7 Landing, 6106 RTR (Mar 04, 2010) In their final exploration of Silent Town that day, the team examines a building full of Silent One machines – and Titans!
(Legacy of the Fenris) (Layth) (Space) (Tasha)
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It only takes an hour to clear a path from the central temple to the tall, smooth and shiny building off to one side. Like the temple, it has a large flat area in front that is devoid of any vegetation, but also has the barest outlines of worn away markings on it that could have been signs or geometric symbols. The only windows for the structure are at the very top, at about the eighth floor, but there are plenty of door outlines at ground level, including some large enough to admit the truck aside from the huge six-story main doors in the front. If not for the grooves to mark them, the doors would have blended in seamlessly with the exterior of the building.

"The Silent-Ones do have nice buildings – and look at this! It must be a motor pool," Tasha remarks as she steers the massive truck towards one of the side doors. "Those doors are big enough to fit Titans."

"Doors of that size imply compensation for something," Layth remarks as he climbs out of the truck and proceeds to stretch a bit. Riding for an hour in that machine does get a bit wearing. "Now we just need to find the plate the crystal works with that will open the doors."

Tasha hops out next, after doing a once-over of the vehicle's readings and shutting it down. "Battery charge is still good," she reports as she hits the ground, hooves thumping down like the stamping of a Terran horse. Turning, she eyes the vehicle, "No major damage either, just vegetation stains and a few scrapes from trees." She turns and joins Gabriel and Layth, heading for the door.

There are few beacon nodes over most of the standard and garage-sized doors. Fred shuts down the construction truck and scans the area. "There's movement out in the jungle," he reports.

"Are we in any danger?" Layth asks as he approaches one of the beacons near a regular-sized door. He stands to the side of it and waves the crystal before the panel.

"Maybe we should try and get the vehicles inside, too. It'd be bad if we exit and find them wrecked," the red woman observes as she glances back at the sea of foliage behind her. When Layth asks if they're in danger, she laughs and shakes her head at him, "We're ALWAYS in a danger! And you're with me!"

"More of the Doombeaks," Fred reports. "They may be overcoming their fear, so getting the vehicles inside is a good idea."

The door beacon flashes, and the door itself recesses into the wall and slides to one side.

"Surely the machines have nothing to fear from them. Besides, Tasha has her favorite toy," Layth remarks. He waits for a second once the door has opened, then waves his hand quickly before it to see if anything shoots at it.

"Back to the truck," Tasha declares. The woman turns on her 'heel,' then heads back to the large mover and hops back inside. Grinning from the driver's seat, she says, "Gabriel may be my favorite toy, but I'm not risking him against Doombeaks!" Laughing again, she starts the vehicle up, its faux-engine noises making it seem to rumble to life.

Gabriel just raises his eyebrow at Tasha as he climbs back into the cab as well, then goes back to watching the jungle for monster-birds.

Tasha relocates the truck so that it's a few feet in front away from the nearest vehicle-sized door, then exits again with the Gauss rifle in her arms. "We're coming!"

Nothing moves beyond the door or tries to attack. Yet.

"Give me five minutes to make sure the inside looks clear, then I'll open the main door for you," Layth calls out. The buck then darts through the door, in case any more statues decide to shoot at him.

Outside, Tasha nods. "Good luck," she bids Layth before he races inside. Then she's walking back to the vehicle, eyeing the canopy as she goes. "You know I love you more than some gun," she calls to Gabriel.

The interior is dark at first, but lights come on eventually. The personnel door opens into a little room filled with lockers and benches, with another door off to the side.

"Room clear, checking side room" Layth calls out. The buck heads towards the side door and carefully tries to open it.

"I'm more fun to maintain?" Gabriel asks with a smirk. A tree out in the jungle is jostled for a moment.

"And handle," Tasha agrees. She looks about to say something else, then frowns suddenly. "I'm spotting movement – a tree just moved. Do you want the rifle, so I can ready the vehicle to move?"

The side door opens easily, and reveals a small control booth. Glass separates it from the dark interior of the building, but it's open on the side, close to the vehicle doors.

"Hmmm, sure," Gabriel says, taking the rifle and taking a position next to the cab door.

Layth moves to the control panel and looks over the symbols, trying to see if any of them might roughly mean 'open door', given his recent education.

There are symbols for doors. For simplicity, the symbols are all the same, just differently sized.

Layth pokes the control with the medium-sized door symbol. "I hope the hinges don't squeak," the buck mutters.

Tasha hops back in and begins readying the vehicle, frowning all the more. She touches her collar and says, "Tasha to Layth – we've got more movement. I'm reading the vehicle to move ASAP." The woman's brow quirks, her hand freezes, then she glances back at Gabriel and asks, "Did Nora really have this many words and acronyms? And who came up with the word acronym … "

"It's all acronyms in the JEF," Gabriel notes. "That's our motto!" he adds with a grin.

The big vehicle doors next to the booth begin to slide open, and are accompanied by a flashing yellow warning light that illuminates some of the area to show… a lot of empty space. There are more symbols on the panel of course, some of them representing 'light'.

"I will forever be famous as the Lapi who opened a door," Layth remarks to himself inside the control booth. He decides to poke one of the light controls to see if it turns on anything helpful.

Gabriel's mate blinks at him, not seeming to get the Terran military humor, "I love love you, but you're a peculiar man sometimes." Looking forward, she shakes her head again and murmurs, "Peculiar. My mum's going to think I've started talking nonsense when I see her again." As the doors begin to open, Tasha looks up from the controls. "Climb in Gabriel, it's time to move!"

As the doors finish opening and the trucks come in, the rest of the lights come on inside the building…

Titan Maintenance Hangar
The inside of the building is almost completely hollow, rising up seven floors. Observation decks jut out at various points along the walls, but never very far, and connect to catwalks and scaffolds and two giant Titan frames. The left one is still occupied by a 50-foot humanoid war machine, while the other is bare. Like a giant butcher shop, bare robotic limbs and components are held in mobile racks, while shell-like sections of armor take up another storage area. An elaborate system of rails allows robotic cranes and waldos access to the Titan frames.

At the ground level there are several parking areas for heavy vehicles, although they are all unoccupied. Aside from the single giant Titan dominating the room, several other smaller types are spread around, abandoned in the midst of repairs or maintenance. Even a few personal powered-armor suits are laid out on miniature versions of the Titan support frames. Beacon crystals are mounted at regular intervals throughout the space, along with many terminals and mobile tool platforms.

Layth just covers his eyes. "Tasha will now go insane and try to marry the huge machine," he mutters to himself. "My fault for turning on the lights. Ah well. I suppose I will owe Gabriel a beer for causing him to lose his girlfriend… "

The truck rumbles past the control room, Tasha making a face at Layth from the driver's side window. "It's good to know he can open doors – I'll add that to his list of skills along with 'carrying things' and-" Tasha's jab cuts off mid-sentence as the truck pulls in; Gabriel can see his girlfriend suddenly lean forward and gaze upward, eyes widening. "Ooooh!"

Once the truck has cleared the door, Layth taps the same control he used to open the garage in the first place. "And now we're safe. We're just in a room with deadly machines with a half-vartan. What possibly could go wrong?" the buck asks himself as he exits the control booth into the main bay.

Gabriel puts a hand on Tasha's shoulder, and reminds her, "You can stop the truck now."

"I ca- ACK!" Dazzled, Tasha almost drives right into a half-finished smaller armored suit, jerking the controls to the side and causing the vehicle to turn sharply. "Err," she utters, shrinking a little in her seat, "I hope Fred didn't see that. Yes. Truck stop now." Several seconds later, the heavy vehicle rumbles to a stop, taking up two parking spaces.

"I saw that," Fred comments to Layth as the powered suit exits the construction vehicle.

"Gabriel has to explain her now," Layth tells Fred and grins. "Not my problem!"

Tasha places a hand on her chest, taking a moment to catch her breath. "Okay," she says, "I'm calm now. Calm is vital to an ambassador. "The stars do not rush," – calm." She opens the door, then slides out, putting on her most winning smile when she turns to face Layth and Fred. "Well, here we are! Better start exploring! This is me, exploring now – going this way!" And then she's hurrying towards the largest Titan.

"Why must she go for the biggest one first?" Gabriel asks the others. "We can't possibly move that thing… "

"I bet you three days of cleaning quarters that she breaks something in ten minutes," Layth remarks flatly to the Fred-possessed armor. Gabriel's comment earns him a look from Layth. "Have you learned nothing about her?" Layth asks.

Either she's being funny or is also part Titanian, but Tasha rushes over and hugs the foot of the massive vehicle. "Eeeheehee!"

The Titan is shaped like a digitigrade feline, of course, and even has the same lean look as a Silent-One. There are many hardpoints on the Titan's skin though, suggesting that the armor plating hasn't been attached yet, and that this machine is effectively naked.

"Is it wrong to be a little turned on by how she's hugging that machine?" Fred asks, and then goes to the nearer machines, where tool carts and diagnostic gear are still in place. Pulling herself away, Tasha leans back, way back, to gaze up at the massive machine. "No weapons, interior exposed … It's not complete and … Ah!" Her gaze darts to the armor panels and weapons, "There!"

"Give her time and she might do more," Layth quips as he follows behind Fred so that he can get a look at the tools.

The tools all look familiar, but in odd ways. Each one seems to be able to serve multiple uses depending on how it's held or unfolded.

"These are overly complicated," Layth comments about the tools. He even picks up random ones and fiddles with them for a few minutes.

"Now where is the control panel for this … ," Tasha wonders aloud. She begins scanning the room with her near eagle-like vision, turning slowly in place.

"You need a lot of tools to work on these machines, so it saves space to have them serve multiple functions," Fred explains.

There aren't any control panels visible on the frame itself… but there are plenty of 'work shacks' on the walls that could house control systems.

"A Titanian would disagree. They only need a hammer," Layth quips as he puts one of the tools back into its tray. "Would these tools be useful for the ship? Should I load them?"

"Hup!" Tasha launches herself into the air, ascending past catwalks and dodging around outcroppings as she heads for the console nearest the largest Titans's head. "This?"

"The Silent-Ones use different metrics for everything," Fred notes, shaking the suit's helmet back and forth. "They'd be useful only for working on Silent-One's technology. We should probably collect them anyway though, just in case."

"Tasha, don't run off by yourself!" Gabriel calls up from the Titan's foot, fifty feet below the Vartan now.

"Right. Tell me which carts to load and I will load them," Layth says as he takes the first tray of tools and rolls it back to the truck to load it into one of its bays.

"What?" Tasha calls back down as she lands on a railing, perching like a gargoyle and peering several stories back down. She then taps her collar and repeats, "What?"

"Don't go rushing off on your own like that," Gabriel says over the comm system. "This place could be dangerous."

"She still has five minutes to break something," Layth's voice comes over the collar-comm.

"What?" Tasha repeats for a third time, then blinks. "Oh, oh! I guess flying up here was a bit reckless, wasn't it? I'm a little excited here – Blammo has been parading that Titan of his around in front of me for the last several days! Do you want me to come back down?"

"And I'm not going to break anything!" Tasha yells into her collar, possibly breaking someone's eardrums.

"I'm more concerned about you breaking yourself!" Gabriel replies. "You can't fit in the cockpit of that thing, Tasha."

"I bet I could," Layth remarks into the comm … probably to tweak Tasha for the ringing he now has in his ears.

"I can't? Why not, it's huge!" Tasha turns and eyes the massive machine, frowning doubtfully. "And you be quiet, Layth!"

"It's a giant suit," Gabriel notes. "It's made for Silent-Ones physiology."

"Your butt is bigger than a Silent-One's," Layth helpfully, and not so quietly, offers into the com.

"You aren't helping, Layth," Fred notes, and then goes about opening up one of the mid-sized suits of armor, standing just fifteen feet tall.

"It's … What?" Tasha eyes the machine up and down, then her expression crashes, ears, eyes, brows and lips drooping. "Oh, really? Well … That's … " She can be heard to sigh, then adds, "I'll be down in a moment," sounding deflated.

"It'd make an impressive gift to a Silent-One official, but I'm not keen on handing out massive weapons," Gabriel notes.

Just as she said, Tasha lands moments later, hitting the deck with a clatter of hooves. "Well, I'm here," she announces unnecessarily, sounding a bit testy about it, at that. "What do you need me to do?"

"I'm not sure how we would even move it," Layth remarks in the comm as he loads another cart of random tools.

Gabriel answers by pulling Tasha into a hug! "Just don't run off when you see something shiny, okay?" he whispers into her ear.

Tasha turns her frown towards Gabriel as she approaches, but it melts into a grin as he pulls her into a hug. "Aww, well," she begins, reaching to hug him back, "I'm a Vartan – it's what we do."

"We need to find data," Fred broadcasts. "Engineering specs, manuals, maintenance diagrams and the like. The big Titan should have a small optical computer core, so somewhere around here should be tools and information we can use for working on MOTHER too."

"Would any of the smaller personal suits be modifiable to fit the crew?" Layth asks.

"An optical computer core?" Tasha inquires as she leans back from the hug. "Can we remove that – wouldn't it be useful to installed in a Terran Titan, just like MOTHER is to the Bellerophon?" The woman even wags a little, hopeful.

"We'd need a lot of technical data then," Gabriel says. "And Fallen-Star's expertise."

"But, removing it now would be a good idea?" Tasha presses.

"I think he means we would need Fallen-Star's help in removing it?" Layth asks.

"It should come out without too much trouble," Fred notes. "Hmm, we should recover one of the powered suits too."

"How would we even get her here?" Tasha turns to Layth, raising her brows. "She has even more limited access to Terra- Oh! We could get one of these," she waves a hand at a nearby hardsuit, "For her to use!"

"Fred, can you identify the suit in the best current repair for us to take back?" Layth asks as he takes a break from loading carts of tools and goes to join the others.

Fred starts looking over the various powered armor hardsuits, ignoring the mid-sized ones for now.

Tasha nods to Layth. "You and Fred can work that out – Gabriel and I can try and remove the core, and get Fred to help when he can." Her gaze flicks up to the massive machine, a little frown crossing her muzzle. "I won't fit in any of these, Gabriel?"

"Tasha, you're most familiar with their machines, right? You might also look for something that looks a mechanical book for looking up how to repair the equipment here," Layth suggests, "I have no idea what something would look like that contained the information Fred said we needed." Her question of Gabriel also gets him to comment, "Not right now, but maybe Fred could modify one so you could. Or maybe Fallen-Star could."

"We'll need to bridge the communications network too probably," Gabriel says, and then shakes his head to Tasha. "It's the wings and the feet. Layth might fit, but even he isn't the right shape to actually work these things. As for removing the core – I'd rather wait until we know Fallen Star can help. After all, if she can remote-control a Silent-Ones hardsuit, then maybe she could do the same for the Titan."

"If we're going to modify something, I prefer sticking to technology we understand – Terran technology," the Karnor adds.

Tasha's eyes widen at Fallen-Star controlling the Titan. "I'm glad I apologized to her – doubly glad," the woman remarks. She turns and nods to Layth, still looking a little wide-eyed. "I'll see what I can find," she agrees. She steps away and begins looking around, then pulls out her datapad. "I wouldn't mention the core and a Terran Titan, but it'd be useful for the same reason MOTHER is – SPF protection," the woman says as she looks about.

There are lots of crystal slates and consoles that plug into the smaller suits, which might have technical or control data in them. There's also a wheeled box roughly a yard on a side with connections similar to those between MOTHER and the Bellerophon computer network.

"I think this is some kind of … come on Nora-words … ," Tasha taps her head with her datapad as she uses her free hand to point at the box, " … Relay! Relay or translation device for optical-based and regular systems. What do you think?" The woman looks back over her shoulder to Fred.

The armored surrogate turns away from the suit it's examining and comes over to Tasha's find. Fred uses some of the Silent-Ones tools to open a side panel, revealing crystal data 'drawers' like MOTHER uses. He gets one open, showing it full of data crystals. "Whatever it is, we're taking it," he notes.

"That sounds like something I'd say," Tasha remarks, sounding surprised as she gives Fred an appraisingĀ  look. She grins at him before walking on, explaining, "Get Layth to put it in the truck – he likes carrying things. I'll look at these consoles and data-things."

The truck bed begins to fill. Along with the tools and consoles, the crystal data system and two complete hardsuits go in, including a robotic testing dummy found inside a partially disassembled one. Despite searching, they find no Silent-Ones Titan-mounted weapons beyond over-sized spears and swords suited to the mid-sized Titans and probably used for hunting the Doombeaks.

The Doombeaks keep their distance from the big vehicles as they make their way back out of the bio-dome to the streets of Silent Town, and then back to the Bellerophon. Instead of hauling the trucks up, a different crane is used to just bring up the recovered equipment and the explorers themselves. Fred moves most of the Silent-Ones material to the crystal bay where Fallen Star is most solid, while Fred's projection asks the trio to come up to the Med Bay.

"Is there a problem in the medical bay?" Layth asks the projection as he begins heading that way.

Tasha exchanges a look with Gabriel, her muzzle creased with a worried frown. "We'll be right there," she replies, following after Layth.

"Your new underwear is ready," is Fred's reply.

"You could have said that, you had us worried," Layth remarks.

"Fred likes to be dramatic – I think we have a bit in common," Tasha asides to Layth. Glancing between her partners, she says, "Well, I'm excited about this anyway."

"I just hope we don't have to be shaved," Layth points out.

Tasha nods to that. "I have enough problems standing out as it is," she agrees as they step into the Med Bay.

Gabriel is quiet about it all – he's gone through it before, after all. In the medical room, Eli is waiting with a hand-held data screen and a box full of what look like hexagonal leather patches. "Ah, good to see you aren't any the worse for wear," the man says, wagging his tail. "Please take off all your gear and clothes."

"I think both Tasha and I are at least used to being bought a drink before we're asked that," Layth comments as he starts shedding his gear. His clothing takes longer, if only because he insists on folding it up and smoothing out any wrinkles that form before he sets it all aside.

Gabriel is likewise just as careful with his gear and clothing.

"And I thought this would be a ship I'd be respectable on," Tasha mock-grumbles as she steps aside to get undressed. The Gauss rifle was returned to its weapon locker to recharge, leaving her to just shed her clothes, body armor, and sidearm. "At least on the Rake I'd get a … err," she glances at Gabriel, " … A strong and meaningful … um, examination … review," stammers.

"Did you want me to call Remiel?" Eli asks. He doesn't seem bothered by Tasha's nudity – but then, he seems to go out of his way to never look directly at her. "Commander… uh… Gabriel, could you show them how it's done?" Zerachiel asks the older man, handing over a box with 'AKKERS' stenciled on the side.

Naked now, Tasha takes a moment to smooth her fur out, then folds her arms and shifts her weight to one leg. Her face is all grins as she watches Eli not watch her. "Oi, you're shy!" She shifts her gaze over to Gabriel when he's handed the box, watching intently. "It's okay – I've seen you all naked, so it's only fair," she tells the scholar, distractedly.

Gabriel removes the first part of the garment from the box. It looks like a collection of hexagonal 'scales' connected to a stretchy mesh, with the scales varying in size in shape slightly. Once the Karnor gets the pants on though, the scales seem to connect to one another seamlessly. "It takes a little getting used to," he warns.

"Does it come off easily?" Layth asks as he watches the patches seemingly assemble themselves on the Karnor. "Does it get hot? Is it easy to clean?"

"Don't forget fold easily – you wouldn't want to not be able to fold it," Tasha teases Layth, grinning all the more. She watches the hexagonal shapes align, brows steadily arching. "I've never seen anything quite like that, it's impressive just by itself."

The shirt is pulled on next, as a single piece. It connects to the waist of the pants and sticks to them. "Yes, no, and it's self-cleaning," Gabriel explains once it's on. "You can wear this for twenty-days straight if you need to." He reaches into the box to remove a translucent rectangle, which he wraps around his left wrist. He then goes through a series of stretches, squats and other motions to show just how closely the suit follows, acting like a second skin.

"It can be opened along any seam if needed," Eli notes. "With a bio-zipper."

"Oi," Tasha breathes as she watches the demonstration, she smells very impressed in several ways. "The show's a nice touch."

"You look like a lizard with a Karnor head," Layth finally admits as he watches Gabriel move and flex in the strange outfit. "How does it handle the requirements of relieving your … ah, thank you Eli." Layth now reaches into the box marked with his name. It actually takes him a minute to identify the pants … and then there is the goofiness he goes through trying to pull them on.

"It's necessary," Gabriel says. "The suit needs to know how you can move. It's programmed with your measurements and muscle structure, and needs to connect that information to the real thing."

Tasha follows along, getting her box and pulling out the pants first. "Time to find out if Fred got this all right," she tells no one in particular, then steps into the pants and begins trying to wiggle them on.

In response to Layth's query, Gabriel takes the index finger of his right hand and runs it along the seam between some of the hexagonal pieces, which then split apart. "It takes some practice," he admits.

It takes a few minutes, but soon enough Layth and Tasha are suited up. For Tasha, the top itself was surprising, because it split apart as it slid past her wings, only to seal again once the plates came back into contact. It also offers a surprising amount of support and compression.

"Are you right or left-handed?" Eli asks Layth and Tasha, holding up the rectangular strips of clear plastic.

Layth has a confused expression by the time it is all on and he's going through the same motions Gabriel went through earlier. "It makes me feel bald," he finally admits, "And smaller." Given how much it compresses down his dense fur, he does look a fair amount thinner and all that much more muscular. "Either," Layth answers and offers Eli his left hand after stopping going through leg squats.

The strip goes onto Layth's wrist, and the suit suddenly feels a bit more… alive. It begins to anticipate his movements.

The red woman looks over her shoulder, blinking. "Oi, look at that," she says, remarking on how the wing-seam fits. She turns back when Eli inquires, tilting her head, "Left or right … Oh! Which hand I use most." She looks at her two hands, then reaches where her pistol would be with her right before holding that one forward. "Right."

"Give me your left then," Eli says to the Vartan, holding the strip.

"Uhm," Layth remarks as his brow does an odd dance when the suit seems to move on its own. "This is going to be very distracting," he admits.

At Layth's comment, Tasha looks down at herself, as well. "I guess there'll be less staring at my chest now," she remarks. Looking up again, she offers Eli her left hand.

"You get used to it," Gabriel says, but grins. "Although don't be surprised if you suddenly feel aroused by it. That fades in a few days, when it stops rubbing your fur as you move."

The strip is wrapped onto Tasha's wrist, and she too gets to feel the suit 'learn' her body a bit. It even readjusts the support and compression on her chest so she's more comfortable.

"Easy for you to state, you have an outlet," Layth remarks to Gabriel, but grins anyway. "I'm alone out here."

"Aroused?" Tasha glances at Gabriel, ears perking, "Do I get to hear this story, Gabriel?" She glances at Layth and 'awwws,' patting his shoulder with her free hand. "You'll find someone – there's always Aisha if you're desperate, and Calli if you think I'm not dangerous enough!"

"Your Skinsuit is your Best Friend," Eli recites. "It will keep you cool or warm, dry, protect against vacuum and other pressure changes, and also against impacts and non-armor-piercing bullets."

"Eli, is the suit able to … sense my body right? Fred was concerned that some of my old injuries might interfere with it," Layth asks.

"Hmm, it should compensate," Eli notes. "If you mean scar tissue… just let us know if it seems to lag or chafe in those areas."

"Scars, yes. I will let you know if it has problems," Layth says and nods once.

"And now you can punch each other in the gut all you want," Gabriel points out with a smirk.

"I prefer verbal jabs," Layth quips.

Once Eli applies her own translucent patch, Tasha's eyes widen as the suit comes alive. "Oi, grabby," she remarks. The woman squirms a little, then starts doing her daily exercises, probably to distract herself. When she begins stretching her wings, she pauses, looking up. "I guess my wings are still vulnerable, aren't they?"

"Armor, devices and extra power units can be attached directly to the suit, and it will work with helmets, boots and gloves – but we don't have those just yet," Eli remarks. "And of course you can pilot Terran Titans with them."

"Oooooh," Tasha says, suddenly looking over.

"Not much can be done about your wings, yeah," Zerachiel says apologetically. "You'd need Vartan armor for those."

"Oh dear, you said the word," Layth says, "We're doomed… "

"Hmm?" Zerachiel asks, looking worried. "What… what word?"

"The word" Layth says gravely.

"What? Oh, shut up, Layth!" Tasha grins, looking suddenly more energized, closed hands tapping together in anticipation. "Don't mind Layth – he's crazy. What was that about Titans and Vartan armor?"

Gabriel pats Tasha's butt to try and distract her. "That should have felt almost normal, did it?" he asks her.

The woman blinks, looking back, "It did," she agrees, sounding a little distant. "Did you hear, Gabriel? Titans."

"Well, yes, ah… " Zerachiel notes, rubbing his forehead a bit. "The accessories are in the hardsuit bay… "

Layth looks pointedly at Zerachiel. The buck spreads his arms and looks to the ceiling. "Women will be the end of me," he remarks.

"Well, there are worse ways to go," Zerachiel notes to the Lapi.

"There's accessories too?" Tasha glances at the door, then Gabriel and Eli. "Can we go look?" Her eyes flick Layth's way, brow furrowing, "And what's he on about? Can we?"

"Well, if you want to try on the armor or power-assist joints… " Gabriel mutters.

"That sounds interesting," Tasha says as she begins, as if pulled, towards the door and its promise of accessories. When she passes Eli, she at least stops to lean over and kiss him on the side of the muzzle, before patting his cheek. "Thanks, you!" And then she's off. "Come on, Gabriel!"

Layth rubs his forehead. "Maybe I will just go take some of our findings to Fallen-Star for analysis," he remarks. "It may help with recovery of the larger pieces."

---

GMed by BoingDragon

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Today is 16 days after Harvest Tide, Year 27 of the Reign of Archelaus the First (6126)