Portal Breach: The Collision of Worlds :: v.4.0


    Something New, Deja Vu.

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    Something New, Deja Vu.

    Post by Barney Calhoun on Tue Nov 20, 2012 1:58 am

    Date: 11/19/12
    Time: 6:30 pm


    Dusk. At the edge of the forest. Where he said he'd be, and when. Of course, when he'd said it, Barney hadn't realized how much trouble was brewing behind his back. He hadn't realized how bad things had gotten when he wasn't looking. Well, he was looking now, for all the good it was doing. Thomas hadn't been seen out of BLACKCAT HQ in a month, Karkat was going off the deep end, the trolls were in turmoil, and everyone he met seemed to be spouting portends of doom.

    So, yeah. He hadn't quite realized just how much he was going to welcome getting out into the fresh air and, well, seeing what Ayalah had in store for him. He had a suspicion that it would probably be... okay, maybe not painful. But a good challenge. Something to clear his head, something else to focus on for a few hours so the hamsters stopped spazzing out on their wheels and started running smoothly again in his brain. Turn his attention away from why the hell aren't those two talking and jesus christ I stop paying attention for five minutes and everything goes to hell and let it rest, to come back to it with a clear head and fresh eyes.

    He'd suited up, still in his old CP uniform. One of these days, he'd really upgrade---You know. When he got a phone, and a car, and rejoined the 20th century---but for now, he was probably going to need it. She hadn't said where to meet, or even what she had in mind, besides some kind of training. But, as he entered the edge of the forest, Barney kept his ears open. Eyes were good, of course, and he kept them peeled, but in the gathering dark, when someone could come at him from any angle, he trusted his ears more.

    Paranoid? Gee, why would you say that?

    His gun stayed on his back. The crowbar hooked to his belt, now, with a fancy leather holster to keep it from banging around and getting in the way. Not the most high tech weapon, but it suited him just fine. After all, as fun as the high tech stuff sounded, he'd probably just end up breaking something. Settling his back to a tree, Barney cast his gaze around and... waited.
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    Re: Something New, Deja Vu.

    Post by Ayalah Levi on Tue Nov 20, 2012 8:56 pm

    Ayalah had watched all the pieces coming together, things were about to crumble, that much was obvious beyond measure, but she wasn't too bothered, none of it directly affected her, she was not with the trolls, or part of BLACKCAT, from what she'd found out normally, and what her suit managed to pull from the building during the phazon crisis, a bit sly, but there were bigger evils, especially now. Besides, the ONI agent was good at not getting caught, especially with such primitive technology around.

    Learning of Barney's presence was not too difficult, having added a small Tag to his armour on the last fight it was now easy for her systems to single him out as a friendly. as soon as her HUD pinged that he was in the area, she got up from where she was and turned on her Active Camouflage. Unfair, without a doubt, but he needed a warmup didn't he? it was time to begin...

    it was amazing how well she could pull off Stealth in such heavy armour, being unseen is quite different when you are heavy enough to crush someone by siting on their lap... and this was considering she was lighter again than actual Spartan IVs, who had undergone much more intensive training than herself, she had enough to see her to be able to make use of the armour to be able to keep up with the SPARTAN teams she was deployed with.

    The Sheer dark of rural night coupled with the camouflaging made her impossible to see at the distance she was at. She switched on the VISR system and watched as the world from her point of view became illuminated and outlined, far more effective than the well known Night-vision systems most 'modern' armies used.

    She watched barney silently with his back against the tree, looked like it was time to get his blood pumping, time for a Catalyst, She looked around her, and found a fist sized rock on the ground, Taking aim, she gave the rock a solid toss, invisibly flying through the night it hit some shrubbery to Barney's right, not exactly right next to him, but is should spark his curiosity, controlling people was a delicate art
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    Re: Something New, Deja Vu.

    Post by Barney Calhoun on Tue Nov 27, 2012 2:27 am

    This was kind of funny, thinking about it. Barney took a deep breath of the chilly air, smelling strongly of wet foliage, and let his mind tick away as his ears stayed alert for sounds. The last time he'd participated in a "training exercise" with Ayalah, he'd also been trying to keep his mind off things he could afford to dwell on. Then, it had been the destruction of his world and the fate of the people he'd left behind. It wasn't quite a year, yet, but he'd... settled in, certainly. Tried to. Made friends, and people he'd thought were friends. Made note of some others whose company he intended to avoid.

    Somehow, this time was worse. Harder to ignore. Maybe because the events were right there in front of him, not somewhere off unseen, with only second hand stories to tell him what had happened to anyone. Or not tell him, as the case may be. No, this time around...

    Hnngh. This time around, he was going to get drunk for a week once it was all over. Behind locked doors, where he could sulk in solitude.

    For now, though, there was too much to be done. People looking to him for answers, and not a whole lot of answers to give them. So, again, it was time to pack all those little frustrating, gnawing feelings in a box and pack it away. Time to think of the here and now. Time to focus on the prese-

    Something rustled in the bushes off to his side, and Barney stiffened, head automatically turning that direction. Not Ayalah, because he figured it would be a cold day in hell when she made a rookie mistake like rattling bushes, but that didn't necessarily mean it was nothing. Probably just a rabbit or something, sure. But, this was Portal Breach. It was equally likely to be the rabbit from Monty Python and the Holy Grail as it was to be an innocent little cotton tail. Frowning faintly, he scanned his surroundings, just to make sure there wasn't anything sneaking up on him while he was staring at the bushes. Not entirely satisfied, but not seeing anything, either, the former security guard turned his attention back to the bushes, without moving yet from his tree.
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    Re: Something New, Deja Vu.

    Post by Ayalah Levi on Fri Dec 14, 2012 7:13 pm

    It prompted some response, but not quite as much as she'd wanted, This would require a bit more creativity, She moved slowly, as good as her camo was, and it didn't stop the rustling of bushes. She needed to get him to move, away from where he was, deeper into the forest, away from that tree, he needed to be motivated...

    She watched him from this distance, perhaps if a rock would not spark his curiosity, something else would. the advantage of having hologram technology was useful, it was a simple idea, one she had used before. She looked around, the darkness made it ideal, she processed the area, and worked out a plan.

    Not too far from Barney, there was a blue 'ball' of light, it appeared for little more than a moment, the flash was so quick one would question whether they actually saw it. Then a few seconds later, a second flash, a few meters further away from Barney than the first. This was done done to draw a direction... such advanced holographic technology was new to humanity, so there was still much to be done in how to apply it, most of Ayalah's methods she'd figured herself...
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    Re: Something New, Deja Vu.

    Post by Barney Calhoun on Mon Dec 24, 2012 3:24 pm

    Alright, call him a paranoid, suspicious bastard, but Barney's first thought was trap. He second thought, however, was you're being paranoid. His third thought was more to the point: What the hell was that thing, anyway? A signal from Ayalah? Some kind of creature---alien, fairy, something-or-other? Swamp gas? This was Portal Breach, after all. As far as Barney could tell, that literally meant it could be just about anything.

    Of course, this was Portal Breach. This meant that it could literally be anything, and that anything was probably a hell of a lot scarier than he was. Barney wasn't a xenophobe, by any means, that was just the odds. To be fair, it hadn't been any different back home, either. Everywhere he went, he'd learned there was one constant in effect: Everything out there is scarier than you.

    It made him understandably cautious.

    But it wasn't enough to override the innate curiosity that had come before the caution. Even if he was sure it was going to eat his face, Barney, sometimes, couldn't help but want to poke it to see what it was.

    He took another quick scan of the woods around him, continued to see nothing, and then stifled a resigned sigh at himself. You're going to regret this, Calhoun... And then he set off, moving as quietly as he could, in the direction that the strange blue light had disappeared.

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    Re: Something New, Deja Vu.

    Post by Ayalah Levi on Wed Dec 26, 2012 6:24 pm

    Works (almost) every time. The desired effect had been achieved, movement, getting him away from that tree. She took a few steps, She had since disabled her powershields to allow her to maintain cloaking, and work the holograms at the same time, that was one of the masteries of this system, learning to constantly rejuggle where the power was being diverted. having gotten most common armour powers hard baked into the armour, it meant that she had a wide variety of capabilities, but also meant power issues were common.

    Power issues aside, she had little trouble managing it. She watched him start to move cautiously, and so did she, slowly, not far, just enough to work out where to go next. When Barney finally reached where the second flash was, there wasn't a third flash, bun instead, for a moment, the familiar pink armour could be seen hopping a big log, just about, and crouch down, as if she were hiding behind the trunk...

    But unfortunately, when Barney caught up, he would find nothing...
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    Re: Something New, Deja Vu.

    Post by Barney Calhoun on Sat Dec 29, 2012 11:59 pm

    And catch up he did, though still cautiously. Coming to the other side of the log and finding nothing just confirmed his suspicions. Someone was definitely playing with him. The question was, was it Ayalah, or somebody else? Actually, the real question was, did he figure it was safe and play along, or make things a little more challenging for whoever-it-was. It was probably Ayalah, to be honest, but... still. There might not be a lot he could do to impress the lady, but letting her catch him like a fish in a barrel wouldn't help. He crouched down, just like the glimpse of Ayalah had, behind the log, and then followed the length of the log, staying low, so that at least he wouldn't be right where he'd disappeared.

    From there, he strained his ears as he took stock. Ayalah, if it was Ayalah, had a quite a few tricks at her disposal, though he hadn't gotten much in the way of concrete details. Some kind of tracking, he figured... which pretty much meant he was screwed, but hush. Never discouraged by the fact he'd already lost, remember? As for what else---she wore vibrant pink, or sometimes black, power armor, which he would have thought would be somewhat conspicuous out here in the woods, but apparently not. For what reason, he couldn't fathom, except that it was probably safe to say that she was hidden somewhere, watching him.

    O-kay, so what have we figured out here, Calhoun? That the lady already knows where you are, and you don't know where she is. That assessment was real helpful.

    Really, the only thing there was to do was let her come to him.
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    Re: Something New, Deja Vu.

    Post by Ayalah Levi on Sun Dec 30, 2012 11:44 pm

    Even as flawed as Active Camouflage got, when it was dark, in a area with pelnty of thick shrubs to hide in, even the poorest of camos were quite effective. except this one didn't require you to rub mud all over your face(or lovely pink paint). He was right about one thing though, she did have some form of tracking. motion tracking was a most useful asset.

    Now were there complete and utter silence, one could probably hear her delicate footsteps, but unfortunately for calhoun, they were not like the stampeding of hordes, they were quiet enough to not be heard easily over the rattle of the leaves as the gentle wind worked through them. Though, he did have one advantage though, unlike Barney presently, Ayalah's ability to hear anything through the active camouflage was quite poor, so she relied entirely on sight, balance, touch, and just about anything else that wasn't hearing.

    Had she holodrones actually with her, she could of made things much more interesting, but this was entertaining enough as it was. She had gotten him deeper into the woods, goood. she wouldn't drag this on for too much longer, she was even nice enough to to have her rubber training knife with her...

    To finish off the holographic display, she would pull one trick, one she had used to survive, to escape before. But also to fool, it worked to great effect against sangheili in the past. Next Barney would notice, not too far away, (but very close to Ayalah). was a figure lumped against a tree, the armour was familiar, unmistakable... knowing how to feign death in an instant is a vitally important skill...
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    Re: Something New, Deja Vu.

    Post by Barney Calhoun on Sun Jan 20, 2013 4:00 am

    Uh huh. C'mon, Ms. Levi, just how dumb did you think he is? Of course, it was probably more a reflection of Barney's assessment of his own capabilities, but, at this point, he figured that, if he spotted her, it was because she'd let him. Then again, his options still hadn't changed: Either take this bait and stumble into her trap, or... what, guess this was an illusion or a trick and go blundering around in the woods trying to find her? Or, give up.

    ...Hm. Okay, that was an idea.

    Of course, it would backfire if the figure he could see wasn't her, or if this was something hostile playing with him, but... Barney eased out of his crouch, standing up straight, and keeping an eye on the huddled form. He didn't holster his weapon, but he let it rest on one shoulder while, using his free hand for balance, he hoisted himself up onto the fallen tree trunk and... sat back, nonchalantly, leaning on the one hand while his other remained on his weapon. "Comfortable?" the former guerilla fighter called, amiably. If you wanted to catch him, Ayalah, you were gonna have to try a little harder than that.

    Not that he didn't think she could. It went without saying that, if she'd wanted to kill him out here, she obviously could. But, that was a tech advantage, one that he just couldn't compete with. If she wanted to beat him with gizmos and gadgets, well... she would. But, a game of pure wits and skill? He wasn't quite so outclassed.
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    Re: Something New, Deja Vu.

    Post by Ayalah Levi on Sun Jan 20, 2013 10:39 pm

    Indeed she would, but her current range of capability was quite limited with Holographic projections. it was far from standardized and required quite a bit time and effort to implement. So much so, that all that Barney had seen thus far, had all been rendered, and setup before, scenarios, and configs she'd devised in her spare time over the years. Holograms were great for deception, but their current range of use was rather low, which was unfortunate. So she had to do the best she could.

    She watched him, even if she knew it wouldn't work, it was always fascinating, watching people, controlling people without them having a notion of where you are, or what your intentions are.

    But she'd had her fun, it was time for the greetings. There wasn't a rustle, not even a noise, until she spoke, the voice very near, to his right, "Quite, thank you for asking". As she finished, she turned off the active camouflage, and faded back into being visible. She was sitting there, next to him, hands either side of her on the trunk, her head looking down, and swinging her legs like some innocent little girl.

    She smiled under her helm, "I trust the journey here wasn't too bad?". She looked over to to him, and reached over, around his back and pulled from his back what looked like a piece of plastic, with the word TAG in strong red. She handed it to him. She was smiling, but he couldn't see that. "... You're It", she commented, in a light-hearted, almost playful way. Quite unusual at this stage, but she knew nobody else was around.
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    Re: Something New, Deja Vu.

    Post by Barney Calhoun on Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:07 am

    So it was an illusion. Or hologram. Or maybe even a dummy. Score one for excessive paranoia, Barney supposed, and quietly filed that information away for a later date, as he turned to smirk back. He couldn't see the smile, no, but there was definitely a lightness in her tone that wasn't usually there. He liked seeing that side of her. And if getting led blindly through the woods was what it took, then he was okay with that.

    "I just followed the pink, holographic bread crumbs," Barney replied, his own tone slipping into the lazy sarcasm that was his most relaxed, and quirked a brow at the tag she pulled off his back. And grinned. "Yeah, like I'm gonna be able to catch you."

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    Re: Something New, Deja Vu.

    Post by Ayalah Levi on Thu Jan 24, 2013 6:09 pm

    That blindly part mildly concerned her. but it wasn't anything major to concern herself over, and she knew that. She knew however there were plenty of ways to to find her while cloaked, abuse of particles, use of motion tracking, careful watching, or listening, even thermal equipment, it was simply to energy intensive to produce such high level cloaking and stop herself from being a massive red bloop on any thermal camera, granted weaker cloaking allowed better thermal concealment, but made her more visible. such was the world of underdeveleoped stealth technologies. But of course, she didn't need anyone knowing the weak-points of her armour, not even him. it was a vulnerability she couldn't afford.

    "You tend to follow anything pink alot?". She put the tag away into the hard pouch on her left thigh, and looked back up to him, "Didn't count on it, didn't want you falling down a rabbit hole chasing after me.".
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    Re: Something New, Deja Vu.

    Post by Barney Calhoun on Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:27 pm

    "Well, when it invites me to meet it out in the woods," Barney drawled, in response. "Normally, I'd have gotten the hell out of dodge after the first disappearing act." Possibly before. All alone, by himself, in the middle of the dark woods? Discretion was the better part of not getting your face eaten off by a blood sucking monster. It wasn't cowardice; If his own skin was the only one on the line, he wasn't as quick to throw it into the fire. Now, if he'd had folks nearby, and this might have been a threat that, if he'd ignored it, it'd come back and bite him in the ass, that was a different story.

    "Thanks," he added, a tad dryly. Though, really, the concern was appreciated. Unnecessary? But appreciated. "I'd hate to find myself in Wonderland." He grinned, considered, and then corrected himself, "This place already feels like it, half the time."

    But, back to the reason he'd been blindly following pink breadcrumbs. He assumed she had something in mind besides hide and seek, if she'd invited him out here. Then again, she had said "training exercise." Maybe it was just hide and seek and, honestly, so long as it got his mind off of the current events, he would be fine getting chased through the woods for an hour or two. "So, did you ask me out here t' play tag, or did you have somethin' else in mind?"
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    Re: Something New, Deja Vu.

    Post by Ayalah Levi on Thu Jan 31, 2013 7:43 pm

    Blood-sucking monsters? Not having nightmares about them headhumpers again, no?

    He was received by a tilted helmet for a moment, "Wonderland?". What did he mean? she certainly hadn't a clue. The Israeli did not know of this wonderland he spoke of. A moment later, she pushed herself from the tree with a bit of a hopand took a few steps away from it. "Practice, Hunting, a night out. But you're not going to see anything in light like this. Come". Her hog wasn't too far from here, she was actually a bit surprised he didn't notice it in his travels, She started back-tracking along where he came from.

    in the distant, through the wind, could animals, there remained a few still awake, her intention wasnt to kill any. maybe one or two, she had spotted a bear earlier, but he was a good bit off. Animals were the best of creatures to practice on. But she would get onto that later.
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    Re: Something New, Deja Vu.

    Post by Barney Calhoun on Sun Feb 10, 2013 7:13 pm

    Let's just say, he was an insomniac for a reason.

    When she sounded puzzled by the Wonderland comment, Barney had to check himself. It was hard to remember, sometimes, that she was from the future. Or, an alternate future. Alternate timeline? She was another human, more or less from Earth, and he just kind of forgot, occasionally, that it wasn't exactly the same Earth that he'd called home. Sure, she had plenty of nifty toys, but Black Mesa and Aperture Science hadn't been too shabby, for their time. Weird to think that, if they had been from the same Earth, he'd probably have died a hundred years before she was even born. Give or take. Shaking his head, Barney just grinned. "Ah, its from a book. Nevermind."

    He slid off off of the trunk and followed her. Now he really was curious. If he wasn't the one being hunted... "Hunting, huh? Alright." He hadn't noticed the hog, no, but he'd been coming in at a different direction. (Wasn't like a big bulky vehicle like that was easy to conceal, after all. It was getting pretty dark, but even so.)

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