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 Post Posted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 12:09 pm 
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We're a reconnaissance team, Terrell says flatly, tossing new clothes at Jason through a gap in the curtains. On a delivery ship. Sorry, but no piles of weapons stored on this ship, soldier boy. Might as well keep the damn thing.

Cranky, are we? Gil says, amused.

Shut up, Gil.

Terrell throws new clothes at Richard and the injured patiae as well. They are identical to the last set. The medipads begin to move, coating wounds with tiny white dots. Pain eases, wounds are closed and slowly healed.

The monitor on the wall flickers on.

I think I've lost the ship, Veda says. I'm heading to home base. Can't dock anywhere else, now. They probably have an alert on us.

Home base it is, then, Lykke says. Veda nods and the monitor flickers off.

Right. Lykke crosses her arms. Before we get to home base, I need to know what you witnessed at the warehouse. BEFORE the fight. And Richard, I know you're proud, but can you refrain from blasting images of pulled out eyeballs at everyone? She shudders.

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 Post Posted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 12:58 pm 
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"Oh, sorry. New to this psychic thing." Richard tries clearing his head. But... there's something that won't quite go.

The drumming... THE DRUMS OF WAR...

No, wait, there they go.

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 Post Posted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 2:23 pm 
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"Great, now I've got those drums stuck in my head. Thanks Richard."

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 Post Posted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 2:59 pm 
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"Storerooms." says Cecil out loud, calling up the memories.

...memories of the Patiae who told him and Maria to load up boxes.

...memories of the warehouses. Six that are already filled, six that are being filled

...a close-up, more detailed memory of the boxes themselves, the designs on the sides

...a close-up memory of the goods, dull but unblemished, with no obvious signs of wear and tear

...a memory of the similarly dull and unblemished metal sheeting; not a mark, not a scrape on them

...again, a view of the warehouse as a whole - humans with dollies floating up to pack more boxes in near the roof. A mental note accompanies this memory, that it is but one warehouse out of twelve.

I came back with some but not all of the boxes you'd sent us for, continues Cecil, intending to ask if there was anything in there that you wanted me to take a closer look at, only when I got here, well...

A brief image of the Patrol, facing the Patiae from the ship, as Cecil returns with the dolly full of boxes. ...everything kind of went wrong very quickly.

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 Post Posted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 3:28 pm 
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"We overheard a rather interesting conversation, and bumped into one of its participants afterwards."

Jason broadcasts the applicable memory, and while his recollection is nowhere near as detailed and complete as Cecil's, it gets across.

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 Post Posted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 10:56 am 
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The Patia all listen intently to Cecil's rundown of the warehouse goods.

I knew it, Terrell says with ominous flickers of grey.

Hush Terrell, Lykke says, holding up a hand. Cecil, don't worry about the boxes. They were a dummy order. Just something to get us to the warehouse. Is everyone dressed? Yes?

She presses the monitor a few times, and the curtains rise as Jason explains his encounter. All of the patiae look intently at him, all obviously surprised.

One of ours? Gil asks, glancing from Terrell to Lykke. The leaders share a look, then shake their heads.

Not unless we've begun some very deep undercover operations, Lykke says, her reply clouded with pink confusion. But two humans, not Controlled, one working the warehouse, one asking for supplies...

We need to tell the Head, Sisu says mildly, wincing and holding his chest as he stands.

I'm not sure --

Lykke is cut off by a green light that floods the infirmary. At once the patiae throw off all sorts of emotions: annoyance, irritation, a general "oh, crap" sensation.

Everyone hold on! Gil says quickly. I mean, hold on in a mental sense since --

Suddenly there is a twisting, bending sensation. The ship both looks the same, and looks elongated. Feels steady, and feels as if it's breaking into millions of particles. Time feels as if it is rushing by and as if it is unmoving. All feel turned inside out while also feel as if nothing is happening.

The sensation ends. Lykke shakes her head and the monitor flickers on. Veda appears on screen.

A warning would have been nice before you rippled! Lykke snaps. Something before the warning lights?

Sorry, Veda says sheepishly. I'm docking now at Home Base. Everything will be ready once you reach the cargo hold.

Thank you, Lykke says briskly. The monitor flickers off. She looks at the humans.

Any questions before we introduce you to Home Base and the Head?

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 Post Posted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 11:13 am 
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Cecil, leaning against the wall he'd braced himself against when the ship rippled, fights down a resurgence of nausea - this time caused by whatever had just happened.

I'm a little curious about the warehouse, he transmits - though he's more interested in a delay long enough to recover from the ripple. Whatever that was. I saw what was there, but - I don't understand what it means.

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 Post Posted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 7:32 pm 
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Tom takes the transition with his traditional stoicism. Instead of talking, he's been focused on getting a feel for his powers, trying to determine just how many he can cover, at what power.

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 Post Posted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 7:56 pm 
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María dries her face with her sleeve and shakily gets to her feet, though she still leans against the wall. She's been listening but has been too wiped out to say much. Fortunately, Cecil said it for her.

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 Post Posted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 6:36 pm 
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Jason shakes his head to clear it.

"Wow. Haven't felt anything like that since that one time a sherman I was standing next to took a mortar round right through the commander's hatch. Weird."

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 Post Posted: Mon Aug 01, 2011 10:27 am 
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Cecil wrote:
I'm a little curious about the warehouse, he transmits - though he's more interested in a delay long enough to recover from the ripple. Whatever that was. I saw what was there, but - I don't understand what it means.


That was a metal pressing plant, Terrell says. They make almost every sheet of metal or pressed metal good (like these pods) for the colony, including building material. We had a tip that they've been given a much, much larger work order than usual, and our task was to verify the tip. As to what it means...

Perhaps they're building more ships, Sisu cuts in. Or perhaps penal facilities.

Certainly not more housing on Station Two, Lykke says, flickers of worry coming from her. From what you showed us, the pods and tables being produced are strictly utilitarian.

Well, we don't know for sure what they're for, Terrell says. Not until we see the Head.

Quote:
Tom takes the transition with his traditional stoicism. Instead of talking, he's been focused on getting a feel for his powers, trying to determine just how many he can cover, at what power.


At rest, with no enemies around him stressing him out, Tom can cover all of the humans. The patia, however, seem out of his range.

Jason wrote:
"Wow. Haven't felt anything like that since that one time a sherman I was standing next to took a mortar round right through the commander's hatch. Weird."


Oh, sorry about that, Lykke says. Space ripple.

Well, ripple is the slang term, Gil says, perking up. See, space is a very empty place. Even with all the dark matter and energy floating around, it's full of nothing. And it takes forever to get anywhere interesting, since everything is so spread out. So what we do is bend space. Fold it together. He moves his hands together, as if he's bending a piece of paper. If we were to look at it from the outside, it would look very much like the ripples in a pool of water when you drop a stone into it. Only three dimensional. So I suppose nothing like that at all. Still, a catchy name!

Be careful, Terrell warns. Any more questions of the process and he'll start lecturing with math on how the process works.

Any more questions? Lykke says.

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 Post Posted: Mon Aug 01, 2011 3:53 pm 
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One last question. transmits Cecil. Can a space ripple be followed? That patrol ship presumably would have done so if it could - did we just lead them right here?

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 Post Posted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 10:48 am 
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No, they cannot follow us directly, Terrell says. A ripple only effects the object that forms it. Of course, the ship COULD track our signal and get a general read on where we're going. But I'm sure Veda would have noticed if they had tagged us. We're safe, for now.

Veda pops up on the screen, the cargo hold visible behind her teal face.

Are you guys coming, or what? she says.

On our way, Lykke says.

The monitor pops off as Lykke waves for everyone to follow her. All patiae and humans (now more or less healed, but for a bit of bruising) are lead to the elevator, which whips them down to the cargo hold. Veda is waiting for them as the door slides open, motioning at a portal on the wall.

Finally, a chance to stretch my legs, she says, little bubbles of cheerfulness rolling over everyone. The portal, a spiral design, opens with a shkksshhhhh as the air of the ship mingles with the air of the airlock.

Come on! Veda says as she steps onto the springy metal tube that hooks the ship to the Base. Her whole body lifts, and her feet barely touch the tube. Gravity's kind of light right here, she says, bouncing off the wall below her and pulling herself towards the door with a set of metal hand holds lining the tube's walls.

The group follows her down the short tube, and the portal on the Base end opens as the portal to the ship closes. Artificial gravity pulls the group down as they exit the tube, and the portal closes behind them. They are in a gleaming hallway lit at the corners, posters littering the walls with a rainbow of colors and slogans in the patia language and cheerful designs of happy humans, happy patiae, smiling suns, swirls of color.

Follow me, Lykke says, leading the group down the hallway. Don't worry, it'll be a quick visit to the head, and then maybe you can get some clearer ans --

The hallway ends, opening on a giant domed room, much like that of a convention center. The hallway alcove is slightly raised, and steps lead down to the room. Many hallways jut off from the room.

The room is absolutely brimming with people. Many patiae and some humans wander through a maze of booths filled with goods: food, clothes, electronics, accessories, furniture, even animals, both earth based and unknown to the humans. The room is strangely silent, but for the sound of shuffling feet and people shifting around people and goods changing hands and the squawks and squeaks of animals. But the heads of the humans explode with conversation: colors, lights, words, images, all rushing from the huge crowd.

Damn it, I forgot the underground market was meeting today, Lykke's thoughts leak through the nonverbal din. It's a good cover, but still. Damn. Okay, everyone, blend in. Gil, you're with me. Gil will give the signal and directions to the meeting place when I contact the Head. You don't have to act Controlled around here. Most everyone is liberal around these parts, and they let their humans walk around with their own thoughts. For the most part. See you soon.

The patiae disperse into the crowd.

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 Post Posted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 12:53 pm 
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María descends the steps and walks into the crowd. She is mentally lambasted on all sides, and finds that it takes a little getting used to. She wanders the room, trying to learn more by examining her surroundings carefully. Are the animals available to be bought as pets, or are they for show, like a zoo or circus? How are transactions conducted? Do they use physical currency, barter, or some other system? Or do they eschew money entirely?

As she wanders among the Patiae and people, she looks into a small transparent enclosure. Inside, there is a small dish containing a purplish gel, but there's no sign of the creature that presumably uses it for food. She's just about to move on when she notices the gel begin to move. Three blobby appendages spill out of the bowl, and the thing wobbles over to the side of the enclosure facing María. It flattens itself against it and gradually slides up to her face, slowly turning yellow in the process. María needlessly takes a step back from it, but is fascinated by this strange creature.

That's when she remembers the codex she's been carrying this whole time. Pulling it out, she tries looking up the blobby thing in it. She then looks around to find other things to consult the codex about.


OOC: I keep having to remind myself that María comes from a time in history where things like electronic payment systems and other modern human technologies don't exist...

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 Post Posted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 2:08 pm 
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The codex's cheerful, bubbly lights appear on the screen, and English appears as the saccharine voice of the codex fills Maria's mind:

This creature is officially named Three-tentacled-blobby-thing-that-starts-as-a-purplish-color-but-changes-color-as-it-wonts. Of course, this is a fully translated version of the name, as it would appear in one's mind! Humans have many names for it in their own languages: galaretka, 果冻, hyytelö, jelly, gelee, jalea, elementum, tarrend and so on.

The three-tentacled-blobby-thing-that-starts-as-a-purplish-color-but-changes-color-as-it-wonts has a similar structure to Earth's mollusks, though is much more structurally stable outside water and is quite personable. It can certainly learn certain hand gestures such as "stay" or "come" or "food". So far, attempts to teach it internal speech has been unsuccessful. With its minimal clean up and feeding needs along with its personality, the three-tentacled-blobby-thing-that-starts-as-a-purplish-color-but-changes-color-as-it-wonts has become a popular pet amongst Labor and Anthropologists.


The three-tentacled-blobby-thing-that-starts-as-a-purplish-color-but-changes-color-as-it-wonts squidges into a sphere and reaches out a tentacle towards Maria.

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