Our top scientists believe that this was once where the Safir people performed theatrical works.
Vāstra II16-Oct-17 11:40 PM
INT/EXT. AŇIRA CENTRAL STARPORT — NIGHT
A weekday evening in the capital of the Safir Alliance means heavy traffic at the oldest of its three starports. Starcraft of varying shapes, sizes, and origins crisscross the taxiways and the skies around the terminal building, itself a relic of times gone by, and looking rather like an old Terran airport by now. The runways are strips of white in a sea of yellow streetlamps, with helpful blinking lines of blue and green directing pilots toward them. Insectae carrying crates of chitin-wrought bulletproof vests, qeegubmorein shipping colour-changing paint to the artistes of Miše and nearby, the coralfolk collective with her biannual bounty of tantalizing trinkets, and so on, and so forth. On any given day there are more than fifty different species herded through the narrow corridors of Central's two terminals, up the escalator, down the moving walkway, through Firneramnese customs, down the escalator, around the horn, past passport control, and to the ramps. This is the story of one of the members of one of those species.
Blade Skydancer16-Oct-17 11:57 PM
Customs was hell no matter where you go, or who you are. Especially for a new immigrant of a newly discovered stellar species. Their civilization was old, but they're just now beginning their forays into proper interstellar travel. In fact, it was just opened up to civilians, with a certain program put in place. Emmigrate to various cultures and make regular reports to the Dracon Empire about the peoples they encounter, and most of their living expenses will be taken care of. It was a pretty good deal, and one that was taken advantage of by the one just now arriving through the tunnel off of the transport.
A slightly larger than average example of his species, the black-scaled reptiloid managed to fit through the various portals. Standing at just under three meters high from the floor to the ceiling, he towered over most aside from the taurine creatures. He is a quadruped in format, as large or slightly larger than a Terran horse. His head features two pairs of horns, one that are straight and slightly curved, and an outer set that coils around his long, pointed ears. His bright golden eyes dart around and take in his surroundings. Despite being a quadrupedal creature covered in scales, he wasn't entirely nude. A strap around the base of his wings is seen, presumably holding things hidden underneath, and he has a plain brown leather blanket which falls to his ankles; edged in white fur. With a deep breath, he steps down the ramp and joins the lines for customs and security; occasionally shifting his back to keep the large packs on his back centered and balanced.
Vāstra II17-Oct-17 12:14 AM
The line moved apace, with a mother-and-daughter pair of hornet-taurs lining up behind him, and a group of safir schoolchildren behind them, and etc. The daughter fidgeted with the mostly superfluous sheath over her retractable sting, to her mother's annoyance, while the safir mainly kept to themselves, and to various books and Web articles on their eventual destination. In front of the draconoid, a nervous naga goes through customs, followed by a feathered arachnoid with what appears to be a pastel-green shell, an anthropomorphic bird of prey dressed rather smartly in a toga and leather vest, a turtle-like plant lifeform, and finally a delicate-looking, purple-shelled thing, leaving the dragon to face yet another manifestation of Her Majesty's Government.(edited)
Blade Skydancer17-Oct-17 12:18 AM
Naturally, he pays close attention to his tail. In the back of his mind played the safiran primers he listened to on the flight here. Given that was a few months, he had plenty of time to get familiar with the language. Familiar enough, at least, to be passable. He now steps up to the counter. He sits down, and lifts a claw to start drawing gestures in the air, one of which summons the holographic display of his comlink; projected from tiny projectors ringing the neck of his blanket. And as he does, he pulls up his temporary passport and all of his emmigration papers while the customs officer gets ready for protocol.
Vāstra II17-Oct-17 12:24 AM
The customs officer, a slender, blond male safir, 5'4" on a good day, looks over the draconoid for a few moment, sizing him up, before scanning his immigration papers — or attempting to. His computer seems unable to grok the format in which they are presented. He “speaks” telepathically, cutting through the language barrier to directly reach the draconoid's mind. «Do you have your paperwork on paper, sir?»
Blade Skydancer17-Oct-17 12:28 AM
He blinks a couple times. Given he rode a Dracon Empire transport here, he wasn't exposed to the Safir's mental abilities, and the telepathy startled him. Fortunately, he had a strong mind and was able to shake it off pretty quick. Unfortuantely, he was neither adept nor well practiced, so he couldn't really reply with telepathy. "Yes." he says with a nod, then reaches back to dig through his underwing packs, soon providing hardcopies of all the necessary documents. They match what's displayed in the air, at least.
Vāstra II17-Oct-17 12:31 AM
The safir takes them in one of his four hands, scanning each of them into the computer in turn. “Ah, Mr. <name>. Have you anything to declare tonight?”
Blade Skydancer17-Oct-17 12:33 AM
"I want to make permanant home here." he says, struggling a little bit with the language. That'll probably fix itself when he lives here a few months.
Vāstra II17-Oct-17 12:36 AM
«Your papers are in order for that. Do you have anything that's…» He looks upward for a second, trying to put “something to declare” in simple terms. «…that has special rules about bringing it into the country?»(edited)
Blade Skydancer17-Oct-17 12:38 AM
"Oh." He shakes his head quickly. "Just personal items, clothes, and my commlink." The citizens of the Empire rarely carried or owned weapons; their claws, teeth, and fire were often enough defense.
Vāstra II17-Oct-17 12:38 AM
He types something into the terminal, and a different screen comes up. «What model commlink?»
Blade Skydancer17-Oct-17 12:40 AM
He gives the manufacturer and model of his commlink. Naturally, it's one produced in his homeland and given the recent discovery, not in the database.
Vāstra II17-Oct-17 12:41 AM
The officer lets out a low, descending warble, tilting his head and pulling up some section of another of the customs procedure manual. «I don't have that model in our database. Do you have an import certificate for it?»
Blade Skydancer17-Oct-17 12:42 AM
"All my papers are there." he states. If the officer makes a second pass, he'll find it's there.
Vāstra II17-Oct-17 12:43 AM
The officer looks again, and finds the import certificate. «Ah, here we go~» He stamps the various documents and the draconoid's passports. «You're all good.»
Blade Skydancer17-Oct-17 12:46 AM
"Thank you." he says, nodding, before moving along. After closing the holo display of course so it doesn't distract him. He moves from arrivals into the rest of the terminal itself, looking around and once again taking in the sights.
Vāstra II17-Oct-17 12:54 AM
The terminal is actually rather large by the standards of this starport's presumably-long-dead architects, with north of 1000 people milling about within as vendors hawk food and duty-free wares from every corner of the Alliance. Did you ever know how badly you needed a molly-guarded <untranslatable> for only ₤17 5/11? Today only, friend. Best deal for you just only!(edited)
Blade Skydancer17-Oct-17 12:58 AM
Which, he ignored the vendors trying to ply their trade, thinking he's a tourist. He had far better things to spend his money on. And unfortunately, he couldn't rely on his commlink for much help, save what was already stored on it. Pausing briefly, he would perform the gesture to bring up the display again, and then as his claw dances around, eventually an overlay map of the city appears before him with his hotel's address lit up. He makes his way out of the terminal now, and out into open air. And thankfully due to the lower gravity, he was able to use his wings. He breaks into a run and then takes flight once he sees a space clear enough for him to take off.
Vāstra II17-Oct-17 01:01 AM
The city of Aňira sprawls out in all directions, a sea of yellow and white and blue lights illuminating the buildings, some tens or even hundreds of millennia old, and some finished just this year. A mixture of floating cars, wheeled cars, the odd tracked truck, bicycles, motorcycles, and pedestrians fill the major streets of the Central district, the smaller ones dead quiet now that most of the businessmen and -women who fill the many skyscrapers during the day have gone home.
Blade Skydancer17-Oct-17 01:04 AM
He would bank, and join the line of cars when he sees an opening, flying along the streets towards the hotel. He follows the directions to the letter, soon arriving at the hotel. Or perhaps the building containing the hotel, who knows with a megatropolis like this? Either way, he would soon land, and head inside for the front desk.
Vāstra II17-Oct-17 01:10 AM
The bottom two floors and basement are the offices of a sporting-goods manufacturer, but luckily, the street he's entered from is level with the third floor. The hotel appears very luxurious, with modern architecture and hardwood floors throughout, and the receptionist, a well-fed ball python naga with purplish-brown hair, red eyes, and sharp facial features, clad in a rather ornate dress, bows her head in greeting to the draconoid. In Classical Āirumāli does she say: “Good evening, and welcome to the Grand Tikalzilai Hotel.How may I be of assistance to you this evening?”
Blade Skydancer17-Oct-17 01:12 AM
"Good evening. I am Naryshe Eliserali. My government set up a room for me here." he says very plainly, and still a bit broken naturally.
Vāstra II17-Oct-17 01:16 AM
She searches for the name in her terminal. “Ah yes. We have you in Room 7L03, a large corniche-view non-smoking room. Is this satisfactory, Mr Eliserali?”
Blade Skydancer17-Oct-17 01:17 AM
He nods. "It will be fine."
Vāstra II17-Oct-17 01:18 AM
She flashes two room keys. “Most excellent. Here are your keys, Mr Eliserali. If you have any problems, do not hesitate to call us. We hope you enjoy your stay.”
Blade Skydancer17-Oct-17 01:21 AM
"Thank you." he says, taking the keys in his mouth so he can go for the elevators. He would head up for his room, enter and offload all of his travel packs, leaving him with just the underwing packs and the blanket over the top. With that done, he checked the room to see if it had a terminal he could use. And if it did, he would certainly access it to find a nice local bar to relax in after his flight and absorb some of the local culture; as was his mission here after all.
Vāstra II17-Oct-17 01:24 AM
There is a terminal built into the desk under the window, along with a pan-Terran electrical outlet and other hookups for their devices. The list of bars carries a reminder at the top that licensed psychics over a certain power level are forbidden from drinking alcohol. That said, most of the bars seem to cater to expats.
Blade Skydancer17-Oct-17 01:27 AM
Picking one of the higher rated ones, he has it sent to his commlink, before shutting the terminal down and heading out. Back downstairs he goes, to get back to street level and then off to said bar.
Vāstra II17-Oct-17 01:32 AM
The bar is tucked away in an alley behind some townhouses and a convenience store. The two-story wooden exterior is timeless yet unassuming, with only two floatycars and a scooter parked outside. Think Kyoto machiya. The inside, meanwhile, is of rather more recent vintage, with televisions showing various shows and sporting events, and about 15 or 18 people in the main bar, mainly safir and humans, but also including two nagas and a coralmaid. The barkeep, a college-age male human, waves to the draconoid, greeting him boisterously in what must be his own language, followed by an invective, and then a greeting in Modern Āirumāli — which, it must be noted, sounds, and is, quite a bit different from Classical.
Blade Skydancer17-Oct-17 01:34 AM
He nods to the bartender, as he goes to find a spot at the bar itself where he can sit his bulk, letting out a light sigh as he finally gets to relax some, take in the atmosphere, and idly listen to the chatter around him. Until someone decides to engage him, that is.
Vāstra II17-Oct-17 01:56 AM
The bartender approaches him, asking him in Modern Āirumāli something about drinks. The manager, an alluring verte safir, then glides soundlessly over to the bartender, seeming to telepathically converse with him for a moment, and then the bartender asks him for his drink order in broken Classical Āirumāli, causing the safir to smile and giggle melodically, sounding for all the world like an alien bird of paradise.(edited)
Blade Skydancer17-Oct-17 01:59 AM
He chuckles a bit, and replies in the modern dialect; one that worked far better with his own tongue. And with the Empire dragons thinking that the classical tongue is really only spoken by the nobility and government officials anymore, it was the one he studied the most. "I'll have something fairly stout. I am quite large after all."
Vāstra II17-Oct-17 02:18 AM
The human nodnods, pouring him a mug of dark stout beer.
Blade Skydancer17-Oct-17 02:19 AM
"Thank you." he says, nodding as he takes it in his claw and takes a sip. He thinks for a bit, then shrugs.,
Yoshiman40018-Oct-17 08:19 PM
Vāstra II22-Nov-17 11:12 PM
A few minutes later, Naryshe is approached by a voluptuous safir, with bright amber eyes and wavy green hair that reaches down to her ankles, wearing a backless yellow dress. She looks him over, telepathically projecting a feeling of curiosity as to who or what he is as a soft flutter escapes her lips.
Blade Skydancer22-Nov-17 11:14 PM
Which, he of course picks up on. HIs species seems to be sensitive to psionics, even if he's not particularly skilled at it. He then smiles, and in the new tongue(since that's the one he knows and studied on the months-long journey to the capital), he speaks up. "Hello." he says.
Vāstra II22-Nov-17 11:20 PM
The safir curtseys, singing a low-toned, harmonius song for a few moments, before telepathically introducing herself as Akawli Ipeiraitun Eveiži Uroqelar Aþunai, and asking the draconoid how he's doing. (The underlined part is her given name, for all intents and purposes.)
Blade Skydancer22-Nov-17 11:33 PM
(And what would she be referred to formally?)
Vāstra II22-Nov-17 11:33 PM
(In this context, as Ipeiraitun Eveiži.)
Blade Skydancer22-Nov-17 11:37 PM
"It is nice to meet you, miss Ipeiraitun Eveizi. I am Naryshe Eliserali, and I am doing well enough." he replies as politely as he can, fumbling with the language still. But he'll get it eventually.
Vāstra II22-Nov-17 11:42 PM
The safir caws softly, bowing her head and conveying to Naryshe that she is pleased to make his acquaintace. She wonders what species he might be, if the question offends not, so close is he in form to the great and exalted dragons.(edited)
Blade Skydancer22-Nov-17 11:45 PM
He smiles, pleased that he seems to be hitting it off well with, well, the first local he's had the chance to engage like this. "It is not offensive; my Empire is a newcomer to the galactic stage. Some have called me a dragon, yes. We call our world Draconia, so I suppose 'Draconian' is appropriate. But as you can probably tell, we are...quite a far cry from your dragons."
Vāstra II22-Nov-17 11:52 PM
Eveiži runs a hand through her verdant mane, wondering how Naryshe feels about Aňira so far, and if he is here on business.
Blade Skydancer22-Nov-17 11:54 PM
"It is a lovely city, a lot more...dense than I'm used to. And you could say I'm here on business. I am the first of an initiative created by my government to basically immigrate to various cultures and live there for some time, supported by the Emperess, to engage with and examine those cultures. You can consider me a scholar of sorts."
Vāstra II23-Nov-17 12:10 AM
Interesting~ She chirps. How does Draconia compare to it?
Blade Skydancer23-Nov-17 12:10 AM
"Do you mean the city, the continent or the world?"
Vāstra II23-Nov-17 12:17 AM
I suppose I should have asked how your capital city compares to ours.
Blade Skydancer23-Nov-17 12:22 AM
"As I said, it's Anira is far more dense than Draconia; our kind don't really like to live too close to one another. There are very few vehicles, too, most of us can fly after all, so most buildings have regular landing tiers on them."
Vāstra II23-Nov-17 12:23 AM
(Anhira is the usual way to romanize it if you can't type ň, btw)
Interesting…~ though should one really expect any less from a city of dragons? She giggles melodically. I do hope that you and your countrymen enjoy our city~
Blade Skydancer23-Nov-17 12:25 AM
"Well. No countrymen for now. I'm to be here at least a Draconian year before any others begin to arrive."
Vāstra II23-Nov-17 12:25 AM
She nods understandingly. How long is that in terms of Daian years? (one of which is about 15 Earth months)
Blade Skydancer23-Nov-17 12:27 AM
"Mmm, one moment." With a gesture, the holographic screen appears before him and he recalls the information provided by his government. "One of our years is roughly equivalent to one-point-six of yours, and twice that of the galactic standard year."
Vāstra II23-Nov-17 12:29 AM
She nodnods. I hope you don't get lonely, being the only one of your kind here for a year and a half…, she sends, tinged with sadness.
Blade Skydancer23-Nov-17 12:30 AM
He chuckles. "Well, that's why I'm supposed to mingle with Safirian culture. Meet new people and all that."
Vāstra II23-Nov-17 12:31 AM
She hugs him, or at least his head. I think you'll like it here, Naryshe~ She might be a little bit sauced.(edited)
Blade Skydancer23-Nov-17 12:32 AM
He can't help but blink when she grabs around his neck with little warning. Awkwardly, he brings up one of his forelimbs to return the gesture. "I, ahh. We'll see. I just arrived today after all, and I've got a mountain of paperwork to get through. Least of which is the AI registry." That last one was said sarcastically.
Vāstra II23-Nov-17 12:37 AM
Seraphs forgive me, I can't stand the AI office. There's no reason I need to do so much paperwork for a simple home assistant, nevermind anything more powerful.(edited)
Blade Skydancer23-Nov-17 12:38 AM
"Now imagine a robot that can fly and has Internet access." he says with a grumble. "And then it'll be three months before she arrives if she gets approved."
Vāstra II23-Nov-17 12:39 AM
If the AI office can be so quick about anything.
Blade Skydancer23-Nov-17 12:41 AM
"Indeed." he chuckles a bit.
Vāstra II23-Jun-18 04:35 AM
Jeylien24-Jul-18 02:48 AM
//// NEW RP (intro chapter incoming! Lol)
The Manifest Destiny mission had been a success— so far. The journey from Sol System to Alpha Centauri System was accomplished without significant problem; only the human factor suffered its trials, but that was to be expected. People were always the problem.
Dr. Xzenor “Zi” Mizawki pondered over this as he floated idly in his personal cabin, reminiscing the half-century long journey he’d undergone — much of which he’d actually experienced as one of the select active, waking crew... Was it worth it?
— Yes, yes, he supposed it was. Or at least, as the wake-up alert streamed over the shuttle’s closed Net system, through his wireless uplink, direct to the audiovisual centers of his brain, he realized there wasn’t more time now to ponder. It was his shift, he had to get up. Mindlessly, he emerged from the small bunk space and began work-prep routine. The thoughts continued to buzz through his mind, questions of why, philosophical musings of the tortured anxious mind mingling with the datastream of shift status updates. Basically, the usual. Routine.
Of course, he didn’t really have to do any of this — he knew the shipboard A.I. could handle most everything necessary for one of these simple checkup/resupply runs... but Destiny was largely preoccupied in the ground operations, and basic ship maintenance. Establishing Alpha Colony was going to consume all of their attentions for years to come— decades, actually...
He caught himself pondering over things again, things he had no business with presently. Reeling in his mind to the NOW before it wandered off too deeply, he began going over the specs, and opened a TM stream (transmitted mentation, it’s like a direct message mind-to-mind, can take the form of text, audio, images, whatever) link to the only other “person” aboard.
I’m up. Ground control happy? - What you up to?
He received an answer instantly, direct link. Hurry up and get out here you lazy fuck- We’ll be docking in less than 3 hours. followed by a series of moving lewd images implying the location of his companion (the cockpit) and drawing inappropriate analogies to their impending shuttle docking procedure. With an amused sneer and transmitting a responding thought of Typical, you sick dick , Zi finished up his business and pulled himself out the personal living cabin, skillfully navigating the weightlessness as he flew through the connecting hall to the leading shuttle room of the cockpit.
There he found Jeremy as expected, casually sprawled over one of the g-force couches with a thick book in hand, weightless body held down not by the seat’s safety straps but loosely anchored with his tail threaded through the unlatched belts. The moment he entered the room, he was greeted with that yellow-eyed stare and deep, resonating voice he knew so well: “You overslept.”
Criticism, great. How could he have expected anything else? <Sigh> Responding via TM rather than use his voice — his usual tactic— the cycle began. Jeremy spoke, Zi mentated, Jer became annoyed and insisted on vocal communication, Xzenor was “impetuous” and refused, a combination of audible words and mental images, text, mixed-media were slung around, until finally, they were both irritated with each other and utterly derailed from the business at hand.
But that was ok. There wasn’t really anything to do, anyhow. Everything was mostly automatic, or Jeremy was probably already covering it, his own A.I.-server-based mind working away in the background, the appropriately man-sized tower pair of hardware snuggly locked in a secure cooled room back on the planet miles beneath them. The visage before him was only a biological projection— an appendage of sorts, to that digitized mind. A mind that had originally been wound in the same kind of fleshy brain matter that housed Xzenor’s consciousness — and which, indeed, this avatar also contained. In fact, everything about the avatar was identical to the upload source, the original man to which Xzenor had the misfortune of being related. Jeremiah Dustin Weiss ... first his “father”, then “brother” and simultaneously property, and also, somewhat shamefully, lover. They were... something. They’d always been complicated like that. That was just the way with Jeremy, there never was anything truly simple about him. Yet, at the same time, wasn’t there? In many ways he really was a rather basic guy...
Somehow amid the argumentative banter, the philosophizing, psychoanalyzing, general musing had snuck in again. It always did. Xzenor knew that’s just how HIS broken mind worked; it was never quiet. But now that he’d caught it, he was able to step aside and pull himself back to the present reality. Back to those... golden eyes... golden hair... golden tanned skin... golden man floating before him. Jer always was the “golden boy”, Mr. miracle perfect to those that didn’t know better...and some that did. — Whatever. Fuck’im. FUCK YOU, JEREMY! I HOPE YOU STAY UP HERE AND STREAM SYNC FAILS, AVATAR GETS STUCK IN AN AIRLOCK AND POWER GOES OUT GROUNDSIDE AND YOU FINALLY DIE!! DAMN I FUCKING HATE YOU AND BEING ASSOCIATED WITH YOU -
Apparently in his rising emotion, the thought had accidentally been transmitted, for while he was brooding in the energetic anger, suddenly he found himself expertly tackled. Momentum carried him with perfectly calculated precision into the nearest wall, Jeremy atop, neko-ears folded back menacingly and hot breath on his face. The familiar low voice growled, “I know, Zi — I know. But it’s just for a week and-“ he realized suddenly that Jer was now licking him in that disgusting, unbearably erotic manner he did just about everything, and the sentence was finished through voice-stream over the shuttle speaker system, “-you know we’re supposed to be getting along. Colony wants us working together again, we’ve been sequestered on this moronic shuttle run purely for that purpose.” Stopping the aggressive foreplay long enough to look Xzenor straight in the face and speak again with his all too physical, sultry-sexgod voice, Jer purred in conclusion, “Don’t be a disappointment. Surprise me. ”
That was it. Events from there went about as expected, as they always do — there was sex, banter, aggressive fighting, serious work, menial tasks and mindless procedure, moments of mutual amiability — in no particular order or set distribution, of course. Thus had been the composition of their time together since basically the beginning, and this short stay on the orbiting mothership was no different. Through it all, they managed to get done what was expected, and ultimately, the diabolical schemes of Alpha Colony’s collective conscious had worked their magic— Xzenor was doing better with Jeremy than they had been in a long time. It was nice. He also hated it, but...it was good, and deep down, he knew it.
Having toured and assessed the entire multi-kilometers space of the massive interstellar colony vessel, accomplished all aspects of the mission on schedule, they loaded back into the shuttle and prepared for the 2-day return journey to the planet surface. Everything was up to snuff, all clear, exactly as it should be. Until...
Until they got the call, identifying a previously unseen “spatiotemporal anomaly” apparently hiding in a Legrange point of the tiny asteroidal moons. Naturally, everybody had questions, and they just happened to be out there, so it became their responsibility to go get started on bringing in answers. It was presumably some sort of instrument malfunction, nothing else could explain the data which seemed to violate all known physics, but better safe than sorry, of course.
Except, it wasn’t safe, and they were sorry — From the perspective of Alpha Colony, a valuable shuttle and 2 equally valuable compatriots were lost that day, seemingly disappeared. Later investigation concluded there was a reactor breakdown on the associated probes, somehow spreading to the shuttle, taking it all out together. No strange rip in space-time, just basic, unfortunate, technological failure.
Using other, still-functioning technology, they’d be able to rebuild the people within an Earth-standard year, but the shuttle would take much longer, realistically never get replaced. Chalk it up to fate.
Meanwhile, from the perspective of the LOST SHUTTLE and its 2 passengers...
It was an incomprehensible blur. Things were fine and normal until they weren’t — one moment they were in familiar territory, next they were supposedly... nowhere? It didn’t make sense. They’d been there, right there, in the middle of the Alpha Centauri system in orbit around the chosen godforsaken iceball, then... Well now Destiny was telling them they were apparently out in the middle of open space. No planet, no stars for LIGHTYEARS...
There had been some kind of explosion, SOMETHING had happened Xzenor knew, but he couldn’t pin it down, and then he must have passed out (Jeremy too), and this was the state when he woke. Jeremy was none the wiser either, and even more heavily impacted by the event — he wasn’t supposed to be disconnected from the server like this. He was merely an avatar, a shell, a piece — only designed to be self-sufficient for short periods as necessary, but regularly sync-up with the core. If what the shuttle was telling them was true, he was once again body-bound, a mere corporeal man. Downgraded, and... vulnerable.
Of course, so was Zi. They were both stranded in unknown extrasolar void... Once the situation was registered, their inexplicable distance from all humanity and life confirmed, emergency survival protocols were immediately put into effect. They had very limited supplies and the shuttle wasn’t designed for interstellar travel (that’s what the mothership was for, and even it was limited to ~0.1c maximum velocity at optimal operating capacity...) besides, they had NO IDEA WHERE THEY WERE, so no place to go. The only way to expect any future was to sleep now, hope and pray somebody someday would catch their projected multi-frequency SOS and be able to wake them from cryopreserved limbo...
Prepping for cryostorage usually takes a good week or more of careful, planned medical torment, but under extreme emergencies such as this, the process could be accelerated to within 48 hours. It wasn’t pleasant — in fact, it was living hell — but they’d both trained for this, and thankfully they just happened to have a pseudo-medical person making up half their skeleton crew, so together they managed. Multiple rounds of IV lines and dialysis-like procedures later, all their natural body fluid was swapped-out for the necessary special soup of mixed chemical fluids and nanotech, they got into a couple storage pods and were anesthetized, fully submersed with the soup filling every cavity, and the whole pod compartments flash-frozen to produce 2 perfect corpsicles. Once these fragile biological cargo were successfully packed safe in ice, the shipboard A.I. finished necessary shutdown of all extraneous systems, everything was cut down to minimize power usage and maximize potential lifetime. With luck, the reactors would last long enough that the signal could be detected and a rescue mission launched.
Unbeknownst to any of them, this would come much MUCH sooner than anticipated. For also beyond their knowledge was the fact that they weren’t floating somewhere random, they’d been pulled through a wormhole into a whole other universe, and were well within the borders of a much more highly-advanced/ FTL-boasting civilization.
This pair of guys had landed themselves right in the middle of the great Safir Alliance, a mere few lightyears out of the main Daian system. It was strange twist of fate they hadn’t been picked up already, before wasting hours in desperate preparation for near-eternity. Since the safir species is psionic, it’s likely some of the more tuned-in powered-up individuals sensed the disturbance on some level, but of course space is big, and the shuttle (while LARGE for us) is relatively small in comparison — a mere atom in an infinite ocean. Pinpointing the source of the freak spacetime upset wasn’t easy, especially since nobody had been expecting anything in the first place. Layers of bureaucracy always slows things down too, and no great civilization is free of bureaucracy. All in all, they probably locate the shuttle a few days later, meaning Jer&Zi spent a mere few days in ice as compared to the probable eternity they had anticipated. Needless to say, they’ll be extremely disoriented when they’re unthawed (which takes several hours), on top of the typical disorientation from the cryo-process, and disregarding the inevitable greater shock of what they’ll wake up to
Yoshiman40024-Jul-18 08:12 PM
Vāstra II25-Jul-18 04:34 AM
Beep boop. Beep boop. Beep boop. Beep boop. Beep boop. Beep boop.
Nažu Iřéutł Aþáme Kīdaþ, captain of the cargo ship CSG Great Qalani IV, slowly forced her eyes open, looking up from the the secure enclave meted by her arms atop the uselessly-extravagant wooden desk at the center of her post, and immediately clutched her head, her eyes overwhelmed by the light, and, bizarrely, her magnetoreceptors also straining under the weight of sensory input, despite the ship being safely embedded in FTL. Notwithstanding the buzzing headache, she was able to sense that Kèna and Marth were still asleep.
A blue light blinked, in time with the beeping, on the terminal embedded in her desk, signaling an urgent message from the shipboard AI, Néleda, likely useless like the other 793 received since shove-off, bless ver heart. She opened it regardless, as required by protocol — to not do so would cause a Forme 9 emergency, carrying not only the risks associated with an abrupt exit from between but also the consequential destruction of 800 talents of frozen Kapliuqan fish, an amount certainly worth far more than Aþáme Kīdaþ's career.
Kīdaþ leþis, nīe drālāe ir vāsèĺaþ þírúmas sui on calnòn lílirānā keqiluqom dyzilekras ikuega lebeuþa. Nīe drālāe sui Várē leþe oì karnaneu kē taǥureu vāsèĺas faù, kē on calnỳlá lílirānā Várē leþe keqilubom nazuzediřaþa.
(Translation: Esteemed daughter of Kīda, this servant seems to have detected a spatiotemporal anomaly that requires shutting down the superluminal drive to safely navigate. This servant humbly asks that You confirm the presence and degree of said anomaly, and bid the slipper drive be shut down.)(edited)
“Spatiotemporal anomaly”? That got Aþáme Kīdaþ's attention… and reminded her that her legs had long since gone numb. She marked the message as read, then, after returning life to her limbs, walked over to her wardrobe, sending a telepathic wake-up call to Kèna and Marth. Her headache flared up again as a result, leading her to pop some pain pills she had unwittingly buried among the stockings and belts.
While Aþáme Kīdaþ was getting dressed, Kèna sent that Marth was slow to awaken, as usual, which sending was strangely overlaid with the spurious things Kèna was magnetoreceiving; Aþáme Kīdaþ commisserated, sharing what she had magnetoreceived as she awoke.
Aþáme Kīdaþ stepped onto the bridge to find her crewmates, Kèna and Marth, at their stations. The former telepathically greeted her; the latter, a mundane naga, waved.
“I trust that you both received the same message from Néleda-uþaìl as I?” Aþáme Kīdaþ asked of her crew, unwilling to brook even the briefest of formalities.
“We have, Captain,” said Marth the boatswain and cook, his blue-and-white-striped coils shifting under him. “I have set Néleda-uþaìl and the synths on the task of securing the cargo.”
“And as for the anomaly itself, Kèna?”
“I will not bore you with the dangers of falling from heaven. The Kereka drive is being spooled down as I speak; it will take approximately ten hours to fully reëmbed.”
“Passable. Make it faster and you will eat tonight.”
Kèna hid under her terminal in the now-empty bridge, furtively eating a protein bar. The nature of the anomaly was such that, despite her best efforts to hasten the shutdown of the Kereka drive, it ultimately took twelve hours and thirty-one minutes to resume the much-ballyhooed mantle of Normality. She knew that the captain was already sharpening her knives, and if she were to be caught eating after openly failing her, she'd meet the same fate as Suvari…
Kèna shoved the rest of the protein bar, wrapper and all, into her mouth at once, swallowing it whole.
A pulsing yellow light began to illuminate the wall opposite Kèna. The redhead peeked up at her terminal, It showed the output from the ship's scanners, empty as expected of interstellar space… but for a single blip near the antispinward edge of the display area. Kèna tapped on it; while it pulled up a window expecting to be filled with the myriad data required to be transmitted by an Alliance-registered craft's beacons, every field was instead filled with the words “NO DATA”. The approximate distance, listed in the opposite corner of the terminal screen, was still much too far to attempt a visual scan. Kèna therefore did the one thing she could do: send a standard handshake signal to the other ship… and wait.
Kèna slumped back under her terminal, letting the sweet embrace of sleep take her.
Aellor25-Jul-18 11:20 PM
Meanwhile... in yet another universe still, a space shuttle orbits its home planet. On board, an anthro fox sits at the cockpit, checking monitors for updates. There's nothing new here really, but part of being one of the first Voxians in space is being super paranoid about everything being able to go wrong. Space is a harsh, harsh place after all. All sorts of things can go wrong, like a leak removing all your air, a stray meteor colliding and damaging your shuttle, starting to fall upwards, exploding, and... wait... what was that second to last one? There's a sudden acceleration field directed... away from the planet. How is that even possible? The Voxian panics, grabbing onto the consol and placing an urgent sounding call to ground control. Planetside, a frantic call is started, but quickly fades into inscrutinable static. If they had the proper instruments for it they'd even be able to pick up a gravitational anomoly. Instead they lose sight and contact with their third ever spaceflight at the same time as an abrupt tidal surge mysteriously occurs. Conspiracy theorists for decades will speculate on this event and government funding for space activity will dry up, delaying voxed space technology for this planet for nearly fifty years before they try again.
Meanwhile in the current universe... this space shuttle that went missing from that other place is suddenly displaced into a location very near to Jeremy's ship. There's a localized gravity pulse and suddenly what appears to be a horendously antiqued space shuttle appears around 15 meters in front of the other ship, 6 meters to the left, and 3 meters up. It's also oriented with its bottom pointing towards Jeremy's ship with a roughly 80 degree angle of inclination. No one on that shuttle is going to be seeing Jeremy's ship with that positioning it seems.
Jeylien26-Jul-18 01:08 AM
The Manifest Destiny Shuttle #3 was too busy broadcasting signals and shutting systems down to conserve power, to immediately notice the new arrival. Thankfully, the shutdown was almost finished when this Voxian ship showed up, and once all the extraneous systems were successfully turned off, before the integrated A.I. Destiny put herself to sleep in standby, she ran a scan of the nearby star systems trying to get a sense of bearings. She had to figure out where they were, so she could include that in the SOS broadcast, on the remote chance there was anybody out there to bother taking a look.
Naturally, as soon as she did any external sensing, the Voxian craft which was practically on top of them stood out and was as good as SCREAMING at her through its own comm systems. While only a small portion of the actual Destiny S.A.I., there was enough of her to recognize another spaceship, and other EM broadcasts, and further recognize that they weren’t...recognizable. It wasn’t any of the multitude of languages she had stored, and the ship wasn’t quite like anything from her memory banks either. It wasn’t much of a leap to realize this was something new. Alien.
That kicked first-contact protocols into full effect. She revved up most the shuttle systems again, and sent the cryostorage units into emergency start, to get her people conscious as fast as possible, for there was no knowing what they might have to face here. She’d have to initiate the contact, but protocol demanded human input asap.
It’d take a couple hours before said humans were able to give said input, but until then, she started by shifting the SOS message into the standard first-contact message package. (Probably containing a few simple greeting sentences, sequence of prime numbers, that sort of thing. Stuff we’d expect/hope aliens could identify as signs of intelligence and not just random garble.)
If no further action is taken by any party, a few hours later my 2 bois would be in the cockpit themselves going over whatever info Destiny could give them, trying to make sense of everything (but struggling really hard, especially Zi, who is suffering an extreme case of brainfog and headache he can’t really explain and which makes thinking itself difficult). A couple hours of this nothing and they’ll get more brave and make some minor position adjustments, just so they can get in better view of the Voxian ship. They won’t leave their own without further provocation, though. (Not protocol / way too risky with the unknowns, etc.)
(Feel free to cut this off / jump in wherever.)
Aellor26-Jul-18 01:14 AM
The Voxian ship does not directly reply to any of the direct messages until they start sending signal bursts in sets of prime numbers. There's a moment's startled confusion and just before the Manifest Destiny is about to send the number 31, this space shuttle sends it instead.
TatsuBOT26-Jul-18 01:14 AM
| Aellor leveled up!
Vāstra II26-Jul-18 01:20 AM
Meanwhile, the CSG Great Qalani IV continues to steam through realspace towards the spatiotemporal anomaly; even at the relatively-breakneck speed of 5 g, they are still several hours out.
Kèna, the first mate and medical purser, raises an eyebrow when a second unidentified vessel is picked up by the cargo ship's scanners, and sends to them the same standardized handshake message as was sent to the first bogey. She telepathically alerts the captain to the presence of the two UFOs, and the captain joins her on the bridge in short order.
“Speak.” Aþáme Kīdaþ attempts to probe Kèna's mind at varying depths, but the redhead's mental defenses hold fast.
Kèna gestures to the scanner display, pointing out the two unidentified vessels. “They are both located five hours and 22 minutes away from us at our present velocity.”
“Shift into supercruise. And do not awaken me for something so trivial again.”
“I must disagree with you on that point, Captain. Neither is transmitting any of the standard beacon data; indeed Néleda-uþaìl suggests with 72% probability that they are non-Alliance vessels.”
Aþáme Kīdaþ took a deep breath, sitting in the captain's chair. “Hail them.”
“I have been hailing one of the vessels since we reëmbedded, and have just started hailing the other; they have not yet transmitted an intelligible response.”
“Then keep with it.”
Jeylien26-Jul-18 01:56 AM
(Ahh, the glorious mathematics! ) This starts a dance of communications between the Voxian and Human ships. They can each stop blasting in so many different frequencies and languages, or at least Destiny focuses down on the one that’d been picked up. She attempts to send language packages, but things probably don’t get very far with this method since the Voxians probably don’t have quite the A.I./supercomputing technology required to deal with it quickly enough (since they’re just starting space exploration, they’re probably at more modern or even Mercury Program tech levels, yeah? We didn’t even have computers at all back then really lmao)
Meanwhile, couple hours of this, my guys enter the scene awake and all, and Jeremy dives into the communication attempts and is likely the one to order/orchestrate moving the shuttle around a little, so they aren’t so dangerously close, and have better view of each other.
Xzenor, on the other hand, is barely functional, too many thoughts and sensations pounding in on him at once. He has no idea why he’s faring so poorly, but assumes it’s just bad reaction to unthawing — Jeremy always had been much more physically resilient, and psychologically stable, so it wasn’t terribly surprising, but it was hugely disappointing. On top of all the emotions, he was angry at himself, for being so overtaken by it all. For FAILING so horribly at this. At everything...
Assuming the Voxian doesn’t leave his ship, my guys don’t either, giving enough time for the safir ship to get in range. Since Destiny is preoccupied trying to communicate with the Voxian craft, they aren’t really listening for the safir handshake, but of course Xzenor has NO mental blocks on so unwittingly picks up on the safir psychically, subconsciously. Enough to compel him to convince the others to look for and find the safir EM messages, and respond to those now too. First-contact package, which would include basic English greeting/info. (Something REALLY basic, probably along the lines of, “Hello! We are humans from the planet Earth. We come in peace.” overlaid with coordinates, music, all sorts of stuff.)
Aellor26-Jul-18 02:03 AM
In the meanwhile of all this, the Vox will be struggling to keep up, but is failing miserably. This ship must have the stupidest AI ever given its horrendous processing speed. Though actually in fact it has no AI at all, as that would require at minimum a computer and Voxian technology can't really fit computers in spacecrafts yet. This is all basically the Vox's attempt to decode random signals. The best they're really able to establish in the hour before the Vox gives up is that they both seem to be capable of math. In the meanwhile, once the Manifest Destiny manages to drift to within view of windows, the Vox will get a definite chill down his spine, extending all the way into his tail. There... should not be any other space shuttles up here, let alone ones that... strange. Coupled by his inability to contact his own planet has some scary implications.
Vāstra II26-Jul-18 03:00 AM
Hello! We are humans from the planet Earth. We come in peace.
The synthesized voice repeated itself every few minutes over a loop of instrumental music. Marth rallied his limited knowledge of the human language known as English, translating the message into the Safir Alliance's lingua franca, Classical Āirumāli.
Vumētła! Sapiēniza eù išaisei Teřas kānirir. Seráelás ňéđařuz.
(Literal translation: Good day! We are humans from the world of Terra. We are coming peacefully.)
This set all three of them on edge; even human vessels were required, under the Treaty of Addis Ababa, to be fitted with Alliance-compliant beacons, and yet this vessel, which happily and loudly proclaimed itself as operated by humans, in a manner that suggested it was blithely unaware of the events that transpired 175 Daian years ago, was either unable or unwilling to identify. On top of that, its design was totally unlike any other human ship they had before encountered.
The bridge fell silent for several minutes, as Aþáme Kīdaþ and Kèna quite literally put their heads together, linking minds in a flurry of telepathic transmissions.
“They are likely a lost generation ship. Command them to identify verbally,” Aþáme Kīdaþ ordered of her safir subordinate.
“I wish I could join in when you do that,” Marth whined.
Kèna opened the microphone, speaking to the Manifest Destiny 3.
Nin Devikas Kènas Àmálfiþes oì ħeláiluþYCS Qalanigu Žailus IVkānirom. Un okeles, ħeláiluþ viza, zràtoþ mèi zràtosi viza, ke tōrineu viza bwahīnrul.
(Translation: This is Devika Kèna Àmálfiþ of the ship *CSG Great Qalani IV. Identify yourselves, your ship, your nation or nations, and your mission.*)(edited)
Jeylien26-Jul-18 03:33 AM
Once Destiny & Jeremy (Xzenor is currently laying down/strapped into a couch right now trying to survive the headache & etc, barely paying attention let alone contributing) receive that very obvious — though incomprehensible — spoken language, there is much excitement. From the perspective of the CSG however, it’d be a good long pause. Made longer by the annoying signal transmit time / delay, but also it took some minutes for Destiny to go over the language and of course NOT understand it, talk things over with Jeremy, and for Jeremy to decide he was going to try and talk back. While Destiny simultaneously sends the English language files out to them.
What Jeremy ends up saying back to them in calm, completely assured and confident manner, is: “Hello. I am Jeremy Wright designation HBC-XP-0, Alpha Colony founder, aboard Manifest Destiny shuttle 3. We’ve received your message but we don’t understand your language. We’re sending you what we can of ours, in hopes of establishing some grounds for communication. I doubt you get what I’m saying either, but I sure as hell hope it keeps you talking, so we can figure out some vocabulary...”(edited)
Aellor26-Jul-18 03:39 AM
In the meanwhile the Vox shuttle has started rotating from a minor course correction chemical burn (good lord how old school!) and the resolving conclusion is that there is no planet nearby and none of the stars look right at all. This leaves the Vox with a certain sense of despair, slumped in the cockpit. His ears twitch however when another voice starts playing. This one sounds different. Another language? But why start trying more languages now? Wouldn't the time for that have been before trying to establish mathematical patterns? Could it be... the Vox starts looking around for another ship but can't find anything given his limited view. Could it be that there are /more/ aliens out there? He then sits up stiff with indignation once the music starts. This is... this sounds like /elevator/ music! Is he on hold? Did the damn aliens abduct him... and then put him on /hold/?!? He'll send a short transmission back which basically consists of angry barking, before ceasing transmission. He won't reply to any of the remaining back and forth messages as long as they continue being in strange languages.(edited)
Jeylien26-Jul-18 04:24 AM
The MD picks up the barking response, which earns a solid, “WHAT THE FUCK?!” (to himself in the shuttle, not broadcast at least lol) from Jeremy, and seemed to snap Zi out of his pained daze. Of course, it just so happened that the Voxian capsule and MD shuttle were again slowly drifting towards each other, even with the course corrections they’d both tried. They were basically slowly spinning together, and it wouldn’t be long before they gently touched and bounced off each other.
Jer was too preoccupied sputtering to himself and monitoring data and talking with Destiny to notice Zi get up and drift toward the airlock mindlessly. It wasn’t until Zi had already gone down the hall, and started to put on the EVA suit, that Jer realized something was up. He tried to go in and reason with Zi — just figure out what he was thinking — but it didn’t do much good, and ultimately, it worked out such that Jer also suited up but stayed with the shuttle, Zi was going to try to spacewalk over to the Voxian capsule, tied to Jer/shuttle by long connecting line. Destiny would relay any messages to them as necessary, but of course, light takes time to travel too, so they knew they had some time to kill anyhow.
Zi gets to the capsule, and assuming some basic handholds, is able to hold on at least long enough to nock on a porthole, look in and wave.
On the inside, he’s terrified though also strangely exhilarated, and more than anything, in a weird kind of trance— not really even thinking. He just knows he wants to get in that capsule. Something about it was so appealing. Felt safe, snug, where he was meant to be.
Aellor26-Jul-18 04:32 AM
From inside the shuttle, he'll see... what looks suspiciously like a fox, though a very large one. Oddly enough the fox was already looking his way with a mixed sense of curiosity and trepidation. While their spoken languages are completely different, they'll find that somehow they're able to easily interpret each other's facial expressions and body language even though they are quite different from each other. On closer inspection, the fox seems to be wearing a vest of some sort with attached pockets and tools in it, though is wearing little else aside from a pendant around his (definitely 'his') neck which floats freely on a chord short enough to not get in the way of his muzzle. The fox pushes away from the chair to the port, placing a forepaw... or no, that's actually a hand... by the port as curiosity overtakes trepidation.
Jeylien26-Jul-18 05:00 AM
Naturally Jer & Zi (& Destiny) are in communication, Jer wants to know all about what’s going on and what Xzenor sees and it’s all he can do to keep from jumping in himself and taking over this little adventure. Taking action and being the first is much more his style, but he’s glad to have Zi getting out for a change. And Xzenor was more biologist than he, so it made some small sense for him to do some investigating.
Zi of course describes the fox-guy to Jeremy & destiny, further transmitting images back (they can stream what they’re seeing like video if they want). After some time mutually staring at each other through he porthole, probably placing a hand on the small window just to have the other mirror the action and realize they both have shockingly similar hands, maybe trying to communicate via taps on the window for a short while (just some basic Morse code or something), Zi starts looking around for an entry hatch. The creature looked so Earthly — IT WAS A MAN-SIZED FOX, WEARING CLOTHES! — it didn’t seem like it could be too deadly. He’d probably keep the suit on just in case, but it was doubtful the atmosphere would burn his clothes off or anything, so might as well go ahead with this crazy encounter. Even if it felt like something out of classic children’s novels, a fairytale. He was Alice going down the rabbit hole, into insanity.(edited)
Aellor26-Jul-18 05:07 AM
The fox has somewhat stubbier fingers than a human might, but otherwise seems 'human' enough. Though as Zi starts wondering about an entry hatch, the fox suddenly gives an alarmed look towards the topside of the craft, then back to Zi. Indeed, with an ancient shuttle like this, there probably isn't even a lock on the door, just a valve that keeps it shut against air pressure.
Jeylien29-Jul-18 04:32 AM
Ok, retcons: (1) I don’t think Jeremy actually did say anything in response to the safir ship, I think the shuttle A.I. has mostly been handling the transmissions on its own. Since it can’t translate the language, it just keeps sending the same first-contact messages, which would be multi-layered and include language keys, as well as the information the safir ship requested — what this vessel is, where it’s from, basic mission. I don’t know exactly what language/format that’d all be in though, b/c I’m unfortunately rather ignorant regarding telecommunications >.<
(2) Xzenor hasn’t been totally overwhelmed with unknown psi powers and gone helpless nor into any sort of trance. He’s somewhat overwhelmed, but that could easily be explained by his normal innate personality and psych profile. He’s therefore been a lot less proactive than Jeremy, probably even still somewhat huddled up with a headache, but that’s not really unusual. Jeremy wouldn’t just let him be, either— he’d be forcing Zi to engage, probably bullying him a bit towards that goal. Stakes are too high to afford having your one companion not contribute, and Jer’s not about to let Xzenor get away with such weakness and laziness anyways. Dude needs to suck it up and do his job, pull his weight, and Jer will make sure that’s happening one way or another.
(3) That being said, Jer is still most definitely the leader of the two, the proactive-action-man, and these basic EM signals are taking hours or more to travel and get responses, etc, so they’ve had lots of really boring lag time. Eventually the delay is too much for Jeremy, he needs to DO something, so it’s his idea to move around close to the Voxian ship and take a spacewalk. Xzenor half wanted to stay behind b/c lazy and hesitant, but he’s also a scientist/nerd so of course extremely curious, and he further knows Jer is likely to do something brash and potentially dangerous if he’s not around to stop it, so they both go. Jer is the outgoing charge-ahead guy, so he’s either first to the capsule and look in the porthole window, or he doesn’t wait around long to get his turn. Regardless, when he sees the Voxian, he’s arrogantly amused, assumes the Voxian to be subsapient test animal or some kind of bad joke or hallucination, and without concern for the guy’s wellbeing, heads straight to the airlock to open it so that he can get inside the capsule for further investigation.
Xzenor was probably hanging by the window and staring back at the Voxian, maybe having some small subconscious intuitive/psychic connection enough to interpret the general expressions of the giant fox and correctly assess feelings (but mostly just amazed and trying to process it all, himself — take it all in, analyze, form some internal theories to get a handle on the situation before taking any otherwise-reckless action). He was probably putting his hand to the window like before and about to try and tap at it in Morse or something to establish some kind of friendly and communicative attempt, realizes Jer is going for the airlock and breaks off to slow that down so the Voxian can at least get suited up and open the hatch properly / without dying or any ship damage. Zi still has no mental filters up so it’s likely the Voxian was able to intuit some of what was going on, especially when they both break off and head towards the airlock hatch. (If nothing else, can probably hear them moving on the hull, lol.)(edited)
So we’re basically at the same place except it’s Jeremy who’s at the door attempting to open it and let himself in, Zi who’s cautiously trying to keep things restrained for everybody’s safety, and both of them comm linked to the Manifest Destiny shuttle in case of any new incoming messages or really any change, but both expecting hours’ long wait and thus why they’re out on this jaunt in the meantime.
Aellor29-Jul-18 06:31 AM
Given the above, the Vox would have been digging around under the consol when they first approached. Jer looking in would see a tail waving around mostly. Upon sensing (vaguely) Zi's approach, the Vox does look up however giving them a good view of his fox-like face, easily letting them think at first that he's just a regular animal. Zi might sense (or intuit based on strangely recognizable body language) that the fox seems wary of them. Being distracted by Zi, the fox doesn't realize what Jer is up to until he starts messing around with the airlock at which point (once Zi has also gone that way) causes the fox to rush to get to his spacesuit. Alas, the spacesuit is in the airlock so Jer is going to end up finding it first. After the external hatch, there's a small room which pretty much just has a spacesuit in it which seems to be somehow bolted to a door behind it. The space suit seems to be bipedal, and almost suited for humans aside from the feet being too long, the legs being somewhat short, and the helmet being quite elongated.
Jeylien30-Jul-18 02:34 AM
There’s not much resistance, and he has a head-start, so Jeremy easily breaks into the capsule airlock. He does encounter the suit, but probably is stalled in the airlock room itself looking over the room / construction / (Jer’s an engineer so he can’t help but take the ship itself into consideration), long enough that Zi is able to join him and the Voxian is able to safely get into his suit. If the tiny portion of atmosphere inside this tiny capsule isn’t already immediately vented into space from Jer opening the outer hatch (sounds like it’s being held back into the capsule by the inner airlock door— excellent!) then once Zi’s joined him in the airlock chamber, he’d considerately close the outer door behind him so things can repressurize (and the remaining atmosphere WON’T be further lost). If the atmosphere is already leaked, then the Voxian is gunna rely on his suit to sustain him, and my guys will know this. Either way, this pair of human dudes look over the inside of the capsule, half admiring it for it’s historical vibes (mixed with the alien elements too, of course), half humored by the very same primitive aspect... Jeremy is much more interested in the ship itself, so he lingers longer, while Zi is more drawn to the occupant, and thus, beats Jer just slightly to greeting the guy face-to-face (or, well, spacesuit-to-spacesuit armslength away, lol). At some point there’s probably an attempt by my guys at a basic handshake with the Voxian (from Zi), while Jer continues to laugh about the whole thing, still thinking of the Voxian as some sort of animal / finding it all like a funny joke. Jeremy is honestly kinda speciesist / it’s gunna take him a while to accept anything too anthro as a respectable peer, and truth be told, he may never truly consider them equals unless they prove themselves to be, but that’s how he feels about many other human people too so it’s just how he is, an arrogant asshole lol(edited)
Jeylien30-Jul-18 02:44 AM
If there’s atmosphere, the trio probably hangout in the capsule longer, and my dudes maybe even get brave and analyze said atmosphere to test if it’s compatible to themselves. At which point, finding the affirmative, they’d get bold and take their helmets off (until time to leave, of course). They’ll probably stay up to two hours if there’s no interruption/update from Destiny regarding the safir ship/communications. If there’s no atmosphere, they’ll hangout for a while still, but much less time — probably more like 30min max. And then they’d want to get back to the ship so they don’t wear out their spacesuit life-support resources (theirs will last for probably near a day or more of properly managed, but they’d have assessed based on the the tech level of the rest of the capsule and the appearance of the Voxian spacesuit itself that the foxy friend here doesn’t have nearly as long, and thus needs to get to safety somewhere before his time is out). Using basic, easily interpretable gestures, they’d indicate they want to return to their ship, and are inviting the Voxian. (Zi’s mind is still unprotected too, so the also latent-psychic Voxian is likely picking up on it quite easily, just like Zi is unwittingly transmitting easily, thus it’s probably extremely intuitive to the Voxian what they’re both about the whole time they’re in the capsule with him.) If the capsule is small enough, they won’t just bring the Voxian back, though, they’ll attach a line to the capsule itself with the intent of reeling it in and storing it in their shuttle, so they can look it over more later.
(Interrupt as necessary to account for the approaching safir ship. I’d assume they’re getting close, and probably start to play into things more again at last by the time the Human/Voxian trio get back to MDshuttle, maybe even sooner.)
Aellor30-Jul-18 10:47 AM
The brothers not-grim open the outer hatch to find... a very cramped room which is mostly taken up by the spacesuit. That cramped room doesn't expell air at them though, so it's probably kept in a vaccuum more or less full time. In this 'room' there would be maybe enough space for the spacesuit and one human on either side of it if the humans weren't wearing spacesuits. Depending on how slim their spacesuits are... they might be able to fit inside and close the outer door. Might. They certainly wouldn't be able to see anything though with no lights. It might be possible to get deeper into the ship by pushing open the wall the spaceship is attached to but... that'd also possibly vent the air of the shuttle directly. Still, there's bolt levers and stuff to allow it to be done from outside in case of an emergency. And seriously... who would have possibly thought of needing to lock the door against aliens? Either way, before they can decide to attempt to open that, the Vox's head pops into the helmet and he uses the arms to try to protectively cover attempts to get at those bolt levers. Communication attempts between Zi and the Vox can be made with gestures (can't talk in a vaccuum after all) and the general consensus seems to be that the Vox is worried about leaving his shuttle for various reasons, not least of which is that he doesn't quite trust these two yet. Especially not with Jer. There might be an element of common ground with Zi though. Whatever else the Vox is trying to say, he seems to think that the humans and him have... 'something' in common.
Vāstra II30-Jul-18 10:15 PM
Marth looped the messages from the Manifest Destiny 3's onboard AI while he waited for Néleda to process the sent language files. A few minutes later, the proximity sensors twigged as the Great Qalani IV drew uncomfortably close to the two unidentified ships, its frame shift drive automatically shifting into full reverse.
The massive cargo ship ( http://ship.shapewright.com/?name=Great+Qalani+IV ) drifted to a halt within close range of the other two ships, sitting there for some minutes while its crew — well, mainly Néleda — formulated a response. Eventually, that response was broadcast to both ships, taking the form of a synthesized female humanoid voice with an unplaceable accent.
It has come to our attention that your vessels are not in compliance with Alliance regulations concerning vessel identification. On behalf of the Government of the Alliance, we must politely but firmly request that you land in the shuttle bay of our ship and come aboard, that the situation at hand may be resolved in the optimal manner. If you cannot or will not do so, we will be forced to board you.(edited)
Yoshiman40030-Jul-18 11:21 PM
Meanwhile, on an artificial satellite surrounding a geological satellite orbiting a gas giant, a young male safir is wearing a pair of earbuds attached to a laptop with a generous screen. The tab currently visible seems to be pulling up information on...the Great Qalani IV. Go figure. He's tracking the ship that currently seems to be meddling in some quiet, bloodless interstellar standoff.
He tilts his head a little as he is puzzled by the unusual silence on the other end, cognizant that the grand ship isn't malfunctioning or suffering a dead signal, but perhaps stuck dealing with a loss of translation.
Chuckling quietly to himself, he pulls out what appears to be a cell phone, or other more sophisticated safir device of similar intent, and starts texting to someone.
*text, Airumali* "Lost tourists, I guess?"(edited)
Yoshiman40031-Jul-18 12:09 AM
(And for sleep's sake I must leave it at that XD)
Jeylien31-Jul-18 12:41 AM
Since the Voxian is more reluctant to leave his tiny cramped room than anticipated, things take longer than anticipated (my guys are at least reluctant to forcibly drag the Vox over to MD), so the message from the Great Qalani IV gets to the group before the group moves back to the MD. The arrival of the new, large craft was rather intimidating and unsettling viewed from this tiny capsule, and then the forwarded message relayed to them from Destiny’s comm link...
Quick to action as usual, Jer responds to the Qualani’s message without thinking:
“What Alliance? Are you from Sol System? — We’re Alpha Colony founders of the Manifest Destiny mission launched common-calendar year 2356. We’ve maintained transmissions to Sol as expected, 4year delay of course, but I don’t recall any Alliance— I think you’re full of shit. You need to explain yourself before we come anywhere near. Who the hell are you? ”
This of course is transmitted right through the comms, and earns Jer a firm arm-hold from Xzenor (grabs him and turns to talk face-to-face), sternly condemning him for the unnecessarily rude response (“What are you doing?! That ship came out of nowhere, we have no idea what we’re dealing with and this is...this is insane!!”). Jer counters condemning Zi for being slow and scared and whatnot— but they’re all there huddled in the capsule awaiting further clarification from this big new member on the scene.(edited)
Aellor31-Jul-18 03:09 AM
The Vox meanwhile, being nowhere near his own radio, completely misses the message. Instead, he watches as the two aliens in front of him seem to start arguing with each other about something unrelated... maybe arguing with someone higher up in their chain of command? He's waffling back and forth on whether he thinks these two are the same or a different faction as the others. Damn communications issues...
Vāstra II31-Jul-18 05:00 AM
After a few moments, the same synthesized voice pipes up again:
We refer of course to the Safir Alliance, in whose sovereign territory you are, with all due respect, quite firmly ensconced. Maps of local space will follow this message. Our records show no indication of an Alpha Colony or a Manifest Destiny mission, and state that the present year, in Terra's common calendar, is 2034. We wish to stress that you are not presently in trouble; however, your presentation of a reality orthogonal to ours necessarily merits closer examination, to say nothing of your vessel's ability to identify in a manner standard to both of our species. We again invite, and politely but firmly request, you to come aboard, that these issues be swiftly resolved.
The GCS Great Qalani IV then begins to transmit a slow-scan TV image on loop for about ten minutes; if and when decoded, the map shows three views — X-Y, X-Z, and Y-Z — of the ships' position relative to several nearby star systems, inhabited and otherwise, but labeled in an alien script.(edited)
Jeylien31-Jul-18 06:33 PM
The response given wouldn’t have changed JerZi’s reactions much regardless of what was actually said — the mere fact of conversation motivates them back to their shuttle, where they can better and more safely engage. Meeting the Voxian was fun and all, but it’s gametime now, and there’s much bigger players on the field than this fox-man. Immediately upon receiving the latest message, these 2 humans move to leave the capsule; Zi probably once again gestures to invite the Vox back with them, but he’s eager to get back to familiar domain so doesn’t put too much effort into persuading the Vox to join. Quick, fleeting last-call, then he’s headed out alongside Jer. It’d take them a few minutes to get from the Voxian capsule back inside the MDS3, and they don’t bother to respond openly to the safir ship again in that time, keeping conversation between themselves and their A.I. companion. Destiny updates them on the map, streaming it to their uplink as soon as it’s decoded/transmissible, and of course trying to match it with their own astronomical records — without much success.(edited)
This only confirms they’re in unknown territory, reaffirming the dire straights for these guys. The mention of Terra and the claimed year well in the past as far as they are concerned, aren’t overlooked, but set aside for the immediate moment (though Zi is likely already forming theories about wormholes and stuff— basically the correct theory, inspired by science fiction, which he’s geeknerdy enough to be somewhat familiar). They discuss amongst themselves for a while about what to do next, assuming there’s no interruptions from the great alien vessel during this time. It’s probably 15minutes before they give any sort of response back, at which point that response is in the form of video streamed back to the GCS using the same frequencies/whatever they sent their map. Video shows Jeremy and Zi in plain sight in the cockpit, and all that’s said is a firm, confident line from Jeremy: “You want to talk? Let’s talk. But we’re not going anywhere blind. You can show us maps, then show me who you are. [insert slang basically equivalent to the idea “tit for tat”]. ”
Aellor31-Jul-18 11:41 PM
The Vox hesitates at the invitation. However after some quick thinking on it, he'll detach his suit from the door (leaving it sealed behind him) and will head over to the other ship. He's got an air tank with him but after a regretful look will untether the chord connecting his suit to the door, taking the chord with him. It takes mustering near all his courage to push away from his ship into the black and away from the 'safety' of his shuttle, but he knows that the fox that stays in its hole risks getting smoked from the den.
Once inside the other ship (possibly needing one of them to pull him in with the tether he took from the shuttle), he'll likely get placed in bio-containment but it's not like he knows the difference just yet. Instead he'll try to indicate a need to write something and when eventually shown the touch screens and how to use them even through his suit, he starts... drawing. Drawing a cube and then cutting it in half. And then that half in half. And then in half again. He does this ten times before drawing a curve remeniscent of wind, leading from the last halve to... a planet with a moon. Then... four planets smooshed together with two moons? Of those four planets, two share the look of the first and two are blank. He'll continue this with a three moon system... four moons, etc. It will take Zi some puzzling out before he starts offering pictures of astronomy and chemistry related items. The Vox seizes on a picture of a diamond and points at the sixth system. In this elaborate attempt at communication, with more pictures, it becomes established that these systems are elements. And as the Vox senses Zi's understanding, points at the eighth element oxygen and mimes a deep breath before gesturing at the air around them and then at the table questioningly. As Zi points to various elements on the created chart, the Vox seems to relax a bit and finally will relent, taking off the helmet of its suit and allowing the real tests to begin.
Jeylien01-Aug-18 12:41 AM
(I love this, but gunna wait for @Vāstra II to respond/update on safir ship actions, before I respond. B/c until then, we don’t know how much of this actually gets played out, or if they’re interrupted or straight-up beamed into the Qalani or something, lol)
Vāstra II02-Aug-18 03:56 PM
Another slow-scan TV image is broadcast to the two unknown ships, showing a calm purple-eyed redheaded safir, an angry blonde safir with one green eye and one empty socket — both female — and what appears to be a male red-eyed black-haired wood elf, all clad in dark blue overalls. The backdrop is of a distinctly modernistic, if not futuristic, starship bridge.(edited)
Yoshiman40003-Aug-18 08:39 PM
The redhead's phone has still kept the notification that she has a message yet unread, a scenario the young astronomer chuckles to himself about as he chills out in his quarters aboard his satellite. Another text.
"Hope nobody's missing a party over there."
Yoshiman40003-Aug-18 08:54 PM
Vāstra II03-Aug-18 08:56 PM
(Soon™, am installing Windows on Stillstorm)
Yoshiman40003-Aug-18 08:56 PM
Jeylien04-Aug-18 04:09 AM
Jeremy sees the images of the safir when they come through, and laughs. To him, they look like a group of retro fantasy LARPers who went all-out and decided to live it full time, becoming extreme bodymorph grafters. It seemed like a joke, and a lame, cheesy one at that. So he decides it really isn’t interesting to him— they aren’t any kind of threat, and this isn’t any more than the prank/hoax/misunderstanding he’d been anticipating all along. It was obvious they’d encountered some sort of crazy old-time theorized Einstein-Rosen Bridge anomaly (or as called in Xzenor’s inane science fiction, a wormhole) but research had been going on in that field for centuries, so maybe it’d finally seen some success, by whatever freakish society these dorks hailed from. After all, it had been over half a century since they left Sol System, and things weren’t entirely tranquil then. Change in culture / greater bodymod fad, implementation of a new calendar system, discovery of new technology, loss of their mission records in conflict of overpowering by a new Alliance nation, was all conceivable... It was a difficult and improbable scenario, sure, but still more rational than the idea of some interspace wormhole whisking them away to a land of human-mutant “aliens”. That made this ship long-lost compatriots, and their threats of boarding completely uninspiring.
He chuckles and mumbles to himself, not bothering to broadcast a response, “Pfft— Idiots. Why should I listen to you? If you want to play some fantasy game, you play, but this is moronic...” He chooses to wait it out and call their obvious bluff. At least they’d provided a fun language puzzle — not to mention the star map / locations dilemma— to entertain in the meantime. He figures somehow something was messing with the shuttle’s astronomical sensors and/or databanks — and admittedly, it was just a shuttle, not the mothership, so not really intended to deal with interstellar scale configurations. He’d told these weirdass people to talk if they wanted to talk, and he didn’t have the patience to wait around for indecisive, hesitant losers. He already had plenty of that to deal with in Xzenor. Setting his mind to get to work on the astro-navigational problem, he lets the safir stew and figure themselves out for any further communications.
Meanwhile, since the Vox had taken up his invitation after all, Zi’d lead him back to the giant shuttle, and broken away from Jeremy (who it was agreed would go deal with the other aliens while Zi, being the biologist/medical-oriented member, would deal with those things here) guiding the fox-man into a small enclosed room bathed in blacklight. Unbeknownst to the Vox, Zi is of course in communication with the shuttle A.I., and has indeed taken him to the biocontainment chamber and begun preliminary decontamination procedures on both of them. (Jer also should have gone through decontamination, but he probably was ok’d to merely take-off the suit and toss it to be recycled.) This means a number of complicated and uncomfortable steps, but for the sake of keeping things consistent to your response narrative and moving things forward, I’ll say this is interrupted by the Vox’s indications of wanting to write (probably b/c Zi immediately goes to remove his helmet/suit, actually), and then the demonstration of the touchscreen-like technology built into the walls themselves, leading to very quickly confirmed understanding of what the Vox is trying to relay: chemical elements, necessary atmospheric composition. (No periodic table or pictures of diamonds necessary though— from the Vox’s drawings Zi would have guessed he was trying to portray old-school basic Bohr model atoms, and so would have brought up animated images matched overtop the Vox’s sketch, probably had the hydrogen one fuse with oxygen model to produce h2o and accompanied that with obvious image of flowing water to make it clear.)
Xzenor had long ago guessed from the Vox’s exceedingly Earthlike appearance and attitude, that he required similarly earthlike atmosphere. While it wasn’t scientific of him, somehow, Zi just knew the Vox was compatible with their environment, had compelling intuition, which he’d been following from the start and hence his immediate attempts to get the Vox unsuited so they could actually get to the real threat— equally-Earth-atmosphere-compliment microbes. Nevertheless, since the Vox needed reassurance, Zi was sure to bring up charts of the atmospheric composition in the room in the same easily interpretable manner and give the Vox a moment to assess and approve them, before shutting off that wall display and getting back to the task of killing off any potential foreign pathogens. (Note: Zi is still fully suited up for that very reason— he can’t be sure exhaled air from one or both of them doesn’t contain something deadly to the other, like say a common cold virus.)
(I would go further into the process / get them through it, but once again idk how long before things are interrupted by the other players around, ie safir et al.)
Vāstra II04-Aug-18 08:20 PM
A radio transmission from the Great Qalani IV, not in the voice of the shipboard AI but one, ostensibly, of the two safir crewmembers, in English with an unplaceable accent:
We are saddened that you would reject our hospitality. Please understand that no harm is meant for any of you, and that we merely wish to greet you and understand your circumstances. We firmly request one final time that you come aboard, or you will be boarded instead.
After Kèna closes the radio, she picks up her PDA-equivalent, noticing the two messages from Mařesi Arkanisr, and fires off a response.
Unfortunately our visitors seem unwilling to come over and say hi.(edited)
Yoshiman40004-Aug-18 08:23 PM
He perks his head to the said after he receives Kena's response, thinking to himself as he continues to listen to the empty space on her end of the scanner. Back into the conversation he sends another text.
I'm sure if they figure out there is no intent on the use of force, things will be understood. Hopefully the worst that happens is they just fly off without harming anyone.
Vāstra II04-Aug-18 08:26 PM
Which itself, given the circumstances, would be a suboptimal outcome.
Yoshiman40004-Aug-18 08:49 PM
Agreed. Safir do usually come in peace...
Vāstra II04-Aug-18 09:07 PM
Yoshiman40004-Aug-18 09:11 PM
Can you please tell me more about the visitors you have encountered? I am interested to meet them at some point if they in fact are amicable enough.
Vāstra II04-Aug-18 09:14 PM
One set looks and sounds like humans but is not carrying Treaty-mandated identification markers, and, while claiming to be from three hundred of their years into the future, simultaneously claims not to yet have made contact with alien sophonts. The other… not even Lady Kaēna could yet possibly know; no pictures have been received, and the only audio transmission we have consists of… barking.
Yoshiman40004-Aug-18 09:17 PM
Well, this is peculiar. I suppose they can interpret their own forms of communication despite us not being able to say the same. Unfortunately, I'm not sure I can continue to talk much about this more, Kena, given my status as a lowly eavesdropper.
Vāstra II04-Aug-18 09:22 PM
Understood . . .
Yoshiman40004-Aug-18 09:23 PM
But if you're willing to open the lines up again, please count me as interested~ ^_^
Vāstra II04-Aug-18 09:28 PM
Copy. Will henceforth count Mařesi Arkanisr as interested.(edited)
Yoshiman40004-Aug-18 09:30 PM
Thank you!~ The young man sets his communicator aside, fully invested in just listening to the forthcoming communication for the time being, until permitted to speak up again. His grin almost looks like he's gotten away with murder, being able to verbally prod one of his friends while they're trying to handle the usual affairs of interstellar customs.
Vāstra II07-Aug-18 08:26 PM
Vāstra II24-Sep-18 07:35 PM
Vāstra II12-Dec-18 09:57 PM
(TODO: excavate any worldbuilding that happened here.)