This was only supposed to have been a simple trip to gather some herbs. How did things always end up like this? Jade wondered as a vine lashed out, looping over a bank of dusty computers and gripping her by the wrists. She screamed as the thing began to drag her upwards towards the ceiling, sap dripping down, almost like a salivating mouth. Jay risked a glance behind him at the scream, Jamie focused on the thick branch that had smashed in the windows.

“Go. I got this.” He said gritting his teeth and pulling on the machete that had become embedded in the branch.

It took him a moment to scan the room, briefly considering the stairs, then discounting it as more of the vines began to slowly snake towards the group. Cass saw his plan at the same time as Jay did.

“Jay! Don’t the computers…” It was too late, Jay was already moving, leaping into the air and landing hard on the working computer deck. There were some cracking sounds and some of the lights went out, others turned red. He ignored them and used it as a springboard to leap further into the air. Jade screamed as the vines contracted around her wrists, the sap now coating her hair and dripping down her shoulders. Some of the pink leaves parted nearer the ceiling and revealed a large pink flower like maw, the vines angling to place Jade within the large mouth. Jay swung the machete mid leap, he’d only get one chance at this. The machete swing was good, Jay’s leap a perfect arc, the vines parted with an organic squeal and they both fell to the floor. Jade unceremoniously crashing to the deck, Jay landing with slightly bent knees to absorb the impact, hand outstretched to help her up.

He winked.

Jamie wrestled with the machete, the tree branch pulling back out the window, trying to drag him with it. The two forces eventually separated, the machete coming free and Jamie sailing backwards from the effort of still pulling on nothing. He picked himself up quickly and backed off, the tree branch disappearing as a gout of fire blistered the pealing pain on the window frame. There was the battle cry of a marine outside and another blast of fire washed heat over the entire room.

A siren began to warble.

It was a broken sound, full of dust and promise, more of a whine than a warning. Thick dust began to fall on all of the computer terminals and fill the room.

“Quick. That’s Halon we have to go.” Cass said, opening the door and breaking into a run for a small hill that was visible through the growth. She wanted to turn back, to make sure that Rackham, Gibbs and Kumar were ok, but Halon was toxic, more than a few moments breathing it and none of them would be breathing any more anyway. Besides, it had an odd pink quality to it. Almost like pink pollen. She shuddered and ran faster.

Once on the crest of the hill they all collapsed, breathing hard. Apart from Jamie who stood panting slightly and Jay who was doing his best not to show how out of breath he was. Cass levelled a kick at him.

“That was stupid. Breaking those computers. We had a chance to remove the fertilizer form the system with it and kill the tree for good. It’s buggered now though isn’t it.” She snapped. They were all silent as a plume of smoke filtered through the green canopy from the irrigation control room.

“We could still poison the system if we can find the tanks.” Jade offered.

“We’d risk too much by doing that. This place is one of the main sources of food for this Dwarf don't forget” Jay frowned, thinking how to win. Jason gave Jay a look, confused by his choice of words, but the others jus nodded, seeming to not notice the oddity.

“We need to know it’s weakness, every plant has its own poison weaknesses right?” Tanaka offered. They all fell silent, trying to work out the next steps.

The hills rolled off behind them, the jungle like canopy fading to gorse and heather as the hills steepened, the air thinning and cooling to imitate mountains. The jungle spread out in front of them, home to the tree and it’s kin, deadly and hungry.

“We can’t leave them…” Cass said, looking down at the plume of smoke.

“I know, but we are so close to the mountain daisies. It’s so close, we could grab them and get out of here.” She paused, and followed Cass’ gaze “They… They’ve probably been killed by the tree anyway.” Jade said, thinking of the rewards offered by Captain Ashley and the benefits to the crew that the returned rare herbs would be. Their deaths wouldn’t help anyone here.


OOC – Two options now! Do we go back for the others, or do we press on for the needed supplies?

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