Session 8 8

Spanner lets his accusation sit, awaiting a response from Spyboy.
Zinda bites her tongue to stop herself from sniggering.
[OOC] Spyboy: I totally forgot about that finisher.
[OOC] Abraham: Is this via Neutrino?
[OOC] Spyboy: Radio
[OOC] Zinda: No it's over radio.
[OOC] Abraham: k
[OOC] WC GM: No, via radio. Abraham may have overheard.
Zinda: "You seem like a good guy Spanner, but uh…I think that pair's gone somewhere you can't follow."
Spyboy: "Um. You're right, I don't. Who are you?"
Spanner: "My name is-"
Certain swipes the radio from him.
Spanner: "HEY!"
Certain: "He's someone who never asked this 'Heggy' out on a date, and whose family got transferred out a month later."
[OOC] Spyboy: Phew! I do remember the context new.
Zinda: "Oh. Ooooh. Dude, they're married now."
Spyboy leans back, counts up on his fingers.
Spanner: "…"
Certain: "…"
Zinda: "Hey, lots of fish in the sea, right?"
Zinda: "At least they worked out, right?"
Certain nearly doubles over laughing.
Spanner glares at Certain.
Heggy: "Um. Hi?"
Zinda pats Spanner's back.
Zinda: "She's a terrible pilot anyways."
Zinda: "There are much better wives."
Certain soon recovers, though still playing keep-away with the radio. "Heh, heh…is this Heggy? Are you still the most beautiful lago in the 'Yards?"
Spyboy: "I will set you on fire with my mind, Tegram."
Zinda: "Hahahaha~"
Heggy: "I'm definitely going to say 'yes,' to that."
Metis: "[You cannot set people on fire with your mind. Can you? This should be tested.]"
Zinda: "He can't, 'hun."
Spyboy: "[I cannot. But I am certainly trying.]"
Certain: "With skin like velvet, eyes like limpid pools, and a smile that melts mens' hearts?"
Spanner is SO glaring at Certain.
Zinda: "…He was so 'certain' you were the lago for him, huh?"
Certain snickers.
Spyboy: "I've always thought of them as like a raging stream, not a pool."
Heggy: "That's because you know how I feel about poetry."
[OOC] Abraham: Melts mens' hearts? Is that a treatment for heartburn? Or perhaps repairing a broken heart?
Certain: "Yeah, I've been trying to help him move on and date certain other women."
[OOC] Spyboy: "If I had to guess, based on context, you might try growing fur."
[OOC] Metis: Once the heart is melted, the fur grows. There's some catalyst in liquid cardiac muscle that promotes fur growth.
Spyboy: "Well, if we meet any lagos on the other side of the wormhole - be careful, because they could be alien robots."
It is at this point that the fleet begins transiting the jump point.
Apparently on cue from the Roland's crew, though, the jump point is held open continuously as the fleet moves through.
Zinda sighs.
Spyboy: "Welcome to White, a system containing a structure so ancient that we never even thought it could be Nephilim."
ExecutiveOfficer: "Well. At least THIS place is how we left it."
The XO's comment is ironic, to anyone able to so much as see the Ring: bustling with activity, space inside the ring rippling with each test of the wormhole generator.
Zinda: "…I'm still mad that idiot turned it on."
Spyboy: "I would agree with you, if not for the fact that I'd be agreeing with you."
ExecutiveOfficer: "Before you ask, task group, yes those are Nephilim and yes we are tagging them as friendlies. Do. Not. Engage."
Zinda: "Until last week it was inactive, see. Then Dakka went and did something boneheaded and we were left to pick up the mess."
Spanner has finally recovered the radio from Certain - a light spot of tickling was required - and now looks to Zinda. "So Dakka's still alive? How about Kali and Wenser?"
Spyboy: "I'm glad we know what it is. I just wish it didn't come at the price of them knowing."
Zinda: "Kali's in medical, she tried to fight me. Dakka's MIA since, well, your invasion operation. Wenser's complicated and very classified."
Zinda: "If we need him though, he'll be…around. If you know how to ask."
Spyboy: "Last we saw Dakka, he was here. But with the Black Lance blockading Grissom…"
Zinda has a look on her face that says "god he needs a demotion."
[OOC] Spyboy: Wenser or Spyboy?
[OOC] Zinda: Wenser
[OOC] Spyboy: Ah
Zinda: "I'm just glad he's not in my organization. Probably."
WorkerNephilim: "[The Abrahim and servants return! Good, good. It would take some time to fully repair and establish the wormhole from this side, but we might not have to wait that long.]"
[OOC] Spyboy: Ohhhh shit.
Spyboy: "Ohhh shit."
WorkerNephilim: "[Now that our brethren know we are here and preparing this, they may attempt to establish from their side. We are far enough along to be a receptacle - not that one is strictly needed.]"
Spyboy: "Admiral, incoming communications from the Nephilim. Be advised that it would appear that contact is being made from the other side."
Zinda trots over to her fighter.
Zinda: "Get ready to scramble, Certain."
[OOC] Spyboy: This to Certain's fighter:
Certain: "That's why I'm down here. But first things first."
Zinda: "Yeah?"
Spyboy: "Figure a fifty fifty chance we'll be out defending the ship, or as a show of force."
Certain breaks out a helmet and plants it on Metis, then paints "METIS" on its fringe. "There. Now you're ready to scramble, too." She backs off and gestures to Metis's fighter.
Metis: "Is it okay, Zinda?"
Zinda drops her jaw, then raises it again, then drops it.
[OOC] Abraham: Zinda's jaw is broken. Oh happy day.
Zinda: "I-if it's not a combat sortie, you can follow me."
Abraham: "All stations, yellow alert."
[OOC] Zinda: Er, if it's not not a combat flight.
[OOC] Abraham: Pretty sure that's the alert for "not combat yet, but could be very very soon."
Metis adjusts the helmet for optimal visuals and does a final look over of her fighter.
Metis: "Then I will follow you."
Zinda frowns.
Zinda: "O-ok…"
Zinda nudges Spanner. "It's unarmed right?"
[OOC] Abraham: No, it's the Outlaw Star, so it has two arms.
Spanner shakes his head. "Of course it's armed."
Zinda sighs.
Zinda: "Metis, that's the safety."
Spanner then thumbs his radio. "Bridge, be advised that old Epee you wanted to decommission, has been transferred to the Oldziey navy. We're assuming this was authorized."
Spyboy: "I dunno if it was authorized, but five more minutes and all the necessary paperwork will have been filed…"
Zinda: "It's as good as authorized."
Zinda: "Now, Metis, listen, that's the safety. Do *not* flip that switch, OK?"
Metis: "Until you tell me to. OK!"
Zinda: "I'll tell you to disengage before I tell you to hit that switch."
Zinda: "…Probably."
Metis: "Probably?"
Zinda: "I mean, you're probably durable enough to survive getting shot down, sure, but last time I let you fly you crashed."
[OOC] Abraham: Chessa is her copilot.
Zinda: "S-so, I don't want to see you taking fire until I'm sure you can manage at least as well as Heggy."
Metis: "First time. First time! Just the once! I've gotten much better. I think. I have!"
Zinda: "Young lady! Fighter craft are not toys!"
[OOC] Abraham: But can you beat the end boss of Gradius?
[OOC] Spyboy: What do you think Metis has been using as a training sim?
[OOC] Spyboy: That said, once the Nephilim start moving in a third direction, she's hosed.
[OOC] Abraham: 1943.
Metis: "Of course not. Toys are only for entertainment. Fighter craft are for exploratory and defensive purposes."
[OOC] WC GM: Elite?
[OOC] Zinda: Hahaha.
[OOC] Spyboy: Nah. Star Citizen.
[OOC] Zinda: Still runs like crap on my machine. xD
[OOC] WC GM: …unfortunately, Star Citizen is close enough to an extension of Wing Commander that I'm going to have to rule it doesn't exist in this 'verse, any more than the Wing Commander games do, except maybe as historical recreations.
[OOC] Spyboy: Dunno how that got funded in the WC verse, but whatever.
[OOC] Spyboy: Freelancer it is!
[OOC] Metis: Metis' training sim is Kerbal.
[OOC] Spyboy: …Uh oh.
[OOC] WC GM: …yeah, Kerbal'd still be around.
[OOC] Abraham: Do a barrel roll
[OOC] Spyboy: Use the boost to get through
[OOC] Metis: This is not an arwing.
[OOC] WC GM: Although there could in theory be mercenary carriers, this is not a region of space that would support them.
[OOC] WC GM: The Roland is the closest thing to the Great Fox that would be around.
[OOC] WC GM: …the XO has not been using Star Fox Command as a training sim, honest.
[OOC] Metis: True. Zinda needs her own carriers! Hey, I don't think Wenser needs his anymore.
[OOC] Spyboy: I will not be calling the XO Robby. I promise.
ExecutiveOfficer: "No signs of hostile action. Are we waiting to react if the wormhole is established, sir?"
Abraham: "At this point, yes."
Zinda: "Hopefully we won't have to fight this time."
ExecutiveOfficer: "Alright. And…my apologies if just asking about it causes the wormhole to spawn in the next ten seconds."
Metis: "I agree. I would want to adjust the fighter at least once after testing before a sortie."
Abraham: "So noted."
Spanner: "Well, if we're just waiting around, you might want to ask for permission to sortie to test the modifications. Better to do that when we're not on the clock."
Metis: "But this is yellow alert. This…is probably as on the clock as I will be."
Spanner: "Ah, it's fine. If you're up for it I'll ask 'em. Shall I?"
It has now been eleven seconds since the XO's remark. He exhales and visibly relaxes - only to stop short, eyeing a sensor readout.
Zinda taps her foot impatiently.
Zinda: "You can ask, yeah."
Metis shakes her head. "This is not the time or place. Those will come later."
Spanner: "Alri-"
The wormhole ripples, sending a brief column of energy to both sides. The column comes out right in front of the carrier Zinda and Metis are on; they can see the forward shield sparkle briefly, through the hangar exit.
Spanner: "…"
Spyboy: "[WORMHOLE LIVE!]"
Certain winks at Spanner. "'This is not the time or place.'"
Spyboy: "We have opening! Stand by for incoming!"
Spanner numbly nods, then scrambles to meet his crew.
Spyboy fires up the dish on his fighter, and patches into the Roland's sensors.
Certain: "Looks like business calls. Catch you two later." She blows a kiss to Zinda then heads off.
Zinda waves.
ExecutiveOfficer: "…thirty seven seconds, for the record, sir."
Zinda: "Now, let's see what we're looking at…"
Zinda hops into the Sterne Lanze and starts her pre-flight checks.
Abraham: "Log that."
ExecutiveOfficer: "Logged, sir."
Metis places one hand on the new fighter and initiates a pre-flight scan.
The columns soon subside. The wormhole…with its edges obscured by the Ring, it looks like nothing more than a hole in space. Light through it comes from a different star system, with different stars in the background.
At first it is just that, but the stars behind the wormhole are shifting - no, the far side of the wormhole must be turning. Soon a planet comes into view, grey and green and blue and white in rippling streaks which slowly morph in not immediately obvious patterns.
Spyboy: "That's…interesting…"
ChantingNephilim: "[A-BRA-HIM! A-BRA-HIM! ARRIVE!]"
Spyboy: "…Creepy."
Looking closer on the planet, there are occasional clusters of dots of light - familiar evidence of cities, if there was any doubt the planet was inhabited. The overall density seems to be much greater than Earth's.
[OOC] Abraham: Planetary density or light pollution density?
The Ring seems to crawl - looking closer, it seems that spacesuited Nephilim are traversing the edges of the wormhole, hopping from whatever structure they have on their side to the Ring and working their way inside, likely to assist in restoration.
[OOC] WC GM: Light pollution/city density.
Standard planetary scans are easily possible from this distance, and the bridge crews on each carrier launch into said textbook routine without being asked, piping the analyses out as soon as they have them. The planet is overall Earthlike, perhaps a little larger but with the same surface gravity so probably overall a little less dense.
Zinda: "So, Spyboy, what exactly are we hoping to accomplish here?"
Spyboy: "I have no real idea. Get the Nephilim to leave us alone or at least stop killing us?"
Several sites indicate borehole drilling; it is possible the planet used to have a higher density but enough iron has been mined out to affect gravity. The terrain types seem to vary slowly, almost as if under local or planet-wide control.
The lack of evident fossil fuel deposits, and other geological clues, suggest this planet was not where the Nephilim evolved, but a cursory census of energy sources suggests a population between 1 and 100 billion.
Zinda: "So…just checking in?"
Spyboy: "Yeah? Anything else is up to the Admiral."
Spyboy: "This is fascinating stuff, though."
Zinda: "…Fine."
One bridge officer analyzes for fortified borders or other things that would suggest balkanized politics on the ground, and finds none.
[OOC] Metis: Balkanization is the human perk; it gives us endless variety and the tumblr channels to complain about it.
Zinda: "So, it seems the Wenser were driven out."
Zinda: "So, uh…apologize for the Kilrah war I guess?"
Off to the side, a meteor hurtles toward the planet; scans suggest active guidance, before the meteor enters the atmosphere and slams into an abandoned area. Large objects - heavy machinery of some sort - begin speeding toward the impact site shortly after impact, from a ring suggesting an evaluated minimum safe distance.
[OOC] WC GM: Are there any details you're specifically scanning for?
[OOC] Metis: Energized weapon systems currently aimed at us?
[OOC] WC GM: None that you can tell.
[OOC] Metis: Success!
[OOC] WC GM: Unless you count the wormhole itself.
[OOC] Metis: Crap!
[OOC] Zinda: So…nothing is going to shoot us?
[OOC] WC GM: Not right away.
[OOC] Metis: I think, if there is shooting to be done, we might have to do it.
[OOC] WC GM: Now, if you wait long enough…but there's a chance for PC action first.
Although it is not part of the bridge crews' scans, those with neutrino interfaces can feel a dizzying tide of neutrino communicator coordinates, and a quick scan suggests these are just the publicly available repeaters. Apparently, there are so many communicators that the Nephilim need more than the simple all-to-all introduction/coordinate relay protocols that have been encountered so far.
Spyboy starts exploring.
[OOC] WC GM: What are you exploring for? There's enough variety that unless you're checking for something specific…well, it'd be like trying to find Fort Knox by simply exploring all of Earth.
Abraham: "Everything is being recorded, correct?"
ExecutiveOfficer: "Yes, sir!"
ExecutiveOfficer: "This is going to take many universities, decades to go over."
ExecutiveOfficer: "But we're logging all the data we can."
Metis: "[I am recording what passes through, but my reception buffer may be insufficient for the full stream.]"
[OOC] Spyboy: Getting a handle on neutrino traffic, mostly. Figuring out where flow is, what priority messages feel like…
[OOC] WC GM: Let's just say, there is an aspect: More Data Than You Can Handle.
[OOC] Metis: Just because it is impossible is no reason not to try!
[OOC] WC GM: It's like standing in Niagra Falls with your mouth open, trying to drink the entire waterfall.
[OOC] Spyboy: Hence the fact that I'm just letting it skim.
[OOC] Abraham: I've done that. Very refreshing.
[OOC] Spyboy: Getting pieces…impressions.
Zinda: "Command, if we're not engaging, turn the damn alert off."
There are two types of common flows. One is point-to-point, similar to what has been encountered so far, with the added step of querying public access datapoints to find the coordinates of the sought party - or of another datapoint that might have the coordinates. Undoubtedly, there are many point-to-points that Spyboy does not see because they already have each others' coordinates.
Abraham: "Stand down yellow alert, but leave on all fighter sensor recorders."
Zinda leaves her sensors on and climbs out of her craft to go join her new friends.
The other flow is their equivalent of "broadcast" , where a single datapoint keeps a connection to each participant. This seems to take special hardware, and there seem to be many centers on the planet - and in satellites - set up specifically to support this kind of hardware. The most popular broadcasts all seem to be views through the wormhole, with additional data that is undoubtedly commentary; even the Nephilim have their journalists, it seems.
ExecutiveOfficer: "Roger that."
Through their eyes, Spyboy sees other wormholes ringing the planet, through which more data pipes; it seems this is how the Nephilim link their worlds together.
Zinda finds Spanner talking to other technicians just as Certain creeps up behind him, mischief in her eyes. The other technicians are focused on various devices and have not noticed her either.
Zinda stands back to watch.
Certain sneaks up and kisses Spanner on the ear, paralyzing him. Prey thus snagged, she loops her arms around him and begins dragging him away…right toward Zinda. It is not until Certain turns her head to look where she is going that she notices, then freezes, blushing. "…hi?" she squeaks.
[OOC] Spyboy: She's got a way about her, for Certain.
Zinda: "Hey. Don't let me stop ya."
While Certain seems unable to say more for the moment, it seems that Zinda has in fact stopped her. Spanner regains his senses and turns around in Certain's hug, looking over Certain's shoulder at Zinda. "Oh! Um, hey. I told her to stop doing this on the hangar floor; she always gets caught by someone."
Zinda: "Clearly."
Spyboy starts getting the impression that many of the Nephilim are treating this as a press conference with God. The mics are on, but their interviewee is silent.
[OOC] Metis: C'mon Spyboy, this is your big chance to set Zinda up as the Voice of God.
[OOC] Abraham: Abraham considers assigning Zinda as his voice.
[OOC] Metis: Where's a good burning bush when you need one?
Zinda: "You know, they're all probably watching this hangar right now."
Zinda glances out the hangar door.
Certain: "Who?"
Zinda: "I'm sure you're making quite the compelling display for that planet down there."
Certain: "…" She blushes even more.
Zinda: "Who? Why, this Nephilim Metropolis system."
Spanner: "This is a little public, yeah."
Zinda: "Since, if the chatter from the bridge is any indication, we seem to be guests of honor."
[OOC] Spyboy: …Zinda "Metatron" Tegram?
Zinda: "But, don't let me stop you. I imagine you were heading back to your quarters?"
[OOC] Zinda: Hahaha, why Metatron?
[OOC] Spyboy: Voice of God…
[OOC] Zinda: : P
[OOC] Abraham: Because you are both Meta and a Decepticon.
[OOC] WC GM: She's more Soundwave than Starscream, right?
[OOC] Abraham: Well, she's very much not my second in command, so really more Shockwave than Soundwave.
Spanner: "Actually I think she's trying to decide if she wants you instead. Or both of us."
Certain seems almost ready to faint from her blush intensity.
[OOC] Metis: Some of Starscream's more…rambunctious personality traits, with Soundwave's competence, and Starscream was CAG in some of the shows, so…she's like a blend of the two, with Shockwave's big gun. Zinda's complex, no one Transformer can encompass her.
Zinda chuckles.
Zinda: "I'll pass."
Certain: "…'K." Almost on autopilot, she resumes dragging Spanner off.
[OOC] Zinda: She sure knows what she wants.
[OOC] WC GM: Why yes, almost to a tagname-earning degree.
[OOC] WC GM: So, with the Nephs waiting anxiously on your move, what do you do?
[OOC] Metis: I continue to cruise their version of Youtube. I'm not the messiah. I mean, their messiah. I'm someone else's messiah.
[OOC] Abraham: Have we found any hints of a way to jumpstart their evolution?
[OOC] WC GM: …actually, if Metis is specifically trying to find their pop culture videos…
[OOC] Metis: Just hit'm with a state of the union, talk up universal health care, comment on your foreign policy, and don't mention e-mails or wealth inequality. You'll be fine.
[OOC] WC GM: You've been finding hints well before this session. ;)
[OOC] Zinda: …Ask them to not interfere in our conflicts going forward?
[OOC] Zinda: And if they want to benefit from our psychology, open up normal diplomatic relations?
[OOC] Abraham: That's a good point. I mean, other than me, what other aliens do they chat with?
[OOC] Metis: Maybe see if they have any technologies we can pilfer, and get their copy of the map. Maybe have them trade a planet over.
[OOC] Metis: Oh, and tribute. Always demand tribute.
Metis can not fail to notice the extreme amount of science fiction depiction of intelligent androids - or those who learn to create them - leading Nephilim civilization to a new golden age, after some personal struggle leading to their ability to do so.
[OOC] Abraham: Our words are backed by NUCLEAR WEAPONS!
Metis: "Oh bother, I am their messiah."
[OOC] Spyboy: There's a reason I wanted to get Elles mobile…
[OOC] Abraham: No, I am their messiah. You are my prophet.
Abraham: "Well, we have met the neighbors. Let's go visit."
[OOC] Abraham: I say before checking to see if their planet is hostile to terran life.
It seem the Nephilim did indeed accelerate their planets to near-c, recalling their civilization to core worlds then accelerating and decelerating in sync, to skip past the thousands of years the Kilrathi needed to evolve from the seeds given. From their perspective, the ancient Kilrathi were 10-20 years ago.
[OOC] Metis: I'll probably be fine.
As such, their star charts are a bit out of date, and they dismiss the likelihood that the other primitive aliens they knew about at the time could amount to anything now…largely because many of them were either on the path to extinction, or deemed inferior enough that the Nephilim thought it a kindness to nudge them that way.
The planet is compatible with Terran life. Similar oxygen-nitrogen atmosphere, perhaps a little more humid and warmer than Earth but "fur" does not seem to be common among the Nephilim.
Digging into historical data, the depiction of androids became more popular after it was found what the Kilrathi had become…and that the Terrans, written off as "likely to kill themselves" , had instead risen up.
[OOC] Abraham: Credit where credit is do, we still might.
Popular opinion is deeply divided, to religious levels, as to what to do: attack the Terrans for usurping the plan, surrender to the Terrans, infiltrate, claim credit for providing the Kilrathi to promote the Terrans' ascension…
[OOC] Abraham: … then they have the answer, they just don't want to admit it.
The attackers are a minority now, if only because the majority of those who favored it went out and did it, and are no longer present to promote their point of view.
[OOC] WC GM: They have many answers.
[OOC] WC GM: They're not sure which one is right. Though one has been proven wrong.
[OOC] Spyboy: With extreme prejudice.
Abraham: "All right. Let's go have a chat then. Volunteers to visit a nominally allied, nominally hostile, alien world no member of the confederacy has even laid eyed on until today, let alone set foot on."
Spyboy: "I'm in, sir."
Heggy: "Me, too."
Metis: "I will join you."
Abraham waits a moment for any further volunteers or furious protests from Zinda. "Very well, the diplomatic party will consist of Spyboy, Metis, Heggy, and myself."
[OOC] Metis: And Zinda will party-crash.
[OOC] Abraham: And we are over.

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