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Assigment to White Planet 8069 chapter three AT DEATH'S DOOR
by Chat-A-Book Group
For Sale
Author requests article critique


Dear Astraia,
Hi Cousin! It's been a while since we've talked. How's it going way out there in the outpost? Are you lonely? We're sure not lonely here! Maybe you heard--a whole group of people from Earth are visiting. They say they are here to learn from our success in becoming almost independent materially. But I personally think that they are here to spy!! Hey, do you have access to government records? Do you think you could do some research on this?

Anyway, do you remember Jason Patterson, my father's mineral analysis and surveying friend? He's out in your general area doing some analytical work. Has he been to the outpost? He's been sending reports back here and it sounds like he is finding some interesting stuff. He said it looks like the soil in some of the areas has been enriched in the past! I'll keep you updated if I hear more. He might actually be here at the station for a visit soon. I think he is bringing some of his findings back for testing or something.

Well, I guess I have to go see what Group T19 is up to. *sigh* It is kind of fun to meet people from Earth, but I feel like I have to be on the edge around them. I wonder if I can make friends with one of the group and see if I can figure out some info! Hehe, off to some detective work!


Hi, Meinta!

Wow, it has been a long time, hasn't it? Yes, I knew about Group T19. I'm in security, remember? We are in close contact with the security at the station, so we generally know all that goes on, even minor things. We have to stay alert here at the outpost.

Why do you think Group T19 is here to spy? Why shouldn't they be here to learn from us about how we have made a living here? Anyway, I am able to get into the UU records. We have access to their database. Kinda nice, huh? I'll look into it for you.

I remember Jason Patterson. In fact, he was here briefly just a few days ago, but I was inspecting some new supplies so I didn't actually see him. He kind of keeps to himself when he's here. I guess he's not used to being
around so many people at once.

I have a furlough coming up soon, so hopefully I can come to the station for some much needed rest and some of that great home cooking! See you then.


Narrator: Meinta sat at her desk looking at her plasmagen for a minute after she finshed reading the note from her cousin. Then she smiled a little and opened a new window on her plasmagen.

I found something I think you may be interested in. Meet me infront of the research dome in the morning at 5:00.

Narrator: Meinta closed her plasmagin and thrust it in the pocket of the jacket she would wear the next morning. She didn't look at it again.

Jason Patterson: ::Plasmeg com to Meinta:: >>> Hi Kiddo Jason here.. Just got in with that shipment of Bortoxiun you wanted... Should be moved over to the Research Lab by the time you get up... Remember that stuff is still Unstable 'til it's refined. Best to store it in the preasure crates... Patterson out...


Damian Raen: ::steps into the hallway in front of the research dome::
Meinta: You're early.
Damian Raen: So are you.
Meinta: You struck me as a late to bed and late to rise sort of a guy.
Damian Raen: ::looks around:: So, what did you want?
Meinta: I found something I think you may be interested in.
Damian Raen: Huh.
Meinta: ::steps up to a door and places her palm over a screen, looking into a sensor. door swings open:: Come on in.
Damian Raen: ::steps into the room::

Narrator: The dome was large, with many alcoves and separate office rooms. Vials and instruments were scattered around, evidence of the research that went on in that area. Two skylights allowed the soft purple light to mix with the harsh yellow of the florescent lights.
Meinta: ::walks into one of the alcoves and opens a drawer:: Look ::shows him a handful of rocks, still dirty and oddly-shaped::
Damian Raen: Rocks. Nice. ::looks at her strangely::
Meinta: ::grins:: You know what these are?
Damian Raen: I bet I could figure it out, if you let me taste them. ::takes one of the rocks, holds it to his face::
Meinta: ::snickers:: I think you might break a tooth. And I don't think gems taste very good.
Damian Raen: ::glances at her sideway:: I'm not gonna eat it.

Meinta: ::opens a small rock tumbler and hands him a pink rock with the sharp edges rounded off::
Damian Raen: ::touches the rock with the tip of his tongue::
Meinta: ::giggles:: What is it?
Damian Raen: It's a pink rock.
Meinta: ::laughs out loud:: I'm not sure what all they are, but I think they're valuable.
Damian Raen: Yeah, well, maybe on the right world. ::puts it back::
Meinta: Yeah, that's why youíre here. What planet would give the best price for them?
Damian Raen: ::looks away:: Where did you find these?
Meinta: In the garden.
Damian Raen: Let me guess, the vegetable lady dug them up.

Meinta: There are two different colors--the pink and green. I found them and no one else has seen them.
Damian Raen: Neither are radioactive, in case you're wondering, but if you grind the pink ones up... you can get some interesting results.
Meinta: Radioactive? No actually I wasn't wondering that. ::studies him:: Interesting like how?
Damian Raen: especially when mixed with water and taken through a straw ::grins slyly::
Meinta: ::narrows her eyes:: You do eat it? or are you teasing me?
Damian Raen: ::looks away:: You don't eat them; you drink them. Big difference.
Damian Raen: I think I know why you wanted me to see these things, Meinta
Meinta: I just told you why I wanted you to see them--I figured you had been around and knew where would give the best price.
Damian Raen: Oh, I know where you can get a good price ::smirks::
Meinta: Well, they're not drugs, right? Are they minerals?
Damian Raen: ::glances at her::
Damian Raen: Yeah, they're minerals.

Meinta: So, you want to help me sell them? I think there are more where those came from. I'll give you.... 40% of the profits
Damian Raen: That's sounds like a good deal... too good of a deal.
Meinta: well, I found them, but it doesn't do much good to find something if you can't sell it. So it seemed fair.
Damian Raen: ::looks at her warily:: I'm sure there are more where they came from, and I'm willing to bet they didn't come from your little garden.
Meinta: Oh yeah?
Damian Raen: ::steps right up to Meinta, forcing her back against the analysis table, glaring at her:: Where did you get these? Who did you buy them from?
Meinta: ::looks scared:: I told you! I found them. ::takes a deep breath and pulls out her plasmagin:: Back off. If you want in on this deal then calm down. Otherwise I'm outta here.

Damian Raen: ::steps back, not sure if he believes her:: I know you're just trying to get me to talk. To tell you "everything I know about them".
Meinta: Actually, now that you mention it, I am curious as to why Group T19 is here. I honestly don't think you care about our importing.
Damian Raen: ::rolls his eyes:: I don't know, all right? I don't know why they called us out here.
Meinta: You don't?!
Damian Raen: They haven't told me anything that they haven't told you. ::not looking at her::
Meinta: ::narrows her eyes:: I'm supposed to believe that? Someone on your team has to know why you are here. And why are you so worried about me trying to get you to talk, if you don't have anything to talk about?
Damian Raen: ::walking across the room, with his back to her:: They told us we were going to be checking up on import and export policies. ::turning around:: but I don't know a thing about that. At least not the legal kind.
Meinta: ::she hesitates:: The legal kind of ex and im-porting?
Damian Raen: ::sarcastic:: No. Gardening.
Meinta: ::snorts:: Well, that's all we do--legal exporting.
Damian Raen: Yeah, I bet. Like your little pink rocks over there.
Meinta: I've never seen rocks like that before. They are illegal?
Damian Raen: Sure, sure. ::looking away:: Let's just say that I haven't either, all right?

Meinta: How can a rock be illegal?
Damian Raen: How can a plant be illegal? How can a pill be illegal?
Meinta: It is dangerous for the body? Makes people get out of control when they drink it?
Damian Raen: ::laughs::
Meinta: ::looks at the rocks:: Forget it, then. I don't want to do anything with them. I'll cover up the spot I found them.
Damian Raen: Good idea. That's just what you should do. And stop digging so deep.
Meinta: ::looks at him:: Oh, that I won't do. I'll keep digging. Mark my words.
Damian Raen: ::steps up near her again, looking right into her eyes:: Really.
Meinta: ::stands straight and meets his gaze::

Damian Raen: Just so you know, there are people who will do anything to get those kinds of minerals. ::gestures to the pink rocks::
Meinta: ::looks away:: Then I wish I had never found them.
Damian Raen: There are people who will kill. To get them.
Meinta: ::looks up sharply:: Are you threatening me?
Damian Raen: ::laughs:: No, I'm not. I don't care about your precious pebbles.
Meinta: Good. Because this is a small planet.
Damian Raen: Yeah, well, it's a big galaxy. And there are some people out there who wouldn't just stop at threats if they knew you had... these.

Meinta: ::suddenly the light flips off and a siren begins screaming distantly::
Damian Raen: ::looks up:: What's that?
Meinta: ::confused:: Why isn't it sounding in here?
Damian Raen: What? What's going on?
Meinta: It is a warning siren. It could mean pretty much anything--that there is a leak in a seal, a fire somewhere, that someone is attacking the stationÖ ::laughs:: Or that a computer went haywire, orÖ
Damian Raen: ::steps backward in the dark, cussing::
Meinta: ::can be heard fumbling with something:: Damian!
Damian Raen: ::looks toward her, can't see her:: What's going on here?
Meinta: The door won't open.
Damian Raen: Lovely.
Meinta: And my plasmagin won't work!
Damian Raen: ::looks concerned:: Well... why not?

Meinta: Is it just my imagination, or is it getting colder in here? I think the power is off. The question is--is it off in just this dome, or all over the station?
Damian Raen: I don't know.. why is it getting so cold in here?
Meinta: ::condescending:: It's cold out side. Without heat, that makes it cold in here.
Damian Raen: So the heater's out?
Meinta: But the temperature isn't our biggest problem
Damian Raen: Great, what is?
Meinta: if the electricity is out, that means the pressurization isn't working either.
Damian Raen: And that means....?
Meinta: Damian, some of the chemicals in this dome are very sensitive. If conditions get wrong then they could blow up, or release toxic fumes, or who knows what!
Damian Raen: Huh, well, I suggest we get out of here.
Meinta: Yeah, well, how do you suggest doing that?
Damian Raen: ::sarcastic:: I'm not the one who works here. ::hesitates:: Um, out of curiosity, how cold is it outside?
Meinta: It is -37 f. No one knows we are in here. The doors must have been sealed off when the alarm went off.
Damian Raen: ::beginning to understand:: to keep the de-pressurized chemicals from exploding into the rest of the station?
Meinta: Yeah, and to keep the rest of the station from getting depressurized. But that probably means the rest of the station has power.
Damian Raen: So basically we're locked in, about to freeze to death or be poisoned by toxic fumes, and no one else knows about it.
Meinta: Basically, yeah.

Narrator: Meanwhile, the rest of the folks are abruptly awakened from their sleep by the loud alarm.

Jade: ::opens her eyes, annoyed::
AJ: ::rolls out of bed and dresses quickly. heads for the door::
Jade: ::continues to lay in bed and ignore it::
Allara: ::throws on some clothes and rushes out::
Gabrielle: ::puts our hand and tries to shut off an alarm clock that isn't there. drops hand and moans, falling back asleep::

Allara: ::grabbing her plasmagin, she checks the control room to see where the problem is::
AJ: ::enters the common area looking for the source of the alarm::
Allara: That's odd, a power outage in just the research room?
Engineer: ::steps into a hallway where Allara is:: Ma'am, we have a problem
Jason Patterson: ::Heading out to Docking port as the alarms sound::
Allara: I see that. What happened?
AJ: ::follows the sounds - sees someone talking to Allara::
Engineer: Seems the research dome has gone into lockdown. I'm not sure why, but with the power out, the dome will depressurize.
AJ: ::moves closer:: Need any help?
Karrina Calloway: ::KC enters area, having been paged to help the Earthlings today::
Allara: What does that mean?
Engineer: ::uneasy:: Well, it'll damage the equipment, that's for sure. We need to get power to that room, fast.
Jade: ::dresses lazily and walks into the common area::
Karrina Calloway: What's going on, Allara?
Allara: It seems that the power went out in the research dome.
Jade: ::leans against the door frame and watches everyone with mild disinterest::
Karrina Calloway: Shouldn't we take our guests elsewhere while our engineers fix this?
Jade: Where's the kid?
Jason Patterson: ::Bumps into Allara walking through common area::
Engineer: I'll get on it right away ::strides off down the hall::
Jason Patterson: Hey, whatís up with all the alarms?
Allara: Jason, good to see you! I guess the power went out in the research room.
Jason Patterson: what...!
Jade: ::a little louder:: Where's the kid?
Allara: What kid, Jade?
AJ: I haven't seen him ......
Allara: Damian?
Jade: Yeah, him,
Allara: Well, Jason, maybe you could check his room? For that matter, it seems odd that Meinta isn't around. Karrina, have you seen her?
Jade: I know which room he's in. I'll go check
Karrina Calloway: We should secure all personnel and guests for security and safety, I think.
Jade: ::leaves the common area::
Jason Patterson: ::Talking animatedly in to Plasmagin::
Karrina Calloway: No, I haven't seen Meinta today. I just got here.
Engineer: ::engineer runs up:: I can't get the power back on line to the research dome.
Allara: ::looks worried::
Engineer: There's something wrong with the power conduits.
Jade: ::knocks on Damien's door:: Hey kid, wake up! ::knocks louder:: Kid, you all right?

Jason Patterson: ::turns to Allara:: Hey have you seen Meinta? I was Just trying to reach her.
Allara: No, I was wondering where she was myself.
Jason Patterson: Iím get nothing on her Com link.
Karrina Calloway: ::looks concerned::
Allara: ::checks her own plasmagin:: She's off line or something. That's weird!
AJ: ::walks to the engineer:: Need an extra pair of hands?
Engineer: Maybe... not sure where to start, tho'.

Gabrielle: ::a woman in white comes in to check on Gabrielle. she touches her forhead. Gabi doesn't move. she checks her pulse and records it on a chart, then refills the water on a stand by the bed and walks away.Some time later, Gabi begins to stir. she rolls over and tries to figure out where she is. the nurse comes in again and comments she's glad to see Gabi pulling out of it::

Jade: ::goes back to common area / first time she looks apathetic:: The kid is missing.
Jason Patterson: Meinta may be in the Farm Dome. I will check there.
Allara: Good idea.
AJ: ::looks over the panels:: Have some tools?
Jade: ::shouts:: People, the kid is missing!
Karrina Calloway: ::follows Jade:: Where do you think he could be? This is not good.
Allara: ::calmly:: Well, he has to be here somewhere. UnlessÖ ::she turns a little pale::
Jade: what do you mean, unless? Where is the research dome?
Engineer: ::goes to a hall closet and retrieves a thermal suit:: I'm going outside to check on the conduits.
Allara: ::glances at Jade, bits her lip:: I think, maybe, well, Meinta mentioned showing Damian something... I forgot about it... Engineer, what happens in the research room with the power out?
Engineer: ::stopping near an airlock:: The chemicals will depressurize, releasing toxic gas, and the dome will lose heat fast.
AJ: ::digs around finds some test equipment and begins to check the system::
Jason Patterson: ::Enters room:: Thatís easy. With the power out the doors seal--every thing closes down.
Allara: I hope--. You don't thinkÖ? Meinta and Damian can't be in the research room, can they?
Jade: Why don't we go check to make sure?
Engineer: ::shaking his head:: the doors automatically seal; we can't get in there.
Allara: Canít we override the lockdown? I think they might be in there!!!
Jason Patterson: There are the outside air locks. I use them to transfer materials some times.
Engineer: If they are in side, I'm not sure we'll be able to get to them in time...
Allara: What are we going to do!??
Karrina Calloway: Hurry, we can't have them trapped!
Allara: ::begins to have an asthma attack, panting and gasping::
Jason Patterson: ::into plasmagin:: Have my survey drone on the loading docks! ::to the rest of the room:: We can be there in seconds.
Allara: I left my inhaler *cough* in my room.
Jade: ::to Jason:: Can you hurry up?!
Engineer: The outside airlocks on the research dome won't open without being hotwired. We'll need someone who's good with computers to hack in and open them for us from the control room.
AJ: I can try...
Engineer: ::to AJ:: Okay, Ma'am, get to the control room.
AJ: Show me where the control room is!

Jason Patterson: ::into plasmagen:: Have the equipment in the rig tool box. Always have stuff like that ... comes in handy.
Allara: *Cough, cough, gasp!*
Karrina Calloway: I'll get it, Allara. ::runs to Allara's apartment::
Engineer: ::steps into the airlock:: I don't have time; gotta check the conduits... be back soonÖ
AJ: ::grumbles::
Jade: ::to AJ:: can you hack into the computer?
AJ: I've used a lot of systems, I might be able to do something - unless you've had experience in it?

Karrina Calloway: ::returns with Allara's medicine:: Here ya go. You should keep this with you.
Allara: Oh, you're a lifesaver, dear.
Karrina Calloway: I'm here to help.

Jade: ::to AJ:: Come on, then, we'll find it ourselves!
Allara: ::overhearing:: The computer?
AJ: ::nods::
Allara: It is this way, hurry!
AJ: ::follows::
Jade: ::rushes after Allara:: How much more time does he have?
Allara: ::leads them to the control room::
Karrina Calloway: ::follows::
AJ: ::pulls up the computer system, punches a few keys, finds the menu::
Jade: Can you do it?

Narrator:Back in the research room...

Meinta:Help me push on the door, Damian. Maybe they didn't really seal it and we can get it open manually!
Damian Raen: ::stumbles over to her in the dark:: where is it?
Meinta: Over here.
Damian Raen: ::finds the door, pushes against it::
Meinta: Ready? One, two three, Push!
Damian Raen: It's not working...
Meinta: ::leans against the door and is silent for a bit::
Damian Raen: How long until we freeze to death? Just, you know, curious..
Meinta: I think it will take a while, since the dome is still around us. But it's not like I do this everyday.
Damian Raen: Right, right. So I guess we just wait for help, huh?
Meinta: I guess there is only one thing left to do: pr--I mean, uh, yeah, wait. So, uh, any ideas, Mr. Wise Guy? I don't know about you, but I'm don't much like the idea of sitting around waiting to freeze or get blown up.
Damian Raen: Um, lemme think...
Meinta: Although, surely it wont take long for people to realize we are missing and figure out where we are.

Damian Raen: ::hears something glass shatter at the far end of the room:: Um, Meinta, things are breaking open... Toxic things, I'm thinking...
Meinta: ::angry:: Yeah, what do you want me to do about it!? ::calmer:: Sorry.
Damian Raen: I don't know. Let's think of something, okay?
Meinta: ::quiet::
Damian Raen: If we could get outside, how long would we have until we.. you know, keeled over and died?
Meinta: About three minutes, I think.
Damian Raen: Are there any doors we could get through? ::glass shatters on a shelf across the room, and something liquid splatters to the floor::
Meinta: Ouch!
Damian Raen: Are you okay?
Meinta: ::sucks air rapidly through her mouth:: That burns, whatever it is. You got a handkerchief or something?
Damian Raen: ::another vial explodes:: We don't have time.... ::rips a shred off his shirt and hands it to her:: How much is on you?
Meinta: Just a splash. Not much. I'm fine. Listen, Damian, can I tell you about something?

Damian Raen: ::shattering glass:: We've got to get out of here... ::looks up:: How high is this ceiling?
Meinta: I don't know. High.
Damian Raen: ::cusses::
Meinta: My throat is burning. And my eyes. And... ::coughs::
Damian Raen: Could we get up there, maybe... get to the roof or something?
Meinta: I don't know! What ::cough:: would that do? Does gas rise or drop?
Damian Raen: ::wincing:: We gotta leave, now... could we bust through the ceiling?
Meinta: ::laughs:: Damain, that glass is thick--I mean really thick!
Damian Raen: The gas will rise, but the ceiling is airtight... if we can get up inside there somehow...
Damian Raen: ::runs to a nearby wall::
Meinta: ::stumbles after him:: There is a shelf on the right.

Damian Raen: ::grabs her hand:: I see it.... I think we can climb this...
Meinta: ::drags a chair across::
Damian Raen: ::The shelves are packed with more glass vials of chemicals:: This is not good...
Meinta: Damian, I can't breathe!
Damian Raen: We'll have to risk it. Here, step up onto there.
Meinta: Where, I can't see?
Damian Raen: Right here... ::takes her hand and places it on a shelf:: Come on ::they begin climbing up the rows of shelves::
Meinta: ::something crashes to the floor and explodes in fire, Meinta screams::
Damian Raen: ::looks over his shoulder toward the chemical blaze:: Not good, not good...

Damian Raen: ::they continue climbing, pulling themselves up the shelves. suddenly a glass bottle explodes right beside Damian, splattering his leg with acid. wincing, he almost loses his grip on the shelf::
Meinta: Damian?
Damian Raen: I'm fine. Keep going!
Meinta: Going where? There is no where else to go!
Damian Raen: ::pulls himself up onto the shelf beside Meinta::

Meinta: Hey, Damian! There is a loose panel here!
Damian Raen: Here, get it open... we can crawl inside the ceiling there...
Meinta: Can you push me up?
Damian Raen: ::gives her a hand::
Meinta: ::laughs with relief:: I'm in.
Damian Raen: ::looks down; the flames are lapping at the bottom of the shelves::
Meinta: Here, grab on here!
Damian Raen: : ::holds on to the edge of the panel and pulls himself up into the ceiling::
Meinta: The walls and ceiling aren't flammable.

Damian Raen: ::it is a narrow crawlspace filled with pipes and ducts and rafters::
Meinta: Ok, I put the panel back. I can breath a little easier up here.
Damian Raen: ::they sit in the dust and darkness for a moment, panting::
Damian Raen: It's warmer here. And the ceiling should keep the gases out...
Meinta: Can you see?
Damian Raen: Not really. It's too dark.
Meinta: My eyes are still really burning.
Damian Raen: Here ::he takes a bottle of water from his jacket pocket and gives it to her:: Pour this on your eyes
Damian Raen: ::there is a distant sound of fire and glass shattering below them::
Meinta: Thank you. But I hate to waste the water.
Damian Raen: : ::grins:: it's not a waste
Meinta: That's a little better. ::quiet for a while:: What are those rocks, Damian?
Damian Raen: Minerals. Rocks. What would you like me to tell you?
Meinta: Everything. ::hesitantly:: Those people who would kill to get them... are you on their side? Are you going to tell them?
Damian Raen: ::looks away:: I don't want to see those people again any more than you do...
Meinta: ::looks thoughtfully at him:: Well, what do we do with them, then?
Damian Raen: Just what you said you would. Bury them and stop digging.
Meinta: ::glances down:: Well, it looks like the fire will destroy them for us. ::shivers:: Speaking of fire, wouldnít you think it would be warmer up here since a fire is burning under us?
Damian Raen: You would think.

Narrator: The two settled back to wait, unconsciously growing sleepy as their body temperatures dropped and noxious fumes seeped around the ceiling panels.

Engineer: ::steps back in through the airlock, covered with melting ice and snow:: Mr. Patterson, is your team ready? We're not going to be able to fix the conduits.
Jason Patterson: Yes, we have all we need. Headed out there now.
Allara: ::rushes back to the main area:: Do you need some help, Jason?
Karrina Calloway: What can we do? Is it safe yet?
Jason Patterson: The rig is running and ready to go!
Engineer: I'm not sure where the problem is, but it's likely beneath the surface.
Jason Patterson: ::heads out to survey drone::
Engineer: This time of year, it'll take a drilling team just to get down there.
Allara: Jason, can I come?
Jason Patterson: You bet Allara, plenty of room.
Allara: Thank you! ::scrambles in:: I just can't concentrate.. I'm so worried!
Jason Patterson: It 's OK. We are gone soon as I get this thing turned. Fasten in--we will be there in no time.
Allara: How dangerous is it for them,. Jason? Are they going to be okay? ::dabs her eyes::

Gabrielle: ::stumbles into the control room:: The nurse told me what is going on!
Jade: ::to AJ:: can you hack into the system?
Gabrielle: ::Gabi bows her head, murmuring under her breath, but keeping her eyes open and alert::
AJ: I'm finding some of the menusÖ ::taps some keys trying to access the operating system:: I think I found the unlock sequence! ::types a few more keys hears a beep::
Jade: ::to AJ:: Good, keep going!

Jason Patterson: ::Pulls down ramp for outer airlocks::
AJ: ::to Jason through their plasmagens:: Try the door....
Allara: If the pressure comes back on, will that fix everything?
AJ: ::types faster:: Something happened -but Iím not sure what it is?

Engineer: ::comes back into the control room, carrying more tools, heads for the airlock::
Karrina Calloway: ::is silent but looks as though many thoughts are running through her head::
Engineer: ::disappears outside again::
Karrina Calloway: ::gazes upwards::
AJ: ::looks for the environmental menu::
Jade: ::to AJ:: what's wrong? what's not working?
AJ: Iím not sure? I think it almost did something then it kicked me out ::typing more:: It's like I hit a wall.

Jason Patterson: Along side air lock. ::bumps side of the dome:: It's a bit bumpy but things are ok. Alright, Allara?
Allara: ::squeals a little:: Hehe, I think so.

Allara: What do we do now? How much time do we have?!!
Jason Patterson: Have a look see if I can get that door opened.
Allara: Oh, dear Lord, please help us.

Jason Patterson: If AJ was able to hack the door codes we will be in in a second.
Allara: Is it working?? ::she starts wheezing again::
AJ: Try the door again!
Jason Patterson: The airlock handles are frozen! Need a mag torch on this thing.
Allara: Where do we get one?
Jade: ::Jade looks on her plasmagin:: They're at the door but they can't open it.
Jason Patterson: ::Grabs torch from under seat and heads back::
Allara: Oh ::laughs:: you think of everything!
AJ: ::taps more keys:: According to what I'm seeing it SHOULD be opening!
Allara: ::wails to AJ:: But it is frozen! ::wrings her hands::
Jade: ::swears under her breath and yells into the plasmagen:: Open the door!
Jason Patterson: ::heats door handles and meats ice enough to move it slowly:: Itís moving!
Jade: Finally!
AJ: ::grabs a tool box and digs through it::
Jason Patterson: We will be in there in a second.
Karrina Calloway: ::monitors the activity on the computer and plasma gin. stands over AJ's shoulder, lips moving silently::

Allara: Oh! ::wiggles in impatience:: Is it coming? Jason!?
Gabrielle: ::moaning:: What am I doing here? I hate cold and ice!
Jason Patterson: We are in! Get word back to the others. Allara, put on this gas mask. ::holds one out to her and put on his own::
Jade: Is the kid alive?
Allara: ::into plasmagin:: Karrina, will you let Meinta's father know what is going on? ::puts on mask::
Karrina Calloway: Sure, Allara, I'll get him a message right away. Now hurry, do a complete search!
Jason Patterson: ::Rushes into the outer airlock with tech team::
AJ: ::works on getting the exhaust fans working::
Allara: Oh, oh! ::rushes, panting behind him:: Where are they!? Do you see them? ::turns frantically, staring at the charred shelving and broken vials:: Maybe they aren't in here after all? ::grins:: That would be a blessing!
AJ: ::taps a few more keys, hears a loud whirring noise:: I think the air vents are on-line -
Jade: ::walks away from the computer and plasmagen, stares out a window::

Meinta: ::groans:: Damian? Did you....hear something?
Jason Patterson: There up there!
Meinta: ::coughs::
Damian Raen: ::Doesn't move::
Jason Patterson: Listen.
Allara: I heard something!!
Jason Patterson: Quiet.. Listen.
Meinta: ::hoarsely:: Anyone? Hello?
Jason Patterson: Meinta!! Where are you?!
Meinta: ::groans:: Jason? We're up... up here...
Jason Patterson: Meinta..?
Jason Patterson: Good Heavens!
Allara: ::coughs:: Oh, I hate this mask.
Jason Patterson: Try the service stairs.
AJ: ::stares at the plasmagen:: The roof??
Jade: ::is very still, almost catatonic::
AJ: How did they get up there?!
Jason Patterson: What is up there anyway?
Allara: How do we get them out, Jason?
Karrina Calloway: ::contacts Allara again on plasmagin:: The governor wants an update as soon as possible on the status of the research room and Earthlings.
Allara: We found them!!
Karrina Calloway: Is everyone safe?
Allara: I don't think so!
Jason Patterson: ::Runs to the service stairs... heads up running fast::
AJ: I got the air vents back on-line--should be clearing out the fumes.
Karrina Calloway: Great job, AJ. You're a real whiz with the computer system.
AJ: Thanks. Just glad I could do something.

Jason Patterson: They are moving.
Allara: Oh, thank You!!
Meinta: ::whispering:: Jason? What--? You're here? ::peers at the gas mask:: Is that you?
Jason Patterson: Meinta..? It's ok weíre here ... We will get you out..
Allara: ::pounds slowly up the stairs:: Oh you poor children! Meinta, Iím here, too.
Jason Patterson: Allara, can you take Damian? I have got Meinta.
Allara: Of course. ::slaps his face lightly:: Damian? Honey? Wake up!
Damian Raen: ::doesn't move::
Allara: ::grunting, she picks him up::

Jason Patterson: These stairs are getting slick. Watch your step...
Allara: Oh! ::slips a little::
Jason Patterson: :Carries Meinta to the lower floor and lays her down:: Meinta? Talk to me.
Meinta: My eyes...I can't see very well.
Jason Patterson: OK. We are headed to the air lock. Weíll be out of here in a minute.
Karrina Calloway: Iíve got the medics on the way!
AJ: ::watches the rescue attempt, keeping an eye on the system stats::
Allara: Here, do you want me to put Damian in the drone?
Jason Patterson: Iíll put her in and come back to help you.
Allara: ::she lays Damian down gently:: It sure is a mess in here. Looks like there was a fire.

AJ: Internal atmosphere almost normal. ::goes back to the keyboard, trying to figure out the rest of the system. Types for a while. slams the side of the desk with an open palm, mutters:: It's like there's a hidden drive here somewhere. ::quietly:: Jade? C'mere
Jade: ::without looking away from the window:: What?
AJ: ::continues to explore the computer system, looking for any data that might be of use in the future::
Jade: what do you want?
AJ: ::whispers:: Jade what kind of computer background do you have?
Jade: ::sighs:: I don't.
AJ: ::nods:: Never mind then.
Jade: ::continues to stare out the window as though she wasn't interrupted::
AJ: Just saw something odd, wanted someone elseís opinion on it.
Jade: ::finally turns around and calmly walks over to AJ:: What?
AJ: ::points at the memory stats:: See, this appears to be a huge computer system, but it's only showing this much ::points at numbers:: memory available. The numbers don't line up.
Jade: ::shrugs:: I have no idea

Meinta: ::hoarsly:: I can'tÖbreath. ::tries to sit up:: Is Damian OK?
Jason Patterson: Hold on Meinta, Iíll be right back. ::heads back in to get Allara and Damian::
Jason Patterson: Allara You still with me hereÖ?
Allara: I'm here.
Jason Patterson: Iíll be right there.
Allara: OK. Maybe I can clean up a little in here while I'm waiting.
Jason Patterson: Donít worry about it. If we donít get you two out now something could happen bad.
Allara: What? What could happen?
Jason Patterson: You take one side of the kid, I will take the other.

Narrator:As they leave for the air lock the crates stacked near the door start to smoke and hiss.

Allara: Jason, what's that?!
Jason Patterson: We need to get out of this dome now!!
Allara: Hurry, get the boy out!
Jason Patterson: Unstable matter in those crates.
Allara: ::starts running, stumbles, gasping for air:: Get the boy out!
Jason Patterson: I got him! Letís get! ::heads for the air lock::
Allara: ::pauses, gasping for air:: My stupid asthma.

Narrator:Just as Jason made it to the air lock with Damian--


Meinta: ::sits up:: Jason! Allara! What happened?!
Narrator: Jason and Damian hit the ground hard, sliding on the ice.
Meinta: ::screaming hoarsly:: Are you okay??

Jason Patterson: ::groans and grabs his head, peering into the smoky research dome:: Allara!!!
Meinta: ::struggles to her feet::
Jason Patterson: :::disappears into the smoke:: ALLARA!!
Meinta: ::staggers to the door:: Jason? What happened!?
Karrina Calloway: ::clutches the plasmagen:: Oh, God, no.
Meinta: ::hesitates, looking between the dome and Damian:: Allara!?! Damian?
Jade: Who died?
Meinta: ::hears Jade over the plasmagen:: Dear God, I hope no one.
AJ: ::hears the screams and runs to the plasmagin:: What happened?
Karrina Calloway: ::cries::
Jade: ::has already resumed starting out the window::
Meinta: ::bends over Damian:: Damian? ::feels his pulse::
Damian Raen: ::stirs:: Meinta?
Meinta: Thank God! He's still alive!
Damian Raen: ::winces:: Are you alright?
Meinta: ::crying:: I don't know.
Damian Raen: ::struggling to sit up:: Whatís... what's wrong?
Meinta: ::stares into the smoke:: Jason?
Narrator: Jason picks up Allara's body from the floor weeping as he heads back out the air lock and sets her down in the drone seat.
Meinta: ::panicked:: Jason, what happened to her?! Is she okay?
Jason Patterson: She is not breathing..
Meinta: ::stands up, swaying unsteadily:: Allara? ::to Jason:: Can't you do something?! CPR? Something?
Jason Patterson: :::Closes door to the drone and heads out fast for the main locks and medical::

Jade: ::someone tells Jade that Damian is alive:: Well, I have had enough excitement for one morning. I am going back to bed and hopefully this time no stupid alarms will wake me.

Jason Patterson: Allara has a bad cut in her side... Looks like the blast cut right into her.
Meinta: I've got pressure on the wound.
Jason Patterson: We will be back to the clinic in a moment. Keep her held tight..
Meinta: I've got her.
Damian Raen: ::lapsing in and out of consciousness::
Meinta: ::continues to press on the wound::
Karrina Calloway: ::into plasmagen:: Can you hear me, Allara? Everything will be fine.

Narrator: Bumpy ground causes some swerving of the drone, but they pull into the main lock and straight to the medical clinic.
Jason Patterson: ::opens side door on survey drone calling for medical help::
Meinta: ::struggling to stay upright and still press the wound::
AJ: What can I do to help?
Meinta: ::crying:: Allara, it will be okay. Hang on!
Karrina Calloway: ::stays close::
Narrator: EMTs rush up with stretchers.
Governor: ::rushes up, quickly taking stock of the situation::
Karrina Calloway: I guess we have to leave it in the doc's hands now.
Jason Patterson: ::lifting Allara out and onto a stretcher, stands aside as medical team rushes her away::
Meinta: ::faints::
Jason Patterson: Meinta?
Governor: ::Catches Meinta as she falls and lowers her slowly to a stretcher, whispering:: Stay strong, Meinta. I love you.
Jason Patterson: ::lifts Damian onto a third stretcher::

Narrator: As the medical team disappears in to the hospital, Jason, the Governor, Karrina, and AJ stand limply, watching the hospital doors as they swing shut.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Shari Armstrong  18 Oct 2005
Oh -I'm glad I didn't read this till AFTER last night -made it more interesting :) The suspense..... This is turning out really cool!
Karen Ward 17 Oct 2005
Cool! I died! Well executed Amy and all of you! So sorry to have let you all down by having to pull out, but I'm going to enjoy reading the rest of the story! :) Karen
Lauren Bombardier 13 Oct 2005
Oh my goodness! That was incredible! Great job, everyone!
Amy Michelle Wiley  12 Oct 2005
Wow, talk about a group effort! That was great!
Karri Compton 12 Oct 2005
Boy, either I missed a lot somehow Monday or you guys added an awful lot to it later. Great!


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