Session 8 12

Abraham: The mood is festive, but subdued, with undertones of apprehension and WTF?. The location is not on The Roland, but on the remains of Lago Prime. There are logistical reasons, the Commodore Perry Shipyards being one of the few facilities in the sector that can host an incoming fleet, but one also might suspect Admiral Bounty of making a point about what life has been in the sector.
Abraham: But the food is varied and of high quality, there is some truly killer live jazz, and utterly interesting people to mingle with. And isn't that what really matters for any good party?
[OOC] WC GM: You've put greeter ships out to escort the fleet to Mu Cephei, then?
[OOC] Spyboy: In a jury-rigged installation on the planet's surface, I assume?
[OOC] Abraham: Yeah. I figured the fleet would need to be somewhere.
[OOC] Abraham: Also yeah.
Zinda hangs around the edge of the party looking sour.
Thanks to radio communications in-system and drones to traverse the jump points, you have a few hours' notice once the TCN fleet finally shows up at Chandley, looking a bit beat up.
Abraham is with Paladin, discussing his run for public office. He voted for Paladin, and he always wondered if he vote managed to get through.
Fortunately the fleet agreed to proceed directly to Mu Cephei, to dock for repairs there.
Spyboy is, thanks to…contacts, doing a review of the damage inflicted to the fleet. Seems like they hit some heavier resistance than he'd anticipated was possible.
Paladin, and most of his senior staff (along with the hastily assembled diplomatic corps he had tag along), have accepted the invitation. The rest of the fleet's crew is at the shipyards.
Once the fleet arrives, there is a debriefing of the encounter. Apparently they hit the news shuttle and waxed it, but not before it put out a call for reinforcements once the hostile reception was evident.
Spyboy is, simultaneously, wandering around the party, looking helpful and very Terran, and also keeping an ear open to the status reports from the shields holding the deadly rays of Mu Cephei off the party.
Paladin still is not sure how the Black Lance managed to assemble such a strike force, but suspects that may be the last of them, or just about.
The fleet is large enough to fully occupy the Shipyards and then some; quite a few of the fleet are docked with or hovering around the Warrens, assisting them with rebuilding and getting repaired and resupplied in turn.
Abraham: "That would be nice. Of course, this is not the first time 'that may be the last of them' has been said about Black Insert Noun Here."
The radiation shield is one of the originals, salvaged from the Warren's former "top side" and brought back down to the blasted wasteland for the event. Mu Cephei Prime is in full angry red brilliance overhead; guest parking is decidedly inside the shielded zone. The remnants of the Shaft are within the area, overlooking a deep drop to where Elles slumbers, but otherwise this is on the surface.
Zinda: "…So, you're Paladin."
Zinda narrows her eyes at the war hero.
Paladin: "Aye. We'll 'ave some lads scourin' for them, that's for sure. So, err, I suppose my first question is…" He gestures to the Warrens' former location. "…wot's with this crater, and did th' rest o' me fleet really go off t' greet what used t' be there?"
Paladin bows to Zinda in turn. "Aye. An' you are…?"
Zinda: "Zinda. Zinda Tegram. Present queen of Oldziey."
Abraham holds his response.
Zinda: "I'm also the one who gave you short version of events through that wormhole."
[OOC] Abraham: Abarham casts Summon Photographer to capture this moment, and both their souls.
Paladin: "Queen, eh? Yeah, I 'eard Oldziey's government's a strange one, what with only the one artificial planet."
Paladin: "Ah, thought you sounded familiar. I suppose next you're gonna say you're the reason our recon pilot was flyin' over a Nephilim world?"
[OOC] Abraham: Yeah, she's a queen, but she can't do Bohemian Rhapsody, which is just disgraceful.
Zinda: "No, actually, I was quite exasperated when he suggested we pay them a visit."
Paladin: "Oh? Do tell."
Zinda glances at Abraham for permission.
Abraham gives a small nod.
Zinda: "They think we're their messiah."
[OOC] Abraham: Like every other problem in my life, a cat just happened.
Zinda: "My daughter, in particular, though Abe here is apparently also some sort of major deity."
Paladin: "…"
Zinda: "It's stupid."
Zinda: "They're stupid."
Zinda: "But they're usefully stupid."
Zinda: "The Nephilim are an extremely factionalized species and their justification for attacking earth was basically because we screwed up an experiment they were running with the Kilrah."
Abraham: "That's a remarkably diplomatic way to look at it. They are highly advanced amazingly educatedly stupid."
Zinda: "They're religiously stupid."
Zinda: "They run major population cloning programs with downloaded information sets for education and don't have proper error checking. They've been suffering a slow cognitive decline for, probably, a long time."
Spyboy moves in.
Abraham: "Probably since before our plant was cool enough to support life."
Zinda: "Frankly I'd rather just have them out of the picture though."
Spyboy: "Excuse me, Admiral, Admiral."
Zinda: "Queen."
Zinda glares at him.
Spyboy: "I'm sorry to interrupt, but I have to point out that I'm not entirely sure that 'they' is entirely the right term."
Zinda: "We can talk about Wenser later, Mike."
Spyboy: "It would seem that the Nephilim are sitting somewhere other than that end of the spectrum between 'they' and 'it.'"
Zinda: "…Is this about the integrated crap?"
Zinda: "Because they definitely maintain separate minds and personalities."
Spyboy: "I'm….not sure about that."
Abraham: "This is not scientific rigor, but I have noticed what seems to be… blending."
Spyboy: "They definitely seem to. But what they told me at the end…"
Zinda: "Whatever, the Neph are a managed risk at this point."
Zinda: "Wenser's not attacking us and the homeworld reveres us, at least for now."
Spyboy: "And they're quite weird."
Zinda: "The hostile faction is reportedly wiped out, and they shouldn't be replacing any more planets soon."
Abraham: "So yes you can see, just like every other situation involving the Nephilim, it's complex."
Zinda: "…That doesn't really answer the Mu Cephei prime surface, though."
Zinda: "Essentially we had to mass evacuate them. I believe they're in Mahavier right now."
Zinda: "I am…given to believe that things are going, well, relatively OK."
Zinda: "As well as could be expected. Oh, ah, Mahavier is inhabited by sapients by the way."
Zinda: "Apparently someone in *your* bioweapons division was in the business of uplifting plant life."
Spyboy: "I'd be willing to lay money they were more specifically in the division known as 'Black Lance.'"
Zinda: "And now they're sapient and I had to stop them from crashing Tuskegee into Armstrong."
Zinda: "Aldrin was apparently populated by test staff when they retested Temblors there, and they seem to have built themselves a brain-jar network. A publicist in my employ was exposed to some of their data and suffered fairly severe psychological effects though, and we haven't poked them too hard yet."
Zinda: "They have Temblor plans though, so they're proliferation risk."
Zinda locks eyes with Paladin.
Zinda: "And I do too, if I need them."
Abraham watches as Zinda takes all the rope. *All* the rope.
Paladin just calmly looks back at Zinda. "I'm sure you do. An' production facilities too?"
Spyboy coughs
Zinda: "Again, if I need them. Though I think we can both agree proliferation is something that should be avoided."
[OOC] WC GM: Just to clear up: the Warrens are indeed in Mahavier by now, along with the portion of the TCN fleet that couldn't fit at the Shipyards.
Spyboy: "The good news is, of course, that she couldn't just Tremblor, say, Terra, even if she were able to build one, co-opt the Nephilim to create another wormhole shortcut in another place, and successfully evade the defense fleet."
[OOC] Zinda: The message here is, of course, 'don't invade me again.'
Spyboy: "Since the Tremblor isn't enough to blow up just any planet."
Zinda: "…Just don't attack my people again this time, OK?"
Paladin: "Aye. Only tectonically unstable ones. Ah…speaking o' which…" He taps the ground with a toe. "That ain't this planet, is it?"
Zinda: "There was a rogue AI inhabiting the planetary core."
Paladin: "Yer people are Confederation citizens, if they'll be citizens. We don' attack our own, an' any what do ain't our own."
Paladin: "…should I be most concerned 'bout that 'was'?"
Zinda: "Oldziey maintains its sovereignty at this time."
Spyboy: "The rogue AI isn't any more of a threat than the Kilrathi scientist caste over in Collins."
Spyboy: "…or any less."
Zinda: "You and I disagree on that."
Abraham: "That has been established, yes."
Zinda: "The point is, Paladin, the Temblor used here on Mu Cephei was used to evacuate the AI in question."
Zinda: "The big missing hole is where we launched their habitat into space."
Paladin: "Ah, yes. Abraham, yer file says you're an expert on Kilrathi relations. Even got their Ripping Claw. Wot's your assessment o' Collins?"
Zinda: "They're stable, if a bit odd."
Abraham: "It's basically a bohemian commune with an emphasis on scientific research. They are about as much of a security threat as any major university."
Abraham: "Which is to say, a manageable and even necessary one."
Paladin nods, but the entire group - each for their own reasons - catches the slight frown and glare he sends Abraham's way. "Yeah. S'long as they don't come up with planet wide cloaks t' try to hide their numbers or somethin'."
Metis: "You can't cloak a planet, the gravity well reveals it. And if they cloak the surface of a planet, use sonar."
Paladin: "We did. But that's classified."
Metis: "Then you shouldn't be telling me."
Paladin: "Speaking o' which…" While looking to the others, he gestures toward Metis. "…I assume someone made 'er the youngest officer in th' Navy? Me XO said we got a personnel file update including 'er, but only givin' the handle Metis, no real name listed."
Metis: "…Metis /is/ my real name."
Paladin: "Oh? Then what's yer family name?"
Abraham: "Allow me to introduce to you Princess Metis, the daughter of Zinda the first, queen of Oldziey."
Paladin BLINKS.
Metis: "Which would make it Tegram."
[OOC] Abraham: You are Zinda the first, right?
Paladin: "…that it would. An' explain 'ow yer an officer."
[OOC] Metis: She is Zinda the Only.
[OOC] Zinda: Rawr
[OOC] Spyboy: Especially since she's half-plant now
Metis: "I don't think I am. Am I an officer?"
Zinda: "That would be my daughter."
Zinda: "She is not, to my knowledge, a member of any Confederate military branch."
Zinda: "She is, however, royalty."
Abraham: "If you are an officer, it is not in the Confed navy, but you might be some sort of noncom or officer in the Oldziey one."
Zinda: "And yes, Collins has cloaked Kilrathi labs on it. Yes, they are armed. No, they do not seem inclined to rebel."
Abraham: "I confess I do not know much about Oldziey government and military structures. Fortunately I know an expert."
Paladin: "Huh. File I got listed 'er as Ensign. Should've guessed when 'er home system was listed as Oldziey."
Zinda: "We have visited them, with some reluctance from the inhabitants."
Zinda: "One of the bridge staff here on the Roland probably did that to clear her access."
Paladin: "Lemme guess: minimum needed to fill in the paperwork t' fly? I noted she's got 'er own fighter assigned."
Zinda: "…That would be it, yes."
Zinda: "I have been training her to fly. Without inertial compensation, of course."
Paladin blinks again.
Zinda: "It's important to know how to fly Manual."
Paladin: "Without…but then 'ow do you…"
Zinda: "How do I what?"
Zinda: "Fly? Better than Confed pilots, I can assure you."
Paladin looks at Metis closely, then at Zinda.
Paladin: "'At getup. Those leaves. Lemme guess, that ain't just a costume yer wearin'."
Zinda: "No. It is not."
[OOC] Metis: Bite your tongue. Zinda is Queen of Cosplay.
[OOC] Zinda: Hee~
Zinda: "Though, the leaves are the result of a bit of an unfortunate accident."
Paladin stands up and crosses his arms. "Unrestrained genetic modification an', I'm guessin', cyberization."
Zinda: "I can assure you, though, I flew without inertial compensation even *when* I was completely human."
Paladin shakes his head. "Y' know that's flat-out illegal in most o' the Confederation."
Zinda: "Tell your marines."
Paladin: "Emphasis on 'unrestrained', lass."
Zinda: "What, are you unfamiliar with the full body ones?"
Zinda: "I had to stop some from shooting up a press event. It was a hassle."
Paladin: "I know Wenser was overseein' th' local ones. Apparently 'e's a full-body too."
Zinda: "And besides, the gene mods weren't exactly my first choice either, but it was that or have a planetary collision involving Armstrong."
Zinda: "Wenser? A full body? God, your intel sucks."
Paladin: "Speakin' o' which, I got signed statements from Wenser, Kali, an' Dakka that Abraham's th' one in charge 'ere."
Zinda: "Kali?"
Zinda: "Huh. She woke up?"
Abraham: "Yes that's true."
Paladin: "Oh, an' that I'm s'pposed t' tell 'er kiddo - I'm guessin' she thought I'd run int' 'er, didn' bother t' tell me who - that she apologizes fer leavin' a dummy body in medical."
Zinda: "Huh, I have say hello then."
Zinda: "…That bitch."
Zinda: "And after I did all that work to save her life, too."
Paladin: "…so it's you, then?"
Zinda: "So what is?"
Paladin: "'Er child."
Zinda: "After a fashion."
Paladin: "Roight. Well. Lemme know if ya wan' someone who's dealt with…strained families. I 'ad t' counsel Blair's kid once, got 'im turned out right."
Zinda: "With all due respect, I wouldn't trust any counselor you'd recommend."
Zinda: "Since, well, I don't trust Confed to not attack Oldziey again."
Paladin: "I tol' you, Oldziey is Confed."
[OOC] Abraham: I only did it the one time and I said I was sorry.
Zinda: "It's not."
Metis: "This is going to be a source of continuing tension, isn't it?"
Paladin: "It is, 'less yer declarin' independence, an' then…tch, lass, ya'd need practically th' whole sector t' be declarin' t' have much of a chance."
Zinda: "Yes, it is."
Abraham: "It has been for some time."
Zinda: "…I am aware, Admiral."
Paladin: "…wot."
Zinda: "The Hawking sector."
Zinda: "It passed formally right before the Black Lance attacked us."
Spyboy: "Probably."
Paladin blinks.
Zinda: "One representative died before he could properly cast his vote."
Spyboy: "I'm not entirely certain the attacks here in Mu Cephei were Nephilim. They could have been Black Lance."
Zinda: "He was struck by the boarding pod."
Paladin: "I t'ink I need t' be 'earin' th' details o' this one."
Zinda: "Not too much to say. Representatives from the major organizations in the cluster, bar the network in Aldrin, convened."
Abraham: "When we were attacked by Black Lance, we formed a coalition from all the planets in the sector and one of the things we did was vote on Oldziey's independence. The vote was interrupted."
Zinda: "I motioned for a vote for independence, and ensured it passed."
Zinda: "It passed."
Zinda: "We didn't need his vote."
Zinda: "Not after that farce of bring in Elles."
Zinda: "And yes, I recognize that it was an advantageous farce."
[OOC] Spyboy: …Um. I seem to be a bit lost. I thought the vote was on independence for the Hawking cluster.
[OOC] Zinda: It was
[OOC] WC GM: It was. That's what's being discussed.
[OOC] WC GM: Abraham misquoted.
[OOC] Abraham: I did. Sorry.
[OOC] WC GM: But rolling that IC…)
Paladin: "So…th' sector's independent, an' Oldziey's independent from th' sector. That right?"
Metis: "That is the current situation."
Zinda: "Though allied, yes."
Paladin: "Hmm. Well. 'Tain't official 'til the Confederation recognizes that, an' that'll take a vote back on Earth. But I'll make sure it comes up…with a strong recommendation fer acceptin'."
Abraham: "Thank you Admiral."
Zinda relaxes.
Paladin: "'Til then, th' rules are clear: I, at least, treat you as still Confederation for now."
Spyboy: "If I may…"
Zinda: "…Thank you, Paladin. I did not expect your support, but I am glad to see it is there."
Spyboy: "…I'd recommend that the Confederation do a lot of…observation."
Paladin: "Lass, do yerself a favor, read up on the Border Worlds. I stopped one war, I'll stop another."
Paladin: "What sort o' observation?"
Spyboy: "Between the Lago technology, what the Kilrathi have put together, and both the rogue and non-rogue Nephilim…I have the idea that things are going to get…seriously culturally weird around here."
Paladin does not disguise his glance at Zinda and Metis. "Aye, 'at may 'appen."
Spyboy: "I don't think it can be stopped except by the means the Black Lance was about to try, but I think that the rest of the Confederation would like to observe from a safe distance."
Metis: "I am perfectly normal, thank you very much."
Paladin raises an eyebrow. "Go on."
Zinda: "My daughter was never human."
Zinda: "She's not cybered."
[OOC] Abraham: "It's true. Metis is perfectly mundane."
[OOC] Spyboy: Who was Paladin talking to, me or Metis?
Paladin: "…wot, yer gonna say that rogue AI ain' down there 'cause now we're talkin' to 'er right up here?"
[OOC] WC GM: To Spyboy.
[OOC] Spyboy: kk
Metis: "…I am certainly not rogue."
Spyboy: "No, you are exactly where both your mothers intended you to be. One of whom, yes, did exert extensive control over this planet until, well. The evacuation."
Zinda: "She is properly the offspring of that rogue AI, yes."
Paladin: "Well. That explains 'er birthdate. Thought fer sure that was a typo."
Paladin: "An' y' say the Nephilim treat 'er as a religious figure?"
Paladin: "What sort o' religion they got?"
Zinda: "A confused sort."
Metis: "A confusing one. I say that after performing an in-depth study of Terran and Kilrathi religions. Those make sense."
Spyboy: "…They apparently worship…the technological problems they have been unable to solve."
Zinda: "The Nephilim religion sees digitizing minds as a sort of nirvana."
Zinda: "They think she'll lead the way towards teaching them to download their minds and attain immortality."
Metis: "Which is preposterous. Even if we cloned their hard drive, so to speak, it would not be them, it would be a series of stored data, not a functioning process. You cannot capture a functioning mind; you might be able to recreate a specific state, but that is an emulation."
Paladin: "Says th' hard drive."
Spyboy: "[Don't tell your stepmother that.]"
[OOC] Abraham: "Nah, says the voice modulator."
Paladin: "So. CAN you solve their technological problems?"
Metis: "Some of them, perhaps. That is focusing on the symptoms without treating the infection."
Metis: "[Really? Why not?]"
Spyboy: "[Cuz she's an uploaded mind in a constructed cybernetic body?]"
Spyboy: "[…Not your foster mother, she's just got plant grafted to her.]"
Paladin: "It's a start. More importantly, can ya make sure they'll ne'er invade Earth? That moight help me win some votes t' recognize yer independence."
Spyboy: "I think so, sir."
Metis: "[Kali 2.0 is not Kali. She must already understand the physics of this, if not the philosophy.]"
Paladin: "Hate t' say it's 'cause they'll see it as some remote sector chopping themselves off to take the Nephilim with 'em, but…that's politics."
Spyboy: "[I was talking about Alfred, actually.]"
Metis: "[….with how many 'mothers' I have, birthdays should be interesting.]"
Spyboy: "[Kali would be a step-grandmother, no?]"
Spyboy: "Yay politics."
Spyboy: "…Ah. I'm sorry, Admiral, I didn't mean to seem disrespectful!"
Abraham: "Not a problem Spyboy. Yay politics indeed."
Paladin smiles and rolls his eyes. "None taken where it shouldn't be. They're tryin' t' talk me into runnin' fer President o' the whole Confederation, if ya can believe it. I tol' them I'd think 'bout it."
Paladin: "This is an excuse t' put that on th' back burner, 'mong other things."
Metis: "[Probably? Genealogy is hard.]"
Paladin: "So. Aldrin's still populated, y' got the kilrathi un'er control, looks like th' lagos have their own evacuation, there's Oldziey…so wot else should I know 'bout?"
Paladin: "Hmmm…wait. Y'mentioned 'lago technology'. Wot's that then?"
[OOC] Metis: "Technology made by lagos. It really is all in the name."
Spyboy: "The rogue AI? It put together a few interesting concepts, including non-radio based transmitters."
Paladin: "Oh? What frequency?"
Spyboy: "Transceivers, I should say. We found out later that…"
Spyboy: "…Sir…Non-radio."
Spyboy: "They work by manipulating neutrino decay."
Paladin: "…"
Spyboy: "Which means they're strictly directed, which…is extremely useful for the Nephilim, given their infotraffic levels."
Paladin: "Directed…like a laser?"
Spyboy: "Rather more so, sir, and transferring significantly less heat."
Spyboy: "A neutrino communication to a neutrino comm receiver can transmit digital information. A neutrino communication to anything else is, well, not particularly detectable, which means essentially safe."
Metis: "They cannot make your head explode by thinking nasty thoughts. [beat] With the neutrino communicators."
Paladin: "Hmm…but able t' pop up…ach, been a while since me physics classes, but…they don' interact wit' matter 'til they decay, roight?"
Paladin: "So wot would 'appen if they decayed inside a brainstem?"
Spyboy: "Honestly, not a whole lot. The trickiest part of my duplicate transceivers was duplicating the detection mechanism."
Paladin: "Black Lance said y' 'ad some sort o' psychic assassination device. This'd be that, e'en if it don't work."
Spyboy: "I'd say that if every Nephilim on one of their homeworlds tried to 'communicate' with one person who didn't have a receiver - and did this all at exactly the same time - they might suffer from some ill effects. But without any guidance, with the lag inherent in a light-speed method…"
Paladin: "Your duplicate…so yer wired int' them now?"
Metis: "…psychic assassination device? Zinda, I am not allowed to make one of those, am I?"
Spyboy lifts up his computer.
Zinda: "No, hun."
Metis: "But… but… the data!"
Spyboy: "I've got it wired into my pad, sir. Tegram also has one."
[OOC] Spyboy: Yeah. Not gonna admit to the internal at this time.
Paladin: "Uh huh. Wot sorta data? Images? Language?"
Metis: "Yes."
Spyboy: "Digital, sir, so…encoded, anything."
Zinda: "Michael has one implanted."
Paladin: "…"
Zinda: "It's integrated into his neurology, courtesy of the rogue AI."
Zinda: "A lot of the Lago in the cluster do as well."
Zinda: "I'm given to understand they have a sort of community."
Zinda: "His wife, as well. They had it implanted to aid in attempts to solve our rogue AI problem."
Zinda: "They were mostly successful."
Zinda looks at Michael's expression.
[OOC] Metis: Is that vein on his forehead throbbing?
[OOC] Metis: We named the vein 'Zinda'.
Spyboy raises an eyebrow at Zinda.
[OOC] Abraham: How many times it throbs per second is how Zinda keeps score.
Zinda: "You'd have to tell him eventually anyways, *Spyboy*."
Paladin: "An' y' say this's used by the Nephilim too? Would explain th' low level o' radio traffic…an' maybe th' whole Fermi Paradox."
Zinda: "Yeah. They basically don't use radios. To get them talking to us I basically had to board one of their fighters and bang on the glass until they figured out I was trying to signal them."
Zinda: "Tow line helped a lot."
Spyboy: "And a lot of ELINT work."
Zinda: "My radio of it only does audio, but I'm given to understand that they serve as a data link as well."
Spyboy: "It took a lot of work to translate between the original Lago protocols and the Nephilim ones, but the systems are otherwise compatible."
Paladin: "I can t'ink o' quite a few departments what'd love t' get their hands on that technology. Ah…can I save 'em time an' trouble an' tell 'em t' just bloody ASK for it?"
Abraham: "Tell them to use 'please'. In my experience the Lago tend to respond well to it."
Spyboy: "Please do, sir."
[OOC] Abraham: See?
Metis: "I can transfer the data immediately if Zinda says it is okay."
Paladin chuckles. "Aye. They got a problem wit' bein' nice, but I'll emphasize that to 'em."
Zinda: "No, Metis, I think it would be best to use it to ensure peace."
Metis: "Okay!"
Paladin: "Roight, roight, only after th' independence is recognized."
Zinda: "Of course."
Zinda: "I don't want to have to kill anyone else."
Paladin: "Neither would we, lass."
Zinda: "I'm glad."
Spyboy is not rolling his eyes right now.
Paladin: "So…any other big things? White 'ad some sort o' anomaly but yer greeters steered us away from that."
Zinda: "The White ring is a wormhole generator with an inbuilt AI."
Paladin: "…of course it is."
Zinda: "The anomaly resulted from Dakka screwing with it, combined with the Nephilim giving it some poorly worded instructions."
Zinda: "It caused some fairly major damage to the infrastructure, but I don't believe any lives were lost over it thankfully."
Paladin raises an eyebrow. "You don' mean Dakka…literally, roight?"
Abraham: "And, possibly unsurprisingly, the ring is of Nephilim origin."
Zinda: "Literally what?"
Zinda: "Having sex with the ring?"
Zinda: "No."
Zinda: "I believe he repurposed some of its mass for repairs."
Abraham: "Almost assuredly not."
Paladin: "Good."
Zinda: "You'd be better off asking him for the details. If you think I'm a mess, heh, well."
Paladin pulls out a datapad. "Think I shall. Wonder why 'e's not 'ere…oh, bloody 'ell."
Metis: "Please understand: compared to the admirals, we are quite normal."
Zinda: "There was an incident regarding Kali attempting to download her mind to some nanites. It…mostly worked."
Zinda: "Though I did have to reconstruct her body."
Paladin: "Forgot to turn this back on. Mostly worked, y' say?"
Zinda: "Well, I attacked the swarm before I realized it was her."
Paladin: "…jus' from listenin' t' ya I'd wonder if that's normal mother-daughter relationship."
Zinda: "There seemed to be some kind of degenerative personality loss, though I don't know if it was damage from my actions or just whatever she did to herself."
Paladin: "That why she gave ya the slip?"
Zinda: "Hell if I know."
Paladin: "Sounded like she wanted some time alone."
Zinda: "She says she's my mother, but frankly, she never raised me in any fashion."
Paladin: "What about Wenser, then?" Paladin continues to fuss with his datapad.
Zinda: "My only parent was my father, who was executed for treason by the man I killed to become queen."
Zinda: "Wenser's a nephilim."
Spyboy: "Mostly."
Paladin looks up. "…this just keeps gettin' better an' better. So 'ow's 'e an Admiral, then?"
Metis: "…lax ConFed promotion and hiring standards?"
Zinda: "He does a good job of impersonating a human, and he's significantly saner."
Zinda: "Actually, he's a bunch of nephilim that seem to be mind-merged, representing one side of the a nephilim religious conflict."
Abraham: "True. He is considered a heretic by most other Nephilim."
Paladin: "'Is file says he's a full-body cyber, fond o' using body doubles. I take it those ain't doubles?"
Zinda: "No."
Paladin: "Then 'e's far an' away got the record for most KIAs in th' Navy."
Zinda: "Yeah?"
Zinda: "I think I might have killed him a few times."
Paladin: "Well, considerin' as most everyone else is limited to one, yeah."
Zinda: "He was orchestrating a series of attacks against this cluster for a time, though he seems to have stopped."
Zinda: "His motivations were unclear, but since we've come into contact with the homeworld he seems content with regarding our situation as his loss. Still, he's probably greater risk than their homeworld faction."
Paladin: "Double agent, then?"
Spyboy: "I have no idea whatsoever."
Spyboy: "His motivations were that unclear."
Zinda: "Maybe. He's probably around actually."
Zinda: "Let's ask him."
Paladin: "Need t' track 'im down, then. You or us?"
Zinda pulls her radio out.
Zinda: "[Hey, Wenser, we've got some questions.]"
Zinda: "[And yes, we're telling Paladin.]"
Zinda: "[Can you get one of you to meet us? Consider it a diplomatic meeting.]"
Wenser: "[THERE you are. Can someone down there please turn on their radio?]"
Zinda: "[Spyboy can't turn his neucomm off just message him.]"
Paladin: "Ach…gettin' interference…" He continues to work over his datapad. "Guess it turned itself off when it couldn't connect."
Zinda: "I think he wants you to turn your radio on."
Zinda: "[How about you meet us in person, for once?]"
Paladin: "I'm tryin'…wait, is there some reason?"
Zinda: "[It's just polite.]"
Zinda: "Maybe."
Zinda: "If you don't trust him feel free to not do what he says."
[OOC] Spyboy: Spyboy is pretty tempted to turn on Paladin's radio for him.
Wenser: "[I'd be happy to. Let's go have a chat over at David.]"
Wenser: "[Dakka's there too.]"
Zinda: "[…What about Kali?]"
Wenser: "[AS IS THAT INVADING FLEET!]"
Zinda: "…He says we have an invading fleet near David."
Paladin: "…"
Spyboy: "…Interesting."
Zinda: "I have to go. Paladin, thank you for your assistance."
Paladin: "I think we all 'ave t' go."
Paladin: "Yer still Confederation for now, so we gotcher back!"
Abraham: "Oh good. Another invading fleet."
Zinda: "XO? Set the course."
Spyboy: "Sir. Would you like an escort up in your shuttle?"
Paladin gives Spyboy a look.
Metis: "Invading fleet? Why are we being invaded again? There should be a quota."
Zinda: "[Wenser, can you explain who it is?]"
Spyboy: "Just asking."
Paladin: "I may be an admiral but I still got my pride. I took a fighter down 'ere, an' I noticed Abraham did too."
Spyboy sends a neucomm pulse to fire up his fighter.
Abraham: "I did indeed."
Wenser: "[Apparently Kali was trying to deactivate her security systems, but they no longer recognized her as Kali.]"
Wenser: "[She said something about 'paperclip maximizer'.]"
Spyboy: "….Great."
Wenser: "[And that this one we could just eradicate.]"
[OOC] Abraham: So Kali got upgraded to Windows 10.
Word quickly spreads through the gathering, and soon most of the guests are on their way away.
Metis: "Oooh. Zinda, do I get to field test my fighter's weapon systems?"
Zinda: "Another rogue AI. Great."
Spyboy: "Respectfully, Admiral Bounty, Admiral Taggart, you both have more important things to be paying attention to than your fighters' controls. That said, we have places to be."
Zinda: "And Metis…o-only if you need to."
Paladin: "Sounds like we could use all the guns we can get, lass. If she's combat capable, she's on your wing."
Zinda: "That's not really your call, but fine."
Paladin: "Never underestimate how a good wingmate can save yer life. Trus' me."
Zinda: "Metis, come on. I'll walk you through scramble checks."
Metis: "Yay! Wait, that is a good thing, right?"
Zinda: "M-maybe."
Metis: "Yay!"
Zinda: "Well, you had to have your first combat flight eventually…"
Spyboy does a quick check of the systems on Metis's fighter. And the Stern Lanze, to be sure.
Zinda heads back to the hangar.

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