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As you open your eyes you see frost. You feel cold, deep and penetrating, tingling through your every extremity. An orange light fills the tight, claustrophobic environment and suddenly warmth surrounds you, thawing the chill.

The frost on the glass in front of you dissipates, and beyond you see a metal room filled with cryopods like the one you're in. A troll wanders the rows, checking that the thaw cycle is proceeding correctly. As feeling returns to your fingers you realize you can move again, and moments later the lid cracks open with the hiss of exchanging atmosphere. The glare of the flat, artificial light stings at first, but your eyes quickly adapt. Fighting off residual numbness you struggle out of your pod as around you others do the same.

"New arrivals proceed to administration for processing." The voice is female. Probably an elf, but it's hard to tell with the computer 'enhancement' decided upon by some analysts in a boardroom a decade ago.

You file along with the crowd, waiting patiently in line until you reach the desk.

"Name?" asks the receptionist, a male dwarf with a thick black mustache.

You answer his questions, wondering why he's even bothering. The company already has all your details on file.

"Right. You've been assigned to alpha complex. Head on down to the quartermaster to pick up your work gear then take a monorail car over there. Your luggage will be waiting for you in your quarters when you arrive."
As he speaks an icon dings into being in the upper left corner of your vision. You activate it, revealing a map of Mars City with a route marked out for you.

As you walk down the corridors of Mars City you take in your surroundings. The walls are heavy gauge steel, painted Military Grey. The doors are built to a code unlike any normal structure, each one doubling as an emergency bulkhead in the event of a hull breach. The air tastes slightly stale as you breathe it in, tinged with the faintest hint of ozone. People occasionally pass you in the corridors, all wearing EVO HEL suits with colored tabs indicating their jobs, at least in the real world. In AR, people wear whatever they like, though the fashion seems to be about a year out of date by your reckoning. At one point you pass by a maintenance drone patiently repainting the hall, the bucket of paint labeled 'Ocean Grey'.

You arrive in the quartermaster's office in time to catch the tail end of an argument.
"... a shipment of chainsaws anyway?!? What did they think we were going to do, cut down the great forests of Mars? Just stick them in storage room 208C, it's not being used for anything at the moment."
A beleaguered looking assistant scuttles away, and the quartermaster turns to look at you. He's an Orc, maybe 35 years old, who looks like the kind of man who drinks just a bit more than is good for him.
Ah, you're one of the new recruits? Heading over to Alpha Lab? You'll find your gear in that rack over there. Just grab the bag with your name on it. If you want to get changed, there's some changing rooms over there." he gestures towards the back of the workspace.

Now changed into your shiny new HEL suit, you follow the navigation markers to the monorail and take a seat. As the door closes with a hiss behind you the female voice from earlier sounds in the carriage.
"Welcome to Mars."
"Tanya Petrovna" Tanya identifies herself. Waiting in lines and answering the same questions is something she's grown up with. She'll give her forms a quick glance; if something is wrong, she probably can't get it fixed anyway, and if it's all right they're going to disregard it next time she has to go through processing and fill all the forms again from scratch. She grabs her gear and wonders how many days it'll be before she can shower the last of the hibernation pod dust from her body. Still, no reason to complain. Complaining never gets you anything.

She does have to stop at the maintenance drone. Someone's head is going to roll over this. Sure, the hue difference between Ocean and Military is too minor for the metahuman eye to detect, but a spectrometer can, and Tanya has earned her bumps and knows that management likes things exactly by the book, at least on the surface. Still, the change is good; the military grey is looking a little dowdy.

Tanya wastes no time getting to the monorail. She selects a seat where she's close enough to hear everyone, but not in the center where people are normally chosen for 'volunteer' duties, and definitely not in the back or dark corners, where the corporate computer agents will penalize your psychological record, noting you as a 'loner' or 'antisocial'. Middle of the pack. Where the long-timers sit.
Border checkpoints and personnel induction posts. All alike. Same questions over and over. Nathaniel endures the tedium and follows instructions.

He ambles down the corridor towards the quartermaster's office. A flustered young man moving a crate with a hand-operated forklift hurries past him, muttering "208C. 208C." Nathaniel can't help notice (really, he can't) that the crate is marked 'chainsaws'. He smiles at the irony. It seems all organizations do some stupid things.

Once dressed and kitted, Nathaniel steps out into the monorail bay and gets his first view of the landscape through the exit down the tracks. A shiver runs through him. A moment of panic and doubt overcomes him. What have I done? What am I doing here? He shakes his head and clears away the voices. Better than being dead.

He opens his mind to the astral and looks out over the sand and dusty buildings. The emptiness is almost nauseating. He steps up into the monorail car, stows his meager belongings in what looks like, in the monotones of unliving things in the astral, the baggage bay, and surveys the few other passengers. No magic. I'm alone.

But a few dark patches around lungs suggest air tanks. Smart, at least. The emotions are guarded, hard to read. Careful, self-controlled. He returns his perception to the material world. A canny observer might think he just cleared away the daze of waking. He sees a short woman part-way back, and decides the juxtaposition of troll and possibly-dwarf could be a pleasant diversion from the desolation in his heart. He sits down next to her.

"Hello. I'm Nathaniel Jones."
JT shuffled along, following the flow of life around him, just as he has for the past few years. He drudged on for what seemed like hours of processing. Go here and wait. Stand over there and wait. Get in line and wait. Fill out paperwork and wait. Get in line and wait. Find out the first agent gave him the wrong forms. Fill out paperwork and wait. Get in line and wait. Go over here, go over there, smile for the camera, thank you, please have a seat. And wait. When did the DMV take over Mars?

Finally, he makes his way over to the quartermaster, where he waits some more. After an indeterminate amount of time, JT was issued his HEL suit. The new uniform sparked a little optimism in him. He checked himself out in the mirror, made sure his shirt was straight, then looked at his unshaven face with disgust, but only for a split second.

Returning to the quartermaster from the locker room, JT waited, again, this time for his sidearm. The orc behind the counter handed him an Ares Predator IV. It was easily recognizable, even with the odd bulky mods, though JT had never used one. His precinct was well behind what shadowrunners carried on the streets. He took his three (only three!?) magazines and examined them. Gel rounds!? What the frag!? "Fraggin' pussies" he muttered, as he loaded his frag-mag. The quartermaster first gave JT a look of you-are-out-of-line when he charged his pistol, but as he holstered it, that look changed to a nod of approval. One ex-police to another.

It was another long wait and shuffle through the corridors before the mass arrived at the monorail. JT hung toward the back, boarding with the last group of people. He scanned the car he entered for suspicious individuals, already on the job. In the center he suspected mostly kiss-asses and petty criminals trying to blend in. The middle contained your run of the mill average folks and sophisticated criminals who know how to blend in. Toward the corners you found your depressed and antisocials along with your street crime thugs. And cops. He took a seat at the rear of the car where he could continue to watch everyone and be left alone.
Tanya responded to Jones. "Tanya." With that she shuts up, then reconsiders. Not good to appear to be rude. Doesn't help you fit in, and doesn't look good on the cameras. "Mechanic. How did you get posted here?"

Her English is clear, although carries a heavy Russian burr.
Marcus Tarrow
You'd think after months asleep in a tin can they'd at least have some coffee on on the go. Do they have coffee on mars? What is that smell!?

Snapped out of his not-quite-defrosted daze he responds to the quartermaster - "Griffiths, Jacob Griffiths. Reception sent me down here to pick up my kit?". He takes the indicated bag from the rack and heads towards the changing rooms. "Don't suppose there's a shower in here too? No?". I'll be seeing you again unless you cut back on the booze a bit chummer. It takes only a few minutes to don the HEL suit for the first time and give his medical kit a check over. The secured box in the bag gave him a few moments pause, an ARO pulsing over it's lock. He ok's the message and a few seconds later settles the Colt in a holster on his left hip. A gun? That's.. unexpected. Hopefully not much call for shooting folks up here.

He's half-buried in maps as he drops into a seat on the monorail, transferring them to his orientation system before remembering the agent can do it for him en-masse. Handy piece of kit to be sure. More personality than some people I've worked with too. Dropping into a chair in the monorail he spends a couple more moments tweaking 'link settings. Sliding back to reality he sees a large troll and small woman sat opposite him, cracks a smile for the first time since landing and says "Hi there, I'm Jacob. Is this the right rail to alpha complex? It's my first time here."
The monorail sets off and you settle in for the two hour trip to Alpha Labs. Out the windows you can see the brown soil stretching on to the horizon, detailing a broken landscape of crests and valleys. Occasionally the monorail will stop at another station, generally some minor habitat growing food for the rest of the complex. It's going to be a long two hours.
Tanya makes some polite chitchat with Dr. Jones, sharing stories about how they got here, and how awful the food is certain to be.
Marcus Tarrow
"Warning, suit vacuum safety is compromised if helmet not deployed." mutters Jacob "I'd never have guessed.."

Waving away the AR suit safety manual he leans back in his seat, stretching his legs out and wiggling his toes to try regain some feeling in his feet. Glancing up and down the carriage he sees that a few of the people he got on with are still onboard, presumably heading to the same section of the base. The dwarf and troll opposite are chatting quietly, a handfull of others scattered around the carriage seem to be working in VR or deep in thought, and the security guy wedged up in the corner is still watching over all.

A twisted spire of rock in the desert outside catches his eye, standing out with amazing clarity despite it's distance. Looks like I could almost reach out and touch it. A line from an old movie pops into his head and he chuckles to himself. I don't think we're in Kansas anymore...
Nathaniel considers Tanya's question.

"Short answer, I needed to be as far away from someone dangerous as I could possibly be. I'm an archaeologist. When Evo advertised for someone to do some work on Mars, I jumped at it. Far away, and a very unique posting.

"How about you? I don't know how many times I wished I could do what you do, while broken down in some God-forsaken hole days out from the nearest town."

He looks around the car. Cautious people have spread themselves around, with good views of what is going on in the car. It seems some things are the same throughout the solar system.
JT continued to watch the crowd, wondering how much longer the trip was going to take. His mood had not improved since waking from cryogenic slumber, still feeling the frost on his bones. The hangover didn't help either, and being flash frozen did nothing for curing it.

He tried to stretch out a bit and relax, after all, the job hadn't technically started, but all the geared up criminal-looking passengers kept that from happening.
"A big man like you? I am surprised.

"I am not running from. I have nothing left to run from. Perhaps I am wishing on a phoenix feather. Or perhaps it's like they say; gamblers with nothing to lose bet high. We'll see.

"An archeologist? On Mars? Is this about the umm.. Pyramids? Or skeletons?"
"A bit of both, I think. The details are a little sketchy and I wasn't too particular at the time I decided.

"As far as my size, well, there's always someone or something bigger. The survivor is one who chooses carefully when to stand and when to run.

"Or maybe the time hasn't come yet to stand no matter what."
As the Monorail pulls up in Alpha Labs, you each get a message from the head of security.

"Greetings, new arrival! My name is Captain Damien Scrubs, head of security here at Alpha Labs. I'd appreciate it if you could stop by my office once you arrive."
"Well. Sounds like we have been summoned. I assume we can follow the AROs to the Security Office." Nathaniel stands and waits for Tanya. "Shall we go?"
Tanya just harumphs, but walks along beside Nathaniel.
Marcus Tarrow
Jacob fires off a quick reply as he stands, stretches, steps onto the platform and heads for the security office.
@Capt.Scrubs(JacobGriffiths) "Certainly Captain, have just arrived at Alpha Labs and will be arriving with you shortly"

Following the ARO into the labs he's stuck by how compartmentalised the base is - even here heavy pressure doors break up the corridors at regular intervals, safety warning covered pressure doors lead to various labs and windows are nonexistant. Reminds me of the Japan undersea facility from a few years back... guess that makes sense. Wonder if it's easier keeping air in than keeping all that water out?

Slowed only by his casual (and unsuccessful) search for a coffee machine he catches up with the archeologist and the tech from the monorail trip just as they reach the security office. A camera above the door watches their approach, the door zips open and Jacob steps on in.
"Hi there, I'm looking for Captain Scrubs?"
JT followed the unloading passengers, keeping to the rear of the pack. The crowd gradually thinned as people headed toward their different destinations. By the time he reached the security office, the group was just him and a few others. This is the new security recruits? I am going to die on this godforsaken planet.
Mars, Alpha Labs, Security Center
You are ushered in to a fairly large office, at least by the standards of Mars. With the size of the assembled group however, it feels a bit cramped. Opposite you and behind a desk is a tired-looking human wearing a security badge on the shoulder of his HEL suit. He looks up as you enter, then stands.
"Ah, you must be the new arrivals. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to our happy little community." he says.
He glances over at JT, and a momentary frown crosses his face as he sees the man's condition.
"If any of you have any questions about the complex or life here, please don't hesitate to ask. My door is always open, and if anything happens please don't hesitate to come over and chat about it." he says with a slightly strained smile.
Mars, Alpha Labs, Security Center

Nathaniel looks around at the posters, hanging clipboards of operating orders and duty rosters, and all the other accoutrements of a paramilitary outpost. Been there, seen that, gotten the drill from functionaries in a dozen different hell holes and as many languages on Earth.

Some things just never change. He shoots a surreptitious glance at Tanya.

"Thanks, Capt. I feel confident you will do all that is necessary to keep us safe. Is there a document outlining standard procedures here in Alpha Labs? Might as well get up to speed as soon as possible."

That should keep him happy. At least he didn't ask for a bribe. Small mercies when held close to the breast of Mother Corporation.
Tanya is content to let her short stature, and position behind the metahuman wall, shield her from both attention and responsibility. Can't have herself appearing to take on a leadership role, especially with a group of new recruits. Up-coming managers tend to have short lifespans.

She gives the captain a nod, clearly indicating she understood the offer.
Mars, Alpha Labs, Security Center

"So... When do we start training?"
Marcus Tarrow
Mars, Alpha Labs, Security Center

"Thanks for the welcome Captain. Is there anything specific we should be aware of or watching out for?"
Mars Alpha Labs, Security Center

A small document detailing standard procedures and safety information pops up on your PAN, for you to peruse at your leisure.
"Sorry about that, would have thought the boys down at central would have issued it to you when you got decanted. As for anything specific to watch out for I recommend not volunteering as a test subject, Mr Griffiths. Beyond that, if anyone has any issue with elves I recommend staying clear of Dr Kyhmyr. He's from Tír na nÓg and has a tenancy to rub people the wrong way. As for your inductions, well I'll leave your department heads to deal with the specifics. Now there's one thing I wanted to-"

A loud explosion echoes through the complex, and Captain Scrubs stands up fast enough for his chair to smash loudly into the ground.

"Come on, You're now all first responders. Follow me!" he orders, grabbing a fire extinguisher and rushing towards the source of the detonation along with several other security officers.
That didn't take long. Well, this sort of drek is pretty much par for the course everywhere else she's worked too.

Tanya hoists her gear and will hustle along after--although BEHIND the troll. Trolls tend to not to fall out hull breaches as easily as dwarves.
Nathaniel joins the rush towards trouble. In passing he wonders why this behaviour hasn't extirpated itself from the human condition. A quick foray into evolutionary theory gives him the stock answers.

His opinion of human intelligence raises a tiny bit when he notices Tanya take up a position behind his bulky frame. Smart girl.
Marcus Tarrow
Mars, Alpha Labs, en-route to explosion site

As he half runs half walks behind the Captain, Jacob grabs his suit helmet from it's pouch on his suit and takes a quick glance around to see who's following.

"Dr Jones and Miss Petrovna?" and glancing back at the security guard from the monorail "and Mr Logan was it? I'm Jacob Griffiths, medic. I guess we're working together on this one."
he lies on the ground, numb from the neck down. fire... he can smell fire. can't see. can't hear. fire. Fire!
suppressing a shudder he continues "Are there any cameras or anything in the area anyone can access? Or even one of those little maintenance drones? A set of eyes in there would be a definate plus. "
Mars, Alpha Labs, en-route to explosion site

Nathaniel notices the shudder try to run through Griffiths. Brave man, running to the thing that frightens him.

"Looks like it. Wonder if they planned this."
Mars, Alpha Labs, en-route to explosion site

Nathaniel answers Jacob's question as they jog. "I notice they have cameras at every corner and intersection. There must be a massive surveillance network handling all that video equipment. It's beyond me to hack into it, though. Surely the security office would have had access."

He also points out the flashing lights that flow along the walls, with interspersed arrows giving direction. "Looks like they have a system for guiding personnel to safety. I bet all we have to do is follow the arrows backwards."
"I will see if I can get anything from the networks. Just make sure I don't walk into a wall or anything. Station management frowns on employees walking into walls."

With that, Tanya pulls up her AR. She's already logged into the system; she just needs to elevate privileges for the camera access. She has a few umm... 'troubleshooting' tools, and this seems like a troubleshooting situation. Her system penetration tool, L00bFREE hammers the camera authentication front-end.

(Posting using the dice roller from another forum) 21:11, Fri 17 Oct 2014: Papa Bear rolled 4 successes using 9d6 with the Shadowrun 4th ed system with a target of 5 ((3,4,6,3,3,5,6,6,2)).

I assume that is a success? I don't actually play SR4. Making up the storyline as you go along isn't such a jump when you were already making up the mechanics.
Mars, Alpha Labs, en-route to explosion site

JT stares at Griffiths for a moment, trying to find a friendly reply, which he had been out of the practice of doing. He finally thought he had the tone right, but the medic was already jogging on, conversing with the other recruits. JT followed at the trail of the group, scanning the area for any suspicious activity. He noted the cameras the others had pointed out and thought maybe someone should be looking at those right now. If this were foul play, it may not be an isolated incident, and catching the perpetrators should be a high priority.
Mars, Alpha Labs, en-route to explosion site

Tanya starts getting feeds from the security system. It takes a moment to sift through the ones not pertinent to the emergency.
Mars, Alpha Labs, en-route to explosion site

Tanya's dive into the matrix brings up two feeds showing action not far ahead, around a corner and through a double door. Maybe fifty meters, tops. The first shows smoke billowing out of a room the door of which hangs on an angle from one hinge. Beside the door is a label identifying the room as transformer sub-station A1-1. The second is inside the room, and through what must be a cracked lens shows massive damage to transformers, wiring and cabinets.

Two personnel are on the floor where the air appears to be cleaner; one apparently unconscious and the second dragging the first by the shirt towards the door. Both look severely burned and bleeding. Smoke obscures much of the room and it is hard to tell exactly what happened.

Captain Scrubs Shouts as they round the corner, "Damn! Looks like it might be the transformer room. I was afraid of that. Anybody have alternative air, you better have it handy. If the transformers are burning the smoke will be toxic."

Nathaniel catches that last comment. "Surely they aren't using PCBs in these transformers, are they?"

Scrubs glances back. "Don't ask questions. Just do as you are told."

Oh, God. Nathaniel thinks to himself.
Mars, Alpha Labs, en-route to explosion site

JT scanned the area for any suspicious characters. Someone walking too calmly away, head down, someone a little too interested in the damage. No one stood out right away, so he started to walk through the gathering crowd.
Mars, Alpha Labs, explosion site

As the motley crew arrives at the door to the transformer room, Scrubs immediately takes command and begins removing the gawkers from the site. "Procedure is to LEAVE the danger zone by following the arrows. Do so NOW!" He hands the fire extinguisher to ... Nathaniel ... and says, "Here. Get in there, science guy, and douse anything on fire. The rest of you, pull out any injured."
Marcus Tarrow
Mars, Alpha Labs, Explosion site

Looking sidelong at Nathaniel, Jacob chuckles "If this is some sort of first day hazing then they've really gone all out". The half smile drops from his face as he pulls on the suit helmet. "Either way it's a hell of a first day".
Glancing over Tayna's feeds a hint of concern enters his voice "At least one person down and one semi-mobile. I'll need at least one extra set of hands to get them both out here and checked out. Hopefully no additional casualties but we'll have to check."

Ok air tanks on, lowlight on, eyes and ears recording, suit location beacon on... let's get to work
Mars, Alpha Labs, Explosion site

Nathaniel smiles at Jacob's observation. Going into potentially toxic fumes doesn't seem to him like a smart thing to do. Remembering his astral scan earlier, he turns to Tanya. "Here." He hands her the fire extinguisher. "You look like you can breath your own air. You go in with him and I'll wait here to grab them as you drag them out."
Tanya accepts the extinguisher.

"What about the equipment? Are we going to evacuate the air to extinguish it? If we leave the fire burning, the company, it will blame us."

Despite her misgivings, Tanya moves forward, blasting the extinguisher at the ground, around the people, and at anything that looks particularly valuable. She moves to the closest body and, grabbing the closest limb, she makes her way back out the way she came.

(Do the individuals appear to have breathing gear? Can the air be safely evacuated?)
Mars, Alpha Labs, Explosion site

The security chief returns his attention to the rescue attempt. "There's a system to evacuate the atmosphere from each room separately. Should have come on automatically, but clearly didn't. There's a bright red lever inside the room to the left of the door. Pulling it will activate the system manually." He and Nathaniel easily take the unconscious person from Tanya's grasp and drag him to waiting medics.

"Go for it once the second one is out. Your internal air tank will protect you."

Tanya returns back into the smoke, feeling around for the emergency lever to pull it. The door immediately closes, locking down the area, and vents kick on, evacuating the air.

As the smoke clears, she has an opportunity to examine the site of the explosives.

13:55, Today: Papa Bear rolled 2 successes using 6d6 with the Shadowrun 4th ed system with a target of 5.

As a note, part of my delay was losing my character sheet on my other computer nyahnyah.gif I'm playing this one from memory. I need to export it tomorrow and make sure I have a copy on the machines I actually game on, since I can't even find it in the forums. ANYWAY ... SR4 people, is this a success?
Marcus Tarrow
Crouched down behind a pair of workbenches and focussed on the biomonitor feeds from the semiconcious 2nd casualty Jacob barely registers the conversation going on between Tanya and the Captain, instead talking quietly (half to himself and half to the patient) as he checks them over for major injuries. "Couple of fractured ribs, glass embedded in the right shoulder through the suit, ears'll be ringing for a bit, cuts grazes and bruises - all things considered not too"

The screeching AR wail of the decompression alarm stuns him into silence for a moment before well-honed reflexes kick into action. "Bad!" Grabbing the casualties suit and lifting, Jacob barrels down a row of workbenches back towards the doorway... a door which a break in the swirling smoke reveals to be rapidly closing. Too rapidly when there's still a row of workbenches between Jacob and the doorway. With a muttered "Sorry" and an almighty heave he throws his soon-to-be-more-injured casualty towards the rapidly narrowing gap...
A second technician flies through the rapidly closing doors to the transformer room, and fetches up against the wall of the hallway with a grunt of pain. As the doors close, the wail of the siren in the room beyond lessens to a level that allows thought again. Medics show up to tend to the two technicians, but not before the first man out can be cradled by another man, whose tears streak the soot on the injured man's face. He looks up at the team, and mouths a silent, "Thank you."

Inside the room, Jacob and Tanya hang on to fixed furniture as a strong blast of wind from the exiting atmosphere clears the room of smoke and every other gas. The thin atmosphere outside filters little, and in moments the two of them have a clear view of Mars as few of humankind have ever seen it. Red dust swirls in the eddies of the exit blast, some curling back into the room. A flat plain stretches to the horizon, mottled in many shades of red and brown. A deep indigo sky twinkles with stars and an oblong shape that moves visibly across the sky. Phobos, one of Mars' moons! It seems Mars too has found a way to take their breath away.

Their revery is broken when their commlinks squawk into activity. The security chief's voice speaks, "The two of you. Check in there for any signs of what caused the fire. The rest of us will look for clues out here." The chief turns to the remaining staff. "Alright, everyone clear away form here. We need to secure this area and investigate. Move along." He motions to Nathaniel and JT to help clear the hall. Nathaniel uses his bulk to go in one direction, arms outstretched from one wall to the other, urging people gently to move away. They comply readily as this towering wall of flesh comes towards them.
Tanya holds tight for the few minutes of rapid decompression (fortunately not explosively rapid!) She'll chat with Jacob, since he just seems to be hanging around. "Well. This is good. Very fun. Have you been to Mars before?"

Once the decompression is done, and she's sure she can move around safely again, she'll start exploring, first turning off the power to the area, then checking into and under devices, looking for possibly causes, focusing on unintentional things; overloaded transformers, a source of heat near an oxygen vent, things such as that, but then moving on to more exotic things. "Do you suppose it is aliens?"
Mars, Alpha Labs, outside the Transformer Room (explosion site)

Instead of using his bulk to push people back the way Nathaniel did, JT used his general unfriendliness. He physically grabbed the clothing of onlookers telling them to, "Move along, drekhead," or "You have something to do with this, chum?" He gauged people's reaction to him, and the scene. Did they seem fearful of the event, or of him? Did they comply or resist? Would their eyes not focus on anything, or did they linger too long on something? Did they stare him down, or at something, and if so, was that a stare of shock, defiance or some sort of mental defect?

"Hey foolface, what did I just tell you!? Back the frag up."
Marcus Tarrow
"No, it's my first trip out here. Until a few weeks before we left home I wasn't even sure that we had a facility on Mars. Had heard that we had something up here but didn't think it was anything like this. What about you, have you been stationed here long?"

As the smoke clears and the wind drops he helps Tanya sift through debris, unsure of what he's looking for but looking for anything obviously out of place.

"Aliens? That's both an enthralling and terrifying thought. 80 years ago we thought people who believed in ghosts, dragons and magic were crazy. Turns out they weren't far wrong. These days people don't believe in aliens. I wonder how crazy they'll look in another 80 years time. Hey what was that you were asking the Doctor about earlier, something about pyramids and skeletons? Have they actually found something up here?"
JT's brusque behaviour moved people along, though it brought a lot of stares and "WTF?"s. One person lingered momentarily, craning around JT's stocky body looking at something intently. A quick look back and JT figured it was the couple of men, one holding and crying over the other. The rubber-necker had a faint look of disgust on his face. JT couldn't believe it. Even now.. even here.

He cleared the hallway to the first bend. Once out of direct line of sight, people lost interest and moved on. One woman said, "Come on Mary, let's check it out on the station news feed."
JT pulls the disgusted man's record, quickly scanning it for any criminal history, political and corporate associations. He will be able to delve more deeply into the file later. First he had to clear the scene. He made a note of the injured and grieving men the suspect was looking at. The bombing could be personal, rather than political or business.
Marcus Tarrow
Jacob looks up from where he's searching the remains of a workbench
stop a minute, think logically
Bringing his thermal imaging online he takes a fresh look around the scene. Small pieces of debris, still shining hot in the insulating vacuum, lay sprayed across the floor between the benches like snow blown by the wind. And like blown snow gatheing on the windward side of a tree it's spread shows a clear directionality, one that leads to a large junction box mounted on one of the walls. The door of the junction box is nowhere to be seen, the sides are bulged and the remains of whatever was in there are unregonisable.
"Hey Tanya, what do you make of this? Should whatever was in here have been able to go bang like that?"
Tanya clambers over to the device. She grabs the remains of a carbon fiber strut; nanofabricated to support the walls of the station against the blasting winds of the exterior while holding in the hundreds of pounds per square foot of atmosphere. It is now Tanya's stick.

She uses it to prod inside the case. Very little of the recognizable pieces of a junction are still there.

"No. These junctions, they melt, not explode. Not like this!"

She pokes a few more times, and carefully brushes a few metal scraps out onto the floor, where she picks them up.

"These do not belong either. Something was planted here. But why here? This corridor ... it is nothing special. Either they wanted to kill someone here, or perhaps for security to look this way for a moment."
Mars, Alpha Labs, outside the Transformer Room (explosion site)

The corridor was more or less cleared, but it was like wrangling kittens. JT would clear one area, lookie-loos would wander back over as soon as he started dealing with the rubber-neckers in another. Finally fed up, he grabbed a dumb looking fellow by the collar and said in an urgent voice, "We need some help. I need you, what's your name?"

"Alright, Mikey -"
"All right, you. Run to the Security Center and get some security tape and safety vests. Tell them Captain Scrubs sent you. We are counting on you, sir."

The man ran off toward the Security Center feeling important.
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