The Zone comes (Open Event)

This event takes place a month after the events of New Lands where the S.t.a.l.k.e.r.s have made a full recovery and somewhat used to their surroundings.

Calling to all available Solas Tempus Agents and personnel. I repeat, calling all available Solas Tempus Agents and personnel. A situation is developing in the designated zone Alpha-Gamma-5 and reporting agents and personnel are to report to the station’s Conference Room for Mission briefing at 09 00.

Orders are by Solas Tempus TACCOM.

A great lumbering figure approaches the conference room interested in getting involved in the affairs of the organization that found him after he spliced in. Standing at seven feet tall he is an imposing sight but relatively harmless. The most distinguishing feature however is not his height but his appearance, namely he is a large containment suit. The visor is completely opaque and when he speaks his voice is that of a computer synthesized voice not unlike the earliest electronic voice synthesizer known as VODER

Plant enters the room and looks around to see who was present here so far. If anyone was present he would wave and say “Hello”

If there was one thing Eva hated, it was the outfit she waa currently wearing. Didn’t help that she was only heading there because Elizabeth -the Android who was in charge of recon duty…who was lucky enough to fly her own plane- had asked her (well, more like ordered her, she owed the Android fir a few things anyways) to take her place. Even though Eva wasn’t really supposed to do so, she couldn’t help but accept.

What didn’t help was that Elizabeth had barged into her room whilst she was trying out something, along with being told that she it was urgent, she had no time to change clothes and just quickly grabbed her equipment and wore it.

And so, Eva simply walked in with an irritated expression on her face, walking past the large figure, and sat down on a random chair, wearing the most unlikely thing anybody who’ve met her would expect her to wear.

A Maid Outfit, the sexy kind.

She was wearing a headband that also had fake horns attached, a relatively short (but wide) skirt that showed a glimpse of whatever was under it and a somewhat semi-transparent dark pantyhose, her top was slightly less revealing, an open back, sleeved, leotard with white sleeves (said sleeves having a rather puffy hem topped by a small rose), said top covered her neck, forming a choker (and was adorned by a tiny ribbon at the center) but left her entire cleavage open for the world to see, with a cut out just under the center of leotard, exposing the underside of her cleavage. Two vertical stripes of frills ran down her belly, ending at the hem of her skirt.

Her skirt was short, long enough to only hide whatever was under it when viewed at normal angles. It was rather frilly, black and white with a short apron at the center, with the strap of the apron wrapping around her hip and finished off with a bow, it had a cutout on both sides, showing the thighband of her pantyhose, topping it all off was a pin just above the left cutout, a small piece of white fabric jutted out just behind and below the skirt.

Completing her outfit were 4-inch heels, a black and white frilly leg garter and forearm length gloves. Due to appearance constraints, Evas pistols are hidden under her skirt. Uniquely, the outfit still had the same resistance capabilities as her uniform and trenchcoat, but at less effectiveness, still retains the micro-fibers however, allowing it to still display time and etc.

Sighing, Eva, crossed her arms, her brow furrowed. She was irritated alright.

The young fowl mouth Tekkadan commander entered shortly after Eva, decked out in full Tekkadan marine gear. He was assigned by amber to come aid this operation, he didn’t say anything as he walked in and leaned against the near by wall a scowl on his face which he covered with his skull face mask

This was part of his life. Briefings, discussions, tactical disputes. One came after the last, and after the briefing was before the briefing. Or the mission.
And in the middle of all of them, like a constant fixpoint, the Head Temporal Operative of Schatten System, Captain Neo Akazuli.
He enters the room and briefly nods to everyone present. A lot of new faces.
Eva’s look does not faze him while he goes to stand at a wall.

Neo wears, as usual, an uniform in blue. On the right breast, his rank Insignia, a circle with two balls sits. The opposite side, the left breast, bears the impossible cube, Solas Tempus’ Insignia. His right shoulder shows the sign of the Action Arm, a circle which contains three quarters of a cogwheel. The last quarter is taken up by a shield.
His uniform is completed with a type 2 phaser on his hip and a tri-colored chain that originates from a breast pocket and lowers to his belt.
Beneath the uniform, he dorns a robotic suit dyed red and metal.
Neo himself was close to 2 meters tall and features white hair. There’s a scar on his face, which starts at the right side of his forehead, crosses his nose and ends at his left cheekbone.

A giant in a robotic suit and a maid—how quaint. And on top of that, the maid seemed disgruntled for some reason. Nine’s data-hungry databases assessed the new faces as she walked in. Perhaps the same processes encouraged her to show up to this meeting in the first place. However, her attention lingered on the others for just a second. The scientist headed to the seats right ahead, the synthetic material of her signature black-green hazmat suit scrunched under her weight as she plopped down.

Her drone Omega tagged along, hovering silently beside her.

Walking into the room, the next two to respond arrived… First through the door was Arnold Faust, only on the station because he was in line to potentially be promoted to the head of Blue Team, with Lance dead and Sal in his place. Shortly after followed his XO, Eva Teplov. Normally when Arnold walked into a room it was he and Eva that were the odd pair, he usually didn’t wear the standard uniform – although today he was – and Eva followed behind him by about half a step. Arnold’s uniform had his callsign written under his last name “FAUST” in military lettering than “Asher” beneath it in smaller print. He was a tall man, about 6 feet and lanky, a white streak in his hair begged the question; how did it get there? Was this the kind of man who dyed a large chunk of his hair white or did something happen to him that made it that way? He was an older man by the looks of it (looking generally older than he actually was).

Eva had a similar uniform name, “TEPLOV” and then under it “Rosary”. She is shorter, looking positively tiny next to a tall man like Asher, her skin seems especially pale when she’s next to someone with a normal or swarthy skin tone, but next to Asher she doesn’t look much paler than he is. Her hair is dark, about shoulder length and given how much older than he is Asher looks and how young she looks, it looks like she is supposed to be his daughter is some such.

Of course by rank he is a Captain and she is a Commander and their assignment patches show them as assigned to the USS Continuum. Both of them are Temporal Operatives, Asher nods at Neo, having met the man in passing but only having heard good things about him. The report on the exploits during the Infinity Wave was classified for most, but he had clearance and had read it… Asher was impressed. Rosary stays pretty quiet, though she looks around and her eyes settle on the maid… Or rather, the girl in a maids outfit, she looks at Asher who gives a silent shrug and then she walks over to the woman, “Perhaps you should change into something more appropriate,” she says quietly to Eva, “Unless you plan to roll out to wherever we’re going like that?” She is being nice, and her tone is nice, but there is a hint of authority to it, that isn’t a question or a suggestion, she means for Eva to do it.

Eva flanced at the woman, if there was one thing she could comment about her, it was that she was obviously of Ekataran (Russian) descent.

“After. The. Briefing.” Eva replied, there was a hint of irritation in her voice, but there was still pride in it…or whatever was left of her pride anyways; The last thing she wanted was to be scolded on her outfit…not her fault that she was introduced to the concept of cosplaying.

Sighing, Eva unfurled her brow, and rubbed her temple, the series of events leading up to this point had been running through her mind for the past few minutes, and honestly, she was getting dizzy thinking about it. Paying no heed, Eva crossed her legs, right on top of the left, under the table. Leaning back on the chair.

Eva smiles very sweetly at the maid-girl and says very quietly, “You will put yourself into the proper attire, if you do not have it I will have security bring something for you, but you will not continue this briefing dressed as a slutty maid ready to bang her master. Do I make myself clear?” Then she gestures to the rank insignia on her uniform, “And in case you didn’t realize, I am a senior officer and thus I do not recommend you test me.” Asher chuckled lightly from over by Neo, who he gestured, “It’s good to have a forceful Exec, don’t you think?”

Rubbing the bridge of her nose, Eva replied; “After a briefing, do you leave immediately or take your time to prepare?” Shaking her head, Eva stood up to change.

She didn’t even bother to hear a reply before walking out the conference room, good news was that her room was only several meters away…well, not ‘only’, it was a 5 minute walk, even then it didn’t take long for her to get changed and return. Walking back inside, she was now wearing her full uniform, minus the trench coat, which she was carrying over her shoulder.

She didn’t acknowledge the woman whatsoever and just sat back down on her seat. Her trenchcoat on her lap. Taking off her hat and setting it down on the table, she whispered to herself: “Jesus christ, how long does it take for a briefing to commence.”

A short humanoid biped clad in a thick, ornate pressure suit enters the conference room, keen on participating in whatever situation is developing. Notably, the only exposed part of the dwarf is his long plaited beard. A small engraved tag on his right breast declares him to be “Urist” The dwarf stands in the corner and absentmindedly shines his pickax in preparation for the briefing to start.

Neo returns Faust’s nod with sympathy, and watches the small conflict the two Evas unfold with a raised eyebrow more from curiosity but from disapproval. It’s the contrary, he silently agrees with Eva Teplov.
Arnold’s words coax a smile out of Neo.
“It is, mine’s pretty busy with his duties here on the station, as the Chief of Security.”
Neo spoke at ease. His deep voice effortlessly reaches Arnold.
Less empathic, Neo greets Urist with a nod, too.

The door of the Conference door slid opens with an audible hiss signaling everyone of the arrival of the person in charge and Head of TACCOM. Vice Admiral Emily Marie Artis. A person of Australian descent who’s now in her early forties with sharp piercing blue eyes which speak decades of experience and a short but well-kept blonde bob cut hair. Wearing the usual respective uniform seen on Vice Admirals with Naval pins on her left breast and shoulder pads representing her rank for all to see.

Following her was a rather young and attractive woman of Japanese descent and in her early twenties with serene platinum eyes and a silky long red hair reaching towards her waist. Wearing a modest looking lab uniform shirt with a red tie around her collar and a lab coat around her uniform. She along with her uniform was a rather short tight skirt with black stockings and a simple pair of low heel shoes.

Stepping up to the podium and stopping right at the middle giving the good Admiral and doctor a good look at the participating personnel with a keen but sharp eye.

“Roight,” She spoke. With a distinct feminine but rough Australian accent. One that held authority, competence and seriousness. “I believe this everyone participating?” Not even bothering to hear their responses she continues on to the briefing. “And to those who do not know me, let me give you a quick intro. I am Vice Admiral Emily Marie Artis. Head of Solas Tempus Tactical Command.”

Gesturing to the Scientist next to her. “And this is Dr. Kurisu Aiko.”

“As I said in the message, a situation has been developing in Area Alpha-Gamma-5 located in the Eastern Grassland of the Astarte Continent. The very same exact spot where several of our most recent visitors got spliced in.” She stated for all to hear. “If you may Dr. Aiko.”

The room lights dim down with a large holo-screen form behind the Admiral showing the crowd Satellite imaging recording dating a month ago. The Japanese scientist clears her throat and begins. “As you can see here, this was taken a month ago when the splices happened in this area, take note of the energy readings.” Enlarging the Energy Chart readings tab. “Within seven hours, there was a general increase of energy of unknown energy signatures detected.”

“In response, Solas Tempus deployed a small research team to investigate and trace the energy signatures to find out more of their existence and purpose.” She paused for the moment. Gathering her notes in her PADD.

“Unfortunately, two days later after the splices were resolved, the investigation of the strange energy signatures were postponed as the Research team reported having cases of severe nausea and headaches and evacuated from the site for recovery. The cause of such events and mental harm remains unknown.” Keying a few commands, the camera of the Satellite recording zooms out showing the small general area of the Astarte continent where the mysterious energy originated at. “Fast forwarding two weeks later, this happened.”

On the video recording of the designated zone, not much happened as the crowd of volunteers could see a large masses of gray clouds gathering around the designated land which was perfectly normal to them. But then it happened. Out of nowhere, the cloud spontaneously turned blood red, violent lightning storms erupting from the red clouds and strange lambent aurora lights spreading out across the land covered by the red mist like a plant root growing deeper into the soil to collect minerals. Soon the recording shows the Satellite camera suddenly going static for no reason and dies out showing a static screen. Despite it being a video recording, the people present watching the video couldn’t help but feel an ominous feeling creeping on their shoulder as if someone or something threatening was behind them. Even the Scientist was looking slightly pale after watching the strange phenomena happened.

Taking several deep breaths to calm herself down, Aiko begins again. “What you saw was a Phenomena never seen or encountered since the Splice Anomalies Solas Tempus was formed to deal and research with. We call it the ‘Devil’s Fart.’ Don’t ask how it got that name but this event not only just blanket the area with erratic energy readings that went off the charts but fried several of our sensors and affected several members of the Solas Tempus making them overly aggressive and where Security had to disarm and brought to the brig.”

“It lasted a week and took our technicians the same amount of time to repair and replace parts the damage sensors and equipment. After the repairs and the sensors back up, this is what we got.” The Holo-screen now shows the recording of a different satellite showing the area where the strange but sinister phenomena took place. Hovering above the land was the same mass of gray clouds permanently hanging there with occasional lightning strikes erupting from the clouds themselves. “Whatever happened down there caused approximately 350 to 420 Hects of the environment there to change. As if terraformed. Our new sensors scan the area but for some unknown reasons didn’t pass through the cloud layer of the zone which should be impossible forcing us to use more advanced sensors to scan area.”

The redhead scientist quickly punches in several commands in showing them the results of the scan which showed numerous amount of different and unknown energy signatures all over the place. “After the deep scans, numerous unique energy signatures were detected all over the place, some sparse and some highly concentrated with different types of energy. Most of these energy readings we found are never seen before nor documented before. The only thing we can identify was radiation and lots of it.”

Aiko took a shaky breath remembering the results of the Energy Chart readings. “What made this phenomenon dangerously unique was its signature is vastly different from that of a Splice Anomaly. Now look, this is a Splice signature.”

The screen shows the Splice Energy charts which casually rises up at some point in time and later goes down.

"Next is the strange signature we detected five hours after the recent splices happened.

The chart on the screen then shows the reading gradually rising by the hour and not even dropping one bit.

“The recording readings of the Devil’s Fart.”

This time, the chart shows the energy readings at an all-time high to suddenly low and high again immediately after which lead to an erratic behavior of sorts.

“And the most recent and up-to-date energy charts of Zone Alpha-Gamma-5.”

The chart on the Holo-screen then shows the current readings of the affected land where the readings casually go up and down in a static pattern of sorts. Eerily similar to that of a heartbeat or Brain Activity as if the land was somehow alive.

“Solas Tempus have tried beaming in a team but was unsuccessful as we couldn’t get a fix beam location due to the amount of energy interference from the cloud layer. Flying into the clouds is also a no go as there’s a thick layer of Electromagnetic energy that could prove difficult for our spacecraft to enter.” Tapping her PADD, the screen showing the affected area was surrounded by a blue outline. “As such Solas Tempus has erected a security perimeter and wall around and outside the affected Zone by 50 kilometers away baring anyone not authorized to enter the affected zone. Vice Admiral if you may take over.”

The doctor takes several steps back allowing room for the Vice Admiral to speak. “As you have all heard from the good doctor, you are being deployed to escort a group of scientist lead by Dr Aiko here and group of Engineers to build a Research bunker to weather that storm we all saw in the recording. Dr Aiko’s team along with the Engineers along with several more operatives who are briefed and are on ground at the checkpoint on standby and ready to link up with you once you arrive to the site. The objective is simple, escort the scientist and Engineers to this area of interest here which is nearby to our perimeter wall by several hundred miles and is the nearest mysterious energy hotspot as well.”

Stopping for awhile to let the mission objective sink in to their heads. “Now I know what you’re thinking. Why are you sending a group of people to a place we have little to no knowledge of the terrain and local threats there. Well that’s because whenever we send in UAV drones to recon the area, they keep getting zapped by the clouds destroying them whenever they get close into the exclusion zone. Leaving us with the only choice to go in blind.”

“Thankfully I got some good news for you all as we have manage to procure a group of people who’s expertise are navigating through this strange phenomenon and land. They are the recent spliced individuals a month ago.” She stated. Holding out her PADD and keying in some commands and messages. “You can come in now to introduce yourselves.”

On cue, the door to conference slides open as four female individuals in their early or mid-teens enter the large room wearing some sort of olive green hooded armor suit of sorts which had armor pads sewn on to the legs, shoulders, elbows, legs and abdomen while the chest has a built-in plate carrier vest of sorts with a MOLLE system on it. Though they way they carried themselves had a sense of caution, paranoia and a very distinct closeness between the four individuals who were now on the podium.

“These. Teenagers.” Emily gestures to the young teenagers though felt somewhat weird at the fact they were still kids and we’re experience to what they were going to face. “Are your guides and experts of the exclusion area they call The Zone. Details of them are sent to your PADDs.”

Soon the party receives a message of the stalkers details in their PADDs.

Each of their details tells them of their names, age being 16 years of age, DOB, Occupation as S.T.A.L.K.E.R, their status as married and their spouses being each other.

“Another thing, land vehicle transports will be provided as they have told us that Land vehicles works fine despite the electromagnetic waves the Exclusion Zone gives off for some reason.” Emily also states. “If you have any questions of the terrain, asks the S.T.A.L.K.E.Rs as they are the experts of it. Questions on Mission parameters will refer to me.”

Plant doesn’t respond immediately contemplating what was said for a little bit. Finally after considering he speaks in his cold synthesized voice. “seems a little redundant does it not?.. I do not mean to be rude but if you have a team of scientist and a group to escort the scientists I do not see the need to call together additional personnel.”

“Well yes,” answering Plant’s question. “But in this circumstances our Zone experts says otherwise and you’ll be insurance in case anything happens to the operatives on site.”

Asher thinks for a moment and then says, “I don’t mind having guides, especially if they can help us.” he pauses for a moment, “However, that being said, I’m not sure I’m comfortable with sending these four teenagers in there, it doesn’t sound like a place for kids.” he puts it quite simply and bluntly, this was a briefing after all. The Vice Admiral knew him by reputation, he had some issues a few years back and Rosary was the result – brought back without permission – however, he was known to be top notch and good at what he did. He had a reputation for a get this thing done at any cost, he didn’t fuck around. Though he was known to have a love of the darker side of things, thus some didn’t like to hang around him for missions.

Rosary looks at him and says, then to the teens themselves after looking at her PADD, “What my husband means to say is, we have been doing this a long time and we would prefer not to put people at risk needlessly. I think that we would all love to accept your assistance, if what I’m reading is correct though, I think we have to bring up the obvious concerns about your psychological condition. It would be obscenely irresponsible of us to put you in that position again. So how about you break it down for us, why is it we can’t work up a simulation in the holodeck and run it a few times like a normal operation?”

Despite the blunt and doubtful comments given by the two higher ranking people of the room, the four girls barely showed any outward reactions towards the two well-dressed adults before them. The leader of the four. Zwei. Steps forward, eyes directed at the pair.

“I appreciate your concern for me and my spouse and not wanting us to go through the same phase again.” She spoke calmly. “But you forgot one important detail. We were born in that environment. We thrived in it. We faced threats of all sorts of mutant that would drive a lesser man and the weak-will into a mumbling mess and a meal to the monsters. We navigated through the hostile lands of the Zone and know the signs of a storm when it happens.”

Shooting a glare, she continues. “You don’t know the Zone like we do and lack the experience of traversing its lands, you do not know of what the Zone does to the land. The recording? That was the beginning and whatever knowledge of science you believe in is crushed and thrown out of the window.” She turns to Rosary. “As powerful and advanced your technology is, the Zone will not allow it to happen as it is a force of nature that cannot be conquered and control. It has a mind of its own. Governments of the past tried and failed at the cost of our entire world. As much as I like the simulators being able to realistically simulate the world’s, it won’t be able to fully simulate the Zone’s terrain as it is ever-changing and random at best where the laws of reality and physics do not apply like predicting the next Emission storm and new anomaly hot-spots is at best impossible. Mutants included as some are supernatural at best.”

“I have survived it since the day I and my spouses were born. If we were so weak-minded, me and the loves of my life wouldn’t be standing here. I’m a S.T.A.L.K.E.R and the Zone will and always be where a S.T.A.L.K.E.R.” Zwei stated with finality. “So it’s best that we go down there with you as your guides rather then stayin’ here using long range communication which will be a major problem as the electromagnetic waves emitted from the Zone and local nearby anomalies will disrupt long-range frequencies. Plus you need us to help you to properly navigate through Anomaly fields and identify them as some have very subtle appearances that may look harmless.”

Rosary looks fine with this diatribe at first, but then they get into how the Zone will not be controlled and she says, “I have serious doubts for sending a team in to an area that is lead or guided by people who think we cannot succeed, that this Zone is invulnerable and impenetrable.” She puts it clearly and succinctly, there is no hint of malice but she means it. “If a girl is convinced she’s going to die tomorrow, she’ll probably find a way to make it happen.”

“Alright, that’s enough you two.” Emily called out to the two arguing women. The last thing the Vice Admiral wanted during the biggest was an argument on who was the best and that who gets to go or not go. She then gave a short gaze at Zwei. “You told me you were a professional Miss Zwei. Act like it.”

After speaking to Zwei, the Vice Admiral turns to the two higher ranks. “Sirs, with all due respect, we don’t know what’s gonna be down there at all. As much as I share the same concerns as you for the kids but by taking them out of this operation is essentially taking out your group eyes and ears of the Exclusion Zone.”

“I do not doubt your capabilities, Admiral. Your track records show it but this mission will require them on the field as we won’t be able to assist you in any way possible due to the hostile conditions making emergency beaming, UAV Overwatch and Air support impossible and dangerous for our pilots and birds. Due to the high readings of Electromagnetic interference given by the cloud layer of the Exclusion Zone of Alpha-Gamma 5. So expect lost of Long-range communications until the Engineering team sets up the bunker.”

“Are there anymore questions?” The Vice Admiral asked the crowd again.

OOC: Just to help out, can we get everyone to respond to pass on this so can move on? @AscendingCanadian, @darktrooper501, @JumpingScript, @Red_the_heretic, @Cyber, and @icywinterdawn? I’d like to at least get everyone to pass on this round or respond to this before we move on.

In the meantime, Rosary nods and looks back at Asher who also nods, “Just voicing our concerns Admiral, we’re ready to depart as soon as you are. May I suggest that we outfit the girls there with our latest armor and weapons as well? No need to have them using anything but the best?” It was a question but a sound suggestion. Meanwhile, Asher leans over to whisper at Neo, “This should be interesting, a team of seasoned professional heading out with a quartet of teenagers.” It was clear he didn’t like it but he didn’t say it loud enough for anyone but Neo to hear.