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[AW] Death by Water
Hmm, I probably should have specified that the situation I was reading was the weird groaning -- not that that would necessarily affect the answer to my question. Of course I would have asked what to be on the lookout for but my feeling is that Kite prettymuch
asks about the escape route first, regardless.
In any case, Kite continues to harvest mushrooms while the two brothers talk incomprehensibly. Seemingly unconcerned, though her bag is getting pretty full of edibles at this point -- and surely Charmer has had enough time by now to hide or get out or do something sensible for himself. She looks towards the groaning noise, then to Winkle. "Sounds like it's time to go."
Ducking down so as not to be seen by Hugo and Winkle, Charmer strokes Mimi's arm, whispering gently, "Charmer is either at Vox Populi or at home. Easy to find. But be careful."
edited October 2010
Kite, the escalator's your best way out of this situation in general. Be the threat mutant raiders, social awkwardness, or flash floods, it's a straight-forward escape.
Speaking of floods, you're dead right. The slow wind washing over you from out of the tunnel picks up in a surge, slamming over the broken platform with a rush of pressure. Your eyes sting, and you briefly taste something earthy on your tongue. The moaning becomes more of a howl, only to be drowned out by a deeper rumble, swiftly approaching.
The underground river is rising with startling speed. You think it was running a little high, maybe, to begin with, but now it's swelling up, adding feet of depth in moments. Hugo and Winkle are recoiling, flashing their lights at the river, at the tunnel, at each other, and then over the uneven ground between them and the escalator. The surface of the water slides up over the edge of the platform, and you're now in an inch of swiftly moving water, dark and rapidly spreading over the broken concrete.
Well, the brothers are shouting in alarmed patois, but you already have an eye on the exit and you've already noted the easiest route through the half-made ruin of the platform. This is no problem: you can get out of this. But here's Winkle, splashing back from the now-invisible edge, one hand grabbing for you as he spins.
His intention is, plainly, to pull you along as he makes his escape. Equally plainly, he doesn't have a good memory of the broken terrain now rapidly vanishing from sight below swirling dark waters. His 'help', you're fairly confident, is more likely to drag you down into those same waters than it is to get you safely upstairs.
from Winkle's clumsy assistance, if your goal is just to get yourself up and out of here. Well, though there are ways to get him to back off, too.
edited October 2010
Mimi's excitement is palpable, a little girlish. She's nodding, and her tight grip is relaxing, when the rush of water and the weird moaning below suddenly rise into a crescendo. A quick glance, Charmer, shows the underground river suddenly much wider in the light of Hugo's and Winkle's lights. The dark water has spread half across the platform, and it's moving faster than a man could run ... it's shallow, no more than an inch or so, but it'll be washing up against the nearby wall in just a moment, and then the level will start rising. Quickly.
It's no threat to you. You're already at the exit, right? Climb the rest of the way up and you're safe, and maybe with Hugo and Winkle out of the picture to boot. But it's hard to tell: Kite might be in trouble. On the other hand, Hugo and Winkle will definitely be heading this way, and that black water is poison ... maybe more so to you than to most, with your special sensitivities.
Why do they always have to panic? It would be so much easier if they didn't panic; if people didn't make stupid mistakes, the moment death tapped them on the shoulder. Bullets or floods, it's all the same, and Kite is tired of people throwing themselves away just because they're
all of a sudden.
So whether he wants to or not, Winkle is not about to drag her in the wrong direction, or himself either. He wants to hold hands? Fine. Kite grabs his outstretched wrist and twists -- because he's coming with
, not the other way around, thank you very much -- and yanks the larger man towards the exit.
Assuming this is still acting under fire:
#DiceRoller( 2d6+3 )
acting under fire
, yes. Winkle's not resisting enough for it to be anything else. Plus, I reckon you can use the +1 from your read, if we interpret it as following your escape route while inconvenienced by needing to keep Winkle alive. See? Asking about the escape route was exactly what you needed.
So, Kite, you apply certain principles of leverage and get Winkle moving in the right direction. Once you're ahead of him and moving in the right general direction, he pretty much falls in, just doing his best to keep up. He's actually not bad at this (the dread clans are known to range out into the wild tunnels, on occasion, so they tend to stay in shape), though there's more than one nasty spot where you have to jerk him pretty sharply away from a pitfall concealed beneath the dark water.
And that's the bad of it: the dark, murky water is rising rapidly, covering up the broken terrain between you and the way out. Had you been less attentive, there would be no way you'd cross this without incident. But the clarity imposed by putting your life on the line settles over you (does it ever even properly leave you, these days?) and you remember the ground beneath the water. You've already memorized this ground, just in case something were to happen: it's ok.
By the time you reach the skeleton of the escalator, you and Winkle are sloshing through about a foot of black water, and the level's actually rising pretty quickly ... it's spread to the limits of its boundaries, so it now can only go up. A little detritus is floating around on the swirling surface of the water, but not much. Clearly the assorted, ah,
that's grown up on the platform is adapted to this kind of flooding.
So you're scrambling up onto the remains of the escalator, Winkle in tow, getting up out of the wet. Quick inventory says you'll want to get in a decontamination shower as soon as feasible, but no real harm done - you're only about half wet, and you didn't swallow anything down. You've had worse getting caught in the rain up top, a couple of times, and nothing ever came of it.
Mimi's a little further up, looking down and pointing back past you, shouting. Is that Charmer up past her? I don't know. Charmer, what are you up to? Have you left?
But you follow Mimi's finger and see Hugo thrashing through the water several meters away from the bottom of the escalator. He's soaking, his dreads hanging heavy as chains as he slogs the last distance ... must've fallen into a pitfall somewhere along the way, and it's not like too many people in the mez actually know how to swim, right? His lamp is gone somewhere, dropped.
The water's a good four feet deep now, and swirling violently, so he has some trouble getting that first foothold in the escalator skeleton, but Winkle's splashing his way down far enough to lend a hand. There's a weird moment as Hugo looks up into his brother's flashlight, and it might just be the lighting or something, but you swear his eyes, normally brown, have gone all black in the irises.
You're more or less on dry ground, Kite, though you'll need to keep moving up as the water rises. So are you Charmer, obviously. Not a drop on you. What do you do?
As Hugo, Winkle, and Kite have made it to the escalator, there is no reason for Charmer to remain. Charmer scurries up the escalator, looking around for a decent place to hide to make sure everybody gets out alright.
Charmer certainly isn't on good terms with Hugo and Winkle, but there's no reason not to make sure everybody gets out safely, and if Hugo and Winkle happen to not get out so safely, it would be a good thing to know.
No problem for you, Charmer. If you waited around for Kite and the dread brothers to reach the escalator, Hugo or Winkle might've glimpsed you, but you aren't sure. The top of the escalator opens up right onto the second subway platform - the one a level below the mezzanine proper.
It's densely crowded, home to the more marginal inhabitants of the mez all tumbled together into a packed-in shanty town. Might be that you live somewhere in here, further on toward the other end of the platform. You can disappear into the chaos and noise of the maze of living spaces at the drop of a hat.
If you want to keep an eye on things below, though, you can stop there at the head of the escalator. There's a simple barricade of fiberboard and torn-down chain link around the head, just enough to keep children from tumbling down into the fungal landscape below. Hunch down a bit, and that'll keep you mostly out of sight, while still letting you peek down at what's still going on.
Kite, what do you do?
Ok, Charmer. Winkle's dragged Hugo up out of the water, so that's that. Nobody down there is in immediate danger, but they'll be needing to come up and hit the decontamination showers in moments, so you may want to make yourself scarce. What do you have planned?
Well, considering everybody's alright, I'm gonna head to Prosper's, have a drink or two and hide out a bit.
Ok. You want to stop off somewhere? You've got a couple of bags with you here, one of edibles and one of psychoactive shrooms. Not that I think anyone would blink at the sight of you wandering around with suspicious bulges under your cloak ... just asking.
nah, figure Winkle and Hugo know where my hut is, they may find me at Prosper's too, but there'll be people around.
'K. I'm going to divert you into a side thread, on your way.
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