The Fog of Tahoe, Part 2 - RPLOG
What seems like a long night due to the overcast clouds passes without incident, but the wall of fog nearby makes everything seem uneasy. Early the next morning, Smithson is busy preparing breakfast. "Morning everyone. Everyone get a good nights sleep? If we salvage the radio quickly we can make it home before nightfall." He hands out simple tin plates with everyone's portion of food with matching cheap forks and knives to eat with. "Don't loose the utencils."
For Otto it had been quite the restless night indeed. He'd taken a shift in the night watch to try and ease his nerves by doing something productive, spent a lot of the time sharpening his weapons to make himself feel safer, and yet... there was this nagging feeling at the back of his mind that he was NOT prepared for what may lie ahead. There was something unearthly about that mist... something terrifying in a very subtle, but very real way. He bids his fellow agents "Good morning!" and once the breakfast is handed out, he thanks Smithson and digs into his meal, eyes wandering around the group as he chews his food, one forkfull at a time. "There's something off about this... thing." the coyote comments and gestures towards the wall of fog "I'm no meteorologist, but wouldn't this have blown away by now? I get chills just looking at it..." he shudders and flicks the last of his food into his maw, then puts the plate away, utencils included.
Arris begins climbing out of hir tent, yawning and stretching hir arms, the gator presently nude. The night definately felt like a long one, and the gator mildly regretted choosing the shift in the middle of it - being woken once is already unpleasant, and forgetting to bring an inflatable matress made it all the more uncomfortable. "Morning." Arris gives Otto and Smithson a nod as sie walks over to the latter, picking up a plate and beginning to chow down, pausing mid-meal to speak. "Not sure about the fog. Maybe if someone has giant wings or a giant fan or propellor or something we can blow it away."
Cerl thanks Smithson, taking her plate and digging in. Keeping her eyes on the unnatural fog, she devours the food like a typical canid, practically inhaling it. Setting the plate and utensils aside, she starts pacing nervously around the small camp, keeping her eyes on the grey wall and waiting for one of the party capable of doing so to fire up their mini bubbles again, at which time she'll move closer to the fog and try to detect any bio signs inside it.
Cameron had taken last watch, making slow circles about the camp. As others began to awaken he decided to retreated back to his tent, grumbling a little, not quite haviing a full night's rest even when he wasn't on wake and allowed to sleep. Even if he had piled enough blankets on the ground to be really comfortable. Whilst Smithson makes breakfast he takes down his tent, putting it and the blankets away so that they can be ready to leave as soon as they finish eating. Once breakfast is served he settles down onto a rock, a stump or even his pack, what ever is available for a seat so he can eat up. He frowned a moment and nodded. "Yeah, one would think it would have by now." He then glanced to Smithson a moment. "Probably should have asked this sooner, but what sort of strange messages or signals this radio is sending out?" Now digging into his own meal.
Firecracker wakes up early, as usual, and takes the opportunity to explore around the area a bit while most of the others are still asleep. When she smells the food being made, she of course flies right back to the little group, bringing her bubble long with her. "Goooooooood morning peoples!" she chirps out happily to the little group before digging into her meal. "I'm Firecracker! What're your names?" she asks between bites before geturing towards the fog cloud, "And you mean that foggy thing isn't the end of the world?"
Ebreus awakens and climbs out of his tent, "'Mornin' everyone." he says as he stretches. After stretching he dons his armor and partially plated jacket before taking a plate and eating. When Otto comments on the fog he nods in agreement saying, "Yeah, the fog is strange. We may want to have a plan in case it isn't just fog." He eats slowly and methodically not messying his hands or muzzle no matter what food had been prepared.
When the suggestion of dispursing it comes up he comments, "I don't know if Fire's bubble could support it but I could try turning into a large dragon to blow it away." Then when Fire comes into camp he just slowly shakes his head and flashes his FIrecracker plushie, "We're your friends, it isn't the end of the world. There's a radio in there that Zephyr is paying us to get." he says. He considers that for amoment, "Anyone else think it doesn't bode well that Zephyr is paying Agents to do this as opposed to sending grunts?" he asks.
Draken climbs out of her tent, stretching a bit. She takes her tin, and eats like she has not eaten in two days. She looks up as Fire comes back. "Draken, remember?" She turns to Ereus, nodding. "Probably cause of the fog, Ebreus. something isn't right about it and they didn't want to risk their grunts on something so obviously off." She says. She begins packing her tent, getting ready to move whenever smithson decides to.
While breakfast is finishing up, Smithson responds: "I have a short recording of it here on my comm, just in case someone wanted to hear it." He pulls out his comm, pressing a few buttons until the audio log comes up and starts it. It sounds like someone mixed a dial-up internet tone with morse code, set it to dubstep, and then played it back at triple speed. Smithson cringes at the noise before turning it off. "And that fog doesn't look like it will ever clear up, like something is making it. If you can shut it off, I won't have to worry about driving through the fog to pick up the radio when you find it. Just be sure to keep your comms open."
"Be a hell of a big fan to blow that away, but I too get the feeling that it won't help anyway. Damn thing is thick as pea soup. Once we go in there, we'll probably barely be able to see at all! And me without my flashlight..." Not that a flashlight would help at all anyway. He keeps his ears perked up once the question of the radio transmissions was raised, but doesn't speak up any more, not even once Firecracker arrives with her antics again. The silly pony acted as though she'd forgotten everything from the day before. Who really knew with her any more... The coyote pads himself down to check if he was missing anything, but thankfully his arsenal was still on his person. A light sigh of relief parts from his lips as he passes the time there, his glance wandering over to his mate as she paces around. It was hard to tell what she was thinking, but then again that was not unusual for her. Once Ebreus pops up, Otto wordlessly listens and even chuckles quietly once he reminds Firecracker what was going on. "Grunts?" he tilts his head "Everyone's a grunt to big Z. Pawns in their game for domination, but I see your point." he gets up off his ass and rolls his shoulders "We go in there, get what we need, then get the fuck out, I say."
Arris crosses hir arms as Smithson mentions his plan, the gator's mind clearing of sleep-induced cobwebs. "Aw, we're gonna have to go through that?" Sie glances over to Fire as she wakes. "Firecracker, you think you can fly up and see if you can, uh, see anything from above the mist?" Sie then looks over to Ebreus when he mentions grunts. "Does Zephyr have grunts? Well, either way, when you need something done right, you call the elite. Or, uh, in this case, an Agent." Sie does a brief headcount. "Eight Agents."
Cameron frowned as he listened to the noise. it definitely wasn't random and that wasn't a good thing either. Meant someone had set it up and keeping the power on and running. She knew it sounded like morse code, but had no idea how to even decipher it. "I doubt it will work either, especially if something is making it, it will just blow back in if we try and disperse it." Finishing up he set his plate and utensils aside for the driver to gather up. "Also might be wise for use to use a rope so we don't get seperated in the fog. I doubt we will be able to see more then a few feet at best." He then began to dig around for his rope, the thing long enough to scale small cliffs, so he figured it would work just well for this purpose too. "But yes, driving through that mess may not be the wisest idea, I think we will have to hoof it." The cat standing up and holding the rope. "Can either hold on to it or tie it about our waists."
Firecracker's eyes sparkle at the little plushie version of herself that Ebreus holds up, smiling brightly at her group of friends while she eats. Once she finishes her meal, leaving any meat untouched, she chirps out, "Go find the radio thingy in the fog? Okie dokie lokie then! I'm great at Hide and Seek!" Without waiting for any plans of any sort to be made, the pegasus hops up out of her seat and starts flying towards the fog.
Ebreus cringes when Smithson plays the recording. He nods when Otto explains, "Yeah, but we're the expensive grunts. So Z's got the inclination that they needed to send us if they want success." He nods when Arris does a headcount, checking her numbers for himself scilently. Take takes one of the coils of rope from his pack when Cameron mentions it for sticking together. "We could tie it to each of us. I might be able to rig our comms to be able to track eachother as well." he says. He takes another look at the fog and comments, "Too bad we can't use a spectrum of light the fog isn't visible in."
When Firecracker rushes to the Fog his eyes go wide and he says, "Fire wait. This is Z's special Hide & Seek. We don't win unless whoever finds it can see the entire rest of the team when the find it." He rises from where he had seated himself for his meal and passes his plate and utsencels to Smithson before slowly walking to the fog.
Draken listens silently, showing little reaction to the recording aside from a flinch at the noise, and nodding to the rope idea. She seems to be about to say something to fire when Ebreus speaks up, and watches to see the outcome of his words. She follows him to the fog.
Cerl shakes her head as if to clear it after trying to scan the fog with her biodetection abilities and turns back to the rest of the group. Seeing Firecracker making a beeline straight for the fog, she reaches out and grabs the small pony out of the air. "Hey, FC...how about you wait for the rest of us? You don't want to lose the rest of us in the fog, we might never find our way back out." Walking back over by Otto, she points back at the fog. "I just tried scanning for lifesigns with biodetect...it felt like I was getting a lot of interference or something, like listening to static on a tv. All the data I was getting back was...distorted somehow." She looks at the fog for a long moment. "I wonder...for the edge of the fog to be so well defined, it has to indicate the edge of a bubble. Firecracker, maybe you could stop making your bubble so we can have one person go in with the rope tied around them, and see if they can use any of their abilities."
Smithson waves as everyone starts to get up and move forward on the mission. He stays behind, clearing up the remains of breakfast and securing everyone's stuff for when the get back. "If anything goes wrong, come back. I don't want to lose anyone."
Otto takes a few steps towards the edge of the mist as well. He reaches out to try and touch it, but his attention is drawn away by the commotion behind him. He steps away from the edge just in time to see Cerl catch Firecracker before she could blindly rush into the greyish smog-like vale. He listens carefully as his mate speaks of her findings, nodding slowly, ears perked up as he draws different conclusions. The coyote was not very familiar with nanite matters, his focus was on equipment designed to function under any conditions, and he drew power from the nanites only if need be. As such, he didn't even consider the option that it was the edge of another bubble.
It made little to no difference to the coyote, so once Cerl finishes speaking, he shrugs and looks over to Arris and the others. "You heard the lady. Someone with mutant powers get over here, and bring the rope too. I've got nothing to test that hypothesis, personally... but I'm going in with whoever's gonna step up and be the testing bunny." his glance wanders over to the fog and he mutters something under his breath about being curious. He takes a few steps towards it, standing riiiight at its very edge, and looks straight up, eyeing up the seemingly endless wall of grey. What was it? How would it affect them? He had to know, and so he waited to see who he'd be entering with.
Arris extends two tentacles from either side of hir hips. "Sounds good to me, Cameron. I'll hang onto the rope with my tentacles, should allow for some more leniency when it comes to moving around fast or something." Sie then realises sie forgot to dress hirself before leaving tent. "One sec." Arris gets up from hir seat, walking into hir tent to get hir swimsuit, dress again, and bring hir weapons out of the tent so sie can get going whenever the group is ready. Sie gives the fog one last good look, before walking over to Cameron and holding the rope with a waist tentacle as sie listens to Otto. "Well, if we're gonna do that, then Fire should turn off her bubble so we can make sure our results are correct."
Cameron figures he may as well be the one to go first, he was the smallest of their whole group and he had a few skills he could test as he stepped in as well. His hands tied the rope about his bidsection and thighs, creating an improvised climbing harness. Once it was nice and secure he looked to the others. "Alright, I will go in first if that is alright with everyone. I am the smallest, and likely to draw the least amount of attention. Plus will be the easiest to pull out if things go badly." Looking at everyone to see if they agree before stepping towards the fog, once someone had the other end of his rope that is. One hand touching its surface as if seeing if it was solid. If it wasn't in he would go. The cat already preparing to summon the plates she often used to protect herself in battle as well as using one claw to cut one of her fingertips to make sure the bubble, if it was a bubble, had a maintain life forms program running. Was important to know if that particular feature was running or the nanites were just letting the life forms heal and move on their own.
Firecracker stops abruptly when Ebreus calls out to her, explaining the rules of the game. "Oh! Why didn'tcha tell me that before?" she asks, looking to the fox with a look of excitement on her face as she is held by Cerl. "Are there any other special rules? Do we get snacks? Is there a guy in a clown costume wearing a sombrero and serving chimichangas?!" As she rambles, her bubble doesn't disappear, though it does get considerably smaller in order to keep herself in it while letting those at the edge of the fog make their tests outside of it. "Why're ya all taking so long anyway? Let's go find that thingy!" she cheers out to the group from her pawed imprisonment.
Ebreus walks up to the wall of Fog, stopping two feet from entering the Fog. He scans the fog for motion before beginning to tie the rope around his waist as he looks back at the group, "I can't see into it very far but I've got a lot that'd start workin' again if I entered a Bubble." he says. He hands the rope to Otto. When Cameron mentions going into the fog first he shakes his head, "I don't think our primary medic should be first in. I'm thinking that it should be Arris or myself first or if we're primarily concerned with not drawing attention Cerl first."
In response to Firecracker's rambling he says, "Yes, there are more rules. One of them is all of the rules can't be explained at the same time. So stick close to us and listen so we can explain them as they're relevent." He takes another look into the Fog before looking back to the group, readying himself for whatever they decide.
Draken listens, noding to the rest. seeing as there are so many volunters to head into the fog, she doesn't offer. She sits back and watches, ears pricked and ready to move if she is needed. She listens to Ebreus' statement, and nods.
Cerl pats Firecracker on her head, and sets the little pony on her back. "Why don't you rest your wings, for now, Fire? We might need you to do a lot of flying soon. You can ride on my back for now if you like." She then walks back over to the edge of the fog, next to her mate. "Before anyone steps in, do we have anything we can use to probe the fog, test it to make sure it's not poisonous or cause hallucinations, or anything like that? Cameron?"
To Cameron, the fog definintely feels like a bubble, the claw making a clear cut into the skin of her finger. The scratch doesn't go away though. In fact, it seems to be bleeding a bit more, the finger starting to drip blood in small streams down her hand.
Otto grabs the rope and secures it around his right shoulder, fastening it securely such so it won't untangle and leave him with no guideline to his fellow agents. He sighs lightly and shakes his head, having expected them to have entered the fog already. Safety first? Right? Shooting a glance to his mate, he opens his maw to voice his protests, but decides against it. Rather, he looks over at Cameron and considers what they'll be walking into. With the cut having not mended itself, it made sense that if entering a strange bubble, especially one that produced a fog like that, the results would be nothing like what they experienced in Fairhaven. Otto takes a step forward and leans in, sticking his arm and his head into the mist along with his upper body, his eyes struggle against the dense fog within. He doesn't go any further, though... his lower half remaining outside~
Arris holds up hir bolt-action rifle, peering through the scope into the fog when Cameron enters it and conducts the test. Once Cameron cuts her hand, sie glances up from hir scope briefly to look over at the wound. "That's... odd, for a bubble. Actually, keep your hand in there, Cameron. See what happens when you try to bandage it up, keep it in there for a bit, then bring it back out. Will the cut heal when bandaged, or continue to bleed?"
Cameron frowned as he saw what happened to his cut when it entered the bubble. "Seems the nanites have no commands to make sure we are maintained within the bubble, it also seems to make blood flow and prevent it from cong... scabbing over." Figuring she would simplify it for Firecracker just in case. "If there is any toxins or the like, I have a few powers that will cleanse it from me." With the larger male stepping in with him he gave the yote a small nod before stepping in as well. Though he only took a step in so that he was wholey within the bubble, the cat focusing on using his power to mend his wound as well as bandaging it up just in case. Checking to see if powers worked as well.
Firecracker hops up onto Cerl's head as she is freed, plopping her rump down in her new set as she watches the others at the fog wall. "Booooored!" she announces with a groan as the others carefully test out every little thing at the bubble's edge. She flops down onto her back and starts rolling around on Cerl's head as she waits for the go-ahead.
Ebreus watches as Cameron make a test cut into their finger. He humms and comments, "An unfamiliar anti-coagulent bubble. Yep Z had to send us." He observes Otto and Cameron in the bubble for a few moments before reaching his left arm into the bubble to get a sense of it's effects upon him. He closes and opens his hand several times paying close attention to the sensations for any noticable difference in his touch or kinesthetic senses. After a moment he withdraws his arm and says, "May I see everyone's comms? I want to link them so that we have a failsafe in case rope doesn't work." And procedes to modify any comm unit given to him.
Draken watches all of this quietly, and hands her comm to Ebreus as asked. She stands up and starts pacing, still watching the others. She looks tto Fire, and smiles, but does little else.
Cerl activates her biomonitoring sight, tagging both Cameron and Otto as they test the effects of the fog. Peering at Cameron's stats, she can see the blood being drawn out of the wound faster than normal, as if the fog is sucking it out of the cat. "Cameron...you might want to pull your hand back out of there and get that cut sealed up before we go back in...and I think it would be a REALLY good idea for everyone to be extra careful in there. It looks almost like that fog is sucking the blood out. It's not anti-coagulant...it's vampiric or something."
With Cameron using her ability to reconstruct using nanites, the whole section of fog lights up, the wound on her finger not only sealing shut but clearing all the blood from her hand. As the light fades Cameron looks like she is heavily fatigued.
"Bleh..." Otto sticks his tongue out and steps forward until his entire body was consumed by the mist. He takes a deep breath and sighs lightly. "I feel all... tingly. Nothing really hurts or anything, but it makes little difference." he comments loudly such so he could be heard from outside. "By the stars, I can't see a fucking thing. I think it's safe to come in, but... I mean if any of you felt sick leaving the bubble, mind what happens when you walk in here, it might be worse, or better, or whatever. I don't have a bloody clue." He does spot a flash of light from where Cameron was, though... that was a curious sight. The canine takes a step back out of the fog and toss his comm unit to Ebreus. Once he gets it back, he confirms the setting and re-pockets it, moves back over to the fog and walks right back in, this time moving as far off as the rope would allow him. "Well come on, then!" he yells out before entering "We ain't got all day!"
Arris watches as the fog lights up and fades away. "Hm. Alright, this may sound freaky, but I think the mist in the bubble might be alive. I mean, it steals your life force and, if I had to guess, that nanite reconstruct ability just drained all of Cameron's energy to heal the mist as well." Sie crossers hir arms, thinking. "I mean, all that is only a theory really, but it makes sense right?" Arris shrugs, hir tentacle wrapping around the rope again. "Alright, we should avoid using any mutant powers that involve healing other people at all, unless it's a self heal. Want to stay here, Cameron? You look dead tired."
Cameron lets out a small breath as he stumbles back out of the fog, a now cleaned hand wiping his forehead. "Okay, that sucked..." Breathing a little heavily even if he didn't actually need to, at least in the bubble. "Seems that we are the batteries for any powers we use instead of the bubble." He also gives his neat wrist mounted comm to Ebreus, definitely a custom job on the kitty's part. Sighing tiredly as she gives a small nod to the yote and follows him in, no nice in waiting now that they figured out what rules this bubble had. "Just need to be careful with our powers and with any cuts we get." He gave Arris a small shake of his head.
"Better get moving in case that flash of light alerted anything to our presence. I will be alright in a little bit and with some caffiene."
"Woohoo!" Firecracker cheers as she flips off Cerl's head and into the air, expanding her bubble to its regular 160-foot range around her, and then diving right into the fog to meet up with Otto and perch on his head. As she enters the fog, her own bubble shuts off, seeing that it is unecessary inside. "To the radio thingy!" she announces, jutting a forehoof out in front of her as she stands, "Let's go peoples!"
Ebreus takes Drakens comm and begins working on it, finishing just in time to catch Ottos and toss Drakens back to her. He modifies his just as quickly. He holds onto it for the moment while modifying Camerons Comm and imediently handing it back to him. He then steps into the Taho Bubble to hand Otto his comm before returning to the outside to reprogram any additional comms given to him. After the last comm unit is given to him, modified and returned, or it is apparent anyone who hasn't yet given him a comm won't be he says, "Alright now short of establishing a marching order, which I think we should do, I believe that is all feisable precautions taken. Otto, want to lead us in?"
Draken catches her comm as it is tossed back to her, and listens to everyone else, sticking close to Ebreus, sometimes with a hand on his side. She watches the area as best she can as they enter the fog.
Cerl shakes her head as Arris speaks. "No, I was watching...it didn't heal the mist, instead, the nanites used Cameron's own energy to heal her instead of taking it from the nanite 'soup' like would happen back home. Looks like any powers we use are going to be powered by us rather than coming from the nanites in the air around us like normal." Shutting off the bio sight and then stepping into the fog, she tries activating her biodetection briefly to see how much of a drain there would be, shutting it back off again quickly if there was too much of one.
As everyone enters the fog, a tingling feeling can be felt over everyone, the distinct feeling of Tahoe's nanite bubble. The fog stretches in all directions as everyone moves in.
"Seven hells..." Otto mutters under his breath, the distinct *shhink* of his blade being drawn audible as it meets his hands and hovers in preparation to strike at the first thing that lunges at him. He takes out his comm unit and broadcasts a message to his team "This is Otto, shit's getting dark around me and I can hear spiders chittering in the distance. I can't tell if it's mindfuckery or something real, but whatever it is, keep on full alert. I don't like this place... over." he telecomms, then puts it back away into his pocket. This whole scene, this darkness, the feeling of claustrophobia, the chittering sounds of arachnids... it was reminiscent of something the coyote NEVER wanted to go back to. His free paw then runs over the rope tied around his shoulder, as if for moral support.
Arris begins to consciously slow hir breathing, calming hirself within the fog as sie follows Cameron's rope with hir tentacles. "Alright, guys, let's keep moving. Wait, do we know /where/ we're going in this fog? We're looking for, uh, some kind of radio shack or something, right?" Sie holds hir rifle at the ready, scanning the distance for any possible enemy sightings.
Cameron frowned as the darkness around them increased. A hand moving to his chest and taking a handful of his hoodie, as if it was somehow going to help him breathe. Hearing the words over the comms he used his other hand to unsling his cannon, checking to make sure there is a magazine loaded. "Not sure... Somewhere in here I think... Perhaps the centre?" Calling to the others in the thick fog. He keeps on following the dim shape of Otto's figure, and the rope that led to them as well. Feeling it growing harder and harder to breathe he thought it worth the risk and decided to try creating his own bubble, though it was much much smaller then the horse's, being only a couple dozen feet at best. Hopefully it would releave some of the pressure.
"Obviously the radio broadcast is coming from the thing that's making this fog and if we want to find it we just have to go in a straight line towards the middle," Firecracker informs the group, nodding her head sagely as she looks into the distance, seeing the density of the nanite cloud in the air with her Nanite Scanning Nanomagic.
As Otto starts to get worked up under her, and the rest of the group does the same behind her, the pony simply sits atop the coyote's head, not disturbed in the slightest. "You're all hallucinating. Whatever you're seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, and feeling isn't real. Not that me saying that will make you feel or see it any less. Just concentrate on walking in a straight line."
Ebreus walks slowly in the Fog holding his Flamethrower out in front of him, ready for use if something jumps out at him. When Otto radios he responds, "Strange, I hear whispering but not spiders." He takes careful note of how far ahead of him Otto is then looks to his sides and behind him taking note of how far away, visually.
Draken suddenly tenses up, and darts her eyes around wildly. She grabs ahold of Ebreus, and tells him quietly, "I smell blood. and smoke. and beer. people are cheering..." She starts shaking like a leaf in a breeze.
Cerl decides to leave her biodetection running since it is giving her what feels like twice the range with almost no power drain, and sniffs at the air to see what she can detect with her enhanced senses. Detecting a familiar scent...a scent buried in memories years old, Cerl's heart starts to race a bit. Moving over to Otto, she grips his shoulder. "Otto...I smell...I think I smell my mother! I can finally find out what happened to her, we need to go this way!" She starts trying to pull Otto in the direction of the scent she detected.
The fog is in all directions, the road can be seen below everyones feet, but even the path back to the camp is now too far to see Smithson or anything else.
Otto keeps his guard up and lets off a quiet growl as he steps further into the thick fog. Images of his past experience in the depths of the Fairhaven sewer system flash through his mind, the twisted visages of the blood sucking arachnid atrocities that had changed his life and ended his first ever friends haunting the edge of his vision, sounds bloodchilling and unearthly filling his ears to shatter his resolve, but the coyote remained unphased. "No!" he thought as he closed his eyes for a moment "A body is only as strong as the mind controlling it..." he recalls his old master's wisdom. He turns sharply once a scream sounds from behind him, but he immediately identifies it as fake. A loud snarl escapes his muzzle, fangs showing as rage welled up within, his inner seething hatred for having his mind fucked with burning bright in light of what was happening. He wanted to blame someone, to lunge at them and rip them apart with his sword, but there was no one, he had only his mind... and the nanites to blame.
Taking a deep breath, the coyote does his best to calm himself. He closes his eyes and relaxes, the idea of throwing up an anti-field crossing his mind, but once he feels Cerl's paw on his shoulder, he throws the idea away. Looking over to her, his glaze is that of compassion and sorrow once he hears what she'd experienced. "Hon, listen to me. This is fake. Hallucinations." he grips her paw and squeezes it. "Trust me, your mother is not here. We must press on and be out of here as fast as possible."
Arris speaks into hir comm. "If you couldn't figure it out already, the fog must be producing illusions of some sort. I don't see anything, I just feel some kind of ominous presence in the distance." Sie then feels Cerl tugging on the line, holding the rope firm. "Don't, you idiot! The only thing that comes before the mission is our safety. We'll look for your parents, if they are here, after we find a way to dismantle the mist."
Cameron lets out a small groan as he swiftly lets his own bubble drop, definitely not going to do that again. Seemed this bubble was a vindictive dick. The cat had stopped for but a moment, before he was getting dragged along by the larger males and soon he was walking once more. still holding his chest as he found it hard to breathe, he pressed onward. He knew he shouldn't be having difficulty breathing as it wasn't needed now, but he still was. His head shaking when he heard about hallucinations and figured it was probably that. "Yes, let us get to the radio tower, hopefully there is some shelter we can take there from this fog." His hand adjusting his pack, hopefully they would be safe once out of the mist.
Frowning a moment as he stops, his hand darting towards his rop harness about his waist. Thinking he finally found the cause for the shortness of breath. Though just as he is about to remove them something tells him something is wrong. His gaze locked onto the rope encircling his hips. Confusion on his face as something seemed off, but not quite sure what. His doctory instincts on knowledge just a little out of reach as his fingers finally began to undo the first knot.
Firecracker notes a distinct lack of distinction in the nanite density in the air as she looks around. "Plan A is a failure, looks like we'll have to rely on Plan B for the moment," she monotones as she shuts off her Scanning while she sits on Otto's head. "Whatever this thing is is making you all hallucinate and is muting my emotions, which would be boring, but I just don't feel it," she finishes with a shrug of her shoulders. "In any case, put away all your weapons, you're only going to hurt yourself or one of us with them. There is no encroaching darkness, no spiders, no whispering, no blood, no smoke, no beer, no people cheering, and certainly nobody's mother, nor the answers to what happened to her. Stay together and keep walking straight, no matter what you think is going on... None of it is real. If you get separated from the group, just pick a direction and go straight. Eventually you'll get to the end of its range. Too bad we won't win the game though. Oh well." When Cameron starts to undo the knot keeping him with the group, she simply commands, "Somebody stop the cat from untying himself. Don't want to lose him."
Ebreus tenses up slightly when Cerl mentions her mother, ready-ing himself so that if she tries to pull Otto he can keep on-track. He carefully puts an armo around Draken's shoulders and speaks into her mind with telepathy, "Stay close to me. They can't reach you." He looks over his shoulder when he feels the rope tugging at him. "Cameron, you alright back there?" he asks. When Fire suggests someone manually stop him he says, "Arris, move up. Let me know if you need help with him." He takes a breath and does his best to focus before suggesting, "If someone can KO bubbles it might be best if we all rope up and try it."
Draken's eyes lock onto something on the road, and her body tenses further, her voice becoming much more panicked, "E-e-ebreus?d-do you s-see t-that?" She points at the side of the road. She sees the bloody corpse of a Shadow Dragon, facedown. She snuggles into Ebreus' side, shaking much worse, and clutching at him, her eyes wide and not moving from the corpse.
Cerl shakes her head, trying to clear it. "No, Otto...no. She's not here right now, but I can smell her, she's been here recently! She must need rescuing! Family should come before some bit of electronic scrap, we need to go investigate and rescue her, now! Help me, Otto, we need to go this way."
The Fog seems to be pressing in, getting darker even as the day reaches it's peak. The rope goes taut, everyone pulling at it in different directions.
The coyote grits his teeth and tries to focus hard on what was happening. His vision was dimming and he could feel himself slipping. "Fuck..." he murmurs, getting a bad case of tunnel vision for a few moments, all the while he was being tugged by Cerl. "N-no... no... she wasn't here." he stops in his tracks and clutches his head "None of this is real... it's a lie..." he mumbles "It's a lie... it's a lie, it's all a LIE! NONE OF THIS IS REAL!" he shrieks out once he takes a look at the rope. It was now a blood-stained chain, the scents and sounds of his past ordeal more real than ever before, his heart racing as panic started to grip him.
"I can't go back. I can't go back!" Otto knew it wasn't real, but the fear he had of it becoming so, the coyote couldn't let things get any worse, no no no. "Everybody GRAB THE FUCKING ROPE WITH YOUR BARE FUCKING HANDS, I'M THROWING UP AN ANTI-FIELD!" he barks loudly over his comm, then with all the force of will he had remaining fires off a large disturbance aura, effectively pushing away the signal and leaving the nanites within a large area around him inert.
The fog goes still as Otto's anti-nanomagic fills in, hanging in the air. The creeping darkenss that once griped around everyone is no longer there.
Arris walks back a fair distance, letting Cameron catch up to hir, when he does sie cautiously rests a hand on his shoulder. "Hey, Cameron, buddy, maybe you shouldn't untie that knot. It's for your own good, alright?" Sie curls hir tail behind him, and from there several tentacles extend, ready to wrap around him if he attempts to try anything fishy. Arris then hears Otto barking out an order, immediately grabbing hold of the rope and retracting hir tentacles, then taking a glance around hir surroundings as the darkness begins to lift. "Wow, Otto. Didn't think I'd ever have a use for Anti Nanomagic."
Cameron was now tearing at the rope about his waist, soon getting the first knot undown and throwing off the hoop about his waist. His cannon bumping against his side as soon both his hands dart towards his thighs where the last loops of rope stil clung to him and choked off his breathing. The kitty completely ignore the other agents. Though luckily his hands still as the anti bubble is thrown up, his hands still, the knots still undone. He blinks a moment a little confused on what he haad just been doing. Feeling where his hands were and what they were doing they snap up and away from them. Though quickly returning to tighten them least they fall away. "That could have been bad... I hate Tahoe."
Ebreus holds Draken close when Otto begins shouting. He looks to where Draken is indicating and says, "No, it isn't real." quietly but firmly to Draken. He nuzzles her cheek as Otto negates the hallucinations, "See, just a trick from the bubble." he reassures her. He takes his other coil of rope and says, "Let's tie you into the rope so this mindfuckery can't seporate us." once she appars to have calmed down a little. He calls ahead, "Good call on the anti-bubble, my hallucinations have stopped."
When Firecracker hears Otto's plan, she immediately leaps off his head and farther into the fog, staying just outside the anti-bubble's range. "Shorten the range on that thing so I can see you all when we find the source," she radios to Otto. Shortly afterwards, she boots up her Light Nanomagic in order to give off a pink glow, making it easier to see her through the fog.
Draken shudders, and stares around, and then looks at her hands, raising one like she sees something unsettling on it. "Ebbreus... I still see blood..." She whispers, her eyes wide. She clutches to him with her free hand.
Cerl shakes her head in confusion as the anti bubble goes up, and lifts her nose to sniff at the air. "It...it's gone. the trace is gone." Her paw tightens on Otto's shoulder, "Just...a hallucination? But it was so real. We need to get that radio and get out of here before you lose control of your anti bubble."
With the nanite bubble at bay, at least for now, no more hallucinations come. It becomes easier to follow the roads searching for the radio tower in the fog.
Otto pants and stares at the grund, widde-eyed and visibly shaken once the illusions cease. "Never again..." he mumbles under his breath and bends down to press his paws against his knees. He felt sick... so sick to his stomach, gut-wrenching side-effect of the sudden rush of adrenaline being crushed under the weight of his inner calm that desperately tried to restore order in his head. He needed that peace of mind to maintain his bubble... he needed that peace of mind to stay sane! "Never again." he whispers, then looks back up towards his mate, his gaze filled with distress. He stands back up shakily, and lets off a deep sigh. "I'm... sorry. I just...bad memories." he shakes his head, then takes a moment to recompose himself. "Aye. Let's get on with it. This isn't easy to do, I'm basically fighting the damn server right now."
His eyes wander back to the others, comm unit in his hands again as he telecomms "Everyone... please stay within range. I'm gonna lower the radius a little to save my strength in case things get worse." Should the others indeed join him up front and stay close, the coyote would indeed shrink down the anti-bubble's radius, but not until everyone was within range of its effect. Everyone ofcourse, except Firecracker. "Uh, thanks, Arris. It's come in handy before... mostly to disarm mutants, but... yeah, let's just... let's just keep going. I don't want to hang around here any longer than I have to." the coyote nods "Anyone have any clue where the damn objective's located?"
Arris shrugs. "Not a clue. We should just follow the roads until we find it." Sie makes sure hir rope is tied well, and begins looking around for the station. "Cam, you tying your thing back up?"
Cameron peered through the fog, trying to see where the damn radio tower was. His eyes flicking towards the road and fowning as he could make out no signs in this thick grey mess. Hearing the coyote's words he starts towards him. Getting close so that the other can shrink the bubble down. "We should be close now, or we could still be miles away, there is no telling where the centre is in this mess." Still frowning as he continued to walk with the others, still trying to see where they were going in the fog. "Still have part of it on." A hand patting his thighs where the rope was still wrapped about him. Though he did start to tie it about his waist once more just in case.
With no changes occurring in her situation, Firecracker sticks to Plan B: flying in a straight line towards the middle of the fog cloud. As she moves, she stays close enough to be followed by those behind her, but still out of range of Otto's Anti bubble. "Normally this is the part where I'd start singing to make the trip more enjoyable, but I really just don't feel like it, even if it makes sense to do," she comments idly through her comms to the others.
Ebreus continues to hold Draken close, "It isn't real. Try to focus on good memories, on our family. We're here for you." he says." When Otto anounces that he's shrinking the bubble he nods and gently encurages Draken to catch up with Otto and Cerl, keeping his arm around her the entire time. If Draken will walk with him close to Otto he comments, "Bubbles use radio gear like what this fetch-quest is to get for their range, right? Hopefully the gear we're getting and that are one in the same."
Draken whimpers at Ebreus' words, and follows close to him. She tries hard to focus on her good memorys, and not on her blood soaked scales, and guilty thoughts... She looks up at him, and her shaking keeps up. She mutters, "So much blood..." and keeps a strong hold o Ebreus.
Cerl keeps her grip on Otto's shoulder, glancing off in the direction that she had been previously trying to pull him while hallucinating but staying on the course ahead of them.
With Otto's perseverence, the anti nanomagic keeps the fears at bay. As the group gets clser to where the tower would be, the fog goes still. All of it. Like someone shut it off. The fog gets thinner now as everyone advances, the tower now visible from about 100 feet away.
By now, Otto had gotten a terrible headache from maintaining that anti bubble of his. It was like a perpetual fuckshit cramp in his brain that pulsated deep within his head, and he was hating every moment of it. There were times when he felt he might just lose his control of the magic entirely, but the dread of facing his long repressed nightmare situation kept him in line. Once the tower comes into view, he breathes a deep sigh of relief and gestures towards it. "There we are. By the stars, we found it. Come on, then. Let's loot it and get out of here." he exclaims happily, his tail wagging behind him~
Arris sees the tower off in the distance. "Oh, there's the tower! Let's get to it, before Otto's bubble breaks!" Sie looks ready to get running, glancing around at hir squadmates for confirmation.
Cameron keeps a look out for both the tower and any other surprises that might lurk still with in the mist. Finally seeing the tower he gave a huge sigh of relief. Finally they had made it to their goal. Though when he noticed the fog thinning he began to worry once more. "I think someone just invited us in. Which I am sure is a very bad sign. Especially if they are the ones responsible for this nasty and wacky fog." Now wary once more he hefts his cannon up into his hands, checking to make sure a beanbag was loaded into the chamber and ready to be fire. "But at least we are here finally."
Firecracker flies up to the tower as the rest of the group trails behind. "Objective complete," she states. "It seems that this is where-" as she speaks, the strange signal is removed and the effects on her disappear, "-all the super weird stuff is coming from! Oh! And I can see you all too! So we win! Woohoo!" she cheers in her normal tone rather than the monotonous voice she's been using. "Go us! Go us! We're the best! We're the best!" she sings to the group, dancing her way around the edge of the Anti-Nanomagic bubble as she waits for them to retrieve whatever it was they need.
Ebreus holds Draken close and gently nuzzles her, "Don't worry Draken, we'll be home soon and you'll be able the restaurant with Allura and spend time with our family. There will be time to pain more of your beutiful murals amd spend time with Borneo." he says, in as reassuring a voice as he can manage reminding her of the good things in her life. He smiles as the fog lifts and the tower comes into view. Hearing other people point it out reassures him it isn't an anti-bubble piercing hallucination. When Cameron speaks up he nods, "Right, let's not let our guards down. Everybody ready?" he says as they aproach. When Firecracker suddenly becomes herself again he looks confused momentarily but stays within the anti-bubble.
Draken stares up at the tower, trying to listen to Ebreus. It is helping her not get any worse, but the blood is still warm and sticky on her hands... She gulps, and huddles into Ebreus' side, really hoping that nothing attacks them... it could send her over the deep end.
Cerl moves forward cautiously, watching all around for signs that the site might be defended by something. She starts to move away from Otto so she can use her invisibility...but stops herself. She had no wish to experience the hallucinations again, so for now she would stick close to her mate. "Yes, let's take care" she echoes after Ebreus' little speech.
By the time everyone reaches the tower, the fog thinned out to the point that it no longer blocked any vision. The clouds above can now be seen, still mostly overcast though. The front door of the tower is open, and entering it can be seen that even a back door can be found wide open. No one can be found inside, and looks like someone has been here recently as the tower looks a lot cleaner and upkept. The broadcast equipment can be found in the radio room, looking like someone spent a lot of time fixing it. Stranger still, it looks like someone disconnected something from the radio, a few loose cables sticking out and trailing to an empty spot on a table. Back out the front door, the beep of a horn can be heard. "Hey guys! I started packing up everything the moment the fog was starting to disperse!" Smithson says, yelling from his truck.
Otto was first in and first our of that tower, his nimble fingers dismantling whatever valuable equipment they could wrap around, expertly disassembling the various bits and bobs here and there, his strength proving just the tool to haul the equipment over to the truck. It was a harrowing venture, but the coyote was SO looking forward to ending it and getting his paws on the fat reward that came with the risks. "Fuck yeah!" he exclaims while carrying the radio equipment, a kick in his step and a smile on his face. When his team was ready, he would depart with them and head back, victorious once more.
Arris enters the tower, walking over to the desk with the broadcast equipment on it. "Hm, looks like it's in good shape. Otto, you're strong, right? You think you can bring-" Cue Smithson's truck honking. "... Nevermind, looks like it won't be too far a distance." Sie rubs hir finger on the desk, inspecting it for dirt. "Seems someone used to be here for quite a bit and left recently," sie says as sie begins writing on a sticky note and sticking it to the desk - "Come to Zephyr, Fairhaven for radio equip. and discussion; FOG NOT COOL".
Cameron upon seeing that something was missing of the tower's equipment. The kitty taking a mental note of what remained and the decided to check his comm radio to see if the thing was still broadcasting before Otto went to town on it. Whilst he worked he also figured he should keep an eye out for who ever had been keeping the tower in such good working order. Making sure they didn't come attack them for stealing all the stuff in the tower.
Not wanting to have anything to do with the antimagic bubble, Firecracker heads over to Smithson when he arrives. "We won!" she informs him happily, "Now where do ya keep all the snacks?" she asks, sniffing around for treats to eat while the others do what they do.
Ebreus hugs Draken close then slowly releaces her to follow Otto in, his Flamethrower aimed over his shoulder. As they enter and find no traps he begins to examine the loot as Otto packs it up. He smiles and says, "You're right Fire, we win. Agents 1, Fear-Bubble 0." As Otto carries stuff out he does a once-over for anything Otto didn't grab then follows him out. "Now we'll just need what a hundred gallons of biodeisel to move our 18-wheeler loot?" he asks Otto as they prepare to board the truck again and ride home.
Draken stares as Ebreus moves away from her, and quitly yelps at something only she can see, closing her eyes, and flinching. She curls up, leaning against a wall, and shivering like a leaf. She says nothing more, but flinches away from something every now and again.
Cerl helps haul whatever is found out to the truck and then settles in the back again, ready for the long trip home.
Whomever was here recently, they don't show up again as everyone loads equipment onto the trailer. With the radio equipment (and thanks to otto, everything valuable that wasn't nailed down) now packed onto the trailer of the truck, Smithson tosses Firecracker a trailmix bar and smiles. "Nice work, everyone. When we go back to Fairhaven, drinks are on me." And it was an uneventful trip back too, leaving Tahoe and passing the abandoned semitruck on the way home.