Jatila enlists Mia's holodeck expertise to construct programs for the crew to centre themselves before the looming battle. Meanwhile, Sin must delve into the Architect's past in order to find a way to defeat him in a duel of minds...
NPC@annpc#557:| As the VF prepares for the final confrontation with the Architect, Mia receives a request from Jatila to meet her in one of the holodecks... Mia@crystyl:wanders in, looking around curiously and smiling at the natural landscape. NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila is nearby, studying a plant or perhaps something on it. She stands as the holodeck arch appears and Mia strolls inside, "There you are, Mia." Mia@crystyl:heads over, "Allo Ms. Jatila! You wanted to see us? Can we be of some assistance with... your horticultural studies?" she ventures, looking to the plant and back NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila: "No, I'm not a botanist, unless you count some basic gardening botany expertise," she chuckles. "But I was hoping to have your assistance for something." Mia@crystyl:"We are always happy to help!" NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila smiles, "Come, take a walk with me." Mia@crystyl:follows curiously NPC@annpc#557:| She turns and leads the way out of the wilderness and onto a nearby road, "This is Halii- not far from where I grew up, where my parents still live." Mia@crystyl:ooh's, "So that is where we are! That explains why we are not familiar with the setting" NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila: "You've never been to Halii before, I take it?" Mia@crystyl:shsakes her head, "Nope!" NPC@annpc#557:| The road, a simple dirt path, begins leading them upwards, slowly ascending up the side of a small mountain. The area is populated more heavily by wildlife than people, but every once in a while, - NPC@annpc#557:- the two pass by someone either making their way along the road as well, or simply sitting on a stone by the roadside. Many of the figures wear robes of earthy colours, primarily greens and browns Mia@crystyl:takes it all in with a smile, "This is a truly beautiful world!" NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila smiles as well, "It has quite the views, doesn't it?â€ Mia@crystyl:pauses to look out over the landscape, "It certainly does! We are reminded of our own ancestral home, or at least how we picture it to look! Rolling hills full of vineyards as far as the eye can see, - Mia@crystyl:- c'est magnifique!" NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila nods, "That's why I brought you here." She points out a number of houses now visible beyond the forest from their raised altitude, "That's where my family's house is, among the ones there. - NPC@annpc#557:- and further up there," she turns around, where some pre-warp looking stone architecture can be seen along the mountainside, "is the temple." Mia@crystyl:turns, looking over, "Ooh! We assume you travel with this program because of your long journeys away from home?" NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila smiles and nods again, "That's right." She continues up the road, "Our monks actually have a few similarities with the Chlasi Esoterics who are on their way here to assist us. Like them, - NPC@annpc#557:- the monks take in the most telepathically gifted of our people to train. You've seen the canar crystal I keep in my office by now, no doubt." Mia@crystyl:nods, "Is this where it comes from?" NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila: "Yes, it is. The crystals themselves grow naturally on Halii, but it's the monks who shape them to properly channel our telepathic ability. Despite their humble abode, the monks actually - NPC@annpc#557:- use advanced technology to do this, cutting lasers and such. It speeds up the process, but it's still a difficult one, and the secrets of how to shape the crystals are known only to the various - NPC@annpc#557:- sects of monks. Because of that, it's considered somewhat of a luxury good among Haliians; even though we don't use currency anymore, only a limited amount of crystals are produced each year, so - NPC@annpc#557:- demand usually ends up being higher than supply, even when you factor in ones that are gifted or passed down through the family." Mia@crystyl:"We wonder if it is the telepathic nature of the crystal, or the prestige of it's rarity that drives this demand..." NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila: "A little bit of both. There are certainly those who keep one around for prestige's sake or as a family heirloom, but the telepathic nature is coveted as well, nowadays most often for - NPC@annpc#557:- bonding between intimate partners. Historically, many sought to misuse the canar for interrogation or mind domination, which is why the monks are also a martial order- they learned to be very - NPC@annpc#557:- good at defending themselves to prevent the crystals from falling into the wrong hands. That's why they pass on more than just the secrets of canar crystal shaping, but also ancient Haliian - NPC@annpc#557:- martial arts. Some of them work closely with Haliian law enforcement, mostly because their telepathic abilities make them excellent investigators, but also because if they do run into trouble, - NPC@annpc#557:- they're capable of protecting themselves." Mia@crystyl:"If you seek martial training, we recommend Ms. Rianni as a more enthusiastic sparring partner" NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila chuckles, "Martial arts was never really my thing. I tried my hand at it with the monks, but I was always more interested in the spiritual and metaphysical side of things. That's where the - NPC@annpc#557:- monks differ from the Chlasi. They do have a concept of ascension, but it's quite different from what I understand of the Chlasi one. Rather than learning to expand one's own abilities, the monks - NPC@annpc#557:- try to achieve harmony with the world around them. They believe that all life originate from Spirit- singular, not spirits." Mia@crystyl:"Sprit, not /a/ Spirit?" NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila: "/The/ Spirit, yes. Spirit is as old as the universe itself, and everything in the universe that has life has a piece of Spirit within it. These are lesser spirits, what other cultures - NPC@annpc#557:- might call souls, but these are not exclusive to sentient life. Lesser spirits exist in plants and bacteria in smaller portions. But as life became more complicated, they gained wills of their - NPC@annpc#557:- own. Some of them became spiteful, hateful, fearful beings, and when they passed from this universe, their spirits did not return to the Spirit, but slowly formed something else. Another Spirit, - NPC@annpc#557:- but this one born of negative emotion and malevolent intent known as the Shade. The short version of the story is that eventually the Shade was captured and contained by life that stayed away - NPC@annpc#557:- from its dark domain, but one day, when enough negative power has gathered together, the Shade will once again break free of its bounds and begin the Ramhanur- the final battle between good and evil." Mia@crystyl:"What a fascinating mythology! It is certainly not the first we have encountered to form on such premises, though it certainly quite rare! It also bears a lot of similarity to elements learned in - Mia@crystyl:- more recent memory. Is this why you visit here now?" NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila nods, "Partly, yes. It's my understanding that most of these stories of a final battle between good and evil originate from the Progenitors' warning on the Architect, is that right?" Mia@crystyl:"Right or not is something that will have to wait for the golden age of time travel we think!" she chuckles, "Though it does align with our most recent level of understanding, yes" NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila pauses as they reach the entrance to the temple, "The reason I came here is to show you what I was thinking. This is a stressful and difficult time for you all- I don't need to be a - NPC@annpc#557:- counselor to figure that out," she chuckles. "We're on the cusp of a conflict ingrained within many of our mythologies, and regardless of how directly the mythology corresponds to the events - NPC@annpc#557:- here, the battle to come is going to determine whether we stop the Horde or not. So I've been thinking of ways to help the crew be at their best." NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila: "It's clear you don't need any of the traditional practices- teambuilding exercises and all. You've worked with each other through this whole journey, at times often had nothing else - NPC@annpc#557:- except each other to lean on. But there will be things you miss. For some of you, it's going to be planets you grew up on. I understand for others, the Valley Forge /is/ home, and the place - NPC@annpc#557:- you've been the happiest, but even then, there's probably a particular time on the ship you miss- I doubt the atmosphere before the battle is the state people prefer the ship and crew to be in." Mia@crystyl:"So your aim is to encourage everyone to find that personal touchstone to centre themselves before the battle?" NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila nods, "Yes, exactly. And I think having the proper environment simulated around them would help much more than imagination. That's why I wanted your assistance, Mia." Mia@crystyl:"Well, many of the crew will already have such programs installed on the computer. But even if we were able to craft such a detailed program as this for everyone, that is a lot of holodeck - Mia@crystyl:- programming to create so many programs!" NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila chuckles, "I don't think I'll have the time to do this with every single member of the crew. Besides, the ones who have their best memories on the ship itself probably don't need an - NPC@annpc#557:- accompanying program. This will be for the people who need it most, maybe one who doesn't have a program, or use a basic location simulation that isn't tailored to them." Mia@crystyl:"Of course, but we still fear it will be too many programs to accurately reproduce. That is not to see we are not willing to do our best to help you still!" NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila nods, "I'll make sure not to overwork you. I'm only anticipating a few that need your skills for something tailor-made, but if you feel like I'm making too many requests to handle, just - NPC@annpc#557:- let me know," she smiles Mia@crystyl:nods, "Understood. We will delegate all other duties as far as we are able and dedicate as much runtime to this as we can!" NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila: "Thank you, Mia. I don't want to take you away from too many of your other duties, I'm hoping this'll be more of a side project for a few specific patients and such." Mia@crystyl:"Fear not! We have sufficient capacity to delegate when needed" NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila smiles and motions Mia along as she heads further, into the temple courtyard NPC@annpc#557:| She takes a seat on a bench in the large green spaces outside the stone structure of the temple itself, "So what about you, Mia? I assume you must miss the time of Starfleet your uniform - NPC@annpc#557:- originates from?" Mia@crystyl:smiles as she sits as well, "It is where we grew up, so of course it holds a special place in our heart!" NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila: "But you have the program you were originally a part of, and the one you made with the holographic Emma, right?" Mia@crystyl:nods, "Our origin program remains in the database as it was originally created as a teaching aid, and since we took up the mantle of professor since coming out here we thought it would be useful to - Mia@crystyl:- have! And with the romanticism many hold for that era, we ended up creating the program which featured Ms. Emma because the data was available. Largely due to it being another Valley Forge" NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila: "Both are nice places for you to revisit, I imagine." Mia@crystyl:"Actually our origin program felt more like a prison for most of our sentient existence, so we do not envisage ever using it for recreation. And the newer program was more of a technical experiment - Mia@crystyl:- to see if we could use Ms. Mana's gift of knowledge to effectively program self aware holocharacters like we once were" NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila: "So that's why Rianni and Emma said the holographic Emma was so realistic..." Mia@crystyl:giggles, "Oui! We did not make her self aware, but we wanted to use the same methods Professor LaRouche used in the creation of our own personality matrix to see if we could replicate the results" NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila chuckles, "From everything Rianni's told me, I'd say you did very well." Mia@crystyl:"It was a resounding success! Though the Emma character has since been replaced, that program remains as a fun escape for the crew too. All of the central characters possess the same level of - Mia@crystyl:- development so it can still be a very engaging escape!" NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila: "What about the ancestral home you mentioned- do you have a program of that here as well?" Mia@crystyl:"Not a specific one like this, though the region no doubt exists in the databanks" NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila: "Have you visited there physically, since you were able to project a mobile avatar, or do you only have memories of the place?" Mia@crystyl:"Only memories. It was our creator's home really, not ours. So whilst we hold it dear, it lacks any real personal connection" NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila: "What do you have the most personal connection to, then? This current Valley Forge?" Mia@crystyl:smiles fondly, "It is home, but... no. Not in that same manner, but we do feel that for the people here. They are our touchstone!" NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila smiles, "I was told you're the centre of social life on this ship." Mia@crystyl:beams, "We spent a very long time alone in our program, so ever since being free and seen by those around us, of course we love nothing more than making them smile!" NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila: "We're lucky to have you here, Mia. Making people smile is priceless, especially at a time like this." Mia@crystyl:"We understand the importance and will do all we can to help the crew!" NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila: "Thank you, Mia. I'm sure my work will be a lot more difficult without you." Mia@crystyl:"What about you, Jatila - how are you doing with everything now? Settling in any better?" NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila nods, "I think the crew are getting more used to my presence now. And I haven't abused my authority so far, which I think certainly helps with people's trust." Mia@crystyl:giggles, "That certainly helps we think!" NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila chuckles, "And I don't plan on abusing it going forward either. I believe people understand that by now, so they're a bit more comfortable around me now." NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila: "I'm still not as close to the crew as everyone else yet, but like Emma said, that could be a good thing when it comes to my work." Mia@crystyl:"She is surprisingly insightful when she wants to be!" NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila: "That she certainly is!" She stands from the bench, "Anyways, time for us to get to work." Mia@crystyl:"Right! We are excited to work with you Ms. Jatila, together we will make everyone happy!" NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila smiles, "I look forward to it as well, Mia." --- Keliaya@anncaris | On the bridge of the VF... Keliaya@anncaris | TQ: "Message just in from Coalition HQ, Captain. Final reinforcements are coming through the nebula towards the Sphere now." Keelah@crystyl:"Very good. Stand by to intercept if there is any movement from Horde forces" Keliaya@anncaris | Fisher nods, "Aye, standing by." Keliaya@anncaris announces after a minute, "One of the Sphere entrance hatchways is opening." Keelah@crystyl acknowledges with a nod Keliaya@anncaris:"We have a problem...the corresponding solar ray is channeling!" Keelah@crystyl:"Is the fleet under attack?" Keliaya@anncaris | Vrolmacht: "The solar ray is meant to be used on targets outside the Sphere, but it passes through the entrance hatchway and will disintegrate anything in its path. It looks like the - Keliaya@anncaris - reinforcements are scattering, but the An Mothership is in the process of entering and being guided inside by the tractor beam." Keelah@crystyl:"Can we take out the solar ray?" Keliaya@anncaris | Vrolmacht shakes his head, "The source is by the star, in Horde-controlled territory, and the channeling rings are made of the same material as the Sphere exterior." Keliaya@anncaris:"We can take out the tractor beam." Keelah@crystyl nods, "Do it" Keliaya@anncaris | Fisher: "There's not enough time, not unless we do an inter-Sphere warp jump right up to the Sphere edge." Keelah@crystyl:"Then make the jump" Keliaya@anncaris | Fisher nods, tapping quickly on his console Keliaya@anncaris | Vrolmacht: "Weapons online and standing by." Keliaya@anncaris | Fisher: "Helm ready, but if this is off by a decimal point..." Keelah@crystyl:"Fire as soon as you have a solution. Mr. Fisher, I know you can do it" Keliaya@anncaris | Fisher gives a firm nod before executing the jump. The Spherescape distorts briefly before suddenly, they find themselves almost right in front of the landscape on the edge of the Sphere! Keliaya@anncaris | Vrolmacht: "Firing!" Keelah@crystyl:"Nicely done" Keliaya@anncaris | The weapons open fire on the tractor emitter of the hatch, taking it out. The Mothership veers out of the way just in time as a massive blue beam shoots past them and through the hatch into - Keliaya@anncaris - nebula beyond Keelah@crystyl breathes a sigh of relief, "Was anyone else in the path of that beam beyond the nebula?" Keliaya@anncaris shakes her head, "It seems all other Coalition forces managed to get clear in time." Keliaya@anncaris | Fisher: "We're not clear yet...we didn't crash into the edge but we're still close. The gravity's pulling us down!" Keelah@crystyl:"Can you compensate?" Keliaya@anncaris | Fisher shakes his head, "Not enough!" On the viewscreen, the Sphere surface begins drawing closer and closer... Keelah@crystyl:"We need options" Keliaya@anncaris:"We can use tractor repulsors on the Sphere surface. That'll affect the environment there, but so will crashing into it..." Keelah@crystyl:"Unless anyone else is in range to tractor us, we'll have to" Keliaya@anncaris | Fisher: "We're in the wrong direction to warp away, and reverse thrusters isn't enough to counter the massive gravitational pull at this distance..." Keelah@crystyl | TQ would request tractoring from any nearby ships as well Keliaya@anncaris:"I've got tractor emitters ready and standing by." Keliaya@anncaris | The Mothership acknowledges and begins moving in! Keelah@crystyl:"Is there time for the An to intercept us?" Keliaya@anncaris | Vrolmacht nods, "They are the only ship in range thanks to just entering the Sphere. Reverse thrusters should be able to hold us long enough..." Keliaya@anncaris | Fisher: "I'm firing all reverse thrusters on full!" Keelah@crystyl nods, "If it gets too tight, fire the repulsors as well" Keliaya@anncaris nods, "Understood, Captain." Keliaya@anncaris | The surface of the Sphere continues drawing closer and more distinct geographical features begin to become visible when suddenly, they freeze in place... Keliaya@anncaris:"The Mothership has us!" Keelah@crystyl:"Good, make sure then know we appreciate it Tee" Keelah@crystyl | TQ nods and messages them Keliaya@anncaris | The Sphere surface slowly draws further away as a combination of tractoring from the advanced Mothership and their own thrusters move them away Keliaya@anncaris:"It'll take time for the solar ray to recharge. The rest of the reinforcements should be safe to move in." Keelah@crystyl:"Signal them to proceed while they can" Keliaya@anncaris | Vrolmacht: "We will keep an eye on the system, give them more ample time to prepare when the next beam is ready." Keliaya@anncaris | TQ sends the signal, and the hatch opens as more Coalition ships begin to move in Keliaya@anncaris | Several minutes later, Kelly announces, "An Mothership has deactivated tractor beams. We're far enough to manage on our own now." Keelah@crystyl:"Let's not do that again" Keliaya@anncaris | Fisher breathes a sigh of relief and nods, "Agreed. Inter-Sphere warp's prohibited for a reason..." Keliaya@anncaris | Vrolmacht: "Interesting. Son'a vessels are entering the Sphere now." Keliaya@anncaris: "Some of them are direct matches for the ships we encountered at Relay 49 years back. Allies of the Colonial Fleet." Keelah@crystyl:"Son'a? I was not expecting to see them here. I suppose that does make sense though" she nods to Kelly's comment Keliaya@anncaris nods, "I guess the OSN weren't the only ones they reached out to for help." Keelah@crystyl:"The more the better" Keliaya@anncaris | TQ: "The lead Trinity ship is hailing us." Keelah@crystyl:"On screen" Keliaya@anncaris | The familiar visage of the Gaton General Bandor appears on the viewscreen, along with the top parts of his silver-coloured armour Keliaya@anncaris | Bandor: "Captain Keelah. Good to see you again and well." Keelah@crystyl:"Welcome to the Heart of War. I'm sorry your arrival was so... dramatic" Keliaya@anncaris | Bandor: "Only to be expected against a foe as dangerous as this. I'm glad we arrived in time to lend our assistance." Keelah@crystyl:"As are we" Keliaya@anncaris | Bandor: "You and the Regulators have helped us much in our recent struggles with the Forli. After the Regulators dealt with the Horde influence among them, they've come to fully realize the - Keliaya@anncaris:- threat here. To ensure neither side takes advantage of the other, we've each assigned the same number of vessels to bolster this expedition. They're not far behind us, but we still keep a bit of - Keliaya@anncaris:- distance, just in case. There's still tension among the rank and file, but we've made it this far without shooting one another." Keelah@crystyl smiles, "That is a good start. It will take time for the troubled history to settle, but it is good to see you all having come so far already" Keliaya@anncaris | Bandor nods, "That it is. Honestly, I expected much more trouble, but I guess the Esoteric crisis and the Forli influence drove the threat home for both of us, and as much issue as we have - Keliaya@anncaris:- with each other, we all know fighting the Horde's more important. Anyways, speaking of Esoterics, I've got a few of them who want to come over, talk to your esoteric about mind magic things." Keelah@crystyl:"Of course, we can receive them as soon as you see fit" Keliaya@anncaris | Bandor: "We're moving in now, we should be ready to transport them over as soon as we're in transporter range. I'll see you at the meeting once everyone's inside and settled, Captain." Keelah@crystyl nods, "Very good, we'll see you there then" --- NPC@annpc#557 | In the transporter room, two Chlasi materialize, one male and one female. Both are wearing red robes and appear to be on the older side for the species NPC@annpc#557 | The two step off the transporter pads and the female speaks, "I am Head Esoteric Virye, and this is Head Esoteric Alachon." Keelah@crystyl stands beside the console wearing a welcoming smile, "Welcome aboard. We are honoured to have such esteemed guests from the Order" NPC@annpc#557 | Alachon: "You visited my temple once with the one named Sin, though we did not meet. It is only fair that I return the honour of visiting you." Keelah@crystyl:"I understand you were eager to join us here. I assume you have urgent business with Sin or her mentor?" NPC@annpc#557 | Virye nods, "Yes. We are told you have a method to contain the Architect, but yet require the means to get him into this containment?" Keelah@crystyl smiles, "You are well informed" NPC@annpc#557 | Alachon: "We have been updated by the Arshai on this situation, who hoped that our expertise would be able to aid you in this. We have communed with the Exalted prior to our departure and - NPC@annpc#557:- believe we should be able to assist." Keelah@crystyl:"That would certainly be fruitful if you are able. There is another matter for your attention while you are with us as well however" NPC@annpc#557 | Virye: "We will help in any way that we are able. What is this other matter?" Keelah@crystyl:"Are you familiar with the beings we call the Olympians?" NPC@annpc#557 | Alachon: "Yes, we are. According to our old stories, the one known as Adite stayed with us for some time, while the other two who ventured into this region of the galaxy passed through - NPC@annpc#557:- our homeworld as well." Keelah@crystyl:"Well, long story short; one called Ar'Rhys fought the Horde long ago beside the Guardians. He eventually fell to them and was enthralled himself. We recently defeated what remained of this thrall, - Keelah@crystyl:- but the curiosity now is that we have even more recently come into the care of a juvenile clone of him. The infant is already very powerful and requires the proper care and guidance of someone - Keelah@crystyl:- with his power" NPC@annpc#557 | Alachon: "It will be our honour to tutor one of such talent. If it is your wish, we will take him under our care." Keelah@crystyl:"We do not wish to burden you with such a heavy request outright, but it is indeed my hope that you would be willing to do so. He will likely be with Sin if you wish to meet the child" NPC@annpc#557 | Virye: "I understand that our implants will have to be adjusted to the same frequency as yours to telepathically link and commune with Sin and others on board this ship?" Keelah@crystyl nods, "That is correct. We can see to that first if you like" NPC@annpc#557 | Virye nods, "It will be better for us to have the implants properly configured before we meet with them." Keelah@crystyl turns to the operator, "Please call an escort to show our guests to sickbay" looking back, "I will join you with Sin shortly" NPC@annpc#557 | The operator nods and calls the escort to show the two to sickbay --- NPC@annpc#557 | After having their implant frequencies adjusted in sickbay, the two Esoterics make their way over to Sin's quarters with their escort Keelah@crystyl | Sin is inside, playing with baby Ar'Rhys NPC@annpc#557 | The security escort rings the doorbell for the two before stepping aside Keelah@crystyl | Sin: "It's open" NPC@annpc#557 | The two Chlasi step inside NPC@annpc#557 | Alachon smiles, "Hello again, Sin." Keelah@crystyl | Sin looks up, sitting on the floor with the baby, "Oh! Hey Alachon, long time no see" NPC@annpc#557 | Alachon kneels over in front of Sin and the baby, "This is the infant Olympian we were told of?" Keelah@crystyl | Sin nods, "The one and only" NPC@annpc#557 | Virye moves in as well, "I can sense his power- it is indeed significant for an infant. It is no wonder, given all we know of his species." Keelah@crystyl | Sin: "Yeah, sadly we know so little about them there's absolutely nothing on their natural growth and development so I've no idea if he's normal or gifted, or Hells - even simple by their - Keelah@crystyl:- standards!" NPC@annpc#557 | Alachon: "If this is an exact clone of the one we know as Arye, he would have been a pureblood of their species, who were typically more powerful than the hybrids that resulted from - NPC@annpc#557 - reproducing with the less developed species they encountered in their travels. I do not think anyone in living memory has seen an Olympian infant; certainly no Chlasi has, so I cannot say for - NPC@annpc#557 - certain. But what we do know of Arye states that he was best known for his martial prowess, which he may have supplemented with his powers, but he likely focused on his combat skills as much - NPC@annpc#557 - as developing his powers, if not more so." Keelah@crystyl | Sin: "Seems reasonable. So did Keelah ask you guys to adopt him?" NPC@annpc#557 | Virye: "To train him. We often train those who are young, not typically this young, but we are familiar with caring for young infants as well. Our temples act as orphanages when there is a - NPC@annpc#557 - need, even for those who do not have the talent to become Esoterics themselves." Keelah@crystyl | Sin: "Sounds like he'll be in good hands then. Good, because you have to keep an eye on the little terror!" NPC@annpc#557 | Virye chuckles, "Yes, I imagine one of his age with such talents could prove...troublesome." Keelah@crystyl | Sin: "Trust me, you have nooo idea!" NPC@annpc#557 | Alachon: "You have been taking care of him so far?" Keelah@crystyl | Sin nods, "Yeah, everyone figured it was best to dump him on me given my own abilities" NPC@annpc#557 | Alachon smiles, "It must not have been easy, but you seem to have done well so far." Keelah@crystyl | Sin smiles, playing with the infant some, "Yeah, us little terrors have to look out for each other after all!" NPC@annpc#557 | Virye smiles as well, watching Sin play with the baby, "We can take him with us when we depart- if you want us to and haven't gotten too attached, that is." Keelah@crystyl | Sin shakes her head, "Getting attached is not my thing. Remember, I've only got a few years left in me so he'll be a toddler by the time I'm gone. No, even if I did let myself get attached it - Keelah@crystyl:-just couldn't work" NPC@annpc#557 | Alachon nods, "We will take him to train, then." Keelah@crystyl | The door chimes and Keelah steps in, smiling at the sight, "I see everyone is getting well acquainted" NPC@annpc#557 | Virye smiles and stands, "Yes, this infant is quite remarkable." Keelah@crystyl:"Can I take that positivity to mean that you will be willing to care for him?" NPC@annpc#557 | Alachon nods, "We would be pleased to. It will be no simple task, but the child has the potential to make for an excellent Esoteric, once his training is complete." Keelah@crystyl:"Excellent news, I am confident he will be in the best of hands at your temple" NPC@annpc#557 | Virye: "We will do our utmost to ensure the child is raised well and taught to control his powers. But before we take him with us, we must first discuss the other matter we came here for." Keelah@crystyl nods, "Yes, we could reconvene to the conference room. However, since everyone who should be present for that discussion is already here..." Keelah@crystyl | Sin eyerolls and stands, "You get the tea, I'll get the table..." Keelah@crystyl smiles and makes for the replicator while Sin carries the infant over to the table full of baby caring mess. She eyes it briefly before narrowing her eyes and launching it all clear off the far - Keelah@crystyl:- side. Grinning with satisfaction, she sits NPC@annpc#557 | Alachon chuckles, "This will do nicely." He and Virye make their way over to the table Keelah@crystyl squeezes in at one end, eyeing the pile of mess suddenly against the wall and shaking her head slightly at Sin who shrugs in response. "Ok, so what exactly did the Arshai provide in their brief?" NPC@annpc#557 | Virye: "They told us that you acquired some sort of mind prison device, which can be used to secure the Architect, and that you plan to make him believe the current body he inhabits is dead so - NPC@annpc#557 - he will depart it." Keelah@crystyl:"That is the basic premise, yes. The device is what my people call a katric ark, or something of a similar format at least. We are touch telepaths and so they are normally attuned to that type of - Keelah@crystyl:- connection. We also know that the Architect will not leave his current body unless he feels desperate enough for survival, hence staging Eva's death to drive him out" NPC@annpc#557 | Virye nods, "You should be able to create a chemical formula that when injected, will make the effects seem lethal, but the individual can in truth be revived. The problem is, the Architect - NPC@annpc#557:- will not willingly enter the mind prison. We believe we have the answer you need for this middle step." Keelah@crystyl:"I am eager to hear your thoughts" NPC@annpc#557 | Alachon: "He will most likely attempt to transfer into a different body. I doubt he will settle for any simple thrall. He quite likely has other Psionic thralls with him, to help him channel - NPC@annpc#557:- the Trident's power. They must first be killed." NPC@annpc#557 | Virye: "The Architect seized control of you all because your implants were attuned the same as his, did he not?" Keelah@crystyl nods, "That is about the sum of it, yes" NPC@annpc#557 | Virye: "We must attune Sin's implant back to that frequency. As long as we clear out the Psionic thralls and keep other Horde ships that may bear tempting thralls out of the area, he will go - NPC@annpc#557:- for her. Yes, it is an obvious trap, but the Exalted is confident that he will choose to go for Sin despite the risk, and his ego will lead him to believe that he can overpower her." Keelah@crystyl | Sin nods, "Yeah, how could he resist thi-... waitadamnedsecond! Whaaaaaat?" NPC@annpc#557 | Alachon: "I'm afraid the only way we will be able to get the Architect into that prison will be for someone to put him in there. That is, at least to my understanding, why the Lonesome One - NPC@annpc#557:- saw you as our greatest hope. We Esoterics are trained to use our powers benevolently. Even the strongest and most powerful of us cannot dominate the Architect's mind and force him into the - NPC@annpc#557:- prison. You, on the other hand..." Keelah@crystyl | Sin waves her hand dismissively, "Hey! Don't try appealing to my ego with talks of domination!" she taps on the tabletop, "Stay on topic here with the part where I'm sacrificed to his mind" NPC@annpc#557 | Virye: "You won't be sacrificed. We want the Architect to try to dominate your mind. He must not succeed, otherwise we may as well allow him to keep his current host. You will lure him into - NPC@annpc#557:- yourself, and then you must dominate him. Subdue him long enough to force his consciousness from your body into the mind prison, where he will remain trapped, and you will once again be in sole - NPC@annpc#557:- control of your own body." Keelah@crystyl | Sin settles, "Ok... but how do I even do that. Won't I need to already have the gizmo in my hand ready to put him in there, which means it'll put me in there first?" NPC@annpc#557 | Virye: "We will send some of our Esoterics who have talents with defensive applications with you. One of them will keep the prison until you have the Architect under control, to lessen the - NPC@annpc#557:- risk. They will help you battle the other thralls and the Architect as well, but the most difficult battle will likely occur here," she taps her head with a finger Keelah@crystyl | Sin nods firmly, "Letting him into my head?" she gets a wicked grin, "He has /no/ idea what he's in for!" Keelah@crystyl:"This is a very big ask to put on one person's shoulders" Keelah@crystyl | Sin looks over, "No it's fine, this is why I'm here. What you kept me around for, what you had them train me for, right?" she looks to the others NPC@annpc#557 | Alachon nods, "Yes, though it is also for your own benefit. If you are able to better control your powers, it is safer for you and all those around you." Keelah@crystyl | Sin: "And if I fail, and become his tool then the future threat of an uncontrolled me is also still handled. Makes sense" Keelah@crystyl 's brow furrows, "It never ceases to amaze me how brutal you can be" Keelah@crystyl | Sin beams, "Why thank you!" Keelah@crystyl:"I'm not sure it was that much of a compliment..." NPC@annpc#557 | Alachon: "We hope to avoid any such eventuality. The difficulty is that not even the Exalted know how to dominate another mind, let alone one so powerful." Keelah@crystyl | Sin: "Well I've already beaten his mind tricks once" NPC@annpc#557 | Virye: "Tell us, what precisely were those 'mind tricks' he used on you when he attempted to control you? There is only one to learn from in such things here- the very enemy we hope to defeat. - NPC@annpc#557 - How he tried to dominate you may provide us with useful insight." Keelah@crystyl | Sin leans back in her chair, "He forced us all into illusions built from our own memories and desires. Illusions designed to elicit a sense of contentedness, not quite euphoria, but something - Keelah@crystyl -believable and tangible. Something that felt real and natural as a place where you would simply be... content" NPC@annpc#557 | Alachon nods, "Then we must do the same with him." Keelah@crystyl | Sin: "You mean... I trap him in an illusion like that?" NPC@annpc#557 | Virye: "If that is how he does it with you, there's no reason it would not work on him. That does not mean it will be easy, you will still have to overpower him, but if you can forge such an - NPC@annpc#557 - illusion for him...remember, you do not have to dominate him for long. Unlike him, you do not seek to suppress him permanently- only long enough to imprison him." Keelah@crystyl | Sin nods, "It's a fine idea. Just have to hope I'll be up to the task as there's no way of knowing before we get to it" NPC@annpc#557 | Alachon: "No, but there is one way we can prepare you for it," he looks to Keelah. "One of your crew is connected with the one whose body is being controlled by the Architect, from what I have - NPC@annpc#557 - heard." Keelah@crystyl nods, "Yes, but the connection is vague and one way at best" NPC@annpc#557 | Alachon nods and contemplates for a moment, "There may be another way, but it will be less reliable. When the Architect dominated you, his mind is in contact with yours. He may be the one in - NPC@annpc#557 - control, but there will always be some flow in both directions, especially when his grip is slipping," he looks back to Sin. "We may be able to dig up these traces of what the Architect left - NPC@annpc#557 - behind in you, the one who struggled the strongest and actually managed to break free. It will not be a complete view into his thoughts and memories, only the strongest of them, but it may - NPC@annpc#557 - provide enough insight for you to have an idea of what illusion to create for him." Keelah@crystyl | Sin nods, "It is worth a try" Keelah@crystyl:"And whilst it may not help with the whole 'dominating' thing, I believe we can find ways to help you practice building such illusions through a mental connection" Keelah@crystyl | Sin looks back, "You're talking about mind melds aren't you" Keelah@crystyl nods, "It won't be the same as what you're planning, but it may present sufficient connection for you to hone your focus in building up these mental illusions. And a disciplined mind should have an- Keelah@crystyl:- easier time remaining objective within such a meld" NPC@annpc#557 | Virye nods to Keelah, "If you believe you are capable of it, Sin can use all the preparation possible before this confrontation." Keelah@crystyl:"It is the least that I can do if I'm ultimately asking her to go through with this" NPC@annpc#557 | Alachon: "Let us know when you are ready to attempt to access any imprints the Architect left behind, and we will assist you with that endeavour." Keelah@crystyl | Sin nods, "The sooner the better" NPC@annpc#557 | Alachon nods and stands, "Very well. Let us be on our way, then." --- NPC@annpc#557 | Meanwhile, Rianni is called to the Counselling office Rianni@crystyl chimes the office door on arrival NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila: "Come in." Rianni@crystyl strolls in, "I'm not late am I?" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila smiles and stands, "No, not at all. Join me on the sofa?" Rianni@crystyl glances back, "Oh sure!" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila steps over with a PADD in hand and takes a seat, "After all, it was you who suggested not to be too formal," she smirks Rianni@crystyl:"Is this just for me then? Or is it helping for everyone else too?" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila: "It depends on the person, but I find a more casual environment generally helps most open up more. So, how have you been lately?" Rianni@crystyl:"Oh it's got super busy! What with the Borg showing up, and this second Horde fleet and all!" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila nods, "I can imagine. Haven't had much time to relax?" Rianni@crystyl:"There's no need to worry there, Emma always makes sure I take plenty of downtime with her!" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila smiles, "That's good to hear. I'm curious about one thing- many of the crew have fond memories of Belyia, and I've heard that after so long stranded there, you thought you would just - NPC@annpc#557:- have to live out the rest of your lives on that planet and were beginning to accept it as a home." Rianni@crystyl smiles, "It's true. It was such a long time there and with absolutely no means of working anything out or finding the ship, or anything, we quickly realized that we were facing the possibility of - Rianni@crystyl:- having to quietly blend into the local population and disappear without impacting their culture at all. Plus we were all stranded so randomly, it took long enough just to figure a means of long - Rianni@crystyl:- term survival. So after all of that, and starting out with the knowledge that we might be forced to settle if circumstances prevailed, by the time long enough passed there it really did start to - Rianni@crystyl:- feel like home" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila: "I know some of you, like Sin, enjoyed the power they had access to there. Would you say that's a main contributing factor, or only one of the benefits, and you grew attached to the - NPC@annpc#557:- general environment there as well over time?" Rianni@crystyl:"I think in Sin's case it was absolutely a contributing factor! For most of us though, I don't know... it was neat and all, but I think it was more of natural balance for having no modern technology" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila: "That's what I thought as well. And it's my understanding that it would be very difficult for you to return there, or at least return without being stranded?" Rianni@crystyl:"Yes, returning is no problem. But leaving again would be a virtual impossibility" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila nods, "As I thought," she smiles. "Thank you for indulging my curiosity. Anyways, this coming battle- how are you feeling about it? Aside from all the planning work you're busy with now." Rianni@crystyl:"I'd be lying if I said I wasn't anxious, but... I'm also confident! In the crew, the Coalition, the Captain - I know with everyone coming together that we'll pull it off! I just hope I don't let - Rianni@crystyl:- anyone down" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila: "I'm confident you won't. You've been doing an amazing job so far and have proved invaluable. Speaking of which, how do you feel about the proper mission with the Aethon?" Rianni@crystyl:"You mean the one where we took the MACO's to the archive?" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila nods, "It wasn't unexpectedly being stranded in the middle of unexplored space like last time- the Captain put you in command for the entire mission and there was a plan and a full - NPC@annpc#557:- operation. Was it less challenging after getting the ship through being pushed out of the wormhole, or challenging but in different ways?" Rianni@crystyl:"In a way I'd say it was more challenging actually" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila: "What makes you say that?" Rianni@crystyl:"Well the first time was tense and all, but we were on our own and just doing what we had to in order to survive and get back. But this last mission was under the Captain's watch the entire time. - Rianni@crystyl:- /And/ I had Commander Leveson-Scott on board constantly judging and assessing me. It was her mission in the end, we were just the taxi. But still, having to perform under so many scrutinizing eyes- Rianni@crystyl:- made it a lot more difficult not to feel self conscious" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila nods, "I understand. The last time, what you had to do might've been more difficult, but there wasn't the pressure of others watching and judging you as you worked." Rianni@crystyl nods a little meekly NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila gives a reassuring smile, "Well from what I hear of the mission, you did well, and the two command officers are no doubt pleased with your performance." Rianni@crystyl warms a little, "Thank you, it is always nice to hear. But I can't let that turn into complacency, I have to do all I can to make sure I don't fail when it counts" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila: "That's a good attitude to have, Rianni. Don't second-guess yourself too much, but don't get complacent or overconfident either. The hardest thing is finding that balance in between." Rianni@crystyl nods, "Yes, that elusive balance..." NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila smiles again, "But I'd say you're doing quite well there, too. I've seen ensigns with less experience and commendations than you get way too overconfident. The fact that you still take - NPC@annpc#557:- the time to question yourself sometimes even after all you've achieved is a good sign." Rianni@crystyl:"You really think so? Because people normally think I'm too obsessive over success; judging myself too harshly and dooming myself to a life of perpetual failure because I insist on setting standards- Rianni@crystyl:- for myself that are too high and unreasonable..." NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila: "I think you judge yourself a /little/ harshly, but as your service record has proven, you're also capable of making decisions in the moment. Maybe you'll judge a lot in hindsight, but - NPC@annpc#557:- you're not so critical that you're afraid to act. From everything I've seen, that's a good mix for Command." NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila: "You've heard of Captain Ezri Dax, I assume?" Rianni@crystyl thinks, "Dax.... Dax... the name does sound sort of familiar but I can't place it" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila: "She's a great captain of her own right now, but she also served in the last year of the Dominion War under Benjamin Sisko. And her symbiont has the memories of Sisko's mentor, a - NPC@annpc#557:- well-respected Federation ambassador. In short, a very experienced woman." Rianni@crystyl:"Oh /that/ Dax! Wasn't he Ambassador to the Klingons or something?" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila smiles and nods, "That's right. I served under her on the Aventine for a year, and one thing she told all us counselors on her ship was that every good Starfleet captain, /especially/ - NPC@annpc#557:- the most famous ones, all question their actions and whether they made the right choice. They just put up the appearance of certainty for the benefit of their crew, and only their close friends - NPC@annpc#557:- ever get to hear their doubts. And in my personal experience, a captain who is sure of themselves and always thinks they're right, it's only a matter of time before they make a mistake." Rianni@crystyl:"I believe so as well. It was always hard to imagine Keelah being anything but absolute and certain in everything she does. But after spending time with her off duty thanks to Pia, I began to see - Rianni@crystyl:- that side of her too. I honestly don't know how they all do it though... it just seems like a fixed part of being in command is also being a ticking time bomb which will either implode and fold - Rianni@crystyl:- when it counts, or go too far and do something regrettable" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila: "That's part of the delicate balance. You have to show confidence in front of your crew, but you can't just keep all your doubts bottled up, or go too far with the impression you're - NPC@annpc#557:- making that you actually believe you're infallible. I find it generally helps when you have people around you who are close to you or know you well to express your doubts to and discuss problems - NPC@annpc#557:- with. That's why ship counsellors are important, and also why some captains keep senior officers they're close to by their side, even across different commands." Rianni@crystyl:"Makes sense. Like how I have Emma always there for me and making sure I don't let myself drown under the work or anything!" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila smiles, "Exactly. Every captain needs someone like that. Sometimes it's family, sometimes it's close friends among the crew, sometimes it's the ship's counselor. Captains without - NPC@annpc#557:- confidants tend to be the ones who make serious mistakes." Rianni@crystyl:"This insecurity... won't ever go away. Will it..." NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila shakes her head, "No, and nor should it go away completely. We can help you get it more under control, but it's healthy for a Command officer to maintain a degree of insecurity. They - NPC@annpc#557:- just need people who can help them deal with it. As you said, you have Emma, so you're already off to an excellent start." Rianni@crystyl:"Well just knowing that I'm not going too far - or not far enough - is a little reassuring" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila gives another reassuring smile, "It'll take work to find the perfect balance, but you're still an ensign. You have plenty of time, and I'm sure by the time you reach Commander or - NPC@annpc#557:- Captain, you'll have things in hand." Rianni@crystyl smiles, "Thanks for the vote of confidence!" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila: "Always happy to help!" --- NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila strolls into the lounge, looking around for Mia Mia@crystyl is holding a crowd in the middle of the lounge, roaming around with one of her token performances. Singing and smiling to everyone on the room Mia@crystyl:( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=abGe6uM9Ias ) NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila smiles at the sight and pulls up a chair, taking a seat and enjoying the song. Mia@crystyl spots the newest member of their family with a special smile and a wink while she works the room, joining her once the song is done Mia@crystyl:"Allo Ms. Jatila! This is the first time we have observed you at one of our song nights, we hope you enjoyed!" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila smiles, "That was beautiful, Mia. I've heard quite a few compliments about your singing, and it certainly lives up to expectations." Mia@crystyl:"We are so pleased you enjoyed it!" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila: "You most definitely deserve every one of those compliments! I can see why you are so popular in the lounge. I'll have to try to make it to more of these." Mia@crystyl:"We try to put on a live evening at least once a week for everyone. Just one of our little ways of keeping everyone centred like we talked about before!" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila nods, "No wonder the crew is in such a good state. You should use your holodeck programming to design Emergency Morale Holograms based on yourself," she chuckles Mia@crystyl giggles, "That would certainly bring new definition to 'EMH'!" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila: "That it certainly would! Though I don't know if you'd want a version of you on every ship. Emma didn't seem too pleased with herself being a holo-character. But you did start your - NPC@annpc#557 - existence as a hologram, or at least a part of you did, so perhaps you might be more open to something like that." Mia@crystyl:"We would be, but... individuality is important to us. We are proud of who we are because we are unique! If there were lots of Mia's just like us, then we would be no different to Jem'Hadar clones!" Mia@crystyl:"We like the idea, and have the knowledge to implement it. But we do not wish to use the gifts we were given to make generic hollow characters. To us, that would be the same as asking a biological - Mia@crystyl:- lifeform to churn out countless offspring to all be conditioned and programmed to serve a fixed purpose" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila nods, "I understand. Don't worry, I'm not asking for you to make generic holograms. I do have an idea though, for the proposal I gave you earlier on the holodeck." Mia@crystyl:"Oh?" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila: "We don't have the time to do custom tailored programs for more than just a handful of people, but what if we could make one very detailed program that would work for most if not all - NPC@annpc#557:- of the crew? A place other than this ship that they've all called home at one point." Mia@crystyl:"You want to recreate Belyia?" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila: "That's what I'm thinking. The ship's systems were down for most of the duration there, but you did have the Nuhar drones searching the planet and managed to get enough systems - NPC@annpc#557:- operational to make your departure. Which means you still probably managed to obtain a good amount of sensor data to work from. I'm not thinking of recreating the /entire/ planet, maybe just a - NPC@annpc#557:- few settings on it, ones where crewmembers ended up gathering and staying at." Mia@crystyl:"There was one town where most of the crew ended up living. Capitaine Keelah ended up running a guild there as a front for the crew trying to gather resources and figure things out, so perhaps that - Mia@crystyl:- would work! Of course, not everyone was there and not everyone enjoyed the place. But we do think it is a nice idea! If only we could replicate the supernatural abilities everyone was bestowed - Mia@crystyl:- with there too, that would really make it for a lot of them!" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila: "I'm sure a holoprogram could recreate some aspect of it, after all, there's plenty of supernatural or fantastical adventure stories programmed for the holodeck. It might not feel - NPC@annpc#557:- truly authentic, but it is something we could consider. Still, just the setting alone recreated in accurate detail might be enough to spark the same sense of nostalgia as seeing a homeworld they - NPC@annpc#557:- miss, for the ones who enjoyed their time on Belyia at least." Mia@crystyl nods, "We will begin work immediately!" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila smiles, "Thank you, Mia! Let me know if you need people from the crew to help you make sure it looks and feels in line with their own experience. This might work better for some people - NPC@annpc#557:- as a surprise, but it might be less impactful to others as you pointed out, so I might enlist some of them to help you if you want." Mia@crystyl:"That would be most helpful, yes thank you" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila: "I'll find some people to help you make sure the experience feels authentic, then. I'd help you myself, but I wasn't there, and I believe you spent all your time with the ship as well, - NPC@annpc#557:- didn't you?" Mia@crystyl nods, "Oui. The little ones became our sensors beyond the bulkheads. But we never actually stepped foot on the planet" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila: "The sensor data would be invaluable to the visual reconstruction, no doubt, but firsthand experience might be needed for the social behaviour of the holograms in the program." Mia@crystyl:"Absolutely! We know there are certain key players to the guild - locals who they were close to - that we would like to recreate. But there are also all the small details like the fashion, the food,- Mia@crystyl:- even the smell in the air! So much for authenticity but we are confident we can do a fair job of it with some assistance!" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila smiles, "Perfect. I admit, I am also very curious to see the finished program and have an idea of just what Belyia was like. It's not the full experience, but it's something." Mia@crystyl:"Perhaps we can explore it together once it is running!" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila: "I look forward to it! Let me know if you need anything else to help you build up the program, other than people with firsthand experience." Mia@crystyl:"Just the people with the expertise should suffice" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila nods, "Once we have this city created, we could expand the program outwards, build other parts of Belyia. I doubt we'll have those ready in time, but seeing as it's unlikely anyone will - NPC@annpc#557:- be returning to Belyia, I think the people who enjoyed it there might appreciate a more complete simulation." Mia@crystyl:"Yes indeed. We can take it under advisement from those who assist as to any other areas worth recreating" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila: "Once the program is revealed to the whole crew, I'm sure we'll be getting quite an influx of ideas then as well," she chuckles. "I hear everyone was scattered across the planet and - NPC@annpc#557:- many of them spent considerable amounts of time in completely different regions." Mia@crystyl:"That is exactly right. Through the guild, they were able to reach out to - and recover - a lot of the crew. But some were so far beyond even that reach they were never located until we left!" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila: "Maybe we'll make custom environments based on their experiences as we go, but for now we can focus on the city where the majority of the crew ended up gathering. I imagine more people - NPC@annpc#557:- than not on the crew at least had some memories of the place." Mia@crystyl:"Our thoughts exactly" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila smiles, "Well, thanks for agreeing to help me with this, Mia. I can't wait to explore it with you when it's complete." Mia@crystyl:"As do we!" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila stands, "Anyways, I'll leave you to your night in the lounge. Keep me updated!" Mia@crystyl:"We will, don't you worry!" --- NPC@annpc#557 | The doorbell to Sin's quarters ring again as Alachon and Virye return Sin@crystyl:"It's open" she calls out, sitting on the floor playing with the baby again NPC@annpc#557 | The two Esoterics step inside NPC@annpc#557 | Virye: 'We are ready." Sin@crystyl stands, cradling the infant, "Already? Impressive" NPC@annpc#557 | Alachon nods, "The process itself is more difficult than the preparation. We do not have direct access to the Architect's mind. We will have to rely on the imprints he made when he was - NPC@annpc#557 - attempting to control you." Sin@crystyl:"It's better than nothing" she bounces the baby in her arms, "He's not settling today even though it's his naptime. I think he knows something is going on" NPC@annpc#557 | Virye: "Perhaps. I would not put it beyond someone with power such as his. Though he may simply be sensing our presence and excited by that." Sin@crystyl:"Could be. Either way, I assume you need me to focus on the task at hand so..." she offers the baby out for someone to take NPC@annpc#557 | Virye steps forward, taking the baby, "You have worked with her mind before, Alachon. You are best suited to guiding the process. I can watch over the child in the meantime." Sin@crystyl nods looking to Alachon, "So how does this work?" NPC@annpc#557 | Alachon: "Take the pose you normally use for meditation. Something comfortable." Sin@crystyl nods, moving to a clearer side of the room and kneeling down with her hands folded in her lap NPC@annpc#557 | Virye takes a seat on the sofa with the baby while Alachon follows her over, kneeling down opposite her. He extends her hands towards her, "Like last time. Take my hands and close your eyes." Sin@crystyl nods, taking his hands NPC@annpc#557 | Alachon: "This time, I cannot do all the work for you, but I am told you have much more training now." Sin@crystyl:"I guess we'll find out" NPC@annpc#557 | Alachon: "Focus on your experience when the Architect tried to dominate you. Think of the illusion he conjured up for you. Bring yourself back there, as if you are in the illusion again." NPC@annpc#557 | Alachon: "Leave behind the waking world, and dream the dream he gave you." Sin@crystyl closes her eyes and starts to go back in her mind NPC@annpc#557 | Alachon: "Good." His voice no longer sounds like it is physically being spoken, but has the same ethereal echoing quality like the last time she and Alachon did this together. "Now open your - NPC@annpc#557 - eyes, Sin." Sin@crystyl does so NPC@annpc#557 | Sin finds herself no longer in her quarters, but in her palace on Belyia, with Alachon standing beside her, "An impressive construct. The Architect is powerful indeed." Sin@crystyl:"This was just the illusion he presented to me. At the same time as this he also presented illusions of the same caliber to several others in our team" NPC@annpc#557 | Alachon: "And he was able to hold multiple at once. You will need to contain only him, but that will not be easy. Let us see if we can find anything here to aid you. Focus on his presence in - NPC@annpc#557 - the illusion. You've identified it once, you can do it again." Sin@crystyl nods and begins moving through the memory NPC@annpc#557 | Like before, a wave emanates outwards from Sin, erasing the illusionary environment around them and leaving only her and the Alachon standing in the middle of a dark infinite void...face - NPC@annpc#557 - to face with the Architect NPC@annpc#557 | Architect: "You are strong, Sin. Join me in this task, and I can make you stronger. Stronger than you even were on Belyia." NPC@annpc#557 | Alachon: "So this is he." Sin@crystyl:"Yes, I think everyone's illusion was not just visually tailored to be appealing. But also to play to their strongest desires" Sin@crystyl:"His argument is moot now though so it has no effect on me" NPC@annpc#557 | Alachon: "His arguments were not solely for your sake. I sense his imprint here. That is good. Keep going. Continue focusing on him and him alone." Sin@crystyl nods, glaring back at the Architect, "You're all talk and quite frankly you're just embarrassing yourself now. You have nothing to offer me, I am already stronger than you" NPC@annpc#557 | Architect: "This is the only way. I am no longer the man I once was. I know now what it means to be a father. This role I take upon myself is an unenviable one, but it is a necessary one. My - NPC@annpc#557:- Children need an enemy, or you will turn on yourselves until nothing is left. My people have already branded me as a criminal. If I must embrace this role so my Children will survive, then it is - NPC@annpc#557:- a sacrifice I am willing to make." NPC@annpc#557 | Alachon: "Yes. Yes, this is precisely what we need." Sin@crystyl:"Don't give me that crap. You've gone well beyond kindly providing an enemy to unite your Children against. The experiments with mycelial connections and genetics, cloning Ar'Rhys, these are not - Sin@crystyl:- consistent with your delusionary standing. Lie to yourself if it helps you sleep at night, but don't waste your time lying to me" NPC@annpc#557 | Alachon chuckles, "Don't bother arguing back to him. This is an imprint, he cannot say anything new. But I can tap into what remains unsaid here..." NPC@annpc#557 | Alachon steps forward, putting both his hands on the Architect's head, almost in a mind meld like fashion Sin@crystyl:"Yeah I know, but it still feels good to put him in his place" NPC@annpc#557 | Another wave radiates outward, this time from the Architect instead of Sin. Another setting forms around them, that of a lounge, but not any of the Valley Forge's. Its aesthetic is completely - NPC@annpc#557 - alien, and it is clear this is not constructed from Sin's memory Sin@crystyl looks around, "This is unfamiliar" NPC@annpc#557 Sound FX | https://youtu.be/9f_CfpCnESA NPC@annpc#557 | Sin realizes the people throughout the lounge are all Progenitors NPC@annpc#557 | Alachon: "That is because this is from the imprint he left behind." Sin@crystyl:"So it is of significance to him and his argument" NPC@annpc#557 | Alachon: "Not necessarily. It is a strong memory connected to it. What significance it holds, if any, we will have to determine for ourselves." NPC@annpc#557 | On a nearby table, an older female Progenitor sits with a younger male Sin@crystyl turns to observe the pair NPC@annpc#557 | Female Progenitor: "Searcher of Life. I am proud of you, Luxus." NPC@annpc#557 | Searcher of Life: "I only hope to live up to all you have achieved, Mother. To rival the great Explorer of Stars is no easy feat," he chuckles NPC@annpc#557 | Explorer of Stars: "There are plenty of stars to explore out there, and I have but one lifetime. There is plenty left for you to explore." NPC@annpc#557 | Searcher of Life: "But the Elder Council wishes me to focus specifically on seeking life out there." NPC@annpc#557 | Explorer of Stars: "You have always excelled in the anatomical sciences, my son. It is no wonder they have set such a task upon you. The galaxy out there is rich with life as well, of all - NPC@annpc#557 - different types." NPC@annpc#557 | Searcher of Life: "That's just it. Different. You've found plenty of life, the Council doesn't need to assign me this particular role. I have a feeling that there's an unspoken request in - NPC@annpc#557:- there, that they want me to find something more like us." NPC@annpc#557 | Explorer of Stars: "Of course they do. But the Council isn't always right, you know. We have each other. Our families, our friends. That is all we need. After all, we evolved as the only - NPC@annpc#557:- intelligence species on our world and survived for so long, didn't we? If we want company, or the presence of more life like ourselves in this galaxy, perhaps all we need to do is have children." NPC@annpc#557 | Explorer of Stars: "I have charted hundreds of stars. Seen things no one else has witnessed before. Spoken to beings with the power to move planets. But my greatest legacy will always be you, - NPC@annpc#557:- Luxus." NPC@annpc#557 | The environment suddenly dissipates around them, and they are back again in the void NPC@annpc#557 | Alachon: "One moment. There is more I can extract from this." Sin@crystyl waits patiently NPC@annpc#557 | A medical bay of the same architectural style as the lounge forms around them. The beds are filled with various Progenitors, with the older female from the previous memory, now a little older - NPC@annpc#557 - than before, lying on a bed in the centre. The Searcher of Life looks a good few years older as well as he rushes up to the bed where another male Progenitor is working NPC@annpc#557 | Searcher of Life: "Mender of Ills. What happened here?" NPC@annpc#557 | Mender of Ills: "We found the entire ship like this. We believe they encountered and attempted to communicate with another primeval being." NPC@annpc#557 | Searcher of Life: "They seem...fine. And their ship was intact, completely undamaged. It didn't attack them." NPC@annpc#557 | Mender of Ills: "No. There was no attack. I do not believe its intentions were hostile." NPC@annpc#557 | Searcher of Life: "Then what's wrong with them?" NPC@annpc#557 | Mender of Ills: "It's their minds. During the attempted communication, the information that was relayed back to the crew was too great for minds like our own to hold." NPC@annpc#557 | Searcher of Life: "We can repair it...can't we?" NPC@annpc#557 | Mender of Ills: "No. The sheer volume of neural information, it is like downloading data that far exceeds the capacity of a computer. They're all alive, but what's in their minds has been - NPC@annpc#557 - overwritten or corrupted." NPC@annpc#557 | Searcher of Life: "There has to be something we can try!" NPC@annpc#557 | Mender of Ills: "I am sorry, Searcher. It is beyond our capabilities." NPC@annpc#557 | The Searcher takes his mother's motionless hand, "Perhaps another being like the one that did this knows how to repair it. If there is a way, I will find it." NPC@annpc#557 FX | The memory dissipates again NPC@annpc#557 | They find themselves back in the void, but this time, the Searcher of Life is with them, as well as an unknown seated figure facing away from them NPC@annpc#557 | Alachon: "Well this is unexpected." Sin@crystyl:"Is that a good thing?" NPC@annpc#557 | Alachon nods, "I believe so. This memory must have been so strongly connected to the former that it continued with no effort from myself." NPC@annpc#557 | Alachon: "But this memory seems to have no setting...I do not know why." Sin@crystyl:"This... is still a memory. Right?" NPC@annpc#557 | Alachon: "Yes, of that I am sure. Perhaps it occurs /inside/ his mind. We shall see." NPC@annpc#557 | Searcher of Life: "You can help her! You can fix them all, with a snap of your fingers!" NPC@annpc#557 Sound FX | https://youtu.be/WhrbK254yRE NPC@annpc#557 | The chair slowly turns around, revealing the figure seated on it... NPC@annpc#557 FX | https://cdn.player.one/sites/player.one/files/styles/scale_lg/public/2017/07/31/star-trek-q-next-generation-farpoint.jpg NPC@annpc#557 | Q: "I can. But I won't." NPC@annpc#557 | Searcher of Life: "Why not?" NPC@annpc#557 | Q: "/You/ were the ones who decided to take to the stars. You could've stayed nice and happy on your own little rock, but you had to go out there and see what's in the galaxy. Well, you've - NPC@annpc#557 - seen it. I'm not responsible for what happened to your mother and the others. They are. They found something they weren't ready for, and now they suffer the consequences." NPC@annpc#557 | Searcher of Life: "If you can help someone but refuse to, doesn't that make you just as responsible for their fate?" NPC@annpc#557 | Q: "You want a benevolent god watching over you all, is that it? Someone who'll care for every lost little infant, someone who answers your prayers at night? Well that's not what the Continuum - NPC@annpc#557:- is for. We've got better things to do. You're mortals. You're frail. You live, you die. Deal with it." NPC@annpc#557 | Searcher of Life: "Yet here you sit, judging us all. What gives you the right? Just because you have more power than us doesn't mean you can lord over us." NPC@annpc#557 | Q: "It's our power. We can do whatever we wish with it." NPC@annpc#557 | Searcher of Life: "One day, one of us will become as powerful as you are. Then there will be a reckoning, Q. We will see how arrogant you are then." NPC@annpc#557 | Q laughs, "Good luck with that," he snaps his fingers and the memory dissipates for real, with the Architect standing in front of them once again Sin@crystyl:"Why does it always come back to Q..." NPC@annpc#557 | Alachon: "Those who are already ascended seek to guide the rest of us, but not always in ways that are pleasant. It is possible he had a hand in guiding the Architect down this path to test us - NPC@annpc#557:- today. Or this may simply be a chance encounter. The Continuum has many dealings with many civilizations, including our own. It is no surprise the Progenitors also communicated with them." Sin@crystyl:"True but I don't see them manipulating the Progenitors into creating all the Children species just to then test those species in their creators absence. It doesn't make sense" NPC@annpc#557 | Alachon: "It seems the Architect's title back then was Searcher of Life. He could've found the Q and not the other way around. He seems to have sought them out here to find a way to help his - NPC@annpc#557:- mother, rather than Q approaching him for something." Sin@crystyl:"True, but the Continuum doesn't need direct interaction in order to manipulate events as we know. But let us remain on topic for now" NPC@annpc#557 | Alachon nods, "These are all the memories I can extract, but there is more of the imprint here. Keep focusing on the Architect." Sin@crystyl turns again to the Architect, "So the Searcher of Life became the Destroyer of Life. Way to make mommy proud" Sin@crystyl doesn't seem to think twice about going straight below the belt NPC@annpc#557 | The Architect is of course unable to directly respond, but he does speak again NPC@annpc#557 | Architect: "You have potential. More than the limited power I possess in the confines of this body. You, my Child, were one of the successes among the Children. The next stage in evolution." Sin@crystyl:"/One of/? pfft, please! I /am/ the success. I have already long surpassed you and I will soon surpass the Continuum too" NPC@annpc#557 | Alachon: "I have access to more memories. Are you ready, Sin?" Sin@crystyl nods NPC@annpc#557 | Alachon sets his hands on the Architect's head once again, and another wave radiates outward from him... NPC@annpc#557 | A now elderly Searcher of Life stands from his seat behind a desk as a younger female Progenitor walks in NPC@annpc#557 | Female Progenitor: "Searcher of Life. It's an honour." NPC@annpc#557 | Searcher of Life: "Please, Jonise. You are the Searcher of Life now. I am just an old man." NPC@annpc#557 | Jonise smiles, "An old man whose memories and expertise I am about to receive, the very same old man who developed the process to begin with." NPC@annpc#557 | Searcher of Life: "It was never a success. This was only ever a side benefit of my research." NPC@annpc#557 | Jonise: "I know. You were looking for a way to help your mother. I...read about you before accepting the role." NPC@annpc#557 | The Searcher chuckles, "Perhaps you do not need my memories after all if you already know me so well. Yes, it was one of my many experiments into the matter, but unfortunately, being able to - NPC@annpc#557:- transfer memories was of little use when the memories themselves were scrambled beyond recovery. If only someone had developed the procedure before the incident." NPC@annpc#557 | Jonise: "I'm sorry." NPC@annpc#557 | Searcher of Life: "What is past is past. At least this procedure provides us means to prevent such things in the future. Have a seat, Miss Searcher." NPC@annpc#557 | Jonise sits down in a chair and the Searcher of Life sits down opposite him, setting his hands on her NPC@annpc#557 | Searcher of Life: "This will be over soon, I promise." NPC@annpc#557 | Jonise: "What's...happening...? No, no, n-" NPC@annpc#557 | The elderly Searcher's arm goes limp and drops from Jonise's face. 'Jonise' stands up, looking down at herself with a somber expression NPC@annpc#557 | 'Jonise': "I am sorry, Jonise. I cannot allow my work to die with my body. I have only just begun." NPC@annpc#557 | The memory dissipates NPC@annpc#557 | Alachon: "So that was where the Architect's descent into madness truly began." Sin@crystyl:"And that was a long time ago. He's had plenty of time to descend further since then" NPC@annpc#557 | Alachon: "There are some more memories I can access, but they are...entangled. I will do what I can to make sense of them." Sin@crystyl:"You're doing great, take all the time you need. I will try and help if I can" NPC@annpc#557 | Another memory slowly forms around them... NPC@annpc#557 | The setting is that of a meeting room where the Searcher stands at the head of the table in Jonise's now older body. A number of other Progenitors stand around her NPC@annpc#557 | The Searcher stretches a hand outwards and the objects on the surface of the table go flying, propelled forward by a telekinetic wave, and the other Progenitors begin cheering and clapping NPC@annpc#557 | The Searcher holds up her hand to silence the applause, "This is not a cause for celebration." NPC@annpc#557 | Follower: "This is more progress than we had achieved in your last test." NPC@annpc#557 | Searcher of Life: "True, but it is also the extent of our progress. I am afraid I have reached the limits of genetic modification on our bodies. Further modification will have...negative - NPC@annpc#557 - consequences." NPC@annpc#557 | Follower 2: "So this is it, then?" NPC@annpc#557 | Follower 3: "It is an improvement. Not a significant one, but such capabilities can still improve our quality of life when extended to the rest of our-" NPC@annpc#557 | Searcher of Life: "It is not enough!" NPC@annpc#557 | The room falls silent, and the Searcher slowly turns to her followers with a smile, "But I have an idea." NPC@annpc#557 | The setting suddenly shifts, showing a male Progenitor addressing a large number of people in the centre of a huge chamber. Around him, a number of robed Progenitors dressed distinctly from - NPC@annpc#557:- those in the audience can be seen sitting in a circle behind curved tables NPC@annpc#557 | Male Progenitor: "...after three generations of the Searcher of Life identity and the efforts and sacrifices of all the explorers before me, I am forced to conclude that there is no life, at - NPC@annpc#557:- least in our galaxy, akin to ourselves." NPC@annpc#557 | Councillor 1: "We had suspected that was the case when we created your role. It is not a failing on your part, Searcher, and you have performed your function well." NPC@annpc#557 | Male Searcher: "Thank you." NPC@annpc#557 | Councillor 2: "What is your proposal, then? To disuse the Searcher of Life Identity and assign you another?" NPC@annpc#557 | Male Searcher: "That is a part of it, yes. But not all of it." NPC@annpc#557 Sound FX | https://youtu.be/Etksc3mrIQU NPC@annpc#557 | The setting doesn't change completely this time. Instead, the previous meeting room merges with the chamber, with the Jonise-body Searcher at one end and the young male Searcher at the other, - NPC@annpc#557:- and all the Councillors and followers are present around the table NPC@annpc#557 | Female Searcher: "I propose that if we cannot achieve greater potential, we create something that can. With a combination of my transferral process and our combined expertise at genetic - NPC@annpc#557:- modification, we can evolve our species into ones that are capable of harnessing such power..." NPC@annpc#557 | Male Searcher: "We will seed these samples across the galaxy. Over time, they will grow and evolve into beings similar to ourselves, but not entirely identical. They will have unique - NPC@annpc#557:- biological traits from the worlds they are seeded on. One day, the galaxy will bloom with life like us, people we can commune with, though different enough to offer new perspectives, new - NPC@annpc#557:- capabilities..." NPC@annpc#557 | Female Searcher: "We cannot beat evolution manually. So we use it. Some of these seeded species may be changed by the primeval beings, either directly or indirectly by their presence. Others - NPC@annpc#557:- may simply adapt and evolve to pass on attributes we cannot manually add. Not all of them will be successful, but if even one of them is, we can use the transferral process to transfer ourselves - NPC@annpc#557:- into them." NPC@annpc#557 | Male Searcher: "Our Children will provide us with the company we have so desperately sought for in this galaxy. And should our civilization fall in the future, they will go on to become our - NPC@annpc#557:- legacy." NPC@annpc#557 | Female Searcher: "This is our future. We will leave these bodies behind and inhabit those of our creations. We are frail. We are flawed. Compared to the great beings that inhabit the void of - NPC@annpc#557:- space, we are nothing. But no more! Today, we take our destiny into our own hands! The universe gave us an unfair start. My Design shall remedy that. Tomorrow, we will be the masters!" NPC@annpc#557 | As the followers applaud once again, the councillors murmur and discuss among themselves before they turn to the Searcher in the centre NPC@annpc#557 | Councilor 3: "We accept your proposal. The Identity of the Searcher of Life will be discontinued. From this day forth, you shall be named...the Architect of Life." NPC@annpc#557 | A jumble of Progenitors suddenly pop up, some in a lab or office, others collecting samples or working with live specimens. The setting becomes a jumbled mess of tables, - NPC@annpc#557 - scientific equipment, trees and bushes and wildlife, all accompanied by different Progenitors- different faces of the Architect NPC@annpc#557 | Alachon holds out his arms and the setting dissipates around them and the two once again find themselves in the middle of the void with the single Architect NPC@annpc#557 | Alachon: "That is all I am able to discern from the imprint. I do not know how useful it will be in preparing an illusion for the Architect, but I hope the insight is of some benefit." Sin@crystyl:"It does provide some interesting context" NPC@annpc#557 | Alachon: "The Gaton always say it is important to know one's enemy." Sin@crystyl:"Know thy enemy, know thyself" Sin@crystyl catches herself and frowns, "...dammit Rianni" NPC@annpc#557 | Alachon: "Your people have such a saying as well, I take it?" Sin@crystyl shakes her head, "Not my people, but hers. Some ancient philosophy saying I think. But the idea is the same" NPC@annpc#557 | Alachon nods, "Shall we leave this place and return to the waking world?" Sin@crystyl nods, "I have no desire to spend any more time with the Architect than is necessary" NPC@annpc#557 | Alachon: "Close your eyes, then." Sin@crystyl does so NPC@annpc#557 | Soon, Sin wakes back in her kneeling position in her quarters, with Alachon kneeling in front of her and Virye seated with the baby on a nearby sofa NPC@annpc#557 | Virye: "Have you managed to learn anything?" Sin@crystyl opens her eyes, "That was a lot more than anticipated. I can't believe so much of the Architect is still in me, I feel... violated. I think I need a shower..." NPC@annpc#557 | Alachon: "Take all the time you need. Once everything is finished, we can remove his imprint from you- if you do not develop the capability to do it on your own by then. Your powers have - NPC@annpc#557 - advanced quickly since the last time we met." Sin@crystyl:"First things first, need to figure a way to use this to create a utopia for him" NPC@annpc#557 | Alachon: "He seems to have been most content in his earliest days, but these are far away now. Knowing his intended plan, you could also attempt to shape an illusion of a world where all - NPC@annpc#557 - occurred as he wished it to." Sin@crystyl:"That's not far off my original idea anyway actually" NPC@annpc#557 | Alachon: "With a better idea of what he wants, you should be able to create a more convincing illusion of an ideal future." Sin@crystyl:"I was going to aim for something where we basically eased back and accepted him in his 'necessary enemy' role, and welcomed it. But perhaps now... something where his original idea is revitalized - Sin@crystyl:- and the Progenitors are back, all occupying Children bodies as he intended" NPC@annpc#557 | Alachon: "We know he would like to have your body. He called you one of the successes of his creations, and our plan depends on his desire to possess you once we destroy the other thralls and - NPC@annpc#557:- incapacitate his current host. If he inhabits you in the illusion, it could both satisfy him and seem like a reasonable future for him." Sin@crystyl shudders, "I hate it, but you're right" NPC@annpc#557 | Alachon: "I know it is not a comfortable idea, but it is the best one. Bear with the illusion for a brief while, and we will be able to get rid of that monster forever. The alternative is - NPC@annpc#557:- him actually taking control of your body, which needless to say is far worse." Sin@crystyl:"I just hope that I can sustain an illusion so close to the reality of the moment without it becoming so" NPC@annpc#557 | Virye nods, "I hope so as well. You are already quite powerful, I do not know how much more we can do to guide you. Practice with your captain as she suggested may be the best preparation for - NPC@annpc#557:- you." Sin@crystyl nods, "Yeah, guess there's no avoiding getting her in my head either. Damn it's going to start getting crowded in there!" she jokes NPC@annpc#557 | Virye: "Your mind should have more than enough room to hold a few residual impressions." Sin@crystyl:"Yeah but I've got enough personalities already" she grins NPC@annpc#557 | Alachon: "That would be concerning, if I had not seen your mind and known that it was in good condition." Sin@crystyl pouts, "Ah you're no fun!" and chuckles NPC@annpc#557 | Alachon chuckles as well, "Is there anything else we can do for you while we are here?" Sin@crystyl:"No, it's fine. Though... if you don't mind watching mini-Ar'Rhys for a while, it would be good I think to take some time to reflect and rest after that" NPC@annpc#557 | Virye nods, "We will take care of him for you while you rest." Sin@crystyl:"Appreciate it. Make yourselves at home here if you want, or head out with him. Whatever works, I'll find you when I wake up" she waves over her shoulder, heading out to collapse into bed --- NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila steps into the holodeck as Mia works on the Belyia program... Mia@crystyl:stands in middle of a barren but fertile landscape with a PADD in hand she taps away at NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila looks around as she makes her way up to Mia, "Just getting the base terrain right to start from, or is this what an area of Belyia looked like?" Mia@crystyl:turns and smiles, "Oh allo Ms. Jatila! We constructed the primary interactive zone for the program, so this is just the base topography for the city and its surroundings!" NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila nods, "That explains why everything is looking so empty still. I had some time free, and just thought I would check in and see how things were going." Mia@crystyl:"Well it is not the most exciting side of creating a program. In fact most people would probably just do it on a console screen, but we like to come and actually see it evolve for ourselves!" NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila: "It's certainly much more engaging than a console screen! I hope the sensor data you have is enough to work with?" Mia@crystyl:"It certainly makes things easier!" she beams, tapping and swiping at the PADD, gesturing across the interface while the terrain morphs to her actions in the distance ahead of them Mia@crystyl:"We may be taking a little creative license..." she giggles NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila chuckles, "Well, we don't need everything to be /exactly/ as it was. Memories are far from perfect, all we need is to get the atmosphere right to make people feel at home here. The world - NPC@annpc#557:- is constantly changing around us anyways; as long as something is close enough, it will usually be enough to feel right." Mia@crystyl:"Exactly" she gestures again and a near vertical cliff rises in the middle distances and spans almost as far as the eye can see NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila looks up as the cliff rises, "And doing it this way instead of on a console certainly has an impressive dramatic flair to it." Mia@crystyl:"It makes it easier for us to calculate all of the other factors. For example, this cliff face here cuts through the middle of the city. A very literal representation of an upper and lower class - Mia@crystyl:- divide. This is currently an accurate representation from topographical scans. But now..." she swipes again and drops a little NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila watches, "Adjusting it slightly for a more optimal environment?" Mia@crystyl:grins, "Exactly, watch!" she taps and the time of day accelerates in seconds through to sunrise and it now glimpses at the perfect height over the city NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila smiles, "Perfect. I was wondering what that affected. Excellent thinking, Mia." Mia@crystyl:"It will be even better once we have the waterways built. Then-" she points, "-that whole face will be one of the widest waterfalls you've ever seen, running into a large lake the lower city is - Mia@crystyl:- built around. We also adjusted the geographical orientation so that the sun remains over the lower city all day as well. When we first plotted it here, it would disappear behind the upper city by - Mia@crystyl:- late afternoon so the lower districts were always dark and dingy! But now, when that sunrise glances across the sparklink waterfall... mwah!" she blows an airkiss with her fingertips NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila: "The city has a waterfall and waterways as well? No wonder the crew were settling in here nicely." Mia@crystyl:points to another spot near the lake, "That is where the guildhouse will sit. They certainly did make the most of things here and we were always a little envious of not getting to experience it" NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila chuckles, "That goes for both of us...or is it all three?" she eyes the drone with a smile. "But now, we'll get to experience some of that here, at least." Mia@crystyl:| Miadrone gives a happy beep at the acknowledgement Mia@crystyl:chuckles, "We appreciate the thought, but it is not necessary. We are an individual for all intents and purposes" NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila nods, "I'll address you as one, then. Well, keep up the good work, Mia!" --- NPC@annpc#557 | The next day, Sin reports for duty only to realize that she's being diverted to Jatila's office instead... Sin@crystyl walks straight in, "Um, hey...? Apparently I'm supposed to be here for something today" she looks around, "This is the right office?" Sin@crystyl:"Ohh... it's one of those /those/ meetings. Gotcha!" she flops into the sofa, stretching her legs out, "So how does this work anyway. Sitting up good, or am I supposed to lay down and be all - Sin@crystyl:- reflective or something?" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila chuckles and takes a seat beside Sin, "Sitting up is good, unless you're that tired." Sin@crystyl:"Nah I'm good!" she leans back, folding her hands behind her head instead NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila: "So, how are things going for you? I understand you have quite a pivotal role in our plans." Sin@crystyl:"Yeah, seems to have turned out that way" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila: "Is that what you're practicing with the captain for? Or are the details a secret?" Sin@crystyl shrugs, "If it was meant to be a secret she shouldn't have involved me. It's my job to go toe-to-toe in telepathic battle with the Architect, trap him in an illusionary fantasy then transfer him - Sin@crystyl:- into this nifty little psychic prison box" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila: "An illusionary fantasy? As in subduing him within a dream, or something like that?" Sin@crystyl:"Pretty much, yeah. It's what he did to us when he turned, so now it's my job to do it back to him" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila: "You got the idea from him, then?" Sin@crystyl:"It was actually the Esoterics, but yeah" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila nods, "A clever tactic, to use your enemy's own trick against them. Have you tried anything of the sort before?" Sin@crystyl shakes her head, "That's why I'm practising with the Captain" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila: "I see. I suppose you don't feel ready for the task just yet, which is why you are practicing?" Sin@crystyl:"I know I'm capable. It's just not something I've ever attempted before, so need to make sure I know what I'm doing when it comes to it" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila nods, "Do you have specific dreams in mind to trap him in, or will you have to figure that out when the time comes?" Sin@crystyl:"We've sort of got that figured out now, the Esoterics helped me there. Basically, he wants to get inside me so I've got to create the illusion that he's having his way whilst making sure it's - Sin@crystyl:- actually not the case" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila: "Going in with a plan will certainly make things a little easier. So you seek to make the illusion that he successfully gained control of your body, while in reality you are subduing - NPC@annpc#557 - him?" Sin@crystyl:"Pretty much, yeah" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila: "A smart idea. I've been working on a...I suppose you can call it an illusionary fantasy of my own." Sin@crystyl:"Oh?" she grins, "Didn't know you counsellor types had it in you!" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila: "Not quite the same thing," she smirks. "I'll let you in on it if you promise to keep it a secret. It's not a life-or-death intelligence secret, but at least keep it more secret than - NPC@annpc#557 - how you just revealed what you were doing with the captain." Sin@crystyl:"Don't worry, believe it or not I'm actually quite good at keeping secrets. Just ask the Captain, it's how we met after all!" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila chuckles, "I know the story, so I don't doubt it. Mia and I are working on something for the crew, and we've settled on a simulation of Belyia. Just the city where the captain had a - NPC@annpc#557 - guild for now, but we plan to expand outwards in the future. It's not a malicious 'trap your enemy in their dream' type of fantasy, but a pleasant dream for people to relax type." Sin@crystyl:"Oh yeah? I'm sure that will go down well" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila: "It was more achievable than my first idea of doing different simulations for different people of all the places they miss. I know not everyone enjoyed their time on Belyia, but a good - NPC@annpc#557:- portion of the crew were ready to settle down there, and I thought it would feel like home to many. I just have to identify which ones are which." Sin@crystyl:"I'm sure once people know it's there you will easily find out by those who use the program" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila nods, "True, but I was hoping to surprise a few people with it. I know you enjoyed your time there, but more for the abilities it granted you than the environment there, which is why - NPC@annpc#557:- I thought I'd let you in on it." Sin@crystyl:"It was the first time I got to see my real potential. Don't get me wrong though, I grew rather fond of my humble little corner of that world too" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila smiles, "Maybe after we've built the main program, we can build that corner of Belyia from your memory and the sensor data." Sin@crystyl:"It would be nice. Maybe give everyone else a chance to appreciate it properly too" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatina nods, "With all the different areas you ended up in, there's many parts of Belyia some of you have never seen, aren't there?" Sin@crystyl:"Definitely. Like the area you're creating now, I never went anywhere near that continent" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila: "You're welcome to join us in the holodeck when we unveil the program. It won't really help you much psychologically, but I plan to invite the captain, which means you probably won't - NPC@annpc#557 - be practicing at the same time. And you could use some relaxation. Practice is important, but so is making sure you're in a good state," she smiles Sin@crystyl:"True, but it might not be such a good idea to put me in there at the same time as everyone else" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila: "Maybe you can visit some other time, then. Mia's making it a wonderful program to just take a walk in, regardless of whether you have memories of the place or not." Sin@crystyl:"Sounds nice, I'll look forward to it!" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila smiles, "Me too. Well, I shouldn't take up any more of your time. Good luck with your practice, Sin." Sin@crystyl stands, "And you with your holoprogram. See you around!" heading out --- NPC@annpc#557 FX | A few days later, the Belyia program is ready and Keelah goes in for a scheduled counselling session, unaware of the program's existence yet... Keelah@crystyl heads in precisely on time NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila sets her PADD down just as Keelah enters, "Perfect timing, Captain. I know this is a busy time for you, so I just arranged this one session. I hope it'll be helpful, though." Keelah@crystyl:"I would never doubt it, though doesn't your job normally only see results over much longer term arrangements?" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila nods, "It does, but I have something a little different planned," she smiles and stands, "Let's take a walk, shall we?" Keelah@crystyl perks a brow curiously as she stands to follow NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila leads the way out of the office and into the halls NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila: "So, how are things of late? It seems the end of the conflict here is in sight, but there is still one final stretch before we reach it." Keelah@crystyl:"True, it does seem that way. But we have been here before and it did not end well for us the last time we started thinking that way" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila nods, "Indeed. I hope this time, things turn out differently. I hear Sin has been practicing with you for her role in it all." Keelah@crystyl:"Word always does travel fast on a starship" she chuckles. "Yes, I am helping her to prepare. It is the least i can do when I'm going to be sending her into such a precarious position" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila chuckles, "We Counsellors have a tendency to be in the loop about things as well. I trust the practice isn't too difficult for you?" Keelah@crystyl:"Unlike many of my kind, I am very well practised in the art of mind melds. It is no burden to assist Sin this way" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila: "That's good to hear," She leads Keelah into a turbolift and announces their deck destination before asking, "But this entire situation here does still bear a burden on you, doesn't it? NPC@annpc#557 - I've been on many ships serving in wartime situations, and almost every one of the captains there miss the simpler times of just exploring or patrolling." Keelah@crystyl smiles a little, "Of course, that is what we all signed up for - the passion which has driven us all as far as a command of our own. To then spend it fighting another war is naturally a - Keelah@crystyl:- disappointment, especially when Starfleet has seen so much of it in recent years. I fear more now for the next generation of leaders - those who have already served a good tenure and are now - Keelah@crystyl:- rising into command positions back home. Because those officers have only known war, and it scares me to think how they will conduct themselves when arming weapons is no longer the appropriate - Keelah@crystyl:- first reaction to anything appearing on sensors" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila nods, "That's one of the reasons I chose this job. There's so many officers who have seen extensive conflict of late." Keelah@crystyl:"Unfortunately now, that includes the younger generation of this crew - including my own daughter. You can appreciate why I feel so strongly on the matter" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila: "I understand. Hopefully, we can end this soon enough to prevent any more impact from this conflict." NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila steps out of the lift as the doors open and begin leading the way down the halls again Keelah@crystyl nods quietly as she follows curiously still NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila: "But for now, a little reminder of your exploring days is the best we can manage." By this point, it will be pretty evident to Keelah that they are headed towards one of the holodecks Keelah@crystyl:"You have created something on the holodeck?" NPC@annpc#557 | Jatila smiles, "You'll see." She steps through the holodeck doors... NPC@annpc#557:| As Keelah follows through, she finds herself in the Belyia city meticulously reconstructed by Mia! Keelah@crystyl:looks around in surprise, "Belyia..." NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila smiles, "I'm told you ran a guild here. It wasn't all pleasant, but I thought you might miss the place." Keelah@crystyl:"It was home for a very long time for us" NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila nods, "And a place you can't easily revisit anymore. So I had this made." Keelah@crystyl:"A peaceful sanctuary for the crew" she smiles in approval NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila: "Precisely what I was thinking. All the credit goes to Mia, of course, I could never hope to make something like this. All I did was propose the idea." Keelah@crystyl:"Of course she had a hand in this..." she chuckles, "Explains now why she asked to be relieved of her admin duties for the last few days" NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila: "I hope I didn't take her away from too much other work? Nothing vital or important, at least?" Keelah@crystyl:"Nothing of consequence. I survived long enough without a yeoman before she came along after all. In truth, it was always just a role to let her feel like she actively contributing back before she - Keelah@crystyl:- was conscripted as a professor for the cadets on board" NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila: "But it certainly does help take some administrative work off your hands as well, doesn't it?" Keelah@crystyl:"Suffice to say that she is good at her job" she smiles, distractedly wandering around and reliving fond memories of the area, "But she could not have done all of this on her own; Mia never saw the - Keelah@crystyl:- city. This must have had a lot of input from many of the crew to be so accurate" she trails off, watching an npc walk by like she actually recognizes him NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila: "She did indeed. The terrain and structures were reconstructed from sensor data, but I had to find a number of people with firsthand experience to help make the details come to life. They - NPC@annpc#557:- did a good job keep the project secret...that or you're doing a good job pretending you didn't know about it," she grins Keelah@crystyl:shakes her head, "I honestly had no idea" NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila smiles, "Seems like I chose the right people, then." Keelah@crystyl:"How extensive is this program, exactly? I assume it is just the city and immediate surroundings geographically. But what about the people, the routines, the places?" NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila: "We're improving it as we go. For now, I'm just trying to get this program to feel like you're back on Belyia again, so we've recreated the most distinct things from people's - NPC@annpc#557:- recollections. Major people or people you interacted with on a more regular basis, the interiors of important buildings, those are present, but there are still plenty of generic characters all - NPC@annpc#557:- running on variations of the same program, and empty buildings. We're hoping to expand the program as we go from requests as more people visit it. Add people they remember, let them set up the - NPC@annpc#557:- homes they stayed in and so on." Keelah@crystyl:"An ambitious plan, but an admirable one" NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila chuckles, "My original plan was to create different custom environments to remind various people of home, but when I discussed it with Mia I realized it would take far too long. Then it - NPC@annpc#557:- dawned on me that I could do Belyia, so this is already much less ambitious, but hopefully just as effective." Keelah@crystyl:"I think it will already make for a welcome sight for people. You've done a good thing here" NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila smiles, "Thank you, Captain. Come, let's take a look at your guild...hall, was it? You must've spent a lot of time there, so I'd like your take on how authentic it is." Keelah@crystyl:smiles, "Yes. The 'guild' was a front for our attempts to recall the crew and consolidate our efforts to escape. It gave a plausible reason for us to actively advertise our presence across the realm- Keelah@crystyl:- in addition to necessary funding and resources for us all to survive" NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila makes her way through the city, heading towards the HQ of Keelah's guild on Belyia NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila nods, "But it became somewhat of a central gathering place for you during your stay here, didn't it? You had individual homes which might be more akin to quarters, while this was more like - NPC@annpc#557:- substitute for the ship as a whole?" Keelah@crystyl:"Exactly, yes. Pia and I had a modest little house..." she cranes her neck looking around before smiling, "...I see she was among your conscripts. Right there" she points NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila smiles back, "She was very eager to help when I told her about it. I thought she might've revealed the program to you already, but I'm glad to see she kept the secret!" Keelah@crystyl:"It is quite the habit she is forming" she chuckles, "Well, shall we continue this tour?" NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila nods, "Let's head on inside." She begins making her way into the guild hall Keelah@crystyl:follows her in NPC@annpc#557:| Inside, the guild hall looks just as Keelah remembers it from Belyia. Maybe not a perfect recreation, but it certainly looks and feels authentic thanks to the input from various people who have - NPC@annpc#557:- all been here! Keelah@crystyl:looks around with a smile, "Very impressive" NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila: "I'm glad you like it. I take it that means it looks and feels right?" Keelah@crystyl:"It definitely invokes the feelings and memories of being here. Feels like another lifetime now" NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila: "That's why I wanted to make this. As a little escape from everything going on outside right now." Keelah@crystyl:"When all of this is over, we might be able to sustain the program indefinitely in a dedicated suite. We could try now, but I would not want to risk corruption to it when facing combat situations" NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila nods, "Good point. I'll talk to Mia about it, see if she can get it running on a dedicated suite in the future." NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila: "With the time everyone spent on Belyia, I think there might be sufficient interest to warrant keeping this program running." Keelah@crystyl:"Of that I have no doubt. I just know what stresses combat situations put our systems through, and the results that can have on active programs. We can keep a suite reserved for it for now though, - Keelah@crystyl:- so people can still come and go as they wish" NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila smiles, "Thank you. I'm glad my idea is well-received." Keelah@crystyl:"I expect you already had an idea of that from all the effort everyone has put into helping create it" she smiles NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila: "I did, but I wanted to make sure you'd enjoy it personally as well. You're a part of the crew too, and it's just as important that this be a good place for you to relax and revisit old - NPC@annpc#557:- memories when you want to." Keelah@crystyl:"And I very much look forward to doing so. Thank you" she smiles --- NPC@annpc#557:| As the program is opened up to the ship, Jatila stops by again to meet up with Mia in the simulated city... Mia@crystyl:is strolling through the relatively quiet market street NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila spots Mia and makes her way over, "Hello Mia. Exploring the city for yourself now?" Mia@crystyl:turns with a beaming smile, "Isn't it wonderful!" NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila smiles and nods, "It really is. There's something quite nice about this simple, pre-warp lifestyle." Mia@crystyl:"We think it makes for the perfect escape from reality! Especially when people can't even look out of the window and see stars, we think the crew is drowning under technology in this sphere!" NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila: "I agree, this place is a much-needed change of atmosphere. Mind if I join you in your walk?" Mia@crystyl:"We would welcome the company!". NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila smiles and follows Mia as they walk down the market street, "So you were always with the ship during the crew's time here on Belyia, right?" Mia@crystyl:"Oui. as a non-biological lifeform we were not taken away with the rest of the crew. It took all of our runtime just to maintain the ship with the help of the little ones" NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila: "Would you have been unable to explore the planet even if you wanted to? All technology was being disabled here, if I recall correctly." Mia@crystyl:"That is why it was so difficult for us" NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila: "Ahh, you had to counteract these effects to maintain the ship?" Mia@crystyl:"Exactly, and ourselves at that! Without proper power supplies we had to devote a large portion of runtime to energy conservation and alternate power. In the end we networked with the Nuhar drones - Mia@crystyl:-on board in order to achieve this. Running on minimal power meant it took months to slowly build our setup, all whilst scouting for the crew and keeping the ship safe. Fortunately for that we were - Mia@crystyl:- able to land it in a remote mountain region far from here, but that also made the searching very difficult" NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila nods, "So you sent the drones out to scout for you." Mia@crystyl:"As best as we could. But even close range searches took a very long time because they had to operate on tight power conservation and return times. Then, the further we had to search, the more - Mia@crystyl:- difficult that became as well because of the need to return to the collective to recharge" NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila: "So that's why the crew were stranded here for so long. Would you say it was a good search pattern that found them in the end, or just pure chance?" Mia@crystyl:"Oh it was definitely more luck than judgement! Eventually, one of the little ones got spotted by a local. Of course, they had never seen anything like it before and so they followed it back to the - Mia@crystyl:- ship. What they saw was even more unfathomable to them, and so they ran back to the nearest village screaming about a giant dragon in the mountains! Word spread across the realm and eventually - Mia@crystyl:- reached the palace - there" she points. "By this time of course, mon Capitaine's guild was in very good standing and so the leader of this realm did not think twice about hiring the guild to go - Mia@crystyl:- hunt down this mystical threat" NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila: "And when they went to investigate this dragon, they found you and the ship. That does sound like a series of lucky events. Though if you hadn't send out the drones to begin with, the - NPC@annpc#557:- locals likely wouldn't have found the ship in the mountains, at least not for a long while." Mia@crystyl:"This is very true!" NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila: "Not to mention all the work you put in maintaining the ship, so you played quite a vital part in getting everyone off the planet." Mia@crystyl:"We did what was necessary" NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila smiles, "You did it very well. I doubt the crew would have managed to leave Belyia without your help." Mia@crystyl:"It is only for our presence that the ship was even able to survive. That is how passing crews normally end up getting stranded there and having to integrate into the population" NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila nods, "So that must be the reason for the incredible diversity." Mia@crystyl:"That is our theory, yes" NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila eyes a nearby tavern, "Did you end up adding some of the foods people remembered from here?" Mia@crystyl:shakes her head, "We have not yet reached that level of detail" NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila: "Would it be serving generic, setting-appropriate food, or is it nonfunctional in that regard?" Mia@crystyl:"Nonfunctional at present, the best it can do right now is whatever is in the replicator database" NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila: "Well, I'm not hungry anyways, but it might be nice to see the atmosphere inside. If you like?" Mia@crystyl:"Sounds good!" NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila smiles and makes her way towards the tavern, "Speaking of drones and holograms and food, your avatar- I remember reading that it's replicated, not a hologram?" Mia@crystyl:"This is true now, yes. Our first iteration was purely a projected hologram though" NPC@annpc#557:| They step into the tavern and Jatila picks an empty table to sit down at, "This current version, I've heard you can consume food and all that. I think I've seen you with a drink at least once." Mia@crystyl:"Escaping the holodeck was only ever the realization of our dream. With the freedom to interact with the world again came the desire to do so. We remembered sensations like taste, touch and smell. - Mia@crystyl:- But could never experience them as a hologram. So once our networked program was stabilized within our shell, we sought to evolve. That came with the aid of Ms. J'Fojofae - the Legian Ambassador. - Mia@crystyl:- well, the Ambassador's daughter really, but she was like our Ambassador! Are you familiar with her people?" NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila shakes her head, "I've heard a few things about them from the crew, but I didn't read up on them in depth like I did with the Coalition species and the other civilizations you made contact - NPC@annpc#557:- with out here. I remember something about cybernetics." Mia@crystyl:"Yes, they are a people who embrace personal technology. Cybernetics are not like they are to say... male Orions, but they are a symbol of prestige among the Olelians, a fashion even! And so, they - Mia@crystyl:- developed highly advanced technology in this field, including nanotech. In fact our ablative armour is based on it!" NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila nods, "Ahh, that's where the idea was from. So what exactly can your avatar do- just about everything we can?" Mia@crystyl:"It can now! The first part was to evolve from hologram to matter, that came with the Olelian replicator node" she points out on the nose of Miadrone, "This replicates our inner core through - Mia@crystyl:- nanotechnology. Kind of like how replicators produce food and resources! Then of course, with that side of the technology there it became a simple matter to expand on that to the reverse as well. - Mia@crystyl:- So just like how when you put leftovers back in the replicator to be resequenced, we store what we consume and break it down in the same manner to bolster our power reserves" NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila: "So that's how you can eat and drink! What about the experience, do you actually taste the food?" Mia@crystyl:"We have produced our Human physiology as accurately as we can, but such things are delicate to balance. Fortunately we have sufficient memory to work from, so it was simply a matter of building a - Mia@crystyl:- reference library of familiar tastes and textures, then applying those to real world equivalents in order to 'map' the matrix to our internal sensors. This equates to the ability to touch a surface - Mia@crystyl:- and discern it's texture based on familiar experiences" NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila: "Interesting. Thank you for sharing, Mia," she smiles. "You're one of a kind, and I'm curious how you experience the universe and all." Mia@crystyl:"It is not quite the same as biologicals still, but we have gone to a great deal to get as close as we can to it! We cherish life and are now experiencing a second chance at it, and so we want to - Mia@crystyl:- make the most of every moment! This is why sensation is so important to us - especially once the Federation officially recognized us as a sentient lifeform!" she rolls up her sleeve and holds her- Mia@crystyl:- arm out in front of Jatila, "Go ahead, blow" NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila leans in and blows Mia@crystyl:| The tiny hairs on her arm stand on end and the skin turns to gooseflesh. She gives a little shiver and chuckles NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila: "Very impressive! And your reaction seems natural too, I take it you can actually feel that as I would?" Mia@crystyl:"When we choose to. Unlike biological lifeforms, we are able to regulate every fibre of our existence. So just as easily as we can make it so we feel nothing at all from that, we can also hyper - Mia@crystyl:- stimulate the sensation!" NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila smirks, "Well that would certainly have its uses..." Mia@crystyl:"It certainly does!" she giggles, "We had to enlist some very... specialized holoprogrammer help to fully capitalize on that ability, you might say. But we do not abuse it though! Unlike biological - Mia@crystyl:- lifeforms, we do not need to over-indulge anything. Our memory is absolute and so experiences of any kind do not require constant visitation to remain fresh" NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila: "So you can relive any moment from your memories whenever you wish?" Mia@crystyl:"Of course! It is no different to calling up a reference file from the library computer. Only - unlike a computer - we have evolved to the point where we can appreciate the sensation associated with- Mia@crystyl:- a memory file, not just the fact of it. This only applies for memories obtain with sensation of course though, others require imagination you might say" NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila nods, "That also certainly has quite a few uses I can think of. I assume you would always like new experiences to add to your memory library?" Mia@crystyl:"Of course! Every day is a new experience in itself. The things we do, conversations we have, places we see. It is all new and exciting!" NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila smiles, "It's no wonder you're on an exploration vessel all the way beyond the frontiers of Federation space. No better way to come across exciting experiences!" Mia@crystyl:"Exactly! We were so pleased to have the opportunity to follow our friends here and help them in their mission. You know it was Ms. Ann and Ms. Lennie who first found our old program in the computer- Mia@crystyl:- of a deep space station, and who went on to help us evolve!" NPC@annpc#557:| Jatila: "And they're both here on this ship, so naturally you followed them out here!" Mia@crystyl:"Oui!" she beams