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 Post Posted: Mon Oct 18, 2021 6:24 pm 
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Arkady sees that the stock are fed, give what's left of the human food to the appropriate animals (like the all but inevitable pig or the dog), and gets ready to head out. At least now he knows who Felix asked.

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 Post Posted: Mon Oct 18, 2021 6:43 pm 
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Sam pings the farm for the ship, adding notes that either a group should come out to settle the farm, or the livestock should be collected and brought back. She does a search of her own, checking the health of the animals and the farm stores to see if there's anything else the colony should "borrow".

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 Post Posted: Tue Oct 19, 2021 8:21 am 
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There is a pig.

It looked hungry, and is more than happy to eat what it is given.

--------------

It takes you a couple of hours to put the farm to rights. David's unsure about the legalities of moving into a mysteriously abandoned farm, and even more unsure about the safety of the new farmers - he would really appreciate knowing what happened to the farmers before risking some of the Terrans in their place.

The farm equipment is useless to the Colony; it's several centuries outdated, and you could seriously get better stuff 3D printed. Some of the seeds or animals might be useful; but it's honestly marginal. As far as benefits to the colony go, it's not worth taking three days worth of travel to get here. It's not worth taking one day worth of travel to get here.

Looking at the map, there's no way you'll make it to the town today. (Well. It's become clear that the definition of 'today' is somewhat variable, depending on who is looking. But you're pretty sure you're going to be sleeping one more night in your sleeping bags before you can get there.)

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 Post Posted: Tue Oct 19, 2021 10:54 pm 
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Roger exits his truck and for the first time starts to take note of the surroundings. He gets the impression that this area has been abandoned, but for how long who can say?

He finds Piper. At first his intention was to talk to her away from the other Terrans, but given this new information about the farm, he changes tack.

"So checking the logs turned up something interesting. We've been traveling for three days, yeah? But according to ship's computer and the people on radio duty, we left YESTERDAY..." he trails off.

"Piper, are localized enchantments to slow down time a thing you can do? Or maybe this is the Trolls doing?"

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 Post Posted: Wed Oct 20, 2021 2:02 am 
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Felix is ready to bunk down whenever, and he also echoes David's concerns that just taking farm animals without observing local laws or even attempting to find their owners might not be such a good idea.

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 Post Posted: Wed Oct 20, 2021 2:53 pm 
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If it takes some time before they leave, Arkady takes a few pictures of the various parts of the farm and home for future reference. Someday, some grad student might thank him for it. In the meantime, he idles away a couple of minutes sending an email to his wife about the trip so far. The timing discrepency he just explains as living on 'strange little girl savings time'.

Otherwise he closes doors and gates as appropriate, then gets ready to drive.

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 Post Posted: Thu Oct 21, 2021 7:17 am 
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Quote:
Roger exits his truck and for the first time


A new person has entered the area! The dog jumps to his feet and barks enthusiastically.

This fellow is not about to slack off on his duties!

Piper, still scratching behind the dog's ears, just shrugs. "I've got to play with something. I don't have a pet, so why not play with time? ...it wouldn't be Ghwerek, he's got all the subtlety of a brick to the head. Besides, without the Rose, he can't do this sort of thing."

Arkady takes a few pictures (hey, neat, the digital camera automatically syncs through the tablet to the Ship! The fellows back there can see what you're up to!) and sends his email. No immediate reply; doubtless his wife will answer this evening. When it's "this evening" for her.

And so the journey continues!

Over the course of the rest of the day, you pass several more abandoned farm houses... and then you start coming across the occasional farm horse. Dead, lying on or near the road. It looks like they ran themselves to exhaustion.

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 Post Posted: Thu Oct 21, 2021 6:18 pm 
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"Well. That seems concerning," Felix says. "Something is causing a mass exodus towards the lake. But what?"

Felix checks the horse to see if it has any Seeker bites.

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 Post Posted: Fri Oct 22, 2021 6:53 pm 
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To answer your question, Arkady sir, Blackwell's query occurred yesterday ship time, two days ago Piper Time. Roger attempts in his best Russian.

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 Post Posted: Sat Oct 23, 2021 6:45 pm 
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Arkady grins a bit, and replies in Russian: "Roger, we learned that Blackwell was awake nearly two weeks ago. But it was after he woke up. Thank you."

He checks the horses for signs of tack, saddles, etc. He's wondering if they died while being ridden.

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 Post Posted: Tue Oct 26, 2021 7:18 am 
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A close examination of the first horse shows a Seeker bite on the neck.

It is wearing no tack. If it was being ridden when it fell, then it was being ridden bareback, without reins.

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 Post Posted: Tue Oct 26, 2021 3:54 pm 
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Well.

That's a problem.

"Guys, we got a Seeker in the mix."

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 Post Posted: Wed Oct 27, 2021 2:18 am 
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"The Seeker," says Piper. "There's only the one. And even Azash can't easily replace it if it gets killed. But the same idea won't work against it twice; by now Azash has likely found a way to protect it against everything that was used before."

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 Post Posted: Wed Oct 27, 2021 3:00 am 
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"Well, since we know we're going up against it ahead of time we might have a real shot of taking it out once and for all," Felix says. "Azash would have prepared countermeasures, but he'll still need to focus and concentrate on those countermeasures individually right? Could go at it with multiple effects from multiple angles while cutting off it's escape routes with different types of death it'd need to account for?"

Felix ponders.

"Cloud of insecticidal poison launched via grenade rifle. Proximity mines that detonate with force, fire, shrapnel, frost, sound, what have you. Constant barrage of non-lethal sonic and lethal armor piercing rounds. Certain enhanced rounds with added effects interspersed between AP rounds that are non-lethal but add certain conditions the Seeker has to counter individually or be bogged down. If we have to account for the future I can design for that."

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 Post Posted: Wed Oct 27, 2021 12:01 pm 
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Arkady asks Piper: "Is the Seeker immortal?"

To Felix he says: "Perhaps a laser weapon of some kind?"

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