Solitude

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Annasiel
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Re: Solitude

Post by Annasiel » Thu Aug 30, 2018 11:19 pm

After an hour of telemetry recording, her eyes began to hurt. That was the biggest issue with these low cycle CRTs; they had an annoying tendency to cause headaches from prolonged use. Not that her ones in the lab back home were much better, but at least she couldn't actually see the refresh rate without trying to look for it. Rubbing at the spot behind her eyes, she leaned back in the chair, the spring groaning in retaliation. This poor excuse of an ergonomic monstrosity wasn't really helping, either. Maybe she could take a walk around the compound, or maybe just take a nap -- the barbiturates were really settling into her system now, making her every movement sluggish and tired.

Or maybe...

On a whim, she tabbed away from the telemetry screen, pulling up the main console.

_____ _ _ ___ ___ _ _____
(_ _) || || \ \ / / | | | ___)
| | | \| |/ |\ v /| |_| | |_
| | \_ _/ > < | _ | _)
| | | | / ^ \| | | | |___
|_| |_| /_/ \_\_| |_|_____)
Tyche Enterprises© and Reyn Dimo
DATOSk and all related software is a copyright of Tyche Enterprises©
All rights reserved, patent pending.


:Query?> statdiog
Running statistical diagnostics.
:Timeframe?> t/1h
There has been no significant sensor data over the past 1h.
:Query?> statdiog out
Printing visualization.
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:Query?> statdiog telshoot *
Statistical diagnostics fully functional. Running sensor diagnostics.
Sensor A1 is fully functional.
Sensor A3 is fully functional.
Sensor B5 is fully functional.
Sensor C2 is fully functional.
Sensor C3 is fully functional.
No significant sensor deviations on record.
No telemetry on record.
:Query?>Image

Shi- darnit. Either the diagnostics sensors were skewed, and telemetry troubleshooting to boot, or the radio mishap from before had nothing to do with solar radiation. Frantically, her mind searched for some other potential explanation. Misdirected radio feed? Power on the "quarantined" parts of the ship was down, but it was still operational enough for some sort of equipment to still be running. Maybe a transmitter the old crew left behind.

It would be beneficial to tell the jackal.

She didn't want to, she didn't want to need to, but the girl probably new radio maintenance better than her. She needn't actually rely on her for any leadership skills, just use her knowledge to supplement Sable's own, vast toolbox of skills. The issue was most likely insignificant, but still -

Something about it made her feel uneasy.

Those were voices.

Trying to hide her discomfort behind a stoic, stern face, she rose from her seat and began to seek out Blair.
Alone she drifts from ancient mists
Nary a candle, nary a wish
But in the wont of wandering paths
Through wooded knolls, and windworn crags
She seeks a face she thought as friend
But now -- she thinks as judgement's end

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Re: Solitude

Post by Quirbles » Fri Sep 07, 2018 3:34 am

Blair, for the better half of her time in pleasant solitude, had been liberally drinking from the bottle of Jack Daniels she'd taken from the refrigerator. The little stint with Sable had long since faded from her mind in a fog of drunken haziness, replaced with thoughts of further repairs upon her shortwave radio. Contrary to what would commonly be thought, the aviatrix worked very well whilst wistfully intoxicated.

The main reason for said wistfulness had to be her predicament aboard this ship. Stuck with one other person, and it had to be a woman like Dr. Aronowitz. What were some good names she could use later?

"Aronoshits. Aro-No-Wits. Jew— God no, that's distasteful, Blair, for God's sake..." The pilot mumbled under her breath while working, her Irish accent thickening under the duress of alcohol. Such a change in her tone reflected a conscious effort to make her words clearer; come to think of it, she rarely did so around her peers. Maybe Sable was getting to her a little more than she should have.

Hearing footsteps approaching, Blair grunted.

"Aye, speak of the devil and shae'll appear— what d'y'want, Sable?" The aviatrix called out, her words imperceptibly slurring. Correction— barely slurring.

Noticeably slurring, but not in her mind.

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Re: Solitude

Post by Annasiel » Tue Oct 23, 2018 1:58 am

Sable paused when she heard the noticeable slur in her coworker's (subordinate's) speech, blinking twice. For a moment, all thoughts of the concerning telemetrics left her mind, and she poised to lay on another helping of fresh criticisms. If only the jackal didn't attract judgement like a pile of mule refuse attracted flies. But no, she needed the drunk idiot.

"Stop playing with your toys and getting drunk," she snapped curtly, folding her arms. Instinctively, her foot began tapping, hard sole clinking against the metal floor. "This is no time for Irish antics. We have an issue."

God be, of course she had to be drunk, and right when she needed her, too.

"If your alcoholism impedes your ability to do your job, I will not hesitate to report you and request a replacement." At least this depravity gave her reason to voice what she'd always been planning to do. Maybe now, the jackal would feel the weight of imminent unemployment looming over her head, and act a bit more like a respectable human instead of a red-headed dog. That would be amenable. With a huff and a toss of her thick, wavy hair, the shorter woman stalked over to the table, arms still tightly crossed.

"But that is not the reason I have come. There is an issue with our telemetrics." She paused. "Telemetry is the information our computers gather from the various hardware components for troubleshooting. I apologize for using words above your pay grade. It is sometimes difficult for me to interact with the less educated. Now, the information the computers show there was no solar activity on a large enough scale to merit radio interference, so naturally it is my first assumption the sensors are malfunctioning. You are to check on them and make sure they are functioning properly."
Alone she drifts from ancient mists
Nary a candle, nary a wish
But in the wont of wandering paths
Through wooded knolls, and windworn crags
She seeks a face she thought as friend
But now -- she thinks as judgement's end

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Re: Solitude

Post by Quirbles » Thu Oct 25, 2018 3:28 am

Words. Words spilled from the doctor's mouth, swirling around Blair's mind in a flurry of information and insults. Telemetry. Can't use big words around her. Stupid. Calling her stupid. Playing with toys. Getting drunk. Dulling the pain. Pain. Blair was in pain. Using words above her pay grade. All she'd need to do is pay tribute. Difficulty with acting around the less educated. To stop the pain. Solar interference. An offering. It needed tribute, and then the pain would dull. Check if the sensors were working fine.

The redhead blinked once. Twice.

"S-sensors. Yeah. I'll check on'em."

Wordlessly, Blair stood from her cooler and moved to the airlock gates for the satellite and sensor away, her eyes narrowed.

The lever for the airlock was pulled. The EVA suits were on the outside of the chamber, for obvious safety reasons, but prep time would be saved if she did two things at once. The bulky, reflective suit was equipped and the fishbowl helmet was donned, darkening the edges of Blairs face in a near-opaque fashion. The oxygen tank and scrubbers were on the back, as was standard design. A tube, not unlike a fire hose in appearance, was attached to the back of the suit and fed into the wall in which the EVA suit once rested; its purpose was two fold: to secure the suit to the ship in the event of dislocation, and to feed oxygen into the suit. It was her lifeline, and though she vastly preferred portable oxygen tanks, it seemed like the shithole she got employed on decided to be cheap.

Fuckin' great.

"There'll be another line on the outside of the ship. Because I can't drag a hose through airlock with me, I'll have to rely on the outside hose access. Once I'm attached, if I hit the emergency sequence on my suit, reel me in. If I hit the emergency sequence for the sensors, reel me in. Anything goes wrong, reel me in. Don' feel like dyin' in the cold vacuum of space," Blair explained, muttering the last part to herself as she detached the on-board oxygen line from the back of her tank. Barely enough air to last her out there, but enough to keep her alive before she reattached outside.

The doors behind her closed and the chamber hissed as it was depressurized. The second set in front of her opened and she stepped out onto the grated platform of the outside hull, looking for the oxygen line access and plodding over to it once she'd located the damn thing.

Alright.

No sound. Nothing but the scrape of the suit off of itself and her labored breathing as the oxygen levels dwindled.

Relax.

The oxygen line fit into the back of the tank with an affirmative click and the rush of breathable air calmed her somewhat.

Probably isn't anything wrong with these fuckin' sensors, is there?

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Re: Solitude

Post by Annasiel » Thu Oct 25, 2018 3:50 am

As much as Sable tried to convince herself allowing a drunk woman out onto the catwalk bore no negligence on her part, she still couldn't help but feel a pang of guilt while Blair opened the hatch and donned the exosuit. It was for this, perhaps, that she didn't lambast the jackal for opening the airlock before getting suited, but instead stood silently back, one hand on the dusty radio set hanging on the wall. It wasn't until the door hissed shut that Sable turned her attention fully to the console, trying to make heads or tails of the antiquated rubbish.

She pressed a large button on the side of the panel, and tried to speak.

"Testing. Testing."

Nothing. Groaning under her breath, she tried wiggling a few of the switches, then pressed the button again. A screech of static erupted out of the speaker before withering into a serpentine hiss.

"Testing."

Her own voice echoed back. One way communication, but it would have to do. Blair had her little emergency sequence if she got into trouble, and it wasn't clear how many opportunities she'd get to give the jackal orders without getting poison in return.

"Alright. I believe I am getting through. Now, listen closely, ignoramus, because I will not know if my words need repeating to make their way into your skull." She was having a little too much fun with this. Dial back the judgement, more information. "A1, A3, B5, C2, C3. Those are the standard array activity sensors that are presently active. I require you to check their function, perform a manual reboot, and examine the wiring for any damages."

Things were so much easier when you had a little machine monkey to fix things. She could focus her mental faculties on the more important science, and use Blair to keep things running when necessary. If only there was a way for the woman to spacewalk without her babysitting, wasting time on making sure the fool didn't kill herself.
Alone she drifts from ancient mists
Nary a candle, nary a wish
But in the wont of wandering paths
Through wooded knolls, and windworn crags
She seeks a face she thought as friend
But now -- she thinks as judgement's end

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Re: Solitude

Post by Quirbles » Sun Oct 28, 2018 8:21 pm

Blair could hear little else but her own echoed breathing, feel little else than the claustrophobic heat that the EVA suit brought; dull footsteps echoed off of the catwalk, the rhythmic clang of metal upon metal the only confirmation that she was still on the surface of the ship: ergo, she was still alive.

The route to the exterior sensors ran directly perpendicular to the view of the sun, meaning the big fuckin' yellow ball of fire was directly in the center of her vision as she walked; the photochromatic visor that the suit was equipped with meant that with a significant enough influx of light, the entirety of the glass viewport would darken. Such was the process that would arise in this situation, and such was the situation that Blair found herself in.

Staring at darkness, fingers gripping the catwalk railing with whitened knuckles as she breathed in. Then out.

In.

The visor fogged, opaque black tones lightening with the presence of slight condensation as panic began to set in, slowly but surely. There wasn't a need for her to do this. Diagnostics could be run from the ship. She didn't have to be out here, stumbling blindly along the metal surface of a space station with the threat of decompression looming over her.

But here she was, doing just that. All 'cause that fuckin' doctor ordered her around.

"Testing. Testing."

"I can hear you." Blair replied, continuing her spacewalk. The harsh whine of feedback forced her to stop for a moment.

"Testing."

"I can fuckin' hear you, for Christ's sake— are you trying to make my head explode?"

Ignoring the redhead's concerns, Sable began to delve into a long-winded explanation of something she already knew to do. The addition of insults weren't to be taken likely, as was to be expected.

"When I get back into that ship, I'm going to wrap this fuckin' oxygen line around your chicken-bone neck, you cunt."

No response. That wasn't typical, but maybe she'd shut the good doctor up for a while.

Every so often, Blair would look down to the ground as she walked, placing the sun out of her vision; this would free up he visor from darkness and allow her to actually see where she was going. A fork in the catwalk was up ahead and she went to the left, where the desired sensors were waiting to be inspected. Chances were that there was nothing actually wrong with them, but Blair continued anyway, allowing herself to be bossed around by the witch of a woman that had barked into her ear piece.

Eventually, Blair had begun to place the sun to the right of her person, so the visor no longer blacked out when she looked up; breathing out a sigh of relief at the fact that nothing had gone horribly wrong thus far, she gripped the catwalk and pushed along, the ship sensors reflecting the blinding light of the sun off of their polished faces.

They weren't unlike solar panels, in both appearance and the method of gathering information; coming up upon the right of sensor A1, Blair unlatched the access panel and began checking to see if any damage had been done to the internals.

"All clear on my end. No damage done to A1; I can assume, since it's in the same area as—"

Blinding light licked at the edges of her visor, prompting Blair to furrow her brow and angle herself to place the sun on her peripheral. Though the sun itself was blocked out by the photochromatic visor, it didn't take a genius to notice ribbons of light and energy swirling from the surface of the sun and being cast out into the darkness of space, the individual strands of charged particles lessened enough in their luminosity that she was able to see them.

A coronal mass injection— no, 'ejection'.

"Oh sh— fuck. Sable, reel me in."

She slammed the emergency button upon the upper collarbone of her EVA suit, but no alarm was raised. No lights were flashed. No confirmation of any kind.

"Fuck, fuck fuck— SABLE! REEL— REEL ME IN!" She cried out, stumbling away from the sensor array and moving as fast as she could back down the catwalk.

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Re: Solitude

Post by Annasiel » Wed Oct 31, 2018 12:29 am

A red light flickered on the transmitter box, followed by a hiss of static from the speaker. Sable smacked it with her palm. Stupid old technology. Not just antiquated in design, but almost impossible to properly use, and doubtless littered with scores of problems she hadn't even encountered yet. Tyche certainly seemed to be quite the frugal company.

She smirked at her own sarcastic jab. It had little edge when no one was around to hear it, but at least she was able to amuse herself.

"I also direct you to inspect the internal logs. There should be a terminal and cassette in each of the sensor bays," she instructed, depressing the button. When it lifted, there was another crackling hum, and the red light began to flash. She'd assumed it to be some sort of error signal - maybe the radio was having difficulty connecting. She had no way of knowing whether or not she needed to repeat herself, and she wasn't about to put on a suit and go out herself.

"CME detected."

Sable jumped. The voice, tinny and monotonous, came from the ceiling directly above her. She looked up. Sure enough, there was a loudspeaker built into the metal panels.

CME?

"CME detected. EMF requires calibration."

Coronal Mass Ejection. A scary sort of thing, but she was safe here inside her metal box, or at least safe enough. The red light caught her eye, and a dawning realization grew. The emergency sequence. Blair wasn't in the metal box.

Blair was outside.

Her heart leapt into her throat, and her legs leapt into action. The manual reel. It had to be somewhere around here, right? God be, why hadn't she walked through this beforehand with the instruction booklet nearby? She stopped herself against the panel by the airlock. That opened the inner bay, that the outer. That depressurized and pressurized the chamber. A lever for opening a landing hatch, and --

A small metal bar, currently lodged diagonally into the wall. That had to be it. She grabbed the handle and tugged. The bar moved a fraction, scraping against the housing. She tugged again, and it pulled free, almost yanking itself out of her hands with a forward jolt. Straining, she braced against the floor and began to crank it backwards. Difficult, at first, but it overcame the friction, spinning in its socket with an electric whine.

--

Outside, the line jolted. It retracted with a rising pace, creaking with the strain of the autolock winch. A wayward loop caught on a jutting bar, and the lifeline grew taunt, the winch whining with the strain. The gasket shivered, metal groaning in reluctance, as a single corner of the hose's mounting pulled away from the station wall. The screw sheared, and the gasket broke open a crack.

Everything went to hell.
Alone she drifts from ancient mists
Nary a candle, nary a wish
But in the wont of wandering paths
Through wooded knolls, and windworn crags
She seeks a face she thought as friend
But now -- she thinks as judgement's end

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Quirbles
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Re: Solitude

Post by Quirbles » Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:15 am

"SABLE!"

No response— that vile woman, that bitch. She was ignoring her pleas, was probably underestimating her God-damn cries for help, probably didn't even care that she was about to fucking die out in the cold vastness of space. After this, she was lucky to even want to step inside a shuttle, let alone spacewalk on the surface of a God-damn station.

I'm going to die out here because of literally nothing.

Blair's pace quickened, and not by her own accord. With the sun to her back, a simple visual check confirmed that the winch was reeling in— so, Sable was doing something after all, thank Christ.

As the hose grew taut and pulled hard, causing her to stumble, any positive outlook on the situation faltered.

A moment later and the hose snapped forward again, the snapping of metal and plastic accompanying a new sound— an omnipresent hiss that emanated itself from the connection to the tank of her suit. There was a rupture somewhere in the system and she didn't have time to figure out why, or how. All that mattered was getting to the airlock past the fork in the catwalk, a destination which seemed miles away with her current pace.

Her temperament changed, however, once she felt pressure at her flank. There was momentary confusion, immediately replaced with a rictus of realization, culminating in a despair-laden state of panic as her feet were lifted from the ground and thrown down the catwalk by solar wind.

It had only been a matter of time, of course, given the Coronal Mass Ejection. In her state of disarray, she'd completely forgotten the thunder which followed the lightning and, thus, had not braced for any sort of impact; with her guard let down, she had less than a moment to reach for the railing, her suit's gloves slipping over the surface of the metal and leaving her with only empty space to grab onto. With a scream of horror, Blair felt herself hurled over the station and turned head over heels, the only lifeline which secured her to the ship and kept her from being launched into space having been compromised by shitty handiwork and protocol. Blair didn't have time to yell expletives, didn't have time to lay blame. She only had time to stare out the visor of her suit, bottom lip quivering as space rotated into her vision, then the station.

Space. Station. Space. Station. Eventually, the two landmarks merged into a conglomerate mass which left Blair sick to her stomach; she'd have vomited had it not been for her extensive training in the Air Force. Enough Gs were exerted upon her body to make her feel lightheaded at the very least, and her condition would only worsen.

The line was essentially like a God-damn noose, keeping her bound while the rest of her body wished to go with the tide of the solar wind. She wouldn't allow herself to die. Not here, not now. Not yet.

The hose of her tank catching upon a metal bar meant she was pivoting around that point of contact, now, the strain only serving to worsen the predicament of the line's connection to the exterior hull. Blair felt herself go up, up into the air, only to plummet down after the feeling of weightlessness overtook her once more. She slammed, visor first, off of the hull and cracked her visor, the pressure of the suit weakeed but not entirely compromised. If the EVA had been breached, she'd have been dead.

Groaning out in despair and pain, Blair crawled along the slippery surface of the space station's hull towards the catwalk, looking up to expect the darkness of the photochromatic visor; the integrity of the glass itself was all but broken along the cracks, however, and light pooled around it like blood in a deepened gash. The intensity was enough to blind the astronaut for a moment, disorienting her as she blinked and closed her eyes. Red and blue lines of irritation burned themselves into Blair's mind as she grasped wildly at the air, her gloved hands finding purchase upon the rails of the catwalk.

With conviction, she began to pull.

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Re: Solitude

Post by Annasiel » Thu Nov 01, 2018 3:14 am

If she'd been thinking a little more clearly, Sable might have stopped to think about the increasingly high whine from the servo helping her turn the winch, might have tried to problem solve with a bit more deliberation and acumen. At the moment, though, her only thought was the fear she'd have Blair's blood on her hands. She hated the woman. Had since the first moment the jackal'd opened her mouth. Even so, Sable wasn't a murderer, and certainly didn't want to face solitude knowing she'd let anyone die.

The crank's turns began to slow as the whine grew in pitch. Grunting, the woman pushed harder, lifting her body off the ground just to force the lever through another turn. It proved a futile effort as the machine shuddered, screeched, and ground to an immovable halt.

Fuck!

Cursing was uncouth, but this was no time for couthness. There was something wrong with the winch, or maybe the line was caught, or maybe Blair had... the woman glanced at the spare suit hanging on the wall beside the airlock. She had no desire to go into space. The thought terrified her beyond all else.

Blair was going to owe her so much when she saved her worthless life.

With grim determination, Sable began to put on the EVA. It was a big, cumbersome thing, and her arms were worn from turning the broken lever, but adrenaline made up for fatigue a hundred fold, at least until she had to do the helmet's clasps. Then it worked against her, fingers slipping once, twice, three times as their shivering slipped off of the tiny buttons. Still, she managed, and turned to face the hatch, body rigid even for the stiff suit. The first part was easy to pass through. Simple as walking through any other door. That closed behind her, and the second loomed like a metal monolith with a star-studded cyclopean eye.

One hand drifted for the bracing handle, then wrapped tight around it. A tick of hesitation. Her other hand tensed and pounded on the release button. The discharge wasn't quite like what she'd seen in movies, where the air bloomed out in an explosive decompression, trying to pull hapless astronauts with it. A single poof, enough to shift her feet a little, then it was done. Just her, a vacuum, and the endless stretch of twinkling dark. Unwilling to leave the safety of her hatch, and somewhat nervous about going too far without an airline to keep her suit livable, Sable leaned out, craning her neck to peer through the domed helmet. Immediately, she noticed the source of the winch's mishap. The line was snagged, caught on a piece of the catwalk. Her eyes followed the tangled hose upward, where --

"Blair!" she called. Her voice seemed magnified by the small space. The other woman couldn't hear her, of course. Stupid thing to call out her name. Instead, she forced her arm to move, motion stilted by both suit and lack of gravity. Slowly, her hand stretched outward, palm facing up.
Alone she drifts from ancient mists
Nary a candle, nary a wish
But in the wont of wandering paths
Through wooded knolls, and windworn crags
She seeks a face she thought as friend
But now -- she thinks as judgement's end

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Quirbles
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Re: Solitude

Post by Quirbles » Thu Nov 01, 2018 3:41 am

Was her arm broken? Blair was not sure; the alcohol she'd consumed earlier numbed the shock of pain that drove up her right arm, but the sensation was present enough to warrant a grunt of discomfort from the astronaut with each movement forward. It felt particularly worse around the wrist— she should have expected some variety of injury, however, seeing as she was lucky to even be alive, so she tried not to focus on the feeling.

Barely discernable above the cry of scraping metal was the hiss of the airlock; letting out a groan of exertion, Blair heaved herself over the railing and onto the catwalk in a show of adrenline-surged strength, her body slamming onto the grated walkway and sending stars across her blackened vision. Sable was there— was here arm outstretched, or maybe it was a different crew member who'd been hiding this entire time. The opaque visor of the EVA suit did a very good job of removing identity.

Cradling her injured arm, and partly disoriented, Blair scrambled to the airlock's entrance— only to feel herself jerked backward by the hose connected to her tank. It was caught around the railing, most likely due to her crash and climb over the ship's hull; the EVA suit stopped, pulled back onto its back as the connecting gasket finally erupted and tore itself from its place upon the side of the station, precious oxygen spraying out into space as the reserves of Blair's suit were evacuated within the span of a second. She drew breath, but couldn't even find the air to do so. Coughing once, the redhead's strained hacks devolved into choking as she crawled, desperately edging herself towards the airlock before crossing the threshold of the chamber and weakly slamming her hand on the pressurization control, not bothering to wait for Sable's words or authorization. A faint mist of gas, false atmosphere, flooded the room they were in.

Gasping in and out and very nearly passing out from the conditions exerted upon her body, Blair's eyes watered and tears, obscured by the visor of the EVA, began to trail down her face.

"M-my God." She mumbled half-lucidly, leaning upon the wall of the chamber and coughing.

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