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2021.12.07 11:55 Mister_Cheeks Ooh imma grab that, alright!
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2021.12.07 11:55 Lanzen_Jars A job for a deathworlder [Chapter 40]
[Chapter 1] ; [Previous Chapter] ; [Discord + Wiki]
Chapter 40 – New friends, old enemies
Disoriented, Shida rubbed the sleep out of her eyes, her alarm loudly blaring in her ears. How long had she slept for?
With effort, she turned herself around so that she could get the annoying device to shut up while simultaneously checking the time on the terminal. It was the fourth hour of the day. Of course, it was. She had set the alarm to this time herself, after all.
After staring at the time slowly ticking up for nearly two minutes, she finally groaned and strenuously pushed herself up from the uncomfortable futon, which formed the only barrier between her and the cold, hard floor.
The accommodations on Congloarch’s ship left a lot to be desired, since they were basically cobbled together from the equipment made for a very different crew that usually inhabited the vessel.
Not that she couldn’t make it work, but it wasn’t exactly comfortable.
Absently, she skulked through the cabin on her way to the washroom, dropping her current change of clothes on the way. Then she stepped into the way-too-large-for-her sanitary unit and turned on the hot water, feeling the fluid flow over her with strong pressure, while she supported herself by leaning against the unit’s wall with both hands.
Her wet mane, made heavy from the water, hung down around her face in dense tufts, forming a thick, dark curtain that blocked out the world around her as the water rushed over her. She stood like that for a while, letting herself be doused before finally finding the energy to actually wash herself off.
A few minutes later, she finished by rinsing out her hair, pressing the water out of it between her fingers while turning off the flow and turning on the drying function instead.
The warm air blew in her face and through her hair, quickly taking away the damp feeling the shower had left behind and leaving her warm and with a fluffed-up mane. Since she really didn’t want to trade in this warm feeling for immediately being cold again, she skipped the next step of just standing around and waiting for things to happen and instead opted to immediately get dressed again.
Leaving the washroom with quick steps, she walked back out into the sparsely furnished room with dark blue walls that were polished to mirror sheen. Since she couldn’t use most of its original furnishing, it had been removed, leaving behind only a much too high desk, the futon she had been sleeping on, and the room’s terminal.
Single-mindedly, she crossed the cabin with large steps, quickly approaching the single suitcase, containing everything she had left of her personal belongings. Inadvertently, her eyes wandered, glancing over to the corner of the room, containing what could best be described as a mass of lacerated rags of cloth, shredded into millions of small pieces by sharp claws.
She averted her eyes from the pitiful remains of her former uniforms and instead focused on what remained of her wardrobe, unheedingly picking the first pieces of clothing that fell into her hand as she rummaged through the bag absentmindedly. The result was an incohesive patchwork of non-matching clothes, which she lazily draped over herself, smoothing it out with both hands.
This outfit was a crime. She knew that and it was basically all she could think about as she looked down at herself. Yet she still opened the door, stepping out into the ship’s halls exactly as she was.
Slowly, she ambled through the corridors, making her way to the ship’s bridge, the halls and other rooms passing her by unnoticed. Congloarch’s ship wasn’t anywhere near as big as the G.E.S., but it still was a considerable way from the cabins to the bridge, so she had ample time to prowl along and think about nothing, her warped reflection on the polished walls slowly walking along with her. She looked at it, and the dark silhouette looked back at her. Its barely decipherable expression was blank, as it matched her pace step by step.
Suddenly, while she was still distracted by the distorted version of herself, a massive wall of fur blocked her way, and she nearly bumped into it, preventing a collision only by quickly yanking herself backwards, stumbling back a step and looking up at the enormous obstacle.
After a moment of collecting herself, she let out a strained breath she had been holding and started to step around the fluffy obstruction. Only when she was already half-way past the old woman did Moar finally notice her.
“Oh, good morning, Shida,” the giant greeted her politely.
Moar had tilted her massive head to the side in order to look at Shida with one of her sideway-facing, dark eyes, her long, notched horns just missing the walls in the process.
“Morning,” Shida replied briefly, barely glancing up at Moar and turning one of her maneuverable ears in the giant’s direction while pushing herself past her.
“Did you sleep well?” Moar asked, leaning down to Shida’s level while speaking softly, starting to carefully trot after Shida for a few steps, her long fur rustling left to right with each large step she took.
“Fine,” Shida replied without slowing down. She wasn’t in any mood for pleasantries.
“Oh, uhm, that is nice,” Moar mumbled, slowing down again and letting Shida walk on alone as the old woman looked after her. “If you have some need for company later, let me know. Surely, flying the ship gets grating after a while.”
“Will do,” Shida said over her shoulder, leaving Moar behind while continuing on to the bridge.
She arrived there shortly after. The large gate opened for her, revealing the flat, round room, starkly contrasting the bridges she was used to from communal ships, which usually wrapped around the entirety of the tip of the ship. Terminals of all kinds filled only the walls of the room, leaving a lot of empty space, making the room feel quite barren when compared to the starry night of monitor’s she had come to expect of bridges.
In the middle of the mostly empty room was the commander’s ‘seat’, which in this case was a round framework holding up multiple terminals surveying the ship’s function and holding a sort of ‘master control’ over the rest of the bridge.
Occupying it stood Congloarch, the vessel’s captain and owner, who currently held the watch over the bridge and basically held the ship on course single handedly. He had sunken down in a sitting position, his frontal legs with the large maulers crossed on the floor while his upper body rested on them. One of his hands was on his face, picking at his thin, hard lips, while the other was waving around, switching through some of the terminals’ functions. Each of his four eyes individually surveyed the many screens around him, taking in the constantly incoming information about their surroundings, the current condition of the hyperspace stretch and especially anything pertaining to possible other vessels within their immediate vicinity.
Shida gave a brief, feigned salute, which the plated titan didn’t even seem to notice, before she started to walk up to him.
Only now did she notice the constant stream of quiet noise filling the room, originating from one of the screens to the captain’s right.
The screen showed a serious looking example of the walking trees that Warrant Officer Hyphatee also belonged to, standing in front of the bland backdrop of the G.C.S.’ administrative area, with security and personnel hustling along in the background.
“[…] in the three weeks since the attack, not much has been able to be determined about the perpetrators’ motivations. Their presumed leader, a high class deathworlder from the only recently acceded world ‘Earth’ has been killed in the process of securing a way for his accomplices off the station and attempts to capture them have been unsuccessful so far.
In the meantime, numerous strongly contradicting versions of the course of the event have surfaced, and so far, it has been impossible to conclusively determine what is reality and what is delusion or tactless fiction.
Whatever may be the truth, the event is likely to go down as one of the more disturbing ones in recent memory, as it is by now certain that it was indeed a relatively small group of individuals that managed to nearly shut down the entirety of the G.C.S., causing an estimated damage of nearly 7.000.000 U.C.
Luckily, the event caused no fatalities, however one military officer, who wishes to remain anonymous, was near-fatally wounded. Twenty more security officers were assaulted and mildly injured but have already recovered and are back in duty. Additionally, the ensuing panic and security response have caused a reported 1.043 injuries across the entire station, ranging from mild bruises to prolonged exposure to toxic gases.
By now, many groups, including the governments of numerous planets and territories, have started to loudly criticize the on-station security’s answer to the events, claiming it to be lacking, too slow and too reckless in the pursuit of the perpetrators. Many claim […]”
“Can you turn that off,” Shida asked, irritated, and pulled her eyes, and more importantly her attention, away from the screen showing the news channel.
One of Congloarch’s fiery eyes snapped around, focusing on the feline intensely, while he lifted his other hand, switching the news channel off.
“Good morning, Officer,” the tonamstrosite greeted her in the way she had come to expect of him by now.
Shida smacked her lips in annoyance.
“Former Officer,” she gave back, supporting herself by leaning against the framework of screens and terminals. “Still pretty sure my rank has been revoked by now.”
“Well, I don’t know what else to call you,” Congloarch replied while staring at her. His way of looking at you with one eye while the others kept darting around was pretty distracting, so Shida tried hard to focus on just the one looking at her.
“You could try my name,” she suggested dryly, putting even more of her weight onto the framework.
Congloarch responded with a low growl, indicating that that topic was over now. He checked all of his screens one more time, before suddenly stopping and turning his large head, now looking at her with both of his forward-facing eyes.
His face slightly tilted, as he apparently tried to take in her appearance very closely.
Shida looked back at him confusedly for a bit, letting herself be inspected for a few moments, before finally losing her patience and strictly asking,
“Is there blood on my face?”
Congloarch let out a deep, growling bellow, while studying her appearance for just one more moment. Then he tilted his head again, this time in the other direction.
“Are you sure you are fit to take the watch today?” he asked, his tone shifting to a quite serious one.
Shida perked up slightly at the question, her ears standing straight up. If she was being honest, taking the watch now and probably having it for the next ten hours sounded, well, just about as dreadful as things could sound right about now.
“Sure I’m sure, no problem at all,” she replied loudly, waving off his concerns with her right hand. “Can’t exactly skip out on it, considering there’s no one else around who can take it. Besides, I was trained for this, so you go and relax. You’ve earned it.”
Congloarch narrowed his eyes, looking at Shida intensely. Shida returned his gaze expressionlessly, crossing her arms and slightly swaying her tail.
Finally, the tonamstrosite took a deep breath.
“Fine, go ahead then,” he said, turning his head away and beginning to stand up, laboriously turning his massive body on the spot and walking out of the circle in the center of the room, making space for Shida to take his place.
As the feline glided into the Commander’s seat, the giant shortly took position next to it, observing her as she started adjusting the terminal to her size and stature.
Apparently looking for something to make conversation with, his eyes started twirling around, before finally landing on the single dark screen, which he had turned of himself just moments ago.
“So, do you think they’re telling the truth?” he asked, nodding towards the screen as Shida looked up at him confusedly, indicating that he was talking about the earlier news story.
Shida let out a long breath, feeling a stinging in the back of her head. This wasn’t the first time they had talked about this.
“I still don’t think we should believe anything they’re telling the public at the moment,” she replied in a half-loud murmur. “I mean, they’ve been sending this story on loop for the last weeks, and it keeps changing each time. Barely anything matches with what actually happened, so why should we believe that one thing?”
“Maybe,” he replied. “We can do nothing but speculate. But one thing’s for sure. True or not, the dancers aren’t going to be happy about this.”
The humans. Right, until they’d arrive to give them the information, they were bringing with them, they would probably believe that one of their own attacked the station for no known reason and got himself killed in the process. Not a nice prospect for any species, however with humans being as new as they were to the galactic stage, this was an especially precarious situation for them.
How would they handle that? The only sample she had was James’ behavior, and something told her that she shouldn’t take him as her absolute example. Maybe she should think about how the myiat government would react? No, probably not. Outward similarities aside, the similarities in mindset were pretty limited all things considered. Not to mention the technology and population sizes. Maybe she should actually keep an eye on the news, even if she felt like she would probably throw up if she heard one more reporter claim that James was killed in action.
Her mind drifted along, as she was subconsciously executing the same task, she had been doing for the last three weeks since they had left the G.C.S., not really paying any attention to it anymore, since she was only getting things ready for her actual shift of keeping the ship on course and out of trouble.
Suddenly she was pulled out of her own head, when Congloarch sharply sucked in a breath through his teeth. Shida tilted her head in confusion, before realizing that the large man was staring towards one of her terminals, making her ears stand straight up as her gaze shot around, following his.
There was a blinking message on the terminal’s screen, trying to pull her attention to something. Someone was trying to make contact.
“[…] Many claim that the security’s behavior was abnormal in many more ways, and a special commission has been started to investigate possible inducements for this behavior. So far, security forces have for the most part been quiet on the events, claiming that they followed the exact orders and procedures in place for events like this. The investigation will show how much merit these claims have. […]”
The news anchor proficiently prattled on the same news story they had been sending for weeks and weeks, their blank, ivory face staring into the camera with their intense, blue eyes.
Subconsciously, Nia chewed on her fingernails, as she nervously looked up at the screen. Oh, she hoped everyone was alright. It seemed that all hell had broken loose on that station.
Of course, right when James arrived, some idiot had to go rogue and cause all this chaos, and all that only to die at the end. Oh, if only she could get her hands on that guy, she would…then again, he was already dead, so there wasn’t anything she could do to him now.
“If you keep going like that, you’ll have chewed them down to the bone soon,” a deep, hearty voice commented from her side, making her jolt straight up in shock.
She had been deeper in thought than she had realized.
Commander Makana Keone, a large, muscular man with deeply browned skin, long black hair bound into a tight ponytail, and a kind, wrinkly face that clearly liked to laugh often and loudly, looked at her amusedly, a warm smile on his face. He leaned over in his seat, overlooking the entirety of the bridge, and supported himself with one thick arm on his arm rest.
Embarrassedly, Nia pulled her hand away from her mouth, quickly hiding it behind her back without realizing it. Awkwardly, she grinned back at the Commander, while the Officers around her chuckled to themselves, causing Nia to sink into herself in even more embarrassment.
She was sitting on one of the long rows of terminals forming lines in front of the large frontal window of the cruiser they were gliding through hyperspace with. In front of her, the absolute, inconceivable blackness of hyperspace swallowed every bit of light that was leaking out of the bridge into the void.
Nia took a moment to calm down a bit, before straightening herself up again and softly laughing along, mumbling,
Commander Keone let out another hearty laugh, waving off her concerns with one of his large hands.
“No need to apologize, I know you must be nervous. But I’m sure everything’s going to be alright. That station’s the size of a moon! Can’t be the first time someone’s going nutso there!” he boisterously proclaimed.
A soft smile crept across Nia’s face, as she got infected by the man’s contagious demeanor.
“You’re probably right,” she replied, trying to shed her nervousness as she said it. However, she didn’t quite manage to, and soon found herself meticulously smoothing out her blouse, since she wanted to make sure she wouldn’t start chewing her nails again as soon as her hands remained idle.
“I don’t know, Sir,” a man called Lieutenant Imani chimed in, looking away from his environmental screen for just one moment to flash his Commanding Officer a smile with the blinding white teeth behind his dark lips. “They’ve had a human making trouble. Who knows if they were prepared for that?”
The Commander spluttered, while also disapprovingly shaking his head.
“They’ve dealt with hundreds of species; how much worse can we be?” he gave back with a genuine chuckle.
However, the Lieutenant’s comment did give Nia a moment of pause again, after she had just managed to somewhat get her mind off things.
This didn’t go past the Commander, and he threw a venomous glare over at the Lieutenant, who innocently averted his gaze, looking back at his screen as if completely engrossed in his work.
The Commander got out of his seat and slowly strolled over towards her, putting one of his large hands on her shoulder, caringly patting it twice before it came to a rest.
“Come now, if something had really happened to your brother, we would’ve heard about it by now,” he said comfortingly, his voice lowering to a deep murmur. “I mean, he’s our ‘great ambassador’ after all. If he got wrapped up in all of this, surely that’s something they would’ve mentioned. And if not on the news, then at least in a message to our government. And if they did, surely we would’ve gotten a message about it by now!”
His voice was firm and confident, giving off a warm air of security as he spoke. And he was right. If something had happened to James, there were people who certainly would’ve gotten wind of it right away, even if he wasn’t reacting to any messages. When she was being honest with herself, it wasn’t even that unusual for James to not react to any calls, even if everyone was worried sick about him. She had thought that they had gotten that bad habit out of him by now. Maybe months of little to no contact had made him relapse.
With a gentle nod, she smiled back at the Commander, looking into his dark, soft eyes.
“There, there,” Keone said to further reassure her, and patted her shoulder a few more times. “Everything’s gonna be alright. You’ll see.”
Suddenly, a loud pinging noise interrupted the gentle moment.
Keone let out a long breath through his nose, apparently knowing exactly what that sound meant, as he pulled his hand away from Nia’s shoulder and straightened up to his full height.
“Shouldn’t’ve said anything,” he quietly mumbled to himself, before authoritatively turning around to another one of his subordinates and loudly ordering, “Ensign Shaul! Do you have something for me?”
The addressed, a woman in her mid-twenties with a blonde buzzcut on her head, immediately straightened up in her seat.
“Yes, sir!” she loudly replied, hurriedly making some inputs into the computer in front of her. “A message from Earth, Sir! A package of new orders as well as a request to immediately make contact with HQ!”
The Commander’s face darkened as he listened to his subordinate’s dutiful report, and one of his large hands rose to rub across his mouth.
“I’ll be right there,” he said, turning towards Nia as he was still talking. “I’m sorry, Miss. I’m afraid you’ll have to leave for this one. Please go back to your cabin and wait there, we’ll inform you once all is said and done.”
Nia didn’t even need to be told. As soon as it was clear that contact would be made, she had already pushed herself off the terminal and was making towards one of the bridge’s exits.
She politely waved at the large man and everyone else, saying,
“Don’t worry about it. Duty is duty, after all.”
She made her way across the room and past the Officers working the terminals at a brisk pace, only stopping briefly to allow the door to open for her.
Before she left, she turned one last time, adding,
“If she’s there, greet the Admiral from me!”
“Will do!” Commander Keone replied happily, although he couldn’t completely hide the worried undertone in his voice, as he waved her goodbye.
After that, Nia quickly did as she had been told and made her way back to her cabin. She didn’t want to make even more trouble for everyone if she was already a guest on board of this ship.
But that sendoff didn’t exactly ease her mind. So, she wasn’t exactly in the mood to do anything once she arrived back in her room. Therefore, she immediately dropped into her neatly made bed, burying her face in the covers and pressing her eyes shut, lying like that for a few minutes before realizing that she wasn’t quite moody enough to ignore her boredom yet, causing her to lift her head and look around for anything to do.
Later, she softly hummed a gentle tune to herself, while lying on her bed and reading the latest records of his work James had sent back to Earth for her before the contact had gone dark.
It was an old song. A memory that had been stuck in her head for a long time; a remnant of her old home, back during her old life.
Humming it would usually calm her down, however, as she read the last passage on the page she was on for what must’ve been the third or fourth time, while still not comprehending what she was reading there, she had to admit it to herself that her concentration was simply lackluster right now.
It didn’t help that the form and mode of expression of James’ notes really could’ve used one, two…or maybe ten touchups, in order to be made comprehensible before he sent it to her. With a sigh, she gave it up and let her phone, she had been reading on, roll out of her hands and onto the mattress before dropping her face into the covers again.
She remained like that for a short while, resting with her eyes closed and breathing into her blanket, feeling the warm air spread through the fabric, before finally, someone loudly knocked at her door.
Quickly, she scrambled to sit up, hastily smoothing out the wrinkles in her covers and on her clothes, yelling,
“Just a moment!”
Haphazardly, she brought everything into a semi-presentable form, soon realizing that she wouldn’t be able to actually get everything into order.
With a sight, she once again admitted defeat, and loudly called out,
Loudly, the door to her cabin opened, revealing the dark, broad form of Keone. The large man looked apprehensive, as he stepped into the room, inadvertently letting his eyes wander across the standardized furniture consisting of a twin sized bed, a desk, a desk-chair and a large, black wardrobe.
As the Commander was taking his sweet time to say what he was here for, and his hesitant demeanor slowly made Nia more and more nervous, she casually asked,
“So, what is it?”
Keone looked up at her in surprise, probably not quite used to someone speaking before being spoken to on board of his ship.
Awkwardly, he cleared his throat, buying himself a few more seconds to think about how he would address whatever he had come to her for.
“I’ve got some bad news,” he said softly. He must’ve seen Nia’s heart immediately drop into her stomach once he had said that, because he quickly scrambled to add, “Oh, no! Sorry! Nothing like that! Sorry, I…ugh…guess I could’ve phrased that better.”
Nia took a relieved breath, putting a hand over her heart as she felt its beating slowly calm down, getting back into a steady rhythm after calming down from the shock.
Keone gave her the time she needed, looking at her apologetically while she calmed herself. Then, with an encouraging nod, she signaled for him to continue.
A thankful smile washed over his face, as he returned her nod in acknowledgement, before he continued to speak,
“It’s nothing so serious. It’s just that our arrival at the G.C.S. will most likely be slightly delayed since we’re going to have to swerve off course for a spell.”
Nia felt twinge of disappointment wash through her for a fraction of a second, however she was still a lot gladder that there weren’t any worse news than that, so she simply replied,
“Oh, that’s not a problem. I’ve already waited months; I can wait a few days more.”
Keone nodded again, still with the same warm smile on his face. Then Nia suddenly became curious, her dread having completely subsided, making way for the new emotion.
“So,” she started innocently, trying to sound like she just wanted to most casually bring something up. “Can you tell me why or is that…?”
She left the question open ended, however the Commander immediately responded with his trademark hearty laugh.
“Sure, I can, that’s no secret,” he replied happily, still seeming glad that she had taken the news so well. “Maybe you’ll even like this. An unregistered and unannounced hyperspace stretch has been detected being built up towards Earth. There are some suspicions that it may be the ship the alleged terrorists escaped from the station with. And since we’re the closest ship around, we’re being sent to intercept. As you can probably imagine, the S.D.F. has a vested interest in getting their hands on those individuals. And since we’re the closest ship and basically en route towards them anyway, we’re being sent to intercept.”
Nia listened carefully and then chuckled to herself.
“Well, that’s something I’ll gladly wait a few more days for,” she said with a mischievous smile at the Commander. “Wouldn’t mind getting my hands on those guys either.”
“Don’t think I can allow that,” Keone replied, laughing along with Nia for a moment, before recomposing himself. “Anyway, we’ll change the course very soon. It could get a bit rough here and there, but you’re probably prepared for that.”
“Yes, Sir!” Nia gave back with a feigned salute, causing the Commander to grin cheekily as he turned to leave again.
“Who is that?” Congloarch asked, having postponed his plans to go and rest after his shift the moment there was the sign of another ship trying to make contact with them. “Is it a communal ship?”
“No, it isn’t,” Shida replied forcefully calmly, while her eyes scanned across the displays in front of her. Something just wasn’t right with what she was seeing. “I have no idea what that designation code means, but it sure as hell isn’t communal.”
She checked the readings once again and then had another look at the attempt to make contact. It was a direct communication line. An attempt to make contact ship to ship, without an intermediator in between. But the scans showed no signs of another ship within their hyperspace stretch. But there had to be one. Maybe it was cloaked in some way? Or had some kind of jammer? No, a jammer would kill their comm. signals as well. But maybe the cloak?
Suddenly, as her eyes scanned the incoming data for the hundredth time, she found something. It looked like it was just a minor distortion of the stretch. Nothing to worry about usually, especially considering they were barreling right through the galactic plane, where things like black holes existed that could mess with the hyperspace from lightyears away. But in this case, it was the only reading that was off.
“You have any idea what that is?” she asked Congloarch. It was a long shot, sure, but it was possible the guy had some knowledge she lacked.
And indeed, Congloarch took one look at the data and immediately let out a long bellow.
“I’ll take the watch again,” he said deeply, indicating for Shida to hurry and get out of the Commander’s seat.
Shida obliged without question, quickly getting out of his way. However, as she made room for him to take his position again, she quickly asked,
“So, what is it?”
Congloarch looked at her with one eye, and Shida couldn’t quite read the expression on the titan’s face in that moment.
“Dancers,” he replied briefly. “They’re injecting into our hyperspace. They’re probably coming towards us as we speak.”
Shida listened up confusedly.
“They’re injecting into our hyperspace?” she asked with a hint of disbelief in her voice. “What does that even mean?”
Congloarch snorted as he started making some gestures towards his terminals, changing some of their settings.
“Exactly what it sounds like,” the giant said, a hint of macabre amusement in his voice. “They’re building a hyperspace stretch and inject it directly into ours. That way they can contact us, even if they’re not within our stretch yet.”
“That’s…” Shida started, however the tonamstrosite cut her off.
“Crazy? I know. Welcome to humanity,” the giant reptilian said in a half admiring half condescending tone. “We’re talking about a species that risked burning away their atmosphere and collapsing their gravity well just to test weapons they would likely never get to use. They don’t care about small possibilities of destabilizing hyperspace.”
Shida was speechless for a moment, for a multitude of reasons. She should have expected the tonamstrosite being familiar with human techniques and customs; the two species were neighbors, after all.
“And what do we do now?” she asked unsurely, while the plated titan took a deep breath.
“We surrender of course,” Congloarch said in a very matter of fact way. “I wasn’t kidding about those weapons. And they’re not even the best they have. Collapsing hyperspace is a standard exercise for them.”
So, assuming that was a human warship, they were hopelessly outmatched. Not the nicest thought. However, they would have to see this positively.
“Well, at least they saved us about a month worth of travel,” she offered, half joking, while she swallowed a bit of a clump forming in her throat.
Congloarch nodded, taking another deep breath, before allowing the communication to finally be opened.
“This is tonamstrosite ship, class III, number 18873. Who hails us?” he loudly said, as soon as a connection had been built.
“Hello 18873. This is the U.H.S.D.F. Salem. It speaks Ensign Shaul of the U.H.S.D.F.,” a female sounding voice answered, and Shida leaned over to look at the computer’s screen, which indeed showed what looked like a human female with short, yellow-ish hair. It was given away by the swollen breast area that Shida had seen once before on James’ sister and that woman on the G.C.S. What had been her name again? It didn’t matter. The woman was pale like James, had a serious look on her face and wore a black uniform, covered in bright white spots and with blood red accents outlining it. “You are currently approaching human territory in an illegal, non-registered hyperspace stretch. Within the galactic plane nonetheless, which is in violation of Galactic Communal law. Please immediately cease all action, degrade the hyperspace stretch and wait for our arrival and further instructions.”
“Already on it, Salem,” Congloarch replied, as he continued changing some of the settings on his terminals. Shida could already feel the ship slow down around her, as the momentum tried to carry her on ever so slightly faster than the ship would allow.
Of course, stopping a spaceship and breaking down a hyperspace stretch wasn’t a right here right now kind of process, so the human ship understandingly waited and stayed in contact as they lost their travel velocity in a slow and controlled fashion, all the while the human ship itself still approached with over lightspeed.
“Alright. Thank you for your cooperation,” Ensign Shaul said politely, looking at the tonamstrosite with what looked like a genuine smile.
Then her gaze slightly shifted, and Shida had the creeping suspicion that the new object of the woman’s attention was…her. A series of emotions washed over the woman’s face one after the other. First confusion, then hesitation, then surprise, then disbelief, finally followed by something that looked like well suppressed excitement. With a hint of leftover confusion.
It took the woman a moment to snap out of her stupor, however she was a professional, so she quickly recomposed herself with a clearing of her throat.
“The Commander of our ship wishes to speak to you now while we continue our approach. If you continue to cooperate, everything will continue to go smoothly,” she informed professionally and nodded as a goodbye, before sending their signal on to her commanding officer.
The screen switched, showing a new camera angle, directed at what looked like a large and well-trained human male with darkened skin and long black hair. The skin wasn’t quite as dark as that of James’ sister, but still darker than Shida’s own.
“Hello, I am Commander Makana Keone of the U.H.S.D.F. Thank you for being so cooperative so far,” the large man loudly greeted with a candid expression on his face.
“We have no reason to be uncooperative,” Congloarch replied calmly, clearly willing to let things proceed at their own pace.
“Actually, it’s great that you’ve found us,” she loudly chimed in, feeling that having the commander of a human ship talk to them was the ideal opportunity to move things along faster.
The human let out a deep, hearty laugh, replying,
“Well, I’ll be. If only everyone we pulled over thought like that!”
While he talked, Shida moved to the side a bit, pushing herself further into the field of view of the camera feed.
The human’s laugh slowly died down, as he looked at the screen with a very similar mix of emotion to that which his subordinate displayed earlier.
And just as she had done, he cleared his throat, but he also adjusted his collar for a moment, obviously trying to buy himself some time to think.
So that seemed to be a fairly general human reaction to her appearance.
“Excuse me, but who are you?” the human Commander asked carefully.
“I’m Petty Offic…,” Shida started, before biting on her tongue, stopping herself and starting again. “I mean, my name is Shida, the current second in command on this ship, but that isn’t important right now.”
“Well, I think it’s very important, given the circumstances,” the human Commander quickly cut in, interrupting her in the middle of speaking. “Have you seen the news recently? I think right now especially it is important to know who exactly you are talking to. And I introduced myself, after all, so it’s just a matter of politeness.”
Shida took a deep breath, holding herself back from becoming aggressive with the man. She couldn’t afford that right now.
“My name is Congloarch and I am the owner and captain of this vessel,” Congloarch immediately complied in her stead. “And you already know my second in command.”
“Yeah, great, now we all know each other,” Shida immediately piped back up, as soon as the titan had stopped talking. “Now can we please…”
“Woah, woah, woah. One thing after the other,” the Commander near instantly interrupted her again. “Now then, Mister Congloarch. Can you also tell me how many people you are currently transporting with your vessel?”
Shida stood there, staring at the man with an open mouth.
“Listen, we don’t have…” she started, however Congloarch didn’t miss a beat before answering this time.
“All together four people, including the two of us,” he said directly, seemingly ignoring Shida’s attempts at getting their information through to the man. “The rest of the crew is made up of an elderly rafulite and a heavily augmented teravelt cyborg.”
“Heavily augmented…huh?” the Commander mumbled thoughtfully, apparently noting that down for later.
“Their name is Curi. They are quite lovely,” Shida said sarcastically and sneered at the man. “However, they are also not who this is about right now.”
“Well, aren’t we impatient,” Keone replied, his smile only slightly faltering, as he looked back at Shida disapprovingly. “I don’t know if I’ve ever met someone so eager to be arrested.”
Shida’s already strained patience wore thinner and thinner, while Congloarch glared at her from her side.
“I’ll gladly be arrested if that means you’ll finally listen to me,” she blurted in a sudden burst of energy she didn’t know she had in her in that moment. However, as soon as it had appeared, it already died down again, making her sink into herself. More restrainedly, she added, “Not like that’d be the worst thing to happen recently.”
The primate looked back at her with a long, evaluating gaze. Then he looked away from the camera for a moment, seemingly checking on something, before turning back to her.
He let out a long sigh and combed over his smooth hair with his palm.
“Alright, I really don’t want to be like that,” he said in a reserved but honest tone. “You’ve been cooperative so far, after all, so no need for me to play the bad cop unnecessarily. What is so important?”
Shida looked at Congloarch, who looked back at her. The giant nodded.
Shida looked back at the screen, where the muscular man raised a single eyebrow while looking back at her curiously.
“We have important information we have to get to Earth, pertaining ambassador James Aldwin. He has personally sent us to bring it to you. It is incredibly urgent!” she said, trying to remain professional. However, towards the end of her retelling, the desperation of the situation started to creep into her voice. “He’s…he’s most likely in great danger.”
The man had listened to her, nodding along, and looked like he was ready to reply something, before he suddenly and rapidly shut his mouth again. Seeming as if the full extent of what she had been telling him only now sank in. He pondered for a long while.
Then, his so far very friendly face darkened slightly, as his gaze turned suspicious, and his already narrow eyes narrowed down on her even further.
With a serious tone, he asked a single question,
“Did you say ‘Aldwin’?”
submitted by Lanzen_Jars to HFY [link] [comments]
2021.12.07 11:55 ILoveMudkip69 Got him on my 3rd raid, so hyped!
|submitted by ILoveMudkip69 to pokemongobrag [link] [comments]|
2021.12.07 11:55 alternateeff4 Humidity and Mites?
Does lowering the humidity kill all or most species of mites? I've spotted so many mites in a single spot on my wooden table that is connected/glued to the wall. Vacuumed them up but still worried they might come back.
submitted by alternateeff4 to pestcontrol [link] [comments]
2021.12.07 11:55 ObjectiveGround5 Robots That "Feel" The World - Jiren Parikh, President & CEO, Ghost Robotics
2021.12.07 11:55 _Mr_Pool_ NaTuRaL iMmUnItY wOrKs BeSt
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2021.12.07 11:55 colossus217 (FOR SALE) 3D PRINTING Everything from small parts to full cosplays!!!
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2021.12.07 11:55 BrightClaire01 Good afternoon. :)
|submitted by BrightClaire01 to Faces [link] [comments]|
2021.12.07 11:55 marcothenarco16 Ater (up 5%) can it break 5 today 👀
2021.12.07 11:55 DannoWhamo Hustle culture has ruined my work ethic
When I first started working I did all the typical hustle shit, picking up extra shifts, staying late, go above and beyond my tasks, all because I was told if you work hard you are rewarded
Never in my life have i received any benefits, raises, or awards for going beyond minimum effort.
So over the years I’ve become “lazy” I guess. I don’t take extra shifts, I don’t stay late, I don’t do anything that isn’t within my job description and I do it in the most minimum effort way.
I never see the benefits of extra work, and I’m not wasting my energy anymore
submitted by DannoWhamo to antiwork [link] [comments]
2021.12.07 11:55 ShortAlgo $MGY Watching closely for Consolidation with https://t.co/WBARPaK0Cc on MGY https://t.co/GdrEhvSSdQ
|submitted by ShortAlgo to UltraAlgo [link] [comments]|
2021.12.07 11:55 Tasty-Treat [Amazon UK] Def Leppard - Hysteria [2 LP] - £16 (lowest)
2021.12.07 11:55 UnfixedCrayfish Creative/Unusual Reload Challenge Submissions
|submitted by UnfixedCrayfish to 1stPersonAnimations [link] [comments]|
2021.12.07 11:55 niuz-bot ANSVSA solicită întărirea măsurilor de biosecuritate în exploataţiile comerciale avicole de pe teritoriul României - [Economic]
Autoritatea Naţională Sanitară Veterinară şi pentru Siguranţa Alimentelor a solicitat întărirea tuturor măsurilor de biosecuritate în exploataţiile comerciale avicole de pe teritoriul României în contextul în care focarele de gripă aviară înalt patogenă (HPAI) au cunoscut o cr...
Citeste in continuare: https://www.agerpres.ro/economic-intern/2021/12/07/ansvsa-solicita-intarirea-masurilor-de-biosecuritate-in-exploatatiile-comerciale-avicole-de-pe-teritoriul-romaniei--827081
submitted by niuz-bot to niuz [link] [comments]
2021.12.07 11:55 KnifeBlade_Playz Guess what this says, wrong answers only
|submitted by KnifeBlade_Playz to russian [link] [comments]|
2021.12.07 11:55 GKnight78 From this guy's "About Me" description: "I am not a great clean freak but I do get by okay..."
|submitted by GKnight78 to Tinder [link] [comments]|
2021.12.07 11:55 cbvv1992 🔥50% Off Code – $5.49 Cell Phone Holder for Car Vent, 360° Rotation, Compatible with iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, Huawei, LG, Nokia
|submitted by cbvv1992 to DealAndSale [link] [comments]|
2021.12.07 11:55 ShortAlgo $GRPH Watching closely for a Spike with https://t.co/WBARPaK0Cc on GRPH https://t.co/lILK0e5IGc
|submitted by ShortAlgo to UltraAlgo [link] [comments]|
2021.12.07 11:55 DISCiple3 PDGA STREET FIGHT ROUND 2 GROUP 4 WINNER KEVIN JONES!
|submitted by DISCiple3 to discgolf [link] [comments]|
2021.12.07 11:55 ac_megapacks Happy holidays ✨
I’m having a Christmas sale on my island! I’ve updated my inventory with some 2.0 items, appliances, furniture, art, music, DIYS, clothing, shoes, flooring and wallpapers, etc… and best of all, I’m giving away millions of bells!!
Trying to offload a lot of my inventory and bells, so I’m having a little treasure island/sale, just some really cool stuff. Let me know if you’re interested or have a question about specific items, I just may have it!!
Everything is priced very cheap as well, and is totally customizable depending on your budget and preferences… for example:
5million bells and some items? = $8 or less 3m bells and wallpapers? $5
and so on, everything is customized and super cheap. I acquired a lot of bells recently and would love to give some away, along with items you may be looking for too. So just let me know you’re interested, or shoot a message.
*ALL payments will be processed through PayPal for your security and mine. Also I’m allowing everyone to select and receive their items before payment to ensure a quality product and legitimate transaction 🤙🏻
Happy holidays!! 🎄✨❤️🔭☮️
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2021.12.07 11:55 ShortAlgo $SEAH Watching closely for a Spike with https://t.co/WBARPaK0Cc on SEAH https://t.co/WfXUGg4bkP
|submitted by ShortAlgo to UltraAlgo [link] [comments]|
2021.12.07 11:55 Jazzlike_Operation92 Early Careers Goldman Sachs
I had applied for several Early Careers roles at Goldman Sachs, none of them were accepted. After passing CFA level 1, some of my applications got the "resume under consideration" status. After which I was invited for Hirevue online interview, then my status went from "resume under consideration" to "interview" and then everything disappeared. Is the Early Careers website even active?? I can't even view my job applications that were set to "interview " status.
submitted by Jazzlike_Operation92 to FinancialCareers [link] [comments]
2021.12.07 11:55 Captain_Gardar So I just downloaded NFSU2 and this was one hell of a close race
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2021.12.07 11:55 AmadiaTristful Idea for new machine
It's going to take me a while to save for the pottery studio, but I like brainstorming new ideas for machines! Similar to the preservation station, I think we could have a Drying Rack for dried flowers and crops.
-There could be "spicy seasoning" (from chile, onion, bell pepper) which could then be used for a couple new Taco Kitchen recipes.
-There could be "onion powder" which could be used in French onion mashed potatoes or French onion mac n cheese.
-There could be floral sachets made from 1 cotton cloth and peonies and lavender.
-We could make sunflower seeds from sunflowers.
-We could have jerky from bacon (maybe 2 types, one with syrup and one with chiles.)
-Dried grapes could become raisins, which could be used in a bunch of different new recipes (though grapes are already used in the preservation station.)
It could even be used in conjuction with a new herb-type crop. So many possibilities!
submitted by AmadiaTristful to HayDay [link] [comments]