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PostPosted: 22 Apr 2009, 21:21 
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Icarus sat cross legged atop the part-strewn table, its elbows resting on its knees, propping up its head on balled fists. It'd been thinking for the past half hour like that, just contemplating various possibilities. Before that, Icarus had been been on its back, from the hips up under a monolithic metallic mass holding all manner of electronics from all ages, ranging from fiber optics to copper wire to CDs to E-marbles. It was a new analysis matrix it'd been working on for a few months now, ever since the Weavers had made a blundering trip to early 21st century North America. When that mission had begun, Icarus had found itself particularly concerned by the state of the Alarm Room, a.k.a. the ramshackle outhouse about to fall over on top of a roof connected to another roof by a rickety bridge.

Yeah, even just thinking about it afterwards had been enough to make Icarus cringe. They were still using a laptop from the 21st century, even though they could have easily lifted one from the 25th. In fact, much of what Icarus had already built here, in an abandoned factory of some sort, was scrounged from things about Midgard Below and previous expeditions, so there hadn't even been need for traveling and stealing. Hadn't been. Now there was.

The analysis matrix's task was a simple one, detect interdimensional anomalies, gather what information it could about the anomaly and its location, and then check the gathered information against a database. This entire process, of course, was contingent upon the matrix having some sort of input, which naturally wouldn't occur if it was sitting isolated in a room in a dead universe on a planet inhabited by a handful of eccentrics. The previous solution to this was to simply create an artificial jump hole--a gate--for sensory information streams to travel through. They didn't have to be large at all, merely large enough for so many electromagnetic waves and elementary particles to squeeze through, barely even detectable, which was good considering how difficult it is to create technology driven gates. There was no way Icarus was going to use the gate generator the Weavers were already using though, not for this project.

For one thing, the gate generator they used now was falling apart nearly beyond Icarus' ability to repair, and was painfully slow. Not to mention it was the size of a small car, protruding from the back of the current Alarm Room, and could barely handle the load. And the thing actually incorporated a satellite dish. That was simply shameful. Secondly, this was a project that nobody knew about. Icarus had made sure it would remain a surprise, even from Hasbro, who liked to stick his nose in everything. The factory wasn't that far from Icarus' own abode, so it was easy for it to look like he was headed for home and then sneak the 200 meters past its building to the small factory. A couple times it was a little harder, when he needed to be somewhere else, and actually had to impersonate Iggy one time while he was supposed to be working on some ventilation problems instead of rummaging through the Armoury (Icarus always called the large building where the Weavers stored their weapons and "souvenirs" the Armoury, even if it wasn't actually that). And finally, even if he wanted to use the one they currently had, it'd have to rip it apart, move it, and then reassemble it at the new location. That meant it would be out of commission for at the very least a week if Icarus worked on it and nothing else. That presented it's own set of problems, mostly because Wolfblade would tear it apart if it kept them from working during all that time, and the surprise would be ruined if both the generator, Icarus, and a pound of rice disappeared for a week.

Icarus smiled for a moment at the thought of a pound of rice. That could keep it going for a whole month.

In any case, it was clear to Icarus that a new generator was needed. They existed, already built, relatively small--in the 24th Century and beyond. Those, unfortunately, were out of the question, seeing as the inhabitants of those time periods had the technology to detect the Riftweavers readily available and firepower in one pistol enough to blow anything not wearing the pistol-polishers brand of armour. The alternative was to build their own, using parts that were available earlier in the timestream, when the technology was still being explored and experimented with and the security was considerably easier to bypass.

One problem solved. But not the problem Icarus had been pondering for now 45 minutes. It wouldn't dare risk traveling alone to another universe, that was against every rule not written in the nonexistent book of unspoken Riftweaver rules--buddy system for the win. But if it didn't ruin the surprise for someone, then there wouldn't be any surprise to be had. It had thought about someone who could just help get it done fast, Hasbro; someone who could get it done and whom it'd still get the same reaction from, Iggy; or someone for whom it would be somewhat less of a meaningful surprise for, Ute, who hadn't been with them long enough to realize just how much better the new system would be. Wolf had been out of the question completely, Icarus wanted to surprise her most of all.

Icarus let out a long moan. The obvious choice had been clear for a little while now, but it was still trying to figure a way around bringing anyone at all. "Screw it, I'm asking Ute."



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PostPosted: 23 Apr 2009, 10:50 
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Ute was feeling mildly irritated. She had just spent the last hour working out and had returned to her quarters in need of a good shower, only to find there was no hot water. Again. She didn't like imposing on Icarus, but this was the third time this week (and the umpteenth since she had been with the Riftweavers), and it was the only one who understood the vagaries of the heating system. Having braved the icy water and pulled on a simple blue t-shirt and jeans, she decided to bite the bullet and go and see it.

A second later she was standing at the base of the spiral staircase leading up to the crashed ship it called home. She sprinted up the stairs and knocked on the hatch.

"Icarus?"

No answer.

"Icarus, bist du zuhause?"

She tried the hatch. It didn't surprise her to find it unlocked - who would want to steal anything around here? She poked her head through and called out again in English, "Anyone home?"

Silence. She was surprised. She expected Icarus to be at home at this time of day. But then she knew it could get very engrossed in some of its projects, and it didn't appear to need a lot of sleep. She decided to look in the workshop, and in the blink of an eye that's where she was.

But again, it was deserted. She tried the canteen. He wasn't there. That didn't surprise her. He didn't eat a lot. The only other possibility she could think of was that he was out foraging, but trying to search all over Midgard would be pointless. She decided to wait in the workshop for a while and see if he returned. If not, she'd go home. She was in the middle of a good book and was rather keen to get on with it.

Once again she materialised in the workshop and stood around waiting. She was aware that a cold, clammy patch was developing on the back of her t-shirt from her still-wet hair. It didn't help her mood. She began examining some of the intriguing guns that lay around on the worktops. She really wished she could learn to use them. The other Riftweavers all seemed so much more knowledgable than her about just about everything. It made her feel like the weak link in the organisation.

After standing around for 20 minutes, she decided to give up.

I bet he's gone back to his home while I've been waiting here, she thought to herself. What a waste of time! I'll find him tomorrow.



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PostPosted: 25 Apr 2009, 21:41 
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Icarus, hanging from a pipe above the oblivious weaver, reached out to get Ute's attention as it saw her going to leave--missing her shoulder and instead overreaching and falling instead. It landed in a heap with a grunted "Oof!" So much for catching her unawares.

"Uh, hey Ute. I, um, I know this looks like me about to attack you from above, but it was for a perfectly good reason, I swear!"



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PostPosted: 26 Apr 2009, 08:54 
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Thud! "Oof!"

Ute shot round at the sound of of someone hitting the ground immediately behind her. Her eyes widened at the sight of Icarus lying in a heap on the floor.

"Ic....?," she began, but was interrupted as he spoke.

She wasn't sure how to respond. After a moment of awkward silence she replied in a rather accusing tone,
"I was looking for you. Have you been hiding here all the time? Why didn't you let me know you were here?"
And then, more apologetically, "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have said that. What were you doing up there?"
And finally, as an afterthought, "Are you ok? You don't look like you meant to land like that."



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PostPosted: 27 Apr 2009, 20:05 
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Icarus jumped up and patted itself off, kicking aside a hunk of spare whatever. "Heh, fancy that, looking for me, yeah..." Nervous giggle. "Um, no, just got here actually, looking for you actually. I was going to surprise you actually, but, uh, yeah, that didn't work just right. And I'm fine, thanks." Icarus slid quickly to Ute's other side, discreetly walking and leading her to the exit from the Armoury as it talked. "And here we are. But I found you first, so I win. Let's head over to my place and you can tell me what you wanted me fore on the way. Unless of course, you prefer to race--without teleporting the entire way."



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PostPosted: 28 Apr 2009, 10:21 
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Ute laughed.

"You want to race? I will agree to race you - without cheating - if you will agree to see if you can fix my heating again. That's why I was looking for you. I hate cold showers!"

She hesitated, and then added, "But I know you are very busy."

Actually, Ute was now more interested in what Icarus wanted than in getting her own problem sorted out. She was used to the officers seeking her out for mission-related things, but she couldn't imagine why Icarus would want to see her.

Maybe Captain Wolfblade has remembered my request for weapons training, she suddenly thought to herself.

No, that didn't make sense. If the captain had asked Icarus to oversee some training, that would be in the training room, or maybe the Armoury. Certainly not back at its quarters. To make it worth going back to its place, this had to be either something that would take quite a long time, or something private. Or both.

Still musing, she let Icarus lead her out of the building.



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PostPosted: 28 Apr 2009, 17:33 
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"Oh, ha, the heating, right. Thought I fixed that." It shook its head to clear the locks of yellow hair that had fallen into its eyes as they exited the building and turned onto the street. "I'll take another look at it ASAP, that stuff's always breaking down. First though, race to the corner of the park!"

Icarus didn't bother to wait for an equal start, immediately breaking into a full run, casually dropping to run on all fours, the wind blowing back its hair as it kicked up dust and dead grass. Too easy!



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PostPosted: 29 Apr 2009, 09:57 
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"Hey!!" Ute yelled, as Icarus took off without warning. She set off after it. She was quite fit, and her longish legs could carry her at a fair pace, but once Icarus dropped on to all fours, she didn't stand a chance against its animal-like gallop. Icarus beat her to the park corner by quite a few metres but Ute, determined not to be humiliated more than necessary, refused to slow down and came in at a flat-out sprint, cannoning into the now stationary Icarus and falling, panting and laughing, to the ground.

"You cheated!" she accused in mock annoyance.



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PostPosted: 29 Apr 2009, 18:19 
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Icarus rolled over as Ute toppled over it, laughing despite of the wind getting knocked out of it at the sudden collision. It pushed her off of it playfully. "Cheating is...so subjective," it said, "'Creative Advantage' sounds better, don't you think?" Icarus tilted its head from side to side playfully before jumping to its feet. "Besides, I won!" it said, sticking its tongue out at Ute childishly.

The slightly winded pair were now at the northeast corner of a barren wasteland that at one time, longer ago than any of the Riftweavers cared to imagine, must have been a park. They weren't too far now from Icarus' "roost" as it liked to call it, and the tail end of the ship that made up part of it could be seen projecting from a building straight ahead. Slightly to their right lay the beginning of what was once an administrative center of the city, even farther in that direction lay the skeletal remains of long-rusted skyscrapers. Icarus took a few steps forward before spinning on a heel to face Ute again. "Say Ute, can you keep a secret?"



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PostPosted: 30 Apr 2009, 10:13 
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"Of course," Ute replied, getting up off the ground. "I had to keep a lot of secrets in my old life."

She waited to see what Icarus was about to say. This was rather exciting. She was used to feeling like the outsider, the newcomer, not quite fully part of the close-knit group of established 'Weavers. And yet Icarus apparently wanted to let her in on a secret, something that it wanted kept from the others.



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PostPosted: 02 May 2009, 19:18 
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"Awesome! In that case," Icarus ducked exaggeratedly and looked to either side before making its fingers into a gun and pointing it up in front of its face, secret agent style, "I have someplace a little better to go than my place. Follow me," it said in a shady, secretive tone, "And don't fall behind." Icarus ran forwards at a slower pace than before and in hunch, still clutching its "handmade" gun.

Icarus crossed the street and onto a walkway that led through a few towering sculptures to the doors of the once-upon-a-time-factory. The spiry, geometric sculptures were composed of rusted metal beams, and stood like skeletons, the products of some generic, industry-employed post-modern abstract artist long dead, much like the factory itself. For now. Icarus turned around and put its back to the large double doors leading into the factory, again looking left and right through squinted eyes before pushing them open and motioning for Ute to enter.

"Willkommen zu mein heimliches Projekt, Fräulein."

The first room they entered had a few chairs and empty plant pots to the immediate left and right, and a semi-circular receptionist's desk immediately ahead. To the left and right of the desk were hallways with offices branching of them. Icarus ignored the hallways and headed to one of the sets of double doors behind the desk, again holding one open for Ute, and then following her into the corridor behind it. This corridor had one wall, the one behind them, connecting to some of the office rooms that the previous two hallways had, but the entire wall before them was glass, and looked out to the assembly area. A single large conveyor belt ran through the center of the assembly room, parallel to the observation corridor they stood in, with pairs of dead robotic limbs arching over it at regular intervals along its length. On the far side of the room were storage areas whose purpose still alluded Icarus, as they weren't enclosed by walls and doors but by bars and grates, like pens or jail cells. Corroded piping snaked along the ceiling above and somewhat less on the walls, which inside the corridor looked as if it may have been painted white at one point in time.

The pane of glass directly of the doors through which Icarus and Ute had entered had been removed (courtesy Icarus), and stacked wooden and metal crates (again courtesy the small gray impish character with the yellow hair) formed a crude stairway to the floor 6 or 7 meters below.

"Watch your step. Head to your left and I'll show you what I've been working on. Neat place by the way, huh? I'm surprised Wolfy and them weren't using it before I got here."



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PostPosted: 03 May 2009, 10:26 
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Ute copied Icarus' example and ran along behind it, keeping a low profile, though she was sure it wasn't necessary. There was no-one else in sight. As soon as Icarus began leading her between the sculptures she suspected they might be heading for the old factory. She had explored this part of the city soon after arriving and was aware of the building's existence but couldn't think why they needed to come here to talk. She was even more nonplussed when Icarus beckoned her in and welcomed her to its secret project. It appeared to be an empty reception area. But it soon became apparent that they were just passing through; they hadn't yet reached the "secret project".

She walked along behind her yellow-haired associate, staring around her in fascination. She had never done more than peer through the windows before and the building looked completely different from the inside. As they passed through the double doors at the end, she was amazed at the size of the room that opened out before them. And she was surprised that the captain hadn't chosen this for the workshop instead of the old warehouse. For that matter, she was surprised that Icarus hadn't found a use for the huge robotic arms that hung over the conveyor belt. Or maybe he had. What was his secret project, she wondered.

Without saying a word, and still gazing at every detail around her, she carefully descended the makeshift staircase that Icarus indicated, and headed off to her left, as she had been instructed. The sight that greeted her made her gasp.



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PostPosted: 03 May 2009, 15:43 
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"Obviously it's still kinda sloppy, but I'll get around to fixing it up and looking all pretty when it's closer to being done," Icarus said, gesturing around at the mess of metal and plastics. Where the conveyor belt ended, about 10 meters from the wall with a ramp coming down from the 3 meter wide conveyor belt to the floor, there were gutted computers and machine parts strewn about. A large circle constructed of corrugated iron sheets stood against the center of the wall, the conveyor pointing straight to it. Wires and ribbons and cables snaked across its surface and wound about it like so much silicon, metal, and plastic ivy. To the left of the circular behemoth was a 3 meter tall by 1 meter wide rectangular prism of steel and lights: the analysis matrix. And finally, to the right of the circle was a similar but smaller construction with a mounted flat screen and shelf holding a keyboard and rolling-ball mouse: the interface and command console.

"Anyways, you know what this is Ute?"



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PostPosted: 03 May 2009, 17:38 
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Ute hadn't the slightest idea. But she didn't want to appear a complete ignoramus. She studied the huge construction, trying to find some clue as to its purpose. There was a monitor, so it must be something that provided information. And there was the prism structure. It had initially reminded her of a mini Eiffel Tower. She had seen it once on a visit to Paris with her boss. That too had been a four-sided steel structure, rising to a point, but far, far higher. A bit like the Fernsehturm in Berlin. The Fernsehturm? Was this a transmitter? Or an aerial? The shape was very similar to the centre of a satellite dish. Like the one on the back of the Alarm Room!

"Is this something to do with a gate generator, or an analysis matrix?" she eventually asked tentatively.



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PostPosted: 03 May 2009, 18:33 
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Icarus slapped the large circular structure. "Bingo! Well, mostly bingo. Ya see, I'm building a brand new Alarm to use, since the one we're using now is crap. The analysis matrix is working fine, and the interface is just a spiffied up copy of our old one, so it's fine. But problem is, I do have to make a gate generator. A better one. This," it slapped the circular structure again, "is what I have so far. Eh, that's a bit misleading; what's slapped on the side of this is what I have so far. I need the generator to be smaller and faster than the one we have now, and I'm going to build it into this so that we can create bigger gates if we want to. For now though, I just need to make the equal of what we already have."

Icarus bent at the knees and jumped, grabbing onto the edge of the circular gate and pulling itself up to the top. It crouched on the top like it was about to jump off again, holding onto the edge of the gate with its hands. "Now all a generator really is a bunch of fancy metal parts slapped together with a bunch of phlebotinum flowing through it run by computer. Problem is, we're short a whole bunch of those fancy metal parts." Icarus let itself fall backwards while still holding on so that it was hanging upside down, "So I need to go get some. But I can't go alone. Are you game to help out and not tattle?"



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PostPosted: 04 May 2009, 16:28 
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"Y-you want me to go with you?"

Ute was completely taken aback. She felt totally unqualified for the task. She knew nothing about how any of this equipment worked. Why her? She had strong doubts about how much help she could be. Why was Icarus keeping this a secret from everyone else? On the other hand, she had to admit to herself that she felt honoured to be asked.

"Yes," she said after a pause, sounding a lot more confident than she actually felt. "Of course I'll help. Where do you need to go?"



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PostPosted: 04 May 2009, 17:36 
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"Yes!" Icarus crowed, dropping to the floor and flipping around in midair so it landed on its feet. "Thank you, thank you, thank you!" It said, jumping up to her and giving her something resembling a bear hug before pulling away and holding her by the shoulders and giving a look of mock seriousness. "So glad you asked, darling. Lucky for us, the database is already here and working, so we don't need to go to the old Alarm Room," Icarus forced out a cough, "--outhouse--to look for a place." It twirled around and jumped over to the interface console, hitting a comically large red button while giving Ute a wink. "Don't press the red button, right?"

The meter-wide LCD flatscreen mounted on the computer beside the gate flared to life, and an icy gray-blue background with numbers scrolling across it showed up. Icarus sent its fingers flurrying across the keys to bring up a destination. In fact, Icarus had already chosen an appropriate location, had had it ready for almost a day now, else it couldn't have searched through and chosen a candidate so quickly. Soon a familiar rotating blue, green, and white globe appeared on the screen against a starry background and a single bright yellow star. One could see a single moon and two space stations orbiting the planet: Earth.

"Here we go. Earth, aka Terra, 2024. I did some research beforehand; the best place to look for what we need would be in a military establishment, obviously, but in either in United States or China." Icarus purposefully omitted Germany, though the name had come up in its searches, mostly because it wasn't sure how Ute would take it. It had noted that she had always been particularly reserved about her home country, even though her's was a totally different one from this timeline's. "I'm thinking United States, since they have such lax standards compared to China in this era. Cross referenced some of the more developed bases, and the most isolated one that is likely to have what we need is in the middle of a mountain chain, the Rockies. It's called Cheyenne Mountain--obviously someone wasn't feeling very creative. We can jump to the city it's with, Colorado Springs, and make our way there. With mine and your abilities, it should be pretty easy to get in and out. The time period is where the technology we need is being experimented with, but nobody really knows how to use it properly yet. They won't for a while, even though this timeline looks a little bit ahead of most in technology. Anyways, I doubt anyone will notice us. Good?"



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PostPosted: 05 May 2009, 11:19 
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It took Ute a moment to recover from the surprise of being suddenly bear-hugged. She was used to Icarus being hyper, but right now "ecstatic" didn't seem an unfitting description. Was it really that big a deal that she'd agreed to go? She had to smile at its behaviour. Being around Icarus tended to make her smile. You certainly couldn't get bored!

She dragged her attention back to what it was telling her. "Seems good," she replied to its final question. She couldn't really think of much more to add. She clearly couldn't comment on the suitability or otherwise of the location since she knew neither the timeline nor what they were looking for. But she was very glad to hear it was the US rather than China that Icarus had decided on.

However, as she began to think through what she had just been told, questions did start to form in her mind to add to her initial simple response.

"What do you have in mind? Do we both need to be disguised as military personnel? Or are you relying on people's inability to perceive us? And do I need to know what we are looking for? Or is my job simply to get you inside?"

She stopped asking at that point. She was aware that it was beginning to sound like an interrogation and she didn't want to risk irritating Icarus. All that really mattered right now was knowing what to take and when when to go. Ah. Yes. One last question.

"Oh, err, when do we leave?"



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PostPosted: 05 May 2009, 19:13 
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Icarus remained oblivious to Ute's concerns, rattling off answers as she questioned it. "Breaking in, getting out. Probably not but it won't be hard to do if we need to. Oh yes. Just follow me and help out, if you don't mind. And yes, that'll be a big part of it. We can leave just as soon as we're ready. I'm going to bring two costumes, and a weapon too since it's only me and you going. If we time it right we can arrive back only minutes after we leave. Grab whatever you need and meet me back here, I need to go grab my stuff."

Icarus smiled at Ute when it'd finished talking and then took off, jumping up the makeshift stairs and running out of the factory on all fours toward home, jumping up the stairwell inside the building as well until he reached the hatch that opened up into its "roost." It walked into its bedroom and grabbed its familiar pack, then held its hand up to be scanned by the closet door security. Once inside Icarus headed to the appropriate rack and took a moment to think about what to bring. No kid outfits this time, it probably wouldn't help at all in this instance if on the off chance they were caught. It should be something sensible and seemingly honest. After a moment's thought, Icarus pulled out a pair of men's jeans, a thin, pale green, long sleeved shirt, a brown sweatervest, and a glasses case: typical attire for a bookish college guy who like to stay out of the way. It next went farther into the closet to a special section set aside specifically for military attire, which overall was much less complete than the rest of its ever-growing collection. Icarus noted that it was a good thing it had picked male civilian clothing, since the only uniform it had for that era was female. Maybe if it had the chance it would poke around for a locker room in the base for a compliment.

Costumes ready and backpack filled with the normal gadgets, Icarus stopped before leaving the closet, kneeling near the exit and opening the smaller of two cases sitting on the floor in the corner under some hanging coats. It withdrew its Rydberg. Icarus held it for a moment, looking at the device. It had been a while since it had used it, since Icarus didn't generally do most of the fighting amongst the Weavers, though it could hold its own. The Rydberg was a simple but elegant looking handgun that Icarus had found by chance during a trip to a universe farther down the stream of time than the one it and Ute were headed to today. The Weavers had actually been caught in the middle of an attack on some sort of space station which was already in dire straights and being boarded. Icarus had been forced to defend itself against what it had expected to be some less than fair odds, and picked up the first interesting weapon it had seen, in this case, the one dropped from the hand of a what looked like a high-ranking officer on the ship. Or had been a high-ranking officer. The tall blonde guy man probably hadn't even seen the beam coming, which would explain the baseball sized chunk taken out of his head. In any case, Icarus had ended up making it out before any serious danger had reached it or Wolf, Iggy, or Hasbro (this had been before Ute had joined the team), and Icarus simply took it. It came to really love the convenient little weapon after fooling with it back at Midgard, especially since it could handle many of the tasks all its other gadgets could all by itself. Whatever society had made it must have been pretty bright to pack that much into something so relatively small.

Icarus took the Rydberg, and removed a holster for it from the case, and put them both in its backpack for when it would need them. It closed the closet, opened the hatch and dropped down, closing it behind it.
Ready.



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PostPosted: 06 May 2009, 11:37 
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Ute stood and watched Icarus go, before teleporting back to her own quarters. She fretted over what to take. She normally travelled light. Her belt could hold a couple of vials of crosshatch or phlebotinum for emergencies, but mainly she just relied on her teleporting skills and her trusty dagger, in the knowledge that the other 'Weavers carried a good selection of equipment with them. But this time was different. With only two of them, if there were any problems, she could well find herself having to act alone.

As she wandered about the room, musing, she passed the full-length mirror that adorned the wall between her bed and the shower room, and glanced at her reflection. The slim-fitting jeans and figure-hugging t-shirt, so typical of her preferred style of dress, caught her eye. If she was going to need to carry equipment this time, she would require something more than those skimpy pockets to put it in. A backpack? Icarus always carried one. She was sure she had one too somewhere. A little ferreting about in the bottom of a cupboard produced the desired article.

After putting in a few potentially useful items from amongst her belongings, she 'ported over to the workshop and began picking out accessories and popping them in the pack, all the while straining her ears for the sound of anyone else approaching: a couple of vials of crosshatch (probably not needed for this mission, but one could never tell); some distilled phlebotinum (she wasn't fully trained in its use, but she knew Icarus was); a couple of blacklight grenades.... Her eyes strayed towards the weapons. Should she take something more sophisticated than her dagger? What would be most appropriate? There were some basic guns. One if those might be a possibility. There were all sorts of obscure hi-tech devices that Icarus had developed, but she didn't know how to use them. And there were Strike rods. She had never used one before, but they looked pretty straightforward, and were more subtle than a gun. Aimed right, they could disable without injuring. She chose one of the smaller ones and went to put it in the pack, but it was clear before she even tried that it was too long. So she left it sticking out of the top, zipped up the sides around it, and swung the bag onto her back. But it didn't feel secure. The items didn't fill the bag and were rattling around, and the Strike rod felt like it could fall out if she bent over.

She 'ported back home to rethink. And remembered that amongst the clothes she had managed to collect since coming here was a pair of combat trousers. She wasn't keen on them. She felt they looked far too baggy on her thin frame. But they had lots of large pockets. Quickly she grabbed them out of the wardrobe and put them on. Sure enough, all the small items went in, even the grenades (after careful checking that they were secure). After changing into a similar-coloured tank top, a quick trip back to the workshop produced a set of straps for the Strike rod, which she strapped on her back. Finally, having fastened on her usual dagger belt, and grabbed a matching jacket, she felt ready to go. Dressed like this, if anyone did happen to detect her, she might not stand out enough to make them look again. And the jacket could cover the Strike rod if need be.

Satisfied at last with her choices, she vanished from the room.



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PostPosted: 06 May 2009, 18:20 
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Icarus saw Ute, new outfit and gear with, appear before the gate as it jumped down the crate-stairs, its backpack bumping around on its back as it did. Icarus slid to a stop before it ran into her, tossing the backpack over its shoulder in one fluid motion.

"Heh, nice backpack." It winked at her. "Since I know exactly where we're going, I'm gonna go ahead and get into costume, if you don't mind..." Icarus didn't really intend on waiting whatever her answer, as it had already started taking its shirt off before it had finished its sentence. Icarus pulled the first outfit back out of its backpack and put its own shirt inside. It pulled the shirt on and the sweatervest on top of it, then pulled down its pants and pulled on the jeans, all of which was actually only slightly large on it. Obviously it wouldn't need to become much bigger to fill it. Maybe something about about 175 cm or so. Icarus shifted into a skinny college kid with short, sandy blonde hair and an angled and apologetic face.

"And a final touch," he pulled the glasses case out and removed a pair of trendy rimless glasses. Putting them on, he looked at UTe and smiled, "Two college kids, that should be good. Come on, let's go."

Icarus jumped, the ground falling away as he felt the familiar drain-pipe feeling pulling him away from home. Again.



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PostPosted: 07 May 2009, 00:01 
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[font=Courier New] hows the project
just need to touch up a few things
I have the script just about done but I want some opinions
We can meet and hammer them down
Did you manage to unlazy Mike yet? :/
no, it seems it's just the two of us
mike says he's got a strep throat
so he cant do oral
again
o_O
lolwut
ack
you know what im talking about
maybe :D
-_-;;
Well, that's fine with me ;)
due date's quite a while away so we can procrastinate a bit :D
:D
Though if he keeps doing that again, I might hit him over the head with my textbook
lol
but really, does he SOUND like he's having a strep throat?
not really
lazy Mike. :/[/font]


"Rod-neeeeeeeeey! Breakfast!"

"Alright, mom! Just hold on a bit, here!"


[font=Courier New] aw
mom called
probably finished making risotto :D
meet you at school, 'kay?
kk
cya later
bring ur stuff
only if you go over and bring Mike along
strep throat and sexual innuendo be damned
rofl XD
i will
* Disconnected[/font]


Adjusting the watch, Rodney thumbed it back to the conventional, time-displaying mode, hopped off the chair, and clambered down the stairs as the smell of freshly-cooked risotto wafted within whiffing range. Trying not to salivate too much, Rodney sniffed towards the kitchen, where the mother was spooning heaps of rice and chicken onto a plate, and parked on a chair, making sure to grab a spoon and a glass of milk en route.

Sidling over, the mother slid the plate of steaming risotto in front of Rodney. "Are you finished with your project?" She asked. "You were up last night."

Rodney shrugged. "Kinda. I finished it, but now I want to see what my teammates think of it. It's kinda hard, since Mike's always slacking."

The mother frowned. "Didn't you tell your teacher about him?" She said, even as she took another plate to help herself with.

"I did." Another shrug. "The teacher said that he'll dock marks from him, but...eh." Rodney paused for a bite of risotto and sip of water. "Mmf. It's just the two of us, really."

"Well, do well in it, okay?"

"I will."

Silence trailed afterwards, broken only by the occasional clank of utensils, plates, and mugs as the two ate. Finally, the mother glanced up at the clock and frowned. "School's in half an hour," she said, standing up with the food-speckled plate in her hands. "Better finish quickly. I'll refrigerate the rest for when you come home, okay?"

"Aww!" Rodney whined. "Your cooking's always the best when it's hot. When it's cold, it doesn't taste as great. Can I pack some for lunch?"

"Go ahead." The mother waved her arms. "Now shoo, or you'll be late!"


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PostPosted: 07 May 2009, 08:11 
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"Heh, nice backpack."

Ute blinked, confused, and then looked down and realised she had inadvertently picked up the backpack again along with the jacket. Both were slung over her arm.

"Oh!" She exclaimed in surprise. "Haha. I meant to leave that at home. It's empty. Everything's in my pockets now."

Still, if she could get it on her back over the Strike rod it might prove useful. And it would hide the strange lump that the rod would make under her jacket. While Icarus got changed, she slipped the jacket on and tried out the pack. After loosening the straps a little, it slid into place quite easily. Then she stood and waited as Icarus finished getting dressed. She hoped it didn't mind her watching; she was actually rather curious to see what it looked like under its clothes.

"Nice outfit," she remarked admiringly, as it applied the final touch. Then, with a comment about college kids and and an exhortation to go, it jumped.

It doesn't waste any time! Ute thought to herself, and followed suit.



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PostPosted: 07 May 2009, 17:41 
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Icarus landed with an ever so slight drop. Looking around he quickly surmised that he was on a sidewalk outside a Starbucks in midmorning. A good place to be, especially for "a couple college kids." Nothing suspicious about two students on their way to class suddenly materializing in front of a well known establishment which tons of witness file past in the mornings during their commute. Nope, nothing at all.

Icarus swung his backpack around as he saw Ute appear beside him. "Keep on your toes," he said smiling to himself. From the backpack, he produced his handy-dandy Hackwatch, which he slipped over his left hand wrist. He started it syncing with the GPS for the world immediately so they could get a more specific location and then find their way to the military facility. "Roswell," he announced when their current location popped up. "We're in a part of the city called Roswell, on East Fillmore Street, not far from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs." He turned to Ute and cocked his head to one side jollily, "We're just the luckiest ones, aren't we? Landing here disguised as we are. Hm, hm, hm..." He took another look at the Hackwatch and selected a few options from the floating halo menu that was hovering about his splayed fingers. "Looks like we'll need to make our way south from here. You good to go?"

---

Beep
Beep
Beep
...


Corporal Ellman quickly turned his attention to the display at his finger tips, Corporal Weissman leaning in to get a look.

"Ellman!" it was the Sergeant, "What is that?"

The corporal swallowed, he'd not been on duty during any of the previous incidents, but he'd heard that men who sounded false alarms tended to find themselves scrubbing latrines inside a week. By the book. By...the book. "Spike in the perimeter defense sweepers, sir."

"Our perimeter? There aren't any tests scheduled for today." The burly sergeant pushed his way past the seats of half a dozen men at their stations to look over Ellman's shoulder. It was at that time that a private first class received a report from her diagnostic.

"Sir, NorthAm EDaRNet reports no errors, and is also reading the event."

The sergeant looked up sharply at the private. "Damn." He put his hand to the wrist control, activating his direct line to the telcom operators at the base and spoke into his bluetooth earset, "Get me Major Thornsbury."



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PostPosted: 08 May 2009, 11:53 
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Ute looked around while Icarus studied his Hackwatch. She would have liked an opportunity to explore the city. She would also have liked a chance to eat. Arriving outside Starbucks reminded her that she hadn't eaten for several hours and she had begun to work up an appetite after her earlier workout. There were other eating places nearby too. She could see a Taco Bell. And Subway. And was that KFC in the distance? She found it interesting that, even though they had travelled into the future, and to a different universe, these household names were still doing business. Not that she had much personal experience of them. In her world the German government was not keen to allow foreign conglomerates to gain a foothold in the national economy, and there were very few companies that even wanted to try, due to all the restrictions. But there were one or two in some of the other European countries under National Socialist control. Such as Britain.

Ute forced herself to ignore her empty stomach and turned to look at the data that Icarus had brought up, taking care not to touch anything. She still remembered the embarrassing incident from an earlier mission.

"It looks a long way," she observed. "It must be about 15 kilometers to the mountain. Do you want me to teleport us there? That road," she pointed in the direction of the intersection with Nevada Avenue,"appears to go in the right direction. I could use it for guidance. Though it would require several jumps."



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