Prelude: Lost in Cyberia - Part I
Summary: Not long after Athena's mission to Palisade, one of her crewmembers disappears, leaving a message that she has business to take care of. Athena crew become worried when she does not return and set off to her home of Waldheim to begin a search. They discover Jordan's secret was bigger than they imagined...
Cast: Eucharius, Hezekiah, Jordan, Kastaprulyi, Mazzonnoz, Newt, Pavlo, Renkek Kashaan, Volidana
Air Dates: 2005.04.04 - 2005.06.20
Note: Due to players' schedules, the IC duration of this mission was shorter than the actual time taken. In addition, the logs currently posted respresent only a selection from the first few events.
|Bernhard Schossauer Street <New Berlin: Waldheim>|
|- Waldheim -|
|This straight, wide street runs down the south edge of New Berlin, defining the city limits and then curving out parallel to shining ribbons of railroads down across the New Berlin Valley and, eventually, all the way past the power plant on the river and upwards to the nearby Army base.|
|The street is busiest at the intersection with Oak Avenue, where crowds of people mingle in a chaotic hubbub of noise and motion.|
The sun is beginning to set, shadows drawing longer across the valley. And in a tree some distance from the road, a lone figure sits, mostly concealed from view and invisible to casual inspection. A glint of light reflected off a bit of glass is a possible indication of some kind of optical device.
A Mystic strolls along the edge of the road. Though he rises head and shoulders above the rest of the crowd, his posture and the way he carries himself makes him seem six inches shorter than he really is. He carries a holocamera, his bearing marking him almost instantly as a tourist. Perhaps, though, he's not as taken with the scenery as it seems--sent at Jordan's tree comes the message, ~You haven't done this very much, have you?~Eucharius considers, rising to his feet and following.
The figure in the tree flinches, and then mutters to herself, bringing the field glasses down from her face. She scans the area with a vague sort of purpose, and then mutters once more and goes back to looking at the base.
Eucharius takes a moment to look out over the valley, admiring the sunset and looking at one tree in particular in an attempt to better direct his next message, raising his camera and taking a picture as he adds, ~When you're done there, meet me in the coffee shop in Eichelberger Square.~
~GetOutGetOutGetOutGetOutGetOutGetOut~ is snarled back at the voice in Jordan's head, feelings of paranoia rapidly rising to the surface and clouding her already hazy mind further.
An indistinct feeling that communicates the sentiment 'relax, I'm here to help you' is the immediate answer to that; along with a quick identifier, ~If you don't want it, then I'll catch the next shuttle back to Ungstir~ follows.
Fragments. Swirling, reflected fragments of thought are returned to Eucharius. "Who's that?" "No one's here. "You've really gone nuts now, Jordan." "Ignore it. IgnoreItIgnoreItIgnoreItIgnoreItIgnoreItIgnoreItIgnoreIt. It's not real. NotRealNotRealNotRealNotRealNotRealNotRealNotReal."
A hint of frustration floats Jordan's direction. ~Yes, it /is/ real. It's me, Eucharius, the Mystic--you know, the telepathic one? Coffee lover, former saboteur, fugitive, intelligence gatherer; currently a psychologist on the Athena?~
Out of the general cacophony rises a response that seems to satisfy the objections. "If you're so real, why don't you step out here and show yourself."
~If that's what I have to do,~ the Mystic replies, stepping off of the street and into the fields, walking for Jordan's tree. He reaches it, sitting down, facing the horizon and the sunset, his back against the tree. He speaks: "Are you convinced I'm real yet, or will I need to pinch you or throw something at you or something like that?"
Twin bloodshot eyes peer down at Eucharius, seeming to contemplate the offer of further proof, and then Jordan shakes her head. "How'd you get here, why are you here?" she demands while making her way down out of the tree.
"I got here by taking a shuttle," Eucharius answers dryly, looking upwards. "You're a mess. I'm here to figure out what you're here for, and if I can, to help out."
Jordan frowns at Eucharius, apparently non-plussed. "I told Marlan to stay away," she complains irritably, dropping the last few feet to the ground. "Look, this isn't a good place for you to be-- I'm not a great person to be around just now," she states, watching the Mystic suspiciously all the same.
"I'm not Marlan," Eucharius points out. "Nor was I asked to come here." He shrugs. "The fact that you came out from your hiding place so readily suggests to me you haven't done this sort of thing much before. Is that true?"
Jordan eyes Eucharius warily and snorts, walking briskly back to the main road. "I know what I'm doing," she maintains with a shrug.
"I'm sure," he answers, "else you would've been caught already. Don't discount that I've had to do this sort of thing for thirty years."
Jordan pauses for a moment as they step back onto the road, and glares at Eucharius. "You don't know me, and you don't know what sort of thing this is," she returns, hands clenching into fists by her sides.
"It's obvious you're casing the military base," Eucharius answers, shrugging. "I'm not saying you're doing a bad job. I'm saying it could be done better." He pauses, and then concedes, "Okay. I'll admit I don't know you."
Jordan nods, seeming to settle back down again, and falls silent for a time as they continue to walk back into town. "Why are you here, Eucharius," she asks again into the quiet.
"I don't know if I have a good answer for that," Eucharius answers, frowning. "I'm not much good at precognition compared to some Mystics, but I've learned to trust the gut feelings I get about things. A lot of times they end up being right. This whole affair, with you disappearing, sparked one."
Jordan narrows her eyes at Eucharius for a long moment, and then sighs and shrugs.
"Makes as much sense as anything else does, I guess," she comments, shaking her head. As they approach the intersection of Oak and Bernhard, she swings northward, automatically heading in the direction of some apartments clustered there. "If we're going to talk, we're not going to do it out in public," she declares.
Eucharius nods, following along quietly.
Drab. That would be the main descriptor of the apartment building Jordan leads them to. Pausing at the door to one of them, she fishes out her keys, and unlocks the rather humble abode. "Home sweet home," she mutters, gesturing Eucharius through. Inside is not any better, just more cluttered, empty cartons of takeout on the small kitchen counter, maps laid out about the one room flat. There doesn't really seem to be anywhere to sit other than a small pair of barstools by the counter, and the rumpled unmade bed. The former science officer heads to the bed, and flops over onto it. "Make yourself at home," she adds.
Eucharius glances around, examining the area closely. "Registered under another name, I assume, and paid for with cash?"
Jordan snorts. "Yes, and yes. I'm not dumb. Or at least that dumb," she responds without looking at Eucharius, having covered her eyes with one arm that rests across her face.
"Just making sure," the Mystic answers conciliatorily. He looks around again, this time approvingly.
"Yeah," Jordan responds, letting out a sigh. "So. What do you want to know?" she asks, in a mocking tone that would seem to be directed at herself.
Eucharius settles himself on one of the barstools, looking across the room at Jordan. "What are you willing to tell me?"
Jordan makes an odd sound, almost stifled laughter, but edged in bitterness. "Hello, I'm Jordan Roth, a colossal fuckup, out to see just how much more fucked up I can make things. So far, I've managed to run away from things brilliantly, but success is not an option, so I stopped. There, how's that?"
"A fair beginning," Eucharius answers dryly. "So. What were you running from, why was success not an option... why did you leave, what're you doing here?"
Jordan grimaces once Eucharius runs down his list of questions. There's a long silent pause as she seems to consider them, working out an answer. "I'm running from some really unfriendly people, who are especially unfriendly towards me, because I sort of stole something they would rather like to have back. That covers the leaving part, too. I'm back because I don't have a choice," she states, the last sentence coming out tired and defeated. "I," her voice turns ironic then, "need a fix." This seems to strike her as inordinately funny, and she starts to laugh. On the other hand, maybe it's not so funny, as she rolls on her side to curl around herself, not laughing anymore.
"That thing being?" Eucharius asks simply.
Jordan taps the jack behind her ear with one hand, not saying anything.
Eucharius nods slowly. "You need a fix, you said. It's broken?"
Jordan coughs a little, clearing her throat. "Yeah. When we broke the Athena's electronics we broke *everything*," she responds, nodding a little.
"Your datajack, too," Eucharius muses. "And how are you going to fix this?"
"Steal a new one. Find someone to replace the old one with it," Jordan answers vaguely.
"Not a lot of choices, really."
Eucharius nods slowly. "From where?" he asks.
"Why do you think I was casing the base?" Jordan queries back. "It'll either be there, or the ward. And I *really* don't want to go back to the ward. So..." she shrugs.
"Mm," Eucharius answers. He scratches at his forearm. "How's security look?"
"Bad," Jordan admits, shaking her head. "It's not the getting in that's hard. It's the getting out," she states, something odd in her voice as she says it.
Eucharius tilts his head to one side. "How so?"
Jordan shrugs, expression bleak as she looks up at the ceiling. "They want me."
Eucharius frowns. "Could you just explain everything at once?"
Jordan shakes her head. "No, I don't think I can," she responds, regret in her voice. "And it probably isn't the best idea for you to be seen with me. Look, it was nice to see you, I appreciate the concern, but I'm really tired. Go home."
Eucharius folds his arms over his chest. "I'll be staying here on Waldheim, thank you. I didn't spend a week of effort making it look like I was somewhere else to be sent away. You're preparing for an undertaking that doesn't sound like it'll be easy. I've done similar things before. I'll be helping."
Jordan turns her head to look at Eucharius full on, studying him for a moment. It isn't long before she breaks her gaze, going back to looking up at the ceiling. "I won't argue with you. You get to make your own decision," she says, another bitter note sounding.
That's all the Mystic needs to hear. "Then I'll be in touch," he answers simply. "Good night. If you're tired, sleep."
Jordan nods, not moving from her bed. "Just let yourself out. And call before you come over next time," she adds after a moment. "I don't like surprises anymore."
Eucharius smiles, though there's no mirth behind it. "I know how that is," he sympathizes, heading a moment later for the exit.