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re: Rigor Mortis (An excerpt from the SWTOR forum RP)

((EDIT: I posted this about a week ago, then promptly deleted it after a day because it seemed silly to post something that had no direct link to the SOTOR rp characters or its timeline. But, Naandi convinced me otherwise. So, here it is... again. :P))


Previously Posted: 6/28/2011

((OOC comments: I know I haven't been around much, but I have been spending much of my time waiting for TOR to come out by doing pretty much exactly what I plan to be doing once the game actually goes live: roleplaying. So rather than slip away to my own little world once again, I thought I'd post one of my latest entries.

((The thread I was involved with was called "Rigor Mortis", where the plot revolved around the abduction and abandonment of "contestants" in a cross between The Most Dangerous Game and the latest installment of the Predators movie (except this time, it's an ice planet... not a jungle game-preserve). It was all good fun for a while, but I decided that (for a number of reasons) I needed to cut the apron strings from this mother-ship and skip quadrant (aka: "bail out!"). So... I tossed up my last post and said my farewells.

((Since I didn't have to worry about interacting with any other character at the moment, I had free reign to post a wall o text. It truly ended up being more of study of story pacing than anything, and now that I look at it I /really/ wish I had edited for cohesion, repeated words, and fail-descriptions. But, I'm lazy. So this is the raw cut.

((In this scene, Dredge Tin (an escaped convict [and, yes, Julmay was right... jawa companion? Bounty Hunter here I come!]) has just recently allied himself with a sniveling little weasel of a pilot. His wrists are still bound with stun-cuffs and he is suffering from effects of below-freezing temperatures. To survive the cold, they have decided to make a camp and build a fire...))


Dredge trudged through the snow with canteen in hand. Ten minutes earlier, he and the kid had decided that their best plan of action was to make camp and stave off the chilling cold with fire. The kid had shuffled off one way, and he in the opposite direction.

So far, he’d managed to collect several dried limbs. They now lay bundled at his feet as he took a moment to simply stand quietly and listen. The sound of running water called softly from nearby. Dredge became suddenly aware of an acute thirst. He eyed his canteen, rattled it roughly in his hand and grimaced. Despite his better efforts, without fire and using only his body heat, the snow packed inside his canteen was melting at an uncomfortably slow rate.

His eyes moved back towards the sound. Water. The rule of three’s brushed against his memory: dead in 30 days without food, dead in 3 days without water, dead in 3 minutes without oxygen.

He was breathing. Check. At the very least he’d survive three minutes more. Water? It wasn’t a dire need at the moment. If they succeeded in building a fire back at camp, they’d have snow-water to drink. But Dredge felt his impatience growing within him; dehydration had set in long ago.

He’d decided. He shrugged off his rucksack, letting it drop beside his bundle of firewood and set off towards the sound.

Strange. Dredge kept walking in the direction of the sound, feeling that with every step he was sure that he would spot the moving water and with every step was similarly disappointed. The sound grew louder and louder, but with not a stream in sight. Where was it? Where? He edged around a large boulder, carefully picking his way and stepped down onto a flatter section of ground, perhaps some weatherworn flatrock. The sound of the rushing water was almost deafening now.

He walked a few steps, then paused as he felt his foot skid slightly out from underneath him on the slick surface.


Dredge’s heart sunk into his gut. A light gust of wind whipped the snow dust into the air, revealing the surface he now stood on. And there he saw it: a jagged splinter in the ice snapping its way away from him. He didn’t stand a chance.

The frozen surface shattered under his weight, plunging him into the icy waters of the clandestine river. He gasped involuntarily at the shock of enveloping cold. The frigid waters teared over his face and dove down his open throat, rendering a searing pain that racked through his lungs as the freezing liquid choked him, strangling him from the inside-out. He wheeled back to the surface, his cry for help stifled by his own forced gurgle as he tried to empty his lungs of the water.

The rushing current swept him forward, pressing him roughly against the broken, splintering ice as he thrashed against the water’s flow. He was bending in half at the chest: head and shoulders above the surface, the rest of him being dragged beneath the frozen sheet of ice. Tightening fingers clawed at the river’s surface, desperately scraping his cuffed wrists and trying to get his elbows and shoulders above the surface of the water and onto the ice. But the ice merely chipped and broke away, dropping him back into the water with each renewed struggle. His very weight was working against him.

Dredged closed his eyes, forcing himself to quiet the panic that coursed through him. His fingers were curling into tight balls, quickly growing numb and useless. The current beneath the ice surface kicked his legs up, his feet tapping roughly at the underside of the ice sheet. He was loosing feeling all over. It was getting harder to breath. His muscle functions were beginning to shut down as his core temperature plummeted.

He was… slipping.

The cold sapped his strength and his will. It was now or never. Dredge grit his teeth, sending off as hard a kick as he could muster and pressed his elbows down hard against the top surface of the ice, intent on leveraging himself up and over the cracking edge of the ice. But the ice merely snapped beneath the pressure and Dredge was swept below the ice.

Three minutes…

The panic returned and Dredge forced his eyes open, the freezing waters sending out its icy daggers and blurring his vision. The current carried him near the surface, beating his body against the underside of the ice sheet. And here was the dreadful beauty of it all. He could still see the pale blue of the sky and the passing of dark trees through the opaque window of ice. He lashed out against this cruel fate, his cuffed hands pounding futilely against the ice as he was dragged along.


Lethargy set it, countered only by the burning in his chest. Dredged’s lungs spasmed at the need for oxygen, the natural vacuum of his body’s innate human mechanics dragging in another lungful of freezing water. Although he could feel little else, the pain was unbearable.


As the river widened and flattened into shallow waters, Dredge finally broke through the thinning sheet of ice: his body pale and blueing. Stiff. Cold. Dead.

Rigor mortis.
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