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The Voyages of the Penelope and the Yydryl

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posted on Oct, 19 2009 @ 01:34 PM

"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." Says the Lieutenant Commander to Cim as they near The Swamp.

Cim really had no knowledge of the shape-shifter, who it was, why it was here or what it had done for that matter, so she had no idea how to answer the Lieutenant Commanders question. “I wish that I could answer those questions Lieutenant…I mean Neno. We have arrived.” Cim had communicated with Harvey that important guest were on their way and to have the bar ready to receive them. When they walked in the bar looked like it was ready for some Earth style New Year’s Eve party, white and black balloons and streamers were all over the place, it wasn’t exactly what Cim would have done but she appreciated the efforts of Harvey the bar-droid. A very odd selection was playing on the viewscreen.

“Welcome!” says Cim with a chuckle. “I know now is not the time for a party, Harvey my bar-droid sort of got carried away but let us have some refreshments and sit and talk. At least we are safe here.”

The Penelope contingent looked completely perplexed by this place and its décor.
“Well this is certainly odd.” says Bransom.

“Yes, yes it is odd!” says Cim with a smile to the lady.
“What sort of beverage would you like? I am hoping that Silo shows up soon so we do not have to repeat ourselves.”

“I will have a beer if you have one? Maybe two?” says Neno as he cuts his eyes toward Mary Bransom while looking at Cim.

“Beer all around?” Cim suggest and everyone agreed. “Harvey get the bottled beer that I brought from Earth. That may be more comforting to you on this strange vessel.” She says while addressing Harvey and the guest simultaneously.

Once everyone had been served, Cim raised her glass. “Hopefully to a new friendship!”
Everyone toasted clinking bottles and glasses. Silo still had not arrived.

[edit on 19-10-2009 by cindymars]

posted on Oct, 20 2009 @ 12:55 AM

Stepping out onto the apron of the dock housing the Deson Flier set me as close to the head of the fighter as I could get from the ground. Close enough so there was no doubt I could be heard by Chumley who was still inside the bird. Chumley who had yet to complying to my orders to make his exit.

‘Come on Chumley! We’ve got to go! Would you just get out here...’ Pacing back and forth impatiently I mentally fingered my ace card wondering if I dared pull it on the big Guard. Hesitant, I’d wait a moment longer and if he still refused to give up his seat on the Flier I wouldn’t hesitate.

Passing the end of the fighter I could now see what her tail section had blocked from view. The U-Man's vessel nestled in amongst the Yydryl’s big birds.

Sleek, perfectly turned out, the alien bird was magnificent. Her beauty was a siren's call inviting a closer look but the soft blue energy field pulsing gently from her stem to her stern said don't touch. I’d like to have had the time to investigate it fully but whatever the security device was, and exquisite as the U-Man’s vessel might be, I wasn't going to get any closer than I had to. Especially not without a U-Man.

‘Chumley this is your last warning.’ I bellowed over my shoulder. ‘Get out here now! If I know CindyMars they’re waiting for us in the Swamp.’

Still no reply.

‘Chumley, they’re waiting with beer, and pretzels.’ I sighed and turned back to the fighter making my way to it‘s door. I’d have to go in and get him.

Before I reached the port it slid open neatly as Regellian oaths shook the Flier. Chumley was beginning his exit.

‘I was coming out Silo. I was.’ Came a muffled complaint from inside the flier as Chumley’s tail exited first, followed by one half moon of his massive hind end before he gave a great twist, grasped the port with his tentacles for leverage and exited his left half before popping free of the door all together.

‘Sorry Silo, I was stuck.’ Chumley grinned foolishly and joined me on the apron after giving himself a huge shake to settle his massive leathery folds back into place.

‘I hadn’t thought of your size when I sent you into the fighter Deson, my apologies.’ I’d wonder later how he’d even gotten into the Flier much less back out again.

Chumley grunted in a dismissal while his eyes fastened on the Penelope’s rig sitting motionless in the bay.

‘She’ll fry ya...’ Chumley took a step up the plank away from the Flier and the docks.

‘What?‘ I followed his eyes back to the alien craft it's soft blue glow, so beautiful to see in the dark.

‘She’ll fry ya.‘ Making a horrible hissing sound like fat burning over a fire Chumley turned his back on the ship, cocked his head, and waited to see what we'd do next.

Taking a last look at the vessel I gave a shudder and waved for the big guard to follow. ‘Come on Chum, we gotta go.’

Breaking into a run I used the distance from the docks to the Swamp to explain the changes in Ship’s Center to the Regellian. Telling by his grunts of amazement and louder moans of disgust the last place he wanted to be was headed for Ship’s bar and the U-Mans. Like me he wanted to turn back around to explore the new Yydryl terrain and continue looking for Deson. But he followed, duty called.

A few steps from the Swamps door I stopped, held my finger to my lips for quiet as we leaned our heads as close to the door as we could without being seen from those inside.

CindyMars could be heard welcoming the U-Mans along with the soft rustling of bodies settling into place at the huge round table in the middle of the room. They were about to start without us.

Rising up on my tip toes I got as close to Chumley's ear as I could get before speaking.

‘Listen up Chumley. You’re our Security Officer. You’ve got to make us look good here. Show these U-Mans a thing or two. You be polite and courteous,‘ The Regellian began to bristle, his body language telling the story of how he’d rather pound the U-Mans into fertilizer. ‘Chumley, stop that and listen. You be gracious. And you be professional. That means no pounding anyone.‘ His body turned tone was like a mountain side, unyielding and set to pound.

It was time for that ace card.

‘Chumley. It’s what Security Officer Whisper would have wanted.’

Brushing invisible particles off the cuff of my sleeve, lowering my tentacles and poking my hair into place, arranging myself into a semblance of being presentable kept me from seeing the expression on the guards face, the look in his eyes. I didn’t want to witness his reaction to my purposefully bringing up his missing master, his beloved Whisper. It was one thing to use Whisper’s memory to control the Regellian, it was another thing to see for myself the result mentioning her brought.

Calling myself a coward of the first water I gave Chumley a pat on the shoulder and made sure he matched my step as we marched into the Swamp to take our place next to CindyMars.

[edit on 20-10-2009 by silo13]

posted on Oct, 20 2009 @ 03:49 AM

After the toast to a budding friendship, officer Mars - Cim, neno corrected himself in his mind - ushered the group to a large round table in the Swamp.

Nenothtu was accustomed to sitting at seats in corners, particularly so at bars, even festive ones, so that he could see everything coming his way. It all had to come from the front then, funneled in by the walls, and left him with less real estate to have to watch. Since the current protocol didn't offer that option, neno chose to sit at the table with his back to Harvey, at the bar, and facing towards the doorway.

"Chose" is a rather loose use of the term. It was more of an instinct, or a habit ingrained over years, without much conscious thought involved. Nenothtu, watching President Bransom, inwardly giggled in amusement. A round table had no head, and Mary Bransom seemed nonplussed, not knowing where to sit.

After surveying the video playing on the screen, President Bransom said to nenothtu sotto voce "That video certainly doesn't present humans in a very good light. It appears I have my work cut out for me, diplomatically speaking."

Neno swallowed quickly, to avoid embarrassing himself by spewing beer all over the highly polished table. When he had regained control, he snorted and said "It's a comedy Mary. A genre I'm sure you are unfamiliar with, or have no appreciation of. Late 20th century, I believe."

Bransom was incredulous. "They called THAT singing in the 20th century? It's BARBARIC!"

Nenothtu was beginning to get irritated with her. Teaching diplomats diplomacy, or presidents manners, was NOT in his job description. "COMEDY, Mary. It's funny. Humor, which you have NO sense of." Then, with one of his crooked grins, he just couldn't resist adding " Be glad it's that creature doing the singing and dancing, and not ME! Of course, if you'd like, I can regale you with a sample... " and started to push his chair back, preparatory to standing.

Miss Bransom's eyes shot wide, and she blanched, hastily saying "No no! That will be QUITE alright! I have no need for a demonstration of your artistic prowess at the moment!" Oh how this neanderthal unnerved her at times!

Nenothtu pulled himself back up to the table, a smug look on his face. At that moment, he caught a movement at the doorway to the Swamp, and became all business, focusing on the doorway. Two figures came through the door, a very, very large tentacled being, and a smaller lightly constructed being, with purple hair, and big eyes. Female, in a tomboyish sort of way. The prototype of the being that had pinched him in the hanger bay, except it lacked the eyestalks of the former being. His right eyebrow shot up in a quizzical expression. The larger of the pair was a Regellian. He'd never been in the same room with one before, and this one was huge. Neno was no judge of alien expressions, but the Regellian didn't LOOK very happy from where neno sat. He hoped the Regellian wasn't hungry at the moment.

Nenothtu arose in what he hoped passed for a gesture of respect, nervously cleared his throat, and, nodding towards the oncoming pair, said "Looks like we have a couple more attendees arriving". He remained standing at parade rest as they came towards the group at the table.

[edit on 2009/10/20 by nenothtu]

posted on Oct, 20 2009 @ 03:06 PM

Finally Silo had arrived with Chumley in tow, the look on Bransom’s face, priceless.
Cim was amusing herself thinking that she should have Chumley give Bransom a tour of the SHIP and blow one for her. She had to stifle and all out chuckle at this thought.

Silo and Chumley took their seats. Cim leaned over to Silo and ask her Deson’s whereabouts. “He is missing.” whispers Silo. “That’s just great!” whispers Cim in reply.

Cim stands up and smiles “Lieutenant Commander Neno, President Bransom this is Attendant to SHIP Silo and our Head of Security Chumley. I will leave it to you to introduce your men. Please if anyone needs anything at all let me know.” Cim was stalling as she was not to sure how much to reveal to them and or if she trusted them
with her secrets.

“Before we share a bit about ourselves with one another, I think we need a way to identify ourselves from the Shifter. Silo the Shifter posed as you earlier and I feel this poses additional danger. So, a password?” She looks around the table, Neno says “Sure why not but we should meet here every 6 hours and change it.” Mary was watching in absolute disgust as Chumley was shoving pretzels in his face. Cim continued “It should be a question and answer, for example, I see you Neno in the corridor, I say “Do you like beer?” and you reply, “Only with pretzels.” it needs to be exact. We should all carry a high dosage of sedative in a small weapon, if you reply incorrectly you will be sedated. How does that sound?” she looks around the table and gets a nod from Neno and Silo looks very distracted, no wonder as Harvey was now donning a top hat and was twirling a cane. Cim thought “Note to self next time she told Harvey that guest were coming do not tell him, we are “Putting on the Ritz”, he might take it literally.

posted on Oct, 21 2009 @ 04:37 PM

Nenothtu watched Chumley "eating" pretzels, and noted Mary's reaction with some amusement. "Yup" neno thought "he's security all right! and a big 'un at that! We must all be pretty much the same, all across the universe."

After hearing Cim's notions for friend/foe recognition, neno said "Challenge and Password it is, then. We'll sort out the exact phrases before we leave, and re-convene every 6 hours to refresh them." He stood.

"Yydryl crew" he stated, nodding towards each individually, "I present to you Ms Mary Bransom, nominal president of the United Earth Federation. She was bumped into the position as next in line when" and here his expression clouded somewhat "when Earth was ravaged and nigh destroyed by the Ophiuchi, those scroggin' Buzzards! Our president was among the casualties, and Ms Bransom was promoted to President as next in line. A battlefield commission, as it were. We plucked her out of the wreckage of the L2 Station that orbited Earth, in company with a few thousand refugees."

He cleared his throat, and continued. "The gentleman standing behind her is Hicks. He's one of our top security crewmen, and is currently Ms Bransom's bodyguard, until I tell him different. The gentleman to my right is Wilson, my pilot and my second, should anything untoward befall me in this mission. In other words, he takes over the Earth contingent if I get dropped. Mr. Wright" he indicated one of the guards with a nod "is my co-pilot, and when not flying he's one of the security team, as are Zielinski and Adams, the two gentlemen at the bar."

Neno paused before continuing. "I am nenothtu. Most folks shorten it to 'neno', since that's easier to pronounce. I was born as Cecil Frederick Carpenter, but no one remembers him any more. For all practical purposes, I am nenothtu. I was born in the forest-shrouded mountains of the Autonomous Republic of Vandalia, on Earth..."

Mary Bransom interrupted him with "You're a VANDAL? That explains a lot!"

Neno shot her an annoyed glance. "You'll get your turn to speak, Mary. Right now it's mine."

Nenothtu could tell from the expression on Silo's face that she appeared to be confused by the way he addressed a Dignitary of the UEF, THE digniatary of the UEF, as if she were just another crewman. He let it pass without explanation, and continued.

"Vandalia is ... I mean WAS... a pretty rough and wild area, and that's how I grew up. It's how I AM. It never really recovered after the civil unrest leading up to the Energy Wars on Earth. As wild as it was, it was HOME to me, and I can never go back. None of us can" he paused to indicate the Earth contingent "because it's not really liveable any more. No matter how long I live, I'll never see those mountains again." he started to go into a stare, seeing things that simply were no more, but quickly recovered. "And so we come to now. Wherever I hang my hat is home, and currently it hangs on the Penelope. I'm in charge of Security there, and have a fairly extensive background to qualify for it. That about sums me up." and he sat back down.

"We're here to capture Studious, but it appears this 'shapeshifter' you have could be problematic. Does anyone know anything about it? At all?" For all intents and purposes, neno appeared to be oblivious to the antics of the robotic barkeep behind him, which seemed to amuse the others at the table to no end.

nenothtu full background

[edit on 2009/10/21 by nenothtu]

posted on Oct, 22 2009 @ 03:12 AM

Taking my seat at the round table I was flooded with calm.
I thought I’d be tense, this formal meeting between the Penelope crew and the Yydryl, but Deson, our Armor’s empty chair held testament he was still missing and thus canceling out any nervousness I might have felt. What replaced the nerves? Anger. Preoccupation. Concern for a crew mate that had become my friend.

Chumley our stand-in Security Officer, a Regellian of enormous size sat next to me, CindyMars our Leisure Officer on the opposite side and closest to the U-Mans, situated strategically as the head of our group.

We three, the missing Deson, our Milli-Being ‘Carpet ‘and Ship herself concluded the crew roster of the Yydryl. That and too many working droids to count.

As I took my chair one of the U-Men had began his introductions giving me the opportunity to use the time the groups attention was focused on him, their leader, to closer inspect the Penelope crew and attendants undetected.

I found them a clean, good looking lot, well groomed and attentive but not cowed by their leader, they met his gaze firmly and with admiration and respect.
I hoped their good turn out and comportment would follow through the whole of their mission here on the Yydryl.

My attention went back to Neno, as he called himself, who spoke with longing of his home, of earth and all he’d never see again. Pain grown from loss thickened his voice and surprisingly I found my own throat closing up with emotion. That he’d lost his home, and loved it still said something about the U-man. The Neno finished his speech, cleared his throat and sat down.

CindyMars clapped lightly as he took his seat, we all followed her example and after thanking Nenothtu for his introduction our Leisure Officer turned my way and presented me to the group.

Taking to my feet CindyMars laid a gentle hand on my shoulder and pushed me back in my seat. I silently praised her for her small act of kindness and from where I sat braced by my crewmates I began.

‘Welcome Penelope Crew, be welcomed President Bransom.’ I nodded in her direction. ‘As Officer Mars said, I’m Attendant To Ship Silo, please, call me Silo.‘ I smiled and met the eyes of each person before I continued.

‘Silo stands for Self Integrating Life Organism. I’m not A.I, and though I am bioengineered, I’m live and unique so.
I can morph at will into most forms with exception to Milli-Beings, like water, and the Yydryl's very own...’ But before I could say the name of our MIlli-being ‘Carpet’ I felt his tendrils wrap around my foot and give it a hard yank in warning. For whatever reason Carpet chose to remain anonymous, so be it. Coughing to cover my verbal stumble I continued.

‘I‘m non aggressive, I carry no bio-hazards that would effect U-Mans and I’ve a hope we can apprehend the U-Man Studious and the Shifter as soon as possible.’
‘And,‘ I added looking straight at the Neno, ’I don’t pinch.’
I’d heard the story of The Neno’s encounter with the Shifter and felt a need to add that pinching was purely an affectation of the Shifter.

Reaching for the beer Harvey placed before me I let my hand drop when Nenothtu caught my eye and winked in reference to my remark. Forgetting the beer I smiled back leaned forward across the table and went on.

‘I started off on the Yydryl as a victim of a Shanghai. Someone or something took me from a Space Bar I frequented and left me unconscious aboard Ship.‘ In explanation I followed, ‘My reason for divulging this? I’ve no idea who or what left me here or the reasons behind the incident. I don’t believe my situation is related in any way to the presence of the Shifter, but, I can’t rule the possibility out either.’

Reliving the incident in my mind I wondered for the first time if there could be a connection between myself and the Shifter? Unconsciously my antenna rose to survey the group as my thoughts turned inward.

President Branson’s eyes widened in horror, sputtering and gasping she began to squirm in her chair while growing an alarming shade of red. Neno silenced her with a glare, pointed to her beer and motioned her to drink. She drank.

Shaken from my reverie I ignored President Bransom turning my full attention on the Neno.

‘Something else you need to know Sir. Deson, our Ship’s Armor, he’s gone missing.’ My voice cracked, I looked away from the Neno’s knowing eyes at the empty chair, he read the significance in my glance.
‘We’ve searched everywhere on Ship for Deson, everywhere but the Center, and, that’s what I have to tell you about Sir.’

‘The Center?’ He replied and seemed to know instinctively the Center would be meaningful to him.

‘Yes, the Center, the live core of the Yydryl. You see, She’s not hollow as She seems from the outside Sir. She’s...‘ At a loss for words my voice faltered but I blustered on. ‘You’ll have to see it to believe it Sir. I nearly don‘t believe it myself.’

‘So we’ll make that the first target of our search?’

‘Yes Sir.’ I responded and smiled again. He was a quick one for a U-man.

The Neno nodded, his eyebrows crinkled in thought, the flat of his palms and pointed fingers met forming a steeple to rest his chin on.

Returning my attention to the group I brought my intro to a close. ‘Welcome again Penelope. I’m looking forward to assisting you in any way I can, don’t hesitate to ask.’

Nodding my head to each of the Penelope crew I leaned back, wiped my face on my sleeve and cringed. I was sweating as much as my beer glass. But I wasn’t the only one who’d grown nervous over the last few moments, poor Chumley was nigh on hysterical in anticipation of his turn at introducing himself.

‘Oh, excuse me, one moment.’ Pointing to Chumley who’d gone a Regellian pale puce in terror I pat my friend reassuringly on the shoulder and whispered under my breath. ‘Don’t worry Chum, I’ll do this for you...‘

‘Penelope, may I introduce our Security Officer Chumley. Our Chief Officer Whisper is away on leave,‘ I improvised ‘So Chumley here will be the one you’ll need to talk to concerning security or computer issues. And don’t let his size and tentacles fool you, he’s a genius when it comes to the computer.’

Chumley moved his lips as if to say something but his tongue literally tied in knots, his eyes began to roll back in his head and I feared for a moment he would faint from stage fright.

‘Oh Mr. Chumley! How utterly fascinating! I feel soooo much safer knowing you’re aboard Sir...’ She tittered and wiggled her fingers like fat little caterpillars as all eyes turned in horrified fascination to President Bransom who cooed across the table at the Regellian guard.

He’d had enough. Chumley began to slump to the floor raising the tables edge causing drinks to skate away on their dew rings, the bowls of pretzels to slip down the slide he was creating of tables surface.

Rescuing a bowl pretzels for myself I downed half my beer, laughed indulgently at the spectacle my friend was making of himself and waited to see who’d introduce themselves next.

[edit on 22-10-2009 by silo13]

posted on Oct, 29 2009 @ 04:51 PM
I had been asleep for quite some time. I remember my com panel beeping at me a few times. I ignored it. Life on the penelope had become quite good for me, but something was missing. Even though I was a commander on a massive, super advanced space ship, I was not at ease.

My entire family was down on that planet when it was destroyed. I had disowned most of them years ago, but they were family nonetheless.

I picked up a data pad and sent some instructions to the science lab. We had finally worked out that quantum bug that was overloading the CPU's everytime Asher decided to leave or enter the ships processing array.

I could not ignore my duty to get revenge on those that destroyed my home planet. But it was becoming clear to me that Luder had the right idea. If not for Luder, I would be dead right now. But, Luder has been gone for some time and I cannot ignore that either. Even our captain could not handle it anymore. After seeing the entity called Asher, it had become even more apparent that there are things in this Universe that have still yet to be discovered. Perhaps earth can be saved another way I thought to myself.

I grabbed my pad once more and sent a message to Rabbit. "The processing logic error has been resolved. We have written a new sub protocol to dismiss the error as a sensor glitch to be discarded. We currently have a crew reviewing the attack data retrieved from the Yydryl".

My com panel lit up once again and started beeping at me. I decided it was a good idea to answer this time. "Yes. what can I do for you". I said. It was Andrea, one of the technicians from the lab. "Sir, we have traced the hacking signal using the new sub protocols you implemented. We have backtraced it through the quantum 5th dimension to a physical origin near the Sol system". I gave it some thought for a minute.

The Sol system? No one is alive there anymore. Earth was destroyed

"Very good, Andrea. Thank you for the information. Transfer it to my console in the Command Center and inform Captain Asher of your findings".

This was my opportunity I thought to myself. I started my walk to the command center. Once upon arriving there I put in a formal request to speak with Asher privately. This is my chance to follow a hunch.

posted on Oct, 30 2009 @ 03:05 PM

Originally posted by Studious

SS: “They are coming for us…..both of us. Join me, with our combined strength we’ll be able to survive.”

Studious: “I’ll never join you!”

SS: “If you only knew the power that the shadows wield. They never told you what happened to your wife.”

Studious: “I knew enough, they didn’t need to tell me.”

SS: “No, I am your…”

Studious: “NO, NO! That’s not true, that’s impossible!”

Confused the Shapeshifter speaks again “No, I am your only link to the truth.”

Studious pulls his hand up into his sleeve, covering it, and then wipes his forehead with it while giving a sigh of relief.

Shapeshifter: “Studious, you can destroy those who did this. It is your destiny. Join me and together we can avenge those we’ve lost.”

Studious looks at the Shapeshifter’s outstretched hand.

Shapeshifter: “Come with me it is the only way…”

Studious eyes the room but does not see an easy escape route.

Studious: “You said “they” want to kill us. Whom do you mean?”

The droid that had tried to take Studious’ cane away approaches and in a series of beeps and odd computer noises communicates with the Shapeshifter.

Shapeshifter: “Apparently a team from your ship.”

Studious: “The Penelope is here?”

Shapeshifter: “That is correct Studious, and a security team is on its way now.”

Studious: “Well if you’ll forgive me for struggling with you, then perhaps we should combine our efforts. Working together we may be able to avoid capture.”

Shapeshifter: “I hope so Colonel for your sake. They are not as forgiving as I am.”

The Shapeshifter turns and walks away.

Confused Studious asks “Where are you going?”

Shapeshifter: “I’m going to greet the boarding party.”

Studious: “Is that wise?”

Shapeshifter: “Yes when in disguise.”

The Shapeshifter leaves without saying another word as a confused Studious waits in the strange dark room.

Several minutes later the old man notices the alien, that had saved his life, arriving. Stunned he tries to explain what’s happened when suddenly the alien transforms back into the Shapeshifter.

Shapeshifter: “The team has arrived.”

Studious: “And…”

The Shapeshifter holds up a vile and says “I believe I have a copy of their leaders DNA.”

Studious: “Captain Luder?”

Shapeshifter: “No. The DNA of the boarding party’s leader. I remember when the Penetrator was controlling him. His name is Nenothtu.”

Studious: “How did you get…wait never mind…What are you going to do with that?”

Shapeshifter: “I’m going to make a duplicate.”

Studious: “Where?”

Shapeshifter: “The cocoons of course.”

Studious: “The cocoons, where I found the real NI-7?”

Shapeshifter: “Yes.”

Studious: “Why did you try to kill us after I found them?”

Shapeshifter: “Undoubtedly the question of who created the duplicates would lead them to me. By eliminating them I thought I could prevent the crew from learning too much about who they really were. But apparently I was too late.”

Studious: “What were those duplicates for?”

Shapeshifter: “You don’t need to know that. And we’re running out of time we need to get to the cocoons and make the duplicate of Nenothtu.”

Studious: “Why do you need a duplicate of the Chief?”

Shapeshifter: “It’s simple really. The duplicate will attack Ship. This will cause the Yydyrl crew to act against the boarding party and the Penelope crew will have to respond. With our would-be captors engaging each other we should be able to make our escape.”

Studious: “That’s all I need to know.”

The Old man moves toward the SS and hits him across the face with his cane.

The Shapeshifter stumbles backwards and yells “What are you doing!? I thought we had a deal!”

Studious: “You really need to pay more attention. I said perhaps we should combine our efforts.”

Shapeshifter: “You son of…”

The droid in the room starts firing at Studious who ducks behind the bed narrowly avoiding the deadly blasts.

Rather than fighting Studious the Shapeshifter takes off through the door leading to the hallway of the ship.

The Colonel, now lying low, waits for the droid to come closer. As it approaches he lunges and lands on top of it, out of its weapons range. After hitting the top of the droid with his cane the lid opens slightly, as if it had been opened recently before. Grabbing the opening he pulls the top of the droid off. The droid starts spinning in a circle as Studious looks inside finding an easily removable structure. He pulls the structure out and the droid turns off.

The Colonel gets up to chase after the SS but quickly realizes that if he is seen outside he will be detained or killed. Also realizing that the Shapeshifter on the other hand will be able to move without scrutiny from the crew. Quickly getting an idea the old man looks back at the hallowed out droid realizing he might be able to blend in as well....

[edit on 30-10-2009 by Studious]

posted on Nov, 2 2009 @ 12:05 PM

Pretzels finished down to the last few grains of salt in the bottom of the bowl, beer bubbles dried up to dregs sticky in the bottom of my glass and still they were talking. It was all I could do not to give another sigh of impatience but Cim had stilled my last one with a warning glare.
Creator but I was sick to death of diplomacy! It was time for action!

Turning to Chumley for distraction was no help at all. Once his initial fright over the introductions had passed, and with a few beers in him to oil the hinges, Chumley’s tongue had loosened up and he was fast becoming the ringleader of our little threesome. He’d thrown himself into the role of Security Officer with zeal answering each question put to him by the Penelope crew succinctly and in minute detail.

CindyMars joined in the conversation when her opinion was required but as the minutes grew to quarter hours, and then halves again I could tell she too was growing impatient with Chumley’s dialog.

A gentle pulse at my throat called to me. Ship required my assistance.
I wouldn’t be looking for Deson, but, if nothing else being required by Ship would get me out of the meeting and one step closer to finding my friend.

Excusing myself I stood and motioned for the others to remain seated.
Catching the eye of CindyMars and Chumley I pointed to Ship’s necklace hanging at my throat so they understood Ship was calling me and both nodded for me to go.
‘If anyone needs me I’ll be in the Center’ With another thanks to the crew of the Penelope I made my getaway from the Swamp feeling more than a little guilty I was leaving my friends behind but not sorry I was going.

Stopping by my quarters I slung a backpack across my shoulders, a replica of the utility backpack Cim and I had used on earth. Beyond the ropes and axes, fire making tools and provisions I included the knives Deson had made me and a small pistol I’d begun carrying since Deson’s disappearance. I was ready.

Trotting past the bridge I slowed to watch as two droids applied a thick sickly sweet smelling gel to the floor there.

‘Carpet? Are you all set?’ I cringed a bit at the stink and hoped whatever they were doing it would allow the Milli-Being access to more parts of the Ship.

‘Yes Silo, it’s working’ Carpet groaned. ’And yes, it does stink and yes, I am busy!’ He finished as if reading my mind.

Watching for another moment in silence I noticed a subtle change in the flooring as Carpet encroached into the bridge, slowly but surely growing the solution laid down by the droids into his own fibrous live material.

‘I’ll leave you to it then. And Carpet, welcome to the bridge my friend. I’ll be in the Center if you need me.’ And without waiting for a response I headed back in the direction of Ship’s Center.

Rounding the final corner a soft breeze tickled my face, the perfume of dense rich jungle filling the corridor. The door was open to the Center just waiting for me to slip inside.

Equipped with a flashlight from my back pack I proceeded in a rush to the cave floor and pulled to an abrupt stop.

Standing before me were three of the most beautiful little vehicles I’d ever seen - and a sight that brought tears to my eyes, Deson, hovering over the machines.

‘There you are Silo! I’ve been wondering when you’d finally get here!’ Chortling in good humor Deson trot up to where I stood, his face beaming in pride and delight.

Between wanting to hit him with the flashlight, and hug him all at once I opted for neither. But what I did do was yell.

‘Where the devil have you been! Deson! We’ve been frantic about you!” I hollered at the Armor near to crying in relief.

‘Silo, I...’ Deson looked aghast at my outburst, his head pulled back into his neck, his eyes gone wide.

‘Don't Silo me! You even left Agnes behind!

‘Don’t be absurd.’ Deson snorted in disgust. ’I gave Agnes to Chumley to store for me as he does each time I‘m through with her!‘ his tail swished angrily, his front hoof stomped the ground to accentuate his words.
‘And, for that matter, I told him precisely where I was going, what I was doing and asked him to inform you to meet me here at the Center! If anyone’s late it’s you, not me Silo! He ended by shaking his head fiercely then shivering his mane back into place.

‘Oh Deson, this is horrible!‘ It hit me like a curled fist what had happened. ‘Deson, that wasn’t Chumley!’

‘Not Chumley? You’re speaking in riddles. Make some sense will you!’ He snorted again unused to being yelled at and confused all at once.

Minutes later I’d recounted the arrival of the Penelope, the Shifters actions, the meeting taking place as we spoke, and my being called to the Center. Rubbing his hands over his face Deson let out a sigh and shuffled his feet nervously.

‘Silo, I should find a hologram center and put in an appearance at that meeting. It’s a good idea these U-Man get a look at me there first in the Swamp via hologram before seeing me in full form. All I need is some cowboy U-Man trying to hop on and give me a ride.’ Chuckling grimly he continued.
‘I’ll go back to my quarters and hologram myself over the Swamp. You’re welcome to take out one of the ‘WEEh’ if you’re headed deep into Center.’ He motioned to the three silvery rigs I had approached and started to inspect. ‘They hover over any surface for speed, you want to go slower, use the wheels.’ Deson’s eyes smiled at my reaction to his newest inventions. ‘Enjoy them Silo.’

‘What about fuel? How far can I go?’ Casting a glance at the mouth of the cave I couldn’t imagine what I’d find out there, but whatever it was, I knew it would be vast.

‘It’s beyond belief in there Silo.’ Deson’s eyes went soft. ‘It’s been so long since I’ve taken a run like I did today...’ His voice trailed off in longing. 'But to answer your question there are 4 full fuel cells under your seat. One alone should be enough to take you the full distance of the Center and back, but, that’s only a rough estimate. You're the first one to test the 'WEEhs" at distance so you'll have to figure it out as you go.'

‘How far did you go in?’ I asked, my eyes back from the cave opening to the little rig I was itching to ride.

‘Silo, I ran for nearly half the day before coming to some washland. It was all jungle until then.‘ He paused and took a breath letting it out slowly before he continued. ‘I don’t mind telling you, if I’d kept going and reached open plain...‘ He paused again then continued in a whisper. ‘...I was afraid I might not come back...’

Giving a snort of disgust Deson kicked out with his hind legs in a pirouette and began his ascend to the great door at the top of the cave.

‘Why did you name them ‘Wee’s Deson?’ I called up the rock face while running my hand over the smooth exterior of the craft.

‘Wee, with an ‘h’ at the end to be precise. It stands for Water, Earth, Environment Hover-Crawler.’ He called back.

‘Is that the only reason?’ I giggled straddling one of the rigs, surprised when it purred to life as I settled onto the seat.

‘No Silo, it isn’t the only reason.’ His chuckle rained down from the top of the cavern like a balm. I was so glad he was ok.

‘So Deson... You going to tell me the other reason?’ In teasing him I let him know without words how relieved I was I’d found him ok.

‘Oh don’t worry Silo, you’ll find out.’ Hearing the soft hiss of closing doors I knew Deson had exited the Center.

‘Ship? You here?’ I called while adjusting my backpack behind me on the little hover-crawler.

‘Yes Silo, I’m here.’ She answered her voice full of excitement.

‘So, what do you want me to do?’ Leaning forward, the craft’s wheels folded in on themselves, the hover-crawler lifted vertically to a rise just off the cave floor. Leaning into the machine it whirred softly and moved forward, then left and right, even backwards in response to my bodys movement.

‘I want you to go Silo. It’s time for you to see the Center.’

A thrill of joy rushed through me but left behind a trail of unease. This was all I’d been looking forward to for so long, but now that the moment had come I missed Cim and Chumley, Carpet and Deson. I wished somehow they could all come with me.

‘They’ll be here when we get back Silo.’ Ship called softly, knowingly. ’Come now, let’s go.’

Leaning forward the hover craft sensed my excitement, picked up it’s pace and flowed through the mouth of the cave and out into the jungle without hesitation.

It was like flying! Leaning down and forward tears streamed from my eyes as the wind whipped my face and it was all I could do not to shout with joy. Deson was a genius! The little machine responded like it was apart of me, accelerating to an unbelievable speed that only increased as we dipped and turned over the terrain, sped around patches of foliage branches, vines and trees.

Passing a washout and zooming down into a gully water spray fanned out on either side of me like racing geysers shooting up from the stream bed. Water! I couldn’t believe it! Only a tiny stream but it was still live water!

When the jungle opened out onto a field that grew right into the horizon, it’s wheaten grasses parting before me in welcome there was only one word to describe the sensation... And then I knew why Deson had chosen the name he did for his craft.


[edit on 2-11-2009 by silo13]

posted on Nov, 2 2009 @ 04:21 PM

Bransom went on and on about her importance in the Federation and how our alliance to her and the Federation would be beneficial and paramount in dealing with the Ophiuchi. After awhile, she sounded like this to Cim, “Blah, bhah, blah and of course blabady blabady blabady…” Silo found her way free and escaped as Chumley regaled Mary with his victories in battle.

Cim took the moment and invited Neno to the bar, where Harvey the bar droid, poured a couple snifters of berry liquor from Rigel, quite invigorating and helped one to keep their senses sharp and heightened. She handed him a small marble sized glowing blue orb charm amulet on a long silver chain, he looked at her funny “What is this?” Cim placed it around his neck “Just put it on, and hide it beneath your clothing, I need to be able to identify you. It has another purpose but it won’t do anything unless you know what to do, so for now just hang onto it for me, ok?” she ask as she sweetly touched his hand. Neno blushed a bit “Sure, uh, no problem,…thanks” he seemed a little apprehensive but he raised his glass and said “I am going to have to get me some of this, fantastic!”

“I am glad you like it. We are going to need a game plan, I would think that is more your line of work than mine, any ideas?” She had not been this close to such a masculine man in awhile, her thoughts drifted to Spera her birdman.

“Well Mam, give me another glass of this and I will come up with one.”
Cim smiled awoken from her thoughts “You got it!” They both noticed that Chumley and Mary were quite engrossed in each other’s persona’s. “What a pair.’ says Cim

“Yep!” says Neno and he downed his drink and held the glass out for Harvey to refill.

posted on Nov, 3 2009 @ 04:26 PM
When Cim beckoned nenothtu to the bar, after her escape from the "negotiating" table, he took a second to look around and inventory his surroundings. Bransom and Chumley seemed to be getting along famously. Neno grinned. Chumley was a big boy, he'd be able to fend for himself. The rest of the security contingent from the Penelope were alert, but relaxed.

Neno went to the bar, and was surprised by the unexpected gift of a glowing blue marble on what appeared to be a silver chain. Not entirely sure what to do, neno enquired, and was told that it was for "identification". That made sense to him. Dogtags. UEF forces still used the antiquated metal trinkets to identify soldiers, since the vagaries of war sometimes messed remains up enough that biometric identifiers were at times useless, since fingerprints, retinas, etc were no longer present to BE identified. Metal lasted longer than tissue. They even remained when biometric chips were obliterated.

Dogtags. As Cim handed the trinket to neno, her hand brushed his, - no, not "brushed", it seemed more purposeful - and a spark jumped the gap. No, not precisely a spark, more of a "tingle", neno confusedly mused. He blushed like a schoolboy, even though he thought he was years outgrown from that sort of thing. The last time he'd blushed over anything was... no, he couldn't remember that far back. As far as he could recall, he may NEVER have blushed before. In the confusion of tumbling thoughts, neno stumbled over his reply, saying “Sure, uh, no problem,…thanks”, then, to cover for THAT, he raised the snifter, took a sip, and declared “I'm gonna HAVE to get me some of this, fantastic!”, The liquor was patently alcoholic, always a plus to neno, but eminently "fruity". It brought memories of home back to him, and some of the strange concoctions his father used to brew. Neno set the glass back on the bar, and hung the alien artifact around his neck and under his tunic, next to his UEF dogtags.

At Cim's suggestion that he come up with a plan, nenothtu turned his thoughts to brainstorming the problem at hand. There had been mention of "cocoons", or something of the like, at the Ship's Center. They were believed to be somehow connected with this Shape Shifter character, but had contained the bodies of the "killed" NI team, which also connected them to Studious. Neno liked that. Two birds with one stone.

He spoke up again, more certainty in his voice now. "I reckon we need to start at the Ship's Center, with those cocoons. They seem to have a bearing on all the recent troubles at hand. Might be something there that will lead us to where we need to be. Yup, the Ship's Center ought to be at the start of the plan."

He set the by now empty again glass back on the bar. "Hicks, Zielinski, Adams. You'll stay here, and be ready to move out under Chumley if we find anything there that needs separate attention. Wilson, Wright, you're with us, going to Ship's Center. Miss Cim, if you'd be so kind as to lead us there, we'll get this show on the road."


After traveling an indeterminate amount of time through the "cave", the small group stepped through the opening at what neno thought of as the mouth of the cave... and into an absolute EXPLOSION of life. Nenothtu's jaw dropped, and his eyes grew to the size of saucers instantaneously. The others watched in amazement as the gruff Security Chief transformed into a child. Not physically, of course, but a child all the same.

Without a word, neno took a few steps down the path in front of him, arms out, hands open, letting the leaves of the crowding vegetation trail along his palms. After a walking wordlessly in that manner for quite a long while down a path going to the right, which at some point started up an incline, the group entered a hilly region. In a few more minutes, nenothtu stopped, held his arms extended at shoulder level, and began to spin, looking straight up. Whether at sky or treetops was anyone's guess.

Momentarily he stopped, facing the others, his eyes shining.

"Cim, Silo did this? how did she...? How is this..?" and he abruptly sat down on a moss covered rock, at the foot of what appeared to be a hickory tree. An Earth hickory tree. Nenothtu rested his arms across his knees, and his forehead on his forearms and just sat there, face hidden. Directly he looked up again, and the water in his right eye had spilled over, running down his cheek and dripping off of his chin, the left eye threatening to follow suit, his chin quivering.

His home of Vandalia had been just right of center in the viewscreen of the Penelope when the Earth had been under attack. Nenothtu had stood, stoic, apparently emotionless, like a stone statue, while his home, his entire world, had been eradicated in the infernal maelstrom right before his eyes. He'd been too busy to allow any emotions at the time, he'd told himself, and had not yet grieved over the loss, preferring to bury it and press onward instead.

Sometimes, those things we bury disinter themselves at the most inopportune times.

"H.. how...? But I saw it burning! I SAW IT BURNING! With my own eyes! Nothing left! Everything was GONE!" His voice cracked and failed him. When he regained his composure enough to speak again, he continued. "Cim? How... when... WHY? You... Silo... I... I'm all the way across the scroggin' universe, but here I am at HOME again." His face screwed up into a mask of complete confusion. "How is this possible?"

And then he broke completely down.

[edit on 2009/11/3 by nenothtu]

posted on Nov, 4 2009 @ 05:38 PM

Havana, Cuba July 31, 1715

The hurricane was raging outside the small island house where Cadbury was hunkered down in a corner behind a heavy desk. This was what he had been waiting for, tomorrow he would head out on his ship to salvage the Ubilla fleet which will be smashed to oblivion by morning at Cape Canaveral in Florida. It was good that Cim did not notice he had stolen more than one time tag, the previous salvage had netted him a fortune but now he was going for the mother load, he just had to beat the Havana Salvage Flotta to the wrecks. He wished it was safe to check out his diving gear but knew he had best stay behind this heavy desk.

Thinking of Cim, who the hell did she think she was threatening him? He was a bit afraid of her however, maybe if he cut her in on the booty, she would give him a break. Cadbury didn’t want to be in the midst of that whole Ophiuchi/Earth drama. His thoughts of where to hide in time entertained him as fell off to sleep.

A loud noise awoke him, something large must have hit the structure. Cadbury thought back to the subterfuge of his capture by the Betelgeusian . He took a swig of sweet rum from the bottle and lit a cigar from the lamp. Horndroff the Betelgeusian was a friend and a crook, which he had paid to abduct him, they had laughed all night in the company of some females, who he had also paid.

His lust for gold was insurmountable and he had plans to assuage it, as soon as this storm broke. That is if his ship was still intact.

posted on Nov, 9 2009 @ 01:01 AM

The sounds of the battle were a distant memory as luder came awake on the deck plating near the starboard control group on the Rolling Thunder. He groaned and lifted his head, looking around. A thin layer of acrid smoke still clung to the air a few inches above the deck plating, stining his eyes and nostrils. The Rolling Thunder had barely escaped utter destruction, now sitting a few parsecs away from the Opi ships that were gunning for her destruction.

Luder pulled himself up into the pilot's seat and checked the nearly destroyed controls, looking for any sign of functionality. All systems were predictably sitting in the red zone and the ship was running on backup life support. Outside of the canopy, he could see the stars moving steadily around around the ship, indicating the vessel was spinning on its axis, tumbling through space toward who-knew-what.

Running his fingers across the controls, he started trying to restore the engines and the communications. A push of the primary engine engagement lever caused a shudder to run through the Thunder and a groaning creak to issue forth, filling up the cockpit with a sound like that of the belly of a hungry beast from ages past. He cursed and stood up, looking around. Theresa was nowhere to be found.

"Theresa?" He pushed the seat aside and headed out into the small passageway connecting the cockpit to the rest of the ship. More of the acrid smoke filled the eerily lit corridor, drifting between the cockpit and the other areas of the ship.

"Hey, you still with me?" Luder asked. He pushed on, checking the lounge area, still not seeing his companion. He could remember very little from the battle or the lead-up to them arriving at their current location and it bothered him that she was absent.

Luder stepped through the gangway and stopped. Lying on the deck near the primary drive housing was Theresa, a small pool of blood around her head and face. She had a powertool in her hand and the bulkhead giving access to the drives was partially open, the inner component exposed. He rushed forward and knelt at her side, a knot forming in his throat. Luder placed his fingers on her neck and felt no pulse and no other signs of life.

"No...." He sat back against the engine housing and closed his eyes for a brief instant. A voice brought him out of his thoughts.

"Luder, you have to get up and get moving, there isn't much time." He looked up and saw his ancestor, Tess, standing there, looking down at him. He frowned and pulled himself up.

"She was everything to me..."

"She's gone, Luder, get ahold of yourself and get back up there. You have to get the information she died for back to the UEF. She'll have died for nothing if you sit here and pine over her until the ship spins into something and blows. Now get your ass in gear and do something!" Tess said, giving him a stern look.

He gave one last look at Theresa's body and headed back to the cockpit.


After nearly six hours of work, he determined the primary jump drives were a lost cause, but had managed to restore sublights and thruster control to the cockpit. After that, he managed to get the long-range communications back up and ready for action.

Any ship in range, this is Captain mf_luder. I am in need of immediate assistance. My coordinates will follow. I repeat, this is Captain mf_luder of the United Earth Federation. I am in need of immediate assistance. Coordinates to follow.

posted on Nov, 9 2009 @ 07:58 AM

It seemed as though my head had just reached the pillow when the comms started buzzing a condition one. Reaching across I tapped the panel.

"Commander Rabbit here, this had better be good" I said.

An excited ensign babbled " Captain mf_luder has sent a distress call"

" I'll be right there" I answered.

Jumping into my clothes I headed to the bridge and found several ensigns trying to talk at once.

"Ensign of the watch, report!" I bellowed.

A tall, dark ensign handed me a data pad, the communications array had picked up a faint signal.

Any ship in range, this is Captain mf_luder. I am in need of immediate assistance. My coordinates will follow. I repeat, this is Captain mf_luder of the United Earth Federation. I am in need of immediate assistance. Coordinates to follow.

There were no coordinates, damn! hitting my com-link I called Sheila.

"Sheila, there is a distress call from Captain mf_luder on comms, use the planets communications arrays and plot us a position, overide any security you find, now is not the time to be subtle."

I start tapping the comms panel in the Captain's chair issuing orders.

"Engineering, Ms Craig, I want manuvering in 60 seconds and FTL in two minutes,"
"Comms get me a line to Yydryl" the comms light goes green "Yydryl, we have a distress call from Captain mf_luder, we hope to return shortly"
"Personnel, get that planetary delegation together, stuff them in a shuttle with some tapes of the Earth's destruction and send them home, I want them off this ship 5 minutes ago!"

Sheila's voice chimes in "The Rolling Thunder with Captain mf_luder is 11.21 parsecs from our current location, coordinates have been passed to navigation, no other information is available at present Professor."

"Thank you Shiela" I sigh, nothing like jumping into something blind.

The main drives come on line, I can feel the engines through the deck plates, Ms. Craig is efficient as always, "Helm, give us maneuvering room for worm hole drive" I bark.

As the Penelope moves away from Yydryl an ensign calls out "Shuttle away sir!"

One less problem I think. "Helm, use the plotted course in navigation and engage wormhole drives, jump!"

In less than 3 minutes we drop out of the wormhole with the Rolling Thunder a mere 4 kms off starboard, or at lease what was left of Rolling Thunder!, it looked like a giant god had taken a hammer and pounded the little ship. She was running at 12% sub-light and rolling, one of the ensigns yells.

"Opi ships! three of them, less than two parsecs and moving this way, they appear to be searching sir!"

I Key my com-link "Sheila, interface with Rolling Thunder and shut down her engines, Tell the Captain to brace for maneuvers"

"Yes Professor," I can imagine the disembodied voice startling the Captain.

"Tractor beams, grab that ship and stuff it into launch bay one." stabbing the button for the launch bay I yell. "Launch bay one, get ready to receive the Rolling Thunder"

"Helm, plot a reverse course back to Yydryl, on the double!"

"Yes sir!, Sir Rolling Thunder is on board sir!"

"Helm, jump!" I bark.

[edit on 9-11-2009 by prof-rabbit]

posted on Nov, 11 2009 @ 07:34 AM

Penelope comes out of the wormhole a few minutes later only slightly lower and around 10 kilometers from our previous position, in all we have been gone less than 10 minutes, I have an uneasy feeling about the Opi's search pattern, at only 12 or so parsecs Yydryl is a large target, I hope they assume she is a small asteroid.

I turn to the ensign at communications, "Get me a com line to Yydrly please."

A moment later there is a green light on the chairs panel " Yydryl, be advised there are three Opi ships approximately 12 parsecs away and they are searching, I suggest you minimize any energy signatures for the time being, Penelope out."

I tap the panel for launch bay one " Launch bay 1, get a crew and cut the Captain out of Rolling Thunder, take the Captain to med bay as soon as you can"

I hope the Captain can shed some light on the Opi ships and just what they are looking for.

posted on Nov, 11 2009 @ 05:22 PM

Seeing the droid Studious moves closer and pulls out the removable structure inside leaving a hollow shell. But something on the droid caught his eye. It was a component that seemed out of place like it’d been added recently. Judging by how hodgepodge it was, whoever did it must have been in a hurry.

Putting aside his speculations he tips the droid on its side and using his foot knocks out the bottom easily…too easily.

His mind wandered again and he began thinking about the ease with which he was able to destroy the droid. He paused wondering if perhaps it had been taken apart recently perhaps…

Realizing he’s wasting time the Colonel climbs inside the hallowed out droid and puts his feet through the knocked out bottom. Shuffling across the floor he moves toward the droid’s lid, grabs it, and fits it into place.

Only able to see through a small translucent panel (that had allowed several indicator lights on the removed structure to be seen) he leaves the strange dark room and heads toward the door the SS had fled through.

He enters the corridor knowing where the SS is headed… the cocoons. The only problem is he has no idea how to get there.

Aimlessly wandering the halls he eventually stumbles upon a droid and trying to make his voice sound robotic asks “Where is the center of the ship?”

The droid starts laughing at him. “HA HA HA!!”

The Colonel believing his cover is blown prepares to jump out of the droid and run away.

Droid: “You call yourself a droid!?”

Now almost sure his cover is blown he bends his legs and waits like a jack in box ready to jump out a moment’s notice.

Droid: “Oh wait! Is this a trick question? The center of Ship is the center of Ship.”

A somewhat relieved Studious replies “No I’m lost.”

Droid: “You must have been recently upgraded. Your head component is not on straight.”

The old man winces thinking the droid might be realizing something is wrong.

Droid: “They never put it back on correctly. Here let me assist you.”

The Colonel looks up and notices that he didn’t fit the droid’s head on properly.

The droid moves forward and grabs the lid studying it for a moment. Then without removing it he pushes it into position.

Droid: “Follow me.”

The Colonel follows the droid down the maze of twisting halls.

Droid: “Here it is...Ship’s Center.”

Arriving at the Center the Colonel moves toward the door, finally thinking he’s going to make it.

Droid: “Wait. Why do you require access?”

Studious turns the disguise to face the droid. “I have parts and technical components for Ship’s Center.”

Unbeknownst to Studious the Shapeshifter appears in the doorway behind him.

SS: “What is it?”

Droid: “Who are you? I was about to clear him.”

The old man with his back to the SS waits tensely.

Droid: “Shall I hold him?”

SS: “No leave him to me. I will deal with him myself.”

Droid: “As you wish.”

The old man turns but the SS has vanished. He rushes toward the door and into the center of Ship. Upon entering he finds it far different than the dirt he saw last time. It had turned into...a jungle.

Studious: “How the...”

[edit on 11-11-2009 by Studious]

posted on Nov, 25 2009 @ 06:23 PM

They were standing on terra firma on what appeared to be Earth. Cim could understand why Neno was reacting in this manner. She started to feel a bit emotional herself, this was the first time that she had been to SHIP’s center and had no idea. She walked over to Neno and put her arm around him, “This must be shocking for you? It is for me as well.
Nothing is as it appears to be, nothing. This is not the planet Earth but all this is from Earth, it’s like Earth’s child. Wait here a minute, I will be back.” Cim had to go a bit away to engage her vehicle, she went and got some camping and hiking gear, in a flash she was back.

She handed Neno a pack, “Some essentials for tramping around in nature, water, flashlight, knife,” she pulled her machete from her side “and machete!” Neno jumped.

“Don’t worry, I am not going to kill ya! Here you can have it, makes my arm sore. Silo and I gathered some of this in the Amazon and I was wrecked after that trip. So please in case we need it.” She gestured that it was all his.

“Do you really suppose the Shifter or your Studious is in here? Because why? What I am curious to know is, what is the Shifter’s agenda? What does it want to accomplish? As far as Studious goes, he is yours and you can have him.

After walking down the trail for awhile Cim sees sparks of light off in the woods. She wants to investigate but does not want the Penelope crew to follow her.

Cim turns to Neno, “Why don’t we split up? Maybe we can make more progress that away? However I am going to checkout the jungle here, so I will need the machete, if that’s ok?” she looks to see if he is apprehensive, he smiles weakly and hands it to her.

Cim hands Neno a SHIP com. “Call me if you need me and don’t shoot me, I may look like this.” Cim transform back to her blue self from that of her human personage.

Neno’s mouth drops open. “I will catch you later.” says Cim as she takes off into the jungle. She turns around and yells “Be safe!”

posted on Nov, 26 2009 @ 10:40 AM

He passes through a cave and moves into the dense colorful jungle.

At first he tries to navigate the rough terrain in the droid but upon looking around he realizes that no one is watching him…at least no one he can see.

Starting to get out of the droid the old man tries to force the lid off but finds it stuck.

Apparently the droid had fit it into place better than whoever had before. But thinking quickly the old man finds an easy escape. He simply tips the droid over and climbs out.

As he gets out and takes a better look around but sees that the SS is nowhere to be found. Instead all he sees around him is the jungle, a jungle that looks all too easy to become disoriented and lost in.

Looking closer at the terrain he notices that it looks difficult to traverse at all, much less in a straight line. But instead of despair this actually brings the old man hope. He starts wondering if the SS had been surprised by the transformation as well. If the SS was this might mean the Colonel could still be able to beat him to the cocoons.

But before he has time to consider what to do next three droids appear.

Droid: “Surrender your weapon.”

Studious: “You mean my cane?” He lifts it up.

The three droids move back slightly as if afraid of it.

Studious smiles and sets the cane down.

Droid: “Back away.”

The old man starts backing away, far away.

Droid: “Not that far!”

He keeps backing away.

Droid: “Stop!”

Seeing the droids deadly turrets twitchingly trained on him the Colonel stops.

One of the droids moves closer and picks up the cane with a grabber arm as the others surround the old man and force him to walk with them.

They walk only a short distance before Studious sees the Shapeshifter ahead of them in his regular form.

The droid that had Studious’ cane approaches the SS and tells him “He was armed only with this.”

The Shapeshifter motions toward the hallowed out droid “I see you have constructed a disguise of your own Studious.”

The old man takes a better look at the three droids around him and notices that their heads are crooked.

Regaining the old man's attention the Shapeshifter says “Studious what do you gain from fighting me? Don’t you understand that when they find you, they will kill you? You must help me!”

Studious: “Do you expect me to help you build a monster? What do I look like…Igor!?”

Shapeshifter: “You do realize I’m giving you your only chance to escape?”

Studious: “Yes.”

Shapeshifter: “And you’re willing to throw it away?”

Studious begins to mouth “Of course” when suddenly small furry creatures surround the group.

In that moment of confusion the old man grabs his cane and is surprised when, instead of fighting him for it, the droid lets go and runs away yelling “Help! Help! He’s a maniac, maniac on the loose. And he’s killing like he’s never killled before!”

The old man looks back at the shelled out droid he had used as a disguise and realizes what the droid’s afraid of.

The furry creatures attack the droids and tip them over continuing to beat them.

Studious thinks “Wow I might just win thi…”

Suddenly several of the furry creatures tackle him and start beating the hope out of him.

Through the blur of paws, fur and claws the Colonel sees Delia.
Studious: “Delia!?”

Studious: “Don’t just stand there help me!”

Delia pleads with the creatures “But he’s my friend!”

They continue to beat him…but now harder.

Studious: “Somehow I get the feeling…that didn’t help very much!”

She stands helpless watching them beat the old man senseless.

Studious: “Tell them if they don’t do as you wish you’ll become angry and do something!”

Delia: “What could I do? I couldn’t possibly.”

Studious: “You have a better idea!? Just tell them!”

Delia says trying to sound frightening “Stop or I’ll, I’ll do something!”

The furry creatures stop and look at her for a moment. But they turn back to the old man and start beating him again.

Delia: “I knew they wouldn’t believe me.”

Luckily for Studious Delia gets an idea. As she lifts up a finger in a Eureka pose the ground shakes violently causing the furry creatures to run away in terror.

The old man struggles to his feet, black and blue from the beating and stumbles toward Delia.

Studious: “What the heck were those things!?”

Delia: “This swamp holds many secrets.”

Studious: “Oh a wise guy eh?”

Delia: “Stop acting like a stooge.”

Studious wipes the blood off his face as he says “Woo, woo, woo, woo, woo!”

Delia rolls her eyes and asks Studious “Are they going to kill you?”

Studious: “Who the furry things, the Shapeshifter or Neno?”

Delia: “I meant your people, the ones from your ship?”

Studious: “Not sure but I don’t intend on sticking around to find out.”

Delia: “They’re watching everything. How will you escape?”

Studious: “Uh…with your help.”

The old man notices the furry creatures have returned and are watching him.

One of them approaches and tugs at his clothes.

Studious: “What the beating wasn’t good enough?”

Delia: “No, wait! I think he wants us to follow him.”

Studious: “So they can ambush me out there in the jungle?”

Delia: “You’re already in the jungle…er…swamp!”

The furry creature takes the old man’s hand and starts leading him and Delia further into the wilderness.

As the little furry creature is pulling him along the Colonel looks back to make sure Delia is keeping up. When he looks forward again he sees a large tree branch a split second before being pulled into it.

The short creature doesn’t quite understand that when he leads the much taller Studious forward, he’s leading him straight into branches and other plant life.

After getting pulled into several more trees, scraped past sharp twigs and tangled in vines he reaches a clearing.

Delia arrives unscathed after not being pulled by the hand headlong into the Swamp.

In the clearing Studious notices his insertion pod, now overgrown with plants and covered in dirt. The furry creatures stand around it looking at it quizzically.

Delia: “Great now you can call for help.”

Studious: “Not exactly.”

Delia: “What do you mean?”

Studious: “I would have called for help long before this, but I didn’t want to endanger an entire ship.”

Delia: “But…”

Studious: “That’s not all. Since that arrest warrant was issued if I call for help they might not even assist me at all. They might come to take me down too.”

Delia: “Isn’t there someone you trust that you could contact? Like those guys you were with earlier.”

Studious: “No I was ready to die to get them out of harm’s way. I don’t intend on risking their lives again just to get me out of here.”

Delia: “What are you saying?”

Studious: “I’m saying I don’t think that there’s a way out of this.”

Delia: “What!? You got off Ship with nothing more than makeup, zipper shavings and ice and you can’t figure a way out of this one!? You used to be a Studdly fuddy-duddy. She looks at his mud stained clothes and his bleeding cuts. “Now you’re muddy, bloody and cruddy!”

Studious: “Wait what did you just say!?”

Delia takes a step closer and says “You heard me.”

Studious: “That’s it! Ha Ha you’re a genius!”

Delia: “What!?”

Studious tips over the insertion pod and begins wiping the dirt and plant life off of it.

After cleaning it off a bit he steps inside and crosses his arms.

Studious: “I’m dead.”

Delia: “What did I just say! You can give up like tha…”

Studious: “No! I mean I’ll pretend I’m dead. After all I look half dead anyway.”

Delia: “Oh no the furry things beat you back into the stone age didn’t they? Me Delia. You not Dead.”

Studious: “Stop that!”

Delia: “What!? You don’t think they’ll make sure you’re not faking it?”

Studious: “But you guys jettison people into space when their dead right?”

Delia: “Yeah everybody does.”

Studious: “Great then this will be my ‘coffin.’ If worst comes to worst and I can’t be picked up hopefully this thing’s heat shield will still work and I’ll be able to land on the planet.”

Delia: “That’s just crazy enough to work!”

Studious climbs inside the coffin and starts to close the lid.

Delia: “Hey.”

The old man stops holding the lid open.

Studious: “Be careful.”

The Colonel gives a warm smile and says “When am I not?”

He closes the lid and as if understanding, the furry creatures pick up the heavy “coffin” and carry it toward an airlock.

They set it down in a small chamber with an airlock leading to space and another to Ship’s Center. One of the furry creatures moves toward the button to open the outer doors and expel the pod into space.

Studious imagined the furry creatures saying a few kind words as they launched his “coffin” but in reality they enthusiastically mashed the button, wanting to see the old man launched into space.

As he is blasted out he spies the console and notices something. It looks like a small faint light surrounded by blackness. It is so faint it appears to be in the distance.

Seeing the light he becomes lightheaded and fears he might be dying. Due to his dizzyness he almost feels as if he's somehow heading toward the faint light.

But he quickly realizes with terror that the light is red not white.

He refocuses and to his relief sees that the light is only a....warning light.

Looking at it with renewed horror he sees that somehow the pod is losing pressure.

The old man finds it strange that the light he thought meant he was dying might actually mean he's dying.

[edit on 26-11-2009 by Studious]

posted on Nov, 28 2009 @ 08:46 AM

"Sir!" chimes in a red-headed ensign "We have a UE life-pod drifting towards the planetary atmosphere, it appears to be inactive"

"Grab it an stow it" I thought for a moment "Grab it with a tractor beam and put it next to Rolling Thunder, it likely came loose when we shoved the RL in with the tractor before jumping."

"Yes Sir!" replies the ensign.

"Good work ensign."

A bit of praise is good for everyone and an inactive lifepod is a very small target.

Keying comms to the bay I query "How long before you have the Captain free down there?"

Back comes the reply " Not long sir, we have to cut the hatch right off, it's a real mess!"

posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 09:48 AM

My com-link makes a "tic" as Sheila's voice materializes to my left, "Professor, an attempt to compromise the Star Wolf was detected, a class X sentient lifeform took on the appearance of a security guard and bypassed the first level of security entereing the primary airlock, the threat has been neutralized."

"Neutralized" such a simple term from a positronic AI, "Sheila, more detail please" I asked.

Sheila's voice floats to my left, "The class X sentient lifeform gained access to the primary airlock and was detected with bio-scan data, the delta-wave pattern was not that of the security guard, I initated a localized worm hole around the lifeform for 1.3 milliseconds, exit point for the worm hole was our test point 500 kilometers from the corona of the sun Sol, Terran system. Said lifeform was vaporized within 1 millisecond. Threat was neutralized. All details have been passed to Chief of Security Nenothtu"

What more could I say? I remembered my original command "monitor for any interference and nullify, report such interference directly to Nenothtu, treat such interference as hostile, use offensive measures as necessary."

Sheila's AI was the best of the best, wrapped up in a multi-layered positronic matrix, years spent in programming, many more in honeing her consiousness, for all that Sheila could be ruthless when necessary, the fact that anything had passed the first level of her security measures rendered that "thing" hostile, and I had given her Carte Blanche to use offensive measures.

I had not thought of our localized worm-hole project as an offensive weapon, the concept was to get rid of dangerous waste material using a mini worm-hole with a fixed end point just above the sun's corona, no trans-shipping! no spills!, we had just solved the energy equation problem a few weeks before the attack on Earth and were in the test phase, Sheila was able to twist the sub-ether just enough to create a small, brief worm-hole around an object and drop it into the sun. Now Sheila had treated the shapeshifter like toxic waste.

"Thank you Sheila," museing for a moment I went on "Where possible please detain sentient beings in breach of security orders"

Turning to the officer at the comms station I requested a link to the Yydryl,

"Yydryl and crew" I began "Please be advised the threat posed by your shapeshifter has been neutralized, Chief of Security Nenothtu has full details, Penelope out"

I hoped Nenothtu had enough sense not to give too many details about the method of the shapeshifters demise.

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