To Boldly Go | IC | Interstellar Winds Only!

A staging-point for declarations of war and other major diplomatic events. [In character]
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To Boldly Go | IC | Interstellar Winds Only!

Postby Interstellar Winds Admin » Mon Dec 16, 2019 3:40 pm



Hic Sunt Dracones - The Monsters and the Myths

When the Cosmic Hierophancy’s First Speaker, Asteraceae, announced to the Galaxy of the Xyn desire for a ‘inter-species science expedition’, many felt an innate urge; that spark of sentience, the curiosity that transcends us all. Bold explorers and navigators, men and women (and beings of neither simplistic classification!) of science, signed themselves up for what was promised to be “a delving into the once-known. A rediscovery for the galaxy at large.”

She promised tales of scientific discovery of an unparalleled abundance as the team was to investigate one of the Xyn’s old worlds, a colony that numerous recently discovered records had brought to life. The planet of Pargoen in the Skies of White System, within the hotly contested ‘Troika’s Gambit’.

The delicate political situation, so famed across the Galaxy, is what resulted in the First Speaker opening this venture to the wider cosmos. It is also what caused her to enter her week of forced isolation, as the Xyn public voted almost uniformly against her decision. Solanaceae never made his opinions known, but several Xyn have claimed he defiantly warned that depending on the discovery “every race and their fingers will want what belongs to us.”

With a dire political situation and tensions in the air, nonetheless, the team was assembled. And are ready, of all race and creed, to venture together in an expedition to reclaim a lost world. What secrets will it hold? What is there to rediscover? And what of the Xyn, speculated to live there dormantly?

The 'Forward Unto Dawn', Interstellar Winds en route to the 'Skies of White System'
Contested Space: 'Troika's Gambit.'

The communal area aboard the ‘Forward Unto Dawn’ had been artficially created to resemble a perfect medium of what most species would consider aesthetically pleasing and practical. In this regard it could be said to compromise on a lot. Its furnishes, far from the spartan simplicity favoured by the Xyn, carried features such as a bar, numerous relaxation stations and music players. Its design feature was very much like Amity’s: sleek, stellar, stark white and light bright blues, all operated from sensor. There was, however, a large spacious centre near the starboard window -- a meditation circle. However, the most prominent feature of the room was its large table: a holotable, to be precise. This was of Xyn design through and through. It looked almost like it had been cut from a stump of a tree and sanded and sealed with a glaze, but a quick knock would confirm it wasn’t a natural wood. With a quick swish of his fingers, Carota had the gathered audience watching a message pre-recorded for them by Asteraceae.

She opened with a bow. "I begin with a solemn thank you on behalf of not just the Xyn, but on all Galactic Polities. Thank you for your anticipation and commitment to this mission."

“Pargoen is a paradoxical symbol for our people” the hologram of the First Speaker signed. “You might call it hope or despair, honour and failure, what once was and what can now be. There are few words in the verbal speech I know that can convey the feeling; but the human term nostalgia might suffice here.” Her movements were fluid and graceful, her arms flowing in colour that defined the very words and their intended meaning. Her digits danced a mating dance of complexity; often times mirroring the digits on the other hand and at other times completely unique and free of this reflection.

“Understand that the work you are undergoing here is… being watched. Not physically, no. But… emotionally, by countless of my own people wondering if this venture will bring about understandings of our people who…” her arms fell flat to her sides, which Carota translated in slightly lagging real time to silence. “Who might not have made it out of their slumber. Or whatever indeed happened to them.”

“I say this not to distract you from your work, nor to add more pressure, nor to entice you or sway you or to even make you understand why we Xyn lay claim to this part of the” her fingers tented, her shoulders locked and a sheen of yellow covered her skin for but a second before it reverted: “Troika’s Gambit.” Had she a mouth, it would have been spat out. “I tell you this for context. For understanding. Pargoen is a mystery to everyone, but less of a mystery to us. And we are a fairly realistic people when it comes down to it: it is incredibly likely that you will come across things we are not expecting. Pargoen’s history is lost to us, but its minor details remain.”

“To that end, you are scheduled to be landing near the capital of the world; a fairly novel settlement that directly translates to ‘Weather the Storm’. Ironic. From there, well, your captain shall lead you and defend you to do your work, extract your information and uncover the mysteries of a world lost to time.” As her natural colour returned to her, the sparse clothing favoured by the Xyn became more apparent. At first glance, to most outsiders, she would not resemble a typical politician. But ornaments became known. A single roughly cut gem rested on an iron ring wrapped around her forehead. It was embellished in blues and greens, speckled in reds and from certain angles emitted the colours of the cosmos. All along her right arm, there were bands -- sixteen in total -- of a variety of metals like bronze, copper, gold, platinum and silver. Most plainly, a simple sash with no words draped her form.

“I shall leave you with one parting gift,” had she a mouth, it would have smiled resplendently, “a poem composed by one of our ancients, Cyperus Papyrus, about the planet. Forgive me, please, if it does not translate well into your speech.”

‘A speck in the cosmos,
Lightly coloured
Blue and green
Like so many others,
Yet unique
And I wish to see it all.’

The recorded holographic projection of Asteraceae bowed. “Thank you, scientists. The Xyn people are in your debt for accepting this project. I shall await for your return as heroes!”

With a blue flicker of light, Carota ceased his translation and bowed similarly. Unlike most Xyn, Carota was fully clothed. He wore a pristine uniform whilst aboard the ship, it could almost be mistaken for something out of human admiralty. Fully white-grey, with pauldrons and heavy gloves. Most of his face was wrapped in what appeared to be bandages, with only slits for his eyes visible. He turned from the projection in the centre of the holo-table, to the other scientists and began to speak. This time, unlike speaking to them with his hands as the First Speaker had, he spoke to them all at once. His voice, if it could be called that, was soothe and crisp. As robotic as an organic voice could possibly sound. Produced not by chords but by his very mind. “I know we’ve only met intermittently, either through a mutual respect of our work or by chance in other endeavours -- but not to mention our rotation period! -- but I must echo the words of respect given to you by my First Speaker. Thank you all for coming, and let us make history. If any of you have any questions about Xyn history -- specifically about this world, Pargoen -- I shall do it my best to answer before we land. If I am correct we should be lea--”

His voice was cut off from the PA system aboard the ship. A novelty and necessity not often needed about the Xyn vessel. The voice of Bhyt, their captain, rang out: “I’d like to inform all of you that we shall be exiting ‘the Winds’ and arriving at the Skies of White system in t-minus 2 galactic standard minutes. From there, it shouldn’t be too long until we’re planet side.” A heavy accent carried the voice, not that it would be picked up on most translators. What could not be avoided were the sounds of the spraying of water flecked intermittently between words.

A short while later another voice was heard by all, but this was mental: a dozen private conversations all about the same thing. It was the captain of the mission, Panax Ginseng: "I know this does not need to be reitorated, but please remember: safety first and research second. Your life is more valuable than your work. Once we land stick close to our perimeter and conduct your work only in areas that we have deemed safe. We understand that you might not all be able to work at the same time and thus we can only ask for you to remain patient, level-handed and calm." It was silent for about a minute before she added a thank you.

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Postby Alleniana » Wed Dec 25, 2019 8:16 pm

Nasha Wang

Microscope? Ready. Chemical analyser? Ready. Torches of various light spectra? Ready. Scalpel for dislodging wires and stuff from that one pit joint that opens a little too wide? Ready. Well, need to get it fixed.

Nasha was a hive of whirs and clicks and buzzes as they went through the last preparations. Ideally, they would have done this before they had, what, two minutes before landing, so that anything not working could get fixed, but such is the whimsy of the human. That said, it was unlikely anything wasn't working; one tended to have more awareness about one's bodily integrity than one's tools and possessions, they had found over the years. Botany on these plant people should be a-okay. They brushed a vanity of impossibly pink hair over their shoulder, continuing with the checks.

One of the things that is nice about the increasingly bionic mind, however, is being able to successfully divert attention. They'd paid half-attention to the captain's speech, which was enough—platitudes and generalised cautions and thanks—and now they surveyed the room after the final word. It was quite a motley handful that were gathered there, some of species they had never yet interacted with. Beeping and popping, Nasha mused that between the odd politics of this multinational team, which even they had noticed, and the vast mystery of the sleeping planet, it should be an interesting expedition, very interesting indeed. How many minutes til touchdown?

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Postby The Ik Ka Ek Akai » Thu Dec 26, 2019 5:46 am

Although she would've preferred to sit upon the tree-like holotable, having been informed of its function, she had to politely abstain. In truth, it was a pleasant reminder of the deep jungles she had once meditated in for hours, days, weeks, months at a time. The process to become Ch'edai was no easy feat, and it had strained every fiber of her being to not collapse and join with the Winds once more, to keep her mind where it sat and refuse to disintegrate. Indeed, while the greater part of those who reached their 200th birthday would ultimately meditate themselves into oblivion, there were those select few who managed to ascend to such heights without abandoning their physical form. These were the Ch'edai, an often solitary group, and yet here Rev'an sat, amidst a hodgepodge collection of different scientists, in the public and fulfilling as scientific a role as spiritual. A true anomaly, she was, but sometimes we could all use a little change.

Her eyes were shut, and most sounds that may fill the room had been filtered out to her. Outside the window immediately nearby, the Winds carried the crew forth. There was no better a time for meditation than traveling the Winds, no time where one was closer to their force, their presence, their mystique, and yet so rare did an opportunity of that sort strike. Most who traveled focused on navigation or other such matters, scarce spending prolonged periods of free time in a calmness and do-nothingness that would allow meditation. That she had absolutely no role on the ship itself whatsoever was of great benefit to her practice, and this meditation would help to keep her mind sharp and her actions right when the expedition landed. Her mantra, she repeated - "I am one with the Winds, the Winds are with me", in her native Carasi tongue.

Or, did she? Well, perhaps it was spoken aloud, whispered really, or perhaps it was only spoken within the voice that dwelt within her mind. It mattered little, blurring the lines between the psionic self and the physical self was one of the exact purposes of meditation, and that she couldn't tell which was speaking was a testament to the strength of her spiritual force and a confirmation of the Ch'edai reputation.

With each hum, each repeat of the mantra, her electric-blue curls lifted, blew in some unknown breeze, flowed like water and wind, and then fell back down her back once more. However, she was cut off - her vivid violet eyes, sparkling like gems and seeming as if to radiate pure energy at a mere gaze with the intensity of a sun but the calm of the void, shot open. The Dhourakxe assumed a more comfortable position where she had previously meditated, her form-hugging green exosuit creaking slightly with the motion, and waited for a moment. She almost wished she could've donned her traditional robes, but the time was far too close to landing, and she was already suited up - sterile, secure, and squeezed-into, it was suited for maximum protection in an alien environment and was a thorough pain to put on and prepare. After this brief pause, the holotable flickered to life, as she suspected it might.

Rev'an glanced at Carota for just a brief moment, having felt his motion in the air around, and curious to see what he'd just turned on. What then followed was a pre-recorded message, simple enough, describing the situation for the crew. The speaker told of how the area was contested, nostalgic, something that was lost but holds great meaning. That was a feeling she knew too well, for it was one that fueled the Caras in many things. The struggles of the Xyn, noted one Ambassadress Sevali, were quite similar to those of the Caras - and Rev'an could not necessarily argue with the point. The hologram repeated the goal of the mission and how it was intended to function, and left off with a poem. Poems were good. They were, simply defined, meditation in words.

When that was over, Carota, then the pilot, then the captain all had messages in quick succession. At last, Rev'an was alone with her thoughts following this - and yet, Carota had made an offer to answer questions. She supposed, ultimately, it might not be the worst idea to try to fill in the gaps if possible. While she'd studied plants, animals, and rocks the galaxy over, some things still lay beyond her grasp, but the Xyn would surely know their own better than could be learned in any academy or on nearly any field of research. Closing her eyes once more and resuming a meditative stance, she beamed a question without a single spoken sound to Carota - to simplify the process but also because she'd learned many innately psionic races preferred such a form of communication over anything verbal - What can we expect? What do unawakened Xyn leave behind in their biosphere, that may cause hazard or harm?

With this, she sent a few mental images to accompany the question: plants from various worlds, vines that snatch at anything that walks by, a plantoid mouth closing on prey, a field of flowers releasing a toxic plume, and the Arae themselves turning organic matter to ash. She clutched the crystal that dangled around her neck, a living Arae, knowing she was safe, in tune, and in control of it. Few might dare wear a live crystal, but a Ch'edai could manage one fine. She also hoped it would not be a problem on the expedition, and sent this message to him as well - she knew not the ancient origins, but their psionic potency and resonance was certainly nothing to scoff at.

With these questions asked, all that remained was to hear an answer, and to wait out the remaining minutes one by one.

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Postby Liecthenbourg » Fri Jan 17, 2020 3:41 pm

Daucus Carota
With a flick of his red-stained reds, Carota had turned off the holographic projection. The entirety of the team had gathered around at this point, and many had huddled in silent admiration at the direct words -- sort of -- given to them by the First Speaker of the Cosmic Hierophancy. That made him proud. He didn't know her, personally, but he knew her more than many people would know their own leaders. Understanding their decisions, or believing you did, made them more relatable. More like him. Her decision to seclude herself from her people, as the Xyn leaders did to pass through a particularly unpopular decision, had earned her his respect. Even if he did, innately, disagree with the mission in its entirety. Pargoen belonged to the Xyn. They didn't need an inter-species science team to investigate one of their own planets.

He knew most of the scientists here. He had read dossiers on them before they had applied, and had overseen most of their application processes. What he did not know was what they thought of him. He saw himself clinical for a Xyn. Not many were constantly adorned in clothing, but he was. And in an excessive manner at that.

Of the people here, however, he knew Rev'an. They had met before. She was younger then, and hopefully she was no longer as impulsive. He watched her attentively listen to the message given by the Speaker, well, his translation of her signing. And then she turned to him. It wasn't as direct as when one faces one, but the look she gave him accompanied the mental knock on the door of his mind.

"What can we expect? What do unawakened Xyn leave behind in their biosphere, that may cause hazard or harm?" she asked him. Whether the others wanted to or not, he reiterated the question for all of them to hear. His voice was clear, crystal and almost synthetic. It gave no impression of any conditions or held feelings. It merely was.

"Pargoen, like most Xyn planets, is likely to have little to no direct-threat from dormant Xyn. We don't particularly do much. We sit in... a metabolic state of non-existence, almost detached from our physical selves in a state of no-degradation. There should be no issues with the atmosphere, or breathing. No toxins. We are more likely to be harmed by any native wildlife on Pargoen than an unawakened Xyn." If one could inhale with their mind, Carota certainly did. Even his layers of clothing couldn't hid the blue lighting his skin seemed to be showing out of habit. "On the other hand, we can confirm -- as we have confirmed -- that Pargoen's automated defensive measures have remained online. We don't know if they've been reactivated or if they have remained active all this time. They have a high aggression rate, but fortunately the Forward Unto Dawn was able to succeed in its subtle, skeleton crew run." He laughed now, even if it came across as a bit forced. "Expect the unexpected? No. But there are unknowns on Pargoen, that is what we are going for. To test the air, the soil, the water, the metals, the society and culture -- and the people and creatures that may still live on it. After all, if the Xyn on the world could be awakened..."

He stopped talking after that, but his eyes did dart to the human in the room. "I hope that suffices."

It was Nasha Wang's mental question that was answered next, provoking some innate fear that the Xyn were 'listening to her'. But perhaps it was too coincidentally to be that. She hoped it was. The pilot's voice rang out over the PA.

"We have entered the Skies of White System, t-minus a minute until descent onto Pargoen. All systems green." Bhyt announced. As he spoke, the faint sound of spraying water, psss, psss, psss, could be heard over the intercom system too. "

The ship cut through the atmosphere with speed and precision. Quick and quiet, it descended further and further, and the dull-black of space became replaced with a beautiful blue/orange atmosphere. Before long, to those watching the scenes at the ship's windows, it would cut through pink-tinged clouds. A blue hue came over them on the inside of the ship, as a projection of the planet erupted from the table as from before. Its natural colouring quickly came to it. It outlined several continents, marked locations of former cities and depicted their planned landing zone.

"This is where we will land." To those expecting Carota's voice, they were rudely drawn into the dialogue of Panax Ginseng. Her voice was commanding, emotive and alive! She stood next to them all now, imposing, adorned in her armour with her weapons at the ready. Two of her other soldiers, both Xyn, stood awaiting nearby. "We'll be landing about fourteen kilometres outside of the main settlement on Pargoen, 'The City of Light', as it translates into basic. Suits on at all times, so get suited -- if you aren't already, until we verify the atmosphere and air are safe. Do not stray from the ship unless you are with armed guard. I'm tasked with keeping you all alive. Once we've established the basic necessary procedures, we will begin setting up the laboratories stationed on this ship and you can begin your work. For those of you who require research that involves actually civilisation, there is a small town -- in our records -- not too far, along with a planned excursion into the city at a later date." She stopped speaking, allowing everyone to process what they had just 'heard.' "Any questions? No. Good."

To the bewildered faces that she was greeted with, she gave a mental sigh. "I've been to more of these worlds than most people visit in a life-time. In my experience the air and water will be fine, don't worry about it. And as long as you listen, things will go fine."

Bhyt's voice rang out across the ship, the frantic-ness of it betraying any attempt at composure. "Captain, scientists -- we have a problem. Brace yourselves."

How Bhyt had managed to keep the ship together in his emergency landing was beyond him and anyone on the actual ship. It had come out of nowhere, like a bright streak of light emerging from the surface, and before it was possible to comprehend it the ship had lost power. It fell from the heavens as its reserve power levels backed it up, but some damage to the ship's systems had prevented them from being used for anything but gravity. With the crew firmly 'on their feet', as it were, The Forward Unto Dawn had quickly become the 'Plummet Unto Ground'. Its graceful descent had become chaotic and uncontrolled, with Bhyt's frantic screaming over the PA getting worse and worse as he reiterated to stay calm and the sound of the spray-bottle grew louder.

Carota and Ginseng held onto the table for good measure as it descended, with the latter trying to maintain order as the ship 'went down.' It cleaved through several trees, smashed through untouched ecosystems, and slammed onto its side -- relatively painlessly -- as it dug into the ground and ripped open the dirt it slid across.

They had remained in collective silence for but a few moments, until someone asked "Is everyone okay?". A quick headcount appeared that everyone was fine, with the exception of Bhyt, who had received a minor concussion and had dehydrated.

As people rallied around Ginseng to understand what to do, her resolve was clear. "Bhyt and some maintenance droids will repair the ship, we will continue our missions. We can't be too far off our preferred LZ, and we can find out where exactly we are once the ship's power is restored. The rest of us, let's get moving."

Given the way the ship had landed, it was a slightly tilted cargo-bay exit they left from. It had lowered itself from the back of the ship, part of which was covered in dirt and grass, trees, and some blood from a poor creature that had been obliterated by it hitting it. The sky was clear, cloudless, and still that mixture of blue-orange. They were in a wooded area, with strange looking trees. They still looked like trees, mind you, but they were clearly different. Their bark was covered in a red-blue moss, or lichen, and their leaves all stood upright, open like palms, on their branches.

A quick test of the air revealed it to be suitable for all life, bar Vraas Tinta Urara Chinyxax. "Well," Ginseng began. She held her rifle firmly in her hands. The protective see-through casing on her environmental suit retracted away at her command. "Stick close, stick together and don't stray too far. Those of you who can, and want to get to work, feel free. But again, stay safe. We have no idea what is out here. Nor if whatever shot at us -- though we're almost certain its automated -- might try to come to investigate. We doubt it, but it could happen."
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