Contest : Outpost

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WTShields
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Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2012 9:50 pm

Contest : Outpost

Post by WTShields » Fri Mar 30, 2012 9:52 pm

Taylin had been born after the bomb. She had no idea what a rainbow was, or the smell of ozone after a spring rain. All Taylin knew was the tin taste of water that had been recycled too many times, and never give'em what its worth. Taylin was the supplies co-ordinator for N.E.S.T outrigger Jerdine 6. It wasn't the most glamourous job , but it kept her out of the kitchen and inside atmosphere.
Jerdine 6 was one of the few vessels the New Earth Salvage had that was still solid enough to brave fluid depths over 60 fathoms. There were other teams that would skim the surface looking for scrap, but as Taylin's father had always said “If its worth haulin' it'll sink”.
Taylin absently tied her greasy brown hair back into a single braid as she poured over the new salvage rights they had just secured. She wiped her hands on her olive drab pants and began comparing figures on her clip board. She sighed releasing the breath she didn't realize that she had been holding and tipped the last of her canteen into her mouth and winced at its bitter taste. Rising from her makeshift seat she moved towards the hatch leading to the gangway.
“HEY BINRAT!” came a mans voice echoing down the narrow hallways as she exited her office. “What do you want Mars?” Taylin said without looking up. “Its Midweek” cheered Mars his grin revealing a mouth full of yellow stained teeth. “Yes I know, and we wont be making it back to the surface unless you can keep that darkmatter reactor alive” she said turning to regard him over her clip board. “She'll do just fine Binrat. Soon I hope to show you that things get better with age” with a laugh he vaulted up a ladder and entered a maintenance hatch.
Taylin pushed into the cramped corner of the Jerdine that would have been for the captain, if they had one. N.E.S.T decided that giving each vessel a captain would only give the crews someone to hide behind and might degrade their dependance on the organization. She moved to the small fold out table in the wall and thumbed a toggle switch that was under its ledge. A crackling comm that had obviously been neglected shorted and sparked to life.
“Outrigger Jerdine 6 calling Cabal, echo back on one, end”. She wouldn't have to wait long for her reply but she would have to strain through the static to make any sense of it. “Outrigger this is cabal major, report” the voice was gender neutral and probably being run through a secure rely. “Requesting permission to pop hatch” she said in an unenthusiastic voice. Taylin had never understood why she needed to ask someone not even in the same hemisphere for permission to do anything. No matter how many times she had partaken in the fruitless ritual she was as nervous of the first time. “Request . . . denied” came the voice after a long moment. She thumbed off the comm and picked up a rotary handset. Holding two ends of stripped wire together she waited for the line to connect. “Bring us up” she said and dropped the receiver to the floor.
Twenty seven minutes and she was decompressing the external hatch with MARS at her side. “They said no didn't they?” he asked. “Don't they always?” Taylin said nodding to the rebreather he was holding . They both secured their masks to their faces and exited.
The long tell tale burrow that a outrigger had surfaced stretch for about a half a mile in the direction they had come from. The rebreath from their masks still smelled of coarse minerals in the soil that were churned by the Outrigger's ascent. The valley that surrounded the outpost was so low lying that most storms passed right over without anyone knowing. The only trade off was that low hanging humidity trapped the acridic air and made it toxic to most near humans.
The outpost had no affiliation and its trade rules were written in pencil. The trade lords controlled it and their foul moods shifted often and easily. If this wasn't only place to resupply in the region it surely would have been long forgotten by all but thieves and pirates.
As they neared the outpost it was at a run. The dusk was fast approaching the mountain valley and that is when the wraiths hunted. Wraiths were mutates that were attracted to dark matter. Even though they had been out of the Jerdine for several hours the residual radiation would make them a beacon to any creature with the dark hunger.

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