Lockdown- Risten and Taryn

Beads of sweat formed on Ristin’s forehead, his cerulean skin turning deep purple as he strained. Finally, with a satisfying clang, the floor panel came loose and popped out, skidding across the rest of the deck plating. Risten fell back with a grunt, wiping his brow a pocket handkerchief. With throbbing fingers and sore shoulders, he picked up this latest panel and dragged it over to the incinerator and dug out the confounding fungal roots out of the metal and into the waiting super heated coils. The fungi made a nice pop as they burned to ash in seconds. He then tossed the scrapped plate onto a pile of similar floor plates. He then sank against the wall and slowly slid to the floor with a sigh, grabbing a bottle from his belt and taking a sip of cool water to cool his throat.

It was several hours into their self imposed quarantine. All around him and Taryn were the broken and gutted remains of the biohazard lab he had built so carefully. Spider ichor stained one wall, Ristin’s own splashed onto another, and the floor and even some of the ceiling were still covered in fast growing mushrooms. His torn and ripped coat hung on the wall, Ristin now just in his suit trousers, boots and an undershirt, which hung heavy with sweat to his skin.

The voice of the giant fungus…thing played over and over in his mind as he cleared away the mushrooms patches. He did not not know if it was real, or simply myciodal madness, but either way he felt deeply unsettled, The Chissian gentleman lived a life of discipline and personal control, and here he was, a lab rat in a cage of his own design, with voices in his head. It was not becoming, not becoming at all.

Every hissing pop of fungal spores in the incinerator gave him a malign joy, taking back his sanity bit by bit, so he kept working even though his arms were heavy and he had not eaten for half a day now. They had plenty of water, stored for the plants, but he did not think to bring sandwiches to a biological experiment. He had to keep working, the sooner they were done, the sooner they could leave.

As Ristin continued to clean, clear and dispose, he spared a look at Taryn. His friend was frustrated, he did not need psychic mushrooms to know that. This lab, this experiment was a way to help the people of Viscara. The pair of them were becoming prominent citizens, and these fungal creatures could wreak great devastation. But instead of finding that crucial information to understand this strange fungus, instead they stood in blasted and bloody ruins. It was not totally in vain, they did learn some things, but he knew this was less then what the good doctor wanted.



Taryn itched for a Drink. Capital, hard D Drink. But he knew better than to get plastered in their situation- plus it’d mean he’d have to remove his sealed helmet. It wasn’t so much about breathing in the spores that worried him, although that should be kept to a minimum, but rather loosing the comfort and safety it provided emotionally. Psychological trick- can’t emote through the helm, equals can’t panic through the helm, equals can’t panic.

He was less concerned about the spores now, knowing that in all likely hood, he was already infected through and through. The mycospider had ‘spoken’ to him and Ristin hadn’t heard. Later, when both coated in spores, they both perceived and heard the mushroom spirit.

Join with us

In some twisted, guilty way, Taryn felt relief at Ristin being affected and hearing it too. Now it couldn’t just be ‘dumb rimmer, Taryn, thinks he’s a doctor, snorts spores like an idiot.’ Wasn’t just dismissable ravings of a bad trip. They’d proven a connection between the spores, be it through the Force or some more biological means. Pheromones and chemicals- trees and fungi could communicate with each other through their roots after all.

But whatever it is, the fungus had left a biological back door in his mind. Temporarily or permanently changing something about him in a way that left him vulnerable in a terrifying way. Him and Ristin both.

Stars, he needed a Drink. But not now. Breakdowns later, battles now.

He saw to using what remained of their equipment and disinfectants to collect samples, tag, record visuals, disinfect, bag in contained unit. Examined the remains of the spider before burning it, noting down observations, collecting tissue samples, recording what he could. He’d leave the unit outside for collection once the tent was up, as clean as it could be. He’s hoping Khan would be faster with the quarantine and supplies, than he was getting those experts. He sighed- That wasn’t fully fair. It would take a while getting a capable team of experts. He was still annoyed- hurt really- that Khan’s and Webber’s reaction to learning that he was studying the spores himself was dubious concern. That their faith in his, and Ristin’s, skills and judgement were so low they didn’t even think him capable of managing basic safety precautions or to simply monitor and observe mushrooms.
That Ristin was capable of crafting a spaceship, but not a sealed lab. That Taryn could make advanced medicine and medical gear, but god’s forbid he attempt gardening. He might hurt himself.

And now he just… well, a spider had just trashed it all. He might have been worried this would just play into a ‘Told you so’, but at his point he had worse concerns. He really just wanted off this planet now. Maybe distance between them and Viscara would break the connection, give them time to cure themselves. Let Khan’s experts deal with it. Of course, they’d likely- or at least should be- taken in for medical treatment and observation. But he could always suggest off planet. Maybe somewhere near a university- clearly he’d only be respected if he paid a buncha creds to be stamped satisfactory by a uni. Be plenty of time to study while being studied. ( He actually had a bunch of credentials, and taken online courses. Just not exactly… ‘formally’)

After setting aside the samples, he went to aid his friend in cleaning up the mess, burning what they could, pouring what remained of their disinfectants on the rest. Now all they had to do was clear up and wait for the supplies. He hopes they remember the biscuits.


With everything bagged, tagged and ready for transport, Ristin finished doing what he could from inside the facility. The entire place should be melted down into slag just to be sure, but all the stalks and spider bits were destroyed.

"I knew we should have purchased a Droid from the desert scavengers." He groaned as he rolled his tired shoulder. " Though for all we know, this species could corrupt metal as well as flesh and vegetable matter. " He considered out loud.

"I think respite is in order. All of our books are taken care of for the coming weeks, and with Miss Kiki, I am sure the shelter will be taken care of. No matter what else, I think all have agreed that it is something to be upheld for the good of the colony. " He thought aloud, making some notes in his data pad.

In truth, Ristin very much wanted away from Viscara. Considering that Taryn had actually heard the spider creature speak, it was very possible their condition would worsen the longer they were on planet. He did not know how many exposures it would take before he might find himself erupting into fungal growths and ‘joining them’. The idea was just too unnerving to consider.

"More and more, it seems as if some contacts need to be made for progress to be achieved, and I do not want to be flailing about like a Warcoas with my head cut off when the next crisis comes. "

Ristin continued to type into his data pad. He began a series of orders for supplies, new clothing, a storage unit on Mon Cala, and all he would need for an extended sojourn. A kind of crossroads had come, and Hinar’isti’nalay found himself thinking of Ashi. The young Twi’lek had told him that he needed to find a path to walk on, and she had been right. Something needed to change, something would change…just after the voices stopped and the mushrooms stopped growing out between his forehead.