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Frontiersmen: WORM IS THE WORD (edited version)

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  1. < Edited version. Check it out, breh. >
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  5. [NU VU] Death Watch Beetle@GeneralFreedom: It's a lazy day of exploring the multiverse for the Frontiersmen. Those on the Globetrotter have some time to go about their daily business or just relax between missions. This relative peace is cut short however by the Globetrotter coming to a sudden, jarring halt! Alerts begin going off around the ship to show that not only have they hit something, but they seem to have somehow become stuck INSIDE something. Something that wasn't there moments ago...
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  9. [NU VU] Captain Collider@Swixer: Emerging from the lab already in flight, Captain Collider comes to a stop in one of the Globetrotter's many hallways and addresses his question to the first person he sees. "Did you see what happened?" He's already moving as the words leave his mouth, counting on the other person to keep his pace.
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  11. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: PM was getting himself a bowl of Lucky Charms and while he was walking to sit down and enjoy them, he's suddenly thrown forward and lets go of that precious bowl. Both he and the bowl hit the floor. A sigh escapes him while he's staring at it, "Realllly?" He wanted to curse so badly, but he just gets back up, "I didn't see anything! Did we hit a space whale?" he says over the comms.
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  13. [NU VU] Watchman@Alstann: Watchman braces himself and almost stumbles due to the sudden stop of the ship. "Something's wrong. Did we hit a new universe?"
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  15. [NU VU] Primordo@Otherworlder: Leland paces sluggishly from the infirmary lab, inquiring to the computer after Watchman's whereabouts---he was determined to find out what the bowman had wanted.  As the alarms flare to life, he slams hard into a wall---a repulsive, flattening impact as if he were half made of playdough. What detaches from the bulkhead is Primordo's 'costumed' form, grim-faced.
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  17. [NU VU] Watchman@Alstann: The archer attempts to interface with the first terminal he sees, trying to figure out what's going on. "Captain, what's going on?"
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  19. [NU VU] Captain Collider@Swixer: "Unlikely. I'd wager it's preferable to whatever we have crashed into, though." Bursting into the command room, Captain Collider lands in front of the console and begins trying to determine exactly what's going on as the others arrive. "That's what I'd like to know, Watchman."
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  23. [NU VU] Death Watch Beetle@GeneralFreedom: According to the ships sensors, they're inside something like a large hallway. According to any viewports or screens though, they'd see that it's not exactly a hallway. They seem to have crashed into something dark and spongy, a slick, slime coated blackish grey 'wall' that's part of a long tunnel. The tunnel is poorly lit by small glowing pods placed haphazardly about. It's hard to shake the feeling that this looks like the insides of some very large creature. It's much more grotesque than it is in the cartoons.
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  27. [NU VU] Primordo@Otherworlder: Primordo is suddenly just there, materializing in vapor form via an air duct on the bridge and slowly coalescing into his costumed shape.
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  29. [NU VU] Captain Collider@Swixer: Observing the spongy 'hallway' with a sort of curiosity, Captain Collider flicks on his x-ray vision and attempts to study its innards. "Whatever it is, it looks organic."
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  31. [NU VU] Watchman@Alstann: "Might have to run the ship sensors on it."
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  33. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: After picking himself up and staring at his poor cereal, he turns towards the window of the rec room to see the gross walls of whatever they flew into. "So...we flew /into/ the space whale?" He was a little unsettled by the view then made his way to the others in a hurry.
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  35. [NU VU] Primordo@Otherworlder: Primordo settles a lingering, vacant stare on Watchman while everyone else is looking out the viewport. Leland's curiosity peeking through the cracks? Difficult to say for certain.
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  37. [NU VU] Captain Collider@Swixer: "It'd be an idea." He flicks a switch to do just that as he looks over with his own eyes.
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  41. [NU VU] Death Watch Beetle@GeneralFreedom: The Captain's special eyes can see walls of meat, but they're either too thick or made of something that's blocking his vision. No seeing out. He would notice that it isn't really made of conventional biological material. Something is very... supernatural about this.
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  45. [NU VU] Captain Collider@Swixer: Captain Collider's glowing eyes seem to burn less brightly as his x-ray vision flickers off. He places his chin between his thumb and forefinger with an inquisitive look. "My x-ray vision isn't telling me much. Something tells me the Globetrotter's sensors won't cut it either."
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  47. [NU VU] Primordo@Otherworlder: "Is there an aft camera?" the creature drones in its customary unsettling echo.
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  49. [NU VU] Watchman@Alstann: Watchman glances out the viewport. "I wonder if we've encountered some sort of multiversal creature."
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  51. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: Particle Man arrives and joins the others then walked over to the viewport, "We won't know unless one of us uh...goes out there."
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  53. [NU VU] Captain Collider@Swixer: "It's possible. Remind me to tell you about the time I fought the Jabberwock sometime." He looks over to the others. "In any case, I think Particle Man has the right idea."
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  55. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: "One. Two. Three. Not it!"
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  57. [NU VU] Primordo@Otherworlder: The creature, wholly unfamiliar with the bridge controls, simply stands and waits for someone to bring up an aft view----ideally to see if there's an escape route behind the ship.
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  61. [NU VU] Death Watch Beetle@GeneralFreedom: The viewports just show gross fleshy hallways extending either direction as if they somehow popped up right in the middle of it.
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  65. [NU VU] Watchman@Alstann: Watchman returns to the terminal, pressing a few keys in order to bring up a camera feed of around the ship.
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  67. [NU VU] Captain Collider@Swixer: Captain Collider brings the aft view camera onto a holographic display in front of the ship's window. "Looks like we're stuck either way..."
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  69. [NU VU] Primordo@Otherworlder: The elemental regards both views with luminous eyes that never blink nor crease---no curiosity, no fear, no disgust. It glances at Particle Man, weighing both his and the Captain's words. "We are suited to the named task."
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  71. [NU VU] Watchman@Alstann: Watchman glanced at Primordo, regarding his words.
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  73. [NU VU] Primordo@Otherworlder: For an instant only, a flash of old Leland Mannheim's disapproving frown shows on Primordo's chalky face---a warning directed at Mike, no doubt. Then it's gone.
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  75. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: PM wandered over to where Primordo is then nudges him, "Right on! I guess we can keep an eye out from in here."
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  77. [NU VU] Captain Collider@Swixer: He nods to Primordo, concurring with his words. "Particle Man, Watchman -- you two hang back. Primordo and I will scout ahead and figure out exactly what's going on here."
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  79. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: "You got it."
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  81. [NU VU] Watchman@Alstann: "Roger that."
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  83. [NU VU] Primordo@Otherworlder: With no further preamble, the creature dissipates into a puff of colored vapor that rapidly disperses---traveling through ducts and airways to the nearest airlock, reforming there, and activating the associated intercom to the bridge:  "Open Airlock 2. We are ready."
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  85. [NU VU] Captain Collider@Swixer: QUARK: "Right away, Dr. Mannheim. Will you be departing as a solid or a gas today?"
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  87. [NU VU] Primordo@Otherworlder: The creature considers the question for a moment before droning back: "Gas," and dissolving itself into a vaguely humanoid cloud of dense vapor.
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  89. [NU VU] Captain Collider@Swixer: "You probably want to get a few arrows ready, Watchman..." He sets off towards one of the Globetrotter's airlocks with resolute steps. "Something tells me we're in for more than we're bargaining for."
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  91. [NU VU] Watchman@Alstann: In response, Watchman pulled the compound bow off of his back, pulled the bowstring tight, and unfolded it with a satisfying snap. "Particle Man, be ready for anything."
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  95. [NU VU] Death Watch Beetle@GeneralFreedom: After opening the airlock, they find that actually experiencing the sticky mess first hand is much more disgusting than viewing it. It smells wretched and constantly drips. Something becomes more noticeable now that they're outside as well. There are bits of debris strewn across the floor. Bits of metal, wood, stone, parts of buildings and machines.
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  99. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: PM had gone back to the viewport to take a look around again then turned to look at Watchman, "Huh? Oh right.--But we're inside. Nothing's gonna come in here right?"
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  101. [NU VU] Captain Collider@Swixer: Captain Collider flies out of the airlock alongside Primordo, peering over his surroundings with a somewhat disgusted look. "It's like a sewer...and it looks like we're not the first ones to wind up in it."
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  103. [NU VU] Primordo@Otherworlder: The man-cloud that is Primordo drifts through the gargantuan black 'cave', vaporous eyes studying the debris.
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  105. [NU VU] Watchman@Alstann: "Let's hope not," he says, pressing a button on the terminal. One of the cameras on the feed angles itself to show the outside of the airlock exits where Collider and Primordo are.
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  107. [NU VU] Primordo@Otherworlder: It disperses its molecules as widely as it dares, trying to cover as much real estate as possible---it can sense nearby details with each of its cells. Its eyes, ears, nose etc are all cosmetic, after all.
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  111. [NU VU] Death Watch Beetle@GeneralFreedom: The debris looks brittle as well. As if it's aged far past the point it should have decayed. It looks like one touch would cause even the metal pieces to break. There's an eerie feeling in the air, as if there's a predator watching from all angles... It might be because those little glowing pods seem like they're eyes.
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  115. [NU VU] Primordo@Otherworlder: The huge living cloud continues to spread, now retaining only the most basic humanoid form---mostly just a frayed head and shoulders near Collider, for ease of communication. "You are the physicist," hisses the vaporous voice of Primordo to Captain Collider, the gas form giving its voice a whispery, echoing quality. It nods toward the strangely brittle debris. "We are the surgeon," it finishes, drifting toward the oddly glowing orbs that may or may not be organic.
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  117. [NU VU] Watchman@Alstann: Watchman presses a button on the terminal, opening the comm channel. "Anything to report, gentlemen?"
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  119. [NU VU] Captain Collider@Swixer: Captain Collider continues to peer around, attempting to use his infrared vision to at least ascertain that this thing generates any sort of heat. "Primordo is investigating one of the orbs. I'm just trying to make sense of it all..."
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  121. [NU VU] Primordo@Otherworlder: Unable to contain a commlink within its ever-shifting form, the creature cannot answer. It draws in much of its amorphous cloud to condense itself as it nears one of the 'eyes' for study.
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  125. [NU VU] Death Watch Beetle@GeneralFreedom: Definitely organic! And definitely sensory objects of some kind. They wriggle back into the walls when either hero approaches. The Captain would see that it is producing heat, especially around the objects embedded into the ground. This also means the ship. That seems like a bad sign.
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  129. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: PM paces back and forth, checking out each of the cameras here and there while he passes by. He walks back towards the viewport then back to Watchman, "What if you were right about the monster?"
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  131. [NU VU] Captain Collider@Swixer: "It's producing a noticeably high level of heat around the foreign objects caught in its...flesh, I suppose." He floats over to Primordo as he relays information. "I'm starting to think we're in a stomach. If so, the intensified areas of heat could indicate that it's attempting to digest the Globetrotter even as we speak."
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  133. [NU VU] Primordo@Otherworlder: "Then we must become unpalatable." Primordo's gaseous state hardens abruptly. A mix of raw metal permeates his form as he plummets to land amid the debris with massive impact.
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  135. [NU VU] Watchman@Alstann: "Then we'll find a way to get out of this mess." He said to Particle Man. Pressing the comm button again, he says, "Right, we'll need to figure out a way to leave. I'll see if I can get the Globetrotter to budge, but I doubt it'll move."
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  139. [NU VU] Death Watch Beetle@GeneralFreedom: The 'ground' ripples, throwing debris as Primordo lands! A low, grumbling roar is heard in the distance, but other than that there's no effect! It looks like the Globetrotter wasn't too badly damaged, but it's definitely stuck.
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  143. [NU VU] Captain Collider@Swixer: "Funny: I never really liked spicy food." With that, Captain Collider unleashes a blast of hyper-accelerated particle energy -- Collider Vision, from his eyes, attempting to cut through the fleshy walls surrounding the Globetrotter.
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  145. [NU VU] Primordo@Otherworlder: As the huge man of unrefined metal plummets toward the spongy ground, areas of its form begin to 'bleed' a mix of combustive gases---causing its metal form to be engulfed in a layer of chemical flame.
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  147. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: "Spicy food is the best though!--Not in this case. I don't really wanna be part of this thing's dinner."
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  149. [NU VU] Primordo@Otherworlder: Once on terra slimy, Primordo doubles and redoubles its proportions, proceeding to stomp toward the Globetrotter with chemically-searing metal footfalls.
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  153. [NU VU] Death Watch Beetle@GeneralFreedom: Another horrible roar sounds as the Captain cuts into the walls. He's making headway, but the material restores itself quickly! Primordo finds himself in a similar situation as the ground seemingly recoils, the damaged parts healing quickly under his burning feet. The situation, already odd as it is, becomes stranger as what sounds like a car horn sounds! In the distance it looks like headlights are coming down the tunnel.
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  157. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: "Does the Globetrotter have any weapons? Maybe we can help blast this thing and it'll throw us up?" he asks Watchman.
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  159. [NU VU] Watchman@Alstann: Watchman attempts to prepare the Globetrotter for lift-off, but it seems that the fleshy area has rendered the ship stuck for now. "Might work, Particle Man. We'll have to--" He stops short, hearing the car horn. "What--? Did you hear that? Collider, status?"
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  161. [NU VU] Primordo@Otherworlder: The flaming giant, no doubt a fine lighthouse in the darkness, looks toward the honking, then to Captain Collider for orders.
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  163. [NU VU] Captain Collider@Swixer: Captain Collider looks towards the sound of honking with narrow eyes. "We'll get back to you on that." He looks to Primordo. "Come on." With that, he flies towards the source of the roaring, honking racket.
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  165. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: "I wonder if it's somebody else that got stuck in here."
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  167. [NU VU] Watchman@Alstann: "That just might be it. I theorize that this 'thing' makes its living off of consuming unsuspecting victims."
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  169. [NU VU] Primordo@Otherworlder: Ever adaptive, the creature shifts its metallic base to a mix of volcanic rock and combustive gases that swiftly reduce chunks of him to flowing magma----volcano-hot. He stomps heavily across the organic landscape hoping this increased heat might yield better results.
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  173. [NU VU] Death Watch Beetle@GeneralFreedom: They soon meet what's making the noise. A clanging, rusted out convertible is approaching! In it is a raggedly dressed man in an oversized hat, his face hidden by unnatural clinging shadows. In the passenger's side is a... man(?) in a ratty suit with an obviously fake nose and glasses combo. The car pulls to a halt and the man stands up on the seat. "Ho there, newcomers! Have you come to pay the Worm King tribute? That's me, by the way."
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  177. [NU VU] Captain Collider@Swixer: Captain Collider stops mid-flight, landing in front of the strangely-placed convertible with a puzzled look. "Not exactly. Who's this Worm King? And where are we?"
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  179. [NU VU] Primordo@Otherworlder: The titanic elemental slows to a stop, gradually dousing its flames by reducing the volatile chemical mix bubbling up from his interior. He remains red hot and glowing, and simply glowers at the car and occupants alike.
  180.  
  181. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: "Did you guys find something?" he asks over the comm.
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  185. [NU VU] Death Watch Beetle@GeneralFreedom: "Me. I am the Worm King. I've been here for what has to be YEARS, so I get to be king!" The hatted man laughs, coughing a bit at Primordo's smoking form. "Uh, but I guess you guys could be king if you really wanted. You're kind of big and I wouldn't argue. As for where you are... You are in the belly of Athralxoptral, the Hungry Worm! Catchy, huh?" The man with the fake nose doesn't say much. He just stays in his seat.
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  189. [NU VU] Captain Collider@Swixer: Captain Collider presses a finger to the comm in his ear. "Particle Man, Watchman -- I think you'd better come down here."
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  191. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: "Is it..safe for us to go out there?"
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  193. [NU VU] Watchman@Alstann: "Guess we were right."
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  195. [NU VU] Captain Collider@Swixer: "Athralxoptral?" He peers around at the fleshy walls. "So we -are- inside some kind of living organism. What do you know about this...Athralxoptral?"
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  197. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: PM turns to Watchman, "Guess so. Let's go find 'em," he says then walks off, heading for the airlock to venture outside of the Globetrotter.
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  199. [NU VU] Watchman@Alstann: Pressing a few more buttons to put the ship on standby, he follows Particle Man to the airlock. "Might as well. Careful."
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  201. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: When he and Watchman are out of the airlock and manage to exit, PM lets out a loud, disgusted grumbling sound, "Oh maaan...it smells like a million dead cows in here!" he pinches his nose and immediately heads in the direction to meet the other two.
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  203. [NU VU] Watchman@Alstann: Watchman walks alongside Particle Man towards the group of people, grimacing at the smell but pushing through it. Rather than wave at the new people, he chose to look them over curiously.
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  205. [NU VU] Primordo@Otherworlder: Primordo's smoke-wreathed head pivots with a grinding sound to lock a pointed stare on Captain Collider---as if to say 'you never told us THIS would happen.'
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  209. [NU VU] Death Watch Beetle@GeneralFreedom: "Well," the hatted man says. "It's hungry. It's a worm. And it slowly digests you over the period of hundreds of years. I only came to be here because I'm a victim of circumstance, teetering always on the brink of disaster!" He wipes at the shining green lenses that mark the only visible part of his face and coughs. "You guys got any food by the way? The worm isn't the only one that's hungry."
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  213. [NU VU] Captain Collider@Swixer: Captain Collider returns Primordo's stare with a sort of "just roll with it" kind of shrug before replying to the man in the hat. "That depends on whether or not you can tell us exactly what kind of circumstance brought you here and if there's some kind of way out."
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  217. [NU VU] Death Watch Beetle@GeneralFreedom: "Terrible circumstances! This thing was eating a town, and I was called in for mystical advice! I'm Bazaar, by the way, the Merchant King of Magic! It's what I do. While heroically trying to save a child... no, two children, from a building that was being destroyed, I was devoured! Like I said, tragic, right? As for getting out... well, I might know a way. Couldn't do anything about it before but... You guys look like you have some firepower."
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  221. [NU VU] Primordo@Otherworlder: The creature (and its submerged passenger Leland) lets out a gravelly, quaking sigh at the word 'Magic'.
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  223. [NU VU] Captain Collider@Swixer: Captain Collider extends his hand to shake Bazaar's. "I'd like to say it's a pleasure to meet you, Bazaar, but I don't think either of us are getting any pleasure out of being here. I'm Captain Collider." He accompanies the following introductions with appropriate gestures. "That's Primordo. The archer is Watchman and Particle Man is right beside him. We're the Frontiersmen -- multiversal travelers of sorts. We were actually passing through the multiverse when we found ourselves trapped here. If you have any plans of action, please don't hesitate to tell us. Any at all."
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  225. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: PM waved with his free hand when he came into view and joined the others.
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  227. [NU VU] Death Watch Beetle@GeneralFreedom: "Very nice to meet you, sir! Herman, shake the man's hand." The man in the convertible rigidly hops out and extends his hand as well. "Multiversal travelers though... Hm, yeah, that sounds good.">
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  229. [NU VU] Primordo@Otherworlder: The smoke dissipates as the creature finally cools, and it dwindles in size to preserve its strength. Heated black rock crumbles to show his costume colors as he does. Primordo moves to stand between 'Herman' and the two newly arrived teammates----neither trusting the creature at all, nor trusting that Mike won't try to shake its hand out of reflex.
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  231. [NU VU] Death Watch Beetle@GeneralFreedom: "See, I've been doing some reading. I have plenty of time, after all. Athralxoptral is supposed to have some kind of central core and a... well, let's call it what it is: an evacuation point. If we can get past the core and its defenses, we're home free!" Herman glances at Primordo, blank glass eyes showing nothing. "No admittance," it mutters as it turns and stands by Bazaar.
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  233. [NU VU] Captain Collider@Swixer: Captain Collider initially hesitates to shake Herman's hand, but eventually does so with a tentative, but firm, grip. He raises an eyebrow at Bazaar's words. "It sounds like you want us to leave through the...exit."
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  235. [NU VU] Death Watch Beetle@GeneralFreedom: "It's the best way to go! Trying to go through one of its million maws only leads to you getting crunched up usually. It has very, very strong teeth."
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  237. [NU VU] Primordo@Otherworlder: The creature, having met a fellow competitor in the glassy stare business, returns one of its own and answers only with: "Indeed."
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  239. [NU VU] Captain Collider@Swixer: He casts a gaze over at his team as if gauging their own opinions on trusting Bazaar's plan.
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  241. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: "I...don't like where this is going."
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  243. [NU VU] Death Watch Beetle@GeneralFreedom: "Hey, no one said it's a perfect plan, but," Bazaar chuckles a bit. "It's all I got. Unless you guys have figured something out. ...please say you have."
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  245. [NU VU] Primordo@Otherworlder: In response to the Captain's questioning look, the creature says: "We are not digestible by any means this creature possesses. We cannot speak for the others."
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  247. [NU VU] Death Watch Beetle@GeneralFreedom: "Well, you say that now, smiley, but in theory, there's nothing this thing can't digest. In fact, it's actually slowly digesting us right now, feeding on our fundamental energies!" Bazaar nods. "...wow. That makes me really uneasy saying it out loud." Even Herman looks upset. Kind of.
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  249. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: PM, not too fond of standing on the disgusting meat that was the floor, takes flight then shrinks himself, so he could stand on Primordo's left shoulder, "I'm pretty fond of not being chewed."
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  251. [NU VU] Watchman@Alstann: The archer crossed his arms. "And you've never tried this plan before? You waited until we showed up?"
  252.  
  253. [NU VU] Primordo@Otherworlder: The creature takes no umbrage at Particle Man's landing, but does shoot a puzzled look at Bazaar---very close to a true expression.
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  255. [NU VU] Death Watch Beetle@GeneralFreedom: "Well, I mean, I'm a capable guy, remember how I talked about saving those kids? But I'm not going to go up against whatever is guarding its core. Not with just me and Herman, I mean. That would end in disaster."
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  257. [NU VU] Watchman@Alstann: "Good to know you left that part out. Tell us more."
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  259. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: "Guess that's pretty smart of you."
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  261. [NU VU] Death Watch Beetle@GeneralFreedom: "Haha! Don't be silly! I'm sure I mentioned the core defenses! Athralxoptral has a million mouths. Big worms, with sharp teeth, fiery spittle..."
  262.  
  263. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: "And they're all around the core..?"
  264.  
  265. [NU VU] Death Watch Beetle@GeneralFreedom: "They can be inside or outside. And if it needs to defend itself, you can bet they'll be inside."
  266.  
  267. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: "Oh boy."
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  269. [NU VU] Captain Collider@Swixer: "Doesn't look like we have much of a choice. The only question is how are we going to get our ship out of Athralxoptal as well?"
  270.  
  271. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: "I could try to shrink it, but that thing is pretty big."
  272.  
  273. [NU VU] Death Watch Beetle@GeneralFreedom: "You have a ship?! That's even better than I thought it would be! Let's fly it out of here!" Bazaar laughs. "All we gotta do is... give it a little tickle and I'm sure it will shoot us right out. Athralxoptral is a pretty big guy."
  274.  
  275. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: "Give it a tickle? These two have been trying to do that and we got nothing!" he gestures to Primordo and Collider.
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  277. [NU VU] Death Watch Beetle@GeneralFreedom: "Yeah, but we're somewhere in the guts! Not near... uh, that... place. The back door, as it were."
  278.  
  279. [NU VU] Watchman@Alstann: "You're joking."
  280.  
  281. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: "You can say butt, y'know."
  282.  
  283. [NU VU] Death Watch Beetle@GeneralFreedom: "Well, I mean, technically it's all guts," Bazaar explains. "I could, but I'm already starting to feel like I need to heave up those twenty year old Twinkies I found an hour or so back."
  284.  
  285. [NU VU] Primordo@Otherworlder: As if seized by a sudden notion, the creature turns, swelling in size, and marches back to the ship.
  286.  
  287. [NU VU] Captain Collider@Swixer: Captain Collider gives a somewhat exasperated frown. "It's not exactly an eloquent solution, but--" He turns as Primordo suddenly sets off. "Primordo?"
  288.  
  289. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: PM wobbles around then balanced on one foot. He was still on Primordo's shoulder. He leans against the side of the creature's head to re-balance himself, and of course, is taken along for the ride. "Did you get an idea?"
  290.  
  291. [NU VU] Watchman@Alstann: Watchman glanced back at Primordo, curious.
  292.  
  293. [NU VU] Primordo@Otherworlder: Pausing near the aft, the colossal figure grips the engine emplacements, steadies itself, sinks its feet into the 'turf' and tries to dislodge the ship using raw, cosmic strength. Though its hollow face shows no hint of strain, it is at best a hood ornament---its true strain is unreadable.
  294.  
  295.  
  296.  
  297. [NU VU] Death Watch Beetle@GeneralFreedom: Bazaar gestures to Herman and the two jump back in their car and follow after Primordo! The pulsing walls resist his grip, but the giant is able to pull it free suddenly! The indent it made in the wall fills with a moist sucking sound.
  298.  
  299.  
  300.  
  301. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: "Why didn't I think of that?--Hey Cap! Come push!"
  302.  
  303. [NU VU] Death Watch Beetle@GeneralFreedom: "That guy. He is the Worm King." Bazaar nods.
  304.  
  305. [NU VU] Watchman@Alstann: The archer narrowed his eyes, witnessing Primordo's power. He made his way back to where the creature was.
  306.  
  307. [NU VU] Captain Collider@Swixer: He looks over to Bazaar. "You'll get no argument from me." Captain Collider walks alongside Watchman as they make their way towards the Globetrotter. "You don't have to fear him, you know."
  308.  
  309. [NU VU] Watchman@Alstann: "I don't," he replied, almost with disdain. "But maybe you do."
  310.  
  311. [NU VU] Captain Collider@Swixer: "Maybe. But maybe 'fear' isn't the right word."
  312.  
  313. [NU VU] Watchman@Alstann: The archer remained silent, making his way to the ship before replying, "Maybe not now." He calls out to everyone, "Alright, let's go!"
  314.  
  315. [NU VU] Captain Collider@Swixer: "You fear monsters and beasts and even men. When it comes to forces of nature, you simply remain aware of their power." With that, he flies over to PM and Primordo, placing himself underneath the ship, he helps to steady it while the others get it started.
  316.  
  317. [NU VU] Primordo@Otherworlder: Though taxed under the considerable duress and weight of the cruise-ship sized vessel, Primordo's density shores up to bear it. It keeps the vessel held aloft, feet widening and sinking deep into the fleshy floor, waiting for the others to get the ship moving under its own power.
  318.  
  319. [NU VU] Death Watch Beetle@GeneralFreedom: Bazaar and Herman rush up to the ship as well. Bazaar gives a low whistle. "Yeah, I'm sure that can get out of here. It still runs, right?" Herman nods along. "Admittance," he says simply. The 'No' was silent.
  320.  
  321. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: PM turned his attention towards the 'walls' around the ship. He hm'd to himself before bringing his palms out. They glow bright with particle energy and he lets it fly. He's trying to use the beams to cut through the meat to make it easier to move the ship.
  322.  
  323. [NU VU] Primordo@Otherworlder: Its own effort gratefully eases as the Captain bears up more than his share----together the massive burden is effortlessly managed between them.
  324.  
  325. [NU VU] Death Watch Beetle@GeneralFreedom: Bazaar, being the hero he is, doesn't attempt to help. He just clambers inside and immediately starts poking around while they get it up and running. Herman is at least nice enough to take a seat and keep his hands to himself.
  326.  
  327. [NU VU] Primordo@Otherworlder: "Inside, Michael," the titan booms, his usually cavernous voice made deafening at this size and in an enclosed space. "It is time to go."
  328.  
  329. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: "Alrighty." He doesn't argue. The smallest of the group takes flight once more to head back into the airlock to enter the ship. "Can't leave Watchman to babysit these guys alone anyways."
  330.  
  331. [NU VU] Primordo@Otherworlder: The gargantuan being nods slowly at the departing Particle Man, in complete agreement with the assessment.
  332.  
  333. [NU VU] Watchman@Alstann: Watchman sits down at the navigator's seat, hitting keys in order to prep the Globetrotter for launch. "Let's hope this works."
  334.  
  335.  
  336.  
  337. [NU VU] Death Watch Beetle@GeneralFreedom: The Globetrotter wasn't too badly damaged by its sudden stop luckily! It comes to life almost immediately, ready to take off down through Athralxoptral's body! "I guess you want me to navigate, huh?" Bazaar asks, finally settling down. He pulls off his hat, the heavy shadow around his head barely moving, then reaches inside. He pulls out a small crystal bead suspended from a diamond shaped totem made of simple sticks. He replaces his hat before looking it over. "Ready here."
  338.  
  339.  
  340.  
  341. [NU VU] Captain Collider@Swixer: "I'll lead the way." Once the Globetrotter takes flight, Captain Collider pulls ahead and, using his powers to light up with atomic rings, flies towards the worm's gut.
  342.  
  343. [NU VU] Primordo@Otherworlder: Primordo releases the ship as well, but unlike the Captain he vanishes like a puff of colored gas, reappearing atop the hull. He stands there like a 7' hood ornament, watching for danger.
  344.  
  345. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: After entering the ship, he walks into command once more to join Watchman, Bazaar and Herman. "So, you guys sure sure that this is the only way out?"
  346.  
  347.  
  348.  
  349. [NU VU] Death Watch Beetle@GeneralFreedom: Athralxoptral is cavernous, a living cave complex! All along the way they can see signs of previous meals; buildings, machines, withered plants, bones... "Well, it's the only way I know," Bazaar sighs. "I don't really have my whole library with me. Uh, take the tunnel to the right."
  350.  
  351.  
  352.  
  353. [NU VU] Watchman@Alstann: Watchman continues to update the flight patterns for the ship.
  354.  
  355. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: "Hm...Guess I can cross 'get eaten alive and live' off my bucket list."
  356.  
  357. [NU VU] Primordo@Otherworlder: Buried within the mass of Primordo but still in nominal control of the organism, Leland's instincts remain poised, searching for other possible survivors in the gloom.
  358.  
  359.  
  360.  
  361. [NU VU] Death Watch Beetle@GeneralFreedom: Eventually the ship flies into a large, open area! All around them on the walls, floor and ceiling are long, squirming black worms with sharp beaks and numerous eyes! In the center is a massive being that seems to be completely formed of these worms, showing crude arms, a squirming lower mass and a bloated worm that acts as a 'head'. This head has vaguely humanoid features instead of a beak! High above them is a puckered opening, currently tightly shut. The worms immediately spring to life as they enter! They lash out at the ship and the Frontiersmen outside, snapping and biting, trying to latch on! The worm fiend in the middle shrieks something in an ancient tongue, something heard but only vaguely remembered deep within the human soul. A disturbing sound with few equals. "So! I think this is the place," Bazaar laughs uneasily and hunkers down in his seat, shakily buckling his belt.
  362.  
  363.  
  364.  
  365. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: Particle Man wasn't exactly in the mood to sit down like the others. He was standing by the viewport to see what was going outside. His eyes widen at the strange sight, but the larger being catches his attention, "...This is creepy. Like something out of a horror movie." PM physically shudders, a chill had been sent from head to toe.
  366.  
  367. [NU VU] Primordo@Otherworlder: Even submerged deeply inside the ancient creature Primordo, Leland's own time spent in an amorphous, shape-changing hell causes a horrified shiver to ripple through the symbiote. It hesitates, and is engulfed in flailing, black worms atop the hull----not far from the front viewports, in full sight of those inside.
  368.  
  369. [NU VU] Captain Collider@Swixer: Caught off guard by the sudden development, both of Captain Collider's arms are latched onto by worms. With a grunt, he wreathes his hands in energy and releases an atomic blast from both to fry the creatures. "I was starting to think this was too easy!"
  370.  
  371. [NU VU] Watchman@Alstann: Pressing a few more buttons, Watchman unbuckles from his seat saying, "I'll man the photon cannon." He heads to the turret hatch, getting an odd vibe from the shriek from the creature. Opening the hatch and taking control, he utilizes the cannon to fire at the attacking creatures.
  372.  
  373. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: "--Wait, who's flying this then?!"
  374.  
  375. [NU VU] Watchman@Alstann: He put a finger to the earbud in his ear, opening comms. "I switched on autopilot. Make sure everyone's fine, Particle Man."
  376.  
  377.  
  378.  
  379. [NU VU] Death Watch Beetle@GeneralFreedom: Collider blasts through the worms, but there are more to take their place! They seem extremely eager to devour him and Primordo, much more eager than they are to eat the ship! Bazaar, the ever-courageous man that he is, groans and slumps in his seat, covering his face. "H... Herman, do something to help," he gulps. The golem nods and stands, climbing out of the ship without hesitation to help fight off the worms! The worms' teeth are sharp, impossibly so. It almost gives the feeling they really could eat anything...
  380.  
  381.  
  382.  
  383. [NU VU] Captain Collider@Swixer: Captain Collider flies backwards and, his fists ringing with energy, fires off a continuous atomic blast from both his hands, turning it on oncoming worms to defend the ship. "Get it together, Primordo! No second chances on this one!"
  384.  
  385. [NU VU] Primordo@Otherworlder: Paralyzed by the swelling remembered horror of his own time spent 'floating' helplessly as a disembodied consciousness inside the creature, Leland's fear keeps the whole from acting----finally, out of survival instinct, the creature itself extends its arms to either side amid the writhing mass of worms. Each arm dissolves into a different colored gas, and when the two vapors mingle-=--WHHOOOOMP! The resulting chemical mix triggers a massive explosion that mushrooms outward, incinerating worms and damn near peeling the paint off the hull. Primordo vanishes in the explosion.
  386.  
  387. [NU VU] Death Watch Beetle@GeneralFreedom: The ship's cannons seem quite capable of destroying them as well! Turning them to ash. This doesn't deter the fiend though. It continues to chant, its primal words echoing around the room as it begins to slither towards them...
  388.  
  389.  
  390.  
  391. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: PM moves over to take place of the pilot's seat. He's never tried flying this thing before, but he figures autopilot isn't going to be much help right now. "Watchman! Aim for the big thing!" He tries pulling the ship back onto course when Primordo sets off the explosion.
  392.  
  393. [NU VU] Watchman@Alstann: "On it!" He replies, aiming for the bigger creature. Primordo's explosion throws off his aiming for a bit before he attempts to fire at the creature.
  394.  
  395.  
  396.  
  397. [NU VU] Death Watch Beetle@GeneralFreedom: The massive explosion clears a good chunk of the worms but the ship bobs wildly in the air! Luckily, Particle Man is there to help regain control and keep the ship on course! Watchman fires on the fiend and it shrieks and flails as black, slick skin is sliced from its body! It opens its mouth and coughs out a stream of horrifically hot saliva on the ship and the Captain! Herman does his best to help, but he's a bit underpowered. The golem has lost most of his suit helping in the fight, but keeps swinging! Bazaar sinks lower in his seat, groaning softly. "I... I think I'm airsick. That's it... I'm airsick."
  398.  
  399.  
  400.  
  401. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: PM does his best to steer the ship away from the gross saliva, at least so it wouldn't land directly on the front of the ship to disrupt vision. Though he's unsure what the saliva would even do. His guess is it's not going to be very pleasant.
  402.  
  403. [NU VU] Captain Collider@Swixer: "Agh!" Captain Collider falls to the 'ground' as the hot saliva lands on him, burning at his suit somewhat. As he pushes himself up, he notices Herman's struggle and flies to his side, firing his Collider Vision at any enemies surrounding him before flying upwards and turning towards the worm's head. "I think I've had just about enough." With that, he surges forward with a sonic boom, pinballing from worm to worm and attempting to completely splatter them as he flies through them. Eventually, his high speed flight would take him to the head, which he would surge towards and attempt to split it in two with a swing of his arms as he careens towards it.
  404.  
  405. [NU VU] Primordo@Otherworlder: As the plume of acrid smoke and flames billow back across the hull of the Globetrotter, there's no sign of Primordo anywhere.
  406.  
  407. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: "Guys? How're we doing out there?" he asks, checking in on the others.
  408.  
  409. [NU VU] Primordo@Otherworlder: Directly before the bridge windows, a humanoid from draws up from the smoke----Primordo glances back through the glass at Mike to ensure everyone is well in there, then turns to face the onslaught of saliva and worms. From the chest down he becomes sand, allowing most of the worms to simply poof through him. One arm shimmers to water, firing it in a torrent to try and keep the acid off the hull----even as some of it leaves sizzling pockmarks in his mass, permanently eating away some of his proto-matter. The other arm explodes into volcanic heat, immolating any worms that might attack the ship, the viewport or the cannon.
  410.  
  411. [NU VU] Watchman@Alstann: Watchman continues to utilize the photon cannon in order to mop up the rest of the creatures. "We need to keep at it!"
  412.  
  413.  
  414.  
  415. [NU VU] Death Watch Beetle@GeneralFreedom: The disgusting worm spit burns the hull of the ship where it does land. No breaches yet luckily and Primordo is on it, helping to clean it off before it gets too bad! With the Captain, Primordo and Watchman tearing apart worms and the damage already done, the ship is climbing closer and closer to the sphincter! It's still clenched shut! Collider rips apart the worm fiend, spilling goopy blood all over the floor... but from deep within, there's a chuckle. A massive worm with rotating teeth, like a hellish blender erupts outwards and aims to puree the hero! "Sh... shoot it! Shoot it right in the sphincter!" Bazaar cries out!
  416.  
  417.  
  418.  
  419. [NU VU] Primordo@Otherworlder: A keen viewer would notice that the flying spittle is potent enough an acid that where it hits Primordo, it sizzles deep and does not heal---even when it hits sand. Though the creature roars in pain, Leland's will keeps it from retreating or abandoning its post----despite this rare danger to its mass.
  420.  
  421. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: "Watch out, Cap!" he calls out after getting a glimpse of the new arrival. PM steers the ship away from some of the worms still trying to lash out of them, but tries not to move the ship around> oo much to mess with Watchman's aim.
  422.  
  423. [NU VU] Captain Collider@Swixer: Captain Collider is too late to avoid the suddenly appearing Blendtec Worm and, before he can even raise a fist, it swallows him completely whole with a swirling mass of teeth.
  424.  
  425. [NU VU] Watchman@Alstann: "This had better work," he said, aiming at the sphincter and firing a few blasts at it. "I can't risk shooting Collider!"
  426.  
  427. [NU VU] Primordo@Otherworlder: Still roaring in pain, its face distorted like some hideous thing of putty sculpted by Dali, Primordo continues to man its post before the bridge windows. Burning worms, dousing the hull in water and sand to wash away the acid, it's hands are tied.
  428.  
  429.  
  430.  
  431. [NU VU] Death Watch Beetle@GeneralFreedom: There's another low roar through the whole structure of Athralxoptral as the opening shivers and pops open. There's a horrible rush of wind and slime-coated debris from the floor is drawn upwards and outwards! The whirling teeth of the worm grind all the way down and its full of that same terrible burning saliva that it spits! Herman, acting on his own for once, hurls himself at the blender worm and slams its fists into it! Trying to help the Captain. He's doing his best, even though it's not much! "We have to get out now! It won't stay open forever, I'm sure!" Bazaar yelps.
  432.  
  433.  
  434.  
  435. [NU VU] Captain Collider@Swixer: From within the worm, Captain Collider is buffeted by endless teeth and acidic saliva. As he wildly swings in an attempt to get out, he eventually begins to lose his cool, his eyes burning brightly. "That's...ENOUGH!" With that, he explodes outwards with a powerful atomic blast, attempting to blow the worm asunder to free himself.
  436.  
  437. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: PM shudders at the sounds Primordo had made, "Leland!" he yelled. His attention turns to Bazaar immediately after. "Dude, we're trying! At least they're doing something!"
  438.  
  439. [NU VU] Watchman@Alstann: The archer continues to keep firing at the exit in an attempt to keep it open, but he doesn't know how long it will last.
  440.  
  441.  
  442.  
  443. [NU VU] Death Watch Beetle@GeneralFreedom: As the blender worm falls to pieces, the rest of the body of the fiend shudders and collapses! Herman tumbles from side, his blank face staring up at the ship as he falls. The roaring noise gets louder as Watchman keeps shooting into a delicate spot, but it seems to be keeping it open! The rushing wind is getting worse and worse, drawing objects from all over Athralxoptral's body.
  444.  
  445.  
  446.  
  447. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: "Everyone get in the ship, or grab onto it, or...something! We're making a break for it!" PM indeed does steer the ship right for the 'exit' that opened for them.
  448.  
  449. [NU VU] Captain Collider@Swixer: Still reeling somewhat from his experience in the worm and with his costume torn in several places, Captain Collider pulls himself together and swoops low, scooping up Herman in one hand and flying towards the Globetrotter. "You'll find the beds aboard the Globetrotter a lot comfier, I think."
  450.  
  451. [NU VU] Primordo@Otherworlder: Inanimate or not, the golem was an ally and maybe a living thing----Leland, from within Primordo, throws an admiring nod at Captain Collider's rescue of the falling automaton.
  452.  
  453. [NU VU] Captain Collider@Swixer: "QUARK, open an airlock. We're coming home!"
  454.  
  455. [NU VU] Primordo@Otherworlder: *Seeing all of the debris---the ship included---in the process of being 'purged' upward, Primordo simply collapses, both his elements and his color mostly draining from his body. Sizzling, blackened divots pockmark his surface where the saliva destroyed some of his matter, and the creature is clearly weakened. It kneels on the hull on all fours, holding fast.
  456.  
  457. [NU VU] Captain Collider@Swixer: QUARK: "I shall prepare your fuzzy multiversal slippers, Dr. Parton."
  458.  
  459.  
  460.  
  461. [NU VU] Death Watch Beetle@GeneralFreedom: "No admittance," Herman rumbles thankfully? He doesn't seem to be able to say much. The team shoots out of the worm's evacuation port, worms stretching behind, but forced to cut off their pursuit! An anguished cry follows them! They're free! "Well! That could have gone worse," Bazaar laughs shakily and adjusts his hat. "Oh! And Herman even made it!"
  462.  
  463.  
  464.  
  465. [NU VU] Captain Collider@Swixer: As Captain Collider arrives in the command room, he sets Herman down and moves to the co-pilot seat, patting Particle Man on the shoulder with an appreciative nod. "Is everyone alright?"
  466.  
  467. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: Once freed, PM just lets out a long sigh of relief then looks up at Collider when he arrives. "I'm gonna go throw up now, kaybye." He gets up and hurries out of command.
  468.  
  469. [NU VU] Primordo@Otherworlder: Beyond the main viewport, Primordo is on hands and knees on the hull, cracked, peeling and drained of color. It looks up slowly toward the bridge and just gives a weary nod.
  470.  
  471. [NU VU] Watchman@Alstann: Climbing out of the turret hatch, Watchman lets out a sigh of relief before making his way to the command room full of people.
  472.  
  473.  
  474.  
  475. [NU VU] Death Watch Beetle@GeneralFreedom: The team rushes out into open space and behind them... they can see Athralxoptral in all its hideous glory. A thing in deep space, blacker than the surrounding black. A mass with random mouths and teeth jutting from it. It gives one last roar, somehow piercing the vacuum of space, then seems to collapse on itself. Vanishing. For now. "So! How's about we stop by Earth?" Bazaar asks, suddenly chipper again. Herman takes his place by his side and adjusts what's left of his fake nose and glasses. Which just fall apart in his hands.
  476.  
  477.  
  478.  
  479. [NU VU] Captain Collider@Swixer: "Whatever structural damage we did seems to have caused it to collapse in on itself. It's almost a pity, scientifically speaking." He turns towards Bazaar as he begins setting courses. "I think it's the least we could do. But the question is 'which one?'"
  480.  
  481. [NU VU] Death Watch Beetle@GeneralFreedom: Bazaar just groans in response. He'd forgotten that part apparently...
  482.  
  483. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: PM returns to command after throwing up his lunch...from yesterday. He lets out a loud groan then takes a few breaths, "I'm okay."
  484.  
  485. [NU VU] Primordo@Otherworlder: Hesitant to switch to vapor form in an airless environment, the creature simply remains on the outer hull, slowly recuperating---it looks like it may take some time. Potent horror-acid seems to be a serious threat to the ancient creature.
  486.  
  487. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: PM walked over to join the others but stops to stare outside of the viewport, "Uh...Is the Doc just going to hang out there or...does he need help getting back in?"
  488.  
  489. [NU VU] Captain Collider@Swixer: "I think it'll take more than vacuum of space to harm Dr. Mannheim." His expression is unreadable as he thinks back on the effect the acid had on Primordo, his voice lowering in volume. "But perhaps not as much as we thought."
  490.  
  491. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: "I dunno...Was it him that yelled out there? I thought it was the worms. But...I'll get him." Can he even go out into space? Yes he can. His white and orange costume is coated by a metallic substance that oozes out of his pack to cover his frame. When it hardens, it forms into what looks like a powered armor suit. He hurries along right after to exit the airlock and took flight once he was released outside and moved to Primordo.
  492.  
  493. [NU VU] Primordo@Otherworlder: Normally the definition of self-sufficiency and adaptation, in this case the merged thing both Leland and Primordo accept the help without complaint. No word is spoken, but no argument given either.
  494.  
  495. [NU VU] Particle Man@Reldin: Thankfully there isn't much gravity outside. He helps Primordo back into the airlock to get back onto the ship. Once they're in, he isn't able to move Primordo too much except offer him a shoulder to lean on and walk.
  496.  
  497. [NU VU] Watchman@Alstann: Glancing towards Collider, he held back a comment, instead going to a terminal to input a data report from the recent mission. "Might have to have QUARK repair the ship later, Captain."
  498.  
  499. [NU VU] Captain Collider@Swixer: "The moment we set down on an Earth. For now, let's just be happy with the fact that the worm has turned. Pardon the pun."
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