Team 3 in Floria
Mission 3 - A Whole New World
Location: Marketplace of Floria
Timeline: 2168/08/10 1230
Floria looked bad from above but the stench of Floria, once everyone had walked to it, was worse. Smells of manure, sweat, and heat abounded. Gary noticed that many people had cloths or other objects over their open orifices. "Well," Gary said, trying not to gag. "Next time we bring more supplies. Did anyone think to bring some bandannas?"
The doctor refrained from rolling her eyes and pulled out the face masks which were a part of the standard medical kit supplies, distributing them to her group.
"Thank you," Alex said, putting her mask over her face.
Blackford moved to the side and started to gag because of the stench, but he quickly regained his composure and returned to the group.
"Alright teams," Gary announced. "Be careful. You know your assignments. If you run into any problems, alert us on the communicator immediately."
His teams mission was simple reconnaissance of the area. So he waited until Lieutenant Chester, the team's senior officer, to give orders.
Alex was also stepping towards Audrey, ready for orders. "General reconnaissance," she repeated softly to herself.
"Just like during the plague, folks. Don't touch your faces, keep your distance, and for God's sake wash your hands after touching things." She paused, momma mode taking over, "just try not to touch things. Keep your hands to yourselves."
"Yes, lieutenant." Blackford wondered what wasn't gloves and masks provided, but he didn't ask. He pulled out his scanner and started scanning.
"Before we head out, remember to keep your eyes and ears open. We're on general recce. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Be polite, answer questions honestly, but simply, and don't offer up any information that wasn't asked for. We're looking for power structures, respected citizens, politics, and the good 'ol rumor mill." The Doctor smiled and jerked her head towards the town, "roll out!"
Gary and his group started moving down the center of what appeared to be a main street, strutting down the street like a man who had just lost his virginity. The main street seemed to contain goods that were traditionally marketable. Foodstuffs, clothing, and even tools appeared to be down the center street.
Several side streets remained for this group. But whatever the wares were there, remained to be seen.
Blackford started heading down a street on the right. He came across what seemed to be housing, but whatever doors were open, there was no one inside...no indication that anyone had been inside.
He continued to scan.
Alex glanced down streets to either side as she passed them. She was looking for anything that could be an open shop or business of some kind.
Blackford checked his scanner, then turned to Lieutenant Chester for any further instructions.
Audrey eyed the upper levels of the homes. The residential areas seemed concerningly quiet. Perhaps they should look for communal features - a well, school, or assembly hall. She moved to an intersection and peered down the streets.
She turned to Blackford, "Are you getting anything on that?"
"Nothing within 50 meters, lieutenant. Should I continue searching?" Blackford asked.
One hundreds out, there was a large gathering of lifeforms. When the group decided to investigate, there was a an old style Western saloon in front of the team. The double doors were not built from the top of the door frame to the bottom. They were built to swing open from the sides and open to the elements. A cacophony of sound and numerous different languages could be heard from within.
"I recognize this from old movies," Alex commented as she scanned it discretely. "It's a bit too much of a coincidence, isn't it, that it should develop independently here?"
Blackford raised his scanner. "I'm detecting numerous lifeforms, including some humanoids." He looked at the building. "It's like a saloon or bar from an old Earth western." He looked at the others. "I would advise caution. In the movies, people die from gunshots in a saloon."
Audrey raised an eyebrow. “There’s only so many ways to make a door. If humanoid life can independently evolve on thousands of planets across the galaxy, someone else has thought of saloon doors.”
But before she moved further she sighed, “but yes, exercise caution.”
And with that the doctor strode forward towards the saloon.
Blackford quickly followed the doctor into the saloon. His pistol securely in it's holster.
Alex didn't look completely convinced but she stepped in with the party. She gave a small smile as she glanced about the room.
There was a long bar along one wall. People were lined up, drinking. There were tables situated in the room, probably for card games. This appeared to be a textbook example of what Earth looked like in the mid to late 19th century.
Interestingly, although none of the away team could understand what was being said when they were outside the saloon, the moment that they stepped in, conversations started becoming clear. A number of beings turned to look at the away team as they came in but as often as not, they turned away to return to their own conversations.
A woman approached the away team. She had felinoid ears and a tail that swished from side to side. However, other than a v like indentation and crest on her forehead and the cat features, she could have passed for human. "Did you come for gambling or drinking?"
Blackford looked at the woman....well, not a human woman anyway..."What games are available?"
The woman giggled. "Whatever anyone is playing, of course. I'm sure that you could find games of Chain Kittens, Burning Gates, Fizzbin, and Bone Chickens. You are out of place, not to know these things. You all must be new here. Dare I ask what brought you here?"
"Surveying," Audrey butts into the conversation, noting the flirtatious grin passing between Blackford and the cat woman. "Compiling information about planets in this sector."
The woman looked rather confused. "You don't know the planets in the area?"
"We're new to the area." Blackford replied.
"But it is hard to get here without knowing how to traverse the area." She gave the group a shrug, "Well, if you need anything or I can be of any assistance, please let me know!"
A small smile played across the Doc's lips as an idea came to her, and she leaned subtly towards Blackford and said "You should ask for a tour."
"How about a tour?" Blackford asked of the woman.
"We're a little lost," Alex admitted. "How do you play Burning Gates?"
"A tour?" the woman asked. "Of this pub? There's not much to see. Or are you looking for some other tour?"
She then turned to Alex. "Burning Gates? Oh, it is a rather simple game. See, everyone gets six cards. There's one round of bidding followed by a round of trading. Then everyone draws one more card and there is another round of bidding and trading. High hand wins. The Devil's Due is the best hand. You need 5 matching devils to do that. Very difficult."
"Five matching devils..." Alex said, wondering about how these cards were set up.
Blackford looked at her, then the team. "I don't have anything to bet with."
"You're broke? Well, you're not going to do very well here," the woman returned. A disgusted look on her face, she left the away team in the doorway.
Blackford watched her go. "This is starting to be a weird planet." Then he walked over to some of the tables and watched the games as they played.
"Maybe we should set about acquiring some local currency," Alex suggested. "Somehow..."
From somewhere not so distant, the away team heard a large explosion. The tremors of the explosion rocked the saloon and set several beings scrambling for some tokens and others for various weapons.
Alex dived down behind one of the tables as she reached for her own weapon when the explosion went off.
Blackford heard the explosions, he turned to the others, "We should find cover." He saw the aliens running for weapons then running out, leaving their tokens on tables or on the floor.
Blackford kept taking quick glances out the window, trying to gauge what the situation was. Whenever he stopped looking, he started picking up some of the tokens from the floor. He looked at the tokens as he picked them up, trying to gauge if they were different values, or somehow, linked to a certain player.
Audrey tapped Blackford on the shoulder and nodded towards the door. "Let's get out of here and check in with the other teams. If that was our people, we're going to need to haul ass out of here."
She motioned Lt Campa to join them and murmured "get on the comms with the shuttle, tell them to flash up and be ready to come in for a rescue".