as possible before curling into a ball as close to it as he could stand.  After a few hours enough of the exhaustion has cleared that, though he did not fully awaken, the cold began to seep into his old bones and he began to toss and turn. 

The sun had barely cracked the horizon when he awoken, his back screaming in pain from sleeping on the cold hard ground.  The campfire was down to embers and his stomach grumbled the loudest noise he had heard since speaking with the TUTR right after landing.  He looked at the flat black unit he had slept next too, and on a whim he tapped the surface. The thing chimed and the same pleasing and pleasant voice spoke, "Good morning, Kelvin!  Your vitals show that you are doing well given your present conditions.  How can I help you today?"

As it talked the holoscreen lit up as well.
<TSS Universal Trial Recorder - Local Time: 2nd Septober 0823>
<Vitals Scan: Acceptable parameters, temperature and malnutrition concerns>
<Caution: Beware of hypothermia symptoms and malnutrition>

"Not sure if you can," Kelvin said, "but I wanted to find out what the date was, so that's already good.  I'm going to finish the shelter walls today, but I'm not sure what to do about a roof."

Kelvin replied, "Oh! You can utilize the roofing feature of the Utilitool.  This will produce a quick setting, self-doming foam covering.  Unfortunately this substance only solidifies in elevated horizontal positions, so it is normally only usable as roofing or flooring.  It does not hold up well to heavy traffic, so it is not suited as a flooring material and is recommended only for roofing use."

Kelvin smiled and said, "See?  You can be useful after all."  He immediately rolled his eyes at himself.  What are you doing?  It's not even a full AI. he thought to himself.  His stomach rumbled again and said, "Well, I'll do that after I find something edible."

He spent the rest of the next two days gathering berries when he was hungry and finishing the deconstruction of the unneeded walls.  The roof went up without a problem and he even had enough stone left to make a pretty nice bed from fresh pine needles, long grasses, and a solid base of limestone blocks.  As he ranged about looking for more berry bushes, he found some more ruins to the north, both steel walls and more limestone. 

While working on breaking down the steel walls into usable scrap he heard a chittering and odd scratching in the undergrowth on the other side of the narrow cleft that the steel wall had obviously once blocked off.  The random chittering and odd noises continued for several minutes and Kelvin decided that perhaps now would be a good time to go roast some berries over the fire or something.  As he turned to leave a racoon the size of a small dog but foaming wildly at the mouth came screaming and charging out of the undergrowth. 

Kelvin broke into a panicked run and for a few moments he was able to stretch the distance between himself and the horrible furry thing.  It's screams were odd, a high-pitched but ululating sound that seemed impossible to come from a biological throat and they lasted for longer than Kelvin thought should be possible.  It ran after him although it staggered and stumbled frequently, obviously not in full control of its limbs.

As he got near the shelter Kelvin decided to stand his ground.  The fight was furious but mercifully brief.  The racoon leaped at him and was able to sink it's teeth into his shoulder and arm in a couple of nasty bites, but he was able to grab it and beat it against the stone wall of the shelter until it stopped moving. 

He left it's body there on the ancient stone tiles of the ruin and went inside.  A frightening weariness overtook him, and he collapsed, still bleeding into the bed.  Miraculously, he awoke a few hours later, weak and barely able to move, his semi-dried pool of blood causing the needles and grasses of his bedding to stick to him.  He took some small strips of bark that he had saved from the trees and used the utilitool to stick the ends together, making rough bandages over the worst of the bites and using roofing foam to make sure they were blood-tight.  Fairly sure that at least he wasn't going to bleed to death, he collapsed back into unconsciousness.

A loud crack echoed across the sky as the small drop pod plummeted through the clouds.  Vapor trailed behind it and the herd of muffalo near the river lowed and broke into a rushing stampede in response to the noise.  This was fortunate for the beasts as seconds later the drop pod blasted into the sandy soil.  The pod cracked open, depositing a naked old man covered in transit goo onto the ground.

The old man groaned as he painfully got to his feet.  He coughed roughly and groaned as the sudden movement caused his back to twinge.   It was an old injury, the doctors said it was some kind of age related spinal degredation that he could not afford to have corrected, especially not on a journalist's salary.  He did a couple of quick, simple stretches that usually give some relief, but this time the ache and twinge seemed to have settled in for the duration. 

As he wiped away the goo, what hadn't already evaporated, he looked around.  He seemed to be at the bottom of a deep river valley that ran northward from a staggeringly tall range of mountains to the south.  The ruins of a large sandstone building stood to the south west, faint remnants of ancient multicolored paint or laquer hinted at some homey or jovial past use.

He wasn't sure who had screwed him over so thoroughly, although the apparent fact that they weren't willing to kill him directly certainly narrowed down the list.  In his sixty something year career as a journalist directly calling out the richest and most corrupt of the elites of the Glitterworld Triad, he had made a lot of powerful enemies.  But most of them would rather have just killed him and spaced his body with a degrading solar orbit.  The ones that would relish in the thought of his suffering in the mud and blood of Cybele were thankfully few and far between.  Despite the anger and thirst for vengeance that was threatening to overwhelm him, he recognized that giving into them would be a quick road to death on this stupid rock.

With a sigh of resignation and a glance to the slowing returning herd of muffalo, he bent to the task of looking through the remains of the drop pod to see if he had anything to work with at all.  The first and only thing that he was able to find in the blown apart shell of the pod was a standard issue Triad Survivalist Society Universal Trial Recorder.  The pod itself was designed to generate one as it fell apart.  He had hoped for a utilitool or some food maybe, but no such luck.  Fortunately the TUTR was designed for ease-of-use and durability.  He pressed his thumb to the large obvious printscanner on the surface of the relatively featureless device.  In less than a second the holoscreen projected a very barebones display.

<Triad Survivalist Society Universal Trial Recorder Initialization Sequence begun>
<Member Assignment: undefined - *error*>
<Trial Authorization Code: undefined = *error*>
<Voice Prompt for Initialization>

A light and cheerful voice, obviously developed by some AI persona somewhere to be "comforting and appealing to the masses" chirped at him.  It soundly perfectly androgynous but he thought he heard a faint Auroran accent to it, which was very interesting as he himself was based and born on Sumsummat. Maybe it was just his imagination trying to find clues to pull together.  The device chirped again and the voice repeated, "A configuration error has occured with this unit.  Please return to TSS Logistics and Fulfillment for support, or state your name and purpose for use."

The old man grimaced at the device and said in an alarmingly gruffer and more raspy voice than he was used to hearing from himself, "Kelvin McClure, I need help!"

<User Name saved.>
<Telemetry indicates location: 16.12°S, 141.70°W - H1483 {Cybele}>
Kelvin's heart fell.  He had already figured where he had to be, but to have it confirmed was another thing altogether.
<Non-planetary communication protocols disabled.>
<Library access: valid, granted>
<*WARNING* Corruption of primary library data detected.  Limited access still available>
<Utilitool generation capability: valid, granted>

"I am sorry Kelvin," the device responded and even Kelvin had to recognize that there seemed to be real sympathy in the voice, "It seems that I am of limited utility in rendering aid in your current situation.  I can provide some general information from the TSS library archive that may be useful moving forward, and I can generate an Utilitool for your use in gather materials and building shelter.  Would you like to proceed with that?"

The old man eyed the ruins on the other side of the river and could already picture in his head how he could deconstruct some of those wall to make a very secure long term shelter, and there were enough berry bushes and wild healroot in the immediate area that he was pretty sure he could make it a least a couple of days.  "Do it," he told the device and after a few moments the device produced a brand new Utilitool.  TUTR in one had and tool in the other Kelvin began to carefully wade across the river to begin this next chapter of his life, one he planned to very tightly control the ending of.

Stories / Re: Survival Trial Log (Core, no Mod game story, seed: H1483)
« on: October 10, 2021, 04:02:47 AM »
<Start Recording Transcript - 3 Aprimay 5500>

<Vomiting sounds> Uggghhh.  Sorry about that.  I was so pissed off about the stupid guinea pig attack that I didn't notice the berries I grabbed were bad.  Got to remember not to eat the purple ones anymore.  <Long belch>

Anyways, something about the sound I make when I vomit apparently is attractive to one of the alpacas that I've seen wandering around.  One of them will not leave me alone since I starting being sick.  I spent a good portion of a day trying to decide if I should slaughter it for the meat or not.  I've decided not too, as I will be able to use it's fur to make clothes.  Late afternoon isn't too bad, but there has been a frost every morning since I landed.  It would be great to have something to wrap up in.  As I was going to be putting down seed anyway, I'll just put down some haygrass to keep the alpaca. 

I got the pen built for it and roped it up.  I ate the guinea pig raw because I was just so hungry.  Tomorrow should be a better day.

<End Recording Transcript>

<Start Emergency Recording Transcript - 3 Aprimary 5500>

<Banging and incomprehensible yelling is heard, as if through a wall>  Shit!  Some asshole just showed up in the middle of the night!  He tried to set fire to the place and now he is about to break down part of the wall.  He has a knife.  I'm going to try to fight him off but we'll see.

<Crashing, scuffling and swearing>

<Silence and incidental background noises>

<Recording Transcript Auto terminated after no input received for 30 minutes>

This TUTR unit was found amid the ruins of a modest hovel by the H1483 Artifact Recovery Commission and submitted to the TTS Terminal Review Panel for analysis and archiving.

{{Author note:  I hope you enjoyed this quick one.  It is unfortunate that Hans did not have a chance against an armed attacker. This was one of the shortest games of Rimworld I have ever played.  I will be taking another swing at this scenario and narrative style again soon.}}

Stories / Re: Survival Trial Log (Core, no Mod game story, seed: H1483)
« on: October 10, 2021, 12:42:24 AM »
<Recording Transcript started - Decembary 15th 5500>

So, remember how I said I was really boned?  Apparently my mind decided that things weren't quite bad enough, or maybe it was a side effect of whatever drugs were pumped into me before I was dropped down here, but just after putting the finishing touches on my shelter and a storage area I blacked out again. 

I don't know what I was doing for two days, but as far as I can tell I was just mindlessly wandering around the area.  I can find my tracks all over the nearby area, but I don't think I wandered off too far.  As far as I can tell, other than coming too more hungry than I can ever remember being, I didn't injure myself or damage the shelter at all.  More berries to stave off the worst of the hunger, and then I started to gather up some more wood to build a campfire and maybe build a dedicated workbench.  While gathering berries I also found some wild healroot, so I should at least have some kind of medicine on hand in case of illness. The TUTR seedbank is still viable, so I need to get some crops growing, especially as I...  Hold up.  That was a person.  Hold on.

<break in recording>

Well, that's interesting.  I just met a guy who introduced himself as Abonolllo, he was real particular about rolling the L, a scout of the Covenant of Bustgave.  He wasn't really interested in much beyond a basic introduction, but I could tell he was scouting my encampment.  I tried to ask about following him back to his village, but he said the best he could do was let his chief know I was out here.  Assholes.  Just before sundown, a caravan of half a dozen people also from the Covenant wandered through heading east.  I tried to follow and engage with them, but Abonolllo threatened to shoot me full of arrows if I didn't return to my camp.

I don't know where their camp is, but maybe if I start to build up something to show that I would be a useful member they will invite me to join them.

<break in recording>

As a final note of just how much this whole thing sucks, I've noticed that there are a couple of large bears and a big grey wolf in the area.  I've been trying to keep an eye out for them just in case they want to cause trouble, so imagine my surprise when a damn guinea pig, foaming at the mouth and with little black eyes wide and bulging, came charging at me out of the grasses in the dark.  I finally beat it to death, but it scratched the holy hell out of my legs.  Glad I found that healroot earlier.  These would probably leave scars otherwise. Ow.  I look forward to eating that fuzzy little bastard.

<End of recording transcript>

Survival Trial Log of Hans Cummings

Test... Test... Ok, looks like it's recording to transcription mode.  Not sure who is going to hear or read this, but hopefully it is the Triad Survivalist Society Award Commission, and not the TSS Terminal Review Panel.  Anyway, to do this right...  This is the initial survival trial log of Hans "Solo" Cummings, member in good standing of the Triad Survivalist Society, #46169243HC.  My trial authorization code was SLE111223, but I don't know if that is still valid.

If there was a way to file a complaint I would.  *chuckle* Consider this an official complaint about this whole mess, whoever you are. 

I know a lot of people back on the glitterworlds think that those of us who want to do survivalist trials are just completely crazy.  But for me, this is really a reminder of my childhood.  I clawed my way up from the coreward wasteland of the pollution processing works of Dodona, so I know what's its like to start from nothing.  I dug myself out and eventually joined the Dodona Stellar Navy R&D as a researcher.  I've always prized my intelligence as my strongest asset, but my tenacity and stubbornness have to rank right up there too.  So make no mistake, I was planning this trial according to the TSS guidelines: crosstraining on construction, farming and mining techniques, familiarization with the Azure Tech Utilitool, and bonding with a helper animal.  Thousands of Stellar credits and almost a year in preparation. 

*break in recording*

Sorry, had to go check outside, thought I heard something.  Anyway, where was I?  Oh right, prep.  So I was two weeks out from my planned drop window when the autodoc monitoring indicated that I had a probem developing with my gall bladder.  CentOps and TSS logistics agreed that I could have it removed and should be healed sufficiently for drop, so I booked it.  The last thing I remember was changing into the patient gown and meeting Dr. Abry? Aubrey?  Abby?  Something like that.  Anyway, she ran down the operation for me and turned on the anesthesia feed on the med-bed. 

I faded to black and the next thing I know I am waking up, covered in transit gel, falling out of the sky in a nearly empty drop pod.  The only thing besides my naked ass in the pod was a Utilitool and the TSS Universal Trial Recorder here. According to it, I've hit down at 15.50 N, 27.10 E on the 12th of Decembary, just after dawn.  By the holomap that means I am somewhere in the Naouus Range, north of Rubatora Mountains.  I know that means that the nearest known settlement is nearly two weeks foot travel from here, give or take a couple of days. 

There air outside the pod was freezing.  I had dropped next to a large but narrow mountain peak.  The aerial snapshot the drop pod loaded on the TUTR shows there are a ton of old ruins scattered in the immediate vicinity, mostly steel from the looks of the minerology layer.  It looks like there are some big stone stele scattered around, but nothing obviously useful.  A strongly flowing river cuts through the hills and small mountains nearby. I immediately set to cutting some of the nearest oaks to build a shelter, and some nearby winter berry bushes provided me with an evening meal.

As I roved around, I noticed that a part of the mountain is actually smooth worked marble and not rough granite.  When I get close to the wall, I am overwhelmed with a feeling of anxiety and worry.  I don't really give much credence to various rumors of psychic powers, but I certainly have a terrible feeling about what lies on the other side of that wall.  From the R&D records, the only thing I know of that could cause that is archotech, which does not alleviate my concerns at all.  To give me a little more of a comfort zone with this, I plan to move my shelter further to the south tomorrow.

I am really up the creek here.  I was ready for this with time and supplies.  I am not ready to try to start from nothing.  The more I think about it, the more anxious I get as I start to realize the shortcomings in my training.  I realize I don't really know how to make a decent bow or other primitive weapons, so I am going to have to fix that as soon as I can, but I am going to have to try to get by on berries for now.  I wish I hadn't spent so much time on the range and some more time on the close combat drills. At least it warmed up to a tolerable temperature as the day passed.

Anyway, I could ramble on forever, but I need to try to see if I can make myself sleep.  I hope you can understand but I'm going to have my hands full for the foreseeable future, but I will try to make some kind of regular schedule to record updates.  Maybe it will be good notes for my autobiography when I get out of here.  Yeah...  That's the thing.  Lots of stories about people who finish a TSS trial a big, big things.  That will be me.  It has to be.

<end recording transcript>

<ATTCH - "Prelanding Aerial Survey Shot">

Stories / Re: The Worlds of the Rim (Compendium)
« on: October 09, 2021, 07:43:28 PM »
H1483 {aka Cybele}

Settings: Rainfall +1, Temperature 0, Population -3, no pirates, no savage tribe
Scenario Settings: Naked and Afraid (standard)
Mods: None, Core only

This rimworld is the outermost habitable planet in its solar system and is notable as being a single supercontinent with a above-average overall rainfall.  For whatever reason, and rare for a planet in a system with as much traffic one with three glitterworlds, this world is remarkable sparse of established tribes and civilizations. It is believed that this may have been caused by use of the planet as a weapons testing platform for the Fifth Thracian Empire of Sumsummat.  This collection of factors has led to the assessment of H1483 as a primary target for those rare elements of the three glitterworlds that want to focus on solo or very small group survival trials. To that end, three geosynchronous orbiting spacestations have been established. Each glitterworld funds and has named one of the stations, although a common fund for maintenance and defense is maintained by treaty.  The stations are Sumsummat, Dodona, and Aurora.  Each facilitates preparation and planning of these survivalist expeditions for citizens, and the same treaty that allows them to exist prohibits anything but drop pods and wreckage from traversing the upper atmosphere.  This restriction does not apply to ships originating on the surface, so everyone knows that if you go down, you are on your own to get back up.

Stories / Re: The Worlds of the Rim (Compendium)
« on: October 09, 2021, 04:12:58 PM »
P2391: Rainforest Hell World (Lost Squadron)

Settings: High rainfall, High temperature
MODS: none
Scenario: 8 marines (high shooting, no physical ailments), custom loadout (Marine armor x8, charge rifles x8, 80 packaged survival meals, misc blocks)

Description: A rainforest covered world that seems to be the homeworld to little more than disease and pestilence in an isolated system in a remote arm of the galaxy.  The scattered tribes of isolated refugees and arrivals have little interaction, although the Oxaos Coalition has managed to build a rough network of connected trading villages.   Into this landscape drops Eplison Squadron (Dread Cassowaries), of the 1249th Battalion, officially deployed 150 years ago aboard the SES Far Horizon as reinforcements in a Star Empire war.

Scenarios / [A16] Survivor: Rimworld (Season MMMDIII)
« on: January 29, 2017, 06:34:42 PM »
Welcome to season 3503 of Survivor, the longest running series on Galactic TV.  This is your host, AI Jim Probst.

This group of young challengers is undertaking the greatest challenge in the galaxy, survival on an uncivilized Rimworld.  Not only will they have to build a functional shelter, fight off roving bandits and raiders, and defend themselves from ravaging beasts, but they may not be able to trust each other.  Anyone who can make it off planet will win the grand prize, anything the glitterworlds of the Core have to offer. This is their story.  This is Survivor

Your faction will be a New Arrivals
Start with 9 people.
Your people will be between 18 and 25 years old.
Arrive in drop pods.
Player starting characters have a 100% chance to start with cryptosleep sickness.
Start with research: Passive Cooler
Start with research: Pemmican
Start with research: Devilstrand

Incident created:
  - Resource pod crash (60 days)

Start with:
 - Chicken x4
 - Wood x500
 - Steel x500
 - Packaged survival meal x60
 - Component x300

Map is scattered with:
 - Steel x100
 - Plasteel x167
 - LMG
 - Pistol x2
 - Charge rifle x2
 - Plasteel knife x4
 - Marble blocks x200
 - Nutrient paste meal x10

[attachment deleted by admin due to age]

Stories / Re: Muffalo Cross Vlog
« on: May 07, 2016, 11:04:10 PM »
The camera starts and focuses on two shadows in the dimly lit room.  One of the shadows moves and the camera light brightens the room.  Brett, obviously battered and bruised, sits on the floor and dusty alpaca head rests in his lap.  The alpaca is heavily bandaged and an IV bag hangs on the wall, it's tube leading down to the alpaca's leg.  Brett holds up a remote and the camera zooms in on his face.  Besides the bruises, his face is dirty and smeared with dried blood.  Tracks down his cheeks show where he has been crying.   

He sniffles and rubs his nose with his hand.  "I..."  he seems to choke up and looks away for a moment.  "It's been a bad day.  We thought everyone was pretty much recovered from everything, but apparently Muffalo's gut worms were worse than we thought."  He sniffs and wipes his nose again, and pets the alpaca's head in his lap.  "So he got a really bad infection from them and started wandering while Dan and I were asleep.  By the time we found him, the worms had ruptured through his stomach and he had bled out."  Brett's face crumbles and he sobs.  "It must have been so horrible.  But then, while I was hauling  him back so we could bury him both Cypress and Harvey, our alpacas, went mad.  I guess because they were bonded to Muffalo, but whatever reason they both started attacking everything on sight.  Cypress killed Thudpaw, Dan's dog, and then attacked Mom.  Harvey here," he looks down at the animal, "attacked me.  As you can see I had to cut him up pretty bad to get him under control.  Once I stunned him, I helped mom knock Cypress out. Dan came in long enough to help me get the animals situated, but I haven't seen him since.  I thinking losing Thud and Muffalo at the same time may have hit him hard, but I can only do so much you know?" 

Tears begin to slowly slide down his cheeks again.  He stares into space for almost thirty seconds before visibly shaking himself, and moving Harvey's head from his lap.  He wipes his face with both hands and says, "Time to feed everybody and check the medicine.  If mom doesn't come around soon, I don't know what we are going to do.  There is too much work for just two people."  He sighs heavily and his exhaustion is obvious in the droop of his shoulders and the slump in his stance.  "This is such bullshit."  He clicks remote and the video ends.

Stories / Re: Muffalo Cross Vlog
« on: May 04, 2016, 12:23:27 AM »
The camera focuses on a decently sized wooden walled room.  The room is bare, with a smooth dirt floor and lamps in the corners of the room.  A large double bed, covered by a stiff green blanket, dominates the center of the room.  Brett lounges in the bed.  "Hi," he begins, "it's been almost two weeks since the last one of these we did, and man what a busy two weeks it's been."  He takes a sip of water from a steel cup on the floor next to the bed. 

"So we got the cooler working with a couple new windmills and solar panels to power it.  The very next freakin' day a damn boomalope went rabid and came after us.  It took both Dan and Muffalo with the guns to finally kill the thing, but of course it charged right in the middle of the windmills and solar panels we had just built at the same time Muffalo finally caught it in the head.  The explosion seemed to echo for almost five minutes and it took us almost five hours to finally get out all of the fires.  Both windmills and both panels were destroyed and one of the outer walls nearly collapsed."  Voices can be heard talking in the background, muffled as if coming through a wall.  "Apparently the explosion was loud enough to attract attention.  The next day, as we were trying to cleanup the mess and get power to the cooler again, we got a shortwave broadcast from some guy named Garrett.  He said he was a slave that just escaped from the Cannons, apparently a local pirate group.  He asked for asylum and we decided to take him in." Bret chuckles and continues, "Unfortunately there were half a dozen pirates chasing right after him.  Dan and Muffalo set up a firing line to handle their gunslingers, while I chased down the other two  that were closing in on Garrett.  They took him down, but I got both of them and the guys broke their lines.  All of them died except the lady who took down Garrett.  I rolled her over afterwards and nearly had a heart attack!  It was Dan and my mother!  No shit, it really was.  We captured her, but at the expense of Garrett bleeding out before we could get back to him.  Comparatively, I think we made the right call.  She is brainwashed pretty hard and hasn't really recognized us yet, but I have hopes.  Muffalo is still dealing with gut worms, but we are all mostly healed up from the fight.  Next time I'll take you on a tour of colony as it stands."  He clicks a remote and the camera turns off.

1) hillside
2) Use medicine as needed.  If people are sick and weak it will prevent easy progress
3) Gaiety Glen

Stories / Re: They're uhh... very close, you could say
« on: April 29, 2016, 06:40:14 PM »
That is hilarious.

Stories / Re: Muffalo Cross Vlog
« on: April 28, 2016, 10:32:36 PM »
The camera comes back on to the same scene as before, although the angle of the light is lower.  The time stamp on the shot indicates it is a couple of hours later.  Bret is center frame again, and after a second, Daniel enters the shot as well.  "Ok, so turns out Muffalo was just securing us fresh meat for dinner.  No worries.  Where was I?" Bret asks Daniel.

Dan replies, "At the ship." 

"Right, right," Bret nodded, "So the ship was so far gone when I came out of my cryptosleep fog that there wasn't anything I could do to save the Portnoy Fisk so I began evacuation procedures and jumped back in my pod.  One of the engines failed during the evac and put the ship into a flat spin, so all of the colony cargo we were carrying has been launched into shallow orbits around the planet.  From the orbital mechanics the ship computer broadcast to each of the crash pods, we can probably expect random drops of supplies over the course of the next decade or so." 

An alpaca, dappled brown and white, strolls up behind Bret and nuzzles the back of his head.  He smiles and pets it a couple times before Daniel leads it away.  "That is Cypress, our first new colonist.  Anyway, so the three of us dropped down in a section of hilly rainforest near the southern ocean.  Fortunately we had all been involved in the planning discussions for the original colony and we decided to pretty much stick to that.  We landed just north of a nice flat area between two hills, both of which were heavily laced with steel.  We immediately set to work walling in the area and building beds to sleep in.  Some windmills and a freezer room  were to follow.  We got almost all of that taken care of in the first seven days.  I got to say we are all feeling pretty productive."

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