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“Admiral, recommend immediate abort. You’re vulnerable in the channel.” The most senior Outreman captain in the battle group sent over comms.

“Watch them run!” The Tindrel Admiral replied immediately - the rapid clicking of their species laughing could be heard.

“Press the attack!” The ramming ship had looped around now and was building up unstoppable momentum for a pass through the freight channel. In preparation for a mini-jump at short range, they weren’t charging up their secondary weapons to fire at full power during that moment of chaos when they made contact.


Masgard laughed. “Not quite bi-planes, but you already knew that. They are advanced in their own ways. Very different to us, in tune with nature. They have a symbiotic relationship with large worms that act as transport, food and fighting forces.”

“Human, Tindrel & QV signals on the planet.” Dr Wetherall announced.
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For the Tindrel’s planetoid, the ships that had moved into the freight channel had little chance for escape. In open space, the enemy might have been able to scatter more efficiently, but the asteroids surrounding them would restrict how fast they could maneuver, especially as a group. They had executed their plan as well as they could, and no doubt, the planetoid would be able to clear a fair sized group in a single pass. However, they had no way of stopping the rest of the enemy fleet from repositioning, and no way to regroup with the rest of their own fleet quickly. The asteroid field would restrict the planetoid even more than it would for the enemy vessels.

Had the enemy used their FTL jump to close in on the planetoid, the rest of the fleet might have been able to maneuver in to the field to reinforce their flagship. That, however, was not their intention. The planetoid was currently in the middle of the asteroid field with the freight channel as the only method of egress. It was, for the moment, a prison for it that it could not quickly escape. As such, nearly the entire remainder of the enemy fleet jumped to FTL, wrapped around the outside of the asteroid field, and appeared suddenly together...right on top of the bulk of the Outreman ships. They dropped out of FTL at extreme close range to most of the Outreman and Qalian-Vosh ships, sending the battlefield into immediate chaos. They seemed to abandon any notion of organized formations and instead positioned themselves in and among the allied fleet, firing on everything around them. It went without saying that this was a strategy that entailed full and complete commitment. There would be no escape for either side if they failed, but it was a sort of chaos that could be to their enemy’s advantage. Even should the planetoid manage to maneuver back around to rejoin the fight in time, it could not use its primary strategy so far without barreling through its own allies.




Vreta looked up to the hologram of the planet, his eyes narrowing noticeably. “Interference with pre-spaceflight species runs rather specifically afoul of our treaties.”

Vreta stepped away from Freyr’s station and moved closer, up behind Dr. Wetherall’s. “Are you able to pinpoint the locations of these alien signals?”
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Immediately after the enemy fleet jumped into close quarters combat, the battle group’s comms net lit up like a Christmas tree. Foremost the Tindrel screaming with anger, but urgent and stressed instructions from captains of individual ships as they allocated rally points.

The small number of Qalian-Vosh ships began grouping together and sharing their mobility bubble, becoming more than the sum of their parts all while under heavy fire. One of them didn’t make it and erupted into a goo-based fireball…then started heading out of the battle area to await the end of the simulation.

The Outreman portion of the battle group were caught on the broadside with open space cut off by the mass of enemy ships. They were also strung out in a line with only partially overlapping fields of fire. However, the OSC had trained to survive this sort of gambit before , and their ships immediately began turning so they were headed into the asteroid field. They redirected most of their shielding power to the stern, and used all their armaments on their sides to support the ships to either side. They then attempted to retreat into the relative safety of the asteroid field, leaving the QV vessels nearly surrounded.


“Negatory. They look like they’re on the move…aaand they’re bouncing off every satellite in the system. There aren’t that many signatures, but they could be bundled together. We aren’t experts in signals from known civilisations, we’re equipped to notice anomalies to known patterns. We’d need the military or, or… Naval Intelligence or something.”
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Under most circumstances, the strategy their enemy was using was not something the average fleet commander would even consider as an option. It took any concept of strategic maneuvering or macro tactics and threw them out the proverbial window. Fleet commanders would lose almost all influence over the overall battle in favor of a simple aggregate of the competence of each fleet’s respective ships, captains, and crews. Naturally, most commanders would rather not give up their own contributions, especially as such a battle would likely end with heavy losses on both sides. Ironically, though, despite how aggressive and chaotic the Tindrel’s strategy was, this particular brand of chaos was so strongly to the detriment of the flagship that formed the center of their strategy that it was the best option they had.

The Tindrel’s initial strikes had wiped out multiple groups of ships, but the remainder of the enemy fleet still outnumbered the allied battle group, to a not insignificant degree. It was not insurmountable, but they needed to find some way to regain an advantage. The only macro strategy that the enemy was following at the moment was unrestrained aggression. As the Outreman fleet tried falling back into the field, the enemy tried to stick with them to the best of their ability.

The Rothian cruisers, for the moment, were having to execute some rather slow turns to bring their ships to bear while confined in the asteroid field. They had some cannons with angles on the enemy, and their torpedoes could target omnidirectionally, but it would be a few minutes before they could rejoin the battle in full. The QV ships were currently in danger of being overwhelmed, and it would be up to the Tindrel commander to decide how they would respond.




Vreta hummed to himself for a moment. “They’re going to be wrapped up in this simulation for a while. I guess we should just keep on task. I’ll pass it along for Rareth to deal with. Hopefully they don’t get in the way of our search, but we should be careful. If they are on the surface, then they are probably flaunting the law. They may not respect the authority we bring with us.” He warned.
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“All units, form a line of defense in the asteroid field! I want to see overlapping fields of fire on my screen!” The Tindrel admiral commanded. He had taken a more sober tone as he examined a giant holo simulation of the situation on the planetoid’s map table. The Planetoid itself had cleared the asteroid field again and was arcing around the entire thing to strike the enemy from behind and below.

The QV were yelling to each other as their large combined surged back towards the relative safety of the asteroid belt. An enemy ship sailed in front of them and hit them with half a broadside. The QV vessel smashed into them and the gelatinous skin wrapped the whole way around the other ship. The ships inside began firing straight into the opposing hull and otherwise trying to prise it apart.

A blinding exchange of fire flitted to and from the Outreman vessels which had now presented their thin backsides. That was, except the battle group’s Bertha class rail cannon platform, which was hidden behind an asteroid. Though large, it was poorly armed and armoured except for a formidable rail gun which made up most of its mass. While this sort of armament had featured heavily in Humanity’s early spacefaring armoury, it had gradually been phased out as it became clear that the galaxy wasn’t empty. Whenever a ship fired a tungsten bolt at blistering speeds, it was going to ruin someone’s day - that may not be who they originally thought.

The Bertha latched onto the mammoth asteroid like a spider and fired straight through it, using small thrusters on either side to manoeuvre its field of fire from one ship to another.


“Possible anomaly detected.” A Rothian scientist raised their hand from a workstation on the opposite side of the general area from Dr Wetherall, closer to Marae. As Freyr and Vreta walked over, Dr Lang asked him: “Why am i getting a bad feeling about this again?”
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Given their apparent indifference to the rest of the fleet so far, it was a pleasant surprise when the Tindrel commander began to take charge and give direction. With the swiftness of the enemy’s surprise attack, it had been unavoidable that their battle group had taken losses. A few of the Outreman ships, including one cruiser, had been taken out of the simulation, and several more had registered hull damage before being able to retreat into the asteroid field. Of course, the enemy had also suffered similar damage in the exchange, and they now had the opportunity to get to some measure of cover and try to replenish the shields on their more vulnerable ships.

The Rothian cruisers deeper in the asteroids were eventually able to bring their ships around and rejoin the battle. Now that the enemy was exclusively on one side of them, they could face their armored crests towards the threat to greatly improve their own durability, though the current situation called for them to advance forward quickly and try to take pressure off of their allies. For the power they had, their greatest weakness was that there were only three of them. The battlefield was wide enough that, no matter how they were distributed, there was a large part of it they simply could not influence. In the parts of the battle in which they were present, though, they could be an impactful asset. For now, the cruisers pushed forward and joined some of the Outreman ships in trying to rescue the retreating Qalian-Vosh vessel. The ranking Rothian captain marked the closest cruiser to their ally, prompting all three to converge fire upon it from their main batteries. Fusion cannons were powerful on their own, but the version the Rothians were using now were stronger than any the Rothians had revealed before. They ripped apart the enemy shields at blistering speed, only to shift their focus fire to a different target once they had exposed the vulnerability on the first.

Rather than take the time to finish off the enemy cruiser themselves, the Rothian captain instead marked the vulnerable ship as a priority target for the Outremans. Their rail cannon was a dated weapon as far as naval technology was concerned. Powerful, but slow to fire. Volleys of high energy projectiles, or sustained beams, were more efficient at depleting energy shielding. Still, the Rothians calculated that a single, well-placed shot should be sufficient to disable or destroy an unshielded hostile vessel.




The ship’s deep scans had picked up what appeared to be a settlement, though deep underground beneath a massive mountain range covered in the Morgrawal. “A settlement, it looks like.” Enha, the Rothian xenoanthroplogist, remarked. “It looks to be native, not alien. Though it is quite remarkable for a native settlement at this level of technological development. I normally would not expect them to be able to maintain such an organized settlement in such a challenging environment.”
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The Bertha didn’t waste any time once the target was marked. Shifting its field of fire, it fired a sharpened tungsten round toward the enemy cruiser’s engine and reactor core. The dead metal projectile had a better chance of disabling the target without provoking a large explosion and destroying the QV hitchhikers, but nothing was guaranteed. The QV were strongly encouraged to disengage, but either they were too badly damaged or too deeply attached to make a quick getaway.

The Tindrel planetoid was rapidly approaching for a third time. They had adjusted their course into more of a diagonal strafe of the entire line. The Admiral signalled that rather than maintaining their unstoppable momentum, they would be attempting a ‘crash stop’. After attempting to ram through as many high value targets as possible, they’d bring the full weight of their conventional weaponry to bear on the enemy ships.

By way of an opening salvo, the enormous asteroid launched hundreds of torpedoes. They divided up to target some of the smallest and most vulnerable ships, with the aim of drawing fire from supporting battleships that will in turn weaken their own defenses.



“It's an interesting lead…the previous inhabitants of Outremer built an entire city around the Cradle. Their structures suggest they actually had very similar physiology to the Morgrawalai, now I think about it…” Freyr trailed off, before eventually looking to Marae.

“There must be some kind of pattern - what could we be missing?”
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The Tindrel’s strategy of using their planetoid as a ram had worked twice so far, but it seemed that it would not work for a third. The enemy was keeping close track of their movements, and approaching from a distance as it was, they had plenty of time to push forward into the asteroid field, moving aggressively into the lines of the Outreman ships. The planetoid could not follow, both because of the asteroids, and to avoid endangering their own allies. Their weaponry however, certainly still had the potential to contribute. The enemy’s fighters and support ships had been positioned to fight the Humans, so a good number of torpedoes from their flanks were able to find their marks and spread out significant damage to a few capital ships. As long as someone could keep pressure on them, they would not be able to disengage to recover their shields.

Unfortunatley, losses were still piling up on both sides. A few more capital ships had been knocked out. Currently, victory was not guaranteed, though it was looking more likely than not. However, on the current path, losses were going to be heavy. The pressure from the enemy was constant, and relentless, and the commander was going to have to prioritize what to protect. They had managed to keep the QV ship intact for now, but hostiles were close to surrounding it. The shields of the battle group’s Outreman flagship were currently below half, and it could be in danger without some relief. As well, there were two enemy cruisers maneuvering to try to take out the “Bertha” rail cannon.




“We should let the evidence build the pattern naturally. Best not to color our perspectives with potentially unfounded assumptions.” Marae answered. She was linked in to the computer via her implants, so she could adjust the parameters of their scans through thought alone. The new parameters she was inputting and updating moment-to moment danced across the screen almost faster than one could read them. “Let’s do a deep scan here. Focus on the settlement and its surroundings.”

Using readings from both the Cradle and Navigator as a reference point, Marae started guiding a wide scan through the entire EM spectrum. She did not design each test unassisted, of course, but before their eyes, she implemented a program that would automatically update and iterate between each of the thousands of tests it was performing per second. It was following a genetic algorithm to continually refine potential signal profiles to search for. The tests themselves were perfectly comprehensible to someone with relevant expertise, though the way she treated complex programming as if it was simple mental math was a sight to behold. The only aspect of the tests that the other species might not recognize as readily would be the scans utilizing induced gravitational waves. Compared to anything on the EM spectrum, gravitational waves were exceptionally weak and required immensely sensitive instruments to even detect. The physics involved was well-known to any spacefaring species, but to be able to manufacture a device both capable of detecting such waves, while also being small and practical enough to fit in a sensor package, was not something that others could yet do.
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The lines of ships blurred into a claustrophobic maelstrom of burnished metal, energy beams and explosions. Flights of fighters chased each other around the hulls of their parent ships as they grappled in close combat, and swarms of drones threw themselves as torpedoes.

The Outreman line held firm partly because of the mission parameters - they needed a quick victory in order to join back up and take out the key ship. But also because there wasn’t an easy way to disengage. They could either retreat back through the asteroid field, or push straight through the enemy which surrounded them and into open space. Both options required breaking their shield-sharing formation and limiting their ability to fire back.

The Tindrel signalled they were planning quite a sophisticated crash stop, whereby they’d spin the planetoid’s tail out to face the enemy. While less defended than the rock top, it would allow them to bring a dizzying array of weaponry to bear at once. There was no time to argue with them now, as they’d be danger close in a matter of seconds. If one listened closely to their comms channel, one might hear a rolling chorus of chirrups which loosely translated into a ‘yeehaw’ type sentiment.

In their desperation, Outreman commanders had also requested reinforcements from the support group stationed some distance away. It was possible that they could jump ships straight into close quarters, with a bit of good fortune.


All this activity was being closely watched by Earth - they had a couple of dozen light peacekeeping craft on station around Psi-Helios at any one time which were more than capable of intelligence gathering. Almost immediately after the exercise began, more (and heavier) craft began arriving. What had begun as a trickle became a torrent, until their entire 9th Mechanised Spaceborne Fleet was stationed on the other side of the planet. This intimidating mass of ships was usually parked in empty space, ready to jump at a moment’s notice to any of Earth’s interests.

The Earther fleet’s admiral sent a message to all commanders of the exercise, asking them to respect the system’s demilitarised status and move away from the planet towards the fringes. Strictly speaking, only the battle group comprising the Rothian Admiral’s vessel and the Barbarossa was anywhere near the real demilitarised zone.


“Ok, lets do this.”

Dr Lang came up behind Marae and gently placed both hands on her shoulders. Her AR glasses lit up with thousands of additional bits of data. Freyr used her implants to gland a chemical mix called Through The Looking Glass. Immediately, it worked to clear her mind of all prior assumptions, while forcing her to ‘relearn’ everything she witnessed from the scans again. It had proved useful in the past for stimulating the savant part of her brain into making connections which were previously blocked off.

“Earth has started getting skittish and ordering us back from the perimeter. We may need to consider our strategy here.” Masgard announced. He didn’t seem like a quiet lawyer anymore.
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Indeed, the Outreman commander’s concerns about potential losses were absolutely valid. The mission’s success relied not only upon the success of each individual objective, but their ability to mount a successful attack against the primary objective afterwards. Collectively, they needed to have enough forces remaining to be able to defeat the enemy’s key ship. Calling in for reinforcements was absolutely an option on the table, though it was an option that only one battle group would likely be able to take.

The enemy, as it stood, had focused their strategy on avoiding the planetoid to focus on the rest of the battle group. They scattered as much as they could from the planetoid’s projected path, though some would still be in range of its broadside once it completed its maneuver. The rest were, at least, being pushed towards a combination of Outreman and Rothian ships. With a lack of specific orders, the Rothian cruisers had elected to give their support to the Outreman command ship to ensure their overall lines maintained their organization. The QV ship had, finally, been surrounded and overwhelmed away from allied lines, while two enemy cruisers managed to break through to start bombarding the “Bertha” rail cannon. The Rothian and Outreman cruisers together, however, comprised a powerful core of ships that could output heavy firepower on anything being pushed towards them.

In response to the Outreman commander’s request, an array of pings appeared on their screens to mark the points where their reinforcements could jump in to the battlefield. The other battle group would be able to drop in to the battle at close range, and without a doubt would immediately shift the balance of power sharply into their favor. With an entire extra battle group, their numbers would almost double the enemy, and they would be able to take this objective with few additional casualties. However, should they make the call for reinforcements here and now, that would deny the option to other battle groups, should they need it. Their reinforcements were ready to jump in right now; they were just waiting on final confirmation from the commander to decide if this was where they wanted to commit them.




Vreta did not so much as attempt to understand whatever it was that the scientists were doing with their scans. There had been a time in his life where he had been involved in research, but that had been centuries in the past. For now, he focused on what he could meaningfully influence. The communications from the other faction of Humans was something more in his domain.

“This is a stealth vessel.” Vreta remarked. “I say that we recommend to the Admiral to ‘throw them a bone’, I think is the expression. Move the battle group a bit farther from Psi-Helios, away from the demilitarized zone. But this ship can continue its objective undisturbed. Earth would need to have technological prowess beyond that of even Outremer to be able to detect us.”
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Masgard nodded, relaying their recommendation via a direct line to Captain Andersen. She had been spending more time analysing the makeup of Earth’s fleet than the simulation. Tapping a stylus pensively against her bottom lip with arms crossed, she stared at the system’s holographic map. After a few moments, she got in touch with the Rothian Admiral.

“Andersen here. The team is requesting they stay put while we move back. I don't like it. I recommend we go one further - put them down somewhere safe on the surface. They can hide while we make this next part of the battle look realistic.”
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Admiral Matir’Setla did not require too much time to consider Captain Andersen’s proposition, just a quick look at a holographic map of the planet, as well as a sensor scan to ID the Human ships. He could not allow them to interfere with their mission, though Earth would be just as bound by political restrictions as they were. As long as they appeared to be abiding by the letter of the law as defined by their treaties, the Human ships could do nothing more but make their requests. Even in the event that they did violate the letter of the law, the results would almost certainly come through courts, fines, and months of arguments in political circles. Earth could not afford open conflict with the Rothians, much less the Rothians, and Outremer, and the Tindrel, and the Qalian-Vosh.

The Admiral’s response came quickly. “Agreed. Their vessel is capable of carrying out this task. I will pass along our recommendations for potential landing zones for them. We will comply with the request of the Human fleet, though we shall be sure to make it clear that we are doing so only out of courtesy, and not because we are in any violation of relevant treaties.”

Back in the Magnificent Horizon, the science team soon had their reply from the fleet: a recommendation to set down on the planet, along with a list of safe landing zones. The captain of their own ship was requesting their input in selecting a landing zone that would be the most convenient for their mission.
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Top potential landing sites appeared on the map table as small red circles. Dr Lang didn’t move from her position behind Marae - instead she reviewed the locations through implants while processing other data.

Masgard did move over to study the automatically generated dossiers for each zone.

“Hmm, so we have one high mountain cave, partially covered in roots and shoots... Its a few dozen klicks from that mined-out site you mentioned. We’ve got an underground lake close to one of the largest population centres of the largest clan…and we’ve got some…rotten old bough?”

“That looks like the closest unused section of the Morgrawal to its Heart. All of the root systems begin there. Might mean something.” Freyr murmured, lights flashing underneath the shades of her AR glasses.

“So where should we go?” Masgard asked.
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Vreta observed the options before them as well. What they chose would have to be a compromise between the needs of their mission, and their need for secrecy. “All of these are rather well hidden for the ship itself, though we need to be cautious in what we do on the surface. We must avoid discovery by the natives.”

Pausing a moment, Vreta highlighted the rotten bough. “To my opinion, this may be a good place to start. What we know about our target is that they are life-seeders. If this object is not so buried as the Navigator on Rothia, then there are two places I may expect it to be. The natives may have built their largest population center around it, or it is connected in some way to this Morgrawal that covers so much of the planet. It is best for us not to interact with the natives unless absolutely necessary, so investigating this heart would be our best first choice. In the meantime, while on the surface, our ship will be able to scan in even greater detail to isolate our target’s signal.”
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“Don’t you think it’d be best to take the lake first? We could get a feel for these people first.” Masgard asked, stroking his neatly clipped beard.

“I see pros and cons for both. This could be a sociological pattern as much as a purely natural design. This ship really is quite stealthy - we could be in plain sight and stand a good chance of being undetected.” Freyr muttered.

“If we really want to steer clear of the locals, then the mountain perch gives us the largest clear area of operations.” Dr Wetherall chimed in, looking up from his console.

“We’d have at least 10 klicks of unpopulated wilderness between us and them. Some brave souls could take one of those little landers and investigate the other sites at their leisure.”
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Vreta nodded in agreement. “Indeed. We have vehicles that can get us where we need to go once we are on the surface. Our landing zone does not decide which lead we investigate, so I say we land in the mountains to make sure the ship is safe. That said, I do believe we should monitor the locals safely from a distance, and take the time to investigate the other leads before we do anything that risks bringing us into contact with the natives.”

Finding his moment to chime in, Nirann also spoke up. I can keep scans going consistently, regardless of where I am. Though, no matter which one you investigate first, I would also recommend that everyone be in disguise as a native at all times, no matter whether you expect to run into any of them or not. We can’t track every lifeform on the planet, and all it would take would be one stray hermit or lost hiker to spot you, even far from their cities.”

Again, Vreta nodded. “Well, I think we should all get ourselves ready, then. Who is going to be on our ground team?”
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“I should be on the ground.” Masgard asserted immediately, resting a palm on Vreta’s shoulder.

“I know the treaties inside out; I can make sure we don’t accidentally kick the galactic hornet’s nest. For instance, by violating the clause which states that armed security can accompany civilian personnel at a ratio of no more than 3:1.”

“We are well equipped here to fit the ground party with cameras and sensors, so the full weight of our analytical capabilities will follow wherever they go.” Dr Wetherall placed a hand on Freyr’s shoulder then, just as she had her hands on Marae’s.

“That isn’t going to stop you going down there by any chance, is it?”

“I…don’t think so.” Freyr sighed, taking off her AR glasses and looking at her old friend and colleague. “This is all such a rush, again. As much as I don’t want to, I feel we have the best chance if we get the best brains down there to poke around a bit. It is optional for all of you of course, but I’m going.”

“I’m coming too” Gazes Fondly, the Qalian-Vosh operator, sloshed out of a watery lock in the aquarium and onto the floor in its mobility suit.

“And so is…Searches The Depths.” There was a slight pause as Gazes figured out how to succinctly translate and abbreviate the long and abstract coming-of-age name for his colleague.

The QV scientist who was now wearing a Human lab coat and a pair of AR glasses also exited the watery solution and joined with Gazes Fondly.

“Blast the cameras, if they are going then we are going too!” Chitnarit boomed, detaching one set of legs from the fake ceiling to dangle for a moment, before dropping down with a weighty *thud* on the floor.
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Vreta looked over the pair of Qalian-Vosh, humming to himself in thought. Even for the Rothians, perfect holographic disguises were trickier than they seemed on the surface. In this context, every little detail needed to be able to stand up to the kind of inspection that the minds of the natives would perform instinctually. Even small details being wrong could trigger an “uncanny valley” response in an observer. “I do not wish to exclude you, but holographic disguises do have limits we need to keep in mind. With your mobility suits included, not only are you larger than one of the natives, but more importantly, the way you move and interact with your environment is exceptionally different. There would be this large, seemingly empty space around your projected form that, nevertheless, still interacts with its environment. Even the best-programmed disguise will struggle to make it convincing.”

Again, Nirann soon chimed in before anyone else could reply. “Vreta is right on that one, but there could still be a solution. Remotely operating a robotic avatar on the surface could still let the two of you participate without any undue risk.”

“Unfortunately, making robotic facsimiles of the natives is something that would take time, and we don’t have them already prepared. We wouldn’t be able to fabricate them in time.” Vreta pointed out.

Nirann grinned. “Correct, but we don’t have to. We can just put a holographic disguise on a normal robotic avatar, and it would accomplish the same thing.”
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“You underestimate our ability to compact. Observe.” Searches Depths carefully took its AR glasses off and handed them to Gazes Fondly, followed by its lab coat. It then began tucking its appendages up around its main torso and retracting its neck. Its mobility suit began to shed outer layers of gel as the space was vacated - the offcuts sloshed over to join Gazes’ suit instead. After a minute or so, Searches Depths was about half the size; a glimmering slab of transparent flesh with just a hint of arms and legs.

“It is uncomfortable, but sustainable with practice. We don’t often contort for others, but this seems worth the effort.”

“What a disgusting parlor trick!” Chitnarit spat, clacking forwards a few paces.

“We will not sit back and play with robots while these smug bottom feeders galavant around on the surface, looking for mineral seams to exploit. We will use camouflage and go as our gods intended.”
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Nirann let out a quick laugh. “I would just like to say, I think that robotic avatars are quite useful. We’ve got all sorts of features we can pack into them.”

“Regardless, if they can make their mobility suits compatible with the holographic disguises, then there is no problem.” Vreta spoke up quickly. He was quite familiar with this particular technology, so he could explain offhand what they would need to keep in mind in order to use it effectively. “I suppose I should go ahead an explain to everyone how it works. The device projects a weak energy shield along the outside of the hologram in order to allow you to mimic physically interacting with the world with the holographic body, even if it has a very different body shape than yourself. However, there are some limitations to keep in mind. Like I mentioned before, if you have a very different way of moving through the world than what you are imitating, then the illusion will not be able to convincingly replicate that. It can imitate things smaller than you, but you can’t be too much larger than the subject. Also, the space between your body and the energy shield needs to be kept clear of anything that moves around freely that can disrupt the hologram. Avoid loose clothing, and if you have hair, make sure it is restrained. At a reduced size, we could have the device treat a Qalian-Vosh mobility suit as if it were your skin, just make sure it does not…fluctuate too much.”
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