The Canaries

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DeletedUser13682

About 30 minutes of hard work, sweat, and toil, the engines were up and running again. Surprisingly, the damage had been slightly more extensive than he had first thought, but, that was all in the past now. For today, the Pandora would fly again, and make it back to Earth, where more dedicated study could be conducted into what originally caused the disaster. Power levels were increasing, the engines sending power to the vessel. The panel near the door indicated that emergency power was shutting off, recharging, and everything was being transferred to main power.

Mikros was about to report this advancement, when there came a voice over the intercom. A message, followed by a bloodcurdling scream. He'd heard it before, once, a green pilot, just got into combat, not up for five minutes, enemy AMRAAMs locked onto him, he tried avoiding them, lost it, screamed until his plane was hit. It meant the man had seen his death, lost it, and had died. It wasn't very good, and didn't inspire Mikros with confidence. Time to get back to the command center, tell their commander that the engines were ready to go, but the radiation would have to be cleaned up by properly equipped personnel.

Mikros proceeded to the command center, keeping his MP-7 out the whole way, even on the lift, after that scream, it wasn't safe on the vessel, whatever was there, it was death to all who weren't ready for it. Mikros made it back to the command center, to locate not the commander, but a note, stating he had left to investigate the labs, and to investigate more labs. Mikros though, his job wasn't in the labs. His job was in the command center, turning on navigation, extended life support, attitude controls, etc. etc.

A bit later, after navigation and life support were on, attitude was almost working, Mikros heard an S.O.S. call over the intercom. Humanoids were loose on the Pandora, and killing people. Mikros felt obligated to help out, it was an international S.O.S., had to be honored. He wrote a quick note saying systems were coming online, radioed into James, detailing the situation. "Leave if you don't hear from me in an hour, or I order you to leave sooner. The Pandora is operational, I'll have her back."

Mikros headed over to the jungle lab, according to shipboard maps, it was a fair distance from the command center. Thankfully, the monorails were working in Mikros's favour, and he had arrived to the jungle lab in a fair amount of time. Inside the lab, he searched for a minute, keeping always on the alert, MP-7 drawn. Quickly, he found the group, three people, one of them looking like the PARS unit assigned to the party. They were being attacked by apelike humans, like something from the Island of Dr. Moreau. Mikros fought his way through to the party. "Podplukovník Dragoun. Heard your S.O.S., thought I could help. Know what these are?"
 

DeletedUser28032

Dmitri ejected the empty magazine from his carbine, quickly flipping it upside down he inserted the second taped to its underside and continued firing this was the second time he done this the first two magazines lay spent at his feet. The attacks ferocity had started to lessened though not through casualties, they'd hit precious few of the creatures, they were very fast and agile and always seemed to be just out of reach, many of those that they had hit merely limped back into the undergrowth only to reapear elsewhere.
"Podplukovník Dragoun. Heard your S.O.S., thought I could help. Know what these are?" Dmitri turned to greet the pilot, beads of persperation on his forehead he'd obviously come a long way. "Thank you for coming so quickly my names Dmitri a pleasure to meet you. I'll assume these are the reason why the Pandora has no crew, and to answer your question they appear to be a rather primitive version of a PARS"
Another of the creatures darted out from cover, its body was covered in dried blood and dirt, the ragged remains of a jumpsuit covered its lower body, the dirty fabric flapped wildly like a flag as it sped towards them. Caught unawares both Dmitri and Mikros had precious time to even notice the creatures arrival before its head dissapeared in the shotguns blast.
"Thank you that could have been very messy" Dmitri greeted the two newly arrive Canaries, a short blonde woman carrying a shotgun and a tall serbian man with an AK-74.
"I Need to get to the black box, we can't leave until we have the ships logs, Trust me they won't even consider picking us up without them" Said turning back to the pilot "Also we haven't heard anything from Machiavelli in a while"
 

Lord Regal

Campfire Guardian
Pure luck saved Machiavelli from an early grave. He had just stumbled slightly on an awkwardly shaped piece of rock, and had almost fallen flat on his face. He heard a noise above him and looked up. The creature landed and turned back around to face him. Machiavelli's eyes widened. The creature appeared to be human, but his skin appeared to be solid rock, and several small fires were burning on his appendages, which didn't seem to bother him. Machiavelli threw himself to the side as the creature lunged again. He landed hard, snapping his communicator off of his belt. The inertia carried the device straight into the lava. Cursing, Machiavelli brought his M14 around and fired 6 quick shots. three to the chest first, which caused the creature to rear up in agony, then three to the brain. The creature was dead before it hit the ground. Machiavelli reached for his communicator, only to find it missing. Realizing what must have happened, he looked around for it, and not finding it, cursed.

Machiavelli stood up and walked over to the creature. Upon closer inspection its skin was not rock, merely dried, hardened skin...skin suited to surviving incredible temperatures and perhaps even direct contact with lava. This would explain why the creature had been so secretive in following him...it had swam in the lava. Not wanting to repeat the encounter, Machiavelli quickly kept walking in the direction he had been going.

Machiavelli soon reached the other side of the lab. Stepping through the door, he sighed in relief as the air conditioning met him. According to his map this was a mini-lab that connected the volcanic and underwater labs. He saw a computer and fired it up. It was obvious the terminal had sustained damage, but there was one piece of data undisturbed. Upon opening it soon became obvious that although it could be accessed, the file was so damaged it was utterly worthless. Sighing, Machiavelli leaned back. He'd let himself cool down, then he'd get in one of the wetsuits that were hanging nearby and head into the underwater lab.
 

DeletedUser28032

5 Years Previous
Her body lay face down in the pool of her suburban house, outside Dmitri could hear the sirens of the approaching police cars. "Its all clean Dmitri, Nothing here to tie her to us" Ivan Archenko said entering the small garden. It was starting to get dark outside, the security lights would be coming on pretty soon "I don't get it Ivan how did they find her? we were so careful" Dmitri said staring down at the girls body, she was only twenty. They had pulled out her finger nails before finally drowning her in the pool, a dark and bitter hatred welled up inside Dmitri he would have his revenge on the gangster who had ordered her murder.
"Dmitri we need to get out of here, the police will throw a fit if they find two FSB agents at a crime scene" nodding his head slowly in agreement they quietly slipped out of the back gate and headed for the safe house.

Present
Dmitri silently hoped that Machiavelli was dead, it would save him the hassle of murdering him he'd already killed eight of those involved in a girls murder and being in prison wouldn't stop him from committing another.
"I am going to find the black box I sugest the rest of you fight your way back towards the shuttle, someone should probably look at tracking down Machiavelli" He added the last bit on grudgingly they had entered the ship ith around twenty personel and it was becoming clear that many of that number had been picked off one by onewithout their knowing Perhaps Machiavelli was just another victim?
Gripping his gun tight to his chest Dmitri sprinted towards the exit pausing only once to fire a hail of bullets at one of the clones that were chasing after him.
Once out of the lab Dmitri took the first left and headed towards his final destination
 
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Lord Regal

Campfire Guardian
Machiavelli had put on a wetsuit and scuba gear and had entered the underwater lab. He wasn't planning on staying, as he had sent Harriet here to check things out. Instead, he was merely crossing to the main entrance so he could get out of the labs and see if anyone had returned to the useless command room and left a note...if not he decided the jungle lab should be his next destination...with three people down in there they shouldn't have much trouble and therefore should be back at the command room now or very soon...if not, then something was up and needed to be addressed ASAP.

Swimming with powerful strokes, Machiavelli made it to the hatch that led to the main entrance. However, much to his consternation, it was closed, the wheel spun, and no sign that it had been opened recently...it seemed Harriet had been unable to enter the lab. Since he had seen nothing on his trip over, Machiavelli decided to just leave the lab as planned. He tried to twist the wheel on the hatch to no success. Frowning, he tried again, straining. The wheel moved a fraction. Sucking air from the oxygen tanks rapidly to make up for the exertion, Machiavelli waited for a moment, then tried again with similar results. Slowly, slowly, he worked at opening the hatch.
 

DeletedUser25825

PARS methodically retreated from the lab as Dmitri indicated he was abandoning the area as no longer a viable objective. She maintained sporadic covering fire as the creatures presented themselves, and made it to the jungle lab's doorway. She waited a moment for Viktor, and when he did not present himself, she assumed he'd already vacated the area. She backed through the and activated the hatch. As it closed, all unnatural screeches of the creatures ceased. She opted not to disable the operating mechanism of the door, figuring the creatures had not left prior to this, so most likely incapable.

She checked her remaining ammunition for her sub-gun and made a face upon realizing she had depleted nearly all of her ammunition for the weapon system. She slung it on her chest, drew her pistol and hurried down the corridor in the direction Dmitri had headed.
 

DeletedUser13682

Mikros was glad for the ground survival training he had received, many pilots in the modern age weren't told how to live out of the cockpit and base. But, like the old times, Mikros was taught the ways of surviving, including basics in ground warfare. Granted, it wasn't as extensive as that of ground troops, covering just the rudiments, but it was working well enough for this situation. That is until he almost got killed, well, from the way the creatures were acting, obliterated, saved by a shotgun wielding Canary.

"Good thing you guys came," Mikros said to the newcomers. "We'd have been mince meat if you hadn't, I think." Dmitri mentioned finding the black box, and left suddenly, PARS following behind. Viktor wasn't in the immediate area though, hopefully he wasn't killed by the creatures. PARS was retreating like a good soldier, nothing less expected from a perfect military machine. Mikros decided it'd be best to follow her out of the lab, before he got stuck and killed by the creatures.

At the door, he found it was closed, but not disabled. Luck for Mikros. He exited the lab, making sure to close the door behind him. While he was deciding on which way he was to go next, he caught a glimpse of PARS rounding a corridor. Mikros decided to catch up to her. After an approximate 10 minute jog, Mikros caught up to her. "PARS, stop," Mikros ordered. "You were made in a similar way to the creatures, correct? Maybe you can shed some light on what went wrong here. Tell me about the process, and what you think might have gone wrong, and any solutions you might have."
 

DeletedUser25825

PARS regarded Mikros with her black eyes for a few moments, before returning her constantly roving attention to their surroundings as she continued to move along the corridor in pursuit of Dmitri. She murmured, "This PARS is not aware of the genetic make-up of the hostiles encountered in the Jungle Lab, so no viable comparison can be formulated at this time. A catastrophic failure in a fledgling clone program, once classified as Project Genesis, resulted in the governments of Earth heavily restricting any future programs involving the genetic manipulation of human beings." PARS paused as they neared a corner, and quick peaked around it, before advancing once again as she continued with her history lesson by saying, "Once the first successful international moon-base was established in 2042, and life, even though the most basic cellular level, was discovered off planet. An immediate response to this revelation was the creation of an international military force, SMEF Space Marine Expeditionary Forces. SMEF was ultimately transported to Planet one three eight two, and met a monumental defeat due to poor considerations in regard to terrain and other hostilities presented by the planet. Upon this failure, it was deemed necessary by the collective governing bodies to lift restrictions against genetic manipulation in order to create soldiers for SMEF, that were suitable for planetary defense and exploration if, and as, the need arose. The results of those experiments are this and many PARS. The PARS program was abandoned several years later due to a great deal of PARS failing. It is this PARS belief, this ship was hosting the illegal continuation of genetic manipulation, and the hostiles we encountered thus far, are experiments that have taken control of this ship. This PARS has encountered two hostile categories thus far, and both times conventional weapon systems have proven adequate in eliminating the threat posed. It is this PARS belief that continuation of the utilization of these weapon systems will suffice."
 

DeletedUser28032

NPC Script
Sitting just the otherside of the airlocked chamber, he watched as the doors wheel slowly turned, they'd be in soon. He had hoped that by disabling the depresurisation system around the door he would be able to escape the clones attention, obviously the plan hadn't worked.
Pulling the 9mm from out of his dirty uniform trousers he aimed the weapon at the inner door, water was now streaming in from around the outer door, very soon the pressure difference would be strong enough for the door to open, he only hoped he would have enough ammuntion to deal with whatever was trying to get in.
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Pale yellow eyes watched as the Scuba diver methodically worked on the door, normally they would have delighted at ripping the happless diver apart, laughing as he gasped for air. However they knew what lay on the other side of the door, a door that had twarted their many attempts at gaining entry. They would continue to be patient, striking when the time was right.
---------------------------------------------
5 Years Previous
Dmitri slowly removed the silencer from his gun, at his feet were the bodies of Ivan Archenko and Akady Falkovsky. Up until an hour ago they had been his friends and co-workers, now they were merely dead traitors.
Dmitri had finally managed to hack into Machiavelli's computer system, although he'd only had access for a few minutes it was enough to find out who was responsible for her death.
Returning his gun to its holster Dmitri left the safe house with a list of names, two were already crossed off

Present
"We'll meet you back at the shuttle" he heard Harriet shout down the corridor before leaving with the tall serbian, leaving only himself, PARS and Mikros to locate the Black box, turning down another corridor Dmitri continued his quick pace, the server room wasn't far now.
Above him He could hear a faint metallic thumping noise, Air conditioning? another possibilty caused him to slow and then stop. What if they were in the vents?
 

Lord Regal

Campfire Guardian
Machiavelli continued to struggle with the wheel of the door. Either this thing had rusted completely, or some sort of pressure alteration had been made...those were the only two explanations of how this could have gotten so hard to open when it was the main way to get into the underwater portion of this lab. Finally, the wheel began to turn more normally...it appeared to be pressure-based...which meant someone or something had altered the pressure...

Machiavelli swung the hatch open and climbed through it. Halfway through he heard a shot and ducked instinctively. Spitting the oxygen tank cord from his mouth he yelled, "Don't shoot I'm an ally!" He was going completely on a whim, but chances are if it had intelligence to use a weapon it wasn't against him on this ship of death.
 

DeletedUser13682

Mikros listened to PARS as she explained the basic history of the genetics program that might have created the creatures. "But you're not illegal, are you? You're a remnant of the PARS programme, perfectly legal. Come on. I think the other guy wants us to help him find the black box." Mirkos didn't know why they called it a black box. The thing was, as it had been for years and years and years, bright orange. If it was black, it would blend into the space. The think about space was that the general colour of space was also black.

Mikros thought while walking down the corridors. The black box, recording data from the vessel, also had copies of the logs of the captain, the first mate, and the heads of departments, logs that were deleted from the main computer. Generally, the black box was kept in the captain's stateroom on vessels of this size. It would be a great place to start looking. "I say we look in the captain's stateroom first," Mikros announced to the group. "If it's not there, than maybe it's in the Ops Officer Stateroom or the Admin Officer's stateroom."
 

DeletedUser28032

NPC Script
"Who the hell are you?" he shouted as the Scuba diver entered the small room where he' been hiding for the better part of two days.
Although it was now obvious that he wasn't a clone he kept the gun levelled at the mans chest. He was about to repeat his question when he heard a sound not unlike the rushing of water, they were coming. His pale blue eyes widened in horror "Oh god you've led them straight to me" Completly forgetting about the man he tucked the gun into his uniform trousers and made ready to run, only find that he was too late. The first of the clones had entered the airlock.
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"According to the map, the Black box is located in a small server room adjacent to the captains quarters i Just hope the door isn't deadlocked"
Dmitri Continued down the corridor still midfull of the thumping sound above his head.
A vent to his left exploded outward, as the arm thrust out of it narrowly misisng Dmitri's leg. A Violent hail of gunfire drove the thing back but it was clear that they had failed to even hit it "The damn things have gotten into the ventillation system, they could pop up anywhere"
 

Lord Regal

Campfire Guardian
Machiavelli had been about to answer when the man who had fired at him began to panic. From the sounds that were coming from the hatch, it was understandable why. Realizing they were going to be under attack, Machiavelli rapidly pulled out his M14 from the waterproof pack he had put it in...he was too late to stop the creatures coming in though. These were also humanoid, but they had gills and webbed hands and feet. Their skin also was a greenish color, and their eyes were obviously better suited to water than to air. Machiavelli shot the first couple in between the eyes. It was obvious this type of clone wasn't as resistant to attacks as the lava ones had been, as one well-aimed shot was enough to kill them, and the hatch was small enough to prevent them all from rushing in at once. Machiavelli yelled at the man, "When there's an opening, close and shut the hatch!! It's our only chance! I don't know how many there are, and I'd rather not use up all my ammo here!!"
 

DeletedUser28032

NPC Script
The clones poured through the hatch, clambering over their dead in their haste to gain entrance of the small room. The Scuba diver was keeping them at bay for now but his ammunition wouldn't last forever, god knows his hadn't.
Firing two of his precious bullets into the mass of writhing bodies ahead of him he rushed towards the inner door, slamming it shut, with a loud metallic clang.
"This door won't lock now that its been opened, the pressure seals been broken" he shouted, he could feel the pressure of the clones as they tried to force it open, his feet were losing purchase on the wet floor he wouldn't be able keep it closed for much longer and once they were in there would be no stopping them. "Theres another hatch in the corner, if we can block this door for long enough we may be able to escape through it".
The room was small, only designed for the storage of scuba gear. All down one wall there were several lockers mounted along the wall with a long wooden bench facing them on the opposite wall, in the corner there was a small round hatch leading down into another maintenance area "You better find something quick I don't think I can hold them for much longer"
 
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DeletedUser25825

PARS looked up at the ceiling of the corridor they occupied and studied the ventilation system. She nodded her head is the direction of the next ventilation screen as she murmured, "Most logical exit point are the vent covers. They may or may not be secure, but the process of moving them will give us reactionary time to respond to any attempt at breaching the corridor area. Otherwise, if they just break through any of the venting system, it will produce enough of an auditory alarm, that we will be aware of their attempt. I think this PARS will be able to react to any hostilities toward the squad."

PARS moved to the point position once again and advanced down the corridor. She leveled her pistol at the vent covering as she gestured the group forward while murmuring, "The ventilation system may not pose the only place of concealment. Be aware I can only cover on vent cover at a time, and am not responsible for other locations an assault may come from." After the squad had passed the vent covering, PARS advanced around it and took point again, as she maintained line of sight cover of the corridor and anywhere else she happened to look as she moved.
 

Lord Regal

Campfire Guardian
Machiavelli ran over to the bench and propped it against the door. He then ran to the lockers and opened them. Several of them had oxygen tanks in them. As quickly as he could, he brought the tanks over and put them on and around the bench. As soon as the last one was in place, Machiavelli ran over to the hatch the man had nodded at and opened it. "Ok, you run over here and get through, I'll close it behind us! That should give us enough time to get out of the general area!!" he yelled.
 

DeletedUser28032

NPC Script
Despite the combined weight of both the bench and the oxygen cylinders the door continued to slide open, long pale fingers almost like those of a newt or toad crept around the edge of the door in an effort to drive the door open.
Pausing only to grab a small bag from the corner he dived down into the pitch black room below, a PIR mounted in the ceiling activating the fluoresent lights just as he reached the bottom. He sighed with relief at the sight of the other door still barricaded from when he was last down here.
A heavy metallic thud signalled that his new friend had dropped the hatch shut behind him, he hadn't tampered with that doors lock it would hold the clones off till the end of time if required.
Pausing to study his new friend he noticed how tall he was and that despite appearing to be relativly young his hair was almost pure grey. "Thank you stranger I would never have been able to fight them off by myself...." he decided it was best not to add that he wouldn't have needed to fight them if he hadn't opened the door "...My names Security Officer Michael Cassidy, Now what brings you to Pandora?"
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Dmitri advanced slowly down the corridor his gun constantly scanning the surrounding vents for any sign of life and finding none, Dmitri couldn't decide whether or not that was a good thing or not.
The Server room was small, no bigger than a storage cupboard, the black box mounted on the back wall painted in its traditional orange. Either side of it stood two large computer servers into which linked directly into it, a monitor sat on a nearby desk.

As Dmitri entered a cool breeze ran down his spine, glancing upwards he noted the three large fans, constantly spinning in an effort to prevent the system from overheating.
Plugging the flash drive into one of the servers he proceeded to download the ships data.
"With any luck once we have all this downloaded we'll be able to leave this god forsaken ship" a green bar slowly inched its way across the screen it would take a couple of minutes to complete.
Suddenly a loud crash echoed out in the corridor, followed by another and then another. It took Dmitri a few moments to realise that what he was hearing was the sound of the ventilation grilles being kicked out of the ceiling one at a time, were they attacking or is it merely a distraction? Dmitri turned back to the monitor hoping it was neither. Download complete in 3 Minutes.
 

DeletedUser25825

PARS scanned the room as the download was commencing. She shut the door and locked it, before looking out the view port. She murmured, "The PARS does not observe any hostiles in the corridor, but it appears that several vent covers have been removed. Perhaps the hostiles can understand what this PARS had commented on about early warning systems of vent covers needing to be disengaged." She moved away from the view port and stood by Dmitri.

She again scanned the room, and then pointed up at the ceiling. "The exhaust fans are all connected to the same ventilation line, which ceases with the last fan. It is this PARS observation that the ventilation system is comprised of three duct systems. One along each side of the corridor floor, and one in the ceiling. It is this PARS suggestion that we all access the ceiling duct system and travel back toward the ship, or at least as far as the system allows. There is only one line, and all hostiles will come from the front in the beginning of our traverse of the ducts, or the rear as we travel further and should the hostiles climb up after we've passed. It is a far more defensible route of travel than being concerned for all directions for a threat. As a contingency to problems, this PARS observed several vent covers, which should allow us egress back into the main corridor should it be needed."
 

DeletedUser13682

Pop goes the hand, jump goes Mikros. "So, they've decided to climb through the vents, attacking us at the openings. No doubt they've seen Alien, smart critters." He shook his head. in disapproval at the creatures. Too bad they didn't rely on heat or radar to find their targets. It'd be easy counteracting them if that were the case. But, they didn't mutate from air to air missiles. They mutated from humans, and apparently kept the predatory parts of the mind, grabbing various physical characteristics from different things. They were a new type of creature. PARS was great, but what if somebody felt they weren't great enough.

The intrepid group had arrived at the black box location, not called the orange box since a lawsuit from Valve in the early 21st century, right next to the captain's stateroom, a beautiful place, probably costing a very large amount of money. It was hooked up to the computers, which Dmitri was currently downloading the data to. "Three minutes, you say," Mikros spoke. "You'd think we'd have reached the limit to computer speed by now, downloads in the blink of an eye. Oh well. We wait." The group waited in the room, accompanied by the soundtrack of vent covers banging to the ground.

The download was complete. Time to leave. But before they did, PARS suggested that they take the ceiling vent to the command room, safer that way. Mikros saw nothing wrong with the idea. "Alright then, let's go," Mikros told the group. He got on top of the computer, and removed the vent. "Here we go!" Mikros swung up into the vent, nearly bashing his face into the back wall. "Watch the wall up here, swing the other way than I did. You won't run into it then."
 

Lord Regal

Campfire Guardian
Machiavelli smiled for three reasons. One, he had gotten both him and the crewman out of danger, fulfilling at least in part one of their mission objectives. Second, he could ask Michael what happened, which would fulfill another objective. Third, interrogation had always been his favorite part of the game...although no force would be necessary this time.

Machiavelli started by answering Michael's original question. "My name is Xiomar Machiavelli, though I go by Machiavelli. As for what I'm doing here...well, the government sent myself and several others up here after communications with Pandora ceased. Our objectives were to find and rescue all surviving crewmembers, find out what happened here, and get out within 80 hours. I was put in charge of the mission at the start, and while I had intended to direct everything from the command room up front, the whole system shut down, so I decided to take an active part in the mission. Throughout my short journey to where I am now, I encountered an experiment that was best suited to lava, and now those aquatic ones that we just got away from. I also can confirm the deaths of at least a couple of my team since we arrived. My question is this...what exactly were you doing on Pandora, and what went wrong? It's obvious designing uranium-safe miners wasn't your only goal...what exactly happened up here?" Machiavelli left out the part about everyone new up here being a criminal...he figured that Michael wouldn't take that bit of info too well.
 
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