Author Topic: Redemption  (Read 1355 times)

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Offline Technowraith

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Redemption
« on: January 20, 2010, 07:47:37 pm »
The events of this fan-fic run concurrently with the events in the Avatar film, though very loosely to some extent.  The first chapter is here. It will be written in one to three chapter sets, I hope you guys like it.  :D

Redemption

Chapter 1: Another Day

**BEEEEP BEEEEP BEEEEP BEEEEP**

The covers are thrown off the bed. Vincent rubs his eyes. The flashing bright numbers on his alarm clock read 05:00. F---. Time to wake up. Vincent rubs his eyes again, and then strains to sit up. He gets on his slippers and begins his morning routine. His cramped living quarters are not much: A kitchenette, a bathroom and a large single room. Manageable, but just barely. The large window looks to the dark forest outside. The black steel form of the perimeter fence marches across the window, in a forlorn shadow. The periodic rat-a-tat of the auto defense systems have long stopped being a nuisance for Vincent. He slides on his work clothes, strapping on his heavy work boots last. Vincent was drawn to the RDA with the promise of a lucrative wage. Which he earned until the RDA began suffering terrible losses on Pandora. In the 4 years he's worked at Hell's Gate, Vincent has seen his once lucrative salary dwindle to almost nothing. But at least he had something. The billions of people left on Earth are in constant struggle even for the basic essentials. Vincents thoughts wandered about as he finally grabs his work coat. Next to the door, his Exo-pack stands ready for use. Vincent grabs it and heads out the door to the Mining Operations Control Center. Mainstage as it's called.

Vincent opens the door, and walks into the usual hubbub of Mainstage. RDA mining operations. A cacophony of destruction and greed. At least to Vincent. He heads to his duty station to report in.
Vincent sees a familiar face: Reynolds, the Mining Chief. He is a decent fellow, and greets Vincent warmly.
"Mornin' Vince." Reynolds says, nodding.
"Morning, Chief." Vincent replies. "What do we have today?"
Reynolds looks at a clipboard, then signs it. He turns to Vincent.
"We have a new truck path to push out." Reynolds replies, bringing up a holo-map of the area. "You start here at Hell's Gate. Then you're gonna run north and west. You're gonna hit some pretty bad terrain up past Norum Ridge."
Reynolds changes the holo-map, revealing a wide flashing red area for Vincent. Vincent nods.
"Rough stuff. It's that really thick brush isn't it? The Xanu brush or whatever it's called."
Reynolds nodded.
"Yeah, Xanu brush. And scans are indicating it's much much thicker than anything we've seen."
"Can the cutter get through?" Reynold's asked. "Last time i hit that stuff, i went through 3 heads in less than an hour."
"We've got a maintenance support crew joining your group today. They will have extra parts. You're also going to have a small armed crew. Scans have shown a limited Na'vi presence in your area. If you get bogged down or fall under attack, 10-80 for immediate evac."
Vincent nodded. He signed his work form for the day and then went outside to the equipment bay. Vincent's Brush Cutter stood ready and waiting. He stepped into the cab, and powered on his machine. He then stepped back out and did his pre-op safety checks, ensuring his machine was functional. Ten minutes later, all systems checked out. Vincent sat in his cab ready to head out.
"Hells Gate Perimeter, Cutter 2187 ready for exit." Vincent said into his headset.
"Cutter 2187, you're clear." Came the response.
Vincent drove his machine forward, joined by three other cutters, a maintenance track, and an armed personnel carrier. The perimeter gate swung open and Vince led his group out onto the main road. After the last of the group exited the compound, Vincent heard the heavy steel gates slam shut. The group of machines rumbled down the road until Vincent saw a new marker. "Group 7W: C2187, C2189, C2191, C2192." This was the spot. Vincent turned his machine off the road to come face to face with a wall of forest. A moment later, Vincent sighed, and then powered on his cutter head. The forlorn look of sorrow filled his face as his blade seared into the forest, beginning yet another scar on Pandora's pristine face.
 
« Last Edit: January 21, 2010, 05:03:59 am by Technowraith »
See that shadow? It's the last one you're gonna see.

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Offline Rain

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Re: Redemption
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2010, 10:33:14 pm »
Ni'ul! Nitxan ni'ul!
"If there are self-made purgatories, then we shall all have to live in them."
-Spock, "This Side of Paradise"

"The greatest danger about Pandora is that you may come to love it too much." ~Grace Augustine

Offline Technowraith

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Re: Redemption
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2010, 04:38:07 am »
Ni'ul! Nitxan ni'ul!

irayo. (I'm guessing you like it. Don't know those words yet,  :))

Chapter 2: Surprise
Clang! Clank!
"Damnit!" Vincent cursed out. His machine ground to a halt as he hit the Emergency Stop button.
"Lose another head, Vince?" The radio sputtered.
"Yeah. Makes for the 4th head. What about you, Marcus?" Vincent replied.
"Up to 4 myself." Marcus replied.
"Cutter 2187 to Maintenance. Slot me a new daisy cutter." Vincent said into the radio.
"Roger." Maintenance replied.
A moment later, Vincent stepped out of his cab. The maintenance crew came up and began exchanging the broken cutter head. It would take about 20 minutes. Vincent decided to take a quick break. The other cutters were working to catch up to him. The sounds of destruction filled Vincent's ears. Trees and brush were sliced to pieces, falling to the ground. A dozer crew was following them, about a half mile back, to clear the debris. Several minutes later, the forest grew silent except for the rumble of idling engines. The entire group had caught up to Vincent. The machines idled as operators stepped out. Vincent surveyed their progress. They were barely 5 miles into the forest. Progress had been agonizing. As if Pandora was deliberately resisting. Vincent was almost convinced Pandora was. The maintenance crew was running out of spare parts. Each cutter has had at least 3 head replacements, and their supply was almost gone. The armed personnel had pretty much an easy day so far. They were lounging in their carrier, bored but satisfied for the moment. Vincent waited as the maintenance crew began lifting the new cutter head in place. One the crew members came over.
"Vince, we're gonna have to ship back to Hell's Gate to get more supplies. We've gone through far more heads than we thought."
Vince nodded.
"Yeah, you're telling me." Vince said. "Call for a drop. Tell them to drop in just behind the dozers. We'll wait."
The crewman nodded, then went to the maintenance track to request the drop. A moment later, he re-emerged and gave Vince a thumbs up. Vince nodded. With waiting for the drop, he decided to call lunch and settle in for a break. The others agreed and went to their machines to retrieve their lunches and eat. Vince on the other hand decided not to wait with the others, but walked a short distance into the forest. Within sight of the equipment of course. To venture too far out into the forest was deadly. Vincent stood marveling at the greenery around him. The first time he stepped off the shuttle at Hell's Gate, he was awestruck by the greenery around the base. Vincent had spent long hours in his quarters simply staring at the forest through the windows. The public database at Hell's Gate had a plethora of entries about Pandora's ecology, from geologic formations to the myriad plants and animals. Vincent had since marveled at the wander. Earth had no green. The only animals that were left were caged in zoos. Which looked too artificial anyway. The silence of the forest drove the point home for Vince. There were no sounds of animals. They had been long driven away by the rumble of the machines. Vince took another step into the forest and then froze.

The tip of an arrow was pointed straight at his nose. Vince nervously stared, not daring to make a move. A tall, young Na'vi warrior stood before him, his bow at full draw. His almond shaped yellow eyes were ablaze with hatred. He hissed and said something unintelligible. Just then, Vincent's radio sputtered. Vincent jumped.
"Vincent, you out there?" It was Marcus. "Hello?"
Vincent cursed under his breath. The warrior in front of him flinched when the radio went off, almost releasing the arrow. Vince cursed again, this time he slowly moved his hand toward the radio. The warrior hissed, following Vincent's hand with the arrow tip. Vincent clicked off the radio and jerked it out of his pocket. He dropped it on the ground and kicked it away. Marcus' voice was heard, muffled. Vincent didn't know what to do.
"Leave!" He told the warrior. He wasn't sure if he understood what he was saying or not. Vince remembered from the database that some of the indigenous Na'vi may have learned english through some training program RDA ran offbase somewhere.
"They have guns. They will kill you." Vince said, queitly but urgently. He didn't want a fire fight in such close proximity.
Vincent nodded his head back toward the machines. He heard people stirring near the edge of the forest. The warrior seemed reluctant.
"Now. Go!" Vincent began panicking. His radio, though muffled, barked out chatter from the soldiers.
The Warrior looked toward the machines. He withdrew his arrow, placing it back in his quiver. Vincent turned to look toward the machines. The soldiers had begun a perimeter search. He saw them just entering the forest. He turned back around to find the Na'vi warrior gone. Vincent looked around, trying to find the Na'vi. But it was futile. A moment later, Vincent turned back to the machines. He met up with one of the soldiers who gave an All Clear. He entered the road clearing to see the others happy to see him. Marcus ran up to Vincent.
"Bro, don't do that unless you wanna die." Marcus said.
"Yeah, sorry guys." Vincent replied."
The sound of an approaching Tiltrotor told Vincent the drop was moments away. Break time was over. The maintenance crew had replaced the cutter head on Vincent's machine. He was now ready to continue. He signaled the cutter operators to get in their machines, then sent the maintenance crew to retrieve the drop. A few minutes later, Vincent resumed his forlorn task of clearing the forest. His cutter rumbled to life, as he pressed on...
« Last Edit: January 21, 2010, 04:52:24 am by Technowraith »
See that shadow? It's the last one you're gonna see.

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Offline Rain

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Re: Redemption
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2010, 04:44:35 pm »
Ni'ul means "more"! LOL. I like this.
"If there are self-made purgatories, then we shall all have to live in them."
-Spock, "This Side of Paradise"

"The greatest danger about Pandora is that you may come to love it too much." ~Grace Augustine

Offline Technowraith

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Re: Redemption
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2010, 06:17:02 pm »
Glad to hear that you like it!  :D

Chapter 3: Ambush

A few hours later, Vincent came up to a wall of vegetation. The Cutters had made it another 4 miles when they hit the Xanu brush. Vincent knew Xanu brush would be a test of machines and patience. The vegetation was reinforced with carbon fibers, and other unknown elements. Despite looking like smaller saplings, Xanu brush was exceptionally difficult to cut down. Even with diamond alloy studded cutting heads. The group of Cutters stood before the wall of vegetation.
"You want the honors, Vincent?" Marcus said over the radio.
"Not really." Vincent replied. "What, you you trying to get me the record this time around?"
Marcus's voice chuckled over the radio. Vincent had since gone through an additional 3 cutting heads in the last few miles since the drop. He was sure the others had reached at least the same number judging by the delays. Despite the delays, though, progress was a little better. But now things would almost grind to a halt. The group wasn't even half way to their expected destination. Vincent held his breath and inched his cutter head forward. It struck the first of the Xanu brush, cutting into it. The cutter head shattered and splintered. Shards of cutting blade flew through the air, striking his machine, cracking the protective windshield. Parts hit other machines.
"Damn!" Marcus yelled out as pieces of the cutter blade sliced through exposed hydraulic lines, disabling his machine. The shattered windshield of Vincent's machine made it harder to see, but not impossible to continue. Marcus wasn't so lucky.
"Maintenance, we got a busted line and a new head is needed." Vincent barked into the radio.
"Roger. We'll be there momentarily."
Vincent got out of his machine and surveyed the damage. It was worse then he thought. The GPS tracer antenna was damaged from the flying cutter shards. Hells Gate would have no way to track his progress. Marcus had a far worse issue, as his machine was losing hydraulic fluid from the broken line. At least it was still drivable. But the essential hydraulics to use the cutter head were knocked out. The two other cutters emerged relatively unscathed. Maintenance split up, working on both disabled machines at once to save time. Vincent looked at the wall of vegetation again. The scans back at Hell's Gate shown a thick area, but nothing like this. Vincent was convinced now that something seemed to be working against them. In the back of his mind, Vincent cheered. He was tired of destroying the green. It was almost as if he was back on Earth. The dozer crews that had been following them were called off to clear another road that become blocked by fallen vegetation. The road behind them empty. Or so they thought.

The Na'vi Warriors huddled on the high tree branches, surveying the swath of destruction. The crashing machines had stopped again. This time before the Xanu brush field. One of them tried to cut into the Xanu, and failed. Ot appeared that parts of the machine broke off, causing another machine to be damaged. The Na'vi looked down at the machines. Their attention was riveted on the small armed personnel carrier. While they didn't recognize the carrier, they recognized what it carried. Word from other Na'vi clans had told them what "the new aliens with shooting sticks" looked like. A quick count of the soldiers revealed there were only six. The Na'vi warriors counted six among themselves. One arrow per soldier. All at once. The Na'vi saw the machines being worked on. The soldiers emerged from the personnel carrier. Milling about the machines. It's just what the Na'vi wanted.

Vincent watched as the maintenance crew fixed the machines. He turned to see the soldiers taking up a perimeter around the machines. Typical operating procedure for a longer delay, Vincent surveyed the road they had cleared. He got the feeling that they weren't alone. A feeling that began to grow into unease. But he shrugged it off. The maintenance crew would be done fixing the machines soon. His cutter head was almost replaced, and the damaged hydraulic line repairs were making progress. Hell's Gate had called in inquiring about the "loss" of Cutter 2187. But after explaining the damaged GPS antenna, Mainstage simply said to stick close to the other machines and it wouldn't be an issue. Vincent's unease grew again as he kept scanning the forest. Something was out there.

Thunk! A soldier dropped to the ground. "Get down!" yelled the Commander of the soldiers crew. Vincent's heart panicked as he dove to the ground next to his cutter. The radio came alive with soldiers yelling. In a moment, the yelling ended. Vincent flinched as a dead soldier solidly crashed to the ground right next to him, a 6 foot arrow shaft protruding from his back. Vincent new instantly what was happening. But it had ended as suddenly as it began. Vincent carefully craned his head up to have a look around. The maintenance crew had dove into their track and slammed the door shut. That left the cutter drivers vulnerable in their machines. Vincent carefully got to his knees. He could see the other cutter drivers still in their machines. However two of them were dead, shot through the open windows of their cabs. Windows that shouldn't really have been open. But were due to the longer break, probably to get some not so stifling air into their cabs. Marcus was still in his machine. Vincent gave him a thumbs up. Nothing came from the forest. All was silent. Vincent slowly stood up, completely surveying the scene. The six dead soldiers lay strewn about the perimeter of the machines. The two dead cutter drivers. The maintenance crew huddling in their track. Marcus carefully stepped out of his machine, joining Vincent.
"We gotta call for 10-80." He said.
"Yeah, let's do it." Vincent clicked his radio, but found it was dead. When he looked down at the ground, he found out why: he had ripped the wire connecting the headset to the radio itself. Marcus spoke up over his radio.
"Group 7W to Mainstage." He said.
"This is Mainstage."  Came the reply.
"10-80 for immediate evac. We were attacked by Na'vi. Casualties severe. We have disabled equipment and fatalities."
"Roger that 7W. Immediate emergency evac will dispatch to approximately 1 mile from your location. Evac ETA is 10 minutes."
"Roger, Mainstage. We'll be waiting." Marcus said.
"We gotta get to the landing zone." Vincent said, nodding toward the Armed Personnel Carrier. He went to the maintenance track and the door opened for him.
"Get in the Armed Carrier, we're leaving for evac." Vincent said. "Move carefully, though. They may still be out there."
The maintenance crew all nodded then got out one by one. And ran to the armed carrier like screaming children. Vincent put his hand over his face. "Why not just paint a target on our backs?" He mumbled under his breath, Marcus and Vincent were the last two in the carrier. The hatch slammed shut and Vincent sat down at the driver's seat. He had no problem driving the carrier to the pick-up point, where he arrived just as a Tiltrotor was touching down. After transferring to the Tiltrotor, Vincent began thinking about the long process of debriefing, as Mainstage for sure was going to ask questions.

From their perch, the Na'vi warriors silently gestured to themselves over their victory. While they didn't kill everyone, they had accomplished their goal. They stopped the crashing machines. The whine of an approaching Tiltrotor told them not to move. There may be an armed escort. The six warriors watched the armed carrier as the remainder of the humans got in and then drove away. Several minutes later, the sound of the Tiltrotor began fading. The forest was safe for the time being. But the Na'vi knew it was only temporary.
See that shadow? It's the last one you're gonna see.

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Offline Technowraith

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Re: Redemption
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2010, 07:16:22 pm »
Chapter 4: Discovery

Vincent warily stood outside his quarters. The day had been long and grueling. Not from work, but from debriefing. He never thought that anyone could come up with so many questions, or demand such detailed answers. The monotonous grind of questioning had shot Vincent nerves to hell 30 minutes after it began. Marcus and the members of the maintenance crew fell under the same microscope. And rightly so. Six soldiers dead, Two dead cutter drivers. Four very expensive machines left in the brush. An attack by the Na'vi. The military commander, Miles Quaritch was there as well. He wanted to know how his soldiers died. His questioning was unrelenting. But in the end, blame was not placed on anyone. Except the Na'vi. Vincent flinched when Quaritch pounded the table, vowing to kill every last of the "blue bastards." In the end, the grueling interrogation was only to find out what really happened. And what could be done to prevent a similar occrrence. Seven hours after the debriefing began, everyone was released for some R & R. It was on his way back through the Science Section that Vincent found the wayward memo. Since no one was around, he simple took it and would return it later on his way back toward the mess hall. He was dead tired and fumbled with the lock code. The lock beeped an error. Vincent blinked to focus and then entered the code correctly. The lock clicked and the door slid open. He entered the apartment and warily sat on the bed. He quickly changed into something more comfortable before he became too lazy. He decided to make a quick meal, and in a few minutes he had a large, hot steaming bowl of chicken soup. He clicked on his holo-screen. A news program broadcast by RDA. Ignoring the program, he picked up the piece of paper he had lain on the table when he came in. He had found it on the floor while taking a different route from Mainstage to his apartment. A new shortcut he learned of when he took a wrong turn. Vincent took a closer look at the paper.

"Avatar Program: Calibration and Training Technique Change

As of 4/27: Effective immediately, Link Calibration will be set to a 50 cycle ramp up time to allow better signal stabilization. Careful observation has seen that less ramp up time results in less stable links. To accommodate this change, reset all Link Drivers to a 75 cycle duty timing on power-up, Change the Neural Net uplink to 10 cycles, and lower the Pass-through check to 5 cycles. This will result in an error message on first use. Accept the message. Avatars will NOT need downtime to initiate this change.

As of 4/27: Effective immediately. Avatar physical training will now consist of a minimum of three (3)  45 minute physical training courses each week. We need to finetune motor control in our Avatars. This ensures we can accomplish this. The physical training regiment will now include endurance cardio training. Na'vi are known to run extremely long distances on foot. We need to ensure Avatar drivers can maintain a high level physical  endurance while in link. This change is mandatory for all existing and new avatar drivers.

Dr. Grace Augustine"

Vincent stared at the paper. He didn't completely understand the gibberish, but what he did get almost blew his mind. He had heard about the Avatar program, but never gave it any thought. Vincent knew where Grace's lab was. He often walked by the Science section on trips to and from the Mining office. Not really knowing much about the Avatar Program, Vincent mostly ignored it, even the news features about it that were broadcast here and there on the holo-screen. But for some reason, reading the memo piqued Vincent's interest. He went to the holo-screen and changed it over to computer mode. He began a search through the Public Database. And almost immediately Vincent was waist deep in all sorts of information regarding the Avatar Program and the Na'vi.
See that shadow? It's the last one you're gonna see.

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Offline Technowraith

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Re: Redemption
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2010, 11:20:10 pm »
Chapter 5: The Avatar Program 101

Vincent stood outside the Science section. He held the memo he found the day before in his hands. The room beyond was like a foreign country to him. He knew the science section was there, he just never went there for any reason. Vincent stood off to the side of the hallway and watched through the doors at all the commotion within. He saw a myriad of screens and monitors, all displaying detailed and foreign data to him. Some screens showed terrain and jungle. Vincent guessed it was a video link up of some sort, a remote link directly in the jungle. He watched closely as one of the monitors showed a view of the jungle from a flying Tiltrotor. The world spun as the Tiltrotor landed, and then jerked and jostled as the "view" hopped from the Tiltrotor down to the ground. Vincent saw the world turn in a 360, the Tiltrotor spinning into and out of view.
"Can I help you?" A voice called out next to Vincent.
Vincent jumped. He was so absorbed in watching the monitor he hadn't noticed Max approach.
"Oh, uh... Sorry." Vincent stammered. He shook hands with Max and introduced himself.
"I'm Vincent." He said. "I work in Mining operations."
"Mining ops?" Max said. "What brings you here to the science section?"
"I found this on my way back from Mainstage yesterday."
Vincent handed Max the memo. Max took the paper and read it quickly.
"This must be the missing memo Grace was talking about. Thanks for bringing it back." Max said.
Vincent nodded.
"So what are you guys doing in there?" He asked. "I researched the Avatar Program in the public database."
Max looked around. "I'm not sure what a mining op wants with the Avatar Program to begin with."
Vincent was looking at the monitor again. He was watching the image of two Avatars taking a sample from a tree root.
"Green. I want to see Green." Vincent replied.
Max looked at him intently.
"Avatar training takes years, and you have to go through a stringent approval and training process."
Max looked around again.
"They're not coming out of link for several hours. I'm not really supposed to do this..."
Max opened the door and nodded for Vincent to follow.
"Don't touch anything. You were never here either if, anyone asks."
Vincent nodded.

Max led Vincent through the Avatar lab. Max explained in details the basics of the link, the Avatars, and everything in between. It was enlightening. Vincent marvelled at the technology in use. Who would have guessed that the Avatar program would ever be possible? Vincent was astonished to see the beauty of the land and the deep forests surrounding Hell's Gate. He had seen nothing but destruction during his endless days of work.  But through the monitors, a whole new world emerged in front of him. Max led him to the Avatar stasis tanks, one of which contained an Avatar that was almost ready for deployment. Vincent stared at the male Na'vi before him. The distinct physique, the long prehensile tail. Max had seen pictures of Na'vi in the public database but never in person. At length, Max urged Vincent to move on, and he came to a window. Outside other Na'vi Avatars were undergoing physical training, even playing basketball. Max again marvelled at the Avatars. Eventually, Max led Vincent back to the main entrance of the lab. Vincent was awestruck at what he had seen.

"It's a very exciting program." Max said. "What I've shown you is really just the tip of the iceberg."
Vincent nodded.
"I'd love to see more." Vincent said.
Max nodded. "Well, technically this is a restricted area, but I'm sure i could make an excuse to get you here once in awhile."
Max nodded again.
"I'll see you again, hopefully soon. And thanks again."
Vincent shook Max's hand.
"Thanks for showing me around."
With that, Vincent turned and began making his way back to his apartment. He was now more determined than ever to find a way to stop the destruction of the forests, lest Pandora face the same grim fate as Earth.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2010, 09:50:02 pm by Technowraith »
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Offline Na'rìngeyä Toruk

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Re: Redemption
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2010, 07:42:26 am »
Keep it going tsmuktan :)

Eywa ngahu.
Spivaw oeti rutxe, ma oeyä eylan. Fi'u ke lìmu ta Eywa. Oeri uniltìranyuyä 'eveng lu, ulte oe layu 'awpo Eywayä.

Offline Rain

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Re: Redemption
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2010, 10:58:07 pm »
Srane, ni'ul ma tsmukan! I am excited to find out if Vincent learns what's going on!
"If there are self-made purgatories, then we shall all have to live in them."
-Spock, "This Side of Paradise"

"The greatest danger about Pandora is that you may come to love it too much." ~Grace Augustine

Offline Nume fpi sänume

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Re: Redemption
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2010, 12:01:21 am »
A short update, but a good one. Its nice to see some new ideas around the fan fiction threads :D

Offline Technowraith

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Re: Redemption
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2010, 09:06:36 am »
Chapter 6: Return

Vincent waited for the soldiers to give the All-Clear. A moment later, he stepped out of the armed personnel carrier. The stifling outdoor heat bothered him little. He was used to it. The number of soldiers present told Vincent Quaritch was taking no risks this time. There were 18 soldiers total, in 3 personnel carriers. They packed some serious heat, including rocket grenade launchers. Vincent hoped there would be no need for them. He stepped out from behind the personnel carrier and surveyed the scene.

The maintenance track was upside down, smashed and deformed beyond recognition. Cutter 2187 stood where it was left. The other three machines weren't so lucky. Marcus came up next to Vincent and cursed under his breath. His machine, Cutter 2192 was in pieces, mangled beyond recognition. Much like the Maintenance Track. The two remaining Cutters were up-ended, lying on their sides. Vincent and the others carefully approached them. The machines looked relatively intact and functional. Hopes were dashed when they looked into the cab compartments. The internal controls and wiring were all torn asunder and shredded. The windshields were smashed in, the cab frames dented and deformed.
"Almost looks like animals did this." Vincent said to no one in particular.
"What makes you say that?" a Soldier said.
"Well, I highly doubt a humanoid could mangle and dent a carbon-3tier frame." Vincent said.
"Let alone break it into pieces." Marcus said, picking up a chunk of broken frame from his mangled machine.
Marcus took a look over toward Vincent's Cutter. It was left intact, or at least upright.
"What gives?" Marcus said to Vincent.
Vincent didn't answer, but only shrugged. He approached his cutter. Vincent expected to see the same extensive damage to his cutter as he had seen from the others, but he didn't. He looked into the cab to find it completely intact. He stepped into the cab and even saw the operator's keys were still in the ignition. On the seat, however, was a trinket. A leaf? No, a feather? Vincent looked around. No one saw him pick up the trinket and stuff it into his pocket.
"Well?" Marcus's voice said from outside.
"Everything is intact." Vincent said. "Or appears to be. I don't think the Na'vi tampered with the machine."
Marcus nodded and then just grunted. Vincent shrugged again, not having a reply. He gave the key a turn, and the machine rumbled to life. A moment later, it was idling loudly. Ready to do it's destructive work again. At that moment, another soldier approached.
"Looks like you got a good machine." He said.
"Yeah, seems to be ok." Vincent said loudly over the idling engine.
"All right," The soldier said. "Report in on the way back. We'll need to get a recovery crew up here and get this equipment cleared out."
Vincent nodded as he shut down the machine. He took the key and stuffed it into his other pocket. As he and Marcus walked back to the personnel carrier, he fingered the trinket carefully in his pocket. He was careful to not let anyone see it. Vincent wandered what the trinket was, but he would have plenty of time to get a closer look at it in the privacy of his apartment.

Vincent watched the hall as he unlocked the door to his apartment. No one suspicious. Vincent was being a little careful. While no one saw or knew of his little trinket, he wanted to be sure. Video surveillence wasn't used in any area of the residential sections of the base. Oddly enough, Vincent noticed, the same held true in the science section as well. It was something Vincent had logged in the back of his mind. He was in complete privacy inside his apartment. When they had returned, Vincent and Marcus went directly to Mainstage to report their findings. Reynolds cursed out loud. Replacing a Cutter was expensive, and time consuming, They would be down 3 cutters for almost 3 weeks, the time it took to fabricate a new cutter. Reynolds thanked the two and then dismissed them for the day. At that, Marcus chose to go to the recreational section of the base. Vincent, however, went right to his apartment. He wanted to see what his trinket was. He considered going straight to the science section, but he figured that would look suspicious. But then again, mining ops did work with the science section here and there. Vincent didn't want to take any chances though. He walked past the science section and continued on. Max waved at him through the clear doors. Vincent returned a similar wave. In a few moments, he was rounding the halls to the residential section. A minute later he stood outside his apartment.  Nothing suspicious Vincent noted as he opend the door and then locked it when it closed. Now that he was safe in his apartment, Vincent took the trinket out of his pocket.

It wasn't a feather, but a leaf. Rolled and half folded, more or less from being stuffed into his pocket. Vincent carefully took the leaf and unrolled it to it's full size. Almost a meter in length. Vincent marveled at the iridescent hues. He hadn't turned on the lights in the apartment. But the leaf was glowing in dazzling iridescent hues. Probably from the lighting outside in the hall, though Vincent was a little mystified because he didn't take the leaf out at all. It was inside his pocket the whole time. Vincent turned on the holo-screen and went to the public database. He searched through the flora of Pandora until he found a plant that had the same leaves as the one he held: Bellicum Pennatum, or commonly called the warbonnet fern. Vincent held the large leaf up and marveled at the piece of forest he now held. He was excited to see what Max might think. He only needed an excuse to get to the science section. Almost as if a higher power read his mind, a message came through the email system. It was from Max.
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Re: Redemption
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2010, 11:30:45 am »
Chapter 7: Request

Vincent clicked on the message. Network lag caused a delay in opening the message. Vincent wandered what the message could be about. He knew Max said something about getting him down to the science section again. But he wasn't sure how. A few minutes later, the message opened, and Vincent read it in it's entirety:

Vincent:

Hey, it's Max from the Avatar Lab. I need you to help us out. Awhile ago, one of our staff overheard something in the mess hall about a new mine. We're not sure if it's true. Can you confirm anything? Most importantly, we need to know the location of the new mine. Our source said something about Sector 12. But we're not sure. He didn't remember. If the mine is scheduled for Sector 12, that means we'll have to possibly force the relocation of a tribe of Na'vi. Their Hometree is right in the center of Sector 12. If Selfrige and Quaritch are forcing our hands like we think they are, it won't end pretty for the tribe. Dr. Augustine saw a scan of Sector 12, but she can't interpret the data very well. Meet me in the Avatar Lab at 14:00 tomorrow with your findings.

-Max

Vincent sat back and re-read the message. Forced relocation of Na'vi? He had heard rumor of a new mine. In fact he knew for sure there was a new mine. Why else would RDA be pushing truck paths to the northwest. Vincent closed the message. He put the warbonnet fern leaf in his closet, carefully laying it on one of the shelves. Glancing at his watch, Vincent saw it was early mid-afternoon. Mainstage would abuzz at this time. This was when daily load tallies started coming in. The mining division would find out how productive they were from the compilation of tallies that were put together. Grabbing his exo-pack, Vincent left his apartment and made his way to Mainstage.

Mainstage was busy as usual. Vincent looked about. Reynolds was at his duty station, overseeing some reports and maintenance logs. He saw Vincent and came over.
"I gave you the day off." He said, poking Vincent in the ribs in a friendly manner.
"I know." Vincent replied. "I just need to see some scans of the area where I'm cutting brush."
Reynolds led Vincent over to the main holo-map.
"All yours." Reynolds said. "Can I ask why you're looking?"
"I want to plot a path for Marcus that will result in him breaking the most cutter heads." Vincent replied.
Reynolds started laughing, along with Vincent.
"Sure, be my guest. Just bring the map home when you're done."
"Ok." Vincent said. "Will do."
At that, Reynolds left Vincent alone with the holo-map. Vincent ran the map over to Sector 12. He saw a massive tree in the center of the sector. He stared closely at the map. According to the readings, the tree was over 300 meters tall. His mind couldn't comprehend a tree that large. He looked around neighboring sectors and saw a few trees that were about 100 to 200 meters tall, but nothing as at tall as the large tree at the center of sector 12. The readout said "344 meters." Homing the map back to sector 12, Vincent ran a commodities scan on the area. A few moments later, the map flashed red right under the giant tree. A massive unobtanium deposit. The largest within a hundred or so clicks. Vincent's head spun from the implications. The map showed a diffused box around the tree. Pit 3M was the designation. RDA was gonna dig a mine in the middle of Sector 12. Vincent clicked the map Home to Hell's Gate. He turned to leave. Reynolds saw him.
"Gonna give Marcus some hell?" He said.
"Yeah, I got some hell for Marcus all right." Vincent chuckled as he donned his exo-pack. "Thanks."
Reynolds shot Vincent a thumbs-up as he opened the door and left.

"Are you sure?" Max said.
Vincent shook his head grimly.
"No mistake." Vincent said.
Max and Vincent had been having a long conversation about the results of Vincent's findings. It had been several hours since their 14:00 meeting. During the preceding hours,. Dr. Augustine and Norm Spellman were in link, on an expedition. At length, they both came out of link and became worried about one of the units, it's driver still in link. Apparently that driver wasn't out of link yet. Dr. Grace Augustine and Norm stood by the unit, keeping close tabs on the driver's vital signs. Vincent got the impression that something wasn't quite right. In the end, Max and Vincent were still keeping up their conversation. At length, Dr. Augustine came over.
"You're Vincent?" She said.
"Yes." Vincent replied. "I am."
Grace didn't shake hands, but simply turned.
"Max had you run a scan for us." She said.
"Yes, Max asked me to run a scan." Vincent replied. "Sector 12 is designated as the next mine. There's a motherlode of unobtanium in sector 12. You know as well as I that Selfrige is going after it. I've been pushing truck paths and clearing's toward that sector for the last month."
Norm looked over, concerned.
"Dr. Augustine." He Said. "Jake still isn't out of link."
"Then leave him go. It's a good sign. At least the Avatar isn't dead yet. But it will be a pretty tough night tonite."
Dr. Augustine turned to Vincent and Max.
"How long do you think it will take the dozer crews to get to Sector 12?"
"Not sure exactly." Vincent replied. "We've been having an exceptionally hard time clearing the forest lately. It's as if the planet is resisting us."
"Trust me," Dr. Augustine said. "It is."
"I would have to guess at the current rate, probably 3 to 4 months before we hit the center of Sector 12."
"Hopefully that will be enough time." Norm said, coming up to the conversation.
"Enough time for what?" Vincent asked.
"Enough time for us to get the Na'vi out of harms way." Dr. Augustine said.
Vincent simply nodded. The implications were adding up, and he wasn't liking the results at all. For the sake of the Na'vi, Vincent decided to go out on a limb.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2010, 09:01:58 pm by Technowraith »
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Re: Redemption
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2010, 11:40:04 am »
its an interesting take i really like this keep up the good work

irayo





Tirea Tskoyä has a new look see it[url=http://forum.learnnavi.org/fiction-

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Re: Redemption
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2010, 12:12:23 pm »
Chapter 8: More Surprises

"I'm not sure if it means anything." Vincent said. "But the Na'vi left something in my Cutter the other day."
Dr. Augustine turned and looked at Vincent.
"They left something?" She asked.
Vincent nodded his head.
"It's back at my apartment. I can get it if you want."
Norm's interest was piqued and he came over, leaving Jake for a moment.
"You have it still?" He said.
"Yes. I do." Vincent said. "I'll get it real quick."
Max looked out in the hall. Norm and Grace didn't think twice, but they knew what Max was inferring. Norm went to a computer and printed something out. A moment later he handed it to Vincent.
"Just take this with you when you go. It makes it look like you're doing something for us."
Vincent took the folder with the paper in it and then turned to go,
"I'll be back in a few minutes." He said.

Vincent spread the warbonnet fern leaf on the table in front of them. Grace looked at it closely. Norm came back over from Jake's unit. He was still in link apparently.
"Is he ok?" Vincent asked, nodding toward Jake's unit.
"So far his Avatar isn't dead yet." Norm said. "If his Avatar is killed, he'll be disconnected automatically."
Vincent nodded. He watched as Max and Grace examined the leaf.
"This was left behind you said?" Grace asked.
Vincent nodded. "Yes. I found it on the operator's seat of my machine."
Grace nodded. She went over to another computer and began looking through a database of video log entries. She came to one with her talking about various plants and what they meant to Na'vi culture. Vincent listened intently to the video logs. Apparently the warbonnet leaf when given to someone as a sign of non-agression. The privilege was exclusive to just that individual though. If there were others in a group in addition to the person who was given the warbonnet leaf, they were not protected in any way. Just the individual given the leaf. Warbonnet fern leaves were used in making headdresses and also for ceremonial purposes.
"I wonder why you were chosen." Grace said. "Did you happen to stop the other machines for some reason?"
"We did have a couple of break downs at the same time." Vincent replied. "I shattered a cutter head trying to clear some Xanu brush. Pieces of cutter blade sturck other machines and disabled them. We had to stop for maintenance to do repairs."
Grace and Max both nodded.
"Than maybe that's the reason. You stopped the machines." Max said.
Vincent nodded. He told them the entire episode that occurred in the woods. Including the incident with the Warrior. Then the break downs. And finally the attack.
"So they killed the soldiers, and two of the drivers?" Grace asked.
Vincent nodded.
"The maintenance guys were in their track. Myself and the other surviving cutter driver were in our machines. They went after the soldiers first, for obvious reasons."
Grace nodded.
"Yeah... " Her voice trailed off.
"When we returned yesterday to assess the damage, that was when I found the fern leaf in my machine. All the other equipment was destroyed. Ripped apart, like some animal went haywire on them. Mining ops is furious, but not as furious as Quaritch."
Grace nodded again.
"The bastard is always annoyed by something." She said.
Vincent nodded in response.
"My cutter was left intact though. It wasn't damaged at all."
Grace looked at him.
"That's odd. I would have thought that all the machines would be destroyed."
"Maybe they saw Vincent as the one who stopped the machines." Norm said. "They may be showing him a small level of respect, or maybe they had a sign from Eywa."
"Eywa?" Vincent said, looking confused.
"Long story." Grace said. "Here's a datascreen that will answer your questions."
Vincent took the data screen and read through the information on it. Eywa was essentially a deity to the Na'vi. An all encompassing force that drove the entire being of Pandora. Putting down the data screen, Vincent looked a little confused.
"So what does this all mean?" He asked, looking at the leaf and then the data screen.
"The easy answer." Grace said. "Is they think you're one who has the power to stop the machines."
Vincent sat back, taking in the answer. He had no idea what to say or do.
"The hard answer," Norm said. "Is can you?"
Vincent nodded no.
"You know as well as I that I can't possibly shut down Miming operations completely."
"But you can probably do something to influence operations, either good or bad." Norm said.
It hit Vincent what Norm was getting at.
"You want me to sabotage mining operations?"
"Not necessarily." Grace said. "For now don't do anything. But I'm sure that when the time came, you could easily think of something."
Vincent nodded again.
"There are many ways to interr-"
At that moment a beeping indicated Jake was coming out of link. The others rushed over to help Jake out of the unit. They wheeled him over to Vincent, who stood up to greet him.
"I'm Vincent."
Jake shook Vincent's hand.
"I'm Jake Sully."
The two nodded at each other. Then Grace and Norm helped Jake out of the lab. Max came over to Vincent.
"Look." He said. "We're not asking you to start a war at mining operations. Not yet at least. but based on what you've told us, Quaritch and Parker will force the Na'vi out of Hometree. If that happens, you know there will be a war on our hands. And we will be truly fighting for our survival here on Pandora. Let's pray it doesn't come down to that at any cost. But if it does, you need to be prepared to fight."
Vincent nodded. Max continued.
"You've given us some valuable information, though it's information that we probably already know. It's good to have confirmation though. Keep us informed of anything. And remember that you may need to think of ways to fight, either by sabotaging or some other way. I have a bad feeling about what's going to come of the Na'vi at Hometree."
Vincent spoke up. "Yeah, I do, too."
Max looked out in the hallway.
"You probably should be on your way. You've been here for quite awhile. It might seem odd for a mining op to here this long."
Vincent nodded. Max carefully rolled the warbonnet fern leaf up and handed it back to Vincent.
"I'll be giving you the access codes to the lab in an encrypted message sometime in the next day or so." Max said. "That way you can come here whenever you need to."
Vincent nodded. "Thanks. I'll be heading out. As soon as I learn of anything more, I'll let you guys know."
"Good." Max said as he and Vincent walked to the door.
Vincent nodded to Max and left. His thoughts were racing 100 miles per hour. Vincent hadn't signed up for fighting any kind of war, but suddenly he found himself in the middle of one. Whether or not he would be on the winning side of this war was entirely another matter. Vincent sincerely hoped he would be on the victorious side. To that end, he began to think about the detailed operations of the mining division as he walked to his apartment. A plan was coming together...
« Last Edit: February 02, 2010, 09:55:54 pm by Technowraith »
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Re: Redemption
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2010, 07:20:12 pm »
Note: Before continuing, take note. There will be some adjustments and edits made to previous chapters. Mostly due to the incorrect naming of a certain character and some very slight continuity adjustment. Previous chapters will be edited accordingly. At some point in the future, if you've read the previous chapters, please re-read them to get a slightly better continuity. Edits and adjustments will be made over the course of a couple days or so.

Also, from here on out, the fan-fic will loosely follow the plot of Avatar. It IS NOT designed to run verbatim to the plot, but "along side of it as a side-story." Events will not be depicted 100% accurately. For those you that have seen Avatar, this fan-fic will actually extend slightly after the ending of the movie. So once "Avatar ends" the fan-fic stands alone on it's own plot arc again.

Irayo for reading and understanding!

On to the goods!

Chapter 9: Monotony
Vincent was in his Cutter, gouging out a road through a region of rock. He sighed heavily, The cutter head sliced the rock cleanly, he watched it drop to the ground. The last couple months had blurred together, as the routine of heavy mining work took over Vincent's life again. Thought he hadn't been clearing trees in the last few weeks, he felt just as bad at having to gouge the rock faces of Pandora for the same reasons he destroyed the forests. The refinery was almost complete, and the support factories were already churning out new pieces of equipment. Pit 3M was becoming a sobering, depressing reality. Selfrige was relentless in his task. Pushing the mining crews harder and farther then before. Vincent looked up and saw the huge massive tree in the distance. He was awestruck at it's beauty and sheer size. The first time he saw Hometree he almost wept. Remote controlled dozer crews were pushing ahead, to Ground Zero. The center point of Pit 3M. Since mining operations were encroaching directly onto Na'vi territory, RDA switched to using giant robotic dozers to finish the road to Pit 3M. Vincent and any human crews were restricted from leaving the Refinery Zone. Vincent heard the scream of a banshee, He looked up to see a Na'vi warrior flying overhead, hissing at the crashing machines below. Na'vi incursions had increased during the last month. Especially since the refinery zone was built. The satellite residential units the workers and crew lived in were constantly under assault from anything that lived, or breathedm Na'vi or otherwise. The night the Thanators attacked rocked Vincent's world. The violence outside was head spinning. The next day, Vincent saw all the blood spatter on the ground and could only imagine the carnage outside. Vincent kept his warbonnet leaf curled up in his pocket. Kind of like a good luck charm. He wished it would just end. Leave Pandora he thought. During the many assaults on the refinery zone, Vincent had broken down, hopelessly fighting a losing war it seemed. But every time he looked at the beautiful warbonnet leaf, it steeled his resolve. He wouldn't let the humans destroy Pandora like they did with Earth.

Vince stared at the holo-screen. His makeshift apartment was the size of a closet almost. Stifling. Small. He felt like a caged animal in a zoo. The window was small and even had safety bars across it to help prevent anything from getting in. Or getting out. At least not too easily. The screen flashed a new message. It was from Max.

"Vincent:

Negotiations with the Na'vi aren't going as well as we had hoped. Jake, Grace and Norm have been visiting the Omaticaya regularly. But they haven't been able to make any progress. Selfrige is losing his patience. I fear he may order the forceful removal of the Na'vi from Hometree. Be prepared. Scans show almost daily incursions on the refinery zone. Are you guys holding up well? If you have a plan that will aid us in some way, consider fine tuning and preparing it for use. I have a bad feeling Selfrige will be making a move very shortly.

Oh yes, I researched the local fauna in your area. Be very mindful that Viperwolves and Thanators reside near the refinery zone. Don't leave the residential section for any reason at night. Both predators can be nocturnal. Viperwolves for sure. Thanators by necessity.

On a good note, though. Jake is becoming accepted by the Omaticaya. With that, there is still hope that something may come about. From what Grace says, Jake will be celebrating a ceremony to become an Omaticaya within the next day or so. Then I hope he can negotiate relocation terms with the Na'vi.

-Max.

Max's hopes sank. It appeared that a peaceful solution wasn't going to happen. He definitely took mind of Max's notes about the Viperwolves and Thanators. He had heard them throughout the nights. He was terrified to meet either in person. The RDA also had an extensive military presence in the refinery zone. In fact, half the support personnel were military. Heavy arms were being produced at the factories in addition to mining equipment. Vincent knew what was coming. He just didn't know when. But his hopes were buoyed when Max made mention about Jake becoming an Omaticaya. That had some serious implications. But would that be enough to prevent a war? Vincent yawned and stretched. He was off the next week due to some R & R. He had run his shift with the enthusiasm of looking forward to his vacation. He would be transporting back to Hells Gate tomorrow morning. Vincent sighed with relief. He would be back at his regular apartment, and not stuck in this stifling closet.

Vincent opened a drawer below his bunk. He took out a thick binder, the pages were worn with use. He opened it. Inside were the detailed plans and procedures for mining operations. The standard operating procedures for mining operations, as written by some boneheads who never saw dirt in their lives most likely. Vincent had asked Reynolds for the book when he shipped out to the refinery zone. He told Reynolds that he wanted to double check machine operating procedures for all the equipment he was certified on. Reynolds agreed, handed him the manual and told him to keep it. Vincent had since been studying every nuance  of mining operations. From maintenance to load reporting. He had an in depth look at how to issue maintenance orders, and shut down equipment in the process. He also had detailed information on each piece of equipment. He knew each machine's strengths and weaknesses. Information that would be vital in a war. Vincent had kept in close contact with Marcus, as Marcus was still stationed at Hells Gate. It was through Marcus and Max that Vincent was able to keep close tabs on what was happening at Hell's Gate. Marcus was also able to get equipment access codes and other vital operating codes for the refinery. Vincent was armed with a wealth of information that could cripple, though not completely shut down RDA mining operations at Pit 3M. In the end, it was all Vincent had. But if he was going to aid Pandora in any way, he was going to give his best effort. After all, it was his survival and Pandora's survival he was fighting for.
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Re: Redemption
« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2010, 08:54:07 pm »
Chapter 10: The Beginning Of The End

The tiltrotor landed with a thud. "Welcome to Hell's Gate." A scratchy voice boomed over the intercom. Vincent donned his exo-pack and threw the door open. Air rushed upward, sucked through the spinning blades overhead. Vincent ducked and made his way across the tarmac to the airlock. He saw the steely figure of Quaritch standing in central operations, gazing out the window. He gave Vincent a nod, holding up a coffee mug. Vincent returned a quick wave. Vincent had seen the progress of the mine near Hell's Gate. The pit was enormous. While he worked in mining operations, Vincent didn't actually mine. He mostly cleared the forest, cut infrastructure and built stuff. To get him on the books cheaper, RDA classified him as a miner. On paper, he was earning a lower wage, but in reality, he commanded the higher wage of a construction specialist. In the end, it didn't matter to Vincent. It was all disgusting and perverse. The gracefulness of Pandora spat on and exploited by a bunch of rich, egotistical bastards. Vincent found himself clenching his fists, and had to remind himself to relax as he approached the airlock. Entering the airlock, air rushed in, and the doors de-pressurized. Vincent pushed the heavy door open and stepped into the busy hallway. He made his way to his apartment. He opened the door and on the floor he saw a piece of paper. It was from Norm who worked in the Avatar lab. Vincent took the paper and looked at it closely.

"Look up Avatar Training, Article 10-05. It's written by Max and I."

Vincent put the paper on his desk by the holo-screen, and then put his things away. He was happy to be back from the Refinery Zone. The portable residences were deplorably small. His apartment at Hell's Gate was a mansion in comparison. In a few minutes, Vincent was at the holo-screen looking through the database for Avatar 10-05. The entry flashed up.

"Avatar Training 10-05 - Entry level customs and cultural practices. Private Entry."

Vincent frowned and clicked on the entry. He had no idea what this was all about.

"Vincent: this is Max. I've gotten a hold of the Access codes for the Lab, Here they are. These are public access codes. Which means that you won't get in trouble for having these. The lab is open anytime really. Grace, Jake and Norm are up at Site 26, the mobile uplink site at the Hallelujah Mountains. They've been there for quite some time and will remain until further notice. You probably can't get there easily, but you can request air transportation with Samson 16 if you want to try and get there for some reason.

Avatar 42-05, the one you saw during our tour has been declared inactive. It's driver never showed up. We're not sure what we're going to do with it. I want to talk to you about something at a later time. In the meanwhile, run a commodities scan of sectors 10 and 11 and meet me in the lab with the results."

Vincent had no idea what Max was talking about. Avatar 42-05? He knew the commodities scans were just excuses to go to the lab. Vincent noticed the "Acknowledge Reply" button flashing on the screen. He pressed it and it went away. He was curious to know what Max wanted...

***   ***   ***

The lab was relatively empty when Vincent opened the door. Max was inside, monitoring some of the Avatars out in the Training Ground. He smiled and greeted Vincent warmly.
"Hey Vince."
"Hello again." Vincent replied.
He took the data screen he had with him and held it out for Max.
"The commodities scans. you asked for?"
Max nodded. He spoke into a headset.
"Take your Avatar to the sleeping area. We'll have a look at your uplink unit. Resume link in unit 4." Max said into a headset. He turned back to Vincent.
"Sorry, having a technical issue. Hold on."
Max went to a technician and gave her some instructions. She nodded and then went to an uplink unit and began preparing it for use. Max returned to Vincent, looking at the data screen. He paged through the scans. At the end if the scans, a new file came up,
"What's this?" Max asked.
"It's my idea for bringing this place down." Vincent replied.
Max opened the file and took a close look. The file was a detailed plan of mining operations at Hell's Gate and the nearby mine. In it, was a complete list of all the equipment used, the schedules of operation, and support systems infromation. Anything anyone wanted to know about Mining operations. Even equipment operator's manuals." Max looked the list over.
"What's this all about?" He asked.
"Sit down for this." Vincent said, nodding toward Grace's office.
Max went to Grace's office and closed the door behind Vincent. Max looked at Vincent.
"The RDA is eventually going to make a move on the Na'vi in sector 12. It's inevitable." Vincent said. "When that happens is when our plan kicks in."
Max nodded. "What is the plan?"
"I want you to see about what the Avatar drivers can do about infiltrating the remote mining support nodes on the fringes of the jungle."
Max watched as Vincent took the data screen and opened a map. On it were several red dots, scattered in a geometric pattern around Hell's gate and Sector 12.
"The remote mining support nodes are like mobile transceiver towers. They boost all the control signals for the remotely operated equipment. You take down a node, you'll disable all the equipment with in 10-15 clicks. These nodes aren't easy to repair. So damaging one will shut down remote operations for a substantial period of time. Thing is, they're built tough, but nothing one of those titanthere things can't trample easily."
Max nodded, understanding what Vincent was getting at.
"It won't shut down mining operations at the mines, but it will stop clearing operations and infrastructure construction in Sector 12. For the mines, i have a separate plan."
Vincent went on to describe his plans in brief summary for Max. Max seemed intrigued at the plans. He interjected here and there, offering his own words and ideas. At length, the two seemed satisfied.
"If you get a chance to tell Jake and the others, do so. But discreetly." Vincent said.
Max nodded.
"Ok. Will do."
At that, the two left Grace's office. Max led Vincent back to the stasis tanks. One still had an Avatar in it. Vincent looked at it, staring in wander.
"This Avatar's driver went MIA. He never showed up at last inbound roster." Max said.
Vincent nodded.
"Ummmm.... ok."
Max watched as Vincent kept staring at the Avatar.
"So what's gonna happen to this one?" Max asked.
"I was hoping you would ask." Max said, holding up a small needle.
"What is that?" Max asked.
"It's a DNA test kit."
It hit Vincent what Max was getting at. He backed away from Max.
"No... No."
Max was taken aback.
"What do you mean? I've seen your public video logs."
Vincent seemed a little flustered.
"Those were public?"
Max nodded. Vincent cursed under his breath.
"What?" Max said. "You've said you always wanted to try an Avatar."
"Yeah..." Vincent said, his voice trailing off.
"I need to test for DNA compatibility. The system we have in place allows for near 90% match compatibility. If your DNA is close enough, you'll be able to run an Avatar."
Vincent's head swam. "An avatar body? Are you insane?" Vincent thought to himself. He reeled back from Max again.
"Uhhh... is this a good idea?" Vincent said.
"Look." Max replied. "There's nothing wrong with checking for compatibility. I'll talk to Grace. She's been wanting to find a replacement driver anyway. We're not about to let this Avatar go idle."
Vincent was still hesitant, but he finally offered his arm for Max. He flinched when Max pricked him. A moment later, Max put a band-aid on Vincent's arm.
"Give the test 48 hours to get the results." Max said. "I'm sure it won't amount to anything."
Vincent nodded, but didn't reply. He followed Max back to the center of the lab. When they returned to the center consoles, Max found a message flashing on the holo-screen. It was from Grace Augustine. Max opened it and read it aloud.
"Hope you guys are holding the place together down there." The message started. "Jake was taken to the Tree of Souls. The lucky swine. I'd give almost anything to get a sample." The message ended there. Max shrugged.
"The Tree of Souls?" Vincent said.
"Yes." Max replied. "It's one of the most sacred locations to the Na'vi. Outsiders aren't allowed. At least that's what i gather from the videologs from Dr. Augustine."
Vincent nodded.
"Sounds worth saving."
Max nodded.
"The whole planet is worth saving."
"That it is." Vincent said. "We've got a plan  now."
He held up the data screen. Max nodded at the screen.
"Yeah. We got a plan."
Vincent smiled and then turned to leave. Max nodded to him as he left. Vincent was apprehensive about his plan, but he was confident it would work. In the least, he needed something in case things went south at Hell's Gate. Vincent smiled to himself as he stared at the blank data screen as while walking down the hallways of the compound. "This indeed is the beginning of the end." Vincent thought to himself. "The end of RDA on Pandora.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2010, 05:32:39 am by Technowraith »
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Re: Redemption
« Reply #16 on: February 09, 2010, 10:19:58 am »
As to quote an earlier comment, "Ni'ul! Nitxan ni'ul!" I like the idea of the stories side-by-side. Definitely keep it up!

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Re: Redemption
« Reply #17 on: February 09, 2010, 05:02:02 pm »
Chapter 11: Jumping Into The Unknown

Vincent stared out at the passing jungle. The world tilted to the left, as the tiltrotor veered toward the river. Vincent looked at his datascreen. It had a picture of a Tetrapteron. He looked at the flock of the creatures, honking and screeching as the tiltrotor flew by. Vincent watched as the water below dropped away into a thundering fall, seeming to float gently down to the chasm below. The huge trees whisked by below. Vincent leaned out and saw the dizzying distance to the ground below. He smiled to himself.
"Don't fall out." Trudy said through the radio. "Or else I won't stop."
"Roger that." Vincent said.
He was amazed that Max had managed to get him to fly with Trudy to Site 26. He had never been off the Hell's Gate compound, with the exception of the Refinery Zone in Sector 12. But he saw the videologs from Jake, Grace and Norm detailing the Hallelujah Mountains and the Stone Arches. Max had Vincent tag along with Trudy to help out with escorting supplies to the remote site. Vincent looked to his right and saw 5-10 fair sized crates. Not exactly a full load, but it was enough to give Max a go ahead to have an escort. Since Vincent was free from work for vacation, he was chosen.
"We're entering the Flux vortex." Trudy said.
"Ok." Vincent replied. "What's that?"
"It's the magnetic flux from the magnetic fields and the superconductivity of the unobtanium in the area. Makes flying fun."
Vincent got a little nervous. "Uhhhh...."
"Nothing to worry about." Trudy said with a grin as the Samson entered the fog surrounding the edge of the flux vortex.
"I can't see for peanuts." Vincent said, leaning out as far as he dared.
"You're not the only one." Trudy said.
Vincent's head swam. He was having second thoughts about joining Trudy at the moment. Just as he thought that it could get worse, the fog lifted, and the view before him left him breathless. The huge monoliths of stone floated in the air, as if by magic. The huge mountains were simply floating. Floating! How in the world does rock float? Vincent stared at everything around him. He was awestruck at the beauty. The mist from the waterfalls, the forested monoliths. Off in the distance, Vincent could see the Stone Arches. Graceful, massive arches spanning hundreds of meters. The whole beauty of the area was overwhelming. Vincent had never seen anything like it. Trudy saw his him as he stared at the landscape.
"Trust me, it's the first thing I did." Trudy said.
"It's... "
"Don't even bother. You won't find the words." Trudy grinned. "We're on final approach. There's the lab."
Vincent saw two long gray containers, sitting right next to each other. The Samson touched down.
"Welcome to Site 26. I hope you enjoyed your flight." Trudy said,
Vincent nodded, and hopped down onto the ground. He went to the other side and began offloading the containers. Trudy joined him a minute later as the Tiltrotor whined to a halt, it's blades slowly stopping. Vincent followed Trudy to the airlock. He looked in the windows and saw Norm and Jake sitting at a table. Dr. Augustine was seen a second later. Trudy ushered Vincent into the airlock. The airlock de-pressurized and the door swung open. Dr, Augustine greeted them warmly.
"Hello Trudy and Vincent."
Trudy and Vincent returned the greeting. They put the containers where Grace directed them to. Norm and Jake had gone outside to retrieve the last of the supply containers. In a few minutes the supplies were stowed. Everyone gathered around the main kitchen area.
"I'm surprised you're here, Vincent." Grace said.
"Well, I am on vacation for awhile." Vincent replied. "Max told me to come along as escort."
Jake wheeled up next Vincent.
"So I hear you've been accepted into the Avatar program." Jake said.
"I guess." Vincent said. "I'm not entirely sure about it though."
Grace looked at Vincent.
"Well, I need a replacement and your DNA is a 91% match. You're within the compatibility requirements. So you can drive an Avatar if you want."
Vincent stared at the table. He was more shocked than anything when Max had called him to the lab and showed him the test result. Vincent had expected nothing to come of it. But on the contrary. Max had provided Vincent with basic information about the uplink and the Avatar program. Vincent decided to learn what he could. Max had patiently answered all his questions and concerns. In the end, Vincent's apprehension surrounding the Avatar program began to fade. But he was still hesitant. So now here he sat, with two of the most proficient Avatar drivers on Pandora: Grace and Norm. Jake wasn't exactly experienced, but he seemed to pick it up quickly. Grace interrupted Vincent's thoughts.
"You will be undergoing link initiation tomorrow." She said. "That will allow you to acclimate to your Avatar body. One of the drivers back at Hell's Gate will accompany you on your first foray in your Avatar."
Vincent nodded. His stomach was tightening, like that feeling he got when he reached the top of a roller coaster. It wasn't a bad feeling. It was a feeling of apprehension mixed with sheer excitement. He almost couldn't wait to get back to Hell's Gate.
"Jake will be flying back with you." Grace said. "He has a briefing he needs to present to Selfrige for me. I also hear he needs to see Quaritch. So I'm sure you two will have a lively conversation about the Avatar world."
Vincent nodded at Jake. Norm was already rummaging through the supplies that were dropped off. "Do we have anything good to eat?" He grumbled. "Those MRE's are deplorable."
He rifled through the food containers and groaned as he drew out more MRE's. Vincent shrugged. "Sorry." Vincent said. "Come back to Hell's Gate to eat at the mess hall?"
Norm grunted and said something uninteligible. At that, Trudy stood up.
"We probably should head back." She said, looking at her watch. "Night ops are still forbidden."
Jake went off to get ready. Vincent picked up his Exo-pack.
"Well, I'll definitely be at the lab tomorrow for initiation." Vincent said.
"Good." Grace replied.
"Yeah," Norm chimed in. "I won't have to chase him down at least."
Jake scowled loudly at Norm, but then chuckled. Vincent simply smiled. After a short time, Jake was ready. Grace gave him a datascreen.
"Give them hell." She said, patting Jake's shoulder.
"I will." He replied.
Vincent waved to Grace and Norm as he followed Jake and Trudy back to the airlock. A few minutes later, everyone was aboard the tiltrotor. The whine of the Samson filled the air as it lifted off. Jake and Vincent began talking about the Avatars and how they worked. Vincent was looking forward to link initiation the next day. He was truly jumping into the unknown now.
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Re: Redemption
« Reply #18 on: February 09, 2010, 06:56:10 pm »
Chapter 12: Learning To Walk Again

Vincent stared at the Avatars in the room beyond. They were graceful, exquisite. A natural wander to Vincent. His Avatar looked no different than the typical Na'vi Vincent read about in the public database. The Avatar next his looked almost identical, except for the darker pattern of blue stripes. Like an earth zebra's unique stripes. Each Avatar had a pattern of stripes and spots that was unique to that individual. Analogous to a human finger print. Vincent was drawn out of his thoughts by a voice. It was Max.
"Vincent?" Max said. "This is Joseph."
Vincent turned to see Max standing with Joseph.
"Hi." Vincent said, shaking Joseph's hand.
"Hi, Vincent" Joseph said. "So you're ready?"
"Uhhh... Not really." Vincent said. "But I can't imagine it's too terrible."
Max nodded.
"It's easier than you think." Max said.
With that, Max led Vincent and Joseph to a link module. It sat open and ready for use. Joseph patted Vincent on the back.
"It won't be bad. Trust me."  Joseph said.
Vincent nodded. Max pushed several buttons. The machine powered on, and whirred as the link module did a self test. Vincent looked at the unit. It wasn't much different than a tanning bed really. There was a fold-down sensor that covered the body. And the entire inside was a soft, but firm exo-gel that conformed to the body. For comfort more than anything. Joseph climbed into his link module. A technician pressed more buttons and then got Joseph situated. A moment later, the technician dropped the lid of the module. It slid forward into the machine's rotating drum. Vincent stared at his module. He took a quick look at the Avatars in the other room. He noticed one was beginning to sit up.
"It's not scary." Max said. "If you feel you need to bail on the link, just think Eject. The psionic interface is programmed to detect for that. Thinking Eject will cut the link and shutdown the module. This is mostly for beginners. But it's always available. Even the more experienced drivers still rely on Eject to exit link when appropriate. Don't worry though. You'll be fine."
Vincent nodded. He still stared at the module. The Avatar in the other room was looking at Vincent and Max. At length, Vincent climbed into the link module. He looked down as Max closed the sensor over his body. He held the lid open.
"Remember what I told you. Let your mind go blank." Max said. "See you when you get back."
Vincent was about to say something when the lid closed. The soft lighting inside the module kept him comfortably lit. He looked around the confined space. Vincent settled in and let his mind go blank. Almost immediately, the first thought in his head was "Eject!" In a moment, the lid opened and Max ran over.
"What happened?" Max said. "Don't tell me you already bailed. You didn't even make it past link stabilization."
Vincent nodded, but didn't say anything.
"Try again." Max said. "This time, just relax. You'll be ok."
Max dropped the lid again. Plunged into the darkness of the link module, Vincent sat there wandering what would happen next. His mind wandered here and there, but then settled. In a few minutes Vincent was lost in the psionic link...

***     ***     ***

The world was blurry. And loud. Focus. Focus again. Two fuzzy objects came into view. A bright spot. A name. "Vincent?" The name sounded like thunder. Vincent squinted at the bright spot again. "Vincent?" This time, the name wasn't as loud, or bothersome. The world focused and the blur went away. Vincent blinked. His bright yellow eyes scanned the room. Two technicians in suits were looking down at him.
"Vincent?" One said. "It's good to see you here."
Vincent nodded. "Hi." He said hesitantly. His voice was essentially the same as his own. Another Avatar popped his head into view.
"Vincent." It said. "It's me, Joseph"
"Hi, Joseph." Vincent replied.
"All right. Have a look at your new body."
Vincent held up his arms. He saw the blue skin, the stripes and spots. He flexed his hands, wiggling his fingers. The two technicians were taking notes and assisting Vincent.
"Take it easy, Vincent. You're still adjusting to your Avatar." The technician said.
Joseph watched as Vincent flexed his legs, wiggled his toes, and stretched. Sitting up, Vincent looked around the room. He saw Max through the window. He waved. Max waved back, smiling at Vincent.
"How does it feel?" Max said through a radio headset.
"Feels good." Vincent said.
Joseph and the technicians helped Vincent stand up. Vincent felt something tap him on the shoulder. He spun wildly to his left, knocking one of the technicians to the ground. Vincent spun in the other direction, knocking items off a table with his long prehensile tail. Vincent almost fell to the ground at the sudden changes in footing.
"Easy!" Joseph said firmly, catching Vincent just enough to prevent him from falling to the floor. He held Vincent's tail out. "You have a tail now. Remember that. You can knock people out with this if you're not careful."
Joseph nodded toward the technician. Vincent was embarrassed.
"S-sorry guys." He stammered. He took his tail and looked at it closely. He let it go and watched it twitch and sway on it's own. Joseph began explaining to Vincent the nuisances of Avatar living. As he did so, the technicians gave Vincent a short battery of motor control tests and evaluations. A short time later, they cleared Vincent.
"Looks like you're ready to play." Joseph said. Vincent nodded. "Let's go."
Vincent stood up carefully and after a few minutes got his footing again. He walked slowly, adjusting to his Avatar still. Joseph helped Vincent when he needed it. After several minutes of walking around the room, Vincent was confident he could walk on his own. He tried a few steps on his own. And almost landed on the floor. Max was looking concerned, but it wasn't serious. Avatars were surprisingly resilient, so a few minor bumps and bruises weren't an issue. New drivers always banged up their Avatars on the first trip out. A short time later, Vincent was walking on his own without any aid. Joseph led Vincent to the door. Throwing it open, the two Avatars went outside into the bright sunlight. After a time, Max could see Vincent and Joseph running around having a good time outside. Max smiled to himself as he watched the two Avatars. When Max first met Vincent, he knew there was more than meets the eye...
« Last Edit: February 11, 2010, 07:37:31 pm by Technowraith »
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Re: Redemption
« Reply #19 on: February 10, 2010, 07:46:00 pm »
Chapter 13: Jungle Ruckus

Vincent peered out from behind the tree. He was staring at a herd of Hammerhead Titantheres. They seemed peaceful and relaxed. Vincent gingerly stepped back. He rejoined Joseph and another Avatar, several meters away from the herd.
"That's them?" Joseph said quietly.
Vincent nodded. He looked up at the thinner tree they were standing next to. About 30 feet off the ground was a large gray box. It had a number stamped on the front: RMU: 100-S12-01. It was a remote transceiver box. It's purpose was to boost and relay the remote signals used to control the remotely operated equipment in the area.
"Keep an eye on the Hammerheads." Vincent said to Joseph. "I'm going up to have a look at the box."
Joseph nodded. The other Avatar who joined them didn't say anything. He just looked around nervously, keeping an eye out for bigger problems, Like Thanators or Leonopteryxes. Vincent shimmied up the tree with ease. He had begun to love his Avatar form, and spent quite a bit of time in the Lab gaining more experience with his Avatar. He was a new precedent. The Avatar Program while expensive to maintain, had fallen upon an unexpected shortfall: lack of qualified drivers. The Resources Development Administration had created such a stringent screening program that it was discovered that less than 1% of all applicants to the Avatar program were accepted. As such, a shortage of drivers was becoming a major issue. Grace had mandated a study of the program to see if any training was really "needed." Though she preferred people with qualifications, the growing shortage of drivers was an issue that was coming to a head. Very rapidly. Dr. Augustine's internal study revealed a shocking discovery: A driver didn't need years of training in the end. At least not to physically move an Avatar. It simply took a week or so of physical training and motor control repetition to become proficient in driving an Avatar. The "years of training" more or less was a stipulation that in order to even think of seeing an Avatar, one had to have years of post-graduate study under their belts. Which made sense so one could be outfitted with the knowledge to live and interact accordingly on Pandora while in Avatar form. Jake Sully, in a way, was a successful experiment. Though he had no link training, and next to nothing in terms of academic experience, he was a former marine. And that said something. Jake's success was one of the primary reasons Vincent was allowed to enter the program. Grace had squabbled with Parker Selfrige for many hours before she essentially gave him no choice in the matter. Vincent would be leaving mining operations temporarily to "assist in Avatar functions out in the field." Reluctant as he was, Selfrige relented and authorized the transfer. While Vincent was not officially informed as of yet, he would be receiving notice of his change of duties in due time.

Vincent reached the box. He took out a screw driver from one of his pockets and used it to pop the lid open. Inside was a maze of wires and several large circuit boards. A transmitter antenna, a solar power source, and a control pad. Vincent smiled. He punched in a command code. The led screen lit up and displayed several green and blue dots. The green dots inched around the screen. Vincent frowned. The remotely controlled dozers were making their way toward the what appeared to be the huge tree in the center of the sector. The blue dots flashed on and off at regular intervals. Vincent squinted at the screen, and saw one of the blue dots was labeled the same as the box he was at: RMU-100-S12-01. That confirmed his suspicion. He punched in a new command code and the screen went blank. Vincent replaced the cover and snapped the retaining the locks in place. As he did so, one broke off, falling to the forest floor.
"Oh s***." Vincent said aloud.
The two Avatars on the ground below shot their heads up to see what was wrong.
"What's wrong?" Joseph said.
"The retaining clip broke off." Vincent said, annoyed.
"Is the other one ok?" Joseph asked.
"Yeah." Vincent replied. "Coming back down."
Joseph and the other Avatar stepped away from the tree. They were aware of the Titanthere herd, which was about 50 meters away. The herd was still relaxed. A branch snapped.
"Dammit... Oh sh-" Vincent yelled.
More branches snapped and then the thud of a body crashing through the leaves. Vincent landed on the ground in front of Joseph. He swore again. He was about to say something when a roar filled the jungle. More roars. Then thumping. It was getting closer. A lot closer.
"Run!" The other Avatar said. "The Hammerheads!"
Vincent's eye grew wide as he saw a thundering Titanthere bearing down on them. It was no play posture. It was a "You're in my house! Get out now!" posture. Joseph yanked Vincent to his feet and they both turned and took off toward the waiting Samson.
"Samson 22, power up now! Hammerhead stampede!" Joseph yelled into the radio. The garbled acknowledgement from Samson 22 was lost in the rush to get away. Vincent looked back to see the titanthere hit the tree the remote box was mounted on, It splintered and shattered, bringing the box down with it. Other titantheres ran along, trampling and smashing the box to oblivion. The forest was alive with destruction as titantheres smashed the smaller trees to pieces. Samson 22 was just up ahead. The pilot and other Avatar were gesturing for Vincent and Joseph to move faster. Finally the two made it to the tiltrotor and jumped in. Samson 22 lifted off just before the titantheres reached them. Vincent sat slumped on the floor next to Joseph, breathing hard. His tail twitched wildly as the adrenaline coursing through his system began to die down. Joseph sat up and stared down at the rampaging titantheres. The spot where they just left was now full of them. It appeared that the herd was settling down, as they seemed to stop moving and began filtering out to graze on foliage again.

***     ***     ***

Samson 22 touched down at Hell's Gate, Vincent took a look toward the command area and saw a flurry of activity. He followed the two other Avatars back to the Avatar section of the compound. The sleeping area for the Avatars was open, and several open cots sat unoccupied.
"Let's exit link." Joseph said. "There's bound to be some hell at the command center."
Vincent and the other Avatar nodded in agreement, So they all sat on a separate cot. As they did so, technicians in suits came up to them and took their things to bring them back to the compound. A moment later, Vincent's Avatar closed his eyes and the world faded. The lid of the link module opened, bathing Vincent in the harsh light of the Lab. Max came over to him.
"Are you ok?"  Max said.
"I'm fine." Vincent said. "Nothing like a good run."
"Yeah." A voice said. Vincent turned to see Jospeh coming up. "A good run from Hammerheads."
The two started laughing.
"Hey." Vincent said. "Operations must be going crazy."
"Why is that?" Max asked as he checked a datascreen.
"The titantheres took down one of the remote boxes for the equipment."
Max looked at Vincent. "Really?"
"Yeah... they borke the tree it was mounted on." Joseph said. "Then trampled the box in the resulting stampede."
"That will get mining ops' blood boiling."
Vincent was at a holo-screen, bringing up a map. On it was a flashing red outline. Inside the outline were 7 red dots, also flashing. The message said :"RMU 100-S12-01 Out of Service. D2112, D2114, D482,  D484,C2190, C2255, C2982 Out of Service."
"Seven pieces went down." Vincent said. "Wow."
"All in Sector 12?" Max asked.
Vincent nodded.
"Damn." Joseph said. "How long will they be down?"
"Probably about a week until they can rebuild and mount a new box."  Vincent said.
"Wow." Max said.
"Yeah..." Vincent said. "Knowing Mining Ops, they will double team it and try get a new box out in a few days. They've been doing that a lot to keep delays down. Pit 3M is not progressing on schedule from what I've learned down at Mainstage."
Max and Joseph both nodded. Vincent looked at them and yawned. He was actually tired. And he was beginning to show it.
"I think I'll hit rack time for awhile." Vincent said.
"Sounds like a plan." Joseph said.
"All right." Max said. "I'll see you two tomorrow, 08:00."
Vincent and Joseph both acknowleged with a nod. At that, the left the lab. The two considered visiting the command center, but then decided not to. They were having enough problems at the moment. Vincent and Joseph made their way to the residential section and separated as they approached Vincent's apartment.
"See ya tomorrow." Vincent said.
"Yep. See ya." Joseph replied as he patted Vincent's back and then went down the hall to his apartment. Vincent watched him go in. When the door closed, he turned and entered his own apartment. He sat down in the comfy recliner and turned to look out at the forest beyond the perimeter fence. He smiled to himself. The stampede was no accident. And Vincent damn well knew that.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2010, 07:47:31 pm by Technowraith »
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