Session 4 8

The two Speakers appear to finally understand the crew's objection.
There is no further immediate reaction from them - though it is quite likely they are thinking about it, and relaying this information.
Zinda Tegram sits down and waits.
Zinda Tegram: "We're willing to work with you to, ah, refuel your planet."
Alexander Morello: "Uh…how?"
Alexander Morello: "It's not like you can pull a planet up to a refueling station and say 'fill 'er up!'"
Ingenue: "Addition of planetary mass."
Abraham: "Gravity makes planets grow naturally, albeit at a very slow rate. Only tons a day, usually."
Alexander Morello: "Anything more tens to be a bit catastrophic."
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Does Armstrong have an asteroid belt?
[OOC] WC GM: But of course.
[OOC] Abraham: Does Armstrong have an asteroid belt buckle?
Zinda Tegram: "We could, uh, ram it through the local 'roid belt to try and pick up mass for one full rotation around before breaking back to the mahavier jump point?"
Alexander Morello: "Doesn't that generally end poorly for anything that happens to be on the planet going through the belt?"
Zinda Tegram: "Usually, yeah, but I get the feeling that our friends here would be able to handle it."
[OOC] Ingenue: Are the frame's sensors powerful enough to scan the nearby asteroids for extinction level rocks?
Zinda Tegram: "I mean, we'd be forthcoming with them about what they're getting into."
Alexander Morello: "Yes, but it's also what we would be getting into."
Alexander Morello: "We don't really have a way off-planet, yet."
Abraham: "Unless the individual asteroids are absolutely huge or incredibly dense they will burn up in the atmosphere, then the ash will fall and add to the mass that way."
Zinda Tegram: "We'd get off the planet beforehand. A full tour through the belt would take quite a while wouldn't it?"
[OOC] WC GM: Extinction level rocks are as much about speed as size. That said, Armstrong would have been an extinction level rock, yet they seemed to have a plan for that.
Alexander Morello: "Wouldn't going through an asteroid belt like that also risk ejecting asteroids towards Armstrong?"
[OOC] WC GM: As to scanning - a much easier way is to tap into the publicly available surveys of Armstrong's asteroid belt, available via the Roland's computers.
Zinda Tegram: "Yeah, but this is the home of the confed remnant government. The garrison could probably handle that."
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: I'd be more concerned if the mass of the belt would be enough honestly.
[OOC] Abraham: And our computers survived intact, yes?
[OOC] Ingenue: Mostly. The power cords were unplugged.
Zinda Tegram: "Do you think they'd give up their, uh, plasma thruster if they get a stable orbit back?"
Zinda Tegram: "I mean, it's served it's purpose hasn't it? If they're worried about another station, just give them like, anti-satellite weapons or something."
Alexander Morello: "…really?"
[OOC] WC GM: Yeah, they can still communicate off-planet.
Alexander Morello: "Aren't they armed and dangerous enough as is?"
Zinda Tegram: "Eh, they'd develop them on their own anyways."
Zinda Tegram: "It's not like we want to fight them."
Zinda Tegram: "And if it, y'know, makes them less likely to ram us later that's nice too."
Abraham: "From a purely analytical point of view, I am immensely curious what other innovations they can come up with if left on their own. Practically that can't happen, but… curiosity."
Alexander Morello: "Prime Directive, sir?"
Abraham: "'Defend FedCon space?'"
Alexander Morello chuckles.
Spyboy watches the two speakers.
Abraham: "Oh! I know what you are talking about. They made us watch that in school. Half the stories made no sense, they had no idea what their 'Prime Directive' actually meant, and half the technology doesn't even rise to the level of scientific rigor of fantasy. Seriously overrated. I have no idea how it can be considered such a classic by teachers."
Abraham: "Also I really think most of the time the Captain forgot his lines. That's why he talked like that."
[OOC] Spyboy: Does Ingenue's sensor package - or my computer - pick up any sign of them communicating?
Alexander Morello: "Yeah, I liked the sequels a lot more."
[OOC] Ingenue: I think they're doing it via pheromones or such, which we weren't calibrated for before.
[OOC] Spyboy: Yeah, but looking at the senders I may be able to pick some related signals up. Blood pressure analogues, neurons firing, stuff like that.
Zinda Tegram: "Muh?"
A bit of analysis readily shows that the two Speakers are involved in a high level of conversation - one might almost call it "frantic" .
The reference goes over Zinda's head.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Someone ask them to include us?
Spyboy: "What's got you so worried?"
Spyboy is looking at the Speakers.
Alexander Morello: "You know, I heard that they kept re-writing the script so he was never able to properly memorize them."
One of the Speakers looks at Spyboy a few moments later, as if only just now realizing Spyboy was talking to it. "No friend die."
Spyboy: "We might be able to help come up with an alternate plan."
Speaker: "No…planet hit planet, friends die…no…" It concentrates.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Aww. It cares.
[OOC] Ingenue: Or at least has gotten good enough at lying to fake caring.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Yeah.
Speaker: "…no…want?"
[OOC] Spyboy: Step one of dealing with alien superintelligences. Get them to understand that humans dying is a bad thing. Got that one down? It's not the only hurdle, but!"
Zinda Tegram: "Well put."
Zinda Tegram pulls up a 2d map of the system on the conference boards.
Zinda Tegram: "How much, uh, fuel do we have?"
The Speakers stare blankly at the board.
Spyboy: "I wonder if they can perceive light the way we do."
Zinda Tegram points out the planets, naming them as such.
Zinda Tegram points out Mahavier, and then points down.
Alexander Morello: "To find out, we'd need a sample. They might be willing to oblige, in the interests of friendship."
Zinda Tegram: "Not a terrible idea. We should probably also, uh…"
Zinda Tegram pulls up a simple text-to-kilrathi-speech program.
Zinda Tegram types in "Can you understand this?"
The program faithfully translates their response: "Yes."
Zinda Tegram: "Is it more clear than the speaking we were doing earlier?"
Program: "What is 'clear'? What is 'earlier'?"
Zinda Tegram blinks. "Easy to understand. At a past point in ti…Metis, could you help your mother here please?"
Ingenue: "I am not certain."
[OOC] Ingenue: Was that the program asking, or the speakers asking through the program?
[OOC] WC GM: The latter.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Oh.
One of the Speakers headtilts. "'Clear', 'easy to understand'. 'Earlier', 'at a past point in ti'." And blinks. "'Ti'?"
Zinda Tegram: "Time."
Zinda Tegram: "I'm sorry, I said the word wrong."
[OOC] Ingenue: How thoroughly were these speakers scanned previously?
Speaker: "Wrong!" Think, think. "Planet hit planet friends die, wrong?"
[OOC] WC GM: Your call. How thoroughly have you been scanning them?
[OOC] Spyboy: I've been running a broadband scan with my computer, but I've only been using Ingenue's sensors a bit…
[OOC] Ingenue: I mean by others. Have we determined their cellular make-up? Are they plant-stuff all the way through, or are there other components inside?
Zinda Tegram speaks through the computer.
Zinda Tegram: "If the planet we are on now hits Armstrong, then many people will die, that is correct. We'd like to stop the collision."
[OOC] WC GM: They're technically plant-stuff all the way through, though that's a technicality of how it is manufactured. Quite a few of the organs in one dissected dead slitherer are basically animal tissue when viewed from a strictly functional perspective.
[OOC] Ingenue: Animal tissue in design, but composed of botanical cells?
[OOC] WC GM: The science team could spend all day debating the subject, and plan to once more life-or-death matters are not immediately pressing.
[OOC] WC GM: Basically, yeah.
[OOC] Alexander Morello: That is an interesting question. One of the major differences between plant and animal cells is the solidity of plant cell walls.
[OOC] Alexander Morello: But these plant cells must not have rigid cell walls, or else they couldn't move as well as they do.
[OOC] Ingenue: But nothing metallic, other than the minor trace metals that would normally appear in plants, depending on soil composition? Nothing dramatically, obviously metallic?
[OOC] WC GM: Nothing obviously metallic, no. Though there are obviously conductive - plant-based polymers that conduct as well as or better than what Terran computers use. Science team has already communicated these findings to Armstrong, for outsourcing to pilot industrial programs to make better chips.
[OOC] WC GM: Though the CPU designs are rather primitive, apparently imperfectly scanned and copied wholesale, then bodged into functionality.
[OOC] WC GM: The slitherer's CPU-equivalents, that is.
[OOC] WC GM: They have asked for detailed scans of the Speakers, to compare to scans taken of Ingenue.
[OOC] Ingenue: Have we made said scan already? If not, Metis starts doing that immediately.
[OOC] Alexander Morello: We could do one better and see if they have any 'dead' speakers we could take a look at.
It quickly becomes apparent that, yes, the Speakers were made via the same technique: imperfect scan, replicate with analogues they had on library, then random walk and test out variations until something usable arises.
[OOC] Ingenue: oooh, graverobbing! Yes, lets!
Zinda Tegram: "$Asteroid-ambush…$"
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: That is, presumably, a single word in Oldziey.
[OOC] Abraham: Actually, it is a letter of their alphabet.
[OOC] Alexander Morello: Not so much robbing as asking for some samples.
Logically, this means there were thousands, possibly millions, of Speaker iterations that were tried, tested, and discarded. Whether any of their corpses remain is another matter, especially after seeing what they did to that plant that challenged them by its existence.
Speaker: "$Asteroid-ambush?$"
Zinda Tegram: "We could send you through the asteroid belt to pick up reaction mass before jumping you back to Mahavier."
Zinda Tegram: "Then again through the Mahavier belt while you work your way into a stable orbit."
Zinda Tegram: "That way you wouldn't need to crash into Armstrong and kill our friends."
Alexander Morello: "Also, our friends at Armstrong would feel a lot more friendly to you if we could tell them more about you."
Zinda Tegram: "Yes."
The Speakers tilt their heads toward the still-running translator, as it faithfully dubs the party's words into Kilrathi.
Alexander Morello: "How you work and what you are like."
The Speakers' answer, though, is in Terran. "Planet hit asteroid, hit asteroid hit asteroid hit asteroid, no die!"
Speaker: "Friends no die!"
Zinda Tegram: "That is the idea, yeah."
[OOC] Ingenue: And since those asteroids are quite possibly rich in metals, this gives them some trade fodder, stuff they don't have much use for but us crazy biologics love.
[OOC] WC GM: They already have that, in theory.
[OOC] WC GM: But did you know that the majority of asteroids are carbonaceous?
[OOC] Abraham: In theory, but buried deep in the planet. Far easier to harvest them from the relatively shallow asteroid craters.
[OOC] Ingenue: Buried in the planet… and possibly ejected as fuel, depending where it is in the planet.
Heggy blinks worriedly.
Heggy: "Um. How much asteroid mining goes on in Armstrong?"
Zinda Tegram: "I think the valuable stuff has been mined out."
Abraham: "Not sure, honestly."
Speaker: "Need hit volcanic plasma thruster."
Speaker: "Hit volcanic plasma thruster, planet hit asteroid hit asteroid hit asteroid, planet NOT hit planet, friends not die!"
Zinda Tegram: "It's a shipyard, but I believe most of the materials come out of sommers, and…what?"
Zinda Tegram: "Umm, yep, that's…the idea…"
Ingenue: "Correct."
Spyboy: "That makes sense. Surface impacts would just be more dust. If you wanted to increase the mass of the lava available to the thrusters, it would have to actually hit magma."
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: They seem excited.
[OOC] Ingenue: That's never good.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Let's roll with it.
Alexander Morello: "Any chance we could see the thruster so we could get a better idea of what we're dealing with?"
One Speaker kneels, drawing a circle with a cone on one side, then points to it. "Volcanic plasma thruster." Then points about a quarter of the way around the circle, then to the ground.
[OOC] Ingenue: Would plotting the optimal course for impacting the asteroids be navigation, science or engineering?
Ingenue: "Or to refine it for greater efficiency."
Speaker: "Need…volcanic plasma thruster?"
[OOC] WC GM: Navigation.
[OOC] WC GM: How to implement that course would be Engineering, possibly Science, but the course itself is Navigation.
[OOC] Ingenue: I think that makes Michael the best person to plot the impact course.
Zinda Tegram: "Actually, I have…an idea."
Alexander Morello: "We have ways to get to places very quickly, but you'd have to make sure none of your friends or not friends hurt us on the way."
Zinda Tegram: "We have a spare station power core right?"
Ingenue: "Yes."
Abraham: "Yes."
Zinda Tegram: "What if we helped build, y'know, a non-volcanic plasma thruster with it?"
Speaker: "Non-volcanic plasma thruster?"
Ingenue: "Sufficient to alter the trajectory of a planet?"
Speaker looks up, surveying…something.
Speaker points toward the engine section of the Roland. "Non-volcanic plasma thruster?"
Alexander Morello: "I think we need to see this volcano."
Ingenue: "Yes. Those are our non-volcanic plasma thruster. Thrusters."
[OOC] Abraham: But what would I use to power my espresso machine?!
Speaker: "Thrusters. Build thrusters?"
Ingenue: "Yes."
The two Speakers look at each other for a bit.
Ingenue can more FEEL than detect the pulse of communication they abruptly send, it registers so high on the scanners.
Half a minute later, the executive officer's voice comes up on the radio. "Uhh, Admiral, sir? We've got incoming. LOTS of incoming."
Ingenue: "[! Tracing comm…]"
Abraham: "Where? Do you have a visual?"
The signal's destination is easy to trace: everywhere nearby.
Alexander Morello: "I hope they're friendly…"
The forest rustles with activity from all directions.
Spyboy: "Oh boy."
ExecutiveOfficer: "Too many signals to isolate. They're even coming in from underground this time."
Abraham: "It seems we managed to get their attention finally."
Ingenue: "Is this a good thing?"
Alexander Morello: "I hope so."
It is perhaps fortunate that the party was still outside. Slitherers and more, previously unseen forms, erupt from the ground and the forest by the millions, hoisting the Roland's pieces off the ground.
Zinda Tegram addresses the speakers through the program. "You're surprising us. Please explain."
Alexander Morello: "Humans do not like surprises."
Alexander Morello: "Surprises are unfriendly!"
[OOC] Ingenue: Gained: Botanical Assembly Line x1.
Zinda Tegram: "Umm, we get that, but why take the ship?"
[OOC] Abraham: Doo doo Dee Doooooo!
Abraham: "Raw materials?"
Ingenue: "Schematics."
Speakers: "Ship?" "Thruster?" "Build ship?" "Build ship!"
Zinda Tegram: "Ship later! Thrusters are a part of ship that moves it!"
The plant multitudes converge, bringing the Roland's sections together.
Zinda Tegram: "Or…oh…"
Zinda Tegram: "Umm. Thank you."
Speakers: "BUILD SHIP!"
[OOC] Spyboy: Little Deus-ex-machina for my tastes.
[OOC] Alexander Morello: Could this be WingedCat giving us a hint he's bored with this arc? hahaha
[OOC] WC GM: It was the party's objective, no?
[OOC] Ingenue: Now, observe their welding technique… ah, a thing of beauty, not seen since Garanais IV was destroyed during the Encephelon battles…
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: It was, but it's a little surprising the fashion it was accomplished.
[OOC] Spyboy: True!
[OOC] WC GM: …did you really expect any other fashion? With these Speakers?
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Well, we seem to have achieved our diplomatic objective.
[OOC] Abraham: Woo! Diplomatic Victory achieved!
Welding quickly begins - not from the plants, but from the Roland's own crew, taking advantage of circumstance.
[OOC] Ingenue: I don't know, this feels like a Cultural victory to me…
Ingenue observes the proceedings with curiosity, watching that the right pieces go in the right places.
[OOC] Ingenue: Is this actually going to be enough, though? Are there parts that can't be salvaged?
ExecutiveOfficer: "Sir, repair crews say that if the plants hold us steady, we should be stable in an hour, and able to take off an hour after that. Just for subsonic atmospheric flight for now - it'll take a while longer before we're spaceworthy."
[OOC] Abraham: We can rebuild it. We have the technology. But we don't want to spend that much money so we're outsourcing.
[OOC] WC GM: You're not sure if this will be enough yet. Repairs literally just started.
Abraham: "Excellent. Keep me apprised of the progress, Abraham out."
[OOC] Ingenue: Have we finished scavenging the crashed station for spare parts and precursor tech?
[OOC] WC GM: Presumably, unless you want to take another visit to it?
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: …I want to take some computer dumps.
[OOC] Ingenue: Hi ho, hi ho, its off to the station we go..
[OOC] WC GM: Heading that way, then?
[OOC] Abraham: Yes.
[OOC] Alexander Morello: HI ho, hi ho, it's off to the vivisection and eugenics lab we go.
The Speakers watch the party head off, and grimace in unison. "Station DIE!" They do not follow.
Alexander Morello: "We just want to make sure that nothing like what was done to you will ever happen again."
The remnants of the station are a short walk away. They have been battered and shredded with much force - there is not much left, though some searching may find intact memory cores.
Alexander Morello: "To do that we must learn about what happened."
Ingenue initiates a scan and search (SAS) for intact memory cores.
[OOC] WC GM: Alertness check, and not an easy one.
Ingenue rolled up 4dF: 0 - - + (Base: 6 Total: 5) ((A not easy alertness check. Chessa, you know your duty.))
Abraham helps Ingenue organize the search… scientifically.
[OOC] WC GM: Anyone chipping in, narrate how and roll it.
Abraham rolled up 4dF: 0 + + + (Base: 5 Total: 8) (Science maneuver to add aspect 'Organized in a grid-fashion'.)
[OOC] Abraham: Or can we swap rolls?
Zinda Tegram rolled up 4dF: 0 - - - (Base: 5 Total: 2) (Alertness adding 1 to my alertness because I haven't updated skills this entire arc)
Spyboy gives Ingenue some spectral analysis tips.
[OOC] Abraham: What? Ingenue ain't afraid of no ghosts.
Alexander Morello rolled up 4dF: + - - + (Base: 4 Total: 4) (Alertness)
Spyboy rolled up 4dF: - + + + (Base: 5 Total: 7) (Communications to show the difference in spectra between an intact memory core and one that's oxidized)
Zinda Tegram rolled up 4dF: 0 - + + (Base: 5 Total: 6) (Tagging private army for reroll because soldiers need to be sharp.)
It takes somewhat over an hour of work, and not exactly trivial grunt work either. But eventually, the party locates a few intact cores, and is fairly certain this is all that remains - further searches will find naught but scrap.
Zinda Tegram: "Huh…."
Zinda Tegram: "Well, let's atomize it." To her radio: "Geoffrey?"
[OOC] Ingenue: Which, the cores, or the station remains?
Geoffrey: "Yeah?"
Abraham: "I didn't think we'd actually find anything." ((Not with those rolls at least.))
Alexander Morello: "Now that things are stable, we should probably debrief Nikolai better. He has some things to answer for. We're going to have to hold an ethics inquiry."
Alexander Morello mutters under his breath "As stable as things ever are…"
Zinda Tegram: "$Wipe the remains of Tzimitche station out once we're gone. Do it like you did to Dominica station back in the second Ganges campaign.$"
[OOC] Abraham: I think we all want Nikolai to keep his briefs.
[OOC] Alexander Morello: Nah, they're probably pretty contaminated.
Zinda Tegram: "Yeah…an ethics inquiry."
Geoffrey: "$Yes, ma'am!$" You can hear the grin in his voice.
[OOC] Alexander Morello: Oh great, now I get to try and discuss the importance of ethics with an actually philosophy major.
Zinda Tegram looks over at a speaker as she walks away from the station. Grinning, she utters two words:
Zinda Tegram: "Station Die."
Alexander Morello: "Without proper research ethics, we're no better than the Nazis of the mid 20th century."
It's a bit of a walk until she is within earshot of the Speakers. Which means there is just enough time for Geoffrey and crew to take off and start their run. Which means the scrap begins to atomize explosively mere seconds after Zinda's words.
Alexander Morello: "Without proper research ethics, you end up with this…"
Alexander Morello gestures across the landscape.
Ingenue: "A new sentient species that can terraform a planet?"
Ingenue: "And rebuild carriers?"
Abraham: "I've found most ethics philosophies are little more than justifications for whatever atrocities you happen to be committing at the time."
Alexander Morello: "Yes. And if we hadn't been here, they'd be flying directly towards Armstrong right now."
Alexander Morello: "The only reason this is a 'happy' ending is because we just happened to be in the way."
Ingenue: "Then 'proper research ethics' are impediments to scientific advancement. They are a negative."
Ingenue: "So noted."
Zinda Tegram: "Metis. Is that really what you think?"
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Zinda has to stand up for JUSTICE.
Alexander Morello: "Ethics are what separates doctors from butchers and scientists from… mad scientists."
[OOC] Abraham: We prefer the term 'Anger Management Issues Scientists'.
[OOC] Alexander Morello: for a proper explanation of the importance of ethics, please consult your local LapisLazuli.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: ; )
Ingenue: "It is the logical conclusion from the Doctor's words. Did he… misspeak?"
Alexander Morello: "No."
Alexander Morello: "Ethics make science harder to do, but without ethics… it just wouldn't be right."
Zinda Tegram: "He was indicating the destruction wrought upon the now-dead researchers who abused our friends. Who…come to think of it, need a name."
Zinda Tegram look over at the speaker.
Zinda Tegram: "What should we call you?"
Alexander Morello: "If you want to find the effects of sudden high altitude depressurization on the human body, sure, it's easy just to put someone in a vacuum chamber and empty it, but that's just not right!"
[OOC] Abraham: Does the sky have a name? Does the river?
[OOC] Alexander Morello: Yes. Sky and River.
[OOC] Ingenue: More appropriately, That Sky That Is Over Our Heads and That River That Is Cooling My Toes. Or, other names as appropriate.
The Speakers blink, headtilt toward the translator, then blink again.
Ingenue: "Why? It is efficient and accurate."
Alexander Morello: "Because it is cruel and wrong. It poisons the data."
Abraham: "Because everyone is someone's Zinda."
Spyboy: "Oddly but well put."
Alexander Morello kneels at Ingenue's eye level
Alexander Morello: "Because science strives to achieve something pure, something good. And to tarnish that… it's monstrous."
One of the science team wanders up. "I overheard. If I may?"
Ingenue: "How can science be 'good' or 'bad'? Is it not a tool that is morally inert?"
ScienceTeamMember: "While we're waiting for the lab to be stable enough to go back inside."
Alexander Morello: "Go ahead."
Alexander Morello stands back up.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: So…are we done on this planet?
[OOC] WC GM: Not even close.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: I see. Well, huh.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Yeah there's still that Nikolai dipshit.
The scientist adjusts his glasses, which catch and glare briefly in the sunlight. "Science itself is morally inert, yes. But there are consequences from how one collects the data. For instance, that example of putting someone in a vacuum chamber - sure, you would get data, but you would also be committing murder. The reasons that is wrong are not obviated by gathering data from the event, especially in light of alternative, if harder, ways to obtain it."
[OOC] Spyboy: We have diplomacy, and the Roland is being fixed, but Tuskegee is still on a collision course for Armstrong. That needs to, you know, actually get FIXED.
[OOC] WC GM: ^
[OOC] WC GM: Let's just say that's likely to take longer than 1 more session.
[OOC] WC GM: And then there's the matter of where you park the planet long-term - or if you try doing something with it.
[OOC] WC GM: And other plot threads…
[OOC] Alexander Morello: And we've got to have our Star Trek moment where we discuss the ethics of interring with primitive life forms.
[OOC] Alexander Morello: But that doesn't happen until the end of the episode.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Oh, well, the plan I gave was, circumnavigate the asteroid belt, using it to sustain mass, jump back through the Mahavier jump point, then fly along the Mahavier belt as it works out the orbit.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Goes right back where it should belong.
[OOC] WC GM: That's the plan. Pulling it off - and if the others agree to it…
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Yeah. There are other clans, I guess.
ScienceTeamMember: "Or for a more immediate example, let us take this uplifted species. A population - any population - does not merely consist of its physical organisms. There is a culture, too - and a fairly primitive, warlike one from what I see. Would they not be better off with one closer to our own?"
Ingenue: "Then it is the process of data collection that may or may not be bad, if it negatively impacts other beings?"
Ingenue: "Is your culture less primitive and warlike?"
Ingenue: "Primitive and warlike are negatives? Humanity has engaged in wars throughout its natural lifespan, with each other and other species. This is negative?"
Zinda Tegram: "I'd take statements about culture skeptically, Metis."
ScienceTeamMember: "Yes. For example, it supports people like me, who are not dedicated soldiers - even if I choose to serve on a military ship."
Ingenue: "Ah. Culture is ambiguous. Thank you."
Alexander Morello: "Yes, thank you."
ScienceTeamMember: "While this is true, a tendency to war is a tendency to spend resources on war, is it not? And could these resources not instead have been spent on the betterment of those within the culture instead?"
Zinda Tegram: "My father, often…read philosophy. I was never that interested, but, I guess it rubbed off on me."
Zinda Tegram: "Go do your job, please."
[OOC] Alexander Morello: Does that feel like Picard's speech to Q to anyone?
Zinda Tegram: "Metis, I might have some of his old books if you'd like."
Ingenue: "Yes!"
[OOC] Ingenue: Fill the robot's head with Oldzeiyan philosophy. Do it! And your journey to the dark side will be complete…
The scientist shrugs at Zinda's dismissal. "There's nothing to do while the lab's…well. I suppose I could go catalog the workers these plants are using. By the way, we were wondering if you intend to take these plants with us."
Ingenue: "Can we?"
[OOC] Ingenue: Nue wants a puppy.
Alexander Morello: "I was suggesting that we should ask for a sample to examine."
ScienceTeamMember: "Remember their reaction to being enclosed. You'd have to find some way to deal with that."
Alexander Morello: "Well, it doesn't have to be living."
[OOC] Ingenue: Zombie puppy?
Zinda Tegram looks at one of the speakers.
Zinda Tegram: "Wanna come along?"
[OOC] Alexander Morello: We can't ethically dissect a living speaker.
Speakers: "Not. Build ship. Ship hit volcanic plasma thruster."
[OOC] Ingenue: Unless they say its okay! And sign a consent form, and are found to be mentally sound, which is a contradiction because someone mentally sound wouldn't consent to being dissected.
Alexander Morello: "Wait. Our ship?"
Spyboy: "Wait wait wait."
Alexander Morello: "We need that!"
Speakers: "Family hit volcanic plasma thruster."
Zinda Tegram: "Speak in Kilrathi and explain please."
Ingenue aims its scanners under the ship. Any nearby magma pockets and/or volcanos-to-be?
The Speakers comply, and the translator program pipes up, "You attack the volcanic plasma thruster."
Alexander Morello: "Oh, THAT hit."
Abraham: "It's a very broadly used word in our language, isn't it?"
The only significant magma pockets nearby are under the four tree-fortresses, including the two that Zinda destroyed.
Ingenue: "The inefficiency of verbal language knows no bounds."
Abraham: "Oh it /knows/ bounds, it just ignores them."
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: The first two?
[OOC] WC GM: Yeah.
More Kilrathi from the Speakers, this time translated as, "Going with you would make us too far from base. Worse, your ship is one big scary can't-talk-to-base place."
[OOC] Abraham: Abraham make a note to finally take down the halloween decorations.
TranslatedSpeakers: "And you would be making more units, by merging your units." "Please don't make us watch that. We get the idea, but it's gross!"
[OOC] Abraham: Prudish Prunes!
[OOC] WC GM: No, no, they'll engage in parthenogenesis right out in the open. It's only your methods that squick them.
Abraham: "We do understand the concept of privacy."
Ingenue: "It interferes with data acquisition."
Alexander Morello: "Humans take privacy very seriously."
Abraham: "It's governments who seem not to get it."
[OOC] Alexander Morello: I wonder if that's still an issue…
[OOC] Alexander Morello: Or if people have kinda just accepted that.
[OOC] Ingenue: Are there governments? Do people still do silly/socially unacceptable things like look at porn that they don't want others to know about? Yeah, its an issue.
[OOC] Abraham: I would say it's less of an issue, just because it's harder to get all the data in the universe than it is all the data on earth.
TranslatedSpeakers: "And you have trouble understanding us if we speak your language." "But your language is fun and easier to speak! No rules, no bounds."
[OOC] Ingenue: Or, since long-range data has to route through a handful of central locations, its easier… but there's more data to sift, so you're still likely safe, unless you're important and someone has a reason to look for you… Admiral.
[OOC] Abraham: Nooooo! My secret cake recipes!!!
[OOC] Ingenue: Do we have the location of the plasma thruster?
TranslatedSpeakers: "We have been forwarding your language to the other clans. They like it better than Kilrathi." "But they do not all agree that we should absorb asteroids instead of planets. They are not your friends, even if they are ours."
[OOC] WC GM: Given the angle of planetary motion, you are fairly certain as to its approximate location - close enough to bring you within line of sight, anyway.
[OOC] Abraham: Well, that plasma thruster was no great LOS.
TranslatedSpeakers: "That is why you must control the volcanic plasma thruster." "Repair the controlling clans the way you want."
Zinda Tegram: "So…we have to fight them?"
Zinda Tegram: "We'd rather not."
Spyboy: "Says the woman who blew up two already."
TranslatedSpeakers: "If you blew up all clans, there would be no controllers." "This planet would hit the other planet, and your friends would die."
Zinda Tegram: "Hmmph. Do not mistake chivalry for mercy."
Zinda Tegram: "I see. What did you mean by 'repair'?"
TranslatedSpeakers: "But you will have to fight some of them." "Repair the controlling clans the way you want!"
Alexander Morello: "Re-educate?"
Ingenue: "Reprogram?"
The Speakers glance at each other. One blurts out, "Build ship!" The other speaks in Kilrathi, which is translated to, "We are repairing your ship."
Alexander Morello: "yes, and thank you. But we don't know how to 'repair' your friends."
[OOC] Abraham: How often does the Federation engage in the pacifistic practice of regime change?
[OOC] WC GM: It doesn't often do regime changes, outside its own borders, and the last major one was very non-pacifistic…though the other guys started it.
[OOC] Alexander Morello: Well, the Federation covers a lot of territory, so statistically… probably a lot.
[OOC] WC GM: Inside its borders, the vast majority of regime changes are pacifistic.
[OOC] Ingenue: Okay, what did they do to the Roland? They dragged a bunch of pieces together and then we welded the… they want us to make Plant Voltron?
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: They're gonna attack us if we don't, so…
[OOC] WC GM: Mostly all they did was haul the pieces together so the repair crews could get to welding.
[OOC] Ingenue: Right, Plant Voltron it is! Form Blazing Rootstock…
[OOC] Abraham: Form Stem and Leaves. Form Petals and Stamen. And I'll form… the bulb.
[OOC] Alexander Morello: And together we form a delicate and stationary Voltron-flower!
[OOC] Alexander Morello: My, how beautiful we are.
Ingenue: "Repair means to restore to a functional state. But they did not repair the Roland, they moved pieces so that they could be burned. Do they want the other factions brought together… or set on fire?"
[OOC] Alexander Morello: I thought they repaired the Roland?
[OOC] Spyboy: Assembled, not repaired.
[OOC] Abraham: It can't be fixed until we play the A-Team theme. That's just logic.
Zinda Tegram: "By repair, do you mean, uh, unified?"
Heggy: "What is different between you and them that you are our friends and they are not?"
[OOC] Ingenue: They met us. I mean… c'mon. What more does it take?
[OOC] Alexander Morello: I've gotta head out, soon.
TranslatedSpeakers: "What do you mean, we did not repair the ship?" "Did you not see it reassemble itself, using the units inside it, once we put it together?"
[OOC] Alexander Morello: I saw a youtube video that was a parody of the A-Team using footage from the Syrian Civil War. It was funny… but then I realized they were dead now.
Zinda Tegram: "I think we have different ideas of repairing things."
TranslatedSpeakers: "You killed the clans threatening us." "And you let us copy this new form!"
Zinda Tegram: "I, uh, yeah. We didn't really know exactly what was going on when we did that though. We were kind of stumbling blind."
Zinda Tegram: "We just kind of fought the ones who fought us."
[OOC] Alexander Morello: I've gotta go, sorry.
[OOC] WC GM: NP. Logend soon?
[OOC] Spyboy: Sure.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Fine by me.
[OOC] Alexander Morello: I can stick around for a little bit to get to the log end.
[OOC] Ingenue: Aye.
[OOC] WC GM: Or if you'd rather, we can just logend here. Significant objective achieved: the Roland is being rebuilt. Next session starts up preparations for heading over to the engine.
[OOC] Alexander Morello: Works for me.
[OOC] Ingenue: That's consistent with our time.
[OOC] Abraham: I'm down with that.

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