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Author Topic: P4H-51Y Echmon  (Read 800 times)

Mim

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P4H-51Y Echmon
« on: October 21, 2018, 10:42:05 PM »

 A world known only in the ancient data base as Echmon. So far not explored by Earth, this planet once fell under the domain of Isis but long forgotten when Ra sealed her fate 2,000 years ago. The planet is populated by several small communities of a desert dwelling people much like those found on Abydos, although the area near to and around the Stargate is more as you would find in the steppe lands of eastern Europe and Siberia. Approximately  a mile due east of the Stargate a sizeable village can be seen.


 A myth surrounds the mountains further east behind the village that once the race known as the Ancients spent many a time in that place mining precious metals, when they left as the story goes they left a creature known as a Afank to guard the entrances to their mine which was found in a pass beyond the blue lake. There are some locals who claim to have seen the creature and describe as coming from the muddy waters to stop anyone from looting the ancient treasure.

 
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Re: P4H-51Y Echmon
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2018, 12:33:07 PM »



"Hmm. Not bad." Denis commented as they cleared the Stargate.

"Village, due east, little over a klick." Stan pointed out.

"Alright, eyes and ears but we all know the drill. Weapons down, mind your manners. Let's go." Brian said, taking the lead. The team kept their rifles lowered but ready to snap up to fire at a moment's notice. Astrid reached into her vest and pulled out one of the scanners.

"I'm picking up some unusual readings from this. Stan?" Astrid handed it over to the Polish doctor, who looked at it as well.

"Hrm. Could be a naturally occurring mineral in the ground, something in the air, or the Ancient site listed here is generating some kind of interference. Probably to hide it from the Goa'uld?" Stan speculated.

"I thought the Ancients were not concerned with the Goa'uld. Saw them as a primitive race beneath their notice." Nikolai said.

"Depends on the situation, I think. I know in the hunt for the Sangraal, it was aimed at keeping the Ori away. We might have to deal with the same countermeasures either way though, so keep an eye open." Brian replied.

"Right. Anyone see a dragon yet?" Astrid commented with a snicker.

"No black knights yet, sir." Denis added, cradling his M4 as he pulled out what looked like a large toothpaste tube but was instead full of a confectionery that Brian still didn't know the right name for. The demolitions expert just squeezed some of the white paste looking sweets into his mouth and returned the tube back to his vest.

"I admit I am eager to see what further effects the Ancients had on medieval Earth mythology. The one area that we have yet to see that I think would be quite interesting to see is who had an effect on ancient Native American mythology. There is evidence it was likely the Goa'uld, but I think that there is more than the usual story there." Stan commented.

"You mentioned that in your paper, didn't you? I did some glossing over that the other night, many North American tribes do share the same stories of a Great Serpent and the Thunderbird that defeated it. You think there was a rebellion in the Americas or at least some kind of intervention?" Brian asked. Stan chuckled.

"Very good, Captain. Both theories are possible, the Thunderbird could either represent a powerful warrior who defeated the Great Serpent. Or it could represent, say, a ship. A weapon. I've actually wanted to discuss this with Doctor Jackson, perhaps we can do so tonight. I would be interested to see what he thinks of this." Stan replied, sounding more like a professor at a university than a retired soldier.

"The Goa'uld seem to have shaped so much of our history, it is a little disconcerting at times." Nikolai observed.

"Perhaps, Lieutenant, but it also showed that humanity will never accept them as masters. Hence why they chose to create the Jaffa to do so instead. The triumph of the human spirit is that despite the vast gulf of a technological gap, we chose to take up arms and fight them. Within us is the will to always decide our own fates. Never forget that." Stan replied.

SG-7 continued along the way until reaching the village, trying not to look completely threatening, though being armed to the nines certainly did not help that at all.
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Re: P4H-51Y Echmon
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2018, 11:20:51 PM »

<Village>

 As the team approached the village people could be seen in the fields gathering their harvest, it looked nothing more menacing than simple wheat, definitely not Kassa Corn. One man, perhaps in his late forties looked up from his work, spoke to one of the youngsters nearby who ran off towards the settlement itself. That man casually crossed the fields to the wooden pole fence, leaning on it as SG-7 came nearer.

 {Damal Al-Kasim} NPC

 Dressed much like one might find in places on Earth around the Middle East areas perhaps a few hundred years ago, Damal dropped his face covering revealing a rather hearty gap toothed smile. "Welcome, welcome strangers. From where do you hail and from where do you seek?" He said in a broken sounding English.
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Re: P4H-51Y Echmon
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2018, 08:18:14 PM »



Brian reached up and tipped the brim of his ballcap lightly in greeting as they approached.

"Greetings to you, sir. We're from...far away." Brian opened, not sure quite how to explain it.

"We've come following tales about a place built here long ago, long before perhaps this place was built. A place of great importance." Stan added.
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Re: P4H-51Y Echmon
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2018, 12:03:22 AM »


 {Damal Al-Kasim} NPC

 The man didn't flinch, for even though in his time no one had come looking for the Ancient treasure, there were tales a plenty in the Village lore of travelers from far off worlds searching to no avail. Some left empty handed according to the stories, some never left at all and some went insane. But as tradition dictated he nor any of the villagers were to impede another's desire to find that lode; in fact they were to give what aid they could in the hope that their own lives may be made all the better for it.

 "What you heard is true, though I nor any of my people have seen it. There is an ancient manuscript in our village library you are welcome to read, it is in fact a book and within it clues as to the direction of your search maybe found. But I warn you, this that you seek is guarded by a cunning beast. We've not seen it in our time but our records show that others who have come this way have. I cannot leave the fields just now, so you are more than welcome to use the library at your leisure. Go to the end of the village and look for a large building near the well. You cannot miss it."
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Re: P4H-51Y Echmon
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2018, 06:46:04 PM »



The team members looked between each other, and then continued.

"Very well. We will go there. Hopefully we can find a way to defeat this beast." Stan said.

"Thank you, sir. Good day to you." Brian added, and led the way as directed.

They headed into the settlement as directed, occasionally smiling and waving to the villagers politely as they headed to the library.

"What do you think it is? Avalon and Camelot were protected by a black knight, the Sangraal was protected by the dragon hologram." Astrid said.

"It would have to be based in medieval mythology, wouldn't it?" Denis commented.

"Not necessarily. And that is a fairly broad field in and of itself. It also depends on who programmed the defenses. And if it was even the Ancients." Stan explained.

"Are you suggesting it could be the Goa'uld or Asgard?" Nikolai asked.

"Possible, but not likely." Stan said with a shrug.

They approached the library, it was an impressive structure to be sure, and headed inside.

"Quite the place, doc...now where do we start?" Brian commented, looking around at the massive bookcases that lined the walls.
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Re: P4H-51Y Echmon
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2018, 09:15:38 PM »

 <Library of Scholars>

 As one entered the vast room it gave off the impression to those from Earth that this place was taken right out of Doctor Who. For the interior of the Library was indeed much larger than what one might expect from the exterior dimensions. The book shelves reached far into the ceiling making you crane your neck until it ached to see where it ended; the shelves themselves were aligned in such a way that your eyes were constantly drawn to the far opposite end, a trick of the eye or intent?

 When SG7 stepped over the threshold beyond the door a barely audible click could be heard from within; as trained professionals they would have though. The dusty smell of age worn books gave way to the soft scents of water lilies and hyacinth. Behind them, the opened door closed gently, beyond them at that focus point below a giant tapestry a woman appeared beckoning them forward. Even from this distance one could see she was not of the same race as the locals; fair skinned with golden tresses hanging over her shoulder. The white robes she wore stood out like a beacon if some unworldly light shone upon her. The names Vivienne and Nymue echoed somewhere in the back of each team member's minds.
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Re: P4H-51Y Echmon
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2018, 08:38:05 PM »



"Ma'am." Brian said with a nod.

"Madam, we're travelers from far away, seeking a place of ancient origins. We were told by a helpful fellow at the edge of the village that there was something here containing clues and information for our quest. Perhaps you can assist us?" Stan said.

Nikolai hung around by the door, keeping an eye on things, while Astrid and Denis wandered around glancing at things out of curiosity more than anything.
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Re: P4H-51Y Echmon
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2018, 05:57:37 PM »



 The image became somewhat more solid, although not quite. If you looked really closely you could see the outline of the tapestry behind her. She spread her arms out. "Well met fair travelers, well met." Did she blink, holograms are not supposed to blink, especially as it appeared for a moment she looked straight at Brian as if she recognized him.

 "You then are seeking what many seek. Coming here your quest may or may not be fulfilled. There is one prerequisite to pursuing this hidden bounty; you must be pure of heart and one of you must endure the guardian. To do this first within this library you need to find the Book of Wisdom." Her delicate white hand if it didn't point directly to where they would find it, certainly wasn't being going to lead them too far astray either. Following the line of her index finger 'might' lead you to the center of the far left wall of book shelves, somewhere in the middle.
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Re: P4H-51Y Echmon
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2018, 02:06:56 PM »



"Yes, ma'am. Ah..." Brian started before Stan gave him a smack on the shoulder and headed for the bookcase in question.

"Come now, Captain, we must have some faith." Stan said.

Stan shrugged off his pack and set it and his weapons on the nearest table before climbing up a wheeled ladder to start looking approximately where the guide had pointed to. Astrid walked over to see what was going on, while Brian looked on in bemused confusion.

"What is he doing?" She asked.

"Looking for the Book of Wisdom, I guess." Brian said.

"Have you tried under W? Our W, not yours." Astrid said with a grin, since when translated directly, it appeared that W took the place of V in Polish.

"Children these days, I swear. Now, what we are looking for is something to do with guardians, as you see, that is how the defenses were labeled, due to a difference in translation." Stan started.

The former Polish Army Major went into a diatribe that lasted the better part of an hour as he searched, handing down possibilities to Brian and Astrid, while Denis and Nikolai opened the door to step outside for a smoke.

"Doskonały! Znalazłem to!" Stan shouted as the two returned, climbing hurriedly down from the ladder with a large and old tome in his grasp.

This got everyone to gather around as Stan set the book down and opened it, revealing the texts to be in Ancient.

"You might say this is something of a guide to the various guardians utilized by the various Ancient sites. For example, here is the reference to the Knight encountered by SG-1 in England." Stan traced his finger over one passage before flipping a few pages.

"And this speaks of the dragon left by Morgan La Fey to guard the Sangraal..." A few more pages were flipped, "Ah. This is new. Afnak."

"Bless you." Denis replied with a grin, to the groans and eyerolls of the rest of SG-7.

"Hmm...it appears to be some sort of watchdog like creature. Perhaps a failed experiment left to protect the site here? Either way, it appears that it has yet to be killed, and legend suggests..." Stan started

"I thought you said this was a guide to their defenses. Do the Ancients really reference legends in technical documents?" Nikolai protested.

"This is not a technical document, Lieutenant Koralov. Rather, it is a record made by someone else." Stan replied.

"Carry on, Doc." Brian said.

"Legend states that the only real way to slay the beast is Lancelot's Spear of Courage. Hmm...this may perhaps shed some light on what happened to Arthur and his knights when they went in search of the Sangraal. SG-1 never did encounter them during their operation to defeat the Ori. Nor did any other SG Team." Stan said, "Fascinating, I think Doctor Jackson and I would have much to learn here. Perhaps once we regroup, I will have him come with us to investigate this site further."

"Doc, what is the Spear of Courage?" Brian asked.

"This is where the text, or perhaps my understanding of the language, is vague. It would appear that only one person had the thing, and may have lost it in the caverns that Afnak lives in." Stan said.

"Are you serious? They lost the thing to kill the monster...in the monster's cave." Astrid rolled her eyes in annoyance.

"And that is the only way to kill the beast? Nothing about explosives or gun fire?" Denis asked.

"Well obviously not, Sergeant, they had no access to those things. But my guess is that whatever the Ancients engineered the creature with, the counteragent or some sort of kill command or whatever, it is contained in the so mentioned spear." Stan replied.

"Okay. Look, that is obviously something we need to find. But we're not some college ROTC squad. We're some of the best Earth has to offer. Spetznaz, French Marine Paras, Swedish Army Rangers, GROM..."

"With a daring Air Force medic to lead them." Astrid interjected with a cheeky smile.

"Ah, well...anyways." Brian rubbed the back of his head, "My point is, if anyone is going to locate this thing, stop the monster and find what the Ancients wanted us to find, it's SG-7. We got the brains and firepower for this, so let's put all of that to work."

There were nods around the table.

"Alright. Get ready to move out, then." Brian approached who he was now sure was a hologram.

"Ma'am, where is the place that we seek located? Is there anything regarding its physical location you can tell us?" Brian asked.
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Re: P4H-51Y Echmon
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2018, 04:45:55 PM »



<Library of Scholars>

 Again Vivienne appeared to waver, as if the connection to wherever the hologram was originating from was suffering from interference; her face for a brief instant showed she was aware of it. She blinked again but recovered quickly without displaying it. "Beyond this door upon the road you came from as you head north away from the village you will come to an old bent tree, turn to your immediate left and follow a path for an hour until you find a pool. On the opposite side of that pool are the woods of sorrow, that is your first test, to ignore and shut out the voices of despair you will hear. At the end of those woods is a stream, cross that water as the path leads upwards to the hills, you will go no further as you see a deep crevice in the rocks, it is there you must go."
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Re: P4H-51Y Echmon
« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2018, 01:41:59 PM »



"Thank you, ma'am." Brian said. He took out his notepad and scribbled down that information. Stan pulled on his gear and was ready to go, his smile having not lost one bit of broadness.

"This is so exciting. I mean, this is the kind of thing every SG Team wants to get into." Astrid commented.

"That and aiding others from the likes of the Goa'uld and others. But the Russian SG Teams tended to have rather bad luck with these kinds of things, too." Nikolai replied.

"Ah, that was years ago. Besides, this is a multinational team. We're only 1/5th Russian, so that's only 1/5th the bad luck." Denis said with a laugh and a firm pat on Nikolai's shoulder.

"And 1/5th the blissful ignorance from you." Nikolai retorted.

"Come along now, we cannot afford to lose any daylight." Stan said.

"Alright, I got the directions, let's get a move on." Brian waved the squad to the door, figuring that they should probably leave before they broke the hologram. He and Astrid had the ATA gene, they had likely triggered its activation.

"So, where do we go?" Stan asked once they were outside again.

"We're heading due north up the road to a broken tree. Veer left, follow the path up to a pool, cross it to something called the Woods of Sorrow. Guess it's going to try to Negative Nancy us from proceeding? Anyways, get past that, cross the stream and down into a ravine. Glad we packed rope, I guess. And from there, yeah, guess we'll have to figure out how to deal with the guardian and find the spear. Not in that order, of course." Brian said.

"Sounds like those woods are perhaps not the best place for a bunch of active and former commandos with some bad memories from war." Denis said cautiously.

"We'll get through it, Vallois. We're a team, we'll pull each other through. Besides, I think we're all in a pretty good high kick right now, we can do it." Brian replied with a grin. Denis did not looked convinced, but Astrid actually looked a bit worried.

"Besides, what ever it tries to conjure, remember it is not real." Nikolai added.
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Re: P4H-51Y Echmon
« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2018, 04:32:15 PM »

<Woods of Sorrow>

 Even as the team made their way North the creatures of the woods stirred. Yet it wasn't the mortal physical beings that might provide any degree of anxiety for them, no, for them the test was going to come from the mind. Somehow and in some way when the Ancients hid this place away they were determined that only the rightful heirs to their legacy were to find the bounty left behind. In that several hidden activation triggers were placed around the woods and as each person passed those triggers by some device a way was found into the darkest fears of those who sought out the ancient lode. If you were not strong enough, those fears would turn into waking nightmares and it was true that some who came this way returned to village on the verge of insanity. A strong and rightful mind though will push passed that; blocking it out so that these 'voices' of despair would fade into darkness from whence they came.
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Re: P4H-51Y Echmon
« Reply #13 on: January 01, 2019, 01:16:35 PM »



The optimism was short-lived as SG-7 progressed into the woods, which seemed to fade into fog and mist. None of them spoke, each only moving carefully and precisely, their only communication coming from gestures, glances and facial expressions.

Thunder boomed overhead, followed by rain, but the rain wasn't normal, it seemed to just roll off of them but once on the ground, it wasn't clear, blue or brown. It was red. Like blood.

The forest and fog gave way to a marketplace in Afghanistan, but the sky was dark and red.

"Granat! Kom ner!" A distorted voice shouted, echoing as the streets began to flood up to their ankles in the blood red water.

"Läkare! Vi behöver en läkare här!" Another distorted voice shouted, a distant echo like the other one.

"Granat! Kom ner!" The voice was no longer distorted. It was Astrid's.

Frozen before them, as if a video paused, was a group of Swedish soldiers scrambling for cover or shoving civilians aside, with Astrid mid-dive trying to grab a child. Ahead of all of them was a man who was rolling a hand grenade, an old Soviet F1-type model, into the busy marketplace. She approached the scene and shook her head, covering her mouth. The others looked around before standing around the frozen image of Astrid's other self diving for the child.

"...I never got there in time." Astrid said softly.

"He and two others died. I saw the man who did it, but I was distracted. Talking to one of my squadmates. It was my fault, and I never admitted it." The echo of Astrid's voice said around them. Astrid did not react, her gaze fixed on the boy, his expression of confusion barely dawned.

"No. It was the man who rolled that frag, that's whose fault it was." Brian replied, stepping up next to Astrid.

"That's what they all say, but I could have stopped this." The echo replied.

"He has no other weapon, he looks as nondescript as everyone else here. Had you shot him, you likely would have been court martialed and caused a media disaster." Stan said.

"You were a woman in Afghanistan, you likely got hateful looks every day from old men like that one, you got used to it. How were you to know that this one was a terrorist and not an old man set in his ways?" Nikolai asked.

"I...I don't know..." Astrid replied with a sharp intake of breath. Brian put his hand on her shoulder, giving a gentle squeeze.

"I know you well enough to know that you'd have acted if you had good cause. People died in this and every other conflict for no reason and no one had any way to stop it." Brian said.

"This was an ugly war, and people who did not participate were made to suffer." Denis added.

Astrid nodded, before looking to the man who caused the damage, shouldered her Ak5C and fired a single round into his head. The gunshot was all they heard before suddenly came the explosion of a grenade echoing around them and the screams of the aftermath. Finally, the rain resumed and washed the scene away, and the forest returned.

Each were forced to face a tragedy in their lives as soldiers.

For Nikolai, it was a moment of hesitation in Chechnya. A teenage girl who he thought was an innocent being attacked by a group of soldiers turned out to be a suicide bomber they were trying to stop. She was about to hit the detonator, and he could have put a bullet in her head, but he hesitated. And because of that, those three men died. But the reality was that he simply had been an inexperienced paratrooper who had yet to face the harsh realities of the conflict. Worse, there hadn't been time for him to process the scene properly, thinking instead she was being assaulted. Retrospect had told him otherwise, told him he had been weak and sympathetic, and had been the harshest and most unreasonable critic of his career.

Stan was forced to relive that fateful day in Kosovo when he had been injured. The IED fragment that had not been stopped by his body armor and sheared into his back, all over a war criminal that should have just been shot and left to die in the streets he led Stan and his GROM team through. A war criminal who now was alive and well, with a roof over his head and three square meals a day courtesy of Poland. Meanwhile, Stan's rise through the ranks was abruptly halted and he had been forced to retire, no longer able to serve. But that day had been what started him on the path to become a member of an SG Team, perhaps even Poland's first to do so. And he was still just as sharp in his fieldcraft, and whatever the IED had done, it could have just as easily paralyzed or killed him, but instead, gave him a new life.

Denis had lost a trainee during his time as a jungle warfare instructor in French Guyana, during a forced march at night and during the rain. It had been both punishment for an infraction the platoon had made and as part of their training, but a young Corporal lost his footing, slipped and slammed head first onto a rock. Worse, Denis had thought the man just suffered a concussion or lost consciousness, only to then learn in the dawn the man was dead. Circumstance and bad timing were to blame, but it had been easier for so many to blame him instead. Worse was that, to save his career, it had been covered up by the Jungle Warfare School's staff, rather than just plainly dealt with, and it had been a stain to Denis' personal honor that he could not just face the situation head on and instead had to lie about it for the rest of his life.

But Brian had to take the worst hit, for his had started on the battlefield, but hit its crescendo much later.

They stood in a house, where a woman and a man, both only covered by a large blanket they shared, stared at an ABU clad Brian who had a look of disbelief on his face. And the woman had the beginnings of a cruel smile crossing hers. The echos were of insults in a British woman's voice being hurled at Brian's echos, who was so much at a loss that there was little he said that were actually words.

It was here that a man who lost his best friend in a battle that was later openly deemed pointless by both ISAF and US Military officials, who had seen so much suffering because of the nature of his choice of career was cut down. Not by a combatant with a rifle, not by bomb or mortar. But by a cruel woman who no longer loved him and wanted to destroy him for not measuring up to her standards.

The team looked at their leader, who said nothing. Denis knew some of the story, as did Nikolai, but only the broadest of angles. They had to be told something, lest they find that their commander had spent a year in the psychiatric ward of Walter Reed and thought him to be insane. Astrid and Stan, therefore, knew even less. And so the forest exposed his greatest regret as it had the others.

"You're not a man! Hahaha, you kept crying about how you got your friend killed, because you're a crap medic. I don't even know this chap's name and he's better than you in bed! So why don't you go make yourself useful somewhere else, if you even can! HAHAHAHAHA!" Her voice echoed.

"...the SFs found me in my squad bay with a pistol in hand, one bullet in it. Staring at it. I don't even remember that. Colonel Greer had to push hard to make sure I wasn't discharged, but I still had to do the divorce proceedings. Couldn't make it through, though, so my JAG had to be there in my place. I got shipped to Walter Reed not long after." Brian said, his voice as distant as the echos.

"There are terrible people in this world, my friend. She is one of them. I wish that all of us could have the family I have, there is great happiness to be found with ones who love you for who you are." Stan said.

"We have each other. This has bared our souls to each other, and now, we will accomplish great things together. These are harsh times we have been shown, but we all have the capacity for greatness and have shown to be better than these pains." Denis added.

"She is not worth a second thought. Let her remain a miserable person, because as Vallois said, we are going to accomplish things none of us thought possible." Nikolai said.

Astrid leveled her rifle a second time and fired two shots in rapid succession at the image of Brian's ex-wife before lowering it to give him a brief hug.

"We need our leader with us, not in the past. You've told us all of how we're not to blame for the past, you need to hear us when we tell you that. Come back to us, leave her where she belongs." Astrid said.

The roof faded and the rain washed yet another image away, and they were now standing outside the forest, the sky clear and the sun washing over all of them.

"As I said. We're a team, and we'll pull each other through. Let's get to the stream, take a moment to recover, and we'll press on. Sound good?" Brian said, looking to each of them. For the first time in a long time, there was no longer a weight on him. He felt restored, like something had been returned to him that had been taken. And a smile crossed his face, which was repeated by the others.

"SG-1 is about to become old news. They'll be asking to back us up on our missions before too long." Denis said as they started off.

"Unlikely. You only wish they did because you want to see Vala again." Nikolai replied with a chuckle.

"Ooh. Does Denis have a crush on Vala Mal Doran? Aww." Astrid added with a giggle. That got everyone to laugh.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2019, 11:30:56 PM by Cipherhornet18 »
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Re: P4H-51Y Echmon
« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2019, 10:00:07 PM »



The ravine was hard to miss, but it looked like it was just pure darkness down there. Nikolai set up his rifle and watched the abyss after Astrid and Stan tossed down handfuls of chemical light sticks. Brian and Denis tested a nearby tree and used it as an anchor for their line. Once they finished checking the rope, the end was tossed down into pit.

"Alright. I'll go down first. Then Denis, Astrid, Stan and Nikolai. Once we're down, we get our bearings, start looking around for what we're looking for." Brian said, readying himself to fast rope down. He kicked off and roped down with the years of experience and training he had in such things, landing onto the sandy ground.

He let go of the line, stepped free and snapped up his pistol, thumbing on the tactical light. The high powered white LED light traced around the rocks, revealing a couple of passages leading out. Kneeling down, he grabbed a couple of chem lights and tossed them down each passage.

"Clear!" Brian called out, stepping away and swapping back to his M4. One by one, everyone else came down. Stan took his time, given his back situation, but was down just as smooth as the others. Nikolai made his way down last and once they were on, Denis tied a couple more chemlights onto the line to mark it.

"So. Which way?" Astrid asked.

"Alright, we're gonna have to split up. Nikolai, you take Denis and Stan, look for the spear. Astrid and I will try to sweep the area for whatever's down here, maybe try to figure out what's so valuable here." Brian said.

"And if we find the monster before we find the spear?" Nikolai asked.

"We've got enough firepower between us. If we can't drop it, we can at least make it unhappy it ever saw us." Brian said.

"I believe the phrase is; peace through superior firepower. Let's do it." Denis said with a wry grin of his own.

"Keep in radio contact and don't get spooked. We got this." Brian said and led the way into one of the passages, while Nikolai took the other passage.
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