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Aug 12, 2020 8:42 PM
members of two migrant fleets meet in the void between galaxies
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The Titan Fleet hurtles through the void of space at several times light speed, making their long way from the Milky Way Galaxy to its nearest neighbor. Numbering seventeen ships, three carrying more than 7000 people, the others carrying roughly 3000, the fleet contains all the descendants of the only survivors of planet Earth's death. They have encountered no other sentient life throughout their voyage from one great cluster of stars to the next, and do not expect to, either. Even if someone else should be crossing the void, the chances of running into them are quite literally astronomical. 

Sometimes, though, that 1 in 1 000 000 000 chance does come to pass. 

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An alert goes out on her personal feed, automatically bringing up a window on her visor. 

missed-the-sun: Uh, boss, there's something here you might wanna take a look at

sensor data

 Concerned, she stares at the attachment for a moment, willing it open. 

And then she stares some more. 

 

"Caine," she says calmly, "I need you to collect G and Xandro for me. We have something of an emergency on our hands."   

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He looks up from his book, expression turning blank for a moment at her tone before relaxing again.

"Sure thing," he agrees easily, dropping the book on the table next to her couch and rolling to his feet. He lopes out the door, heading towards the Vongola siblings' warded rooms.    

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Aria watches him leave, simultaneously messaging several dozen of her agents, ordering them to lock down on the sensor information on the ships they reside on. They need the Black Lily to be the only ship which learns of this discovery, for as long as possible. 

She does not want this unknown ship's first interaction with the Titan Fleet to be Roberto Vongola's demands for surrender.

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The Aureolin Marsh is one of the few dozen smaller ships of its fleet, old and rugged and proud.  It is also currently alone. 

The brief separation of it from its usual docking to the Tower of Autumn was only meant to last until the docking systems were overhauled.  Maybe 8 hours. After they wound up falling into that spatial anomaly, that estimate is going to shoot up dramatically.  By the shift in the stars, they've been teleported several light years away at least.  

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Not so alone as all that. 

A small ship approaches quite quickly. It's more of a shuttle, really, shaped like a flattened oval with long, thin wings. It pauses a distance away from the Aureolin Marsh for a long moment, and then attempts to hail them over all the frequencies they have access to. 

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They get the hail, and hail back on one of the frequencies.  

Inside, the mayor is frantically scrambling, trying to figure out how contact with aliens should go.  Meanwhile, the ship's pilot is making sure the guards and peacekeepers are ready.  There's a chance that they were brought here for unfriendly reasons.

There's a Legendary onboard, and she's summoned to the bridge.  So too come a pair of scions of the Oak family - nobility from the old world.  

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The image which comes up on the viewscreen is surprisingly non-alien, given how far they are from home! The person looks human. 

"Greetings, I am Commander G, of the city-ship Black Lily of the Titan Fleet," she says. "We come in peace," she adds, tone slightly amused. She expects there might be some trouble with language until they can get some rudimentary machine translation working, or else meet the residents of the ship in person, but it doesn't hurt to be friendly in the meantime. 

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They do look very similar.  That their daémon isn't on screen is somewhat unnerving.  Just what sort of person are they? 

The mayor is an older man with a large mustache, his clefairy daémon on a pedestal beside him.  "I am Mayor Saffron, and this ship is Aureolin Marsh," the mayor says.  This would be easier if they were in range of the psychic daémons.  He takes a deep breath to compose himself, then continues.  "We were just separated from the rest of our own fleet, when our ship accidentally hit some form of wormhole."

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Humans! Well now, that is... unexpected. Working with at least one other possibly intelligent species, it looks like, given the unfamiliar being standing next to the person on the screen. The language is unfamiliar, however. She glances off to the side, at someone offscreen. 

"We're working on it, sir," a voice calls back. 

She nods, "See if you can send the language package in the meantime, if our systems are compatible enough for it."

"We can try, sir, but they don't seem to be using their ship soul to host a flamenet - their systems seem to be entirely non-flametech based."

"Really? Interesting. Can you put something simpler together to send over this frequency?"

"Yes sir," they agree, "Already on it." 

She turns back to the screen while the tech does that, "Please stand by," she offers the other ship's representative(s?), "We are going to try to send over some information on our language, hopefully we will be able to discuss meeting in person afterwards, so that we can exchange languages more fully."

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The ship is set up to listen and record anything they can from the encounter.  They are something of a rustic small town, as ships go, and their computer systems are rudimentary compared to the four Main Ships.  Once something that is possibly a language is sent, they can send their own back.  Hopefully at least one of them will be able to decode the others.  

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Language packages are sent and received. The techs onboard the Sparrow do their best to decode the one received from the strange ship. Eventually they manage to put together a temporary written translation program to add to their visors and send to the other ship. They'll be able to build a more sophisticated one once they have access to both a mist copy of the language and the computers aboard the Lily. 

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G looks over the transcript and nods, turning back to the screen. She keeps part of her attention on the half-visor covering her right eye as she speaks, "We have a temporary translation solution," she says, and then pauses while the translation is sent to the Aureolin Marsh

"I am Commander G of the Black Lily, a city-ship of the Titan Fleet," she repeats, "I'm afraid we don't know anything about what might have caused that wormhole. We detected your ship's appearance through it and came to investigate. Do you require assistance, first of all?" They only have the resources on this ship at the moment, but that includes a small crew of combat trained flame actives and a flame doctor, and they can call for more aid from the Lily if necessary. 

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Oh, good - their machines are still analyzing the information.  

"Nothing was damaged in the trip."  

Their ship was originally meant to be self-sufficient, though in the 200 years since the fleet left their dying universe the ships became more specialized.  Now Aureolin Marsh has mostly food production and mud-making - something appropriate to a small town as the ancient traditions passed down from their old world claimed.  Good for short-term survival, but eventually something will wear out that they can't repair.  

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"I'm glad to hear that. We would like to arrange a face-to-face meeting, if you don't mind, to allow better communications. We would prefer not to lead you back to our fleet before we are more certain that your intentions are benign." She would actually prefer not to lead them back to the fleet at all, but now that they each know the other exists it's going to happen at some point. Best to mitigate the damage. 

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"Yes, getting in range of each other's psychic-type daémons would be better, however good a translation program."  The mayor is smiling, though the clefairy is showing his unease and glancing around the edges of the screen for an ear or tail of a hidden daémon.  

"Your ship will be able to fit into our hold, once we move the shuttles out."  He gives the orders to set that up, and sends the location of the shuttle bay.  Aureolin Marsh is vaguely hourglass shaped, and the airlock is in the back half of the front bulb portion.  

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...Daémons? Hm, the translation program is having some trouble with that one. She glances back at the tech for clarification. They send a reply over their visor.

Station 3: No equivalent word. It has to do with souls, but we haven't been able to discern exactly how. Perhaps soul companions? 

She nods, turning back to the screen again, "My crew includes a pair of Mist users, trained in in-person translation and language transference. We are not sure what you mean by daémons?" 

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Mist?  Maybe that's what they call psychic-types, and it isn't translating?  

"Daémons are our souls," the mayor says, gesturing to the clefairy.  Well, there were bound to be some translation issues.  

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She blinks in surprise, taking in the other being on the screen anew. 

"Your souls manifest as other creatures?" She asks, confused. 

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"Yes?  What do yours manifest as?"

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She lifts a hand, producing a handful of orange-violet fire, which curls around her fingers like wisps of clinging smoke. 

"Soulfire," she says, "The manifestation of will and soul, the expression of our inner selves. The mark of a sentient being - even inactives have it, they just can't use it." 

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Huh.  That seems strange and a little lonely, unless the fire can talk.  At least they probably aren't zombies.

"All people we know of have daémons, which settle in adolescence to one of several hundred forms based on personality and destiny.  Each has a unique set of skills, such as generating electricity or cooling things down.  Uh, I guess the one important thing that might be different is this - make sure not to touch a daémon that isn't yours."

The two shuttles previously in the shuttle bay are remotely piloted out of the ship and onto it, latching onto ridges in the side with their pairs of grabbing claws.  

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"Interesting. We will be sure not to touch them, then. We do not have them - though active Lightnings and Rains are capable of electricity generation and cooling, respectively." 

"Perhaps we should continue this conversation in person, however." She nods to the Sparrow's pilot, "Take us in." 

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The pilot does so, settling the shuttle inside the bay. After a moment, the middle of the ship slides open, allowing a pair of flamesuited soldiers to step out first, checking over the area for hostiles.

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The purpose of things is recognizable, but the architecture is strange.  They are under different material constraints, too - the floor is lined with stone tiles, and much of the visible metal appears to be gold whenever the item doesn't demand a better material to function.  

Four people are in the welcoming party.  The mayor and his clefairy, followed by two women and a man who look around twenty years old.  Their daémons are a metang, suicune, and gallade, respectively.  All much larger species, though they don't appear to be there as guards.  They're dressed nicely, in outfits too different to be uniforms.

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The soldiers will stay by the shuttle, then. 

 

Four people step out of it once they've received all-clear messages - the first is the Commander they spoke to over the view screens, followed by a young man in his late teens, a woman roughly the same age as the Commander, and a man perhaps a few years older. All four of them wear the same style of body-hugging armoured suit as the soldiers, but their headpieces only cover one eye, where the soldiers' cover their whole head. Another difference is in the colour - both the Commander and the younger man have orange lines extending from their mixed orange-and-violet and orange-and-red cores, their two companions wear indigo lines extending from their yellow-and-indigo and pure-indigo cores respectively, and the two soldiers have red and blue cores and lines. 

They come to a stop before the other party, all four bowing lightly from the waist in greeting.

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