Session 3 10

The party can practically smell the politeness and humbleness of the Kilrathi delegates who come out to meet them. For all present except Abraham, this is the first time any have seem a Kilrathi in overalls.
Hrrin went on ahead; her present coordinates are unknown, and given circumstances, it seems wise not to follow up on her.
Spyboy and his wife are going over readings in their fighter and have yet to disembark. The Kilrathi delegates pay them no apparent mind.
Zinda Tegram looks from side to side. "Do you have any motor vehicles we can take to examine the grounds?"
[OOC] Doc Alexander: How are Kilrathi on cybernetics?
[OOC] WC GM: You don't know. You don't recall seeing one that had any, though.
Ingenue glances around, taking in the scenery of this new world.
Abraham walks up to Spyboy and whispers that he would like copies of their findings before walking to the delegation for the obligatory handshaking and introductions.
[OOC] WC GM: But there's also reason to believe that mainline Kilrathi cultural attitudes may be thrown out the window here.
[OOC] Abraham: Do you mean how do they feel about them or are they any good at them?
[OOC] Doc Alexander: How do they feel about them
KilrathiAmbassador: "Howdy! How'rrre y'all doin'?" …a Texan accent. Really.
Abraham doesn't blink at the accent. Really beyond noting that it's not a 'natural' Kilrathi accent Abraham has no frame of reference for it, never having been to Terra.
Ingenue listens. Processing…. processing… processing… that accent does not go with that body.
The scenery visible on normal visible frequencies is agrarian and pastoral. While modern tech is in evidence, one might almost think of this place as rejecting modern contrivances. Almost, if one were not already aware of what lies hidden.
Abraham: "We are good, though the flight path we were ordered to take was… erratic, I must say."
KilrathiAmbassador: "Ah." He…you believe this one is male…shrugs. "The winds can be trickah."
Abraham: "Well, it's been a while since I've flown in an atmosphere so my memory might be downplaying the danger."
Zinda Tegram: "We'd like to inspect the grounds."
[OOC] Abraham: and now that I'm in a full blown conversation, BRB.
KilrathiAmbassador: "Cerrrtainly." He gestures to a waiting jeep.
[OOC] Ingenue: Jeep is big enough for everyone?
[OOC] WC GM: Barely, but yes.
[OOC] Abraham: The legend returns
The jeep is obviously made for larger Kilrathi bodies. The present party, plus one driver, can fit.
The ambassador even holds the shotgun seat door - though, given the open top, it would be possible to just hop right over into the seat.
[OOC] Abraham: Who's lap is Nu sitting on?
[OOC] Doc Alexander: We're just going to drive away? Couldn't that be seen as rude?
[OOC] Abraham: Be driven by the delegation is how I read it.
Abraham steps into the jeep and takes a seat. "We accept your gracious offer."
[OOC] WC GM: The ambassador is going to drive, yes.
Zinda Tegram brings up some footage of the recent fly-in and works out where the closest metro-dome would be.
[OOC] WC GM: Who's got front & who's sitting in the rear?
[OOC] Abraham: SHOTGUN!
Ingenue settles into the rear of the jeep.
[OOC] Abraham: Privileges of rank, donchaknow?
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: I'll be in the rear then.
Doc Alexander sits in the back of the Jeep with Ingenue and Zinda.
As Zinda brings it up, her eyes notice a line of field…okay, yeah, right over there. It's miles away, near the horizon, but Zinda is certain that's exactly where the nearest dome bit is.
Zinda Tegram nudges Abraham and nods in the direction.
Abraham glances casual-like where Zinda indicates and is unsurprised to see… farmland.
There is just enough remaining space in the back for one more person. Or two, if they cuddle close.
[OOC] Doc Alexander: the magical expanding jeep!
Zinda Tegram: "I think there's something over there, admiral."
[OOC] Abraham: The Kilrathi are truly an amazing people.
Zinda Tegram shows admiral the relevant line of field and apparent dome from their fly-in on a tablet.
KilrathiAmbassador: "What'rrre ya goin' on 'bout? That there's a fallow field this year."
Zinda Tegram: "We understand that. Please go there anyways."
Abraham: "Yes indeed, we can see nothing is growing there, and we are curious as to why since the soil itself looks fine."
KilrathiAmbassador: "Crrrop rrrotatin'. Leave it fallow ferrr a while, it grrrows bettah latah."
Still, the ambassador shrugs and drives thataway.
[OOC] WC GM: After Spyboy & B4 board?
Michael Pearson: "Sorry for the hold-up. Had to get chewed out a bit by air traffic control."
KilrathiAmbassador: "Heh. Whipperrrsnapper, eh?" He looks to Abraham. "Butcha got a handle on 'em, right?"
Abraham: "It can be difficult, but I muddle through somehow."
Zinda Tegram leans back in her seat and just watches Metis for the ride over.
The jeep goes slow. One might describe the pace as laid back, taking its own time - or as about 15 kilometers per hour to cover 5 kilometers.
[OOC] Abraham: Now here's a question, does Metis make any mechanical sounds when going over bumps in the jeep? Like thunking back down in the seat after really serious bump?
Doc Alexander turns to Zinda and whispers "Do most Kilrathi have this accent? He sounds like something out of a 20th century western movie."
Ingenue is turning its head back and forth; while passive scans are omnidirectional, the strange placement of the optical sensors fixed in one position requires constant movement of the neck servos. This is a flaw that would need addressing in the next frame revision.
Abraham: "It's not an accent I've heard before."
Zinda Tegram: "Nor I."
Zinda Tegram: "Looking for something 'hun?"
[OOC] Ingenue: Nue's pretty heavy, so I expect that there'd be some noticeable action in the shocks, and the back of the jeep would feel heavier than normal. Any sensitive driver would pick it up quickly.
Ingenue: "Oh yes, everything!"
Doc Alexander: "Sounds like something out of a John Houston movie…"
Heggy: "Oh, you watch those, too?"
Thankfully, the road is at least well-maintained and smooth. Occasioal farm complexes are passed on either side; farmland, prowled by occasional large, slow-moving automated harvesters and planters, dominates. The air is fresher than on most worlds, though there is the occasional scent of meat from the factory farms.
Doc Alexander: "Yeah, I'm a big fan of 'The Treasure of Sierra Madre'"
Abraham: "Hm… never been to that sector."
Heggy: "Huh? I thought that movie took place on Earth?"
Actual cow and pig ranching being a rarity, most meat is produced synthetically from feedstock, and that is no different here. It is an easy guess that much of the meat comes from Kilrah stock rather than Earth, but the principles are the same, and most foods are cross-species compatible, at least so far as nutrition and digestion go.
Doc Alexander: "It's a movie, set in the early 20th century Mexico."
Doc Alexander: "It's one of the best of the early American westerns."
KilrathiAmbassador: "So, the kid…" He looks to Abraham. "You feedin' her well?" Patting the steering wheel, he adds, "Betsy's tellin' me we've got a heavy one back there."
[OOC] Michael Pearson: Actually, how heavy is she when compared with a full-grown Kilrathi?
[OOC] WC GM: It's density that the ambassador's picking up on.
Zinda Tegram looks back to Metis. "She eats well."
Doc Alexander chuckles.
KilrathiAmbassador: "Heh. I'll make sure t' 'ave a feast ready for 'errr once it's chow time! Ain't like we don't got it to sparrre."
Abraham turns and waggles his eyebrows at Zinda. "I think the actual culprit is her mother. Lady just can't keep her hands off the chocolates."
[OOC] WC GM: If anyone wants to analyze the farmland & layout, suggest a skill.
[OOC] Doc Alexander: I'd say that Abraham has the most experience with the issue
Abraham rolled up 4dF: 0 - + 0 (Base: 5 Total: 5) (Science, for what else would agriculture be?)
[OOC] Michael Pearson: I'd go with Cultures/Technology, but I don't have Kilrathi.
[OOC] WC GM: Kilrathi specific isn't needed. Farming is farming.
[OOC] Michael Pearson: Eh, he's got it
[OOC] Michael Pearson: Probably
[OOC] Ingenue: Heavier; I can't say how much without crunching the numbers (which would involve knowing the density of the future-materials the frame is made from) and comparing it to what an 8-yr old kid would be height-width wise. Volume of a cylinder with the density of steel is the closest easy reference, and that comes out to a lot. We can say Nue's frame probably weighs at least as much as a grown,…
Ingenue: …muscular adult, and maybe a bit more.))
[OOC] Ingenue: Zinda is probably not letting Nue sit on her lap anytime soon, no matter how cute it may look.
Abraham: "Interesting layout here. Tell me, how do you sustain your yields per acreage without fertilizer? Also why are you storing so much of your food?"
KilrathiAmbassador: "Heh! A fated strrrugle with one's own sweet tooth! Therrr're entire op'ras, in th' old tongue, 'bout that verrrah issue."
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Zinda'd probably be too flustered to object. : 3
[OOC] Abraham: Though, of course, the answer to both questions is the same thing, I suspect.
KilrathiAmbassador: "Oh?" He blinks - and his accent drops. "Well, actually we can barely keep up with demand, and we pipe the nutrients in straight from-" But only for a moment. "Err. Yer a farmah too?"
[OOC] Abraham: It was the eyebrow waggling. I've made fleets surrender with that trick.
[OOC] Michael Pearson: Sure, but miss micro-G syndrome would probably wind up with shattered thighs with a child in her lap who weighs as much or more than a full-grown iron-pumping Kilrathi. =/
Abraham: "I was born and raised on Nielnieh, which, in my totally unbiased opinion, the premier agriculture world of the Federation."
[OOC] Doc Alexander: That will be a fun physical to do. I'm sorry, ma'am, you actually have no bones.
KilrathiAmbassador: "Interrrestin'. What kinda processes ya use?"
Michael Pearson murmurs, "Careful there, your Excellency. Your cover is slipping."
Doc Alexander: "Excuse me, Ambassador, are you familiar with the 20th century Terran actor 'John Wayne'?"
The ambassador nods. "Aye, I hearrrd o' him. Whah, you a fan?"
Abraham: "We use large herbivores to generate our own fertilizers mostly. Right before I joined the Navy a planetary ban on chemical pesticides and fertilizers went into effect."
[OOC] Abraham: I read that as "Excuse me, Admiral" and almost responded.
Doc Alexander: "A bit, I was just wondering."
Abraham: "Though I have no idea if it's still law of the land."
KilrathiAmbassador: "Ah, th' old ways? We thought'a doin' that, but…well, we'rrre hunters." He shrugs. "Trrrah an' surprrress our instincts? It's a fight. This's th' easier way."
Finally, the jeep pulls up to the literal end of the road. It just ends, and beyond is what looks like field.
Abraham: "I can see that being tricky."
Zinda Tegram: "Well. Let's see what we've got."
KilrathiAmbassador: "Now, fallow is fallow. Ain't no one s'pposed t' even set foot on it."
Michael Pearson hops out and raps on the dome wall.
KilrathiAmbassador: "An' I'll 'ave t' insist ya respect that."
Zinda Tegram hops off the car and hunts around for a rock.
Doc Alexander joins her.
Michael's arm is intercepted by the ambassador's hand, with a scowl.
KilrathiAmbassador: "No pushin' limits, neither."
Michael Pearson raises an eyebrow at the ambassador.
KilrathiAmbassador: "We stay back 'ere."
Zinda Tegram picks up the rock, turns it over in her hands a few times, and throws it overhand where the wall should be.
The ambassador releases Michael's arm.
Abraham arches an eyebrow at the ambassador's… insistence but nods. "Of course."
[OOC] Doc Alexander: uh oh…
[OOC] WC GM: Agility, or whatever you're using to throw.
Michael Pearson: "Ambassador. You and I - and everyone else here - know why we can't walk out and take a look at the field."
WC GM rolled up 4dF: 0 0 0 0 (Base: 5 Total: 5) (invoking Ex-Marine)
[OOC] Abraham: Use Science Zinda. For this is an experiment!
Zinda Tegram rolled up 4dF: 0 + 0 - (Base: 3 Total: 3) (Stamina)
The ambassador bats the rock aside like a goalie!
Zinda Tegram raises an eyebrow.
KilrathiAmbassador: "An' whah's that?"
Zinda Tegram: "Well, you see, we're here to investigate something of a zoning violation."
Doc Alexander: "Just a Terran instinct."
Doc Alexander: "See big space, throw rocks at it."
Zinda Tegram: "I'm going to have to ask you not to hinder the investigation."
Doc Alexander: "You should try it, it's a lot of fun."
Zinda can tell this is no mere farmer. But then, that was already apparent.
Abraham: "Not as fun as a river, but you take what you can get."
Zinda Tegram picks up another rock and makes a show of being about to throw it.
The ambassador braces to intercept.
Michael Pearson: "Ambassador, that there's no way all the refugee ships that've come here, and not left, can fit in the cities visible from orbit."
…and flinches at Michael's words.
[OOC] Abraham: This Kilrathi is no mere ranger. He is Walker, son of Techas.
Michael Pearson: "Let's not push it, Dame Tegram. We've made our point."
Zinda Tegram sees the ambassador flinch and takes the shot!
[OOC] Michael Pearson: Yup. Knew it.
[OOC] Michael Pearson: Meh, more dramatic this way.
KilrathiAmbassador: "Bleeding dregs - they SAID the cloaks were working!"
Zinda Tegram rolled up 4dF: - 0 - + (Base: 3 Total: 2) (Stamina)
Michael Pearson coughs slightly.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: let's tag the ambassador's 'fuck they know' aspect.
Sure enough, the rock bounces off with a CLANG, and the air ripples where the rock bounces off the cloaked wall.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Or not.
[OOC] WC GM: Michael already distracted him into no defense.
Zinda Tegram: "Well now."
Michael Pearson: "Well, I fly in a SWACS ship. It's kinda supposed to be spot cloaked vessels. Plus there's the statistical analysis…"
Zinda Tegram glances at the ambassador.
Michael Pearson visibly loses his cool a bit
Michael Pearson: "Aaaand it occurs to me I have no idea what would happen to my hand if I touched an active cloaking field."
Abraham: "Ambassador, we're pretty sure we already know the answer to this, but for the sake of officiality, what is in the cloaked buildings?"
[OOC] Abraham: You would mystically transform into Susan Storm.
[OOC] Doc Alexander: I could poke it for you
Zinda Tegram leans against the jeep. "Isn't it highly illegal to build out here? Or was there something in the code we missed?"
[OOC] Abraham: Doc, please do not lick the cloaked buildings.
KilrathiAmbassador: "…"
Zinda Tegram: "Lucky for you, we're not in the prosecution business."
Abraham: "Or the persecution business."
The ambassador's accent drops again. "…fine. What we're hiding is US."
Abraham nods like he expected no other answer, "Please continue, Ambassador."
KilrathiAmbassador: "We're hiding from the warriors, in case they EVER come for us. We hid among them. Now we hide away. We're free and we are NOT about to give that up."
Michael Pearson: "Fair enough."
Michael Pearson blinks
Michael Pearson: "…..I was not expecting that."
Doc Alexander: "What do you mean?"
Abraham: "I did. Kilrathi society is extremely stratified."
The ambassador gestures to Abraham's decoration. "I see you wear a Ripping Claw. Perhaps you can explain better than I."
KilrathiAmbassador: "All you need to know is, we are the scientists. The technicians. ALL of us are. You know why we fled."
Zinda Tegram: "Well then. Our concerns are quite narrow here. You may know of the recent film festival?"
Zinda Tegram: "There was an entry that was, shall we say, distinct. The signal originated from one of these shelters."
Abraham: "Well, the warrior caste is in charge and has very little to no restraint in making sure everyone knows it. So their options really are kill the warriors, which would leave them if not defenseless a lot less able to fight off aggressors, segregate themselves from their 'protectors' or submit to Warrior rule."
Zinda Tegram closes her eyes.
Michael Pearson: "Cloaking systems are definitely better than the Nephilim ones, I'll give you that. And I haven't picked up a single modulated neutrino emission coming from the whole planet, so if there are any Neph spies, they're unable to transmit any information out."
Abraham: "Really they chose the option between pride and murder."
Michael Pearson: "Seems like you're pretty well protected against anything short of an outright invasion - though if the Nephilim break through, that one WILL come."
Zinda Tegram: "It's really in everyone's best interests if you cooperate."
Michael Pearson rattles off the coordinates of the server
Michael Pearson: "I need hardware access to a server there to trace the signal."
Michael Pearson eyes the Ambassador.
KilrathiAmbassador: "…tell you what. Promise you won't tell everyone else, and I'll give you a tour of our real cities."
KilrathiAmbassador: "Including the data center that sounds like that's a part of."
Michael Pearson: "I can promise that, then."
Ingenue: "…more confidential data." [sigh] "Flagged."
[OOC] Abraham: Interestingly enough, Zinda was thinking the exact same thing. How else is she suppose to let secrets slip so easily?
Doc Alexander eyes Zinda
Zinda Tegram closes her eyes and smiles.
Zinda Tegram: "You're a good kid Metis."
KilrathiAmbassador: "Admiral?"
Abraham: "One of the perks of being an admiral is that when you leave things out of a report, it's because you say it's, in Metis's words, 'confidential data'. I'll keep my mouth shut."
KilrathiAmbassador: "Thank you." He sighs, then speaks loudly, "THEY KNOW. OPEN UP."
[OOC] WC GM: …what sensors do the party have?
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Metis.
[OOC] Abraham: And maybe Doc's red left hand.
[OOC] Doc Alexander: I have the magic bag of wonder and science
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Umm…whatever's in Zinda's flight/boarding suit. So problem EM and IR.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Probably
[OOC] Abraham: I has eyes that can see and ears that can here.
[OOC] Abraham: And a nose that really wishes it couldn't smell. Chemical fertilizer is the worst.
Ingenue shakes its head. "[Error; sensor overload. Compensating… Recalibration in progress.]"
Roland: "ADMIRAL! Reading a massive energy signature directly in front of you!"
Roland: "What's going on down there?!?"
Ingenue ….oh. /That's/ why the visual sensors are monodirectional.
[OOC] Doc Alexander: Nothing. We're all fine down here. How- How are you?
Zinda Tegram wolf whistles.
Zinda Tegram: "Lotta networks."
Abraham: "Abraham to Roland. Understood."
Visually, the effect is somewhat less. The field in front of you fades into a metal wall, stretching in every direction until it fades back into illusory air and field.
Zinda Tegram puts a hand on Metis' head. "Hey, you OK 'hun?"
Doc Alexander: "That's a big dome…."
Ingenue: "Yes… yes. Only a little blind for a moment or two. Recalibrating. It is strange to rely only on optical sensors. It feels like… having a sack over my head."
Abraham: "This is my first time seeing Kilrahi architecture."
Abraham: "Unless capital ships count, and I suppose they could."
Ingenue scanning… scanning… Recalibration complete. ….. "[sooooo much daaaaataaaa…..]"
KilrathiAmbassador: "This…isn't traditional Kilrathi architecture. That was designed for the warriors."
Abraham: "Ah I see. Still very impressive."
Doc Alexander: "What's on the inside?"
Through the door…metal. Everywhere. Where there isn't crystal. Three dimensional architecture in a gravity well - skyscrapers and skybridges here and there, artificial gravity abuse (the only plausible reason people are walking on the underside of some of those bridges), vehicle traffic, and…are those MECHS? Impractical, banned from Terran military contract designs, MECHS?
[OOC] Doc Alexander: It's a technological wonderland!
Michael Pearson grimaces
Abraham: "You all right, Spyboy?"
Michael Pearson: "Please tell me those aren't combat robots."
Doc Alexander: "Looks like 'em…"
The ambassador leads the way in. "Of course they are! Tanks aren't as practical in this environment."
[OOC] Doc Alexander: Admit it, you crafted this environment just so you could use mechs, WC….
[OOC] Michael Pearson: METAL GEAR!?
[OOC] WC GM: Not *just*. But hey, if they fit… :P
Ingenue finds the first open network: Access. Download. All of it. ALL OF IT. Repeat…. possibly forever. Cross-reference with existing Kilrathi database. Correlations! Continue process matching. More data? MORE DATA. Download! Process….
[OOC] Abraham: Oh admit it doc, you dig giant robots. I dig giant robots. We dig giants robots.
[OOC] Doc Alexander: Nice.
[OOC] Abraham: Be careful Ingenue. The DMCA is still probably in effect.
[OOC] Doc Alexander: STILL?
Far above is the dome's edge, and here and there are structures leading to massive wells. As Ingenue quickly finds, and the rest of the party can deduce, the domes are not just cloaks, but also massive solar panels. Coupled with extensive geothermal wells (and mining), the total energy available is just about Kardashev scale 1.0.
Michael Pearson taps his computer and runs a passive emmisions map of the closest mech.
[OOC] Ingenue: But… but… the network was open! We..well, practically open: they left ports 9000-9001 open to pings, and that's basically /asking/ for someone to enter your network! I was invited! Its legit! I mean, who really has their password as 'password'? I'm doing them a favor!
Abraham does the math and arriving at the Kardashev scale answer gives a low whistle.
Through Ingenue, Michael can see ways to get the mech's blueprints. The emissions match up - yeah, this really is someone's attempt at a serious combat mech.
Doc Alexander is not as expect as Abraham or Spyboy when it comes to technology, but is still very impressed.
[OOC] Michael Pearson: I'm with Nue on this one.
[OOC] Ingenue: And while I'm at it, I'm giving myself permanent root access… but that's normal!
Ingenue quickly finds a number of attempts to connect to Nue's internal network. It almost feels like a fanboy mob.
Zinda Tegram notices some improper comments on the nuecomm and puts her hand on Metis' shoulder. "Try not to invade their privacy too much."
Ingenue closes off access to confidential data, but otherwise…. free exchange of information! ~SOOO HAPPY~
Ingenue: "Mi?"
Zinda Tegram: "Yes, you."
[OOC] Michael Pearson: The combat robots piloted or unpiloted?
The ambassador pauses, listening, then looks at Ingenue. "An android? Artificial intelligence?"
Ingenue: "But…but… data!"
[OOC] Abraham: "I'll tell you if you give me a giant robot car."
[OOC] WC GM: Some piloted, some not.
Abraham: "Precocious, isn't she? Zinda is very proud of her."
Zinda Tegram: "And my daughter. Yes."
Zinda Tegram straightens her posture and stands behind Metis.
KilrathiAmbassador: "…you have your secrets too, I see."
Zinda Tegram smiles very slightly. "Do I? I wonder."
Abraham: "And you have no idea how hard we have to work to keep them."
Doc Alexander: "Oh so hard…"
KilrathiAmbassador: "Well. Since we're being open…" He eyes Alexander. "You may call me Wayne. We're all part of a masquerade here, and I have no affection for the name I was chained with since birth."
Doc Alexander: "Pleased to meet you, pard'ner"
Doc Alexander extends his hand for a handshake.
Wayne chuckles and shakes, momentarily resuming his accent. "Hope I didn' lah it on too thick ferrr ya."
Ingenue: "Secrets are bad. Secrets create strife and require extra cycles to keep secrets secret. Open access to data promotes understanding and keeps Michael from glaring at Zinda…." It is now clear that Nue is paying no attention to what its vocal synthesizer is saying…
Michael_Pearson coughs.
Zinda Tegram puts her hand over her mouth to stop from laughing.
Michael Pearson: "Actually open access to data is usually what causes Michael glaring at Zinda."
Doc Alexander: "Might I recommend you pick a slightly more… nuanced character next time?"
Abraham: "Or at least a more modern one so I at least get the joke?"
Wayne: "There might not be a next time. We don't get many visitors. Bounty's the first Admiral to visit us."
Wayne: "And if the plague of our ancestors does ravage our sector…"
Doc Alexander: "John Wayne was a 20th century American Western film star. He had a very noticeable speech pattern."
Wayne shrugs. "But! Many of us are working on that very problem."
Heggy: "No one would accept a Kilrathi leader without as much swagger as John Wayne had, so…not a bad choice."
Abraham: "Really? I thought a tour of whatever systems you were in was standard for Federation Admirals."
Michael Pearson: "Oh, really?"
Ingenue: "Then the data will be preserved. All data. Preserved forever."
Michael Pearson: "What are they working on? Is there any way we can help?"
[OOC] Abraham: They better be working on my giant robot car.
Wayne: "Of the systems, yes. Of each planet in the system? We settled here in part so Amaal could take all the attention."
Abraham: "Ah, yes that makes some sense."
Doc Alexander: "I think you made a good choice on that front."
Wayne: "If you need to hide several billion people, where better than in plain sight? Plain sight behind a cloak, of course."
Doc Alexander: "That must require huge amounts of power to maintain."
Abraham: "They have huge amounts of power to spare."
Wayne smiles. "It does! But surely you've noticed…" He gestures to the solar panel domes.
Michael Pearson: "Actually what's got me surprised is how well they handle the heat transfer. The waste heat from all this must be incredible."
Wayne: "It is. Some of it we process into the planet's core. Most of it we radiate back toward the sun."
Wayne: "Everyone expects that's the hotter side. You'd be surprised how few think to check."
Wayne: "Part of this was inspired by Earth science fiction, by someone named…Cardy Siff? Something like that."
Ingenue: "Logical flaw. Creating analogy… you've laid the trail of breadcrumbs to this place, and there the bread crumbs end. Anyone choosing to find this location and /all the data/ will naturally be lead here. In order to preserve this place and /so much data/ there must be a trail of bread crumbs away. Simply, to a disaster that no one could possibly survive. With the trail thus terminating away…
Ingenue: …from this planet, you preserve the original function of this place. "
Ingenue: "It would be bad if Kilrathi warrior caste accessed this data, yes?"
Zinda Tegram grins.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: She's saying "bad" now. : 3
[OOC] Doc Alexander: Suboptimal just doesn't pack the same punch
Wayne: "You don't know how they think. If they found ruins, they would settle them. Claim and avenge. With a cold trail? They look for one of us to help them, and if none are around, they give up."
Wayne: "Nothing is worse to the honor-driven than boredom."
Zinda Tegram: "We find dishonor fairly bad too."
Ingenue points (without looking) at Michael. "Did not give up." Points to Zinda. "Did not give up. Both can be followed by Kilrathi. Others may come who do not give up. Statistically, this place cannot remain hidden, even with cloaks. Actually… access wiki farm stored on server 57. They came to same conclusion."
Wayne: "You find it something to complain about." Smirk. "Sometimes a little too much?"
Zinda Tegram: "Not to be a wet blanket, but the place was pretty easy to find."
Wayne: "Yes, well. On that note. I trust you've vetted her?" He gestures to Heggy.
Zinda Tegram: "We could actually see the domes on our flight in."
Wayne: "We've had trouble with lago sp-" He looks at Zinda.
Heggy blinks
Wayne: "How?"
Michael Pearson glares at Zinda.
Michael Pearson hides the glare
Abraham: "The 'strong winds' were our first clue."
Michael Pearson: "SWACS ship, remember?"
Michael Pearson: "That's what my fighter is designed to do." \
Abraham: "Once we had that clue, we went looking for more."
Michael Pearson: "And yeah, Helvetica Gertrude Francesti Janictam is from a confed station. She grew up confed, she's no spy."
[OOC] Abraham: Everyone is a spy for LAGOS, who enjoys the quiet time before the crying starts.
Wayne: "Don't give me that line. We've had pilots test these cloaks with SWACS. When we found holes, we fixed them, until the tests showed nothing."
Zinda Tegram: "We have our own secrets. Just call it a side effect of our own efforts to defeat nephilim cloaking systems."
Wayne: "And by 'test' I mean they landed on the domes and scanned from there."
Michael Pearson coughs
Michael Pearson: "If you'll check with air traffic control you'll note I had my pilot do a bit of aerobatics to demonstrate that we knew what we were not running into."
Ingenue: "Did they utilize gravitic and seismic data? Correlation between anticipated and resultant seismic/gravitic readings demonstrated the existence of buildings. Also, reflected sound."
Wayne: "…who uses sonar?"
Michael Pearson: "Not me. SWACS, space, no sound."
Doc Alexander: "People looking for cloaked cities on a planet that should have more Kilrathi on it than it seems to."
Zinda Tegram: "Spyboy, can't we just tell them?"
Michael Pearson stops in his tracks, stunned.
Wayne: "Exactly." He strolls up to a large contraption. "Would you like some coffee?"
Zinda Tegram: "It's easier that way. We recently installed some dedicated cloak busters we salvaged off of some nephilim transport craft. They use it to maintain formation."
Zinda Tegram: "Which means if we can see you, they can see you."
Wayne: "…"
Wayne: "…okay. *I* need some coffee."
Abraham: "We all need coffee. Especially Metis."
Doc Alexander: "What's the effect of coffee on Kilrathi, anyway?"
Ingenue: "Anyone who wishes to penetrate cloaks within an atmosphere uses sonar. Ooh, ice cream. Zinda?"
Zinda Tegram: "You might consider backing our efforts."
Heggy: "What's coffee taste like? I've never had it before!"
Michael Pearson rubs his forehead. He seems to be developing a migraine…
Zinda Tegram: "Ice cream sounds good, Metis."
Doc Alexander: "They say it's an acquired taste, but I don't really believe them."
Wayne places his hand on a giant lever switch, as tall as he is. "Help me with this?"
Zinda Tegram: "Sure."
Zinda Tegram walks over to help.
[OOC] Ingenue: Jalapenos are an acquired taste. Coffee is assault with intent to murder innocent taste buds.
[OOC] Doc Alexander: Agreed
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: I like coffee….
The switch is heavy, and resists being pushed in all the way, even with two people on it. "C'mon, a little more, we need full power here!"
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: I have mine with cream! : D
[OOC] Michael Pearson: Yeah, but having Heggy pull an Agatha Heterodyne would be hilarious.
[OOC] Doc Alexander: You are a blue sasquatch, who cares what you think?
The control panel next to it begins flashing incomprehensibly.
Zinda Tegram: "Why's this switch so heavy, Wayne?"
[OOC] Ingenue: Is the switch low enough that Nue can reach it?
Wayne: "So it doesn't get flipped casually. Or so I'm told; I think it was just salvage."
[OOC] WC GM: If Nue stretches, yes.
Zinda Tegram: "Uh, I was sort of asking what it does."
[OOC] WC GM: It's a side-to-side.
Wayne: "Power."
Ingenue walks over towards the switch, lending its… assistance.
Zinda Tegram: "To what?"
[OOC] Doc Alexander: Deathray.
Industrial base sounds from within the wall the switch is on, musical in its methodicalness.
Wayne: "The lights, which run the coffee maker."
Zinda Tegram: "Oh. That's uh, pretty involved."
Wayne: "Wait until you taste it."
[OOC] Abraham: It's the last ditch stratagem in case the Warriors ever find them, to flip on the coffee pot and distract them while they flee.
[OOC] WC GM: Actually, it's not there as a distraction.
[OOC] Doc Alexander: Are they opening a space star bucks?
[OOC] WC GM: Let me put it this way: who here has read Asterix?
[OOC] Doc Alexander: Some sort of STARbucks?
[OOC] Doc Alexander: nope
[OOC] Abraham: Read? No. Have a feeling where you're going with it? Yes.
Something behind the wall BANGS, and the metal bulges - but only briefly, healing its deformation.
Wayne: "We don't want to overdo it. On the count of five, let go. One, two, three, four…"
Ingenue lets go at five.
Wayne: "Five!" Just then, a panel slides open, a cloud of steam wafting out. Mechanisms slow down and cease; a set of cups with steaming dark brown liquid are within.
Zinda Tegram blinks.
Zinda Tegram: "You try it first."
[OOC] Doc Alexander: or is it a substance just like, not not quite, coffee?
Wayne: "Ha! It worked!" He takes a cup and sips.
[OOC] Michael Pearson: Is it perfect?
[OOC] WC GM: You'll need to analyze it and see.
Heggy takes a cup and sips.
Heggy: "Huh. Kinda bitter."
Zinda Tegram: "You seem surprised."
…the super-espresso caffeine kicks in a moment later.
Doc Alexander: "That's the point."
[OOC] Michael Pearson: Actually that could be Michael, but that'd be giving too much away.
Heggy: "Reallynottoobad,though!"
It seems to have relaxed Wayne. But then, more body mass and different chemistry.
Zinda Tegram: "So, um, about the Nephilim and your cities."
Wayne: "Yes. You said those were Nephilim cloak busters?"
Zinda Tegram: "They do resemble terran ones. But yes."
Zinda Tegram: "Also, umm, the paper trail made it pretty obvious there were more people here. And the fallow-forever farming patterns were kind of suspect. And…well, you're just not well hidden."
Wayne: "That…is disconcerting."
Heggy: "Yup. TotallynotlagocloakbustersweboughtoneplanetoverinordertopenetrateNephilimcloaksbutmadetopenetrateyours."
Ingenue: "Neu-Comm chatter and anticipatory algorithms imply that this may be good time to say 'uh-oh'."
Michael Pearson rubs both temples. Migraine…moving.
Wayne: "Neu-comm?"
Zinda Tegram: "My daughter's internal dialogue. She's sort of chatty over the air."
Wayne: "We'd theorized they were using neutrinos to communicate."
Wayne: "Do you have any data on that?"
Ingenue munches ice cream. "Yes." Dips ice cream in coffee.
Zinda Tegram: "They are. They're not the only ones who are, however. I'm sorry I can't be more specific."
Heggy: "Yeahtheyusethesameneutrinocommsystemthatthelagospiesyouspotteduseit'sjustwithanotherlanguage."
Wayne: "…"
Ingenue: "Does anyone need that translated?"
Doc Alexander: "Seems the coffee doesn't agree with her metabolism."
Doc Alexander rummages through his bag.
Doc Alexander: "I think I have something for this…."
Abraham: "I think it's working fine with her metabolism."
Wayne: "That…"
Michael Pearson grabs a cup of his own, sips for temperature check, and when he knows it's not hot enough to scald him, drains the cup.
Zinda Tegram: "Anyways, I think you need a better system. You're not really safe at all. It might be worth just backing us and helping us defend the cluster."
Michael Pearson: "Not bad."
This cup…is just coffee. Excellent tasting, but no super-espresso.
Although Michael does soon notice a heightened sense of smell. And sight. And sound.
[OOC] WC GM: Temporary Aspect: Boosted Senses on Michael for remainder of scene.
Michael Pearson frowns
Michael Pearson: "That's….not straight caffeine."
[OOC] Abraham: This lets you see things no one else can see, and do things no one else can do.
Doc Alexander: "Hm?"
[OOC] Michael Pearson: The needle of love!
Wayne: "Of course is isn't."
Wayne: "It is coffee."
Michael Pearson: "Coffee roulette."
Wayne glances at Abraham. "We…tried to get the mixture right. Coffee is a generic booster agent, right?"
Doc Alexander: "Not… really…"
Doc Alexander: "Michael, may I?"
Michael Pearson offers an arm to Alexander.
Doc Alexander gestures to reach for Michael's cup of coffee.
Michael Pearson: "Oh. Well, there might be a few drops left."
Doc Alexander: "More than enough."
Michael Pearson hands Alexander the empty mug.
Abraham: "Caffeine actually has a highly variable effect on human metabolisms. It can be a stimulant or a depressant. And in sufficient quantities even a hallucinogenic."
Zinda Tegram: "Well, regardless, shall we get down to business?"
Ingenue: "Coffee is the mixture created after adding boiled water to the roasted seeds of the Coffea plant. Said seeds are frequently ground and water is passed through them."
Doc Alexander dips his mechanical fingers into the remnants of the coffee, and performs an analysis.
Doc Alexander rolled up 4dF: - - + - (Base: 4 Total: 2) (Science (Let's see what this liquid is, shall we?))
[OOC] Doc Alexander: Eww….
[OOC] Ingenue: Use them fate points!
Alexander quickly determines that this would be banned by any reputable Terran sports organization in a heartbeat. …and some athletes would try to sneak it in anyway.
Doc Alexander: "Uhm… you may have made the 'coffee' a little too strong, Wayne."
Doc Alexander shows the results to Abraham.
[OOC] Abraham: What? The ratio is a scoop per cup, isn't it?
Abraham: "No need Doctor, this is not the first time I've been around Kilrathi coffee."
[OOC] Doc Alexander: anything dangerous in it?
Michael Pearson: "Eh. Metabolic enhancers work funny across species."
Michael Pearson: "Silly of me to even try. Just hoping to even out the stress…"
[OOC] Abraham: Turpentine, Ascetone, Benzine. No wonder it's called 'The Dip'.
[OOC] Ingenue: Sounds tasty. Does it come on nachos?
Doc Alexander: "Well, if you insist."
[OOC] Abraham: That sounds like a call for a logend
Wayne: "Anyway. Nephilim using anything like Terran technology? That…hrm. I suppose you are unfamiliar with the Kilrathi history with the Nephilim? More than just the prophecy."
[OOC] WC GM: It is about time, but one more bit first.
Wayne: "It was not until we had contact with the Terrans that we recognized this bit - and of course the warriors never spoke of it. They did not care. War never changes, they say."
Abraham: "I am. But then again, most Kilrathi I've talked to only admit to the prophecy."
Wayne nods. "But our historians kept records of our interactions with them. They were infamous for not changing. We saw little of them over time, but even as we advanced, they did not."
Ingenue: "Is that true? Analysis of historical data demonstrates many changes in war."
Michael Pearson: "Eh. War's one of those things - the more it changes - the more it stays the same."
Wayne sips his cup, finishing it. "For Terrans and Kilrathi, yes."
Wayne: "For the Nephilim? They were proud of being what they were, and wanted us to catch up so we would be worthy."
Wayne: "Or so say the warriors. Huh. 'Worthy'."
[OOC] Doc Alexander: Sounds like the Dominion
Michael Pearson: "Well, as far as cloaks go, you've succeeded…"
Wayne: "A closer truth? They didn't know how to advance. Technological stagnation, for thousands of years. We were supposed to rescue them. Supposed to."

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