Stray Birds Ex Machina


cat_icon.gif huruma_icon.gif noriko_icon.gif

Scene Title Stray Birds Ex Machina
Synopsis In which Huruma is being absurd while being practical, Cat hates Nazis, and also- penguins.
Date January 8, 2010

Marion Island/Bunker

The ransacking of Marion Island is much different than that initial blast of overtaking it; after beginning the cleaning up the huge mess created by the Sword team, thus begun the emptying and overview of the facilities there. Recording and retrieving data is not what the Sword team was for, entirely, but doubtlessly they've since been scripted to assist. Boxes upon boxes, some computers- the usual output. They've found some very interesting things, such as finding the plans for a strangely missing German U-boat.

Huruma has been elsewhere, possibly out of choice or need- being around a bunker full of bodies is both sickeningly tempting and in her way all the same. She stayed just long enough to make a short run through the grounds, pointing out some hidden emotional gems to the others. Her return is as quiet as the departure, and even though she is so sizable- even Huruma needs to bundle up. The cold somehow seems worse to her, and that bundling up is just a little too far- as she trails a new path down the hall outside the ransacked rooms, there's another layer on her that is visible at the collar, which she has unzipped partly down her chest. Her eyes dart into each open door as she passes, though not out of a search for others- she can sense that on her own. Habit is more likely.

In this environment of perusing the bunker's contents, Cat is doing what comes naturally. She's looking over documents and computer files with her weapon at the ready, still clad in Marine combat uniform and protective gear. Reading, in such occasions, is her forte. Take item, see it, move on to the next piece. Occasionally something causes her to slow down and take time to actually read what's at hand, choosing to contemplate the information rather than store it for later access.

"Damned Nazis," she mutters under her breath as schematics for the U-boat are looked upon.

Noriko is a couple rooms over from Cat, perhaps supposed to be searching through files, but it seems like it doesn't matter to the Asian. Right now, she's in a reclining chair, her feet propped on the desk in front of her as she sleeps, her snores echoing slightly down the hall.

For the room that Noriko is stationed in, the open door fills with a shadow. Cat will be able to hear Huruma's slight echo just down the next couple of doors. "If you are not going t'assist th'effort, per'aps you should'ave remained on th'boat." Forget that Huruma has been missing for an hour or so- and it makes sense that she'd say this.

Page after page, Cat makes her way through. Torpedo tubes, engines, other specifications like battery capacity, maximum submersible time and forward speed. The voice from the hall causes her eyes to lift and a glance to go out the door. What's that about? But it's short-lived, she returns to expanding her memory's contents.

Noriko crack open eye before she yawns while looking at Huruma, "I did assist in the effort, and now I need to sleep. Is it illegal to catch a couple winks when I have the time?" She stretches, truth be told, the hydrokinetic has ben running herself into the ground, barely able to get the small amount of sleep that she sometimes does.

There is a distant sound in the hallway, separate from Huruma or Noriko; a foreign and steady pat-pat-pat of a noise, faint and deliberate. Huruma does not seem to take note of it, if she notices. "No, but per'aps sleep is better suited to a bed, if you must." The woman in the doorway shades her eyes under the lids a moment. That sound in the hallway gets progressively more noticeable as seconds pass.

"What is that?" she asks the wall as feet lever her up to standing. Cat crosses over and sticks her head out into the corridor, carefully looking for the source of that sound. It's a mildly curious and puzzled expression she wears, the question being reasked. "You hear that, Huruma?"

Noriko straightens in her chair to look down the hallway as she says, "Always one thing after another…" She shakes her head a little and begins to start heading back towards where the bunks are set up to finish her nap.

Huruma leans out of the doorway to look down the dozen or so feet to Cat, allowing the hydrokinetic to pass her by in favor of a real bed. There's a reason behind her shooing, but even when Cat speaks up it doesn't come clear. Huruma simply peers back at her, delightfully playing ignorant- it is obvious that she is. "Hear what, Cat'erine?" There it is again! There is no way she cannot hear it- it's coming right around the turn a few doors away.

Her head shakes, and Cat takes a few steps out into the hallway. "I guess you don't hear that." The weapon is brought to bear, safety off, and held ready for use. Could be hostile presence approaching, she reasons. Focus settles onto her features, she has to wonder if the mechanical genius taken from Argentina had previously sent a robot or two here.

Pat-pat-pat-pat-pat… The noise draws closer, while Huruma watches Cat ready her weapon. The look on her face is somewhat expectant, though it is hard to tell what she is actually expecting out of this. Surprising that she hasn't thought Huruma too odd for pretending not to hear. Pat pat. Pat pat. It slows down.

And speeds up- pattapattapatta-

A few seconds of this passes before a stream of vertical shapes sidle into view along the floor. The penguins waddle right into the hallway, bouncing to-and-fro like ominously tilting bowling pins and making a series of noises most similar to quacking. "Ohh, hear that."

She seems ready to open fire once the first shadow comes into view, but eases her grip on the weapon and switches the safety on before shifting it to rest over one shoulder when the flightless bird enters full view. Cat then studies penguins as they waddle along in parade en masse, head tilting to one side. It takes her a moment to decide these aren't really robots skillfully made to resemble penguins and draw her the remainder of the way out of combat alert.

"I should have looked at a book on penguins before coming here," she murmurs. "Just to know on sight which species these are."

Huruma steps out of the way of a particularly regal male, who is lifting his beak as he follows suit with the females. As she watches, she does not seemed shocked- perhaps she had a hand in this. It would not be a total surprise- Eileen has probably never worked with these sorts of birds- at least in Huruma's head. Besides, all it took for them to start filing in was Huruma showing them the way. The need for territory does the rest.

"Rockhoppers, Macaronis. Africans, Kings, Gentoos… These are King penguins." Huruma informs Cat of this quietly, nudging one back into line with the rest. It quacks and hops ahead. "Th'macaronis remind me of Gabriel."

"One would hope a Macaroni doesn't decide to try pecking its way into your skull, Huruma," Cat comments dryly. But she follows with a chuckle. "Presumably they have large eyebrows?" Penguins are still watched, their mannerisms memorized as easily as anything else, along with distinctions in size and behaviors between male and female.

There's an inward reflection on whether or not she could get a pair aboard for Eileen to work with. It remains unspoken.

"See f'yourself." Huruma gestures vaguely to the end of the hall, where some other various species seem to have been caught up. A pair of macaronis, some rockhoppers- and yes, they are the crested penguins. "You'd b'surprised how receptive penguins can be wit'MREs. Do you think Eileen will have some?" Ah. They are on the same boat there.

"Did you'ave a box or two?" Huruma gestures again, though this time her palm is up. If Cat needed help with taking something back, now may be the chance.

She ducks back into the room from which she emerged, gathering up data on the submarine to take with her. A box is used to carry it; as Cat emerges again comment is made. "This vessel should be found, somehow. U-Boat, which isn't here." Then her eyes settle on the varied penguins, a mental record instantly made of the differences between species and variations in behaviors.

"Eileen may, but in any case it shouldn't be hard to get some." Eyes continue to observe, a chuckle emerging at the sight of Gabriel-browed avians, then she ponders on which to bring along.

"What use would a U-boat be, docked? Of course it is not'ere." Huruma does not seem as perturbed by it. She moves into line with the penguins, observing them from above and managing to avoid catching any between her ankles. One hand goes to the pocket of her outermost coat, pulling out a glove-ful of food mushed up from one of the MREs. Suddenly, she is the Life of the Party, and all of those birds in the hallway are quacking and braying for Huruma to drop the food. Thankfully, she is big enough to not be entirely molested by penguins, and pushes her way onward to make sure they continue following.

"These will be th'only birds in reasonable distance- I thought it best that we had some around…"

"Finding it is still important, I wouldn't discount the possibility of whoever has it using the thing to create havoc for a time." It's a Vanguard asset, and must be sunk at the earliest chance. That determination can be felt by Huruma, easily detectable to her SLC ability. Then emotions spike, as memories of things told to her about what was found on Madagascar surface. Anger and concern over what uses might be made of things extracted by the US Government. Poise is constant, however, Cat not being one to let such things show often. Feet move, following out of the bunker behind the larger woman as she feeds non-flying birds.

"The fact it is a U-boat puts any underwater apparatus we'ave at an adventage. We shoul'be able t'locate it at some point." The tall woman glances down at Cat as she sidles past birds. This image itself might be cute if it were not Huruma- so now it just looks a little bit absurd. She is silent while feeling out Cat's little mental storm, inwardly praising the younger woman's poise in such a state. She has the barest knowledge of what Cat does, but even so, she is able to tell that so many thoughts must give Cat time to practice that poise.

Crumbs of food trail into the penguin mob as they get out of the hall and into the main docking area, the acoustics echoing those penguins so that it sounds like a crowd. Well, actually, it is. There are now penguins here and there nearer the land entrance, which is probably very confusing to the US Navy.

Some consideration is given to asking Huruma about what she saw on Madagascar, but set aside for the moment. There will be time, in any case, Cat believes. Her present focus is on the gathering of tuxedo'd and in some cases eyebrowed birds, wondering if the crew wll seek to block any coming on board. If they can get any onto the ship, she has a plan to obtain food and lure a pair to sickbay. If not, well, Eileen did say she'll soon be up and about, she can come out and commune with them in person on shore.

It's all good.

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