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Planetary De(m)ise (Axl x Ori)

Axl · 2 · 186

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Offline Axl

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Space passed by with whispers of light to break the smothering silence the vast darkness forced upon The Cludiant, a transport class freighter captained by Sebastian Minursun. Woken up by an incessant bowel movement that didn’t warrant clothes. The older man peered out his quarter’s window at the infinitesimal stars speeding past. Wrinkled hands overlapping each other behind him comfortably. “Have you ever witnessed the death of a planet, Sebastian?” the question rattled around his head like beads in a child’s toy.

The Cludiant and crew were hired to take a team of astrophysicists to the Galaxy Hertiant, Solar System Qygor, and observe the potential demise of the Planet Agraporh via a cataclysmic lunar failure. The ship spent most of its journey using its faster than light engine, an engine that required breaks to recharge. Which provided the scientists moments to ponder scientific thoughts and discuss hypotheses amongst themselves. Going faster than light made communication taxing on everyone involved and is much better to experience seated. FTL chairs are designed to help lessen the negative effects brought on by gravitational forces at such a speed.

From gelled seats to anti-nausea drugs to silicon moulds and hallucinogens, everyone has a way to cope with the stresses of travel. Sebastian turned and looked at his tank of FTL 0-G medical-grade gel. Years of travelling faster than light takes a toll on a body not meant for such speeds. During the engine’s breaks, Seb can get a nice rest in his bed, during FTL travel though. He has to stay submerged in the gel or risk bone fractures, skin tears and muscle ruptures. A special breathing apparatus allows oxygen to be fed to the inhabitant while submerged.

“Ship wide alert: FTL engine charged, commencing FTL travel in T-minus one hour” the ship’s monotonous voice chimed over the speakers. One hour was more than enough time to get everyone situated, but there was always one or two stragglers that caused a delay no matter the time allotted. Sebastian sighed as he slowly walked to his tank, each step producing a skin slap on metal. The worst part of this whole endeavour was climbing in and out of the tank. Punching in a few commands the good captain watched as the tank drained and replaced its gel.

Climbing into the tank and slipping the apparatus over his face he took one last look at the window “No, my dear. I’ve never seen a planet die, but I’m no stranger to death” Sebastian’s idle thought drowned in the coldness of the gel. Closing his eyes he waited for the inevitable jolt of the tank as the engine kicked in. Seconds turned to minutes, minutes crept to an hour and the dreaded jolt shook the tank. Sebastian stole one last glance out his window, a window that seemed to be getting closer. His mouth opened to voice an involuntary scream as the tank’s glass cracked against the windows.

His scream and aggressive jolt knocked the breathing apparatus off the elderly man’s face, robbing him of oxygen and providing him with an unhealthy ingestable dose of FTL gel. Sebastian struggled to move through the gel, to get his head out of the tank. His frantic attempts were met with the same resistance as the FTL gravitational forces. Sebastian Minursun would never see the death of a planet, he barely saw the death of himself.
“Now arriving in the Qygor system. Please set course to Kiltar space station” The computerized voice chimed just as the FTL engine jolted the ship to a stop, a jolt that sent the good captain’s tank crashing into the wall. A crash echoed throughout the ship like a sneeze in the night. The ship’s crew hurried as fast as their post FTL bodies would let them. The gravitational strain combined with the drugs slowed them down mentally and physically. Splitting up into groups they combed the ship from top to bottom. No one thought about disturbing Captain Sebastian, a man who routinely had a nap after each FTL jump.

Kiltar space station orbited Juangyr, the less doomed sister planet of Agraporh. Kiltar was an ugly construct, all function no beauty. Riddled with docking bays, satellite arrays, the latest in carbon fibre windows, and metal walls built to withstand glancing asteroids. Unlike the Cludiant, which was built for space travel and looked the part. With its tempered glass windows, standard-issue communication antennas and metal walls built to withstand gravity and internal dents. Docking in the Kiltar was a simple passing of transponder codes and passing through a gaping metallic maw. Once inside, the Cludiant was clamped by metallic arms and forced to adhere to the station’s gravity and orbit.

An adherence which caused the crew, passengers and any unsecured cargo to shift about. A shift that caused the tank in the captain’s quarters to bounce off the wall and roll to his window. A window which overlooked the docking bay workers as they went about their jobs, jobs which got a lot more interesting. After all, it isn’t every day you see a naked old man drowned in FTL gel. Cludiant’s crew, still unaware of their captain’s embarrassing fate, went about their docking procedures. Unloading their cargo, passengers and eagerly awaiting their allotted downtime off the ship.

A downtime which undoubtedly will be plagued with grief, investigators, electing a new captain and the demise of a planet.


Offline Commanderori

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Sure, maybe it wasn't the most... polite thing to do, but in his many years of wandering through space Lak had found that sniffing comm arrays tended to be one of the better ways to find out what was happening in a sector. Of course, not being one of the people technically allowed to access it, the best he could do was grab everything it was transmitting and let his shipself sort through it. Most of it was just the random junk you'd expect from a civilian comm array; letters home, manifests and travel plans, news of interest to the civilians but boring to their visitor, and the like. Lak's ship used it to update the local star charts but he himself didn't much care for it unless it would be interesting to go check out in person... or as much as he ever does that.

Fortunatly for him this particular sat had a newscast his ship flagged, streaming it to his current second as he putters around in one of the workshops aboard his ship. Pausing his work, Lak eyes the holograph that has popped up, perusing the news stream quietly. He'd downloaded and learned the local trade language a while ago, so was able to follow most of it without subtitles. It was a broadcast talking about how one of the planets in a nearby system was experiencing severe gravitational tides from... something going wrong with its moon. As usual of entertainment news broadcasts it was light on details and heavy on speculation and smarmy remarks from the hosts. Still, it was more interesting than sitting here bothering comm relays, and brings a smile to the alien's face.

Waving the hologram away with one of his hands, lak pulls the equipment he had been working on together and stows it safely so it wouldn't roll around if the ship had to maneuver, before streching himself out. Interlocking the six fingers of each of his four hands, he streches the four arms over his head and yawns widely. Two nearly foot long fangs are visible inside the cybernetic mouth of the second, complete lack of a throat (though a tongue still present anyways) not enough to distract from the built in weapons and their tiny hypodermic tips. Closing his mouth, Lak reaches up and rubs at the edge of his cobra like hood. True, this body didn't actually get tired or sore, but Lak still felt the stiffness in it after being in one place for too long. There's no hair on his head as might be expected from a naga like reptile, even more so when the reptile in question is actually an android second. His six eyes are arrayed three a side in a line that slopes gently upwards, void black slits in the center with vibrant green around them. His body is about twelve feet long from the crown of his head to the tip of his tail, though from contact point to crown varies from five to six feet depending on how he's holding himself at the time. The rest of his body snakes out behind him, counterweight and motive function in one. This particular bodies' scales are a deep forest green on his back and the outer side of his body, slate gray along his chest and continuing down towards his tail. Microscopic circuitry patters crisscrossing the scales, each on moving of seemingly its own accord to accommodate his movement.

Turning from the desk lak slinks along the deck plates and out of the room, gracefully moving down the hallways of his ship until he arrives in the main astrogation room. A massive spherical room, multiple decks and stations spiraling up around a truly gigantic hologram in the center. Many more of his seconds are at the stations around it, as much for his own comfort as for giving the shipself sets of hands to work with. He wasn't one of his kind who liked the empty ship, seconds all standing silently in rows when not in use. Instead he kept them active, allowed the proper Synthetically Grown Intelligences to develop and learn and become his crew in the process. Wrapping his body around one of the vertical travel poles, Lak spirals up it until he's reached the central deck where the main controls are. Waving in greeting to the SGI already there, a somewhat less heavily armored second with shiny blue scales, lak moves up to the console and fiddles with it to bring the local cluster up on the central hologram. "Sssisss, could you pleassse pull the system that broadcast was talking about up?" Nodding to him, the other  second gives him a quiet "Sure." and selects a system with her console, highlighting it on the display. "Lovely. 'linking herald." Going stock still for a moment, Lak's second watches the display impassionedly as it suddenly snaps to showing the system in question. Starting to move again, lak messes with his console and flicks the camera around, eventually zooming in to the station sitting in orbit of one of the planets. "Good a place to start as any. Brace for interlink!"

---

In orbit of Juangyr, a small pinprick of light suddenly forms in a nice high orbit, well out of the way of any traffic that might be coming through. For a moment it just sparkles, then over the course of half a second Lak's kilometer long observatory-cruiser blossoms from nowhere, settling into orbit as though it had been there forever and without a care in the 'verse. As expected a ship suddenly popping up without even the grace to give off a hyperspace wake surprised station traffic control, but a quick discussion and assurance that he was just here for the science and didn't need to dock the whole ship to visit they had him perform a minor course correction and approved his new orbit.

Boarding the station went similarly to how the ship had arrived, however interlinking a single second didn't even give people time to see the pinprick of light. One moment the small craft landing platform was empty, the next his second was on it, slithering up to the airlock and cycling through. It didn't surprise him to get funny looks from the people around here, most of them seemed to be fairly homogenous, and he *was* an alien after all, android body or not. He spent the next hour or so wandering around the docks, making small talk with the people and looking over the variety of ships docking in the brutalist station. It certainly wasn't his type of place, but he had enough tact not to actually say that out loud since he was a guest.

On particular ship caught his attention as he was wandering past, his sensors picking up something weird on it as he did so. Stopping, he watches the crew disembarking and unloading cargo for a few moments, eyes stopping here and there as he goes about trying to figure out what was off here. Cludiant was noted across the side of it a ways up, and to his eye it looked like a fairly normal personnel transport. It actually took him longer than he would like to admit to figure it out, stopping one of the nearby crew with a tug on the sleeve and pointing up at the view port into the ex-captains cabin. "Hey... sssorry if thisss isss a ssstupid quessstion, but isss your morgue sssupposssed to have bodiesss right up against the window like that?
« Last Edit: December 16, 2020, 04:58:29 AM by Commanderori »
Bullets might have someone’s name on them, but 20 kilos of high explosives is more “To whom it may concern”.