Updated: Mar 18
Observation of a rare stellar phenomena yields surprising results when a planetary collapse, Nuhar Construct & Regulator leadership all get brought together...
Keelah@crystyll FX | Following their brief layover in non-Regulated space, the VF retrieved it's comm buoy and continues to cross Regulated space under the ever scrutinizing eye of the Evaluator Keelah@crystyll FX | Long range sensors detected a stellar phenomena of sufficient interest to divert course and observe; a star expanding Keelah@crystyll | Fisher: "Coming up on the system now, Captain" Keelah@crystyll: "Drop to sublight, Mr. Fisher. Tee, inform Lennie to bring the observatories up to full power. We don't want to miss a moment of this" Keliaya@anncarise checks sensors for a preliminary scan of the system. Keliaya@anncarise: "We're detecting a few planets, but nothing particularly special. No lifesigns on sensors." Keelah@crystyll FX | The viewscreen switches to a close up of the star as an orbiting planet begins to break up in the photosphere: Keelah@crystyll: https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcS1D-923gn1WYtQcPHCejvzLXEzbgavE28u3EEK2BK2yfSmhQnr&s Keelah@crystyll leans back, taking in the rare sight Keelah@crystyll | TQ: "Astrometrics acknowledge full data capture is underway" Keelah@crystyll | Kazra turns and watches thoughtfully, "Just think, with a few slightly different variables that could have one day become the home to a whole new species..." Keelah@crystyll: "Maybe this stellar evolution will mean new life can evolve on a more distant planet in the system one day, Commander" Keliaya@anncarise: "Or maybe when the star goes supernova and a new system is formed, life will emerge there." Keelah@crystyll | Kazra looks over, "Maybe... either way, I'm sure this data will help our teams in predicting such phenomena" Keelah@crystyll FX | The final remnants of the planet turn to debris, then dust, then a fine mist before being completely swallowed by the expanding star Keelah@crystyll: "Do we have any estimate on how far this star will expand?" Keliaya@anncarise turns and taps her console, trying to predict how far it'll expand before it goes supernova. Keliaya@anncarise: "According to our data so far, it'll expand up to approximately nine times the size of Sol." Keliaya@anncarise: "In relation to the rest of this system, it'll be large enough to destroy one more planet." Keelah@crystyll: "How long until the next consumption? It would be nice to measure the planetary effect from start to finish" Keliaya@anncarise: "In about ten hours, at the current rate." Keelah@crystyll: "I think we can afford that much of a delay to our journey" she smiles, "Refocus all arrays on the next planet then" Keliaya@anncarise nods, "On it." Keliaya@anncarise looks through the data coming from the next planet. Keliaya@anncarise: "There's massive geothermal activity on the planet, as expected from its current proximity to the star." Keliaya@anncarise: "We rarely see geographical movements so dramatic firsthand, it should be very interesting data to analyze." Keelah@crystyll: "I look forward to seeing what our teams make of it all" she smiles Keliaya@anncarise: "Wait...we're detecting something artificial..." Keliaya@anncarise: "Trying to analyze technological level..." Keelah@crystyll: "Technology level, I thought there was no life down there?" Keliaya@anncarise: "None that we can detect with our sensors, at least. But there could have been life here, either before the stellar expansion or many years ago." Keliaya@anncarise: "I don't expect to find anything still alive down there now. It looks like the geological activity has revealed an extensive underground system of structures. Most likely ancient ruins." Keelah@crystyll hrms, "Remnants of a lost civilization... how much can we discern from our scans?" Keliaya@anncarise: "Not much. We can only tell that there are structures down there, but we can't map it from up here." Keliaya@anncarise: "According to the computer, the depth of the ruins suggests an age over 100,000 years. An archaeologist might be able to gather more from it." Keelah@crystyll: "If I'm not mistaken from tales of my husbands escapades, archaeologists work best on the ground... we have 10 hours right?" Keliaya@anncarise: "Ten hours until the star begins to consume the planet, but the conditions down there are already harsh, especially with the geological instability." Keelah@crystyll: "I certainly wouldn't want to push it down to the wire. But based on current projections... could we put a team down there to gather more detail before this last remnant is lost forever?" Keliaya@anncarise: "They'll have at most two hours before it becomes too much for our environmental suits, and then not long before our shuttlecraft shields collapse from the intense solar energy..." Keliaya@anncarise FX | The turbolift doors slide open and the Evaluator steps onto the bridge. Keliaya@anncarise | Evaluator: "Exploring again, I see?" Keelah@crystyll glances over before looking back to Kelly, "Two hours... better than nothing. Put a team together and go see what you can learn. And I want you back /here/ in two hours. No pushing the clock" Keelah@crystyll nods back to the Evaluator, "A most unexpected discovery here. The planet's break up has revealed evidence of a lost civilization. We are attempting to learn something about them before they + Keelah@crystyll: + completely disappear" Keliaya@anncarise | Evaluator: "Interesting. We have not surveyed this system. We were not aware it had once been inhabited." Keliaya@anncarise | Evaluator: "It will be a dangerous mission in the planet's current state." Keelah@crystyll: "That's no surprise. from what we can tell, all evidence of past civilization was long buried here" Keelah@crystyll: "And yes, it will. That is why we are limiting it to a brief survey window to stay within any margin of error" Keliaya@anncarise | Evaluator: "I would like to send an Analyst with you. There may be data of interest to the Regulators as well." Keelah@crystyll: "This is within your territory, you will be welcome to do so. The team is preparing in the starboard hangar, I suggest expedience" Keliaya@anncarise | Evaluator: "I am informing the Analyst now." Keelah@crystyll: "From what we've seen so far, I trust your analyst will manage fine with their own suit and not need one of ours" Keliaya@anncarise | Evaluator: "Our suits should be able to withstand the rising temperatures longer than yours." Keelah@crystyll smiles a little, "I figured as much" ------------------------------------------------------------------ Lendaria@crystyll FX | The shuttle touches down after a rather bumpy ride, allowing the team to disembark fairly close to an entrance to the underground network Lendaria@crystyll FX | There is frequent seizmic activity and gravity is all over the place. The planet is already baring down on it's expanding star which looms over the horizon like an everbright sunrise threatening Lendaria@crystyll: + to rise. As far as the eye can see; the unsettling image of the planet slowly tearing apart as rock formations tear away from the surface and appear to drift elegently skywards as the outer crust + Lendaria@crystyll: + peels away and falls towards the star Lendaria@crystyll: ( https://live.staticflickr.com/3846/33645572541_6383fe3064_b.jpg ) Ann Carter@anncarise: "Here we are! Sorry 'bout the rough ride. Not the most stable o' planets..." Lendaria@crystyll: "Don't sweat it, Sweets. Ya did great. Now everyone set?" Ann Carter@anncarise: "Ya good with the suit, Lennie?" Lendaria@crystyll: "Le's just get this over wit'..." Lendaria@crystyll checks the tricorder strapped to her wrist and points ahead, "Tha' way" Ann Carter@anncarise follows Lennie on. Ann Carter@anncarise FX | The Regulator Analyst, a male one this time (Not Lennie's) follows along, also hovering elegantly like the Evaluator during the mission on the Preserver ship, seemingly unimpacted by the - Ann Carter@anncarise: - seismic activity. Lendaria@crystyll FX | It does not take long for the team to reach obvious signs of development, long in ruins... Lendaria@crystyll FX | As they progress steadily forwards, they find themselves on a precipice, looking down into what first appears to be a constructed valley Lendaria@crystyll FX | Though as they look down at the bubbling lava below, it becomes apparent they are actually looking down onto the remains of a cityscape, with the lava filling what must have once been bustling + Lendaria@crystyll: + streets Lendaria@crystyll: ( https://i.pinimg.com/originals/7a/ac/6d/7aac6de246b15c9663afe15238a8b08f.jpg ) Ann Carter@anncarise: "Wow...all this used to be underground?" Lendaria@crystyll: "I ain't so sure..." Lendaria@crystyll looks around, "Ain't no geologist, but given th'fragile nature o'this place. I'd bet this were once surface level an' buried by time" Ann Carter@anncarise: "Tha' makes sense. Guessin' whoever made 'em's probably long gone, too..." Lendaria@crystyll FX | They are promptly reminded of the gravity of their situation by a strong ground tremor, staggering those not graced with floaty suits, as they peer over the crumbling edge at their feet Lendaria@crystyll steadies her footing, "E'eryone alright?" Ann Carter@anncarise: "Yeah. Maybe we should stay a lil away from the edge, though..." Lendaria@crystyll: "Agreed. Time's a tickin', le's press on if we wanna learn at least somethin'bout who lived 'ere" Lendaria@crystyll continues carefully along the restricted path, occassionally glancing up at the floating/crumbling mountains in the distance, "Tha' just ain't right..." Ann Carter@anncarise: "Wha'd ya mean?" Ann Carter@anncarise: "Sure never seen a planet fall apart like this, but I never seen any planet fall apart before..." Lendaria@crystyll: "Well jus' look at it..." she stares up, "Mountains ain't supposed'a float!" she chuckles Ann Carter@anncarise looks up, "Is it like...bein' pulled away by the star's gravity or somethin'? But then the whole planet would move together or it'd already be in pieces, right...?" Lendaria@crystyll: "Whole planet's bein' pulled in. But as it gets closer, th'outer crust's startin' t'break up. Gravity's goin' crazy an' causin' all this geothermal an' seizmic activity" Lendaria@crystyll: "So th'closer it gets, th'more it tears itself apart until th'whole thing's just a bunch a dust absorbin' into th'corona" Ann Carter@anncarise: "Ahh, so it's bein' pulled apart, but bit by bit till they're in real little pieces." Lendaria@crystyll: "An' soon it'll get close enough tha' the whole thing'll just be swallowed up. Once th'planet's core destabilizes it'll likely explode, launchin' all it's debris into th'star" Ann Carter@anncarise: "Definitely don't wanna be around for tha'..." Lendaria@crystyll turns, "We don't wanna be'ere t'see tha' par-..." trails off as something catches her eye Ann Carter@anncarise follows Lennie's turn to check what she sees. Lendaria@crystyll: "Now tha's more like it..." she kneels to get a closer look at what first appears to be a worn stone tablet, typical digsite find Ann Carter@anncarise looks over the tablet as well. Lendaria@crystyll FX | Closer inspection shows it to be smoother & crystalline, almost metallic. And no simple tablet, but part of something larger. Like a streetsign or billboard carved into the structure of a tower Lendaria@crystyll: (or at least what's left of it on this little scrap...) Lendaria@crystyll roughly clears the surface to get a better capture of the script Lendaria@crystyll: "Not much wit'out context. But it's a start" Ann Carter@anncarise: "Still a good find!" Lendaria@crystyll: "Le's keep movin'" she nods ahead Lendaria@crystyll FX | Progressing further into the ruins, a few more insignificant relics are found but nothing of cultural significance. Until their tricorders beep with a detected energy signature Lendaria@crystyll: "Y'all seein' this too?" Ann Carter@anncarise: "Yeah...looks like it might be tech..." Lendaria@crystyll: "Tryin'a get a bearin'. How we doin' on th'clock?" Ann Carter@anncarise: "Forty-nine minutes left by Kelly's calculation. Probably don't wanna go too much further so we can get back in time." Lendaria@crystyll: "If we'se only readin' this now, it can't be far. Tha', or whatever it is just turned on" she laughs Ann Carter@anncarise: "Let's hope it ain't gonna blow up or anythin'..." Lendaria@crystyll FX | They make haste deeper into the ruins, following the energy signature to a building with much more robust tech, or at least more fortunate in that it's intact to the point of being recognizable+ Lendaria@crystyll: + as a form of tech at least, compared to the rest of the ruins... Ann Carter@anncarise | Analyst: "Interesting. Why did this survive while everything else has little technology left?" Lendaria@crystyll hurries to find some sort of interface she can link her tricorder to in the hopes of pulling some sort of information Lendaria@crystyll: "Could just be more fortunate in it's positionin'" Lendaria@crystyll: "Could be somethin' significant too, an' maybe more protected. Maybe a cultural black box or somethin' tha' tells all!" Lendaria@crystyll speaks /very/ optimistically as she works Lendaria@crystyll FX | Another strong tremor. They are getting both stronger and more frequent now Ann Carter@anncarise: "Tha's doesn't feel good..." Lendaria@crystyll: "I'd-a rather not wait for th'last minute on th'clock. If I can jus'-..." Lendaria@crystyll FX | The console she's puzzling over suddenly comes to life, alien script flashing across stone-like screens and glowing through the dust and debris Lendaria@crystyll jumps back a little, "Tha' wasn't me..." Ann Carter@anncarise: "Woah...maybe it did just come to life when we got here after all..." Lendaria@crystyll FX | More of the room comes to life amidst ever increasing tremors, as well as heightenend activity from their tricorders Lendaria@crystyll tilts her head, looking at the script as she scrambles to capture coherent scans while she can Lendaria@crystyll: "There's somethin' kinda familiar feelin'bout this y'know" Ann Carter@anncarise: "Familiar 'bout these ruins, or somethin' ya recognize in this language?" Lendaria@crystyll: "Th'scripture. It's almost like... no, it could'n b-..." Ann Carter@anncarise: "Wha' is it?" Lendaria@crystyll FX | more - stronger - tremors as the building around them appears to begin to crumble Lendaria@crystyll backs slowly away from the console before spinning around to see as another tremore collapses the far end of the building, revealing again the lava filled cityscape Lendaria@crystyll: "We'se gotta get movin', afore..." Lendaria@crystyll FX | Another tremor - the mother of all tremors in fact. But no, it's more than a ground quake... Lendaria@crystyll FX | Not-so-distant buildings begin to collapse in on themselves as the team watch, and something... rises from beneath Ann Carter@anncarise: "Tha's not bein' caused by the star..." Lendaria@crystyll FX | The slow, elegant - yet mechanical - movement soon becomes clear as a large construct, like a massive ship, rising from beneath them Lendaria@crystyll: "No it ain't... it's a Nuhar construct. Quick, back to th'shuttle!" Lendaria@crystyll: ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fv3j5rggxHU ) Lendaria@crystyll FX | The Construct - more imposing than ever at such close range, and dripping with disturbed lava and debris rises slowly before them as they turn tail and run back for the shuttle Lendaria@crystyll: ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCk4RiKH9H0 ) Ann Carter@anncarise FX | The team makes some progress back to the shuttle when another tremor shakes the ground, and the side of a mountain begins collapsing down... Ann Carter@anncarise | They brace for impact as several chunks of rock pelt down towards them...but nothing hits them. For a moment they see the rocks hanging in the air before they drop to the ground, all - Ann Carter@anncarise - avoiding the team. The Analyst stands in the centre, seemingly manipulating something invisible with his hands. Lendaria@crystyll looks to the Analyst with a simple nod of gratitude while clambering to her feet Ann Carter@anncarise FX | A cloud of dust soon washes over the group, which doesn't get stopped and impedes their vision for a moment before it settles. Ann Carter@anncarise | As it does, it is clear that a massive landslide has blocked the path they came in on... Lendaria@crystyll curses in Orion as she looks at the blocked path, "We'se gotta find a way around!" Ann Carter@anncarise: "Yeah, tha's too much to cut through with hand phasers!" Lendaria@crystyll tries her combadge to reach the VF and declare an emergency Ann Carter@anncarise looks and points out a more precarious path along a ledge, "I think tha' should lead back to the shuttle! Bit o' a detour an' harder to cross, but don't see any other way!" Ann Carter@anncarise FX | TQ answers, but the signal is very poor and VF won't be able to get a transporter lock with all the crazy solar energies. Lendaria@crystyll does her best to warn them about the Nuhar, but doubts the message gets through Lendaria@crystyll: "Aight, tether up. Le's move" she nods to Ann while unreeling a tether line from her belt that she clips to Ann's Ann Carter@anncarise FX | The static does indeed cut her off... Ann Carter@anncarise | The team moves up along the dangerous mountain ledge once all tethered up... Ann Carter@anncarise FX | The Nuhar construct ascends higher and higher and soon becomes a tiny speck in the sky as they climb the mountain. Ann Carter@anncarise | The trek is long and dangerous, and they have a few close calls with both falling rocks and tumbling over the edge, but they manage to get within view of a spot where they can begin to descend... Lendaria@crystyll: "We'se gotta keep movin'. Gotta get back an' warn th'ship 'fore tha' thing accelerates into orbit" Ann Carter@anncarise: "We got other problems too. Not much time on the clock from the detour..." Lendaria@crystyll: "All th'more reason t'get off this rock!" Ann Carter@anncarise FX | Another massive groundquake hits, knocking the team to the ground and one of the crewmembers slips over the edge and would have fallen all the way down if not for the tether. Ann Carter@anncarise | They manage to pull the crewmember up, who seems to have avoided any significant injury. Lendaria@crystyll yelps and grunts as she's tugged backwards by the tether, holding on to Ann for support as they recover the crewmember Ann Carter@anncarise: "Anybody got suit breaches?" Lendaria@crystyll: "Negative" Ann Carter@anncarise: "Let's keep goin'!" Lendaria@crystyll: "Double time it folks!" Ann Carter@anncarise | They press on through several smaller tremors and begin to descend the ledge...until they reach a point where there is no more mountain to descend. Ann Carter@anncarise | Their mountain has floated up and there is now a gap between them and the rest of the planet crust! Lendaria@crystyll: "Oh Goddess..." Ann Carter@anncarise: "Tha's no good..." Ann Carter@anncarise | Analyst: "Leap." Ann Carter@anncarise: "Wha'? We're not gonna survive tha' fall, even if we make the jump." Ann Carter@anncarise | Analyst: "Disconnect yourselves and leap. I will guide you with Void energy." Lendaria@crystyll: "Don't s'pose ya can remote fly th-..." looks to the Analyst briefly then nods, "No time t'argue-" she unclips her tether, "-do it!" Lendaria@crystyll promptly pushes off from the ground with all her energy, aiming herself towards the, um, other ground Ann Carter@anncarise | Analyst: "One at a time, I cannot guide you all at once." Ann Carter@anncarise FX | As Lennie goes first, it seems she will miss the other ground at first...and then she feels herself levitating as if weightless in space, floating until she touches solid ground. Lendaria@crystyll looks back up at the others, waving that she's ok and to proceed while standing by to latch on to the next one who leaps Ann Carter@anncarise jumps as well, followed by the rest of the team who all land in the same way. Ann Carter@anncarise FX | The Analyst crosses last, floating over as the mountain levitates further and further away, its top already beginning to break apart. Ann Carter@anncarise | More pieces of the ground begin to break away as they move ahead, and lava fountains into the sky where land once was. Ann Carter@anncarise speaks as they sprint through more even terrain now, "We're not gonna make the shuttle on time! 30 seconds..." Ann Carter@anncarise: "20...10..." Lendaria@crystyll: "We'se almost there. Ya can do it Sweets!" Ann Carter@anncarise: "...Um...we're not dead. I'm not even gettin' temperature warnin's..." Lendaria@crystyll: "Well don't complain 'bout it..." Ann Carter@anncarise: "Guessin' the calculation might be off, or maybe Kelly just rounded down to give us more time! But let's think 'bout it later!" Lendaria@crystyll: "Yeah. Tha's a nice talk t'share over a bottle o'wine... later" Ann Carter@anncarise FX | The team makes it to the shuttle after a long sprint, with their clocks already showing at -4 minutes... Lendaria@crystyll hurries to lockdown the shuttle as the last one gets on board, "Strap in y'all. We ain't outta this yet" Ann Carter@anncarise gets to the pilot seat and immediately begins preparing for liftoff. Lendaria@crystyll throws her helmet off as she takes the copilot seat next to Ann Ann Carter@anncarise takes a second to remove her helmet as well, "No time to check, gonna lift us off while there's still ground to lift off o'!" Lendaria@crystyll: "No arguments 'ere. Punch it!" Ann Carter@anncarise pulls the shuttle up roughly and breaks away from the surface into a sky filled with floating rocks. Ann Carter@anncarise: "Get our shields up, we're gonna need it for all tha' debris." Lendaria@crystyll: "Way ahead o'ya. Shields at maxium" Ann Carter@anncarise avoids the larger rocks as they ascend into the clouds, with a few smaller ones bouncing off the shields and doing no real damage to them. Shields hold stable, as if unaffected by the solar energy. Ann Carter@anncarise FX | In fact, Lennie can see there's a lot less solar energy than there should be, even from a conservative prediction... Lendaria@crystyll checks her readings, then glances back to the Analyst suspecting he's playing more of a part in this still Ann Carter@anncarise | The Analyst merely stands still, his expression unreadable behind the helmet still over his head. Lendaria@crystyll narrows her eyes a little, but soon turns back to focus on the task at hand. Not wanting to look a gifthorse in the mouth Lendaria@crystyll keeps trying to raise the VF on comms as they ascend too Ann Carter@anncarise | The debris grows thinner as the rocks have broken up more the higher they get until they appear to be safe from visible danger. Ann Carter@anncarise FX | Comms go through! Lendaria@crystyll exhales deeply as the ride seems to smooth out Lendaria@crystyll: <C> Tee... Tee can ya hear me? Prep f'emergency landin', an' tell th'Cap'n t'go red alert. There's a Nuhar down there, an' I'm-a pretty sure we done pissed it off" Ann Carter@anncarise | The star glows brighter than ever near them, tendrils of plasma erupting out from its volatile reactions...but they seem to crash against an unseen energy field and fall back into the star. Lendaria@crystyll: <C-TQ> Hangar standing by! And please repeat, did you say... Nuhar? Your signal's still very weak" Ann Carter@anncarise | The whole star seems to pulsate like a beating heart, but something is visibly pushing on it and appears to be temporarily containing it... Lendaria@crystyll: <C> Aye, Nuhar! Check sensors. We'll be onboard as quick's we can" Lendaria@crystyll doubletakes at her scanner as she the star's containment, refocusing on trying to locate the Nuhar ship on her own sensors for now Ann Carter@anncarise FX | The Nuhar construct suddenly appears in view in front of the shuttle, its primary antiproton beam charged and begins to fire... Lendaria@crystyll 's eyes widen at the nightmarish sight, "Sweets!" Ann Carter@anncarise pulls the shuttle aside, narrowly avoiding the red beam. She pulls the shuttle up, trying to go over the construct... Lendaria@crystyll: "Shuntin' auxiliary t'engines" Ann Carter@anncarise FX | A pulse emanates from one of its weapon-deflectors. Ann tries to dodge but it is far too wide... Ann Carter@anncarise: "Brace!" Lendaria@crystyll braces against her console Ann Carter@anncarise FX | The pulse reaches the shuttle...but doesn't seem to hit it. The craft doesn't even shake as it continues on its course, and the shields read as full still... Ann Carter@anncarise | Lennie would note a massive energy signature though, larger than the Nuhar or the VF, almost comparable to the star... Lendaria@crystyll: "What the...?" Ann Carter@anncarise: | As the shuttle darts away, the construct turns to give chase, but seems to freeze where it is. Ann Carter@anncarise | Outside the shuttle window, the source of the massive energy signature soon comes into view as they make for the VF... Ann Carter@anncarise FX | https://i.imgur.com/AHTSpt9.png Lendaria@crystyll: "Ok... they got th'message. Get us outta here Sweets" Ann Carter@anncarise | The signature seems to diminish visibly as Lennie notices the star beginning to expand once more... Ann Carter@anncarise | The shuttle soon cruises into the hangar and comes to a smooth landing. Keliaya@anncarise: "Chief Sullivan reports the shuttle is safely back on board, Captain." Keelah@crystyll: "Status of the Nuhar construct?" Keliaya@anncarise: "The star's expansion has resumed, and I'm reading a significant power decrease in the Regulator ship. Whatever that containment field was, I think they were producing it." Keliaya@anncarise: "The Nuhar construct appears to be immobilized near the planet." Keliaya@anncarise | Evaluator: "It will be destroyed with its planet in eight of your hours, as it should have been." Keelah@crystyll: "No, wait. It doesn't have to die" Keliaya@anncarise | Evaluator: "The decision is not mine. It is the Supervisor's. If you have an alternative, you will have to suggest it to her." Keelah@crystyll: "Then get me a comms line to her" Keliaya@anncarise | Evaluator: "As you wish," he turns to TQ, "If I may?" Keelah@crystyll | TQ dips her head, stepping back from her console Keelah@crystyll | Lennie appears from the turbolift, flustered having clearly rushed up here. She hands Keelah a PADD, reporting quietly to her before taking her station Keliaya@anncarise | The Evaluator types for a few moments and the image of a female Regulator appears on the viewscreen, seated and with her helmet on. Keelah@crystyll: "You are the Supervisor, I take it?" Keliaya@anncarise | Supervisor: "I am. And you must be the Supervisor of the Federation vessel?" Keelah@crystyll: "I am..." she stands, pacing a little before settling her gaze back on the screen, "It is my understanding that you intend to hold the Nuhar construct in place until it is swallowed along with it's + Keelah@crystyll: + planet?" Keliaya@anncarise | Supervisor: "That is correct. It is the choice most in accordance with Administration protocol." Keelah@crystyll: "I have a better alternative; diplomacy. Supervisor, that construct does not need to die" Keliaya@anncarise | Supervisor: "The constructs have proven to be unstable to the point of posing a threat in the past." Keliaya@anncarise | Evaluator: "One of my Analysts report that the Federation vessel have found a method to communicate with the constructs." Keliaya@anncarise | Supervisor: "Is that correct?" Keelah@crystyll paces again a little more, "It is. Look, all I'm asking is that you give us the chance to help it. If it is beyond reason, then do as you must. We will assist even..." shakes her head, "But don't + Keelah@crystyll: + condemn a sentient lifeform to death without giving it the chance to live" she looks to the Evaluator, "You are here to judge us on our handling of technology, yes? Then let us show you how /we/ + Keelah@crystyll: + handle the situation" Keliaya@anncarise | Evaluator: "She makes a fair point. This is an opportunity to observe the Federation vessel at work. If it fails to reason with the construct, then we can destroy it." Keliaya@anncarise | Supervisor: "Very well." Keelah@crystyll dips her head, "Thank you-" turning back to the Evaluator, "-both of you" before returning to her seat Keliaya@anncarise: "The construct is on the move again, heading away from the planet. Keelah@crystyll: "Tee, initiate Nuhar comms protocols and reach out" Keelah@crystyll | TQ nods, squeezing back past the armoured Evaluator to her console to work her magic Keelah@crystyll: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q4P-AOiGNb4&t=1867s Keliaya@anncarise | The Evaluator steps away and TQ soon raises the construct, a mechanically translated voice coming through the comms system... Keliaya@anncarise | Construct: "You speak the tongue of the Nuhar, but the world lies empty and barren. You are Children, but I do not recognize you." Keliaya@anncarise | Evaluator: "So they /do/ speak. Interesting." Keelah@crystyll: "This will take a little explanation. Know first that we are not your enemy and allow me to explain thoroughly" Keelah@crystyll: "We are biologicals, like your creators. But we herald from a different part of the galaxy. This may be... difficult to accept, but this is not the galaxy you may remember it to be. The Nuhar are... + Keelah@crystyll: + long expired. By our estimates over 100,000 standard years. You can confirm this with a rescan of stellar coordinates" Keelah@crystyll gives the construct a moment to analyze it's situation Keliaya@anncarise | Construct: "So that is why my calls remain unanswered. But why was I not awakened, if the Nuhar have fallen?" Keliaya@anncarise | Construct: "Did the Enemy twist their minds, force them to make their own protectors idle?" Keelah@crystyll: "I am uncertain if we will be able to answer that for you. First off, if you share traits with our other Construct friends then you possess the capacity to communicate via holographic avatar. If this+ Keelah@crystyll: + is preferable to you for dialogue with us, then I invite you to do so now" Keelah@crystyll nods to TQ who taps to open up a bridge holoemitter to external input Keliaya@anncarise FX | A shape begins to form on the holoemitter from the bottom up... Keelah@crystyll smiles, standing before the image Keliaya@anncarise | It does not stop at the height Keelah would expect of the diminuitive Nuhar however; but the light continues to shape itself until a tall, imposing figure stands on the bridge. Keliaya@anncarise FX | https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CBr5K3cUIAA4z0n.png:large Keelah@crystyll 's gaze follows the forming image to it's apex, "You do not project yourself as Nuhar, curious" she smiles again, "I am Captain Se'Lai, thank you for hearing me" Keelah@crystyll inwardly curses her decision after the image appeared to be not-so-diminutive... Keliaya@anncarise turns and is briefly taken aback by the tall form, "That's...one of the Iconian servants, isn't it?" Keelah@crystyll nods slowly, not taking her eyes off the holo, "The visage is of a Herald, yes" Keelah@crystyll looks back up to the holo-Herald, "So you portray yourself as a Herald - a protector, that is your role then? How would you have me address you?" Keliaya@anncarise | Construct: "I am Enduring Watcher. This is the avatar I have always presented when using such to commune with Children, for we are to the Nuhar what the Heralds are to the Gatekeepers." Keelah@crystyll: "An understandable selection, Enduring Watcher" she dips her head, "Now as I was saying..." Keelah@crystyll: "We know little of the fate of the Nuhar. The few constructs surviving to this day have little remaining data from that time to work from. That said, evidence does suggest that the Enemy, as you call+ Keelah@crystyll: + them, may well have had a part in it. As for your extended slumber, I can not say. It could have been corruption as you suggest, or simply malfunction. Maybe intent to preserve. We may likely never+ Keelah@crystyll: + know for certain. I am not even certain if it is our presence here that awakened you, or the collapse of the planet. But one thing you must understand is that the Nuhar no longer dominate this + Keelah@crystyll: + region of space. Our friends here - the other biological constructs you will be aware of nearby - these Regulators now occupy this territory" Keliaya@anncarise | Construct: "I know why I was put to slumber. It was many years before this world fell into ruin, as a defense for when the Enemy reaches it." Keelah@crystyll: "That would certainly explain your rising in these conditions, and a naturally defensive posture against us as the ones you detected as present for it" Keliaya@anncarise | Construct: "But I do not know why I was not awakened from my slumber previously. Have the Enemy been finally defeated, or have they not yet reached this place?" Keelah@crystyll: "They have not, though I have reason to believe they soon will. But that is a story for another time" Keliaya@anncarise | Construct: "Then there is hope yet. Are you allies of the Gatekeepers, come to reinforce the Vanguard?" Keelah@crystyll: "The Gatekeepers fell around the time of your creators. Remnants have also survived there, but they are not the Gatekeepers you remember... they have been warped by the passage of time and ravaged by+ Keelah@crystyll: + war. They are distant and no longer in a position to stand against the Enemy. We came out here to take our people's first steps into this region of space, but since learning about the ever-present + Keelah@crystyll: + threat of the enemy, and a link to our mission objective, we are standing as the Vanguard... hopefully alongside the other surviving Nuhar constructs, amid other allies" Keliaya@anncarise | Enduring Watcher: "So the Gatekeepers have fallen as well. The galaxy has changed much. You say there are surviving constructs?" Keelah@crystyll smiles, "There are, and we count them among our friends out here. They are splintered though, lacking purpose and direction. Some have not fared well from surviving alone all this time..." Keelah@crystyll: "But the last we saw of them, they departed with newfound hope and a chance to once again unify. We still await news of their progress" Keliaya@anncarise | Enduring Watcher: "I shall seek them out and see if any others are willing to stand against the Enemy. With no Nuhar left, our only purpose is to defend the rest of the Children from their - Keliaya@anncarise: - sworn foes." Keelah@crystyll: "It is my hope that you will be able to leave here and find your kin united in this common goal, ready to stand at our side against the Enemy" Keelah@crystyll: "Though as for the leaving part... I am afraid that is not my decision to make..." Keelah@crystyll: "You recall my friends here who now operate this region of space. They are among the many biologicals who have an unpleasant history with your kin. Through lack of mutual understanding as it may be, + Keelah@crystyll: + mistrust stands. And you have already seen that they possess both the will and capacity to overpower you if they wish. So I must defer to our quiet spectator for how we may proceed from this impasse Keelah@crystyll gestures to the viewscreen behind him with the observing Supervisor Keliaya@anncarise | Supervisor: "I see that this construct can be reasoned with. I have updated the Directors with the situation. Another vessel is being sent to this region and will evaluate the construct." Keelah@crystyll: "So it will be Judged independently and permitted to return to it's people beyond Regulator space, as long as there is no trouble?" Keliaya@anncarise | Supervisor: "As is our protocol with non-hostile constructs. Perhaps it may also establish communication between us and the other reasonable constructs you speak of and we will amend our - Keliaya@anncarise: - protocols accordingly." Keelah@crystyll: "That sounds agreeable to me" looking back to the holo, "Well, Enduring Watcher. Do you consent to this escort?" Keliaya@anncarise | Enduring Watcher: "It is an amenable arrangement." Keelah@crystyll smiles, "I am pleased that you agree. And I do sincerely hope that you find your kin, and when you do... give them our regards" Keliaya@anncarise | Enduring Watcher: "I will do so, and I hope I will be able to convince at least some to assist with the Vanguard." Keelah@crystyll: "As do I... the day may soon come when we need to summon this Vanguard. It would be nice to know we can call on the Nuhar Constructs when it does" Keelah@crystyll looks past him to the screen, "And Supervisor, I will furnish you with the communication protocols we developed for initiating dialogue with Eternal Watcher. Hopefully you will find that even those + Keelah@crystyll: + are initially hostile & defensive can be reached and spoken amicably with, once you have the means" Keliaya@anncarise | Supervisor: "We appreciate your assistance. The Administrator will be pleased with such a development." Keelah@crystyll: "I certainly hope so. It is much easier for us to be allies with different factions, when they are also allies with each other" she smiles faintly Keliaya@anncarise turns to her console as something pops up on sensors, "Something just appeared in the system. It's...another Regulator vessel, using some form of advanced coaxial warp drive." Keelah@crystyll: "Your escort vessel, Supervisor?" she confirms after a glance back to Kelly's update Keliaya@anncarise | Supervisor: "That is correct." Keliaya@anncarise | Evaluator: "Another Evaluator will take over with the construct. We may continue whenever you are ready." Keelah@crystyll: "Then it is time. The data packets are being distributed now to each of you" Keelah@crystyll refocuses on the holo, "Good luck Enduring Watcher, and whatever happens with your people you have a friend in us. Your packet will also include all our current data on your kin. Hopefully it may + Keelah@crystyll: + help in your search for them" Keliaya@anncarise | Enduring Watcher: "Thank you. I wish you success in your mission." Keelah@crystyll dips her head in final parting before the holocom disappears Keelah@crystyll: "And to you, Supervisor; thank you for the assistance here today, and the understanding. I am confident that this will see the start of a new level of understand between your people and the Nuhar" Keliaya@anncarise | Supervisor: "I hope so as well. Your assistance has been paramount in achieving communication so far." Keelah@crystyll smiles, "Happy to help. Farewell, Supervisor" she returns to her seat Keliaya@anncarise | The comm ends, and the viewscreen once again shows the star which has continued to expand. Keelah@crystyll watches for a moment as the last of the Nuhar planet disappears into the star, "Helm... resume course"
NPC@annpc#5570 FX | Keelah's doorbell rings. Keelah@crystyll: "Enter" NPC@annpc#5570 | The Evaluator steps inside, his helmet activated, "I am here to inform you that your Judgement is complete. Your vessel, and the civilization it represents, are granted Type 2 access in - NPC@annpc#5570 - Regulated Zones." Keelah@crystyll glances up from her screen as the door opens, "Evaluator. That is most welcome news indeed, worthy even of a celebration. Can I offer you anything?" Keelah@crystyll moves to replicate some refreshment NPC@annpc#5570 nods, "One of your teas would be appreciated. I suspect you do not know what your access type entails?" Keelah@crystyll retutns after a moment, presenting the tea, "I figured that explanation would follow the announcement. So what do we need to know here?" NPC@annpc#5570 takes a seat, "Thank you. Type 2 is one of the more lax levels of access one can achieve, but there are still regulations and restrictions." NPC@annpc#5570 retracts his helmet, "Of particular interest to you is that you, and other members of your civilization, may now move freely through a Regulated Zone without further scrutiny, unless we have - NPC@annpc#5570: - reason to suspect a dangerous level of technological misuse." Keelah@crystyll: "Sounds reasonable. What else?" NPC@annpc#5570: "You are not to disturb residents of a Regulated Zone without contacting the Administration for permission. And you are under no circumstances to provide them with anything technological they do not - NPC@annpc#5570: - yet possess, though with your own regulations I do not forsee this to be a problem." Keelah@crystyll: "Indeed. So far this sounds very much in line with Federation expectations for any allied visitor to our territory" NPC@annpc#5570: "I am glad to hear that the expectations are acceptable to you. Every Regulated Zone has an Array deployed, so contacting us will not be difficult. If you find yourselves in danger within a - NPC@annpc#5570: - Regulated Zone, you may also contact us for assistance." NPC@annpc#5570: "Your level of access permits us to demonstrate our technological capabilities to you freely, without need of dire circumstances such as what we encountered with the expanding star." Keelah@crystyll: "As a courtesy, and in line with our own code of conduct; any Starfleet vessel approaching Regulated space would announce its presence before crossing the border as well" Keelah@crystyll leans back, curiosity piqued, "Define 'demonstrate'..." NPC@annpc#5570: "Demonstrate, as in utilize our technology in view of members of your civilization. With the exception of our initial encounter and the Nuhar situation, we have masked many of our capabilities from - NPC@annpc#5570: - you. We will not employ them without due cause simply to demonstrate what we are capable of, but we will make no effort to conceal our capabilities from you." NPC@annpc#5570: "However, we are not permitted to share any of our technology with you nor assist in improving your technology in any way." Keelah@crystyll: "Fair enough. Don't be surprised if our people express a natural curiosity when witnessing things they do not understand. It is not their intent to elicit secrets, just a curious nature" NPC@annpc#5570: "We may offer simple explanations on the basis of our technology in terms you will comprehend, at the discretion of each individual Regulator, but we are forbidden from informing you to any degree - NPC@annpc#5570: - that you may replicate our technology. We also ask that you do not attempt to conduct in-depth scans of our equipment." NPC@annpc#5570: "I do not expect you will be able to use any such scan data to develop similar technology, not without many years of work at least. But it may still influence your development in a direction it - Keelah@crystyll: "A common courtesy to extend both ways between fresh allies" she smiles NPC@annpc#5570: - would not take naturally." Keelah@crystyll: "On the subject, you should know that we have teams dedicated to developing defenses against the technology you used to first board this ship" Keelah@crystyll: "As you will recall, it is not the first time we have encountered this and the previous event was far less amenable" NPC@annpc#5570: "That is understandable, as you may encounter ill-intentioned groups who may utilize such technology to bypass your shielding." Keelah@crystyll: "And in the interest of sharing, I believe I promised to bring you up to speed on the full detail of our mission once this day came" NPC@annpc#5570 nods, "Please proceed." Keelah@crystyll: "You will recall that we are travelling rimward on a linear course" NPC@annpc#5570: "I do indeed. That would suggest a destination." Keelah@crystyll: "Indeed it does, though we are uncertain exactly where it is..." she taps on her screen before turning it to display their course Keelah@crystyll: "Given your knowledge of ancient races, I assume you are familiar with the Iconians, or Gatekeepers as we have heard them called out here as well" NPC@annpc#5570: "We are. A force of their Heralds attempted to pass through this same Regulated Zone." Keelah@crystyll: "Part of the same conflict which ravaged Federation space no doubt..." Keelah@crystyll: "But yes, them. Some time ago now, an active gateway was unearthed on an allied planet and found to be a fixed terminus" Keelah@crystyll: "Given the potential security risk it posed there, we were dispatched to locate and secure the connecting facility which lies somewhere along this trajectory" NPC@annpc#5570: "The Iconians, much like our Survey Vessels, possess the capability to travel anywhere almost instantaneously. We were perplexed why they did not utilize such capability to avoid Regulated Zones - NPC@annpc#5570: - once it became clear that we could counter their weaponry. It may be that they are searching for this same facility, and like you, are not aware of its precise location." NPC@annpc#5570: "The trajectory they followed matches surprisingly well with yours." Keelah@crystyll: "Quite possibly" she nods, "We have since learned of their association with the Nuhar, and a collaborative effort between the two powers to construct a defense against a greater foe" NPC@annpc#5570: "The Dominators? Your path leads you into territories that our surveys report have been lost to an ever-advancing horde." Keelah@crystyll leans back with a heavy sigh, "Indeed... since learning about this Horde and the Primeval force behind it, our mission parameters have adjusted to analyse and - if necessary - contain the threat" Keelah@crystyll: "We believe that the facility we seek is the very prison developed by the Iconians and the Nuhar to contain the Dominators, and may well be key to protecting everyone from their advance" NPC@annpc#5570: "I am afraid we have little verified information to provide on the Horde. All attempts by other civilizations to study them have ended in disaster, and we cannot risk the same occuring to a Survey - NPC@annpc#5570: - Vessel. If our technology is to fall into their hands, the results will be catastrophic." Keelah@crystyll: "Indeed. Now you see why I was so apprehensive to learn about the Preserver data you are holding on to" NPC@annpc#5570: "According to our legends and what little information we know, they possess the secret to Creation, a power that allows them to enthrall any Children." Keelah@crystyll: "Our current working theory is a telepathic field of unprecedented power being used to exert this control. Whatever the case, if their advance continues as far as Regulated space, we may all + Keelah@crystyll: + pay the price" NPC@annpc#5570: "Indeed. While our Survey Vessels do not possess the data to replicate the Creator virus, they do have the means to cross nearly indefinite distances in very short spans of time." Keelah@crystyll: "And if the Horde were to dominate even a single Regulator vessel, that vessel, it's occupants and all their knowledge would become part of the Horde" NPC@annpc#5570: "That is how we believe their abilities function." Keelah@crystyll: "Then you understand the importance of stopping them. This is our mission out here now" NPC@annpc#5570: "I understand. From what we have heard, the abilities of the Dominators do have a maximum range, but they are not simply suddenly ineffective beyond a certain distance." NPC@annpc#5570: "We have heard rumours of agents turned by the Dominators, their minds corrupted and used to weaken their societies prior to the arrival of the horde." NPC@annpc#5570: "It is likely that the Dominators' abilities wane after a certain distance. When close enough, they can dominate minds, but further away they may only influence them." Keelah@crystyll: "I can well believe it. This is one of the many facets I am in the thralls of working against as we draw nearer to them" Keelah@crystyll: "I am hoping to make the Nuhar Constructs the backbone of a defensive vanguard as their very nature should make them impervious to the Horde's influence" Keelah@crystyll: "Additionally to this, we have our strongest telepaths on board collaborating on defensive measures" NPC@annpc#5570 nods, "Anything not of Creator origin is theoretically immune, whether it be ancient beings that predated the Creators, beings that evolved without their interference or creations of the Children." Keelah@crystyll: "So there you have it. Our redefined purpose out here, and the reason we push so far beyond Federation space" NPC@annpc#5570: "I will advise the Administration to increase research on technology to counter the Dominators, but it will be difficult without understanding the exact nature of their abilities." NPC@annpc#5570: "We possessed a distinct advantage when dealing with the Iconians, as we had studied what they left behind for many generations, while our technology was entirely different and unknown to them." Keelah@crystyll: "Not wanting to backtrack on what was discussed earlier regarding your demonstrating of technology. But tell me... what would be your Administrations stance on collaborative development?" NPC@annpc#5570: "It may be problematic due to the level of your technology. While the threat is severe enough to justify outside involvement, there is no reassurance that the understanding you gain of our - NPC@annpc#5570: - technology in the process will not result in the creation of another threat in the future." Keelah@crystyll: "What if the focus was on our technology to begin with?" NPC@annpc#5570: "That may be acceptable. It will be up to the Directors' discretion." NPC@annpc#5570: "Specifically, that of the Lead Analyst." Keelah@crystyll: "To be specific, what I propose it that the Regulators maintain a presence on board with us. Assign a representative to remain here and work on the collaborative defense development" NPC@annpc#5570: "I will relay your proposal to the Directors. At your speeds, you will still have to travel for several more of your days before you exit this Regulated Zone." NPC@annpc#5570: "We will be able to locate you when you are within and deploy a representative if approved." Keelah@crystyll nods, "Consider it an extended invitation to remain involved and reap rewards from our successes" Keelah@crystyll: "As opposed to a request for assistance" she clarifies with a smile NPC@annpc#5570 nods, "There is one thing I came to propose as well." Keelah@crystyll: "Oh? Propose away" NPC@annpc#5570: "Given the curious nature of your crew, and how you have hosted us for some time, our Supervisor has agreed to allow your personnel to visit our vessel now that you possess appropriate access level." NPC@annpc#5570: "You will not be permitted to bring scanning devices, but you may observe some of our technology in use and how we operate." Keelah@crystyll: "That is most generous" she smiles, "I have to admit, I'm somewhat inclined to take you up on that myself. However, I believe it would be a fruitful learning experience for a selection of my staff" NPC@annpc#5570: "From what I have seen of them, I suspect they will be most interested in what they will see." Keelah@crystyll: "I believe so, yes. Thank you" NPC@annpc#5570: "Do you have any further questions or proposals?" Keelah@crystyll shakes her head, "I believe we covered everything for the time being" NPC@annpc#5570 nods and stands, "If there is anything, I would suggest you address it before you depart this Regulated Zone. While there are many zones that cover significant territory, this is the last zone - NPC@annpc#5570: - your path is likely to cross." Keelah@crystyll: "Understood. Hopefully we will continue with a Regulator on board, but if not I will do everything I can to maintain contact" NPC@annpc#5570: "I hope we will be able to collaborate against this threat as well." NPC@annpc#5570 turns to head out. Keliaya@anncarise FX | The team materializes on a glowing white transporter pad in an otherwise grey room. There are no visible controls for the transporter, but a Regulator stands in front of the pad, helmet on. Rianni@crystyll looks around curiously Keliaya@anncarise | The area is very bleak, lacking any visible decor. The Regulator steps forward, "You are the visitors from the Federation vessel, then? I am the Operator assigned to accompany you." Rianni@crystyll | Lennie steps forward with a smile, "Good t'meet ya" Keliaya@anncarise | Operator: "Likewise. I have heard of the diversity of your crew and was curious to see it in person." Keliaya@anncarise nods, "It does seem like something that surprised many of the Regulators who came to our ship." Keliaya@anncarise | Operator: "It is not unheard of, but it is rare, and your vessel is the first of such I have encountered." Rianni@crystyll | Lennie: "Well then, I'm-a glad we got such a diverse group for ya. We'se each a different species 'ere" Keliaya@anncarise | Operator: "As I can see. We have Regulators of other species, but they are not very common and not always present on every vessel." Rianni@crystyll | Lennie: "Much as my own people's vessels" Keliaya@anncarise | Operator: "Ah yes, I have heard of your people. One of our Analysts informed us that you were on board and shared certain genetic traits with us." Rianni@crystyll looks between Green Lennie and the Red Regulator curiously Rianni@crystyll | Lennie chuckles: "It seems t'be a popular theory, yeah" Keliaya@anncarise | Operator: "Despite some differences, the similarities are difficult to deny." Keliaya@anncarise | The Operator, as Rianni can probably tell despite the suit, is very much built like a broad, muscular Orion male. Rianni@crystyll purses her lip with a thoughtful nod Keliaya@anncarise | Operator: "If we are ready to proceed, I will show you throughout the ship and endeavour to answer any queries you may have." Keliaya@anncarise: "Lead on, Operator." Rianni@crystyll | Lenne dips her head, "After you'se then" smiling to the rest of the group Keliaya@anncarise and Lycas step off the pad and follows the Operator out of the transporter room. Rianni@crystyll tags along timidly at the back of the group until Lennie shoehorns her more towards the front Keliaya@anncarise | The group steps out into a hall of the same grey aesthetic as the non-pad area of the transporter room, lit up by almost clinical looking white lights. Keliaya@anncarise | The halls are neither tight nor grand, about the size one would expect from a roughly Galaxy-class sized starship. Keliaya@anncarise | Two other Regulators walk through the hall, dressed in the same suits they all seem to don. Keliaya@anncarise | Operator: "As you are no doubt aware by now, we treat technology as a responsibility, not a luxury. We utilize it only for what is needed." Keliaya@anncarise | Operator: "We produce light because it helps us see. We replicate the gravity we are used to because it would be detrimental to our bodies to spend extended periods of times in other environments.” Keliaya@anncarise: "Your people have no technological luxuries at all?" Keliaya@anncarise | Operator: "We have developed luxurious. Members of the Administration are simply forbidden to indulge in them." Rianni@crystyll: "What sort of deployment periods do you normally run to on a vessel such as this?" Keliaya@anncarise | Operator: "Do you mean how long such vessels serve before being dismantled for spare resources, or how long they travel before visiting a facility for repairs and resupply?" Keliaya@anncarise FX | The lift begins to ascend. Rianni@crystyll: "From a crew perspective, specifically. So how long before crewmembers are typically rotated out?" Keliaya@anncarise | Operator: "That depends on the Regulator. Some serve on the same vessel for their entire working lives. Others change vessels every year or every few years." Rianni@crystyll: "What about R&R, personal space or family needs?" Keliaya@anncarise | Operator: "Regulators do not have families. The Administration is our family. We are allowed to have children, but we do not raise them. What is R&R?" Rianni@crystyll: "Oh, like shore leave you know? Vacation, or downtime" Keliaya@anncarise | Operator: "Ah. We are allowed to have downtime on board our vessels, and we may request leave or be granted leave by our Supervisor if our vessel visits a suitable site." Keliaya@anncarise | Operator: "The majority of children conceived by Regulators are as a result of recreational activities they engage in while on leave. In such cases, the parent who is not a Regulator raises the - Keliaya@anncarise: - offspring. It is less common, but not entirely rare, for two Regulators to have children, in which case the child is given to a specific organization dedicated to raising children without parents." Keliaya@anncarise | Operator: "Most such children become Regulators themselves." Keliaya@anncarise | Lycas: "None of you ever raise your own children? Even those who aren't posted on long-range starships?" Keliaya@anncarise | Operator: "There are no exceptions, not even for the Directors. A commitment to the Administration is not one to be made lightly." Rianni@crystyll: "Sounds like Starfleet out of peacetime..." Keliaya@anncarise | Operator: "You operate differently in quieter times?" Rianni@crystyll: "Yes and no..." she looks to Lennie who still hovrers over her but gets a reassuring nod in response so proceeds Rianni@crystyll: "Well standard operation is much more like you see in the Valley Forge now; with entire families living on board, and suitable accommodation for that" Rianni@crystyll: "But in times of conflict, a ship like this would be reassigned to more strategic operations and repopulated with a crew complement more akin to this vessel" Keliaya@anncarise | Operator: "Ah. A sensible change to protect the next generation from perishing in conflict." Rianni@crystyll: "Yes. Not all Starfleet vessels are so diverse in normal operation of course, but one of our General Orders prevents anyone from being separated from their family for extended periods" Keliaya@anncarise | Operator: "Regulated Zones are vast however, and as you have seen, our vessels can cross from one to the next instantaneously with the use of the Arrays. There is always a conflict occuring - Keliaya@anncarise: - somewhere in the galaxy, and we cannot be certain if any of our vessels will not come under attack." Keliaya@anncarise | Operator: "Our reasons for not permitting families however, are not merely practical." Rianni@crystyll: "They're not?" Keliaya@anncarise | Operator: "From certain perspectives they are, but not all for the purpose of safeguarding the next generation. That is a consideration, but not the primary purpose." Keliaya@anncarise | Operator: "Members of the Administration must be wholly devoted. We must have no other loyalties, no other obligations. Our sole duty is ensuring responsible use of technology." Rianni@crystyll: "Interesting... I have been studying the impact of such complements on Command as part of my studies and can see both arguments" Rianni@crystyll: "For example our Captain, who has close family on board. On one hand could be considered to be emotionally compromised from that presence. But on the other, is more strongly focused on protecting her+ Rianni@crystyll: + ship because of said presence. It is an interesting one whichever way it gets looked at" Keliaya@anncarise | Operator: "That is where the difference lies. Our duty is not to our vessel and its crew. Our Supervisor manages the vessel and will not allow it or its crew to come to unnecessary harm. But if - Keliaya@anncarise: - it ever becomes necessary to sacrifice a life or an entire vessel to safeguard technology, we are expected to do so without hesitation." Rianni@crystyll: "I had a feeling you would say that..." Rianni@crystyll: "But thank you for the insight, a most curious comparison" Keliaya@anncarise | The Operator leads them into a room which looks to be a lab of some description by the samples lying around. There are many machines, but a visible lack of any interface consoles. Keliaya@anncarise | Several Regulators are at work, operating the machines seemingly through motions of their hands. Rianni@crystyll again looks around curiously, as much at the artifacts themseves as for whats going on in the room Rianni@crystyll | Lennie: "Do y'all not use tactile interfaces at all?" Keliaya@anncarise | Operator: "Our suits are neurally linked to us when active and provide the interfaces necessary to utilize our technology. That is why we must always wear it when working. It is both for - Keliaya@anncarise: - convenience and security, so those outside the Administration cannot readily utilize our technology even if they manage to obtain it." Rianni@crystyll: "Jenni should have come. She would have found this an interesting comparison to the Eon flight controls!" Keliaya@anncarise | Operator: "Your people have such control systems as well?" Rianni@crystyll: "Not Starfleet. But the Eon is an allied small craft from an offshoot Human civilization who do use neural control actively. Not to this degree mind, most of what I saw on their homeworld was + Rianni@crystyll: + holographic. Kind of a midway between the two. Flight controls on the Eon though are very much the same premise as what you do" Rianni@crystyll | Lennie nods, "Consider it a compromise we'se make f'havin' such diverse crews. Neural tech on this scale would be much more difficult t'implement wit' so many dfifferent species t'cater for" Keliaya@anncarise | Operator: "Indeed. That is a compromise we had not needed to consider due to the composition of our Administration." Keliaya@anncarise | The Operator walks to the end of the room, "Our displays are typically shown directly within our helmets. One of the reasons I have brought you here is because this is one of the few Analysis - Keliaya@anncarise: - rooms equipped with a visual display for niche uses." Keliaya@anncarise | With a wave of his hand, a holographic galaxy map appears in the area they stand. Rianni@crystyll: "What sort of uses would require this beyond your standard interfaces?" Rianni@crystyll: "...besides that..." Keliaya@anncarise | Operator: "Primarily three-dimensional imaging without needing to use an entire Simulation room." Rianni@crystyll: "Those are like our holodecks, right?" Keliaya@anncarise | Lycas nods, "According to one of my conversations with an Analyst on board the Valley Forge, they use much of the same technology for training purposes." Keliaya@anncarise: "I suppose you don't allow it to be used for recreational purposes like we do." Keliaya@anncarise | Operator: "We do not." Rianni@crystyll: "Understandable given the more regimented structure on board. Though arguably they can be dual purpose simulations, with entertainment holos often serving in an educational manner at the same time" Keliaya@anncarise | Operator: "There are plenty of Regulators who enjoy the training simulations and use them in a semi-recreational fashion. I can show you one of the Simulation rooms afterwards." Rianni@crystyll looks to the image again, "So is this representative of your galactic mapping?" Keliaya@anncarise | Operator: "Of stellar bodies, yes." Keliaya@anncarise | He waves his hand again, and numerous areas on the map become highlighted. There are four large regions, two in what the Federation classifies as the Alpha Quadrant, one in the Beta Quadrant, - Keliaya@anncarise: - and one in the very edge of the Gamma Quadrant. There are numerous other, smaller highlighted zones, some in far reaches of the Delta Quadrant. Rianni@crystyll: "That looks like the Delta Quadrant... what are those?" she points to the highlighted zones Keliaya@anncarise | Operator: "This is a complete catalogue of all Regulated Zones at this moment." Rianni@crystyll: "You regulate territory that far away?" Keliaya@anncarise | Operator: "We regulate any species in the galaxy we encounter and deem to require intervention. Once a star system is under regulation, a spherical region around it is declared to be a - Keliaya@anncarise: - Regulated Zone. The larger Regulated Zones, such as the one we are in now, are formed from numerous smaller zones whose spheres overlap." Keliaya@anncarise | Operator: "In many cases, we regulate small zones consisting only a single sphere." Rianni@crystyll: "But this region is still home to your people, right? I mean like, you're not actually from some distant region of the galaxy and just pitched up because of all the overlapping zones, right?" Keliaya@anncarise | Operator: "We have established facilities and settled worlds on each of the larger zones for ease." Keliaya@anncarise | He points to the Regulated Zone deeper into the Beta Quadrant, far from this one, "This is the planet on which our species evolved." Rianni@crystyll: "Ooh, so that's where you're from! Her eyes scan around the map before she points out the Sol system, or near as she can tell, "That's where my people originate" Keliaya@anncarise | Operator: "The old Heartland? Interesting." Rianni@crystyll tilts her head curiously, "That's an oddly specific name. Why do you call it that?" Keliaya@anncarise | One of the Regulators in the lab, a female Analyst, steps up to the group as well, "We do not know where the Creators originated, but we suspect it may have been near that region. We do know - Keliaya@anncarise: - for certain that it is where their Firstborn, the Iconian civilization, was seeded. That is why we call it the Heartland, where the Children first emerged and based their first civilizations in." Rianni@crystyll: "Huh... You guys might want to touch base with Starfleet Cartography when we're gone. They have some other theories you may find interesting" Keliaya@anncarise | Analyst: "It is a region rich with history, both glorious and dark." Rianni@crystyll: "No arguments there..." Keliaya@anncarise | Operator: "We have not explored that region for some time, though we have encountered a few civilizations like yours that originated from there." Rianni@crystyll | Lennie smiles, "Well I'm-a sure tha' friendly relations between our governments'll help furnish further interaction" Keliaya@anncarise | Operator: "I take it from your question of where we originate that you do not yet know our history?" Rianni@crystyll shakes her head Rianni@crystyll: "I would be very interested to know how the Regulators came to be. Was there a point in recorded history where the control of technology first became so dominant?" Keliaya@anncarise | The Analyst deactivates her helmet, revealing an older Regulator whose stance and features are rather remniscient of Orion Tabadis: "There was indeed." Rianni@crystyll focuses intently on the not-Tabadi Keliaya@anncarise | Analyst: "Our people evolved in the wake of the Iconian civilization's collapse. We did not develop for long when our home was conquered by one of the civilizations who took advantage of the - Keliaya@anncarise: - chaos: the Attahans. Our home had little to offer them, but our physical features were of interest. We were considered desirable, and good for labour." Rianni@crystyll glances briefly to Lennie, "The more I learn, the more parallels I see with Orion history" Keliaya@anncarise | Analyst: "We know them as the Slavers today, and the name Attahan is not common knowledge outside the Administration. They took our people and distributed them among their many worlds." Rianni@crystyll | Lennie nods, "Difference is; we didn't need t'get conquered. We destroyed ourselves for th'same damned reasons..." she sighs ashamedly Keliaya@anncarise | Analyst: "There is no shame in being brought low, so long as you can stand back up from it." Keliaya@anncarise | Analyst: "Our people were subjects to the Slavers for a long time, kept helpless from their mastery of technology." Rianni@crystyll | Lennie: "Yeah... mah people still are objects... t'everyone else, for th'most part. But I'm-a confident we'se startin' t'rise now wit' th'rebirth!" Rianni@crystyll: "So I'm guessing there was an eventual revolt where your people broke free of this slavery?" Keliaya@anncarise | Analyst: "I hope so as well. And yes, there was, but it was not due to the resolve of our people." Rianni@crystyll: "Oh?" Keliaya@anncarise | Analyst: "We had resolve to have survived so long, but they forbade our people from learning all but the most basic of technology needed to be their servants, and the gap was too wide to cross." Keliaya@anncarise | Analyst: "There were many rebellions, most of which ended poorly for us." Keliaya@anncarise | Analyst: "There is debate for the reason we succeded, but the theory with the most evidence is that the Slavers expanded too far." Rianni@crystyll: "They stretched themselves too thin to be able to exercise control" Keliaya@anncarise | Analyst: "That is one theory." Rianni@crystyll: "But you subscribe to another?" Keliaya@anncarise | Analyst: "The Nuhar stretched far and use their Constructs to maintain their civilization. The Borg stretch far and link the minds of all their subjects to prevent dissention. Size does not - Keliaya@anncarise: - necessitate self-destruction if the proper technology is utilized. Even now we regulate a significant overall territory with little trouble." Rianni@crystyll: "A fair analysis. And there is plenty more historical evidence of such successes. So what is your theory?" Keliaya@anncarise | Analyst: "I believe that the Slavers' led an expedition into the unknown and returned, twisted by the Dominators. A brutal conflict between their own people, during which we seized our chance." Keliaya@anncarise: (between their own people ensued!) Rianni@crystyll: "That is certainly feasible from what we know to date" Keliaya@anncarise | Analyst: "We know for certain there was a civil conflict at the time, and that was the cause of the success of our rebellions. But the Attahan were always united, always turning their attention - Keliaya@anncarise: - outward. We also have record of a large expedition being sent to the region we believe the Dominators control. The best explanation is that this force was somehow turned against their own people." Keliaya@anncarise | Analyst: "Regardless of the cause, when the conflict was finished, the Attahan were a broken people that slowly faded from existence. We took their place, spending many generations mastering - Keliaya@anncarise: - and improving their technology. We formed the Administration for Regulation of Technology then, to ensure that technology will not be misused like it was to subjugate our people." Rianni@crystyll: "An understandable evolution. Thank you for explaining" she smiles Keliaya@anncarise | The Analyst nods, "It is my honour." Keliaya@anncarise | Operator: "If you have no further questions, I can show you to the Simulation room." Rianni@crystyll: "Oh I have more questions than there is time to ask" she chuckles, "But do not wish to consume any more of your time. We should continue" Keliaya@anncarise | The Operator nods and continues leading on. Keliaya@anncarise FX | They return to the lift and travel to (what is totally) another deck of the ship. Keliaya@anncarise | They step out and proceed down a different, but identical looking hall. As they walk, they notice two members of the Regulators' species without a suit on. Rianni@crystyll naturally notices this, but doesn't see fit to ask them directly Keliaya@anncarise asks the Operator, "I'm presuming they're off-duty, from what you said earlier?" Keliaya@anncarise | Operator: "That would be correct." Keliaya@anncarise | Lycas: "But if they're not in their suits, then they can't interact with any of your technology?" Keliaya@anncarise | Operator: "They do not need to interact with the technology which require suits. Our food dispensors are linked to our genetics and present in each private room as well as dining areas." Keliaya@anncarise | The Operator opens a door, revealing a fairly undetailed training setting. Keliaya@anncarise: (Something like this! https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/starwars/images/e/e6/CitadelChallenge-CC.png/revision/latest?cb=20130505041620) Keliaya@anncarise | Operator: "The Simulation room. I thought it would be more fruitful to see it while in use." Rianni@crystyll: "Ooh" she looks around with an acute fascination Keliaya@anncarise | Operator: "Do avoid stepping into the training area, however." Keliaya@anncarise | In the middle of the training area, four suited and helmeted Regulators are standing. Keliaya@anncarise | Around them, figures begin to materialize which Rianni and Lennie would recognize as members of the reptilian species they met a vendor/scavenger of on Underworld. Keliaya@anncarise | They open fire on the Regulators, which seem to have no effect, almost like shooting an adapted Borg drone. The Regulators simply move their hands and the beings freeze in place. Keliaya@anncarise | A second wave materializes in the air, drones visibly of Nuhar origin. As they swoop down, the Regulators smash the reptilians into barriers/each other, knocking them out before promptly - Keliaya@anncarise: - freezing the drones, then bringing them smashing into the ground with a pulling motion of their hands. Keliaya@anncarise | A wave of Iconian heralds appears next and surrounds them. One of the large Heralds blasts the group which scatters, leaping to supernatural heights and hovering there. Keliaya@anncarise | One of them makes a sweeping motion with her hands and sends the large herald barrelling into the smaller constructs while the rest juggle between freezing and pushing the other constructs. Keliaya@anncarise | A final, damaged Iconian construct limps towards a Regulator, who makes a pulling motion with both hands and rips the construct from limb to limb. Rianni@crystyll: "An impressive display" Rianni@crystyll | Lennie: "Making heavy use of this mastery over void energy?" Keliaya@anncarise | Operator: "Yes and no. The suits are powered by void energy and many, but not all of its functions, utilize void energy." Rianni@crystyll | Lennie nods: "I saw some impressive use o'it when we encountered tha' Nuhar Construct" Keliaya@anncarise | Operator: "You are an antimatter civilization. When your vessel goes to warp, you draw on the energy of matter-antimatter reactions. You can say it is a mastery of antimatter technology, but - Keliaya@anncarise: - there are other aspects at work in addition to drawing upon power, such as the formation of a warp bubble." Keliaya@anncarise nods, "A matter-antimatter reactor alone can't take a ship to warp. I understand what you mean. So this void energy is your primary energy source, then?" Keliaya@anncarise | Operator: "It is our primary energy source, but not our most high-yield. For situations such as what you observed," he turns to Lennie, "we must utilize the power generated by forcing unseen - Keliaya@anncarise: - matter to react with normal matter to generate the energy required. In such situations, you may have noticed a spike in our energy output." Keliaya@anncarise: "We normally don't see any energy output at all from you..." Rianni@crystyll | Lennie nods, "Yeah, I recall" Rianni@crystyll: "So... what exactly is void energy, like some sort of subspace manipulation?" Rianni@crystyll asks with only the complete innocence she can achieve Keliaya@anncarise | Operator: "That is because we draw upon void energy for regular operations. It is the energy inherent to the void, an energy that surrounds us and can fuel us if the proper technology is used - Keliaya@anncarise: - to harness it." Keliaya@anncarise looks to Rianni, "I think he means what we call dark energy, the energy of space that causes the universe to expand." Rianni@crystyll: "Ohh, yeah... there's a reason I'm tactical and not taking any quantum physics classes or anything..." Keliaya@anncarise: "If that can be harnessed and used as a power source...that's virtually unlimited power." Rianni@crystyll: "Evidently it can be" Keliaya@anncarise | The Operator nods, "That is correct. However, there is only so much void energy in a particular region we can draw upon at one time. Hence, for high-power activities, we must resort to more - Keliaya@anncarise: - unrefined methods such as utilizing the force of chemical reactions as you do. We do not utilize antimatter, but unseen matter, which is more difficult to contain but far more efficient." Keliaya@anncarise: "Unseen matter...as in dark matter? Non-baryonic matter?" Keliaya@anncarise | Operator: "That is one way to phrase it." Keliaya@anncarise | Operator: "In our categorization, we are an Unseen civilization. We tap into the unseen elements of the universe for power generation, a source utilized by few others." Rianni@crystyll: "Certainly the first such example I'm aware of. Not that I'm aware of that many..." Keliaya@anncarise | Operator: "It takes very complicated technology to be able to harness such power. The majority of civilization rely on chemical reactions entirely- antimatter, nuclear, and other variants." Rianni@crystyll: "I'm curious about your training though. It seems highly specific to using your suits... do you train outside of them too?" Keliaya@anncarise | Operator: "We have three stages of training- physiological, psychological and technological. In every stage, elements of the other stages are taught, but there is a primary focus to the stage - Keliaya@anncarise: - which most of the testing revolves around." Keliaya@anncarise | Operator: "The physiological stage trains and tests our bodies, ensuring peak health and performance. The psychological stage tests our will and our devotion to the Administrator." Rianni@crystyll: "Fair enough. So if the same group of trainees ran the same simulation but without their suits...?" Keliaya@anncarise | Operator: "We do not begin proper training with the suits until the technological stage. We utilize different training simulations when training without suits." Keliaya@anncarise | Operator: "Regulators are trained to be capable of surviving without technology, but it would be unrealistic to expect them to perform identical feats." Rianni@crystyll: "True. I would assume that is where the psychological training comes in; preparing them to face the unexpected" Keliaya@anncarise | Operator: "And preparing them to make difficult decisions and fully accept the responsibilities entrusted to them." Keliaya@anncarise: "Not unlike Starfleet's Command tests." Rianni@crystyll nods, "I can see the parallels" Keliaya@anncarise looks on as the Regulators fend off another wave of alien attackers, this civilization unrecognizable by any of the team members. Keliaya@anncarise: "Dark matter is responsible for a gravitational influence on normal matter...that's how you're doing this telekinesis, isn't it?" Keliaya@anncarise | Operator: "Indeed. You understand some of the nature of unseen matter." Keliaya@anncarise: "Largely from what we can observe of regular matter. We're probably many decades away from being able to use it." Keliaya@anncarise | The Operator nods and responds very matter-of-factly with, "You are." Keliaya@anncarise: "So, you don't possess any conventional weapons?" Keliaya@anncarise | Operator: "Conventional as in energy or projectile based? No, we do not. If necessary, we can kill or dismantle using unseen matter in a variety of ways, but we prefer to use more refined - Keliaya@anncarise: - methods of combat." Rianni@crystyll: "More refined?" Keliaya@anncarise | The Operator nods, "Such as the methods you see in the training here, and aiming to incapacitate self-aware individuals rather than kill." Rianni@crystyll: "Incapacitating is always preferable" she notes with a nod Keliaya@anncarise | Operator: "Does anyone have any other questions, or should we move on?" Rianni@crystyll shakes her head Keliaya@anncarise shakes her head as well, and the Operator turns and leads on. Keliaya@anncarise | The Regulator enters one of the side rooms, revealing an extremely spartan quarters. There is a bed, a dresser and what seems to be an empty stand for the suit. Keliaya@anncarise | The only signs of technology appears to be the lights and what seems most likely to be a replicator. Rianni@crystyll: "Reminds me of our dorm rooms" Keliaya@anncarise nods, "Is this where your typical crewmember lives?" Keliaya@anncarise | Operator: "Everyone has the same living conditions. There are no families on board a Regulator vessel. Everyone is a Regulator." Rianni@crystyll: "Is this an example of a living area that is used, or one that is currently unassigned?" Keliaya@anncarise | Operator: "It is currently in use." Keliaya@anncarise: "It looks very...sparse." Rianni@crystyll looks around, "I take it you don't typically indulge in personalization at all?" Keliaya@anncarise | Operator: "We do not. The Regulators, that is. To outsiders, our people is often synonymous with the Administration because we are the most commonly encountered." Keliaya@anncarise | Operator: "While the Administration comprises primarily of one species, its culture is not identical to those of our people who have not committed to the Administration." Rianni@crystyll: "Much can be said for Humankind and Starfleet I think" Keliaya@anncarise: "And other cultures who are members of Starfleet as well." Keliaya@anncarise | The Operator nods, "We have indeed encountered similar phenomena in other cultures we have encountered." Rianni@crystyll looks to the replicator-type thing on the wall, "I assume this is one of the food synthesizers you mentioned before?" Keliaya@anncarise | Operator: "It is indeed." Keliaya@anncarise: "Does it synthesize other things as well, or only food." Rianni@crystyll studies it, "Seems comparable to our own replicators..." Keliaya@anncarise | Operator: "These only dispense food." Keliaya@anncarise: "Closer to the food synthesizers of Mia's time, then...but you have other replicators that can synthesize other materials?" Keliaya@anncarise | Operator: "Yes, but they are not needed in sleeping rooms." Rianni@crystyll: "Could we sample a typical example of something from your homeworld?" Keliaya@anncarise | Operator: "I am not sure if any of the ration options we possess is something from the homeworld. We have many colonies and many diverging cultures outside the Administration." Keliaya@anncarise | Operator: "Perhaps one of the dining rooms will be a better place to sample some food." Rianni@crystyll: "Understandable. It's always an interesting aspect to explore when presented the opportunity I find" Keliaya@anncarise nods, "And often enjoyable, unless you happen to be on a Klingon ship..." Keliaya@anncarise chuckles. Rianni@crystyll: "Now I'm expecting the dining room to serve nothing but live Gagh here..." Rianni@crystyll | Lennie chuckles Keliaya@anncarise laughs, "They might not use technology when unneeded, but I don't think they'd go as far as not cooking most of their food..." Keliaya@anncarise | The Operator leads the way to one of the dining rooms. Rianni@crystyll: "Maybe that's a racial preference" Keliaya@anncarise: "Pretty sure it's a Klingon one..." Keliaya@anncarise | As they near the dining room, the atmosphere appears to be completely different. There is clear laughter and merriment inside, in contrast to the rest of the ship they've seen so far. Keliaya@anncarise | When the doors slide open, they see a very generic looking mess hall. There are food synthesizers all around and long, cafeteria style tables in the centre. It is filled with members of the - Keliaya@anncarise: - Regulator species, all without armour. Many of them appear to be socializing or playing what seem to be card or board games. If it weren't for the food synthesizers the area would look pre-warp. Rianni@crystyll smiles a little, taking in the sight Keliaya@anncarise: "This is...not quite what I was expecting, but nice." Keliaya@anncarise | Lycas: "Like many places on Vulcan. While we have the technology to make it more advanced, it is unnecessary and we use more traditional setups." Rianni@crystyll: "That looks like some interesting recreational activity too" Keliaya@anncarise | Operator: "This is the primary hub for social and recreational activities, with the exception of personal ones." Keliaya@anncarise: "I expect that's what the sleeping rooms are for," she smirks. Rianni@crystyll | Lennie smirks at Kelly's comment Keliaya@anncarise | Operator: "Indeed. It is one of the few functions aside from sleep we utilize the sleeping rooms for. Most other recreational activities are performed here." Keliaya@anncarise | The Operator steps up to one of the food synthesizers, "You wished for a sample of our rations?" Rianni@crystyll: "That would be interesting, yes!" Keliaya@anncarise | The Operator activates the synthesizer, which is so TOS it actually uses physical buttons. A few moments later, a tray of something similar to quinoa along with a few sides is created. Keliaya@anncarise | He takes the tray over to the end of one of the less occupied cafeteria tables. Keliaya@anncarise | Some of the other Regulators observe them with interest as they take a seat. A few of them moves over beside them. Keliaya@anncarise | Regulator 1: "So you're visiting from the Federation vessel?" Rianni@crystyll nods, "That's correct. We just stopped by to sample your sustenance" Keliaya@anncarise | Regulator 2: "I hope you like it. It is compatible with your biology, right?" Keliaya@anncarise | Operator: "They are similar enough as to not cause harm. Whether they will be enjoyable, we will have to see." Keliaya@anncarise: "Are you going to be the first to try, Rianni?" Rianni@crystyll shrugs lightly and tentatively tucks in Keliaya@anncarise | Despite appearances, the food is actually quite well-seasoned, and not at all bland. Rianni@crystyll gives a pleasantly surprised little 'hm', "That's actually pretty good!" Keliaya@anncarise: "Want to give it a try too, Lennie? I'm not sure if the similarities between your people and the Regulators would extend to palettes, but I have to admit I'm curious what you think..." Rianni@crystyll | Lennie smiles, "I like t'think I got a pretty broad palette" and takes a sampling bite too Keliaya@anncarise | It's definitely nothing like any Orion food she's had, but it's not bad! Rianni@crystyll | Lennie nods approvingly, "Ooh yeah, bit more life t'it than I imagined. Not bad, not bad at all!" Keliaya@anncarise | Operator: "I am glad it is to your liking. There are other samples to try, but this is among the more popular ration choices on this vessel." Keliaya@anncarise | Regulator 3: "There are some fairly unpopular ones as well." Keliaya@anncarise | Regulator 1: "I think I know which one you refer to, and I rather enjoy it." Keliaya@anncarise | Regulator 3: "You may be the only one on this vessel." Rianni@crystyll chuckles, "I see diverse taste remains a universal constant" Keliaya@anncarise | The Operator chuckles as well, "Individuals will always be individuals." Rianni@crystyll looks around some more, "I see a lot of people enjoying some games here too. Are they equally popular among your people?" Keliaya@anncarise | Regulator 2: "I think games are popular among most people. Different sorts of games, but all good ways to pass the time and compete your skills with others." Rianni@crystyll: "Yes, we have a few like this we enjoy regularly too!" Keliaya@anncarise: "Since they don't use holodecks for recreation, I can see why these games are so popular. If we didn't have holodecks, I'd be spending most of my downtime playing those too." Keliaya@anncarise grins, "Other than sleeping room activities, that is..." Rianni@crystyll giggles, "It's a shame we don't have more time. It would be interesting to try some of these games" Keliaya@anncarise: "I'm quite a fan of our games, it would definitely be fun to learn some of yours!" Keliaya@anncarise: "And I'm guessing from how you have offspring on leave and socialize in the sleeping rooms with one another that you probably don't have an issue getting intimate with other species..." Keliaya@anncarise | Regulator 3 smirks, "It's a matter of personal preference, but we have no regulations against it." Keliaya@anncarise: "I'm beginning to like your Administration more..." she laughs. Keliaya@anncarise: "And maybe a little more disappointed we don't have more time..." Rianni@crystyll | Lennie chuckles, "I'm-a sure there's always time t'be found" Keliaya@anncarise | Operator: "You should have ample time to finish the food and perhaps observe some of the games being played for a time. I will inform you when it is time you return to your vessel." Rianni@crystyll: "Sounds good to me. It makes a nice contrast to observe your people off duty"
AFTER ACTION REPORT STARFLEET SECURITY CLEARANCE LEVEL 2 | Confidential
MISSION PARAMETERSOUTCOME SUMMARYSubjected to 'Judgement' period after entering region of space dominated by faction herein referred to as 'Regulators'. Judgement consisted of an escort through Regulated space with evaluation team on board as well. Multiple trials were presented - some by design. Judgement passed with the Federation & Starfleet being granted a Type 2 level of access to regulated space. This is very much in line with the degree of freedom any allied vessel would be granted upon visitation to Federation space. The access level provides all representative vessels free access to Regulated space without being subject to further scrutiny. This is subject to the caveat that scrutiny would still be applied if sufficient reason is present. Access level also prohibits non-approved interaction with other species within Regulated space, as well as the distribution of any advanced technology to them. Full details should be provided in the formal acknowledgement of the status as distributed by the Regulators Administration to SFC upon establishing contact.
As difficult as it can be sometimes for us to recognize that someone else possesses superior technological acumen, the situation is hard to deny in the case of the Regulators. Though this in itself is no cause for concern, it does serve to emphasize the importance of sustaining diplomatic relations. Not simply in the face of superior technology, but a regimented willingness to use it to subvert any culture not deemed worthy of handling their own technology.
To this end, I have invited the Regulators to post a representative on board the Valley Forge as we continue beyond their territory. The premise being a collaborative effort to develop defenses against the 'Dominators' (Regulator term applied to the identified threat of the Primeval Horde). Whilst the Regulators on one hand present a heavy liability in the face of the telepathic prowess believed to be key to the Dominators' power, their knowledge and ability also offers a significant advantage in developing defenses that I believe can not be turned away at this critical time.
Further to the continued friendly relations harbored by this mission, I believe priority should be given to the establishment of diplomatic relations via a Corps. representative who can serve as a conduit between the Regulators and SFC during this period of heightened alert status. If a dedicated ambassador is not available at this time, then long range communications should be established for the same dedicated purpose, given the unreliable nature of our own communications through deployed relay frequency. Additional purpose to the diplomatic representation comes in the knowledge that these Regulators possess Preserver data which pertains to a genetic virus developed as a failsafe after their galactic seeding. It remains my personal belief that such information is deadly towards the galactic population and is not safe to be left in anyone's hands, regardless of their motivation. Continued petition for this data to be destroyed is recommended.
Supplementary recommendations include reallocation of resources (shipboard already implemented) to the study of i) 'void energy' utilization & ii) defense against shield-piercing boarding techniques
We first became aware of our encroachment into Regulated space after moving to investigate an orbital platform of previously unknown origin. After detecting our scans & signalling the Regulator forces a vessel arrived via what can best be likened to a FTL catapult system. Initial communication attempts yielded no results and a defensive posture was taken. In spite of this, Regulator forces boarded the ship and began to conduct their analysis by force. This was challenged when their leader - the Evaulator - appeared on the bridge and engaged in direct communication. The aggressive approach wrought a naturally defensive posture from my bridge staff and I, which resulted in a tense stalemate before my terms for amenable compromise were accepted.
Despite this tentative start to relations between our peoples, we proceeded with the utmost professionalism and quickly settled into a more amenable relationship. The Evaluator was permitted to remain on board with a small contingent of Analysts with the understanding that they would remain under escort at all times and make no attempt to access sensitive information or restricted areas without consent. Whilst I maintained throughout our time with the Regulators that their approach was needlessly aggressive and a more cordial one would have yielded better results from the start, I believe their culture is too heavily established and shaped from dealing with less amenable factions to be swayed in this manner.
One of the first systems encountered during the Judgement was found to be the site of a forced Forli colony. Interrogation of the facts and corroboration from the Evaluator determined that colony represented the remnants of a Forli crew who had once entered Regulated space and attempted to forcefully obtain advanced technology. Though invited to establish communication with the colony, this was declined as no fruitful outcome was deemed viable and the likelihood of further distressing the colonists deemed too great. For all intents and purposes it has been recorded as a penal colony in line with Federation protocols, given the circumstances which led the Forli to be marooned there. This event did prompt the sharing of more recent intelligence regarding the Forli however. Specifically our knowledge of their apparent evolution away from warmongering being offered to the Regulators. Though this - understandably - yielded no review for the colonists before us at the time, it was sufficient to prompt a report back to the Regulators Administration that should encourage fresh review of the species as a whole. It is understood that this was a tailored 'trial' as part of the Judgement, meant to demonstrate the repercussions of failure.
Progressing through Regulated space with increasingly amenable relations forming with the representatives on board, we were again guided to a pre-determined trial in the form of an ancient derelict held in perpetual orbit of an otherwise unremarkable planetoid. After dispatching a boarding party to analyse the derelict and the one abnormal energy reading within, we learned that it was the remnant of a Preserver facility; specifically one which was focused solely on the development of a contingency in the eventuality that their galactic seeding experiment yielded dangerous results. This was found to be in the form of a genetic virus designed to target all Preserver seeded life, as well as the Preservers themselves. Though it was soon learned that this staged trial no longer housed the actual virus in any capacity, it was also learned that the Regulators still hold the data on it; a fact which has been strongly disputed since then, but to no avail thus far.
Building upon successes to date and improved relations, a respite was requested and accommodated to allow us a window of communication with home. This was achieved by temporarily dropping a comms buoy inside a small region of non-regulated space and holding position there while the crew engaged in seasonal festivities and reveled in communication with home during this time. Though not directly pertaining to our Judgement period, this did provide our hosts with valuable insights into the culture of many Federation species, as well as our collective society. The additional bonding wrought between our personnel and theirs was - I believe - valuable towards the eventual outcome of the Judgement.
Drawing towards the far side of Regulated space, we diverted course after long range sensors detected a rare stellar phenomena occurring that we wished to observe. The expansion of a star was not an orchestrated trial, and so we proceeded per standard operating protocols. Analysis revealed that increased seismic activity on one of the inner planets had unearthed the remains of a lost civilization that had long been buried beneath the planet's surface. Upon determining that there was sufficient time to investigate, an away team was dispatched via shuttlecraft to investigate and recover whatever records could be salvaged before this planet was consumed. Given that this was within Regulated space and our hosts had not previously been aware of any advanced civilization residing here, the Evaluator requested that we take one of his Analysts on the away mission, to which I had no problem accommodating having already seen sufficient evidence that their own EV suits were perfectly capable and presented no increased risk to the mission.
The away team encountered a dormant Nuhar Construct which had seemingly been buried along with this Nuhar colony eons ago. It had been 'awakened' by the changing conditions on the planet, and identified our vessels in orbit as presumed culprits and acted in accordance with it's core functionality insofar that it moved to try and defend it's world from us. Fortunately, the Regulators had already seen fit to intervene at this point and their larger command vessel had arrived on scene. It exerted unimaginable force in restraining the Construct while our shuttle evacuated from the planet's surface. At this point I was informed that they would continue to restrain the Construct until it was consumed by the stellar expansion (suggesting most notably that while the Regulators possess such advanced technology, it is not limitless as they seemed unable to actually destroy the Construct, only restrain it). A case was made to permit us an attempt at communicating with the Construct as we had proven successes from multiple past interactions, this was bolstered by our Evaluator confirming it as a risk-free opportunity to observe our handling of a situation considered relatively extreme by Regulator standards and reactions.
Our communication protocols worked as anticipated and we soon entered into a comprehensive dialogue with the Construct. After witnessing it's acceptance of our explanation for it's current circumstances and extreme passage of time, the Regulators' Supervisor conceded to allow the Construct to depart with it's own Judgement escort, to which the Construct agreed. Though no confirmation is yet received, nor is it expected for some time; hope remains that this Construct will succeed in locating the remnants of it's kin and helping to unite them as part of it's Vanguard against the 'Dominators' Horde. It is also believed this fresh interaction will herald a new era of cooperation between the Nuhar and Regulators as they are now able to communicate using the protocols we developed.
View Log Entry
I believe we made significant headway with the Regulators today. Not only that, but we have bore witness to the advanced level of technology they wield; that is by comparison to our own. Whilst observing a stellar expansion we detected evidence of archaeological interest on one of the planets which was to be consumed by the star. With a sufficiently safe margin of time at hand to investigate, I chose to dispatch an away team to investigate and recover whatever records of this civilization they could, before it became lost to the ether. LCDR Lendaria led a small team down by shuttlecraft - forced due to the gravimetric distortions adversely affecting transporter operation - and was accompanied by one of the Regulator Analysts, at the Evaluator's request. I felt comfortable accommodating this request, partially due to the fact that this was within their borders and so a point of potential historical importance to them, but also because I had confidence in their survival capacity having seen some limited functionality of their suits already.
With only a short time on the surface before the region with the ruins would destabilize through the exponential increase in seismic & geothermal activity, the team were not able to perform as thorough study as we would normally like on such a site, I hope my husband can forgive me for taking a such a rough approach to an archaological site... *chuckles* That said, the data gathered on the planetary breakup should prove invaluable to Starfleet in effectively predicting such cataclysmic events. I am told by the away team that the impression on the ground was as surreal as it was unnerving; the sight of distant rock formations breaking away from the planet's crust as it begins to destabilize, appearing to the naked eye as mountain ranges rising from the landscape while molten lava rose fiercely from beneath the surface. I won't lie, the images they captured of this are... disturbing to imagine.
Within the detected ruins, our team moved to investigate a rising energy signature that was not evident on our initial scans. This may have seen them push their mission time to it's extreme limits, it may not have. I have faith in my officers and from Lennie's report, the delay in their departure was owing more to the unanticipated destabilization of the ruins which was a result of what came next. Whilst investigating this energy signature, they found that it was in fact an ancient Nuhar site - though of what purpose we can not say - and the spiking energy readings were that of a Nuhar Construct awakening. From the conditions on the planet, our team surmised that it had been in an offline state since the fall of the Nuhar and had been long buried for over 100,000 standard years along with the remnants of the civilization here. They also surmised that if it was just awakening now to the sight of the planet destabilizing, it would likely not be 'in the best of moods' as my CSO fondly put it, and so they moved for an emergency evacuation. This was hampered by the rise of the Construct from what theorized as the original surface level far beneath them. This exasperated the seismic activity and caused the region around them to become volatile. I am informed that a part of this was the complete collapse of a section of path used to reach the site, forcing the team to take an alternate route through a more mountainous section. This diversion is what i have accepted as the reason for the mission overrun.
Though they made it off the surface, I am conscious of the fact that the Regulator Analyst played a heavy part in this; utilizing what he reportedly referred to as 'void energy'. This was used not only to remotely manipulate gravity to save the away team from a breakaway (the mountain range they cut through broke away from the surface and was being drawn in by the star's gravity before they were able to completely traverse it. Or as Lennie again colourfully put it 'we got stuck on a floaty mountain'). Not only this impressive display, but the Regulators seem to have protected the shuttlecraft from solar bursts and an attack from the Nuhar's antiproton weapon during it's ascent. This is all believed to be the influence of the Analyst, though unconfirmed at present. We also bore witness to one of their larger craft (like that which we first encountered), who entered the system after our arrival, overpower the rising Nuhar Construct with what I can most liken as a form of tractor beam technology.
But this is where the day really began to shine for us. The Nuhar were - understandably - apprehensive of the Construct, especially after seeing it fire indiscriminately at the shuttlecraft, and were ready to hold it in place until it was pulled into the expanding star along with the remnants of it's planet. This afforded me the opportunity to step in and offer a more civilized alternative. It was not difficult to persuade the Regulator Supervisor to permit us the opportunity to attempt negotiation with the Construct, especially when our Evaluator added weight by supporting my argument that it was a prime opportunity to Judge us by our actions and not just their staged tests.
And so, we reached out to the Construct utilizing our proven comm protocols. A dialogue quickly formed and we soon found ourselves talking reasonably with the avatar of this Construct - Enduring Watcher. What did catch me off guard a little was that this Construct chose to project it's image not as one of it's creators, but as an Iconian Herald. It seemingly related itself in it's role to that of the Heralds to the Iconians - or Gatekeepers as they know them, and so had always chosen to represent itself as such. We talked at length and my openness paid dividends when talking about the current state of affairs both with the surviving Nuhar Constructs and our mission.
We believe now that Enduring Watcher was held as a form of reserve 'last line of defense' towards the very end of the Nuhar's time. It seemed heavily focused on defending against 'The Enemy' and standing with the 'Vanguard' against them. I am uncertain still about the latter reference, though I do still have sufficient reason to accept that the 'Enemy' reference pertains to the same Primevals whom we now consider a rising threat. After securing it's freedom from the Reguators (who were also surprisingly accommodating in their willingness to reassess their view of the Nuhar Constructs having witnessed this interaction, where they previously had not even been able to establish dialogue), the Construct is now travelling back across Regulated space with it's own escort. I strongly hope that it finds the other Constructs as I believe it's own circumstances will further bolster their reason to unify and stand with us against the Primeval Hoarde. Who knows, after making such headway with the Regulators today as well - knowing how we have demonstrated success with influence all the way to their Directorate - I like to think we're also one step closer to seeing them stand at our side as allies too. Though the telepathic nature of the threat may be of significantly greater danger around the Regulators, as I would not like to be on the receiving end of a 'turned' Regulator craft wielding the power we have witnessed here today...