Sunday, December 3, 2017

The Uncounted Calamities - Airship Lost - Sessions Four and Five

[The camera comes on viewing Aeryn Lee's cheerful face as she walks around the corridors of the
ship.]

So, it's been about two or three days since we came here. Maybe four. Hard to say, it's always sort of the same right now. But look at that.

[The camera pans about to view the outside of the ship where it is half in and half out of the atmosphere of the shard below. The result is a sky that is broken between the familiar blue of an Earth like space and the endless grey nothing of the void. The camera swings back around to Aeryn.]

It's a little bit intense and so far a lot of people haven't realized we're not on Earth anymore. I guess it's sort of like that old song goes, "The Nile isn't just a river in Egypt." Or is that a saying. Well, anyway, people still think we're over Australia or something.

Oh, speaking of Egypt, I have to show you this.


[She breaks into a run, the camera at her side and swinging as she moves through the corridors chattering about something cool. For a brief moment, the camera catches sight of something outside the window in the distance. A small speck of something familiar. But then she's swinging it around again and turning a corner. Finally she stops and directs her camera out toward the helipad.]

That's the ship's helicopter. It's an Egyptian Jinn. I mean, I know it's like the most common kind of helicopter and such, but this is the closest I've been to one ever.

Usually, they've kept passengers a bit off the lists, but since I help out with documenting things, I get to go in.

[Her tone of voice is whispered as she says this and there is a slight waver to the camera as if she were looking left and right in case anybody was watching her. But then she steps in and starts climbing into the passenger space of the helicopter and sitting down.]

I think they're thinking about using this to transport people to and from the place below us. Isn't it cool?

This way, Miss Newell doesn't get tired from teleporting everybody up and down.

Let me see.

[Aeryn sets the camera down on the seat and starts climbing forward to poke around the pilot's co-pilot's seats. The camera frame is filled with the unflattering image of the small of her back for a bit before the camera tumbles off and lands on the floor of the helicopter with a solid thunk.]

I've been playing around with a magnetic mounting. We'll see how it goes and...oh...I forgot something. Well....huh...where'd the camera...oh, well. I'm coming right back anyway. I'll let you run for now. I'll be back in a couple of minutes.

[Aeryn is seen slipping out of the passenger compartment and turning to wave at the helicopter, and presumably the camera, but rushing back to heal and recover. A few minutes later, a small group of people start climbing into the helicopter. This includes Amaya, Rudyard Holt, Lydia, and one of the pilots.]

"Okay, we're just going to go in, land and collect the materials we need before getting back out. No, tarrying too long."

"Don't worry Mr. Holt. I don't want to stay down there any longer than I have to."

"Good, Ms Locheia-Turan, do you think you keep aware of any dangerous creatures heading our way?"

"Yeah, I'll have us ready for that."

[The camera gets a good view out the door past everyone's feet and legs as the sound of them buckling their seat belts is heard. The engine starts revving up and then the helicopter is lifting up into the air. Coming down into the sky of the shard below.]

"We need charcoal and some plants, so maybe head to one of the burned out areas?"

"Sounds good."

[As the pilot directs them out and twists the helicopter in the desired location, the camera catches the sweeping view of the trees below. Something is moving in the leaves, barely visible through the thick tree cover. The kitsune apparently also notices.]

"Umm...something's following us."

"Where is it?"

"Over there, it looks a bit like a green chocobo."

"That's the cockatrice. Quite a bit bigger than the that appeared on Earth in the past. Fast two, it's trying to keep pace with us."

"Should we shoot it?"

"Try to force it to go out in the open, it might give up."

"Right, Kellers, cut across the burn patch and bring us down on the far side when I tell you. I want to make sure the thing doesn't follow us."

"Yes sir, Mr. Holt."

[The camera loses sight of the pursuing cockatrice as the helicopter maneuvers. But it catches the image of the Sol Suna's hull which is slowly fading from view. Eventually, the helicopter comes to a landing in a wide patch of burned trees perhaps a mile or two in diameter. Amaya steps out, black-furred ears and tails swishing in nervous excitement, as she starts investigating the trees and ash all around them. In the distant sky past them, another image of the Sol Suna is forming.]

"I got what we need."

"Then let's get out of here."

[Everybody piles back into the helicopter and buckles up again. In less than five minutes, they're back up into the air and making for the Sol Suna in the distance. With vague chatter going on between the passengers. They start turning toward the direction of the Sol Suna, directing the camera to look out the side again. They're landing relatively soon and stepping out of the helicopter.]

"Well, now I can get started on fixing the filters."

[The four people leave, moments before the entirety of the Sol Suna in the camera frame seems to flicker out of existence just momentarily.]

[There is a flicker signifying a footage splice as Aeryn comes back into view with slightly lower picture quality.]

Hi, it's me again. I'm on my tablet because I don't have my camera. But...just a moment, let me...there we go...

[The scene from the camera, showing the empty helipad, comes back on and is shuffled to half the screen as the view from Aeryn's tablet camera fills the other half showing her face.]

So, the camera is broadcasting that image. Which means it should be in the helicopter pad with the helicopter, but....

[The view pans around to show the helipad but without any visible of helicopter before Aeryn looks back into it.]

Maybe the camera is replaying old footage on a loop or something? But it's showing the helipad and well, there's no helicopter.

[Aeryn starts walking through the corridors, having to dodge around people as she does so. Mostly due to not paying attention rather than due to any lack of skill. Aeryn talks a bit about the puzzle, which she seems most eager and excited about, before reaching the security office where Aislin is speaking to Captain Fry about making safe places below.]

Excuse me, there's a problem with my camera.

"What is that, Miss Lee? I have rather important things to consider."

Well, it's broadcasting from the helicopter, but the helicopter is not there.

"Yes, I believe Mr. Holt took some of the others out to recover materials to fix the environmental filters."

No, no, I mean, look, the footage here says that the helicopter is back, but it's not.

"Let me see your device."

[The tablet shows Aislin holding out her hand before accepting the tablet from Aeryn. The heavily tattooed Demoness looks into it, apparently ignoring her own visage or perhaps just not seeing it, and examining the sight of the helipad. She looks intently at both images before looking out of the window.]

"Captain, forgive me if I'm wrong, but is that a second Sol Suna out the window in that direction?"

[Captain Fry comes into frame and frowns as she looks out a window toward a distant shape.]

"It certainly seems to be."

[There is a long sigh from Aislin.]

"I suppose we'll have to go look into that. Mind if I borrow this tablet, Miss Lee?"

I....uh...guess?

"Good. Captain, given that two-thirds of the people who have the skills we need to survive are over there, I think I should go look into it."

"That certainly has my vote."

[There is another footage splice flicker as the screen separates into three parts. One showing Aislin meditating in a circle that is slowly glowing a deeper red. The other shows the empty helipad and Aeryn Lee.]

So I'm on my phone now. That's the tablet, that's the camera.

[Aeryn' points to places on the screen. Though the cell-phone camera only records a massive finger taking up the whole of the third screen in the set.]

We're just waiting for Aislin to set out to the other Sol Suna. She hasn't said much about how there's another Sol Suna yet, but I'll bet we'll be getting answers soon enough.

[Aislin steps forward and picks up the tablet, mostly unconcerned with it's use as a camera as her hand covers the live feed. The soft sound of the Demoness teleporting is heard before she adjusts the hand holding the tablet and revealing herself to have teleported into Lydia's room. The Goddess doesn't seem to be surprised at all.]

"Okay, so do you have any idea about what's going on?"

"There appears to be some sort of fake ship. Maybe some sort of defense thing. Can you find the rest of the people that went out with you?"

"Yeah give me a moment."

[The tablet doesn't have a very good image of the Goddess or the Demoness holding it though it catches some sign of Lydia's soft blue glow as she concentrates.]

"Okay, wow. The entire ship is flooded with intent and desire. I was just talking to one of the illusory crew too and the mind behind this is old. Like Urd levels of old."

"So hopefully not millions of years at least. Right, let's go to the closest person. I'll set it up so we can use the tablet to track back to Miss Lee's camera on the helicopter."

"You know how trigger tracking on that thing?"

"Of course, it's a simple sympathetic enchantment."

[Aeryn's face on the cell phone screen snorts a bit.]

Or you could just use the programs.

[The image on the tablet is a bit disjointed as Aislin carries it through the corridors following Lydia. The image from the camera flickers briefly as walls turn transparent and in the distance there's the view of Amaya and Rudyard falling through the floor of the bridge into what looks to be the arcade before the illusion repairs itself.]

Wait, what was that? Miss Newell? Miss Newell I just saw Amaya and Chief Holt. Miss Newell?

Hey, I think you've muted the speaker on the tablet.

Miss Newell, if you could just turn the sound back on.

There's something important I have to tell you. Can you hear me? The sound's not on. You turned off the sound on accident.

[Aislin and Lydia come to a door after numerous twisting passages that clearly wear on their patience and open it. Pass the other side of the door is what seems to be an upside down room as Kellers, the pilot, is standing there looking at his book in confusion before glancing across to the door from where he is sitting on a floor that should be the ceiling.]

"What the hell?"

"You know what? I'm getting a bit tired of this nonsense."

[Suddenly, the entire image blasts away with a tinge of red energy at the edges. Lydia grabs hold of something while Aislin pushes off toward Kellers and gives him a sort of backpack device with a mask to breathe through before they land back away from the center of the room. It's hard to get a good view given how haphazardly Aislin is holding the tablet.]

Where'd that come from?

[Aislin turns and probably looks toward Lydia, though it's hard to tell with no faces appearing on screen.]

"Okay, just point me at the heart of this. I'll open us a path."

"It's that way."

[The camera doesn't catch Lydia pointing, but soon the illusory walls are blowing apart in front of the Demon of Vacuum as she walks forward toward the center of the situation. The illusions beneath their feet seem more resilient and secure as they eventually burst into the engine room...or what should be the engine room. Instead, through the gaps of Aislin's fingers, Aeryn can see what looks to be a beautiful if bizarre Japanese Zen garden with dozens of bonsai plants being watered by a fox-headed woman with nine tails. Akiko, rather than Amaya, and Rudyard are present and speaking as Aislin appears.]

"Can you get us home?"

"Well, god-daughter. I'm not even really here."

"How about just directing us back to the helicopter?"

"Well, your friend there can lead you the way."

[The woman with the full fox's head gestures toward where Aislin is with a wide, toothy smile.]

"But let's make this a game. I'm going to start directing my attention elsewhere and this ship will start to fall apart. If you can make it to the helicopter in time through the maze. Then you win."

"You are proving every ounce of your reputation, Uncounted."

"I know."

[The fox-woman's voice is cheerful as she smiles and vanishes, followed swiftly by the illusion starting to disappear. The group starts running for the helicopter. Aislin trying to disperse illusory but telekinetically reinforced walls in the way and Akiko trying to rework the illusions to their benefit as Lydia and Rudyard keep track of where things area in relation to them. The time cuts close, but they are quickly in the helicopter and flying away as the second Sol Suna disappears out from under them. As they come back to the real Sol Suna and Aislin steps off the copter, it's clear her eyes are bleeding and she's stumbling from the various psychic efforts she's made to keep air for the helicopter to move through and for them to breathe.]



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