Day 1: Flying in

Spring, well north of the arctic circle. 1975. A small surveying camp sits just south of the Middle Fork of the Koyukuk and Bettles river confluence, among dense forests of spindly spruce trees. Above it, the ramplike prow of Sukakpak mountain dominates. It is a striking, curious and isolated peak south of the Brooks range. A survey team is re-flagging the original pipeline route that was flagged in ’71. There is great urgency, as construction of the North Slope Haul Road has already begun and will reach Atigun pass in less than a month. The route must be clearly marked.

And now a man has died.

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Re: Day 1: Flying in

Postby Mr. Handy » Tue Jul 04, 2017 4:15 am

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"Yeah, I wouldn't think anyone would live out here," says Stanley.

Spoiler:
I'll be gone as well, from the 5th through the 9th. I'll have Internet access but probably no time to post.
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Re: Day 1: Flying in

Postby Wruter » Tue Jul 04, 2017 10:40 am

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"Mr. Antal, what do you think?" Harry asks directly, noting the tense exchange between him and Ravello.
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Re: Day 1: Flying in

Postby evil_scientist » Wed Jul 05, 2017 10:08 pm

Spoiler:
Okay! Nowadays I can post only every other day, we will keep going, slow but steady!


Antal looks up.

"How should I know? I'm just a lowly worker here. Look at the talking monkey," he finishes on a sarcastic note, and spits in the fire.

Harry Miller is puzzled. Is Antal just working out some worker-supervisor conflict in this passive-aggressive manner? Employee moral is clearly low around these parts... But maybe there's more to it?

Jeff Michaels tries to analyze it from company and "human resources" perspective.
Spoiler:
evil_scientist rolled 1d100:
92

But Mount Sukakpak is not a cubicle-filled office, and Jeff's skills hardly apply.
"I feel as if my soul would be torn out of my body," she gasped. "I am being drawn into a whirlpool. What is happening? What does it mean?" - The Secrets of Dr. Taverner
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Re: Day 1: Flying in

Postby Mr. Handy » Tue Jul 11, 2017 5:42 am

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"What else do you need to do here before we fly back?" Stanley asks Jeff and Harry. As much as he likes getting back to nature, he has an uneasy feeling and wouldn't mind getting out of here.
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Re: Day 1: Flying in

Postby Wruter » Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:56 am

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Jeff downs the last of his coffee. "I think we're about done. The main thing is to figure out a new schedule for the pipeline since it's clear things aren't progressing satisfactorily. Arrange replacement workers for Mr. Scott and maybe Mr. Antal as well."
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Re: Day 1: Flying in

Postby evil_scientist » Wed Jul 12, 2017 7:06 pm

Upon hearing Jeff's last sentence, Antal's face lights up. "That means I go back with you now, right? I'm packed already and I can help carry Bill's body down to the plane!"

"I hope the company will be quick with their decisions," Ravello says, dismissing Antal with the wave of his hand. "The two of us cannot get much work done in the meantime."

You finish your coffees and improvise a stretcher from spare tent poles and tarp to carry the body. Antal is energized by the thought of leaving Sukakpak behind: "Finally, finally, I'm getting out of this place," you can hear him mumbling.

The hike to the airplane isn't easy, though. The constant drizzle of the last few hours has turned the path into pasty mud. Bill Scott's body feels heavier than ever before, and you have to switch carriers often. Despite his initial enthusiasm, Antal is clearly not pulling his weight. The weather is gradually getting worse and worse, too: you can hear the winds whistling and howling, but, strangely, the trees are motionless, almost frozen in time.

Spoiler:
Any small talk, discussions, or questions to Antal during the hike?


After a good 30 minutes, halfway down the road, you hear a cry from the forest - an animal, maybe? The sound repeats one more time (coming from somewhere near, to your right), then silence sets in again.
"I feel as if my soul would be torn out of my body," she gasped. "I am being drawn into a whirlpool. What is happening? What does it mean?" - The Secrets of Dr. Taverner
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Re: Day 1: Flying in

Postby Mister Ginge » Thu Jul 13, 2017 12:59 am

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Harry feels sorry for Antal but thinks he's a pain in the butt for not pulling his weight. "What are you so scared of anyway?" he asks him. His own greatest fear is carrying out a risk assessment, but he doesn't mention this.
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Re: Day 1: Flying in

Postby Mr. Handy » Thu Jul 13, 2017 1:47 am

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"Whatever that was," says Stanley, "it didn't sound like a man." He hefts his shotgun, just in case.
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Re: Day 1: Flying in

Postby Wruter » Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:43 am

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"And what's with the trees not moving?" Jeff wonders nervously. "I can hear the wind blowing but nothing is moving. Weird." He peers intently off into the forest where the sound came from.
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Re: Day 1: Flying in

Postby evil_scientist » Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:03 pm

Mister Ginge wrote:Harry feels sorry for Antal but thinks he's a pain in the butt for not pulling his weight. "What are you so scared of anyway?" he asks him. His own greatest fear is carrying out a risk assessment, but he doesn't mention this.

"I tried to tell you before... There is something in these woods," Antal says, and his face darkens. "The bosses" (he means Kennedy and Ravello) "just wave me off and say I'm stressed and that I'm just not used to working in the wilderness, but they know it too. Shadows and voices..."

His hand slips and he almost drops the stretcher.

"Maybe they are right, you know, these are creepy woods here, a miserable place, maybe I'm imagining things."

His rambling is interrupted by the sound from the woods. You stop and listen.

The cry is heard again. Jeff thinks that he can identify it: it positively sounds to him like the crying of his baby daughter back at home...
"I feel as if my soul would be torn out of my body," she gasped. "I am being drawn into a whirlpool. What is happening? What does it mean?" - The Secrets of Dr. Taverner
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Re: Day 1: Flying in

Postby Mr. Handy » Fri Jul 14, 2017 3:19 am

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"It's not so unreasonable," says Stanley. "I love the great outdoors, but I can sense there's something wrong with this place. I wouldn't mind leaving myself."
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Re: Day 1: Flying in

Postby Wruter » Fri Jul 14, 2017 10:44 am

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"You guys hear that?" Jeff asks with a shiver. "Sounds like a kid crying." Again he peers nervously off into the trees, trying to spot the source of the eerie sound.
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Re: Day 1: Flying in

Postby Mister Ginge » Fri Jul 14, 2017 11:24 pm

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This is beginning to get above Harry's pay grade. He also searches the trees for the source of the cry, also wishing he had a gun.
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Re: Day 1: Flying in

Postby Mr. Handy » Sat Jul 15, 2017 3:55 am

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"How could a kid be out here?" asks Stanley, scanning the treeline. "It's gotta be an animal of some kind."
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Re: Day 1: Flying in

Postby evil_scientist » Sun Jul 16, 2017 9:50 am

The cry is emitted once more, and you can understand the direction it's coming from (the same as before). There is a fallen tree lying there, about 30 feet from you. State Trooper Kramer is almost positive it's an animal in pain and distress.

"Let's not linger any more," Antal says, shakily. "These voices, they are no good."
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Re: Day 1: Flying in

Postby Mr. Handy » Sun Jul 16, 2017 7:28 pm

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"It is an animal," says Stanley. "It's hurt bad, from the sound of it. At the very least, I should put it out of its misery if there's nothing else that can be done to help it."
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Re: Day 1: Flying in

Postby evil_scientist » Sun Jul 16, 2017 8:01 pm

Mr. Handy wrote:"It is an animal," says Stanley. "It's hurt bad, from the sound of it. At the very least, I should put it out of its misery if there's nothing else that can be done to help it."

Spoiler:
Do you wait for reaction from the others, or just go ahead and walk to the source of the noise, brave Trooper style?
"I feel as if my soul would be torn out of my body," she gasped. "I am being drawn into a whirlpool. What is happening? What does it mean?" - The Secrets of Dr. Taverner
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Re: Day 1: Flying in

Postby Mr. Handy » Sun Jul 16, 2017 9:08 pm

Spoiler:
I'll wait briefly to see how the others react.
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Re: Day 1: Flying in

Postby Wruter » Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:35 am

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"I'll cover you," Jeff replies, hefting the other shotgun and trying to look like he knows what to do with it.
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Re: Day 1: Flying in

Postby evil_scientist » Mon Jul 17, 2017 12:17 pm

forest.jpg

Stanley Kramer notices that if Jeff was to fire the shotgun, the way he's handling it, he would risk spraining his wrist... But this isn't Vietnam, so the State Trooper just hopes it won't come to actual firefights, and cautiously starts walking towards the source of the sound.

Spoiler:
Off the beaten path, the forest feels strangely welcoming. The soft mud doesn't hinder movement. It propels his feet forward. Each step takes him miles and miles away from his annoying, helpless companions, their petty matters. Stanley feels an urge to just leave them all behind, and live the life he's supposed to live in the wilderness. He is not Stanley Kramer any more, or not ONLY Stanley Kramer, but a hunter, a native of these forests, favored by the spirits.

The cry sounds again, and Stanley sees a fox kit, half crushed beneath a rotten spruce trunk that has fallen. The animal is sunk in tannin-colored swampy water under the weight. A little fragile body, insignificant, powerless, bent and broken, not unlike that of Bill Scott. But looking at it doesn't disturb Stanley, and, even more, makes the death of the survey worker feel natural.

Roll Sanity (1/1d3)

fox.jpg
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