Jogging in the Shade

A Fire on the Deep

“Help my people survive this and I’ll give you each 1,600 nuyen!” screams Bat’djoto as she disappears into a side tunnel obscured by the smoke. You quickly look around you to assess your situation. In the aftermath of the explosion a fire is raging toward you from the main thoroughfare of the Underground into the Goblin Market.  The foam sound baffling that covers the walls and ceiling and the stalls that clog the market is supposed to be  fire retardant, but for whatever reason it is bursting into flames and falling in great chunks onto the people below. The stalls were clearly built without regard to any sort of  fire code and have been assembled from everything from painted wooden pallets to scrap densiplast. People unfortunate enough to be to close to the oncoming flames become fuel for the inferno. Behind you, though you cannot see it at this point, is the Lordstrungs exit you came in. Beyond that is a residential area. Most of the people you see are moving towards the exit. The exceptions are five orks and two trolls wearing Skraacha colors, who are moving towards the fire in an attempt to fight the fire. You figure you have five minutes to do something before the fire engulfs you and them on its way to the exit and hundreds of people, not to mention the residential area beyond.
You survey the tunnel to see what you have to work with. Along the walls are boxes for activation of the fire suppression system. This is where the “firefighters” are moving towards right now. Looking at nearby boxes you can see the system is showing a cascade of errors including “low water pressure” and “service required”. Numerous exposed pipes run overhead. You’re sure some of them contain water, though you are equally sure some are also empty and others likely hold gas or waste. You see lots of flammable materials that could be moved to form a firebreak. You know this will take a significant amount of time and effort. The ventilation system is pushing air into the fire, forming a bellows feeding the flames. The node is currently broadcasting the message “Ventilation control is down for repair. Please contact your Area Support Specialist for further assistance.” The physical box for the ventilation system is on the ceiling of the tunnel, unfortunately.
The heat is rising, the smoke obscures your vision and makes it difficult to breathe, but you know you must do something or you and hundreds of others may perish. Worse, you’ll miss out on over a grand and a half.


Interview Series from the Ork Underground Fire.
Aaron, Ork Underground citizen: “Yeah, so I was minding my own business looking through the shops in the Underground when there was a giant explosion. There was fire, smoke, people screaming. I started running but the people in the crowds were bouncing off each other. I got knocked to the ground and then I looked up, and there were these guys standing there. Everyone else was running, but these folks were standing their ground, helping some get out, picking others up. A humongous dwarf was picking stuff up and throwing it away from the flames. Another guy was giving speeches to the Skraacha fire fighters and the folks trying to get out. There was a wizard who was controlling spirits who were also fighting the fire. There was this normal guy who started messing with stuff that exploded when he was done. There was an elf chick who levitated up to the ceiling and started working on some control boxes. They got everyone out, then started repairing and shooting the fire extinguishing system. The craziest thing of all, was that it actually worked. They pulled it all together and managed to get the fire under control. They didn’t look like much, but they were fragging Heroes!”

William, Human systems engineer: “I was stuck in this giant wave of trogs and dwarves as they panicked all around me. But we were stopped by the barricades those idiot police were throwing up to keep the useless dregs inside. I started pushing my way forward, but no one would listen to me about how important I was. There was this big troll in some gang shouting at some ork in a religious get-up. The troll was trying to get everyone to charge the barricade while the ork was suggesting a hippie sit in. I was rooting the troll along so they would charge the barricades and get things going so I could move along. Then this group of guys covered in dirt and soot came down the tunnel from where the fire was rolling. They stared down the troll and got them to side with the ork. The nerve of those guys. Those long haired peaceniks kept me from making the downtown tram. Complete bullsh*t.

Colt, Ork Skraacha member: “We had just got done putting the fire out and getting the last people out of the smoke filled tunnels, when some of the neighborhood kids came busting out of a side tunnel. Some of them had pitched in to carry messages around during emergencies like this one. They were in a bad way, they’d been running for a while and at least one of them had been shot. I’m tending to one of the kids and those same fraggers who were helping us put out the fire disappeared into the tunnel the kids came out of. About 10 minutes later there was some gunfire and a lot of screaming. Those guys came back looking null sweat to tell us that they took care of the guys and that they were an Alamos 20K team. I know what the news has been saying, but I believe those guys who saved our hoops.

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