The expedition to the Adlet homeworld had come to an end, and it was time for the IAS Edward Deming to return home. Shuttles were already returning the crew to the ship, and the drones were busy packing up the remaining materials from the planet.
While they had been planet side, another supply ship had dropped off additional crew for the Edward Deming.
Standing in the shuttle along with nearly a dozen other officers was Mark Greyclaw. An Ember, an engineer, and one of those hand-selected his captain for this particular assignment. In front of him were Alliance Marines, technical specialists, and even one chef.
Before the shuttle had docked, Somnya was already giving out orders.
Despite her curves, her soft figure, her rather bright red lips, her orders came down hard and fast. There was no time for the others to question them, much less slow her down by questioning her. Here she was the queen, her subjects would follow in her wake. Each one being given a specific task, then running off to complete it until it was just Mark and Herself.
Somnya was shorter than mark, or at least that was the case on paper. She seemed to be standing eye to eye with him. Her arms were crossed just under her bust line, accentuating her curves. Her hair was only partially pulled back into a bun, purple locks of hair framing her face as she looked him over, her engineer.
"Mark," Her voice had that familiar tone about it, like the two of them had known each other forever, "Would you please give this ship a once-over. I want to make sure they've been taking care of the girl. Heram Wazu has been left in charge of keeping her up to date, and while he's quite good with his hands he can be somewhat forgetful. Best to be sure she has been getting attention where she needs it..."
... When you're done, come find me on the ship's CIC."
There was time left only for Mark to watch her turn away from him, her heels clacking on the floor as she made her way down towards the command area of the ship, leaving Mark to his task.
For the most part, the ship did match the design schematics... but the schematics were at best incomplete. The medical bay had been completely reconfigured to be a viral research lab. The forward torpedo bays of the ship had been retrofitted into a quarantine area. The ship's heavily armored CIC wasn't even finished, it was just a large abandoned looking room in the center of the ship with exposed wiring and control systems that had yet to be hooked up!
As it turned out, the CIC had been moved to the planetary observation deck on the 'underside' of the ship: A space wide enough for several desks that had been hastily converted into a CIC. Each work space looking out onto a main display and the panoramic windows that showed the Adlet home world below.
IAS Edward Deming, CIC
Some time later, after Mark had finished his inspection and the original crew had returned from the planet, they would all find Somnya standing in the ship's makeshift CIC.
She had a datapad in hand, and recordings of the latest mission were up on the main display.
"Heram. Green-Thumb. Geiben. Zenigata. I have either worked with you directly, or heard reports that you are shaping up to be exemplary officers. However, I would very much like to hear an explanation for what happened on this expedition.
Green-Thumb, letting Heram out of your sight defeats the whole purpose of assigning Green-Squad to this ship. You've endangered quite a few people, and nearly got one of your own killed planet side.
Heram, I have a number of reports to go through before I can fully grasp the damage you could have done to the Alliance here.
Geiben, while I appreciate you have been put in a rather difficult situation, the performance of the ground teams during this latest operation is certainly concerning.
Zenigata, much like Geiben I do think you have been placed in a situation that you should not have been. However, I do think you owe an explanation for your reasoning during your diplomatic run-ins with Hoshiko."
"Don't know how many times I can say I screwed up to everyone, including myself. What exactly are you wanting to know?" Zenigata asked.
The adlet was trying to keep his patience, that was needed for this. Honeslty though, he wasn't looking forward to having to explain the details of his screw up all over again. A ton of people watched him the first time, what was the point? What was the point on focusing on the mistakes when they were trying to fix things? Although maybe it was best he was just thrown out the ship and put on some damn settlement like Geiben original wanted? But...that would be running away...hell if he knew. HE still couldn't figure out what the hell Frank meant by grow up! What everyone kept telling him to do was grow up and yet when he tried to do that, all it did was cause chaos.
"Wh....why am I...he...here..?" a meeker voice asked.
The owner of the voice was the adlet that Quarum had brought onboard. Still a teenager, their twisted paw was no longer twisted. However the flesh was still scarred with patches of furn missing. Tupaarnaq stood near Zenigata, feeling some form of comfort with one of his own species here. Though it wasn't much. They were still wearing the grey pelt shawl over their shoulders, with messy dark brown hair. Their green eyes blinked a few times as their curled tail was pressed firmly against their leg.
Zenigata set a hand on the teen's shoulder to try and calm them. They jumped slightly but straightened out seeing it was just the older adlet. Another matter that was probably up for discussion was the bird child...what to do about that? He had mentioned it to Geiben when they were trying to send him off. So far they were under Soffy's care and well, they were still aging quickly.
Speaking of the bird child, they were currently out of Soffy's reach at the moment. Having tagged along with the large man and while they were a bit big. THey just barely managed to fit into the oversized pocket. Their talons close to tearing into the fabric of Frank's coat. They were currently quiet but the temptation of food was something they couldn't resist. While they were developing quickly, they still weren't able to chew things; despite staring to grow their teeth already. A small human hand emerged from the pocket with black claws on the end, reaching for food without a sound at the moment. They just needed to reach!!
Owing to the makeshift nature of the CIC, the room sported fresh but sturdy welds, clear to the naked eye and left bare without paint. Screens were hastily bolted onto walls to provide as much coverage as a standard bridge, but there were still small gaps which had to be bridged by holo-projectors. The extra console panels were rough, and with none of typical fine finish that the Alliance was known for, one would think this were an entirely different ship, one from another nation or even the set of some sort of speculative sci-fi show, especially with how the Taianese Snake and Dog type soldiers simply waltzed in, talking amongst themselves. However, that was simply not the case. This was an Alliance vessel undergoing refurbishment, and the CIC was just a temporary measure not worth taking the time with to look nice.
"Fascinating, how they refurbish their ships. It's different, the methods," the Snake observed. Entering in moments after Zenigata arrived, a long tongue flicked out from her elongated, serpentine head. Besides her, the strong, towering form of the defensive heavy combat soldier nodded before taking a good, long sip of soda. The dog had one of the ship's fabricators create a plastic tray with straps and a rest that allowed it to simply jut out from her heavily plated chest, and on top of that tray, the Taianese woman had festooned it with food. "Still don't know if he has a knot or not though," the serpent added, the remark spoken so he would certainly hear.
"I could care less," the Dog type replied, placing the soda back onto the tray's holder. "I understand our society had to prioritize certain economic and military advancements over others to ensure our survival, but I would hope we crack the enigma that is the Alliance matter synthesizer soon," she remarked. Picking up a big barbecue rib, the woman took a hearty bite of it. It was obvious that the bone was the only thing on her mind as her teeth soon cracked into it, tail wagging happily.
Sonia sat at the desk in her and Zenigata's shared room stretching after spending the last 12 hours doing paperwork on what shes done her experience her skills and how she got them which either could be summed up as Ty or hunter taught her. giving a slight frown noticing shed been up all night her stomach now growling she got up after putting on the alliance uniform she was given she headed to go find Zenigata. as she walked down the hallways her hair looked like a mess as she also had a mark from were she fell asleep doing the paperwork and slept with her face on a pencil. passing by everyone and Zenigata looking tired. as she did and asked in a childish voice "Zeeeen, do you know where the messhall is i cant find it" she pounted looking small and adorable compared to Zenigata.
Geiben smiles, with a hint of bitterness, at Green-Thumb. "Looks like both of us are getting demoted today, ma'am."
Having removed his planetary exploration suit, donning a simple navy uniform over his bio-suit, Geiben steps into the CIC with his data pad. He salutes the newly arrived captain. "Ma'am." The commander then taps on his data pad. "I've sent my written report to your database for review. Suffice to say, as you have said, the mission deviated from original objectives, and we encountered a few close calls, including an incident with Taianese soldiers. That situation has been resolved; we've made peace and the Taianese soldiers are on board as we speak. It seems they will be Tai Pan's liaisons for us, for the time being." He tries to put up an air of professionalism, but this whole restructuring of command is taking time to adapt to.
Geiben puts his hands behind his back, nervously playing with his fingers out of sight of Somnya. "There are a few anomalies on this ship that you should be aware of, Ma'am. The lesser being we have multiple xeno-species on board, including three felines and a bird-like creature we've recovered baring a degree of high intelligence. The greater issue is that we're currently harboring multiple freelancers on the ship, one of which being Zenigata's wife. I have begun background checks on them to integrate them under Alliance naval command. However, now that you're here, I'll leave their final jurisdictions. Their information have also been transferred to you." He lets out a breath of air. In a way, Geiben's glad that Somnya arrived; he can push off responsibility, like dealing with the freelancers. Of course, it wasn't right to think this way, but the less animosity he created, the better.
He then continues. "You'll find the Edward Demming quite the Ship of Theseus, and not just due to the changes in its layout. The crew is similarly non-uniform, if not more so." The commander smiles professionally. "It's an honor to have you on board, ma'am. Orders?" Just following protocol, and common courtesy, at this point. We'll see how this goes.
"This does not seem the place to conduct a performance review," Green-Thumb said. Even without her armor she towered over Somnya. This didn't seem to bother the smaller now-captain though, as her eyes went from crew member to crew member, eventually settling on those from Tai Pan.
Someone had invited an adversary onto HER combat information center. They could easily be observing classified information, or leaving behind listening devices or...
Was that food?
Unsecured food in a command center! They might as well be saboteurs. At least no one from the Alliance would be so careless... Some woman in the back who looked like she just got out of bed was asking to be fed. It was at that point another would speak up.
"We just came from there, Mess-Hall is this way..." Quarum said, she was just outside of the CIC, but that didn't stop her from eating from a small bowl of ice cream.
From Somya's perspective, it looked like she was in the right place. This ship needed a firm touch, the crew seemed soft, lacking in order, easily pushed around those from Tai Pan. To think Green-Thumb and Heram Wazu considered themselves warriors!
Of course, Geiben's discourse was a breath of fresh air.
"You should take notice Heram, at least one of your number has impressive oral talent."
Somnya would turn her attention right to Geiben, moving past Green-Thumb to approach. Up this close he could see her captain's pips, her freshly pressed alliance uniform in the distinct naval blue. Her arms were still crossed under her chest, accentuating the Elf's more natural curves. He could even get a better look at her right arm. The entire thing was artificial, though it looked a bit like she had on a sheer black glove with delicate micro-printing inlay embellishments on it. It was practically a work of art with how closely the mechanical parts fit together and how the patterns changed as the hand articulated.
"Mr, Geiben. my Engineer seems to agree that you need to fix this ship's CIC. I would like to hear your plan for getting it operational before we get back to Planet Hawking.
And you, Mark, go drop off your stuff and get it properly squared away before coming back here. We want to set a good example for the rest of the crew."
It was clear what she meant, and that was to follow regulations regarding living space on a star ship. There were plenty of free rooms on board the IAS Edward Deming. Many of which were fairly standard with a bed, a small work area, closet, and bathroom. Regulations would involve securing his belongings so that they wouldn't pose a hazard if gravity failed or if the ship experienced heavy acceleration. It would be clear to him that Somnya was expecting the rest of the crew to not have followed those particular regulations to the letter.
"And Green-Thumb. Please escort our guests to the Mess Hall and keep them there until we can arrange for proper accommodations. If they spell any food, please clean it up."
She didn't bother to look at Green-Thumb as she issued that command. Her unflinching voice practically accusing her of causing this mess in the first place.
Green-Thumb would comply, quickly turning to face their guests from Taipan.
"If you would come with me. The Mess Hall is up three levels from here."
She would take up a position in the rear of the group, trying to wrangle their guests, Quarum, Zenigata, and Sonia towards the mess hall itself. Heram Wazu would nearly turn to leave as well only for Somnya to add, "Not you Heram," Just before he could make a move for the door.
The IAS Edward Deming had clearly been rebuilt a few times. Not all the hallways looked to be of the same build type, some came in at odd angles, while others were differently oriented altogether. This made travel through the ship a bit disorienting, but colored lines along the walls would help with navigation. The mess hall itself had four food-grade matter synthesizers, two on each side wall, as well as a kitchen area in the back. Multiple tables allowed plenty of space to sit and eat cafeteria style and small drones kept the whole place looking clean, polishing the numerous white surfaces of the tables and benches.
Displeasure went through him even more as he felt it rise listening to the snake lady hissing. Oh how he wanted to just throw her off. But he couldn't...as annoying as she could get. As Sonia came in, the adlet felt some relief. OF course others answered him far sooner. So he waited for them to be done before speaking up.
"Just follow them Sonia, they'll show ya the mess hall. I'd go with you but i'm going to be busy here for a while." Zenigata explained to her, pointing to the person who would show the way to the mess hall for her.
Of course, his gaze caught sight of the small hand reach from Frank's pocket and those eyes. The adlet felt himself at a lose on what to do, only being snapped out of it when he was told to head to the messhall. A look of confusion was on his face as he sat there. Wait...they wanted to talk to him, so why was he having to leave? Giving a shrug, he didn't argue. He merely tapped Tupaarnaq on the shoulder to have them come along.
The teenager was a little off guard but he agreed silently and tagged along. The mess hall wasn't really a area that he was wanting to just sit around in. However, what could ya do?
The child within Frank's pocket was growing displeased. The can was jsut there!! RIGHT THERE!!! A small sound left him as they attempted to reach once more. A look that spoke wonders of 'fed up; was on their young face. So what would any impatient bird child thing do? Launch themselve's out of the pocket of course!!! With a chirp, they did just that as they attempted to grab at the can. Of course Frank's large arm would prevent them from reaching. One of their talons though...ended up getting snagged and they could feel the increasing pain there.
Pained and scared squeaking left them as they flailed and tried to reach for the stuck talon. They weren't strong enough yet to pull up their body weight while dangling so....they were stuck as their pupils took up a majority of their yellow eyes. Feathers puffing up and a few even detaching and falling to the floor. Now....the almost toddler sized creature was in full view of everyone.
He then zooms in onto the actual CIC. "I'd like a command table in the center with minimal protrusions otherwise; if we can mount everything into the walls and eliminate as many extrusions as possible, that would be ideal. Everyone should be given shock absorption seats for high-g maneuvers, and all corners and edges rounded out. In addition, as we move forward with the systematic redundancy I'm proposing, all key control systems in the CIC should be operable on any of the computers."
"... However..." Geiben amends himself, finding himself slightly rambling, "If we just wanted the CIC to be operational until we return to the Hawking system, control panels mounted on the walls, connected to key systems, along with safety rails, will suffice for our journey out of the system and into hyperspace. I'm just looking at our long-term fate, ma'am. I can talk to Mark later to discuss the feasibility of my proposals, if you wish."
meanwhile while frank as her began heading back to his quarters carefully unhooked the talons as to not hurt hazel. "Hazel you need to be more careful." frank cradled Hazle in the crook of his arm as he opened the can to give Hazel some food before spooning the food to hazle.
Temporary CIC -> Mess Hall
"I'm afraid it's too short a notice," the Taianese serpent replied to Zenigata, its translucent membranes sliding over its eyes in a blink. "However - " it's slithering voice trailed off for a moment, long forked tongue flicking out for the faintest of moments, " - since both you and your wife appear interested, I will have you know that male snakes have two heads rather than one," the soldier made to one-up the duo. "Naturally, we of Tai Pan are not interested putting them to use, but are willing to forgive less civilized peoples such as yourself. However, we would still like to document these...little details. In the name of science, of course."
"I have hashbrowns," the towering dog-type soldier offered Sonia, its armored gauntlet offering out one of the deep fried potato patties to the succubus. Her gaze wandered over to the birdlike infant being carried with them however. "This one doesn't carry salmonella, does it?" she asked. "They are not one of our standards exceeding Roosters."
IAS Edward Deming,
Temporary CIC, after Mess Hall Group's departure
Moments after the door had slid shut with the rabble's departure, leaving Wazu, Somya and Geiben in the CIC, the door opposite it on the other end slid open, the black body suited form of a Taianese Tigress striding in. Tall, proud, and arrogant, her eyes held a smoldering fire as she turned to look over them all. "Who is in charge here? The conditions on board this ship is unacceptable," she loudly declared, her voice level and firm despite the volume of her words. "I have spent the last hour and a half speaking to a pimple faced raw recruit who was assigned to oversee the armory, and it is clear he was nowhere near what is necessary for a proper armory master," she began. "Worse yet, the weapons on board the ship are atrocious," the Tigress pointed out. "Projectile weapons are unacceptable, especially since they do not meet the same level of performance as the Alliance's standard issue."
"I don't care about your reproduction. She told you that to get you off our case about my damn reproduction." Zenigata replied, feeling the irritation coming back as he rubbed his eyes before hearing the sneeze from his wife. "Bless you."
The last part was directed to her as he turned his head to look at Sonia. It wasn't good for her to be sick, well it wasn't good on her and the children but still. It wasn't good on her in the long run.
"We can quickly fix that." Zenigata said to Sonia. "It's most likely just a common cold since you aren't used to how cold it can get in winter on my planet."
Large yellow eyes were watering as they were close to crying by time Frank managed to pull them up and unhook their talon. Flexing it a few times, the youngster seemed satisfied as they nestled down in Frank's embrace. Although they were excited as they man finally offered the food to them. Eagerly taking a bite from the spoon as a smile came to their face. As the tai pan member spoke up, their big eyes turned to look at them. Tilting their head as their pupils turned small before they reached with their hands; little black claws at the ends of their fingertips. A curious sound leaving them.
"They're not a rooster." Zenigata corrected. "From the dna anaylizes we've so far gotten done, they seem to be more related to a Great Horned owl and they have a accelerated growth compared to normal humans. So far they haven't really picked up on speech but they do have a human level intelligence so, it shouldn't be long before they start to learn English and start talking to where we an understand them."
Speaking of which. Zenigata turned his gaze to Frank.
"Pray tell why did you have them stuffed into your pocket Frank? They're getting big for that but why bring em to a meeting?" Zenigata asked.
frank on the other hand continued feeding hazel while talking with Zen "well to be fair the safest place for a small creature is with something or someones protection that's much larger much like symbiotic relationships or even most beasts in nature, not only that but the small creature just starts crying when not near you me softy or Sonia."
as sonia would take the hashbrowns anyone watching her would notice brusing on her arm and a three needle injection mark near the bruise.
Hearing Sonia's suggestion however, the adlet turned to speak against it. But he found no words for it when his gaze caught sight of Sonia's arm. Oh....ooooooh so the bastard was playing that game was he? The adlet restricted their expression but it would be clear to Sonia that they noticed and that, he wasn't going to take a lie for this.
"Did, someone already give you medicine Sonia? Did you visit one of the other doctors or did your father get something for your cold?" Zengiata asked, knowing that in front of strangers waving the horrible relationship with her father in the air wasn't desired.
And unlike rude snake people and tai pan bitches, he wasn't going to do said prying in public on affairs that were meant for private. Still, the look of concern on his face was noticeable for her. Maybe she'd get the hint he was trying to be secretive for her sake and give a response that was mostly secretive?
"That's..." Before Heram could get more than one word in, Somnya would cut him off.
"Heram, it looks like your work has left another woman unsatisfied." There was that slight look of amusement in her face, her attention still focused on Geiben, though she let her eyes wander over to the latest intruder onto her bridge. She shouldn't be in this room, much less wandering around the ship unsupervised. It also seemed she had a problem with the officer at the armory. Ensign Marcus Chong, if she was remembering the duty roster correctly. That particular solider could best be described as Youthful... Energetic... perhaps even eager, though his personnel file didn't include words like 'experienced'. She could see his file also including words like 'Unemployed' or 'Back to basic training' for letting someone just walk into the armory.
Her attention was now turned towards the tigress.
"While I am certain my Engineer here would be happy to discuss the finer points of the weapons in the Armory, he is rather behind on finishing my CIC.
He will be returning to his work, in the mean time Geiben here can escort you to the mess hall with the remaining guests. If you would be so kind, let them know we will begin room inspections in 20 minutes, starting with Green-Thumb. Forward your suggestions on the CIC to Wazu as well. I want the CIC operational before we reach Hawking."
IAS Edward Deming,
Green-Thumb was doing her best to try and herd the various crew and guests of the ship into the Mess Hall for the time being. Her attention being split between the various people that had arrived. Quarum was eating ice cream near the dog-type. The bird-creature was trying to get at food. Zenigata was... maybe in the middle of another diplomatic incident.
That is where her attention would go first.
"Maybe our allies from Tai Pan could wait until Soffy and Quarum have finished a biology and anthropological write up on the Adlets? That should answer your questions without intruding upon Zenigata's private life."
She'd intentionally try and place herself as much between the Snake and Sonia as she could.
Quarum seemed to be quite happy staying next to the dog-type, half-envious she hadn't thought of a food-tray herself... she'd barely gotten to the point where she had a warm glove to keep her hands toasty while holding her cup of ice cream.
"I wonder what kind of culture they would develop in isolation? If it learns that quickly, they probably have their own culture on the Adlet home world. Do your people interact with them often?"
And Frank wasn't the only one carrying a new creature around. Soffy would wobble into the mess-hall on two legs, making her way over to one of the synthesizers so she could shout "FISH!"
Theee artificial protein bar would soon be created. The I'ee picking it up and putting it in the pocket of her Lab coat,
"MORE FISH!" She shouted again, the I'ee filling her pockets with the stuff... the kittens that Heram had picked up planet-side were inside, one poking its head out of the pocket, while the other two were happy to try eating the fishy mess they were provided.
The commander then nods to the Taianese soldier. "Follow me," he remarks plainly, as he walks out of the makeshift CIC. Keeping the corner of his eye on the Taianese soldier, he forwards his recommendations for the CIC to Mr. Wazu and Mark. Since when is he taking orders, getting talked down specifically, by the captain? Didn't he own the ship? Otherwise, Geiben remained silent to the feline-form. It was probably best this way. They navigate through the spin-gravity section of the ship before entering the mess hall. He points to the serpent pestering Zenigata. "There's your fellow soldier." With that, he leaves the Taianese soldier alone as he goes to pick up a couple of protein bars that look like thick slabs of bacon and algae paste molded into broccoli and mashed potatoes. He then goes to meet up with Green-Thumb, Sonia, Frank, Zenigata, and Soffy.
Geiben gently pets the bird-child through his biosuit's glove, feeding it a small chunk of his protein bar. He then turns to Sonia. "We're working on your background checks; should have them done by the time we get back to the Hawking system." He then pauses, tapping himself on the head. "Right, I forgot to ask the new captain for a space for your child. I'll get on that after the inspections, speaking of which..." He addresses the entire party. "You should finish your meals and get ready. Our new captain is rather stringent, more so than Green-Thumb; no offense, ma'am."
"So this it ay?" Mark says walking into his assigned cabin. It was not that spacious, but it was a definite improvement from the cramped bunks of his former deployment the, IAS Despina, the battleship. Although it was a larger vessel it had smaller bunks than the IAS Edward Deming.
First thing he does is through one of his two duffel bags on the floor next to the desk. It lands on the floor with a light thud. The next larger bag he puts down as carefully as possible, but it still clatters and sounds like a bunch of pots landing on the floor. "I hope none of the arc coils have broken...". He unzips the bag and checks the contents. Everything still looks intact. He opens one of his tool belt pouches and removes the two dozen mag clips inside. He starts sticking them too the metal walls. Next he starts too unpack the duffel bag. First taking out the tools and sticking them on the wall. His personal collection of tools range from old wrenches, he bought on his first ever planetary visit, too a small, but more than functional plasma welder. Next he takes out the fold-able crates, unfolds them and sticks them on the wall like he did with his tools. These have magnetic bottoms, nothing will ever fall out of them. He stuck two of the crates above his bunk and the other two above the desk. He sorts the remaining contents of the bag into the crates. He takes out armor plating, mechanical hands and other bits and bobs, finally he removes, with great pride, the robotic head he has been working on."Wakey wakey Albert'' he says powering up the head.
"Morning Sir!" the head replies in the most posh voice. "Have we boarded the Edward Deming, Sir?".
"Yes we have. I powered you up to see if you are still working. But it would seem that there was no need for any worry. Oh,this is our new home by the way" he says rotating
the head so Albert can get a full view of the room." I am aiming too have your upper body complete by next month, but you have to go now"
Mark powers down the head and puts it in one of the safer crates. He knows the level of A.I. core in that head is not allowed for public use in the Alliance. At least Somnya knows about it and said she'll be on his side if anyone higher up finds out.
He starts to unpack his clothes and personal possession into the locker underneath the bunk, when the comm system beeps up
~ Attention, all hands of the IAS Edward Deming, we will be conducting room inspection in 20 minutes. All personnel will have received the inspection schedule from me. Lieutenant Green Thumb, be advised, your will be inspected first.~
"Might as well stay here then until it is my turn."
He finishes unpacking his clothes. Opens another tool belt pouch and puts on his MF gloves (magnetic field). He starts too levitate parts onto his desk and continues work on Albert's torso.
Time flies by and it feels like only minuets passed when the comm clicks on again:
~Attention: Somnya requests entry~
"Indeed," The Tigress replied to the elvish captain, her voice completely deadpan. "I will follow your lead," she soon replied to Geiben, gesturing for him to do just that.
"Oh, no need for actual footage of your mating ritual, I'm not actually interested," the Snek replied. "I was given advice by a Rooster on how to annoy, frustrate and harass, and I could not believe what I was told." Rubbing the chin of her serpentine head, she added, "I would have thought you all would be obsessed about it given your reproductive drives, however, it is fascinating how you all exhibit discomfort and apprehension when it comes to discussing the act instead," the Taianese soldier pointed out to Zen and Sonia.
"Your selection of ration is exceedingly disappointing," The Tigress remarked, watching Geiben get for himself what could only be described as several blocks of Nutraloaf. Having followed him there to the mess hall, she opted to watch him closely and criticize his life decisions instead. "With a matter synthesizer on hand, with more than several hundred thousand food patterns available to choose from, you chose something that closely resembles an unappealing ration bar from my own home, but without the perception altering programs necessary to make it palatable," the redhead observed. Pointing a finger at her Dog-type teammate, she added, "Even she has better food selection."
As the canine featured transhuman super-soldier got herself a Filet Mignon Sous Vide, having finished most of her tray, she reached out with her mind.
"Hey, Enid, you there?" rang the pilot's personal device. "What are you up to right now? Everyone's in the mess hall."
meanwhile frank had dropped off Hazel to soffy while he himself skipped breakfast to go double check his quarters straitening up his bunk and neatly stacking his rock music albums near his console with a few terabytes of movies one of which was highlighted with the title "Frisky Felines ft Ayumu" the rest of Franks room he straitened upand awaited his inspection.
The commander takes a soft bite out of the algae paste disguised as mashed potatoes. All in all, the texture isn't so different, just slightly less salty. "Besides, why would I spend physical resources on taste and texture, anyways? You're Taianese, you should understand more than I do, with your full embrace of virtual reality. I myself posses a VR bay. If I didn't have work to do, I could've enjoyed a full meal on a luxury, Pacifican yacht." Geiben's tone shifts slightly towards curiosity. "It'll be energy intensive, to be sure, but simulation is far cheaper than trying to materialize physical complexities of such leisures."
"That you believe such an item has a lower logistical impact is shocking," the Tigress replied, hands behind her back as she stood firm. "Theoretically, only the atomic mass and its energy equivalent should be considered, as the matter synthesizers you use create these from energy, not food paste stockpiles," she remarked, slowly walking closer. "Unless, these machines are not as miraculous as we were lead to believe?" her dead serious voice questioned him. However, as quickly as the moment of tension came, it went as she passed by. Tall and slim in her bodysuit, the Tigress's well toned form patiently stood beside one of the machines, only to return to Geiben a moment later. "Taste matters, and unlike you, we bring our augmented reality with us wherever we go," she neared the man again. "You may have to make do with less, but at least have better taste," the Taianese woman spoke, offering him an entirely different bar. "This is something called pemmican. It tastes meaty."
He leans back in thought. "I've been considering limiting our use of mass synthesizers for food items, and reserve them for emergencies only. They take up a great portion of our fuel budget, for what? The luxury of taste? We're naval officers, I think we can handle food that's slightly more bland. Besides, re-texturing black bean proteins and algae paste can yield palatable results... I think I'll talk to the chef about it." He smirks slightly. "Of course, that's not going to make me popular on this ship."
Ignored. Eh, oh well. He had someone to go visit once this whole inspection and visitor of Tai Pan thing was done. Taking a deep breathe, he exhaled slowly.His brows narrowed as he stood there, looking at the snake lady.
"Pardon me for doubting that statement considering how persistent you've been on that matter." Zenigata replied to her. "And for the record, she was the one with sexual drive that day, not me."
He gestured to Sonia as he said the last part.
"In regards to that." zenigata started in response to Quarum. "I've never seen this child's species before. We have stories that they seem to resemble but even then the stories don't provide much. Tupaarnaq, you've been super quiet. How about you tell them about that? I need to go do something."
Tupaarnaq wasn't able to get a word in before Zenigata started to walk away. Considering that there was a room inspection thing, he might as well go deal with that. Sure he might've been spending more time in Sonia's room considering how they were working on their relationship due to the children that would be born sooner rather than later. Granted, he had gotten that....pest problem taken care of thanks to Esscast's late lived prank but he hadn't really been in there much since then. Spiders were creepy little buggers as they could get inbetween everything and make a nest. But he had been told it was a thorough cleaning.
Tupaarnaq stood there, a nervous expression on his face though he did recognize Quarum. She had been there with that lone elder and had brought him onto this ship to begin with.
"In regards to the....the uh child. They bare a resemblance to Children of the Raven." Tupaarnaq started, scratching the back of his neck as he stood there. "The Raven is a character of various legends and tales in the tribes where they are a trickster but they are benevolent. Sometimes their tricks end up benefiting adlets in the stories and rarely ever doing any harm. The children of the Raven were his descedents where he made a deal to help a tribe who was struggling but needed a member of the tribe to journey with him to the source of the problem. The tribe's Kaskae agreed to journey with them and while the story varies from tribe to tribe, they all include that somewhere along the way the Children of the Raven were born between the two."
A shrug left him as he stood there.
"Again, it's all just stories though. So anything from those stories don't often give anything to em. Other than what the children of the raven look like, they don't really appear in any other stories." the teen adlet added.
Hazel was confused by the piece of protein bar they were given. Their nubs for teeth weren't useful yet. Unable to chew the bar even as they tried. Being set down near Soffy, the bird child watched Frank walk away. Tilting their head confused but not following after them. Looking to the piece of protein bar as Soffy shouted for fish, the youngster spotted her pockets bulging with the jaguar cubs, so they made a chirping sound and dropped the protein piece into the pocket.
While Green-Thumb had tried to position herself into the middle of the current brewing argument over Zenigata's reproductive abilities, it looked like their new captain had other ideas. No doubt she would be looking to make an example of her, which meant she would need to make an example of her room.
"Thank you for the warning," Green-Thumb said to Geiben, her attention turning towards her quarters. Though on her way out she overheard the Snek's last few words about advice from a Rooster type...
The last few days suddenly made a lot more sense... she could feel that woman's feathers all over their guests.
Quarum barely noticed Zenigata leaving, the woman seemed enthralled with the small bird-thing.
"Maybe they are just rare? They may have a hard time reproducing? Or perhaps they are very migratory? Or they spend most of their time in the sky? I want to know everything about you..." She said, leaning in closer to Hazel, watching closely it was set down.
The Edward Deming seemed to be gathering quite the collection of creatures.
Hazel was now right next to Soffy, the I'ee walking right up to Hazel so the kittens in her jacket could look out over the top of their pockets. Each one meowing slightly.
"This is EGGFRIEND!" Soffy said, pointing at Hazel with her antenna as she moved close enough for the kittens to reach out. Their small paws curiously poking at Hazel. "EGGFRIEND comes from where you come from!"
One of the cubs would end up chomping down on the Protein piece that was dropped to it, and Soffy would respond by using three of her legs to gently pick up the kitten so that it could he held out in front of Hazel.
IAS Edward Deming,
Green-Thumb needed to get her room into shape quickly... though after looking around it was hard to remember exactly what she was worried about. She had a few extra uniforms in storage. Some personal hygiene items stored in her bag that was strapped down next to her bed. A pillow that was velcro'd to the bed along with a blanket that wrapped around the bed itself so that the whole thing wouldn't fly away in Zero-G should artificial gravity cut off. No personal items or pictures really except for her small portable garden. A few flowers in cups of dirt in a carrying case that she had left open on her desk. It didn't seem to be a problem...
Somnya was there early
The elf herself didn't take more than a few moments to enter the room. She'd make a quick examination of the desk, the bed, and then the closet.
"Secure your plants, and get a cover for them. The dirt could be an explosion hazard if we lose gravity." Somnya said simply.
Somnya would then head towards her next target. From the ship's readout it already looked like Mark and Geiben were together... they would make for an interesting inspection.
IAS Edward Deming,
There was another chime from the door,
~Attention: Somnya requests entry~
It was time for the inspection.
The onslaught of questions from Quarum made the teenager nervous. How was he suppose to answer them all? Looking to where he last saw Zenigata, the older adlet was gone. Dang it....what was he suppose to tell her? He thought he explained it best he could....oh dear.
"All those are possible....there's also Divines Mountain but that's a place no adlet goes. Could be the place that they're from?" Tupaarnaq suggested with a weak shrug.
Having given the cat the hard piece of protien bar; hard at least for him. The bird child took a seat on the floor, the cold metal wasn't really desirable. Course as Quarum leaned in, their big eyes looked to her and they tilted their head. Making a sound as he stared at her. His feather laid flat though they puffed slightly as Soffy's voice rang out. Their big eyes were directed at the I'ee now for a few moments before the cubs drew their attention. Big paws poking him before they let out a few chirps that could be mean laughter or enjoyment before they reached up with their own hand with little black claws. Intercepting the paws a couple of times.
A confused chirp left Hazel as the feline as held out in front of them, causing them to pause in the 'game' they were playing with the others. Though they ended up merely poking the cub on their snout as a more giggle like sound seemed to leave the child now. Still, hearing Frank caused their head to turn in order to look over their shoulder; one would observe that their head seemed to turn more than a normal human's could. A higher pitch sound left them as the tried to get up as quickly as they could, even giving a false flap of their wing arms to try and help make this faster before they ran over to the towering man.
The long black talons clicking and clacking on the metal floor as they struggled to gain their footing though they seemed to arrive at Frank. Jumping in place a few times with hands reaching upward. Not even noticing the item that they held in hand.
Having checked on his original quarter's, Zenigata figured he would go to the one he had been spending more time at. Granted, it was originally Sonia's room. So upon arriving, he managed to open the door before spotting Sonia just laying there on the bed. Already, he had a bad feeling. Was that all he was good for? Bad feelings? No...he was good at being the cause of them. Entering the room, he closed the door.
"Let me guess, you now are back to hating me with everything you got?" Zenigata asked.
"My apologies, the effectiveness was surprising, and I could not stop," the serpentine soldier replied. "It was like watching a high speed grav-train wreckage in slow motion. Both you and your mate had very unique reactions which were similar yet distinctly different," she explained, a clear, translucent membrane flicking over her eyes. Not too far off however, her feline teammate was talking with someone else.
"Were it so inefficient, I would not believe the Alliance would use it so frivolously," the Tigress replied to Geiben. "More importantly, my point is that what you requested was not the most energy efficient arrangement possible," the feline tailed redhead began. "Though the pemmican I offered contains a high amount of fat, which has nine calories to protein or carbohydrate's four, and thereby is more energy dense per unit of mass, it is still not the most optimal use of energy. However, I do not believe you would tolerate an amino-acid sandwich," she pointed out to him.
"This steak was seared well and cooked to perfection, its flavor well developed," the Dog-type soldier remarked to herself, "But there seems to be something missing. Something subtle. Possibly an effect of the matter synthesizer itself," she mused. Unable to pin it down, the burly Taianese woman looked up from her food at Zen and shook her head. "I find it amazing the Adlet have a tribe consisting of a different species nearby, yet have not firmly established contact. That you have not makes it a clear indicator that your people are focused on simply acquiring enough food to survive, rather than explore and expand," she observed.
"Oh, they're starting room inspections!" the Snake-type's flat voice suddenly exclaimed, her cobra-like hood spreading out in excitement despite her poker-voice.
The Taianese trio stared into their rooms.
Frank picked up hazel petting the top of it head like you would a owl or bird chuckling softly "i was only gone little while did you miss me that much?" he said opening the packet of honey and offering Hazle some on a spoon "now you gotta go with Soffy the bug lady till inspections are done ok?"
Sonia didn't say anything at first but responded "im not mad nor do i hate you, i came down here to calm down after you pointed out that you didn't have the drive in a matter of fact way....if i knew you felt that way about it i wouldnt have tried it, dad was right no one is ever interested in me..."
"Your concerns are noted, but we're soldiers regardless of our affiliation, we're supposed to consume whatever is edible. Granted, I don't have any battlefield experience where the most frugal of conditions are considered luxury, but I have been on Pacifican oceans for weeks on end as a kid, so I'm used to chewing protein blocks." Geiben shrugged. Why did he suddenly feel comfortable sharing this information with a Taianese soldier? He checks the time on his datapad. 5 minutes. "Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to prepare room inspection." He nods to the feline, puts his plate in the washer, and heads to his room.
The commander's room was just as he left it. The room's entirety was very minimalist, the closet and desk built into the wall. Everything has soft edges and corners to them, in the event that an emergency, high-g maneuver threatens to send him or personnel thrown against a hard surface. His VR bay, which also functions as a emergency pressurized vessel and a bed at the same time, is mounted in one corner. A model of a sailboat, encased in a soft plastic case, is mounted on the back wall. Geiben's monitor, his datapad's charger, are all mounted into the desk. A few markers and a cloth have been left out, with faint traces of smudges left on the writable wall. Seeing that, the commander further wipes the wall down, and stows the writing utensils away. Otherwise, he straightens his naval uniform, and awaits Captain Somnya's entrance. In the meantime, he forwards his CIC recommendations to Mark and Mr. Wazu, while also asking for the feasibility of opening up a room for child care. Then, he considers proposing new policies on the use of the synthesizer. It's just too energy intensive for a frigate like this. Defenitley not going to make any friends, at least not with the cooks.
"Captain," he greets her. After she entered his cabin he closes the door. " Before you say anything about this," he waves at the general 'modifications' of the cabin, "we need too discus our relationship. I have known you for some time now, but now you are my superior officer. You have always been higher rank than me, but we were always friends. Now as my SO you demand a certain level of respect, but as a friend I treat you as a equal. You are the only person I care for and I don't want our professional relationship to ruin it. But I want to show I respect you in front of the others. I think there are only two options for us. We either forget about our friendship, which I really don't want, or we continue like we currently are, I treat you as a SO in front of them and when I am in your company I treat you as a friend. It's your choice..." he sighs and turns back too the desk. Feeling like the world is resting on his shoulders.
"The Divines Mountain?" Quarum asked, her mouth clamping down around her ice-cream laden spoon for a moment as she chewed through both that thought and that ice-cream.
"Could you find that on a map? We could observe it from space! Maybe send a drone over there to take a look?... oh uh, Would you know what it looks like from space? Have you seen your planet from space?!" Quarm reached for her datapad, juggling her items around until she had her spoon in her mouth, her ice cream in one hand, and her datapad in the other. She'd use her thumb to quickly bring up a view of the planet from the ship, showing Tupaarnaq a beautiful planetscape from above.
She nodded and tried to hand the pad over... as with her mouth holding the spoon she couldn't really speak.
Hazel would skid across the floor nearby, and the I'ee would carefully place the cub she was holding back into one of her coat pockets. The various pockets all meowing as the cubs moved around and munched on the fish-bars she filled her pockets with.
"Come on EGGFRIEND!" Soffy said, waving at Hazel, "Lets go watch some TV! Little furry-friends want to play!"
IAS Edward Deming,
Somnya's first concern was the room itself. Tools were magnetically secured against the wall. Clothing and other personal effects were put away. Only the necessary tools and parts for his current work were out. This is what she was looking for, certainly exactly what she expected from someone under her command.
Once she had finished her inspection, she turned her attention to her engineer. He certainly was the arch-typical engineer... working on some project, intelligent, maybe missing a few of the social cues that came so naturally to someone like her.
She considered putting him in his place, or perhaps finding a place for him...
"While in uniform, you will refer to me as your captain..."
Somnya, at least in uniform, was quite strict. This was a military after all, she needed people to follow orders. Just because Mark was a friend, just because someone like Heram Wazu had some prior history with her, just because someone was a guest from another empire didn't mean she would be showing them special treatment.
"We are here to make sure this ship is operational, and to keep a war with Tai Pan from breaking out until we are ready for it. The Interstellar Alliance is full of people like Heram Wazu. Talented perhaps, but lacking in the temperament and follow through for war... He tried to rebuild this ship's CIC and left the job unfinished. Your next task will be to make sure he finishes that work. Then you'll have a talk with him about the weapon systems. Then you will get familiar with the changes made to this ship. I want us ready for a fight before we get back to Hawking."
She crossed her arms under her chest again, shifting her weight onto one leg. It certainly made for a striking pose.
"Save your affection for when we are out of uniform."
IAS Edward Deming,
The command center of the ship... or at least it used to be. The ship's CIC was a single room, an airlock on either end, with heavy composite shielding around the entire thing. Suitable for allowing the crew of the ship to have the best chance of survival if they were attacked. Electrical paths were inlaid into the floor, and image projectors were inset into the ceiling... however the room was only half-assembled. A spherical drone was hovering in the center of the room, various mechanical arms set along the underside ready to assemble equipment.
Heram Wazu was looking at his datapad, trying to work out the best layout for the ship's new CIC...
"I've never been there, I know it's far to the west of my home tribe and I've heard stories of what it might look like.." Tupaarnaq started but went silent was he was flooded with more questions.
The adlet shook his head in response, no...he never saw the planet from space. He had been a bit too preoccupied when he first came on struggling with the difference in ground. As when he first came aboard, his one paw was still twisted. So he hadn't looked out any of the windows when they were over the planet. With the strange device offered to him, a confused expression came to his face.
Now he had seen these things around before but he didn't understand them; not yet anyway. Reaching to accept it, he took it from Quarum just so she'd have her hand back. Slowly, he looked down though fond himself unable to look away from the picture.
Hazel was picked up with glee as they adjusted their position in the large man's arm. Accepting the spoon from them, they attempted to chew on it for a moment before the honey was offered. A sound left them as they tilted their head at Frank's words. Stay with I'ee? But why had they come back if he couldn't go with them? Looking over at Soffy, they made this same confused sound. Looking back and forth between the two.
For the words that left the Tai Pan serpent, Zenigata and Sonia had long been gone form the messhall. Most falling on no one's ears.
Since the door was closed, no one snooping around would be able to hear what was going on or sneak into the room. Zenigata stood there, his tail giving a twitch.
"Sonia, you are being governed more by hormones right now but no matter what I say I'll make things worse." Zenigata started. "You will recall, that I was in the medical wing for a heart attack. That you had just admitted your feelings and got upset with me because I didn't answer immediately and even more upset, when I admitted to you that I didn't what love or attraction to someone else felt like. Yet, you were still upset with me. You initiated the sexual contact and I'm also to blame, because I was too stunned and surprised to tell you no."
But again, she would only see the negative of this.
"Your father is wrong and once the Tai Pan annoyances leave this ship, I'm having a talk with him again. Because he clearly didn't learn his damn lesson." Zenigata added. "Everything your father says is wrong. People having interest in you isn't just sex, it's people wanting to get to know you and be there for you. I told you when you asked, I liked you, that counts as interest. Yes, it wasn't a extreme attraction but it was still liking you. Because I never liked any girls in the tribes in a romantic way, I still don't know how to do this type of relationship. Again, your only upset due to horomones and Ty's lying ass but that's not going to change anything, it's not going to make anything I say better."
It wouldn't. When would he ever do anything right? Oh wait....he never would. Already he could fee his thoughts swirling, feeling the negative weight on his shoulders.
"Why am I even bothering...more fuel to the fire that you're going to roast me on." Zenigata muttered under his breathe.
meanwhile at the mess hall frank looked to soffy and back to hazel spotting the confusion and hearing its confused sound "actually soffy ill take hazel with me to my room." cradling the bird child he carry it to his quarters before setting it down on his lap as he takes a seat on his bed.
"O-oh my!" Outside of Mark's room, the serpentine soldier from Tai Pan pressed the side of her head against the door, her ethnic deadpan cracking at the edges as she stuttered for a moment. Fanged maw opening, the voice that came out of her throat next was anything but her own. No, instead, they heard the Snake-type repeat every single little word she felt through the door for the other two - and anyone else around - to hear.
"This lack of professionalism is unacceptable," the Tigress frowned, arms crossed across her chest.
"No, this is far more than that. This is very...suggestive," the Snake pointed out, voice trailing off for a moment as she searched for the right word. As the two expectantly paused however, there was a moment of awkward silence between the two before they turned their gaze on their companion.
"What else are they saying?" the Dog asked, her face expressionless as she scooted in closer, eyes locked on the serpent.
"Ahem." Geiben steps out of his room, one hand behind his back, the other in front of his mouth in a relaxed fist. He looks at the three Taianese soldiers. "You should be in your rooms by now." He then puts his hand up, "And yes, before your minds wander further into a gutter, the captain had past relationships, platonic, mind you, that she brought with her aboard." It probably wasn't best to reveal internal relationships to the Taianese, but at this point, letting them speculate was probably even worse. Forefathers know what Somnya's going to do to the Taianese, Mark, and possibly himself once she leaves that room. Mark though... dummkopf, couldn't he have resolved it over private comms? Scheisse like this is why he--- Dammit, now's not the time! The commander looks at the plaque on the door with Mark's name and rank on it. "... One of her past crew-mates she brought on board is this engineer, Mark here. I'm fairly certain they're resolving their current relationship right now."
"On the other hand..." He looks back at the Taianese sternly. "Suggestive, as you call it, or not, you have no right eavesdropping on others, especially now that you're on a foreign vessel. I imagine you would not take kindly to us prancing about on your own ships as if it were home either. Now please, return to your quarters, and wait until inspection is complete. Geiben remains standing there until the Taianese start moving.
"Don't waste too much time playing with yourself in here, my satisfaction comes first," Somnya said, resting her artificial hand on her hip as she watched Mark go back to tinkering with his toys. "Heram Wazu probably already has his hands on a few things right now. Be certain he is working on the right things."
Somnya would head towards the door, opening it up and getting a face-full of Snek-type being chewed out by Geiben. Somnya could remain professional, even if she was slightly steamed that Hoshiko wasn't here. She had her own score to settle and had asked for this transfer just in case an opportunity would present itself. Instead of the best case scenario, she got these three to entertain for the night.
"Certainly what Mark and I do behind closed doors isn't the most interesting thing on board this ship... Geiben, if you can handle all three at once then please see to it our guests are taken care of. We will postpone your room inspection for the time being. If you need more hands, feel free to call upon Green-Squad to assist."
Without spending more time, she would move to the next room over, sliding the door open and finding ... nobody there.
Somnya would cross her arms...
She could practically feel the Tainese watching her from behind...
She held up her artificial hand, using the thumb to turn on a small display that projected just above her fingers. She'd quickly send a message to the ship's resident pilot,
'ENID. YOU ARE LATE FOR YOUR ROOM INSPECTION.'
She would turn her attention back to Geiben and their guests...
"Or perhaps now is the time to inspect Soffy's room. I think our guests should appreciate seeing how she lives."
IAS Edward Deming,
"OK FRANK!" Soffy shouted, waving at him as he cradled Hazel, "BYE EGGFRIEND!"
The I'ee would then head back to her room, pockets full of fish-bars and kittens.
Meanwhile Quarum was still intently watching the Adlet as he struggled with the Datapad.
"You can move the image around by dragging your finger across the screen..." She tried to be as helpful as possible, wanting to give the Adlet a bit of distance and all of the time they needed, but at the same time she was practically hovering over the Adlet. The intensity of her curiosity just coming off her like heat from an oven. "I can show you where we talked with the Shaman, if that is helpful. Maybe that would help you get your bearings?"
The commander lightly knocks on the door, then opens it up with his own recognition codes. Seeing the fuzzy insect, Geiben gives a warm smile. The likes of her are a sight for sore eyes around here. Completely innocent and devoted to her job, it's a mindset to be envied for. "Good day, Soffy, how are the xenos faring on board?" He steps into the room, looking around.
For the longest time, all three of the Taianese soldiers stared at Geiben as though he had sprouted a second head, or had talked in B̵̧̞̫͗͘l̴̪̈͌̈́͘ǎ̶̧̳̼̜̟͑͑ͅc̷̙̭̠͛͗́͂k̴̪̟͓̼̤̂̏̈́͋ ̷͔̠͎́̈͘S̶̝̅̑p̴̲̦͕͕̉ȩ̴̲̹̪̖͌̀ͅe̴̢̲̟̽͐̐̌̉c̵̘̗̯̼͚̀͒̍h̴̰̪̹͈͇̏̃̆ instead, before looking at each other in that expressionless way that they looked at everyone and everything. His words about going about in their own quarters got the most peculiar reaction out of them, and this time, it was unmistakable. They were confused. However, that only lasted as long as it did.
"Don't waste too much time playing with yourself in here, my satisfaction comes first," the Snake type soldier spoke in Somnya's voice, their ears perking up in clear interest. However, when the elf made her way out, bumping into her serpentine head, the trio quickly assembled together into a line as the knife-eared woman spoke again. However, they remained silent, like children caught doing something they shouldn't have done. It was only when Somnya and Geiben were out of eyesight that she spoke again. "All three of us?" the Snake began, her slit pupiled eyes quickly shifting to where Geiben disappeared to, and then Green Thumb. "At once?" she feigned apprehension.
"You have spent too much time with that Rooster," the Tigress then remarked, crossing her arms over her chest.
"It's like they're in a private server all the time, but in public," the Dog type soldier began to realize.
IAS Edward Deming
Message To Enid
I thought you were still angry at me or didn't want to talk, but I am guessing you were indisposed of and unable to answer. Your crewmates' behavior is very intriguing. We were coming along with the room inspections to see everyone's rooms, but when the elf lady was in someone else's room, my teammate pressed her head against the door so she could listen in and tell us what they were saying. Right away, we heard the man say that he wanted to discuss their relationship, and then said she had a choice to either do things one way, or another. And then the elf lady said while they were in uniform he'd have to refer to her as captain, but would have to save his affections for her when they were out of their uniforms. He agreed, but then the elf lady said that he shouldn't waste too much time playing with himself in his room, and that her satisfaction came first. Shu thought they were being unprofessional, but Jiaying says that they were being very suggestive after pausing for a moment. Geiben said things to us, and then the elf lady almost bopped into Jiaying on her way out, and then said that if Geiben could handle all three of us at once, he would have to take care of us and now he just went into a room. What's gonna happen to us next in these 'room inspections' once they close the doors? This is really exciting.
'Dont get into trouble tho'
'Oh and I was playing some games so I spaced out a little bit. Im in my room now tho. Gotta get a shower first.'
Kicking off her shoes she steps into her bathroom. She peels off her shirt and stares at the large triangle shape of sweat on the back. Removing her workout shorts and undergarments in the same motions she turns the water on before stepping in. "Should close this door to incase they come back around." Speaking to herself as she shuts the bathroom door. Meekly stepping under the warm water she begins gentle rubbing the areas of her shoulders where the sweat accumulated. Her shower will take no more than 15 quick minutes.
And she couldn't have answered his question originally or told him that she got shots to be up to date? He doubted it. But what was the point in pushing it? No point really. Still this whole mess combined with everything else was starting to...stir some thoughts. He could already feel it swirling around, poking at his more uncertain traits.
"Alright, sorry." Zenigata apologized, a hand going to his face. "I need to go..get something for the migrane those three have been giving me. I'll be back."
Leaving the room, the adlet kept a hand over one half of his face. Displeasure going through him as he tried his best to ignore the mutterings he could hear. The subtle darkness poking at his mind. He...needed to get something for this. A headache was one thing but add this mess onto it? Nope, not a good mix.
"It wouldn't really do anything." Tupaarnaq replied. I don't even know where exactly my home is, I just fled from my home and well got lost." Tupaarnaq said.
Hazel fiddled with the spoon, not quite in the mood for honey they didn't really protest it. They merely waved the spoon about with a small chirp leaving them. There was even a moment they looked like they were going to stick it into the honey but they paused there. Of course, they were in more of a energetic mood as they were set down, easily standing up with a giggle of sorts as they ran across the bed; their talons thankfully not piercing through. The spoon was still in hand though.
Zenigata arrived with a brow narrowed as he felt the pounding headache rage in his head. Frustrating and painful....all of it!! If only he could just thrust the tai pan into space...knowing them though. They would have some item to allow them to breathe for a good while floating out there.
"Soffy..." Zenigata called, hoping she was in here though..his tone showed his irritation.
"pardon my interruption captain, would it be too much to ask if i could request a surgery to fix my disfigurement?" frank asked trying to be as respectful as he can if he was interrupting something. frank wouldn't know as he does try to be as behaved and out of higher ups hair as he could partly due to that is what he was created for and the other out of respect to wazu for recruiting him and giving him a chance to make a difference.
Somnya watched as Enid came and went. It was amazing that such levels of... whatever this was, had been permitted on board the ship before she arrived. She wouldn't try to stop Enid... someone who brushed past the ship's captain, ignored inspections, then went to shower clearly had no time for such mundane things. Instead, Somnya would prepare a message by flicking her thumb across the display in the palm of her artificial hand.
"When you are finished with your shower, run 800 laps of the ship then come see me."
It wasn't about if she could actually do 800 laps. Somnya was also a bit unsure of exactly how far a lap was on board this ship, but that wasn't the point. The point was to provide a task that she was bound to fail at. She'd finish the room inspection itself later.
It was now time to inspect Soffy's room.
Somnya had brought one of her own medical officers with her. Kala had been reliable enough, and was actually a medical officer of the Alliance Navy. This should be far more suitable than the I'ee who was currently assigned. Soffy may have some medical talent, but her file indicated she was a biologist first and a doctor second.
Somnya wasn't sure if her own medical officer had the opportunity to get settled in with her new roommate yet.
Regardless, Somnya would arrive at Soffy's room shortly after Geiben.
IAS Edward Deming,
Soffy's room was rather large, it was meant for four people, a large shared space in the center, four bedrooms connecting to it, and two shared restrooms with large baths. The center of the room was strewn with blankets and pillows, an elaborate pillow-fort stretching most of the center of the room was facing a large display screen which was going through episodes of some magical-girl Anime. The walls of the room were decorated with ancient weapons, swords, Sais, Nun-chucks, throwing stars... There were also pictures of bacteria, as well as stuffed-animal versions of tartigrades, Sphere-like viruses, and large plush tigers.
Soffy herself was sitting under a blanket, a bowl of fruit-stacks sitting next to her. She was nibbling on a big blob of red jello-looking material, as her legs petted one of the kittens they had brought up from the surface. Another one of the kittens was also holding onto her blanket as it climbed its way on top of Soffy's head.
There was a second I'ee in the room sitting next to Soffy. She was holding a bright pink magical-girl wand and petting one of the kittens that they brought up from the planet. Her other three legs were hugging a magical-girl-Ayumu body pillow as she intently watched the the cartoon, leaning in as the magical girls fought off some kind of monster. This I'ee's body was a glossy jet-black, missing the yellow stripes that were common on most I'ee. When the door opened on its own, this I'ee would turn its head slightly so those massive compound eyes could see what was happening by the doorway.
The I'ee's antenna practically shot upward!
"INTRUDERS!" The I'ee shouted, the I'ee bolting over to the side of the room so she could grab a sword. The kitten she was holding being gently tossed towards a group of pillows as the I'ee jumped up on the wall, her wings fluttering to give her a bit of extra 'UMPF' so she could get a hold of one of the swords. She quickly pulled it from its sheath, the sword having some extra loops attached to the handle so some of her legs could actually hold the weapon... albiet a bit awkwardly. The I'ee then stood up on her back two legs and ran at Geiben shouting, "AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!"
"TORACE NO!" Soffy shouted, putting down her own kittens and running over to her sister, hugging her from behind before she could reach Geiben. "GEIBEN IS A FRIEND! NO STABBING!...." Soffy didn't need to turn to look at Geiben while she was focusing on her sister, those large compound eyes giving her a good view of everything going on in the room as she worked on restraining her sister, "Kitten-friends are doing fine! They like eating the fish and like being hugged!"
"STAY BEHIND ME SOFFY!" Torace shouted, still unconvinced that defending wasn't needed. Three of her limbs were awkwardly trying to wave the sword around, though she wasn't getting very far with it. Even if she was close to Geiben it seemed unlikely the I'ee would be able to hit him with enough force to do real damage. The I'ee seemed to get a bit more panicked when she couldn't get over to Geiben. The pair awkwardly jumping about on the floor of pillows without either really being able to move anywhere... though it didn't take long for Torace to shout, "GLITTER POWER!" and throw her plastic-magical-girl-wand at Geiben with enough accuracy to at least get it going towards the correct side of the room.
Green-Thumb would also receive Geiben's message, she couldn't imagine what the Taianese were up to that would require extra assistance. Undoubtedly it was something... extra. Her room had been checked, and for the time being she was free... so she decided to stop by the armor first to pickup her G8 Launcher and a magazine of stun-rounds to secure to her back just in case. Even before she made it to their location she could hear someone shouting "INTRUDERS!" from down the hallway.
This indicated it was time for her to load her weapon, and rush towards the source of the sound...
Elsewhere on the ship, Zenigata would be reaching the med bay only to find it was empty. The ship's computer would happily relay Soffy's location, sending Zenigata towards Soffy's room and the increasingly loud events unfolding.
And in the hallway nearby, Somnya would be overhearing the commotion in Soffy's room, while also responding to Frank's request.
"You have whatever approval you need from me for surgical upgrades of any kind..." Somnya herself seemed hesitant to actually take the next few steps to reach Soffy's room. She seemed QUITE happy to just talk with Frank for the time being. "I brought my own medical officer with me. Kala should be able to carry out the surgery. Please speak with her to arrange a time for the operation as well as to discuss specifics. Also have her provide me with a report on your physical fitness and genetic well being. My understanding is that the OGREs are also looking to deal with a drop in their population?"
Geiben winces at the large amount of decorations, pillows, and toys in the room. There he was, minimizing the mass of belongings he brought on board, and here's Soffy and Torace living a comparative luxury. Somehow, the higher-ups approved all this. He comes forward to Torace, giving one last look at the toy, then hands it back to her. "Soffy, I must remind you that this is a naval vessel. Make sure all passageways are clear of your belongings. Any hard objects ---like this magic wand of yours--- needs to stowed away in a secure container when you're not using it. These decorations of yours---" Geiben points to the comical amount of ancient weaponry on the walls, "--- are to be securely mounted." The commander makes a few steps backward into the hall, spotting Green Thumb coming his way. He nods at her. "It's alright, Lieutenant. Just met Torace." The commander turns back to the I'ee. "We will be making sure you make said changes." At this point, his warm smile has wavered to one of blank professionalism. "That will be all."
The commander steps out of the room and gives Green Thumb one more look. "The grenade launcher might be overkill. Though, I suppose not, given the nature of our guests." Geiben muses out loud, then looking at his data pad. "Why are they on the ship again? Shouldn't they be with the Vice Admiral back on her cruiser? I don't know what they have to gain by wandering around and constantly ordered at by us." He taps his data pad. "Let's see now... Frank is next. He's been here a while, hasn't he? For a soldier as large as him, I don't see him around often. His room... back in the direction of Enid's. Forefathers help the rookie. She'll be lucky she doesn't get kicked off the ship when we get back to Hawking." He lifts his head, looking at Green Thumb as he walks forward. "Would you like to join me, ma'--- Lieutenant?"
if franks room was next they would find a simple one bedroom area franks bed built into a wall doubling as a medical bed that could deposit pain meds as frank slept, his walls adorn with O.G.R.E memorabilia a small workbench and whetstone lay in the far corner of the room with a well kept sword laying on the bench. small child toys primitive in nature lay on his bed with a smaller pillow. finally a few hollow tapes with titles such as "frisky ferrols" and "playful kitties" lay next to a few combat stim cases.
The loud, furious clacking of boots hitting the floor at a too-quick pace was getting louder and louder and although it was mostly drowned out by all the commotion from the goings on in front of Soffy's room it was undoubtedly present to any with sharp ears. Kala, the aforementioned Medical Officer, was very unhappy. In fact, by the time she was in view, she looked absolutely livid. Her pale skin was almost beet red, and it didn't take a genius to figure out that she was holding back a plethora of profanity- an absolute stream of shit that was held back by the vein that was bulging on her forehead. It didn't help that she looked like she could be some of the crew's mother- signs of aging evident despite the shape that she kept herself in.
She stopped marching- a good five or so feet away from the little tour group and eyed them each individually until they landed on Somya.
"Captain- I'm going to start off with a; What the hell?" She huffed, "I'm not sure exactly what's going on with the medical bay- but it sure doesn't look like one. Because unless I've suddenly developed severe hallucinations or, perhaps, this all some prank- hilarious, by the way- the whole place isn't fit for half of anything more than basic checkups and procedures." The Medical Officer paused for a moment to take a very deep, calming breath- to some effect, at least. With some form of sensibility suddenly finding its way back to the front of her brain she flared her nostrils a few times and then pinched the bridge of her nose, "I'll bother you about it later- I see that you have some sort of little tour group going on."
As the elvish captain made her way to Soffy's room, she would see several Taianese figures using the commotion as an excuse to flee their would-be handler. Soon enough, the three crowded around the outside of Soffy and Torace's room, and peeking their heads in, were aghast at what they saw.
"Is...that a body pillow of the Zhōngjiàng?" the Tigress slowly, her feline tail held high as its tip twitched. Though many feelings mixed and swirled within her mind, she kept a firm lid on it as she could, more out of shock than any restraint however. Not that these Alliance types could tell.
"No, I do not believe so," the serpent replied. "Recall that the Zhōngjiàng had to deal with a doppleganger some time back? Look there, at the screen, she's apparently doing a lot of actress work now," the female snake pointed out. "Now that I look into it, this show is called 'Magical Girl Ayumu', and - " Right then, the Taianese soldier realized that the show came in both a PG-13 variant, and an adult version with 'additional footage' and shut her mouth, quickly changing the topic as best she could. "It is a silly human thing and is irrelevant." As the Snake said this, the titular magical girl began battle with a ferociously tentacled monster, magical heart blasts cratering the buildings as it deftly dodged her attacks.
"That pillow fort is of poor construction, using inferior materials," the muscular Dog type soldier chimed in, her attention instinctively going to the fortifications and tough ground fighting that she was made for. "Taianese pillow forts are several stories in height, made out of specialized super-pillows that are both comfortable and conducive to safe creativity," she explained. Rubbing her chin in thought, she pondered what was possible in the confined space of this room.
A few loud complaints later, and both the medical officer and elvish captain in the hall found several sets of Taianese eyes staring back at them.