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The Voyages of the Penelope and the Yydryl

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posted on Jul, 14 2009 @ 03:15 PM
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“Why was my portal map in your backpack?” Cim ask thrusting the map at Silo.

Silo was shaking and her lip quivering a bit. “Cim that’s your backpack, what’s wrong with you? You are so very different.”

Cim moved away from the door and flopped down on the bed. Leaning forward she put her head into her hands. “Silo sit.” she pointed to a chair by the com console.
“I am sorry but that many excursions take a toll on my rational and there is much more,
that I have not told you. This is going to be a bit upsetting. My clan of DTST has a divine plan, a purpose, and it is to observe and not to interfere or change things by moving in time and space. We can affect things as would any being existing and we as individuals can affect the time and space around us. Something happened today in our present time that is simply not acceptable to me. I have known about it and I am here aboard the Yydryl because I plan on changing it, I also was looking for a lost friend.” Silo is listening very attentively, twirling a piece of thread in her fingers.




“Silo, my kind has urged me not to do this. They are not at all pleased with me. Today most of Earth was destroyed by the Ophiuchus Consortium.” Silo burst into tears and is shaking her head no. “Don’t cry, the Earth wasn’t what it was when you visited anyway,
other previous wars by its own inhabitants had really caused catastrophic changes, but it was on the mend. I want to stop that war from happening as well, however I can really screw things up if I am not very careful, so I watch it happen and it is difficult. I have spent eons on Earth and I am very fond of it”




“I am very tired Silo, I want to go to the cabin. I do not like the confines of this ship.
There is more but I think that is all you can handle right now. Can you contact Milli through Carpet?” ask Cim

“Still tearful Silo answers “I haven’t spoken to Carpet yet.”

“Could you try? I would like to be able to be in contact with you and the Ship.”
Cim reached out and gave Silo a pat on the knee. “Everything will be fine, it always is….eventually!” Cim said with a half hearted smile.

“Ok, I will try.” Says Silo

“Thanks find out as fast as you can, I really need to leave, the solitude of the mountains are what I need right now to think.”

Silo slowly stood and threw her arms around Cim’s neck, then left, crying still.




posted on Jul, 15 2009 @ 05:05 PM
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Studious awoke in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber.

Awaking a doctor immediately approached him.

Doctor: "You gave us quite a scare Colonel."

Studious: "What did you call me?"

Doctor: "Colonel do you remember who you are?"

Studious: "Yes, yes I'm Studious but I was demot..." Studious thought it would be best to mention that debacle later.

Doctor: "You really should breath 100% oxygen for at least 30 minutes before performing a HALO jump."

Studious: "I know doc. My escape pod was about to impact so I figured either jump or die."

Doctor: "I see. Well you just rest; you're in excellent hands now."

Studious was astounded by the efficiency of the medical staff here. The Penelope medical staff couldn't even bandage properly.

The Colonel amazed by the care said "Where am I?" thinking he'd died and gone to Heaven.

The doctor thinking Studious was talking to him turned and replied "The U.S.S Altair." then walked away.

Studious fell asleep again in the chamber and later awoke to the sound of knocking on the glass.

Doctor: "Colonel, we're going to let you out."

Studious: "Wait!"

Doctor: "We've been lowering the pressure slowly. We don't know how they did things on the Penelope but we know what we're doing."

The Colonel hadn't had this good of medical care since before he was on the Penelope. He began to fear he was dreaming when a nurse handed him a pair of fresh clothes and fresh insignia.

The nurse said "I see you must have lost your rank in the jump."

Studious figured they knew about his field demotion.

Nurse: "So we took the liberty of getting you new insignia Colonel."

Studious raised an eyebrow and said "Wow thanks."

The nurse looked confused saying "Sir we'd do this for anyone. Life on the Penelope must have been pretty bad huh?"

The Colonel began to stare into the distance remembering the lives lost.

The nurse interrupted his nightmare "Colonel, you ok?"

Studious: "Yeah, I'm fine. But I need to speak with the Captain."

Then seeing himself in the mirror said "After I wash up."

The nurse told him "Go three corridors down then take a left and the guest quarters should be on your right."

Hearing "your right" brought a smile to the Colonel's face.

Studious turned and left sickbay traveling down the hall.

As he rounded the corner he heard a voice calling behind him. Turning to find the nurse running after him.

"Wait, you forgot this." she said as she handed him his cane.

The tired old Colonel's eyes began to tear. On the Penelope people only stole his cane. On the Altair people went out of their way to return it.

The Colonel just managed to compose himself long enough to get out a quiet "Thank you."





After entering the guest quarters and cleaning himself up. He put on his new uniform placing the shinning insignia of Colonel back on.

With a new earpiece he radioed the Altair's Captain "Sir there's something we need to discuss."

To his surprise the Altair's Captain responded "Of course come on up."

Studious traveled to the bridge where the Altair's Captain, Colburn, greeted him.

Altair Captain Colburn: "Good to see you're alright Colonel. My God. Phew! You had us all worried there for a moment."

Studious: “Really?”

Colburn: “Yeah you almost died.”

Studious: “No that’s not what I meant… Captain, have you seen the data tapes?”

Colburn: “No, but we recovered them along with your personal effects.”

Studious: “I think you should take a look at them….in private sir.”

The Altair’s Captain showed a look of concern “I see. We’ll discuss this in my ready room.”



Later…

The Colburn and Studious exited the ready room and entered the bridge.

Colburn: “Set a course for Earth. Radio silence as of this moment. ”

The bridge crew gave each other concerned looks but did as ordered.

Colburn: "Looks like I won't be able to tell Fleet Command we found our lost ship."

Studious: “Uh, about the demotion Captain."

Colburn: "Demotion? Colonel you can't be serious. But for formalities sake... Lt. Studious you are hereby reinstated as a Colonel in the UEF."

Studious: "Thank you sir and with your permission I’d like to head back to the guest quarters.”

Colburn: “Of course. I’ll alert you when we’ve arrived at Earth.” Then speaking to no one in particular said “It’s weird that they haven’t made contact with us in a while.”

Studious traveled back to his quarters. He knew he should get some real rest not just passed out rest. But he needed to know if he’d truly done the right thing.

Reviewing the log he came to the cleanup records of the NI Dropship. He saw the mangled gore and knew that even if he had done the right thing he’d done it too late.

He poured over all the data about the dropship and then came across an autopsy of the gore. Studious was somewhat confused that it was done by the wing staff who were trying to get it back into full operating condition. But thought it was fortunate that they had instead of the incompetent medical staff.



Reading it he made a startling discovery…

Those killed in the dropship were not the real NI-7.

[edit on 15-7-2009 by Studious]



posted on Jul, 17 2009 @ 03:54 PM
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‘Tooo much stress. Yep, just too-too-tooo much stress.’ I wiped away tears of anger and frustration as I left Cim’s quarters to begin the trek to my own cabin and my search of Carpet.
Cim’s questioning of my loyalty had disturbed profoundly, but the thought of Earth being destroyed was just too much to even comprehend.

‘BAH!‘ I grunted. ‘No no no nono,’ I told myself, this was just too much confusion too much stress and nothing that made a lick of sense all happening in too short a time.

‘What I need is to get out of these filthy clothes, to relax and to...’
‘Eat?’ Carpet interrupted my monolog.

‘Carpet! Where’ve you been!?‘ Relief washed over me as I bent over to run my fingers through the fibers reaching up the side of my boots. I straightened quicker than I might have when my head began to spin.

‘Come on, I’ve got something to show you.‘ Carpet teased moving off in the opposite direction I’d been going and neatly sidestepping my question..

‘This better be good Carpet I’m tired, really tired, bone tired.’ I sighed.

So tired I didn’t notice the droid that had come up behind me until the smells wafting out from under the covered platters of food caught up to my nose.
Spinning in my tracks I attacked the food with gusto eating with one hand and reaching for a goblet of drink with the other.

“Oh Creator!’ I mumbled around a mouthful, ‘Thank you Carpet!‘

‘You eat and walk, I’ll show you the way’ Carpet continued laying a path before my feet which I gladly followed hardly caring where we went as long as I was eating.
A vision of a carrot before the mule flashed through my mind and it was all I could do not to laugh.
Oh how easily I was led it seemed and how well Carpet knew me...

Moments later when a low groan reached us from somewhere up ahead, the bite of food in my mouth turned to paste, my appetite died in the back of my throat.
Drinking down sweet white wine in a single gulp to clear my throat I placed the goblet on the tray and broke into a trot.

‘Droid, follow me!’ I growled through my anger.
‘Drastit Carpet, I forgot! How could I be such an uncaring forgetful jerk!’

Rounding the bend in the corridor there stood Chumley lowing in misery just where I’d left him outside Whispers door.



“Chumley?” I called gently to the big Rigelian guard who turned to me and burst into new sobs.

A long day wasn’t over yet...

[edit on 17-7-2009 by silo13]



posted on Jul, 18 2009 @ 01:49 AM
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“Silo, She’s gone.” Chumley's thick shiny lips quivered as great tears splashed down his leathery cheeks.

It felt like deja vu talking to Chumley about Whisper vanishing. I had to remind myself I’d only been gone from the Yydryl for a few moments not the days I'd passed on Earth. As far as Chumley knew I'd only left the room for short time before returning.

Laying one hand on the guards shoulder I motioned the droid forward with the other indicating it should offer the food to the hungry Rigelian.

“Yes Chumley, I know she’s gone, but she’ll come back, I promise.’ Something inside told me not only were my words prophetic, but true.

The guards face brightened but fell back into itself, his tears continued anew. “But why’d she gooo” Chumley sobbed out in a long pathetic moan.

‘Chumley, please, stop making that sound,‘ I silently thanked the Creator I didn’t have four ears when the guard started to moan all the louder.
Enough with the gentle approach.

‘ATTEN-TION!” I barked out trying to thrust my chin right in Chumley’s face, though I fell short and bellowed at his navel.

Chumley stared at me for a split second before righting himself to full height. Saluting and wiping his face with the back of one long meaty tentacle leaving a length of goo strung along his nose and arm Chumley was the picture of an attentive soldier awaiting orders.

‘Chumley, listen, Whisper is coming back, I don’t know when, but she will, and in the mean time you’re all we’ve got for security on Ship.’ The add-lib was working, Chumley's eyes began to dry, his moaning settled into sporadic grunts. I figured I was onto something here.

‘You know Chum, Whisper had a lot of faith in you, she was about to promote you to Second Security Officer.‘ I pinned my eyes somewhere far over the guards shoulder so I didn't have to see the mass of half masticated food gobbed in his mouth when it fell open in stunned surprise and he didn’t see the blatant lie in my eyes.

‘Chumley, chew.‘ I commanded before continuing.
He chewed.

‘So, when you’re through eating you’ll go check out the blood all over the floor in the Recovery Bay. Then report to Deson at the Armory and I’ll meet you there later.’ Realizing Chumley was eating up the commands with the same enthusiasm he had for my dinner I kept going.

‘If you find Antar report to me at my quarters immediately and wake me. I’ve a few words to say to the Healer.’ Realizing too late an officer didn't confide details to underlings I hoped Chumley wouldn’t notice. Then again who was I kidding, I wasn’t an officer but that didn’t seem to make a difference to my big friend in the least.

“Yes Silo!” Chumley sketched out another salute, repeated my words verbatim and complying immediately as he’d been trained to all his life. My appetite vanishing completely as he went back to smacked his lips and slobbering over what little food was left on the tray.

“Silo?” Chumley asked around a last morsel almost choking.
“Yes?” Visions of giving Chumley the age old Heimlich maneuver made me feel queasy.
‘You promise?’ He asked a piece of something fell from his mouth to the floor where I could almost hear Carpet gagging from below.
‘Yes Chumley, I promise. She’ll be back. Now stop worrying and live up to Whisper’s faith in you.
Chumley’s single-minded devotion made me wonder if Whisper knew how the guard felt for her, or if the depth of loyalty he displayed was for her was an innate Rigelian trait.

I left the guard eating in a singularly absorbed way that left me in no doubt he’d follow my directions to the letter and felt all the better for spending a moment with the Security Guard.

‘So, you’ve taken care of Chumley. Now how about letting me take care of you?’ Carpet chided gently when I moved off in the direction of my quarters again.

“All I could want Carpet is my own bed. I‘m done in.” When Carpet made no move to move follow me my hands went to my hips, my patience beginning to wane.
‘What’s the hold up Carpet?’
‘Your quarter’s aren't on this deck any longer Silo. That‘s what I want to show, your new quarters.’ Carpet cut a path before me that stopped in front of a lift.

“I’ve new quarters?” My voice squeaked as I readied to protest. I’d grown accustomed to my cramped little cell with it’s one window and closet sized hygienic room.
“Yes, a gift from Ship and myself. It’s even got it’s own healing center for you too. Now follow me, please.’

My curiosity peaked as it always did, tired or not.
Following my friend I snuck a hand up to brush gently at a tentacle and the pain nearly sent me to my knees.
I wondered for not the first time if I’d save my appendages.

Entering the lift and directing it up a floor I could only imagine what was in store for me, but even with an imagination as vivid as mine I never could have envisioned what was in store for me, my new home.

Or the responsibilities that came with it.


[edit on 18-7-2009 by silo13]



posted on Jul, 18 2009 @ 05:22 PM
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Lieutenant Commander nenothtu strode into the makeshift security center, data disk in hand. He walked up to a clerical sergeant at a data terminal, handed him the data disk, and spoke.

"Sergeant, I need this document to be distributed via the Galactic Interwebs to all UEF facilities. Since we're now at war, and the UEF is disorganized by the attack on Earth, it will have to be distributed like that until the UEF Armed Forces HQ section is reorganized, restructured, and re-housed.

It's imperative that this get to all UEF assets immediately, as we have a war to fight now, and fugitive sabateur on the loose, who has demonstrated his willingness to take down a UEF vessel that is otherwise engaged in fighting the enemy. Particularly now, we can't afford to have war internally as well as externally, and I would be remiss in my duties if I didn't forewarn the surviving UEF forces of a dangerous fugitive on the loose.

Anyone might pick him up, unknowing, and buy themselves a ton of trouble." Neno dropped back into his more familiar colloquialisms and said "now git 'er done." then turned on his heel and strode out without waiting on a response.

The sergeant dutifully loaded the data disk, and broadcast it on the Galactic Interwebs as ordered. Just to remain in the loop, and keep himself informed, he then read the document, since it was for broad distribution, and not 'classified'.

What he read caused him to produce a low whistle.



posted on Jul, 18 2009 @ 05:23 PM
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Affidavit and Fugitive Arrest Warrant - Lieutenant Studious

Background Data - Pre Penelope

Prior to his posting on the USS Penelope, Studious' service records indicate several run-ins with authorities resulting in Courts Martial

Background Data - USS Penelope Service Records

Standard Date: 232003230945

Actions taken by Colonel Studious resulting in mutiny.

Col Studious ordered Lt Jones to give him his sidearm, then proceeded to the bridge of the USS Penelope and used said sidearm to threaten the life of Captain Luder, pointing the weapon directly at him.

Directly in the wake of that disturbance, Studious proceeded to order a superior officer to be arrested on his own bridge, took over the sickbay and engineering departments by force of arms, and was in full-fledged mutiny. The mutiny was resolved by the actions of the Security Department in combination with Colonel Studious calling for the mutineers to stand down.

The captain's Log of the incident, Standard Date 232003231647 Supplemental included this entry bearing on the colonel's actions in the mutiny:

"Moments after the nearly destroyed hulk of his boarding craft was tractored back on board the Penelope, Colonel Studious came to the bridge, brandishing a firearm and threatened mine and Seeker's life. He then attempted to use his marines to take over key areas of the ship."

Captain Luder spoke in the Colonel's defense at the review of the data tapes preparatory to Studious' trial.

Standard Date: 232003280821

Colonel Studious was formally charged with Assault on a Superior Officer, Failure to Comply with a Direct Order from a Superior Officer, and Mutiny in the above captioned matter.

Standard Date: 232004021421

Colonel Studious stood at Courts Martial on the above captioned charges, and plead Guilty With an Explanation.

The results of the courts Martial are under seal, Classified citing UEF Security considerations, but Colonel Studious was returned to duty on board the Penelope, with no reduction in pay grade.

Current Charges and Events leading to Fugitive Status

Standard date 232005211850

Colonel Studious linked up with what appeared to be a Marine Spec Ops Strike team. As noted below, this may not have been the actual Identification of those personnel. The strike team launched an attack against a non-threatening alien vessel, the Yydryl, without authorization. Said vessel had just rescued a Penelope crew member at the request of Captain Luder immediately prior to the unauthorized attack.

Studious was the only surviving member of the strike team, and would not have survived himself without the efforts of WCO Asher effecting his rescue, which rescue was witnessed by elements of the Penelope's Fighter Wings on Standard Date 232006091354.

The deaths of the 5 man strike team are directly attributable to the actions of Studious, in that they would not have been placed in jeopardy had they not gone with him on the unauthorized attack.

A message entered into Penelope's logs on Standard Date 232006091749 from WCO Asher to the acting captain is recorded thus:

"Good to hear your voice Chief Neno. I was afraid the Penelope had been compromised by NI. It is not my intention to forcefully board, and I will hold position until you give me the green light. The raid on the Yydryl was orchestrated by NI in an effort to retrieve me. The team opened fire on an otherwise peaceful spacecraft that had treated me very well. They intended to return me to mechanical slavery... I was disinclined. They are no longer a problem. Colonel Studious is with me and unharmed. I am unsure of his involvement, and I will leave the questioning to you."

This record indicates that the strike team led by Colonel Studious may have been in fact NI infiltrators, and the action was a hostile action against a peaceful target. Colonel Studious held rank on Penelope at that time over all Marine assets, of which any Strike Team would have necessarily been part. No other department aboard the Penelope is authorized to organize “Strike Teams”, and no outside agencies had reported their presence to the Captain. Studious must therefore be considered ranking officer in the matter of this incursion, and therefore bore direct responsibility for the actions.

A message entered in the logs on standard Date 232006092051, broadcast by Colonel Studious himself, records these words from WCO Asher, verbatim:

"Colonel, I'm not sure how much of this you will understand, but I'm going to say it anyway. Afterwards, I'm going to put you in a chemical coma and let a ranking officer sort it out.

You follow NI's orders to the T my friend. They told you to join them aboard this very ship and you did so. Did you inform a ranking officer? Evidently not, therefore I can only assume that you knew beforehand that your actions would be considered wrong.

Who is the mindless tool now Studious? You followed every order they gave you, and because of your hatred of me, I suspect that you would have even put your sidearm to my head and pulled the trigger had they asked.

They hate men like you because you disobey orders, Colonel? You facilitated NI-7 every step of the way, blindly doing as you were told, and worst of all, you don't even realize it.

Those aliens aboard the Yydryl pulled me from the vacuum and spared my life. They healed my wounds and treated me well. They didn't have to, but they did. Why would they do this if they were ruthless, man eating, mind controlling freaks that NI claims them to be? Did you see evidence of mind control? Did you watch them feast on human flesh?

You see, Studious, NI is very good at turning men into pawns. You abandoned your Captain, your ship, and your crew to attack a non-hostile alien craft with a team of heavily armed commandos."

This statement implicates Studious in a much deeper plot.

Standard Date: 232006132238

Colonel Studious was arrested on charges of Unauthorized Incursion Aboard a Non-Hostile Alien Vessel, Resulting in Loss of Life.

During the captain's Mast inquiring into the matter of the incursion, Studious became frenzied and incoherent. The net result was that he was demoted to the rank of Lieutenant for insubordination and remanded to custody, in solitary confinement. His contention was that the mission was in fact authorized, and was led by a "Lieutenant Commander" which would have outranked him, had any such individual existed. After a review of ships records, no authorization from a responsible officer was found, and since Colonel Studious was Commandant over all Marine Forces aboard Penelope, the contention implicating a "Lieutenant Commander" was patently false, as he would have been Commandant of the Marines, rather than Studious. Any individual of such rank aboard Penelope could not have escaped notice of the Command Staff, regardless of his department. By all appearances, Studious had a break with reality during this episode.

Standard Date: 232006151851

Studious escaped custody and became a fugitive by assaulting a doctor and the attending intern, as well as three security personnel, and effected escape during a faked medical emergency.

During the escape, he destroyed a ship's escape pod By jettisoning it into hyperspace, and sabotaged Penelope herself to a Code Brown condition, endangering all personnel on board. The damage to Penelope he created included an explosion in sub corridor 3, ruptured engine coolant valves, and dropped Penelope out of hyperspace without engine controls or navigational controls, nearly sending her crashing into a planet. Fires raged on several decks, intraship communications were cut, and ships power was lost. ship's reserve O2 and reactor plasma had to be jettisoned, along with the majority of life support supplies, in order to avoid planetary collision. The fact that it was sabotage was discovered by Lieutenant Commander Slayer, Chief Engineer, during repairs.

Studious remained a fugitive at large on Penelope by making use of ductwork and Jeffries tubes.

Standard Date: 232007011212

During an encounter with hostile ships, and in the heat of battle, Studious fomented yet another mutiny, seizing control of a Marine contingent to employ in the mutiny, and once again raising arms to the Captain on the bridge during the course of the mutiny. He was subdued on the bridge by the Chief Security Officer. He was assisted, aided, and abetted in this mutiny, and his subsequent escape, by Lieutenant Jones and Charles, who attempted to enlist other departments in the mutiny. Marines under command of the mutineers threatened security personnel during the mutiny, fomenting strife within the ship at a time when Penelope was under attack by an external enemy, endangering all aboard, and reducing the combat effectiveness and survivability of the Penelope with the distraction of the mutiny during a heated battle.

Subsequent to the battle, Lieutenant Jones and Charles were arrested on charges of Conspiracy to Commit Mutiny, as well as charges in the Mutiny itself, and are currently under detention. Studious escaped Penelope in a ships escape pod, and remains a fugitive at large.

Due to the foregoing facts, Lieutenant Studious must be considered a danger to any UEF facilities and personnel which may harbor him. His status as a fugitive is established by his escape from custody aboard Penelope while in transit, bound for trial. Any UEF personnel encountering Lt. Studious are authorized and requested to apprehend and detain him, holding him until such time as he may be brought before the court to answer the charges against him. His UEF commission has not been rescinded, but is in suspension and of no force until such time as he may be brought to trial, pending the results thereof.



I attest that these facts are true and accurate in accordance with verification and substantiation by ship's records of the USS Penelope, UEF Registration 117931

Lieutenant Commander nenothtu, Chief of Security, USS Penelope



posted on Jul, 20 2009 @ 04:27 AM
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‘My new quarters are in a cave? You’ve got to be kidding me?’ I vented in exasperation kicking at a loose rock along the dirt floor of Ship’s Center.



‘Yes Silo, just keep going up the rock face’ Ship’s laughed realizing I’d failed to remember in this area Ship heard all.

‘Sorry Ship, I’m tired.’ I amended automatically though I didn’t feel contrite in the least.

‘No worries, just keep going, Carpet’s waiting for you inside.’

Carpet had directed me down the rock face of Ship’s newest cave then out over the virgin land mass until I found my new quarters. If this cave was it I wasn’t about to haggle now, not before even going inside, plus, if Ship said go, I went.

Not one for putting off the inevitable I continued along the path and began climbing the stone steps passing the first cave which didn’t seem to contain anything up to the second opening where I got the surprise of my life.

‘Welcome Home Silo!’ Carpet announced as I passed the doorway, his voice pleased and a little nervous at the same time. ‘This first room’s a bit small but...’

‘Nothing ’small’ about it Carpet! And it’s beautiful, I love it!’ I was stunned at the modern efficiency cabin combined with beauty and comfort.




The desire to sink onto the bed was a war I knew I wouldn't win, Carpet wasn’t about to let me relax until I’d seen all he had to show me.

‘Look there Silo, even when you’re in bed or studying at the bar you can watch what’s going on at Ships Center.’ Carpet began the tour by explaining the huge screen at the foot of my bed.

Making our way past a shimmering lilac lounger into the hygienic quarters my eye was drawn first to a large screen in the center of the room.



‘Wow, is that so I can keep an eye on other ships too? I quipped at the what I thought was obvious.

‘That‘s actually one of the Yydryl fighters. Beautiful isn‘t it? Deson has the same set up in his quarters. He’s got surveillance over his ‘Baby‘ as he calls it, at all times.’

‘Very beautiful, the fighter I mean. What’s this thing?’ I asked running my hand over a pod type couch set before the screen.

“That ‘thing’ as you put it is your new healing station. Your ‘being’ requires reparation parameters beyond what the Ship’s Healer can provide. Since there’s only one of you on board,’ Carpets voice tried to cover his embarrassment, ‘Ship figured it was best to free up the Recovery Bay and keep your Personal Healing and Restorative Station here in your hygienic chamber.’

‘Can I use it now?’ I wanted to finish looking around but my antenna hurt something fierce.

‘In a minute, let me show you the other rooms and then you can get yourself back in working order.’

“Working’ I whispered. ’It looks like I’ll be doing a lot of that doesn’t it Carpet?’ I observed not unpleased.

‘Yes, you’ll be working day in and day out but at least your new quarters will give you a chance to relax and still keep an eye on things.’ Carpet explained with obvious pride.

‘Now the communications room, ‘ Carpet continued his tour leading me to a beautiful table filled with lights, a view consol trained on the Yydryl.

‘For now you’ll be directing the working droids from here,' Carpet obviously meant the console and viewer before me. 'Later, through a new portable technology Ship’s developing you’ll be able to command droids from anywhere you are on Ship. For more hands-on work we’re going to ask Deson to design and make you a over-ground pod you can drive as the Center grows. Maybe something like CindyMars convertible.‘ Carpet added making me smile but he continued his discourse giving me no chance to comment.

‘Also at this station you’ll be tied directly into the Galactic Interweb, receive UEF transmissions and general communications.
‘So, ‘ he said with a flourish, ‘not only do you have the Galaxy at your fingertips, but, Ship’s Center too.’



In awe of everything I was seeing and hearing, the view of Ship from outer space I let my hand fall to the console top causing Carpet to speak harshly.

‘I wouldn’t do that if I were you...’ His command stilled my hand. ‘That thing’s extremely sensitive and there’re only two aboard. This one, that responds to your touch and input only, and the one Deson controls. Ship will take you through a tutorial when you’re ready and there’re some instructions on a few memory discs you’ll need to absorb also.”

“What about Ship? Is she in here? In my quarters?’ I looked around waiting for Ship to answer.
‘No. She’ll be with you when you’re at the consoles, but, beyond that you’ve complete privacy. Now, one more room and we’ll be done and you can get into the P.H.A.R.S

I followed Carpet to the side of the room where a hidden ramp took us down to a cool dark chamber the natural stone similar to the rock face of my quarters.



‘Here you can view what’s going on ’below‘ the surface of the Center. What you’re looking at now is the understructure for some hilly areas. When you’re ready to install the water lines you can do it from here instead of overseeing the work from underground.‘ Obviously Carpet didn’t think I’d feel comfortable stuck underground, and he was right.

‘This control station, it’s quite different from the other console. And the chamber? It was constructed with Deson in mind as there will be times when you‘ll need to liaison with the Armor in areas of his expertise with technical questions and safeguards.‘

Reading the look of worry on my face Carpet added, ‘Yes Silo, you can enter this room from the outside. That first ‘cave’ that seems to be empty when you passed it has an entrance to this room for Deson and to protect the integrity and privacy of your new home.’ Carpet seemed pleased I was showing proprietary concern for my quarters and the command center.

‘So how long have you been working on all this? You and Ship?’ I almost didn’t want to ask, another time warp explanation was just too much for my tired brain.

‘Would you be satisfied if I answered ‘don’t ask’?’ I could hear the smile in Carpet’s voice.

‘Carpet, I’d hug you for it!’ I laughed following the opening path in Carpet’s fibers up the ramp and back through the rooms to the P.H.A.R.S pod.

‘All your personal items have been brought over and are stored for you. You’ve some new ‘two-skins’ as you call them in the drawers, no more Ships uniforms for you.’

Before I could thank Carpet he continued.

‘We’ve a lot more to go over but it will wait until later, for now get yourself healed and call for me after you’ve rested. There will be a droid outside your cabin at all times.

‘You mean you’re leaving? You’re not staying here with me?’ My hand swept the room, my feelings mixed and tumultuous.

‘No Silo, I’ll be just a call away.’ Carpet replied stoically. Wanting to say more, I could hear it in his voice, he must have though better of it. ‘Welcome home Silo, now rest and we’ll talk later. I’ll send a droid with some more food on my way out.’

I told him thank you, but too late, my friend had already gone.

Simultaneously the relief I’d have my cabin to myself and an enormous sense of loss flooded my heart.

My eyes threatened tears as I stripped off my dirty clothes. It would be strange living without Carpet underfoot all the time.
Dropping my clothes where I stood I approached the PHARS pod and wondered what part of me should enter the pod first.
I bust out laughing when I read the small card a droid had placed near the mouth of the contraption for Carpet.

‘Feet first Silo’ love, your Friend.


[edit on 20-7-2009 by silo13]



posted on Jul, 20 2009 @ 01:39 PM
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Helm: “Sir we’ve got a message through the Galactic Interweb. We haven’t replied because you ordered radio silence.”

The Captain began to read the message and then said. “Well it seems they want you arrested Colonel.”

Studious gripped his cane tighter: “And?”

Captain: “Well I wouldn’t worry. I’ve seen what actually happened and this looks like half the story. Do you think this is an attempt to cover up what happened?"

Studious: "It's possible but they might actually believe that. After all, an investigation was never launched."

Colburn: "But the worst part is now the whole fleet has half the story. We’d better send a message to Fleet Command or this could end very badly.”

Studious: "It could be a trick. Send no reply. Send no transmissions of any kind."

Colburn: “But Colonel if any other ship found you they might…”

Studious: “Yes but I’m not on any other ship. If you send a transmission they’ll know that you’re aware of what they’ve done. They then might try to destroy this ship just like the others. We’ve got the data tapes, the proof, and the truth.”

The helmsman interjected: “Sir, we’re approaching the Earth now.”

Colburn: “Good, we can clear all this up with Fleet Command in person.”



Just after the Altair came out of hyperspace over Earth Colburn and Studious simultaneously said with a shocked whisper.

Studious: “Dear God!”

Colburn: “My God!”

They exchanged a confused look and then quickly looked back toward the viewscreen.




Colburn turns to one of the bridge crew and says “Scan the debris.”

Studious looks at the viewscreen shocked at the devastation as the helmsman begins to list the destroyed ships “Looks like we’ve lost the Majestic, Sitak…”

The Colonel then looked to the far left of the viewscreen and his heart nearly stopped. He interrupted the helmsman’s list saying “Is that the Penelope?”

Colburn turned around to look at Studious but the old man was fixed staring at the dot on the screen.

Colburn: “You don’t think that…”

Studious: “Get us the hell out of here…..NOW!”

Colburn nodded to the helmsman who spun the ship around and jumped into hyperspace.

Colburn became focused and without looking at anyone began to walk saying “Colonel, my ready room.”

As they entered Colburn began looking at the data tapes on a computer tablet he had in front of him.

Colburn: “What kind of armaments did the Penelope have on board?”

Studious: “Not enough to do that sir.”

Colburn: “Can you be sure?………Colonel?”

Studious: “Sorry it’s just…”

Colburn: “I know, believe me I know, but we have a job to do.”

Studious: “Right.”

Colburn: “Now can you be sure the Penelope did not have enough armaments to do that?”

Studious: “No…..But we just saw an entire fleet destroyed out there. The Penelope could never have done that alone.”

Colburn reached up to his ear and radioed the bridge crew. “Did we get anything from the scans?”

Bridge Crewmember: “Yes Captain, Opiuchi ship debris was present.”

Studious: “Now the Opiuchi?”

Colburn: “This is all very strange. A rogue ship, the Orion Alliance and now the Opiuchi. Do you think all this could be related?”

Studious: “It’s possible. That alien mind control started the war with Alpha Centauri they might have started another war with the Ophiuchus Consortium.”

Colburn: “Great a rouge warship, two wars and the threat of mind control. Any suggestions on what I should do?”

Studious: “Well there are likely escape pods back there and the Penelope has a record for destroying those pods. I suggest you go back and try to save as many as you can.”

Colburn: “And if the Penelope fires on us. What then?”

Studious: “Well then I’d suggest retreat, but you have to at least try.”

Colburn: “You’re right. We need to bring those people hom…”

They both realized home wasn’t what it used to be.



Studious steadied himself and began to speak “Don’t let them know you’re on to them. They’ve killed to cover their tracks, they’ll do it again. I suggest that you hide the data tapes and don’t ever mention that I was aboard. I think if you do that you’ll be safe.”

Colburn: “Alright, but how are we going to hide you?”

Studious: “You’re not.”


Colburn: “What?”

Studious: “I’ve been reviewing the data tapes……here give me that.” The Colonel takes the computer tablet and scrolls to the information on the NI-7 dropship cleanup.

The old man says “right here and here” as he points to the tablet.

Colburn: “They’re just teeth?”

Studious: “The one’s that they were able to recover.”

Colburn: “What about them?”

Studious: “Every day we are alive our teeth accure lines.”

Colburn: “This is impossible, they only have one line. That means they were less than a day old.”

Studious: “Yes sir, but I have a theory.”

Colburn: “What’s that?”

Studious: “They’re copies, probably designed to infiltrate the UEF.”



Colburn starts to whisper “This is very important information.”

Studious whispers back “I suggest you set up a test to determine if there are any infiltrators aboard.”

Colburn: “You do realize I’m going to have to test you too.”

Studious: “Of course and you should tested as well.”

A tense silence followed.

Colburn then reached up to his ear and radioed sickbay. “I need a dentist in my ready room immediately.”

After a moment he continued. “Yes I mean a dentist!”

The dentist arrived and used a scanning device similar to a powerful x-ray but non-lethal. Checking both of them and then himself the dentist confirmed that no one in the ready room was an infiltrator.

Studious: "I suggest you start testing the entire crew."

Colburn: "Alright, Doctor I'd like you to begin testing. Remember test everyone that is aboard and anyone that ever comes aboard. Make up some excuse, but make sure it's believable."

The Doctor replied "Right away." and left to begin testing.

Studious: “Now that you know it’s really me I’d like permission to go back sir.”


Colburn: “Back where?”

Studious: “To that alien ship. NI-7 might still be alive.”

Colburn: “Well then I’ll tell helm to set a cour…”

Studious: “I think I should do this alone sir.”

Colburn: “What?”

Studious: “You need to rescue those survivors back over Earth and if I’m aboard I could endanger the entire ship. But I need to get to the bottom of this and that alien ship is the key.”

Colburn: “But you’ll need a ship with FTL capability if you want to go that far.”

Studious: “You wouldn’t happen to have one aboard would you?”

Colburn: “No we don’t.” Coburn then radioed the bridge. “Helm drop us out of hyperspace and check if there are any ships nearby.” Then turning back to Studious he said “Looks like we’ll just have to commandeer one.”

After a minute helm responded “Looks like we’ve got one, Liner 798 is sending out a distress signal sir.”

Colburn: “Take us toward them.”

Once in range the Captain told the small Cruise Liner to dock. All the passengers and crew were evacuated to be treated for any injuries and also tested by the dentist. Apparently the Liner had been over the Earth during the attack and was damaged but managed to jump away.

Studious prepared to leave taking with him all the gear necessary for a covert rescue operation. Colburn told him…

Colburn: “If the scans of that alien ship are any indication a small liner like this would be spotted and blown up a mile away. So we've taken the liberty of giving you a covert insertion pod. It'll launch out escape pod hatch 47. Plus here’s a copy of the data tapes. If you run into another UEF ship these might just save your life.”

Studious: “Thank you. Now Captain, when you go back I suggest you tell the Penelope that the reason you left so quickly was because you were responding to this ship’s distress signal. They’ll probably understand why you wouldn’t want to lug a damaged civilian ship around. Especially since it would mean getting back to the Earth would take longer with all the dead weight.

Studious continued “And about the Penelope crew, remember don’t believe them, don’t trust them…….Oh and Captain when I come back make sure you test me again.”

Colburn: “Will do…….Godspeed Colonel.”

Studious: “Watch your back sir.”

With that Studious left the ready room. Cane in hand he traveled to the docking hatch and boarded the Cruise Liner.

The Liner detached just before the Altair jumped back into hyperspace and back toward the Earth.

While Studious jumped toward the last known location of the alien vessel…

[edit on 20-7-2009 by Studious]



posted on Jul, 20 2009 @ 10:51 PM
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The Penelope held steady at the solar Lagrange point, allowing any active escape pods in the system to make their way to the safety it provided.

Less than 100 kilometers from the Penelope's position, a Nyx Class dropship de-cloaked and held position. It was badly damaged and was rolling in place slightly.

Suddenly, a personal hail to Captain M.F. Luder was initiated from the dropship.

[Captain Luder of the USS Penelope, my name is Steven Sorokov. I was formerly known as NI-Thanatos. I am a quantum computing theoretician and engineer. Naval Intelligence has entered into some kind of pact with the Ophiuchi Consortium. When Earth was attacked, NI just casually packed up and left. The Consortium totally ignored them.]

[As far as I am concerned, I ceased to be a part of NI when they sent a trio of state of the art Erebus Class attack craft to destroy your ship. I left Lagrange 1 when the battleships departed. Your presence here indicates that they haven't found you yet, and for that I am grateful.]

[Sir, I believe my son is still aboard your vessel. I... I have to tell him the truth before it's too late. Please, I beg you, let me aboard. Take me into custody if you wish. I will give you any information I can about NI so long as you give me some time with my son.]

[I've made many mistakes in my life, Captain... Many that I will take with me to the grave... But I can't let my life end without making peace with the only family that I have left.]

[Civilian Steven Sorokov requesting docking permission, Sir. Holding position until further notice.]



posted on Jul, 20 2009 @ 10:57 PM
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The rescue operation was time-consuming and the ship's crew had been at it for hours. Another shift had come on duty to help the already exhausted crews pulling in what seemed to be an endless stream of escape pods.

The launch bay crews had developed a system to pull a pod in, collect the occupants, then shove the pod back out into space. So far, there were roughly 3,000 survivors pulled from the wreckage left by the ships Neno had referred to as "Opiuchi". Luder looked out and saw there were still what appeared to be about 30-40 more pods floating out there.

From what had been gathered by the people already pulled on board, there were no survivors left from the military forces stationed at LaGrange 1. Every pod had carried with it a contingent of civilians holding a variety of jobs, medical personnel, reporters, teachers, dock workers, tradesmen, etc. Every one of them told the same tale.

The UEF military stationed on LaGrange 1 ordered the civilian occupants into the pods moments before the main brunt of the Opiuchi attack hit the station. The top commanders on the station were dead, killed by the invaders. No one knew anything of the other UEF ships that had jumped out of system or of where the Opiuchi were headed next.

Luder was mildly annoyed already at the fact several politicians had been raked on board along with the other civilians, and one in particular.... The vice-president of the UEF. Mary Brandom. She had made quite a fuss after being told the civilians were restricted to the guest housing areas and the medical bays until further notice. She and several others wanted to come get in the middle of everything on the bridge. Luder chewed the inside of his cheek thinking about this entire thing.

"Sir, we just picked up the signal of a ship nearby, it jumped in, did a sniff, and jumped back out." Varlas said, looking over at Luder.

"Any ID on it?" Luder asked.

"Sir, it was the USS Altair, a small medical transport. Probably thought we did this, or didn't see us here. She's gone now."

Luder shook his head. Could have used the assistance, that was for sure. He picked up his com and switched to a private channel.

"Neno, we're going to need to come to some type of conclusion on the why's and what's of what all has taken place and everyone's roles in it. The sooner the better." Luder put the comm back on his belt.

"Communications, open a fleet-wide channel."

"Sir, I'm sorry, but our communications are still down from when you blew them during our encounter with the NI ships. We cannot effect repairs ourselves, we'll need technicians from a UEF dock to do it." Varlas said, frowning.

Luder slapped his forehead. He forgot pushing the overrides to lock out what the NI guys could hear just before the fight with them. That little move had probably blown the back up arrays too. The only thing still functioning was the Galactic Interweb interface, and that wouldn't do for this situation.

He walked over to the command station and took a seat, watching the overheads as the crews continued to work on pulling people aboard.

Slayer, Badger. I am hereby authorizing you and your crews to effect salvage operations. We need to resupply our water, CO2 and food, and I am sure we could use a lot of spare parts. Do what you can, but remember we are working against the clock here. I would like to have everyone on board if those ships show up again. Luder out.



posted on Jul, 20 2009 @ 11:11 PM
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Originally posted by SeekerOfAUTMN
The Penelope held steady at the solar Lagrange point, allowing any active escape pods in the system to make their way to the safety it provided.

Less than 100 kilometers from the Penelope's position, a Nyx Class dropship de-cloaked and held position. It was badly damaged and was rolling in place slightly.

Suddenly, a personal hail to Captain M.F. Luder was initiated from the dropship.

[Captain Luder of the USS Penelope, my name is Steven Sorokov. I was formerly known as NI-Thanatos. I am a quantum computing theoretician and engineer. Naval Intelligence has entered into some kind of pact with the Ophiuchi Consortium. When Earth was attacked, NI just casually packed up and left. The Consortium totally ignored them.]

[As far as I am concerned, I ceased to be a part of NI when they sent a trio of state of the art Erebus Class attack craft to destroy your ship. I left Lagrange 1 when the battleships departed. Your presence here indicates that they haven't found you yet, and for that I am grateful.]

[Sir, I believe my son is still aboard your vessel. I... I have to tell him the truth before it's too late. Please, I beg you, let me aboard. Take me into custody if you wish. I will give you any information I can about NI so long as you give me some time with my son.]

[I've made many mistakes in my life, Captain... Many that I will take with me to the grave... But I can't let my life end without making peace with the only family that I have left.]

[Civilian Steven Sorokov requesting docking permission, Sir. Holding position until further notice.]


Permission granted Mr. Sorokov. Please proceed to Command Center direct bay 1 and hold position in that bay until security arrives to escort you to the command center. Luder out.



posted on Jul, 21 2009 @ 02:00 AM
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Slayer, Badger. I am hereby authorizing you and your crews to effect salvage operations. We need to resupply our water, CO2 and food, and I am sure we could use a lot of spare parts. Do what you can, but remember we are working against the clock here. I would like to have everyone on board if those ships show up again. Luder out.

Luders’ voice had taken Badger by surprise. With the stress of overwhelming tragedy and little sleep his mind had begun to shut down and wander. He had been thinking about chocolate cake and tequila for some strange reason. The mind will go to great lengths to cope with unusual situations.
The losses had been staggering and his scanners were showing few signs of life left out there. Most of the survivors were already on board the Penelope.

Badger shook his head and looked around at the mess. The wing had been on retrieval duty for hours. Most of the active escape pods had been recovered. The wing was spread out through the debris field. The fighters were scanning for life signs and when they found survivors transmitted the coordinates to the dash tens who would tow them in using inertial generators. Everybody was tired but there was more work to do.

Badger addressed the wing on the open channel.

“OK boys and girls. You heard the man. Scavenger hunt. Find the useful stuff. “

“Wally?”

“Yeah Boss?”

Stay near the Penelope and help herd the last pods into the bays.

“Gotcha.”

“Nasty.”

“Yes?”

“You’re with me. We’re going to poke around those Opie ship remains and see what we find.”

“Rodger that.”






[edit on 21-7-2009 by badgerprints]



posted on Jul, 21 2009 @ 03:39 AM
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Slipping my feet into the PHARS the interior immediately molded around by body encouraging me to slide completely into the machine.



‘Welcome Home ATS Silo, if you’ll just relax we’ll begin a scan of your system, on three...’ The pods calming voice began a countdown as the lid to the PHARS closed and sealed shut.

A momentary plague of claustrophobia flashed through me but was instantly replaced by calm as I gave into the soothing fingers of light probing my body from top and bottom.

‘Why this is wonderful,‘ I murmured closing my eyes. When the machine replied again I startled, lurched, hit my head and my already bruised antenna on the top dome of the closed station.

‘We had hoped you’d find it so ATS Silo’

‘What! Does everything around here talk?’ I grumbled settling back into place on the mat which like a living thing molded back around the contours of my body .

‘Yes, I 'talk'. Of course it’s important to ask you questions and evaluate your mental status. Why, did you think I was just a machine ATS Silo?’

‘Well, er, yes, actually I did.’ I replied honestly.

‘Well, you guessed wrong.’ The machine chuckled and continued it’s scan.

‘’And you can drop the Attendant To Ship title please, I‘m just Silo.’ This time the voice remained silent.

Moments later as I dozed the machine finished it’s probing and went to work on my antenna taking away the pain that had been my constant grief for far too long.

****

‘Silo, you can wake up now.’ A voice prodded gently at my conscience.

Yawning and opening my eyes it took a moment to figure out where I was. The PHARS was open, I’d turned in my sleep onto my belly and I could still see the Yydryl Fighter from huge round viewing screen.

‘Thank you PHARS’ I yawned again, clambering out of the pod.

‘Silo, while you were sleeping I took the opportunity to make a thorough back up of your system. If at any time you suffer an critical injury your ‘self’ as you know it at this moment will be saved here in your pod. Good health to you ATS Silo, it was a pleasure healing you.’

With that the pod shut with a sound like a lock closing and settled back glowing the soft lilac I found so pleasing.

‘Well, If what the PHARS had told me wasn’t so creepy it would be comforting,’ I thought to myself making my way to the side of the room poking through cabinets looking for something to wear.

After sliding into a purple filmy two-skin I’d discovered hanging in an armoire I padded barefooted over to a tray of food, took a bowl of pretzels and goblet of wine with me, and made my way to the Intergalactic Web Station.

Not since LAB was I able to get access to the Web and I had so much I wanted to do! See how Earth was faring, look for information on Captain Cadbury and Antar’s Father, see if I could hook up to LAB somehow, my metal list of tasks was endless.

Settling into the chair I cringed and waited for the station to say something, sighing with relief when it did not.
Wondering if I’d remember all I’d been taught back at LAB during Web classes I placed my hand on the console.

Pretzels went flying the goblet all but slipped through my fingers.

‘ATS Silo! Welcome to the Intergalactic Web. You’ve got Mail.’

‘Ugh!’

[edit on 21-7-2009 by silo13]



posted on Jul, 22 2009 @ 05:43 AM
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“Ship, I need to talk to you.' I asked sitting in place at the control board.

‘Hello Silo, what would you like to talk about...’

‘An UEF Alert is coming through and it concerns the attack on the Yydryl.’ I told her while skimming the document.

‘Send a copy to Deson and inform Chumley’ Replied Ship easily.

‘Do you think this Studious might be on his way here? Coming back I mean?’ I asked trying to mask my concern.

‘Silo, the galaxy is a lot smaller than one might think. And, as fate allows, lightning does strike in the same place more than once, so, who can say?'

‘The arrest warrant reads this Studious should be detained...’

‘He’s not even here Silo. Why are you worried about this? Do you wish him aboard?’ The question was honest and I replied in kind, slowly, but the words came.

‘Ship, I don’t ‘wish’ him aboard. It’s true I’m drawn to the U-Mans. It’s also true I used to loose my head a bit when they’re around but, that was before...’

‘Before?’ Obviously Ship wanted some clarification.

Reddening I thought Ship was referring to my encounter with the man on Earth. ‘It goes back to the attack on the Yydryl, not Earth,’ I added hastily and continued.

‘Ship., the last thing I saw? I thought I saw them burning alive and it ...hurt.’ I settled for using the most inadequate word I could find.
Needless to say those were some of the longest and worst hours I’ve spent in my life.’ I let out a sigh of pent up emotion before going on.

‘The crew from the Penelope seemed to have a good reason to come aboard, to parlay for the release of their crew mate. Why it turned into an attack I don‘t know. Why? Because the Captain of the Penelope never explained a thing! He just left the area and did so without one word to us!‘ I finished with a high note in my voice.

‘And what do you sum up from all those facts? What’s your conclusion from the information we know at this point? Ship pondered along with me.

‘That this Studious might have a reason for what he did, a reason for his mutiny, and could have a very good reason to have escaped.’

‘Agreed.’ Ship muttered still thinking.

‘But in all fairness there’s something we don’t know. What about the diplomatic pack the Captain sent? The one that intruder tried to erase. What was that all about?‘ I leaned back ready to listen and learn.

‘Ah yes that little incident‘ Ship let out a full laugh this time.

‘Silo, either delusions of grandeur brought him here, or an active unit from the dark side sent him. Regardless, as soon as he came aboard he tried, I stress tried, to infiltrate me.’ Ship gave another laugh.

‘Oh, he had powers, don't get me wrong, but, he wasn’t as strong as he thought. He attempted to interface with my inner-self and even went as far as to try to restructure me. I played possum and allowed him access, to some extent, in order to find out how strong he really was and though I gleamed some new technology? In the end I rendered the intruder harmless.‘
Ship ended the diatribe on a clear note. Case closed.

‘Now Silo, how about we have a listen to that diplo-pack from the Penelope? Pull it up on your console and let’s take a listen.’

While punching in the codes Ship gave me to retrieve the information the intruder had tried to erase, I still had to ask, though I wasn’t sure if I would get an answer.

‘Ship, where is the intruder, and the other one that came aboard while CindyMars and I were away from Ship?’

‘They’re gone Silo.’

Gone?

Whatever that meant I could ask later, for now the diplomatic packet from the Penelope began to play, the voice of Captain Luder filling the room.


[edit on 22-7-2009 by silo13]



posted on Jul, 24 2009 @ 05:51 AM
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So, it’s all there in the diplomatic packet.’ I slapped my thighs and backed up from the console. ‘Not only did Captain Luder warn us, but, wished us well.’

‘It would seem so wouldn’t it Silo.’ Ship didn’t sound enthused by the Captain’s actions but didn’t sound as if she would censored him either.

‘But why wasn’t Captain Scurvy involved in this? We're supposed to believe he just up and abandoned ship at the first sign of a fight?’ Running my hand over the console I focused the screen returning it to a full view of the Yydryl, the home I’d grown to love.

‘I don’t know what to tell you Silo but it isn’t the first time a Captain has abandoned ship as you well know.’

‘Sure I do, but you know what I don't get is why that intruder tried to erase the information. Could there be something embedded in the pack we don't hear?’ I wasn’t satisfied.

‘It’s over Silo, don’t go looking for trouble.’ Normally Ship would have made light of my curiosity, but not today. I made myself a mental note to take the packet to Deson for a thorough exam.

Not missing a beat I was right back on target with Ship.
‘But still, don’t you know everything going on aboard? Aren't you aware of, well, everything?‘ I assumed she did know, but, for reasons I wasn’t even sure of I stopped before asking the ultimate question on my mind; what did she know about the disappearance of crew and Captains aboard the Yydryl.

‘Silo, I don’t read minds, nor do I baby-sit the crew. I would have intervened had those U-Mans faced burning alive with no escape, but don’t forget, the intruders were the ‘Captain’s’ responsibility to deal with, not mine.’ Ship replied pointedly but sounded strangely flat and flippant at the same time.

My inner sense of caution prickled to life, the feeling I got just before I usually morphed into the closest object. Ships hollow words and attitude of detachment mingled with what seemed to be scorn was throwing me.

Sinking my toes into the thick shag rug I wondered where Carpet was before remembering he wasn’t free to roam my quarters any longer. Sinking my feet farther into the rug I hesitated for a moment then allowed the tips of my toes to morph into Ship’s floor.

Strangely Ship didn’t seem to notice and went on talking.
Maybe she couldn’t ‘feel’ everything after all I thought.
The realization astounded me.

'Silo, maybe I better explain.' She went on, ’ As you know I'm as alive as you are, but I didn’t start out like you see me now. Far from it in fact.’ Ship took pause before continuing.

Letting my feet morph farther into the floor I began comparing her voice to what lay behind her voice, what I could ‘feel’ coming off of her as she spoke. I wasn’t reading her mind per se but I was feeling what was behind her words, the things she didn‘t say.

It didn't take long to realize what Ship was telling me, and what the shadowy emotions inside her was showing me, were two different things all together.




[edit on 24-7-2009 by silo13]



posted on Jul, 24 2009 @ 05:55 AM
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~~~ Yydryl ~~~

Ship continued the recounting of her early life while I listened.
Keeping my feet morphed into her floor I tried to gleam parts of the story she wasn’t telling, and hopefully all without her knowledge.

‘Silo, I’m one of the first intergalactic ‘live’ vessels designed by LAB. I’m the prototype for S.H.I.P to be precise.’

‘Ship,’ she went on, ‘stands for Symbiotic Homophoric, meaning self specifying, Intergalactic Propulsion System, or Ship.

Intergalactic because I wasn't designed for dimensional travel but I wouldn't rule it out, I‘ve come a long way since I slipped the space dock at LAB. Anyway, I was created to fill a need for a vessel that was adaptable and compatible with the diversity of crew and bridge personnel.

The Orion Empire, as it so happens, was having the same problem. After many lost vessels due to pilot vs. ship interactive error they were growing increasingly frantic to come up with a more flexible form of Starship and at the same time searching for a design that would effectively cut down on mechanical failure, repair time, increase interfacing and to reduce dependency on live crew members.

When the O.E approached LAB they stressed it was imperative LAB come up with a Ship design could interact seamlessly with various life forms as the physical ‘uniqueness’ of individual Captains and crews made it difficult for the Rigelians to have a standard type vessel.

What the O.E didn’t know was what they'd asked LAB to create was already flying. S.H.I.P.
I’d passed my maiden voyage and for years has been making cargo runs with technicians aboard but LAB still considered me too immature to spring on the O.E so they kept me a secret. In their collective opinion I lacked growth and flight time before LAB could present me as a finished product. And that’s where the problem came in. Funding.

With minimal allowance and no payment for LAB until I flew a positive test flight under a O.E test pilot there was the question of how I was going to get training. One of the LAB officials came up with a plan to quietly put me out on lease for circumspect private missions. I flew what amounted to me as training flights, these generated funds and with each mission I was one step closer to a O.E test flight.

Later I took on droids to help with crews, then passengers as demanded by independent contractors but it wasn’t until LAB made the decision I was ready to present to the O.E that Deson came aboard. Deson‘s responsible for directing me in the streamlining of my exterior, fitting me with conventional weapons that interact with my bioengineering and implementing symbiotic docking bays that work both mechanically and bio-mechanically After all that Deson fitted me with weapons and Deson Fighters that are strictly conventional weapons of war, not S.H.I.P.S like me.‘

The hairs on my neck rose as I felt the undercurrent of Ships emotions rising up through her in a storm of conflict.
She didn't hesitate to display positive emotions and respect for the Armor Deson but there was something about the fighters she had a deep aversion to. She succeeded well in keeping any sign of loathing from her dialog, but not from her deeper emotions which at the moment I was privy to.

‘Then came the test flight.‘ Ship cringed but once again her voice revealed none of her internal strife.

‘To say the flight went badly would be a gross understatement. Save me the embarrassment of recounting the incident and allow me to sum it up simply by saying the pilot did not submit a favorable report to the O.E which is now the Orion Alliance. Subsequently between the negative recommendation by the test pilot and LAB’s refusing to sell me at a lower cost the deal was never consummated.’ She finished with another pause I could feel in truth was more like a staying of anger.

‘And now, what about now, with loosing the Captains? Who were they flying for? Private factions or the Orion Alliance?’ I asked but Ship continued as if I wasn’t even in the room.

‘Silo, there were no regulations on S,H.I.P.S until after the O.A test pilot flew with me once, just once.
Since then the O.A has come down so hard with regulations pertaining to 'live vessels' I doubt you’ll ever see a ’free flyer’ like me again. As for the other two like me? They were completely destroyed.’

Ships internal strife increased but she bluffed her way through and continued.

‘I was rejected by the O.A, and not just rejected, they wanted me scrapped. LAB intervened. Now, since they can’t destroy me they send me out when a Captain needs a ‘specialized‘ vessel. In other words one that’s expendable.‘

Now more than even I was certain something had taken place during her test flight, the O.A test pilot and Ship. Something she not only refused to talk of, but something she feared.

‘And to answer the question you asked before concerning the Captains? It’s a coincidence Silo. Yes, I’ve matured where I don't require a Captain any longer but missing Captains and crew on the Yydryl? It’s just a coincidence.’

Coincidence?’ As much as I didn’t want to admit the possibility it was becoming obvious Ships refusal to submit to authority might have something to so with the disappearance of Captains and crew of the Yydryl.

‘So Ship, what now? What do we do now?’ I repeated when Ship didn’t answer.

But Ship didn’t answer.

[edit on 24-7-2009 by silo13]



posted on Jul, 24 2009 @ 03:51 PM
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With the Altair heading back to Earth Studious got a sick feeling. He hoped the small light cruiser wouldn’t be destroyed by the Penelope.


An alarm broke him away from his concern.
A computerized voice told him softly “Warning, engine core 2 critical.”

Studious yelled aloud “What!” thinking “This thing must have been more beat up than I thought.”

The computerized voice continued “Eject engine core 2. Eject engine core 2.” The message repeated.

Studious thought as ejected the damaged engine core “Well at least this ship can eject it.” Knowing the explosion would destroy and unshielded and unarmored civilian ship the Colonel jumped back into hyperspace using engine core 1. Heading along his previous course toward the last known location of the alien vessel.

The Cruise Liner was hit by the blast wave from the destroyed engine core. Accelerating the ship far beyond what the ship was usually capable of. The old man was pushed forward but was able to recover quickly. Checking the navigation systems he found he was close to where the alien ship had been before.

The Colonel thought “They said this could happen but I never believed them. I guess ships can be sent further and faster by riding a blast wave.”

Studious was now only minutes away, by hyperspace, of sensor range of the planet. Traveling that distance he took the ship to the other side of the planet and turned off as many systems as possible. Hiding a small civilian ship would be difficult but he hoped it would be enough.

The Colonel donned his gear including a vest and a submachine gun attached to it.

The old man then stepped into the small insertion pod and laid down thinking “This is more like a coffin than a ship.”

He then strapped himself in knowing that a travel in an insertion pod is a very rough ride. He then launched the pod and after several minutes began to get close to the alien vessel.

As he approached the middle of the ship he thought “I’ll head through this large empty space and then scan for the team around that are…”

Suddenly the ship crashed into what he had assumed had been empty space. The ship rocked around violently as it passed through the outer layer of the ship. Then Studious could feel he had passed from a micro-gravity environment to an artificial gravity environment. Because the small pod began to plummet. Activating the small landing thrusters he was able to slow down just enough not to impact the surface with deadly force. He crashed into a large mountain of sand and dirt which cushioned his fall.

Before he opened the pod he checked to see if the air was breathable. Oddly enough the impact caused by the pod was not causing catastrophic decompression as would be expected. He thought “Apparently “this organic ship has repaired itself.”

Then frightening thought hit him. “or they’re expecting me.”

He opened the pod to find a gigantic internal area of the ship. Studious was shocked because from the outside this area appeared to be completely devoid of anything.

He stood and said aloud “Cane, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore.”
Looking up he stood in awe at the sheer size of what existed in this hidden space, before he realized what he was standing on. Taking a small sample he brought it to the pod to test it. To his surprise its composition was that of soil on the Earth.

He looked at his cane and said “Maybe I spoke too soon. This place is more like Kansas than I thought.”

Studious looked around thinking “First duplicates of UEF personnel and now a large area with soil that is exactly like the Earth. This could be a training ground for their infiltrators.

He laughed thinking of infiltrator munchkins.

Then realizing the seriousness of this thought. This place might help them understand how to blend in. Giving them a chance to see how the Earth looks……looked.”

Taking out a small tracking device from his a pouch on his vest he began searching for the ID chips implanted in all NI personnel. He had planned to scan before boarding the ship but since he crashed he had to scan now.
He began to have the odd feeling he was being watched but continued to scan and search the surrounding area.

After quite some time had passed, NI-7’s ID chips showed up on his scanner. They were behind a wall bordering the large “duplicate training ground” as he thought of it.

Pulling a local anesthetic from his vest he injected the wall but after a few moments he realized that it was not working. The section was simply too large for such a small local anesthetic. Taking a topical anesthetic container from his vest he spread the cream over a small portion of the wall. Then taking his standard issue knife began to cut a hole just big enough to walk through. The topical anesthetic worked, Studious reasoned, because he was like a dentist applying the topical anesthetic before injecting the needle. Knowing that considering the size of the creature that the hole he was cutting would be similar to just the size of a needle.

After cutting away a hole just big enough to pass through he climbed through it. Once on the other side he was in near pitch blackness with only the small hole providing any light. Taking his weapon he turned on the flashlight attached to it and began to look around the small room. With only the light from his flashlight and the small hole he had cut.

The Colonel found no doors or light fixtures in this small dark space. He began to wonder how the crew ever used this area, if they used it.
He searched around the room only able to see what was directly in front of the flashlight attached to his gun.

What he saw next made him jump backwards. He saw Ackerman cocooned into the wall of the ship in front of him.

Then turning his gun to the right he saw Evans and then Monroe and finally Nathan. They were all built into the side of the ship. But continuing to look further to the right he saw three more cocoons.

Moving closer to it Studious couldn’t see very well what who was inside. Assuming it must be another captured UEF crewman he pulled the membranes aside and what he saw made his face turn pale white. It was another alien. This one had a mechanical suit attached to it.

Studious assumed that they must be making duplicates of races outside the UEF. Wondering how many duplicates these aliens had created and among how many other groups. The UEF, these mechanical aliens and perhaps the Opiuchi.


He checked the next cocoon and found that it was a human with civilian clothes.

Moving to the third cocoon he was shocked. It was the same type as the aliens that had captured him.

Studious said aloud “Why would they cocoon their own?”

Then he noticed the small light coming from the hole he had cut blink out for a second. After that he heard a noise behind him and he could feel he was being watched.

The Colonel then spun pointing his flashlight and weapon toward the noise...

[edit on 25-7-2009 by Studious]



posted on Jul, 25 2009 @ 12:04 PM
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As I emerged from the escape pod, I looked around the ship in great awe. I had narrowly escaped burning up in earths atmosphere. On a trajectory heading directly into the planet, I had sent out a distress call and luckily this ship had reached me just in time. I do not remember how exactly I got to my escape pod or even why I went to it.

I looked around the medical bay and asked one of the nurses where I was.

Mr. Toodles
Nurse, where am I?

Nurse
You are in the medical bay of the USS Penelope. Your escape pod almost didn't make it.

Mr. Toodles
Yeah I know. I cannot thank you enough for your care and for your ship responding to the distress call. Can you tell me where the ship is heading now?

Nurse
I am afraid you will have to talk to the captain about that.

Mr. Toodles
Ok, thank you again.

I could not be sure how long I was passed out, or even how long I had been on the USS Penelope. Once I hit the distress button in my pod, I jumped into the stasis chamber just in case I didn't make it. I for one, did NOT want to be awake when I burned alive in earths upper Atmosphere.

After a few hours in the guest quarters, I had decided to talk to the captain about my Joining the Penelope crew. There was nothing left for me on earth, my last ship was completely destroyed in an invasion of unknown assailants. I was Chief Science officer and even my technological expertise was no match for the brute force. Perhaps this captain will be gracious and allow me to start a new life for myself.



posted on Jul, 26 2009 @ 11:23 AM
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Breaking my subtle morph contact with Ship I trotted to the end of my quarters and called for Carpet who was never far from my door.
Leaving the port open I padded my way back to the viewing monitor.

‘What’s wrong Silo?’ Carpet asked the soft bio-shag rustling as he approached where I sat at my console.

‘I wish I knew. Ship and I were talking and she just stopped, no warning, she just stopped.’ I complained worriedly. ’Carpet, where's the crew?’

‘Deson’s in the Armory, Chumley was resting as you ordered and that Swarg’s back on deck.‘ Carpet clearly wasn’t thrilled with the Ensign.

‘Delia was last seen speaking with the Occupant of the escape craft the Intruder allowed on board Ship, but since yesterday none of them can be found. Cim is preparing to leave Ship, if she hasn’t left already and Antar the Healer? Carpet sighed, ‘I’ve no idea.’

‘Thank you. Would you get Chumley in here please.’ I forced my voice to sound calm.

The ‘Intruder’ and ‘Occupant’ must be the ones who Ship had referred to earlier as ‘gone‘. But who was this Delia? My instincts told me she was ‘gone’ with the other two. Turning back to the viewing screen and with a stroke of my fingers set the Auto-Scan and began a visual check of the Yydryl shell.

Moments later Chumley entered my quarters and stood silently at attention waiting for my notice.

‘Chumley, have you had a chance to analyze the blood you found on the floor of the Recovery Bay?’ Eyes still glued to the full view of the Yydryl on my screen I had my back to the door but my antenna tuned on the guard.

‘Yes Silo.’

‘And?’

‘It’s Healer Antar’s blood.’

‘No Way!’ I spat, ‘Are you sure it’s Antar’s blood, I mean how did you analyze the it?‘ Giving poor Chumley no chance to explain I carped on.

‘I’m an idiot, that’s what I am! Why did I ask YOU to do an analysis? You‘re a guard not a doctor,‘ I giggled inappropriately, ‘but we don’t have a doctor do we!’ I stifled another giggle horrified at myself. This was no time to get hysterical.

Interrupted by a pointed cough and a voice I didn’t recognize I should have been thankful. I was not.

‘Yes?’ I called over my shoulder all four of my eyes darting back to view screen where I was sure I’d detected a tiny flash of light break from Ships inner shell.

‘Ensign Swarg here ATS Silo. I confirmed Healer Antar is missing after performing a full scan of Ship only moments after being apprised of the...’

‘Yes, yes, whatever, thank you Swarg.’ I spoke over his pompous voice administering a verbal brush off. His inflated sense of importance set me on edge and made me wonder why he was in my quarters.

‘And Chumley,’ I called to the guard, ‘You still haven't told me how you confirmed the BLOOD WAS ANTAR’S!’ I barked.

‘I tasted it.’ He grunted.

Spinning on my heals I faced the huge Rigelian who stood there calmly blinking.

‘You WHAT!’ I bellowed at his navel and he took a step back.

‘I tasted it.’ He repeated.

‘Oh for Creators sake has everyone gone completely mental! Get out, all of you! Report to the bridge and don’t leave until I get there! Now go! I shouted waving my hands before me to get them moving.

‘And Chumley’ I asked in hushed tones while waiting for the annoying Swarg creature to follow my orders and move beyond ear shot.

‘Yes Silo’ Chumley responded his lips quivering for all they were worth looking like two fat slugs fighting to lay along the same cleft above his chin.

‘Don‘t you even THINK of crying!’ I bellowed again then ran my hands through my hair and spoke quietly and with all the kindness I could muster real and feigned.

‘Wait. I’m sorry.‘ I breathed. ‘Chum, hun, really, just keep an eye on that Swarg fellow and get yourself off to the bridge. Go on now. And Chumley,‘ I added laying my hand on his tentacle, ‘I’m counting on you.’
My moment of kindness was rewarded when he looked on me with pride before lumbering off to do his duty.
With a snort of disbelief I turned back to the console.

‘Carpet, what in the gwarks going on here!?’ I groused shutting down the monitors.

‘I wish I could tell you...’ Carpet answered softly as he lay a path before my feet.

‘None of this makes a bit of sense at all.‘ I cried out distracted and frustrated wondering if I’d find some answers to Ship’s silence on the bridge.

’Carpet, did Ship give you any hint she was about to stop communicating, and clue?’ I asked as I stepped over the threshold to the command center.
When Carpet didn’t answer I realized I’d left him off at the door and swore in that moment I’d have the fibers from the Yydryl halls extended onto the bridge floor if it was the last thing I did.

Shaking my head in frustration I called out an order for Swarg to bring up a ‘live’ view on the monitor. The 180 degree wide floor to ceiling portal wrapped around the lower bridge acting as a viewing screen as well as a window to space. As huge as it was I kept my antenna focused there waiting to begin monitoring the Yydryl from the command post.

Slipping into a chair centered in the middle of a smaller raised deck I ran my hand over the palm console mounted in the arm rest and smiled when a small holograph of the Yydryl materialized before me. Turning it this way and that with a twitch of my finger I played with the miniature Yydryl and wondered if I’d really seen a flash of light off her shell.

‘Swarg, I’m still waiting on that live view.’ My eyes on the screen, my antenna now focused behind me I watched Swarg pull a face before responding.

‘Yes ATS Silo.’ His replied snidely.

‘Get that look off your face mister or you’ll find yourself in the brig.’ I shot back in response to the oily insolence in his voice.

Turning in my direction Swarg all but stomped his way to the command chair where I'd come slowly to my feet.
For whatever reason Ensign Swarg wanted confrontation and I wasn’t about to disappoint him.
‘And by who’s orders will I ‘go to the brig‘?’ he snarled looming over me his eyes narrowing, his voice all but dripping venom.

Assuming I’d be intimidated by his nearness Swarg had completely invaded my space.
Wrong move Ensign.

‘By who’s authority?’ I repeated cheerfully, readying myself, ‘By Mine!’

Calling back on my mud-wrestling days and before Swarg knew what I was about I morphed my hand into the area below his security belt where my fingers quickly found the weakest part of the Ensign’s anatomy. Grasping the two soft egg shapes nestled up under his groin I gave them a crushing squeeze.

Dropping to his knees, his face gray and mottled, his mouth gaping open the Ensign choked back saliva and began a keening moan his head nodding to the floor.

‘What are you about!’ I hissed snatching my hand back from inside the Ensign like I’d had been scalded.

There was something drastically wrong with Swarg, something grotesque inhabiting his body like a parasite, a thing so hideous I felt my throat clog with bile.
In my morph with the Ensign I sensed some type of implant so repulsive and invasive I knew I’d inadvertently stumbled on the problem causing his erratic behavior, maybe even the problem we were having with Ship.

Chumley’s eyes caught mine as he entered the bridge and he read the situation perfectly. Drawing his weapon and taking aim on the creature huddled at my feet the Rigelian guard moved with a speed belying his bulk, flew to my side, and positioned himself between me and the fallen Ensign.

‘Silo?’ He asked for a command.

Holding up my hand to stop Chumley from firing I told the guard to wait. ‘Hold on! He’s no threat at the moment.‘ Looking down at Swarg’s shaking form I didn’t feel the least culpable for his condition.

‘Chumley, you said you analyzed the blood and found it was Antar’s by tasting it. What else can you taste?’ My voice conveyed my urgency and though I was revolted I was in no position to be weak.

‘Everything.’ Chumley responded matter-of-factly.

‘Taste him.’ I commanded pointing at the Ensign wondering if I’d be able to keep my eyes open to witness what I’d ordered Chumley to do.

Swarg gazed up at me with a look of pure terror before beginning a mad crawl away from the guard and I while letting out little cries of fear.

In two steps Chumley had the Ensign by one leg and raised high above his head.
Dangling Swarg’s face only inches from his own Chumley smiled a mouthful of deadly green teeth, gave the Ensign a vicious shake, then a full face lick with a tongue as long and thick as my arm.

Screaming and beating at the air the Ensign struggled to get away. Chumley obliged by tossing the terrified Swarg to the ground where he lay quietly.

‘And?’ I waited fascinated and relieved at once. I’d been sure Chumley was going to take a bite of the Ensign.

‘He’s dirty. He’s got something dirty in him. Something bad.’ The guard spat viciously wiping the inside of his mouth with his tentacle then rubbing the spittle off on the front of his chest.

‘Good work, take him to the brig. Oh, and Chum,’ I said for the Ensign’s ears, ‘If he tries to escape? Eat him.’ I winked at Chumley who looked at me queerly probably thinking I had something in my eye.

Running a hand over my mouth to hide a smile at the sour look on Chumley’s face I watched him prod the prisoner off the bridge and felt sure Swarg would give us no problems while I figured out how to help him.

Returning to the command chair I flung myself down to poke at the intercom in hopes I’d find Deson in the Armory. While waiting for him to respond I summoned a working droid and commanded it to get some rug fibers growing from the hallway onto the bridge without delay.

The next time I sat in this chair it would be with Carpet at my side.


[edit on 26-7-2009 by silo13]



posted on Jul, 27 2009 @ 04:14 PM
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The sensation was overwhelming even for an empath. The perception of floating in space in a darkened circular tunnel was bewildering.

Yet continuing forward to where she had first seen the light was where her full attention was focused.

At some point the tunnel must have begun narrowing and it caused not pain but the awareness of it as she hit her head as the pass began to not only narrow but become shorter, much shorter than her.

Gravity was starting to dissipate and she found herself in what could only be sensed as a floating down the passage grabbing with her arms the slimy walls to pull her self further into the depths of the small cloister.

No longer able to reach into her pockets for the Hydration crystals, antar wondered how long she could continue before complete dehydration set upon her. she had eaten a sufficient amount of nutrition tabs prior to leaving her home on Rigel to sustain her for months.

Had it been months? Strange questions began to surface as she slithered onward. How long had she been captured in this grey void of nothingness? At what point does she give up on this direction and move backwards?

Suddenly a sharp pain hit her square between the eyebrows and an alternate reality opened which sent her spirit flying fast through an endless open sky filled with massive planets, moons and a tremendous vibration in a deep bass tone.

Falling, or flying it was a relief to see something anything again after her timeless stint in the grey caverns. Watching the scenes go by and feeling the winds gently caressing her face and hair she breathed in what had to be an illusion, yet at the same time seemed like a blessing from an untouched time in eternity.

The super novas and gamma ray bursts, gave way to swirling masses of black holes which sucked in and spit out entire solar systems and gave birth to new galaxies through the white holes they were born from.

Spiraling through the scenes flashing before her she fell into complete surrender to the vulnerability of the experience.

Until finally after flying around and between millions of stars and planets she began a descent to the planet of her birth, there she saw the single cell which began all life on her planet, to the very root of life itself, deep within the red oceans and into the various life forms springing into reality until it all began to slow down and now taking the first step onto shore as some type of sea creature with webbed feet.

Sensing and feeling every nuisance of the birth of her home world and of the origins of its very beginnings time began once again to speed up at an almost impossible rate to keep up with in her mind, and she melted with all the species from recorded and unrecorded history.

It ended as she felt herself within the womb of her Mother, the time of birth had come and with the knowing she let out a loud and lasting primal scream from the depths of her soul.

When the scream ended, she was at the end of the tunnel looking out into a world beyond understanding, beyond anything she could have imagined.



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