Log:Bugging Your Friends
Interior - FRT Lucky Fate
The Main Hold is the central room in this ship, with a loading ramp leading directly down from the forward hatch. It's utilitarian, with a black durasteel floor and molded white bulkheads. Living quarters are split on either side of the loading ramp, to the right and left. There are actually two more cargo holds, one to the port and one to the starboard side flanking this central hold. Aft are a small medical bay and the engineering station. The cockpit corridor is reached by a hatch towards the port side front.
The cargo load to Codru? 200 tons of rare insects. Yes, that's exactly it. How many bugs fit in 200 tons? That's something Zan never wanted to know. They made it to the planet okay, and through the customs inspection, but before they got to go out and play, one of the crates got dropped with a sickening kerthud. And then a little buzzing noise could be heard.
Codru? Sure! Another place Yee could check off as having visited. She was still getting ready to debark as the crates were being off-loaded, and not paying all that much attention to it, really. The kerthud's hard to miss, though. And causes her to peek out from the living area towards where the cargo is/ "That didn't sound good."
"...oops." This comes from Tamrae. Perhaps predictably. "Um..." She peers down at the hole through which the box has fallen. "...huh...I, uh, probably shoulda covered that back up after I finished with th' rebalance...." Mostly because she tripped over the panel that should be covering said hole and bobbled the box she was carrying, which is now down there. In the hole. She cautiously pulls out a glowlight, then flicks it on, shining it down. "Um, Zan? Yee?"
Zan is on the ramp chatting with the nice Codru-Ji who is paying her credits for the delivery. At the sound, he promptly deducts one crate worth of payment, and says, "That one is yours." Zan's eyes widen, but he doesn't even wait, just trots off. Hey at least if they drop any more, he's paid for them, right? Zan comes back on the ship half grumbling. "Alright, what happened?" she asks, though she can see it fairly quickly enough. "Oh, bilge pumps and botheration," she grouses. "Is everyone okay?"
"...well..um....for certain levels of okay?" Tam offers. "I...dropped one." She thumbs towards the hole. "...an' it kinda broke open. I mean, it's not completely my fault, that's just really cheap packaging there!"
Oops? That's not good, either. She wasn't really in line of sight of the oops in question, so she walks over to fix that. "What happened?" she asks, echoing Zandra. She seems to be just fine. For the moment. Ask her again once the nature of the oops is fully understood. "She looks from them, to the broken crate. "Ooops?"
Zan blinks, and then says, "Oh." A glance down the ramp, and then, "The nice fellow who bought the cargo? he says this crate is ours, just from hearing the sound. I'm going to guess he's used to them breaking, somehow. Maybe why it was a big load and quite lucrative?" She makes a face, "But now, how do we get that crate out of there, and - I guess, what is now free on my ship? If it eats the wiring, you're going to have to fix it all better than new, Tam." That's half joking and half serious. Zan moves over to the side, finding another flashlight, and trying to look down the hole. Something skitters out of the light and she jumps back.
Tam pouts. "Well...I don't know, do you know anything about those bug things? I mean...what might bother them? I could probably flood the area with coolant or something, maybe..." she muses. "I mean, if we have to, but if there's somethin' that'd attract 'em, that'd be way better?"
Yee draws a little closer... but not a whole lot closer. "Right. Bugs. Maybe I should look up the specs? See if there's an obvious way to neutralize them? What kind of bugs are they?" she asks, looking to Zandra for the answer. "Were you given information about them? You know. Just in case?" of 'oops'.
Zan promptly fishes out the cargo manifest, cause there's always one of those. "Here," she says, passing that over to whoever wants it. "the overall load just said rare insects. I didn't even think they were still alive." She sounds almost horrified by the thought. "there are - Maybe I should just give the ship to Vraag after all, and ask for my 1/3d money back. Let him deal with the bugs." A pause, "No that won't work, he'll just tell me to keep flying, won't he?"
"PRob'ly." Tam notes, letting Yee take the manifest...the doctor is a lot more likely to know something about bugs than Tam herself is. "Well. They're not hiding from the light, exactly. Maybe we could make, like, a trap?"
Ayeeou edges just close enough to Zandra to take the manifest from her. Then, she edges back again. "Sure. You're used to delivering bodies. Why would this be different? I mean, but in bug form." She scans it, then says "I don't know anything about most of these. A few familiar names. I think." Thousands of inhabited worlds, each with thousands of kinds of bugs. "Let me see what I can find out. Uh, scream if they, you know, do something?" She hurries out to do a quick search.
"I don't know they do seem to be skittering, and how big are they?" Zan asks. 200 tons of rare insects ... wait now. That is kind of a scary thought. "A bug trap?" Zan asks. And then she laughs. "Sure - what are we going to do with them once we trap them?" She's curious, not really against the idea, but - "Also, I'm not sure but I think maybe these things were on the menu?" She glances at Yee as the Nautolan beats a hasty retreat. Buh - ?
"I dunno! Give them ta th' guy, feed 'em ta Adder, whatever!" Tamrae frowns a bit. "I could get a box, put some grease in it, some sticky....well, maybe. Or I could put some hydraulic fluid with some water an' sugar..."
Ayeeou doesn't look put off at the idea that these were destined for restaurants. Lots of places eat bugs of one sort or another. She grabs one of her study datapads, and returns. Sort of. Not too close. She pulls up some data, using the manifest as a guide. "Hm. Really, we could just leave and flood the ship with something to kill them. Unless you want them alive. And if that would definitely get them all. I assume if there were any actually dangerous bugs they'd be flagged on the list and there'd have been special handling?"
Zan laughs, her hands making a sort of iunno gesture. "You two are far better at this than I am. I mean, I can't talk to them or fly them - so that's it for me, over to you two," she says. The bugs below? some are fist sized, some are a bit smaller. None of them are bigger, at least not yet. Maybe they grow? There are probably 3 different types, but none of them have a fatal bite, unless someone happens to be allergic to them. Oh, and one of them is a type that will cocoon and then come out with wings.
Tam peers down the hole. "...maybe they'll just eat each other?" she says hopefully. "...no? Kriff it." She frowns, then hops up and looks around for a moment before jogging over to snag an emergency fire suppression tank from the wall. "Well, this should probably cool 'em down...maybe enough they'll go ta sleep? Or...well, if they can't breathe it well, maybe that'll just stop 'em..."
"They probably won't eat each other." Yee says with a smile. "Not in numbers enough to solve the problem, anyway. And we definitely want to get one of them before they start to cocoon." She looks okay with the fire suppressant plan, though she says "As long as we can find them all in case they start moving again once they warm up. Or, it might agitate them and sent them on the offensive."
Zan shakes her head. "Sure," she says, "Give it a shot." She moves out of the way because she doesn't want to breathe in that stuff, but tries to get to where she has a view, sort of? Of course, when the fire suppressant gets sprayed, there's the hiss of the fire suppressant nozzle, and then a keening sound from the bugs. The crate actually moves, with their sudden fleeing, as they head in every direction they can, some of them climbing up the walls and little mandibles peeking up over the edge.
Tamrae acks! "Get 'em! Quick! While they're runnin' up on th' deck!" She keeps spraying! Hey, it's at least getting them out of the hole where they might hide!
Yeah. That could have gone better. As they all clear the broken crate and scatter to all corners of the hold, Yee jumps back and winces. "Ooops?" she offers. The word of the day. She edges towards the exit again. "I don't know about you two, but I'm not sleeping at all on the trip home..."
Zan squeaks a bit, as the bugs all try to escape at top speed. "Catch them?" she asks, sounding appalled. "With what?" A pause, and then, "The ramp is open, chase them that way?" Uhm, maybe? Bugs, bugs everywhere. Little mandibles clicking, claws waving, and carapaces gleaming. They literally just skitter every which way.
Tamrae grrs and pauses with spraying to set down the supressor, then hops down to pick up the remains of the box and tosses it up on deck, then climbs back up. "Um...okay. I can do that....I can like...flood th' hold with coolant starting on the side opposite th' ramp?
Yee looks towards the ramp. "Will that get them all?" She thinks, then says "Why don't we just message back to Nar Shaddaa and tell them we locked the keys inside. We'll shuttle back, and have someone else come get it? Alternatively, we could just say there was a terrible, terrible accident. With fire."
"Yee, are you afraid of bugs?" Zan has to ask at this point. It kind of starts to seem that way, doesn't it? She wrinkles her nose at the Nautolan, and then says, "So, do we know if they're poisonous?" And then to Tamrae," she says, "you know, we could block off the fore, keep them out of there, and just blast the rest of the ship into vacuum?" A pause. "Wait, maybe that would have been better if we didn't let them - oh no, no nono, don't you go that way!" She darts over to try to block the way to the cockpit, with limited success. A couple bugs though do weeble their way out the ramp.
Tamrae mmphs. "How th' kriff would I know if they're poisonous?!?" She puts her lower hands on her hips as she waves around. "Well..yeah. Just...seal th' door out of the hole, it's vacuum proof!"
Yee thinks about Zandra's question. "One on one? Of course not." she replies. "A few on one? Not really. Once we get to the 'crate full of almost fist-sized skittering, bitey things? Yeah, okay. Kind of." She does helpfully say "None of them have a lethal bite." That doesn't mean that a lot of small less lethal bites are fun, of course.
Zan closes the door to the cockpit, belatedly. "Kriff it, I think a couple got in there," she grouses. There are a couple making their way for the maintenance tubes, a couple standing in the middle of the cargo hold chittering. Zan leans against the door and then glares balefully at the bug that has managed to climb the walls and hang at her eye level just two feet away from her. "Insolent little brat," she burbles. Must have heard that as a child no doubt. She grabs the nearest thing, which is a small wrench, and a bug goes skittering away from it as she lifts it, and swings at the bug in the air. Not that Zan is any good at this sort of thing, so she misses, and that just makes her stomp her foot. Crunch.
Tamrae ums. "Okay, okay...we could...if you took off to space, then we opened up th' hold, everywhere but th' cockpit....?"
Yee thinks about that, then says "We'd still have to deal with the ones that have already gotten out of the hold, but it would be something? Or, maybe we can hire an exterminator?" She glances at the data pad again. "Many male bugs are drawn to the pheromones of the females. Maybe we could synthesize the pheromones? Put a lure outside?"
"If we get rid of all the males, that would limit their lifespan, right?" Zan says. "It might help. Can you do that?" She then glances at Tam. "Well, if we all get in the cockpit and close the door, I can take off, and we can try vacuum blasting whatever is in the hold, sure. Do you two think that would work?"
"I think so. Anywhere they can get to, th' vacuum will reach, an' it shouldn't hurt th' sealed areas of th' ship any. It'll get rid of most of 'em?" Tamrae suggests.
"Well, it wouldn't change their lifespan, but it would limit their ability to make any more." Ayeeou replies. "So, let's do the vacuum thing, and I'll get to work on the pheromones for the rest?"
"That's what i meant," Zan says with a smile. "Taking liberties, I guess, and not quite technically right. Anyway, okay then, let's close the ramp, and then chase the ones here away from the cockpit door, right?" She glares at that one still at eyelevel mocking her. "They crunch if you step on one. That's disturbing."
Tam hits the ramp close button, pausing to make sure the suppressor is secured again before escaping the creepy crawly hold, heading for the cockpit for the last minute defense before everyone zips up to the cockpit.
Yee does look disturbed at the thought of crunching these huge bugs underfoot. She makes a face, then retreats to the cockpit after looking around for anything else that might need to be secured. Especially in the medical and engineering stations.
The way to the cockpit is sort of half cleared, as much as can be, and then Zan opens the door darting inside. "Quick, let's close ourselves in here, and then - " A pause and then, "Ow! I think I just got bitten!" Sure enough, there's a little bug - okay, not so little, chomping on her left hand. "You little - " she moves her hand, smashing the bug between hand and wall, automatically. Which brings a wince and a definite crunch sound as the bug bites it for the last time.
Tamrae stares at the bug now smeared all over Zan's hand. "....EWWWWWWWW!" she says, shivering and retreating rapidly up to the cockpit. "Ew ew ew ew ew ew...."
Zan's none too happy about the bug stuck to her hand either, honestly. But there it is, at least it's not alive anymore? She mumbles something, sliding into the cockpit along with Tam and Yee, and slamming the door shut. "Can we try to kill any of these kriffing things that are in here with us, maybe? shoes can crunch them." Might make them mad, too, since only Zan has stepped on one so far, and she's also the only one who got bitten.
Tam is alertly watching the floor at this point. "Um, yeah, Yee, ya, um, got real good boots, right?" she says hopefully. From the look of it she's one skitter across exposed skin away from hoping on top of the chair and shrieking, the way her eyes are wide and her nostrils are flaring a bit. "I...I really don't like bugs in enclosed spaces..."
Zan's hand starts to swell, turning red. Ahem, Hey Yee? yeah you. Course, Zan is too busy trying to bug squash any bugs in her cockpit, dang it. At least she's not really frightened of the things, though her left hand is starting to throb. "C'mon, Tam, there can't be many in here." Zan kills two. A third. Are there any more?
Tamrae's pointed ears tilt back as she lets out a little whine, but sighs and gets up. And begins...bunny hopping around. Leaving herself on the floor as little as possible as she bounces up and down trying to stomp out the last few. Which is a big one, and pulls a little squeal of disgust out of her as she lands solemnly on it and yellow bugs guts go spurting all over. "EWWWWWWWWWWWW!"
That's probably when Zandra's words come next, which will freak Tamrae out even more. "I hate to mention it," she starts with. because ew gross is so totally right. "But some of the suckers can climb the walls." She is now checking the walls, the ceiling. the consoles, the chairs. Ignoring her throbbing puffy hand.
Tamrae stops. "W-what?" she says in a small voice. On cue, a flying bug zooms down from somewhere behind Zan's chair...and perches on Tamrae's head.
And then the petite Codru-Ji is frantically squealing and slapping at the bug in her hair as it clings on for dear life.
Zan's eyes widen. "They FLY!?" she says, now she's checking her hair patting it with her right hand, to make sure she's not carrying one unbeknownst to her. "By the Force, this just gets worse and worse." She doesn't find one on her, or anything, but she does end up seated in the pilot's chair, pausing because, "Tam? Why is the room spinning?"
There's bugs and squishes and screams (Oh, my!), and Yee is not at all immune to it all. She is wearing boots, but they're not exactly bug-stompin' boots. She does her best, but is so startled when Tam screams that she does, too. And looks around frantically before spotting the one on poor Tam's head. She looks around for something to smash it with, but it's *on Tam's head*. That would just end badly. So, she says shakily "Stay still!!!!!" Apparently, she's going to try to swat it off. With a large, heavy tool of some sort. No way that can end badly... Poor Zan's on her own for the moment.
Tam halts as she's ordered to stay still, breathing rapidly her pupils a bit dilated. "Get it off get it off please get it off..." she whimpers, shutting her eyes tight as she shudders, as the bug crawls around along her hair, then tries to burrow, drawing another high-pitched whine from the teen. "YEEEE! OOOOOOOFF!" She's vaguely aware Zan is having problems, but she's distracted!
Zan's eyes widen, but she's seeing two of Yee and two of Tam. so she's probably not the right one to be helping get that bug off. Mind you, the throbbing seems to not be hurting anymore, so that's a win. "Oh, with there being two of each of you, that means there are too many bugs," she manages to say.
[PASS ( +64)] Ayeeou Wanaii's Dexterity @ (100) diff.
Alas, Ayeeou Wanaii is not known for her ability to swing a large, heavy tool with any accuracy. On the plus side, she does know how to treat a head wound. That might be very handy in a moment. The panicked pair are certainly doing no favors whatsoever for those fighting to rid the galaxy of stereotypes about young women and bugs. She is as careful as she can be with her heart racing hard, then swings...
...and it's a hit! Bat meets bug, and it goes flying off her friend's head and hits the wall with a sickening crunch. Yee's eyes go huge, and she looks really surprised that worked. She squeaks, and says "Zan! Look! I got it!!" She looks at her other friend, and says "Zan? You okay?" Oops. That's okay. She can treat bug bites, too. And since she didn't spill any of Tam's brains, Zandra can go to the front of the line.
The petite Codru-Ji almost collapses back into the chair in relief, one of her upper hands going to her heaving chest, her lower on the arms of the co-pilot's chair. She looks worriedly at Zan, then around, then leans over and starts flicking switches as she starts powering up the ship. "We gotta get up into orbit before more get inside!" She slaps a switch to seal off the cockpit from the rest of the ship, particularly the air vents that the invaders might use to join them in the front of the ship.
Zan might be a little loopy, yes. Perhaps one of the more interesting side effects maybe is a hallucinogenic reaction? Allergic reaction that is. At least she's not yet seeing 10 foot bugs standing behind everything, snapping their mandibles - or is she? Her eyes go wide, and her face pales and she screams.
Yee leaves the ship stuff to the expert, and focuses on Zandra. That scream causes her to jump and looks around again for more bugs. For the moment though, it's just them. In sight, anyway. "What? What? Is there one on me??" she asks, panicking for a moment. Whether it's the thought of a bug on her or of someone trying the same really stupid thing on her that she just did to Tam is not certain. Since there's no bugs evident though, she looks at Zandra again. "Zan! There's nothing here!" She goes for the cockpit's emergency medical kit, then to Zandra. "Hey, look at me. You're going to be okay."
As the engines start up, Tam grabs the controls, flipping the ship over to repulsorlift as it heaves up off the ground, rotating to face upwards before she fires the engines, punching it as the ship rapidly heads for space. "Almost there! Just a bit more..." she says, as the atmosphere begins to thin, the sky giving way to black. "Annnnd....purge!" She says, flipping a few more switches, as there's a muted howl of air as the rear ramp lowers.
Zan's teeth are chattering now, and she's staring with a terrified look on her face. "No, go away," she shouts. "Get it away, watch out! It's going to - " Whatever it was going to do, it's impossible to know, because Zan doesn't finish the sentence. "Yee? Where did you go, Yee?" she asks now, bewildered. Her voice is back to normal until Yee starts her way, and then Zan screams again.
When Zandra screams again, Yee gets big-eyed again. Well, bigger-eyed. "Zandra! It's just me!" she says, trying to get near enough to her friend to give her a little something for this. Just a little sedative. If she can't... "Hey, Tam? You might need to sedate Zandra while she's screaming at me."
"M-me? Um, okay...toss me th' stuff an' distract her?" Tam says uncertainly, looking over at the other panicking woman. "Wow, what was in that bug?" She gets ready to jab!
Zan is actually trying to get away from Yee, as though Yee is a big ol' bug, yup. But at least so far she is okay with Tam. "Tam, don't go near it," she calls, as she recognizes the voice. "And make sure Yee is safe, right? I hear her, but this bug - if I don't make it, tell the Ebon Guard I'm sorry. and Jax." A pause, Zan's hands firmly on the pilot's seat, and then she gets to her feet, stumbling briefly. "I'm going to try to get it!" And she heads herself straight at Yee!
Yee lobs the hypo gently to Tam, then moves so that Zandra has to turn her back on the woman. "Zandra, you're going to be fine. There's no giant bug. It's just me." But then she's being lunged at, and hops backwards with another squeak. "Do it!" she squeals as she tries to keep away. Not that easy in the cockpit. It's just not that big a space.
"Um, sure, you do that Zan! Just, keep yer eye on th' bug..." Tamrae says, her upper left hand catching the hypospray, her lower pushing her up from the chair. And then, as soon as Zandra seems about ready to pounce, she lunges...and, well...jumps up to stick her in the neck, the spray hissing as it injects.
Of course, the injection of the spray has Zan panic again. "It bit me!" she cries out. "Oh no, it bit me! I'm going to die!" Course, the panic only helps that sedative to work faster, and so it's not long before Zan simply keels over, slumping to the ground as she passes out.
Someday they three are going to look back on this and laugh. But it is not this day. Well, two of them might once the adrenaline wears off a little. The other one will have a very nice nap all the way home while the doctor does what she can. Then, it will be straight to the medical center for proper treatment. And then alcohol. Sooooo much alcohol. And then, tomorrow, she'll get to work synthesizing that pheromone. Hope someone remembers to hang a sign on the ship saying keep out!