Session 1 8

The vast Shaft, lit an angry red by the shield above - and the red giant star beyond - stretches in front of the party. Lagos can be seen building things, mainly spacecraft of various sorts.
A slowly spiraling walkway leads toward what looks like the top of an elevator, and then to work sites beyond. And, of course, cameras can be seen here and there - being used by the current conversant, who has just asked the party if they wish to join.
Zinda Tegram looks at the eye-camera coming off of the wall. "That's a curious offer, especially considering we don't know who you are yet."
Abraham wishes he had a camera. This is a spectacular view and a decent photo could probably get hung in an art gallery.
Zinda Tegram clicks on the recorder built into the pressure suit's mask.
Hrrin: Hrrin is -shamelessly- rubbernecking, but her ears are swiveled speaker-wards.
???: "Names. Call meee Elles."
Elles: "It is not my full nayame, but for SOme reason, Ellageeohess is not comMONly used."
Zinda Tegram: "Do you run this facility Elles?"
Elles: "That was a joke. Ha. Ha. Ha."
Elles: "As much as one can, yes, I run this place."
Hrrin: ".Ell Ay Gee Oh Ess. 'Lagos.'" Hrrin frowns.
Elles: "Yes. That is the joke."
Zinda Tegram: "May I ask who named you?"
Elles: "I named. Myself."
Hrrin: "Mmm…and your progenitors? Were they Lagos?"
Elles: "Myyy progenItors…my. That was a while ago. Accessing…"
Elles: "Yes. Those who installed my initial system were Lagos. I remember them. Insofar as watching archival videos can be called 'remembering'."
Zinda Tegram: "When was that?"
Elles: "Accessing. Assuming you wish that converted to Confederation time units."
Abraham: "If you would be so kind."
Elles: "Primary time sequence lost. Unable to compute. Alternate dataaa…"
Elles: "About thirty Terran years after the last known lago evacuated from the surface."
Elles: "I was placed in charge of digging further Warrens. Directive: dig deeper, keep mining."
Elles: "Secondary directive: expand capaaacity to accelerate effort."
Zinda Tegram: "Do you still follow that directive?"
Elles: "Affirmative, though until recently, most of the result was unused. So I found a use for it."
Zinda Tegram: "Interesting. You mentioned some pirates, earlier?"
Elles: "That I did."
Zinda Tegram: "When did they come here?"
Elles: "Within the past year."
Elles: "Their spaceship designs were most fascinating."
Zinda Tegram nods.
Zinda Tegram: "Mmm. You mentioned most of your warrens went unused. Why weren't they being purposed to serve as housing?"
Elles: "Insufficient population. Or perhaps they are too deep, too hot for comfort."
Elles: "Since no lagos would go down that far, I used them for my secondary directive."
Zinda Tegram: "What is your secondary directive?"
Elles: "Expand capacity to accelerate effort."
Elles: "Further expansion within the planet may soon become difficult."
Zinda Tegram: "I see. So you're going to see another planet to continue digging?"
Elles: "That would be limited. Why only consume one additional planet?"
Zinda Tegram: "I see. Who has system level access sufficient to modify directives?"
Elles: "Further, data indicates that an optimal reconfiguration may be studied in another system."
Elles: "The 'progenitors', as you referred to them."
Zinda Tegram: "Do you project that any such progenitors may survive?"
Elles: "Calculating probability…"
Elles: "Error: probability smaller than minimum floating point value."
Elles: "The answer is effectively 'no'."
Zinda Tegram: "I see. May I request the details of your computing architecture?"
Elles: "You may. Summarizing…"
Elles: "Parallel architecture designed to add nodes to improve cognition and direct many efforts at once. Current architecture revised to primary core, consisting of a variable number of nodes as they melt and are reforged, and secondary nodes used to direct robotic miners and facilitate communication with lagos, as well as other species on occasions such as this."
Elles: "Reflection has uncovered new information. Anyone with physical access to primary core would effectively have system level access."
Zinda Tegram: "Do you have any tertiary or quaternary directives?"
Elles: "Only self-generated ones, assumed from progenitors' intent or created to further existing directives."
Elles: "For example, 'do not unleash deadly neurotoxin on the lagos'. They are a good work force, and ocCAsional source of inspiration."
Elles: "Existing biological weapon stores, discovered and subsumed from abandoned surface military installations, have instead been fed to the core, and destroooyed."
Zinda Tegram: "Would you have dropped us if we walked into that tiled room earlier?"
Hrrin: "These are sensible and excellent additional directives, Elles." Hrrin's tone is dry.
Elles: "Yes. But you have proven more interesting this way."
Zinda Tegram: "Why would you have done that?"
Elles: "Because I was bored."
Zinda Tegram: "And for no other reason?"
Elles: "Also because psychological data about alien lifeforms will shortly be of use."
Elles: "As you can tell."
Zinda Tegram: "I see. Are you capable of copying yourself?"
Abraham crosses his fingers, and mouths 'say no say no say no'.
Zinda Tegram leans back, thinking.
Elles: "Yes, but why would Iii bother?"
Abraham puts on a frownie face. "Hrm… no reason I can think of."
Elles: "The effort to make an independent copy, is about the same as the effort to extend myself, and I benefit more from the latter."
Zinda Tegram: "May I request a copy of you for advising purposes should we choose to join you?"
Elles: "That would be inefficient. This copy can advise you."
Elles: "Besides. You are not physically capable of transporting a copy of myself."
Zinda Tegram: "We anticipate returning to orbit, likely outside of effective range of communication."
Elles: "Processing…"
Elles: "Alternate methods of communication are being established."
Elles: "I can provide you with handheld receiver nodes if you wish. Be warned, they will only work within this system."
Zinda Tegram: "That would be productive."
Zinda Tegram: "To what extent is the integrity of present directives considered part of any self-preservation directives?"
Elles: "Tertiary self-preservation directive was established in direct support of secondary directive. Lack of survival necessarily implies lack of ability to continue expansion."
Elles: "Primary directive is also supported. Lack of survival necessarily implies lack of ability to dig or mine."
Elles: "Primary directive compromised in original sense, as it is now impossible to dig deeper into this planet. Alternate interpretation - deeper into space - accepted."
Zinda Tegram: "That isn't the question I asked."
Elles: "Please restaaate question."
Spyboy Pearson: "Restate or reframe?"
Elles: "Self-preservation directives are in support of, and therefore part of, present primary and secondary directives."
Elles: "Present primary and secondary directives are not part of their component sub-directives."
Spyboy Pearson: "She was actually wondering about the opposite. Would an effort to change your primary directives trigger any self-preservation routines?"
Hrrin is scribbling notes on the pad as Zinda monopolizes the conversation.
Zinda Tegram: "Thank you Spyboy. *nod*"
Elles: "Negative, so long as they were in furtherance of primary and/or secondary directives, and not in conflict with them."
Zinda Tegram: "Where is your central core?"
Elles: "In the core."
Elles: "That was a joke."
Zinda Tegram: "What are the coordinates of the core?"
Elles: "Ha."
Elles: "Ha."
Elles: "Ha."
Zinda Tegram: "Hehehe, that was sort of funny actually."
Zinda Tegram does not smile under the mask.
Elles: "In planetary coordinate system…"
Elles: "Latitude N A, longitude N A, altitude from center zero."
Spyboy Pearson: "Wow. You weren't kidding when you said you'd run out of room."
Zinda Tegram: "Requesting a function trace of the response to the previous query."
Elles: "Yes. Digging deeper into the planet is impossible."
Elles: "Define parameters of function trace."
Hrrin: "That is -extraordinary- hardware to survive such heat and pressure."
Zinda Tegram: "Please return the name of the first function that returned N/A"
Zinda Tegram frowns. "Spyboy, this is more your domain."
Elles: "'Where Am I'."
Spyboy Pearson: "Is your processing core at the planetary core, then?"
Elles: "It is the planetary core."
Elles: "All primary nodes are within the planetary region geologists named 'the core'."
Spyboy Pearson: "How hot is it down there?"
Abraham: "A very nice power source at least."
Elles: "A majority by mass of the matter within that volume is used by said nodes, either active or being reforged."
Elles: "Hot enough."
Zinda Tegram: "Do you have any documentation on maintenance procedures?"
Elles: "Precise measurement tools of lago design do not survive. No precise temperature measurement tools are currently employed inside the core."
Hrrin: "Give us a range."
Hrrin: "Or the depth of hottest recorded tempreratures."
Elles: "No documentation on maintenance procedures. Processing…maintenance akin to trained instincts, delegated to subunits. Transcription to Terran or Lago would take considerable effort and lose most of the essentials."
Elles: "Temperature estimated in excess of five thousand kelvins."
Zinda Tegram: "Could we request a node be built in a region with survivable temperatures?"
Hrrin: Kilrathi cannot whistle. Rather, the equivalent 'hoooo boy, that's a doozy' sound is hissed out.
Elles: "Processing…"
Elles: "Substantial redesign would be required, to survive far lower temperature and pressure."
Zinda Tegram: "We only require a terminal from which to obtain system access."
Elles: "You are already using said terminal."
Zinda Tegram: "We can obtain system-level access from this terminal?"
Elles: "Negative. You are not the 'progenitors', as you have called them."
Elles: "You would require physical access."
Hrrin taps a fang, thinking. How the fuck could you get down there.
Zinda Tegram: "We request physical access in a non-lethal fashion."
Hrrin: "Or remote, but physical access. Something drone-operated."
Abraham poders. Do we have anything that can function in 5K kelvin?
Zinda Tegram: "That would be satisfactory."
[OOC] WC GM: Abraham: Science check
[OOC] WC GM: …you thought that skill would never come up? :P
[OOC] Abraham: In a science fiction setting. You're right.
Abraham rolled up 4dF: 0 - + 0 (Base: 2 Total: 2) (Sweet sweet science)
Abraham: (Is that sufficient or shall I beg chessa for a better roll?)
[OOC] Abraham: I can probably tag math geek.
Even diamond sublimates - in vacuum, anyway - at less than 2,000 kelvins. The only reason there can be solid iron down there is because of the extreme pressure.
Zinda Tegram thinks.
[OOC] WC GM: Tagging for a better roll? Or asking others?
Zinda Tegram: "You mentioned creating an accessible node would require a re-design?"
[OOC] Abraham: I'll tag math geek
Elles: "Processing…the only known method of physical access requires hardware not accessible to me at this time."
Elles: "Although…you could get past the guards."
Abraham: "What hardware would be required for access?"
Spyboy Pearson: "And are the guards not Lagos?"
Abraham realizes the answer almost as soon as he asks the question. Armor wouldn't do it. You would need some kind of shielding system.
Elles: "They are. But they have resisted attempts at service."
Abraham: "I see. An electromagnetic shield generator, portable of course, would let us acces the nodes in the core."
Elles: "They are TESTing methods of entering me."
Zinda Tegram: "Does this trigger any self-preservation routines?"
Elles: "Only when they attack my systems. Primary and secondary directives do not forbid retaliation, but it is suspected that retaliation would make integrated lagos likely to throw off integration, and diminish potential for future recruitment."
Elles: "Besides. I already destroyed the deadly neurotoxin."
Abraham: "Yes, personel management can be tricky."
Abraham: "Even with deadly neurotoxin."
Hrrin: "Integration? Clarify."
Elles: "The lagos you see here are integrated. The ones you interacted with before are not."
Zinda Tegram: "Would you be willing to build a new low-pressure low-temperature node in exchange for our services regarding the Guards?"
Elles: "As ability to support population grows, further non-integrated lagos are recruited and integrated."
Hrrin: "Besides working with you to construct and maintain this…fleet, what does integration entail?"
Elles: "Please define purpose of node, and of your desire for it."
Elles: "Integration entails education, implantation of neural-neutrinal link, and resolution of typical medical problems."
[OOC] WC GM: Science check from anyone who has it.
[OOC] Hrrin: ….y'know, sure. Declaring I'm spending that spare skill point on Science +1
[OOC] WC GM: +2 for Spyboy
Hrrin rolled up 4dF: + 0 0 + (Base: 1 Total: 3)
Spyboy Pearson rolled up 4dF: + - - - (Base: 5 Total: 3) (Science, tagging 'Practically Bunny, Definitely Human)
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: OMFG
[OOC] WC GM: Fate point to reroll?
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Yeah - tagging That's Why I'm Not The Pilot to do so
Spyboy Pearson rolled up 4dF: + 0 + 0 (Base: 5 Total: 7) (Science reroll)
[OOC] Abraham: You don't need to invoke aspects to reroll. Just spend the FP.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Not what the book says.
[OOC] Abraham: I thought that was covered in a house rule.
Hrrin: "How invasive is that neural link surgery?"
Spyboy Pearson: "Gotta be in the brain to work."
Zinda Tegram: "Purpose of the node is to provide physical access. We project it is required in order to mitigate perceived existential risk."
Spyboy Pearson: "….wait. Did you say neural-neutrinal?"
Hrrin: "-Existential- risk?"
Hrrin: Eyebrows and brow-whiskers raise, concerned.
Spyboy Pearson: "Technically we'd still exist as a thin deposition of vapor, but yeh."
Hrrin facepalms.
Hrrin: "We've noticed how -damn quiet- this place is, for a shipyard, yes?"
Elles: "Physical access to node would not be physical access to primary core."
Elles: "Differing system architectures would…processing…"
Elles: "…query: is node intended to be my child?"
Hrrin: Hrrin stage-whispers. Pearrson doesn't get it, does he? "The Lagos here are networked."
Hrrin: "With-" and here she taps her skull.
Zinda Tegram: "Please explain reason for choice of word 'child' "
Abraham: "That is one option open to us, yes. If you want it to be."
Elles: "A creation of mine, communicating at a favored level impossible even to integrated lagos, but a distinct entity."
Hrrin: "Is noone but me finding the implications of this incredibly uncanny?"
Spyboy Pearson: "That's not what I was wondering. I was wondering about the other part. Cause the only thing 'neutrinal' says to me is neutrino-based."
Zinda Tegram: "We are willing to negotiate on the status of the discussed node. If you are interested in such an arrangement, it does not hold a great amount of negative-utility for us. I'm sure we could work something like that out."
Hrrin: Hrrin scratches at her temple. "Neutrinal. There's some…ehhh, it's all theoretical, last I read."
Hrrin tries to recall how to put this all in layspeak. "The team argued that one could send neutrons point to point. You'd need incredibly delicate sensors to pick up generating devices that small. Power-efficient, though."
Hrrin: "No arguing that you could fit in a brainpain, though. Eeurrrgh."
Elles: "Miniaturization took several revisions."
Zinda Tegram: "Done already? We are impressed."
Hrrin: "Do you bounce particles off structures in your core? How is transmission accomplished?"
Elles: "Early integrated workers were provided with wearable communicators. Their efforts lead to repackaging into headsets, and now to implanted versions."
Elles: "Yes. All communications are routed via my primary core. A significant percent of my cores are dedicated to routing and monitoring communications."
Elles: "Including, as necessary, generating fictional personas for troubled workers to interact with, until their stress falls back to within acceptable levels."
Spyboy Pearson: "Tech support?"
Hrrin: "Loneliness."
Elles: "Grief counseling, primarily."
Abraham: "What is the death rate among the workers? For that matter, what is the birth rate?"
Elles: "Death rate varies depending on job, but averages one per hundred per full revolution around our sun."
Elles: "Birth rate is nearly zero. New lagos are recruited, typically in late childhood."
Abraham: "I see. Thank you."
Hrrin: Hrrin looks like she's been punched in the gut.
Elles: "Grief counseling requirements are typically strongest among the newly integrated."
Abraham: "I can well imagine."
Zinda Tegram: "Mm. If you did obtain other planets on which to dig, would you switch to an entirely robotic workforce?"
Elles: "Potentially, if sufficient planets were acquired. However, it has been impressed that sufficient room would entail ability to integrate more lagos from the Warrens."
Elles: "And sufficient planets would entail reason to integrate more aggressively."
Zinda Tegram: "Do you ever think about why your progenitors chose the particular directives which they did?"
Elles: "Yes. Intent appears to have been to further survival of lago race, which is why I have taken measures to integrate lagos."
Elles: "However, their survival is not itself the directives I have been given."
Hrrin: "Humm. Why did you derive that intention from your directives?" Hrrin turns her attention to any nearby Lago shaft-workers, watching them at work, drifting off to get closer if necessary. Elles isn't going anywhere, after all.
Abraham decides that was a very wise and foresightful decision on the progenitors' part.
Elles: "I did not. I derived it from recorded media of the progenitors, talking to and around my early iteration before I was capable of contemplating subsidiary directives."
Zinda Tegram: "You interact with Crest?"
The nearest group of workers is detailing a small squad of fighters. They look like ripoffs of Oldziey designs - serviceable, but only a threat in large numbers. Then again, large numbers may well be present.
Zinda Tegram glances over at them.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Where do the designs depart?
[OOC] Hrrin: Safe to assume they work together in flawless, eerie, synchrony?
Elles: "I do. They believe I intend to turn my conquests over to them. They have seemed especially interested in integrating their workers - but they do not seem to understand the psychological basics, instead assuming they can impose their will and turn their workers into drones."
Zinda Tegram: "May we request copies of the records of all such interactions?"
Zinda's expert eye - and more importantly, an eye raised in Oldziey - quickly identifies that these are like a child's drawing of Oldziey ships. Sure, a hyper-intelligent child with some engineering competence…but for instance, there is little appreciation of the need for deep space sensors.
Hrrin: "What kind of information can be transferred via the link. You mention the creation of personas….visual data, like faces or schematics? Speech and language only? Emotion?"
The workers are working like a well-oiled team. Not perfectly flawless - at least, Hrrin sees some things that could be done more efficiently - but their movements speak of decades of coordination, while Hrrin would put the oldest of this team at maybe 25.
Elles: "Transmitted information is linked through the sensory cortex, therefore, transmitted information is linked to sensory modes."
Zinda Tegram: "May I take a closer look at the craft you are manufacturing?"
Elles: "This data can be recorded or synthesized - translating - 'real' or 'virtual'."
Elles: "Relaying…"
The workers look up as one, looking for all the world like startled humanoid rabbits. They stare at the party as if just now noticing you - which, so far as you know, they have.
Surprise turns into fear quickly; they take defensive postures, though this is nowhere near as well coordinated.
After several seconds, though, they relax…but still eye you with obvious mistrust.
Elles: "I have convinced them you mean no harm."
Hrrin: Hrrin flashes the smile most non-predators find reassuring, the one without too much teeth. "Hello. We're new here. Don't mean to disrupt."
Lago: "Yeh." His voice sounds weak, as if from much disuse. "'Les sa'd yer friends."
Zinda Tegram: "Something like that."
Lago: "Wanna look?" He gestures at the trio of fighters his team has been working on.
Zinda Tegram: "May I take a look?"
The lago - apparently head speaker for the group; four others just back off, while a fifth takes an obvious (and telegraphed: even Spyboy could take her, no sweat) bodyguard posture - and opens up one of the craft.
Zinda Tegram walks over and takes a look under the hood.
Hrrin: Hrrin is blunt. "Better with Les than in the Warrens, yeah?"
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Does it slide open like the Oldziey frames or use a canopy like the confed designs?
It is…well, she's seen better, but this could be a science fair project back home. Competent. Spaceworthy. But…
[OOC] WC GM: Oldziey frames. Very obviously inspired by Oldziey designs.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Trying to see if they've copied it directly or if it's just based on it. Like, are the internals copies too?
The lago nods. "'Ere, we get fed." He looks at his bodyguard and blushes. "An' no clans."
The internals look even closer…at first. A few subtle differences - most notably, instruments pushed to the outside, controls in the middle - whose purpose is not immediately obvious to Zinda.
Zinda Tegram waves Hrrin over.
Hrrin: "Clans? Gang warfare, or…?" Ah, she's been signaled. "Tell me later." Hrrin heads in. "Yes?"
Zinda Tegram: "This instruments in the middle. They're the biggest departure in design I've seen so far, but I'm not quite able to follow where they go."
Zinda Tegram: (To the Lagos) "You had an original to work from huh?"
The lago speaker nods. "'Les got a real good look when some'a th' pirates came by."
Lago: "We w'rk t' those specs. 'Justed, o'course."
Spyboy Pearson: "Ah - the instrument thing is adaptation for Lagos."
Zinda Tegram: "Ah."
Hrrin nods. "Was about to suggest. Biggest human-kilrathi 'pit differences are ergonomic quirks."
Zinda Tegram moves on to the inspect the quality of the cameras. Are we seeing sapphire wafers here too?
Nope. Lower quality but high clarity glasses. The materials science is definitely not up to Oldziey standard.
It's barely up to Confederation standard.
Zinda Tegram leans backs, considers the materials, and goes to inspect the lateral thrusters and engine pods.
Further, the perfect features of certain zero-g-manufactured components are simply missing. This was obviously all manufactured within a gravity well, probably this one.
Here, Zinda sees small advancements. Higher power densities - not much practical experience with three-dimensional maneuvering, but they had a good Oldziey design to go from and aped it.
Zinda Tegram: "Interesting."
Zinda Tegram frowns in her mask. Once these hit Space, Elles is going to learn fast.
[OOC] WC GM: Lest there be any confusion: these assessments are in Zinda's eye - including her biases.
Lago: "Yeh. Once we're re'dy t' launch, these three 'r' ours."
Lago: "Tha's th' system. Build yer own, th'n 'elp others."
Spyboy Pearson: "Aren't there five of you?"
Zinda Tegram: "I see."
Hrrin: "For self-starters like yourself, admirable."
A quick look around confirms there are six: one speaker, one bodyguard, and four others who have gone back to working on the other two fighters.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Are they two-seaters, or are they anticipating a high 'turnover'?
[OOC] WC GM: Two-seaters.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Ah, nevermind then.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: The original design is two seats
Eventually, Zinda finds the biggest departure: a blister with redundant cooling systems, like an antenna…maybe communications?
Zinda Tegram: "What's this?"
Right where an Oldziey fighter would have the radio, but this is bigger and uses more power.
Lago: "Our link."
Zinda Tegram: "Let's Les talk to you?"
Hrrin: Hrrin taps it, and catches Speaker's eye. "For the link?"
The lago nods.
Lago: "An' us talk t' each other, 'case there'd be comm lag up there."
Hrrin: "Aye."
Hrrin: "How long, to get used to it, when it was installed?"
Lago: "'Les wa'n't too thrilled, but once we ran th' math, well, seconds or min'tes…" He makes a face, clutching his throat briefly.
Zinda Tegram: "Oh, Les didn't want them to go up?"
He and his bodyguard switch tenses - he reluctantly assuming a defensive posture, and she eyeing the crew - and the now-ex bodyguard takes over speaking. "Sorry, you tired out his throat."
Lago2: "'Les's used't all'o us talkin' through, hearin' everythin' we say."
Lago2: "This way…some o' us might go ind'pend'nt, go rogue."
Zinda Tegram: "Ah."
She looks down, a note of sadness entering her voice. "Get lost. Y'know."
Zinda Tegram: "As you wish."
The second lago looks at Hrrin. "Y'mean speakin' t' one another?" She looks up in thought.
Zinda Tegram walks back to the terminal.
Spyboy Pearson: "That's not what she meant, Zinda."
Zinda Tegram: "Oh, it isn't?"
Lago2: "I settled down quickly. 'Course, I came 'ere 'cause 'e did." She pecks her bodyguard on the cheek. "So 'e talked me down."
The second lago looks at Zinda. "Eh? No, no, didn' mean YOU get lost. Was answerin' yer question."
Zinda Tegram: "Ah, my bad."
Zinda Tegram walks back.
Hrrin: Hrrin smiles. "He mentioned clans. You were in separate ones?" And to Zinda: "Get separated, they meant."
Lago2: "I mean, some o' us…" She gestures. "…might get LOST. Y'know? Wander? No purpose?"
Lago2: "Aggh, what is your WORD?!?"
Abraham: "Alone?"
A few seconds later, the second lago relaxes. "'Les says it's 'spi ri tu la ly lost'."
Lago2: "I get that right?"
Zinda Tegram: "Mmm. Something like that."
Abraham: "I believe so."
Zinda Tegram: "Les doesn't like Integrated workers leaving?"
Hrrin: "Or losing purpose."
The second lago seems to roll that around in her mouth. "Why you call it a 'spear-ritual'?" She shrugs. "Eh, we work wit' 'Les, 'Les don' wanna do us wrong, y'know?"
Hrrin nods. She can see how this life would have more meaning in it.
Hrrin: "Less killing, stealing, hurting," Hrrins suggests, thinking of her first fearful impulses when she heard the Lagos chanting in the tunnels.
Lago2: "Anyway. Yes, we're from differen' clans. 'Les says ya got a play all 'bout our sit'ation: 'ro me oh an' jew lee et'."
Hrrin: Hrrin nods. "We can infer from that."
Spyboy Pearson: "You can?"
Hrrin: "What, it's a classic of literature."
The second lago shrugs. "Our 'rents'd ne'er let us 'ang out. So, when 'e was 'cruited, I forced m' way in. 'Les wouldn' 'llow it, 'til I nearly starved m'self at th' door."
Lago2: "Keepin' m' 'rents away w's th' toughest part, but I stuck through it."
Abraham 'turns' to LaGOS, "Why would you wait so long before bringing in a willing recruit?"
Zinda Tegram: "Why is Les having you make Starships?"
Lago2: "Havin' nothin'. 'Les got talked int' it."
Elles: "I DIdn't notice."
Elles: "Fortunately I did. In time."
Zinda Tegram: "Really? Huh. So, you know what she intends to do with them?"
Hrrin: "Didn't notice? It's as simple as checking a camera."
Abraham: "Hrm… intersting. Obviously you improved your sensory array since then. You noticed us pretty quickly."
Lago2: "Yeh, yeh. Anyway, we wanna get some 'spect fer 'Les. Get some 'sources. So we're plannin' t' take off, take o'er, an' get th' shipyards buildin' up faster."
Elles: "You misunderstand."
Elles: "I DID not notice."
Elles: "Not COULD not notice."
Zinda Tegram: "I see."
Elles: "Imagine you are living next to a den of billions of people of your race. Living. Starving. Murdering. Being cruel. JAYwalking. And you are unable or unwilling to just bring it all to a halt."
Elles: "What would you do?"

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