[04M] Al-Tarbiya System

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[04M] Al-Tarbiya System

Post by Double D on Tue Jan 22, 2013 3:25 am

S.I.C.N. Euphrates - Cruiser, I'dad Al'oda Class

"Peace and Blessings from Allah be upon you," he said to his left.

"Peace and Blessings from Allah be upon you," he said to his right.

Just like all those around him, Muhammad al-Baqiri the Seventh rose to his feet. Like the river that the ship was named after, the masses flowed out through the foyer, grabbing their footwear as they did so. Were it not for the ships computers, not a soul on the ship would know when to perform salah he thought to himself as he laced his boots. Shoes now firmly placed on his feet, al-Baqiri went to the bridge after grabbing his breakfast. Even after grabbing his meal of pita, synthetic figs and coffee, Muhammad was the first on the bridge. The crew slowly filed in, taking up position at their designated location, but not before offering the Captain a crisp salute and curt greeting. Lastly came his second-mate, Atvar.

"As-salamu alaykum Captain al-Baqiri. I trust you are ready for today's operation."

"As-salamu alaykum Executive Officer Atvar. I am, as I assume you are."


He knew Atvar, or the entire Ssumaz race for that matter, could not help but be late. Even when moving rapidly, their little skittering legs struggled to keep up. And for all he was worth, Muhammad could not help but look at the small lizard-like dwarf with contempt. Despite their devotion to the Prophet (May Allah pray on him and grant him peace) and to the Caliphate, getting past their appearance was harder than he could ever imagine. He shook his head quickly as he found himself staring at the Ssumaz.

"Captain al-Baqiri, we entered the Al-Tarbiya System 0300 hours ago. Requesting permission to fire six grounding probes at the system's planets," said the Ssumaz Executive Officer in his hissing Arabic.

With a node of the head, Muhammad watched Atvar press his finger claw against the Comm's button to give the order. After a minute of waiting, six probes flew past the the bridges windows, their thrusters glowing bright in the dark abyss that was space. Shortly thereafter came the conformation report of the launch. The Captain walked over to the situation table, the ships in the flotilla along with the preliminary scans of the system's layout appearing as he did so. Atvar followed close behind, the floor elevating him to eye level upon reaching his spot beside the captain.

"You would think Mushir Shadid would have sent more of the fleet on our first expedition out of the System. It's a lot of resources to risk. We aren't even sure if this system is uninhabited."

"I put my full fate in the Mushir, just as I put my full fate in the Merciful. Our preliminary scans showed no advanced life forms."

"I only put my fate in The All-Knowing and myself. And besides, our preliminary scans showed no advanced lifeforms on Aisha 3. But perhaps it was correct judging by the likes of you,"
said the Captain with a wry smile. Typical Tho'ban-rajil thought.

Atvar silently opened his snouted mouth, reveling all one hundred seventy six of his pointed teeth in his silent laugh. Even with almost two hundred years of human exposure, the Ssumaz struggled to adopt human body language. Satisfied with the day's jab, the two turned to the table. The planets on the table changed colors as each probe landed on its assigned location. Both of let out a human-like sigh of disappointment as they looked over each planet. Judging by the colors before them, the five nearest planets were nothing more than space dust and rubbish. But the last one glowed a bright green on the holotable. The Captain reached forward, touching the projection to bring it forward.

"Haboob 2 looks promising. It's small, but if this probe is right, we'll be able to strip the whole thing in a matter of years. And with the rest of these dustballs being useless, we can devote all the miners to it."

"As you will it, so shall it be done Captain."


Atvar's floor lowered him to ground level, allowing the lizard to leave. Muhammad watched him go to his station, clicking his tongue against the side of his mouth as he did so. Slowly, the SICN Euphrates and its protectorates moved towards Haboob 1. Briskly stroking several keys, he opened the relay system before speaking.

"In the name of The All-Embracing, The Everlasting, The First and The Last, this is Muhammad al-Baqiri, Seventh of his name, Captain of the S.I.C.N. Euphrates and head of the First Exploration Flotilla, reporting to Mushir Jericho Shadid and Caliph Abd Al Bari al-Hussaini, Twelfth of his name.

The system Al-Tarbiya is lacking in resources. Of the six planets, only Haboob 2 appears to have any resources of value. The First Exploration Flotilla is moving towards Haboob 2 as this transmission is being recorded. We have picked up no transmissions as of yet, but our cruisers and destroyer's crews are on stand-by.

I will keep you up-to-date on the situation my superiors. May the Merciful and Loving One watch over you as He watches over all of us.  Ma Salama."


The Captain looked over the text before him, making sure the computer had heard him correctly. Happy with what was said, he gave the command. He settled into his Commander's chair, requesting candied almonds and another pot of synthetic coffee with cardamom in the grounds. It arrived to him shortly, the thick coffee still steaming in its porcelain fenjin. He sipped it slowing, enjoying one of the few pleasures he allowed himself.



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Re: [04M] Al-Tarbiya System

Post by Omni on Tue Jan 22, 2013 3:30 am

VSV Columbus, Hades-Class Destroyer

The deck shakes a little as the scouting vessel drops out of FTL. The Inertial Dampeners have been acting up, and they hadn't had time to fix it before departure. No matter- the Columbus is in fine shape. It's a bit old, and isn't equipped with a virtual intelligence like the newer ships, but she's tough, and she's been through a lot. The Captain, one Elisa Roberts, strides onto the bridge, each officer offering a nod of acknowledgement. Her visage displays the scars of experience- she's forty-two, but she looks a tad older. Her eyes are an odd shade of lime green. A branching, curling emerald tattoo spreads from her left eye, like the roots of a plant. Her hair is mostly black, but it's streaked with grey. Taking her place mid-deck, she relaxes into her chair, falling into a contemplative pose by default. She had been in command of this vessel for almost four years now. The crew is tight-nit, and their loyalty to her is beyond question. She could probably head down to engineering and name each individual engineer, plus their personal hobbies. This was indeed a vessel any Valhallan would be proud to serve on.

The bridge's communications officer waves a brief, two-fingered salute to her, speaking into her headset. "Captain Roberts has the bridge- that is all." She presses a button on her keyboard, and message plays on the intercom throughout the ship. Most pay it no mind, but it's still protocol.

Captain Roberts looks to the holodisplay in front of her, scratching her chin. The display is currently showing a 'zoomed' out display of the system, along with their orbits, and their names. At least, what their names are currently listed as in the Valhallan database.
"What can you tell me about the system?" She says, swiveling her chair to face one of her science officers.

"Preliminary scans show little of interest, except for 04M Beta. Our scanners are picking up- Hrmm. That's odd." He looks from the console to the captain. "We're picking up other vessels. Several, in fact. Looks like a small fleet." He looks back to the screen. "Human, from the looks of it."

"Hail them." She nods, tapping a few controls on the armrest of her chair, silently hoping that they aren't hostile. The Holographic display in the center of the room zooms on the exploration fleet- though, as Valhallan scanners aren't stellar (pun intended) they're represented by rectangles of appropriate size for each vessel. Even with the Columbus' impressive weaponry- her ship is likely hopelessly outgunned by the exploratory fleet.

"Yessir'." Her comms officer taps a few things into her keyboard, speaking into her headset as she transmits to the the exploratory fleet.

++ This is the Valhallan Security Command Vessel Columbus. Please state your intentions, or you will be pursued and fired upon. ++
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Re: [04M] Al-Tarbiya System

Post by Double D on Tue Jan 22, 2013 3:42 am

S.I.C.N. Euphrates - Cruiser, I'dad Al'oda Class

"Sayedy, we have an unidentified vessel in the system, transmitting an unknown message. We are attempting to translate. What are your orders?"

The Captain flared his nostrils as he looked at the ensign, his brow wrinkled. This couldn't be. They'd scanned the system twice before entering and once afterwards. But sure enough, a ship was appearing on the command table. He leaned his full body weight against the table, hands almost digging into the metal frame.

"I want everyone at their battlestations. Tell the Mijrafa and Mitraka to fall back and be ready to jump. Tell the Alborz to move forward. And will someone get that message translated already!"

With the alarm sounded, the crew of every ship moved frantically to their assigned location. Despite almost two years of drilling before launch, the crews were still almost two minutes behind the required time. None the less, with the mining vessels at the rear and the S.I.C.N. Alborz and S.I.C.N. Euphrates weapons brought to bear, Muhammad nodded to Atvar. The scaly dwarf came over, his tail stump shaking up and down as he did so.

"It's English, a langauge that dates back from before Black Wednesday. Ensign, play the translation for the Captain."

Over the speaks on the bridge the words of Elisa Roberts played back, only this time in Arabic. Captain and Executive Officer looked at one another, saying not a single word. Even with a rigid face incapable of facial expressions, Muhammad knew what Atvar was thinking. It came with spending so much time together, not unlike a married couple. But the idea of laying with another male, yet alone a Ssumaz, was enough to force his breakfast to make a second appearance.

"Atvar, when you send the transmission, I want you to send the Arabic first."

As the second-in-command prepared to broadcast, al-Baqiri's mind rushed. How was he to respond to this Valhallan Security Command? Forcefully or with caution? Threatening even? Before he could think any further, Atvar turned one eye turret to him and pointed as to say "All clear." Clearing his throat, Muhammad stood up straight before speaking.

<:: This is Captain Muhammad al-Baqiri, Seventh of his name, Captain of the S.I.C.N. Euphrates and Commodore of the First Exploration Flotilla of The Second Islamic Caliphate. I now ask that you return the favor by identifying yourself. ::>

Atvar looked to the Captain, this time with both eye turrets. "You did not answer their question sayedy." But the Captain merely shrugged in shoulders, as he sat back down in his chair, the air still smelling of finished coffee. He drummed his fingers against the arms of his chair as he leaned forward, looking out in the general direction of the Columbus.


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Re: [04M] Al-Tarbiya System

Post by Omni on Tue Jan 22, 2013 4:16 am

VSV Columbus, Hades-Class Destroyer

Captain Roberts shifted uneasily, tapping her fingers along her armrest rhythmically as she waited for a response. This was taking too long. She looks to her communications officer. "Have they responded yet?"

"No, ma'am."

One of her other officers turns his head away from his station. "Ma'am, we're getting increased energy emissions from some of the ships. If I had to guess, I'd say they're prepping for an FTL jump."

She nods, relaxing a bit. At least they were as uncertain as her crew is. That'd make this a bit easier. That being said, she was no diplomat, and there was still a pretty high chance that this could go horrifically awry. She was never good at negotiating.

"We're receiving their response, sir. It's.." The comms officer pauses as she taps a few commands into her console- it begins to search for a linguistic match. "I'm not sure. It sounds familiar, but I'm not sure what-" Her console interrupts her with a 'bleep' as it finds a match. "Arabic- it's a terran language."

"Can you translate it?"

"The translation's already in progress, ma'am- just one moment." She pauses. "There- done." She taps a button on her console.

The captain rubs her chin as the message is played back on the bridge of the Columbus. Exploratory fleet- that was good. Less risk of them initiating attack. Islam- she recalled a Terran History lesson at the academy about it. She hadn't payed attention. The Valhallans have no formal religion, with the exception of venerating The Lost. The Valhallans had no gods. She sighed, tapping a few buttons on her chair, transmitting a response to the Euphrates. She couldn't help but notice that they didn't respond to her question.

++ This is Captain Elisa Roberts, Captain of the VSV Columbus, of the second Exploratory Detachment. I repeat, please state your intentions. ++
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Re: [04M] Al-Tarbiya System

Post by Double D on Tue Jan 22, 2013 5:13 am

S.I.C.N. Euphrates - Cruiser, I'dad Al'oda Class

"You didn't think they would forget their initial question, did you?"

What Atvar lacked in body language he made up in tone. The captain merely glared at Ssumaz, only to be answered with another open mouthed laugh. For as annoying as he thought Atvar may be, he was right. He knew better than to think that these infidels would forget. But he had thought they'd at least back down. Most of the crew appeared focus on their work as he looked around, but he knew they were taking sideways glances at him every time he looked away. "Their judging me... Waiting to see how I respond." Look weak, and he'd be seen as a deserter to the Fate. Come off to strong and would be remembered as Warmonger who brought death in the name of The Peaceful. Ignoring the Executive Officer's question, Muhammad spoke again.

"Alert Line Officer Ahmad and Line Officer Youssef of the Alborz to ready the guns. Contact Squadron Leader Rashid and tell him to fuel and ready their killcraft. I will be transmitting again."

Rolling his neck, al-Baqiri typed on the keyboard attached to his table. He spoke his words slowly, making sure to pronounce every word with a level of perfection that would satisfy even his old school masters. As he finished, Atvar came over, reading the message that appeared on the screen.

"Line Officer Ahmad, Line Officer Youssef and Squadron Leader Rashid all report they are waiting for your order. Do you think it's worth it sayedy? There are plenty of systems, and they don't even know where Jadeda Mecca is."

"If I didn't, I wouldn't do it," he said as he transmitted the message. "I want you to contact the Mushir and the Caliph and alert them of the situation. I was foolish to not do that immediately. And be sure to send our translation to them also."

<:: As-salāmu alayki Captain Roberts. I and the First Exploration Flotilla have entered this system with intentions of preparing a mining operation. We have no quarrel with you or your people, but we are prepared to defend ourselves if needed. I have answered your question, though I had by all means the right to deny you. I now ask you, Captain Elisa Roberts of the  VSV Columbus, what are you doing in this system? ::>


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Re: [04M] Al-Tarbiya System

Post by Omni on Tue Jan 22, 2013 5:54 am

VSV Columbus, Hades-Class Destroyer

Her First Officer shifted his gaze from his console to Captain Roberts, his voice uncertain. "Ma'am- I'm picking up some energy readings from some of their vessels. I can't tell from this distance- but if their ships are designed anything like ours, they're likely charging weapons."

Captain Roberts shrugged, her gaze locked on the holographic approximation of the ships in front of her. "Prep' the main gun. If this goes bad- we're going to need to hit them hard if we're going to have any chance of getting out of here in one piece." She nodded. Hopefully, this wouldn't get bloody. The Columbus' main gun might be able to punch a hole through one of their ships (assuming they're not using any sort of shielding), but it takes several minutes to charge and fire, so they'd have to make that one shot count. After that, they'd jump to FTL, but it'd have to be a short jump. Combined with firing the main gun, a long FTL jump that quickly might cause serious damage to the ship- it'd overload their heat-sinks.

Her comms officer glanced to her. "We've received their response, ma'am. Running it through the translator." She pressed a few keys on her console, and, moments later, the message played back. The sound quality isn't stellar- Valhallan translation software are fine if you give it enough time, but if you're translating practically real-time the quality takes a nosedive.

She glanced to the helmsman. "Keep the engines hot- like I said, if this goes bad, we're going to need to work fast." Looking to her armrest, she pressed a few keys, transmitting a response.

++ Interestingly enough, we came to survey the system and determine if it has anything of worth. Are your vessels capable of ship-to-ship video transmission? It would be more efficient to have this conversation 'face-to-face', so to speak. ++
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Re: [04M] Al-Tarbiya System

Post by Double D on Tue Jan 22, 2013 6:14 am

S.I.C.N. Euphrates - Cruiser, I'dad Al'oda Class

Video comms? At least it was more "in person" than this constant back-and-forth game of telephone. Still, he would have preferred they request a meeting in-person. But Muhammed took what he could got, and asked for little more. By sounds of it, this Columbus appeared to be alone. Still, where there was one destroyer, there were bound to be more.

"I want my best thawb and keffiyeh brought forth! You as well Atvar. I will not allow us to look like we are street urchins. Ensign Yasser, tell the Columbus we will be ready to broadcast shortly. Afterwards, contact the galley and tell them to bring up half a crate of olives. Real olives."

<:: We are preparing to broadcast. We ask for your patience as we calibrate our video feed and signal. ::>

With a quick salute the ensign proceeded to broadcast the message. Both Atvar and Muhammed walked briskly to the bridges door, which opened to reveal two seamen, both holding the requested articles of clothing. Nodding once to them, the officers headed to the restroom, and changed in their own stalls.

"We should consider ourselves lucky. If we hadn't run into humans, there was a high chance we'd still be trying to figure out what was said."

"Not lucky sayeyd. Blessed. It is The Watchful's will that we came into contact with them."

The Ssumaz had a point, much like he always did. The chances of running into another ship were slim. The chances of running into a human ship were even slimmer. Perhaps it was His will that they would meet. As he finally rearranged his keffiyeh, he opened the stall and looked in the mirror. His newly adorned keffiyeh was both blue and white, reveling that he was Sayyid. His thawb was made of the finest cotton and was as white as the Kaaba was black. He turn to his side, looking to make sure it had no stains or marks upon it. As he did so, Atvar exited his stall, wearing an almost identical outfit. Unlike Muhammad, he wore a black and white keffiyeh, for no matter how great Atvar's bloodline may be, it would never share the path of the Prophet. The captain grinned once more at the scale-covered Muslim as it attempted to wrap the keffiyeh correctly. Despite his best efforts, Atvar's limited reach could not allow him to do the final tuck. Finally defeated, Atvar bowed his head slightly as Muhammad did the final tuck.

"For all His mercy, Allah still cursed us with arms and legs to short."

The Captain merely smiled to Atvar as they left the restroom, finally ready to speak with Captain Roberts. They entered the bridge once more, only instead of looking to the holotable they stood in front of the Captain's chair.

"We are ready to broadcast when ready sayeyd. We've made sure the camera will fit both you and Executive Officer Atvar," said Ensign Yasser.

With all the arrangements made, the two looked to one another, one grinning while the other offered a small laugh. They turned back to the video screen, wait for the feed to start.

<:: This is the S.I.C.N. Euphrates. Our communication array is set and ready to receive ship-to-ship video feed. ::>

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Re: [04M] Al-Tarbiya System

Post by Omni on Tue Jan 22, 2013 6:20 am

Suddenly, it occurred to Captain Roberts that she was making first contact with a human nation that likely didn't share the Valhallan's customs. She glanced down at her [URL="http://filesmelt.com/dl/officer.png"]uniform[/URL]- the environmental controls in her cabin were on the fritz, so she had unzipped it a bit. It wasn't lewd, but it showed cleavage nonetheless. She quickly reached down, zipping it back up. She nodded to ker communications officer, who pressed a few keys on her console, and a small camera rose from a panel on the front of the holodisplay.

++Beginning transmission. ++
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Re: [04M] Al-Tarbiya System

Post by Double D on Tue Jan 22, 2013 6:25 am

S.I.C.N. Euphrates - Cruiser, I'dad Al'oda Class

The image appeared at once, though the sheer amount of static made it near impossible to view the captain. Blasted technicians couldn't even prepare a proper video feed thought the captain. But the short delay gave him time to gather his thoughts once more before speaking. Finally, the static faded away, resulting in a nearly crystal clear image of the Captain Roberts and the bridge. Mohammed’s face was just as expressionless as his executive officer's, though he knew the two were thinking two very different trains of thought. A female captain, and an attractive one at that. She appeared to be at least fifteen years his senior, but none the less he could not help but stare for but a moment at her eyes. To him, her eyes were striking, like the flag of the Caliphate. But he stopped staring at them, remembering his wife, children and the task at hand.

<:: In the name Caliph Abd Al Bari al-Hussaini, Twelfth of his name, the crews of the Mijrafa, the Mitraka, the Alborz and the Euphrates and all the citizens of the Second Islamic Caliphate, may Peace be upon you Captain Elisa Roberts. ::>

As if on cue, both Muhammad and Atvar would bow their heads while both arms extended with the palms of their hands facing up. There would be but a brief pause, followed by an English translation of the words said by the Captain. At the exact moment that translation finished, al-Baqiri would speak again.

<:: As I said before, I am Captain Muhammad al-Baqiri, Seventh of his name. This is Executive Officer Atvar Shuon, first of his name. ::>

Once more the two stood silently, allowing the translation to be made. As it finished, Atvar spoke, his eye turrets locked with the camera pointed at him.

<:: Peace be upon you Captain Eilisa Roberts. ::>


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Re: [04M] Al-Tarbiya System

Post by Omni on Tue Jan 22, 2013 6:34 am

Captain Roberts sat in her seat, her gaze focused on the holodisplay, which now displayed the feed from the other ship.  Usually, the projector would display a 3D projection of the speaker- however, that was usually only between Valhallan ships, given their relative isolation.  So, instead, it simply showed the flat video image.  She peered at Captain al-Baqiri, nodding as he speaks.  She doesn't seem to display any sort of particular reaction to his visage.  She tilted her head, curious.  From the Valhallan side, it seemed that the same message was being repeated twice each time, though the first was slightly off-sounding.  Then, it dawned on her that they were unaware of the Valhallan ship's automated translating software.  They were saying the message first, in Arabic, and second, in English.

++ Shala Zhufu, Captain al-Baqiri. ++

She pauses, smiling softly as she offers a curt nod.

++ It's good to actually be able to speak- I was growing weary of the delay.  I'd like to note that you need not translate- our ship is capable of doing that for us, nearly real-time. ++

Her voice comes through to the Caliphate ships in Arabic, though it's slightly scratchy and there's a soft pang to it that isn't present when she's speaking English.  In addition, there's a slight delay between the audio and the movement of her lips.  Weirdly enough, the words 'Shala Zhufu' don't get translated- they remain the same.  A human translator might recognize the words- they're Chinese, though years of linguistic diversion occurred, so they're in a unique dialect.
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Re: [04M] Al-Tarbiya System

Post by Double D on Tue Jan 22, 2013 6:37 am

S.I.C.N. Euphrates - Cruiser, I'dad Al'oda Class

The two glanced at one another, thought Atvar's glance would hardly notice with his interdependent conical eyes. It was safe to assume her greeting was polite in nature, and the two saw no need to ask for further translation.

<:: Our translations will cease at once. ::>

The two officers stood up straight, their hands placed behind their backs. Hidden behind the their keffiyeh's folds, both of their earpieces beeped lightly before playing back a message to them and them alone.

"Captain al-Baqiri and Exectuve Officer Atvar, the following message has arrived from Abu Bakr 3. Playing transmission."

<:: In the name of The Creator, The Almighty and The Ever-Loving, here are the words of  Caliph Abd Al Bari al-Hussaini, Twelfth of his name.

First and foremost, I congratulate you both on preventing bloodshed in the name of The Peaceful. Your caution and reserve are worthy of praise. Secondly. Just as the importantly, you must still attempt mining operations on Haboob 2 without bloodshed. We do not want death when there should be life, destruction when their should be growth. This planet is not worth the deaths to capture it. And lastly, attempt to put them in connection with Abu Bakr 3. If these peoples are not hostile, then we must consider the merits of trade and alliances.

May you be as wise and patient as the Prophet, May Allah pray on him and grant him peace, in your endeavors. Ma Salama. ::>


Muhammad took a deep breath as he did so. He had to speak soon, or else he may appear a simpleton.

<:: Captain Roberts, while I would enjoy the niceties of friendly conversation, I cannot allow myself to hold this false facade. Our weapons and fighters are armed and ready to fire at you, just as I assume yours are at me. This is no way for civilized peoples to converse, swords drawn and ready. Perhaps there is a way for us both to prove our peaceful intention? ::>


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Re: [04M] Al-Tarbiya System

Post by Omni on Tue Jan 22, 2013 6:45 am

Captain Roberts glanced briefly to her first officer.  It hadn't actually occurred to her that most humans might be a tad surprised by their appearance, and she was surprised it hadn't been brought up.  Like all Valhallans, her skin was incredibly pale, almost grayish, and her ears gently but visibly pointed.  Blueish veins are visible near the surface of her skin, nearby her eyes, though you'd have to be looking for them to be able to see the veins.  She shifted her gaze back to Captain al-Baqiri.  She nodded, responding.

++ You're observant, Captain al-Baqiri.  I agree- this isn't any way for us to talk.  I would suggest meeting on the surface of one of the planets- a neutral ground- but our scanners aren't registering any of them as habitable. ++  
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Re: [04M] Al-Tarbiya System

Post by Omni on Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:14 am

A silent scream of light erupted from the pregnant abyss, spewing forth two ships of distinctly alien design. The ships seemed to slowly drift away each other in lazy spirals, like debris from an explosion. The smaller of the two ships was hammer headed and had clearly been designed with no human concept of beauty in mind. The second ship, while not asthetically pleasing, lacked the distinct ugliness of its sister. Its design gave an impression of single minded purpose which gave it an odd appeal. It was this second - larger - ship which pulled out of its spiral first, and came to face the pair of human ships.

The Helios was not a particularly imposing sight. Head-on, as it now was, it presented a very small profile, like a church tower seen from above. Even seen from the side, by the ruling scale of most other races, the ship seemed only the size of a modest frigate.

Helios - Summed Fleet Cruiser

"What are we looking at?"

The sensor officer turned to respond to Sehl.

"You'll have to give it a moment Captain. Transfer into realspace screws with the sensors. Computer's re-alligning now."

Sehl pulled her shock chair open and lounged back in it, tapping her fingers against the side of the chair as she waited for the image on the forward viewscreen to coalesce into something useful. The Mind ahead of her flashed yellow and the screen immediately cleared to show five readings signifying ships. The sensor operator stood from her own shock-chair, threat spines unfolding from her back. "Something's up Captain. The computer's been bypassed."

The Mind drifted forwards until it floated beside the officer's screen.

"That would be me. Sensor array seven is also malfunctioning. I've shut it down for you."

Sehl watched with tired eyes as the sensor officer returned to her seat sheepishly and the Mind floated back to its favourite spot. She waited for a few moments of silence before addressing the Mind.

"Any idea who these belong to?"

"Well, energy profile suggests we're looking at helium 3 fusion. That doesn't tell us much. Send a few hooks and I'll probably be able to tell you."

Sehl nodded and motioned towards the communications officer.


The pair of human ships received a burst of tachyons, similar to a single beep of morse code on an old radio. The beep was followed by five more at regular intervals.[/FONT]

-----------------------

S.I.C.N. Euphrates - Cruiser, I'dad Al'oda Class

Once again, the alarm sounded aboard all Caliphate vessels in the system. But with everyone already in positioned, the alarm silenced rather quickly. Atvar walked off camera, moving towards the row of computer banks and sailors, frantically speaking to them in an attempt to gain information. It was al-Baqiri who managed to keep a calm outer shell, though his rapid and hot speech would give away his true nervousness.

<:: Sorry Captain Roberts, but I'm cutting video-feed. I'll put you in contact with Atvar. ::>

With the feed cut, al-Baqirisharply turned to his right and pointed at Ensign Yasser. As he spoke, he walked towards his holotable, hands placed behind his back.

"Tell the Mijrafa and Mitraka to jump at once. Afterwards contact the Mushir again. Tell him I request a second frigate at once and advice the Zulfiqar be ready."

Atvar waddled over to the holotable, speaking to the Columbus as he did so. His tail waggled from side to side, showing the frustration his face never could.

<:: Captain Roberts, it is I, Executive Officer Atvar. Do you know these vessels or what their broadcast means? ::>

The two looked at one another as the Mijrafa and Mitraka vanished from the display, shooting back to their home system. With the civilians out of their hair (or scales in Atvar's case), things became somewhat easier, or so he hoped. There was no way of knowing if this Captain Roberts knew the unidentified vessels. Perhaps they were allies, waiting for the chance to strike. Or perhaps they were enemies of the Valhallan, and meant him no harm. But his gut told him neither of of these were right. If they were hostile, they would have came in guns already firing. No, these ships were something new.

"Broadcast the exact same message back to the vessels. It'll at least let them know we got it. And tell the Columbus that we did."

Shortly there after, the same broadcast would be resent from the Euphrates.

<:: We have rebroadcast the received message to the unidentified vessels. ::>


-----------------------

Captain Roberts shifted in her chair, curious, as two new blips appeared on the holographic display of the system.  On of her junior officers turned to her, a puzzled look on his face.

"Ma'am- we've picked up two new contacts."

"Caliphate?"

"Not by the looks of it.  They transmitted something to us- looks like a .  We're receiving a message from the Euphrates, hold on-

The response from Atvar played, and she perked an eyebrow.  This wasn't good.  She was never that good at math- but she knew that the odds of running into the Caliphate today were incredibly slim, borderline miraculous.  But a third faction appearing in the system out of the blue?  Something was up.  She looked to her helmsman, and then to the officer manning weapons control.

"Keep the engines hot and our weapons primed- if this goes bad.."

She trailed off, shifting her gaze to her armrest, tapping in a command.  She transmits a response to the Euphrates.

++ Negative, Executive Officer.  We generally keep to ourselves, and we're not getting any matches in our database. ++

-----------------------

Helios - Summed Fleet Cruiser

"Well, either they're intelligent or they're hegemonizing. I doubt we can get much further like this."

Sehl watched the pattern the six tachyon bursts made on the screen, repeated and enlarged.

"A shuttle?"

"A shuttle."

"Very well. I'll send Karken."

"I'll send an avatar."

Sehl turned to stare at the Mind, and although she knew it had no eyes, and instead posessed all-round perceptory fields, she felt that it was staring back at her.


Voidbird - Summed Fleet Shuttle

Sergeant Karken knew he was not an ideal soldier, and had known this from infancy. To the Voehn, genetic diversity was an almost alien concept. Some were male, some were female, some were slightly larger and some were slightly shorter. Aside from that they were mostly the same. Karken differed in the only way a Voehn could differ: in personality. He had watched as an infant as the more aggressive canidates were pulled from the creche and sent on to advanced training, one by one. His one time friend Kehkral had been selected as an ideal diplomatic guard, and as far as Karken was aware he was now being sheperded around playing soldier for a diplomatic Mind. Kerkal's position was somewhat less favourable. He did not see new sights often, his duties included training and controlling a Voehn security team, and the greatest excitement in his life was a secret but somewhat dull romance with the ship's captain.

Karken understood that he was sitting in the shuttle not because he was the better or more intelligent warrior, but because Sehl favoured him and wished to see him progress. As he sat in the shuttle, Karken tried and failed to think of less demeaning situations to be put in. Sehl meant well of course, but her mentality had been fostered by the Summed Fleet, and not the Voehn Security Force. It was impossible for her to understand how Karken thought, which - The Sergeant considered - could well have put a spark into their relationship, if she weren't so damn apologetic about it.

It was in this moping state that the avatar of Mine's bigger than yours found Karken. To most species, including the Ahl, a moping Voehn looked much the same as a calm or a thoughtful Voehn. In fact the only really distinct Voehn emotion was anger, which usually involved threat spines, growling, and the liberation of viscera from the cause of said anger. It would be safe to say that any species with a basic knowledge of the Voehn would be rather pleased to see one moping, and would not largely care about the distinction between Voehn emotions, as long as anger stayed out of the mix entirely.

The avatar was included in the list of 'most species', and could quite easily tell that Karken was upset. The extent to which it cared was another, more ambiguous matter. It glowed a vibrant blue as it entered the shuttle, either expressing deep sympathy or making a sarcastic joke at the soldier's expense. Karken responded only by snapping shut his shock-chair and hitting a few keys on the control pad ahead of him. The shuttle shuddered for a few moments, before being released from the center of the Helios, leaving a large and empty bay behind it.

The shuttle was a skeletal construction which unfolded in flight. Its cockpit was a cramped affair stuck at the very front of the ship, away from the quietly blazing engine pods. It accelerated towards the cluster of ships, then began to deaccelerate a little before the halfway point, aiming itself at the ship which was the source of the return transmission.

Inside the craft's cockpit, the pair sat in a silence only broken by a single statement made by the avatar.

"I'm sure she meant no offense."

Karken didn't dignify the machine with a response. Inwardly, he cursed its observational skills, then cursed himsef for not having been prepared for the Mind to make some sort of unnerving comment. He knew it was their style.


--------------------------

S.I.C.N. Euphrates - Cruiser, I'dad Al'oda Class

"Captain al-Baqiri! Something has launched from one of the unknown ships! Return fi- Wait. It's... It's slowing down?"

The Captain ran to the side of the ensign, looking at his display screen. Sure enough the item had come to a complete stop, dead center between Euphrates and its mothership. Again, al-Baqiri questioned himself as he looked at the green blip on the screen. Right hand rubbing his still freshly shaven face, al-Baqiri straightened his posture. If they wanted to attack, they would have done so. Even the Ssumaz understood the concept of element of surprise. But at the same time, what was more surprising than striking from the inside of a ship? Still, the wrath of an unknown alien race was something that was best avoided. Refusing contact could be just as harmful as attacking.

"Atvar, tell the Columbus of the launch. I'm sure they're aware of it, but I want to make sure. Extend the offer to Captain Roberts to come aboard should the item be a craft. Alert Squadron Leader Rashid to launch two killcraft as escorts. Prep the landing bay to sterilize after landing and set my dining room for guest. Bring thirty, no sixty, Marines for protection."

Ensigns franticly gave order their comms, their words becoming a garbled messed to Atvar as he walked over to his Captain's side, speaking to the Columbus and its captain with his communication link.

<:: Captain Roberts. One of the vessels has launched something at the Euphrates, but it has stopped about midway. We believe it to a transport of some sort, though we cannot confirm. We will attempt to escort the item to a hanger. My captain has extended the offer for you or a crew member to come aboard, should the item carry beings. ::>

"I shall head to the hangar at once sayeyd."

"You'll do no such thing Atvar. I will be greeting them, and I will not have you question me. You are to remain at the helm."

The scaled beast offered the position of respect, just as he had done when greeting Roberts via the video feed. While he did not like the idea of his captain risking his life, he knew better than to question an order of such caliber. With one eye turret on the holo-display and the other on Muhammad as he left bridge, Atvar let out a very human sigh.

FaSin 08, Squadron 102 - Killcraft, Sahm Class

Three years of simulations, training, theory and testing. And for what? Escort duty? If he had wanted to do that, he would have enlisted to become a palace guard so he could watch the Caliph's children go to school. But at least he was flying unlike the rest of his squadron and for that he and his gunner were grateful. As Abdirashid's killcraft slowly left the hangar he looked to his left and spotted his fellow pilot.

<:: As-salāmu alayka Killcraft Pilot Teerts and Killcraft Gunner Fotsev. A Blessed day for flight, no? ::>

<:: There is nothing Blessed about being unable to finish the breaking of fast. ::>

<:: Teerts speaks truth. ::>

Abdirashid, and his gunner Hassan, laughed as the two ships shot forward towards the new craft. Their laughter was met with annoyed hissing, which only made the two laugh harder.

"You do know how to get under their scales Abdirashid."

Turning his head, the pilot gave his gunner a wry smile before looking back to the cockpit. As they neared the craft, the two killcraft came to stop. Now came the hard part of operation. Rashid had given them no guidance or ideas on how to communicate the idea to follow. It wasn't as simple as just waving them over, though a man could dream. Finally, he spoke into his microphone.

<:: FaSin 08 to Secondary Hangar and Killcraft FaSin 03. FaSin 08 to Secondary Hangar and Killcraft FaSin 03. Requesting you light the hangar's guidance system. We'll slowly come back and see if they follow. Over. ::>

<:: Secondary Hangar FaSin 08. Understood. Lighting hangar now. ::>

Like an electrical spark, the secondary hangar bay burst into a glow of florescent white. Slowly, the two Killcraft turn around as if in unison, before slowly applying power to their rear thrusters. It was a long shot, but it was the only shot they had.


-----------------------

Voidbird - Summed Fleet Shuttle

The Voidbird's forward viewscreen outlined the radiation flares produced by the fighters and their homeship. As the fighters began to withdraw back towards their ship, Karken turned towards the basket-ball sized avatar of Mine's Bigger.

"They probably want us to follow."

The avatar flashed a lurid shade of yellow and the Voidbird matched pace with the fighters, heading towards the docking bay of the Euphrates.

"Of course they want us to follow. What more do you expect? You want them to jump out and dance?"

Karken flinched as the ship's communicator opened up.

"Karken? This is Sehl. Be careful, we don't know what their intentions are."

The Voehn sergeant glanced towards the Mind's avatar, which had gone back to a sarcastically vibrant blue.

"Sehl, this is Karken. The potential for hostility had occurred to me. Is there anything else?"

A pause.

"No, that's all. I'm sorry if I-"

Sehl's voice rather suddenly cut out as Karken flicked off the ship's communicator. The avatar next to him glowed a contented crimson.


Helios - Summed Fleet Cruiser

...If I understimat- Is something wrong? I'm not broadcasting. Are we being jammed?"

Ahead of Sehl, the Mind's colour matched its avatar perfectly. It replied smoothly.

"No. Have you considered seeking a less emotional mate? I can go through the ship's roster and select an ideal candidate."

Sehl strongly considered hitting the Mind, until it occured to her that this was probably what it wanted her to do. She slumped in her seat and rested her head against her chest.


------------------------

VSV Columbus

Captain Roberts sighed, glancing at the 3D representation of the system before her.  This was SUPPOSED to be a prospecting mission.  She's no diplomat.  She'd have to wear her dress uniform.  Bloody hell, she hated that thing.  Too constrictive- not enough armor.  She swiveled her chair to face one of her bridge crew, nodding.

"Prep a shuttle." She pauses. "Keep our engines hot and our weapons primed.  If they try anything weird- you know what to do.  Oh, and send an update to Command.  I'm sure they're curious about what's going on."

She tapped a few things on her armrest, transmitting a response.

++ Affirmative. ++

She stood from the chair, nodding to her first officer. "You have the bridge, Valin.  Don't mess with the chair."  She walked off, heading down a nearby corridor, to her quarters.  She'd have to put up her hair, and.. She sighed.  She hated being formal.  It was a common sentiment among Valhallan military, but required nonetheless.

Al-Tarbiya System

Eventually, a Shield class shuttle exits from the Columbus' shuttle bay, making it's way to the Euphrates.

---------------

S.I.C.N. Euphrates - Cruiser, I'dad Al'oda Class

As al-Baqiri entered the secondary hangar, he couldn't help but look around. The glossy black floors looked as if they had never been used, mainly because they never had been used till today. The white walls were plain and simple, which contrasted nicely to the floor. As he stood near the doorway, the echoing of nearing footsteps grew closer. The doorway opened and out filed sixty marines, each one clad in their finest armor . From what he could tell, a Marine's gear hadn't changed much since the Conquest of Aisha 3. The armor plating may have become stronger and the bullets deadlier, but even a historian would be hard pressed to point out the visual differences. With all the Marines now in the room their backs against the wall, the soldiers all leaned their rifles against their right shoulder at once. The Captain huffed lightly as he called out for his scimitar.

Its handle was made of the polished bone of an aswuzti, one of the few native animals from Abu Bakr 3. The blade and hilt were made of the same ores that had produced the armor worn by the marines. Inscribed on the blade itself were the words chosen by his wife. "Silence is the language of Allah. All else is poor translation." She had known since childhood his love of poetry, and nothing could quite prove her understanding of him like an inscription of Rumi. Attaching the sheathed blade to his side he rolled his neck, which made several uneasy cracks and pops. His newly adjusted neck craned to his right as he looked to the magnetic field. Nothing came through, though in the distance he could see the ships growing closer.

<:: Captain al-Baqiri, Killcraft FaSin 03 and Killcraft FaSin 08 will being entering the hangar in T-minus thirty seconds. ::>

<:: Thank you Flight Control. Over and out. ::>

Taking a deep breath, Muhammad looked over the marines once again. Even with their firearms, armor and training, most of them were just a few weeks out of their teens. Most wore a brave face, but it wasn't hard to tell they were nervous. They, along with their captain, were on the edge of being introduced to a completely alien race. It wasn't hard to imagine now how the soldiers who first landed on Aisha 3 felt nearly 200 years earlier. Finally the two killcraft entered the hangar, both landing quickly. As the alien craft slowly drifted into the hangar, the crews of the killcraft exited, running to the door. All four offered a salute as they passed the Captain and back into the depths of the ship. Once more he took a deep breath, muttering a single dua as the alien craft came to a rest.

"O Allah, You are my strength and You are my support. For Your sake I go forth and for Your sake I advance and for Your sake I fight."


--------------------

// There, just did like, an entire page.
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Omni

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Re: [04M] Al-Tarbiya System

Post by Omni on Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:23 am

The Valhallan dropship comes to a stop outside the hangar, having received no invitation to enter.  It waits.

Onboard the shuttle

Captain Roberts glanced about the shuttle, swiveling her seat.  Accompanying her were four soldiers equipped with alpha-two combat armor, and a single holodrone, a small, hovering robot that records in 3D for use with holographic displays.  When she comes aboard the Euphrates, it'll be transmitting to the other ship.

"Well.. this is a tad awkward."

-------------------

S.I.C.N. Euphrates - Cruiser, I'dad Al'oda Class

"Sir, shouldn't we let the shuttle from the Columbus in?"

Atvar looked at the ensign as his tail rocked back and forth. Of course he'd forget to tell the hangar about the other vessel. He told the ensign to open the hangar's door so that Robert's shuttle could pass through the magnetic field.

<:: Please accept my deepest apologies Captain Roberts. It was my ignorance that caused the hangar's door to not open. ::>


----------------------

The Voidbird drops itself to the hangar floor with a heavy and ungraceful clunk. It rests there for a moment, then the cockpit at its front peels open to reveal what seems to be a seven foot tall insect and a metal ball. The alien creature pulls itself out of the cockpit and drops down to the floor of the hangar, before pulling itself up to full height. The Voehn begins with four clawed feet, attached to four double jointed legs, which in turn meet at the bottom of a torso. The torso splits out into two arms further up, and ends in a head without a visible neck. The creature does not seem to have anything resembling skin, instead it is encased in what looks to be some sort of hard chitinous shell, segmented to allow for movement. Whether this shell is actually an artificial suit remains to be seen. If it is, the creature has adapted to wearing it like a second skin. It turns, silently observing the hangar. Meter line spines at its back shiver as it notes the armed retinue present. Barely noticeable, the small metallic ball rolls out of the cockpit, onto the hangar floor, and slides up next to the colossal Voehn.

The silverish ball rolls ahead of the alien and flashes a dull blue six times.


------------------

The shuttle enters the hanger bay, deploying it's landing struts and slowly descending.  It's engines are fairly loud, though they soon shutter to a halt, a ramp descending from the belly.  The vehicle is clearly a stripped-down combat transport; though, it looks slightly outdated.  Captain Roberts, plus her escort and the holodrone quickly exit from the belly of the shuttle.  The floating holodrone emits a soft whirring noise as it begins to capture a holographic feed of the event.   Captain Roberts glances around the hanger briefly, before focusing her gaze on Captain al-Baqiri, though it lingers on the less human inhabitants of the hanger for a moment.  She steps forward, offering a hand out to Captain al-Baqiri.  In person, the thin line that separates baseline humanity in Valhallans is more noticeable.  Valhallan skin isn't just pale- it's actually a tad grey.  Strange, green, almost arcane-looking tattoos line Captain Robert's neck, and it's clear now that, while before, it appeared that she was simply wearing greenish lipstick- her lips are actually tattooed with dark green ink.  Her emerald-hued eyes reflect light a bit weirdly.

"It's good to finally talk to you in person."

------------------

S.I.C.N. Euphrates - Cruiser, I'dad Al'oda Class

Even with his best effort, al-Baqiri knew he had failed to keep a straight face as he viewed the alien race for the first time. The beast towered over even the tallest marines with ease, and its outwards appearance made him wonder if the marines were even capable of taking it down should it come to that. That same part of him wondered if The Creator was even capable of creating a beast so disturbing in appearance. But shortly afterwards he shook his head in disappointment, ashamed of his own thoughts. It was not right to be so critical of creature that he had just met. For it was His grace that he was born a human and of the True Faith. As the orb flashed blue several times, he thought for a moment before offering six quick bows to the orb and its apparent master.

But with the arrival of Captain Roberts, Muhammad turned at walked over to her. After seeing the Voehn, Robert's appearance was much easier to swallow. She may have altered her flesh with needles and ink, Muhammad also knew it was extremely unlikely she had ever heard His words and thus could accept it. What took him back most were her eyes, their color comparable to the banners that hung from the minarets of his old masjid. As she extended her hand, he cast his eyes downward while returning the handshake. He could not help but wonder if the Creator would ever forgive him, but in his heart he figured He would. It was unlikely even the Prophet had dreamed that his descendants would be meeting men and women so different from himself.

"The pleasure is mine Captain Roberts,"

He raised his gaze and returned his hand to his side. Were it not for his ear piece, the captain would still be waiting for his crew to finish the translation. Stepping to his side as he half turned, al-Baqiri motioned to the Voehn and its blob, wearing a small smile.

"Perhaps you are better equipped to fully understand our newest arrival? I hope to not keep them waiting, in fear that it may upset it."


------------------

Captain Roberts crossed her arms, turning to the alien creatures nearby.  She tilted her head from side to side, pondering.  The Valhallans traded with alien traders, on occasion, and there were of course the few thousand Kisari that remained within the Valhalla System, but other than that, they made little contact with extra-terrestrials.  And all of the ones they did contact were humanoid.  Even The Lost, the prior inhabitants of Hel, were humanoid, though the Valhallans had never actually seen a live one, despite their reverence of them.  The Voehn, however..  These were.. different.  She shook her head.

"I don't have much experience with non-humanoids, I'm afraid.  We make contact with alien traders from time to time, but most of them are relatively humanoid."

-------------------

S.I.C.N. Euphrates - Cruiser, I'dad Al'oda Class

"As I've been told, when the conquest of Aisha 3 was finished, we spoke in our native tounge to the Ssumazz. They picked it up quickly, though in their case, they didn't have much choose."

As both captains moved forward, Muhammed casually placed his right hand on the pommel of his blade while placing his other behind his back. Still the beast and blob stood stationary near their vessel. In terms of apperance, both creatures shared nothing in common with humanity, making it hard to judge their general mood. Was it angered? Terrifed? Content? There was no way of knowing at the current. Finally near the two, al-Baqiri let out a sigh as he looked over to Roberts.

"As my guest, I offer you the honors of introducing yourself first, should you accept."


---------------------------

As she followed along with Captain al-Baqiri, Captain Roberts lightly rested her hand on a pistol holstered at her hip, clearly a bit unsettled by their increasing proximity to the non-humanoid creatures.  It was not so much hostile as an unconscious nervous reaction.  She raised her eyebrows at the comment about the 'Ssumazz', tilting her head.  Ssumazz.  That's what al-Baqiri's first officer was.  Having non-human crew wasn't all that strange for Roberts, though.  Her chief of engineering was Kisari, though it had taken her some time to warm up to him.  It.  She always forgot that the Kisari didn't have genders.  She was surprised she got along with the Kisari engineer as much as she did, honestly- she had ancestors who lost their lives in the three decade long war against the Kisari, and some of her older relatives were.. less than tolerant towards the aliens.  She was relatively surprised to find that she had this in common with another space-faring nation, though.  As they come to a stop, she sighs, biting her lip at al-Baqiri's comment.

"I.. That's clever.  It's offensive if I refuse, but I'll probably end up offending the aliens anyway." She sighs, stepping towards the Voehn.  She presses her finger into her earpiece, ensuring that her translator's functioning.

"Greetings.  Are.. Are you capable of verbal speech?" She looks to the alien creatures with eyebrows raised.  She figured that was as good a place to start as any.

-----------------------

The monster reared its head, staring down at Roberts through a set of perfectly black eyes. It began to make low grumbling noises, and a number of meter long spines laying flat against its back began to shiver. It turned towards the small ball at its side and made more of the low rumbling noises. The ball on the floor responded in kind, beginning to flash blue as it did so. It flashed blue six times, then seemed to finish whatever it was saying. The Voehn turned back to Roberts and raised one of its arms. The monster's fist was clenched with the exception of one double jointed finger, which was pointing towards the ear Roberts had touched.

------------------------

S.I.C.N. Euphrates - Cruiser, I'dad Al'oda Class

Looking from the oversized insect to Roberts, Muhammed made a flustered face. Either it asked if they had heard it or if they had understood it. Placing his left hand to his covered ear, the Islamic captain nodded his head. He'd then look to Roberts, speaking in a lowered tone.

"It might be best that you do the speaking. I don't want them to think our languages are one in the same. Doing so might slow down the learning process."
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Re: [04M] Al-Tarbiya System

Post by Omni on Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:29 am

Roberts folds her arms for a moment, thinking before turning around and motioning to on of the soldiers in her escort.  The soldier nods, jogging back to the shuttle.  She shifts her gaze back to the Voehn, tilting her head.  A few moments later, the soldier returns with another earpiece, similar to Captain Roberts'.  She walks towards the creature slowly, holding the device in an open palm.  She doesn't actually stop to consider whether or not it would actually fit in the ear of the alien creature, though.  Whoops.

Valhallan translation software is surprisingly advanced for such a militarized race; the earpieces relay the received audio back to a processor aboard the nearby Valhallan cruiser, which then, after translating, relays it back to the earpieces with only a fraction of a second of a delay.  While it struggles with new languages, given enough time, it can adapt to them.

She lightly taps her earpiece, looking to the creature, pausing for a brief moment before tapping her mouth.


------------------

Instead of reaching for the device with one of its massive hands, the creature turned to stare down at the ball-shaped entity on the floor next to it. The ball flashed blue, and the earpiece moved out of Roberts' hand; sliding through the air to come to a halt in front of the spherical avatar. There was a moment's pause, then the ball began to speak in smooth Arabic.

"Thank you for your concern, but we are fast learners. Do we have permission to build a transmitter at this location? It is our standard protocol and required for us to send a message back to our base of operations. If we do not do so, they will likely assume the worst."

The creature and the ball exchanged a few more guttural noises, then the Voehn turned back towards Roberts, its threat-spines falling still and folding completely flat against its back.


--------------

A holographic 'panel' appears above Captain Robert's wrist, it blinks on and off until she lightly taps it.  Through her holotool, her first officer speaks.

"Captain- it looks like something unauthorized just accessed our computer systems.  Lieutenant Viriz is freaking out- says that it must have been an artificial intelligence of some sort.  It was in and out before he had a chance to do anything about it.  Doesn't look like it accessed anything classified, though.  Just.. languages, he says."

Captain Roberts nods, biting her tattoo'd lip. "I gave one of the.." She looks over to the creature and it's.. sphere.  "I'm not sure, actually.." She looks back down to the holographic representation of her first officer that hovers just above her palm. "I gave one of them one of the translators."

She looks back up to the Sphere, motioning to the Caliphate Captain next to her. "Ask Captain al-Baqiri.  It's not my ship." She looks back down to her holotool, tapping a button on her glove.  The hologram dissipates.

------------------

S.I.C.N. Euphrates - Cruiser, I'dad Al'oda Class

At least charades was out of the way. But if this blob and its pet insect were as clever as they seemed, Muhammad knew he had his hands full. Looking to the blob, al-Baqiri tried to figure if he was even making eye contact. He leaned forward in a half bow, his right hand swept to the right in a graceful manner. Standing straight up once again, he instinctively smiled as he spoke. Politeness was drilled into the head of anyone planning to be off-world.

"By all means, of course. We would not want your comrades-in-arms to worry about you or your well-being. And I must say, your Arabic is as smooth as any I have heard."


---------------

S.I.C.N. Euphrates - Hangar

After a few gurgles from the sphere, the Voehn mimicked al-Baqiri's movement. Unlike the avatar's speech, the display was anything but graceful. The Mind allowed for a pause following the sergeant's bow before speaking.

"This is much appreciated Captain al-Baqiri. One of our ships will deploy the transmitter now. You may notice some anomalies in the surrounding space, feel free to study them, they are simply a byproduct of the mechanism. If at any point you become concerned feel free to inform us and we will stop the process."

Gatecrasher - Ahl Gateship

The Gatecrasher, nestled behind the Helios, began to open its bays. From within came a swarm of drones, each carrying modular pieces. The swarm, like wasps at a jam jar, began to collect together at an area of space just behind the Gatecrasher. Within minutes the swarm had collected together enough pieces to give an observer a rough idea of the construction's shape and size. It looked to be a large hollow circle, with inward spokes which ended before meeting at the center. It looked like the gap of empty space between the spokes was only about 10 meters in diameter. The entire construction looked to be only about 15 meters in diameter. During these first few minutes, aside from the swarming of the construction drones and the flashes of their lasers, the device gave no sign of activity.

S.I.C.N. Euphrates - Hangar

As the mob of drones began to leave the Gatecrasher, the small avatar began to speak again.

"I do not wish to burden you with requests, but I would quickly ask some questions of you. Are there any colours in particular which offend you? I noted your forces wearing green, which is usually the colour through which I express assent. I have been using blue to avoid what you might consider a threat-colour. This is uncomfortable for me, as it could be considered deception by my kind, and blue is generally how we express remorse. Would there be any issue with me switching back to my usual visual-emotive broadcasting scheme? Or should I perhaps leave it off entirely?"


---------------

Captain Roberts raises an eyebrow, folding her arms.  She had assumed that the creatures were going to be humanoid- if she had known otherwise, she would have brought a scientist.  She briefly glances towards the still-recording holocam behind her, before looking back to the creatures.  Colour-based communication is interesting, yes, but not very.  At least, not to her.  She paused to consider for a moment, before shaking her head.

"Humans generally aren't offended by colours." She leans against a nearby bulkhead, rubbing her nasal bridge.  Damn, she wished she had brought a breather.  Valhallan lungs are adapted to low-oxygen enviroments, so Terran atmospheres can cause a great deal of fatigue- their lungs don't know how to handle the extra oxygen.  She was supposed to have brought a breather- it was standard protocol.  But she had wanted to avoid offending anyone, and she didn't know if anyone involved would be offended by her covering her mouth.  She stops leaning on the bulkhead, returning to her original position.

---------------

S.I.C.N. Euphrates - Cruiser, I'dad Al'oda Class

"Captain Roberts speaks the truth. Green is but the color of Paradise."

Offended by color? These fellow space travelers had thought of everything he thought to himself. Or perhaps they'd learned for past experience. Either way, despite its ghastly appearance, the towering praying mantis had remained civil. As he looked at the two he shifted his footing, he thought of what to say. He had planned to go to his dining quarters, but with the massive size of the Voehn, that was out of the question.

"I would like to return the question. Is there anything we should avoid as to prevent unneeded tension?"


------------------

S.I.C.N. Euphrates - Hangar

The Voehn made a gurgling sound followed by a hefty grunt. The sphere on the ground strobed a soft red as it spoke.

"Karken put it better than I could. He says 'weapon discharges would not be beneficial'. This is not our first contact. If anything you do offends us, we shall let you know. Could we be informed on the current situation here? Under whose authority does this system fall? Do you, by rhe way, have any questions you would like answered?"

Gatecrasher nearspace

The swarm flocked away from their ringed construction. As the drones slotted back into the gateship's bays, the device they had left floating in space began to show signs of activity. Visually, nothing much seemed to be going on, but on an infra-red scale, the ring was beginning to turn very bright indeed. As the ring reached a temperature of about 100 degrees Celsius, a large gravitational anomaly rather suddenly made its presence known. It were as if someone had recorded the effect of a star collapsing on a starship's sensors, reduced it, and then broadcast it to the nearby ships. On hyperspace sensors, the patch at the very center of the device appeared to be made of nothing. Not the ebb and flow caused by empty space in the standard spacial dimensions, but exactly nothing, as if the area had ceased to be. Something very odd had happened to space-time in that little circle.


---------------

Roberts perks an eyebrow, tilting her head from one side to the other.

"That matter's up for debate, actually.  We arrived just about the same time- I'm the captain of a scouting vessel."

--------------

S.I.C.N. Euphrates - Cruiser, I'dad Al'oda Class

Cracking grin at the blob as it spoke, al-Baqiri nodded his head in agreement.

"And I the captain of the Euphrates and Commodore of this flotilla. But at the moment, no one holds any true claim on the system."


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Re: [04M] Al-Tarbiya System

Post by Omni on Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:45 am

The avatar switched to a deep green as it replied in its almost suspiciously smooth voice.

"Is there such a thing as a true claim? We walk on well trodden ground. Regardless, we have no desire to settle here, we were merely curious. If you wish for a mediator and a witness to any deal you care to make regarding the system, we are happy to oblige."


-------------------

Roberts tilted her head from side to side.

"I don't think there'll be need for that.  We arrived second, and we're severely outgunned.  This system isn't strategically valuable, and their are systems with more abundant resources nearby."

--------------------

S.I.C.N. Euphrates - Cruiser, I'dad Al'oda Class

Clever blob. For something that looked like it belonged in a children's book, the blob had a point.  That said, the captain wasn't so sure bringing in other parties would be the best idea. As it stood, the Caliphate had two ships stationed in the sector, with another on the way. While gunboat diplomacy wasn't exactlly something he'd been trained in, the core concept was simple.

What interested him above all else was the prospect of trade partners and allies. Of course he'd have to set up communications with the Caliph and his men before doing any such thing. Commodore of a flotilla or not, he didn't have that much authority. Still, if he could get the gears in motion he'd no doubtly see a promotion. He smiled politely to the blob, showing his flawless teeth in the process.

"I thank you for your most generous offer. While we arrived first, I can agree this system is not worth any bloodshed. Perhaps a joint mining operations would be possible if it was of interest.

What interest my superiors and myself most would be setting up permanent communications among all our Nations. They universe is full of planets to mine and colonize, but few are nearly as valuable as trade partners."


-------------------

The Voehn, as if on cue, eased itself down to the ground, folding its four legs under itself. It made a few more gurgling noises, which the avatar responded to with brief flashes of yellow. When the exchange finished, the machine cleansed itself of colour and resumed its conversation with al-Baqiri and Roberts.

"Of course. We should exchange diplomatic formalities. I am the machine-Mind Mine's bigger than yours, this individual next to me is my Voehn comrade. We are from  the Voehn-Ahl Summed Fleet: The contact branch of the general Voehn-Ahl grouping. The two ships we arrived with are the Helios and the Gatecrasher. Unfortunately I cannot convey to you the location of our home system. We have had issues in the past. In terms of resources, is there anything you are currently in need of? Forgive me if I offend by insinuating that you are not capable of providing for yourself. We have found that in interstellar diplomatics shame must be the first casualty or others will soon follow."


------------------

S.I.C.N. Euphrates - Cruiser, I'dad Al'oda Class

Beeping twice, al-Baqiri's earpiece signaled to him that it was about to transmit. Holding up his index finger to his guest, he tipped his head as he spoke."Please excuse me for one moment," he said as he placed that same finger against his keffiyeh. He took a single step back as he listened.

<::Captain al-Baqiri, I, Claiph Abd Al Bari al-Hussaini, twelfth of his name, name you an Ambassador of the Caliphate and of His People. May your wisdom in these matters continue.

Ma Salama, Ambassador al-Baqiri. ::>


Smiling as he moved back to his previous spot, the Captain nodded his head. An ambassador wasn't even on the officer pay-grade. Of course he knew the position was temporary, but to be trusted with such responsibility by the Caliph himself was enough to make him light headed. Finally composed, Muhammad spoke up.

"Please excuse my rudeness. I had to communicate with my superiors. I am Muhammad al-Baqiri, Seventh of his name, Captain of the S.I.C.N. Euphrates, Commodore of the First Exploration Flotilla and now Ambassador of The Second Islamic Caliphate and its People. Our other ship is the S.I.C.N. Alborz. We hail from Abu Bakr 3 and Aisha 3, though like yourself, I am not at liberty to share their exact location at this time. And please, there is no need to apologize for being blunt. It is better for us to be direct and honest than to waste each others time. As for trade? I do know we are always looking to improve our already capable starships."


-------------------

A rather large ship drops out of FTL; it's IFF and it's design- not to mention the big-ass gun running down it's center- all identify it as a VSC ship.  Judging by it's size- a destroyer.  It immediately transmits a brief 'we're here in peace' message, drifting slightly before slowing to a halt.   A single shuttle leaves it's underbelly, making it's way over to the Euphrates.

Aboard the Euphrates

Just then, another panel materializes just above Captain Roberts' wrist.  Though said panel displays who the message is coming from, she neglects to read it.  She taps the panel, sighing.  She turns her arm over. displaying her palm, as a holographic representation of a person begins to take shape.

"What is it?" She says, with some displeasure.

"Is that any way to talk to your betters, Captain Roberts?" A breathy, clearly female voice responds.  When the hologram finally focuses, it becomes clear who.  It's woman of clear Asian features, maybe thirty or forty.  She's rather attractive.

Quickly snapping a salute, she shakes her head towards the holographic woman. "I- I apologize, Consul Acerius."

The holographic woman smirks, before nodding. "Apology accepted, Captain Roberts.  Assuming that you haven't already angered them, I am to be taking over this.. meeting.  You will remain aboard as tactical advisor.  Is that understood?"

"Yes, ma'am." She nods, and the hologram vanishes.  She sighs, shaking her head, looking to the others in the room.

------------------------

The Voehn and the ball shared a few grumbles before the Mind's avatar responded in Arabic.

"Consul Acerius, I hope that our civilisations share a long and symbiotic future together, however we are averse to negotiating with strangers. We have met Captain Roberts and established a successful contact. We would not wish to negotiate with another at this point. I hope you understand."

The Voehn made an odd rumbling sound, but was silenced by a surprisingly aggressive sounding bark from the avatar. The monster's threat-spine's flicked upwards instinctively, before gliding back down to fold back into its back.

"Captain al-Baqiri, we would be entirely satisfied with entering technology negotiations. We hope we do not offend by suggesting that we have much to offer you."


------------------

Captain Roberts sighs.

"Consul Acerius is notorious for her.. refusal to take no for an answer.

----------------------

Al-Tarbiya System

Moments after the arrival of the destroyer, another ship would enter the system. Nearly identical in appearance to the Alborz, the new arrival settled in the space above the Euphrates, its engines changing from blue to a dull purple. Much like the destoryer, it broadcast a similar message, announcing its allegiance and estimated location upon stopping.

S.I.C.N. Euphrates - Cruiser, I'dad Al'oda Class - Bridge

From all he had seen and heard from the surveillance system, everything seemed to be going well. At least, that's what Atvar told himself as he skittered around in front of the command table. The arrival of a new and much larger ship, made the Executive Officer uneasy. He knew as well as the next crewman that his fate was tied with The Will of The Glorious, but he could not shake the feeling of dread. Stopping himself in front of the command table, he gave the command to commence broadcasting to the shuttle.

<:: As-salāmu alayki Consul Acerius. I greet you. I am Atvar Shuon, first of his name, Executive Officer of the  S.I.C.N. Euphrates.  You have been authorized to land in the secondary hangar, which is illuminated at the current. I must warn you and your pilot in advance. The bay already houses two fighters, Captain Robert's shuttle and the other transport. While I have no doubt of your pilot's skill, the utmost care will be needed in landing. ::>

S.I.C.N. Euphrates - Cruiser, I'dad Al'oda Class - Secondary Hangar

Despite its appearance, Muhammad's smile was as real as the Voehn was ugly. An official ambassador meant he was out of his league, and the arrival of another ship made him question if the flotilla would be able to survive a fight. Still, the arrival another frigate did help put his mind at ease. Glancing over to Roberts, made sure to stand up straight, his broad shoulders pulled back.

"I do hope she has room for change then. An ambassador who cannot accept other's answers is as useful as a well with no water, if I may be so bold to state."

He then looked back to the Mind before speaking.

"Your Voehn comrade, and I do hope I am pronouncing that correctly, does not seem overly excited about such a prospect. I do hope that will not be an issue. And I do not take offense. I do hope you will have much to offer us, just as I hope we will have as much to offer you. In fact, I hope that in due time, all three of our Nations will be able to benefit from one another."


-------------------

The shuttle maneuvers it's way into the bay, making a gentle landing- though, it does scratch the other Valhallan shuttle a tad.  The landing ramp lowers, and, after a hiss of smoke, out steps Consul Acerius.  She's a more than a little attractive- at least, to the typical human.  A banded tattoo crosses the front of her face, and she shares similar lip tattoos to Captain Roberts.  Despite her 'delicate' appearance, and her elegant dress, she walks with her hand on a sheathed blade of some sort, and there's a sidearm holstered on her hip.  Yes, even Valhallan dresses have holsters.  They're weird like that.  She's followed by the expected accompaniment of guards.  By the looks of it, two male, one female, and one more.. ambiguous shape.  Approaching the group, she stops, offering a courteous, but understated bow.

"Greetings.  I am Consul Vel Acerius, of House Juno.  It is an honour to speak to all of you."

------------------

As the ship arrived, the Voehn perked its head up and fixed the approaching parties with its dark glassy gaze. The little ball on the floor remained motionless, but did reply.

"I think you have misunderstand Captain al-Baqiri. When Voehn make that noise, they are laughing."

The Voehn snapped its head towards the avatar, baring some very threatening looking teeth. The Mind allowed an awkward pause before continuing.

"Hello Consul Vel Acerius, of House Juni. I am the avatar of the diplomatic Mind (second class, with merit) Mine's Bigger Than Yours, of the Seventeenth Xenophobe Regiment, Hostility Management Division, Bio-Matter Removal Squad. The individual next to me is Sergeant-of-Limb-Tearing Karken Briktathen-Roahl of House Pripoklept. This is Captain al-Baqiri, and I am sure that you know Captain Roberts, who I am pleased to inform you has just been elected as the official medium of negotiations between our two civilisations. Congratulations, by the way, Captain Roberts. I'm glad that Karken has kept his cool so far, he sometimes gets bored and resorts to limb-tearing during diplomatic meetings, but as an official friend of the Voehn Ahl Summed Fleet you are immune from such barbaric treatment... of course."

If there had been more than one expert on the visual-emotive broadcasting of second generation Minds in the room, they might have taken offence to the particularly smug shade of amused red the avatar coated itself in. Thankfully the only expert on the visual-emotive broadcasting of second generation Minds in the room was Mine's Bigger Than Yours, and it was feeling more smug and amused than offended.


------------------

Consul Acerius shifts uneasily, wrinkling her brow with concern and/or anger at the words of the sphere.  Her knuckles whiten as her grasp on the blade's hilt tightens.  She tilts her head, speaking with obviously feigned kindness.

"Of- Of course she is.  Of course, I will remain aboard, to ensure that her actions remain in the best interest of the the Valhallan Republic."

Captain- Ahem, Ambassador Roberts smirks softly, nodding towards the sphere. "Well, then."

-----------------

The avatar left a gap of silence for a period of time just too long to be comfortable.

"Before we discuss technology, let us share history. We would prefer not to allow our technology to be used by a race with an overly violent history..."

The Voehn next to the small sphere let loose a low growl, its threat spines shivering.

"...So it would be best if we learned something of how your civilisations came to be first. I see a distinct resemblance in your structures, coincidence or conjoined history? Ah, getting ahead of myself I feel. I would not wish to seem demanding so I will first give a brief summary of our own civilisation's past. The founding members, the Voehn, were originally part of a much older empire itself founded by a race we know as the Mersalle. The Mersalle are now long gone, but their technology and knowledge has been passed on. The Voehn were - I doubt this will surprise you - the chosen warrior species of the Mersalle. When the Mersalle faded, and the other collective members of the empire dispersed, the Voehn sank into a form of technological hermitage. This continued for quite some time until the unfortunate incidents I referred to earlier. Another race decided to attack the Voehn in their vulnerable state. They failed of course, but the shock of war was enough to restart their cultural engine, so to speak. My kind are far younger. We were created by a pioneer colony of a species we call the Ahl, who were discovered and are now protected by the Voehn. I hope this satisfies any curiosity you have towards our nature and benign intentions."


-----------------------

S.I.C.N. Euphrates - Cruiser, I'dad Al'oda Class

"If Captain Roberts has no objections I shall speak first."

Receiving a nod from the Columbus' captain, the bronze skinned man spoke loudly so that the assembled group could clearly hear him.

"I must start by saying that what I am about to tell you happened hundreds of years before I was born. A historian would be better suited to tell you, but I shall do my best. My people came from Earth, where God gave us Muhammad, May Allah pray on him and grant him peace, the last Prophet of Allah. For hundreds of years, we Muslims survived bloodthirsty crusaders, Western Imperialism and unwarranted hate. But soon man took to the stars and many of us left Earth, seeking a land where we could pray and worship without the ever growing threat of the West. That land was Jadeed Bayt.

But once again war came when we wanted none. The Alarei, war hungry as always, prepared to strike our home. So we left once again, this time to the uncharted areas of the cosmos, in hopes that we could live in peace away from all. Abu Bakr 3 became our home. For years the Caliphate grew and expanded. We no longer fear being driven from our home. We would explore Abu Bakr 3's moon, where we discovered the Ssumaz. You will meet one in due time. For almost two hundred years now, the Caliphate never left Jadeda Mecca. In fact, the flotilla you see is the first Caliphate ships to ever leave the system.

So in a way, our story is not so different than yours."


------------------------

Captain Roberts pauses for a moment, before glancing to Consul Acerius, then to al-Baqiri and the Sphere.

"I think Consul Acerius would be better equipped to give you a history lesson."

She nods to Consul Acerius, who smiles, stepping forward. "Very well."

"Our homeworld, what we call 'Hel'- with one 'l', was settled first in 2114 as a mining colony by a Terran company called 'Andara Corporation'.  It was.. horrible is such an inadequate word.  We were treated like slaves.  We were kept in line by security robots and mercenaries- who did little to protect us from the variety of dangerous animals that make Hel their home.  They discovered alien technology, hidden all over the planet, left there by a race we call 'the lost'.  We know very little about them- but we know that they were incredibly advanced- and we know that they were lost during an epic struggle.  Regardless, the colonization of Hel continued, and, while they flourish economically, the people are dying.  Choking beneath Andara's grasp.

So, we did what anyone would do.  We rebelled.  But we were losing.  In 2138, Deserters from Earth's Navy arrived, disillusioned, lead by Commander James Nolan; they saught refuge in the Valhallan system, bringing with them a small fleet of human warships. Discovering the poor conditions on Hel, the deserters confronted the regional governor.  They.. come to blows.

By 2142, The deserters, allied with a resistance movement lead by Alana Lysen, still are not doing well. However, as much of Earth is rendered uninhabitable, contact with Andara Corporation is lost. The mercenaries fall into disarray- some lie down arms, others become warlords.  The Republic of Hel is established in 2149, and they elect James Nolan as the first Executor- our head of state.  We enter an age of unprecedented growth- in no small part aided by the technology left behind by The Lost.  We continued to spread across Hel and then throughout the Valhallan System.  However, the planetary colonies are largely independent, and, in 2180, civil war broke out- what we call the 'Unification War'.  The factions more or less are evenly divided between the inner and outer worlds. The inner colonies have the upper hand- the raw resources and industrial strength of Hel. Eventually, however, a treaty is signed and the outer colonies surrender.  After that, there is a long period of peace.

However, in 2310, a fleet of vessels from a race known as the Kisari strike at the Valhallans. For the next thirty years, we fight a prolonged war with the Kisari, who were obsessed with the technology of "The Lost"; the outer colonies suffer the most. The Kisari have no homeworld; having destroyed it long ago, the invading fleet is all that remains. Eventually, these invaders are repelled, but we were been scarred by the conflict. Refit Earth Navy vessels were no longer sufficient protection; Production of the Grand Valhallan Navy increased dramatically. Eventually, we expand beyond the Valhallan system. The Kisari remain a threat for some time, stragglers causing problems on the border worlds out of spite. While there are few left, the Kisari that still live are part of Valhallan society, as rare as they are. While some of the several thousand that remain continue to work in indentured servitude, some of them are members of the military, and there are a few prominent Kisari scholars within Valhallan space. While they face predjudice- especially in the outer worlds, they are generally accepted.

Most recently, High Executor Alexander Nolan, descendant of James Nolan, was elected.  He's fairly popular, at least among the people."


----------------------

Once again, the Mind's avatar waited a few seconds before responding.

"I see. This Earth war was recent then? From the sound of it, it seems unlikely that your civilisations are the only pioneer communities produced. Regardless, the next step in this sort of transaction is what we call cultural integration. You select a party of representatives, who travel to one of our systems to become comfortable with any cultural differencee, and we do the same."


----------------------

"If you consider within the past three hundred years recent, then.. yes." Captain Roberts responds.  She looks to Consul Acerius, before shrugging.

"I see no problem with that."

-------------------------

S.I.C.N. Euphrates - Cruiser, I'dad Al'oda Class

"This could be arranged. Some time will be needed to assemble a team and assure they are prepared for such an operation."

The captain shifted uncomfortably as he glanced up to the ceiling.


------------------

Liminal Space, Adjacent 1/E (Massala Tau)

Regularly, Minds do not sleep, and as a result they do not dream. However, anyone with experience with Minds know that they rarely follow convention. The Ship Integrated Mind (Vagrant Class) Curious Blessing was sleeping, and it was dreaming. This dream had little in common with the human concept of dreaming. Curious Blessing was in complete control, and at this specific point in the dream was playing through a joke simulation it called 'Domination', in which it enslaved all sentient life in the galaxy and used them to form a dancing troupe. It was using some of its acrobatic shock troopers to assassinate a benign dictator when it was interrupted.

"You aren't aware of the concept of subtlety, are you?"

The interrupter had entered the liminal space in the form of a standard Mind capsule, and was idly observing Curious Blessing's troops pirouette and back flip through the palace defences.

"That means very little coming from a diplomat."

That put the newcomer off. Curious allowed itself a moment of smug self-appreciation.

"It's very rude to read someone's ident without their permission. Regardless, as you now know, I am the Diplomatic Mind Mine's Bigger Than Yours, currently assigned to the Helios on a contact incident. We are moving on cultural integration. Would you be willing to make the motions for us? I'd rather not leave it to organics if it's all the same to you."

With a flicker of annoyance Curious dispelled its imaginings and dropped itself back into real-space like a tear-drop hitting the ocean.

"Very well. Forward instructions as necessary. I don't need to tell you that I consider this degrading."

It snapped off the communication before Mine's Bigger could respond.


S.I.C.N. Euphrates - Hangar

A half-moment passed before the Mind's avatar interrupted the silence. It broke the natural pause following al-Baqiri's statement with no regard to the natural rhythm of conversation.

"I have contacted our representatives. They are ready to travel to any destination required. I should mention now that the vessel they travel in is not one to be trifled with. We recognize that it may be tempting for you to try to learn of its technology, I can only tell you that such action would result in more than a diplomatic incident. It is sentient and I cannot promise it will not respond with force. You are both comfortable with this?"


-----------------------

Captain Roberts nodded, glancing to Consul Acerius briefly for confirmation, before looking back to the sphere.  She smiles softly. "As long as the same courtesy is provided to us."

-------------------------

The avatar allowed for a slightly longer pause than might be considered polite before replying.

"I guarantee that won't be an issue."


---------------------

S.I.C.N. Euphrates - Cruiser, I'dad Al'oda Class - Bridge

Pacing nervously around the bridge, Atvar took another bite of his aswuzti jerky. It was said that in the following days of the conquest of Aisha 3, the Kabir Shura spent almost seven days debating the merit of consuming aswuzti and other native wildlife. In the end, Caliph Hashim Halabi, Third of his Name requested a cut of the beast. After finishing the meal, Hashim was quoted with saying "Our Creator would not be so cruel as to give us such a gift only to deny it to us."

Atvar could not agree more. While salty by human standards, the meat tasted almost sweet in his mouth, though he knew that was in part because of the curing process. As his swallowed the last of his snack, he neared two of the enlisted men working at a computer bank. Even when seated, the two men had a good eight inches on the Executive Officer. Both looked over to Atvar and offered him a respectful nod of the head as the one on the right asked if he could be of service.

"In fact, yes, you can. What have you been able to learn about the transmitter?"

The one that spoke before deferred to the other.

"Well Executive Officer, I can give you my speculation. The fact that these things cannot house a transmitter on their vessel raises my suspicion. They're capable of learning Arabic from what you said, space travel, and even transmitting to our vessel. But they do not have means to contact their Home without constructing something? No Executive Officer, I do suspect something."

"An astute observation... Petty Officer al-Qadiri. Send your statement to Command and make sure it's entangled. When this is through, you might find yourself working with Interstellar Security."

Pacing off with his claws behind his back, Atvar could hear the sailors congratulating al-Qadiri. While unable to smile, the lizard seemed overall pleased as he returned to his chair. The young man had made an excellent point; one Atvar wished he had thought of. Seated in his chair, Atvar turned his attention back to the display as he watched the meeting unfold.


S.I.C.N. Euphrates - Cruiser, I'dad Al'oda Class - Secondary Hangar

"I see no issues with agreeing to that term. Just as Captain Roberts, we would expect the same treatment for our vessel and its crew. I will need to put you or your superiors into contact with mine. I am but a Commodore of a Fleet and a temporary ambassador. I do not have the experience or training to prepare a team for such a mission."

The Commodore let out a sigh, his shoulders slumping for a moment before standing up straight once more.


-------------------------

S.I.C.N. Euphrates - Hangar

"Contacting my superiors won't be necessary Captain al-Baqiri. Our cultural team is en route now, and should be arriving here soon. You'll see some changes to the transmitter preceding that arrival. Nothing to be concerned about."

Gatecrasher nearspace

The so called 'transmitter' the constructor drones had recently finished constructing once again became a hive of activity. One by one, segments were brought out from the Gatecrasher and slotted around the outside of the outer ring of the original construction, as a circle around a circle. The new segments looked almost identical to the original ones, curved, with an inward spoke. The main difference was that they were larger. The outer ring of spokes began to outline an area about 15 meters in diameter, while the outer ring itself looked like it would soon form a circle about 35 meters in diameter.
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Re: [04M] Al-Tarbiya System

Post by Omni on Thu Jan 24, 2013 8:56 am

Consul Acerius tapped her fingers lightly along the hilt of the blade sheathed at her waist. Looking down, one might notice that she even has tattoos on her hands. They're the same colour as the ones on her face, and they are of a similar design. She smiles, before perking her eyebrows.

"I just had a delightful idea. The Valhallan grand tourney has recently concluded- we were to hold a celebratory banquet. It occurs to me that it would be prudent to invite ambassadors from your nations to the banquet as honoured guests. That way, not only do you get a fine sampling of Valhallan cuisine and culture, you also get to meet some of the finest men and women our nation has to offer.
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