becka_sutton: Becka's default icon (Default)
Sorry the prompt post is late this week


Post 43 is up!


You know the drill. If you wish, leave a one or two word prompt or a single line of dialogue and I will try and use it. This prompt post will be open until midnight GMT Sunday/Monday.
becka_sutton: Becka's default icon (Default)
Post 42 is up!


You know the drill. If you wish, leave a one or two word prompt or a single line of dialogue and I will try and use it. This prompt post will be open until midnight GMT Sunday/Monday.
becka_sutton: Becka's default icon (Default)
Post 41 is up!


You know the drill. If you wish, leave a one or two word prompt or a single line of dialogue and I will try and use it. This prompt post will be open until midnight GMT Sunday/Monday.

becka_sutton: Becka's default icon (Default)
http://firebird-fiction.com/whisper-of-damkina/the-whisper-of-damkina-part-fortyfirebird-fiction.com/whisper-of-damkina/the-whisper-of-damkina-part-forty

You know the drill. If you wish, leave a one or two word prompt or a single line of dialogue and I will try and use it. This prompt post will be open until midnight GMT Sunday/Monday.
becka_sutton: Becka's default icon (Default)
Part 39 is up!

You know the drill. If you wish, leave a one or two word prompt or a single line of dialogue and I will try and use it. This prompt post will be open until midnight GMT Sunday/Monday.


becka_sutton: Becka's default icon (Default)
Part 38 is up!

You know the drill. If you wish, leave a one or two word prompt or a single line of dialogue and I will try and use it. This prompt post will be open until midnight GMT Sunday/Monday.




becka_sutton: Becka's default icon (Default)
Part 37 is up!

You know the drill. If you wish, leave a one or two word prompt or a single line of dialogue and I will try and use it. This prompt post will be open until midnight GMT Sunday/Monday.

becka_sutton: Becka's default icon (Default)
I'm not getting comments on the Dreamwidth story posts so I'm going to only post the story posts on my main site from now on. If you have been reading it here you'll still be able to find a link to the story posts via the prompt posts like this.

Part 36 is up!

You know the drill. If you wish, leave a one or two word prompt or a single line of dialogue and I will try and use it. This prompt post will be open until midnight GMT Sunday/Monday.





becka_sutton: Becka's default icon (Default)
Part 35 is up!

You know the drill. If you wish, leave a one or two word prompt or a single line of dialogue and I will try and use it. This prompt post will be open until midnight GMT Sunday/Monday.
becka_sutton: Becka's default icon (Default)
Start with the First Part or check out Part Thirty Four if you missed it. Or you can find every part to date archived at my website with easier navigation.

--

"Attention, Whisper and escort," came the message from Talis Station. "Please take up a waiting configuration. We have a bit of a situation."

"That doesn't sound good," Amanpreet muttered before responding. "Affirmative, Talis Station. What sort of situation?"

"The fight you were just in with the Vaians seems to have triggered some sort of security protocols in the Talis computer. They have an automated defense system that started up when the first laser was fired. It's not shooting at us because it has us designated as friendly but we think it might fire at anything else that moves."

"So you'd like us to wait until the computer powers it down again?"

"Yes, precisely. It shouldn't be too long once we've given it the data to understand the situation is not a threat to the eggs."

"Make sense," Amanpreet said. "But it's impressive that it still works after so long."

"We could say that about all their technology. I'll call you once it's safe. Talis Station out."

***

It was a couple of hours later that they finally got the all clear from Talis Station and proceed in system from the asteroid belt and docked in the human section of the station. Sangat was waiting for them as soon they disembarked.

"Am!" he said. "Are you okay? That was unnerving."

"We're fine!" Amanpreet hugged her brother. "It was only a short wait, but yes I imagine having a planetary defence system suddenly activate under you is pretty scary."

Sangat stared at her for a moment before shaking his head. "Not that, though it was too. But I meant the Vaians shooting at you!"
"Oh, right," she said. "I'm almost getting used to Vaians trying to kill us by now."

"Used to..." he trailed off and shook his head again. "Anyway I need to go down to the surface. The computer wants to give control of the defence system to us so this doesn't happen again. You can come too as well if you want.”

“Can my guests come as well?” Amanpreet asked. “I think they are curious about Talis.”

“You mean the scientists on the Corona mission?” he asked. “Of course.”

“Can I come too?” Kayla asked before extending her hand to Sangat. “I'm Kayla by the way.”

Sangat smiled at her and shook her hand. “Hi! I'm Am's brother. And of course you can.”

“Thanks,” she said.

“No problem,” he said. “I've heard a lot about you on the news. You've had a rough time.”

“I'll live,” Kayla said.

“I'm sure you will,” he said before turning back to Amanpreet. “You're in the same quarters as last time, Am. Do you want to dump your stuff and meet me back here in half an hour?”

“Sure!”

***

"Woah!" Oni said when they entered the underground city on Talis. "I'd seen the videos of this place but it didn't do it justice. He peeked through the open door of one of the houses. "There's tools of some sort and furniture in there."

"Yes," Sangat said. "We think they intended to shelter here but couldn't manufacture enough shielding. So they protected the eggs and left the city for them instead."

"Remarkable, was this the only shelter?"

"No, the computer has directed us to several others - but only a few of the shelterrs survived. It wants us to swap around the queen eggs to avoid inbreeding."

"It makes sense," Oni agreed. "So where are we going."

"Down another level to where we found the eggs and the computer." Sangat led them into the building where they'd found the book then down a passageway hidden behind the book alcove into a now empty chamber that Amanpreet recognised immediately.

"This is the egg chamber!"

"That's right," Sangat said. "And the central computer is just through here." He led them into the next room where a strange cone shaped structure of layered rock and biological material stood. It must be the computer but it looked like no computer Amanpreet had ever seen. Sangat however began scanning some shelves behind it looking for something."

"There should be a Talisman around here somewhere," he said. "A green toridal one."

"A what?" Amanpreet asked.

"Talisman," Sangat replied. "It's like a chip but looks more like an ornament and they are all different so we nicknamed them Talismans... it's a pun. Talis-man. Talisman."

Amanpreet groaned but didn't comment. Instead she started looking at the shelves as well. After a moment she spotted something that looked like a polished emerald donut. "Is that it?" she asked.

"It is." The noise came from the cone shaped computer and a ole opened on its front. Please place the talisman in the slot."

Amanpreet did as she was instructed and there was a rumbling sound and a beam of light shot upwards through the ceiling in the direction of Talis station. "Control of defences passed to designated allies," it said. "Thank you."

"Good," Sangat said. "Now let's get back and talk about Corona."

--

Prompt Post 35 is here. Come and leave a prompt.

Comments welcome

If you enjoy my writing and haven't already please consider becoming a patron via my Patreon page.

becka_sutton: Becka's default icon (Default)
Part 34 is up!

You know the drill. If you wish, leave a one or two word prompt or a single line of dialogue and I will try and use it. This prompt post will be open until midnight GMT Sunday/Monday.
becka_sutton: Becka's default icon (Default)
Start with the First Part or check out Part Thirty Three if you missed it. Or you can find every part to date archived at my website with easier navigation.

--

"We've just entered that central void in the Spaghetti where our sensors and similar work," Niobe said. "And our escort and Promise are both hailing us."

"Put them on screen," Amanpreet said.

"Okay," Niobe said. A moment later the escort captain appeared on the screen.

"This is quite extraordinary," he said. "I knew you'd described it but I thought you must be exaggerating. We may have to ask Promise and his people if they will be willing to construct nests like this elsewhere in hyperspace. They could make travel a lot safer."

"It's possible we would," Promise said. "But right now we need to discuss our prisoners. They tried to attack me after I swallowed them."

"Damn!" Amanpreet exclaimed. "Are you okay? Did they hurt you?"

"I'm fine, but they are not happy with the restraints I used on their ship. The trouble with knowing their language is I know they are swearing at me. I'd like to evict them soon."

"Once we get to Talis," Amanpreet said. "Even a small station like that has a brig. They can send them to Aletheia for trial."

“So what did it taste like?” The captain said.

“Hmm?” Promise said. “Oh, the ship. I don't actually have a sense of taste like you do. We use hyperspace radiation for energy.”

“Yes, that's quite a trick,” Vanna said. “The non-sophont Fish do it too and the Mez won't share how they engineered it. Oddly they claim they didn't.”

“That's true, they didn't,” Promise said. “They discovered by accident that a sub-sophont species on their homeworld somehow had the ability even though it was useless to a creature that couldn't enter hyperspace and they used that as one of our progenitors.”

Vanna leaned across her console, eyes afire with speculation. “That's interesting considering how vulnerable the Mez and most other species on their homeworld are to hyperspace radiation. I'll have to talk to Umi and Storm, because the only thing I can imagine is that the non-sophont species was descended from a sophont species.”

“It's an interesting speculation,” the captain said. “But for now we need to plan where to emerge from the Spaghetti.”

“As near to Talis as possible,” Promise said. “And my people will escort you all and capture any more ships that attack us. If there are several of us I doubt they will.”

“Excellent! Thank you for your help,” he said.

“Amanpreet and her friends are my friends,” Promise said. “I think the bigger problem is how we get to Corona and back safely.”

“Yes, we'll discuss that at Talis,” the captain said. “So what restraints do you have on the prisoners.”

“I'll show you.” Promise said. An image appeared on the screen of the Vaian ship in a cavernous space somewhere inside Promise. The stick was encased in some kind of black goop. “Don't worry it won't hurt them.”

“Goodness me!” the captain said. “We have a Fish, we have spaghetti, and now we have sauce. This mission is making me hungry.” He gave a wry grin. “But more seriously we need to get to Talis as soon as possible. I need to file a report about this. I haven't found my traitor yet and the Council needs warning that Vaian influence apparently extends further than we thought if they have spies on our ships.”

“That's a good idea,” Amanpreet agreed. “Let's cut contact until we get back into normal space.”

***

Several hours later they emerged from Hyperspace just beyond the Talis system's Kupier belt and headed inwards towards Talis. Almost immediately two Vaian sticks also emerged from hyperspace and came shooting towards them, lasers already firing. As the Whisper swerved out of the way Amanpreet stared at the screen in disbelief.

“They're attacking us in normal space in range of a station? Are they stupid?”

“Desperate I think,” Kayla said. “They must really want me dead and they knew they couldn't win in hyperspace after our first encounter. They're hoping being able to use their weapons will even the field.”

“It won't.” Promise's voice was soothing as it came over the speakers. "Run for the station, your escorts and my people will deal with them.”

“Do as Promise says,” the captain said.

“Okay,” Amanpreet said. “Niobe keep the line open and the battle on the screen.”

“Of course, Am.”

Amanpreet kept her eyes on the screen as the ship flew towards Talis and safety. Their escorts and the Fish were all over the Vaian ships and also using their weaponry. She tilted her head as an odd energy discharge that wasn't quite a laser emerged from one of the Fish's heads and struck one of the enemy. It didn't appear to damage the Stick but it seemed to be incapacitated and another of the Fish swallowed it the way Promise had grabbed the one in hyperspace.

The crew of the remaining Vaian ship obviously realised they had been beaten because they turned tail and fled, disappearing into hyperspace. Two of the Fish also vanished.

“It's making a run for it!” Promise said. “My fellows will chase them down and bring them back.”

“Thank you,” Amanpreet said. “But warn them to be careful. Human weapons tend to be more powerful than Mez ones. Now let's get to Talis base. They'll have been watching and worrying.”

--

Prompt Post 34 is here. Come and leave a prompt.

Comments welcome

If you enjoy my writing and haven't already please consider becoming a patron via my Patreon page.
becka_sutton: Becka's default icon (Default)
Part 33 is up!

You know the drill. If you wish, leave a one or two word prompt or a single line of dialogue and I will try and use it. This prompt post will be open until midnight GMT Sunday/Monday.
becka_sutton: Becka's default icon (Default)
Start with the First Part or check out Part Thirty Two if you missed it. Or you can find every part to date archived at my website with easier navigation.

--

Amanpreet took a breath to steady herself. "Can you call our escort and Promise, please, Niobe? We need to discuss what to do."

"You know the spy is probably on our escort don't you?" Niobe said. "The captain was the one who picked our route to try and avoid just this."

"I know," Amanpreet said. "And hopefully he does as well and has locked down communication." She frowned to herself. "But let's check our own communications, just in case. I trust all of you but we do have guests aboard."

"That's a good point," Niobe said. "I'll check but I don't think they know our route."

"Better safe than sorry," Amanpreet said. "Please put them on screen and translate for Promise will you."

"Of course," Niobe said. "Though I've been teaching Promise several languages and it's very quick so it may understand anyway. Storm says the original Fish were designed to learn fast."

"Yes, I suppose they would need to," Amanpreet said then straightened as the captain of her escort appeared on one half of the viewscreen and an external shot of Promise on the other.

"Ah, Captain Amanpreet," the escort captain said. "I guess you've seen the message then. I'm trying to pin down who betrayed us but our logs show no outbound messages from any of my ships after I decided which route to take." His eyes narrowed. "Of course I know there were legitimate outbound messages after that so it seems our spy is clumsy. I'm taking this communication privately – so if the Vaians act on it I'll now we've been bugged.”

"I see," Amanpreet said. "I've got Niobe checking our outbound messages as well."

"Good," he said. "But I'm sure the problem is on our end. But now we have a major problem - what do we do now? They're obviously waiting for us."

"I actually have a suggestion," Amanpreet said. "We're not far from the Transit so let's cut through the Spaghetti. I doubt they'll dare follow us in there." She hesitated. "Assuming Promise doesn't mind. The Spaghetti is Fish territory."

"You'll be welcome." The soft musical voice made Amanpreet jump. "And once we re-enter hyperspace I will call my fellows to make sure your enemies stay out."

"Uh..." Amanpreet realised her mouth was open. "Promise?"

"Yes," it replied. "Niobe has been teaching me your languages so I don't need a translator."

"It certainly makes things easier," the escort captain said. "And going through the Spaghetti Transit is a good idea-" He paused and laughed. "My navigator will not agree when I tell her, I'm afraid. But I've been thinking I would like to put up some more interesting challenges soon for her. She's way too cocky sometimes."

"Tell them not to worry," Promise said. "I'll make a path for you."

“Thank you,” he said. “I'll tell her. And we'll do that... no one will follow us in there...” He hesitated. “But if they realise where we have gone they'll be waiting when we emerge. We can probably win a fight but I'd rather not have one.”

“I'll get some of my fellows to escort us,” Promise said. “They'll surely not attack us then.”

“An excellent idea,” the escort captain said. “But we'll have to discuss our next move as well because they surely know we're heading to Corona.”

“Yes, that is a problem,” Amanpreet agreed. “But let's get to Talis safely first.”

“Of course,” he said.

***

They had only been back in hyperspace for half an hour when Kane's voice came over the intercom.

"Hell! They found us!" He exclaimed. "They must have been waiting for us. Our escort are blocking them so I'm running for the Spaghetti-" He gave a startled exclamation. "Promise just ate one of the Vaian ships! What's it thinking?"

"That we should capture them if we can, I imagine," Kayla said. "I think it's right. How many are there?"

"Just one now," he said. "And we'll be in the Spaghetti in the next few minutes." There was a long pause then he said. "The remaining ship has broken off - must have realised where we are going. Our escort is joining us." He gave a sigh. "This job isn't supposed to be this exciting, Am."

"Tell me about it," Amanpreet muttered. "But at least we are safe for now. I'll be glad to get to Talis."


--

Prompt Post 33 is here. Come and leave a prompt.

Comments welcome

If you enjoy my writing and haven't already please consider becoming a patron via my Patreon page.

becka_sutton: Becka's default icon (Default)
Part 32 is up!

You know the drill. If you wish, leave a one or two word prompt or a single line of dialogue and I will try and use it. This prompt post will be open until midnight GMT Sunday/Monday.
becka_sutton: Becka's default icon (Default)
Start with the First Part or check out Part Thirty One if you missed it. Or you can find every part to date archived at my website with easier navigation.

--

The bioforming supplies were delivered early the next morning and Amanpreet and Niobe checked the inventory while Linda cooked them breakfast.

"It looks like everything is here," Amanpreet said finally. "Let's get it stowed, eat breakfast, and then set off." She glanced at Niobe. "Or do you want to stay a few more hours? I know you don't see your mother as much as you'd like."

"It's fine," Niobe said. "I won't say I wouldn't like to stay longer bur I know we need to get moving and Mum does as well. We've already lost time so we shouldn't make any unnecessary delays so we have some flexibility for necessary ones."

Amanpreet looked at Niobe for a long moment then nodded. "Well, if you're sure."

"I am," Niobe said. "Come on, let's get this loaded. I'm starving."

***

Their escort was waiting when the Whisper re-entered orbit and rendezvoused with Promise. Amanpreet couldn't help blinking when she saw the four state of the art military sticks on the viewscreen.

"They must really be worried about the Vaian Military who escaped," she said.

"It certainly looks like it," Niobe agreed. "Ah! They're hailing us." She listened to the message and nodded. "They're sending us data for a slightly roundabout route to Talis because the Vaians have been hitting hyperspace traffic on the normal routes." She pursed her lips. "And bad news - they think there is a leak somewhere and they are specifically looking for Kayla because they are boarding the ships they intercept--"

"Boarding? In hyperspace?" Kayla exclaimed. "Don't they know how dangerous that is? Are they stupid?"

"Apparently, yes," Niobe said. "But as I was saying they are boarding the ships, searching them - looking for someone or something - and then letting them go. Though they are also stealing any cargo that's aboard."

"That certainly sounds like they are looking for Kayla," Amanpreet agreed. "But they are going to get themselves and their victims killed or worse doing that."

“Yes,” Niobe agreed. “But so far they have a ridiculous pattern of good luck. No ships are missing.”

"That's good at least," Amanpreet said. "Kane, I want you to take the first navigation run so check the route from the message."

"Okay, Am." He headed for the ladder to the dome.

***

Eight hours later they dropped out of hyperspace to change navigators and check for any message packets.

As Mark was climbing into the dome Niobe gave a groan and buried her face in her hands. Kane, who had already climbed down rushed over to her and rubbed her shoulder.

"What wrong, Niobe?" he asked softly.

"I- I hate to break the pattern," Niobe said weakly. "But a Celish freighter enroute to Talis didn't arrive this morning. They sent out a search and found it - or the remains of it anyway - together with a much less damaged but still unusable Vaian ship in hyperspace not far out. It was clearly a botched boarding attempt from the nature of the damage. They've accounted for the bodies of the freighter crew but not the Vaians and there's evidence they might have been rescued."

"Mother of the living!" Amanpreet shuddered. Hyperspace exposure was no way to die. "H-how many?"

"A crew of twelve," Niobe said. "And no survivors." She raised her head finally and punched the console in front of her. "Damn them! They would have had time to rescue them if they'd tried. She took a breath and listened to the rest of the packet before groaning again. "And there's... well not worse news, but news that makes this worse for us. The freighter was travelling the same alternative route as we are." She shook her head. "That means there is definitely a leak somewhere. What do we do now?"
 

--

Prompt Post 32 is here. Come and leave a prompt.

Comments welcome

If you enjoy my writing and haven't already please consider becoming a patron via my Patreon page.


 



becka_sutton: Becka's default icon (Default)
Part 31 is up!

You know the drill. If you wish, leave a one or two word prompt or a single line of dialogue and I will try and use it. This prompt post will be open until midnight GMT Sunday/Monday.
becka_sutton: Becka's default icon (Default)
Start with the First Part or check out Part Thirty if you missed it. Or you can find every part to date archived at my website with easier navigation.

--

By the time Kayla arrived, dinner was nearly ready and wonderful smells were floating into the house from the outdoor kitchen that Niobe's family used at the hottest times of the year. Amanpreet was sitting at the terminal checking on the order for the bioforming supplies for Talis, so she twisted around in her seat to look at her.

"How did it go?" she asked.

"Without a hitch," Kayla said. "I have new ID and the Dreamsong is now officially mine." She flopped down on one of the sofas. "And no one attacked me, which is nice. But what happens now? I hope the wait soon will be over."

"Well, now we wait for the bioforming supplies then head off to Talis to deliver them and pick up the scientists," Amanpreet said. "And the bioforming supplies should be ready tomorrow."

"Excellent," Oni said. "We'll be at Corona in plenty of time then."

"You know the date?" Linda asked as she re-entered the house and waved them towards the dining table. She was carrying a large pot and Niobe was behind her with others. “This one's fish stew and Niobe's is similar but made with tofu.”

"Yes," he said. "Several of the highland cultures have had radio for some time and we've been listening to them. Our linguists have decoded enough of their languages to understand their calendar and some of their technological terms. That's how we know they are planning to send their first astronauts up."

Niobe's eyes lit up. “I want to talk to your linguists! I've always wanted to work on an unknown language. It must be challenging,”

“Sure!” One of the other members of Oni's group – a young woman with dark olive skin and short black hair – said. “It's always nice to have input from a colleague.” She extended her hand to Niobe across the table. “I'm Sierra by the way, the team's chief linguist, and yes it's very challenging – especially since we don't have enough comparatives - but yes, it's extremely rewarding. Speaking of unknown languages, I want to grab the lexicon the linguists are building for the Talis species while we're there.” She rolled her eyes skywards. “I wish we had a helpful telepathic computer to help us at Corona.”

“It would be useful,” Nerrin said. “But we don't even know if it's fully safe yet, even if Am does seem unharmed. Though given the warning they had to give us and what we've now learned about Corona it seems reasonable.”

“That's true,” Sierra said.

“What did you learn today?” Kayla asked.

“Oh!” Niobe said. “We haven't told you that bit yet. The alien species that attacked Talis was also responsible for the destruction of Corona's former Class Four species, as we feared. Am is thinking they target species that have or are close to having to hyperspace travel capability.”

“Really?” Kayla said. “Why would they... do you think that maybe their home is in hyperspace like the Fish's home?”

Amanpreet blinked at that then shook her head. “No, rather the opposite. From what we know they can't actually tolerate hyperspace at all.”

Kayla gave a whistle. “They must be immortal then. How would you hold an interstellar society together at sublight speeds otherwise?”

“Extremely long lived at the very least,” Amanpreet agreed. “But to hold a society together unchanged for hundreds of thousands of years they'd need to be, even without the hyperspace thing.” She chewed on her lip. “Two hundred thousand years... even if they have a generation period of one thousand years that's two hundred generations. Look how much humans have changed in two hundred generations.”

Kayla nodded thoughtfully. “A lot of social inertia as well. I hope we never have to fight them.”

“Me too,” Amanpreet said. “But the Council needs to plan as if we will.”

“I'm sure they will,” Linda said. “That's their job after all.” She turned to Oni. “So tell me more about Corona and your work.”

“Ah yes,” he said. “Corona is interesting because it has two closely related sophont species and the highland species is one of the technologically developed we study.”

“They are geographically discrete?” she asked.

“Yes, the highland species cannot tolerate the atmosphere at low levels. They developed powered flight very early on from what we can tell because of this. I'm writing a paper on them currently. I can send you a copy if you wish.”

“I'd like that,” she said. “So will you stay tonight before you go to Talis and Corona?”

“Sure!” Niobe said before Amanpreet could answer. “We have to wait for the stuff for the Ishtari anyway.”

--

Prompt Post 31 is here. Come and leave a prompt.

Comments welcome

If you enjoy my writing and haven't already please consider becoming a patron via my Patreon page.

becka_sutton: Becka's default icon (Default)
Part 30 is up!

You know the drill. If you wish, leave a one or two word prompt or a single line of dialogue and I will try and use it. This prompt post will be open until midnight GMT Sunday/Monday.
becka_sutton: Becka's default icon (Default)
Start with the First Part or check out Part Twenty Nine if you missed it. Or you can find every part to date archived at my website with easier navigation.

--

Niobe's mother Linda was one of the chief marine biologists on Cels. She and her team were responsible for monitoring the stability of the bioformed oceans around Western Cels. Indeed when Amanpreet and her crew arrived at Niobe's family home - a large single story whitewashed house of lovely naturalistic curves and no hard edges which stood on the tropical coast several miles from the nearest city - her mother and two assistants were just making their way up the beach dressed in wetsuits and carrying boxes of samples.

"Mum!" Niobe ran down the beach to greet her and Linda immediately put down the samples she was carrying and swept her into a hug. Niobe seemed completely unfazed by the fact her clothes were getting soaked as she hugged her back. "Let me help you with this." She reached for the samples.

"Nonsense." Linda picked them up before she could. "You and your colleagues are guests." She lead them back the beach and into the porch where she stripped off the wetsuit and shrugged on a robe without a hint of self-consciousness before letting them into the rest of house. "Welcome, dear friends. You're a bit earlier than I expected but make yourselves at home, most of you know where everything is. I need a shower so I'll join you soon." She disappeared into the bathroom.

Amanpreet flopped onto one of the comfortable sofas in the main living area. "I wonder how long Kayla will be."

"Not too long I imagine," Niobe said. "It shouldn't take more than a couple of hours to fill the forms and get her papers."

“I hope your mother doesn't mind you bringing us as well,” Oni said.

“Nah,” Niobe said. “When I told her you and your colleagues were aboard she insisted I bring you as well. She enjoys entertaining especially since Dad is away at Tinia station so much.” She saw Oni's puzzled look and grinned. “He's a linguist like me and was part of the first contact team who contacted the Mez when they appeared in system and started bioforming Tinia. Now he's our chief ambassador to them. I spent a lot of my childhood on Tinia station with him. It's why I know so much about the Mez.”

“I heard that the Mez did that when we first met them,” one of the other scientists said. “A bit rude starting to bioform a planet without asking the people who already live in a system first.”

Niobe shrugged. “They didn't realise we were here. Admittedly they hadn't looked. They knew warmer planets could support life but they'd decided it would never be complex life much the same way we thought of life on colder worlds until we met them.” She chuckled. “Dad says they were mortified when they realised but they've been pretty good neighbours since.”

“The Mez are alright.” Linda returned to the room and sat down beside her daughter. There could be no doubt the two women were related, with the same dark brown skin and high cheekbones though Linda kept her hair cropped close to her head unlike her daughter. “And I hear you have a lot to do with them recently.”

“Yes,” Niobe said. “Umi and Storm are from Tinia, and Am helped them out so much they've declared her family.”

“Oh, that's an honour!” Linda said. “Mez don't declare you family without cause. What happened?”

“It's quite a story,” Niobe said. “You heard about Promise, I guess?”

“The sophont Fish? Yes, the news has been full of it. This has something to do with that?”

Niobe nodded and began to tell her mother the whole story. When she finished Linda smiled at Amanpreet.

“Wow, what you did was really amazing,” she said. “ I can see why they claimed you as kin.”

“It wasn't that amazing,” Amanpreet said. “Anyone would have helped.”

“Don't be so sure,” Linda said. “People can be pretty selfish and even though it turned out not to be dangerous you had no way to know that.” She stood up and stretched but I had better get to work preparing dinner.”

“Excuse me, Doct-” Oni began.

“Call me Linda, please,” she said,

“Linda,” he said. “Would you mind if I use your terminal? I could do with checking my messages.”

“Of course you may,” she said. “And over dinner you must tell me more about your work. Studying the development of sophont species must be fascinating.”

“It is,” he agreed as he headed over to the terminal. “And I will.” He logged into the terminal and began paging through his messages. “Ah! We have news from Talis. They've managed to simulate stellar positions from the time of the disasters and ask the computer about Corona.”

“Oh?” Amanpreet said. “What did it say?”

“It's not a coincidence,” he said. “Corona was attacked as well. The Talis people had some contact with them and they were developing hyperspace travel but hadn't even managed a working prototype. They were doing pretty well in the war but the enemy managed to poison their biosphere triggering a mass extinction event and to stop them escaping.”

“I wonder if that's it.” Amanpreet narrowed her eyes thoughtfully.

“Hmm?” He tilted his head at her curiously. “What?”

“Talis had a prototype hyperspace ship and Corona was developing one,” she said. “The enemy apparently can't tolerate hyperspace. I wonder if that's why they attacked them.”

“It's a viable theory,” he said. “They might find hyperspace travel threatening.”

“Yes,” she said. “And means we may all be in danger if the Talis computer is right about them still being out there.”

 

--

 

Prompt Post 30 is here. Come and leave a prompt.

Comments welcome

If you enjoy my writing and haven't already please consider becoming a patron via my Patreon page.

Profile

becka_sutton: Becka's default icon (Default)
becka_sutton

November 2014

S M T W T F S
      1
234567 8
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30      

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Aug. 25th, 2016 11:21 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios