Feedback and distortion

"There is nowhere.. we got several choices 1-Drown, 2 -get eaten by the sand-worm coming at us... or..."

Phil looked at the sparking remains of Seymours chair..

Snapping a spoke off he bent quickly into a hook like object.

"Anyone here seen the film Dune? Time to ride the worm!"

"You..are.. a... nutter...I like it!"

Irritable, smeared with mud and soaked to the skin, Cass stared incredulously between Phil, stood with his bent wheelchair spoke in one hand, and cretin that had just expressed their approval of what she thought was his, frankly, stunningly stupid idea
"You've got to be smegging joking!?" she snapped, having to near shout above both the howling storm and the thunderous rumble of the approaching sandworm
"No way toots!" Phil yelled back, manically waving the spindly bent spoke above his head "We're gonna ride this baby all the way!"
Cass shook her head, disparingly
"If you think I'm lowering myself to 'riding the worm' with you, you've another thing coming" she muttered to herself, her words lost amidst the cacophony surrounding them as she pulled her waterlogged psi scanner out and slapped it hard on the side to get it to boot

The sandworm, meanwhile, heaved itself skyward, looming massively, barely a hundred meters distant, and opened its huge mouth to emit a deafeningly loud, bellowing roar, before smashing back down onto the ground amid a shower of mud and debris

Stumbling as the impact shook the ground beneath their feet, Cass' boots slipped in the mire lurking beneath the filthy water coursing around their legs, and fell sideways to collide with Jay, his arms instinctively closing around her to save her from the fall, leaving the two of them closer than they had been in days
Cass' breath caught in her throat, her eyes meeting his, as she pressed in even closer to steal a kiss, before recollecting herself enough to pull away with an unheard, mumbled apology
"Cass..." Jay started, but he quickly let it drop as she moved away - This was neither the time nor the place

Somewhat shaken and embarrassed, Cass made a show of busying herself with her psi scanner, her frown deepening as she absorbed the details of the readout until she suddenly made an intuitive leap to fully grasp what she was looking at, and reconfigured the scanner to provide a hypermap analysis of the environmental data
"Gotcha" she murmured, smiling with satisfaction at the results
"You find something?" Jay yelled, noticing her smile
Cass shyly proffered the scanner for him to examine
"None of this is real!" she shouted above the storm by way of explanation "It's all just a psychic projection from the Doombringer - An illusion!"
"Feels pretty smegging real to me!" Jay yelled back as the sandworm reared once more before them; Phil, still waving his spindly bent spoke, suddenly breaking rank to splash through the mud around to one side of the creature in some sort of flanking manoeuvre; the others all nervously dithering, wondering which direction would be the best way to flee
"That's the point!" Cass shouted, her fingers moving across the scanners screen, disabling the device's multifarious safety features "Dying in here will..."
The rest of her words were lost to the roar of the sandworm as it prepared to smash back down in amongst the group of compatitively tiny little humans

In spite of Cassandra's assurances to the contrary, Jay decided that this was all real enough for him and grabbed one of Cass' hands to pull her away as he began a mad dash through the swamp, trying desperately to be anywhere but where the worm was about to hit, the others similarly scattering in all directions
"No!" Cass cried as she was hauled along behind him, trying to complete her work "Just a..."
The worm hammered into the ground behind them, flinging them up in the aid amid a massive spray of mud and water which all suddenly stuttered and phased out of existence, jarringly leaving Cass and Jay alone on a dreary windswept, rocky beach

"What the...!? What just happened?" Jay asked, leaving go of Cass' hand and looking around in confusion "Where are we?"
"Dunno where we are" Cass shrugged, barely looking up from her work on the psi scanner "My best guess would be that this is some remnant memory of one of the Doombringer's previous victims - I'm not sure if it's clever enough to conjour these places up by itself"
"Well, that's the where..." Jay turned back to her "What about how and why?"
"It's kinda complex" Cass grimaced "But at it's most basic, I used the psi scanner to create a psychic feedback loop that scrambled the environment the Doombringer was forcing on us"
Jay looked impressed
"That's pretty good work" he nodded, before pausing and frowning "How does the psi scanner even work in here if none of this is real, and where did everyone else go?"
Still wet and muddy from the storm, Cass shivered in the cold wind and pulled her jacket closer around her before answering
"The scanner's psychic, so it can do stuff like that for an imprinted owner, and I've no idea where everyone else got to" she replied "Probably other memory fragments like this one. Next question?"
"Can you use the scanner to get us all out of here?"
"Sure - I'll probably even be able to kill to Doombringer while I'm at it" Cass nodded "It might take a few jumps, but all I need is a bit of time to get it right, and we're gone"
"Excellent news" Jay grinned happily "You're bloody brilliant!"
"Bona fide once in a generation genius" Cass drawled, smiling weakly back at him "Now how about you get us a fire started while I figure this data out? - I'm smegging freezing"

<tbc / tag>
Cass and Jay (if it really is him?) have wound up on a gloomy beach somewhere, but where did everyone else go, and what will the Doombringer be up to while they're there? - gimpy torture chambers? inside a freezer? the flesh pits of fourth base?
I'll likely be killing the Doombringer at the end of my next post so we can move on (if someone else doesn't do it beforehand), so go wild with whatever you like :)

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