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2 yrs ago
Currently super swamped by work and having cold on the top of it, so posts will be delayed

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Elm was making last preparations in the lab for the wormhole passage. It was supposed to be a bumpy ride so she made extra sure that all equipment and plant specimens were secured (of course except still unreclaimed greenhouse 7, which would have to wait). Finally, she and her two assistants strapped themselves in safety chairs and hoped for the best. Botany section had no windows, so they couldn't enjoy the spectacular view. Elm just closed her eyes as the ship shook like it should fall apart, listening to mumbled prayers from people around.

-----


Everything happened so fast. Only a brief time through the wormhole and already they were contacted by an unknown species, apparently fairly advanced. While their behavior was strange, Elm, also being an 'alien', knew that each culture had their own habits that might be hard to understand at first. The ambassador aboard the Prize seemed pretty confident and capable of handling the situation so Elm didn't worry about the alien civilization.

She had her own worries. The planet's flora was astonishing and unique even by the first glance. Elm couldn't wait to start studying it, collecting and categorizing samples and most importantly just walking around and taking in the atmosphere of the new, both figuratively and literally speaking. She was already putting a plan together in her head on how to most efficiently divide the work while other team members spoke. She had no idea what chakras are and why is their color important, but since the crew was comprised of experts in each field, Elm assumed that the blue-haired woman knows what she is talking about.

"I would like to lead a small expedition to explore the immediate area of the ship," she said when others finished talking. "The local flora seems unique and we don't know what else might be hiding in the forests around. I believe colleagues from the biology section would also like to join. If it's not too much trouble, we could use a few men to accompany us, both to ensure our safety and also to do some heavy lifting carrying the necessary equipment," she turned to Carabello, hoping her request isn't too presumptuous.
I am going to visit my parents tomorrow and staying there till Tuesday. I might have time to write short posts, but I also might not. So if you dont hear from me, just assume that Elm is doing whatever a senior officer would do preparing for a mission, attending breefings, etc. You can even mention her, I dont have a problem with that.
Addressing: @Tortoise @Flamelord


To be honest, Elm was surprised how quickly both her companions agreed to her suggestion. She hadn’t dared to guess what Korax's response would be, as his species’ mentality was truly alien (of course the humans could say the same thing about the Lavathulin), but she assumed that Nick would very politely refuse. After all, he was the highest ranking officer on the ship and it would be understandable if he wanted to maintain some distance from his subordinates. She certainly didn’t expect his excited and even playful reaction. ‘Humans will never cease to surprise me,’ she thought to herself as she followed the captain to sector G-37.

She had to admit that whoever designed the Low-Gravz knew what he was doing, because it looked pretty awesome. The big dome was located at the edge of the station’s outer ring, which made it easier to artificially lower the gravity inside. The plating around the dome was made mostly of see-through safety panels, which allowed visitors to enjoy truly breathtaking views of space around the station - countless stars flickering in the distance, the system’s orange sun, and of course the planet below. Elm regretted that they didn’t have more time here, otherwise she would definitely want to visit the planet and study its scarce vegetation. But they weren’t on this mission to spend weeks studying plants on already known and explored planets. They were here to go where no one has gone before. And study the plants there, of course.

A nice lady greeted them at the entrance to Low-Gravz and explained how it works inside to them. There were basically two sections that looked almost the same - big space was filled with colorful obstacles (padded for bigger safety) located on the ground, walls, ceiling and even suspended hanging mid-air. The only difference between the sectors was that first was just a playground where visitors could explore the possibilities of lower gravity, jump around and exercise. The other part was an arena. The players entering were equipped with a special laser weapon and some sort of body sensors for counting the hits.

To be honest, Elm didn’t really listen very carefully to that part, as she had no intention to into that part. Also the hostess wasn’t really talking to her, but mostly to Nick, smiling a lot. Elm noticed that the woman was fairly pretty by the human standards and assumed that the smiles were part of some human mating ritual. Not wanting to disrupt it she quickly paid the entrance fee and carefully stepped inside the playground part. There were already some visitors in both sectors, fortunately not enough to make it crowded.

She immediately felt lighter and had to focus on maintaining balance. It was an odd feeling - she made a step and it turned out to be a long graceful jump instead. The landing was not so graceful and Elm had to grab onto a railing to keep herself from stumbling to the ground. A two or three smaller jumps later she was slowly getting the hang of it. Her stomach was protesting a bit at the start but fortunately she got used to the low gravity quickly. She knew that the military part of the Prize crew most likely had some Zero-G combat training and that she must look pretty ridiculous, but to her surprise, she was actually having fun.

She tried to jump higher, this time grabbing onto a ladder on the wall a few feet off the ground. Pushing herself off the wall, she aimed for a platform hanging mid-air, but missed and ended up rolling on the floor. Fortunately it was also soft enough to dampen her fall, so she just giggled, got up and tried again.
Addressing: @Tortoise @Flamelord


Elm was surprised by the way Korax addressed himself as ‘this one’ - she made a mental note to find out more about his species. She assumed that they didn’t distinguish between any genders and didn’t have a strong sense of individuality. A stark contrast to humans, who were all about being different from others.

She pitied captain Carabello, who apparently couldn’t have even a few hours of rest without being disturbed by his duties. But then again, he was the captain, and he didn’t have the luxury to have ‘office hours’ while on a mission.

Elm had almost forgotten about the wound on her wrist - when she didn’t think about it, she almost didn’t feel it, but once the captain mentioned it, it started itching again. She resisted the urge to scratch it, knowing it would only make things worse. “You would think that botany is just looking at pretty flowers hidden safely inside a laboratory,” she replied to Nick. “But sometimes it gets a bit too exciting. There has been a small problem in one of the greenhouses, because the previous leading botanist was slightly… misorganized.” Elm hated to speak ill of others. “But I am working with Cake to resolve it as soon as possible,” she added quickly, not wanting to look negligent or incompetent.

“So,” she turned to both her companions, “what do you have in plan? Other than eating rodents?” she smiled at Nick. “I heard that there is an interesting place in one of the outer rings of the station - a low gravity playground.” She fished a flyer out of her satchel. “Some girl was handing these out near the docks.”

LOW-GRAVZ!
A unique way to have fun!
Come and wake your inner child in our brand new playground! Sections for free jumping around, various obstacles and our awesome new Deathmatch section, where you can fight others! All this in 0.1G - it almost feels like flying!
Located in the sector G-37 aboard the Deep Solar 3 station.
*Entry at your own risk, GravzFun does not accept responsibility for any injuries sustained while on the premises of the Low-Gravz playgrounds.


The flyer was filled with pictures of happy people jumping around various padded obstacles, shooting each other with laser weapons. “I was planning on heading there just to see what it looks like.” To be honest Elm wasn’t sure that this was something she wanted to try out herself, but even just standing on the observation balcony and looking at people could be fun. And who knows, maybe she would even muster enough courage to go inside.
@Tortoise I plan to create my next character irl tomorrow


The 4B - Blonde Bimbo with Big Boobs? A.K.A. the Red Skirt?
Addressing: @Tortoise @Flamelord


Elm wasn’t paying too much attention to her surroundings, browsing through the shop's display and thinking how the new plants would get incorporated in the already existing greenhouse ecosystems. There weren’t many interesting things though, most seeds sold there were pretty common - spices, grains and various vegetables intended for hydroponics on smaller ships, bred to be fast-growing and space and water efficient.

One pack of seeds was already in a satchel hanging over her shoulder. It was an impulsive idea, something almost unheard of for her kind and she was still not really sure about it. The seeds were sold under the counter - they weren’t exactly illegal, but also weren’t entirely legal. It was a bit of a grey area in all the rules and regulations of the I.S.A. Elm however loved the smell of the plant and occasionally chewing on a leaf or two was very relaxing. She knew humans preferred to set the dried leaves on fire and inhale the smoke. A strange habit, as it destroyed all the nutrients contained in the fresh leaf tissue.

When she heard someone commenting on her snack, she turned to greet him. As her kind was extremely rare outside her home planet, she was used to curious people occasionally starting conversations with her. It was much better than those that just stared at her from a distance. When she realized that this isn’t just some random passerby but the captain himself, she winced, for some reason feeling like she got caught doing something wrong. She decided it would be better not to mention the seeds. Or the problems in the greenhouse. After all, there were plenty of other botanists eager to go on this mission and she didn’t want captain Carabello to think she was incompetent and replace her before the expedition even starts.

She was surprised that the captain introduced himself only by his name, omitting the title. She had only known a few I.S.A. officers, but all of the high-ranking ones were particularly proud of their titles and insisted on using them everywhere. She was pleased to see that their captain might be something different. “Well, we are supposed to be on an exploration mission,” she smiled, “so I am exploring. Haven’t found anything interesting yet though. Not enjoying the local cuisine?” She had noticed that the food stands sold a lot of different body parts from animals that humans normally didn’t consume, or at least she thought they didn’t.

The captain wasn’t alone, he was accompanied by a large crystalline… person? Entity? Elm had no idea what was the correct term. She knew he was also part of the Prize’s crew, she had noticed him walking around the hallways before and saw him at the senior staff meetings. He was kind of hard to miss. She felt a slight connection to him - while there were many races present on the Prize, still the crew were mostly humans and sometimes it wasn’t easy to be this much alien looking like they were. “Hi, I’m Elm,” she said, nodding her head in his direction.
@Tortoise Hey I didn't say she was smoking it, she just likes pretty plants
@Tortoise By the way, a question completely unrelated to anything What is the I.S.A. position on weed on ship?
Cake didn’t respond right away and Elm noticed that the star on her tablet turned grey and minimized into a corner. She figured that the A.I. is busy elsewhere, probably assisting the crew with the ongoing mission, and since Elm’s request was hardly a priority, she just left a message in the system. Elm also sent a note to her two assistants about what happened and why the greenhouse is on lockdown. Greenhouse 7 was sealed shut and locked with her personal code, no one else should be able to access it until the matter with the murderous plant is resolved. She did this just in case her assistants wanted to play heroes. Nothing against being initiative, but the ship is going to an unexplored part of the galaxy, it is probably going to be hard to find replacement postgrad botany students there.

Originally she wanted to go straight into the lab and start working on the chemical to pacify Escallonia - even without the samples, she could prepare a general carrier substance and be ready to add specific substances later. But she realized she should probably go change as her uniform was torn in shreds, giving her rather ‘interesting’ appearance. She used a piece of cloth to wrap the wounds on her wrists and headed to her quarters.

As soon as she left the part of the ship where various laboratories were located, she noticed crewmembers running around, escorting several confused-looking people from the hangar towards the medical bay. Elm realized that these must be the hostages from the pirate ship and was pleased that no one seemed to be seriously hurt.

“That was a fast mission,” she mumbled as she got out of the way of a soldier carrying a young boy in his arms. She shook her head. “These pirates stop at nothing.” Selling a child to a slave market, what kind of a creature does that?

Even though Elm wanted to go right back to work, healing the injuries had taken a toll on her body and she felt exhausted. So she turned the UV lights on instead and took a long, refreshing nap.

-----


When the Prize reached Deep Solar 3, Elm was just finishing checking the lab supplies one more time. Since they had an unexpected chance to resupply before finally going through the wormhole, she thought it would be wise to take a moment to go over it again, even though they have just recently started the mission. She added one or two items to the ship’s ‘shoplist’, absentmindedly scratching her wrist. The wound didn’t heal as fast as she had expected and it started to itch. Still, it wasn’t that serious to bother the medical crew with it.

Elm decided it would be better to distract herself and go check out the starbase. Heading through the airlock, she had met many crewmembers going the same direction, talking about visiting a bar or going shopping. Only part of the engineering crew remained on the ship to oversee the repairs the Prize had sustained while fighting the pirate vessel.

The base was quite busy, one could see many different species and hear lots of different languages. Elm headed to a wing where lots of small shops were located, selling everything imaginable - weird-looking food, electronic parts and techno-gadgets Elm wouldn’t understand in a million years, fancy clothes in all shapes and sizes and many other things. Nibbling on a piece of fried Tiger Tomatillo, a spicy descendant of an old terran tomato, she stopped at a shop selling various seeds and quietly browsed through the goods, lost in her thoughts.
Every crew of every ship in every show: "We will do whatever it takes to bring our fallen heroes back home to be buried there."
I.S.S. Prize crew: "Let's plant a grenade in this dead guy and drown our enemies in blood and intestines!"
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