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    Here's a thread for anything out in space that doesn't really fit elsewhere. Normal space rules apply - zero gravity, vacuum, radiation etc.
    Last edited by GrandDM; 2013-08-09 at 11:19 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by McBish View Post
    [To Space]

    Amelia watches the video testing sensors and the boots. She doesn't stay stuck to the floor for too long. So when he comes back she has already unlatched herself and is floating around. She seems pretty at ease in zero gravity. Harald might also get a glimpse at some of her ablities as she floats around. Mainly in the form of her summoning small golden glowing rods that float in the air, she uses these to manuver easier in mid-air.

    She follows him through the rocket wishing she had more time to gawk at some of this stuff, or a video camera to record some of this stuff.

    If he gave her no warning about the gravity returning she is floating in an awkward postion to land in. Even still she has quick reflexes and twists her legs under her so that one of her feet can make solid contact with the floor. Then with a fairly impressive feat of balance and strength she rights herself without falling or looking very foolish. She does shoot a glare at Harald though.
    Harald nods with approval as she lands. He doesn't see the glare, mainly because the helmets are completely full-face. Just smooth, blank metal.

    Stepping forward, he throws a hard, fast punch at Amelia's face.
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    [Harald's Rocket Ship]

    Amelia doesn't appreciate it when employers attack her. She doesn't appreciate it one bit, even if they are just testing her and not trying to kill her. Not that she is making any assumptions just yet.

    Harald should find himself punching a solid plate of light that appeared out of nowhere between his fist and Amelia's face. It is about as solid as a few inches of concrete, so unless he can punch through that he should have a pretty sore hand in a second.

    At the same time that is popping into existance a bar of bright golden light appears infront of his where his eyes should be. Even if the helmet stops him from being blinded by the light it should block his vision. This should make it easier for her to sidestep the blocked punch, trip him up and knee on his throat, which is what she tries to do now.
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    The stars glimmer
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    Do they cry on those worlds,
    to?

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    Quote Originally Posted by McBish View Post
    [Harald's Rocket Ship]

    Amelia doesn't appreciate it when employers attack her. She doesn't appreciate it one bit, even if they are just testing her and not trying to kill her. Not that she is making any assumptions just yet.

    Harald should find himself punching a solid plate of light that appeared out of nowhere between his fist and Amelia's face. It is about as solid as a few inches of concrete, so unless he can punch through that he should have a pretty sore hand in a second.

    At the same time that is popping into existance a bar of bright golden light appears infront of his where his eyes should be. Even if the helmet stops him from being blinded by the light it should block his vision. This should make it easier for her to sidestep the blocked punch, trip him up and knee on his throat, which is what she tries to do now.
    As the fist hits the plate, it breaks apart and pieces of metal and wire fall to the ground. The trip is successful, and the knee separates the head from the body, revealing sparking wires. The suit flickers and disappears - a hologram - revealing a dull silver-grey robot. At the same time, a control booth is revealed up above. Harald stands inside it, helmet off, grinning widely.

    "Impressive. I wasn't expecting that. I hope you'll forgive me - I needed to see how you'd react in a situation like that. I hardly have to say that you passed with flying colours."

    Picking up his helmet, he jumps out of the booth and falls to the ground, a drop easily fifty feet long, rolls, and stands.

    "If you'd like to hit me, now's the time. I'd actually appreciate it, as I need to test my new - actually, I shouldn't tell you that. Suffice to say that if you want to hit me, go ahead."
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    [Harald's Rocket Ship]

    "If you wanted to find out how I reacted when my employer tries to attack me you should have tracked down my last employer." Finding him and his goons dead would have anwsered any questions he might have.

    Normally she wouldn't hit him because hitting the people paying you isn't a good call. But she is annoyed, and he did ask her two. So a well placed and strength enhanced kick aim to hit him in the stomach, she doesn't give him any warning but he should probably be expecting it.
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    The stars glimmer
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    Quote Originally Posted by McBish View Post
    [Harald's Rocket Ship]

    "If you wanted to find out how I reacted when my employer tries to attack me you should have tracked down my last employer." Finding him and his goons dead would have anwsered any questions he might have.

    Normally she wouldn't hit him because hitting the people paying you isn't a good call. But she is annoyed, and he did ask her two. So a well placed and strength enhanced kick aim to hit him in the stomach, she doesn't give him any warning but he should probably be expecting it.
    Harald allows it to impact, knocking him backwards onto the floor.

    "Ow. I think something broke. Mastermind, scan please."

    "Scan complete. Minor damage to internal organs. Due to mission time parameters, I recommend a body-shift to the Mark 8 instead of one of the experimental Mark 9's. Implement?"

    Harald sighs.

    "I really thought I'd improved that sequence. Then again, you can never really tell what the result will be with genetics. Implement transfer to the Mark 8 clone, and prepare the Annihilator for transfer. I think I might need it, given the latest scans you gave me."

    With that, he collapses fully. A moment later, there's a gurgling sound, like water in pipes from above. When that stops, there's a hiss, followed after a few seconds by the sound of footsteps on the ladder.

    Another Harald descends - slightly different to the one lying on the floor, but not anything major. He's dripping wet and wearing only a towel. He moves over to the Harald on the floor, pulls off all the armour and begins to put it on.
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    [Harald's Rocket Ship]

    She doesn't like the sound of the Annihlator thing, sounds omnious. "So you grow yourself bodies to suit your purpose?" Amelia says to Harald as he is putting on his armor. She will advert her eyes to avoid seeing him get dressed.
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    The stars glimmer
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    Do they cry on those worlds,
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    Quote Originally Posted by McBish View Post
    [Harald's Rocket Ship]

    She doesn't like the sound of the Annihlator thing, sounds omnious. "So you grow yourself bodies to suit your purpose?" Amelia says to Harald as he is putting on his armor. She will advert her eyes to avoid seeing him get dressed.
    "I suppose you could say that. My areas of expertise are coding - hence Mastermind - and biotechnology. Both this body and the one I was previously inhabiting were lab-grown, genetically altered and surgically enhanced, as have been all my bodies for the past hundred and fifty years. I keep at least three spares at any one time, not counting experimental models like this one here -"

    He nudges the inert old body with his foot.

    "- and I have an implant in all my bodies that allow transfer of my consciousness into any of them. In the event of the death of the body I'm currently in, I'm transferred into the next clone - well, I'm restored into it from a backup, which is the same thing. The body I'm in is the Mark Eight, the latest fully tested model. The one you broke is the Mark Nine-point-One; that is, the first Mark Nine experimental model. I'm scrapping that template, because, as you can see, it isn't up to scratch."

    He picks up the old body and walks to the ladder.

    "Come on, I'll show you."
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    [Harald's Rocket Ship]

    Amelia nods and follows along. She is a bit uncomfortable to find out that Harald is a 150 year old clone hopper, but the suit of armor proabably hides any signs of discomfort. On the plus side at least it should make her job of protecting him eaiser. If he gets "killed" he will just hop to a new body.
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    The stars glimmer
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    Quote Originally Posted by McBish View Post
    [Harald's Rocket Ship]

    Amelia nods and follows along. She is a bit uncomfortable to find out that Harald is a 150 year old clone hopper, but the suit of armor proabably hides any signs of discomfort. On the plus side at least it should make her job of protecting him eaiser. If he gets "killed" he will just hop to a new body.
    He's 220. He only figured out consciousness-transfer at 70 in his original body. But moving on:

    Harald steps off the ladder onto the deck with the tanks. One is now open and empty. Two more contain Harald-clones, attached to various pipes and wires. A fourth, larger tank contains a massive creature, ten feet tall, with an armoured carapace, wings folded on its back, claws, a long tail, prehensile feet and razor teeth.

    He lays the old body on a medical table, and says: "Render down for material. Incinerate unusable components."

    Several long, robotic arms descend from the ceiling and begin to butcher the body, carrying parts away into various ducts. If Amelia is watching, she'll see that the skeleton that's left is the same off-white of the suits and ship. This skeleton is picked up and placed in a storage unit off to one side. The blood is sucked up by a nozzle arm.

    "Oh, by the way, don't worry about the whole "creepy body-hopper" issue. Everyone gets that when they find out, although I have to admit that 'everyone' in this case is about six people. It will pass, hopefully, and you're taking it much better than most. One person tried to kill me when he found out."

    He walks over to the large tank and checks the readouts from the machines next to it, nodding in satisfaction. If Amelia can read medical notations from such machines, she'll notice that the two Harald-clones have readings stronger than a normal human's even though they're in stasis, and the massive creature's readings are truly incredible.
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    [Harald's Rocket Ship]

    So when the machine starts to chop up the body Amelia has to turn away a queasy feeling in her stomach. She briefly wonders how these wonder suits would react to being thrown up in.

    She has no idea about any medical notations and doesn't bother trying to look over his shoulder at them. "Hey you aren't paying me to judge you so no reason it should bother me." If he wants to keep jumping between bodies that is up to him.

    She does seem impressed with the large thing looking it over. "Though I will admit being unsure why you need a bodyguard when you have a body like this ready."
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    The stars glimmer
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    Quote Originally Posted by McBish View Post
    [Harald's Rocket Ship]

    So when the machine starts to chop up the body Amelia has to turn away a queasy feeling in her stomach. She briefly wonders how these wonder suits would react to being thrown up in.

    She has no idea about any medical notations and doesn't bother trying to look over his shoulder at them. "Hey you aren't paying me to judge you so no reason it should bother me." If he wants to keep jumping between bodies that is up to him.

    She does seem impressed with the large thing looking it over. "Though I will admit being unsure why you need a bodyguard when you have a body like this ready."
    "Why? Let me explain. A low-level military vehicle, say, a tank, costs billions. And that doesn't even anything above physical weaponry. How much do you think it costs me to make a fully operational clone, genetically altered and enhanced? How much to run a computer capable of handling a full neural network transfer? How much to get any of the equipment around us?

    I've spent over two centuries accumulating enough material, knowledge, and above all wealth and power, to enable me to pursue my science as far as I can take it. Just one of those bodies is worth, in pure monetary value, a whole army of ordinary men plus tanks, planes and artillery. Of course, I can assemble diamonds and the like from their component compounds, but even that only runs at a narrow profit. That clone I had to scrap represented decades of investment for any planetary government, and a good percent of my own total wealth. Of course, it was experimental, so losses are to be expected, but it's still a monumental investment. I prefer to keep expenditure to a minimum."
    Last edited by GrandDM; 2013-08-09 at 01:27 PM.
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    [Harald's Rocket Ship]

    Amelia nods figuring that makes some sense. But then there is the part of her brain that figures out that makes her less valuable then the clone body and part of her just rejects that.

    "Alright, and I am guessing you found out more about our destination since you told your computer to get this body ready for transfer?" She says doubting it is good news.
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    Quote Originally Posted by McBish View Post
    [Harald's Rocket Ship]

    Amelia nods figuring that makes some sense. But then there is the part of her brain that figures out that makes her less valuable then the clone body and part of her just rejects that.

    "Alright, and I am guessing you found out more about our destination since you told your computer to get this body ready for transfer?" She says doubting it is good news.
    "Indeed. The inhabitants of the asteroid are indeed sentient, though primitive. They're currently at the tribal stage. However, there's a severe complication. The god they worship... is the asteroid. They're not going to take kindly to a mining operation. Also, their language is more developed than you'd expect for a tribal society, and I've only had half an hour to learn it. I'm less than fluent, but I think I can get by. The biggest problem, however, is that they're a strictly matriarchal society. That means that they'll attempt to talk to you, they'll assume you're in charge and I'm your servant, and they'll probably point-blank refuse to talk to me. And before you suggest shifting to a female body, I don't have any. I can't make any. Bodyshift clones have to be directly grown from the master template, and to be compatible you can't change the gender. The only female clone I had -"

    He stops, wavers, and a terrible expression of pain and loss crosses his face, before it hardens into a cold, dead mask.

    "Never mind. Point is, we're going to have a lot of trouble negotiating."
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    [Harald's Rocket Ship]

    "So they are going to try to negotiate with me, while I have no idea what they are saying?" Sounds like Amelia isn't too thrilled about this idea. "So what are you thinking of offering to get this precious metal of yours?"
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    Quote Originally Posted by McBish View Post
    [Harald's Rocket Ship]

    "So they are going to try to negotiate with me, while I have no idea what they are saying?" Sounds like Amelia isn't too thrilled about this idea. "So what are you thinking of offering to get this precious metal of yours?"
    Apparently the forums swallowed my post when my antivirus decided it didn't like GITP. So I'm going to paraphrase, because it was quite a long post.

    Long story short, Harald unlocks a secret panel in the ladder shaft, leading to a subshaft and goes down it. Down there is a large sphere of the off-white metal (I really need to think of a name for the stuff, actually - got any suggestions?), with a load of tech inside. He programs it to seem 'godly' to the tribe-people, and puts it in the lander.

    However, the rocket is now running on severely reduced capacity, and Harald now has to pilot it manually all the way back to the Nexus.
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    [Harald's Rocket Ship]

    ((Harlidium assuming Harald discovered it.))

    So if I am understanding the plan correctly he is going to give the tribe a shiny new god full of cool and useful tools so he can mine out their other god aka the metorite. Amelia see's only one problem with this plan. "Have you considered the fact that the metorite might be alive and acting as a god to these beings and will be upset with you coming to mine and replace him?
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    Quote Originally Posted by McBish View Post
    [Harald's Rocket Ship]

    ((Harlidium assuming Harald discovered it.))

    So if I am understanding the plan correctly he is going to give the tribe a shiny new god full of cool and useful tools so he can mine out their other god aka the metorite. Amelia see's only one problem with this plan. "Have you considered the fact that the metorite might be alive and acting as a god to these beings and will be upset with you coming to mine and replace him?
    ((Good idea, but Harald's not the type to name it after himself. I've worked it out now, though.))

    Harald raises an eyebrow.

    "Unlikely, but... wait a moment. Mastermind, recalibrate the scan for... I think A-parameter 23, B 78 and C 672. Then rescan the asteroid."

    "Scan indicates an energy anomaly within the asteroid. There are patterns within it suggesting conscious thought. It is formed in such a way that it can only inhabit Miannum-"

    Harald snaps-

    "Have I not told you not to call it by name?! You know what it makes me rememb-"

    He stops, and a terrible expression of grief passes across his face before it hardens into an unreadable mask.

    "Never mind. The point is, you were right, Amelia - and you thought of something I missed, which is doubly impressive; there have been very few occasions of that happening previously. You've earned yourself a bonus.

    Now, as for the spirit, I want an assessment - power levels, abilities, intelligence and so on."


    Mastermind looks smug.

    "I prepared one while you were talking. It's a low-level power, with limited reality-bending abilities. Very minor - it can't do anything to people directly, though it can do indirect damage by summoning storms, lightning and the like. If I may make a suggestion - we could offer the spirit a new home. The suits are made of refined metal, are they not? They're purer than the asteroid. Plus, the tribesperson wearing it would become the avatar of their god. Both the tribe and the spirit would be happy."

    Harald nods.

    "Excellent idea. Restore the sphere to its previous place, and send me some clothes; if I'm going to be taking off the suit, I want proper attire instead of a towel. Now, Amelia - any more insights you'd like to share?"
    Last edited by GrandDM; 2013-08-10 at 03:03 AM.
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    [Harald's Rocket Ship]

    Amelia thinks then shakes her head. "Just the thought that dealing with gods means you will have to deal with someone with a bigger ego then yours, even if they don't deserve it. If this thing has been worshipped it might have gotten used to it and expects that fro everyone." Negotiating with gods is tricky you know.
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    Quote Originally Posted by McBish View Post
    [Harald's Rocket Ship]
    Amelia thinks then shakes her head. "Just the thought that dealing with gods means you will have to deal with someone with a bigger ego then yours, even if they don't deserve it. If this thing has been worshipped it might have gotten used to it and expects that fro everyone." Negotiating with gods is tricky you know.
    Harald's face darkens.

    "Believe me, I know."

    He shuts his eyes and sighs.

    "We shall have to plan our tactics accordingly."

    He takes the shirt, tie, trousers and labcoat from a robot that descends on the ladder. As he does so, a photo flutters out of the breast pocket of the labcoat, landing by Amelia's feet. It shows a teenager, brown-haired, green-eyed, laughing at something. Harald dives for it, snatching it off the floor and putting it gently back into the pocket. It's obvious from his manner that the photo means a lot to him.
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    [Harald's Rocket Ship]

    Amelia glances down at the photo almost reaching down to pick it up before Harald snatches it off the ground. Her helmet hiding any expression she has from him. She considers saying something about it, but holds off for now. Time to think about the job, not lost love ones.

    "Sounds good. How long till we are at the asteroid?"
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    Quote Originally Posted by McBish View Post
    [Harald's Rocket Ship]

    Amelia glances down at the photo almost reaching down to pick it up before Harald snatches it off the ground. Her helmet hiding any expression she has from him. She considers saying something about it, but holds off for now. Time to think about the job, not lost love ones.

    "Sounds good. How long till we are at the asteroid?"
    "Four minutes, twenty-three seconds."

    He doesn't look at a clock.
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    [Harald's Rocket Ship]

    "Alright so how are the landings in this thing?" So far she has enjoyed her flight through space, but she always imagined landing would be the scariest part.
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    Quote Originally Posted by McBish View Post
    [Harald's Rocket Ship]

    "Alright so how are the landings in this thing?" So far she has enjoyed her flight through space, but she always imagined landing would be the scariest part.
    "We won't be landing the rocket. Unfortunately, we can't use the lander, because the spirit in the asteroid will be able to inhabit it. We're going to be skydiving."

    Another robot brings two harnesses, which Harald takes. He throws one to Amelia, then pulls across a curtain hanging above the surgical table and switches the armour for his usual shirt, tie, trousers and labcoat, strapping the harness on over the top.

    "You'll need to take the armour off and put the harness on. Have you ever skydived before?"
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    [Harald's Rocket Ship]

    Amelia shakes her head as she takes off the armor. "No I have not. Might as well make my first time jumping onto an asteroid in space." She puts the harness on triple checking each strap.
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    The stars glimmer
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    to?

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    Quote Originally Posted by McBish View Post
    [Harald's Rocket Ship]

    Amelia shakes her head as she takes off the armor. "No I have not. Might as well make my first time jumping onto an asteroid in space." She puts the harness on triple checking each strap.
    Harald nods.

    "Very well. What normally happens on a person's first dive is that they're attached to a more experienced skydiver. So we'll do that here. Once you've got the harness on - actually, one moment."

    He reaches out, flips up a panel on the front of the harness where the straps meet and presses a button. The harness tightens and loosens in various spots with a slight whirring noise until it's perfect. Then a green light flashes on the panel. Harald snaps it shut.

    "Sorry, I should have told you about that function before. Anyway, the safety check showed up green, so you're good to go. Take the ladder down seven floors, and you'll come to the main airlock. Wait there for me."
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    [Harald's Rocket Ship]

    "All right see you there." Amelia gives a nod and makes her way down the ladder heading to the airlock. She figures the main airlock will be easy enough to find.
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    Quote Originally Posted by McBish View Post
    [Harald's Rocket Ship]

    "All right see you there." Amelia gives a nod and makes her way down the ladder heading to the airlock. She figures the main airlock will be easy enough to find.
    And it is. There's a large circular door, about two meters across.

    Harald shows up after three minutes. He hands Amelia a small earpiece.

    "This will translate for you, so you can understand what's being said. There will be holes in the translation at first, but it will get better as Mastermind analyses."

    He walks over to the airlock, punches in a long code at high speed, and the door swings open, revealing a room about three meters wide with an identical door at the other end and benches along each wall. Harald enters, beckoning Amelia to follow. When she does, he shuts the inner door behind them.

    "Press the silver button on your right hip. That will enable the forcefield. The blue button on the left hip starts the oxygen. Once you've done that, hit the grey button on the clasp and hug me from behind, your arms under mine - the magnetic field generator will lock our harnesses together. If you're uncomfortable with that, I can do it another way, but say now, because we only have forty seconds."

    He punches the silver, blue and grey buttons in sequence and waits.
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    [Harald's Rocket Ship]

    Amelia takes the earpiece and sticks it in glad to have something that will give her a clue on what is going on when they get down there. She really didn't want to be in the dark. She follows his instructions to get her harness ready. "No problem on my end. I can trust you to get me down to the ground." She says wrapping her arms around him to latch the two of them together.
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    Quote Originally Posted by McBish View Post
    [Harald's Rocket Ship]

    Amelia takes the earpiece and sticks it in glad to have something that will give her a clue on what is going on when they get down there. She really didn't want to be in the dark. She follows his instructions to get her harness ready. "No problem on my end. I can trust you to get me down to the ground." She says wrapping her arms around him to latch the two of them together.
    "Good. This might be a little unsettling... five, four, three, two, one -"

    He slaps a button on the wall and the outer door shoots open, propelling the pair into space, spinning wildly. Stars, space and the asteroid form a blur of light and dark.

    Harald brings them back under control quickly, and the asteroid, a light grey colour, begins to grow in their field of vision. Harald makes minor adjustments to the flight path by twisting his body slightly, but as the asteroid looms up, flips around so that he and Amelia are landing feet-first.

    As they approach the surface and become caught in the asteroid's gravity - very strong for something of its size - something in the harnesses fires up with a thump, and the speed at which the two are travelling dramatically decreases.

    As they hit the surface, they are immediately surrounded by men and women wearing hides and wielding stone spears and axes. An old woman - the only old person evident - hobbles out of the ring slowly, leaning heavily on her staff. She says something to Amelia, which the earpiece translates (in Mastermind's voice) as:

    "What are you ... on our ..."
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