Swamped

Swamped
RE: Swamped
"They're likely nesting under the floorboards, so it would be best to check there as soon as you can," she says. "But then again, with so many in the main area, that might not be feasible. Start with the bed, then. If for some reason you can't finish the whole thing, at least we can drag that out and I'll have a comfortable place to sleep."

Ew. They seem even more densely clustered on the bed than in the rest of the room. You reach into the bucket and pull out a handful of laundry powder, then sprinkle it over the bugs, trying to spread it as much as possible.

Wow, this is messy. The bugs are practically exploding, leaving just a pile of black goo behind. You have to admit it's pretty effective, though.

Before long, instead of a bed covered in bugs, you have a bed covered in... well, probably bug blood. Not the biggest of improvements, but then again, at least the blood isn't moving.

"You sure it's okay to leave it like that?" you ask.

"I'm told their remains don't stain," Rebecca replies. "If that turns out to be wrong, well, I'll just have to get new sheets."

Well, you suppose it's not your problem, then. Even if you are finding it pretty unpleasant to look at.

So where will you focus your attention now? She said to check under the floorboards, so you probably want to clear some space where you can have a good look down below. But where would that be?
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RE: Swamped
Why not under the bed?
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RE: Swamped
(08-11-2019, 03:54 AM)thriggle Wrote: »Why not under the bed?
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RE: Swamped
You take a quick look under the bed. Surprisingly, the area seems clear of bugs. Which is weird, since there's really nothing keeping them away.

But it happens to be in a good position for checking under the floorboards. The lack of bugs even means it'll be fairly easy. Only thing is you'd have to move the bed out of the way first, and that's not going to be simple. You're not as well-built as the sailors - most of them could probably just lift it and carry it out.

"Well? What's the hold-up?" Rebecca asks.

"I'm thinkin' about how to do what you asked. Specifically, moving the bed and then checking the floorboards under it."

She looks concerned.

"I did suggest my bed could be moved, and I did ask you to look under the floorboards, but if you pull the boards out beneath my bed then I'm not so sure they'll support it very well afterwards."

"So we'll rearrange your room a bit. Better than having bugs crawling everywhere, isn't it?"

She gives you a look that suggests she would prefer you find a better option than either of those. Truth be told, that probably works out for you, too; better than dragging the heavy bed away. You'd probably just end up dragging it back in afterwards.

Okay, so what's the new plan then?
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RE: Swamped
Fine, how about the closet?
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RE: Swamped
You look around again, and spot a door.

"How about the closet, then?"

She nods.

"That should work. I'm not using it, since I have a proper wardrobe and enough shelves for everything. Even if I did use it, I wouldn't need to actually go in."

Great. Well, you might as well powder these damned bugs on your way there. It takes a few minutes, but you manage to clear a path, and clear the bugs off the door.

Though you're starting to rethink the idea of using this stuff on your clothes. What do they even put in here?

You open up the door. No bugs in there - guess they weren't slipping through it.

But there is a box.

"I thought you said you weren't using the closet," you shout back. "What's this thing, then?"

"What thing? Take it out so I can see it, I'm not comfortable heading that way with so many of these disgusting creatures still around."

Bah. Of course she'd make it hard on you. You pick up the box to oblige her.

"It's a box," you grumble, holding it up. "I haven't seen what's inside yet. You want me to open it, or is it one of those important government things I shouldn't see?"

"Put it down!" she screams. "And get away from it!"

The hells is that all about? Well, whatever. You put down the box and start walking over to her. You'd better at least get an explanation.

But before you can say anything, you hear a very loud noise. You turn back to see a lot of smoke filling the room, and it seems to be centered on where you left the box.

Now what in the hells are you supposed to do?
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RE: Swamped
Gotta be a bomb, throw it out a window!
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RE: Swamped
Maybe try not to breathe the noxious fumes?
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RE: Swamped
If you can't get a window, kick it back into the closet and flee!
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RE: Swamped
The fumes are intense and you don't know what they are. So the first thing you do is cover your face with your shirt.

The next thing you need to do is get rid of the box. You consider tossing it out the porthole, but you don't know exactly where that is and aren't confident in your ability to find it in this smoke. Not to mention there's still a storm going on.

So you go for the easier option. You run back towards the box, kick it into the closet, and shut the door. Then you run.

Then you hear an even louder noise, and you think you feel a bit of shaking.

"The hells was that," you ask, but as you get back to Ms. Rebecca, you find she's unconscious.

Oh hells. Now what?
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RE: Swamped
let her sleep, lets get to those bugs
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RE: Swamped
Drag her to safety if you've gotta
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RE: Swamped
Get her to the hallway at minimum and then run to see what's happening on deck.
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RE: Swamped
Wait a second... Is it your imagination, or are your feet getting wet?
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RE: Swamped
You need to get her to safety. The medic's far away, so you pick her up to keep her from being exposed to what may be left of the smoke, not to mention the bugs...

Actually, something seems odd about the bugs. But you don't have time to investigate. You just carry her out to the hall and sound the nearest alarm.

Three sailors soon run up.

"Ms. Rebecca's injured. There was a box, it leaked a strange smoke. I shoved it into the closet, but she was out by the time I did. Get her to the medic, fast!"

Two of the sailors oblige, picking her up and running. The third glances at you.

"You ought to put your shirt back down, Chip," he says.

Embarrassed, you do so.

"I was trying to block the smoke. Don't know if it's safe in there, at that."

"Then shouldn't you be getting to the medic, too? Just 'cause you can stand don't mean you're well."

He has a point.

"What about the box?"

"For now, I'll tell the Captain. We've got our hands full, but we ought to be able to look into it once the storm calms down."

You suppose that's the best you can hope for. Though you're not sure what you'll tell Cookie if you cross her path.

"Thanks. I'll be getting on now, then."

The sailor salutes and runs off. You head for the stairs - the infirmary's two levels down, so no sense waiting.

But just as you're about to step off the stairway, you think you spot something out of the corner of your eye.
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RE: Swamped
THE BUGS, THE BUGS, OH GOD, THE BUGS
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RE: Swamped
(08-14-2019, 11:55 PM)Schazer Wrote: »THE BUGS, THE BUGS, OH GOD, THE BUGS
IN THE FORM OF A MAN??
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RE: Swamped
Or is it a man in the form of bugs?
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RE: Swamped
It's pretty small. You think it might be one of the bugs - maybe you've got another infestation. The laundry powder's back in the room, and you lost track of where you put the pail - but you suppose you should make sure so you can report it, just in case.

Of course, if the medic gives you a clean bill of health, you'll probably have to take care of it.

No sense worrying about that right now, though. You slip behind the staircase for a better look.

And you do, in fact, see more bugs. Lots of them. They're not attaching to the walls, though - they're clumping together. Is this their nest?

Wait... that clump has a strange shape, almost looks human...

Like a human raising a fist, actually.

You suddenly wake up in the infirmary.

"Oh, good. Seems you didn't get as heavy a dose, but those stairs must have pushed it through your system harder," the medic says, standing over you. "On the plus side, your recovery was relatively fast."

"What... what happened?"

"We found you at the bottom of the stairs, out cold. You and Ms. Rebecca have been exposed to glaxin gas - she's still out, but at least she's stable."

"Glaxin?"

"It's a rather potent toxin. I hear it did a number on those inside-out bugs, fortunately it takes quite a bit longer to kill a human. Not something I'd recommend for pest control, though. Tends to linger for days - not in high quantities, but prolonged exposure's not exactly safe either."

You rub your head.

"Sorry, Donnie. I think I'm still in pretty bad shape, barely understood what you said."

Donnie the medic simply nods.

"Sorry, I suppose I got a bit long-winded there. Just relax for a bit, let your head clear. I'll be happy to answer any questions you have once you're ready for them."

Yeah, that's probably for the best. You let out a deep breath, and try to sort your thoughts out enough to figure out what to ask.
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RE: Swamped
Is glaxin hallucinogenic?
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RE: Swamped
You remember what you saw. You're having a hard time believing it was real.

And you've just been told you got a dose of a weird gas.

"So, uh... does that stuff make you see things?" you ask cautiously. "That, glaxon or whatever."

"Glaxin," Donnie says automatically. "And I can't say firmly. We don't have a lot of studies on it yet, most people exposed to large amounts either died or passed out. Nothing about it on people exposed to small amounts. But you only got enough to knock you out after strenuous physical activity, and I don't think we have any information on that sort of situation. Why, do you think you were hallucinating?"

"I saw..." You rub your head. "Well, I saw something. Didn't feel very real. Looked like a man made out of those bugs in the lady's room? Think it punched me in the face."

Donnie shrugs.

"Well, I didn't find any injuries on your face, make of that what you will. It might be you saw someone as you were losing consciousness and misunderstood what you were seeing, though in that case they were quite negligent not to come to your aid immediately. No one was around when we found you."

You rub your head again. Maybe that's all it was. Maybe some sailor was slacking off behind the stairs and decided to run before you could pin the blame on them.

"So, um. What do I do now?" you ask.

"Well, I'll keep you under observation and when you seem all right, I'll send you back to your quarters. With a recommendation to keep you off physical labor for a day or so."

Makes sense, you suppose.

"Not a lot I can do while I'm in here, though."

Donnie laughs a little.

"Yes, I'm afraid we're a little starved for entertainment. I do have a few books - you can read, right?"

"Yeah, but only if it's in..."

You pause for a moment. You're still a little dizzy. You need to gather your thoughts to remember your native language.
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RE: Swamped
Graelandic
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RE: Swamped
"...In Graelandic," you finally conclude. "Still not quite myself, Donnie. Took me a minute to remember my own language."

Donnie laughs.

"Well, to be fair that's what happens when you speak Common all day. Anyhow, luckily for you I do happen to have three books in Graelandic. So you even get a choice!"

"Three books? You're spoilin' me, Donnie." You give him a slight smirk.

"Could be worse, you could be from Theletia."

"From where?"

Donnie laughs.

"My hometown. Tiny place. Last bastion of the language, supposedly part of a kindgom that was taken over by force a century or so ago. But we were so far out of the way that the invaders completely missed us. I'd be surprised if anyone there even wrote a book at all. Just sit tight and I'll be back with the books, okay?"

He wanders off, leaving you to your own devices.

But just as he leaves, you think of something. What if the storm's stopped? You might be able to get back to what you were doing before then. It was pretty important, after all...

Wait, what in the hells, you're struggling to remember what it actually was.
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RE: Swamped
Weren't you supposed to be on the lookout for some islands?
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RE: Swamped
It slowly comes back to you. You were headed for the crow's nest to scout for land, to help you figure out your course. When the storm hit, that wasn't really an option, so you'd planned on doing the best you could with just the charts.

And you did find some islands, didn't you? So another scouting session could be real productive. But right now, just the thought of climbing all the way up there again is making you dizzy. You're probably not going to be able to do it. Donnie's definitely not giving his approval for you to.

But there are things you just can't tell from a map, especially one that's this out of date. And it's not like you have an apprentice who you could tell what to look for. You're the only one here with any eye for sea charts, and the sailors aren't especially inclined to learn.

Bah. That's a problem to deal with once you're out of here. Maybe you'll feel better and can at least take a chance on the ladder. Right now, what matters is letting your damn head clear up. You hope none of the books Donnie's bringing are complicated.

He soon comes back with three. Not much of a choice, though. Up first is a self-help book with a cheesy name, and if that wasn't bad enough, it's written by Sonny. You remember Sonny from back home and by Vaj, he was such a phony. That's right out.

Second is a book about seasickness. Looks horrendously clinical. Frankly, you're more concerned about the words making you vomit than you are about the ship.

Mercifully, the third is at least a novel. You don't have high expectations, but you're also not looking for anything more than a way to pass the time. Even if it's trash, it's probably not boring trash.

So you take that and start poring through it. What's this book even about?
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