Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by Kumbaris
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"Well, now that we’ve established contact. Might as well bring in the big guns."


Almira observed as the people from this planet introduced themselves in very accented Indonesian, like incredibly accented Indonesian. It’s almost like all those historical characters Almira learned in history class were suddenly brought to life in a bizzare simulacrum of reality.

The woman named Catherine Blackwood introduced herself in accented Indonesian, while the martial artist named Fei Bai Ho and Dumas was quickly introduced by Srikandi. Who quickly gave Almira a brief description of who they are and what they are doing, with Srikandi herself explaining that she herself is an adventurer dispatched into ‘The Great Table’, apparently a mountain that looks like a table within the depths of the ‘Dragonspine Mountains.’

Now Almira is getting a little bit of a bearing herself. Her ship crashed in The Great Mountain, part of the Dragonspine Mountain range in this world. Very, very interesting facts coming from the woman adventurer.

“Saya berterima kasih kepada anda Srikandi. Saya harus berbicara bersama persekutuan saya dahulu terhadap informasi yang saya telah dapatkan (I thank you Srikandi, I now must talk with my group regarding the information I’ve received).” Almira responded. Bowing her head towards the group and now turning her attention once more to her group.

“Alright. Q-T, bring the cavalry now.” Almira ordered. “Might as well get this party started while we go about our introductions. Also yes Q-T, you can answer questions regarding yourself.”

Almira also felt that the initial exchange was a bit one-sided. She herself hasn’t explained who she is, and Garret’s team was awfully quiet during this whole exchange. “Garret?” The captain asked. “Would you mind introducing yourself and your team to these people? Also, do open your helmets for this exchange. I have an inkling that the people here might think you are robots due to the armour you’re wearing. Don’t worry, if the translator can’t translate, just explain yourself in English and I’ll do the translation.”

While waiting for Garret to prepare his little spiel. Almira opened her cape, revealing the clothes she’s wearing underneath, the genetic modifications made on her all those centuries ago has made her much more resistant to cold than the average human. She then lifted her hat, revealing her bunny ears, and then bowed with her right hand on her stomach. “My name is Almira Gunnarsson Budiman.” She introduced herself in Pataliputran. “I was born a very long time ago, and I currently live on an island chain. Although if I were to explain where I live specifically, you would all be confused. Let’s just say that I came a long, long way from here. I am currently 347 years old, yes, that is no mistake, but I am always more than happy to make new friends in my long life. It is a pleasure to meet all of you.”

The mention of her age came as a shocker to both Galmira and by the looks of it. Srikandi. The Dragoness peering her eyes towards the Indonesian woman for a second, her eyes, generally as calm as a frozen lake, now shocked beyond all belief at that brief aside from her. “Almira. Did you not joke about that? You do not look like a day older than 20.”

“Hmm? Oh… oh yeah, no modern medicine, and no life extension tech.” Almira reminded herself in Indonesian, jokingly knocking her head. “Sorry. Forget I said anything about my age.”

Almira also turned to Anki. Responding her question with a shake from her head. "No. I am not an Alchemist or a Mage, I am a former soldier. This person next to me is my friend."

She hoped that her age didn’t become a major topic of conversation for the adventurers. People living over a 100 years are a pretty common thing in the Commonwealth’s worlds and habitats. It’s so normalized now she almost forgot that life expectancy didn’t exceed 100 years before the Last War.

--The 300 year old Woman--

@Shirly Swad@Medili@Martian

Srikandi was very sure this Almira woman was joking when she mentioned that she’s over 300 years old, but judging by the reaction of the Dragoness, and the fierce but not really convincing denial from Almira. She is not quite sure what to think anymore.

She would be lucky to live over the age of 50. And yet here is this woman, a mundane by the looks of it Human Woman, with a lifespan that can match Dragons.

Catherine mentioned that she believes that they are visitors from the stars, and Srikandi quickly scoffed such a mention as just the ramblings of the insane woman, but now? She’s not quite sure herself.

Oh, right. She hasn't introduced herself, reflections on this matter may come later, but her manners must come first.

“Hello. I am Srikandi Nagasari, an… Adventurer. I hail from the city of Putridewi, I am the head of this adventurer’s group. It’s nice to meet you.”

A short introduction, but it’ll get the job done. And as quickly as she introduced herself, she turned her head towards the group and then asked the question that’s burning in her mind. “Hey, did you hear that right?” Srikandi asked everyone “Did you hear that she’s over 300 years old? Do you think she’s lying? She mentions something about 'life extension' as well?"

The Ksatria naga turned towards Anki. "Does Oberia have any magics that can extend life Anki? It might be the one place in the world where that's possible for me. Do they also act like Oberians too while we're at it?"

A burning curiosity and fascination is inside Srikandi. She has to find out where these people came from, and why they're here out of all places to be.
Hidden 4 mos ago Post by Medili
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Medili Connoisseur of Fine Pineapples

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The 'discussion', as it seemed to be, had finally started between the party and these mysterious individuals. At the time, Fei had finally woken up, and considering his appetite for trying out dragon steak it seemed that Anki's healing magic had managed to do its job of healing a significant amount of the damage from his body. The pixie Dumas had once more returned to his human sized form and joined in on introducing himself through Srikandi. And Catherine... Well, Catherine seemed quite eager to take more samples, this time from the blood of these outsiders as the alchemist was eager to see if her theories regarding the outsiders' origin was right or not.

As for Anki, she tilted her head to one side, gaze still filled with curiosity as the outsiders' leader; a woman named Almira, denied that she was an alchemist or mage. "A former soldier." Anki's mind was hard at work trying to figure out whether or not the woman had told her a lie. And if so, which part of it was a lie. She claimed to be 347 years old. Yet she was a human former soldier. It was simply impossible. The typical human doesn't even generally live over the age of 70, let alone nearly 5 times that. The fact that Almira then backtracked on the topic of her age only made Anki even more curious- and suspicious, of her words.

Anki then turned to Srikandi, and started speaking in Oberian, a language she knew Srikandi was somewhat fluent in. "Frankly. I think she's lying, Ms. Srikandi. She seems to be hiding quite a few things... And to answer your questions..." Anki shook her head before continuing. "Yes, life extension through magic or alchemy is possible in Oberia. However... One, in regards to alchemy, it would be an extremely expensive process. The person wishing to extend their lifespan will need to drink a series of specially made elixirs that must be taken regularly once a week for a full year... The cost in gold will be humongous, and even then it will only increase the person's lifespan for about 20% of their natural lifespan... Nowhere near enough to reach 347 years old. Note, that this procedure cannot be repeated. One series of elixirs for a year and that's it. Taking any more than that will result in overdosing, which in turn will likely result in either complete and permanent paralysis of the body or death."

She paused briefly, letting her words sink in to Srikandi before continuing. "Two, in regards to magic... Only the most powerful of human mage will be able to use their magic to extend their lifespan, and even then only if they are a master of the Earth or Water element. The former achieved so by borrowing energy from the flow of the mythological Tree of Life, while the latter achieved so by conjuring water from the equally legendary Fountain of Youth... In history, only those bearing the title of Lord of Gaea or Lord of Okeanos were capable of such feat... And even then, the longest living human of them all was the 2nd Lord of Gaea, which lived to the age of 288 years old... Still short of the 347 years old this Almira claimed herself to be."

"And lastly. No, they do not at all act like Oberians. Not their mannerism, nor their way of dressing, nor their way of speech. Simply put... This Almira is either not fully human; perhaps a half-elf or such similarly longer lived species... Or she had, as I previously said, lied to us." Her head rapidly snapped back to look at Almira as she uttered the last words of her speech. Once more, the automaton princess of Oberia looked at the strangers with curious eyes... Which were then also tinged with suspicion and wariness.
Hidden 4 mos ago Post by ShiningSector
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ShiningSector Forever Editor

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Garret Zarubin

Hearing the Captain's apologies quickly alleviated the tension that previously bore down on Garrett. With the miscommunication affair resolved between both his superiors, he quickly rejoined his team and climbed atop Galmira's back. Within no time and a powerful wingbeat, they were airborne. The sudden shift in orientation was very much unkind to anyone as it quickly became painfully obvious there was no real way to secure themselves as Galmira contained to gain altitude. Garrett naturally leaned over and assumed a posture that had his limbs wrapping around in desperation, trying hard not to get blown off while the dragon cut through the sky with surprising speed. Thankfully, his suit, specifically his gauntlets, featured an array of micro-suction incisions at the fingertips which ensured he and his squad were able to maintain some semblance of a secure grip.

Though even with the finest of Commonwealth technology at Garrett's disposal, the sensation of weightlessness as Galmira began diving into the clouds, leaving the mountain range behind them.


It didn't take long until the ground came into perfect view, where they could see specs resembling tiny bipedal beings, and another larger mass which was undeniably the dragon they were hearing about attacking a group of adventures.

Only the supposed dragon didn't seem so threatening with its entire form having collapsed into the snow-layered ground. it didn't appear to be very much alive either.

Garrett brought his head forward while his helmet's internal sensors tracked his facial gestures, prompting a smaller screen within his HUD to zoom in on the scene. While the quality of the feed wasn't that great, the pixelation of the image was still very much accurate enough for him to discern that the dragon they had come all this way out to stop, was indeed dead, having fallen to what he could make out was the burns of a large explosion, though he could also see evident scars caused by deep cuts and other wounds he couldn't properly identify. Bringing his focus to what he assumed were the adventures who certainly appeared to not be in any need of rescue, he noted how, 'primitive', their attire was in comparison to the common citizenry of the Commonwealth. Though it was very much undeniable that the folks down there loosely represented what the people of Earth in the fourteenth to the fifteenth century looked like, although the flair and styles they wore and adorned were unusual and out of place - as if they were straight out of a fantasy game or holo-novel he interacted with as a child.

Garrett would have shaken his head due to the ridiculousness of the situation if it weren't for the painful fact that he was riding a dragon.

//So much for the rescue op,// Tess chimed in over the comms, //the adventurers down there beat us to the punch.//

//But how'd they do it?// asked Shirley, //they don't appear to be very armed. It would take all of us with munition launchers to take down something like that.//

//They must have used magic!// Meisha claimed.

//Yup,// said Thorin.

//Really? We're really going with that?//

//We're riding a freaking dragon that can turn into a human form, Shirley,// Garret finally said, //as bullshit as it sounds, it's the best logic around here that explains how they messed up that thing down there.//

Though in truth, Garrett didn't want to admit 'magic' had a hand either with the results he could survey from the sky.

Soon enough, Galmira had landed with an almost abrupt halt as her claws and feet jabbed into the snow. Garret patiently watched as Galmitra lowed her head and watched as Captain Almira slid down the dragon's body.

//Dismount!// Garrett ordered his team, as he jumped off, followed by each member of the squad, //rifles out but keep 'em down until I or the Captain say otherwise. Clear?//

//Copy.// his squad said in unison.

As his team finally dismounted and started trudging through the snow, Garrett silently motioned the members of the squad to stay at the Captain's flanks, forming an arrowhead formation of sorts. Just as Amira stopped to face and speak to the adventurers before them, the team immediately stopped as well.

//Let the Captain do the talking,// Garrett ordered while he stood still as a statue.

//That girl over there...// Meisha began, while having a HUD marker highlight a brown-skinned woman ahead of the native party for the rest of her group to spot, //she looks so sad. Did something bad happen? One of those people over there lying in the snow; could they be...?//

//Dead?// Shirley responded, //no, check the scan readouts. That guy is out cold.//

//You think that's odd, take a look at the weirdo over there beside the dead dragon,// Tess states, also pinpointing her own HUD marker towards a woman whose arms were soaked in blood, //whaddya think she's doing?//

//...eating it?// Thorin innocently answered.

//Doubt it,// replied Garrett, noting the jars around the woman containing what appeared to be organs and reddish fluids, though his focus seemed to land on a curiously tiny figure with small wings fluttering about, //...is that a fairy?//


While the introductions seemed to be playing out fine, it wasn't until Garrett caught sight of Galmira who by now reverted to her human form, and wore the most vexing of sour expressions he'd ever observed while she stopped in a beeline towards the women Tess pointed out earlier. The rest of his team, including the Captain, took notice of the developing scene which reeked of a bad escalation brewing. Garrett felt his hands tighten their grip on his rifle as he helplessly watch as Galmira ignored the Captain's pleas. It was then that Captain Almira gave the unsettling order to prep the megafauna pacification devices.

//Shit,// growled Tess as she and her teammates frantically brought the large devices to bear.

Garrett trained his sights on Galmira and unknowingly held his breath. The situation certainly turned dire as Galmira questioned the fancy-dressed woman and carved into the dragon's corpse. That is, however, what he thought was going on since they spoke to one another in a language he and especially the Captain didn't understand. Though Q-T, after what seemed like a long and daunting minute of perpetual aiming and antsy trigger-tapping, essentially confirmed his suspicions upon translating the apparent one-sided debate. His heart sank even deeper when Q-T clarified that the woman on figuratively thin ice wasn't making too great of a case for herself.

//Double shit,// Thorin blurted out.

After another few agonizing minutes, Galmira seemingly withdrew her fury and walked away having declared the apparent issue resolved and allowing the woman access to the dragon corpse. Though the Captain hadn't given the order herself, Garrett motioned his team to lower the pacification devices. With sighs echoing through the comm, even he exhaled his own relief that the situation was taken care of and reassumed his attentive posture. The squad soon followed and continued to observe the now-resumed discussions. Of course, whatever the discussion was exactly about, neither Garret nor his team truly understood since they didn't speak Indonesian for much of it, they kept silent and simply observed, awaiting Captain Almira's orders. And those orders soon arrived though they weren't the orders they were quite expecting, or even prepared for.

//Wait, I didn't sign up to present to the class,// complained Tess.

//Yet you came here to fight a dragon, this is nothing in comparison,// Shirley countered.

//Think about it though, you're getting to know new people!// said Meisha.

//But I'm shy around new people without my helmet...// Thorin meekly admitted.

//For the love of...// Garrett openly groaned as he frankly heard enough of the reluctance of his team to follow through with the Captain's request, //just take your helmets off and stow it. I'll do the talking.//

His squad compiled and began unsealing the connection between their helmets and their armored suits. With a quick twist, Garrett's own helmet came off with a light crack and a brief hiss of the inner atmosphere quickly venting. After bringing the helm under his right arm and holding it to his side, he took a few seconds to scan the scene and the adventurers with his own naked eyes, only to however witness the same adventurers snap their attention towards his direction. Suddenly, the Captain's orders seemed strangely unreasonable.

"Hello," Garrett started, trying to make his introduction as simple as he can make it, "My name is Garrett."

He then slightly turned to his squad and pointed at each member, "This is my team; this is Shirley, Thorin, Tess, and Meisha..."

Meisha quickly smiled and gave a friendly wave to the adventures. Garrett then turned back and then pointed to Almira.

"We are her..." Garrett paused for a brief second to figure out which word may be the most accurate yet simple to use to convey his and his squad's association that will be easy to translate, "...escort."
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Hidden 4 mos ago Post by DracoLunaris
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DracoLunaris Multiverse tourist

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Q-T Brackman

”Cool. I mean. Thanks captain” QT replied to being able to speak for herself. Not that she had expected to be denied, but it was best to check these things. Keep the command structure in order and all that.

While the captain talked the bot messaged away in the background and, between her, Neilsy and the now unneeded cavalry’s leader Riley, they set a less breakneck pace for their arrival while also orchestrating a way to get a reliable translator box signal as they traveled. This they achieved by first hooking up the box to every signal device they had in the convoy, and then spreading its component vehicles out a fair bit, to try and ensure that there’d always be someone with a direct unobstructed line to her.

This meant that she was able to feed some of the other languages being used into it for it to process away. While it was at that, she got around to answering the questions she had been asked about herself, as well as several others of the alchemist while she was at it.

”So, let me explain about myself. I am a Brackman type artificial intelligence, or Brackman AI for short. I was made the Brackman Foundation, an organization made up of other Brackman AI. They are basically my family, or my clan” she explained, simplifying the relationship a bit but ultimately speaking the truth.

”and yes, those are indeed artificially muscle fibers. These ones aren't actually that advanced even, compared to some of the stuff we can make, but they’re the most resilient kind, which is something I prioritized when commissioning my body. Space is the last palace you want to suffer a breakdown after all” she said, echoing an idiom of an astro-engineer she’d worked with at the start of her career.

”Oh um, as for what was meant by ‘wares’, I should clarify that we’re not here to sell anything. We’re explorers, and you, this, everything is, well it's historic I’ll say that much. And uh, yeah there does seem to be some usual similarities between your people and ours but, ah, maybe you could wait till we’re in a more sanitary environment? Also for some of our biologists to be about so they can, ah, also take part in the study. I’m sure they are gonna flip no matter what the result is” she said, taking it upon herself to try and ward off the idea that there would be any buying of off world tech or any impromptu blood donations, while also not lying about the biologists. There was no way they weren't going to request the same thing at some point, though possibly with a lot more tact.

She had to admit, she was also fairly curious. Was it convergent evolution that had made humans on two worlds, or was there going to be yet more madness with them turning out to be genetically identical, she wondered.

While she was speaking she passively fed every other conversation going on to the signal net hooked up to the translator, and while she didn't get enough from the muscled fellow or the fairy (who was added to the pile of impossibilities even as she gave him a smile, wave and a ”nice to meet you”, because nothing that small should be able to have the brainpower for personhood), one of the adventurers who QT came to realize was not a fan of steampunk as she had unthinkingly assumed but was instead an artificial being chasing the human form (something the AI community considered a bit tasteless, though mostly in the sense that it was a presently outdated fashion sense), unintentionally provided plenty of data for the translation machine. Which led to some unintentional listening in on what had meant to be private on QT’s part.

”They, ah, seem to be a bit hung up on your age captain. Or at least An- the lady with black hair and gears is anyway” she explained, implicitly informing her that the translator was wiring away in the process, before offering to hook up the data link she had with it to whatever device the captain desired. Same went for the soldiers. Best get everyone hooked up with all they got translated as soon as possible, in her opinion, and if she had to do some onsite IT support to get it running, the bot was more than happy to do so.
Hidden 4 mos ago Post by 13org
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13org Stay fresh!

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Interaction: Anki @Medili, Srikandi @Kumbaris, Zavim @Sanity43217, Fei Bai Ho @Shirly Swad,
Almira and Galmira @Kumbaris, Sumiye @King Cosmos, Garret @ShiningSector, Q-T @DracoLunaris

Catherine kept taking notes, lost in her own thoughts and theories as the others continued to talk, still focused on Q-T, much for her dismay.

"A fully artificial life-form... Much like the Oberian 'Living Dolls' then... Fascinating!" Catherine said as she, for the first time, looked directly towards Q-T's face for a second, before she resumed taking notes.

"The evident disparity between our technologies hint that a completely different creation method was used when compared to Oberia's 'living dolls' but the results achieved were quite similar..." she mumbled to herself.

"Q-T... is it? Those automatons all have an 'artificial intelligence' such as yours?" Catherine asked as she looked to the armored figures, carrying weapons behind them, curious about the difference between Q-T and the other 'automatons' design.

When they revealed themselves to be humans, wearing complex suits of armor, Catherine raised an eyebrow, surprised.

"Those were simply suits of armor? Curious... It seems to be a compound material... Light but incredibly resistant..." She said, approaching Garret and closely examining the chest and the other exposed parts of his suit of armor.

"Almira's escort... Hm... I assume Almira has quite a high ranking then? Interesting. That might make the negotiations and exchange of information much easier." she said after Garret introduced himself and the rest of the team.

It was at that moment that Catherine just happened to overhear Almira's words about her age. The number alone was more than enough to spark Catherine's interest but the very moment she turned towards Almira, seeing her rabbit ears, only made her even more interested.
At first, Catherine had considered the hypothesis that the place that Almira had came from was inhabited by different species with different lifespans, but when she mentioned 'medicine' and 'life extension' Catherine immediately knew that there was something more than just a long lived race's lifespan..

Catherine's mind was working at full capacity after she heard those words. Theories and hypothesis going through her head as she continued thinking about what Almira had said. Truth be told, normally Catherine would have immediately dismissed anyone who said such absurdity to her as a liar or a madman, but considering the situation they were in, that wasn't completely impossible.

"What Anki said is correct. Both regarding the alchemical procedure and the fact that there is currently no means of extending someone's life this much..." Catherine said, turning towards Almira.

"Assuming this isn't all just due to a difference between the number of hours in a day and days in a year between our planets, of course... It would be boring, but it's still a possibility..." Catherine said, raising an eyebrow as she looked towards Almira.

"But... If we assume this isn't the case... Then things get much more exciting!" Catherine said with a fire in her eyes as she opened her notebook once again as she started to furiously make calculations and annotations, writing far too quickly for anyone but her to understand.

"It is quite evident that Almira isn't fully human... There is still the possibility that, just like Anki said, she is a member of a long lived race, native of her home planet... Which is unlikely, since she mentioned 'medicine' and 'life extension'..." Catherine said, clearly referring to Almira's rabbit ears as she continued writing, occasionally taking glances towards her, making it impossible to know if she was indirectly asking Almira questions and waiting for her replies or simply 'studying' her anatomy.

When Q-T mentioned that their biologists were about to come, Catherine turned towards her with her eyes shining with excitement.

"Do you mean you have already established a complete and fully working lab? Perfect! I am sure your scientists will be as thrilled to meet me as I am to meet them! Besides, it will be way easier to work with fresh samples." Catherine said, closing her notebook and putting it inside her bag.
Hidden 4 mos ago Post by Martian
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Martian Possibly a mecha

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The Pixie’s wings twitched as Srikandi introduced the group in Pataliputran. But as he waited for a response, the complex construct suddenly began speaking in Dumas’ native language. The construct introduced itself as Q-T Brackman, a person. Dumas noticed that she made that distinction clear. While he was from Oberia and thus did recognize the person hood of constructs, Dumas also knew that there were places in this world where they were not acknowledged as such.

The leader of these newcomers, Almira, then properly introduced herself in Pataliputran. Dumas understood enough for her to say she was from islands somewhere else, but was stood out was she said her age was 347 years old. Dumas had a hard time believing that. She did appear human, and humans almost never reached even eighty. While Dumas himself was 115 years old, he would begrudgingly admit that was middle age for a Pixie. In his whole life Dumas had never heard of a Pixie reaching 300 years of age. Yet this lady claimed to be several decades past it, all the while looking like a younger adult.

The Dragoness apparently agreed, stating that Almira looked around twenty. Almira then quickly back pedaled, mentioning medicine or something that Dumas didn’t quite catch. But he did understand when she said that used to be a soldier, which made sense as there was also other soldiers with her, as they were now removing some kind of helmet.

Srikandi then introduced herself before turning to the other adventurers, questioning Almira’s stated age and asking Princess Anki if Oberia had such magics to extend the lifespan that far and if these people appeared Oberian. To that second question Dumas himself could definitely say no as he had spent most of his life in Oberia. The Princess of Oberia then replied in her native tongue. She proceeded to thoroughly explain why alchemy and magic wouldn’t be able to extend a human’s life that far.

Dumas then decided to jump in, speaking in Oberian, “Even us Pixies don’t live that long. I’m 115 years old myself, but I’m only looking at maybe another 150 years max. I believe that the Princess may have been right about Almira having elf blood. As far as I’ve been told, no one knows how long elves can live. So maybe even a bit of that blood could let her live that long.”

Then the apparent leader of the previously helmeted soldiers introduced himself as Garrett, and that they were Almira’s escort. At the notion of her needing an escort, Dumas unintentionally looked over at Almira, wondering exactly what her status or title was. Could she possibly be a royal like Anki? Or because she mentioned being a soldier herself, was she a general of some kind? Dumas wondered if she was so important, why she would come here herself. But then again Oberia had sent its Princess out as an adventurer.

But Dumas’ musings were cut short by the construct named Q-T speaking once again in his native tongue. She began to explain that she was a Brackman type Artificial Intelligence, which it took Dumas a few moments to realize that she was a construct with a mind. She also mentioned there being parallels between their peoples. Dumas wondered if that meant that they only looked human, but were really something else. If they were some mysterious unknown race, it would explain a lot. Also Q-T said nice to meet you to Dumas, as she seemed to be scrutinizing him with her artificial eyes.

Dumas found himself purposely looking away from Q-T as he felt like he was being analyzed. As he did so Catherine began to ramble about artificial intelligence, the soldiers’ armor, and different planets. As the alchemist spoke, Dumas began to feel woefully under prepared for this adventure. While he had traveled a good deal of the world, Dumas did not have an academic education and as such had a hard time following Catherine’s train of thought.

Instead, Dumas turned back to Q-T and began speaking in his native tongue, pretty sure that she could understand him, “I’m a Pixie if you are wondering. Most people I meet have never seen one before, as we tend to hide in forests. So you’re a construct? We have those back home in Oberia, but none quite like you. Are you really from another world?”

@Kumbaris @13org @DracoLunaris @Medili @Shirly Swad
Hidden 4 mos ago Post by King Cosmos
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King Cosmos

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Sumiye King – Acting Chief Engineer

The Chang’e project was a pipe dream.

That was Sumiye’s professional assessment after looking at the project notes the captain had directed her towards. Like Almira had said, it was a scientific endeavour aimed at fixing the recurring problem that gravity presented every time humanity wanted to launch something into space; namely that several thousand tons of metal, plastic and glass was a tad difficult and prohibitively expensive to get off the ground, meaning that space ships, stations and other large constructs needed to be flown into space piecemeal before being assembled in orbit. Getting something the size and mass of the Thucydides into space the way people did it a few centuries ago, by pointing it straight up and firing the engines at full blast, would probably bankrupt whatever country had built it with the fuel costs and achieve little more than burning a very large crater in the ground. So far their solution to that was simply to turn one trip to space into one hundred, splitting the work into manageable chunks so that shuttles or space elevators could handle the load. The Chang’e project, started about 60 or 70 years ago, aimed to find an alternative method of defying gravity by, well, defying gravity; that Sumiye had never heard of the project before and that it had little to nothing to show for its efforts despite the decades it had been running was down to one simple fact.

Anti-gravity was essentially pop science.

Humanity’s understanding of the universe had progressed in leaps and bounds over the last few millennia. They had turned that understanding into achievements, accomplishing things that had once been thought impossible; they’d even managed to achieve faster-than-light travel, breaking through the bounds of relativity and overcoming the limit that many thought would prevent them from truly conquering the stars. Their very presence on this planet, the predicament they now found themselves in, was only possible because of these strides that humanity had taken, the seemingly insurmountable challenges they had overcome.

Even so, they couldn’t manipulate gravity.

It was one of the four fundamental forces of the universe after all, one of the fundamental interactions that determined how their universe worked on a basic level. It was the weakest of those four, sure, but not so weak as to simply bend to their will. The Chang’e project was an attempt to do just that, but how they intended to do it was unclear; the documents seemed more concerned with the potential applications of the technology than how it would actually be made reality. There were two main theoretical methods being proposed; to create a device that negated the pull of gravity, unshackle the ship from its hold so that it could fly as freely in a gravity well as it could in the vacuum of space, or to somehow reverse gravity, to turn the pull into a push in order to have a planetary body repel the ship the way two opposing magnets would. Both of these were… interesting ideas, albeit ones that were more in the realm of fiction than reality. The report did contain so ideas on how they could be accomplished, numbers and formulas and diagrams that she skimmed through, but the whole thing seemed more like a project proposal than a fully realised idea; a submission for further funding, to keep alive a project that was as dead in the water as the Thucydides currently was.

Sumiye would not say it could not be achieved. There were a lot of things that ‘could not be achieved’ that were now achievable, but it could be achieved in the short term. It could not be achieved by her or her team; not with the limited resources available to them, not with their lack of understanding of how gravity worked as a force. For all that it was the weakest universal force, it was also in a lot of ways the most mysterious and least understood. It would take a revolution of science, the overturning of everything they understood, to make the Chang’e project a reality.

But hey, if shape shifting dragons existed, then maybe this was possible too?
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"Oh boy, here come the big rover. Here it comes!."

@ShiningSector@DracoLunaris@King Cosmos

Almira quietly looked at the group led by Srikandi. They are certainly a unique bunch, each of them wearing distinctive clothing, speaking a different language, and yet, all looking human (with some exceptions) at the end. She couldn't make sense of this Pixie fellow that looks just as tall as her, and yet carries with him knife ears and wings made out of gossamer by the looks of it. It's certainly a unique biological modification if she saw someone wearing those kind of stuff if she's in a space station waiting for her spaceship ride to another planet.

The fact that by all measures, the pixie seemed to have grown these kinds of things naturally is... eye-opening to say the least.

"Well. I look forward to exchanging many things with all of you, but perhaps we should go to somewhere a bit... warmer perhaps? I don't know about you, but a night out in the mountains like this seems a bit bad to be exchanging information, yes?" She spoke in Pataliputran.

And just on time. A massive vehicle, with blaring white lights appeared from Almira's group from behind. It's massive wheels making an indent on the snow, and more human crewmembers walked out. All of them saluting to Almira with the Captain herself saluting back. "Garrett. Q-T. You can go back to the spaceship now if you want to, grab a hoverbike, a rover, whatever. I'm going to try and convince these people to get into the vehicle. Wish me luck I guess."

"The rest of you crewmembers, secure the area and make sure to not touch the dragon's corpse. You can look but you can't touch okay? Or else you'll get Galmira blasting your butts a new one. Oh, and Galmira, you can also ride in the vehicle, but only if you give me a promise to not transform. I don't need a destroyed rover right now. Is that okay with you?"

Galmira only politely nodded, and proceeded to get into the lead rover of the group. "You can take the Dragon's corpse with you if you want. A burial in the Great Table is appropriate given the fact that he died on the Dragonspine. Since he died in honorable combat. You can examine it's body to gain insight on him I guess. Just make sure to bury him, don't cremate, bury."

Almira nodded in return. "Alright, Q-T, you can go back to the comfort of the rover, or do you wanna help the team load the Dragon into the top of the rover? Get back to me once I'm done talking with the locals here. Oh, and speaking of dragons. Can I get a team to unload the cranes from the rover and load that Dragon corpse onto the roof of the rover? The Dragon-Lady said that we can dissect it if we want to."

The Captain, just as swiftly as she issued orders to everyone, promptly turned towards the adventurers team and gave them an offer. "I can give you a quick trip into the Dragonspine, with no charge or harm to any of you, as long as you agree to not harm the crew of my team and be open minded when it comes to transportation. I am sure that a thing such as this." She pointed at the rover. "If quite unusual for you, but rest assured that this is just a... horse, of sorts, but significantly larger." She spoke in Pataliputran.

She hoped that it convinces the team to go take up on her offer.

"Oh, and for you, Alchemist." Almira pointed towards Catherine. "I'm sorry, but I am not donating any blood, nor will you touch any of our equipment for your... research unless I permit it." This time she spoke in English, which the Universal translator conveniently translated into Common. "I hope that you'll understand our concerns, especially considering that you have... dragon organs with you."

--Mysterious Machines, and an equally mysterious offer--

@Shirly Swad@Medili@Martian@13org

Srikandi felt out of her depth when that metallic moving... thing showed up from nowhere. And Almira quickly giving orders to even more strangely dressed humans. It is looking more and more likely that this meteor is not so much a meteor, but a vessel, a vessel to traverse the stars? Or perhaps a vessel that travels to sky from a land not yet known to the world yet? Her mind could hardly comprehend just how in the world do these things move without any visible sign of animal power, or magic power for that matter. She heard no neighs, no runes, no weird colours emanating from inside these things, nothing.

And in that sense, this vehicle is powered by something magical, at least from her eyes. What kind of magic though, she can hardly comprehend.

She also saw a bunch of flying... horses too? Pegasi? No, metal pegasi powered by... yet another form of magic she hasn't yet figured out. She hopes it's magic, because there is no natural force she knows of that can be utilized to power these vehicles. And as if thrown even more outside of her depth. Almira's offer.

An intriguing offer, but not one without it's risks. On one hand, Almira has not shown any outward hostility to the group, being more than accommodating considering the climate, on the other, she is hoping that her group would hop inside these... vehicles and trust their safety on the hands of these strangers.

To be fair, the offer from Almira is tempting, the temperature has been dropping steadily. So she did the one thing she's trained to do as an adventurer when faced with such a dilemma.

She conferred her team.

"Alright, quick question. Who wants to join Almira to the Table? Because I am not interested in walking to the Table in freezing temperatures while Almira offers us assistance, however... bizarre it may seem to us, to get into the table quicker. She has also not shown any hostility towards us, so I don't see any potentiality for betrayal should we take her up on her offer. What do you say?"
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Interaction: Anki @Medili, Srikandi @Kumbaris, Zavim @Sanity43217, Fei Bai Ho @Shirly Swad,
Almira and Galmira @Kumbaris, Sumiye @King Cosmos, Garret @ShiningSector, Q-T @DracoLunaris

Catherine raised an eyebrow with a skeptical expression as she heard Almira's words. While the offer for transport was indeed welcome, the way Almira was dealing with that whole situation didn't seem very... diplomatic. Not only she seemed to be refusing to cooperate in Catherine's research but she was even prohibiting her to touch their equipment and even seemed to be taking the dragon corpse, that they have killed for themselves.

"Suit yourself... I hope you aren't expecting me to contribute in any kind or way in your own research as well, after all, you not only said that you and your crew wouldn't cooperate and help me with my research, but you have refused to let me make use of your equipment..." Catherine said, looking to Almira with an annoyed, almost hostile expression.

"There will be no information exchange or scientific collaboration if only one side is going to benefit from it." Catherine said with a firm tone.

"Besides, I do believe that the dragon's corpse isn't yours to do as you wish, is it? After all, it wasn't you who had to fight with it. You did hear Galmira's words about the 'dragon code' as well as we did, didn't you, Almira? You didn't ask if we were okay with you using it, did you?" Catherine said, with a smirk.

"I heard a lot about the dragon's code and how honorable they are. I believe a dragon such as yourself wouldn't go back on their word, would you, Galmira?" Catherine said, this time looking at the dragoness who was near the other group.

"Definitely not a very... diplomatic approach from your side, is it?" Catherine said, looking at Almira with a piercing stare towards Almira, one that made clear that she didn't see them as allies or anything. While her words were brief, the unsaid implications that were implied by that particular phrase were very serious.

"We are all representing different kingdoms. Our words and our reports do carry a lot of weight and will definitely influence the political decisions that will be taken regarding your presence on Friestan, Almira. While I couldn't care less about what the kings, queens, emperors and nobles will decide, it's probably on your best interest to maintain friendly relations, isn't it?" Catherine continued.

"Despite you saying that you don't want any trouble, I can't safely trust someone who is simply taking what they want and refuse to exchange information." Catherine said with a smirk and a provocative expression.

"I hope you will understand my concerns... Given the current situation." Catherine finished, deliberately using almost the same phrase Almira herself used.

While Catherine herself couldn't care less about politics, diplomacy or what decisions the rulers of each country would take, she had to constantly deal with scientists, nobles and powerful people who might get in the way of her research. It wouldn't be the first time she had to throw the weight of her backer's influence around to get what she wanted. But again, it was definitely better than throwing her fists or her explosive mixtures...

"She might not be showing any hostile intentions, but she is definitely not seeing us as her equals, is she?" Catherine said, turning to Srikandi as she expressed her worries about Almira and her team in the common tongue instead of Pataliputran.
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Critical Diplomatic Failure

Dragonspine Mountains | Evening

"..... Once more, I will have to agree with Ms. Catherine." Anki said, also in Common. "I just told you that I am under the impression that this Almira is lying to us about herself, Srikandi. And even if she isn't, she's definitely not being forthcoming. Furthermore, it indeed seems like she is not seeing us as her equals, what's with one-sidedly deciding to take the dragon's remains for themselves despite us being the one that killed it, while on the other hand refusing to grant Ms. Catherine's request in return. So either lying or concealing information, and on top of that behaving like swindlers. No, I will not be able to trust them, not in good faith. Besides, it had become evident that they do not really trust us either. Thus, I unfortunately cannot share your belief that there is no potential for betrayal, Srikandi. On the other hand, I believe there are plenty. We are walking to the unknown with a group of unknowns whom intention is also unknown, after all." Her expression as she talked remained neutral, as if she was simply stating the facts.

"Thus, I am against going with this vehicle of theirs. And I strongly advise against doing so for the rest of you as well." Concluding her words, she proceeded to look at her companions, as if awaiting for their opinions on the matter. As for herself, she had made her reluctance to trust or deal with the strangers very clear. As curious as she was about them, she was not keen on going along with whatever they said.
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The Pixie couldn’t help but notice that Almira was staring at his wings, all eight of them. She was inspecting him like one would do with an artifact from a far off land. But she did seem to come from a far off land herself, so maybe Pixies were a totally foreign concept to her.

Almira then spoke in Pataliputran again, saying something about going somewhere warm. Dumas could agree with that, as the chill of the mountain was penetrating his clothes and chilling his frame. The only reason he wasn’t completely frozen was the warmth in his body caused by his personal mana reserves. Dumas consciously focused the mana into his hands, hoping to keep them of use if a fight was to happen.

As he did so, Almira said something in another language to her crew members, causing them to scurry about. Almira then talked to the Dragon Lady, apparently being allowed to take the corpse of the fallen Dragon back to their base. This surprised Dumas, as he had assumed that Dragons have some sort of funeral rites. He also glanced at Catherine, knowing that she had wanted to stake claim to the body so that she could harvest and study from it.

But he looked back to Almira began speaking in Pataliputran, offering a ride on her mechanical horse to their base, as long as they did not attack them, or something to that affect. While Dumas was always up for trying new things, he had to admit that there was some trepidation when he heard the roar of the mechanical horse as she called it.

After denying Catherine’s ask for blood, which she said in Common by some kind of magic, Almira awaited a response from the gathered adventurers. They all took a few steps backward and huddled up to discuss Almira’s offer. Srikandi immediately advocated for going with the stranger as to avoid traversing at night.

Dumas initially agreed with her, before Catherine went on a rant, explaining why this was a bad deal. Truth be told, Dumas did believe that they should gain the right over the Dragon corpse, as they had killed it themselves, well not Dumas, but if they were nice they might give him some.

But then the Princess of his homeland spoke, eloquently bringing up many reasons why they couldn’t trust these strangers and that they might be acting in bad faith. It was a lot to mull over for the Pixie as he was torn with going to see whatever was out there and the need to be cautious. After a minute of considering both sides in his mind, Dumas came to what he thought was a good compromise.

“Your majesty, if I may speak freely. I believe that someone should go with them,” explained Dumas, “Someone to assess these people and what their true intentions are. If they are truly from a far off land, we do not know if they were truly explorers, or if they came as conquerors. Clearly they have magic and machines the like that none of us have seen before. Someone does need to figure out what is going on.”

Dumas then took a deep breath before continuing, “And I volunteer myself. I am skilled in magic and blade, and if things go sour I could always escape. Even with their mechanical pegasi, I don’t think they would be able to track a one foot Pixie flying in a snowstorm. If this is acceptable, then I suggest we introduce me as a representative of the people of Friestan. Hopefully they would buy it.”

Dumas knew that volunteering for such a role put himself in a lot of potential danger. He would have to play nice with these strangers and do nothing to incite a war. That was unless the war was happening, and he needed to escape to warn the lands of Friestan. Either way it was a lot of responsibility for a Pixie who kind of just wandered around through life, never trying to amount to much.

@Kumbaris @13org @Medili @Shirly Swad
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"Ah crap, I think I should've went to politics a lil bit in the 2300s in hindsight."


Almira doesn't need a translator to know that Catherine is very unenthused to the notion of being denied the prospect of experimenting with the technology from the Commonwealth, this alchemist(?) woman has already shown that she's willing to torpedo first impressions with that lil speech of hers, and even more damningly, this Anki woman is also looking like she's siding with Catherine, not necessarily a good indicator of where things might go.

And so, with that in mind. She will make some concessions to Catherine.

Only for Galmira to interrupt her impending speech.

"Miss Catherine. If I must address your concern regarding the Dragon's corpse." Galmira interjected. "The Dragon's code also stated that one should bury their fellow dragons in a place befitting of their status as Dragons, and enlist the help of any persons with the ability to do so should they be unable to do the burying themselves. And that persons seems to be the people I flew in with, unless if you can lift that Dragon's corpse on your own, then I don't see any reason why you would object to that. Unless if you object to the code itself, on Dragon territory, after I've allowed you to loot that dead Dragon, as much as a bastard as he is, for parts for your experiments."

Almira turned to Galmira, her face very concerned at what she says, before coughing up a little to break the tension. "Uhhh, maybe I can allow Catherine to experiment on some of our technology if that means you'd cooperate. I'm more than willing to lend you some... plants and other flora that we have on our ship. I also have an engineer, essentially a person responsible for making mechanical things work, if that is what you're also interested in that as well Miss Catherine."

"And to address the concerns that I don't see you as equals, please pay no mind to that. My people has a history of seeing each other as unequal, with disastrous consequences for everyone involved, and I will assure you that you would be provided good accommodations, food, and everything a human being needs. Please, I would like to gain your trust."

She spoke in English at that part, and secretly hopes that the translator does it's job correctly. English is the defacto language of the Commonwealth for centuries at this point, and she hopes that there is no major mistranslation from the device.
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Catherine couldn't help but let out a chuckle, looking towards the rest of the group as she heard Anki's words, agreeing with her own. Much like Catherine's own words, there was an undeniable logic behind Anki's, which only further corroborated Catherine's opinions about what was going on.

"Anki's logic is flawless." Catherine said, looking to the rest of the group and watching their reactions.

"I have heard stories and tales about the Knights of Deep Wood. Even though it is hard to know which ones are mere rumors and which ones are true, I don't doubt your capabilities. But we are not sure of what they are capable of doing. Going with them is still an extremely imprudent decision." Catherine said, looking to Dumas, who had just volunteered to go with Almira and her crew.

Just as she had finished saying so, Galmira approached her, mentioning about how the dragon code required them to bury the corpse of the dragon and enlist the help of any creature that was able to do so, if they weren't. Catherine's expression was one of visible annoyance at the dragoness and she didn't try to hide it.

"This is why I hate dealing with nobles, royalty and dragons..." she grumbled as she approached Galmira.

"You seem to be quite partial to Galmira and her crew, don't you, dragon? This is very suspicious. Especially considering that even though you seemed to be so enraged with me removing some of the dead[ dragon's organs, you are more than fine with giving it's corpse to Galmira and her crew to cut up and study it... Basically doing almost the same thing I planned to do... I wonder how did you get so friendly with them in such a short amount of time... Knowing how dragons normally are, your actions are quite... unusual. Maybe motivated by something... or even forced...?" Catherine said, raising an eyebrow as she looked with a provocative glare towards Almira.

"Besides, the Dragon Code does not tell when or how such burial needs to be made, does it? I have some extremely potent corrosive solutions with me that could do quite a good job even to a dragon's corpse. Some mixtures that instantaneously combust in immeasurably high temperatures upon contact with the air could be used for a very thorough cremation as well." she said, shrugging as she turned her back towards Galmira.

"Your 'Dragon Code' is honestly, quite funny... If we were the ones that were slain by that dragon, would our burial be treated in the same way?" Catherine asked, looking over her shoulder with an acid chuckle before she turned towards Almira.

"Concessions need to be made, for both sides, for any diplomatic relations to be estabilished." Catherine replied as Almira said she could allow her to experiment with some of their equipment and especimens and gave her some concessions.

"Just remember: We are only willing to do as much for you as you, yourselves, are willing to do for us." Catherine finished as she looked to Anki, Dumas, Srikandi and the rest of her group, waiting for their replies.
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Critical Diplomatic Failure Part 2

Dragonspine Mountains | Evening
Dumas@Martian Catherine@13org Almira@Kumbaris

Anki listened quietly as Dumas volunteered to go by himself with the strangers. Truthfully, she saw some good points with his suggestion. He really was likely the one with the most chance to escape unharmed should these people ended up being as sinister as their strange behaviors implied. Regardless, however, considering nothing much was known about the capabilities of these strangers, it remained a doubtlessly risky endeavor. "Like Catherine, I also do not doubt of your capabilities, Sir Dumas. And indeed, there are merits to your suggestion." she nodded at him politely before continuing. "Still, I believe that it shall be a highly risky endeavor nonetheless. If you wishes to go, then it is within your rights to do so as I have no rights of my own to stop you. However, personally, I indeed do not feel that it is a good idea to go with these unknown strangers." she turned her gaze toward Almira and Galmira as she spoke the last of her sentence, expression showing slight hint of suspicion at them.

"In any case... If Catherine's suggestion of a cremation is for a reason or another not acceptable, lifting that corpse should not be of any issue for the golem that I am able to create. That part shall not be a problem. As for the second issue. That of fairness." Anki turned her gaze toward Catherine, nodding in agreement once more toward the alchemist before then shifting her gaze directly at Almira. "I cannot say it any better. As Catherine said... We are only willing to do as much for you as you, yourselves, are willing to do for us. And then, the third issue. That of trust." She paused for exactly three seconds before continuing to speak again. "I know not who you are, nor your people. I know not of your history. The truth of your claims about your people's history as well as your promise of fair treatment are wholly unknown to me. I'm sorry, but I cannot afford to pay no mind to the concerns of you not seeing us as equals. Especially when you have a dragon taking your side."
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The Pixie was surprised at the Princess and Alchemist’s objections of him going alone with the strangers. Of course it was risky, but Dumas had spent most of his life doing risky things. And speaking of risky decisions, Dumas saw Catherine approach Galmira the Dragon and complain. While Dumas himself had gotten confrontational with many different races in his travels, he could say that he had never got right up in the face of a Dragon.

But as that happened, Dumas focused on Princess Anki and her words. What most peoples didn’t know about Pixies was that they very much respected royalty. The Pixie colony of Oberia was no different. So Dumas took Anki’s words to heart as he decided not to go with the strangers, at least not alone.

Then the Princess spoke, stating that they could cremate the dead Dragon, seemingly meaning that Dumas would have to help with that process. Dumas didn’t mind though as it meant that he could brag about roasting a Dragon. He would just embellish some elements of the story when he told it.

But as Anki continued to speak, Dumas continued to agree with her. There was no trust between the people of Friestan and these newcomers, nor was there a reason for there to be. But Dumas was getting annoyed with the continued hitting of a wall, so he decided to speak up in Common, knowing that there tech could translate it.

“Perhaps we should call it a day. You return to your ship, and we make camp and deal with the Dragon’s remains,” said Dumas as a possible solution, “Then we take the night to address how we want to proceed before meeting back here tomorrow.

Dumas hoped that he didn’t speak out of turn as he had spoke his mind without asking the Princess. While his plan wasn’t ideal, Dumas did fear a cold night on the mountain less than the mystery of these strangers.

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Fortunately, Dumas’ option didn’t get picked. As Almira managed to interject and discussed with Srikandi, Anki and Catherine about further options, the discussion ranged on various topics, with Almira making an extended effort to ensure that the adventurer’s party doesn’t feel left out. It was an extensive bit of negotiation, but eventually the group agreed on a couple of things.

Almira, much to her casternation and concern, decided to give Catherine a simple tablet. Much of its function (especially its intranet and internet connection) has already been blocked previously. Almira doesn’t expect Catherine to play with the device much, since it is programmed in English and she hopes Catherine doesn’t learn a new language just by playing with a tablet, but nonetheless the connection block is there for a reason.

She has also agreed to let Anki help the crew bring about the Dragon’s corpse, with the help of the crew, into one of the rovers, and this seems sufficient enough to bring the rest of the adventurer’s party to agree with Almira’s proposition to let them enter the rover. It also seemed that for Fei Bai Ho and Zavim, that their adventuring days are over for now. Fei seemed intent on going his own way, wanting ‘ explore the mountain further’, while Zavim’s slavery enchantment suddenly broke. A visible sign for Srikandi that something must’ve happened on the other side of the mountain, as much as Srikandi doesn’t want to let him go (she couldn’t trust Zavim to write her letters, let alone leave him stranded here for him to walk by himself). The Orc mage insisted that he wanted to go back, as interesting as this peculiar meeting is, the Orc just wanted to go back to Cendana and see what happened with the enchantment.

And Srikandi is not in a good position to complain about it, considering the situation with Almira and the agreement in the first place. Srikandi decided, against her better judgement, to let Zavim go.

And so ends one chapter, and another one begins.

The road back to the ship proved to be a… rocky endeavor. As the adventurer’s party wasn’t really familiar with the interior of the vehicle they’re sitting on. A lot of nervous glances were traded with one of the members of the adventurer’s party with one another, with the group visibly still on edge as they reached the location of where this mysterious meteoric object crashed into.

And it was quite a sight.

A crashed metallic hunk of alien design stabbed into the Great Table like a fork on a steak. Not really intent on moving by the looks of it, and with a lot of miscellaneous activity that the adventurer’s party could scarcely discover its intention. Almira stepped out of the vehicle and opened the backdoor, showing them the Thucydides in all its glory. “Welcome to the Thucydides, or at least the smoking wreck of the ship, don’t worry, hopefully if all repairs should be done, the ship should be in operational condition once more!”

Almira decided to stay silent for a full minute to let the group look around the site. Before motioning everyone to follow her into the ramp leading into the ship. “Now, before you start freaking out. I am requesting that you all keep your weapons if that is comfortable with you, since I want you all to move into the Captain’s quarters and we can conduct formal introductions in a more… well, formal setting.”

Switching to English from Indonesian. Almira instructed Garrett and Q-T to ready her room. “Hey, Garrett, can you and your team act as security? And Q-T, umm, I want you to act as a recorder and transcriber for events, I think you have the memory banks to do that right?”

She also saw Chief Engineer Sumiye King on the ramp as well. Looking weirdly into the group the Captain has brought over. “Ah, Sumiye! Sumiye!” She motioned the engineer to come. “Fantastic! So, I have this person, named Catherine Blackwood here. She is apparently a native from this world, don’t ask why she’s a human, we still haven’t figured out the hows of that one. But she looks to be a scientist, and it looks like she is mightily interested in seeing this ship, can you give her a quick rundown of the ship? I need to conduct diplomatic overtures with the rest of the team right now. Don’t worry, I’ll have your voice link up with the Universal translator so you can talk in English. It seems to be working well enough that you shouldn’t have any mistranslations with her. Are you cool with that?”

She turned back quickly once more to the adventurer’s party. “This is just for Miss Catherine here. But a crew member of mine is interested in offering you a short tour of the spaceship. The rest of you, are you interested in following me into the Captain’s quarters? You can keep your weapons in case you seem to still have reservations on me. But I hope that, after the multiple gestures I’ve shown on our way here, that you can lend me your trust in this one.”
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Despite the unfortunate news that both Zavim and Fei Bai Ho had to retire from the party due to personal reasons, Catherine was still satisfied with how her small 'negotiation' turned out. While the trip back to Almira's ship could have been somewhat worrying for some of the members of the group, it was incredibly interesting for Catherine not only because she had never seen such an vehicle like the one Almira's crew used, but also thanks to the small, strange object Almira had given her, which she called a 'Tablet'.

Made of a mix of many materials, it seemed to be sensitive to touch with it's front made of some type of malleable, crystalline material and glass. While the 'Tablet' was indeed fascinating, it only managed to entertain Catherine for some time, as she quickly noticed that many of it's apparent functions were 'locked'. Besides, the fact that it wasn't configured to use the common Friestan Language seemed not to be something accidental, but deliberate, maybe to further hinder her understanding of that technology.

"Hoo~ So that's how it's going to be?" Catherine said to herself, with a smirk.

"Unfortunately, they might be underestimating my intellect..." she thought to herself with a chuckle.

While Catherine wasn't exactly a linguist, it would be simple enough for someone with her intellect to figure out how the language works, at least in enough to understand a few keywords, if she was able to gain access to any kind of dictionary... From then, it would be as simple as to keep hearing, reading and being around Almira's crew for her to master that strange language...

As they arrived on the place where the 'meteor' fell, Catherine was simply left without words as she saw the gargantuan ship. From the engines, the energy source to the materials used for it's hull, it was everything a secret to her. Every inch of that ship could hide a potential breakthrough.

"I carry no weapons other than this pair of gloves." Catherine said, with a clearly mocking smirk as she took the combat gloves from inside her coat.

"I would recommend against taking the vials away. Both from the glove and from my coat though. Some of them are incredibly unstable and most, incredibly dangerous. Mishandling them could prove to be fatal." Catherine said with a smirk, before Almira mentioned that one of her crew members wanted to offer her a tour through the ship.

"A tour? Perfect! I hope there will be no issues with our communication then? A tour wouldn't be of much use if there's no communication between us, would it?" Catherine asked, raising an eyebrow at Almira, with a mischievous smirk.
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Sumiye King – Acting Chief Engineer

A raised eyebrow was the only answer Sumiye gave to the captain when Almira ‘requested’ that she provide one of her guests with a tour of the ship. This was taken to be an acceptance, apparently, because immediately after asking Almira turned to the group of locals and volunteered her to show this scientist around.

She let out a sigh.

Leaving the engine deck had been a mistake. Sumiye should have known better, but she was curious what this adventuring party would be like and, more importantly, what kind of capabilities and knowledge they possessed. Since the Chang’e project was a dead end, if they couldn’t find a way to fix the FTL communications they would be dependent on the resources and technology of this world to make it off this planet, let alone make it home. So she had come to take a look and get a first impression before getting back to her duties as Acting Chief Engineer, which were rapidly piling up, only to be accosted to press-ganged into service as a tour guide.

Well, at least she was getting that first impression.

Sumiye approached the person she was to guide around the ship, the supposed-scientist Catherine Blackwood, who was already toying with one of their tablets and talking to Almira. Once she was close enough to make out their words she could tell that the universal translator was already in effect; partly because she could understand what they were saying, but also because of the fact that their lip movements didn’t match the sounds they were making. There was a small but noticeable delay between when they started talking and Sumiye heard them as well, as the translator took the language they were speaking, some form of Indonesian most likely, and parsed it into English. She always found it disconcerting to use, but she also wasn’t willing to learn the dozen or so languages spoken on the Thucydides so she would make do.

“I can understand you just fine.” So long as neither of them used any words that the translator couldn’t interpret she would be fine. Location names and units of measurement would probably be the main culprits if they started talking gibberish at each other and Sumiye was going to have to try and explain their technology in more general and less scientific terms. She was already starting to get a headache about this.

At the mention of vials she gave the scientist a once over, looking her up and down and focusing most of her attention on the aforementioned gloves and coat. “I’m not letting you on the ship unless you ditch those vials. The captain might be fine with letting you stay armed, but I’m not taking you into restricted areas while you’re carrying unknown substances.” The ship had enough holes in it as it was. “You can either dispose of them safely, or I can limit your tour to the safer, more boring, areas of the ship.”

Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Medili
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Medili Connoisseur of Fine Pineapples

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Alien Technology

Dragonspine Mountains, Great Table, Thucydides | Evening

Some of the adventurer party, like Srikandi, might indeed be nervous about entering the very bizarre looking gigantic vehicle. As for Anki, however... While she were initially apprehensive about the entire affairs due to how badly the diplomatic part of it had unfolded, the feeling was quickly replaced by curiosity. Her gaze (and her head, as she continued with her habit of rotating it freely up to a full 180 degrees instead of moving her body around) went all over the place as she examined all the very much foreign, nay, alien looking technologies inside the ship. ".... How curious" she mumbled, as she walked closer to a wall lined with cables and all other greeble-like parts filling it. She raised her scepter, softly thudding it against the wall, eliciting the clanking sound typically resulting from metal hitting metal. This was followed with her free hand touching the wall before she then softly whispered an arcane incantation, casting a small Geomancy spell typically used to identify earthly elements and materials.

The result of the scrying, unsurprisingly, showed familiar materials like steel and rubber, but also others that were not so familiar. "Unknown materials. Intriguing." she mumbled to herself. She had half a mind to take apart some pieces of the wall to bring with herself, but also realized that these strangers will likely not appreciate that one bit. With a nod, again directed at herself, she decided to just ask questions about it later to these people. They promised to treat her and her party members as equals, after all. If these strangers wanted information about this world that's foreign to them, then it should be only fair that they too be open to giving Anki and her comrades information about themselves.

Whether this will prove true or not yet remain to be seen. And how these people act, Anki decided, will show whether or not they were truly worthy of any shred of trust at all. For now, she nodded simply at Almira regarding following her to her "Captain's Quarters."

Of course, despite Almira's words, she kept her scepter with her instead of unsummoning it. Ur Terra leaned casually on her left shoulder, ready to be used at all times.
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Kumbaris
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@13org@King Cosmos@Martian@DracoLunaris@ShiningSector

The ensuing conversation between Almira, Anki and Srikandi went rather well. Almira learned many things concerning the political state of the various kingdoms in this planet they call ‘Friestan’, while Anki and Srikandi was flummoxed, learning that they are not alone in the universe, and a race similar to them has mastered travel in-between the stars, by the end of their conversation. Even Dumas felt like he was out of his league, barely understanding what in the world Almira was talking about, but understanding that they came from the stars. Somewhere across the stars.

The shock was not only limited to the Friestan party though, as Almira learned many things concerning magic and the unexpected interconnectedness of this world. Magic seems to seep into every sector of life if what Anki, Srikandi and Dumas said is true. There are magic powered ships, magical weapons, magical farming tools, and many, many other implements and goods she doesn’t even know about.

Almira is also further shocked by the level of gender equality present in this world. It took centuries, as Almira can attest personally, for the Commonwealth to achieve gender parity between men and women, while in Friestan it seems that men and women are viewed equally capable in quite a few matters, even including adventuring. As Anki and Srikandi can personally attest.

Just as the conversation was getting more and more interesting though, Catherine and Sumiye entered the room, and this whole topic went back to first base yet again. With Almira learning many things from Catherine about the Kingdom she’s currently living in, and the extent of magic within the Kingdom of Gremarre.

Eventually though. The conversation eventually died down, with both sides not finding anything to talk about anymore. Either from the need for secrecy or just sleepiness on both sides. Almira offered everyone within the fantasy group a place to sleep, and, while still cautious. Everyone agreed to her arrangement on the condition that they keep their weapons. A provision that Almira readily agreed, due to the fact that they possess no visibly hostile intention, and that conversation is enough for Almira to agree to such a thing.

She kept the doors on their sleeping bunks locked just in case something happens though.

Srikandi never felt such soft bedding in her life. The bed may look spartan, but the softness of the bed, the soft lighting (that exists for some reason despite no visible fire source), and the other amenities, such as the water that somehow came out of some metallic contraption (Anki spent hours figuring out how such a system works, and she eventually gave up since she detected no visible magic, especially Earth magic emanating from any part of their room), the ‘shower room’ that spurts out water from the ceiling, and the weird glass screen that shows random images nobody in the party understands.

It creates a distinctly calm, but alien atmosphere. Like something built for humans, but not necessarily humans from Srikandi’s time. It’s a feeling Srikandi never felt before.

The fact that they are also given separate clothes for ‘sleeping’ is also highly unusual for her. She has changed from her armour getup to her sleep clothes, a comfortable set of a sleeveless shirt and some short pants.

“Anki. I see that you have changed into your sleeping clothes.” The adventurer noted. Anki has come out from the bathroom wearing clothes similar to her. “Are you going to stay awake for the whole night and take those 3 hours you need to rest once we wake up or something?”

This is something Srikandi highly liked about adventuring with Anki. She doesn’t have to take turns doing watch since the automaton will watch throughout the whole night, no complaints from the woman at all, the only drawback is that she has to take 3 hours during the morning doing mostly nothing while Anki sleeps, a worthwhile tradeoff for a constant good night’s sleep.

“Of course, just like the last time we adventured. Have a good night everyone.”

Srikandi has already informed Catherine and Dumas about Anki’s watcher role, a role that they happily accepted. Srikandi then turned off the lights, something she has to learn about after a couple of agonizing minutes experimenting with the switches of this weird room, and slept for the night.

If Almira decided to murder them in their sleep. They have a nasty surprise waiting for her.

Almira gazed at the clock. The Friestan group has already been tucked in already, and their room quickly locked in case anything happens. Lounging in her personal room. She has already sent Garrett, Q-T and Sumiye back to their quarters. A lot of stuff has been finished by the end of today. Contacting the locals of this planet, establishing limited diplomatic connections, and even establishing a secure perimeter and making the ship somewhat functional.

Sumiye’s hard work repairing the reactor seems to have borne fruit, the reactor is operating at a lower capacity than usual, but it’s sufficient enough to operate all major weapons systems of the Thucydides.

Still, she has one more thing to do, one final thing.

That dragon woman staring at her from the screen, Almira’s pretty sure she has no idea what a camera, or a CCTV system is, but it’s scary how she’s looking at it, even if she has no idea what it is. The Captain has already been briefed by an envoy that the representatives from the Dragon Tribes has arrived, and Almira has no idea what to expect of them.

She has no idea if they’re gonna demand Almira lift this ship up and go somewhere, or some other unrealistic demand of some kind, but she has briefed the weapons system officer to ready weapons in case shit goes down.

She hopes shit doesn’t go down. Already in her formalwear, the Captain proceeded to walk outside, armed guards in tow, to meet Galmira and her pals. She hopes the meeting goes well.

Morning arrived, and the sun rose, and rose, and only after 4 hours into the sun’s rising did Almira woke up.

The meeting has been intense, but ultimately didn’t end with the Dragons blowing up the ship, or vice-versa. Some heated debate sessions between Almira and some dragons raged, mostly because the Dragons think this hunk of metal is a ‘travesty’ on the Great Table, but the more level-headed representatives of the Dragon tribes eventually won their way, with Galmira’s help as well.

But, Almira did have to give them something, some technological gadgetery for the Dragons to tinker about were given, nothing significant enough for them to pose a threat, but enough to satiate their curiosity for the moment. Soon enough, Almira bid her farewell, and bid farewell to Galmira as well.

Galmira promised that she will inform her of the happenings tomorrow, but she has no idea when or why she’s gonna do that.

Soon enough, both the Friestan group and her own party had been assembled, and they eventually walked back into the rover once more (the Friestanian party was a bit more comfortable entering the vehicle, but nonetheless remained highly cautious of their surroundings). Almira agreed that her party, consisting of Q-T Brackman along with Neilsy and Riley, Garrett Zarrubin and his team, as well as Sumiye King, will be accompanying the group into the city of Cendana. The site where Srikandi and her party departed to.

All of the Friestanians looked odd from Almira’s perspective, from a Dragon Knight looking cautiously at her surroundings, to the medieval robot woman rotating her head 180 degrees to observe her surroundings, to Catherine being… Catherine, as well as Dumas being a human sized fairy, keeping himself reserved, but nonetheless making some comments about his observations.

Just as the garage door opened though. A yellow clothed woman soon appeared. Seemingly already waiting outside the garage door, slowly revealing her form as if it was some 21st century movie scene. Almira quickly exited the Rover, knowing what she’s here for. “I trust that the Dragon tribe leaders are all right?”

“Well, Thetmas is still angry with the fact that you can’t move this ‘ship’ of yours out, but Malina, Hermia, and Kumera are tolerant of your presence for now. Malina and Hermia in particular are very interested in keeping you around, much to Thetmas’ disappointment in them.”

“Well, you told me the Chieftesses of those two tribes are very… eccentric aren’t they?”

“Yes, and congratulations on exploiting their eccentricities to your advantage. Malina and Hermia on your side combined will be a rather potent force in future meetings concerning your status on the Great Table. By the way, Almira, would you be alright if I ride along with you until you’ve exited the Dragonspine? The council has decreed that I will be your contact point for Dragon related affairs of any kind.”

Almira, now mightily intrigued, definitely nodded her head. “Only on the condition that you do not transform yourself while inside the vehicle.” Eliciting a hearty laugh from the woman.

“Oh, I wouldn’t think of it. I am starting to like you Almira, it would not be polite of me to just kill you off right now.”

Almira could only nervously laugh at that comment. But fortunately Galmira kept her word, she joined Almira in the front seat, in an effort to not freak out the adventurer’s party in the back, and the rover quickly set off outside her ship.

The sun shining on the snowy white Dragonspine peaks is quite a sight for Almira. She already has ordered drones to be sent out and map the local terrain, and a good location to exit the mountain chain was found quickly enough, the group is now following the path painted out by the drone.

And just like many, many a path painted by the drone before. The drive proved to be uneventful. The rover quickly trudged to ground from snow, and the group found themselves by the edge of the riverside. The backdoor opened, revealing the Friestanians inside. Most of them were still feeling uncomfortable with the rather fast movement of the rover, but felt thankful that they had arrived.

Almira quickly ordered the rover to go back to the ship, and await further orders from her. The woman has decided that her formalwear would be best suited for her occasion in this ‘Cendana’ city, her bunny ears notwithstanding, wearing her informal clothes will just attract unwanted attraction with the unusual way her clothes are assembled.

And the same philosophy was quickly applied with the rest of the team members. With Q-T being disguised as a box, and Sumiye, Neilsy, Riley, and Garrett’s team wearing clothes quickly patched up by the sewing section (yes, the ship has a sewing section) that resembled medieval people’s clothing. Or at least the Sewing department’s interpretation of it.

Almira hoped that the cover was enough.

“I have to say, whoever assembled your clothes has to be paid wonderfully. I certainly couldn’t notice a difference between my team and your team clothing wise, with the exception of your clothes of course.” Srikandi commented.

“Well, thank the sewing department for that, I personally requested that we have a sewing department just in case stuff happens and suits break. I still have no idea how they approved my request for that.”

“Oh? They have an admiralty where you originate from?”

“Of course. Don’t you?”

“Well, yes we do. I just didn’t expect that we have that in common.”

A ship then quickly appeared. Just after the rover was beyond her view, the ship seems to be powered by some sort of paddle mover, a most interesting mechanism that Almira admired as the boat quickly docked. “Ah, Srikandi! Already finished with the trip eh? Brought some friends with you too by the looks of it.” The ship’s captain greeted her.

“Yes, well. It appears that the trip was all for naught, this is another adventurer’s party we rescued during our trip there. Sadly the snow was too thick and the beasts too dangerous. So we still couldn’t find anything inside the mountain. Can you take us back to the city?”

“Well of course Srikandi. I don’t know of any other adventurer’s party that went there before you, but hey! Wild things do happen from my experience. So come on in everyone!”

“Srikandi. Why are you lying to the Shipwright?” Anki asked bluntly, her voice much more subdued. “Isn’t it impolite to the Captain to not inform him of who they really are?”

“Anki. Sometimes it is better to lie a little bit than divulge the truth. Besides, does the Captain really need to know who they really are? Is it even necessary? I want Almira and her group in front of the throne in Putridewi, and then in Vhamos-Tyrr, I don’t need instant celebrities right now. I’m sure your father would be highly interested in meeting them, no?”

Anki contemplated a little bit, her eyes flickering as if her thoughts could be seen through her eyes, with an eventual nod signalling the automaton’s approval of the matter. “You make a solid argument. My father would be highly interested in meeting these… humans himself. A great deal of exchange and mirth is expected for such a momentous occasion, and he would not be denied an opportunity to trade knowledge form such a peculiar people.”

Almira didn’t bother to speak much, she only grabbed the box and hauled them into the ship. Sumiye, Garrett, Neilsy, Riley, and the rest of the Dragonrider squad following suit.

The trip to Cendana went well enough. With the Captain telling Almira and her group various tall tales of his various exploits. The Indonesian learned that he was once a fisherman, a shipwright in the Pataliputran Navy, and travelled to many other countries in this world. A most interesting person indeed.

And once Cendana was on view. Almira and her team were mightily impressed. It is a majestic city, built out of stone and wood, with an incredibly busy port, and a lot of people milling about.

And much to Almira’s concern, everyone’s view was on her the moment they stepped out of the boat. Garrett, Q-T, and Sumiye herself were ignored. But everyone’s eyes were on the Indonesian wearing the white coat and hat.

“Ah drat. I should’ve asked the sewing department to make some clothes for me.” She said silently to herself. Slightly embarrassed, but nonetheless going with the flow as Srikandi, Anki and Dumas waded through the curious crowd. The Dragon Knight wanted her to go to city hall right away.

And once they were off the harbour, the group quickly waded through the cobblestone streets of the city, going through street after street, but eventually ending in some sketchy alleyway. Everyone knew that Srikandi screwed up, with the Knight blushing and scratching the back of her head, her own face cringing at her mistake. “I’m sorry everyone. This is admittedly my first time in Cendana, so I’m not really sure where I should go myself.”

“Well you shouldn’t worry about that missy. We’ll make sure you’ll get where you want to go, we only need a little service charge to come with it, this ain’t optional too.”

And just like that, the party seemed to be surrounded by a group of thugs. Almira numbered 20 of them, each of them using knives, kerises, and magical staffs, if Almira were to guess what thugs were during the medieval days of her country, wearing nothing much but sarongs, headscarves and a scowling face. This would be it.

“All of you look pretty cute. Why don’t you give us guys a chance to sample the good stuff huh?”

Almira looked at Srikandi, visibly unamused at the situation. “Do I have your permission to defend myself?”

Sighing, knowing that this is partially her fault. Srikandi only nodded. “Yes, sorry for this everyone, but this is my mistake, now let’s teach these hoodlums some manners shall we?”

Without a moment’s hesitation. Srikandi unsheathed her sword and Almira unfurled her coat, both of them ready to fight these thugs. The thugs went for Almira first, one of them swinging a Clurit towards Almira, but the Indonesian woman preempted the attack by evading the Clurit’s downward swing, responding by showing her fists and jabbing the assailant multiple times in the stomach, instantly knocking him out.

Srikandi’s turn was next. Using the broad side of her sword, she proceeded to smack the thugs with their kerises and knives, her sword’s reach beating any weapon the hoodlums had on their hands. It proved to be a rather simple affair for Srikandi, and both women proved their mettle when it came to fighting. Sri herself was surprised that Almira knew how to fight, and with nothing more than her fists, the Captain reminds her of Fei Bai Ho in a way, only more… local, in a weird way.

It remains to be seen whether the other party members will join the fight, and it seems that, after fighting off some thugs, knocking them out left and right. Both of them are starting to get visibly exhausted.
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