[LSDF] Tropical Paradise - The First Slice of Life

Discussion in 'Lorath Matriarchy' started by Eistheid, Nov 15, 2018.

  1. Eistheid

    Eistheid Administrator Staff Member

    Lor - LSDF Training Base "Hotel Horm'el"

    The soft click of a door being opened was immediately followed by a familiar waking call for the three dozen occupants of what, prior to the previous evening, had been Training Unit 24's barracks. Now the thirty-five lorath and one human were proud graduates. Rolling out of bed in a spectrum of wakefulness as the lights gradually illuminated, there was a moment of relative peace filled only by the rustling of fabric before thirty-five voices sang out, joined by the muffled voice of other lorath in other barracks across the base. The air within the barracks was soon filled with the familiar morning hymn, the voices of men and women weaving together while one waited by. Then thirty-six bags packed the night before were collected, and with a familiarity of months of routine, Unit 24 stepped out into the hall and made their way out into the dewy morning air and pre-dawn light for the last time.

    Lining up along side the modest gray painted bus that would take them from the training base, the graduates were debriefed and began sounding off one by one in a role-call before crossing to the bus, stowing their baggage, and boarding. The familiarity of the rote sound off almost distracted from the knowledge that they would soon be parting ways with many of their fellows as they dispersed to their upcoming assignments. This feeling of easy familiarity was reinforced as a ripple of quiet laughter shifted through their number as Nisina Shyr'liri or "Tealeaf" as she was better known, an arboreal rodent aspected Lmanel complained as she always did. Her sleepy voice once again put forward the question of just why they had to wake up in the nether hours of the morning as she made her way toward the bus.

    With easy smiles on their faces, their remaining number sounded off an progressed almost without note until their, now former, commanding officer Il'lan beckoned for one of their number. Stepping out of the line a tall oval faced and generously proportioned Fyunnen crossed the space with a purposeful stride in a futile attempt to mask her nervousness.

    An older Fyunnen woman, Il'lan "Glee" Sonn'el was built like weathered stone, a look which contrasted heavily with the soft youth of the one she'd called to her. Despite standing almost two heads shorter than her junior, her presence and the experience behind the amicable smile made it clear that it was her shadow being cast over the other. It had taken but a crook of her finger to call the subject of her interest over and she greeted her with almost familial warmth, "Delfrey. I know you like to get into trouble when left to your own devices, so I'm putting you on chaperone duty. Make sure Mr. Lewis' needs are met and that he ends up in the same place you do."

    With a pleasant smile that promised unspeakable things should her wishes be ignored, the older woman firmly patted her junior on the back, pushing her toward the bus. With her informal dismissal and goodbye given Il'lan watched the tall figure of Kay'lana Delfrey sheepishly march toward the bus.

    With her bag stowed, it was not long before she found the yellow-blonde man seated and gazing out the window as he took in the sights of what had been his home for a little over a quarter of a year. With little option otherwise Kay'lana found herself exchanging awkward pleasantries and negotiated herself into the human's company. As she settled in, she once again found herself faced with a mixture of skepticism and wonder at how the one human who had been a part of her training group, and now who she was to chaperone, had become a hero of the Matriarchy.

    Shortly after the last member of their former unit settled in the cool interior of the bus, the windows darkened as the glass adjusted to filter out the glare of the breaking dawn light. With a gentle shiver as the bus' diesel engine started, and just as the fiery hues of the sunrise began to paint the sky they set out on the first leg of their journey.

    The opening stretch consisted largely of a well maintained paved road which slithered among the hills of the sub-tropical jungle which surrounded the training base. The road wove its way in a fairly direct line which crossed the countryside between Hotel Horm'el and the nearby town of Sel'ed, where they'd be transferring to the rapid rail line that would take them north to the starport that would take many of them off of Lor for the first time in their lives.

    As they rolled through the town, the red sun rising into the sky and beginning to bleed the familiar lavender hue into the sky the bus came to a sudden stop as a shout rang out. The shout was followed by a dark gray streak of a canine of some sort which sprinted across the road in front of the bus almost immediately followed by a gleeful looking young lmanel girl accompanied by a loping bear like animal. The girl darted across the road, net in hands as she chased the fleeing animal at a full sprint and just as soon as they arrived they were gone down an alleyway.

    Before the bus could depart again, a woman approached the stopped bus and a brief discussion occurred with the driver. Apparently a relation of the driver, a series of insistent assertions and familial teasing delayed the bus a while longer. A momentary departure and return that was heralded by a pleasant scent filling the air indicated the reason for the wait as a basket of freshly baked goods was passed in through the window. With thanks and a promise to visit soon given, the driver passed the basket of baked goods behind them and indicated for the food to be distributed among the sleepy occupants as the bus was once again set into motion and they continued on their way.

    A slower trip through the waking town of Sel'ed allowed for some gossip to be exchanged with the locals through the bus' windows, as a few among their number questioned after family or friends local to the area as they conversed with those who walked along side the bus. This pleasant taste of community was all too brief however as they momentarily came to a stop a short ways outside the large well decorated structure which served as the rail station. Though a smaller stop on the rail line, the connection to Hotel Horm'el meant that the freshly graduated recruits stepped into a hive of activity. They could see supplies which were in the process of being offloaded from the train by teams of helashio workers, while fresh recruits poured off of the train under the careful watch of LSDF personnel. Given only a moment to take in the sight before they themselves were herded through the ordered chaos of the loading platform, the group was ushered into one of the train cars and settled in a carpeted lounge for their trip north while their baggage was transferred from the bus to the train.

    As the group explored the lounge and quickly settled in to the space prepared for a more comfortable ride. With the prospect of down time in comfortable accommodations before the group, it wasn't long before the cards came out and many low stakes wagers were made. As recreation intended to facilitate the transfer of polished rocks between the car's occupancy set into motion, the train too began to depart. A slow acceleration gradually eased away the sounds of the outside world which had mutely been heard through the car windows. Now they faded away completely settling the car into a hushed whisper of motion as the sensation of rapid acceleration could be felt by all occupants of the lounge, signaling that they'd begun their trip northward and into the heart of the continent.

    Arriving at the northern junction at Ti'brem a couple of hours later thrust the group into a greater flurry of activity, driving home for the group just how peaceful and, in some ways, relaxing their time at the training base had been. Stepping out onto the platform a quartet of waiting LSDF officers were quick to pick out the individuals they sought breaking up the group suddenly. A few quick goodbyes were all that were managed before they were fragmented and led from the receiving terminal. Marching across the attached base passed them through a montage of unfamiliar sights which indicated clearly that the LSDF was in motion, though the extent of just what was being done was something they could only guess at. Making their way past trains of vehicles and across a tarmac a final redundant headcount was made to ensure that all individuals had made the journey without getting lost. Then, with all individuals accounted for their group was directed to load up, boarding one of the ready Journeyman shuttles which would take them to one of various points in high orbit above Lor.

    Hero and graduate once again found themselves seated side by side, one returning to the familiar realm of space, while the other was leaving her home planet for the first time in her life. The sensation of acceleration into the upper atmosphere, and the transition into low orbit proceeded with less fanfare than would be expected as they crossed a distance, and exceeded the speed of even the high-speed rail line they'd ridden on only an hour earlier. Then with a curious sensation of shifting weight they were propelled out of low orbit toward the next transfer point on their journey.

    For Kay'lana and Danny, this meant that they found themselves passing through an umbilical and waited with their peers for a brief moment in an airlock before stepping into the surprisingly pleasant air of an orbital facility. Unexpectedly, both were greeted by familiar scents of plant life and comfortable temperatures which dispelled many of their assumptions of a typical orbital facility. Coming to terms with their new surroundings the pair were greeted by a cheerful helashio wearing a khaki armband who ushered them away from the rest of their group and led them along the unfamiliar corridors. After a pause while the helashio activated a security scanner, Kay'lana and Danny entered what was unmistakably a waiting room.

    Scattered about the room where mixed groups composed almost exclusively of lorath for the most part arranged in groups ranging from five to ten individuals who were talking quietly among themselves. An occasional glance was spared toward the door where the newcomers had arrived though little attention was given to them before a cheerful Lmanel made her way to her feet. Crossing the room a smile was given, and a calico rodent was spotted poking out of her breast pocket as she urged the two newcomers to join her circle of companions while they waited.

    Settling with the group, consisting of a quartet of Fyunnen, two Lmanel including the one who had recruited them for their social circle, and a pair of Occhestians the group quickly traded information. They discovered that they were all bound for the edge of Matriarchy space, the majority of the group save for the Occhestians quickly learned that they shared the same future as security garrison personnel. The final two, however, were destined to be technicians the staff whose duties they had been training to work along side in codependent roles. As promises of mutual support in their new assignment were traded among their number, the conversation turned to speculation of the roles of the other occupants of the room pointing out a couple of oddball individuals, a pair of humans involved in another group.

    Before conversations could progress much further however, a Lmanel officer entered the room, and called the collected soldiers to attention before directing them to line up for medical check-ups and preparation for transit.

    ***

    "Welcome back."

    The words were spoken as a shiver worked its way down her back. Eyes blinked open and then again as they refocused on an Occhestian man who was in the process of checking her vitals. Determining that she was lucid and coordinated enough, he gently helped her sit up on the medical bed upon which she lay.

    "You're going to be a little unsteady, and probably disoriented for a little while. That's normal." The words were spoken with a reassuring tone, but still they came off as rote as her mind tried to assert itself sluggishly. A thought slowly come to mind.

    Cryo recovery.

    Sitting and shaking her head gently, Kay'lana's fingers flexed on the edge of the medical table taking hold of something solid as her gaze wandered the room. She could see where other medical technicians were attending to similarly disoriented lorath around her, gentle words being spoken in hushed tones.

    Her attention was once again directed toward the man who had been there when she woke up, "Feel free to take a couple of minutes to get your bearings. Then when you're ready to try walking, let me know and we'll get you on your way to welcome orientation."

    ***

    Welcome Orientation

    Welcome orientation, as the gathered group of fresh arrivals learned, was at the end of a painted line on the floor. Located within a utilitarian room with soft gray chairs and a wall spanning window overlooking some rolling grassy hills that led into a friendly looking copse of trees. At the front of the room was a cheerful and notably buxom Occhestian woman who bounced on the balls of her feet as she waited for the final arrivals to get settled into their seats.

    Once the group was satisfactorily settled the woman spoke up with a cheerful, clear voice that marked her as a practiced orator, "Welcome, everyone! I am Vaal'eska Somm'ir, and I'll be getting you up to speed and helping you get settled in."

    A pause and a smile for the collected group was provided before she continued, "As you may remember you have spent the past two weeks in cryosleep and were transferred by the LSDF Zahl-Class Rez'tig, from Lor, to where we are now out in system E-9. We are presently on the surface of the fifth planet of the system in the southern stretch of the tropical band. As a reminder, and sorry to dash any hopes, E-9-V is a planet composed almost entirely of ice with a surface temperature of only about thirty-three degrees above absolute zero at most times. As such it is inadvisable to venture outside of the facility even with protective equipment.

    "Now that you know where you are, I would like to welcome you to one of the LSDF's premier research facilities Or'ri Ro'ichekky, or as we prefer to call it, Tropical Paradise. Here you will be either working on projects for the betterment of the Matriarchy, or working to help ensure that those who work here feel safe and secure. I look forward to working along side of you all."

    After a moment's pause to let the information presented sink in Vaal'eska cheerfully inquired, "Now, before we get you familiarized with the arboretum and central living area, do you have any questions?"
     
  2. DocTomoe

    DocTomoe Administrator Staff Member

    ”It is an honor to serve, you know? You should be jubilant for this opportunity Ei’ika. You know we have always wanted to see you do well, this is your chance to make something of yourself. Your father and I are so proud of you.”


    But I’ve already made something of myself, I am… was… a Chief Supervisory Technician for a Wh’ki complex subdivision. I designed at least two dozen industrial machines. Mother, that’s not good enough for you and father?


    These were the silent memories that nagged at Ei’ika’s thoughts as she rode on the train which would take her from her residence to the star port. Her route was somewhat different than the others who would be joining her aboard the Zahl-Class Rez’Tig for transport to her new assignment. For her, the training she had received was aimed at basic officer, weapons, and procedural education. A substantial sum of her training had been rapidly written with precision manipulation of molecular chains in her brain by a piece of hardware which she had integrated into the base of her skull originally for the purpose of efficiency in her job, now, for the purpose of crafting her into a suitable low-ranking officer to add merit to her role as a field technician.



    Infused into her brain were concepts of starship safety procedures, solid projectile trajectory calculations, as well as rule, regulation, and procedure of the Lorath Self Defense Force, Fyunnen Martial Forces, and the military branch of the theocratic governing body, the Inquisition. Through the efforts of Occhestian technicians just like herself, she was given the tools needed to be a prosperous conscript commissioned officer. Even so, the concept was less than appealing, as she knew exactly what she wished to do. She was studying to enter into the medical field, her application to the Central University had been accepted, but that fell to the wayside as the Matriarchy tapped her to serve. No matter the plan, no matter the desire, there was no doubting the wisdom of the Matriarchy.



    It could be worse. Ei’ika thought, as she watched the landscape scream by the train. I could have been conscripted as a recreation specialist. There was a feeling of unsettled disgust at the notion of the same programing process that made her a competent officer could have just as easily made her an outstanding ‘recreational asset’. It caused her guts to churn at the revolting thought, it even made her unconsciously tighten her muscles, clenching her fists as she tried to force the feeling out of her thoughts. It was a feeling that bothered her ever since she had her neural link implant installed. Her cyberneticist had informed her it was an unforeseeable psychological adaptation to the physiological alteration of her neurological structure. In the layman’s terms; her brain did not like being poked around with, so it made her afraid of it happening again.


    Slow, steady, deep breaths were an option to calm down, but it was not what her psychological rehabilitation specialist had advised, instead Ei’ika reached into her uniform blouse pocket and produced a small device which she plugged into a port on the back of her neck. Her hand trembled as she did it, terrified before the interface was made, and a surge of endorphins was released, a ‘white noise’ of a neurostimulation signal selectively blotted out the anxious thoughts. When the fearful and anxious thoughts were subdued, a small surge of euphoria was experienced before she removed the device from her port, it happened all in a matter of seconds, but it suddenly put her at ease. A distant thought however screamed inside of her, muffled, muted, bound behind a slurry of induced neurotransmitter secretion.


    It could be worse. she mused, as an involuntary smile crossed her lips, and she brushed a length of her chromatic hair behind her ear while looking out, and seeing the star port complex.


    It was a square thirty kilometers complex, extending out into a restricted harbor, used strictly for water landings and takeoff of ships which lacked the means to effectively hover, or needed to touch down for maintenance purposes. Several ships loomed above, using anti-gravity hovering technology to maintain their altitude while not applying thrust which would otherwise cause a cacophonic cataclysm of thrust which would tear apart most unhardened structures. Gleaming rows of small fighter-craft were lined up, shuttles as well, freight ships were escorted to and from hangar bays as a steady coming-and-going of ships took place. Their model types were not varied as much as Ei’ika would have expected, she did not know why she had the expectation, she just had some sort of feeling deep down that there should have been more, but it quickly faded as she prepared to disembark and board a ship for a long dreamless sleep.



    Paradise



    Ei’ika knew about where she was headed beforehand, it was the privilege of being an officer. Her expertise was needed, she knew that, and it was what made the duty bearable as she stood with the gathered group, apart from the enlisted personnel, but still placed before Vaal’eska. She listened to the welcome speech, which sounded more like the kind of speech which would be given to detainees at a clergy operated re-education camp. Ei’ika however knew that was a thought which would, ironically, get her thrown into such a camp.


    There were no questions from Ei’ika as she passively eyed the structure of the building she was in, studying it, finding it more interesting than the concept of an arboretum. Though, her gaze soon shifted, as she looked for someone specific. She was not assigned to mind the base as much as she was assigned to a special task, a special project, a high-value asset which needed her unique skillset to guarantee their continued operation. She had seen the documentation on it, but she was curious to see it in person. After all, they were just as much a hero as the blonde-haired human that stood nearby.


    Even as she peered about with her head fixed in position, but eyes moving about, she found her thoughts wandering to a voice spoken not too many days prior.


    “My darling girl, I pray you will do well, and that you will return to me safely. Your mother and I love you.”
    Ei’ika could still feel the kiss upon her cheek, and the touch of fingers through her hair. It was encouragement, enough to give her a glimmer of hope for the time ahead, her time in ‘Paradise’.
     
  3. Jimmy

    Jimmy Member

    Kay'lana had recovered from the cryo sleep stint with mixed efficiency, after puking into a provided bowl what little was left in her stomach, she looked slightly paler than normal as she had been in the orientation room. Nudging her way next to Danny as the only other person she knew here.

    As further information about their destination was told to them, her shoulders dropped lower and lower with disappointment, wings going limp.

    "Um, excuse me, I have a question?" Kay'lana replied, hopping up on the balls of her feet above the crowd, unnecessary as she was already monstrously tall.

    "How will we live down there?" She asked, sounding only slightly overwhelmed at the news that they were all being sent to a frozen hell hole with no prospect of going outside.
     
  4. Luca

    Luca Administrator Staff Member

    In the months since a human had moved between worlds and amid birds, said human - a five foot nine, sandy blonde man by the name of Danny Hanley-Lewis (and Robert Forde) tried his best to integrate with the society he found himself amid, and get along with himself in the process. The easiest thing to learn was to keep his neck covered, and invested in an arm's length of scarves and a gentle reminder. The Lorath, Danny's gracious hosts and ongoing employers had a society that seemed utterly alien - but they were accommodating enough given the risks he'd taken on their behalf - providing shelter, employment, recreation, and most importantly, a daily routine with which to settle into.

    Time went by and the man shuffled between air-conditioned office assignments and physical community service under a red sun, he found a way to belong and settle amongst the Lorath, even if he was fundamentally different. Then one overcast morning, the LSDF got in contact with Danny - they had need for a man who could be trusted to be considered expendable and deliver results under duress. A short course of training was necessary to condition, instruct and hammer discipline into the man, so he was placed with Training Unit 24 as the token human.

    Even as the sole simian of the training unit, he made no deal of it, nor asked for any privileges above his Lorath peers - Danny was already a stranger in the world's largest bird's nest (as Robert called it) and he had to behave, lest he find himself treading on eggshells. After graduating and embarking on a journey to his next assignment, he noticed a Fyunnen named Kay'lana had been keeping a close eye on him as he chewed on a springy flatbread in the bus, and she was just behind him in the queue for medical examination prior to being popsicle'd and transported.

    After being declared fit to go and stepping into a pod for storage some time later, he amused himself by crossing his eyes and pulling a face as the cryo process begun to preserve him, timelessly affixed in a gurn as a chemical, dreamless sleep washed over him. Hopefully whoever thawed Danny out had a laugh at his expense.

    ~

    After awakening with a headache, aching eyes and having to reach for a bucket shortly later, Danny regained his dignity and poise in time for the welcoming committee for the new assignment. The sole human amongst the graduates of Training Unit 24 stood in the Welcoming Room in uniform with a purple armband, and watched the view of the paradise inside a dome. After taking in some of the sights through the glass, taking note of the solar dome capping it all.

    "High tech facility..." Danny spoke to himself as he wrapped both of his minds around the scale of the operation, and its possible purpose - it was definitely not a banana growing operation. While he contemplated, a familiar face made its way to him, and he turned around. "Oh, hello there." He said, inclining his head towards Kay'lana respectfully. Before he could make small talk he and the rest of Unit 24 were called to attention by Somm'ir and eased into introducing their new locale - Or'ri Ro'ichekky: An out-of-place tropical blemish upon an iceball, contained within a research facility he assumed sprawled deep underground.

    "Tropical Paradise..." Danny rolled the word around his mouth under his breath, sucking on the translated name provided for his newest assignment. He pursed his lips and gazed down at the floor tiles, then up at Kay'lana, "maybe they know good irony when they see it." Kay'lana's question caused Danny to smirk with how asinine the question was: Living in completely inhospitable conditions wasn't something Training Unit 24 had been taught to do.

    "I think we'll be sleeping inside, Kay'lana." He gibed, giving her a nudge in the side. He was a chemically frozen meat popsicle not long ago, and it'd be counterproductive to be frozen again so soon.
     
  5. Eistheid

    Eistheid Administrator Staff Member

    E-9 System, Fifth Planet, Resarch Facility "Tropical Paradise"

    A moment passed as Vaal'eska's patient smile weathered the scattered chuckles that Danny's quip inspired primarily among the human minority in the quiet room. As the mirth died down Vaal'eska's expression shifted to one which was almost gentle as she responded to Kay'lana's question, "Excellent question Soldier Delfrey. Down here we live quite comfortably."

    Taking a step to the side and turning to gesture out the window which had been behind her, "Through this window you can see a small portion of the interior of our primary arboretum. Though hard work and clever engineering we have managed to erect a dome spanning two-thousand-six-hundred meters in diameter which serves as our primary arboretum. Within you will find familiar flora and some mundane fauna familiar to those who hail from temperate regions of Lor.

    "The temperature within is slightly warmer than the rest of the facility sitting in a range that you would expect for late spring or early summer depending on your previous experiences. You can quell any fears of finding yourself stir crazy as our Lmanel workers have plotted a path that weaves around the inner edge of the dome with a total distance of about nine and a half kilometers. In addition below the surface in the main residential structure we have standard LSDF gym and physical training facilities, gaming, theater and concert facilities, as well as pico-jelly rooms. For more casual social experiences we have a quartet of bar and lounge facilities with varying themes allowing for you to select according to your taste also..."

    Coming to a stop Vaal'eska paused for a moment before apologizing, "Terribly sorry. I let myself get carried away. I will forward a comprehensive guide of Or'ri Ro'ichekky's residential features to you. It will include details on what I have already mentioned as well as supporting systems, such as our hydroponics, livestock rearing, and power generation. I believe you will find it fascinating and comforting Kay'lana."

    "Now," She paused while looking over the crowd, "I can see you're all starting to get restless so, if you will follow me I'll begin actually showing you where you'll be living for the duration of your assignment."

    With the impromptu lecture on the facility's living areas ended, the group of fresh recruits filtered into a fairly ordered pair of columns. Danny and Kay'lana found each other once again side by side as they followed Vaal'eska through a side door and into a lightly decorated hallway.

    It was at this point amid the occupants of the room were filtering toward the exit that Ei'ika managed to catch sight of the individual in the crowd of new arrivals which she sought. Having been hidden in the midst of the universally taller individuals around them it was the sight of the lone black armband affixed to their uniform that drew attention and allowed a preliminary identification.

    The individual in question at a casual glance looked almost like a lorath, the curtain of pale hair that hung down to the small of her back could have hidden her wings. Its pale lavender coloration was only apparent when compared to the lorath around her, and with the field cap on her head and the brim pulled low as it was she might have been mistaken for an Occhestian. A closer look however dispelled the illusion. Like the arm band which declared what they were, their true nature was betrayed by the sight of their face, the sight was one that made clear that they were unmistakably not lorath. Lorath did not have dark blue skin.

    A secondary oddity to their presence among the others was that they had a backpack. Ordinarily this detail wouldn't have called attention, in this circumstance however it was the only piece of baggage as well as being the only piece of equipment carried by anyone in their group as it was undeniably filled with things. Despite the oddity, the short individual filled in easily amid the other gray uniforms and almost managed to blend into the group once again.

    At the head of the group Vaal'eska's voice could be heard answering a few of the other recruits' questions, such as the name of the section of the facility they were presently in; identifying it as the receiving terminal connected to the primary landing zone. The group was ushered along, a couple individuals of the local staff pausing in a doorway to watch the columns of fresh arrivals pass by them.

    Stepping through an air lock, the hiss of the doors rapidly opening indicating that at present it was serving as a glorified through-way, the group stepped out into the relative warmth of the primary arboretum. Above them they could see what appeared to be wisps of silver clouds drifting through a familiar lavender hued sky. The scent of wildflowers, grasses, and a couple of trees in bloom met them, accompanied by familiar plants and even an assortment of pretty insects which hovered above the semi wild fields. Almost more notable than the sights of life around them was the wall of heat and humidity which as promised, differed notably from the climate controlled interior of the terminal. After a moment of awe, the illusion lost some of its potency as the red sun in the sky though as warm as its real counterpart, didn't quite have the same luminous glare. Another point at which the illusion failed was the edges of the dome. Gazing to the nearest edges it could be seen near ground level that the faux sky faded away to reveal a reflection on the dome's material with the comparatively dim ice-fields partially visible beyond, broken up only by the occasional cluster of lights indicating a structure.

    Progressing deeper it became clear that the size of the arboretum was cleverly disguised. Despite being small enough that they should have been able to see clear across the area, strategic placement of trees and even the sculpting of the terrain made it so that no matter where one looked the edges were obscured from sight. After descending the gentle slope of a hill and into a copse of trees, the sound of birdsong filled the air. Individuals pointed out the birds up in the trees and the occasional sighting of moderately sized herbivores which could be irregularly seen in the underbrush off the path. Filled with an odd comfort by the recreation of the familiar natural world the group soon noticed that even their initial point of entry had fallen out of view, and for a moment they were immersed in the illusion that they had been somehow transported back to a pastoral plot of land on Lor.

    The short walk through the arboretum proved invigorating for most, shaking off much the remaining vestiges of the after effects of cryosleep. As this sensation of relief and renewed vitality washed over them, they followed a bend in the path and came into view of a small, but lovingly crafted church giving the group a charge of excitement as they approached the comforting symbol of their faith. Approaching the church lawn, they could see groups of lorath scattered about in clusters enjoying what was likely downtime between shifts.

    Those with sharp eyes among their group might have noticed a few hands exchanging polished stones as the twin column of fresh arrivals followed Vaal'eska's guidance. Their attention was soon drawn to the church doors as a tall Lmanel priestess called out, "Welcome! It's good to see new faces around here. I trust Vaal'eska has been doing her utmost to get you acclimated?"
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2018
  6. Jimmy

    Jimmy Member

    Kay'lana looked quite uncertain even as the explanation of living underneath a dome was rolled out, but as the mention of things she liked, such as bars, restraunts, pico-jelly, she decided maybe it wasn't going to be too bad. The quip from the human, Danny pointing out the obvious did make her roll her eyes and put a hand to one hip to give him an unimpressed look.

    However, she made sure Danny kept close to her as they filed through the tour of the facility. The human had been decent company, even if he'd been forced upon her. Arguably his presence had kept her sense of duty in line, and stopped any potential detours that might have taken place if she'd been left alone. She'd also been told to make sure he got where he was going, so she couldn't just leave him in some unknown facility on an iceball all by himself.

    She kept up an interest in the surroundings as they moved through the facility, not entirely sure what she would be doing in a research facility. She hoped a little that they would let her test some of the weapons they must surly be developing here, they must surely be making weapons. The shiny rocks being exchanged caught her eye, and she guessed that various bets or promises were being paid up as they moved around.

    She couldn't help but sigh and smile a little as they got "outside", stretching her arms above her head, and wings flapping a few times to work the cramps out. The nine foot tall woman standing on her toes to unwind was certainly a sight to see for Danny, she was muscled, but not excessively so. Like a willow, she was flexible and graceful, a body built to move in fluid motion and precision, deadly precision.

    "Nngh. I guess this can't be too bad, hey Danny? At least they've given us a nice cage to live in for a while." she said, sounding just a little more excited.

    It was no paradise world with breathable atmosphere and the excitement of frontier colony life, but she was determined to make the best of it.

    As they neared the church Kay'lana kept herself quiet, waiting for the response as a group to the priestess' question. Despite a reputation for trouble, her respect for the church kept her piously cautious.
     
  7. Luca

    Luca Administrator Staff Member

    Cataloguing the information as it was relayed, Danny took note of a four, maybe five square kilometre area which housed the arboretum he'd be living around - which was an impressive amount of artificial real estate. Clever engineering wasn't ever something Danny dabbled in save for the occasional kludge or use of a premade solution, but the scale of the operation going on here gave him pause as his eyes took in the sights below.

    The opportunity to be in a homelier climate after being frozen started to sound enticing - the standard LSDF facilities and corridors didn't seem worth sticking around for one. Vaal'eska must've picked up the mood of the new arrivals - stiffened joints were slowly regaining motion as circulation begun warming him up. Better stretch after I put my stuff down. He kept in mind.

    During the walking commute to the inside of the arboretum, it didn't take long for him to discover that he was being followed - again, by Kay'lana. Something else caught his eye amongst the throng of white-haired personnel. Braided locks of lilac, for but a split second got his attention. Among his time amid the Lorath, he had never seen a hair colour other than white, save for the handful of humans he knew of with hair dyes or cosmetic mutations.

    Was that...? He suspected, causing him to slow down to get a better look - but he was pushed back into pace by the eagerness of those around him and quickly lost sight among the grey uniforms and other armbands. Unable to confirm what he saw for sure, but he figured seeing a colour that made him look was a symptom of being thawed out - maybe it was a retinal imbalance, rods and cones not quite talking to each other right. The way the light and colours which painted the world around him was interpreted by his brain - maybe it needed something to retune it and rebalance the values.

    ♫ MACINTOSH PLUS - て (Te) ♫

    As he stepped through the airlock, the sounds of natural ambience were the first thing to strike through the drone of computers, bootsteps and pale lights he'd become accustomed to in Lorath installations, replaced with singing birds, babbling creeks, buzzing insects and wind gently shaking the boughs of trees and their red leaves, creating a pleasant white noise that set his mind at ease on a primal level. The sensory awakening was bringing a vigour back to his bones and joints, as though he'd cast off a cloak made of lead.

    Once the two soldiers who were walking abreast in front of Danny dispersed into the dome to take in the wonder with him, the man got his first look at it all from ground level. With so many colours to look at from all the drab, metal and sepia, Danny was happy to watch the lavender skies and their distant - though artificial - clouds at a sun that didn't quite burn his eyes. Blinking and shaking his head as the dots in his vision dispersed, he remembered to breathe, taking in the light humidity and a pollen he'd grown accustomed to smelling in the heart of Lorath spring.

    "Can't be." He agreed with Kay'lana, stepping gingerly as he noticed one of those 'rabbity wolf' things grazing placidly in the lawn, with no fear of the people moving around it or relaxing - and occasionally doing what Robert would refer to as 'exchanging the merit stones'. Another critter, a sort of 'squirrely' thing was gliding from tree to tree, catching his eye. "They definitely got all the details down pat - reminds me of the countryside..." While Danny's gaze followed the squirrel into the leafy canopy, then the environment around him, it didn't take him long to spot the seams keeping this artificial paradise in place.

    Skies didn't have edges, but the interior space seemed larger than it appeared with how the place was structured - but he had to hand it to whichever mad landscapers were responsible. As group begun walking by the church, and he gave pause when the priestess introduced herself - Lorath religion was far removed from Danny's thought process, and he felt he didn't have a good grip on its core, so he figured the best thing to do was nod along with the crowd quietly, rather than make any risks and be a 'hairy hyoomin' as the local Lorthet back on Lor called him.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2018
  8. DocTomoe

    DocTomoe Administrator Staff Member

    It was like a ride, a ride without wheels, or seats, or any sort of locomotion really, but it was still like being guided on a rail. Moving with a group, being led to look about and take in the scenery. If it were not for the fact that the gathered personnel were going to be calling the structure 'home' for their deployment rotation, it would be something kin to being a tourist. For Ei'ika, it was like taking tour where she had already seen a highlight reel of what to expect. Her golden gaze went 'skyward' as she analyzed what she saw, and could not help but to marvel at the lengths the Lorath Self Defense Force went to for the sake of coddling those which were prone to fits of becoming 'stir crazy', the technology itself though was another matter.

    Localized ionizing field emitters to aid in particulate reduction, EM molecular accelerators to create a breeze while also being used to create an insulating layer. Moisture crosses the insulating layer, reduces in temperature sharply, condenses, then drops beneath the insulating layer. That dome is comprised of... Ei'ika peered upward, her gaze unwavering as she studied the light playing through and against the 'glass'. Sapphire, it's sapphire. Diamond would be too brittle in that much of a cold condition, aluminum oxide is far more stable. It was a sound realization, something she felt pleased with, knowing that the engineers which designed the structure had more practicality in mind than those which set out to create the creature comforts of the facility.

    What served to snap Ei'ika from her analysis of the structure was the approach of the priestess. An outright priestess. There was a clue in the clergy, one she quickly pieced together as she weighed what she had seen so far. This is not a pure research base, this is a colony, there is an intention here to do more... but more with what? Terraforming an ice ball like this is impractical when renewable or sustainable options are unavailable, it's simply too cold. So... why a priestess? A pastor or curate would certainly have been sufficient for a research facility. It was a minor puzzle, one that she wanted to find out more about as she sorted her pieces, finding the framework to build inward on. Frivolous design, priestess, a high-value asset, a hero, an inhospitable world... what else can link this together?
     
  9. Eistheid

    Eistheid Administrator Staff Member

    Resarch Facility "Tropical Paradise", Arboretum, Church of the Goddess

    A chorus of voices rose up in affirmation to the Priestess' query, colored by a mixture of relief and familiarity. The returned greeting was delivered largely unanimously echoes of their time in school reasserted and continued as their responses began fragmenting somewhat, the lorath in the group making slightly different assurances of satisfaction. While the group of newly arrived lorath indulged in the comfort of their faith, for the moment Vaal'eska stepped aside. As she did so the group of new arrivals for the most part clustered inward taking comfort in the presence of one of the clergy so far from home.

    Those who hung back could hear snippets of the conversation, the Lmanel Priestess introducing herself properly as Priestess Rai'elir "Auspice" La'elu'en. This was followed by her assurance that regular worship and services would be occurring daily, and then settled into a pattern of call and reply as she took the time to provide a few comforting words to those who were uncertain.

    With the majority of the group flocking forward to speak with the Priestess, those who hung back became apparent. The tall form of Kay'lana stood out, particularly because she stood in the presence of Danny, a human who like the others of his kind lingered awkwardly. Ei'ika visibly lost in thought as she tried to puzzle out the purpose of the facility they were to live and work in, stood not quite alone as a trio of Occhestian males chattered among each other. They huddled near enough that she could hear them trading speculation as to what projects they would be working on, as well as trading speculation on the placement of the other personnel who had arrived with them. A notable absentee among those who had held back was the short individual who had caught both Ei'ika and Danny's eyes suggesting that they were amid the excitable crowd.

    After a few minutes of indulgence, the group was gently urged to continue on. A few of the lmanel hesitated in their departure, visibly reluctant to part with one of their own in the clergy as they once again were herded into a double column configuration. With a wave and smiles traded, the group bid farewell to the Priestess as they were guided along a paved path which rounded the side of the church structure in a clockwise direction to approach what appeared much like a subway access set into the ground.

    Passing down the ramp and through an open airlock-like structure, the group found themselves standing in the midst of what looked like an underground mall plaza. The polished floor quickly drew attention as it proved to be decorated with a series of mosaics depicting various scenes of historical and religious significance primarily featuring the ascension of, curiously, lesser known saints. In the center of the plaza somewhat out of place amid the decoration was a practical polymer electronic information kiosk.

    Approaching the kiosk Vaal'eska turned to the group the click of her boot-heels on the floor echoing slightly in the open space as she turned before explaining, "This, is the first of many information access points that you will find scattered throughout the residential portion of the Facility. They are typically located no more than three-hundred-fifty meters apart, though the exact distance is variable. One of our pet projects is attempting to determine ideal saturation of information access points, as such the location of information access points is liable to change following the publication of a memo which will indicate the affected units, and the new locations where you may find them. Should you have time please provide feedback to the project in the relevant digital forum...

    "Anyway, these information access points will provide you with a manual access to the Facility's main computing network which is managed primarily by the facility's ARIA who goes by the name of Rel'zufraulf, or just Rel. She will be more than happy to answer any questions, and provide maps or information that you may need. For those of you who have integrated network access set up, you can access the local wireless network from any point within the facility. For those of you who have opted out of being network compatible, you too will be able to access the network on the go."

    Reaching down Vaal'eska slipped a compact device off of her belt, and held it up for the collected personnel to view, before opening it up revealing it to be a flip-phone like device, "Each of you have been issued a personal communicator which you will find in your quarters. This device will serve many functions including digital key, personal data manager, primary or backup communications, as well as a secondary positional tracker. You are encouraged to keep it on your person as often as possible, and are to store it in a secure locker when you do not. Failure to do so will, unfortunately, result in a reprimand and corrective action taken."

    There was a hint of personal familiarity to the words spoken and a brief pause before she continued, "This may seem harsh to some of you, however, as you will learn, your communicator is integral to many of the facility's checkpoints and in the unlikely event of an emergency may be the difference between a minor or major incident."

    Folding the communicator and putting it away on her belt, Vaal'eska offered a cheerful smile before suddenly changing topic, "You can learn more about that when you run the set-up and orientation program when you get your own. For now let us focus on getting you acquainted with the rest of your living space!"

    The next half hour was spent at a much quicker pace, the assumption made that the batch of new recruits were more or less at a functionally normal state of being leading to less time given to rest as they were shown around the main promenade. Spaced evenly apart for convenience were a trio of LSDF run re-sale establishments, these provided a slightly sterile if convenient opportunity to acquire luxury goods shipped from Lor. Scattered in between were a mixture a small number of dedicated artisan shops and hobbyist run outlets staffed by some of the Facility personnel on their down-time. Interspersed were a small selection of restaurants catering to different varieties of lorath cuisine satisfying a broad spectrum of palettes. Of these restaurants one was pointed out specifically for the human minority in the group despite appearing to be a confectionery bakery, "What ever you do, and no matter how good it smells. Do not eat here. We have had one near fatal incident involving a human male who made an assurance that he was different physiologically, and that he could handle any Lor-native cooking. We do not want a repeat occurrence, so please manage your pride."

    With the warning given, Vaal'eska led the group down a floor and began to tour the recreational section of the facility indicating where physical, mental, and social activities could be pursued. After this point they traveled downward another level before pausing along side of a large fluorescent yellow and black striped doorway. Turning to the group Vaal'eska once again spoke clearly, "Many of you have probably noticed doorways similar to this on the levels above. These are evacuation access points. Due to the nature of E-9-V, it is impractical to utilize the upper levels for evacuation purposes, especially in the event of a breach to the facility. To this end all evacuation paths have been designed to trend downward and congregate in a main tunnel which leads to a tertiary starport location. If there is ever a critical emergency requiring evacuation you are to proceed to one of these access points. Ordinarily the doors will open automatically, however if the power has been cut, secondary manual mechanisms have been installed, one on each side of the door. They are designed to be operated quickly, with minimal physical strength needed in a simple up-down motion indented to reduce complexity in crisis situations."

    Pausing to look at the door, Vaal'eska spoke clearly for the benefit of the group, "Rel'zufraulf, if you would, please temporarily disable the alarm sensors and open door 34-S for demonstration purposes."

    With the request spoken, the outline of the door illuminated with bright orange-white lights before it smoothly lifted to reveal a rounded corridor beyond. Stepping aside as an exhale of warmer air billowed from the tunnel beyond, Vaal'eska indicated with a hand, "As you can see the floor is marked with a fluorescent yellow strip. Following this will lead you away from the facility and to the tertiary starport where evacuation will take place. Before you hurry down the tunnel, you are however encouraged to utilize one of the manual release levers on either side of the tunnel to seal the way behind you and limit the chances of depressurization and heat loss."

    Thanking the ARIA for their help, Vaal'eska led the group down the final stretch to the main residential area as the emergency exit sealed and went dark once again returning to its normal state behind the group.

    ***

    The process of being assigned rooms was a simple one, though being new arrivals they found themselves traveling quite a distance downward in the facility. They came to a stop at sub-level 5, a mixed blessing according to Vaal'eska, as they were closer to the evacuation point, but further from the convenience of amenities. Ei'ika being an officer was among the first to get her room assignment, room 3 in the officer's block putting her close to both stairway and elevator access to the upper levels. Danny and Kaylana however found themselves assigned the 26th residential block rooms 72 and 73 respectively indicating both that the chaperone duty was being loosely implied even here, while also putting them a good five minute walk from access to the upper levels.

    As their number got their living spaces assigned the presence of a voluptuous Lmanel hovering nearby given away by the frequent rustle of feathers as her wings quivered with excitement. At the end of the list one Miss Paar'enil was assigned to block 47, room 21 effectively placing the individual with the black arm-band nearly as far away from convenient access to the upper levels as possible.

    With the assignments handed out and the initial introductory tour to the facility drawn to the close Vaal'eska barely managed to get the words that they were free to go voiced, before the heavier-set Lmanel darted with surprising nimbleness from her not-so-hidden location a short ways down the hall. Spreading her wings and arms wide, her eyes practically shimmering with excitement, the Lmanel near shouted in a bright, joyous voice, "You'll all be coming to my welcoming party tonight, right?"

    Picking out Ei'ika as an officer, the much larger Lmanel looked to her with her hands clutched in earnest excitement pressed in the midst of her ample chest and asked with a mixture of respect, awe, and glee, "You'll be there right ma'am? It's going to be the best party I've thrown! And I've thrown a lot of parties!"

    Turning to extend her attention to more of the group her excited golden eyes fell upon Kay'lana's tall figure easily visible in the small crowd, "You'll come too right? You simply have to! It's the best way to meet people! Everyone will be there!"

    "Oh! Forgive my rudeness," The Lmanel straightened and bashfully smiled, though for only a moment before her gleeful exuberance returned, "I'm Consultant Aid'el'heid 'Effervescence' Ahas'tauss, and I'd really love it if you'd all come to my welcoming party!"
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2018
  10. DocTomoe

    DocTomoe Administrator Staff Member

    Residential Paradise



    There was a continued silence from the Occhestian engineer as she strode with the group, apart from the enlisted personnel, but still close enough to be included in the orientation process to their new assignment. Structural and design features were noted by her just as much as ever. Looking upon the way the facility was designed, even in the residential section they proceeded into, it left Ei’ika curious as to why the Matriarchy had deemed it necessary to specially construct the facility. Pre-fabricated starship components would have surely been easier, cheaper, faster, and convenient to work with. In her thoughts, she compared the facility to larger spacecraft and assets the Matriarchy had at its disposal, such as the Wh’ki and Eagle-Class.



    Form and function, Ei’ika, form and function She mused to herself, weighing the why against the likely reasons which could be present for the way the structure was designed. Even the mall complex was laid out in a way that reminded her of a concourse. She listened to the details about the kiosk system, one point of which quirked her brow; Three hundred fifty meters. More than a third of a kilometer. At a full run though… it would be less than a minute apart. Reasonable for a facility currently occupied by Defense Force personnel, but they’re evaluating the layout. It left her still pondering the form and function of the facility, and even the rather pleasing convenience of having terminal access to the facility ARIA, before her thought on the matter was squelched by the topic of the communication device.



    Leashes. Ei’ika quickly concluded, based on the information provided. She knew that standard facility and starship security systems were rather fortified against unauthorized intrusion. It would literally take an identical copy of a person, right down to their neurochemistry to be able to successfully bypass or circumvent standard high security suites, at the very least an ability to forge a three-dimensional liquid metal geometric key to get through mid-grade security features. It left her with the feeling that the communication and security devices were purely there for monitoring the location of personnel, movements of personnel, and regulating productivity. However, it was the word choice of the woman which left Ei’ika wondering if it was an intentional mistake to use the word ‘encouraged’ in relation to the apparent ‘requirement’ that was implied as she continued about the device.



    Questions bubbled up in Ei’ika’s mind, she was curious, she wanted to know more about the matter before the pace of the ‘tour’ sped up. Shops, food, amenities. Comfortable. Surprises do not cease. she thought as they exited the recreational area, and soon stood before the evacuation path. It was information worthy of recording to memory, biological and artificial, as she literally filed the information away in a data management routine. It was all sensible really, rather straight forward, and she had no doubt she would be able to easily follow the necessary procedure to find her way to an escape if necessary.



    Satisfied with the first ‘package’ of information she had received about the facility, Ei’ika followed along, noting the location of her quarters, the location where each of the other members of their recruited group were being quartered, and most especially where the black-banded special case was placed. It seemed sensible, she had no misgivings about the unique individual being set back in their own far-away niche. Soon, the well anticipated permission to move about their business was heard, but what came after was distinctively not foremost in the happenings that Ei’ika would have considered a ‘favorable event’.


    Mental training, a cornerstone of her life since childhood, came heavily into play as she wore a pleasant smile on her lips as the Lmanel approached and made her introduction. ‘Consultant’ was a loose term, she was able to cross-check the name to the personnel records she had looked over prior to arrival. Aid’el’heid was a Personnel, Procedure, and Productivity consultant, some of the LSDF would call them by a moniker of a ‘TP’, or ‘Triple P’, at least when speaking in the common dialect shared with offworlders in which the alliteration would be present. Within Lorath dialect, she would have been known as what would translate better to a ‘Behavioral Guidance Consultant’, their purpose was to mesh policy with morale. They knit together what was expected of personnel by the Matriarchy, to the actual reality of field service, using tailored motivational processes to encourage personnel to continue to behave in the best interests of their posting, the Defense Force, and the Matriarchy as a whole. Their methods varied by posting, but, Ei’ika could tell clearly that this one used more carrot than stick.


    “Oh, certainly!” Ei’ika replied, it was a matter of duty; “I’ll be glad to make an appearance. It would be grand to be involved and to get to know each other a little better other than what is in a personnel record.” It was a lie, a terrible lie, one that if another of her caste would have been around, they could have seen through it at a single touch to her skin as it was so painfully poorly constructed in her mind. Externally however, she wore the face, the face of an enthusiastic officer as she had only a desire to work, it was what she did, she worked with machines, designs, and concepts. Not people. Not unless they were of interest to her, but there were so few that were, and that was what made it all the more difficult to truly appreciate the offer. Even so, there was still the well-adjusted nature of a Lorath mixed in, an ingrained hope to become better, to want to feel a part of the whole, something she tried to nourish and it left her with a touch of hope that she was not making a terrible mistake by not simply excusing herself.


    “I plan to set up my communicator as soon as I get to my quarters, please, send the details for the gathering to it, and I will be sure to be present, early even, as I am sure some help to get things in order would be welcome.” Social graces, practices, pressed into her since mere months after hatching were at play as she slipped into the ways of the species purely by cultural predisposition. She hoped some of the others would speak up as well, to get the spotlight off of her necessary behavior as an officer and decent socially acceptable member of society.
     
  11. Jimmy

    Jimmy Member

    Kay'lana waited patiently, keeping Danny at her hip as they waited outside the parish until they were herded to continue the tour. The re-sale shops definitely caught Kay'lana's eye and she made a note to come back here in the near future. She liked to stay moisturized. The communications device didn't raise any particular alarms with her, there was nothing wrong the Matriarchy could do knowing her real-time location. On the whole she felt like the place had a sense of permanence, as though the Matriarchy had chosen this place, and had made it clear they were here to stay.

    As their room assignments were handed down she glanced down at Danny as their rooms came up right next to each other. Just how far Glee's order gotten from that simple directive before catching the bus? She supposed it couldn't be too bad, it wasn't every girl that got to be neighbors with a hero of the Matriarchy after all, and he'd provided good company so far.

    "You don't have any loud hobbies, do you? Also, feel free to come over if I'm having a room party." She said to Danny as she thought about it some more.

    Her thoughts were interrupted by a rogue personnel officer showing up to announce her intentions for them all, and with expert social pressure trying to force them to agree into it. Kay'lana couldn't help but take a small step back in mild panic as she was singled out by the swirling dervish of excitability. Her amber eyes went to the nearest officer and watched as Ei'ika accepted the invitation with some social grace. Kay'lana laughed nervously and put a hand behind her head.

    "Ahaha, uh, sure. It'll be fun, right?" She said, trying to nail a smile on her face but only managing to put it on tilted.

    Quickly she turned and leaned down towards Danny, inadvertently causing her hips to stick out of her thigh-high boots as her hand rest on her knee.

    "Please come to, I don't know anyone else here!" She whispered to him hastily.
     
  12. Luca

    Luca Administrator Staff Member

    The news that he'd been issued a specialised communications device from the facility didn't come as much of a surprise. What did come as a surprise was how much seemed to hinge on the one device: A digital keyring, notebook, telecommunications receiver and personal tracking beacon. Hum. I don't recall B.T. going a device this complex. Why all the additional bits and tracking...? Danny pondered - the communicator devices he'd been familiarised with during basic training weren't nearly as feature-full - especially not personal tacking. At least it was small and sleek as shown by Vaal'eska.

    Moving with the tour group through the plaza, Danny took note of the other humans managing shops around the plaza, and found the sole human-centric food provider a bit of a joke in terms of presentation. Then again, he was part of a simian minority - and even that didn't stop him from wondering aloud: "So I've gotta subsist on pizza scrolls or something, then?" He joked with Kay'lana as he peered into the bakery, spotting loaves of banana bread in an orderly row in the window. Danny knew the Lorath palette wasn't for him when he discovered how spicy it was, but the breads they were fond of could work alone.

    -

    Placing his duffel bag in front of his assigned room and noting the numbers of his location down, Danny heaved a sigh of relief, looking forward to laying down and stretching the soreness out of his doubled joints - but something caught his attention. He turned to spotting a Lmanel woman he didn't recognise skipping through the hall, and tilted his head at the spectacle. He saw them hovering about earlier, but paid no attention until she became impossible to ignore.

    Huh. Bubbly lady. Big too. Robert thought, oogling their ample bosom. Maybe its only the best party she's thrown so far. Danny wondered when celebrant announced herself to everyone by saying there was a party on. After putting his gear down and getting acquainted with the upper levels of the facility, an opportunity to get more acquainted with the staff via means of wild-sounding party didn't sound so bad either - stretching could wait. It sounded like a tempting offer, but as he weighed it up, Kay'lana eclipsed his train of thought again, making her proposals.

    "Loud hobbies? Uh, no. Why d'you ask?" Danny said quizzically. Usually, these sorts of questions were phrased to keep an eye out for the troublemakers - but none of Danny's habits, even those observed by Kay'lana could be construed as loud. Yoga stretches, reading, and more-or-less keeping to himself were the sum of his downtime activities. At times, he'd go out with those he worked with - but he had the feeling Kay'lana was coming on a bit strong with her second question.

    Stepping back for a moment to be able to look her in the eye, Danny put his hands on his hips, tilting his head sideways at the towering Fyunnen. "You wanna what?" He replied, looking left and right at the other Lorath in his contingent, specifically looking for Fyunnen. "You sure you can't find anyone your size to fraternise with?" he wondered as his search was coming up short.

    Clicking his tongue in annoyance, he tried rephrasing his hesitation as politely as he could, becoming self-conscious. "I mean, uh, I don't know anyone here and I'm a humie - I won't be able to eat or drink most of the stuff that'll be on offer anyway." If it was going to be anything like the parties he'd experienced, he'd gravitate to the other humans and stick with them for the duration of the party, swapping stories tall or true over mildly psychoactive and intoxicating wines.
     
  13. Jimmy

    Jimmy Member

    Kay'lana blinked at Danny's answer, and leaned down a little more, drawing some loose hair out of her eyes to stare at him curiously with her amber eyes. Inadvertantly sticking out her proportionally sized hips from the top of her thigh high boots and if it wasn't for her chastely done up uniform, a bit of cleavage.

    "My size?" She asked slowly, before smirking. "Saying a woman is big is a compliment for humans, right"

    She giggled a little, it seemed the perfect giggle for someone her size. Full and booming.

    "It's okay, you know. You don't have to be against my thigh the whole time. Besides, someone will probably have to carry you back." She smiled at him happily, indulging her own joke.

    But really, she wasn't sure how formal this whole 'party' business would be. She's done parties at training, but this was her first real deal military grade party. It could be a formal affair in full uniform, even if the demeanor of the personnel officer made that seem unlikely. Besides, he made her laugh.
     
  14. Luca

    Luca Administrator Staff Member

    What was causing Danny to shy away from the idea of a party initially would be what was expected of him; His being and reputation were at odds as a Hero of the Matriarchy and as a human at the same time. The messaging was mixed, but humans were one and the same with mixed messaging. Crossing his arms and nodding as he made a show of mulling it over in front of the Fyunnen. "It's a bit of both. Some guys like big girls with big guns" Danny said as he numbered one and two on his fingers - looking to the side "Others prefer to make out women who have more in common with rakes."

    "And you are, by human standards" He took a step back and made a show of measuring the Fyunnen woman by making a picture-frame with his index fingers and thumbs "positively stacked. I know there's men who'd leap through hell and high water to get crushed by those thighs" he meant it in derision upon the men who wanted it, but with how physical Fyunnen as a caste were, it was probably within the realm of possibilities for one of the guys to face such a thing.

    The idea of being carried or dragged back seemed like Robert's idea of a good Friday night out, as long as he didn't get shot in the head again. "How hospitable; Guess I have no choice but to come along." He joked. On more practical terms, the party served a social purpose too. "Might as well get to know more of the staff here, and see what the project of the day is, yeah?"
     
  15. Jimmy

    Jimmy Member

    Kay'lana straightened, smiling and rubbing the back of her head in delighted embarrassment at the complement about her thighs. Turned out the human was a bit of a smooth-talker when he tried. She felt much more at ease about this party with someone there she knew, and she decided she liked him more.

    "Well, now you're just making me blush, Danny." She giggled, shifting one her large thigh boots to stand more on one leg, hips leaning out as she stretched one arm up, the other going behind her head.

    "After being asleep so long, I think a shower will feel great. This business with communicators needs sorting too. How about I meet you tonight outside our rooms, and we'll walk together. No sense getting lost alone in a place like this." She said, tipping her head and pressing the button to open her own door experimentally.
     
  16. Eistheid

    Eistheid Administrator Staff Member

    Research Facility "Tropical Paradise", Residential Sub-basement 3

    With a skill speaking of many years of refinement Ad'el'heid smoothly managed the crowd somehow finding the time to give Ei'ika a moment of sincere thanks and confirm that she would get in touch with her when available via her assigned communicator before turning away and giving Ei'ika the social out to retreat to her quarters while the bubbly consultant made to engage and excite the other lorath fresh out of cryo-sleep.

    A steady procession of promises were extracted from the group with few moments of note, a shorter human man tried to make his way toward Kay'lana and Danny's conversation before being clapped on the shoulders by a Fyunnen man and maneuvered away with booming good natured laughter. One human woman managed to excuse herself on account of wanting to seek a medical check up and maybe get some bed rest due to feeling unusual following the thawing process, a situation that was met with a surprising amount of compassion from her peers, a few even offering to escort her to the medical facilities.

    Despite not being addressed directly, the small black-banded individual spoke up in a gap in the conversation indicating that they too would be attending the party. Shortly after this and with a final round of exuberant encouragement from Ad'el'heid upon a trio of reluctant Fyunnen, their arrival group had dispersed throughout their residential layer of the facility.

    ***

    Walking along one of the lightly decorated, brightly illuminated corridors Ei'ika was faced with a fairly standard door with an OLED panel indicating that it was her quarters beneath the prominent room number. A familiar biometric lock enabled entry to the room, the door opening to reveal something which, unexpectedly, was much more familiar than much of the facility which she had seen so far. Within was contained an exact template of the standard LSDF Officer quarters. The layout spoke of a hint of comfort as well as utility, and importantly it offered a sense of familiarity and expected order in an environment that had been full of mysteries and surprises.

    The room was pristine in arrangement with a single deviation, a small sticky note in her caste's blue affixed to the wood paneled exterior of what she knew to be the quarters' emergency equipment locker. A brief examination revealed the simple message of "Open me." Suggesting her next course of action.

    ***

    Across the residential level Kay'lana and Danny were met with their own rooms. Standard pre-fabricated small-size living quarters awaited them. The wall mounted bed, presently tucked away was immediately apparent and expected, as well as other amenities such as the rooms' sinks, mirrors, and storage cabinet. The wall mounted desk however each contained sealed opaque gray plastic boxes with a sheet of paper present upon each that read in large block letters, "PERSONAL COMMUNICATOR. DO NOT LOSE." Then in smaller font, "Please return the box to the quartermaster at earliest convenience."

    Aside from the box on the table, was the familiar computing unit made available in each room which connected to the base's network provided opportunity for personal management, recreation, and information such as the location of the showers on the fifth level of the base for use by enlisted personnel.
     
  17. Jimmy

    Jimmy Member

    Kay'lana immediately felt at home with the tiny quarters provided, Fyunnen households were built like military installations, and so even getting a room to herself was rather nice. Although, the roof was much lower than she'd have liked. She sighed as she bent down to get in through the door, hunched at the waist to fit all nine foot of her into a eight foot high ceiling.

    Maybe Danny had been wrong, bigger wasn't always better. She put her bags against the wall under the wall mounted bed and sauntered to the grey box on the desk, carefully lifting up the lid and picking the device within. She looked at it curiously for a moment, opening it up and checking it quickly before putting it on her belt and going over to the sink. She tried to pose a little in front of it, but in the end without getting on her knees all she really got was a view of her own bosom.

    With another sigh she walked back out into the hallway, stretching her back as she made her way to the showers. Was the fifth floor up or down, again? She walked back to where she remembered one of those interactive information kiosks being to get directions.
     
  18. DocTomoe

    DocTomoe Administrator Staff Member

    Empty sounds of boots against thinly carpet clad metal flooring served as Ei’ika’s company to her quarters, as she mused silently over the notion that her opportunity for a blessing was not missed in the arboretum, but instead she received her blessing in the form of being free of the exuberantly extroverted consultant which she had left behind with the enlisted personnel. What she was left with was to get to know her quarters, to familiarize herself with another part of the mostly unfamiliar research post. On entering her quarters however, there was the pleasant joy of a familiar design, a standardized room that could be seen in similar styling across the Matriarchy.

    At a glance, the engineer was able to take an inventory of the room. There was nearly nothing unfamiliar or irregular. All that stood out were a pair of extra blankets upon the bed spread, some of her personal belongings which were brought to her quarters by base staff as her officer status meant she did not have to carry her world upon her own shoulders, and more importantly, she spotted a note on the equipment locker directing her to open it. If anything, the situation seemed benign enough to not earn a questioning doubt from her as she opened the locker, finding a box within, which she opened to reveal another box but without a biometric lock, and instead it was a basic corrugated box and within she found the communicator she had been directed to find such importance in.

    An inspecting gaze and touch moved over the communication device. It seemed reasonably designed, rigid or rounded in all the right places to be ergonomically sound. Her trained touch weighed it, coming to a figure around a hundred-fifty to hundred-eighty grams. Control surfaces were intuitive, and not oversimplified to the point of becoming obstructive to working advanced functions of the device. Approvingly she browsed the integrated data on the device before looking into any network database information.

    A studying gaze came from the engineer as she eyed what came up as a facility diagram. It was a series of structures set about centralized main operational sections. Exterior sections were marked in an assortment of variations on the themes of ‘research’ and ‘utility’. It was typical design strategy, even seen on the spacecraft of the Matriarchy. Isolate the critical sections from those with the most variable and possibility of failure in some form. Again though, that implied a possibility of failure which could be measured by the degree of separation and isolation which was applied to the structure placement. Much of the connectivity between the central section and exterior sections were served by umbilical utility lines, as opposed to connective passages, a clear sign of planning for isolation, as opposed to preparing for it.


    “Well, I’ll find out more as time goes on.” Ei’ika mumbled before she pulled a small transceiver tag from one of her bags, sticking it within the battery compartment housing of the communicator. It was a passive tag, keyed to a unique quantum modem signature. It resonated with Ei’ika’s cybernetics when nearby and ebbed when apart; it was a reminder to keep the device with her, and to help her find it if misplaced and without signal for any reason. It was a sensible precaution to take, before she set aside the time to set up the device in earnest, with her own Matriarchy Public Network and Matriarchy Military Network credentials, which were of course kept on separate partitions on the device, with no data sharing between them. She even took the opportunity to test the device by sending a multi-media message from the device to the facility’s outgoing personal communications box, ready to be sent out to her family once authorization was given for a data packet transmission to designated connective servers leading to Ei’ika’s genuine home, the home which she missed the more that she mulled over her new posting.

    “Make the best of it, you need to set an example.” Again she mumbled, reflecting on her new role, as she stepped into the small galley of her new quarters and went about assembling a snack, something to mute her mulling, while she grabbed a firm reign on her thoughts, and began to sort them as she worked in her personal kitchen to prepare herself for the evening ahead.
     
  19. Luca

    Luca Administrator Staff Member

    Research Facility 'Tropical Paradise', Residential Sub-Level 3, Danny's Room
    Stepping into his new quarters and dropping his gear off by the fold-out bed, Danny had come to expect the utilitarianism of Lorath furnishings. Everything worked - it wasn't necessarily pretty, but it the build quality was top-notch, and everything functioned as expected upon cursory inspection. Meanwhile, Robert's previous experience with human-run standardisations went for aggressive cost minimisation while barely preserving usefulness - even sacrificing safety.

    All that occurring somewhere in Robert's past while the lion's share went to gold plating the salaries and offices of what he saw as useless administrators, ego-tripping managers and eggheads far up their own asses that reality was no more. Not so with the Lorath, but even he could see some were more equal than others - probably for a better reason than 'her mum went to school with my mum and we go back a long way'.

    The last thing Danny inspected after seeing all the amenities and electronics in working order was the communications device laying in the middle of his desk. So this thing's my key to the facility He pondered, lifting the device up and powering it on, as accessories were laid out for inspection - a backup power/data cable if the induction charging didn't work for some reason, and a belt clip to stow the device. Watching the operating system boot up and the home screen light up with a pale blue background and some icons, he took a few minutes to personalise it - arranging the applications he thought necessary for his convenience.

    Keeping the mapping application on the home screen was the first thing to do - from what he'd seen in passing, this facility was larger than he could've imagined. Getting lost was a distinct possibility. Danny also dragged a link to all of his security keys and credentials to the forefront as well, in case his identities needed confirming for whatever reason. The rest, such as data access to the facility network took centre stage, while some other apps were hidden behind folders.

    Having the time to sit down and take inventory physically and mentally, Danny decided he needed a shower. It'd been a little over a week to cross twenty light years to get to this facility. He wasn't outright smelly or unhygienic but the activity was therapeutic, in his mind to to wash away the last vestiges of the induced, dreamless sleep.

    Danny opened the map application on his communicator and begun following it to the nearest showering block, leaving his room behind.
     
  20. Eistheid

    Eistheid Administrator Staff Member

    Research Facility "Tropical Paradise", Residential Sub-Basement 3

    Exiting her room Kay'lana's walk down the hall was her first taste of what her most basic off duty life would be like. Lorath in groups or alone, uniformed or in varying states of functional dress and consciousness telling of varying shifts and personnel who were cycling on or off of duty. The presence of her kin, many of which were of her own caste as well as the familiar trappings of day to day life helped dull the unfamiliar aspects of the research facility she'd been assigned to so far from home. Just as she was settling into a decent walking stride she came upon one of the functional and somewhat inviting information kiosks, a large internally illuminated plastic button sat with the conveniently clear phrasing of "push me" indicating how to activate the kiosk that would function as a help desk and provide the answers she sought.

    Coincidentally as Kay'lana reached the kiosk, Danny was making his way in the same direction following the directions printed clearly on the screen of the communicator in his hand his later departure and shorter legs leaving him lagging behind as he traveled toward one of the public bath facilities located periodically throughout the residential level. Focused on his communicator he payed little mind to those around him save to avoid walking into other traffic, passing his fyunnen chaperone in the hall just as a pleasant feminine voice with an intentionally synthetic flavoring was explaining the process of reaching the nearest personnel sanitation facilities. To this end it was Danny who reached the baths first stepping through a small automatic airlock into the comparative warmth and humidity of the baths, moisture hanging in the air giving a scent vaguely reminiscent of a public pool.

    Immediately eye catching was the large communal bath in the center of the room occupied by half a dozen fyunnen, a few lmanel, and a human with dark hair. Arrayed along the walls were what appeared to be shower stalls mostly empty at the moment, and of more immediate use was a counter-top area featuring a long single piece mirror which was flanked by a pair of plain shelving units which held woven synthetic baskets likely intended for storing one's clothing and possessions while bathing. The quiet murmur of conversation could be heard in the room along side the familiar and expected sounds of washing punctuated by the soft clicks of hygenic product bottles, and the occasional wet footstep on the rough textured floor. All in all it seemed that he had arrived exactly where he wanted to be.
     
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