Post by DanteMGalileo on May 20, 2020 20:48:58 GMT -5
"Ah! Max! Your essence of hydranaga or whatever it is! Lydia, brace yourself! Blast me! Hit me in the-"
Max was already a step ahead of him, it seemed, as before Will could finish that thought, she blasted him several times in the face with her perfume. He already felt his nose twitch and itch, the misty thing already burning his sinuses. "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA..."
"Oh no. Not again." To brace himself for the resulting sneeze, Percy ducked behind Jack, reaching for the non-existent hood on the tattered suit jacket. "Wait this doesn't have a-"
A few stray papers and instruments were blown off. A poor sap in Will's sneezing range had been knocked over, covered in the contents of his nose. "S-Sorry, don't know my own strength... L... Lydia?!"
Ryan gave a quick nod at Jack. "Got it." He kept his eyes on Will very, very closely. The cyborg couldn't help but wince as he saw the massive sneeze that Will unleashed. "Oh shit, is Lydia okay after that!?"
Post by ThePopcornFairy on May 20, 2020 21:11:01 GMT -5
Dr. Pendleton slowly, shakily picked himself up off the floor, his expression frozen in a state of flabbergasted, slightly affronted shock, his glasses and cheeks coated in droplets of spittle. "Mr. Lowe..."
"WAIT! Don't move!" Jack hastily grabbed a thick set of magnifying goggles off a nearby desk before rushing up to Dr. Pendleton, holding him still while he looked his boss intently in the spit-covered face. After a few seconds of investigation, he spotted a familiar shape among the microbes. "I see the pod. Tweezers!"
He blindly removed his ID with one hand and held out his other for one of the technicians to slip a pair of tweezers into. With his tools in hand, Jack slowly, gingerly plucked the tiny ship off of Dr. Pendleton's glasses and set it down on the flat surface of the badge. Once the delicate procedure was complete, he rushed over to the transfer tube that would move Proteus II into the chamber. "Got it! Max, you got the chip?!"
Post by ParamountKeymaster on May 20, 2020 21:27:48 GMT -5
"Uh... Wow." Sure, Max had expected a sneeze –downright hoped for one, even– but she hadn't anticipated the sort of magnitude Will would release it with. "Bless you, Will."
She hushed back up when Jack sprung into action and picked the extracted pod off of Dr. Pendleton's face, only letting out the breath she had been holding when Jack confirmed a safe transfer. Then Jack reminded Max that there was still one more thing they needed.
"The chip! Right!" Max quickly started digging again, impatiently scooping up a handful of small odds and ends out of her bag, dumping them onto the table, and digging around in them until she found a tiny bit of red. "CHIP!"
One quick handoff to Dr. Pendleton and they were off to the races. Max could only pray that they still had time to spare.
Post by DanteMGalileo on May 20, 2020 21:47:28 GMT -5
"Uh... wow. I guess I... didn't break the pod? Guess we'll have to find out..."
Will watched warily as the technicians prepped the thingy that would apparently return Lydia to her regular size. He felt his knees go wobbly and leaned onto the closest thing for support, which just so happened to be Percy. "I can't watch," he stated, pulling his glasses onto his forehead and bringing a palm to each eye. "Tell me what happens."
"I'll tell you what happens if you lose some weight..."
Post by ThePopcornFairy on May 23, 2020 15:51:34 GMT -5
"Chip...! Thank you!" Dr. Pendleton gratefully swiped the microchip out of Max's hand and hustled over to the main hard drive, quickly readying it for insertion. "Here it is. Hurry!"
The technician manning the station booted up the robotic arm used to set up the delicate equipment. Slowly, carefully, it unfurled from its resting position and leaned over the tiny chip, adjusting itself inch by inch, aiming its pincers to grab it. The tedious process took all of seven seconds to wear on Dr. Pendleton's nerves, prompting him to shout, "We don't have time for this!" before picking the chip back up and plugging it into the circuit breaker himself...
...earning a small shock for his efforts, to which he responded by slapping his employee on the arm. "Thanks for the warning."
"Pod transfer is complete!" Jack announced, turning away from one of the many computer monitors. "Let's get this thing fired up!"
"Reenlargement commencing in t-minus ten... nine... eight..."
The low humming of the chamber began to pick up, the metal floors of the balcony vibrating as the machinery coursed with overwhelming electrical power. Jack followed the other technicians' lead and quickly donned a pair of goggles, snatching a few more and handing them out to Will, Percy, Ryan and Max. "You're gonna want these."
"Seven... six... five..."
Dr. Pendleton leaned over the desk, fingers scraping at the surface, his goggle-protected eyes trained nervously on the chamber.
Jack unconsciously grabbed Max's hand, figuratively and literally sharing her anxiety as he stared ahead and strained to focus his mind on Lydia.
Awkward silence filled the room, punctuated only by the continued droning of the miniaturization chamber. Jack exchanged a wary look with Max. Dr. Pendleton tore his eyes away from the contraption and glared expectantly at the other technicians. "Well??"
"Maybe you shorted it, sir."
"Don't get sassy with me-"
The overhead lights dimmed and the chatter ceased as a white hot sun burst to life inside the chamber with a thunderous, warbling roar. Loose papers went flying. Clothes flapped in the waves of force. Many eyes squinted behind their protective coverings. The heart-stopping phenomenon lasted only five seconds, after which the light inside dimmed, the machines quieted down, and the air grew still.
"Disengage cooker shields!" Jack immediately ordered, racing for the stairs. "Get her outta there!"
Post by ParamountKeymaster on May 23, 2020 15:59:21 GMT -5
Max was practically hyperventilating when the machine that would restore Lydia suddenly kicked in, and her panicked breaths hardly subdued when the process completed. The first thing she did was release her iron-tight grip on Jack's hand, grateful for the comfort but ready to jump back into action. While he made his way down to the chamber, Max tore the goggles off her face and tossed them onto the nearest desk before running up to the balcony ledge and grabbing the bars, gaining a vantage point to watch and wait anxiously as the shield doors opened...
As the lights flickered, Ryan looked around desperately. "Is it supposed to do that!?" He exclaimed in a panic, and then heard Jack running for the stairs. "That's not a good sign..." He noted as he tried to sprint after Jack.
Post by Pink Moon Wolf on May 23, 2020 20:42:05 GMT -5
The shield doors gradually separated, opening the chamber for all to see. Wisps of steam escaped into the open air. In the dim light, the meager observers could see Proteus II standing at full height, busted up but still largely intact, slightly lopsided, dripping wet.
A few technicians rushed down into the chamber after Jack and Ryan. Two of them banded together to remove the drill that was embedded in the front windshield. The third, per Jack's instructions, guided Ryan up the ladder to the hatch on top.
A few turns of the wheel. A releasing hiss. The crew held their breath as the young man reached into the pod...
Lydia clung to the ship's exterior and sucked in an almighty gasp of fresh air. The lab erupted with uproarious cheers and applause, an overwhelming sense of joy and relief filling the atmosphere as their star pilot emerged. A few seconds were spent with Lydia simply breathing, shaking, reveling in her liberation and restored height. She looked around the lab with a weary, awestruck smile. She glanced at Ryan with a warm grin, accepting his assistance down to the floor.
She was back. It was by the seat of her pants that she made it out, but by God, Lydia had never felt so free.
Post by ThePopcornFairy on May 23, 2020 20:53:40 GMT -5
The moment she set foot outside the pod, Jack sprinted headlong and threw his arms around her. He buried his cheek in her hair and slowly rocked back and forth, savoring the warmth radiating off of her, the feeling of her lithe form in his arms, the well of emotions flowing between the both of him. Tears streamed down Jack's face, curving around his smile. He never wanted to let go. Finally, the phoenix had reached the sun. "Lydia..."
Dr. Pendleton kept in place, his tense muscles relaxing as his breaths grew slower and calmer. He stared somberly into the chamber, studying every detail of his daughter with the eyes of a man who didn't know how to feel. Slowly, quivering slightly, the doctor sat down and leaned his forehead into his palm, allowing himself a moment to let go of the sorrow he no longer had to feel.
Post by ParamountKeymaster on May 23, 2020 21:11:57 GMT -5
A smile of absolute glee spread across Max's face when she saw that pod open. Just like that, she was charging down the stairs to join the crew in the chamber. "LYDIA!!!"
A few seconds after Jack embraced her, Max ran in and hugged Lydia from behind, enveloping her entirely. She lost herself in fits of wheezing laughter, overwhelmed with a joy she had never quite before felt for her ex-girlfriend. Pride. Gratitude. Sweet, sweet relief. Max could barely form words to describe how happy she was, try as she might. "Lydia...! Y... You're ok... We're okay...! We...! You...! Ahh...!"
Post by DanteMGalileo on May 23, 2020 21:32:38 GMT -5
"Did... did we...?"
Tossing the protective eyewear aside, Will dashed to the chamber, spotting some... weird travel thing with a bunch of other junk. It had clearly seen better days, it seemed. But... but... Was Lydia okay? "Is... is she...? Did we get her or..." He came to a halt upon getting a better view.
Jack let out her name, running up to a person emerging from the broken transit vehicle. He embraced the pilot, and then Max was there, embracing her as well. "No way. We... she's...?"
After letting Jack and Lydia embrace Lydia, Will slowly walked up to her, offering an awkward hand wave. "H-Hey... Lydia."
Ryan gave the biggest sigh of relief upon seeing the woman, alive and conscious in the pod. It seemed so long ago they'd crossed paths in that bar by sheer coincidence, to this moment here. Ryan slumped back against the side of the accursed pod that had been the cause of all the adventures until this point, letting Max and Jack have first dibs at hugging her. They'd done it. They'd won. I'd be lying if I said this whole adventure wasn't just a little bit.... fun....
Ryan smiled at Lydia through the wall of Jack and Max. "Nice to see you again, eye to eye that is. ....I'm glad you're alright." He told her tiredly.
Post by Pink Moon Wolf on May 24, 2020 20:14:27 GMT -5
Lydia's descent down the pod's ladder was shaky at best, but with help, she made it out. Upon touching the floor, she was immediately met with a bear hug courtesy of Jack, one that she was more than happy to reciprocate. Her arms around his torso, her face in his chest, Lydia wept and laughed with pure elation, overjoyed that Jack was alive and that by extension, so was she.
"Jaaaaack... OOF-! Haha! Max!" After regaining the wind that had been knocked out of her, Lydia turned around slightly and threw an arm around Max, eagerly reeling her into the three-way embrace. It felt so good to see Max this happy. The happiest she'd been since they started dating. Finally, the wedge that had separated them seemed to have lifted.
She turned to glance back at Ryan again over her shoulder. The cyborg's rough state wrenched her heart, and the sympathy was apparent through her unfaltering smile. While Ryan was keen to conduct a formal, face-to-face greeting, Lydia simply couldn't form the right words. All she could do was chuckle warmly at him, but the gratitude in her eyes spoke wonders.
Then, gazing ahead, Lydia's shuddering form grew still as she was met with a familiar face. A face she had seen only a few times before and yet felt like the most familiar image in the world. As Will approached her, Lydia tenderly smiled back at him and slowly walked away from Jack and Max to meet him. For a moment, she just stood there, her expression calm and intimate as she stared up at the man who had carried her so many miles.
With that simple greeting, Lydia stepped closer and threw her arms around Will, earning a few more claps and cheers from the Mexus crew.