Coldstone Chronicles: TS: Oracle, part 2 (Interactive!)

Please note that this series has been discontinued because of lack of interest. (Which is to say, lack of comments.) I can get more feedback by applying my time to other projects. Thank you.

-=Chapter 3=-

"Computer: Record Ship's Log, M.S.V. Starfire."

"Ship's log, 11/129. After a critical technical malfunction in the ship's primary power system, we have been forced to land on Mianor III, an inhabited but pre-spaceflight terranoid world under full Confederation quarantine for unknown reasons. Unfortunately, we lost control of the ship during the final moments of our landing, and the Starfire came to rest in a primitive settlement, likely with heavy native casualties...." Captain Marcus Carey paused momentarily. He knew that ‘heavy native casualties' was euphemising the situation...

"... Before we were aware of the quarantine, we brought aboard an injured Mianorian, whose situation is improving. He is still unconscious, but does not appear to be diseased. We have not yet sighted any other members of the apparently human race of sentients here. I've sent our engineer and tactical officer to ascertain the extent of damage to our power distribution system. End recording, append terse technical data and save."

How are we ever going to get out of this fine mess?

Only a week had passed since the crew of the MSV Starfire , a salvage vessel operating in the sparsely inhabited Galactic outback, had been extracted from a very unpleasant encounter with the ALV Insidae , and now, again, they were in mortal peril. This was shaping up to be a lousy month.

-=%=-

Jules - wearing an environment suit, in case there was a plague here and they hadn't already brought it on board with the Mianorian - crouched in the meter-long space where two of the four the main power conduits were exposed. The interior of the compartment was scorched and melted; it had been only with great difficulty that he and Chikar had removed the piece of exterior panelling that covered this service compartment.

There had definitely been a fire here, and it had been very hot.
The engineer looked at the charred remnants of the main power conduits. Both pairs were melted through, the cooling jackets utterly destroyed.

The backbone power-transmission system was made from a material that was a superconductor even above room temperature, but it's resistance increased dramatically as it warmed past a certain point - and since the electricity consumed by resistance becomes heat, it unleashes a vicious cycle unless power is cut off.

That, apparently, is what had happened here. But Starfire 's power system was almost quadruply redundant - any of the four conductors could supply the ship in all but the most demanding usages. Furthermore, even if a fire should destroy one set, the remaining two were on the bottom of the ship, with many meters of the ship's interior separating them.

He picked up a shard of the ceramic exterior insulator. It was supposed to withstand temperatures up to two thousand degrees...
"Jules, I see some natives..." he heard Chikar say.

He poked his head up, and looked around. The tactical officer was staring off into this distance, his hand raised to shield his eyes from the glare of the rising sun.

"How far away?"

"Quite a ways, but they're coming towards the ship... slowly. There's maybe fifteen or twenty."

Chikar squinted. One of the natives was riding a vaguely equine animal of some sort. He couldn't make out much detail.

"Armed?"

"I can't tell yet."

"Okay, let me know when you can..." Jules said, retreating back into the crawlspace. As he glanced once more over the ashy remains of the conduits, he caught sight of a singular piece of metal. It was blue, and seemed unmelted by the flame, but it had ragged edges. He picked it up for closer examination in the early morning light.

The engineer noticed dozens more fragments like it, lying hidden in the blackened debris.

"Chikar, what do you make of these? Here, look," Jules requested, offering a handful of the shards as he climbed out.

"Sure," Chikar said, taking them from his glove and examining them intently.

"Looks like shrapnel," the tactical officer replied.

"I think it is."

"We can run it through the database..." the reptilian suggested, turning over the largest fragment.

"Oh. No, we don't need to do that," he continued, in response to the markings he discovered on one of them.

"Why not?"

"This one is engraved ‘D-39 Combination Explo', which I think can be assumed to mean ‘explosive'. D-39 is a Confederate munition..."

"Why ‘combination'? And what was it doing blowing up our power conduits?"

"It's an incendiary weapon, but it also produces a lot of these," he replied, referring to the fragment. "I don't know how it got there."

"We've been sabotaged," Jules said, scowling at the pieces as Chikar returned them.

Chikar nodded. "Is there any way to tell how long it was there?" he inquired.

"We can go over the security logs, and see when the panel was last open..."

The communications device in his suit cut off his words.

"Marcus to Jules - I see some natives standing over on that hill. They've got some kind of long pole things, they might be firearms," the captain said.

"Okay, Chikar and I will come back inside as soon as this panel's closed - I think I found our problem."

-=%=-

"Definitely sabotage. Based on the logs " - Jules gestured to a newly re-activated computer terminal - " the bombs were placed on the ship when it was inside the Paladin after that mess with the Insidae ," he concluded.

Marcus replied. "What? Who on the Paladin would want to destroy us?"

"I don't know, but I very much doubt the explosives were intended to destroy us outright. They'd have been better off with conventional explosives - the lines would have been severed suddenly instead of taking minutes to melt."

"True."

"I'm not sure how it was set off, but it had really great timing to let us off so near a nice, habitable planet."

"Maybe it was meant to strand us in space - with no power..."

"I dunno. Maybe. But they sure picked a strange method for it - ‘destruction by power-failure', even sudden power-failure, isn't exactly a quiet way to destroy a ship. I mean, our logs show the ship sent several automated distress calls when the situation started going downhill. If they wanted, they could have put the same bombs inside the command-pod reactor jacket - and none of us would be here," he said.

"Strange. Well, I guess we can save the question of ‘Who' for after our rescue shows up."

"More than strange - who wants to harm us? It's not..."

"Those collectivist aliens, the giant rodent people, ‘President' Clart..." interrupted Amara, stationed at one of the consoles behind them.

"But on the Paladin?"

"Search me."

Marcus sighed as he sat down in the captain's chair. The natives were standing some distance away on the hill, and hadn't moved in a while - although they appeared to have set up something on a tripod. He hoped it was a telescope or some sort of signalling device...

"Do we have external video back yet?" the captain asked.

"Yeah," Jules responded.

"Can you zoom on the Mianorians over there? I want to know what that thing they've got is..."

"Sure."

The ship's engineer walked over to a control panel and keyed in an angle on the natives. A moment later, a picture of a group of men standing around a tripod mounted machine appeared on one of the working monitors.

They were dressed in uniforms, dark brown in colour. Hanging from their belts were swords, and slung on their backs were tall weapons of some sort. Sunlight reflected from metal objects attached to them - bayonets?

"Ah, the welcoming committee," quipped Amara.

"They're not necessarily hostile, it's a reasonable precaution..." Marcus defended. The natives in the picture seemed to be occupied with their machine.

"That's funny, there were a lot more when Chikar and I saw them. They had a pack animal with them." Jules said, noticing that there were only five soldiers.

Marcus thought about the situation. He wondered if they should take the initiative in contacting the natives, or if they should let things take their present course and react dynamically.

"Time for a little diplomacy, then," he decided.

"You're going out there? To talk to them?" Amara asked, rather shocked. "Why don't you send D-12 instead?” she suggested, stopping just short of pointing out that with a little showmanship, they might be able to convince the natives that D-12 was an unstoppable Golem and that the ship should be left alone...

"I think they'll respond better to a human... they're humanoid in appearance, they might even sympathize with our plight and understand that we're victims - the same as them," Marcus said.

"Yeah... Wait, I have an idea..."

-=%=-

Amy stepped down onto the surface of Mianor III, her boots making an impression in the ashes. The android looked around, but saw no one in sight.

While she couldn't argue with the captain's assertion that she was more durable and easier to fix than her organic crew-mates, she was not convinced of the necessity of making contact in the first place - or her qualifications for doing so.

Amy walked alongside Starfire , occasionally stepping over or ducking under the blacked ruins - there was still no sign of the Mianorians.

Then, rounding an outcropping of the ship, she caught sight of a group of them - three soldiers, equipped with primitive firearms. One was riding a mule-like animal, and was apparently their commander. His shoulders were adorned with decorative pads that seemed to be gilded.

She wasn't sure what to do. The first and foremost problem was the language barrier, of course - the information from an original survey mission in Starfire 's databases had given only a dictionary of a few hundred words in one of the languages spoken on the planet.

The native riding the pack animal gave some verbal instructions to his underlings - she didn't recognize the words, although his speech had a number of phonemes in common with the words from the dictionary.

She finally stepped out into the clearing with the soldiers, hands raised non-threateningly. One of them saw her - and raised his weapon.

"Yrk!" he shouted. Amy stopped - that wasn't in the dictionary...
The Mianorians regarded her uncertainly, but at least only one of them was pointing a weapon.

"Noth jei qurg?" hhe commander asked, as he directed his animal nearer.

That was an improvement - she understood the first two words, at least. He apparently wanted to know who she was.

"Noth jey Aime," she replied, hoping that there wasn't any special form of address required for this person...

"Lur qoje ke nar ergoth?" he asked. She wasn't sure if he had understood.

Amy tried to figure out what he was talking about - of the words, only ke was in the dictionary - and it was a conjunction. Not very helpful. What's worse, their accent was fairly different from the dictionary, and it seemed likely that it reflected a different language in the same linguistic family. This was not good.

"Lur qoje?" the commander asked again, firmly. He raised his weapon.

Amy tried to communicate her inability to understand.
"Yejen nar onten,” she replied, hoping that the sentence structure was correct.

It got no comment from the commander, but one of his men turned and spoke to him. The Mianorian nodded approval to whatever the infantryman had said, and then that soldier stepped forward.

He began to speak, in the language from the dictionary.

{"Are you from the south?"}

Amy was relieved immensely.

{"No, I came from the across the high heavens with my co-workers in our flying ship."} That dictionary's technical vocabulary is woefully inadequate...

The soldier adopted a bemused expression.

{"Flying ship?"}

Amy gestured to the Starfire... then decided that she'd better start explaining about that whole ordeal.

At was at that point that she realized that the only words in the dictionary that even remotely described what the ship had done to the town were Grentj, meaning ‘v: To squish, as one does to a pest insect', and Quine, ‘v: To destroy with volcanic fire, usually referring metaphorically to an act of Drigon, the maleficent fire deity of Mianorian lore.' Not very diplomatic.

{"I am sorry that our ship has sat on the houses. It was not intended."} she replied awkwardly.

The other soldier said something she didn't understand to his commander.

{"We have a person of yours on our ship, we saved him."} she continued.

{"Is he in good health? Is he your captive?"} the soldier asked.

{"Yes, and no, we moved him to our ship to save him from the..."} That dictionary has a woefully inadequate general vocabulary, too. How could one fail to include the word for ‘fire'?

She slowly lowered one arm and pointed to some burnt timbers. The Mianorian with his rifle aimed at her shifted his position.

"Quiuer,” he said, as he gestured to the charcoal with his free hand. {"Wait,"} the soldier finished. He then turned to his commander and the two had a discussion in their local language.

Amy watched the native with the rifle carefully. Things were going fairly well so far...

-=%=-

The crew - except for Amy and Chikar, who was tending to the Mianorian - were crowded around a display screen. They saw Amy standing with the three natives, two of which were conferring.

"I wish I knew what they were saying,” said Amara.

"Well, there's no shooting going on, and they aren't having to gesture too much, so I'd say things could be a lot worse,” replied Jules. The engineer pressed a control, and zoomed in somewhat. The two natives stopped talking, and then the one not seated on the mule turned back to Amy. He said something and then partially raised his weapon.

The crew watched as Amy walked back the way she had come, followed closely by the two-armed natives.

"She's coming back," Marcus observed aloud.

"That's good... I think," Amara said quietly as Jules reached over to the controls again, the trio having passed out of view.

"Ask her where they're going,” the captain said to Jules.

He nodded and opened a communication directly to Amy's audio input. "The captain wants to know where you're going."

Text appeared on one of the monitors. We're headed back to the ship, to collect the Mianorian we rescued - this ‘diplomacy' seems to be proceeding satisfactorily, captain, but I can't say if that will be the case in the long term; these natives may not be from the affected area - there may be others who are less understanding.

"Alright, I'll have Chikar bring him to the airlock," Marcus said.

-=%=-

"I'm very sorry, captain, but I'm having some difficulty containing him--" Chikar spoke into the nearest intercom, as the now-conscious Mianorian lad was trying to escape his grasp. The native yelled out in words that were unintelligible to Chikar, and struggled violently.

"Ah!” the reptilian exclaimed, as the screaming Mianorian planted his foot firmly on top of Chikar's.

"Well, sedate him then--” the captain's voice replied over the intercom.

"I'm sorry, sir but I don't kno-- ow! -- know where it is!” there was a pause for a moment. "Sir, I could use some help..."

"I'll send Amara down," Marcus agreed. He realized that Chikar hadn't been the best choice for that job - it would have been better to use someone who looked at least somewhat familiar to the undoubtedly frightened youth. But then, he hadn't expected the Mianorian to have woken up so soon.

Chikar finally managed to get the native into a semi-restrained position - or so he thought.

"Arrg!" Chikar moaned, as his captive sunk his teeth into his forearm.

Oh no...

The Mianorian quickly removed his mouth as he discovered why Chikar's species, the Danak, had no natural predators on their home world.

"Captain, he just bit me!" Chikar yelled as the native began to choke on the allergenic compounds he'd picked up by biting Chikar.

Apparently, Mianorians were particularly sensitive - within a few seconds, Chikar's former assailant was on his knees, in obvious respiratory distress. The reptilian bounded across the room to a storage unit where the medical supplies were stored, looking for something to reverse the reaction.

Chikar was not a doctor, however - if fact, none of them were, and the only person even remotely qualified to treat an acute allergic reaction was waiting to present a healthy, happy Mianorian youth as a gesture of goodwill.

He looked at the various phials in the cabinet, but they're labelling was obscure. Behind him, the Mianorian was writhing about on the deck - The situation had gone from bad to worse. As usual.

Chikar turned to the intercom. "Captain, he is having a bad reaction from biting me, and I don't know what to do..."

There was a short delay, then he heard Marcus' reply. "Just a minute. I'll try to ask Amy..."

A moment later, Amara walked into the room.

"What hap--” she began to ask, startled at the scene.

"He bit me! He's allergic..." Chikar quickly replied.

Amara muttered something he didn't understand. He gathered from the tone that he didn't really want to anyway.

-=%=-

Amy and the two Mianorian soldiers stood on the outside of the Starfire , near the closed airlock. It was late morning, and the hot sun already beat down on them, the natives squinting because of the reflection from the metal hull of the spacecraft.

The tension of the situation was rising - she'd just been informed of the situation going on inside, and the soldiers were growing impatient.

{"Where is the person?"} the one who understood the dictionary's language asked.

{"Wait, please, I must go inside the ship."}

{"No. Have them bring the person outside."} he demanded sharply.

She was unsure how to respond. If she told him that the Mianorian was sick and needed attention, it would appear that she had lied earlier about his state of health...

{"It is important, please. I will bring him to you soon."}

{"Why?"}

There was no avoiding attempting to explain now. She hoped for the best.

{"Because the person is now sick. I need to help him."}

{"You said he was in good health a little while ago."} the sceptical native replied.

{"Please, he may die if you do not let me go inside the ship."}

{"Is that a threat?"}

{"No! He is sick--"}

{"How do you know?"}

Amy was unsure how to respond. This was a fairly rare occurrence, as the android was gifted with an electronic mind that operated about five times faster than it's human counterpart; but even that advantage did not provide enough time for her to formulate a credible response.

{"I said, in what way do you know he is sick?"} the soldier said, rephrasing the question. She could hear Chikar's voice at the same time, over her audio channel, asking franticly what to do about the worsening Mianorian...

{"How do you know he is sick?"} the soldier asked again, annunciating each word. He looked irritated, frustrated, or some combination of both. Amy wasn't sure.

{"Will you let me go inside the ship if you come with me?"}
It seemed inadvisable, but she couldn't spend any more time thinking about it.

The soldier she addressed turned to his companion and spoke. The other man made some sort of gesture; she didn't know if it was a positive or negative one.

{"Yes, but wait for more rigren."} he finally replied. The other infantryman was shouting to someone Amy couldn't see, on the ground.

She guessed from context that he referred to soldiers. That was not good...

-=%=-

"She just said what?" Marcus asked emphatically to Jules, who was reading the text of Amy's communication with the ship.

"That the Mianorians are coming on board,” he said, and then read some fresh text. "Oh.. more of them. Not just the two..."

"No! Amy, I can't let them on board! Figure out something --” he shouted into the audio link. Chikar interrupted the captain.

"Captain, the Mianorian has passed out..." Amara's voice said, via the intercom.

If not treated soon, the youth could die, which would complicate things inestimably.

"Fine... Jules, take a weapon and go down to the airlock. I'll have Amara and Chikar to meet you there, armed... I don't want them trying to storm the ship."

The engineer nodded and walked quickly off the bridge. Minding his broken leg, the captain elected to stay on the bridge and co-ordinate the crew's efforts.

He spoke into the intercom. "Amara, Chikar, take weapons and go to the air lock. Amy is coming in with the Mianorians, they aren't hostile but I don't know if they'll try to pull anything.” he looked down at the monitor briefly, then continued. "Amy says there are twelve of them at the airlock doors. I'm opening them now, I'll stall them inside the airlock until you're ready."

" What? What if they have some disea--" Amara asked, shocked.

Marcus sighed. "Just get down there... I'll try and think of something... Make sure Amy can get to the Mianorian, and try to keep the as many of them in the airlock as you can without starting a conflict..."

The young captain looked at the monitor showing the area outside the airlock, and pressed a button. The outer doors slid open smoothly, startling some of the nearer Mianorians. He watched as Amy entered, followed by most of the troops - three remained outside, including their commander.

He switched to the camera inside the airlock. Marcus was dismayed to see that the Mianorians had made a point of surrounding Amy, who was contained in the centre of the presently cramped chamber.

He wondered if the Mianorians would assume that this had been a trap if they saw armed crewmembers on the other side of the door...

"Amara, Chikar, Jules - stay back somewhat from the door - If the natives see you pointing guns at the door, they might assume you're hostile."

Would that be enough? He couldn't let them have the run of the ship by not having the crew stand by armed, the Mianorians probably wouldn't let Amy pass through the inner doors alone... but if the natives did suspect a trap at attack...

"Amy, tell them that the people that are on the other side of the door are not going to hurt them."

Acknowledging text appeared on one of the displays, and he saw the android speaking to the Mianorians.

The captain wiped a bead of sweat from his brow. The air cooler system wasn't yet repaired, and the large windows had turned the bridge into what would have been a fairly effective greenhouse.

I am not cut out for this job...

He waited tensely for a few seconds, devoting some attention to the problem of decontaminating the Mianorians. The airlock was equipped with a system for distributing biocidal aerosols, but they were intended for use on a environment-shielded party - although fatalities would be unlikely, the chemical mist would be rather detrimental to an unprotected humanoid. The Mianorians would certainly believe it to be an attack.

Marcus weighed the decision. How had he neglected to consider this in the first place?

"Captain, we're in position outside the airlock.” said Jules.

"I'm opening the inner doors.” replied Marcus, as he entered the override password to allow the inner and outer doors to be open simultaneously.

He hoped he wasn't condemning himself and the crew to death by some unknown virus...

Here goes

-=%=-

The inner doors slid open with a slight hiss as the atmospheric pressure equalized with that of Starfire.

Without hesitation, two of the Mianorians slid out, and were met by Amara, who was between them and the room across the hall containing the ill native. They didn't seem overly alarmed.
Amara scanned the crowd of humanoids for Amy, and saw the android trying to make her way out. The first officer tried to look as nonthreatening as is possible when one is holding a weapon.

"Flgen ni erent!” the nearest soldier said, addressing the Mianorians in the airlock. They parted somewhat, and Amy swiftly walked across the hall to the patient.

Amara looked through the airlock doors - and saw that many of the nearest Mianorians had their weapons aimed as well.

Wonderful...

One of them gestured in the direction Amy had left, and started moving in that direction. Amara shifted in front of him, blocking the path, and Jules stepped forward out of the hall from the other direction, covering the natives with his hand-laser.

This was, in short, a disaster waiting to happen.

It was, of course, not Chikar's fault that he happened to resemble contemporary depictions of evil underworld creatures in Mianorian religion, but he did. The reptilian, following Jules, moved into the open, and was greeted by the scream of the closest native.

"Aiek Drigon!” the Mianorian screamed out in abject terror, gaining the attention of the four who had now managed to pass out of the airlock. The native leapt forward, and two of the others turned around in a rush of motion, weapons at the ready. The rapid movement set off an unfortunate and violent chain reaction - the beam of a hand-laser caught one of the soldiers, but they began to storm in - some with swords drawn, others brandishing firearms tipped with wickedly sharp bayonets.

There were too many to hold them back...

Bang!

One of the Mianorians fired his firearm, barely missing Chikar. Smoke from the primitive explosive charge filled the corridor.

The tactical officer returned fire, the yellow beam striking the soldier with lethal precision, but no sooner had he slumped to the ground than two more Mianorians took his place. On the other side, Amara retreated back behind a bulkhead as the Mianorians advanced.

Their numbers couldn't be overcome, even with the crew's vastly superior weaponry, in close combat.

"Everyone, retreat! I'm sealing the blast doors!” she heard Marcus yell over the intercom.

Amy looked up from the clinically dead Mianorian youth on the floor. The delay had been too long, and he had not responded to treatment. There was nothing more that she could do, so she rose to head the captain's order.

Unfortunately, before she could escape, the natives emerged into the room, weapons aimed directly at Amy.

{"Don't move!"} one ordered, the man she'd talked to earlier.

{"What is happening?"} she asked, confused.

{"Where did Drigon go?"} he demanded. Through the doorway, Amy saw Mianorians marching to the left and right, apparently unchallenged. Things did not bode well for her.

{"Who?"} Amy asked.

{"We saw Drigon here. Did he qhenrig na?"} he asked.

{"I don't understand."} she responded.

"Amy, where are you? We can't hold them off--” she head Chikar's voice, but it was interrupted by a loud noise on the audio channel.
The android communicated news of her dire situation silently.

-=%=-

Marcus looked at text on the monitor.> _
I'm trapped in the storage area by the natives, I advise you to seal the doors, as no escape seems to be forthcoming._

When had everything started to go wrong? Marcus regretfully issued the computer command to shut the blast doors - isolating the Mianorian-controlled area, and Amy, from the rest of the ship.

"Hang in there... We'll think of something."

He switched views on the monitor to observe the airlock. The captain was disappointed to see that the Mianorians had taken the precaution of wedging pieces of wood in a way that jammed the doors open. Clever...

"Okay, Amara, Jules, Chikar - what's your condition?” he inquired. The crew replied in turn that they were without any serious injuries.

"They've got Amy trapped in there...” he said, unsure. "Chikar, you're tactical officer, what's your advice? They've got the airlock doors jammed open--"

Before he could finish the question, a new line of text scrolled onto the monitor.
Captain, they're taking me outside, now would be an excellent time to rectify this situation.

".. and they're taking Amy outside."

"We can't get to the armoury and back in time to get the munitions we'd need to defeat them, then, sir. I suggest delaying them in the airlock with the decon aerosols... give her a chance to escape them."

There were risks to that, of course - the natives could decide to harm Amy in retaliation - but the window of opportunity was closing. Marcus looked at the camera view - Amy, followed by two Mianorians, entered the airlock - which was otherwise empty.

Now or never...

The chemical mist rained down at the same time as it was forced out of nozzles on all sides of the airlock.

The soldiers had only a moment to wonder what it was before it's effects became manifest.

They were temporarily blinded by the potent germicide, and collapsed.

Marcus quickly shut off the pumps - I wish I didn't have to do that... - as Amy seized the moment and ran out of the airlock - but stopped suddenly a few steps out.

What? Marcus wondered. Switching to the external view, he discovered the reason - A half dozen armed Mianorians had replaced the three who were there earlier.

Can't anything go right? He asked himself, upset at this unexpected turn. He watched powerless as the natives outside began to get down from the Starfire , taking his captured assistant engineer with them.

"It didn't work, they got her outside!"

"There's nothing we can do, then, captain. How many are there?" Chikar asked.

"Altogether? About twenty, at the most."

"If we move quickly, we may be able to effect a rescue - with surprise on our side - but I need to get to the armoury..."

"Then go there, then - be fast, the ones inside the ship are headed out too... “ he said, observing the movements of the Mianorians on the display.

Captain Marcus looked out the bridge windows - there were no other visible natives - yet - but the group with Amy were making good time through the ruins... He had to make a decision quickly.

-=%=-

Reader participation

Okay, that concludes this segment of the story, but now it's up to you to decide what the crew does next - it's interactive.

You, the readers, will chose the course of action, by voting below:

Should the captain:

(A) Forget about Amy, for the time being, and fortify the ship. (In case the natives return with better weaponry...)

(🆒 Send Chikar, Jules and Amara to recuse Amy. (Marcus can't go, he has a broken leg.)

© Send Chikar and Amara to rescue Amy - have Jules stay with the Starfire.

(D) Send Chikar alone to rescue Amy.

(E) Perform some other course of action your specify.

Some comments on the choices -

Somehow, I doubt anyone will pick A, but if so, Amy is not necessarily doomed. She might escape on her own. On the other hand, maybe they'll kill her. You never know.

With B, the ship is mostly undefended. This may or may not effect the outcome of a battle significantly - in any case, without Amy there is practically no chance of avoiding one if the natives do show up.

Option C has the benefit of keeping Jules on the ship, he can presumably make some effort towards repairing it - but of course, each person who stays reduces the odds of success.

Although the odds, as mentioned above, would be even worse, Chikar is capable in combat, so even option D stands some chance of success.

Cast your vote, please.

(This message has been edited by moderator (edited 07-11-2004).)

(This message has been edited by Bryce (edited 07-14-2004).)

Good Story. I pick choice B.

------------------
Thanks,
GrahamVH
graham@vhpublications.com (url="http://"http://www.warcraftcentral.net/CGD/home.html")http://www.warcraftc...t/CGD/home.html(/url)

(This message has been edited by GrahamVH (edited 07-25-2004).)

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