Ghosts in the Machine - Saving the Mistress.   Posted by The Grey Lords.Group: archive 3
Cirok
 player, 24 posts
 The Younger
Sun 15 Nov 2015
at 02:00
Ghosts in the Machine - Saving the Mistress
Cirok's eyes were a little rounder than normal after Berta describes what she'd seen.  "A ghost, you say?" he repeated, hesitantly. "I'm not fond of spirits of the dead.  Much rather they just mind their own business," he grumbled, all the while moving close enough to join Berta near the doorway and examining the corridor for himself.

His eyes dropped to the nut and then he grimaced.  "I think we do.  Sorry."  He took a deep breath and blew it out slowly, revving his courage.  "You'll look out for me, right?" he asked of his bodyguard, she of the wild red tresses.

Although he felt silly for worrying about an empty hallway, with Berta's acknowledgement Cirok prepped himself and then rocked back and forth slightly as he prepared to recover the offending item.  Once, twice, and then on the third time he darted into the hall, attempted to scoop up the nut and then dash back inside the safety of their room.
Berta
 player, 146 posts
 from Ilmiora
Sun 15 Nov 2015
at 05:11
Ghosts in the Machine - Saving the Mistress
"Eequor's tears !" Berta curses as Cirok lunges past her, interpreting her nod as permission.  "I'm supposed to be warding you !" she chides the sailor, "the risk should be mine !"  She hurriedly follows after him, drawing her blade, not knowing what use it would be against insubstantial ghosts, but much preferring the reach the sword gives her.

Out in the corridor, the warrior woman looks around her nervously, stepping aside to allow Cirok a clear path back to the chamber, but sparing him only a glance as her gaze settles on the opposite door, ready for any sign of the ghost's return.
The Grey Lords
 GM, 385 posts
 The Cosmic Balance
Mon 16 Nov 2015
at 00:11
Ghosts in the Machine - Saving the Mistress
Cautiously you move back into the room with the errant nut. Turning back into the room you see a four foot tall, green, nearly translucent apparition. The figure is in the shape of a satyr and is barely visible in the blueish light. Reaching forward you can feel the cold waft from it's outstretched hands. Sadly, this apparition now stands between you and the device that stands partially dismantled.
Berta
 player, 147 posts
 from Ilmiora
Mon 16 Nov 2015
at 13:20
Ghosts in the Machine - Saving the Mistress
Berta gestures for Cirok to hurry, her eyes scarcely straying from the door opposite, until at last she turns in a relief that is but short lived as the pair find the ghostly figure blocking their way.  "Chadros' Get !" she curses once more, but much more softly as the point of her sword wavers and drops.

"It's not attacked us ... not yet," she cautions the sailor.  "For which I am most damnably thankful for I know not that my blade can harm such a thing."  She half-shivers, half-shrugs.  "Perhaps it wants something of us, something other than our lives ?"

She forces her sword point lower still.  "We mean no harm," she tells the ghost, forcing her voice to calmness and clarity.
Cirok
 player, 25 posts
 The Younger
Wed 18 Nov 2015
at 01:19
Ghosts in the Machine - Saving the Mistress
Cirok shifted to the side slightly, putting a touch of space between he and Berta.  Who knew what the apparition could do?  No sense in making it easy for the thing to rush the two of them together.

In his one hand he clenched the nut tightly, with his other he fingered the hilt of his cutlass but left the weapon sheathed for the moment.  His eyes played over the outline of the ghostly creature, and he commented softly to Berta, "Didn't Angrboda say something about goat creatures attacking the ship?"

He said nothing more, nor did he add anything to Berta's comments to the spectre.  He simply waited to see if it would respond in some fashion to overture his companion had offered.
The Grey Lords
 GM, 387 posts
 The Cosmic Balance
Wed 18 Nov 2015
at 01:39
Ghosts in the Machine - Saving the Mistress
The ghostly figure suddenly tilts it's head towards the side as if it were looking at something beyond the bulkheads. Just as suddenly, it turns away and begins to sink through the floor towards the outer hull of the ship.

Just as suddenly as it appeared, the apparition is gone.
Berta
 player, 148 posts
 from Ilmiora
Wed 18 Nov 2015
at 12:43
Ghosts in the Machine - Saving the Mistress
Her sword falls down to her side as Berta's arm relaxes.  Turning towards Cirok she is forced to lift her gaze as she finds him slightly removed from where she expected him to be, which earns the sailor a nod of approval.

"Quick thinking.  Can't say I'm sorry our ghost chose to ignore us ... probably your invoking of Angrboda's name scared it off !" her lip quirks in a tense jest.

Berta tilts her head to one side, her red tresses swinging as she scrunches up her face as she stretches her neck muscles, breathing a sigh of relief.

"Back to work," she urges the sailor lightly, taking a moment to drag the door back to nearly-closed and, avoiding the spot on the floor where the ghost departed, takes up position to one side so that she can see both Cirok working and door both, better to see trouble coming and stop any more wayward parts of the machine.
Cirok
 player, 26 posts
 The Younger
Fri 20 Nov 2015
at 01:14
Ghosts in the Machine - Saving the Mistress
A smile twitched across Cirok's face as well.  "Enough to scare most anything away, I'd say." He continued to watch Berta a few moments longer while she stretched, and then turned quickly when she urged him back to work.  "Right," he said without looking back, and immediately began examining the device with extreme interest.

Storing the nut in a safe place, Cirok assessed the next step of his dismantlement and then set to it with gusto.  It had taken much longer than he'd expected to get this far.  If he didn't have some better luck going forward, they would all be grey-haired and wizened by the time he finished!
The Grey Lords
 GM, 390 posts
 The Cosmic Balance
Fri 20 Nov 2015
at 11:57
Ghosts in the Machine - Saving the Mistress
Cirok turns back to his work. The deeper he goes the more he discovers how hard it is to truly disconnect this thing. It is one thing to remove it's housing, it is another thing entirely to come across a mess of strings and wires that have no clear means of disconnection. Sadly, now that the housing is off, it looks like the machine is part of the ship itself. Part machine, part organic, the device just took a turn for the worse when it comes to identifying what you need to do.

That is when you hear more noises from the hallway outside the door. Low murmurs drift down the corridor and "echo" into the room.
Berta
 player, 149 posts
 from Ilmiora
Sun 22 Nov 2015
at 05:36
Ghosts in the Machine - Saving the Mistress
"Tempting to have Viktor just cut it out of there with his axe," Berta half-jests as she sees the intricate connections, though she pales as she notes that some of the components seem to be alive.

"The machine and the creature are one ?!!  At least if removing the device kills this ship, that is what it desires," she swallows, stomach and conscience both troubled and only able to attempt to assuage the latter.  "But will the device survive the separation ?  What little I know of the ills of the body pertains more to the preparation of herbs, so this ... we may need Rael's expertise."

The noises from the corridor cause her to break off, raising a warning hand as she points towards the doorway, moving slowly and quietly till she is next to the narrow opening, and leaning her head forward, trying to hear though the heavy helm proves much of an inconvenience.

[Private to GM: maybe if they could shout ... ;>

13:31, Today: Secret Roll: Berta rolled 32 using 1d100.  Move Silently TN 70?
13:32, Today: Secret Roll: Berta rolled 99 using 1d100.  Listen TN 45?  FUMBLE !
]
Cirok
 player, 27 posts
 The Younger
Sun 22 Nov 2015
at 16:43
Ghosts in the Machine - Saving the Mistress
Cirok sat back on his haunches and let his eyes trace over the complex connections that still required his attention.  The instructions given to him by Mikki had not anticipated this complicated an arrangement, of that he felt sure.  Either that or Mikki had left much unsaid in his briefing.

"I don't think that would be wise," the sailor chuckled at Berta's reference to Viktor's likely method of dismantlement, glancing up at her with a brief smile from where he crouched.  "A sight bit faster, but not wise."

His guardian's next words were thought-provoking and caused Cirok to return his gaze to the problem at hand.  He tilted his head slightly as he considered, before offering his own thoughts. "I don't think removing this would 'kill' the ship, no matter how much it might desire death.  This is too minor an 'organ', if you want to call it that.  It would be more like...loosing your sense of direction, maybe going blind?  Inconvenient to be sure, limiting yes, but not lethal."

"Your point about the device itself though, that bears some consideration.  If we have to sever some of the connections rather than properly disconnect them, will the device survive the transition?  That is a worrisome thought..."

He was about to muse further when Berta raised her warning hand.  Clamping his mouth shut he soon heard the echoing noises from the corridor too, and pushed himself erect.  He stood ready but did not move to the door as did Berta, instead remaining quietly still until she could determine what was outside their little room.
The Grey Lords
 GM, 392 posts
 The Cosmic Balance
Mon 23 Nov 2015
at 17:18
Ghosts in the Machine - Saving the Mistress
A brief ray of light spills down the hallway from the direction of the bridge. Voices, sounding somewhat distorted, echo down the corridor. While you are unable to identify the speakers, it is evident that they are speaking standard common. A few moments later, you can hear the shuffle of a few people as they move in your direction. Quite clearly you hear one of them "There are two life signs in here." The pale blue light from the corridor allows you to count the 4 forms moving towards you from the bridge. Standing roughly human height, you can tell that three of them have curved swords drawn.

[Private to Cirok: The one who spoke sounds somewhat familiar, but the echoing effect is placing the name just beyond the tip of your tongue.]
Cirok
 player, 28 posts
 The Younger
Tue 24 Nov 2015
at 01:22
Ghosts in the Machine - Saving the Mistress
Cirok moved as softly as he could toward Berta, trying silently to flag her attention for a moment with a wave of his hands.  Once he had her attention he leaned close, whispering through her red tresses into one ear.

"That voice sounded familiar.  Could be friends from the ship? Be mindful."
Berta
 player, 151 posts
 from Ilmiora
Wed 25 Nov 2015
at 12:57
Ghosts in the Machine - Saving the Mistress
Berta eyes Cirok levelly, nodding her head and motioning him back.  Straightening up, the warrior woman retreats a pace, still taking care to avoid the spot where the ghost sank through the floor, far enough away not to crowd the door, but close enough that she might lunge forward and have some hope of holding the newcomers at bay should they prove to be enemies.  "I pray that you are right," she keeps her voice low, her eyes fixed on the door, and her sword point dipped, though her hand tightens on the weapon's grip. "They seem no kin of our guides.  But mayhap they are from another ship stranded here, and also seek our prize."

Her lips tighten.  "You keep back, talk to them, keep their eyes upon you ... and hope that I am fast enough should my blade be needed !"
The Grey Lords
 GM, 395 posts
 The Cosmic Balance
Thu 26 Nov 2015
at 13:22
Ghosts in the Machine - Saving the Mistress
Berta steps back in time to hear the small group stop just outside the room you occupy. "Ok boys, looks like they are right here, but I can't tell their condition. Get ready." The door slides open to reveal two rather scruffy individuals that very much resemble pirates. Scimitars drawn they enter the room. While they seem cautious, it is obvious that they are not looking to be the aggressor. Right behind the two stands a rather mousy individual holding a metallic box. "Well it looks like our fortunes have indeed changed." The mousy individual's hand reaches up and adjusts his glasses. "Not only has everyone survived, You found the Entropy configuration!" Not that the light is good, you are able to make out enough features of the newcomers to see that it is Mikkl and three of the pirate crew from the Mistress.

Launching straight into a new line of conversation. "The Mistress was attacked by some green goat shaped entities. We could not rely on the fact that you may be alive as the entities attacked from the direction of the ship here, and then also retreated in this direction." Mikkl takes a few steps into the room, taps on the of pirates on the shoulder and motions towards the door. The pirate Mikkl tapped joins his companion outside in the hall. "These entities are not susceptible to standard weapons and there seems to be no rhyme or reason as to what effects them. These three had weapons that were moderately useful in warding them. We made this away team under the assumption that your group did not fare well. Yes, we knew your group had access to many items of wonder, but those blessed and enchanted weapons of the crew seamed to have similar effects. Only weapons such as Kathraks ray did any significant damage."

Mikkl begins to move towards the partially disassembled device. "So Cirok, look like my instruction was long in wanting. This looks painful. Where are we at?"
Berta
 player, 153 posts
 from Ilmiora
Sat 28 Nov 2015
at 06:12
Ghosts in the Machine - Saving the Mistress
Berta tenses as the door slides back and the newcomers step in ... relaxing somewhat as they are revealed by both word and manner to be allies, and the moreso once she sees the look of recognition upon Cirok's face, lowering her sword to her side.

Leaving her companion to explain the situation with the device, the warrior-woman addresses the matter of the ghost.

"Angrboda and the others are seeking to end the suffering of this demon-ship," she states, hoping such words sound not like madness to these crew of the Mistress, "while we saw to the removal of the device.  We too have encountered one of the goat-creatures, first when it passed through that door," she raises the finger on her free hand to point at the portal to the room opposite, "and once more when it returned, though it troubled us not, and sank through the floor over yonder," this time she waves the point of her blade towards the spot.

"You say my sword, lacking enchantments, will avail me naught ?"
Berta holds up her weapon in some concern.
Cirok
 player, 30 posts
 The Younger
Sat 28 Nov 2015
at 15:36
Ghosts in the Machine - Saving the Mistress
Cirok likewise relaxed when the door slid open only to reveal Mikki and a protective entourage from the ship, something that even drew a small smile of relief from the sailor.  The tale of the attack chased away his momentary joy though, and he immediately asked after the ship and crew of the 'Mistress.  "Mikki, it's good to see you.  How did we fare?  Were losses low?"

He paused then, allowing a chance for Berta to describe their haunting, the plans of the rest of their away team, and question the effectiveness of her weapon, and for Mikki to offer any response he might to assuage her concerns.  Then he turned his attention to the navigational device they were trying to salvage.

"Painful is word,"
Cirok agreed with a nod, lips compressed into a thin line.  "We've spent a good deal of time and all I've managed is to remove the outer housing.  You can see here, here and here," he said, pointing with a finger to the various locations, "where the device almost appears to be integral to the ship.  More like an organ than a manufactured piece.  I was trying to decide where to go next, so your timing is excellent."

"Maybe over here?"
he suggested, motioning to a smaller collection of wires and cables routed off toward the floor of the room.
The Grey Lords
 GM, 397 posts
 The Cosmic Balance
Tue 1 Dec 2015
at 14:15
Ghosts in the Machine - Saving the Mistress
"Losses were minimal. Took us by surprise, I do not think the attackers were expecting the ability to fight back." Mikkl replies almost absentmindedly as he see's the half-organic machine. He adjusts a nob on the silver box, taps a few times on it, and then frowns. "Yes, it is mostly integrated in the ship itself. This is going to be one hellava bitch to deal with." Glancing back to Berta, and then to Cirok. "Tell you what, while two hands are always good, I have a feeling that the destruction of a ship like this is going to need a more analytical mind than the three you sent out. If you know where you are going, they might need help. If this is a living thing there would be two things you could to to kill it. First would be to destroy the brain. Since I do not know how big, protected, or even where it is at that might prove difficult. The other way is to overload the power plant. I have a good idea where that is as there was a large energy reading from the bow of the ship." Mikkl nods towards the front end.

"Perhaps you can wake some of the castaways to help you find it?"
Cirok
 player, 31 posts
 The Younger
Wed 2 Dec 2015
at 23:09
Ghosts in the Machine - Saving the Mistress
He looked to the warrior who'd so ably guarded him through the first portion of dismantlement, and gave a slight shrug before flashing a cheeky grin.  "What do you say, Berta?  Think you can keep me out of trouble if I'm actually moving around?"

"Shall we go see where the others have run off to?  Viktor at least will likely need some reigning in."

Berta
 player, 154 posts
 from Ilmiora
Thu 3 Dec 2015
at 13:54
Ghosts in the Machine - Saving the Mistress
"If Mikkl is correct, then I fear my sword may not prevail against our ghost and others of his ilk," the warrior woman replies glumly.  "Though remaining here is no more likely to ensure your safety."

"Ah, my friends must be warned, at least, both of the impervious ghosts and of the way to destroy the ship without dooming all of us.  The sooner we catch them, the safer both we and they will be !"

"Your counsel is wise," she tells Mikkl, "and most welcome - I think we will both relish the chance to stretch our legs."
The Grey Lords
 GM, 399 posts
 The Cosmic Balance
Thu 3 Dec 2015
at 15:23
Ghosts in the Machine - Saving the Mistress
Mikkl sets down and begins to poke around in the guts of the machine. "I'm not sure what works and what does not. Some enchanted swords worked while others did not. They appeared to be semi-corporeal and may only be effected by specific energies such as Kathrak's ray." Mikkl unslings his pack and begins to dig through the a pile of tools that somewhat remind you of torture implements. He begins to poke and prod a few things with various instruments while looking at this silvery box. "We saw the rest of your crew up on the main deck when we boarded. They were heading towards the skull, the female leading the way."
Berta
 player, 155 posts
 from Ilmiora
Fri 4 Dec 2015
at 06:06
Ghosts in the Machine - Saving the Mistress
Mikkl:
"They were heading towards the skull, the female leading the way."

"Yes, that sounds like them," Berta winks at Cirok as Mikkl gives directions.  "Let us get after them then," she agrees with Cirok.  "Do you think we should retrace our steps to get back to the main deck, or follow in the trail of destruction that Viktor will have left in his wake ?"
Cirok
 player, 32 posts
 The Younger
Sat 5 Dec 2015
at 01:19
Ghosts in the Machine - Saving the Mistress
Waving goodbye to Mikki and his guard, Cirok then turned to Berta.  "I'd say we just head back the way we came.  It's not far and will lead us up on deck, where it's a straight run to the prow of the ship.  That would seem a lot quicker than trying to follow a trail below decks."

Extending an open hand toward the bridge area as if to silently say "Shall we?", the sailor cocked an eyebrow at his redheaded companion and then joined her in moving out.
Berta
 player, 156 posts
 from Ilmiora
Sat 5 Dec 2015
at 04:46
Ghosts in the Machine - Saving the Mistress
Berta nods, in agreement with that decision (the armless corpse that Viktor left in the passage outside the chamber a stark reminder that retracing their steps will go a lot easier on the stomach) and leads the way towards the bridge room.
The Grey Lords
 GM, 401 posts
 The Cosmic Balance
Sat 5 Dec 2015
at 14:48
Ghosts in the Machine - Saving the Mistress
Leaving Mikkl and his crew behind you pop out into the dim blue light hallways and turn towards the bridge. You are a mere handful of steps away from the door as it open prematurely. The light of the bridge spills into the dark hallway causing your eyes to flutter for a brief second. Standing in the doorway, framed out by the white light, are 2 solid forms, larger than the crew of the ship. Thanks to the situation adrenaline spikes for a mere second until you notice that...


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