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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, '12, 10:46 pm
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Stepping out of the room, he found himself in a narrow hallway that seemed to connect all the rooms in the house. Passing by what looked like another bedroom and a storage cupboard, Flynn found himself standing in the doorway to what appeared to be a small but comfortable sitting room. The others were here, Darwi and Vlanna sitting at a small table eating while the other, who could only be Irale, lounged in a chair by a generously sized fireplace, tinkering with the workings of some sort of device. A scruffy young man, perhaps early to mid-twenties. His hands and face were covered in dark oily stains. His dark bronzed hair was as disorganised, if not more so than Flynn's own, the hair above his face pushed back from his eyes by a pair of tinted work goggles perched on his forehead. Seeing Flynn enter, he smiled and rose from his chair to greet him.

“Ah! If there's one thing you military types are good at, it's bouncing back from just about anything.” He grinned stupidly. “You'll forgive me if I don't shake you by the hand. I doubt you want to get grease all over you. I'm Irale.”

Vlanna spoke from her place at the table. “Irale's our 'fixer.' While Darwi keeps the rest of us in good health, Irale does the same for our equipment.”

Irale chuckled. “Fixer's really a bit vague. There needs to be a better word for it. Out here you don't so much fix things as you just keep them from breaking down. The Dezo weather wreaks havoc on everything, especially at this time of year with all the storms. Just keeping our landrover working can be a pain at times. But I do what I can.” He paused. “Oh, which reminds me, Vlanna. We'll need to pick up some parts for it the next time we're in town.”

Flynn spoke up, realising he'd forgotten to ask earlier. “Sorry to interrupt, but where exactly are we?”

Vlanna spoke as Darwi began clearing dishes from the table and left the room, putting her feet up on the table and leaning back in her chair as she did. “We're in an abandoned village about two days’ drive from the nearest town.”

“Abandoned?”

“Yeah. Before the Mota military came here, this used to be a small Palman village. I can only guess the residents found life too hard out here with the Bio-Monsters, storms and general isolation so they moved to one of the larger towns. There's not much left of it now, but we've made it our base of operations. We made this house liveable and use the remaining buildings for workshops, storing equipment, food and our landrover. It lets us operate pretty well this far out in the wastes. As far as Hunters go, we're quite lucky.”

“I see.” Flynn nodded approvingly.

Hunters were something Flynn had never really encountered before. Almost non-existent on Palm and Mota, they could only really be found on Dezo and even then they were hard to find, unless you were looking to hire them for their services. But out here this trio appeared to have been extremely fortunate in being able to operate as they did so far out, no doubt providing a good protection service for nearby settlements from this satellite position.

Irale spoke again. “It's Flynn, isn't it?”

He nodded in response.

“Well Flynn, speaking of operating, maybe you can help me. I managed to get us a couple of photon rifles and pistols from some soldiers coming through here recently. Now these aren't weapons I've ever worked with before and I don't want to screw them up by poking at their workings wrong.” He paused, rubbing the back of his neck. “I don't mean to be a pain, but since you're former military would you show me how it's done?”

Flynn smiled. “Sure. Anything to pay you guys back for saving my butt out there.”

Irale beamed. Most likely for having some new toys he'd get to tinker with. “Great! I'll go get what we have and we can get to work. Back in a minute.” He left the room, the sound of a door opening to the outside world following before it closed again as Darwi re-entered the room, brushing some loose hair out of her face.

“That's the dishes done.” She said to nobody in particular. She eyed Flynn's arm again. “You can probably take the dressing off now. Just toss it on the fire.” Flynn did so, taking a moment to examine the wound, now fully healed. “I noticed you'd tried to heal it already but I cleaned it up and finished it off for you. No doubt you were too strung out to do it properly at the time?” Flynn nodded and she continued.

“So did you enjoy your soup? I made it myself. Own recipe too.” She smiled proudly.

“I did, thanks. It's been a while since I've had a proper meal.”

“Well the kitchen, or what we call the kitchen anyway, is just across the hall. If you want any more, feel free to get some. Cooking's what I usually do when we're not out and about...or when I'm tending to strangers we find wandering around outside.” She winked at him. “In fact, I'd say it's the real reason Vlanna keeps me around, since healing is something anyone can do with proper technique aptitude.”

“Excuse me?” Vlanna said indignantly from her seat at the table. “What does that mean?”

Darwi looked over her shoulder at her. “Oh come on Vlanna. Everyone knows you can't cook. If it were up to you we'd be eating raw or burnt food all the time.”

“That's funny. I seem to remember cooking a meal for us no more than a week ago now.”

“And I applaud your effort Vlanna, really. But you can't really say you cooked a meal when you left it to me to scrape it out of the pot when you were finished. And there was barely enough to go around after I had.”

“Yeah? Well be glad we can't run a food replicator out here.”

Darwi huffed at the remark. “Oh please! You'll never be able to beat a home cooked meal with one of those any day of the week, even if it would mean we wouldn't have to worry about maintaining our food stores here. Besides, what would you do without me around here to fix your injuries? You need a medic away out here after all.”

Vlanna laughed to herself, knowing they'd reached a stalemate, while Darwi took a seat by the fireplace, putting some extra fuel on before reclining in the chair with a stretch. “Another thing you won't ever beat with any technology...” Using her toes she pushed her boots off her feet and onto the floor. “...Is a real fire.” She closed her eyes. “No better place to fall asleep.” Her voice trailed off, clearly tired.

A few moments later the door could be heard opening again, accompanied by the whooshing sound of wind, clearly stronger than it had been minutes before as they heard Irale grunting as he forced the door closed behind him and secured the latch in place.

He stepped into the room, carrying a toolbox in one hand and clutching a photon rifle and pistol in the other.

“Sorry it took so long. Damn workshop door was frozen shut again...” He placed the items down on the table and opened the box.

“Now I don't have the specific tools for these ones, but with all the kit we've got we should have something that works. Now I'm pretty much good for taking them apart, it's just fiddling around with the photonics that I want to be sure about. Last time I worked with a rifle was on one of the older models.”

Flynn picked the rifle off the table and looked at it.

“Latest model. Nice, considering these were introduced only a few years ago now.” He laid it down and began to undo the locks and seals. “Oh, by the way. You know about the older models and the problems with the core containment mechanisms?”

Irale nodded. “You mean when the core'll shoot halfway across the room if you don't hold it steady while opening the trigger assembly? Yeah, I know that one too well. Damn thing smacked me right between the eyes first time.”

“Well...” Flynn continued. “You'll be pleased to know they finally fixed that.” He removed the last bolt and pulled the assembly free. True to his word, nothing happened. “Like a whole new weapon, isn't it? Now, let's get this thing right open and get to the interesting stuff...”

...

“...And that's that for the photon rifle. Here.” Flynn fastened the last bolt in place and handed the rifle to Irale.

“Great! Thanks. I think I've got it now. Hang on and I'll give it a go myself.” He laid the rifle down on the table and began to work, taking it apart and laying out the parts as he went along.

Vlanna checked her wrist chrono and yawned. “Well then. Time's moving on I suppose. Darwi, isn't it your turn to take watch tonight?”

From where he stood, Flynn could see the younger woman's eyes widen at the prospect of having to go out in the Dezo night. A look out of the window showed the wind had at least died down a bit, but it was still unpleasant.

“Uhhh. Actually...I think it's your turn tonight Vlanna.” She glanced nervously at the window. “It was Irale last night and I was on the night before.”

“Oh...” Vlanna frowned. “So it is. Well then...” She took her feet down off the table and stretched. “Guess I'll be going.” Before she could stand, Flynn spoke up.

“If I may...” He paused as the others turned to look at him. “I've been lazing around for the better part of two days. I still owe you some for helping me out as well. I'll take watch, if that's ok?”

“You sure?” Vlanna cocked her head inquisitively.

Darwi spoke next. “Yeah. I mean, it's been pretty cold today. Even if the wind's died down a bit now, it's still a chilly night.”

“I'm fine, really. I'm used to the cold anyway. And I could probably do with the fresh air as well.”

“Alright then.” Vlanna nodded in acceptance. “I suppose you're it then. Make sure to check the outbuildings and open the doors every now and then to keep them from freezing shut. If you want a different weapon, they're kept in the building next door.”

“Ok. Thanks. I'll just take my shotgun anyway.” He left and returned to his room, retrieving his weapon before making his way back to the front door, noticing how dark it had become outside. The night was well upon them for sure. He retrieved a light from a table by the door and put it in his pocket.

Taking a moment to bid the others good night, he stepped out of the house and into the cold.
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