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The Voyages of the Penelope and the Yydryl

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posted on Oct, 1 2009 @ 08:18 AM
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"I am requesting access to Yydryl’s main computer core. I have information regarding the assailants who destroyed the earth.


The message from the Penelope broke communications silence.

Snapping back to reality from our joking and story telling CindyMars Chumley and I looked back and forth at each other grimacing and rolling our eyes.

Making a slashing motion with her hand CindyMars cut us to silence while inching forward to the communication panel.

Even after making sure there was no way the Penelope could hear us CindyMars still kept her voice at a whisper.

‘Silo? What do you think? Ships not responding again, and...’

I cut her off, ‘And there’s no way we’re going to let the Penelope into the core of Ship! Haven't they done enough!’ I spat out under my breath trying to keep quiet and failing miserably.

Chumley inched forward his thick slug like mouth ripped in a thin line of anger nodded in agreement.

Pointing to the communication panel and then at his own head Chumley repeated the motion, then repeated it again, this time pointing to his chest.

‘You?’ I spent my breath on an exhale. ‘You want us to connect the Penelope’s core scan and download to you!? I mouthed, barely above a whisper, my head already shaking in the negative.

Nodding like his neck would break Chumley squeezed his way into the communication chair, puffed out his chest and from under his vest opened his personal bypass panel, exposing simple input and outut sockets.

That it would be as easy as plugging in a droid crossed my mind, but, I didn’t want to think of it. Chumley was Chumley, not some droid in a great hulking package I’d grown to love.

With a lump in my throat I nodded to Chumley, reached for the manual by-pass connectors and readied to plug the huge Regellian into Ship’s computer.

CindyMars, equally as disturbed by the prospect, and with angst showing in her eyes, nodded an affirmative, cued the communications responder and gave me the nod.

“Penelope...’ I cleared my throat before continuing,
‘Attendant to Ship Silo to the Penelope. Your request is granted. I’ve bypassed regular monitoring systems, flight systems and general maintenance programs to cue you directly into the core of Ship.
We’re ready to accept information concerning Earth, and...allowing you to scan Ship...for any information you might find pertinent.’

Forcing my voice beyond emotion I barked,

‘As for the *Seeker* we look forward to meeting this, ah, entity, in the future, and this time in an official capacity, not as a interloper to the Yydryl.
Concerning the U-Man Studious, we would appreciate any assistance you could offer us, at your earliest convenience.’

Waving CindyMar’s hand from the *send* button I looked at my two friends waiting for some hint to go on.

Both she and Chumley nodded together before I returned to the communique.

‘Penelope, we stand by and ready for downloads/communications on my count...’

THREE...’ My eyes locked with Chumley's who sucked in his lips and closed his eyes, but not before giving me a grotesque and beloved wink.

‘TWO...’ CindyMars gave me another reassuring nod, reaching for Chumley’s tentacle giving it a gentle squeeze.

’On one... Pulling in my breath I closed my own eyes, and gave the signal.

‘ONE’!

I hit the communication bypass, plugged in the receptor to Chumley‘s chest, and opened my eyes to watch.





[edit on 1-10-2009 by silo13]




posted on Oct, 1 2009 @ 09:01 PM
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Asher was indeed handling the details. With Luder gone, many of the Penelope's subsidiary systems had to be re-secured to his unique quantum state or continued triple zero errors would occur.

This issue was combined with the efforts at diplomacy with the crew of the Yydryl, which had every reason to be suspicious.

It wasn't the best of situations.

Commander Toodles was going about the situation in the way that every technician since the dawn of computers had: restart it and see if it works. Asher was trying to avoid the necessity as it would wipe everything he had accomplished in trying to get the ship's AI to recognize and ignore the triple zero that was his existence.

Suddenly, the flickering blue image of Asher appeared next to Toodles on the bridge.

"Mr. Toodles, I apologize for my absence. The Penelope's array required my full attention. I'm working to neutralize the triple zero errors cascading through the system. It's merely a case of explaining the situation to the relevant AI. I should have it back up to full capacity shortly. A reboot is unnecessary.

"Regarding the diplomatic actions with the Yydryl..."

There was an opening floodgate within the Penelope's network. The resulting presence was distant, as if at the end of a tunnel, but familiar to Asher.

Somehow, the Penelope's network had suddenly gained a direct connection to the Yydryl.

Interesting.

Asher greeted Yydryl as he would an old friend. Yydryl responded in kind. The exchange took place over the course of a pico-second. It was wonderful to be speaking on his own level again. Yydryl invited him in just as it had before, welcoming what was essentially one of its kind.

Asher regretfully declined for the moment. The Penelope was under enough stress without another one of his mysterious absences.

Within the Yydryl's bridge, Asher's voice came through from the Penelope.

"My apologies, friends. I was once known as Seeker and I am often referred to by that name. You may call me Seeker or Asher as you prefer. We have met before but the situation was less than ideal.

"I am now the acting Captain of the Penelope in Luder's absence. Pleased to once again make your acquaintance.

"If we can in any way assist you with your "Studious" problem, let me know. We would be glad to help after the trouble we have caused in the past.

"Captain Asher, out."



[edit on 1-10-2009 by SeekerOfAUTMN]



posted on Oct, 2 2009 @ 12:32 PM
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Suddenly, the flickering blue image of Asher appeared next to Toodles on the bridge.

"Mr. Toodles, I apologize for my absence. The Penelope's array required my full attention. I'm working to neutralize the triple zero errors cascading through the system. It's merely a case of explaining the situation to the relevant AI. I should have it back up to full capacity shortly. A reboot is unnecessary."

Turning to the hologram that was our Captain I began "Captain Asher, I believe I have an answer to the quantum address problem, although it will need a combined agreement between Yydryl, Penelope and yourself. While you are part of the quantum stream you have no "placeholder" address, your appearance here creates a "null" by definition, Yydryl's systems do not have a problem because as a sentient ship Yydryl "addresses" you directly thereby giving you a "placeholder" each time.

If we here on the Penelope create a loop address with Yydryl you can in fact exist in both ships at the same time, for you it would be like having a three way conversation in the same room, you may however find the experience disorienting, as a positronic AI I believe Sheila is able to match the two quantum addresses and align them to create the necessary loop. However I think it best if you speak directly to Yydryl since "she" may not wish to be connected in such a semi permanent way, having a "house guest" rather than a "visitor".



posted on Oct, 2 2009 @ 10:38 PM
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Nenothtu sat a his console on the bridge, absent-mindedly flipping switches and scanning readouts. He had other thing on his mind, and was not at his most efficient just now.

That was the second request from the Yydryl for assistance in rounding up Studious. Neno was suspicious. First, the Yydryl gave all appearances of being happy to keep the fugitive, then there was an abrupt about face, and they wanted "help" to round him up.

Abrupt about faces made nenothtu nervous.

Still, HE was the one who had issued the fugitive warrant in the first place. It wouldn't be proper to ignore the pleas, whatever their reason for being issued. On the other hand, the Yydryl crew should be far better equipped to apprehend Studious. It was THEIR ship, and they knew it far better than any human could be expected to. How was a human security contingent supposed to navigate the Yydryl and find all the nooks and crannies where a fugitive may have secreted himself?

Neno was in a quandry. A suspicious one.

Finally, he snapped a decision out of his mind. "I better not get hung with my own rope. Again." he muttered as he turned to the hologram of Asher.

"Captain Asher" he began, more loudly so that he could be heard. "If you'll authorize it, and the Yydryl crew agrees, I'll take a small contingent over and see what I can do in the matter of rounding up Studious. It's a loose end for me, and it SOUNDS like the Yydryl crew is tired of their 'guest'". Neno stressed the word "sounds", hoping that Asher would catch his drift. He hated sounding uncertain in front of the crew, but it couldn't really be helped, given the circumstances. " I don't want to send a bare crew without a ships officer to do the job, not in a first contact scenario. Some of these boneheads might make things a whole lot worse. I ain't the BEST diplomat, but I know which end wags and which end bites, and most of these gents KNOW I'll shoot 'em on the spot if they get out of line. All the other ships officers appear to be bogged down with this computing problem, and I'm mighty nigh useless with THAT."

"I'll need a boarding clearance from the Yydryl, and they'll have to brief me on Ship's layout and whatnot." As an afterthought, he added "I'll take my own rations. Wouldn't want to put them out none." What was REALLY on his mind at that point was what he had heard Regallians considered to be "food". Lots of folks in far flung places had funny ideas of what constitutes "food", but Regallians.... he shuddered, ever so slightly, and hoped it went unnoticed.

Anyhow, if you'd be so kind as to authorized it, and put it through the proper channels to Yydryl, I'll put together a team, no larger than what they'll authorize, and certainly no more than 6 men, besides myself, 'cause that's all that'll fit in a Lighting Bug when it's packed with equipment and rations. I'll take a Lighting Bug, because they can MOVE, they can shoot, and they can sneak. They were set up for recon to begin with. Ya just never know what ya may run into, and it pays to be able to run right back out of it. I can be aboard in a couple of hours. They also need to know I ain't going ANYWHERE unarmed. That includes Yydryl. If that's a problem for 'em, they can find Studious on their own. If it's any consolation, I've never even MET anyone from the vicinity of Orion, and I sure as hell ain't gonna shoot the first ones I DO meet."

He stood, and waited for the answer from the Captain.



[edit on 2009/10/2 by nenothtu]



posted on Oct, 3 2009 @ 12:29 PM
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edit by request

[edit on 17/10/09 by masqua]



posted on Oct, 3 2009 @ 01:55 PM
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Asher was pondering the solution set forth by Mr. Rabbit when Neno stood up and offered to take a team over to the Yydryl to apprehend Studious.

Immediately, Asher opened up coms with the Yydryl.

"Yydryl crew, this is Captain Asher reporting once more. I have a small six man team that is volunteering to travel over to Yydryl and work to apprehend one 'Mr. Studious'. This team is diplomatic and skilled, and I vouch for them personally. If anyone can put Studious in wrist-binders, it will be them.

"Captain Asher, out."

Asher's image on the bridge turned to Nenothtu.

"Neno, go ahead and begin assembling your team. If the Yydryl gives us the go ahead, you may deploy at your leisure. If you capture Studious, bring him back alive if possible. If he puts up a fight, feel free to bring him back in a black plastic bag. The man has caused enough trouble already.

"If you capture him, put him in a neural lock collar. He'll only be manageable if he's paralyzed from the neck down. The man is resourceful, keep that in mind. He's pulled some remarkable stunts. I don't want to see a repeat.

"Good luck and Godspeed Neno."

The image dropped out and reappeared next to Rabbit.

"Mr. Rabbit, compile a data packet detailing your plan and send a copy over to the Yydryl crew so we can get their input. Yydryl is fiercely loyal to its crew and it won't take part in anything that they might find issue with."



posted on Oct, 3 2009 @ 11:59 PM
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The image or Asher dropped out and reappeared next to Rabbit.

"Mr. Rabbit, compile a data packet detailing your plan and send a copy over to the Yydryl crew so we can get their input. Yydryl is fiercely loyal to its crew and it won't take part in anything that they might find issue with."

"yes Captain" touching my com-link I call Sheila.
"Sheila please begin computations on a quantum address linking Captain Asher, the Penelope and Yydryl sentient, analyze the details and send to both Captain Asher and Yydryl sentient, copy the details to Mr. Toodles station on the bridge please"

"yes Professor, compiling data, - anomaly detected, data packets currently being sent to YYdryl are being intercepted by an organic entity, specifically a Regellian, reference Chumley, location Yydryl"

"Thank you Sheila" keying an audio channel to the Yydryl I suppress a chuckle "Yydryl crew, I commend your caution in using a Regellian as a packet data filter, however this is not unheard of, there is a downside for the Regellian, severe gastric reflux, the cure for which is approximately 2 Earth gallons of Milk of Magnesia, an aqueous, mildly alkaline suspension of magnesium hydroxide, please note that following the treatment said Regellian will suffer from flatulence, the gas is mildly toxic to humans rendering them unconscious.

We are in the process of calculating a quantum loop between Captain Asher, Yydryl sentient and Penelope, this will solve problems with the quantum stream and allow Captain Asher to exist in both ships at the same time, this will allow Yydryl sentient's request for Captain Asher and our own need for our Captain to be met. The quantum loop will not be initiated without yydryl sentient's specific approval.
Penelope out"

My com-link hums to life "Professor, calculations for the quantum link are complete, errors are less than 12 places, details have been sent direct to Yydryl sentient and Captain Asher as requested, a copy has been downloaded to Mr Toodles station, required interfacing with Penelope's systems are on standby"

"Thank you Sheila, please inquire about the Regellian's condition on Yydryl after he/she is disconnected"

Remembering a Regellian many years ago that had interfaced two computers for several hours as sickly yellow and obviously in pain, then having been given Milk of Magnesia and passed enough gas to overcome an entire dormitory at the Peru University, over three thousand humans.

[edit on 4-10-2009 by prof-rabbit]



posted on Oct, 7 2009 @ 12:03 AM
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After getting the OK from Captain Asher, while waiting on the OK from Yydryl, Lieutenant Commander nenothtu left the bridge and headed for the flight deck. When he arrived, he issued orders to an idle appearing crew. " I need the StarWolf prepped for flight, folks. The sooner, the better. Untarp her, check the oil and gas, and kick the tires."

A crewman broke in "Oil and gas, si...?" but cut himself short from the dreaded "S" word, realizing to whom he was speaking.

Neno scowled at him. "Good catch, yeoman. Never mind the anachronisms. I mean for y'all to get her prepped for flight. Assume an extended mission. Supplies and equipment for one month, crew of 6, assume a hostile environment."

Another crewman chimed in. "A month? That's a big supply. You scooting out on us like the others?"

"Naw. I got a mission to apprehend a fugitive on Yydryl. That's all."

Just then, at the most inopportune time, Mary Bransom, nominal UEF president, arrived on the scene. "A mission to the Yydryl? Why haven't I been informed of this? That's a first contact situation. As the President of the UEF, I should be on that mission, diplomatically speaking. How long have I got to pack a few things?"

"For what?" neno replied. "You ain't going, Mary. It could be dangerous. There's a fugitive on the loose, and Regallians are believed to have some... untoward... habits. No place for a woman OR a high official" he added, trying to be diplomatic.

President Bransom's eyes began to sparkle. "Dangerous? I like that. I've not had any adventure for a while, Lieutenant Commander. How long to pack?"

Not for the first time, nenothtu realized that the President of the UEF may not be entirely sane. Something about that look in her eye... "I said you ain't going, Mary. The end. Finito."

Seeing that firmness wasn't going to work, President Bransom tried another tack, belligerence. She'd just override this petty commander. "DON"T ASSUME FAMILIARITY WITH ME! You WILL address me by my proper title, PRESIDENT Bransom, NOT 'Mary'! I will tell YOU how it will be, not the other way around, Lieutenant Commander!" She then stood there in an apparent huff.

Neno bit down on his response. This wasn't going well. "I think we've already established that I'll call you any damn thing I want to, Mary . Furthermore, aboard ship, in wartime, I'VE got more authority than you. Far as I'm concerned, you're just another refugee, and a troublesome one at that. DON'T MAKE ME CLAP YOU IN IRONS, WOMAN!"

Just that quick, President Bransom adjusted tack again. Stepping closer to nenothtu, she dropped her voice so that the others wouldn't hear what she said, and spoke. "OOOH! Clap me in irons! That sounds..."

"DAMMIT!" roared neothtu, backing away quickly before she could finish THAT thought. "Alright, Mary! I'll check with mom and dad and see if you can go on the sleepover! Just leave me ALONE, woman! If they decide to EAT you, you're on your own!" and headed for the nearest exit.

President Bransom just had the hint of a grin. Now she knew how to get under this neanderthal's skin.

As neno was heading out the exit, he called Captain Asher on the comm. "Nenothtu to Captain Asher. Mary Bransom wants to go along on the mission as a dignitary. Have to get permissions, and notify Yydryl. You don't want to know the threats she's using now. You really don't. Nenothtu out."

The security guard at the hatchway was amazed, and the amazement showed on his face. He couldn't resist asking the question. "What did she SAY to you, boss, to put you in such a state? I ain't NEVER seen you back off that quick."

"Shaddup, kid. I ain't got NO problems throwing YOU out an airlock" neno grumbled as he hurried past, on his way to put together the Security team.



posted on Oct, 7 2009 @ 03:59 AM
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I don’t know what I expected to see when I opened my eyes but it wasn’t Chumley picking away at pieces of food lodged between the crevices of his great green stalactite like teeth with his ‘sticker’.

‘Chumley, do you have to do that!?’ I sighed, more than nauseated by the sight of him.

‘Whu du ya wanme to toobs?’ Half of Chumley’s words were cut off by the 12 inch blade he as using as a tooth pick.

‘Stop that!’ Barking out the order I turned away and rolled my eyes at CindyMars.

‘Boys will be boys.’ She smiled back careful to keep her eyes trained away from Chumley while monitoring information flowing to and from the Regellian.

‘Cim, have we heard anything yet from the U-Man Studious?’

Hoping to discourage Chumley from continuing his digging I gave him a swift clip from my elbow before I flopped down in the seat in front of him where I let my legs swing absentmindedly as I stared off into space.

‘Nothing here on screen Silo.’ CindyMars responded checking the communications panel at her fingertips. I heard her mumble something about not being a ‘damn communication officer’ but I let it pass without comment. We all were doing double duties aboard Ship at the moment, that none of us liked it didn’t change a thing.

‘Ship?’ I yelled. Not expecting and answer I popped a pretzel in my mouth from the hoard I had stored in my pocket, let my head flop backwards over my neck rest to gaze at Chumley, who now appeared upside-down and if anything uglier than right side up.

‘Yes Silo?’ Ship responded.

Jumping to attention I sketched a salute and brushed my hands madly at the front of my uniform horrified at being caught so off guard.

Chumley dropped his knife where it clattered on the floor reminding me to check why the carpet had not been laid fully onto the bridge - yet.

CindyMars sat up straighter, looked at me, raised her eyebrows and shoulders and shook her head a bit.

We were all surprised at Ships response, her interaction with us had been so sporadic over the last few days, but even in our discomposure it was hard not to cheer her return.

‘Hello Ship, we’ve missed you.’ I fell into my familiar role of speaking to Ship as the friend and mentor She was.

‘I’ve been busy Silo, and regret my absence, though you can be assured I’ve been around.’ The gentle mirth in her voice made a smile verbally apparent, though unseen.

‘Ship, do you have any information on the U-Man Studious?’ I asked, my hands clenching and unclenching nervously.

But Ship continued as if I hadn't spoken.

‘For your information, all of you, I’m in contact with the Captain of the Penelope who I address as Asher. I believe you recall meeting him, though your introductions were not, let’s say, what they should have been.‘

Four pairs of questioning eyes met on the bridge and blinked as she continued.

‘I place no blame on any of you, but know, Captain Asher is welcome here for as long as I allow it. And for the moment that means the immediate future.’

Spinning around in astonishment I opened my mouth to question Ship’s reasoning, but stopped when I saw the warning glare in CindyMars eyes.
And her glare spoke volumes.
Speaking with Ship as a friend was one thing, questioning her as Captain, was another.

‘As for the U-man Studious, you will be receiving a transmission from the Penelope directly. Captain Asher will offer his assistance in the form of a team from the Penelope to capture the U-Man. Accept his offer and allow the team to come aboard.‘

Hearing me sputter in indignation over her open door policy with the Penelope Ship sent a warning to my pendant, the necklace at my throat warming and vibrating softly causing me to take a long breath to try and calm my rolling emotions.

‘Rest assured I will be monitoring the actions of the Penelope crew quite closely this time.‘ Ships voice took on a bitter edge that did much to reassure me.

‘I know. We have no reason to believe they will not do us harm, as you were about to point out ATS Silo. Yet, neither do we have any reason to believe they are here to abuse us, reaping the folly of their past.’

An incoming transmission signal sounded through the bridge, interrupting Ships discourse.
CindyMars ran her hand across the keyboard at her fingertips allowing the message from the Penelope to play out across the bridge.


"Yydryl crew, this is Captain Asher reporting once more. I have a small six man team that is volunteering to travel over to Yydryl and work to apprehend one 'Mr. Studious'. This team is diplomatic and skilled, and I vouch for them personally. If anyone can put Studious in wrist-binders, it will be them.


CindyMars looked at me quizzically, I shrugged in kind and motioned for her to open transmission and key up the microphone for Ships response.

‘Penelope, this is the Yydryl. Your crew is welcome to board to seek out and apprehend the U-Man Studious. We ask you to avoid doing him any harm while aboard the Yydryl. The tapes he’s left in our care have proven beyond a doubt he was not all together responsible for what transpired in his past dealings with the Penelope, the N1, or the Yydryl.’ A pause, and Ship continued.

‘To the Penelope crew, I offer some advice. You would do good to head my words.‘ Though her voice remained diplomatically neutral, the air thickened with warning and not a little malice. That the underlying message carried over in transmission to the Penelope there was no doubt.

‘Bear in mind our systems have change radically since your first visit to the Yydryl. I feel it’s only fare to warn you any force used against me or my crew will result in immediate expulsion from Ship and death to the offending member of your team. There will be no, as you humans say ‘second chances’ this time. You’ve used them quite up, have you not? ’

Again Ship paused to allow the full force of her words to register with all listening.

‘Penelope, Captain Asher, you may be assured your reception aboard Ship will be a warm one, and remain so as long as the actions of your crew merit it so.

At the last, be forewarned and be forearmed there is an entity, a Shapeshifter aboard us, a malicious one, and this entity is interacting with your Studious quite intimately. Regretfully we have no further information to give you at this time concerning either your U-Man or the Shapeshifter. Penelope, Captain Asher, we look forward to the arrival of your crew and President Bransom at your earliest convenience. Yydryl out.’

CindyMars closed the communications and stood at her seat as Ship addressed her directly, leaving no room for us to question her decisions, or who this President Bransom was.

‘Leisure Officer Mars, prepare a reception dinner for the incoming crew. That is, if you’re still of a mind to do so.
If not, they’ll be bringing their own supplies and we can leave them to their own devices. ‘ Ship sighed then spoke her thoughts.
‘Whatever your choice, provide appropriate lodging for the crew of the Penelope, this encounter may be a lengthily one.’
The neutrality in Ships voice left CindyMars with questions, as it did myself but it seemed we were not to be afforded the luxury of questions at the moment.

‘ATS Silo, please report to Ships Center at your earliest convenient.’ Ship commanded, but not unkindly.

‘Chumley, hurry it along with that information, it shouldn’t be taking you so long to finish up the process you’re engaged in. That is unless you’re enjoying yourself?’ Ship chuckled whereas Chumley responded by turning a nauseating shade of puce. ‘And Chumley, don't forget to report to Recovery Bay immediately after you’re disconnected. You know the routine.’ Ship added in a warning tone.

‘Oh, and CindyMars, I suggest you prepare to engage emergency air filters on the bridge, as soon as possible.’

Though she didn’t tell us ‘goodbye’ we felt her absence when Ship’s direct presence exited the bridge.

Trotting to Chumley side I reached up to lay a hand on his shoulder, all concern. Loathsome as he was I still loved him, he was still my friend and I didn't want him harmed.

‘What is Ship talking about Chumley? Why will you have to go to the recovery bay?’

‘The farts.’ Chumley’s mouth split open in a huge grin, his eyes bobbing happily on their stems.

‘The WHAT?’ Jumping back I shuddered when Chumley's stomach produced a great rumbling that echoed over the bridge.

‘The farts Silo! I gets ‘em from interfacing with other Ships!’ Chumley chortled in his Chumley way making my stomach roll.

‘Is that why you’re so pleased with yourself?’ I couldn't’ believe my ears, here I was concerned for his life and while Chumley was joyously anticipating a bout of gas.

‘Yes Silo! I gets the farts and I gets ‘em good!’ Chumley grinned like a proud mother about to give birth.

Appalled I screamed at him and backed even farther away.

‘Get to the recovery bay, and NOW!’ I couldn't help but raise my voice as the sound of his rumbling grew louder and more menacing.

Loping for the door Chumley stopped, raised his right leg, and let out with a tremendous trumpet of wind.

“Oops!’ The Regellian burst out giggling, stopped, lifted his other leg to cut loose another thundering fart before taking off down corridor at a run, grunting and sounding off in every other step.

‘Oh sweet Creator!’ The stench wafting out over the bridge was thick and nauseating.

One hand over her mouth, the other working furiously to engage emergency filtration of the air system on the bridge, CindyMars eyes watered and smiled at me over her hand.

‘Boys will be boys...’ She said in a muffle before we both burst into laughter.

[edit on 7-10-2009 by silo13]



posted on Oct, 10 2009 @ 01:49 AM
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Asher listened to Neno's incoming communique with passive interest.

It would seem that President Bransom was becoming a problem. Asher had hoped it wouldn't come to that, but it had. He opened up coms back to Neno.

"Neno, I will leave it to your discretion. If Bransom wishes to accompany you into a possibly hostile environment, so be it. Perhaps something unfortunate will occur, you never know. If she becomes a problem, do what you must to end it. Asher out."

There was a sudden hum and a flash at the control station on the flight deck. Mary Bransom and her retinue were still standing around. The Madam President was looking very pleased with herself until Asher's projected image appeared on the flight deck next to her.

Without hesitation, Asher spoke.

"Miss Bransom, I will ask you once and only once to cease attempting to interfere with this vessel and it's crew. Politics has no place on a naval vessel. I would hope that you would understand that, but it appears that that is not the case.

"I have given Nenothtu permission to take you over to the Yydryl. However, and hear me well, your role on the Yydryl is to observe and perhaps diplomatically introduce the UEF to the Yydryl's crew. If you step beyond those bounds, Neno will send you back to the Penelope and I will throw you in the brig or out the nearest airlock, whatever seems appropriate at the time.

"If you question how seriously I take the welfare of this vessel, ask any of the crew members in your immediate vicinity. Push your luck, and the UEF will have to inform the Secretary of Defense that he is the new President.

"This is a time of war. Behave yourself as such. I will not ask again."

With a flicker, the image was gone. Mary Bransom was left standing on the flight deck with a startled, almost frightened, look on her face.

During the exchange, a message had been received from the Yydryl. Asher listened to it intently before responding.

"Yydryl, I read you loud and clear. I fully intend for my boarding crew to behave themselves. I will vouch for their good behavior personally. With your own, and your crew's, permission, I will personally oversee their efforts.

"On a side note, please try to disregard any political posturing that may issue from President Bransom. Her mission is to make peace if at all possible, nothing more. If she gets pushy, let me know. I will rectify the situation immediately.

"Asher out."



posted on Oct, 12 2009 @ 04:13 AM
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The two huge starships hung in the void, in an orbit 60,000 kilometers above the planetary surface. Since the vacuum of space carried no sound waves, a disinterested and distant observer would have beheld a scene of ominous silence.

Or possibly sublime peace. It all depends on the observer's perspective.

On the flight deck, Lieutenant Commander nenothtu went through the last of the pre-flight checks with the pilot and co-pilot. Nenothtu's seat was on the left-hand side of the rearmost pair of seats in the cockpit. Both pilot and co-pilot, out of a necessity borne from the small crew size, would double as security personnel when aboard Yydryl. In the end, it had been rather difficult to select the personnel for the 6 man crew.

Six men plus Mary Bransom. Oh, how that woman had howled at having to leave her retinue behind. It just wasn't BEFITTING a head of state to go on a diplomatic mission without her retinue! Neno had to remind her, yet again, just WHO was in command of this mission, and what sort of mission it actually was. The final word was when she found that there were only 7 acceleration couches aboard. Neno had to explain that in the event of rough maneuvers, anyone NOT strapped in would come out the other side looking like a stain of strawberry jam. That meant her retinue, since he sure as Thor had a hammer wasn't going to leave the IMPORTANT members of the mission unstrapped. After the strawberry jam reference, Mary, somewhat subdued and of a greenish hue, strapped in and shut up.

Nenothtu left Lt. James in charge of Penelope's security while he was away.

When he was sure all aboard were strapped in, neno drew a deep, rather ragged and nervous breath, and said "Alright gang, let's get this show on the road." The bay doors slid open, StarWolf's engines ramped up, and with a nudge, they were out, and on their way.



En route, nenothtu had a queasy afterthought, and called captain Asher on the comm. "Nenothtu to Captain Asher. IF you've got some kind of computer magic where you can infiltrate the StarWolf's systems, it might be a good idea for you to handle the security aspects of her. I'd hate any sort of unauthorized access to her while we're away. Allow any of this crew hatchway access, but not miss Bransom without escort. And sure as hell not Studious. Flight controls to remain under my command and the pilots, no one else. Nenothtu out." He knew he could set the permissions himself, and had done so, but would feel a lot more secure with any added layers of security Asher could provide.

Studious WAS a resourceful sort. Mary Bransom was just plain untrustworthy.



When the StarWolf was about halfway to Yydryl, neno opened comms to the massive alien ship.

"Lietenant Commander nenothtu, of the USS Penelope, to the Yydryl. We are en route to your ship aboard the StarWolf to assist with a pest control problem we've heard you have. I and my crew are self-sufficient, and have brought our own supplies so as not to deplete yours without necessity, and we can bunk aboard our ship as well. We aim to not put you folks out any more than necessary. We have the UEF President, Ms Mary Bransom with us. Her role is purely diplomatic, and she will not be involved in any fugitive apprehension operations. It might not be a good idea for her to bunk with my crew either.

We will need to be briefed on the layout of the Yydryl, as well as the locations of any known sightings of Mr. Studious. He's not in any real danger, as we have no intention of killing him, unless it becomes glaringly necessary. Things have changed a bit in our corner of the universe from what they were when he went on the run. We may be able to reach some sort of... accomodation. That depends mostly on his reactions.

We look forward to meeting you. As is prudent, given the circumstances of a fugitive on the loose, we will be armed with sidearms, but nothing more. anything heavier will be left aboard the StarWolf. We look forward to meeting you, and will need direction to a docking facility. We are right this moment approaching the bow of the Yydryl, ETA 7 minutes. We'll wait aboard our ship until your greeting party is present. Nenothtu out."



Nenothtu's thoughts turned to Bransom, Studious, and this mysterious "shapeshifter" character he'd been briefed about in a severely truncated sort of way. A report of the shapeshifter's existence, and nothing more. Under his breath, he muttered "ain't THIS just gonna be TOO much fun!"

The pilot wasn't supposed to hear that, but apparently he did, for he replied "Ain't it JUST?"



[edit on 2009/10/12 by nenothtu]



posted on Oct, 13 2009 @ 03:01 AM
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"Nenothtu to Captain Asher. IF you've got some kind of computer magic where you can infiltrate the StarWolf's systems, it might be a good idea for you to handle the security aspects of her.

I'd hate any sort of unauthorized access to her while we're away. Allow any of this crew hatchway access, but not miss Bransom without escort. And sure as hell not Studious. Flight controls to remain under my command and the pilots, no one else. Nenothtu out."


Turning to the Captain I said, "Captain, given the Penelope's computers have been subject to MI's influence I believe it is more prudent for Sheila to cover the security for the Starwolf."

Captain Asher nodded in my direction.

Keying my com-link I gave Sheila instructions " Please monitor the Starwolf, scan her crew and record their delta wave patterns, lock the ships systems to the crew only, lock flight controls to Nenothtu and the pilot and co-pilot only, consider Miss Bransom as virtual luggage, no access to systems, controls or stores, no access to hatchways without another member of the crew in attendance, monitor for any interference and nullify, report such interference directly to Nenothtu, treat such interference as hostile, use offensive measures as necessary."

Shelia's voice appears to originate from somewhere to my left, "Yes Professor"

I key the comms to Starwolf, "Nenothtu, Sheila will monitor security for the Starwolf, be advised you may feel brief discomfit as Sheila records all of your delta brain waves, a little like someone 'walking over your grave', Sheila will monitor security and nullify interference to the ship's systems, reports will be directly to yourself, Miss Bransom has no access to systems, stores or hatchways, interference to the ship will be considered hostile and dealt with, I believe these measures will give you peace of mind while you are on Yydryl. Professor Rabbit out."


[edit on 13-10-2009 by prof-rabbit]



posted on Oct, 13 2009 @ 12:12 PM
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Cim was barely recovering from the noxious fumes that had emitted from Chumley,
laughing when trying not to breath is no easy task. She was thinking you could use those gases as a weapon, she chuckled. The com light lit up once more.

"Lieutenant Commander nenothtu, of the USS Penelope, to the Yydryl. We are en route to your ship aboard the StarWolf to assist with a pest control problem we've heard you have. I and my crew are self-sufficient, and have brought our own supplies so as not to deplete yours without necessity, and we can bunk aboard our ship as well. We aim to not put you folks out any more than necessary. We have the UEF President, Ms Mary Bransom with us. Her role is purely diplomatic, and she will not be involved in any fugitive apprehension operations. It might not be a good idea for her to bunk with my crew either.

We will need to be briefed on the layout of the Yydryl, as well as the locations of any known sightings of Mr. Studious. He's not in any real danger, as we have no intention of killing him, unless it becomes glaringly necessary. Things have changed a bit in our corner of the universe from what they were when he went on the run. We may be able to reach some sort of... accommodation. That depends mostly on his reactions.

We look forward to meeting you. As is prudent, given the circumstances of a fugitive on the loose, we will be armed with side arms, but nothing more. anything heavier will be left aboard the StarWolf. We look forward to meeting you, and will need direction to a docking facility. We are right this moment approaching the bow of the Yydryl, ETA 7 minutes. We'll wait aboard our ship until your greeting party is present. Nenothtu out."

Cim was rather excited to meet these U Mans, she was hoping that any misunderstandings that had occurred, would be over and they could all be allies against the Ophchi. She had a feeling this Bransom lady however was going to be unpleasant, an intuitive sense from the tone of the Lieutenants voice.

“Yydryl to StarWolf, Officer Mars here. We are looking forward to your arrival.
I will meet you in the docking bay that I will indicate on the schematic that I am sending you now.” Cim sent a schematic of the Yydryl to the arriving vessel.
“I will show you around the SHIP and offer you lodging, however we understand if you would be more comfortable onboard your vessel. We have a lovely bar and lots of Earth beverages, so I do hope we can all meet for a cocktail mixer. I will fill you in to the best of my knowledge and hopefully you can fill me in on the whereabouts of the Earth destroyers, the Ophchi. Together we will stop them, is our hope. Looks like you are almost here, I will meet you in the docking bay. Mars out!”

Cim then turned to see Silo with her arms crossed, looking a bit annoyed. “So you just sent them schematic’s of SHIP! Do you really think that, is such a good idea?”
says Silo.

“We have to trust Silo” answers Cim. “Hopefully together we can get some things accomplished. I have a good feeling about this Lieutenant he has integrity, I can tell,
So trust me in my trust in him,ok?” she implored Silo.

“OK” says Silo a bit reluctantly. “I am going to check on Chumley and then Deson.
Do we have any gas mask?” They burst out laughing.

“I don’t know. We might have to get some. I am going to take them to The Swamp for a briefing and we will take it from there. Could you, Chumley and Deson please meet us there when you can, as soon as possible and Silo….” Cim raised her eye brows “Be on your best behavior, you tend to be like a bit overprotective of SHIP, Ok?” ask Cim.

“Fine” says Silo “But they had better…” Cim cut her off.

“We need each other.” Says Cim

Silo took a deep breath and left the bridge.




posted on Oct, 14 2009 @ 10:11 AM
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‘Deson?’ I called again, but again there was no response from the Armor.

‘Desonnnnn’ Chumley yelled with a rumble like incoming thunder numbing my ears.

‘Where you think he is Silo?’ Chumley’s voice melted into miserable. He still wasn’t completely over his stomach problems but I’d needed him with me and couldn’t afford to leave him lounging around the recovery bay.

‘I dunno Chum,’ I answered, ’But I don’t like this, not one bit.’

We’d been searching the Armory for Deson, but Deson wasn't about to be found.

‘Come on Chumley, he’s not here, let’s go out back.’

Since Deson spent so much time working in the Yydryl’s hanger on her vehicles, transports and the Deson fighters he had a personal door connecting the back of his shop to the Yydryl flight bays.

Using the door, was like stepping into another world.

The Yydryl’s hanger and docking facilities were massive and opened out into a space so vast it was hard to comprehend.

Off to each side sprouted row after row of cargo and transport vehicles, while the middle was saved for incoming ships and the Deson Fighters who's beauty nearly betrayed their lethalness.

After taking a moment to accustom my eyes to the massive bays I was shocked there was no security check on this side of the door.

Hadn’t Deson, at Ship’s orders, set security to highest alert and closed down any ports in - or out - of the Yydryl docking facilities?

‘Chumley, you stay here and guard the door. And keep your eyes peeled for Deson.‘ Slipping back through into the armory I hunted around until I found Deson’s Agnes.

Deson wouldn’t be pleased I was touching his personal weapon, in fact I shouldn’t even be able to, the Agnes was programmed for use by the Armor only, unless in emergency. That Agnes slipped into my hands so easily only reinforced my growing anxiety.

‘Chumley, we got trouble.’ I said slipping back out the door, holding up Agnes in front of the big Regellian guard.
‘You got Agnes!’ The deep groves between Chumley’s eyes told me he understood the relevance of Agnes minus Deson.

Running forward between droids and cargo Shooters the low to the ground transport vehicles that seemed to float on air, we made our way, armed, to the center docks housing the war machines and without being stopped.

Any lingering doubt was washed away when I got the attention of a passing squad of four droids who brought up their arms in salute instead of taking aim and demanding the reason for our presence.

‘Guards, where’s Armor Deson, he’s not in the armory. And why is security so lax, you’re supposed to be on high alert! Waiting for an answer I kept my antenna moving in search of anything unusual.

‘ATS Silo, Armor Deson rescinded the order for high alert. We’re on standby for the incoming crew from the Penelope.’ The guard answered matter-of-factly.

‘And Deson? He’s where?’ Chumley asked in a threatening growl causing the guard to slip backwards.

‘He was just here Sirs, you just missed him.’ The droids huddled closer together waiting for more questions or orders.

The ShapeShifter!

‘Guards, we’re back on high alert, man your stations! No vessel is to leave Ship without direct command from myself, Chumley or Officer Mars!’

The head guard set of a high keening alert signal sending working and guard droids at top speed in each direction.

‘Come on Chumley, we got trouble in a big way!’

With pure hatred burning through me in waves I raised Agnes to my shoulder ready to take aim, though at what I wasn’t sure.

Making my way to a command station with Chumley hard on my heels I planted my back against the wall, slapped at the intercom and screamed over my shoulder into the receiver.

“Intercom connect me with the bridge and patch me through to the Penelope!

‘On your go ATS Silo.’ The intercom responded, the command light began to flicker then pulsed a bright steady green.

‘Go!‘ Taking a deep breath I turned my head and spoke into the com.

‘Penelope. This is Attendant To Ship Silo. Penelope be advised the Yydryl’s undergone a security breech. Someone or something may be trying to leave our docking bays. Penelope, you want your man, you best get in here now! ATS Silo out!’

‘Intercom. Cut the Penelope and send me through to the bridge, the Swamp and personal quarters of CindyMars.’ Panting I waited then went ahead when the light turned green again.

‘CindyMars. We got trouble. Someone’s lowered our security status and Deson’s missing. I’m locking down all outgoing cargo vessels and fighters minus one Deson Flyer. Chumley and a fighter droid will be standing by to pilot the D-Flyer in case of an emergency and until the Penelope crew boards the Yydryl. All hands on deck awaiting the imminent arrival of the Penelope. Cim, I’m headed for Ship’s Center! Silo out!


‘Intercom, repeat that message at one minute intervals until it’s received by Leisure officer Mars. Out.‘

‘Chumley, what are you standing there for! Get to flight control and lock down all flight vehicles but one of the Fighters. Take the best fighter droid you can and get you and it aboard. Stand by for orders.’

With a crow of delight and his bowel problems seemingly forgotten Chumley broke into a gallop towards the flight command station.

With a sinking heart I turned and ran for Ship’s Center.


[edit on 14-10-2009 by silo13]



posted on Oct, 15 2009 @ 03:29 PM
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Nenothtu watched the huge starship grow in the windows until it fairly dwarfed the StarWolf. The ship's comm chirped with incoming from the Penelope.


Originally posted by prof-rabbit
"Nenothtu, Sheila will monitor security for the Starwolf, be advised you may feel brief discomfit as Sheila records all of your delta brain waves, a little like someone 'walking over your grave', Sheila will monitor security and nullify interference to the ship's systems, reports will be directly to yourself, Miss Bransom has no access to systems, stores or hatchways, interference to the ship will be considered hostile and dealt with, I believe these measures will give you peace of mind while you are on Yydryl. Professor Rabbit out."


One pin down out of the collection of pins and needles neno was currently sitting on. StarWolf would be safe and secure. Nenothtu breathed a sigh of relief.

"Acknowledged, Professor Rabbit. Thanks. Nenothtu out."

Just then, the comm unit chirped with an incoming reply from the Yydryl.


Originally posted by cindymars

“Yydryl to StarWolf, Officer Mars here. We are looking forward to your arrival.
I will meet you in the docking bay that I will indicate on the schematic that I am sending you now.”


A set of ships schematics appeared on the console. All the labels were unintelligible to nenothtu, being in an alien script, but the green blinking cursor showed clearly enough the location of the port to the docking bay they were to use.

"Bring 'er about and line up on that location, Wilson."

"Aye, chief. We'll be there in less than 2 minutes." replied the pilot.

The Yydryl transmission continued.


“I will show you around the SHIP and offer you lodging, however we understand if you would be more comfortable onboard your vessel. We have a lovely bar and lots of Earth beverages, so I do hope we can all meet for a cocktail mixer. I will fill you in to the best of my knowledge and hopefully you can fill me in on the whereabouts of the Earth destroyers, the Ophchi. Together we will stop them, is our hope. Looks like you are almost here, I will meet you in the docking bay. Mars out!”



Since Officer Mars had signed out, and was apparently en route to the meeting point, nenothtu made no reply, but adjusted himself in the seat straps, and place one hand on the main buckle for a quick egress. He never was very big on waiting.

As the tiny scout ship was coming about, and bearing down on the point marked in the schematics as the docking bay door, another transmission came in from the Yydryl, but in a different voice.


Originally posted by silo13

‘Penelope. This is Attendant To Ship Silo. Penelope be advised the Yydryl’s undergone a security breech. Someone or something may be trying to leave our docking bays. Penelope, you want your man, you best get in here now! ATS Silo out!’



Nenothtu issued orders to the co-pilot. "Wright, warm up the foreward guns, and route fire control to my console. Can't let 'em just skitter away like that."

"Aye, chief. Done." came the reply from Wright.

No backtalk? Either nenothtu had finally singled out a fairly professional team, or else they were just as tense as he was.

The bay doors slid open, and the StarWolf entered the massive alien vessel without incident, other than a strange shimmering as they broke the plane of the bay doors, and entered the bay proper. As Wilson lowered the scout ship to a landing on a marked pad, neno told Wright to power down the weapons, unbuckled, and sprang from his acceleration seat.

"Alright, we're down. Gather 'round at the airlock."

Nenothtu cycled the inner airlock door as he spoke to the team. "Evidently there's been some sort of 'incident' while we were on our way here. Eyes sharp. Miss Bransom, you stay aboard until we check the docking area and clear it. Adams, you're with the President, as body guard."

Mary Bransom broke in "You called me PRESIDENT! It's a start, I suppose"

Neno snickered. "Don't get all giddy, Mary. It's just a job title, nothing more. Wilson, Hicks, Zielinski, and Wright. You exit first, take up defensive positions, without APPEARING to be defensive. Keep your sidearms holstered, but limber them up in case you need 'em quick. Under NO circumstances are you to leave the StarWolf's perimeter until I say so. Stay close, in case we gotta bug out."

"Are we ready?" neno asked the asembled team.

With nervous nods all around, nenothtu cycled the outer airlock door, and all but Adams and Bransom stepped out into the brightly lit docking bay, looking around for friend or foe.





[edit on 2009/10/15 by nenothtu]



posted on Oct, 16 2009 @ 03:26 AM
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‘Carpet?’ I whispered in a hush.

It’d been ages since I'd talked to my friend but I didn’t dare give away the fact I was trying to communicate with the Milli-Being by bending down to run my hands through his fibers. I didn’t know who or what might be watching or how far this Shapeshifter could go to disguise himself.

‘Carpet, you there?’ A little louder this time.

‘Silo, why're you whispering?’ Carpet answered matching my whisper with his own.



Hearing my friend made my eyes hot and prickly.

‘Carpet. I got a question for you.’ I kept my voice low and continued towards Ship’s Center.

‘What’s wrong?‘

‘You’re a Milli-Being, millions of separate parts that add up to one, but, could something imitate a Milli-Being?‘

‘Like what?‘

‘Like, a Shapeshifter?’ I hesitated over the word.

‘No.’ Carpet almost laughed but realized I was serious and continued gravely. ’No Silo, it would be impossible even for a Shifter. Why? What’s wrong, and what’ve you got Agnes for?’ Carpet asked.




‘Well we’ve got one aboard, a Shapeshifter. It’s got something to do with the U-Man Studious and it’s already used Deson for no good.’

Carpet swore an oath, a shudder of revulsion passed over him like a wind ruffling his fibers.

‘What happened? Is Deson alright?‘ That I had Agnes answered Carpet’s question, but he asked anyway.

‘Come on. Get me to Ship’s Center and I’ll tell you on the way, just keep it down.’

Carpet’s knap parted before my feet like an ocean wave, falling away as I jogged forward following his wake.

‘There’s a Shapeshifter aboard. It called off the high alert Deson set, called off the guard droids in the docking bays and did it all by imitating him.‘ I tried hard not to let my voice choke up, and failed. ‘And I don’t know how Deson is. I can’t find him. That’s why I’ve got Agnes.’

Carpets colors had changed to a deeper hue letting his anger show over the betrayal of the Armor. ‘So that’s what your call to the Penelope was all about. They’re here you know.’ He finished.

‘They’re here?‘ I stumbled and righted myself. I didn’t know if I was relieved or not the crew of the Penelope had responded so quickly to my distress call.

‘Yes, they just came aboard.‘ Carpet said matter-of-factly which eased my mind. If Carpet had no prejudices on the crews arrival I could let my guard down even more. Or try to.

Reaching the massive doors of Ship’s Center I crouched to let my hands run through Carpet regardless of the chance I might be seen.

‘I miss you.’ My throat began to close, my eyes prickled again.

‘I miss you too Silo.’ Carpet replied softly.

‘Look, I’ve got to get in there and talk to Ship, find out what’s going on. In the mean time get some droids together, on my order, and get the floor of the bridge covered so you can enter, it’s been far too long you’ve been left out of there and we need you on deck.’

‘Will do Silo.‘ Carpet hesitated then went on. ‘And Silo, be careful in there, Ship’s Center it isn’t what it used to be anymore.’ Carpet’s voice was harsh an emotion I didn’t recognize but had no time to analyze.

‘I’ll be ok, promise. And I’ve got Agnes so...’ I let my voice fall off not sure how to finish the sentence, a sentence Carpet didn’t respond to.

Our goodbyes exchanged wordlessly I clenching my fingers tightly in Carpets fibers, he responded by wrapping his tendrils around my hand firmly before letting me go.

Standing up before the Center’s massive door I touched Ship’s amulet at my neck and waited for the seam to part and allow me in.

Penelope crew aboard or not I had something I had to do before I could go and help welcome them to the Yydryl.

 

Photo of 'Agnes' credit: Deson

 


[edit on 16-10-2009 by silo13]



posted on Oct, 16 2009 @ 01:06 PM
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While the security contingent from the Penelope stood at parade rest in the Yydryl docking bay, nenothtu took the opportunity to visually scan the area. This place was HUGE. On the far side of the docking bay stood a large, neatly aligned collection of spacecraft - mostly shuttles and fighters, it appeared. Neno surmised from the size of that collection that Yydryl must have a sizeable crew compliment.

Shiny metal men patrolled the docking bay, but paid no attention whatsoever to the group of humans standing there. The 'droids DID however, pay attention to one another, and some appeared to be conversing among themselves. nenothtu mused aloud "I wonder what the tin men are patrolling for, if not for US?"

Zielinski, standing at nenothtu's left elbow, replied "Who knows why aliens do what they do?"

As Zielinski was dispersing his pearls of wisdom, neno caught a flash of motion out of the corner of his left eye, somewhat behind Zielinski. Focusing on it, nenothtu saw a somewhat diminutive, apparently female, being skipping toward the group. The individual was humanoid, with a shock of purple hair from which protruded an extra pair of eyes, on stalks. She bounced right up to neno, and proceeded to look him up and down, paying particular attention to his holstered sidearm. Neno feverishly hoped he had not offended this individual by coming aboard armed, but under the circumstances it couldn't be helped. He'd given ample warning that that would be the case.

Apparently reaching some sort of decision, the being boldly reached out, and PINCHED nenothtu, HARD, on the right side of his stomach. Neno resisted the urge to scream "OUCH!" and instead mumbled under his breath "Now THAT'S gonna leave a mark!"

The being cocked her head to the side in a rather quizzical expression, then without fanfare skipped around the nose of the StarWolf, and promptly VANISHED.

"I wonder what the hell THAT was about?" growled nenothtu. "Testing a roast for fat content?"

Zielinski, trying and failing to hide his amusement at the spectacle, kept his eyes forward as he replied around a slight grin "Naah. Probably just the way these aliens greet one another. Better get used to it, Chief. Who knows why aliens do the things they do?" and then Zielinski shut up, before a snort escaped.

That left neno to wonder some more. It was rather strange that he had picked up NO "feelings" at all from the cheeky little alien.

It was as if he had been pinched by nothing. Or everything all at once.

what a strange universe.

Nenothtu absently rubbed the growing bruise just under his ribcage from the pinch. "Helluva pinch that was!" he mused. Reaching a decision as to the relative danger of the area, or rather lack thereof, he called into the hatchway. "Adams. Mary. Y'all can come out, it looks fine out here. Just a bunch of Tin Men, who are ignoring us."

He neglected to mention the pinching episode to Mary Bransom. She might LIKE that sort of thing. In any event, hearing her squeal from a repeat performance would be well worth the price of the ticket.

Neno tried to hide his grin as Adams an Bransom stepped forth from the StarWolf.



[edit on 2009/10/16 by nenothtu]



posted on Oct, 16 2009 @ 02:52 PM
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Apparently the StarWolf had beat Cim to the docking bay, as the group was standing there as she arrived. “Greetings Earthlings!” says Cim laughing at her own joke.

“Sorry, I have spent a lot of time on Earth, therefore my sense of humor.” She extended her hand to the one in charge. “I am Officer Mars, but call me Cim, you must be Lieutenant Nenothtu?”

“Officer Mars, President Bransom and my men” he gestures to the appropriate parties.

President Bransom extends her hand “Please to meet you. So you have spent time on Earth?” Bransom’s voice cracks a bit with this question.

“Cim smiles “Yes, I have. I will tell you all about it, once we are somewhere safer.
With the shape shifter at large, I want to go to The Swamp” says Cim.

Bransom’s body started to twitch “Swamp, what do you mean? ….”
Lieutenant Nenothtu put his hand up to silence Bransom. “Relax Mary!”

“Oh the Swamp is our bar or recreational space. No need to worry just a safe place to talk. Follow me please.” Says Cim as she leads them out of the docking bay.

“Who was that purple headed little alien that came up and pinched me and then without a word, skipped away!” ask Nenothtu.

Cim stopped abruptly, “Excuse me! Silo was here?”

“She didn’t introduce herself, she just pinched me hard and skipped away.” He said with a bit of sarcasm in his voice.

“Have your men on full alert! Something is rotten in the state of Denmark. That wasn’t Silo but the shape shifter posing as my friend. Please do not shoot my friend, that is what she looks like but that was not her.” Cim uses her personal com to call Silo “Silo, where are you? Our guest are here and the shape shifter has just impersonated you to them, this could become very dangerous, please meet us in the Swamp. We need to ascertain a way to distinguish ourselves.” Cim finished and looked to the Lieutenant. “Shall we?” she said and led the way.




[edit on 16-10-2009 by cindymars]



posted on Oct, 16 2009 @ 03:36 PM
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Nenothtu started out directly behind Cim, leaving the rest to trail behind.

President Miss Mary Bransom took exception to that lineup. "Lieutenant Commander, I think I should be at the head of this line, as Chief of State."

"Chill, Mary." replied nenothtu. " I'm on a mission. The key word mentioned back there in reference to the 'Swamp' was 'bar'. I gotta get to beer, mucho pronto, to sterilize this bruise - from the inside where it's most pernicious. Besides, as 'Head of State', you need to be back there where you're most protected, completely surrounded by armed men, right? How about we let the folks most expendable, meaning ME, walk point? huh?"

She couldn't really argue with his reasoning, and so closed her mouth.

Turning back to Cim, who was far too human, and far too obviously female, neno said "Ms. Mars... er, umm I mean Cim. I don't stand much on formalities. Rather than referring to me by a rank, you can just call me 'nenothtu' or 'neno'. My friends calls me neno."

Just then, Hicks piped up and said "Yeah, I heard he actually SHOT some guy that called him 'sir'!"

Nenothtu wheeled around on Hicks. "Shaddup. If I want YOUR opinion, I'll issue it to you! Besides, yer making me look bad in front of our host with that unfounded rumor!. More 'watch', less 'talk'. We DO have a job to do."

Neno turned back around, and they continued on towards the Swamp. Nenothtu resumed his conversation with Cim. "That 'shapeshifter' - I got nothing from it, no..." he wasn't quite sure just how to phrase it... "no FEELINGS. At all. It was like the lights were on, but nobody was home. I can generally... ummm... sense a dangerous situation, but I got NOTHING from it. Any idea why that might be? How does it figure into the situation here? What SORT of danger does it present? I mean, I ain't very well gonna SHOOT anything or anyone over a piddling little PINCH."

[edit on 2009/10/16 by nenothtu]



posted on Oct, 17 2009 @ 04:21 AM
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That is was so dark was my first surprise.
Having slipped through the massive doors of the Center I went from a corridor of light into blackness.

Toeing my way forward through the darkness gravel slipped and crunched under my feet, the gentle tilt of the terrain telling me I was moving down.

‘Ship?’ I called out, one hand before me to steady me in the dark, the other clutching Agnes close.

‘Hello Silo. Welcome home.’ Ship answered her voice rich with emotion.

‘Ship? These caves! Look what you’ve done! It’s so, so... Well, you’ve been busy!’ I bumbled out at a loss for words.

‘Yes’ she laughed, ‘I have been Silo. Now you know why I haven't answered you as often as I might.’ Her voice held a small grin and a big pride.

‘Yes, I had wondered.‘ I grunted and slipped but stayed on my feet and kept moving down the slope, drawn to the bottom.

Reaching level ground I stopped to wipe sweat out of my eyes and catch my breath. ‘Ship this is fantastic!’ I cried spinning around trying to take it all in.

‘It is, isn‘t it. And I couldn‘t have done it at all without you and CindyMars,‘ she sighed in thanks. ’Now keep going Silo, through the mouth of the cave, into the light.’



Striding forward through gravel turned to softer stuff like sugary sand and spilled out over the lip of the cave I made my way to the wide opening and stopped. The sight that met me there at the mouth of that cave? It was something beyond my wildest dreams.

I’d pictured Ship’s Center in my mind’s eye for so long I wasn’t prepared to behold it in it‘s reality. Only now seeing it live, smelling it’s perfume, feeling the mist on my skin did I realize what puny visions I’d been carrying about in my mind.

Stepping out of the cave I lowered Agnes to my side, my other hand came up to shield me eyes. It was too rich, too green, to alive, and all too real.

Ship’s Center, was a jungle.

‘My Creator! Ship! All this!’ The last word drawn out in a long unbelievable hiss.

The great jungles I’d visited with CindyMars? They were right here - here in her Center!




Huge untamed ferns spread out before me blocking my path with their fan like leaves.
Ropey vines so alive I could almost see them twining around my feet as they grew blocked my path.
The pungent sweetness of decaying life and life springing anew surrounded me in a blanket of cloying mist.
The Jungle.
Impenetrable. Dangerous. And alive.

From the thick base of a massive tree my antenna climbed it’s bark, kept climbing until for the first time I saw it.
Sky.
Ship’s Center had sky.
No more endless black space filled with starry lights.
Ship’s Center was crowned in sky, brightly glowing blue sky.




‘A sun?’ Ship laughed a sad laugh. ‘You don’t have to ask Silo, no, there is no sun, yet. But we’ll get one you watch. Somehow, we’re going to get one.’

A sharp sting to the side of my face distracted me from Ship’s words, I automatically reached up and slapped at the needle prick of pain.

‘What!’ I couldn’t believe my eyes as there in my hand lay the unmistakable bloody smear of a mosquito.

‘Ship?’ My brows furrowed as I wiped my hand on a leafy fern at my fingertips.

‘Yes Silo, mosquitoes. There’s life here beyond what I’ve grown from the samples you and Mars brought me. Nothing bigger than spiders and snakes yet, well, a few bats, but, there’s more than plant life here Silo. Much more.’ Her voice held a secret, something left unsaid.

‘But... But Ship..?’ I didn’t know what to say.

‘Silo. This is only a part of the Center. There’s so much more. Valleys as green as the Oregon CindyMars loves so much. Deserts dry and filled with cacti. Rivers and ponds. Fish. It’s life Silo. And growing at a rate that would make your head spin.’

My head was already spinning.

‘Rivers? Lakes and ponds? I couldn’t believe what she was saying. But yes, it was possible. The Whales!



‘Good guess Silo, and you’re right. I jettisoned the sea water from the Whales tanks, and had the droids re-rout much of the system filling it with fresh water. Remember, those Whales could go most anywhere aboard Ship? Now all that water and all that plumbing is here in the Center. You’ll see it all soon enough, but not today.’ Ship sighed a little disappointed.

‘Why not!’ I wanted to run forward, to explore every inch, to leave the ‘other side’ of Ship behind me.

Then I stopped and answered my own question.
Why not?
Because friendship and duty called.

CindyMars. I couldn’t leave CindyMars. And Carpet? My beloved Carpet? I’d have to find a way to introduce him into the Center! And Chumley, who I shouldn’t leave alone for a minute, but I had! And in a Deson Flyer!
With that thought I began scrambling up the cave as fast as I could trying not to slip and fall as the gravel spun and rolled away under my feet.

‘Ship. It’s fabulous, it’s unbelievable.’ I panted as I climbed. ’I don’t even know what to say, I don’t, but...!’

‘But you have to get back to your friends and the Penelope crew. They’re aboard you know and in fact they’ve already run into the Shifter. As you.’ She added.

‘WHAT!?’ I slipped, almost fell, regained my footing and kept climbing.

‘Yes, they met up with the Shifter in your form. I’m sure they’ll tell you about it. And Silo?’ Ship’s voice asked me to pause a moment, and I did, just outside the Center’s doors.

‘Silo... The Shifter. You must be wondering why I can’t help you catch it. You must think it would be easy for me. But it’s not Silo.‘ Ship paused again as if she had to search through something dim for the right words to bring her thoughts to light.

‘I’m sorry I can’t help you with the Shifter but you see, I need to *feel* to do that, and...' Ship chose her words carefully now. 'In order to track a being aboard I need to be able to feel it’s life presence, be able to feel it and take a hold of it to track and watch over it.'

The Shifter?’ Ship’s voice spat the name and my feet skipped for purchase as the whole of Ship gave a massive shudder.
‘'With the Shifter I can’t feel. I can't feel anything.’ Ship whispered the last word like a failure.

‘Oh Ship...’ Something black as the cave crawled up my spine leaving dread in it’s wake.

I had to get back to Chumley, I had to find Deson and I had to warn the crew of the Penelope. Those U-Mans had no idea what they were up against, none of us did.

‘Ship. I promise. I’ll be back as soon as I can. And Ship. It’s wonderful. It’s...’

‘You don’t have to say it Silo, I know. But be careful little one. I’ll be watching and helping when and where I can.’

A warm weight wrapped around my shoulders and for the second time I felt Ship was hugging me, holding me still, then a tight squeeze and I was released.

The Center’s doors inched open, I flattened myself, slipped through, and as simple as that I was back in the corridor, back to Ship’s duties and the problems facing us all.

CindyMars. I’d promised Cim I’d meet her at the Swamp where she would bring the U-Mans.

A hysterical laugh threatened to bubble up. The Swamp. If they only knew! We had a real one now!

Wiping my face and straightening my uniform I wondered at the sight I made but there was no time for primping, I had to get to my friends and the Penelope crew, tell them the news.

For after getting just a tiny glimpse of the Center, I knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, the U-man Studious, and the Shapeshifter?

They could be hiding anywhere in this world.

[edit on 17-10-2009 by silo13]




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