This is a Chain story passed between @zakludick and @therneau. Each writer authors a post based on the events of previous episodes and carries on the story.
There is very little collusion between the writers as it is challenging to discover and develop a story by attuning the writing to the partner's plot, style, and presentation.
Last Time on Space Lore ZT
Flying over the waters of the planet X1406, out combind crew look for a place to land. Captain Freyai has had enough of the cyborg and the AI doing their modifications and not caring about the safety of the crew.
Thorne decides to act.
Space Lore Log SLZT #25
The Auk'ilit Captain looked ready to murder someone or make some other sort of rash decision. Thorne stood up.
"Now that we are within this planet's atmosphere, we are safe for now right?" Thorne interrupted.
The human-cyborg communicated with J5. "Yes. It seems that there is a massive probability that we will not be detected."
"Before we go to initiate terrestrial reconnaissance and mining operation for the minerals that you seek, I propose that we have a rest period," Thorne said quickly.
"Not much time has passed Thorne Herm." Aujuk replied. "Less than 4 hours has passed since the last regular sleep cycle and not much beyond that from our first contact."
"Yes, yes. You and J5 would run things through the numbers." Thorne said, again interrupting Captain Freyai from saying anything. "What you do not realize is that much has happened in that time. J5 nearly killed the members of this bridge in defence, they survived this. Our ships then merged to survive a strange alien robot attack and we then did ten consequtive jumps. None of the organic life-forms on this ship has had time to regenerate and more importantly - psychologically process the events that had just transpired."
The cybrog quickly clicked and buzzed a bit and then turned to Thorne. "You are correct. J5 also agreed with you. We will establish a space to hover for a few hours while you.... process...."
The Auk'ilit Captain stood with her mouth and her eyes wide open.
"Captain." Thorne said as he turned to her. "I believe that we have a few moments. Perhaps we can grab a meal together and converse." He winked with his eye that was away from the cyborg, though he doubted that the strange half-machine would understand the gesture.
"Uh... I see..." She stammered. "Indeed Thorne Herm. It is time for a meal. Chief Ingth, you have the con. Place everyone else on rotational breaks. We need to rest up and be ready for what comes next."
Thorne offered an elbow to the Captain in what he hoped was a charming display. She stared at it for a moment and then bumped his elbow with one of her own. She then walked towards the entrance to the bridge. "This way. Let us go to the Galley Hall."
Not too familliar with human etiquette then. He thought. Though he did not know too much about the Auk'ilit at all, there was a miner at one of the way stations that had told stories of having an Auk'ilit lover. Thorne was not sure that this is what he had expected. Though this was a Captain of a ship, not some fling at a resort station.
They descended from the bridge in an elevator that took them to another level of the ship. She led the way. The Auk'ilit was slightly taller than he was and had a far longer stride than her walk.
"Do you have paper aboard the ship?" He asked her suddenly.
She glanced slightly behind him. "Of course not. Why would we need to use physical methods of record-keeping aboard a space vessel? Is your vessel filled with filing cabinets?"
"Of course not." He replied easily, attempting to disarm her rather sharp reply. She seemed to be on edge still. "I just feel the need to write things out a bit in order to understand them better... you know... to process." Thorne waved a index finger around, pointing at the walls of the ship.
She tilted her head. "I believe I can get hold of a notebook or a Journal for that."
"And a pen or similar writing device." He added.
"Indeed." She said somewhat coldly. "Here is the Galley Hall. Take a seat and I will return with the... stationery."
The Captain continued down the Hallway and Thorne stepped into the Galley. It was a large space, with room for more than fourty people to sit comfortably.
That pegs the crew at anything between 20 and 80 people depending on how they do shift rotations. Not much to go on. Though it is a military craft. They should have double the crew they need due to shifts and casualty redundancy. So... maybe 60 crew at least.
He decided to sit on a seat towards the back of the Galley and sat in the centre of the room, away from any walls, though he did not think that it would matter. The room was empty, but as soon as he sat down a being stepped out of a side room and peeked it's head out from behind the counter briefly and then dissapeared.
He did not get a good look at it, but whomever was working in the kitchen was not human. He supposed that this was normal. There were not that many humans on board.
Soon enough the creature reappeared and waddled across the floor towards Thorne bearing a tray with two cups and an assortment of other containers on it. The creature head would be below his shoulders and sort of resembled a massive anteater or rat. It had dense, short cropped fur that seemed so tight he first thought that it was bare skin.
The creature had a large mouth that was drawn into a toothy grin. There were all sorts of teeth in the forefront of the creature's month and this at least discounted his anteater simile and proved also that this was no rodent, but rather an omnivore of sorts.
"Greetings traveler." What Thorne had expected what a squeak or a gurgle but what came from the creature was deep smooth bass notes. The way that the creature enunciated the words made them sound charming and cultured. It was a "radio voice" if ever there was one. "You must be from that other ship that we merged with."
Thorne stood up. "Greetings. I am Thorne Herm."
The creature set his tray down on the table and offered his hand. "I am Cantankerous Fool, but everyone calls me Tanker." Thorne took the hand, which was soft but leathery and devoid of claws.
The creature chuckled as he let go of Thorne's hand, it was a pleasant and deep rumbling sound. "I am sure you are shocked at my name, Master Herm. It is a direct translation from my native tongue. It is traditional to keep it, but I doubt that it would make any sense without a bit of context."
"Context we do not have time for right now Tanker." Captain Freyai said as she entered the room.
"Captain." Tanker rumbled and gave a half bow. "How lovely it is to see you. I have brought refreshments. A specialty drink. How thrilled I am to serve it before a Human!"
To Thorne's absolute surprise, the Captain sketched a quick bow in return. "I thank you for your hospitality. I take it, this drink has some sort of significance?"
Thorne looked at the drink more closely. He supposed that it did appear familliar. Like something from an old Earth movie.
The creature chuckled pleasantly. "Indeed! A most wonderous bevarage! I do warn you that it is hot. I had to synthesize the milk but the beans the beverage is made from, I grow in my own hydroponics garden."
Tanker smiled broadly. "Ah! You see! The Human recognises it! I love this beverage! Enjoy!"
"Thank you Tanker. Could you please prepare some meals for us as well?" Freyai asked.
The creature bowed and left them.
Freyai sat down opposite to Thorne. She had brought a notepad and pencil with her. She scribbled on it and then passed it over.
Do you not trust your robot? It read.
Thorne took the pencil and wrote his reply and passed it back.
Do you trust yours?
Freyai smiled and then took one of the two cups and began bringing the cup to her lips.
"Stop!" He said with a cautionary gesture. "That's very hot. Also you will need to add sugar and milk to it first and then stir."
"Ah, I see. I should have asked how this Human bevarage is served." She said. "Do you drink it often?"
"Not like this." He admitted. "Usually we just get it pre-made and pre-mixed. This is how it used to be done... I believe that people with the right money still drink it like this." He put sugar into the cup of dark liquid and then added the milk. The Captain wrote him a message.
So what did you want to talk about?
"This is a military vessel." Thorne said aloud. "What was your primary mission?"
Meanwhile he wrote.
"We are just a partol vessel. Armed in case of an invasion."
He passed over the notepad.
Was it coincidence that you were near Vorcia? Or did you know about the ochophial?
"Invasion from whom?"
She did not answer either question, instead she wrote. "This beverage is quite nice. What is it called?" She slid over the notepad.
Thorne stared at the note.
Those two questions are linked.
Log SLZT #25 completed!
Let me just drop that there...
The keyboard is passed on to @therneau to add in SLZT Log #26 of the story!
|by @zakludick||by @therneau|
|SLZT #15||SLZT #16|
|SLZT #17||SLZT #18|
|SLZT #19||SLZT #20|
|SLZT #21||SLZT #22|
|SLZT #23||SLZT #24|
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