Long Way From Home: Rest And Recuperation

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Re: Long Way From Home: Rest And Recuperation

Postby Weremensh » Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:30 pm

Arkady pauses, then says. "I am curious about Piper, and would be happy to listen to whichever of those you think I should find most important. But we have, hmm, detected others like her, and it is all of them as a group I am more interested in right now. If you are not considering them gods, who or what are they?"
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Re: Long Way From Home: Rest And Recuperation

Postby CCC » Thu Apr 20, 2017 4:07 am

Piper takes her bowl, gives Nate a thank-you kiss, and tastes the ice cream. She frowns for a moment, considering the taste... and then smiles, happily enjoying her ice cream.

She, too, seems to have instantly forgotten the stare-down.

--------------

Zalasbra raises an eyebrow. "You've detected -" He pauses. "Explaining her nature directly would... annoy her. And, in all honesty, there is much that even I do not know about her. Yes, I can give her a name, but what would that mean to you? So, I am not telling you what she is, and - I am not telling you what she is not. If I happened to mention the category of beings among which she is numbered, I would do so without mentioning her directly." He contemplates for a few moments. "Her motivations and personality you are likely to find out much of for yourself in any case. Vulnerabilities it is, then. She has none, or at least none known. No mortal weapons can harm her, even magical weapons have minimal effect - the only weapon that even might be capable of permanently harming her has been lost for over five hundred years, and that is a magical artefact with sufficient power to unmake the very world on which we stand. Rumour has it that there is a cabal of Zemoch priests that expend every effort they can solely in an attempt to utterly destroy her - and her, um, 'siblings', so to speak - in vengeance for... some incident in the ancient past. Whether that rumour has any basis or not, I am almost certain that she has not even noticed their attempts. So you need not be overly concerned for her safety, even in dangerous situations."

--------------

--------------

It's at approximately this point that a small group of Terrans - who had been out foraging - come back with news of having heard something odd. "Some sort of humming noise, like a server room but louder and higher-pitched," says one of them. Since they were (understandably) a bit nervous about strange sounds on new planets, they had decided not to immediately investigate.

Felix and Teresa have finished... whatever they were up to (they don't appear to have found Talen; the Captain glances at Felix' collar but fails to spot any lipstick); Nate and Piper have finished their ice cream; and Zalasbra has evidently decided he's pushed the danger of finding bugs on his head about as far as he should, and stopped answering questions about Piper.
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Re: Long Way From Home: Rest And Recuperation

Postby Kajin » Thu Apr 20, 2017 4:49 am

Felix and Teresa exit the ship, Felix apparently lost in thought. When the foraging group returns, he frowns.

"I suppose it's worth looking into. Can't have monsters near the ship."

He grabs a spare rifle out of the truck and wordlessly holds it out for Teresa before going about preparing for the investigation.
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Re: Long Way From Home: Rest And Recuperation

Postby Weremensh » Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:46 pm

When he hears the report, Arkady turns towards the local knight. "Sir Bevier, the scouts heard something buzzing in the woods and we're going to see what it is. Care to come along and protect us from ourselves?"

Whether or not he likes the idea, Arkady digs up some smoke grenades. Mostly cold smoke, though he'll add a hot smoke if the woods aren't particularly dry. Besides his usual buddy Sgt Kalashnikov, if no one is bringing one, he'll add a magazine loaded shotgun to the golf bag.
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Re: Long Way From Home: Rest And Recuperation

Postby CCC » Sat Apr 22, 2017 1:51 pm

"If we run across any more manticores, I'm sure I can help." Sir Bevier takes up his sword and joins the group.

Teresa takes the rifle as wordlessly as it was given to her. Piper declines to accompany the group this time, presumably happy to let them do their own thing.

--------------

It doesn't take long to track down the sound. Nate recognises this little stand of trees - he saw them while mapping out the area, but did not at the time make any particular note of them. Last time, of course, the droning buzz wasn't there. One can hear it even some distance away from the trees - a continuous one-note hummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

The trees show no reaction to a cautious approach, until one gets close enough to notice that there are things hanging off the trees. Pale reddish, about the size and shape of a rugby ball balanced on one end.

Sir Bevier sucks in a breath when these are pointed out to him. "Blood bees!"
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Re: Long Way From Home: Rest And Recuperation

Postby Kajin » Sat Apr 22, 2017 4:20 pm

"Blood bees?" Felix asks, trying to keep his voice down so he doesn't disturb them unnecessarily.
"Anything we should know about these creatures?"

He quietly relays information to Teresa and anyone else that only speaks English that happens to be with them. He also quietly surveys the trees, his rifle aimed in that general direction, and tries to get a count of how many he sees.
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Re: Long Way From Home: Rest And Recuperation

Postby CCC » Sat Apr 22, 2017 4:39 pm

"Insects," whispers Sir Bevier. "What you're looking at are the hives. They probably won't bother us if we don't bother them - and I'd rather not bother them. A sword can't do much to a swarm of thousands of small insects. If they bite you, each bee drains away a little blood - they can kill a full-grown cow in just a few minutes, and they can slip through the gaps in a visor."
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Re: Long Way From Home: Rest And Recuperation

Postby Kajin » Sat Apr 22, 2017 6:01 pm

"I take it they're still a danger and a pest, though?" Felix asks, following his lead and whispering. "We'd have to steer clear of this area if we wanted to avoid potential loss of life to our people or any animals we wanted to shepherd?"

Felix ponders

"Can they bite through metal, or are they just regular insects that happen to drink blood? Because if so we can take care of this pretty easily."

Felix radios back to the colony to have them prepare some space suits and insecticidal sprays and bombs if they happen to have any. Flamethrowers and extinguishers if they don't.
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Re: Long Way From Home: Rest And Recuperation

Postby Weremensh » Sat Apr 22, 2017 8:55 pm

Arkady looks at the hives for a moment, then asks quietly: "Do they make honey?"
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Re: Long Way From Home: Rest And Recuperation

Postby Kajin » Sat Apr 22, 2017 9:52 pm

"Maybe, though I don't think I want to know if it's edible or not. At the very least I wouldn't try it unless I knew it came from a cow or something and only if the lab said it was okay."

Felix pauses for a moment and radios back to prepare a clear plastic container big enough to capture and hold one of the bee hives and a ladder big enough to let him climb into the tree to grab it. These creatures might be worth studying after the nest is starved out and most of them are dead.
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Re: Long Way From Home: Rest And Recuperation

Postby Weremensh » Sat Apr 22, 2017 10:04 pm

Arkady grins. "Mosquitoes are only using blood to breed; these may be the same. But if they are storing food then they probably are growing docile when they smell smoke. We can be putting on bee keeper suits and just remove them. If they pollinate, it may even be worth using them."
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Re: Long Way From Home: Rest And Recuperation

Postby Kajin » Sat Apr 22, 2017 10:14 pm

"They could also use it to feed their young, or mix it with honey for a nutrient rich slurry with a long shelf life," Felix replies. "You never know. If the situation flows easily enough, I'll try and take a live hive for study. Figure out if it'd be useful to try and domesticate them. At the very least we could use the live specimens for our scientists to experiment on to test out the best insecticides to use so we won't have to deal with these guys in the future. For now I suggest we back off slightly to avoid agitating them until we can get the supplies to deal with them from the ship."
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Re: Long Way From Home: Rest And Recuperation

Postby CCC » Sun Apr 23, 2017 3:49 am

By mutual agreement, the group quietly shuffles away some distance to plan.

"Well, I'm no biologist," says Sir Bevier, "but as far as I know they're just insects. I know enough to stay away from their hives and not antagonize them. I haven't specifically heard of blood bee honey, but then again if it did exist, I really wouldn't want to eat it..." He shudders.

The ship radios back that they have spacesuits and insecticides and even a suitable plastic container, but all the insecticides are some time past their best-before date and no-one's quite sure whether or not they'll work on the local insects. (Since the lowest hives are at about head height, a ladder is not necessary to reach them).
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Re: Long Way From Home: Rest And Recuperation

Postby Weremensh » Sun Apr 23, 2017 11:00 am

Arkady shrugs. "Hives outside the trees can be destroyed with flares on long poles. That is how we used to destroy wasp nests back home. First we should ask Zalasbra if he knows anything about these bees. That would be helping to avoid mistakes."
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Re: Long Way From Home: Rest And Recuperation

Postby Kajin » Sun Apr 23, 2017 9:19 pm

Felix shrugs.

"Lets go back and get the suits, containers, and some stuff to deal with the hives we don't take," he says. "Then we hit the area with smoke grenades and hit them with flares as you said. If we can take one or more hives, all the better."

Felix smiles at Sir Bevier.

"Nothing wrong with a little blood. You think there isn't any blood in the meat you eat? That's what makes a good steak nice and juicy. The problems will be if the honey is sterile enough to eat and if there's any human blood in it. We have ways of determining both, so it should be alright. So long as the stuff is good and nutritious. Have you ever had regular honey? Do you know how normal honey bees make it? If you knew, you might never eat it again."
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