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 Post subject: Rescue in the Barrens
PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 12:18 pm 
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"Forward screen reports we've got an incoming bogey, no wait, make that two," Grim Riley said. The dark-furred tuft-eared navigator leaned toward the mike. "Star Four, have you got a visual ID on them?"

Part of the Wee Beastie's cargo space had been converted into a makeshift war room, with a big table in the center, and magnetic aircraft models stuck to the map to indicate where the twenty or so aircrafts that were scouting forward were currently positioned. This arrangement let the Earthen Order make sure no aircraft was ever out of visual range of the others while they scouted toward the enemy-occupied city of Lorna. Thus far, they hadn't yet seen anything, but the Fleet did have radar cloaking devices and likely radio jamming, which left them relying on the good old Mark I Eyeball.

Grim Riley listened to her headphones. "Hidden Fleet X-36, in hot pursuit of someone in a small craft, maybe a Nomad. Pretty unfair fight, if you ask me, sir."

Lynx frowned, remembering the sleek reverse-winged crafts. They had extraordinarily long-ranged guns for warplanes their size. Anything small could be devastated by their fire in no time, if they weren't quick to hit the afterburners and get out. He slid black and white pieces onto the board to mark their position, then clicked the button on his own mike. "Stars Three, Four and Five, this is Shepherd. We've got a big bad wolf after a sheep, see if you can peel it off. We're moving in to lend a hand."

"They're taking fire! Star Four reports engine smoke. Looks bad."

The grizzled old lynx shook his head. "Hope they can hold out long enough. It's going to be messy if they have to parachute, not too many planes can take off from soft sand." He peers at the map. "Star Four, if you can raise them on the radio, tell 'em to go southeast, there's a big flat plateau stickin' out of the Barrens. If they can eject and make it over there, we just might have a chance to land and pick them up."

And now some OOC disclaimers!

I purposefully didn't use pilot names, only code names, so that people can insert themselves into the action if they want! First come, first served. If you want to be in the area, just make up a reason, but remember if you're here in the Barrens, you came with the Earthen Order relief mission - you don't have to be EO, just interested in helping.

This takes place somewhere around day 8 or so in the Barrens, but we aren't tying it specifically to a time so as not to interfere with whatever the devs have planned for us. Think of it as a sidequest.


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 Post subject: Re: Rescue in the Barrens
PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 2:27 pm 
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A camouflaged inger had been positioned at the tip of the scouting spear with the small crew packed tightly inside trading turns at the eye-exhausting job of recon. Turbo rubs his eyes clear as he retakes the yoke from his navigator. He had assumed that scouting over a flat monochrome desert would be easy, that any strange objects would stand out like a monk in a tavern- but he had not accounted for desert hypnosis. After a mere hour of flying too slowly with no distractions, Turbo's crew was at risk of getting sloppy.

Salvation came over the radio, apparently passed along from the Wee Beastie. Knowing that he would be able to intercept well before even Star Four, Turbo flips a quick Split S, darts toward the specified coordinates and then presses the red radio button "Star Five here. Tell Shepherd I will intercept and distract the wolf."

Before he can enjoy 2 minutes at top speed, Turbo sees a battered transport dodging erratic fire from the X-36. Emboldened by her pilot's adrenaline, the Tragedy of the Commons screams directly over the top of what should be the X-36 cockpit without firing a round.

"That should shake them," gulps a voice behind him.

As Turbo banks right to make an approach between the two craft, he sees the prey heading toward a small bluff and the predator turning slowly left to aim at its newer, stranger target.

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Governor of Earthbreach, Olio, and Luz


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 Post subject: Re: Rescue in the Barrens
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 11:56 am 
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The black canopy of the X-36 denies Turbo Lance the opportunity to see its pilot's expression, but the aircraft reacts swiftly, peeling off to try to bring its wickedly long-ranged cannon to bear on the fast-moving target. Perhaps it believes that the transport can be brought to bay at leisure.

Star Four, a dart-like Mantis, flies nape of the earth where its natural orange and yellow colors offer it camouflage against the desert surface. Its pilot tracks the dogfight, far enough away that they appear as tiny specks against the endless clouds, so instead he switches on his radio and broadcasts. "Unidentified transport, we're here to assist. If you are too damaged to fly, make for the ridge to southeast, that's 2 o' clock, your bearing. Help is on the way. Please respond."

In the Wee Beastie's makeshift control center, Lynx reaches out with a long stick to moves Turbo Lance's magnetized marker next to the hostile target marker. "Going to be some long minutes before we're in range," he says to his navigator.


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 Post subject: Re: Rescue in the Barrens
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 6:08 pm 

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Delia's radio crackled to life with a message from a few unknown planes, the first had just foolishly buzzed one of the Fleet craft harrassing her heavily modified but beaten looking transport. She glanced over at the small fennec child that had been her ward for well over a year now, the toddler strapped into a jump seat and contentedly humming a song to herself as explosions occasionally rocked the plane.

She hated relying on anyone for anything, a trait that had served her exceedingly well for many years now, but the armadillo had to grudgingly admit that she was overmatched. Her plane was losing hydraulic pressure, most likely due to an unfortunate bullet grazing a line somewhere. Weighing her options, she glanced back at the child and was greeted with a beaming smile. "DEEE-lee!", said the fennec, offering her her stuffed giraffe as a few more bullets whizzed past the plane, the metallic thunk of a few slugs finding their mark ringing inside the cockpit.

Grumbling to herself, she flicked on her radio. "Roger that, alleged helpful mystery pilots. Don't be offended if we don't stick around and greet you with flowers on your landing.", she said, her voice flat and cold.

Grabbing the yoke, she banked hard right and dove as quickly as she dared, hoping to confuse the Fleet pilot still shadowing her. The toddler let out a gleeful "Wheeee!", and Delia fixed her with a somber eye before straightening up and hitting the afterburners, praying her plane would hold together long enough to make the ridge.


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 Post subject: Re: Rescue in the Barrens
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 10:10 pm 
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Turbo's stomach finds little comfort in the familiar knots that emerge a second before his brain realizes that he has become a target for the unnatural flying assassin.

"Alright, our camo won't be as useful now, but we have its attention. Lets go back past with guns hot but PLEASE remember, we won't last 3 seconds in their kill zone. We are staying low and fast."

Relieved that the distraction might save the original target, the Cardinal gives his hair a nervous tug then steels himself for another approach. Perhaps he can walk this tightrope long enough for backup to arrive- - or at least long enough for the transport to get out of range.

_________________
Cardinal of the Earthen Order :brown:
Governor of Earthbreach, Olio, and Luz


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 Post subject: Re: Rescue in the Barrens
PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2011 9:33 pm 

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"Havin' a bit of trouble there, Cardinal?" A familiar voice chimes in over the radio as a well weathered Havoc comes into view from the east. "Sorry I'm late Brothers, Star Three engaging enemy craft." The havoc strafes the Hidden Ship taking advantage of the element of surprise.

"Yaha! When the Order strikes, it strikes with full force!" Eeptog cheers as he maneuvers into an Immelmann turn, preparing to fire on the craft from above.

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~Now known as E. Togsworth ingame.~
The character is the same, the name is whats changed.


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 Post subject: Re: Rescue in the Barrens
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 4:41 pm 
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The black X-36 shudders as the Havoc's bullets rake across its hide. Smoke billows freely from its engine, but it remains a game fighter, turning toward the Havoc. Tracer bullets spout from its nose cannon, slicing the air beneath the red performance fighter - if Eeptog had had his landing gear down, it'd be missing now. On the other hand, it's a perfect distraction for Turbo Lance to bring his own guns to bear.

Star Four's pilot says worriedly on the radio, "More incoming! I count two Squares and three Goldfish. About three miles out. They're moving slow, ETA two minutes."

"Roger that," Lynx's voice says over the com, calm. "Just keep them distracted, if we can get them to forget about the transport, it'll be out of visual range before long. Stars Three and Five, you're too fast for the X-36 to ignore you and burn after it. Star Four, stay low and keep an eye out for backup. Goldfish are short ranged, they must have a base somewhere. Maybe a blimp."

OOC: in game terms, Squares are slow-moving crafts with four long guns on the diagonals plus twin turreted flaks, forward and aft. They're like heavies, slow and you can stay behind them in a performance plane but don't let them connect with their 'fists'.


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 Post subject: Re: Rescue in the Barrens
PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:23 pm 

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The entire plane shuddered and lurched sickeningly, jolting Delia and the child against their harnesses. Delia held the yoke with both hands, wrestling the craft to keep it somewhat level. Glancing down, she noticed the pressure gauge nearly at zero. The plane bouncing up and down. She was alerted by a yelp beside her, and risked a quick glance over. The fennec toddler's eyes were filling with tears, her little bottom lip quivering.

"Ssssh, it's okay", Delia said in a rather unconvincing manner. She noticed the child reaching in front of her, and spied the stuffed giraffe lying just out of reach. Swearing under her breath, Delia checked out the window quickly before taking a foot off of one of the pedals, hooking it under the giraffe and flipping it up into the child's waiting arms. The toddler responded with a squeal of joy just as a muffled explosion could be heard from the starboard engine.

"Oh, MAGNUS! Hold on!", Delia yelled. The plane began shuddering more violently and the nose dropped towards the plain just as they cleared the cliff face. Gritting her teeth and fighting the stick, she risked a quick glance at the child.

The toddler was beaming, alternately hugging her giraffe and making her come 'in for a landing'. Delia exhaled sharply and shook her head. "Here goes nothing", she said, throttling up the remaining engine and looking for what she hoped was a fairly soft place to crash.


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 Post subject: Re: Rescue in the Barrens
PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 2:00 pm 
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Aboard the Wee Beastie, Lynx studied the situation, moving the map markers around as his navigator Grim Riley called out updates. Eeptog and Turbo Lance were sparring with the X-36, taking potshots at it whenever it turned to follow the other, but Star Four was reporting enemy reinforcements on their way, and wherever Goldfish were to be found, a blimp or worse, one of their carriers was sure to be nearby. He moved Stars Nine and Twelve up to fill in the gaps in coverage.

"Eee! Picking them up now! They're making for the desert by Camelback Ridge," yelped a high soprano voice. Valentina Sokolov, his trader currently working up in the cockpit, switched her mike on. "Wee Beastie to the unidentified transport. We have you on radar, we're en route for a pick-up. ETA, two minutes."

"May the powers that be, Magnus or otherwise, protect you," Lynx muttered like a proper agnostic, thinking of the unidentified pilot.

Lynx spoke aloud. "Stars Three and Five, once you splash that guy, we'll need you for air cover, we'll be a sitting duck on the ground. Star Four, stay on the incoming, if you see a chance to splash their Goldfish, take it, but watch out for the Squares. It's a long walk back to base."

Then he began suiting up, pulling on a greatcoat, dust-protection scarf, and desert goggles. "Never thought we'd have to use this gear, eh? Good thing we stocked up just in case. Dottie, Bones, you're with me, grab the first aid kit, a stretcher and the toolkit. We'll evacuate the survivors, get 'em on board, then take off again." The lynxes looked at each other, then started suiting up as well, Bones grumbling about 'the biggest litter box in Creation'.


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 Post subject: Re: Rescue in the Barrens
PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 8:42 pm 

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Delia wrestled with the plane as the pair were jolted in their seats. The child seemed to sense something serious was happening and was wide eyed, but not crying. The desert floor was now 40 meters below the plane and a crosswind was buffeting her from the port side. The sand was dotted with rocks of all sizes, with the occasional rock lip or standing rock jutting up. At this low altitude The heat from the land made the sands ahead shimmer, completely obscuring her hope of finding a flat, safe place.

Swearing under her breath, she brought the nose of the plane down further and held it, the plane slowly descending. Two rock towers flew past, just missing the bottom of the plane. A third one grazed the bottom of the left side of the fuselage, pitching it right and rocking the occupants sharply.

The toddler hugged her giraffe tightly, but Delia didn't take her eyes off of the horizon. Saying a prayer under her breath, she hit the airbrakes and brought the nose up slightly. The craft's underside caught a large boulder and was nudged up slightly before smashing down on the ground, sliding in the sand as the occasional rock tore into the underside of the fuselage. Eventually the plane screeched to a halt, the tips of both wings sheared off and several holes in the fuselage. Gasoline was cascading from the tanks in both wings, and the remaining engine was arcing occasionally.

Delia groaned as she forced her hand to let go of the yoke. She stretched her fingers and blinked, feeling the bone wrenching landing through her whole body. She was pretty sure one of her arms was mildly dislocated, and her hip was throbbing. Remembering her charge, she looked to the toddler. The girl was staring straight ahead wide eyed, clutching her giraffe with all her might.

"Lily. Lily. It's okay.", Delia said. The fennec snapped her gaze to Delia's voice, her huge ears flat against her head. "Buh?", she said.

"We have to get out of here.", Delia said, undoing her harness and setting about on Lily's. "We need supplies, and to get away from this plane as quickly as we can." Delia looked at Lily, the child's still shocked gaze fastened on her. "We're gonna be fine." She limped her way into the aft of the plane and began preparing to leave as quickly as she could.


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 Post subject: Re: Rescue in the Barrens
PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 8:18 am 
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Turbo's tension fizzles in reply to the voices on the radio. Eeptog's timing and execution were perfect.

"Thank you for joining the insanity," Turbo exhales as he continues his now-clear approach below the X-36. "I may be smaller, but my bite can still be fierce."

The nose of his inger erupts with bullets as Turbo pulls up to concentrate all fire at the belly of the beast. He loses track of the number of rounds expelled before the foe is behind him.

With the transport safely out of range, the Cardinal considers easing up for a few minutes but as he turns his head to assess the damage done, he sees more targets approaching.

"Brother Eeptog, lets pop those fish then regroup to take on the heavier foes together."

_________________
Cardinal of the Earthen Order :brown:
Governor of Earthbreach, Olio, and Luz


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 Post subject: Re: Rescue in the Barrens
PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 11:37 am 
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The X-36's engines cough and sputter as Turbo Lance's bullets sever a fuel line. Oil spills out, then bursts into flames, turning the cross-shaped craft into a horrific symbol of destruction. Any ordinary pirate would have bailed from their craft by now, which must be just seconds from exploding, but the Hidden Fleet pilot clings doggedly to the chase, swinging back around to follow the Ingersol, bullets spewing wildly into the air.

Star Four yells over the radio, "I'm taking fire! I splashed a Goldfish, but the Squares have me bracketed, if you guys can lend a hand, that'd be grand." The Mantis dips and weaves just over the nape of the earth, smoke spouting from the ground before and behind it as the Squares try to line it up in their diagonal gunsights. Their turreted flaks track the Mantis from either side, promising fiery death should it stray too far either way.

The giant cargo plane, "Wee Beastie", descends slowly and majestically toward the strip of rock that makes up 'Camelback Ridge', the edge of some massive piece of land that subsided and shifted into the sand generations ago. Three tuft-eared figures, now desert-garbed in jackets and protective wear, cling to safety railings against the side of the cargo bay. Grim Riley frowns at the sight of the broken-winged transport. "That's one bird that'll never fly again," she says soberly. "All right, hang on folks, we're coming down. And I'm not looking forward to the takeoff, either, this isn't much of a runway."

The Chancellor chuckles. "Nature could have provided better, I agree. A bar, for instance, would be the perfect accessory. Rocks for shade, some banana trees, and a coconut tree so we could make daiquiris."

"You're buying the drinks when we get back to Gadria," Riley says flatly.


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 Post subject: Re: Rescue in the Barrens
PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 10:38 pm 

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Delia frantically rummaged around in the cargo hold looking for anything protective. The plane had been outfitted with food and water, and she recklessly tore through the neatly packed boxes looking for the most easily portable foods that she could find. Lily balanced on her hip with one of Delia's arms around her, and the toddler waved the giraffe at the boxes, babbling and occasionally leaning forward trying to get a better look. On more than one occasion her curiosity nearly resulted in her pitching head first into whatever Delia was looking through, making the searching even more difficult.

Delia eventually found a few water bottles, but the plane hadn't been outfitted with proper desert survival gear. Instead she found several blankets, and put Lily down so she could tear one into strips. She wound one around her head, leaving space for her eyes and did the same to Lily, the fennec trying to jerk away and threatening to cry when Delia spoke harshly in response. Summoning what little patience she had left, she made apologetic soothing sounds to the child as she wrapped a blanket around each of them, Delia making sure she had full freedom of movement. In a sudden brainstorm, she tore a few more strips off and made an improvised sling for Lily, placing the child against her stomach facing outwards. At least this way Delia would have her hands free and could respond if needed.

Delia flipped the switch to the cargo bay, the doors creaking horribly in protest. The managed to get a few feet open before shuddering and coming to a halt with a screech. Lily screamed happily herself, mimicking the sound as Delia sighed to herself. She grabbed a loose piece of pipe and wedged it in the bay door edge, pushing with all her might. The door held for a moment, before popping open with a loud snap. The hot desert wind instantly rushed in, stinging the pair's eyes. Delia surveyed the outside before taking a step out of the plane, checking above for any sign of hostiles.


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 Post subject: Re: Rescue in the Barrens
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 2:02 pm 
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OOC: I PM'd Eeptog about finishing off the X-36 before it explodes all over Turbo Lance in a fiery ball o' destruction.

The Wee Beastie hit the ground, landing gear extended and wheels screaming, throwing up long gouts of dust - the ridge might have been made of a giant slab of rock, tilted by some long ago geological cataclysm to form a protrusion from the desert, but dust and sand had a way of clinging to every rough surface to be found. The Kingfisher was painted blue with lines of gold running from nose to stern, sweeping upward across the tailfin in a fan of sunlight, and the Earthen University insignia stamped across the wings. Not exactly camouflage, but then it would be difficult for anyone to miss a ship of its size.

The side door popped open, hinged at the bottom to form a ramp that banged against the ground solidly. A makeshift sackcloth curtain screened out the dust; Lynx pushed through it, almost unrecognizable under the protective clothing that wrapped his face and body, followed a little later by his tufty-eared compatriots. He pointed across the desert to the broken-winged transport. "Thing could go up any minute, get out the second you hear fire. Let's go!"

They hiked across the desert, Dottie and Lynx holding the stretcher's poles over their shoulders, Bones lugging a toolkit.


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 Post subject: Re: Rescue in the Barrens
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 3:22 pm 
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Turbo considers turning back within range of the damaged X-36 to expedite its demise, but the new targets seem a more urgent threat...at least to the troubled Mantis ahead.

"Star Four, hang in there. Keep heading northeast and I will pick off the bogey on your six before he realizes you have help."

The Cardinal shrugs off a germ of worry before it can completely formulate and zips forward toward the squares. As he approaches the nearest square from below, he angles up and begins firing while dropping speed to a near full-stop.

Focused on the explosions from his gun in front, Turbo is oblivious to the fire he left behind him.

_________________
Cardinal of the Earthen Order :brown:
Governor of Earthbreach, Olio, and Luz


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 Post subject: Re: Rescue in the Barrens
PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2011 7:02 pm 

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Eeptog's Havoc zooms past the fireball of a plane hammering it once again, the former 'circle' breaks and twists into a falling hunk of steel and flame, crashing into the desert below. A dust cloud erupts from the surface as the plane impacts, as the dust rises its almost enough to impair vision.

"Magnus, Lance! Cleaning up your messes is one thing, but when that mess is a giant cannonball with a mind of its own...!" He says semi-jokingly as he regroups on Turbo's tail. "I do believe we need to 'scrub out' the rest of this filth, lead on brother!"

((sorry for the late reply :< ))

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~Now known as E. Togsworth ingame.~
The character is the same, the name is whats changed.


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 Post subject: Re: Rescue in the Barrens
PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 1:31 pm 
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(No worry, Eeptog!)

The X-36 erupts into a fireball that chases after Turbo Lance, but thankfully Eeptog's gunfire destroys the integrity of the airframe, causing it to drop down into the desert where it pile drives a furrow through the sands. Oily black smoke billows from the smoldering wreckage.

Ahead of Turbo Lance, the Squares have Star Four tightly bracketed. They move slowly, inexorably closer to sandwich him between the effective range of their in-close flak cannons... But then his Ingersoll's cannonfire rakes across the left one, causing it to veer wildly and pull away. The orange-and-red Mantis shoots up wildly, taking this opportunity to escape. "Thanks, Star Five! I thought I was a goner there!"

Square Two swings into pursuit of the Mantis, while Square One curves around, popping airbrakes, trying to bring one of its long diagonal guns onto the agile dart-like fighter.


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 Post subject: Re: Rescue in the Barrens
PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 8:01 pm 

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Delia crouched behind a huge boulder as the Wee Beastie touched down less than a half kilometer away. She could vaguely make out a brown insignia on the side, but decided that caution was a wise course of action. Lily was making low whimpering noises as she held one of her small arms up trying to cover her eyes from the stinging, swirling sand. Delia involuntarily patted the fennec cub's midsection, the toddler strapped firmly to her torso facing outwards.

The pair were still too close to the wreckage of the ship for Delia's liking. One of the engines still flickered and crackled with the occasional electrical burst, and in spite of the strong winds the sharp odor of plane fuel kept drifting into her nostrils. Doing her best to keep low and sheltered behind whatever rocks she could find, Delia made her way to a slightly higher vantage point as sheltered as she could find, which was still too exposed for her liking.

Patting Lily's belly, she hunkered down and squinted through the flying sand, hoping to judge the exact intentions of whomever or whatever came out of the Wee Beastie and poked around the wreckage.


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 Post subject: Re: Rescue in the Barrens
PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 10:38 am 
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The Chancellor looked more the part of a grizzled old aviator than academician as he hiked across the desert, his eyes protected by oversized goggles, his body wrapped in a battered old greatcoat against the biting sand particles thrown up by the wind. His tufty ears stuck up through holes cut in the helmet, covered by gauze to prevent them from being filled with sand. His apprentice navigator, Dottie, carried the other half of the stretcher, and Not-So-Sneaky Bones lugged a formidably heavy toolkit, grunting and swearing. All carried sidearms slung on their belts, as protection in case of nomad ambushes.

They made their way to the side of the transport, oblivious to the untrusting armadillo watching them from her shelter. "Hello!" yelled Lynx. "Any survivors in there? Rescue party's here!"

Bones surveyed the transport. "Looks like it could go up any minute, boss," she said worriedly, noting the sparks being thrown and the smell of fuel.

Lynx and Dottie set the stretcher down - it would only get in the way until and unless they found survivors. He pointed toward the front. "Check the cockpit," he said. "I'll see if anyone's in the cargo area. Bones, circle around, they might have gone the other way. If you hear fire, run!"


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 Post subject: Re: Rescue in the Barrens
PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2011 11:54 am 

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Delia watched from her perch cautiously as the crew approached the wreck, one of her free hands patting Lily's belly unconsciously.

"Hmm. Looks like it could be a rescue crew."
The fennec cub swiveled her head up as best she could from her improvised harness to stare at Delia with wide, dark eyes.

"Ress-coo?", she asked.

Delia chuckled in spite of herself. "We'll see, Lily. For now, sshhhhhhh", the armadillo replied, holding a finger to Lily's mouth. Lily's huge ears bobbed down and she nodded.

Picking the most sheltered path down towards the wreck, Delia darted from rock to rock and climbed down to flank the tufted caracal, the one who she thought was the leader. Crouching behind a rock very near Lynx, her hand fell to the pommel of her sword in preparation just as Lily sneezed loudly.

"Oopsie."


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