Session 8 7

Spyboy: "This is all Zinda's fault."
Zinda saunters into the room.
Zinda: "What is?"
ExecutiveOfficer: "I believe I would agree. And so do all of the crew."
Spyboy glowers at Zinda.
ExecutiveOfficer: "Science division reports that the destruction of the Julius is best described as 'pseudotectonic'."
Zinda smirks back.
Abraham: "It's nice, if just this one time, to not be the one to say it."
ExecutiveOfficer: "And since it was caused by Zinda and her, ah, followers…"
Spyboy: "I have an extra sixteen reports to file, all based on what you would say based on what didn't happen. Do you know how easy it is to write reports in that mix of dishonesty, belligerence, and clarity?"
Zinda: "Hey, this one isn't on me. They were shooting at me."
ExecutiveOfficer: "It is, literally, 'Zinda's Fault'. That is the official name this operation is being filed under."
Zinda shrugs.
Zinda: "Mission accomplished, though."
Zinda: "We have Chandley."
Spyboy: "Not to mention the fact that I have to explain that in such a way that doesn't say 'Zinda Tegram is a hybrid plant-monster.'"
Zinda: "I'm not a hybrid plan monster!"
[OOC] Abraham: You can just put down 'Batman villain'.
Zinda pouts.
Zinda: "I'm, uh, a mostly human plant operator."
Spyboy: "Well, unless you want to prove that by way of biopsy, and incidentally prevent the resurgence of a fifteen-year long war - and keep in mind that the Kilrathi are no longer sucking the attention of the Navy away from Oldziey - I'm going to be not putting anything about any of that in here."
Spyboy stacks a half dozen reports.
Metis: "That is likely best. Should not Zinda's vegetative nature be kept classified?"
Zinda: "…I mean, this report's really just to buy us time until we can reseal the jump point…"
Zinda: "Which we *are* doing…right?"
ExecutiveOfficer: "That would be problematic."
Spyboy: "In case you're curious, you're mostly blaming inferior Confederation structural design from when you seized the bridge and executed evasive maneuvers to avoid fire from the Black Lance gunboat. I've played with the timeline a bit, but it won't be caught."
Spyboy sighs.
ExecutiveOfficer: "Do recall there are millions of people in our cluster yearning to be reunited with their families and loved ones. Nephilim blockading the jump point is one thing, but if word got out that we were blocking it…"
Zinda sighs.
Spyboy: "And how do you suggest we do that, Zinda? The Nephilim 'blocked it' by means of a minefield, then used cloaks and bluffs and radiation weapons to pretend that there was something wrong with the system."
Zinda: "You understand I can't…join the confederation."
Spyboy looks at the chart.
ExecutiveOfficer: "Of course not. Officially, from their point of view, you still have yet to leave it, whatever we might think."
Spyboy: "To be clear, I don't understand. But I do respect it. And I think that you - and most of your Oldziey subjects - are not the only ones in the cluster who agree."
Spyboy: "But I don't think you should make that decision for everyone in the cluster. I don't know if Admiral Bounty will get to go home - but I know he wanted to."
Abraham: "For quite a while now. I haven't been home for two tours."
Spyboy: "I think, however, this invasion will give us at least some of the weapons we need to fix that."
Spyboy frowns at Zinda.
Zinda glares back at him.
Spyboy: "Not literal weapons. Three more carriers - especially since they're manned by Confederation Navy - and a gunboat or two won't stop the Navy."
Zinda: "I don't like it."
Spyboy: "But political ones? I think we can swing an independent Hawking as part of a settlement with the Nephilim. If we can get the Nephilim talking to the Confederation…"
Zinda: "…You're nuts. You think the Confederation would negotiate with the…well, maybe the Wenser but I'm not sure the religious faction is equipped to…negotiate."
Spyboy: "No. But I think they might be inclined to let you negotiate for them."
Spyboy: "Or the Admiral."
Spyboy: "Shall we find out?"
Zinda: "…"
Zinda: "Do whatever the hell you want."
Zinda: "But Oldziey's not going to live under the confederation's thumb, not even on paper."
Abraham: "Let's burn that bridge when we get to it, okay?"
Zinda: "…"
Zinda: "Easy for the guy who didn't have his home system run over by a confederate admiral."
Zinda: "Fuck I'm gonna go check on Kali…"
Kali is still in the medbay, body complete but not awake yet.
Zinda frowns.
Spyboy does, too.
Spyboy: "Time to triple-check my anti-Kali defenses…"
Zinda: "Mom, huh…?"
Spyboy: "Only once you get married to Alfred."
Spyboy pauses
Zinda turns around.
Zinda: "The hell'd you…did you follow me?"
[OOC] Abraham: Thought Zinda was in the med bay
[OOC] Zinda: She is.
[OOC] Spyboy: Sorry, thought she wasn't.
[OOC] Spyboy: Otherwise Spyboy wouldn't have said that aloud.
[OOC] Metis: Thought there were comms on the ships that let just about anyone talk to anyone else…
[OOC] Spyboy: He is, of course, watching Zinda with some of his attention.
[OOC] Zinda: It's also not technically true. :P
Zinda sighs.
[OOC] Spyboy: You sure? My understanding was that Kali was Alfred's mom. She 'found' Zinda.
[OOC] Zinda: Zinda's a bit of a weird case.
[OOC] Zinda: Y'know, grown in a vat and all.
[OOC] Spyboy: Huh. I missed that.
ExecutiveOfficer: "Sir! Nephilim broadcasts are tapering off. If I had to guess, I'd say they're waiting to see what our next move is. No signs of further wormhole activity, so it looks like Chandley's a comms-only relay for the moment."
Zinda: "Well, for now, let's move the captives on board my ship to one of our new carriers."
Zinda: "[Wenser, would your…friends negotiate an independent hawking as part of negotions with our home government?]"
[OOC] Metis: Did the carriers come with a compliment of fighters and pilots?
Wenser: "[They would need to be made to care. If you could convince them of that then yes.]"
[OOC] WC GM: Yes. The carriers need some repairs before said fighters can fly, but those are happening now.
Zinda: "[What if Abraham just told them to do it?]"
Wenser: "[He would need to phrase his request very carefully.]"
[OOC] Metis: Then Metis is probably working on said repairs…
Zinda: "[…Do you not suffer the same programming errors they do?]"
Wenser: "[Ahh, my dear, that is a deep question.]"
Wenser: "[What you call errors they call canon or proper behavior. It is at the root of our schism.]"
Wenser: "[We might as well ask what programming errors you suffer from.]"
Zinda: "[…OK seriously can't you just add some data integrity checks so it preserves it better…?]"
Zinda: "[Seriously, it's not even part of the original canon.]"
Spyboy: "[It's far too late for that, Zinda.]"
Spyboy: "[The data is damaged by now.]"
Zinda audibly sighs over the radio.
Spyboy: "[Keeping it undamaged - well, that, as we just heard, is the difference between Wenser and non-Wenser.]"
ExecutiveOfficer: "Abraham sir, what are our plans?"
Abraham: "The Confederacy is now aware that Black Lance either never disbanded or reformed after being disbanded. They are a problem with a short shelf-life. Right now, we need to concentrate on dealing with the Nephilim."
ExecutiveOfficer: "Depending on what the news ships relay. But I meant specifically regarding the Nephilim."
Abraham: "The Nephilim believe I, apparently personally, can… open the way to their evolution through their 'evolutionary blockage'. But right now I have no idea how to do that, assuming that's even a real problem."
Spyboy: "I think, sir, that…it may be…"
Abraham: "Go on."
Spyboy: "…practical…for us to get a personal view of the Nephilim homeworlds."
Spyboy: "Sorry, sir. Saying that made me feel profoundly uncomfortable."
Abraham: "I confess to a more than passing personal scientific interest in that myself. I have no doubt it will be simply fascinating from even just a xenoanthrological point of view."
Abraham: "I'm tempted. I'm highly tempted."
Abraham: "In fact, if someone can not come up with a compelling reason not to, that will most likely be our next course of action."
Abraham gives the bridge crew a few minutes to voice any dissent.
The bridge crew, to a one, are deep in thought obviously trying to comply…but in the end, say nothing.
[OOC] Metis: Because then Zinda will assimilate their technological and biological uniqueness?
Spyboy grins.
Spyboy: "I imagine the rest of your bridge crew feels exactly the way I do. We really, really don't want to go…but we think we need to."
[OOC] Abraham: not a problem. Just show her some optical illusions and her brain will melt out her ears like oatmeal.
The executive officer simply nods, firmly, at Spyboy's comment.
Abraham: "Very well, let us boldly go where no man…where no one…has gone before."
Spyboy: "[Is the Chandley wormhole stable enough for the Roland to transit?]"
WorkerNephilim: "[Nay. It would take much more work to stabilize. The ring at White could be brought up to that level in a day or two, though.]"
Spyboy: "[Understood. Thank you.]"
Spyboy: "Admiral, just checked with the Nephilim. The Chandley wormhole is not stable at this time, and they recommend that we bring the wormhole at White online."
[OOC] Spyboy: Naturally, right after Abe leaves the keyboard. =p
[OOC] Metis: He'll be back eventually.
Abraham: "I see. Then that's what we do. Meanwhile, we'll minimize the damage Black Lance is doing."
Metis: "[Zinda, may I have one of the new fighters?]"
[OOC] Abraham: Zinda gives Metis a Confed beater for her first fighter.
ExecutiveOfficer: "Aye aye, setting course for White."
It takes some time to get the entire fleet over to White. The gunships and carriers tag along, defaulting to a still-registered-as-Admiral's command.
Zinda: "[W-what? U-umm…well, I guess.]"
Zinda: "[Yeah you'll have to learn eventually…let me pick one out for you, OK?]"
Zinda combs through the fighters until she finds one that has manual inertial damping controls.
Metis: "[Thank you! I will do Science to it.]"
To Zinda's senses and sensibility, as an Oldziey fighter pilot even without everything else, the array of Confederation fighters is less than impressive.
Not a one has manual inertial dampeners, and if she mentions this to the hangar crews and fighter pilots, they seem scared of the concept.
[OOC] Spyboy: I'm sure you can retrofit one of them to a stick shift, Zinda.
Zinda insists they refit a stick shift to one of the older ones. For learning, she says.
[OOC] Metis: Inertial dampeners? That sounds like something for people with squishy organs.
[OOC] Zinda: They're also important so you don't accidentally apply too much sheer force when turning~
[OOC] Spyboy: Yeah. Depending on how much thrust you're applying, eventually a fighter has squishy organs in a manner.
HangarCrew: "…that…but that doesn't make any sense. None of our fighters have…"
[OOC] Metis: something omelets, something something eggs…
Zinda: "No shut up."
Zinda: "Do it."
FighterPilot: "Dude. She's OLDZIEY. I've heard about them."
HangarCrew: "Wha…?"
Zinda looks over her shoulder at the pilot.
Zinda: "Oh, hey. You actually fly these…things?"
FighterPilot: "These, yes. Is it true that you live in zero G and have to specially set your bedrooms when you're on Confederation craft?"
Zinda: "Well, micro-G, but yeah alot of us have micro-G adaptation syndrome."
[OOC] Spyboy: Heh. Rather the opposite for Zinda at this point in her medical history. =p
[OOC] Spyboy: IIRC.
The (female) pilot leers at Zinda. "I'll bet that-"
The (male) hangar technician cuts her off with an elbow to the solar plexus. "-prevents fraternization per standard procedures SIR!"
FighterPilot: "Aww, c'mon!"
Zinda: "It works out better with two women, all I'ma say."
Zinda smirks back.
HangarCrew: "Nuh-uh. Black Lance was saying they're all modified and twisted. You do not want to go there." He grabs his companion by the ear and tugs her away. "You know their standards, you get to help me modify one for their standards."
FighterPilot: "Oww okay okay lemme go!"
Zinda: "But yeah my daughter wants to learn to fly, and, well, these are…inappropriate, I think. It's important to at least know how to fly manual."
Zinda: "Is there a problem, Mr….?"
HangarCrew: "The problem isn't yours. Call me Spanner. I tend to, ah, 'get in the works' when Certain People…" He gives his companion a look. "…try to get into mischief."
Zinda: "Oooh, I see. Don't worry, I'm…probably taken."
Zinda: "It's weird."
Spanner gives Zinda an appraising eye. "Your have a daughter old enough to fly? Ah…looking past what I'm assuming is makeup, you don't look that old."
[OOC] Spyboy: Speaking of which, Spyboy's probably gonna pass a word that Alfred's presence would probably be helpful on the other side of the wormhole, if Zinda could get her here.
Zinda: "Heh, well, I don't wear too much makeup. But, she's uh…she's turning two this year I think?"
Spanner: "…"
FighterCrew: "…"
Zinda: "What? I started when I was two."
Zinda chuckles.
Zinda: "Well, I started at two and a half."
FighterCrew: "…guess they count years differently. Could you let me go already?"
Spanner: "Not until we're out of her sight. You're still thinking about it."
Zinda: "No, like, two standard sol years."
FighterCrew: "She said she's probably taken!"
Spanner: "And you like a challenge."
Zinda: "Oh, trust me, you don't want to challenge Alfred."
Zinda: "She's nuts."
Zinda: "This one time, she uh…well, hmm, I think that one's classified, uh…"
The fighter pilot gets very still.
Zinda: "Oh, well, this other time she tried to shoot me down."
FighterCrew: "Crown Squadron Alfred?"
Zinda: "Yeah, why? Well, after I renamed skull it was Crown, yeah."
Zinda: "I'm Zinda, by the by."
Zinda extends a hand.
The pilot eeps, slips out of Spanner's earlock, and hides behind Spanner.
Spanner sighs and shakes Zinda's hand.
Zinda: "Is something the matter, Ms….?"
FighterCrew: "Certain. You're s-scary people."
Zinda tilts her head a bit. What's wrong?
[OOC] Metis: She just got Zinda'd, that's what's wrong.
[OOC] Zinda: Hahaha, my reputation precedes me :3
Spanner sighs. "She's tends to believe in the tales she's told. She's…" He smirks. "…Certain of them."
Zinda: "Ohoh, and which ones do they tell of me?"
Certain waves, shakily, still keeping Spanner between herself and Zinda. "H-hi."
Certain gulps. "Ah! Um! Ones that would cause an incident i-if I were to repeat them SIR! C'mon, Spanner, she wants us to modify a fighter for her."
Zinda: "Hey. You just hit on the Queen of Oldziey, and she almost went with it."
Zinda: "How's it feel?"
Certain: "Like I've never been closer to death."
[OOC] Metis: You are the Hundred-Eyed Demon.
Zinda laughs.
Zinda: "So, what do they say about me, Certain?"
[OOC] Abraham: You should have done it in front of Metis. For educational purposes.
Spanner begins moving toward the fighters. Certain stays behind him.
Zinda follows along to 'supervise'. She's having fun.
Certain: "They call you the Hundred Eyed Demon. They say you killed your own father, for fun, and the old king just ordered you to to cover because even Oldziey thought that was too much."
Certain: "They say you destroyed an entire Confederation fleet with just a couple squadrons, and no casualties on your side."
[OOC] Abraham: Not for fun. Because he got me the wrong fighter for my fifth birthday. Details people! They are important!
Certain: "They say the reason we haven't found anything like the Kilrathi on this side is because you scared them away."
Zinda: "Wow, rumors mills are nuts. Well, the dad one is false, the Confed fleet, yeah I did that but the fleet was small and Kali was running it, and uh…well, I have done that to a few monsters over here but usually I prefer to steal their power for my own."
Certain: "And that's what they said before Chandley. I'm pretty sure what the Black Lance told us is false."
Spyboy: "Note to self. This 'Certain.' Need to look into some of her sources. She's uncomfortably close to the truth."
[OOC] WC GM: Spyboy's supervising as well, and said that out loud?
Zinda: "But, yeah. My father was falsely executed for treason by a new king after the coronation. I deserted, and then came back and slaughtered him with a torch."
[OOC] Metis: Well, out loud to himself, where only the ship, his recorders, and space could hear him…
[OOC] WC GM: If he's supervising then he's not in his ship.
Zinda: "I don't kill for fun, usually.
Zinda: "Just scare cute girls."
Zinda gives a slasher smile.
[OOC] Abraham: Metis /needs/ to be in on this conversation.
Zinda cranes her head to look at the refit job.
[OOC] Spyboy: Spyboy is not supervising. He is listening to Metis' broadcast senses, as they are typically the easiest way to spy on Zinda.
[OOC] Metis: Metis is on a different carrier, doing repairs. That probably inhibits the Zinda-spying in no way, because.
[OOC] Spyboy: And if Spyboy can think of any good rumors to plant, he'll be asking Metis to - I thought Metis was with Zinda looking for a fighter?
[OOC] Spyboy: That's no fun. I was about to offer some tasty rumors to Metis to plant. =p
[OOC] Spyboy: Other means of spying on Zinda it is.
[OOC] Metis: There are radios. We can communicate cross-ship. Unless something got really, really weird… Zinda is never alone. NEVER.
[OOC] Metis: Poor Zinda.
[OOC] Zinda: Heehee.)
Certain blushes, but still hides, on the opposite side of the fighter once they reach it.
[OOC] Spyboy: As far as comms go, yeah, Zinda's got the neutrino comm and that means Zinda, Metis, Heggy, and Spyboy can talk whenever they want. That said, Spyboy doesn't like to remind Zinda that he's watching. Always.
[OOC] Metis: ALWAYS.
[OOC] Spyboy: For the record, Spyboy doesn't spy on Heggy - that'd be creepy. Nor does he spy on Metis, he merely offers his feedback when requested, ensuring that he's ready to advise at any time. And he doesn't spy on the Admiral, that'd be wrong. He just ensures proper information flow.
[OOC] WC GM: …is it wrong that, when phrased like that, I see Spyboy's communiques to Zinda having an avatar of a lurking, always-watching robot unicorn?
[OOC] Zinda: Zinda knows, and if she gave a damn she'd ask Kali to do something about it.
Zinda: "So, what'd the black lance say about me?"
[OOC] Spyboy: One time he got distracted, and Abraham looked at his reports to realize he had apparently already annotated them with links to a whole bunch of references. Fortunately it had been a very late night and Spyboy's pretty good at fast-talking.
Spanner: "That you swallowed a planet or something." Spanner sounds bored as he begins refitting the fighter. Zinda does not know its name, but it is clearly one of the smallest, lowest-end fighters they have.
[OOC] Metis: So… Spyboy is Bat-Clerk? Revising the reports of Gotham under the shadow of night?
[OOC] Spyboy: Yes, though he's had to be more circumspect since the time Abraham suggested his callsign would be more accurate as 'Spycorpse.'
Zinda: "Swallowed a planet? Only candidates I could think of would be Mu Cephei Prime, and uh…well, sort of Asago I guess but that's not really swallowing and not really a planet."
Zinda: "And Mu Cephei Prime we evacuated it first."
Zinda: "…I guess I did firebomb a government office there though."
Spanner: "Are either of those high vegetation planets?"
[OOC] Spyboy: Ugh. Don't admit that, Zinda. It makes you look weak. =p
Zinda: "Hah, well, Mu Cephei Prime was during the evacuation I guess, otherwise it's a dead rock, and uh…Asago is now, but last time I checked nobody got hurt there and it's my planet anyways so."
[OOC] Spyboy: They're talking about Tuskeegee, which….was very much the reverse, actually.
Zinda: "Only real high vegetation planet around here would be…Tuskegee, I guess, and the garden worlds. Tuskegee wasn't me, though."
[OOC] Spyboy: …huh. Maybe Spyboy should point that out.
Spanner: "Who was it?"
Zinda: "That was a first contact scenario. We've got them calmed down, though. Only a few casualties, all of 'em shot at us…"
[OOC] Metis: How much of Zinda's life is so classified that Zinda isn't allowed to know about it?
[OOC] Spyboy: Don't ask Spyboy. He'll only lie about the answer.
Zinda: "Basically some moron from before Chandley got closed was uplifting plants there."
[OOC] Metis: No one talks directly to Bat-Clerk anyways. They talk to Commissioner Abraham, and he sends up the Spy-Signal.
Spanner pauses for a moment, looking at Zinda. "Now I've heard about Tuskegee. Uninhabited and uninhabitable. Biohazard. Total opposite of any possibility of first contact. You sure you're talking about the Tuskegee in Mahavier?"
Zinda: "Yeah, that's the one."
Zinda: "Sapient plant life, man."
Zinda: "Fuckin nuts…"
Certain: "I guess that's one way to 'eat your vegetables'."
Spanner facepalms.
Zinda chuckles.
Zinda: "It's their planet though, now. All I did was drop fuel air bombs and dodge return fire."
Zinda: "And, well, distribute propaganda."
Spanner: "Certain, if you're going to start writing another erotic fiction series at LEAST get the main character's permission this time!"
Zinda: "What you a fan of vines Certain?"
Zinda indicates an inertial reserve pump.
Spanner: "She's a fan of adventures. Including ones she makes up."
Zinda: "That's backwards."
Certain: "Hehe~…"
Spanner: "You sure?" He pulls it out, flipping it over.
Zinda: "Yeah. You leave it like that it'll sheer the wing off when it goes online."
Zinda: "Have you never installed one of these?"
[OOC] Spyboy: "Probably not. And the less said about the firewalls, the better."
Spanner: "Nope. They come prepackaged this way, stress tested for…well, the way we fly. I'm guessing your style's totally different, though." He puts it back reversed.
Spanner: "So they also say you've got an army of telepaths working for you."
[OOC] Metis: Just Spyboy.
Spanner: "And that you somehow got a kid piloting a droid shell."
Zinda: "The kid's my daughter, you'll probably meet her eventually."
Spanner: "Uh huh. She the one we're making this for?"
Zinda: "She came from Mu Cephei Prime. I can't talk about part of it."
Zinda: "Yeah."
[OOC] Spyboy: Spyboy is NOT working for Zinda!
[OOC] Spyboy: Oh. And not a telepath.
Zinda: "Telepaths…hahaha, well, I value human intelligence if that's what you mean."
[OOC] Spyboy: Too good.
Spanner: "Huh. Well, you know, there is ONE rumor I'd already verified. Everyone on this ship knows this one."
Spyboy's snort comes loud and clear over the fighter's radio.
Spanner: "You got the admiral who won Chandley, as much as it could be won, and that's who we're all following now."
Zinda: "Oh, you mean Abe?"
Spanner: "Admiral Abraham Bounty. Is 'Abe' his callsign? They say he's some sort of messiah figure or something, but I haven't heard him broadcasting for prayer."
Zinda: "Abe's just my nickname for him."
Spyboy keys in on that.
Zinda: "Messiah…now where'd you hear that?"
Spyboy: "[Who says he's a messiah figure?]"
Spanner: "From Black Lance, like I said."
Spyboy: "[Zinda, I'm passing that on to the Admiral now.]"
Spanner: "Say they got their intel from a follower of his."
[OOC] Abraham: My call sign is: "Ahtheyshootingmewhyaretheyshootingatme". It's in Nielineh.
Spanner: "Dunno who that'd be, though. With Chandley closed off, who'd've been able to talk to them?"
Spyboy: "Admiral, just picked something up from the mutineers."
Zinda: "…Hmm, alright. Well, that's good to know. There is an alien species who tends to see him as, uh, messianic, but they're sort of nuts."
Spyboy: "Apparently Black Lance has Nephilim contacts."
Spyboy: "They know about the 'Abrahim.'"
Zinda: "That was Black Lance propaganda you say?"
Spanner: "It's what the Black Lance told us. Now I can tell they were lying, so yeah, call it all propaganda."
Abraham: "What?! That's…hm….That actually should have been expected I suppose. You can't really have a savior figure without something for the savior to save you from."
Zinda: "Yeah. Anyways, you wanted a rumor confirmed…"
Spanner: "So which alien race is following him around?"
Spyboy: "[Hahahaha, you're gonna love this one.]"
[OOC] Spyboy: Actually… how audible is the neutrino radio?
Spanner: "Bridge says life signs on the Roland are mostly what's expected, though there are several in the cargo bay they can't identify."
[OOC] WC GM: Depends on what Zinda has it set to.
Zinda: "Cargo bay's my stuff. Basically it's military hardware on loan from Tuskegee."
Zinda: "The messianic species, I can't say for diplomatic reasons but you know of them. We're keeping them at arms length, though. They kind of, uh…failed to put data integrity checks in a large scaling population cloning program."
[OOC] Spyboy: Well, if the neutrino radio's on speaker, then those are neutrino. If not, then they're coming from the fighter's radio.
Zinda: "So, like I said, nuts."
Zinda: "And they think we're basically small gods for being able to do science effectively."
Spanner: "The only other alien race I know of around here is the Nephil-"
Spanner blinks.
[OOC] Metis: Last I knew, she had an earpiece for the neu-radio. So probably not audible to others, unless she's really cranked it up?
[OOC] Spyboy: Fighter radio it is.
Zinda shrugs at Spanner's realization.
Spanner: "…iiis a race where if you do have diplomatic contacts yeah I can see why you'd be classifying that shutting up about them now sir."
[OOC] Spyboy: Though in retrospect it might say something that Spyboy was perfectly willing to spill those beans.
Certain: "Hey Spaa-neer! I think someone's trying to get through on the fighter's radio. Want me to turn up the volume?"
Zinda: "The Nephilim are large scale morons that don't really grasp the damage they cause on accident. That's all I have to say about them."
Spanner: "Sure."
Zinda: "Turn it down."
Spanner: "…or not."
[OOC] Spyboy: Bit of a laugh out loud there.
Certain: "K. Zinda, do you want to talk to them or shall I shut it off?"
Spyboy: "[Not cool, Zinda.]"
Zinda: "Shut it off."
Zinda: "He's awful."
Certain: "Done."
Zinda: "Thank you. Oh, and so obedient~"
Certain: "Hehe~."
[OOC] Metis: You have offended Bat-Clerk. You will rue the day, when you realize your ZT-95/W7s are no longer filed properly…
[OOC] Zinda: Hahaha.
Spyboy can trivially find the box radio on Spanner's belt, and that it is set to speaker in case the bridge has emergency requests of the hangar crew.
[OOC] Spyboy: Yeah, and he could turn the fighter's radio back on and to max volume, plus the external speakers. But now is not the time.
Zinda: "To be honest, I'm actually a bit annoyed that the Nephilim shut down their little charade around Chandley."
[OOC] Spyboy: You know what the worst part of admitting he was spying is? Spyboy can't drop any inappropriately timed comments now. =/
Zinda: "Now I'll have to deal with Confed trying to claim Oldziey again."
Zinda careful judges the reactions of those around her.
Spanner: "'Claim'?"
Zinda: "Well, you never really brought us under control."
Certain: "Yeah. Oldziey keeps trying for independence. Like a one-system Border World."
Spanner: "Oh. Umm. Just going to assume you have discussed that with Admiral Bounty, and he's not making an issue of it *yet*."
Zinda: "That's basically the situation, yes."
Certain: "Hehe, unless he's serving under her."
Spanner: "…uggh."
Zinda: "I can neither confirm nor deny that rumor."
Zinda passes a tool to Spanner.
[OOC] Metis: It only seems that way, sometimes. Technically, Zinda has not yet annexed the Roland, but that is solely because there are too many PCs giving her the hairy eye.
Spanner: "By that logic, you'd've seduced Kali, Dakka, and Wenser too." He examines the tool.
Zinda: "Just Kali."
Zinda: "But that's incest."
Spyboy: "[Try not to undercut the Admiral's authority with them, Zinda. I'll just turn the radio back on and talk to them directly.]"
Zinda says this as dryly as possible.
Spanner: "…wait, you're Kali's sister or something?"
Zinda chuckles.
Zinda: "Man I don't know. I just had a dad, right?"
Certain: "Ah, the young blood knight, separated from her sister at a young age and set against her, Oldziey knight versus Confederation admiral!" There are practically stars in her eyes.
Zinda: "Though from what I'm told, it's probably more like she's my mom."
[OOC] Metis: The only thing certain about certain is her account on
[OOC] WC GM: Quite.
Zinda: "So I guess it would be more of a mother, tragically sent to do battle with her progeny she hid away from the world."
Certain: "…that works too!"
Spanner: "So if we're modifying this for your kid, I don't suppose you can bring her here so we can fit it for her?"
Zinda: "…Yeah, that's probably a good idea."
Spyboy: "[Metis, you listening to that conversation?]"
Zinda pulls out her definitely-not-a-radio and points it at the Roland.
Zinda: "[Metis, can you come over here? You wanted to learn to fly, right?]"
Metis: "[Repairs on the fleet are nearing completion; I am transferring back. We can probably jump in the next few minutes.]"
Metis: "[I am always listening. I never sleep.]"
Spyboy: "[I know, checking your logs is the first thing I do in the morning, to see what I missed when I did.]"
Spanner: "…not even going to ask how thoroughly you're encrypting that. Radio sensors don't even pick up a broadcast."
Zinda: "Don't worry, eventually everyone'll be using it."
Zinda: "And besides, it's shit for broadcast."
Zinda puts it back in her bag.
Spanner: "Point to point?"
[OOC] Spyboy: The fighter's radio, currently at very, very low volume, lets out a dry chuckle.
Zinda: "You'll found out when you get one."
Certain frowns and double-checks the radio, finding she somehow left it still on. She re-shuts it off.
Zinda: "Jackass."
Zinda: "Never a moment of peace with him…"
Zinda mutters.
It does not take long for the shuttle to transfer Metis from hangar to hangar.
[OOC] Spyboy: Zinda is looking back with fond memories of those days when Spyboy looked up to her and did what she told him to.
[OOC] WC GM: Assuming Metis heeds Zinda's summons?
Certain: "Who?"
Spanner: "Her boyfriend, obviously."
Zinda: "Bridge crew."
Certain gasps.
[OOC] Metis: Yeah, transferring back.
Zinda: "Boyfriend? I don't really…"
Zinda: "I taught him to fly I ain't teaching him anything else."
Zinda frowns.
Zinda: "Had to tow 'im back after his lessons, too."
[OOC] Spyboy: A, he's married. B, she's engaged. C, to different people. D, they hate each other WAY beyond slap-slap-kiss-kiss.
Metis hops off the shuttle, confirming Zinda's location with previous scan-lock. "Isitreadyisitreadyisitready?"
Spanner: "I'm just messin' with you." He looks up. "Ah, and that would be the shuttle with your daughter now."
Zinda: "Oh, Metis!"
[OOC] Metis: And E…just weird, man. Just weird.
Spyboy: "[Now that's just mean spirited.]"
Spanner blinks.
[OOC] Spyboy: DEFINITELY on that one, yeah.
Zinda tussles her hair.
Certain: "That's your child? Cuuutie~!"
Zinda: "You won't crash this one?"
Zinda: "I knoooow."
Zinda: "She's the cutest. Metis, what's your favorite food?"
Metis: "…it only counts as a crash if you can't walk away, right?"
Spanner begins getting out scanners, checking and frowning.
Metis: "ICE CREAM! And data. But mostly ice cream."
Zinda: "Aww…"
Spyboy starts tweaking the output of the scanners.
Zinda: "Anyways, you wanted to learn to fly, so!"
[OOC] WC GM: These aren't wireless.
[OOC] Spyboy: Psh. Like Spyboy cares about that.
[OOC] WC GM: Or are you signal spoofing the hangar?
[OOC] WC GM: And if so, what output are you attempting to convey?
[OOC] Metis: If he's on the Roland, he probably has bridge access just about everywhere. I mean, otherwise…he's like…not Spyboy anymore. Just…'Boy'.
[OOC] Spyboy: Sounds like a good idea. The fighter's right there, and Spyboy's been making sure the firewalls are good enough to keep anyone else out.
[OOC] WC GM: Well yeah, but "bridge" is not "every piece of electronica ever". It's like trying to hack a standalone calculator remotely.
[OOC] WC GM: If there's no interface there's no hacking possible. But sensor signals can be spoofed.
[OOC] Spyboy: So basically he's going to be reflecting the signals off Metis that would indicate some modifications, but not…to the levels that she actually is. So, some evidence that she's human, basically?
[OOC] WC GM: Which would probably be the first form of hacking Spyboy learned. It's only his official job.
[OOC] Spyboy: Want me to roll Communications?
[OOC] WC GM: What sort of modifications?
[OOC] Spyboy: Well, that's more seeing through such modifications, but yeah.
[OOC] Metis: Augmented skeleton probably, the kind of thing you'd use to correct some kind of congenital bone defect? That'd account for a lot of excess, non-spec material under the skin.
[OOC] Spyboy: Hmm. We'll leave a hint of subdural armor, that's kinda important. Simulate a skeleton, though given the sensors and reflection it'll still seem metal. A few electronic sources, of course, and all Spyboy can do is conceal the output of the power plant, he can't block it entirely.
[OOC] Spyboy: So Metis is a little cyborg girl, with a lot of implants, but not an AI-driven robot.
[OOC] WC GM: That's enough of a bonus that Spanner will buy it.
Spanner whistles.
Certain: "What?"
Spanner: "She's got enough artificial parts, I'd almost say she was more built than grown."
[OOC] Spyboy: Yeah. Bring it into the realm of 'extreme, but believable.' He'd be less likely to suspect that.
[OOC] Spyboy: Heh. More like built by growing. =p
Certain: "Aww~. Wannabe grandmama Kali gave Zinda a build-your-own-daughter kit?"
[OOC] Spyboy: …And yet I seem to recall Kali still bugging Zinda about grandkids.
Zinda: "Metis you're turning two soon right?"
[OOC] WC GM: Yes, but these two don't know about that.
Zinda: "You want a birthday party?"
Metis pauses. "Birthday parties have a strong positive correlation with ice cream."
Zinda: "Well, you also get presents."
Zinda: "I was thinking you might want a telescope?"
Spyboy: "[There is such a thing as ice cream cake.]"
[OOC] Abraham: Which can also be ice cream.
Metis: "[Tell me more of ice cream cake.]"
Metis: "Kali was not involved in…anything at all. Possibly ever? How much of that is confidential?"
Spyboy pipes some of his memories over.
Zinda: "Your birth is probably classified, dear."
Zinda: "She's just excitable."
Spyboy follows that up with details of how he spoofed Spanner's scanners.
Spanner: "Well, she's heavy. Certain, could you retool the controls for shorter arms and legs?"
Certain: "One baby seat coming right up!"
Spanner puts his scanners away as Certain busies herself in the cockpit.
Metis: "…then no, I am not turning two soon? Because I was not….this is confusing. Is a birthday strictly necessary for a birthday party?"
Zinda: "Hahaha, yes, otherwise it's just a party."
Spanner: "We're almost done. Should be ready for its maiden voyage soon after jump."
Zinda: "Also it feels awkward to call you one."
Certain: "Oh! Does the birthday girl get a birthday pilot helmet?"
Zinda: "Ooh, I think that's an excellent idea~"
Spanner: "I saw enough armor that she doesn't need one. Seriously, I think she could survive hard vacuum."
Metis: "Only if you measure by solar time. In clock cycles, I'm fairly close to…?!"
Zinda: "OK, Metis? I know you're probably more durable than the helmet, but you have to wear it whenever you fly, OK?"
Spyboy: "[It's a birthday present, Metis. You should probably take good care of it, after all. You don't want to insult them, do you?]"
Metis: "Regulations state that a pilot must wear appropriate safety gear, and you said I can't break regulations without asking you first or having a really good reason."
Zinda: "Good girl."
Metis: "[This is a social obligation, correct? Organics place a lot of emphasis on social obligations?]"
Zinda straightens up, clearly proud of her very-capable-for-her-age daughter.
Zinda pulls her radio out of her pocket.
Spyboy: "[Yes. Though you can break a social obligation if you feel you should.]"
Spanner: "As her, ah, effective commanding officer, is she cleared to fly with guns or should we leave it unarmed?"
Spanner: "And is there any special loadout you want?"
Zinda: "…Well, a princess must fly, shoot, duel with the torch, and tow salvage."
Zinda: "Just load it with blanks and a tow cable."
Spanner: "Tow cable? That's…unusual. Will do."
Zinda: "Yeah, for salvaging."
Metis: "But I need a torch before I can do that…"
Zinda: "Hun, you'll get your torch when you turn six."
Metis: "In solar years or clock cycles?"
Zinda: "You'll probably take mine, and I'll have to adopt a sword."
Certain: "You don't mean those old wooden sticks you light on one end, right?"
Zinda: "Solar years, 'hun."
Zinda: "Earth, of course."
Zinda unclips her torch and shows Certain.
Zinda: "Boarding torch. Foundational weapon of Oldziey boarding tactics."
Certain: "That's…oh! A plasma cutter!"
Zinda: "This is the one I used to avenge my father, actually. Hmm, it probably needs a name."
Metis: "Awwww…that's fine. Learning the principles of dueling will take at least two weeks. I should have fully scanned…um. Assimilated to the fighter before then."
Spanner: "Certain…"
Zinda: "A plasma cutter, well, yeah, I guess it is but…"
Certain: "Spanner! C'mon, it's not like *I'll* ever use the thing!"
Zinda: "The nozzle's, different, and it has a variable output. We can also weld with it, I guess, when needed."
Zinda: "Hah, well, if you emigrate maybe we could teach you."
Zinda: "We're always looking for capable pilots. *Are* you capable, Certain?"
Spanner sighs. "Yes, and HER OWN MOTHER says not yet!"
Certain: "She only said not yet to Zinda's own torch. Hey, kiddo, catch!"
Zinda snatches it out of the air.
Certain unclips a cylinder from her belt and tosses it toward Metis.
[OOC] WC GM: Does Metis contest Zinda's intercept?
[OOC] Spyboy: Metis WAS asked to 'catch…'
[OOC] Metis: Metis is terribly distracted by fighter and helmet and talk of ice cream and parties and this crazy thing called 'ice cream cake' which sounds like some weird amalgamation like 'plant-human'…besides. Zinda can take away the party. Do not anger the Zinda. Fear the Zinda. Love the Zinda.
Zinda: "The blade of an Oldziey knight is not to be…tossed."
Zinda inspects the plasma cutter.
[OOC] WC GM: So that's a 'no, Metis does not contest the interception'?
[OOC] Metis: Correct.
Zinda: "These are dangerous, you know?"
Zinda frowns at Certain. A disappointed, "My minion has failed me." frown.
It is small, and the safety is loose. Much more miniature than Zinda's. A shorter battery life, though Zinda knows Metis can trivially work around that.
Certain blanches.
Zinda returns it.
Zinda: "Please be more careful, particularly around my daughter."
Metis nudges Zinda. "Pss. You're doing that thing where you look at people and they get worried."
Zinda: "She's not even two Earth years yet."
Certain: "Sorry. Here." Certain gets down and tries to hand it to Metis.
Metis accepts with a half-bow. "Thank you."
Certain is blatantly careful to keep the dangerous end pointing away. This is probably for the best, as the safety slips as it changes hands.
Metis subjects the cutter to a barrage of sensor scans, probably outputting enough energy that at least one detector in the hangar would go off…
The result is a glowing cloud of plasma perhaps 30 centimeters long, though carefully confined, almost like a pop-up blade.
Zinda: "Huh. They issue you these now?"
Spanner: "Nah. She reads legends and stories. This was her pet project once she read about Oldziey."
Zinda: "I see."
Spanner: "Apparently there were these old films that speculated about them, so she modeled hers after theirs."
Metis flicks it on. Off. On again. Studies the plasma condensation. Pops it back off, staring down the barrel at the emitter. "Interesting…"
Zinda: "Careful Metis."
Spanner: "…aaand you're going to want to teach her safe handling."
Zinda: "Yes. Metis, turn that off."
Metis: "How does the energy know to stop…going?"
Zinda: "You're not allowed to use plasma blades until you download and read and apply a safety manual."
Metis: "The plasma doesn't bloom."
Certain: "Twist the handle."
Metis twists the handle. ((Noting that it is off currently.))
Certain: "I couldn't find how to make magnetic confinement, so I used a high-temperature ceramic. It's kind of a whiffle bat coated in plasma."
Certain: "Extend the blade, plasma pipes through. Turn it off, blade retracts. Electrical and mechanical in the same switch."
Zinda: "Anyways, Certain, they're called boarding torches. During the earliest wars in Oldziey, much of the hardware used by the combatants was old mining equipment."
Metis: "Oooooh. So then, with a containment field, then you can….Imeanthinkyouverymuch,itislovely."
Certain: "…oh. Is THAT what yours are based on?" "
Certain blinks.
Certain: "Wait. You have containment-"
Bridge: "All hands, prepare for jump."
Zinda: "Well, yes. Then Sir Edwart Siezenheim developed the first condensed…"
Zinda: "Oh, well, story time is over it seems."
Bridge: "And just this once, let's hope we don't have to scramble on jump."
Metis pats the fighter. /Her/ fighter. A fighter that she will do Science to. Oh yes.
Zinda: "Regardless, Certain, if you want to learn how to *really* fly…Crown 2's on board."
Zinda: "I'm sure we could show you the basics."
Certain: "I'd be up for that, if we won't be in combat this system. Nav chart says we're heading to White. What's in White?"
Zinda: "White has the wormhole generator we're repairing before we take a visit into unknown space."
Spyboy turns the radio up, but waits to see how Zinda responds.
Zinda: "You'll see when we get there."
[OOC] WC GM: Radio speaker, or radio receiver too?
[OOC] WC GM: As in, did Spyboy turn the radio's mic on?
[OOC] Spyboy: Speaker. It's not like he hasn't been listening the entire time.
Certain: "Wormhole gener-"
Spanner: "She means Neph. We're going to be invading the Nephilim."
[OOC] Spyboy: Yeah, Certain's not broadcasting to everyone right now.
Zinda: "Well. Really just taking a look around."
Certain: "Oh."
Zinda: "Hopefully we won't need to shoot anything this time."
Certain: "…just…one question."
Zinda: "Yeah?"
Certain: "Is this the point in the story where the heroine realizes she's betrayed one set of villains for an even crazier set of villains?"
[OOC] Spyboy: So, when do we find out Certain is actually Wenser?
Zinda: "Well, I hope not."
[OOC] Metis: Certain has always been Wenser.
Zinda: "We really do try to be ethical in how we deal with alien intelligences, even if they don't always make it easy."
Zinda: "We don't, for instance, send special needs people on suicide operations to try and generate bad publicity for our opponents."
Zinda: "I hope, rather, this is the part where she sees that the world is a much crazier place than the villains wanted her to think."
Spyboy: "If it makes you feel better, Lieutenant Ashburn, everything we've done makes perfect sense given the information we had at the time, though I grant some of that does seem crazy. However, unlike the Black Lance, we don't believe in the elimination of 'inferiors.' That means that, of the two? You picked the right side."
Zinda: "Oh, it's him."
Zinda: "Hey Marcus."
Spyboy: "Also I recommend taking up Dame Tegram's offer. You can learn a lot from her, though some of it is what not to do."
Zinda sighs and whispers. "He's the radio guy!"
Zinda: "He thinks I'm a loose cannon!"
Zinda winks.
Spanner: "Oh." He blinks. "…oh."
Metis: "You mean…you're not a loose cannon? I thought that's why you got results!"
Spanner seems stiff for a moment, then walks up to the radio and toggles the mic.
Zinda holds in a laugh at Metis's comment.
[OOC] Spyboy: "I wish I had a badge I could take from her…"
Spanner: "Hello, Spyboy. You probably don't remember the man you stole Heggy from."

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