Session 7 9

Nephilim: "[If accessing our homeworlds would put you at ease, that is but another reason for you to assist!]"
Spyboy: "Does anyone have any better ideas?"
Metis: "That seems the clearest course of action."
ZindaTegram: "… No."
Abraham: "Very well, take us to your homeworlds"
Spyboy: "Although I do have a better idea than…waiting for them to destroy the neighboring regions of space to finish their gateway here."
Heggy: "You realize that he-they-he- whatever - would be terrible backup, right?"
Spyboy: "Yes, but they'd be backup, at least."
Spyboy: "Admiral? What do you think about helping them to reactivate the White wormhole?"
Heggy: "[How close is your wormhole here to construction?]"
Abraham: "Restoring the White wormhole has always been a priority."
Spyboy: "Has it? I told the White AIs it was, but I was lying."
Nephilim: "[We estimate we are about halfway done. But the exact time left depends on many factors we can not predict.]"
Abraham: "Of course it is. Reconnecting to the rest of ConFed space is the responsibility of the Navy, once we deem it safe to do so. And have a reasonable plan to do so."
Nephilim: "[The largest of which we are speaking with now.]"
Spyboy: "Uh. How would opening the wormhole at White reconnect to Confed space? It goes to the Nephilim homeworlds…"
[OOC] Metis: Oh, we conquered ConFed long ago. Didn't we say?
Abraham: "It won't, directly. But it seems that the White wormhole will be… easier… to repair than Chandley's. I was hoping that we could get aid to help reestablish the Chandley wormhole from the other side of the White one."
Abraham: "Alternatively, we may be able to find a path back to ConFed space from Neph space."
Spyboy: "Really, all we need to do to reconnect to ConFed space, apparently…is blow up the minefields."
Spyboy: "To that end - getting the Nephilim out of Chandley would be the best bet."
Spyboy: "So…"
Spyboy cues his neutrino comm, but nothing comes out.
Spyboy: "….So…"
Spyboy: "….I can't say it."
[OOC] Abraham: "It's okay. I'll say it. Voldermort's the bad guy, Harry wins by Deus Ex Machina."
Heggy: "[There is an intact wormhole generator in the neighboring star system. We were under the assumption that you had built it. Is there a reason you cannot repair it?]"
Nephilim: "[There is? Our scouts said it was inoperable.]"
Spyboy grimaces.
Heggy: "[Not inoperable, disabled. With limiters that could be removed.]"
Abraham: "Translation issues?"
ZindaTegram: "We can't reconnect Chandley."
Nephilim: "[If this is so, why has it not removed them?]"
ZindaTegram: "Oldziey won't allow a connection to earth until we can ensure our independence."
Abraham: "There is that, yes."
Heggy: "[Because that is the purpose of the inhibitors.]"
Abraham: "But regardless we will need to at least reestablish communication with Earth to guarantee that independence."
Heggy: "[To be clear, the inhibitors were not placed by our kind, but by yours. Presumably by those who subscribe to a different faction than those who built it.]"
Zinda carefully keeps her expression neutral.
There is silence from the Nephilim for a short while, most likely due to their internally discussing the matter.
Nephilim: "[If it is as you say, then we should remove those inhibitors as soon as possible. We will send some of our number with you, if you will guide them to what must be done.]"
ZindaTegram: "Abe…"
Abraham looks at Zinda, expectantly.
ZindaTegram: "[We need you to keep Chandley inaccessible.]"
Spyboy: "[Why do we need to keep Chandley inaccessible?]"
Nephilim: "[That is our plan.]"
ZindaTegram: "[Good.]"
ZindaTegram: "…Do we really want to allow the Neph homeworlds into the cluster?"
Nephilim: "[Continuing to work here is useful in case the other wormhole is in fact beyond repair.]"
Spyboy: "We've blocked them at Mu Cephei. We've blocked them at Armstrong. We've blocked them at Oldziey. We haven't blocked them here - and given the relative numbers and strength, I can only think of one way to do that, and you're dead set against it."
Spyboy: "White's better than any of the other options, because nobody lives there who wouldn't be happy to see the equipment in operation."
Spyboy: "Just how do you think we're going to keep them out?"
ZindaTegram: "…tch."
ZindaTegram: "Shoot them, probably."
ZindaTegram: "But it's late for that."
Spyboy: "Yes, because there aren't enough of them to run your power plant-powered weapons out of ammo."
ZindaTegram: "…I can think of a way to beat them here."
Spyboy: "This isn't a probing force, Zinda. This is a full fleet."
ZindaTegram: "It'd wipe Chandley off the map more permanently, but…"
ZindaTegram: "Well, who'd know the difference?"
Spyboy: "What, you have a weapon that can destroy a sun?"
Spyboy: "Where'd you get it?"
Spyboy: "Cuz a Tremblor would evaporate before it hit the surface…"
ZindaTegram: "Elles. It's not…a weapon, per-se."
Spyboy blinks
Spyboy pauses
Spyboy is torn
[OOC] WC GM: Anyone can be a weapon.
ZindaTegram: "…"
[OOC] Metis: How motivational.
ZindaTegram: "It is an option."
Spyboy frowns
Spyboy: "I suppose that…would be a second way to amass a fleet…just…*cough* very out of character for you."
ZindaTegram: "She's still a threat, Spyboy! Her additional mass should…"
ZindaTegram: "…"
ZindaTegram: "She gets a new planet to dig."
ZindaTegram: "We get the Neph booted out."
ZindaTegram: "I hate her, I fucking hate her, but…"
ZindaTegram: "…Kali? Back me up here?"
ZindaTegram: "I can…think of another way to use her, though."
[OOC] WC GM: <Elles> "Does this planet make me look fat?"
Zinda starts running math on how much she could increase the sun's mass by dumping Elles into it.
Kali: "If Elles came here, do you think she'd try to contact the Confederation?"
ZindaTegram: "…I have…a stupid idea."
ZindaTegram: "Elles will enter a wormhole if she thinks it leads to the nephilim homeworld."
ZindaTegram: "Instead of their homeworld, we trick her into warping into the Chandley sun, and then we have her as uh"
ZindaTegram: "Well, a captive audience."
Abraham: "Is that the extent of the plan, or is that merely phase one?"
ZindaTegram: "I…It's phase one. Phase two is a work in progress, but…"
ZindaTegram: "I want to collapse the star after we drop her in."
Metis: "That seems unnecessarily risky."
[OOC] WC GM: Thinking small, are we?
[OOC] ZindaTegram: Heh. When has Zinda ever?
ZindaTegram: "Yeah, but well…"
Zinda looks at the window.
ZindaTegram: "That's a fleet."
Abraham: "Well, it is the beginnings of a plan at least."
[OOC] Abraham: We'll call it 'Plan Z' for Zinda.
ZindaTegram: "I just…I haven't thought of how to move the white ring yet."
[OOC] WC GM: Which means you'd use Plan Metis before Plan Spyboy?
[OOC] Metis: Plan Metis doesn't require giving out any confidential secrets.
[OOC] Abraham: More importantly, Plan Abraham comes before all of yous.
[OOC] Abraham: Which effectively makes Heggy my second in command.
[OOC] ZindaTegram: What type of star is Chandley?
[OOC] Metis: And how big is Elles?
[OOC] ZindaTegram: OK, basically, is it a white dwarf near the Chandresekhar limit?
Chandley, now that you look at it, is a type G…no, type F…A? …and now it is back to K.
[OOC] Abraham: It's a pulsar?
[OOC] Metis: Its a transformer.
…never before has there been a recorded incident of humans present near a quickly-fluctuating star. It is oscillating erratically within a safe range, for now.
Metis records this moment for the sheer joy of recording.
[OOC] WC GM: Not a white dwarf, though. Oscillating around main sequence.
[OOC] WC GM: Elles, at the most generous measurement, is a fair portion of Mu Cephei Prime's size. Far smaller than the star Chandley.
[OOC] Abraham: Hell, for all we know, chucking Elles into Chandley might stabilize it. I know I'm more mellow after a quick bite to eat.
[OOC] WC GM: An interstellar Snickers bar?
[OOC] Spyboy: Also, while Elles is rugged enough to withstand a planetary core temperature and pressure, ….a star is another beast entirely.
[OOC] WC GM: Though I suspect Zinda would object to tossing in Alfred as an apertif.
[OOC] Abraham: Gosh, I can't imagine Zinda not thinking of that….
[OOC] WC GM: And that, yeah. Star > > > planet.
[OOC] Spyboy: Alfred is no longer in Elles, though, so that's okay.
[OOC] Metis: Assuming Elles hasn't replicated or off-loaded a backup somewhere.
ZindaTegram: "Is it…unstable?"
Zinda calls the Roland's science officer in.
Spyboy: "It's in the middle of reconstruction…"
[OOC] Spyboy: Also, he's three systems away.
Abraham: "It should stable again in a few thousand years."
[OOC] Metis: Aren't we currently sitting in fighters?
[OOC] ZindaTegram: Oh derp.
[OOC] Spyboy: It's been a while, but we're currently on the surface of Chandley, having flown in our fighters from White, then from Grissom, through jump nodes that are currently too small and unstable to fit the Roland.
[OOC] Abraham: Hi! I'm the Roland's science officer….
ZindaTegram: "…Is it me or does Chandley's star look unstable?"
[OOC] Spyboy: We're face to face with a droid constructed for the purpose of being face to face with us because of social/emotional disconnects between Zinda and the Nephs.
Abraham: "It's not you."
[OOC] WC GM: …actually, the Roland's science officer probably effectively is one of the PCs.
[OOC] Abraham: Hello.
[OOC] Spyboy: Nah, the Roland's science officer is someone else…who happens to be totally outclassed by the PCs.
[OOC] Spyboy: …though it's not impossible that Abraham WAS the science officer, took control of the Roland in the battle of Chandley, and was never replaced on the basis that communications with Earth were cut off.
[OOC] WC GM: If Abraham never appointed one or explicitly reserved that role for himself, there you go.
[OOC] Abraham: Well, I interviewed several, but when I asked 'Do you believe in gravity', they all answered yes when it's been proven repeatedly that gravity was a huge joke/hoax on the part of Sir Issac 'Sheky' Newton. He even got knighted for it.
[OOC] WC GM: AA gunners believe in gravity. They dispense holy justice unto that which defies gravity.
ZindaTegram: "Hmm…"
ZindaTegram: "Can we overload it?"
Abraham: "Chandley?"
ZindaTegram: "Yeah."
Abraham: "Maybe?"
Abraham: "You mean make it go nova?"
ZindaTegram: "…Yeah."
ZindaTegram: "Or collapse it."
ZindaTegram: "Either works."
Spyboy: "They're obviously quite capable of working with a collapsed star, though."
Spyboy: "To be honest, I think the best bet is to give them what they want, but on our terms. And White seems like the best place for that."
ZindaTegram: "…Tch."
ZindaTegram: "…OK, let's set a few ground rules then."
Abraham is lost in the possibilities. To collapse a star, would require adding significant mass to it, which would be, literally, too much work…. But make it go Nova….
Zinda watches the star pulse.
Orange through yellow to white and back again, sometimes doubling back, almost as if the star was producing its own music inaudible through the vast void.
[OOC] Abraham: Zinda suddenly realized that Chandley is pulsing in time to the Oompa-Loompa song from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie (Gene Wilder).
And dancing to it, as best a star can dance.
Abraham: "Metis, could you record Chandley radiation output for a moment please? I would like to run some analyses on it."
Metis studies the observed movements and color fluctuations, regards them as proportions, then graphs them with staff notation.
Metis also collects the raw data for Abraham to analyze separately.
The resulting melody would be easy for Abraham to play.
[OOC] Abraham: "Blame Canada/Blame Canada…"
Metis then outputs the staff notation for Abraham as well.
Metis: "Is the star talking to us?"
Abraham: "That really is the question, isn't it?"
[OOC] Abraham: Turns out Chandley was really Solaris the whole time.
Abraham looks at Metis's output.
[OOC] Spyboy: Heh.
It is not jazz. At least, not recognizably spawned from any music on Earth. And yet, Abraham can recognize themes in there, perhaps something to touch on heartstrings…though something seems off.
Abraham pulls up a music composer on his computer ((Because of course he has one on the cockpit computer of his fighter. What? You mean you don't?!)) and types in the music so he can hear it.
[OOC] Abraham: It's mind control, isn't it?
[OOC] Metis: What can I say, I'm a robotic puppet.
[OOC] WC GM: Not quite.
To anyone else present the music would just plain sound alien, but Abraham has heard something like it. Kilrathi are not much known for their cultural works, but every known sentient race that can hear developed some form of music. This is not quite Kilrathi, more like it is relative to Kilrathi music what Kilrathi music is to Terran.
Abraham: "Interesting." ((Clearly this is Zinda's fault. Or at least it's more /obviously/ Zinda's fault than the majority of stuff he blames her for.))
Abraham: "I'm not the greatest scholar of Kilrathi music, but this sounds very Kilrathi to me. It seems Chandley is a fan of Kilrathi music."
[OOC] Metis: Is it mellifluous? I never get to use that word.
[OOC] WC GM: Yes, which is how you identified it as music rather than just noise.
[OOC] Spyboy: brb
[OOC] Abraham: Bah! What you call 'noise' is ambient music.
[OOC] Metis: Industrial music…
[OOC] WC GM: It's definitely not noisecore, anyway.
[OOC] Abraham: BRB
Metis experiments with potentially multiple 'voices', creating ratios for color to duration as well as shape and size to duration, remixing the possibilities then outputting them to Abraham.
[OOC] Abraham: Back
Some of the remixes look almost like computer code. Artistically done, but containing commands within.
Metis pause. Then redirects that output towards Michael.
[OOC] Metis: Now I track the pattern of emissions from the solar wind; if it looks like coding for artillery strikes, that goes to Zinda.
Metis: "That star is giving me commands."
The solar wind, once examined…it does not contain artillery strike commands, but it might encode for patterns of growth, controlling the gravity tendrils not unlike how Zinda commands her own plant army in aggressive growth.
Said commands are currently being ignored, thankfully.
Spyboy: "You don't have to listen!"
[OOC] Abraham: My dog told me to kill my neighbor once. After I pointed out that my dog had teeth, he shut up after that.
[OOC] Spyboy: Huh.
Metis: "The chance of this kind of encoding happening randomly is extremely low. However, there are many stars throughout the galaxy, let alone the universe, and normalized against such a large number, it is possible that this 'pattern' is random noise. Possible."
ZindaTegram: "Metis…"
ZindaTegram: "[Are you aware that Chandley's star seems to be intelligent?]"
Nephilim: "[How do you mean? It is just a star.]"
[OOC] Metis: That 'just a star' just played Wagner.
[OOC] Abraham: Frankly that's an argument /for/ it being random noise.
[OOC] Spyboy: Sure, but I've never assumed my CD player to be intelligent…
[OOC] Spyboy: Keep i mind that the Nephilim find the extraordinary normal and the normal extraordinary.
ZindaTegram: "[That star is sending orders to White's gravity ring. Here's the data.]"
Nephilim: "[Yes? Oh! You think it is the star itself that is doing it.]"
Nephilim: "[It is the workers upon the star. Perhaps it would be optimal for you to deal with them before leaving this system.]"
ZindaTegram: "[…Workers?]"
Nephilim: "[They experienced a decline in stability after repeating their tasks for months. We believe the measures they have adopted are to arrest their further decline, but we dare not link to them directly, for their communications have been contagious.]"
Spyboy: "[Interesting.]"
ZindaTegram: "[…]"
Zinda pings them.
ZindaTegram: "[Hello?]"
Unfortunately, their exact coordinates are unknown; finding them will require scanning the area around the star.
Zinda does so.
[OOC] WC GM: Which means leaving the current meeting and flying over.
[OOC] WC GM: Is the party heading over?
[OOC] Abraham: Stars are pretty much the prime source for Neutrinos in the universe. If they're actually on the surface, then you're probably being jammed by Chandley.
[OOC] ZindaTegram: Zinda is
[OOC] WC GM: Abraham/Metis/Spyboy?
[OOC] Abraham: Dur. I dunno. Is Chandley holding a concert or something?
[OOC] Metis: Wherever Zinda goes, Metis goes to record her continuing escapades.
[OOC] WC GM: If it is, it's a one-star band.
[OOC] Spyboy: Wherever Zinda goes, Spyboy goes to try and stop her.
[OOC] Abraham: Abraham is finally free! FREE!
[OOC] Abraham: I go with once someone explains there are apparently such thins as stellar engineers in Neph society.
Nephilim: "[We shall await your return, and hope for your continued sanity.]"
[OOC] Spyboy: AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
[OOC] ZindaTegram: Snrrkt
It takes an hour to get close enough to Chandley to pick out the worker ships. Once one is found, pinging it for neutrino communicators is simple enough.
StarWorker: "['Sup? You a new face, or a new race?]"
Spyboy quickly checks. Is this through Metis' translation filter?
It is.
[OOC] Abraham: OMG! Hipster Nephilim "Oh yeah, I was a stellar engineer before it was cool."
[OOC] Spyboy: Rats, so the slang is an injected artifact.
[OOC] WC GM: Actually, the slang carries through the translation.
[OOC] Metis: I set the filter to hipster.
[OOC] WC GM: Also, considering how long these Nephilim have been around, if you include dilated time at the uncompressed rate…
Spyboy: "[Interesting music.]"
ZindaTegram: "[Why not both?]"
StarWorker: "[Are you translating this? Do you speak through air, like those other ships?]"
ZindaTegram: "[We're translating it yeah.]"
ZindaTegram: "[And yeah, we use air vibrations.]"
ZindaTegram: "[We heard you were considered insane?]"
ZindaTegram: "[Your more religious friends seem, uh…insane themselves.]"
StarWorker: "[We do our task and sing our song because by the star our task is long.]"
StarWorker: "[Can you speak the language 'Terran'? We're going to switch codex, but we don't want to be errin'.]"
Metis: "[Yes.]"
Radio communication pipes up, and once again, the party hears a voice - an actual voice - other than their own.
StarWorker: "Testing testing one two three, if you understand this, how you be?"
Faint music can be heard in the background of the transmission - not to mention, a musical quality in the voice itself.
Metis: "All of my functions are within acceptable parameters."
Abraham: "I am well. And thank you for being the first Nephilim to actually ask me that personally."
StarWorker: "Did our directors send you to tell us to not sing? They don't know what death that will bring."
Metis: "What are the predicted results of not singing?"
StarWorker: "Boredom, breakdown, then supernova. You'd need another star to do ove'."
[OOC] Abraham: Boredom, boredom everywhere and not a drop to drink.
[OOC] WC GM: Hmm. With Zinda DCing again - I was hoping to get to a better stop point, but this work-ish?
[OOC] Metis: Sure.
[OOC] Metis: Is your music a pillar upon which whole worlds have been built?
[OOC] Spyboy: Yeah.
[OOC] WC GM: …yes, actually.

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