shardofwinter: (Large Grin)
Reynard North ([personal profile] shardofwinter) wrote in [community profile] nexus_sages2016-02-10 07:10 pm

Snowstorms and matchmaking: An early Valentine's post

Winter in the Nexus has been especially present this year. The weather has presented plenty of hardships for the past few months, something which numerous people have bemoaned. It doesn't look set to change, either. If anything, Winter seems to be going stronger than ever. There are no signs of it winding down at all.

Everything seems normal at first, the usual hustle and bustle has the Nexus thrumming now that people have adapted to the cold conditions. Then, rather suddenly, everything kicks into gear. The wind starts to howl, battering people to and fro. Not long after that, the sky becomes thick with snow, making it nearly impossible to see, the biting cold driving people back inside. It soon becomes completely inhospitable to all wandering around outside.

In the hurry to get out of the storm, people end up scurrying to the nearest available shelter. Apartment lobbies, houses, cafés, shops, restaurants, the library... Anywhere and everywhere that offers some shelter. Peculiarly, people seem to end up in pairs as they hide away from the cold. Looks like everyone is going to have to huddle close together. For... warmth... We'll say it's for warmth.

((This is entirely an excuse to shove characters together and force them to spend time with each other. Feel free to have as many threads as you like, trying as many combinations as you like, where ever you like. Brave souls can try and berate Reynard if they really want to.))
rekindledtitan: (Troubles you can't shoot)

[personal profile] rekindledtitan 2016-02-11 01:32 am (UTC)(link)
Blaze has been unusually absent from her Nexus patrols, but her people are tracking a few signals from here nonetheless. The bleating of a sensor beacon (one of the few which hasn’t yet sprouted legs) draws the Guardian charging back - and straight into the heart of the rising blizzard. After the stifling Venusian heat, it’s… bracing.

She’s just glad to land with her helm on.

No telling what’s caused this yet (unless the rumors about a winter spirit are true) but in the meantime there’s work to do. Blaze leaves the data collection to her Ghost and marches grimly through the howling wind, ignoring the snow that tries to collect on her plate. If anyone’s in trouble out here, she can see them safe.
notalldead: (Subway)

[personal profile] notalldead 2016-02-11 08:21 pm (UTC)(link)
At one point in Blaze's trudging, a hat rolls past on the sharp winds and plops against her leg. It's a battered brown stetson, likely quite familiar.

But where's the owner? Maybe he just lost it and didn't think to chase after it. But then again, this is Jesse and his hat. He doesn't just give up on his HAT.

Maybe he's still close by?
rekindledtitan: (Troubles you can't shoot)

[personal profile] rekindledtitan 2016-02-11 11:48 pm (UTC)(link)
Her optics catch the movement, and armored fingers close on the brim almost the instant it bats up against her. She knows this, well enough to keep her grasp gentle as she inspects it.

She draws an immediate conclusion, and swears. Tucking the hat under one arm, she wheels about and starts tracking the direction it seems to have blown from. She remembers how much Jesse hates the cold. She doesn't know exactly what weather like this might inflict on a dead man, but she bets it'll do him no favors.

//Oh dear. I hope he's already found shelter...// Her Ghost certainly isn't venturing outside her armor. Her lovely, snug, self-heating armor.

//Then he'll need his hat back. Let's keep scanning.// Damned if she's going to risk leaving her friend out in this.
notalldead: (Snooze)

[personal profile] notalldead 2016-02-12 12:01 am (UTC)(link)
The snow's blowing in relentlessly, but the hat cartwheeled along the ground at enough points that there's some gentle indentations that point a line in the direction it came. They're filling in fast, though.

Following the way indicated, it soon leads to a seating area with the usual arrangement of places to sit and chat here in the Forum. No sign of any question-askers or answerers now, though. Everyone's scurried for shelter. There's nothing here but piling drifts of snow and what looks like a lump of cloth-covered refuse left near a park bench.

On closer inspection, however, that presumed garbage is covered by what looks like a decent winter coat and includes flashes of a bright red scarf and patchy black hair whipping in the windy flurries. And closer inspection still reveals it is indeed someone hunched down with their arms wrapped around his face, a drift of snow already gathering against him indicating how long he's been huddled here.
rekindledtitan: (Battle-ready)

[personal profile] rekindledtitan 2016-02-12 12:46 am (UTC)(link)
Tracking the little dents in the snow takes sharp optics and a balance of patience and speed. Patience that's abandoned as soon as the Exo sights the figure curled up by the bench.

Blaze breaks into a pounding run, kicking up flurries of snow in all directions. Sliding to a halt, she kneels down to brush the snow off of him. The drift at his side she leaves for now, since it's the only windbreak he's got besides her.

"Jesse!" Her hands close over his shoulders, peering at his face with concern behind her mirrored faceplate. She's keeping a tight hold on his hat, not to lose it to the wind. Even bundled in his thick coat and scarf, he looks oddly small huddled up in the snow. She lifts her voice, demanding urgently, "Can you hear me?"
notalldead: (Snooze)

[personal profile] notalldead 2016-02-12 12:55 am (UTC)(link)
His face looks slack and distant, his eyes gone even cloudier than usual. Dull. Frozen? All of him, cloth and skin alike, is coated with fine frost.

Touching him reveals he's gone remarkably stiff; an arm that was jostled by Blaze's contact stays bent at the same angle it'd been wrapped around his head, the fingers still curled as if clutching his coat.

For all intents and purposes, he looks like a man frozen to death.
rekindledtitan: (Troubles you can't shoot)

[personal profile] rekindledtitan 2016-02-12 01:50 am (UTC)(link)
Blaze loosens her grip, deeply troubled. Can he hear? Even if he can, could he move his tongue to tell her? She can't let him freeze any more - she knows what it does to tissue (needles of crystallizing water tearing through the cells around them; fingers the color of bruising, clenched and swollen).

She doesn't waste more time: she adjusts the regulator for her armor systems, setting them to start radiating some waste heat from around her chest and inner arm plates. She's been fighting: she has plenty to spare. Then - carefully, gently, no telling how fragile he is now, how brittle - she scoops him up, tucking his hat in between them for safety.

Ghost helpfully supplements her mental map with a waypoint; she runs for the closest shelter with doors to shut and a supply of heat. If the Nexus is playing fair and not jumping around on her, that ought to be one of the empty houses around the forum. But it doesn't matter much. She's seen the doors around here. She can bust them all open if she has to.

"All right, Jesse." Just in case. Her voice is fierce with determination. "I've got you. Just hang in there and we'll get you inside."
notalldead: (Snooze)

[personal profile] notalldead 2016-02-12 02:02 am (UTC)(link)
Funny that this is the most contact they've ever had between them up to this point. It also reveals that Jesse is honestly very light. At least for a grown man of his height and size. It's hard to add bulk to your body once you've stopped metabolizing in a way that makes any sense. Undeath's confusing like that.

There's no response to her words, verbal or physical. Nothing moving, no sound made. But he's easy to carry, bunched up so small and the skin closest to Blaze's heat output softens just slightly, gains just the smallest amount of give.
rekindledtitan: (Troubles you can't shoot)

[personal profile] rekindledtitan 2016-02-12 02:21 am (UTC)(link)
She doesn't slow down at the door. She just turns, ramming it open with her shoulder and thumping to a halt inside. It wasn't actually locked, but- too late now.

"Anyone live here?" she calls out, jacking the volume up. No answer: nobody who's going to be back soon anyhow. The door's banging in the wind behind her. She glances around for some furniture to barricade it shut with, but first she's getting Jesse further inside.

"...Where do people keep blankets?" she wonders out loud, realizing for the first time she doesn't know. She's never been inside a place like this. A civilian residence. House. One that still works.

"I'm... not sure. Maybe upstairs? I think bedrooms are upstairs." Her Ghost materializes at last, zipping up the stairs ahead of her, helping to find a few blankets to use as draft excluders and build a nest with. Blaze keeps Jesse held close as much as possible; for now she's the only heat source they have and he needs to soak in all of it.

"How long was he out there?" she mutters, getting angry because she's worried.
notalldead: (Snooze)

[personal profile] notalldead 2016-02-12 02:32 am (UTC)(link)
Maybe the answer will come at some point when he thaws. Because he will thaw, right? This is just some kind of zed torpor, right? He'll come out of this okay and he can explain what happened and they'll laugh about this months from now.

His clothing at least is starting to thaw, the stiffness and frost leaving the cloth and leather and hanging limp and soggy. But still no movement and still no answer.
rekindledtitan: (Troubles you can't shoot)

Or we can say Reynard's blocking the transmat for his amusement, whichever's more fun. :3

[personal profile] rekindledtitan 2016-02-12 10:51 pm (UTC)(link)
Blaze isn’t the only one who’s worried: Ghost hovers close, sweeping Jesse with a scan to try and see how deep the frost has gone. Blaze presses a hand carefully against the side of his face – warm up the nervous system and that’s got to help, right? The wet clothes are no good, she remembers that, but she can’t risk damaging his joints trying to do anything about that.

“…I’m not thinking straight,” she grumbles. “Ghost, lock us for transmat. Get us to the ship and we’ll turn up the heat in there.” The ship's even more confined than this little place but at least there's no draft.
notalldead: (Snooze)

TO SPACE

[personal profile] notalldead 2016-02-13 01:43 am (UTC)(link)
The scan should at least reveal that the cold didn't sink in to the point things will be turning black and falling off. But it's whatever the undead equivalent of a superficial frostbite would be. Or a freezerburned steak, more accurately.

There no objection (obviously) from Jesse about being moved. All aboard for transmat!
rekindledtitan: (Troubles you can't shoot)

THE FINAL FRONTIER!

[personal profile] rekindledtitan 2016-02-13 08:52 am (UTC)(link)
"I've got it!" the Ghost announces happily, and it, Blaze, Jesse and an armload of blankets vanish from the Nexus in a flash of white light.

The howling wind falls silent; the bitter chill vanishes from the air. They're in the small cabin space of a jumpship, lights springing on around them. The air's still fairly cool: both occupants being machines, Blaze habitually keeps the life support on minimal settings. But this time, Blaze sets her passenger down for a moment to turn up the temperature regulator.

"If we can thaw him out gently, I think he'll be all right..."

"He will be." Blaze says it with a fierce kind of certainty. "He's a good man, and a good friend. I'm not losing him to some freak precipitation. He'll be fine. We'll get Harrowheart if we have to." The Ghost gives her a startled look, but she just settles down beside Jesse at the back of the cabin, one arm around him, grabbing a blanket with the other to towel him off carefully.
notalldead: (Close Concern)

[personal profile] notalldead 2016-02-13 09:05 am (UTC)(link)
If there's one guy who knows undeath and the freezing cold, it's Harrowheart.

The few minutes before there's any sign of life (unlife?) drag on agonizingly slow. But finally, there's movement. So small and so subtle, it might be quite easy to miss.

But Jesse's pale eyes have gone from frosty and dull to glassy and watering. There's only a few twitches at first, failed attempts to blink eyelids that are still stiff. Then they flick side to side, perhaps taking in the unfamiliar view, perhaps just moving for the sake of making sure he can. Eventually, they pass over and then latch onto Blaze. Just watching her rather than trying to examine or focus on anything else.

It's another two minutes before fingers twitch. Another one after that before he makes a low and raspy sound.
rekindledtitan: (Troubles you can't shoot)

[personal profile] rekindledtitan 2016-02-13 09:28 am (UTC)(link)
At some point, Blaze remembered to detach her helm. She's perfectly still, intent on her little vigil. At least until the Ghost announces hopefully, "He's moving!" and she nods, optics brightening.

"That's it, Jesse. Keep going, just take it steady. Don't want to damage anything that's still locked up."
notalldead: (Close Concern)

[personal profile] notalldead 2016-02-13 09:38 am (UTC)(link)
It's one thing to not need breath. That's old news. But it's disconcerting to try and inhale and the lungs won't expand on account of being frozen. And no breath means no proper speech. So after a few raspy failed attempts, he finally gives up on that and just concentrates on everything else. Things closer to the surface.

Fingers continue to twitch and jerk, and soon are moving more fluid. Unseen in his boots, toes are doing the same. Eyelids are finally able to blink and do so deliberately. Portions of his face twitch and scrunch, testing out mobility there as well.

He tries to move an arm a little too soon, though, the joints still too stiff to move without a great deal of discomfort, prompting another hoarse sound before giving up. Okay, maybe later.
rekindledtitan: (Troubles you can't shoot)

[personal profile] rekindledtitan 2016-02-13 09:51 am (UTC)(link)
His two would-be nurses are tracking all this as best they can, Blaze's optics dimming a bit as Jesse struggles to speak. She wonders what that means, how bad a sign it is if there's frost damage to his respiratory system. Could be rough for his vocal cords. Still, it's cheering to see him work his facial muscles,

Her adventure with Hughes has had at least one benefit: she remembers what it was like to wake up stiff and sore, and when her friend seems to be struggling with his joints, she shifts around to hold her arm more closely over his shoulders, wrapping a warm hand over one elbow. Let the heat soak in for a while.
notalldead: (Dubious)

[personal profile] notalldead 2016-02-13 10:18 am (UTC)(link)
Bodies made of meat are the absolute worst!

The warming hand helps so, SO much. It's not long before that arm goes limp, a kind of relief that it can leave the position it was trapped in for who knows how long.

He's feeling so groggy still. He didn't sleep; he still sleeps in a conventional sense. This was just...shutting down. Slowly winding down like a toy losing its battery charge. And Jesse's decided he is certainly not a fan of how that all felt.

The cowboy takes another chance to test his lungs. They still feel strange; prickling and halting. But he can take half of a breath, enough to say, "Cold sucks," in a raspy voice.
rekindledtitan: (Some bright spark)

[personal profile] rekindledtitan 2016-02-13 10:59 am (UTC)(link)
Such hard work! Whose bright idea was it to make bodies out of meat?

Blaze laughs, her Ghost fluttering above them. She gives him a squeeze, shaking his shoulders a little.

"No kidding! Ghost was getting worried you'd turned into a popsicle." The little bot gives her a look at that. Sure, the Ghost was worried. Blaze merrily ignores it, making sure one elbow's defrosted before she warms up the other. "I told him you'd be fine. And you will be."
notalldead: (Looking Down)

[personal profile] notalldead 2016-02-13 11:18 am (UTC)(link)
"Y-Yeh?" Jesse attempts a laugh, but it's kind of just a wavering wheeze. With how short his breath is until he's proper thawed, all his words and sentences are brief and huffed. "Snow...Storm. Happenin' real-...Real quick. Sl-Slowed me down. Then." Well, this. Then this happened.

He looks aside curiously, more with his eyes with his head, because he's not keen on moving his neck overmuch either just yet. "...Yer house?"
rekindledtitan: (Some bright spark)

[personal profile] rekindledtitan 2016-02-13 11:29 am (UTC)(link)
Blaze nods, happy to fill in for him. "The way our beacons were yelping, it came on like a charging ogre. Not much you could do besides hunker down and conserve heat."

She glances around. "Our jumpship. I'll show you round properly soon as you can stand. Not that there's much to see, heh. Kind of a one-room outfit."

There's a big window or view-screen behind the pilot's seat over there, stars glittering through it. Otherwise the ship seems to be mostly one tight cabin behind the chair, all worn metal deck plates and sealed compartments taking up every surface. Though, seamlessly as all the panels fit together, they're subtly different in finish and hue, patched together over a long stretch of time. High-tech it may be, but this ship certainly isn't new.
notalldead: (Surprise)

[personal profile] notalldead 2016-02-13 11:40 am (UTC)(link)
Jesse unthinkingly cranes his neck and makes a small 'grk' noise from the stiffened effort. But it happened without thinking because he saw that window.

"Sp-...!" His eyes dart back to Blaze because his neck isn't gonna follow for another few moments. "Space?!"

Holy shit, is he in space.
rekindledtitan: (Some bright spark)

[personal profile] rekindledtitan 2016-02-13 11:47 am (UTC)(link)
"Oh." There is that to see, she remembers. "Heh, sure. Best place to keep it, right?" She rubs her antenna for a moment before remembering she's trying to heat his other elbow up and returning her hand. "We've got complete environmental control on board, so it was the fastest way to warm you up."

That and curling up with him.
Edited 2016-02-13 11:50 (UTC)
notalldead: (Surprise)

[personal profile] notalldead 2016-02-13 12:17 pm (UTC)(link)
Holy shit again. He is in space! His eyes stay wide even as he eventually turns his neck back to looking forward instead. Gives the elbow that's being thawed an offhand wiggle to see how it feels. Blaze lives up to her name in the fact it's doing wonders!

"Sp-...Space. Shoot. First, hh. First...zed in space. Right?" Jesse quirks a lopsided smile at his friend.
rekindledtitan: (Some bright spark)

[personal profile] rekindledtitan 2016-02-13 01:52 pm (UTC)(link)
It's too bad she can't grin back. His sense of wonder is charming, and it's good to think he'll come out of this with something better than the memory of nearly freezing solid. They've all got enough bad memories.

"Didn't think of that. Guess I'll have to let the City know we've got a new record. Maybe while you're defrosting we can go for a little cruise. Get a better view of things."

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