Princesses:Amazon Brigade/Chapter 13
<Capn_Ascii> As we join our heroines (and Frank), we find them attempting to play Frankenstein with Chuck's body. Will they succeed? Or will they wimp, jam his ankle into his neck socket, and call it a day?
<Capn_Ascii> Andrea: The cavern is fairly small, especially compared to the bear cave. It looks as though the creature, much like a college student mooching off his parents, sleeps and eats here but otherwise doesn't hang out much. There's a worn spot in one corner that you assume passes for a bed; it's surrounded by large claw marks in the stone. <more>
<Capn_Ascii> Chuck's various bits are mixed up among a good-sized assortment of wild animal bones, some with bits of meat still on them. There's a fox, there's a deer, there's a person...oh. Oh, dear.
<Andrea> Andrea blinks and looks at the person.
<Capn_Ascii> Andrea: Well, less 'person' and more 'jumbled human skeleton'. It's been here a while; the bones are picked clean.
<Capn_Ascii> Jenny: It takes you a few minutes, but you manage to pick out the choice bits of Chuck meat from the selection on hand. Soon you've got all of his various parts laid out in their respective places. Now, though, someone's going to have to actually put him back together.
<Andrea> Andrea frowns, not expecting to get anything useful out of the skeleton... but then rethinks and starts poking around for any personal effects that might have fallen off and can be used for identification purposes. Or for the purpose of increasing Andrea's personal funds. That works too./
<Capn_Ascii> Jenny: You attempt to join Chuck's head to his torso. After a few moments, you realize that his arm-stump doesn't fit his neck joint, and give up mystified.
<Capn_Ascii> "Can I maybe get someone here with *actual* medical training?"
<Selphie> "I thought that seemed to have no purpose, but let's see if it can help here." Selphie drags a medkit out of the sports bag and unfurls a miniature skeleton diagram.
<Selphie> "Man. So many bones! I'm a bit lost too."
<Jenny> "Maybe we can duct tape him back together?" Jenny suggests half-heartedly.
<Capn_Ascii> Selphie: The leg bone's connected to the ribcage, the arm bone's connected to the cocxyx...no, wait...okay, yeah, this isn't working. You're fairly sure he's supposed to have four limbs total, not seven.
<Capn_Ascii> Andrea: You dig around, and beneath the skull you find a length of gold chain. Hey, it has your name on it! ...oh, no, wait, it's 'Andre' not 'Andrea'. Wow, those names are easily confused; it seems kind of dumb that they'd be in the same scene together.
<Capn_Ascii> The word 'Andre' is made from large gold block letters inlaid with diamonds. It's the sort of ridiculous bling you'd expect to see on a rap star, not the corpse of a missing gravedigger.
<Capn_Ascii> Chuck sits up on his neck-stump. "Okay, this isn't working. Lana, gather me up and we can have someone back at camp do this right."
- Andrea holds up the chain. "Looks like something happened to Andre here... or he *is* the thing."
<Capn_Ascii> Lana produces a duffle bag and scoops most of Chuck into it. She then removes her belt and wraps it around Chuck's head to create a handle. "Who wants to carry him?"
<Jenny> "I will."
<Capn_Ascii> Lana hands him over.
<Selphie_> "Can we call him Morte?"
<Jenny> "Chuck Morte. Not quite as good as Chuck Norris," Jenny says, grinning.
<Capn_Ascii> "How about Chuck Bury?" Frank suggests. "Y'know, 'cause he's dead."
<Andrea> Andrea pockets the chain for now. "In any case, should we camp here and prepare to take down this bad guy?"
<Jenny> "Yeah, let's tear him to pieces, for tearing Morte to pieces!"
<Suyana> "Yeah! Wait, are we just going to, like...wait here?"
<Selphie> "If we like. Do you have a plan you prefer?"
<Suyana> "Well, what'll we do in the meantime?"
- Selphie peers around for an ambush concealment, or for some defensive outcrop, or something.
<Selphie> "If we wait indefinitely, the official investigators will arrive in town and Padre will tell them there are impostors on the loose and, more importantly, I'll get hungry and tired."
<Capn_Ascii> Selphie: There's not much here. The cave is small and lacks outcroppings or stala-whatsits - there's not really anywhere to hide in here.
<Andrea> "We still need to deal with this thing. I am open to suggestions."
<Selphie> "But there might be significant time before it lairs here. Maybe it roves and has other lairs too."
<Suyana> "Well, we probably can't talk with it, so...hit it really hard?"
<Selphie> "It would have been more convenient if the Thing had swallowed a water-proof, HCl-proof mobile telephone and we could have tracked /that/ over the thingy computer whatchamacallit wavey things."
- Andrea frowns. "Actually, you may have a point, Selphie. We don't see Andre's phone here..." Andrea rings up the Padre.
<Capn_Ascii> Andrea: *ring, ring, ring...*
<Jenny> "Frank, is Andre's phone number in your phone?"
<Selphie> "Andre's number might be in the other phones. Did you check?"
<Andrea> Andrea does so with her other hand.
- Selphie watches, impressed.
<Capn_Ascii> "Who, the gravedigger? We never really talked to him all that much. He disappeared not long after we came about."
<Capn_Ascii> Andrea: You dual-wield the phones, checking for the number, but to no avail - there's no sign of such a name in the address book.
<Capn_Ascii> Lana then reclaims her phone. "Ugh, it's filthy."
<Capn_Ascii> Andrea: The priest isn't answering.
<Andrea> Andrea sighs and hangs up.
<Andrea> Andrea frowns. "Our options are either to head to the zombie camp, or to wait here for the enemy. I'm not really a fan of either option. That being said, I'm not sure if I care if our status as geologists is revealed to be as legitimate as Ryan Zinke's. I don't think we're necessarily on time pressure here, we can always simply avoid the geology team. But if someone has a good plan idea, let's hear it."
<Jenny> "Nah, you're right. Best tackle the enemy immediately," Jenny says, pounding one of her fists into the other.
- Andrea nods and pulls out her gun. "Let's do this."
<Capn_Ascii> Frank gripes. "Hey, how come I don't get a gun?" Both Lana and Chuck's head turn to stare at him. "...okay, yeah, sorry."
<Andrea> "You couldn't even handle my hatchet, NO WAY are you even TOUCHING my gun."
<Suyana> "Hey, I don't get a gun, either. Don't complain."
<Andrea> "Pass the safety course first, dear, then we'll see."
<Capn_Ascii> With nothing better to do with your time, you settle in and wait to see if the creature returns.
<Capn_Ascii> Time passes. Frank hums 'The Girl from Ipanema' as you wait.
- Selphie pulls out a deck of cards, shuffles and deals.
<Selphie> "Let's play Happy Families!"
<Andrea> Andrea raises an eyebrow. "Okay, but you do realize you're not getting this deck back if The Beast attacks mid-game, right?"
- Selphie pulls out a second deck. "It's alright. I've got another one."
- Andrea rolls her eyes. "Fine."
<Suyana> "I'm always up for a card game, I suppose, but why did you bring two decks?"
<Jenny> "I'll...stand guard."
<Capn_Ascii> Chuck's head sits on the floor, holding cards in his mouth.
<Capn_Ascii> You wait for about an hour, but so far there's no sign of The Thing. It will be dawn soon; it seems unlikely that it will return before sunrise.
<Selphie> "It seems unlikely that it will return before sunrise. In which case, I might get a quick nap."
<Andrea> "Okay, but someone should stand on watch to detect the approach of the enemy. We don't want to get caught asleep."
<Capn_Ascii> "I'll do it." Lana speaks up. "We don't really need sleep all that much anymore."
<Andrea> "Okay, then let'
<Andrea> s nap."
- Jenny joins the others in napping.
- Suyana tags along into dreamland
<Andrea> Andrea fades to her normal self before sleeping.
- Selphie hits the sack and any twinklies still sparkling from her Princessship slip away in the process.
<Capn_Ascii> Chuck and Frank are asleep by then, and thus don't notice anything.
- Jenny 's chainsaw fades into magicland as she drifts off to sleep.
<Capn_Ascii> You awake to the sounds of birds chirping. Sunlight is partially shining into the cave through the waterfall.
- Andrea wakes up slowly, looking around at the cave, wondering what she's doing here.
- Jenny heads to the cave entrance to resume keeping watch.
<Andrea> Then she remembers. "Oh."
<Capn_Ascii> Lana is slumped against the entrance, staring out through the water. "It's been another hour or so. Nothing going on around here."
- Suyana turns away from the sunlight. "Turn that light off..."
<Andrea> "That's not a light I can turn off, sweetie, that's the sun."
<Jenny> "Yeah, don't get any ideas about turning the sun off, Selphie."
<Suyana> "Fine, I'll get up," Suyana says, reluctantly standing up. "We'll deal with the sun later."
<Andrea> "We will leave the sun exactly as it is."
<Suyana> "But...okay, whatever you say, mi cielito."
<Capn_Ascii> "Hey, can we get going? I'd like to pull myself together sooner rather than later."
- Selphie misses her autochef and the liquid that was almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea.
<Andrea> "Are we giving up on the beast showing up here? I don't really want to leave, miss it, come back, and still be missing it."
<Jenny> "Call the padre again. Make sure he's not dead."
<Selphie> "We could install surveillance in here, go roaming, and then check the recordings periodically."
<Selphie> "Meanwhile, there's still the seismic disturbances to investigate, and now that we've got the wheelbarrow wheel spoke key, we could go back and check what's in the crypt under the graveyard."
<Andrea> "Hmm, we do have the whole key now, this is true..." Andrea contemplates. "I don't really think all of this is unconnected. I like this plan. A simple surveillance system should be simple to set up. Especially with all your gadgets and stuff. Can I see your kit, Selphie?"
<Selphie> "Sure! I know I've got 'Motion' installed. It monitors the webcam and when it detects more than a certain percentage of image differential, it saves the last few seconds of video to disk and continues recording. We can leave my laptop here to watch the cavern, connected to the Series Of Tubes, and you can check it regularly. But go ahead and look through what I've brought with me." Selphie hands over her sportsbag.
<Jenny> "What good is knowing the Thing has come back here, if we're too far away to fight it?" Jenny complains.
<Andrea> "Well. We'd get a look at it."
<Jenny> "We already got a look at it. On Chuck's phone," Jenny points out.
<Selphie> "We'd know it's in residence and that it's time to come back here. Now we know where here is, that'll be a lot quicker than before."
- Andrea looks at Chuck's phone again.
- Jenny grumbles some more and hopes the Thing arrives before they leave, so she can get a fight in.
<Capn_Ascii> Andrea: The photo in question is blurry from the akward angle, but it certainly looks like a Thing. It's about the size of a delivery truck, with a hunched posture, greyish skin, small beady eyes, and a very large, very toothy mouth. Any further details are impossible to discern.
<Selphie> "Do a Google Image search of it!"
<Andrea> "Worth a shot," Andrea mutters, and tries exactly this, not really expecting it to do anything.
<Selphie> "Google knows everything. Google IS the Intawebs."
<Capn_Ascii> Andrea: You give it a try, but aside from the fact that the photo looks remarkably similar to the poster of some low-budget 70s horror flick you've never heard of, you don't learn anything useful.
<Andrea> Andrea uses Selphie's laptop to set up a tunnel between it and her laptop, then loads Motion and connects it on port 22. Andrea can now see anything Selphie's laptop sees. Selphie's laptop is then pared down to minimal functions to save battery, though keeping the Internet connection open to allow for the tunnel, and hidden in a corner.
<Capn_Ascii> Andrea: Congraturation, you now have a working remote camera. At least until the battery dies, which won't be for a day or so by your reckoning.
- Selphie watches, chewing a deluxe designer muesli bar, like a "Granola Bar"
<Capn_Ascii> Anywho, camera planted. You hope the Thing doesn't have a anti-spyware software.
<Andrea> "Let's drop the zombies off at their camp, then head down to the GY. Assuming the beast doesn't show back up by then."
- Jenny gives one last hopeful look around for the Thing before tromping off after Andrea.
<Selphie> "OK team! So if we're going to go and check out the graveyard crypts before the official delegates arrive, we'd better head off soon. And yeah, keeping the zombies out of sight is a good call."
<Selphie> "Hopefully el Padre isn't a zombie by now. That would be hard to explain."
<Andrea> "Indeed. Nonetheless, let's head out," Andrea makes to begin doing so.
<Selphie> "I wish I had brought my Segway with me. I'm not used to all this walking. Hey, why didn't you guys bring your Segways?"
<Andrea> "Uh..." Andrea looks away from Selphie.
<Jenny> "What's a Segway? Isn't that, like, when you change the subject or something?"
<Suyana> "I thought it was a restaurant chain."
<Jenny> "Like Taco Bell?"
<Suyana> "Yeah. I wouldn't want to eat at Taco Bell OR Segway's, though."
- Selphie shakes her head. "Well, next time we're going treking on one of these adventures, let's all bring our Segways. It would make returning to the scene of the Thing so much quicker and easier."
<Andrea> "I don't think any of us have those things."
<Selphie> "Fitness addicts" Selphie mutters under her breath as she stumbles toward the door having slept on something considerably less comfortable than her synthmoulding hydrobed.
<Capn_Ascii> Speaking of segues... ---END SESSION---