Tag Archives: Kemetti

[SLACK ROLEPLAYING LOG] Reawakening #storytelling #roleplaying #otherspace

A medium-sized personal ship with a faceted appearance floats, tumbling slightly, bow over stern. it appears to be running on very low power consumption mode, even lower though than most usually do.

On board, a human, Mikial Nachen, and his pet hawk, Vachok, slumber in suspended animation in their cryopods. An AI runs on low power, periodically scanning for signs of civilization, or anything dangerous enough to warrant waking the two. It is still inactive at the moment.

In the depths of space, Kemetti rests, sated by his most recent meal. The immense space-dwelling creature, sensory arrays detect something of a curiosity, a ship adrift. The Yaralu stretches his senses out towards the vessel, and then he surges forward into the void, driven more by curiosity than by hunger. For now.

On board the DNC Amadaun, a certain pilot raises an eyebrow at an usual flash on the console. “Huh. Don’t think I’ve ever seen one of those. C’mon Kail, looks like we’ve got to skip the Kipper Festival again.” The penguin sitting in the next seat tilts his head quizzically “Might be someone adrift. Aina would stomp the both of us if we ignore that.” Wark…

The AI, Alice, takes a moment before the next scheduled scan shows something strange. Alice wakes up enough to take more regular readings and to investigate the sensor input. It was peculiar, big, and what was more, it seemed to be closing in. Then the second, more definite blip pops up, some sort of ship!

“Beginning cryo-suspension resuscitation procedures,” a pre-programmed electronic voice announces. Mikial’s cryopod begins to warm, blood substitute drains and is replaced by his true blood. Mikial wakes suddenly just as the cryopod cover swings out and up, he falls forward, coughing out a thick, dull gray liquid from his lungs, and then retching.

He crawls up the side of a bulkhead, using it to lean on as he gets his body to work right again. “What is the situation, Alice?” He asks, coughing and making his way the few meters to the command console.

“We have an unknown ship, doesn’t match the ships from X-47’s destruction, thankfully, and something unknown, big, and seemingly heading our way,” Alice reports.

“Let’s see what trouble we’re in for today, then.” he says, waking the console and bringing the ship to full power, and starting inertial dampening, stopping the spinning. “Hello, Unidentified ship, This is the Oskolok, from colony X-47….. God, I hope they’re friendly…” he says over the comms array, leaving out that last part for himself and Alice.

A greeting from a previously derelict ship is something new, and it piques the Yaralu’s curiosity still further. He moves closer to the Oskolok before his voice is transmitted over the hail frequency. “I am Kemetti,” he says, “What are you?” If he detects the Amadaun, he gives no sign of it.

The pilot aboard the Amadaun flips a switch while still on approach. “This is Kethren of Danu Chroi. Do you need assistance?”

Mikial sighs in relief, he can communicate!

He eyes the Yaralu, he’s seen nothing like it before, and it looks vaguely similar to the machines that destroyed his birth planet, though only slightly similar. “Hello, Kemetti, I…” he pauses, wondering if saying he was human, since it was asking, would even clear up anything, He had only ever known of two sentient species, his own, and the aliens that they traded with back home. then of course, the third species that invaded, “…I am Human… mostly…” he says, looking down at his cybernetic left arm. It was still sluggish from the cold temperatures of the cryopod.

The second hail catches Kethren’s attention, snapping himself away from his bionic limb, “Affirmative Danu Chroi, uh… am I anywhere near a planet called Earth? I set course for where it was supposed to be… approximately, but they are old as can be and I’ve never seen Earth myself… Oh, and you’re human’s, too, right?” he asks, hopefully.

The former consciousness known as James which resides within Kemetti also becomes aware of the new vessel. “That’s one old ship he’s piloting…” he thinks to Kemetti. “I haven’t heard of cryo chambers like that being used for centuries.”

Detecting the transmission from the Amaudan, the Yaralu places himself between the two vessels. “No faster than light propulsion,” he ponders to James, ignoring the question from Mikial for a moment, “Do you wish to bring it aboard?”

Keth raises an eyebrow slightly at the Yaralu’s blocking of his path and looks over at his penguiny companion in the next seat. “Well, I’m not one for ramming space whales. Let’s just idle here for a bit.”

Mikial looks between the space behemoth and the ship. Something feels stand offish here, the two vessels don’t appear to be of the same faction, however he looks at it, and the one called Kemetti has placed itself between him and the Danu Chori. Does kemetti know something he doesn’t, but should? is Kemetti trying something? Unsure, Mikial unlocks automatic controls, detaches part of his bionic arm, stowing it on a rack, and plugs the neural link cables into the ports on his arm and then his back. This much newness and unfamiliarity is unsettling, oh yeah, is that a living spaceship?!? Mikial then remarks to himself on his delayed reaction, passing it off as an after effect of the cryopod.

“Worth a shot.” James thinks. “Must have been drifting a while.”

The great Yaralu considers this for a moment before a tentacle starts to drift lazily towards the Oskolok. “Perhaps,” he says. The immense creature bears the still-healing wounds of recent battle, along with many scars far more ancient. One of these seems to have been used as a landing bay of sorts. “Human?” his voice returns to subspace transmission, “I see. You will come aboard, then.”

Mikial glances back at the Vachok’s cryopod, wondering if he should risk taking the time to bring his falcon out of suspension, when the ship’s sensors feed him a sense that something is reaching out for it. Mikial turns to see the tentacle reaching out towards him, “OH SHI-WHAT TH- HELLNOHELLNOHELLNO! SHITSHITSHIT!” He strings expletives as his neural link allows him to instinctively engage retrograde thrusters and verniers. Still, his weapons systems haven’t activated just yet, it is a space whale, it could be a space whale handshake, but he’s still backing the hell up.

Keth drums his fingers on the penguin’s head for a moment while seeing the apparent space panic. So, comms open back up. “As regards your earlier question, stranger, you’re not right by Earth, no. However, FTL drives being what they are these days, it’s not a terribly long trip. That said though, far as I know, Yaralu tend to be friendly, and you were adrift out in the middle of nowhere. Best let him say hi. Wouldn’t surprise me if he’s got closer medical facilities than I do.”

“Not too interested in joining the party, is he?” James thinks.

“Perhaps not,” Kemetti replies to James, some boredom seeping into the thought, “Perhaps you had better speak with it.”

“Friendly….ok then…” Mikial stops applying thrust, drifting for a moment, “I guess I’ll have to take your word for that, though I don’t require medical care. What I need is a good starmap and navigation for this area. Maybe somewhere I can re stock rations, make repairs… make a living.” He states bringing Oskolok to a dead stop, eyeing the tentacle and glancing for any other movements.

Kethren chuckles slightly at the faint chittering noise on his end of the comms. “I think you’d be hard pressed to find anyone these days who stumbles across a drifting pilot in an unknown vessel, and doesn’t think a medical exam may be warranted. More often than not, the pilot’s injured in some capacity. I’m probably biased, but if you need a place to set down and get your bearings, you could do worse than Impiruil Baile. Though I’m not ruling out that our Yaralu friend nearby has better plans”

“We intend you no harm.” James says over the comm. “We simply wish to interact.”

While it doesn’t play out on comms, James can almost hear Kemetti’s irritation as the little vessel pulls back. The tentacle remains still though.

Mikial thinks for a moment before agreeing, “Ok, I’ll play along and get a medical exam… Who knows, maybe there _was_ some sort of parasite or disease on my planet that would be detrimental to you all.” He un-tenses and then activates Vachok’s cryo chamber to resuscitate him.

The Falcon flaps out awkwardly before heaving out cryogenic material and giving an unamused look about the ship.

Mikial detaches the neural link attached to his upper arm, reattaching his bionic, and walks to a panel, which he opens and pulls out a ration pack, opens it, and tosses a piece of jerky towards Vachok, who hops and catches it, tearing it into hawk bite sized pieces while Mikial prepares the rest of the MRE.

“Interaction sounds fine, sorry if I seemed rude, I’ve never seen a living ship before.” He says with a glance out the viewscreen.

Keth nods, mostly to himself. “Well, I’ll be out here if you need me.”

The tentacle that had stretched out wraps itself about the Oskolok, and pulls the vessel in. It bypasses the great maw of the creature towards what looks like an immense scar that creases Kemetti’s back. One might wonder what sort of creature could do such damage to the behemoth. The scar is covered by a pair of metal hangar doors that now slide open. Their motion is jerky, though, as if from lack of use. The chamber inside is gargantuan in scope. Great grey bone-like structures support the hardened flesh. Organic tangler projectors rotate in their sockets towards the newcomer as air is pumped into the chamber and the immense doors slide slowly shut.

Mikial leans against a bulkhead next to the viewscreen, watching the fascinating constructs of the creature go by, at the same time he hurriedly eats some nondescript packaged meal, finishing it as the tangler projectors come into view. Pulling the trash chute open and tosses the package in to be stored and compacted later.

About this time, he notices the outside oxygen indicator rising. He debates with himself whether or not to bring a pressure suit anyways, since it would seem that it could be depressurized at the creatures will, but ultimately decides it would be rude to do so, and since he’s the guest he should try to be less paranoid.

Vachok makes a noise and hops on up on Mikial’s shoulder, looking like a large danger parrot, and starts preening.

As the Oskolok is set down on the deck Mikial heads to the cargo bay and opens the airlock and lowers the ramp, stepping out with Vachok on his shoulder, who, once they’re out, flaps his wings and starts flying around Mikial in circles, stretching his wings.

Keth idly drums his fingers on Kail’s head for a moment. Wark? A little tapping on the console with his free hand, and a secure channel to the Cro is opened up. “Keth here. May not amount to anything, but just stumbled across a drifting vessel… looked kind of old. Vessel and pilot have been taken aboard Kemetti. Anyway, let’s reserve a room in each of the lodgings in case he wants to visit and settle into what’s likely a new time for him. I’ll stick around here a bit longer in case something develops.”

Into this region of space, a small personal spaceship emerges. It’s Sophie Snelling at the pilot’s controls. Next to her is a small holodevice playing videos. The one specifically she has up is titled, “Model 052 Sivadian Personal Craft Leaving FTL.” Clearly a tutorial of some kind that she’s trying to pay attention to while at the controls. She checks her sensors and sees multiple other craft in the area. She impulsively hits the comms button to broadcast to every major frequency that isn’t an emergency one, a feature this button conveniently left out, and says, “Hello new friends!” Her tone is extremely cheerful, oblivious to the events that have just transpired.

The Yaralu, feeling a bit crowded, begins to move away from the other two craft at sublight speed.

Within the landing chamber, that atmosphere is a bit stale, but breathable. The area is tremendous, large enough to fit many ships the size of the Oskolok. About a fifth of the space is organized into a cargo warehouse of sorts, with row upon row of empty shelves. There is another vessel parked on the floor of hardened, dead flesh. It is the size of a small freighter, organically shaped, and made of the same material as Kemetti’s tough hide. A single great door leads out of the cavern and into the rest of the space. No one greets the newcomer, in fact, Mikial is the only living thing she can see.

Looking around, Mikial begins to feel the feeling of unfamiliarity close in again, seeing the organic ships, he swings open a discrete panel just inside the open airlock on his ship and pulls out a bullpup style carbine by the strap and slings it across his back before grabbing a few magazines and stuffing them in pouches as he asks Kemetti, “you don’t mind if I bring this along, do you? like I said, You don’t know if I have any unknown parasites or not, and on the other hand, I don’t know if you have parasites bigger than me or not.” he shouts loud enough to be heard by anyone or anything in the hangar.

Then Mikial hears the new arrival through his infantry-to-ship comms on his suit.

“Sounds like a party’s starting out there, huh Alice? Hello out there!” he says with a chuckle as he begins to walk, looking for where he should go next, Vachok slowing into a low glide behind Mikial.

Keth just raises an eyebrow a bit at the enthusiastic greeting. “…Hello there, excitable pilot. What brings you to this corner of space?” Wark!

Sophie smiles as she receives replies. Her ship starts to decelerate. Her piloting skills aren’t bad as she makes a point to stay a good distance from everything else at the moment. Then she looks behind her, “Orby, start recording!” she orders. True to the less than creative name she gave it, a small black orb with a lens hovers over her right shoulder. Then she mutters to herself as she adjusts the comms. This time her messages are only on the frequencies she replied, and for those that can receive them, they have visual as well.

The feed reveals a small young woman in her early twenties with dark black hair. When she looks at the orb her eyes look natural, except for the fact the irises are red. She’s currently wearing a dark black dress that begins just beneath her shoulders. This is accented by matching gloves and stockings. Notably, on her back, are a pair of cloth wings. Then she begins to speak, her voice is fast and excited. “Well, I saw several contacts moving slowly and so I decided to check on things. I’m currently reviewing the Model 052 ship and needed to test its ability to drop out of FTL. I’m going to give it a very bad review at this point because the controls are not intuitive *at all!* So what’s going on out here? Is everyone okay?”

Kemetti continues to move away from the other two vessels, not engaging in the transmitted conversation.

Tangler projectors continue to cover the new arrival as he moves through the landing area, but other than that, nothing seems to respond to him.

Unable to receive or send video at all, Mikial simply listens in on the conversation outside, letting  Keth do the explaining of the situation as he could probably explain better at the moment as Mikial continues to looks around the hangar.

After looking around for a doorway or hall leading out, then returning next to his ship, scratching his head in frustration, he begins to wonder if Keth had encouraged him to wander straight into a trap, seems like the only way out is the way he came! he is about to panic when he sees a great big, how-could-you-miss-it, door on the other side of where he was looking. He gives an annoyed expression directed at himself and goes to it and tries the door.

Keth idly scratches Kail’s head a bit while he responds to the latest hail. “Well, that’s an interesting question. Myself, Kail, and Floriana are fine” The penguin at his side offers a friendly Wark! to the camera, while the calico kitten-ferret on his shoulder waves cheerfully when mentioned “but the other ship, which I believe you just missed, has been taken aboard Kemetti. Not really sure what that one’s like… definitely doesn’t seem like the most outgoing one, though.”

“I did miss that ship!” Sophie acknowledges enthusiastically, still transmitting video. “Do you have something that can talk to them? I’m not getting any responses from either of them in the past few seconds. “Or does that mean the comms on this thing are bad too and I need to mark this model down for that as well?” Then she continues to check her sensors, “I don’t know anything about a Kemetti, but if you’re out there Kemetti I’d be willing to talk!” Notably she’s keeping her ship a good distance from Kemetti.

“What do you wish to say?” the voice of the Yaralu asks over the comms, though he does not change velocity.

Onboard, Mikial finds himself on in a chamber that hangs below the spine of the space-borne creature. Light is provided by floating glow-globes, some of which have long ceased to float. Above are long, hammock-like structures that are overgrown with vines.

The chamber seems as though it was once a market, with abandoned shops and stalls throughout, connected by haphazardly-placed streets. Tunnels extend down below the chamber to unknown destinations in the belly of the beast. To the fore is a large metal door, closing off another area. Here, Mikial finds the first signs of anything resembling life. Faceless humanoid forms, impossibly tall, stand guard over the door. They seem unarmed and unclad, and remain still, like giant stylized statues.

Mikial looks around the chamber in both awe and wonder, and slight aversion and apprehension, the feeling of both a ghost-town and belly-of-the-whale not a comfortable idea to Mikial, the natural human fear of the unknown sinking its teeth into him more than he’d like to admit. He tries to shake the feeling off.

Mikial sets his comms to stay open, piggybacking off his own ship, “So, what happened here? It’s a bona fide ghost town in here.” Then he spots the sentries and the second door, “Hmm, the welcoming committee?” he approaches, and looks walks slowly around the still and silent sentinels, looking them over before coming around front and looking between the two once again, “Guess I should go in…”

Keth nods slightly. “Shame you missed it. Something of an unusual model in these parts. For now, I just hope he doesn’t do something stupid in there.”

“Well, first, I want to say hello new friend! I haven’t talked to you yet!” Sophie says excitedly as Kemetti responds, “I’m Ila. I’m actually a demon queen but Ila is fine since you’re my friend now.” Then she turns to the orb over her right shoulder and smiles. Then she raises her right hand and moves it over her right eye, separating the fingers to make a sideways V-sign. “Also you have another one of my new friends in you right now and I want to check on him! It sounds a little scary in there. So I introduced myself, what’s everyone else’s name?” She then turns back to her controls.

“You will not enjoy what you find beyond,” Kemetti’s voice says in Mikial’s head while the tall guardians of the doorway turn their heads towards him as one. The door remains shut.

Kemetti’s voice speaks over the comms again. “Friend? You are hasty even for a lesser one such as yourself,” he says.

“Mikial Nachen, Nice to meet you Ila!” He says, trying to match Ila’s enthusiasm. Vachok lands on his shoulder and lets loose a hawk screech, “and this is my partner in crime, Vachok the peregrine falcon.”

A moment later he’s reaching for the door when Kemetti’s warning is issued and he freezes in place, an expression of ‘oh shit…’ as he looks left then right at the two sentinels staring at him.

Wordlessly, slowly, he backs up a good distance around 15 feet away from the sentinels, “Ah-hahaha, uhhhh… so, not the buffet, huh?” He looks around the cavern, “soo…. where *do* I go…..” he says mostly to himself.

Looking around the cavern, He tries to spy the medical facilities mentioned when he was outside of the fleshy ship, since there seemed to be concern about him not being well or carrying some malevolent organism. Either way, it sounded like a good idea for all parties for Mikial to get some sort of check-up on Kemetti, just in case.

Mikial wonders if he’s on his own on finding the med-bay. He looks at Vachok, clicks his tongue to get his bird’s attention, and signals for him to search for anything medical or with a red cross on it. now he wanders about Kemetti, searching eyes high and eyes low.

Keth smirks slightly “I’m Kethren, of Danu Chroi. The penguin on the copilot seat is Kail, and the charming lady on my shoulder” the kitten-ferret waves a bit while chittering at that “is Floriana.”

Sophie perks up as she receives replies. “Everyone who replied even has friends of their own to introduce! I guess it’s only polite if I introduce my friend I brought with me.” Then the feed goes to a first person point of view as she looks at Orby, the black orb with a lens that’s hovering. “That’s Orby! He helps me share my stories with everyone!” Then it goes back to the normal view over her right shoulder. “Anyway, now that we’re friends is there anything I can help with?”

A few seconds later she adds, “Well, I’m a demon queen and sometimes think of humans as lesser ones, but they make wonderful friends and can be fallen angels! So if you think of me as a lesser one that doesn’t mean we can’t be friends still!” Then there’s laughter, “Some people think I’m rash and hasty like that’s a bad thing, but then they saw how fast I wrote commands and code and were impressed. Even if sometimes they had to debug it because I wrote it too quickly. It still got done!”

“What do you seek?” the Yaralu asks in Mikial’s mind. There is no iconography the human would recognize in the ancient ruin of a market, though a careful search along with some scans might lead to what was once a clinic of some kind. The tools and instruments are strange, as if designed for nonhumans, and the medications are labelled in Old Hekayti.

“Your help is irrelevant,” Kemetti replies to the young woman over the comm, “Your friendship, unnecessary.”

Mikial gives a start as he hears the voice a second time, this time, he’s sure it wasn’t a speaker on the ship or his suit, or from the sentinel constructs, and was close than someone speaking to him. It was inside his head! a flood of confusion overwhelms him once again, but this time only for a fraction of a second before he finally accepts that this is either a really strange Cryo-chamber dream, or he should just start expecting things he’s never even though were possible, and god-damn-it-all-to-hell, fuck it, what next, spikes erupting from the walls?

Mikial says out loud, as well as thinks to himself rather loudly, “Looking for a medical bay I can use to give myself a once over so I can have contact with someone without them trying to put me in quarantine.” He doesn’t have the ability to scan the area, unfortunately, and equipment made for different races would most likely go unnoticed by Vachok and Mikial.

Mikial quirks an eyebrow at the mention of a ‘demon queen’ and Keth’s penguin, though when he looks up at Vachok he shrugs off the penguin part. Who’s he to judge? He has a male Peregrine falcon and an A.I. sidekick, so to speak. His brow furrows, though, at the mention of considering humans lesser… ‘Great….’ he thinks to himself, ‘I’m lost inside some living space ship with someone outside who considers themselves better than humans… this could go perfectly fine or ass sideways…’ perhaps his experience from his life prior to cryo-stasis as a mercenary has him leaning pessimistic…

Kethren quirks an eyebrow a bit. “Demon queen, eh? Well, I’m in no place to judge. I live with a lady that’s got horns.”

“You’re that type. I see.” Sophie responds to Kemetti. “Fine! You don’t have to be my friend.” She huffs. Then she listens to Mikial as he talks. “I get the sense you probably shouldn’t look for a medical bay on my not friend. It won’t even share its name after all! New friends share things with each other, like names, after all, just like you did with me, and the ship won’t share!”

“None such as you have made their home here since before your species existed,” Kemetti replies into Mikial’s mind, “But you may use what is here. I have no need of it.” A mobile unit, an exact facsimile of the “guards” comes up to guide the human to the aforementioned clinic.

“I am called Kemetti,” the Yaralu says through the comms, coming to a stop and turning to face the other two ships, “Does this information profit you?”

“None such as I, huh? I hope I can still use it well enough…” he says as he falls in behind the mobile unit.

“Well, I’m here, might as well give it a try” Mikial replies to Ila.

Keth leans back in his seat a bit “Well, Ila. How’s that ship your testing out doing? Sounds like we may have a little while before our other new friend comes back out.”

Sophie closes her eyes for a few seconds, then opens them widely, switches her comms to speak with Kethren alone, also switching off the video feed so it’s audio only, her enthusiasm gone for a moment. “I did a search on the name Kemetti. I’m pretty sure my not friend is dangerous. As in eats ships or something. I’m not sure how that works. I’ll be happy to tell you about testing the ship later, but we might want to focus on getting our new friend out of there. This ship didn’t come with weapons for me to test.” Sophie starts entering some coordinates into her navigation system.

Once that is done, Sophie switches the comms to speaking with everyone again, “It does profit me to know that!” Then she turns the video feed back on again, “Ooh, I know! I can give Tarot readings to people if they want them! Even you, Kemetti! I mean, I’m not sure human interests are your thing but you never know until you try, right?”

The mobile unit conducts Mikial towards the ruined clinic and opens the door for him. The door immediately falls off its hinges, and the mobile unit tosses it aside.

Outside, the Yaralu has begun to move away from the other two vessels again. “I try to live with my ignorance,” comes the reply.

Mikial isn’t sure about things when the bloody door falls off the hinges, but he stil goes in, following the drone.

Once in the clinic, Mikial notices that absolutely nothing looks familiar, and nothing reads as any human language he’s ever seen. Then again, the creature did tell him that.

Mikial picks up a peculiar looking device and fumbles around with it, trying to find it’s function. he hits a switch of some sort, and right as he does, some medical monitor behind him beeps to life and Mikial drops the device, which has now produced a small glowing plasma blade. It twists in the air and stabs right through his coveralls and into his thigh and slides off to the side and onto the floor, leaving a gash about 3-5 inches across his thigh, “Gnhhh! goddamn! That was a stupid idea!” Luckily it doesn’t look too deep, it’s missed anything major, and is just bleeding a bit and stings like shit. he doesn’t bother doing anything about the bleeding as it’s nothing too bad in his judgement, though that hasn’t exactly proven too good today so far. He looks around at the rest of the medical fare and realizes he can’t do jack with any of this, “closer and better medical facilities my ass…” he grumbles. “Well, thanks for the try Kemetti, but I can’t work any of this, looks like I’ll just have to try the more distant facility and  deal with quarantine or whatever… at least I might not end up stabbed there…” He says to the drone, which hopefully can ‘hear’ for Kemetti.

Keth flips over to a private channel to Ila for a moment “Yeah, I wasn’t planning on going to war today either, so I didn’t bring an armed vessel myself. Hopefully the new guy gets bored and heads back out on his own.”

“Can I at least have my new friend back, Kemetti?” Sophie asks. “I mean, I value my friends and don’t want anything to happen to them, and I worry about the condition my new friend is in right now! He might be hurt and I’m concerned, that’s all.”

“You may do as you wish,” Kemetti says into Mikial’s mind, and the faceless mobile unit goes still.

“I am not holding the creature against its will,” Kemetti’s voice says over the comms, “If I wished otherwise, I need not resort to subterfuge.”

“Well, thanks for offering anyways Kemetti.” Mikial says flatly, turning to walk out and back to his ship, walking off the scalpel slash.

As he walks, he speaks on the comms to Keth, “Hey, you said there was a place you recommended I could go get my bearings? Impiruil Baile, was it? If you could send me some coordinates for that, I’d be grateful. I have less than minimal navigation charts on this area. The medical stations turn out to be a bust, I can’t use any of it myself… Alice, prep for departure…. Oh, also, maybe something like some transponder codes or an I.F.F. code so I’m not shot down by defenses? You sounded like you were a government official there at some point.” he opens the door to the hangar bay.

Keth lets his eyes slip out of focus for a moment while switching back to general comms “Sending coordinates and such now. I’ll head on back myself once you’re under way. Give you the grand tour. Does our other new friend want to come along as well?”

Sophie turns and smiles brightly for Orby, “I’ll come along, sure! Send me the coordinates and Orby and I will be on our way!”

Nothing is done to prevent Mikial’s exit from the ship known as Kemetti, as it would seem the creature is not hungry today. The outer doors to space do no open until he is aboard his own vessel, and the Oskolok is allowed to leave.

Mikial straps in and closes the cargo bay airlocks and ramp as Alice enters the coordinates into the navigation systems. Once it’s ready, Mikial charges his FTL drive, “_Do svidaniya_ Kemetti. power levels look good still, everything seems to have weathered the journey here rather well… All set here, Keth. Ready to in; three, two, one, Mark!”

[SLACK ROLEPLAYING LOG] The Demon Queen and the Space Whale #storytelling #OtherSpace

A medium-sized personal ship with a faceted appearance floats, tumbling slightly, bow over stern. it appears to be running on very low power consumption mode, even lower though than most usually do.

On board, a human, Mikial Nachen, and his pet hawk, Vachok, slumber in suspended animation in their cryopods, an AI runs on low power, periodically scanning for signs of civilization, or anything dangerous enough to warrant waking the two. It is still inactive at the moment.

In the depths of space, Kemetti rests, sated by his most recent meal. The immense space-dwelling creature, sensory arrays detect something of a curiosity, a ship adrift. The Yaralu stretches his senses out towards the vessel, and then he surges forward into the void, driven more by curiosity than by hunger. For now.

On board the DNC Amadaun, a certain pilot raises an eyebrow at an usual flash on the console. “Huh. Don’t think I’ve ever seen one of those. C’mon Kail, looks like we’ve got to skip the Kipper Festival again.” The penguin sitting in the next seat tilts his head quizzically “Might be someone adrift. Aina would stomp the both of us if we ignore that.” Wark…

The A.I., Alice, takes a moment before the next scheduled scan shows something strange. Alice wakes up enough to take more regular readings and to investigate the sensor input. It was peculiar, big, and what was more, it seemed to be closing in. Then the second, more definite blip pops up, some sort of ship!

“Beginning cryo-suspension resuscitation procedures.” an pre-programmed electronic voice announces. Mikial’s cryopod begins to warm, blood substitute drains and is replaced by  his true blood. Mikial wakes suddenly just as the cryopod cover swings out and up, he falls forward, coughing out a thick, dull gray liquid from his lungs, and then retching.

He crawls up the side of a bulkhead, using it to lean on as he gets his body to work right again. “What is the situation, Alice?” He asks, coughing and making his way the few meters to the command console.

“We have an unknown ship, doesn’t match the ships from X-47’s destruction, thankfully, and something unknown, big, and seemingly heading our way.” Alice reports.

“Let’s see what trouble we’re in for today, then.” he says, waking the console and bringing the ship to full power, and starting inertial dampening, stopping the spinning. “Hello, Unidentified ship, This is the Oskolok, from colony X-47….. God I hope they’re friendly…” he says over the comms array, leaving out that last part for himself and Alice.

A greeting from a previously derelict ship is something new, and it piques the Yaralu’s curiosity still further. He moves closer to the Oskolok before his voice is transmitted over the hail frequency. “I am Kemetti,” he says, “What are you?” If he detects the Amadaun, he gives no sign of it.

The pilot aboard the Amadaun flips a switch while still on approach “This is Kethren of Danu Chroi. Do you need assistance?”

Mikial sighs of relief, he can communicate!

He eyes the Yaralu, he’s seen nothing like it before, and it looks vaguely similar to the machines that destroyed his birth planet, though only slightly similar, “Hello Kemetti, I…” he pauses, wondering if saying he was human, since it was asking, would even clear up anything, He had only ever known of two sentient species, his own, and the aliens that they traded with back home. then of course, the third species that invaded, “…I am Human… mostly…” he says, looking down at his cybernetic left arm. it was still sluggish from the cold temperatures of the cryopod.

The second hail catches his attention, snapping himself away from his bionic limb, “Affirmative Danu Chroi, uh… am I anywhere near a planet called Earth? I set course for where it was supposed to be… approximately, but they are old as can be and I’ve never seen Earth myself… Oh, and you’re human’s, too, right ?” he asks, hopefully.

The former consciousness known as James which resides within Kemetti also becomes aware of the new vessel. “That’s one old ship he’s piloting…” he thinks to Kemetti. “I haven’t heard of cryo chambers like that being used for centuries.”

Detecting the transmission from the Amaudan, the Yaralu places himself between the two vessels. “No faster than light propulsion,” he ponders to James, ignoring the question from Mikial for a moment, “Do you wish to bring it aboard?”

Keth raises an eyebrow slightly at the Yaralu’s blocking of his path and looks over at his penguiny companion in the next seat. “Well, I’m not one for ramming space whales. Let’s just idle here for a bit.”

Mikial looks between the space behemoth and the ship. Something feels stand offish here, the two vessels don’t appear to be of the same faction, however he looks at it, and the one called Kemetti has placed itself between him and the Danu Chroi. Does Kemetti know something he doesn’t, but should? is Kemetti trying something? Unsure, Mikial unlocks automatic controls, detaches part of his bionic arm, stowing it on a rack, and plugs the neural link cables into the ports on his arm and then his back. This much newness and unfamiliarity is unsettling, oh yeah, is that a living spaceship?!? Mikial then remarks to himself on his delayed reaction, passing it off as an after effect of the cryopod.

“Worth a shot.” James thinks. “Must have been drifting a while.”

The great Yaralu considers this for a moment before a tentacle starts to drift lazily towards the Oskolok. “Perhaps,” he says. The immense creature bears the still-healing wounds of recent battle, along with many scars far more ancient. One of these seems to have been used as a landing bay of sorts. “Human?” his voice returns to subspace transmission, “I see. You will come aboard, then.”

Mikial glances back at the Vachok’s cryopod, wondering if he should risk taking the time to bring his falcon out of suspension, when the ship’s sensors feed him a sense that something is reaching out for it. Mikial turns to see the tentacle reaching out towards him, “OH SHI-WHAT TH- HELLNOHELLNOHELLNO! SHITSHITSHIT!” He strings expletives as his neural link allows him to instinctively engage retrograde thrusters and verniers. Still, his weapons systems haven’t activated just yet, it is a space whale, it could be a space whale handshake, but he’s still backing the hell up.

Keth drums his fingers on the penguin’s head for a moment while seeing the apparent space panic. So, comms open back up. “As regards your earlier question, stranger, you’re not right by Earth, no. However, FTL drives being what they are these days, it’s not a terribly long trip. That said though, far as I know, Yaralu tend to be friendly, and you were adrift out in the middle of nowhere. Best let him say hi. Wouldn’t surprise me if he’s got closer medical facilities than I do.”

“Not too interested in joining the party, is he?” James thinks.

“Perhaps not,” Kemetti replies to James, some boredom seeping into the thought, “Perhaps you had better speak with it.”

“Friendly….ok then…” Mikial stops applying thrust, drifting for a moment, “I guess I’ll have to take your word for that, though I don’t require medical care. What I need is a good starmap and navigation for this area. Maybe somewhere I can re stock rations, make repairs… make a living.” He states bringing Oskolok to a dead stop, eyeing the tentacle and glancing for any other movements.

Kethren chuckles slightly at the faint chittering noise on his end of the comms. “I think you’d be hard pressed to find anyone these days who stumbles across a drifting pilot in an unknown vessel, and doesn’t think a medical exam may be warranted. More often than not, the pilot’s injured in some capacity. I’m probably biased, but if you need a place to set down and get your bearings, you could do worse than Impiruil Baile. Though I’m not ruling out that our Yaralu friend nearby has better plans”

“We intend you no harm.” James says over the comm. “We simply wish to interact.”

While it doesn’t play out on comms, James can almost hear Kemetti’s irritation as the little vessel pulls back. The tentacle remains still though.

Mikial thinks for a moment before agreeing, “Ok, I’ll play along and get a medical exam… Who knows, maybe there _was_ some sort of parasite or disease on my planet that would be detrimental to you all.” He un-tenses and then activates Vachok’s cryo chamber to resuscitate him.

The Falcon flaps out awkwardly before heaving out cryogenic material and giving an unamused look about the ship.

Mikial detaches the neural link attached to his upper arm, reattaching his bionic, and walks to a panel, which he opens and pulls out a ration pack, opens it, and tosses a piece of jerky towards Vachok, who hops and catches it, tearing it into hawk bite sized pieces while Mikial prepares the rest of the MRE.

“Interaction sounds fine, sorry if I seemed rude, I’ve never seen a living ship before.” He says with a glance out the viewscreen.

Keth nods, mostly to himself. “Well, I’ll be out here if you need me.”

The tentacle that had stretched out wraps itself about the Oskolok, and pulls the vessel in. It bypasses the great maw of the creature towards what looks like an immense scar that creases Kemetti’s back. One might wonder what sort of creature could do such damage to the behemoth. The scar is covered by a pair of metal hangar doors that now slide open. Their motion is jerky, though, as if from lack of use. The chamber inside is gargantuan in scope. Great grey bone-like structures support the hardened flesh. Organic tangler projectors rotate in their sockets towards the newcomer as air is pumped into the chamber and the immense doors slide slowly shut.

Mikial leans against a bulkhead next to the viewscreen, watching the fascinating constructs of the creature go by, at the same time he hurriedly eats some nondescript packaged meal, finishing it as the tangler projectors come into view. Pulling the trash chute open and tosses the package in to be stored and compacted later.

about this time he notices the outside oxygen indicator rising. He debates with himself whether or not to bring a pressure suit anyways, since it would seem that it could be depressurized at the creatures will, but ultimately decides it would be rude to do so, and since he’s the guest he should try to be less paranoid.

Vachok makes a noise and hops on up on Mikial’s shoulder, looking like a large danger parrot, and starts preening.

As the Oskolok is set down on the deck Mikial heads to the cargo bay and opens the airlock and  lowers the ramp, stepping out with Vachok on his shoulder, who, once they’re out, flaps his wings and starts flying around Mikial in circles, stretching his wings.

Keth idly drums his fingers on Kail’s head for a moment. Wark? A little tapping on the console with his free hand, and a secure channel to the Cro is opened up. “Keth here. May not amount to anything, but just stumbled across a drifting vessel… looked kind of old. Vessel and pilot have been taken aboard Kemetti. Anyway, let’s reserve a room in each of the lodgings in case he wants to visit and settle into what’s likely a new time for him. I’ll stick around here a bit longer in case something develops.”

Into this region of space a small personal spaceship emerges. It’s Sophie Snelling at the pilot’s controls. Next to her is a small holodevice playing videos. The one specifically she has up is titled, “Model 052 Sivadian Personal Craft Leaving FTL.” Clearly a tutorial of some kind that she’s trying to pay attention to while at the controls. She checks her sensors and sees multiple other craft in the area. She impulsively hits the comms button to broadcast to every major frequency that isn’t an emergency one, a feature this button conveniently left out, and says, “Hello new friends!” Her tone is extremely cheerful, oblivious to the events that have just transpired.

The Yaralu, feeling a bit crowded, begins to move away from the other two craft at sublight speed.

Within the landing chamber, that atmosphere is a bit stale, but breathable. The area is tremendous, large enough to fit many ships the size of the Oskolok. About a fifth of the space is organized into a cargo warehouse of sorts, with row upon row of empty shelves. There is another vessel parked on the floor of hardened, dead flesh. It is the size of a small freighter, organically shaped, and made of the same material as Kemetti’s tough hide. A single great door leads out of the cavern and into the rest of the space. No one greets the newcomer, in fact, Mikial is the only living thing she can see.

Looking around, Mikial begins to feel the feeling of unfamiliarity close in again, seeing the organic ships, he swings open a discrete panel just inside the open airlock on his ship and pulls out a bullpup style carbine by the strap and slings it across his back before grabbing a few magazines and stuffing them in pouches as he asks Kemetti, “you don’t mind if I bring this along, do you? like I said, You don’t know if I have any unknown parasites or not, and on the other hand, I don’t know if you have parasites bigger than me or not.” he shouts loud enough to be heard by anyone or anything in the hangar.

Then Mikial hears the new arrival through his infantry-to-ship comms on his suit.

“Sounds like a party’s starting out there, huh Alice? Hello out there!” he says with a chuckle as he begins to walk, looking for where he should go next, Vachok slowing into a low glide behind Mikial.

Keth just raises an eyebrow a bit at the enthusiastic greeting. “…Hello there, excitable pilot. What brings you to this corner of space?” Wark!

Sophie smiles as she receives replies. Her ship starts to decelerate. Her piloting skills aren’t bad as she makes a point to stay a good distance from everything else at the moment. Then she looks behind her, “Orby, start recording!” she orders. True to the less than creative name she gave it, a small black orb with a lens hovers over her right shoulder. Then she mutters to herself as she adjusts the comms. This time her messages are only on the frequencies she replied, and for those that can receive them, they have visual as well.

The feed reveals a small young woman in her early twenties with dark black hair. When she looks at the orb her eyes look natural, except for the fact the irises are red. She’s currently wearing a dark black dress that begins just beneath her shoulders. This is accented by matching gloves and stockings. Notably, on her back, are a pair of cloth wings. Then she begins to speak, her voice is fast and excited. “Well, I saw several contacts moving slowly and so I decided to check on things. I’m currently reviewing the Model 052 ship and needed to test its ability to drop out of FTL. I’m going to give it a very bad review at this point because the controls are not intuitive *at all!* So what’s going on out here? Is everyone okay?”

Kemetti continues to move away from the other two vessels, not engaging in the transmitted conversation.

Tangler projectors continue to cover the new arrival as he moves through the landing area, but other than that, nothing seems to respond to him.

Unable to receive or send video at all, Mikial simply listens in on the conversation outside, letting  Keth do the explaining of the situation as he could probably explain better at the moment as Mikial continues to looks around the hangar.

After looking around for a doorway or hall leading out, then returning next to his ship, scratching his head in frustration, he begins to wonder if Keth had encouraged him to wander straight into a trap, seems like the only way out is the way he came! he is about to panic when he sees a great big, how-could-you-miss-it, door on the other side of where he was looking. He gives an annoyed expression directed at himself and goes to it and tries the door.

Keth idly scratches Kail’s head a bit while he responds to the latest hail. “Well, that’s an interesting question. Myself, Kail, and Floriana are fine” The penguin at his side offers a friendly Wark! to the camera, while the calico kitten-ferret on his shoulder waves cheerfully when mentioned “but the other ship, which I believe you just missed, has been taken aboard Kemetti. Not really sure what that one’s like… definitely doesn’t seem like the most outgoing one, though.”

“I did miss that ship!” Sophie acknowledges enthusiastically, still transmitting video. “Do you have something that can talk to them? I’m not getting any responses from either of them in the past few seconds. “Or does that mean the comms on this thing are bad too and I need to mark this model down for that as well?” Then she continues to check her sensors, “I don’t know anything about a Kemetti, but if you’re out there Kemetti I’d be willing to talk!” Notably she’s keeping her ship a good distance from Kemetti.

“What do you wish to say?” the voice of the Yaralu asks over the comms, though he does not change velocity.

Onboard, Mikial finds himself on in a chamber that hangs below the spine of the space-borne creature. Light is provided by floating glow-globes, some of which have long ceased to float. Above are long, hammock-like structures that are overgrown with vines.

The chamber seems as though it was once a market, with abandoned shops and stalls throughout, connected by haphazardly-placed streets. Tunnels extend down below the chamber to unknown destinations in the belly of the beast. To the fore is a large metal door, closing off another area. Here, Mikial finds the first signs of anything resembling life. Faceless humanoid forms, impossibly tall, stand guard over the door. They seem unarmed and unclad, and remain still, like giant stylized statues.

Mikial looks around the chamber in both awe and wonder, and slight aversion and apprehension, the feeling of both a ghost-town and belly-of-the-whale not a comfortable idea to Mikial, the natural human fear of the unknown sinking its teeth into him more than he’d like to admit. He tries to shake the feeling off.

Mikial sets his comms to stay open, piggybacking off his own ship, “So, what happened here? It’s a bona fide ghost town in here.” Then he spots the sentries and the second door, “Hmm, the welcoming committee?” he approaches, and looks walks slowly around the still and silent sentinels, looking them over before coming around front and looking between the two once again, “Guess I should go in…”

Keth nods slightly “Shame you missed it. Something of an unusual model in these parts. For now, I just hope he doesn’t do something stupid in there.”

“Well, first, I want to say hello new friend! I haven’t talked to you yet!” Sophie says excitedly as Kemetti responds, “I’m Ila. I’m actually a demon queen but Ila is fine since you’re my friend now.” Then she turns to the orb over her right shoulder and smiles. Then she raises her right hand and moves it over her right eye, separating the fingers to make a sideways V-sign. “Also you have another one of my new friends in you right now and I want to check on him! It sounds a little scary in there. So I introduced myself, what’s everyone else’s name?” She then turns back to her controls.

“You will not enjoy what you find beyond,” Kemetti’s voice says in Mikial’s head while the tall guardians of the doorway turn their heads towards him as one. The door remains shut.

Kemetti’s voice speaks over the comms again. “Friend? You are hasty even for a lesser one such as yourself,” he says.

“Mikial Nachen, Nice to meet you Ila!” He says, trying to match Ila’s enthusiasm. Vachok lands on his shoulder and lets loose a hawk screech, “and this is my partner in crime, Vachok the peregrine falcon.”

A moment later he’s reaching for the door when Kemetti’s warning is issued and he freezes in place, an expression of ‘oh shit…’ as he looks left then right at the two sentinels staring at him.

Wordlessly, slowly, he backs up a good distance around 15 feet away from the sentinels, “Ah-hahaha, uhhhh… so, not the buffet, huh?” He looks around the cavern, “soo…. where *do* I go…..” he says mostly to himself.

Looking around the cavern, He tries to spy the medical facilities mentioned when he was outside of the fleshy ship, since there seemed to be concern about him not being well or carrying some malevolent organism. Either way, it sounded like a good idea for all parties for Mikial to get some sort of check-up on Kemetti, just in case.

Mikial wonders if he’s on his own on finding the med-bay. He looks at Vachok, clicks his tongue to get his bird’s attention, and signals for him to search for anything medical or with a red cross on it. now he wanders about Kemetti, searching eyes high and eyes low.

Keth smirks slightly “I’m Kethren, of Danu Chroi. The penguin on the copilot seat is Kail, and the charming lady on my shoulder” the kitten-ferret waves a bit while chittering at that “is Floriana.”

Sophie perks up as she receives replies. “Everyone who replied even has friends of their own to introduce! I guess it’s only polite if I introduce my friend I brought with me.” Then the feed goes to a first person point of view as she looks at Orby, the black orb with a lens that’s hovering. “That’s Orby! He helps me share my stories with everyone!” Then it goes back to the normal view over her right shoulder. “Anyway, now that we’re friends is there anything I can help with?”

A few seconds later she adds, “Well, I’m a demon queen and sometimes think of humans as lesser ones, but they make wonderful friends and can be fallen angels! So if you think of me as a lesser one that doesn’t mean we can’t be friends still!” Then there’s laughter, “Some people think I’m rash and hasty like that’s a bad thing, but then they saw how fast I wrote commands and code and were impressed. Even if sometimes they had to debug it because I wrote it too quickly. It still got done!”

“What do you seek?” the Yaralu asks in Mikial’s mind. There is no iconography the human would recognize in the ancient ruin of a market, though a careful search along with some scans might lead to what was once a clinic of some kind. The tools and instruments are strange, as if designed for nonhumans, and the medications are labelled in Old Hekayti.

“Your help is irrelevant,” Kemetti replies to the young woman over the comm,  “Your friendship, unnecessary.”

Mikial gives a start as he hears the voice a second time, this time, he’s sure it wasn’t a speaker on the ship or his suit, or from the sentinel constructs, and was close than someone speaking to him. It was inside his head! a flood of confusion overwhelms him once again, but this time only for a fraction of a second before he finally accepts that this is either a really strange Cryo-chamber dream, or he should just start expecting things he’s never even though were possible, and god-damn-it-all-to-hell, fuck it, what next, spikes erupting from the walls?

Mikial says out loud, as well as thinks to himself rather loudly, “Looking for a medical bay I can use to give myself a once over so I can have contact with someone without them trying to put me in quarantine.” He doesn’t have the ability to scan the area, unfortunately  and equipment made for different races would most likely go unnoticed by Vachok and Mikial.

Mikial quirks an eyebrow at the mention of a ‘demon queen’ and Keth’s penguin, though when he looks up at Vachok he shrugs off the penguin part. Who’s he to judge? He has a male Peregrine falcon and an A.I. sidekick, so to speak. His brow furrows, though, at the mention of considering humans lesser… ‘Great….’ he thinks to himself, ‘I’m lost inside some living space ship with someone outside who considers themselves better than humans… this could go perfectly fine or ass sideways…’ perhaps his experience from his life prior to cryo-stasis as a mercenary has him leaning pessimistic…

Kethren quirks an eyebrow a bit. “Demon queen, eh? Well, I’m in no place to judge. I like with a lady that’s got horns.”

“You’re that type. I see.” Sophie responds to Kemetti. “Fine! You don’t have to be my friend.” She huffs. Then she listens to Mikial as he talks. “I get the sense you probably shouldn’t look for a medical bay on my not friend. It won’t even share its name after all! New friends share things with each other, like names, after all, just like you did with me, and the ship won’t share!”

“None such as you has made their home here since before your species existed,” Kemetti replies into Mikial’s mind, “But you may use what is here. I have no need of it.” A mobile unit, an exact facsimile of the “guards” comes up to guide the human to the aforementioned clinic.

“I am called Kemetti,” the Yaralu says through the comms, coming to a stop and turning to face the other two ships, “Does this information profit you?”

“None such as I, huh? I hope I can still use it well enough…” he says as he falls in behind the mobile unit.

“Well, I’m here, might as well give it a try” Mikial replies to Ila.

Keth leans back in his seat a bit “Well, Ila. How’s that ship your testing out doing? Sounds like we may have a little while before our other new friend comes back out.”

Sophie closes her eyes for a few seconds, then opens them widely, switches her comms to speak with Kethren alone, also switching off the video feed so it’s audio only, her enthusiasm gone for a moment. “I did a search on the name Kemetti. I’m pretty sure my not friend is dangerous. As in eats ships or something. I’m not sure how that works. I’ll be happy to tell you about testing the ship later, but we might want to focus on getting our new friend out of there. This ship didn’t come with weapons for me to test.” Sophie starts entering some coordinates into her navigation system.

Once that is done, Sophie switches the comms to speaking with everyone again, “It does profit me to know that!” Then she turns the video feed back on again, “Ooh, I know! I can give Tarot readings to people if they want them! Even you, Kemetti! I mean, I’m not sure human interests are your thing but you never know until you try, right?”

The mobile unit conducts Mikial towards the ruined clinic and opens the door for him. The door immediately falls off its hinges, and the mobile unit tosses it aside.

Outside, the Yaralu has begun to move away from the other two vessels again. “I try to live with my ignorance,” comes the reply.

Mikial isn’t sure about things when the bloody door falls off the hinges, but he stil goes in, following the drone.

Once in the clinic, Mikial notices that absolutely nothing looks familiar, and nothing reads as any human language he’s ever seen. Then again, the creature did tell him that.

Mikial picks up a peculiar looking device and fumbles around with it, trying to find it’s function. he hits a switch of some sort,  and right as he does, some medical monitor behind him beeps to life and Mikial drops the device, which has now produced a small glowing plasma blade. It twists in the air and stabs right through his coveralls and into his thigh and slides off to the side and onto the floor, leaving a gash about 3-5 inches across his thigh, “Gnhhh! goddamn! That was a stupid Idea!” Luckily it doesn’t look too deep, it’s missed anything major, and is just bleeding a bit and stings like shit. he doesn’t bother doing anything about the bleeding as it’s nothing too bad in his judgement, though that hasn’t exactly proven too good today so far. He looks around at the rest of the medical fare and realizes he can’t do jack with any of this, “closer and better medical facilities my ass…” he grumbles. “Well, thanks for the try Kemetti, but I can’t work any of this, looks like I’ll just have to try the more distant facility and  deal with quarantine or whatever… at least I might not end up stabbed there…” He says to the drone, which hopefully can ‘hear’ for Kemetti.

Keth flips over to a private channel to Ila for a moment “Yeah, I wasn’t planning on going to war today either, so I didn’t bring an armed vessel myself. Hopefully the new guy gets bored and heads back out on his own.”

“Can I at least have my new friend back, Kemetti?” Sophie asks. “I mean, I value my friends and don’t want anything to happen to them, and I worry about the condition my new friend is in right now! He might be hurt and I’m concerned, that’s all.”

“You may do as you wish,” Kemetti says into Mikial’s mind, and the faceless mobile unit goes still.

“I am not holding the creature against its will,” Kemetti’s voice says over the comms, “If I wished otherwise, I need not resort to subterfuge.”

“Well, thanks for offering anyways Kemetti.” Mikial says flatly, turning to walk out and back to his ship, walking off the scalpel slash.

As he walks he speaks on the comms to Keth, “Hey, you said there was a place you recommended I could go get my bearings? Imperal Bail, was it? If you could send me some coordinates for that, I’d be grateful. I have less than minimal navigation charts on this area. The medical stations turn out to be a bust, I can’t use any of it myself… Alice, prep for departure…. Oh, also, maybe something like some transponder codes or an I.F.F. code so I’m not shot down by defenses? You sounded like you were a government official there at some point.” he opens the door to the hangar bay.

Keth lets his eyes slip out of focus for a moment while switching back to general comms “Sending coordinates and such now. I’ll head on back myself once you’re under way. Give you the grand tour. Does our other new friend want to come along as well?”

Sophie turns and smiles brightly for Orby, “I’ll come along, sure! Send me the coordinates and Orby and I will be on our way!”

Nothing is done to prevent Mikial’s exit from the ship known as Kemetti, as it would seem the creature is not hungry today. The outer doors to space do no open until he is aboard his own vessel, and the Oskolok is allowed to leave.

Mikial straps in and closes the cargo bay airlocks and ramp as Alice enters the coordinates into the navigation systems. Once it’s ready, Mikial charges his FTL drive, “_Do svidaniya_ Kemetti. power levels look good still, everything seems to have weathered the journey here rather well… All set here Keth. Ready to in; three, two, one, Mark!”

[SLACK ROLEPLAYING LOG] #rp-exploration: Only Mostly Dead

Surprisingly, James McCrane begins to regain consciousness. Sort of. Everything feels strange. Sight isn’t really sight. Hearing as well. Everything is simply … awareness. He has a body, but that feels strange as well. Stronger, larger, but also…. he might feel as if he is not quite alone within it.

As James slowly comes around, at first, he’s disoriented. Last thing he remembers is a serious pain in the ass, then  nothing. As he starts to tune into his ‘surroundings’, he realizes he’s not in Kansas any more, so to speak. “What the.. is this.. heaven? Or hell?” he thinks. “Knowing my luck, it’s hell…”

“How little you know of hell,” comes the reply of a familiar voice. There are no spoken words between James and Kemetti. Not anymore. James will now be aware that he is in the “Command Center” of the Yaralu. His “body” is devoid of clothing or feature, and it moves strangely. Where he would expect limbs to bend at a joint, they simply … arc, as if there were no true skeletal structure to the form.

“What the fuck!?” James thinks. “Ok, if I’m still hearing your cold hearted voice, then I’m definitely in hell. What the hell am I still doing here, and where the hell am I? This some kind of sick joke?”

“A joke?” Kemetti replies, and James can certainly feel the wave of amusement from the larger being, “I suppose it might be. But as to what you are doing here, I suppose that is up to you. We are in a situation where we can help each other. I suppose that if there were some greater hand at the helm of the universe, that might be a joke.”

“Help each other.” James thinks. “Ok… I’ll bite. Exactly how would that work?” In his mind, though, Kemetti can sense an ‘unspoken’ question of ‘why’.

“My systems are damaged,” Kemetti admits, truthfully, “I can find my way to a world to obtain materials with which I can heal, but it might take an age, and there is a slight possibility I might not survive a landing in my current condition. However, there may also be blood and death wherever I land. Now, I have grown a module which can be flown separately from me, and I could send a few mobile units, but at the required range, I can sense them, and I can sustain them, but cannot control them completely.”

“I see…” James thinks. “So you need me to act as a go between, directing them to gather the materials.” he thinks.

“That is the essence of it,”  the Yaralu replies simply, “I sustain this form for you. You can even prevent the sort of situation which precipitated our … meeting. And I am able to reduce the level of risk to my person.”

“So no more ship chomping.” James thinks. “Ok… you’ve convinced me. Let’s get to work.”

“Just so that we are clear,” the Kemetti sends quickly, “The sustaining of your form requires me to be aware of it and what you do in it. I can cease doing so at any time, and will if you betray this agreement. If you move past my ability to be aware of you, I will also no longer be able to sustain your form.”

“I hear ya.” James says. “Look, if I can help out and keep others from the fate of the Avondale, then I’ve got plenty of reason to help you out.”

“As long as we understand one another,” the great creature replies, “You may need some time to get used to this form. And the projection of your voice into the minds of others, which you will need to do if you wish to negotiate. You will find the excursion module in the landing bay. You will not need to concern yourself with the lack of atmosphere.”

“That’s one positive at least.” James thinks, and takes a few moments to ‘feel’ out his new body. Then he takes a few test steps, and ends up falling flat on his face. “Oof… ok… this is gonna take some getting used to.”

“You are trying too hard to move your muscles,” Kemetti replies, “You have none. Your mind can control the form directly.”

“Right… gotta think about what I’m gonna do before I do it…” James says. “Ok… let’s see…” With some extreme effort and taking movements literally a millimeter at a time, he manages to get to a standing position. Wobbly, but standing. “One foot in front of the other…. ” Shakily, he takes a step, but this time, manages to stay upright. The unit looks like a drunk swan trying to lift off, but despite that, it’s forward movement.

“Take your time,” Kemetti replies, “It is something you have plenty of now.”

James begins to get the hang of moving this new body. After a bit of time practicing, he starts to make his way to the landing bay to check out the excursion module.

The excursion module has an organic and sleek, if asymmetrical form. The only entrance is a large cargo hatch. Near the front of the interior is a pilot’s seat with two pedestals rising beside it, but no viewscreen or consoles.

James climbs into the module, and manages to make it to the seat. Sitting down, he looks at the two pedestals, examining them.

“Place your hands on  them,” Kemetti’s voice says of the two structures that look very much like nerve tissue.

James puts his hands upon the top of the pedestals as instructed. “Since we can communicate by thought, I suspect this also reacts to thought?”

“Yes,” Kemetti replies, unecessarily, as James becomes instantly aware of a much larger form. Sensors, propulsion, weapons, defenses. It is all part of James just as much as the mobile unit’s body.

“Convenient…” James says. “Well.. as my father used to say, ‘Time’s a wastin’. If we need to get you fixed up, then we need to get to it.”

“Do you require rest?” a faint question forms in James’ mind. It is not nearly so strong an impression as when he was aboard Kemetti, but still supplies a certain level of genuine curiosity, “I have never attempted this before.”

“You know, I am not really sure. I don’t feel tired.” James says. “Never had a body like this, but I guess we’ll find out with time. At least for now, I’m clear as a bell.”

“Do keep me advised,” Kemetti says. Even as he says this, a star system comes up on long range sensors, a binary system with orbiting planets.

“Hmm… seems we’ve got some planets coming up on sensors right now.” James says, adjusting course slightly towards them. “So, what are you needing to get patched up?”

“Primarily carbon-based materials,” Kemetti replies, “but calcium deposits and other minerals would be beneficial as well.” Of the seven worlds orbiting the star ahead, one of them has evidence of life.

“Hmm… life readings from one. Picking up anything like transmissions?” James queries.

“It does not seem to have a civilization advanced enough,” the Yaralu replies. There is certainly animal and plant life of a sort on the surface, though whether there is any intelligent life or not is difficult to determine. Continents are mid-sized, and wide-spread.

“Worth checking out regardless.” James says, angling to approach the planet. “If anything we could harvest some trees and maybe a selection of animals. Meanwhile I’ll scan for any mineral deposits.”

Sure enough, there are some calcium deposits in cliffs by the sea. The atmosphere has a particularly high level of oxygen, but as James no longer needs to breathe, it doesn’t pose a much of a  problem. Forests of enormous, swaying stalks rise from the hills that stretch out further away from the pale, pinkish sea.

James angles the vessel to make a landing near one of the stalk forests within easy reach of the cliffs. “Never seen a world like this one. But materials are materials I suppose.”

The landing goes off without a hitch, the feeling of touching down not unlike dropping to one’s feet from a nominal height. There is a slight breeze, and the “sound” of waves crashing at the foot of the cliffs below.

“Time to see just how this body works.” James says, relinquishing the control chair and stepping outside of the ship. He makes his way towards some of the tall stalks, examining them, and working his arms to see just how many he can grab in one go.

At this distance, it becomes apparent that each of the stalks is about a foot in diameter and about 35 feet tall. James is indeed able to tear one off at the base, however. It is made of a relatively soft material, and a certain amount of pale, blue liquid seeps out from the break.

Across the forest, a sound, like whistling wind, can be detected.

“What’s that sound?” James ponders, heaving up the stalk and heading over towards the dropship to place it in the cargo area.

“I am only as aware of it as you are,” Kemetti admits, his voice faint from the distance, “The wind seems quite weak.” Nevertheless, the stalks begin to lean toward the cliffs. And the ship.

James notices the stalks bending. “Strong enough to bend these stalks…” he says, getting the one stalk loaded. Apprehensive, he stays next to the ship, ready to leave quickly if necessary. He starts grabbing as many boulders nearby as he can that contain high levels of calcium.

The boulders seem far lighter than they would be if James were in his old body and are easily collected. Meanwhile, the stalks at the edge of the forest are laid nearly to the ground, almost as if reaching towards the ship. The wailing sound increases in volume.

“Ok, this is getting a bit weird.” James says, and he reboards the ship, taking his seat and reconnecting so he has access to the sensors. He focuses them on the direction of the wind.

The wind is truly not nearly strong enough to level the forest. And in fact, a few of the stalks seem to have grown in length by the time James makes it to the seat.

“Something tells me I’m not wanted.” James says, firing up the engines and lifting off. “It’s like these stalks are thinking.”

A couple of the stalks manage to snag onto a leg of the ship, but though their grip is strong, the ship easily tears them from the ground when it lifts off. Being at the “controls” of the ship, James can still “hear” the screaming outside.

Once he gets up high enough, he pauses to look over the situation. “They aren’t just plants..”

The sound, being further away, is a bit muted now. “Neither are you,” Kemetti says simply.

“True.” James says. “But we’ve got to get you patched up somehow… and if these are thinking creatures, killing one of their own is going to make them less likely to negotiate with.”

“That is often the way,” Kemetti replies, “Though their resistance seems of minimal threat.”

“Well.. lesson learned to be more careful in the future.” James says. “Ever seen a lawnmower at work?” he inquires, as he angles the dropship around to make a full power run right through the ‘forest’ of stalks.

“A lawnmower?” Kemetti asks, somewhat confused.

“Yep. Whirling blade, used to keep grass from growing to high. And that looks like a lawn that could use some mowing.” James says, looking to slice a path right through, the tentacles grabbing stalks as they go and pulling them into the cargo area.

The screaming sound returns with a vengeance, the stalks no match for the dropship’s tentacles as they are torn from the earth. As the ship passes over the center of the mass of stalks, the cargo hold is just about full. Even so, a single word forms itself on the fringes of James’ consciousness, as if he is making telepathic contact. “WHYYYYYYY?!?!?”

James picks it up, and figures it’s got to be coming from either the stalks, or the planet itself. Either way, it’s either get Kemetti some grub, or fade out of existence forever. Survival wins. “That should about do it…” he says, getting some altitude.

As the ship moves away from the planet, the screaming stops, and the stalks in the cargo hold are motionless. “Excellent,” Kemetti says, “That is a good start.”

“Probably pissed off whatever that was, but a guy’s gotta eat, you know? Pretty much if you eat, I eat.” James says, heading back towards Kemetti.
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[OTHERSPACE AUDIO LOG] No. 5: “Kemetti’s Carnage”

The fifth installment in my new series of audio log re-enactments of OtherSpace scenes – bringing the old real-time improv text stories to your earholes!

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