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Aberrant: Stepping from Eden - Stepping Into Character


Rorx
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5th January 2123

You all receive an OpNet conference call in the middle of the morning instigated by Apollo Millikan.

"Good Morning to you all. This call has two purposes, one to inform you that I have chosen you to aid us in representing both our colony of Eden and ourselves as Novas on an approaching visit to Earth itself, and secondly to ask what your preferred method of transport to Earth would be?"

"The options as I currently see them are: to accept the berths on a Levithan Jumpship that have been offered to us by the UN; to obtain a ship of our own which can be carried by the Leviathan; to ask a Ferryman to transport us by ship to Earth space; or finally to get an Upeo to Teleport us directly to Earthspace. In the latter two cases we would have to agree in advance with the UN what those locations would be."

"Any opinions or observations?"

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Ares sent back,

Apollo,

Thank you very much for selecting me. As for transportation, I'd prefer a Ferryman. You and the rest of us are going to make sure that nothing goes wrong... but if it does, I'd like some nova somewhere who has some idea of where we are and how to bring us back.

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How long had it been? Hours? Ages? The trance had been all pervasive, a euphoric rhythm of inhalation and exhalation. There was no thought. Only the peacful unwavering undualtions of Alpha and Theta brain waves. Into this placid pool of consciousness a small beeping sound intrudes, sending ripples as surely as a pebble dropped into a pond.

Smoothly and with the dawning feeling of the mind shifting up (or down depending on your perspective) into Beta, Ashley opened his eyes, then glanced down to the datapad resting on the small table within his spartan meditation chamber.

"A communique from Apollo. Earth? This is unexpected."

Typing in a reply, Ashley asks, "Are you certain the humans will be able to tolerate our presence? You remember what happened before..."

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"Ares, I'm sorry, I forgot that you have not spent as much time as me with our Upeo guests. A Ferryman is what they call one of their Psions who has learnt to get what they call a Transportal. The Psion I have in mind to request has spent several months here off and on since they recontacted Earth so at least he would not be an unknown quantity. I believe he can move a 70m dia from one spot in the vaccum of space to another that he is familiar with."

"Ashley, it is to try to show that we are at least neutral to them, but hopefully could be of great help to them that we are going. I've spent several years negotiating to get to this point of actually get some of our people there so we can show them that we are not the physical and mental monstrousities that they face amongst what they call the Aberrants."

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"Ares, I'm sorry, I forgot that you have not spent as much time as me with our Upeo guests. A Ferryman is what they call one of their Psions who has learnt to get what they call a Transportal. The Psion I have in mind to request has spent several months here off and on since they recontacted Earth so at least he would not be an unknown quantity. I believe he can move a 70m dia from one spot in the vacuum of space to another that he is familiar with."
Ares typed back,

":Sigh: I should have caught that, it's on the list of slang somewhere. Well, then, I'm in favor of whichever has the shortest boring transit time, purely in the name of using our time effectively."

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Jack hit the reply button on his OpNet link.

"Hi Apollo," he said "An interesting question really. We have no idea what effect such powerful Quantum signatures, from the other Novas you've chosen for this mission, will have on the Leviathan jump ship; it could disrupt the jump process and cause delays or even damage."

Jack brought up on screen some of the calculations he had made regarding the interaction of quantum and noetic particles.

"We don't want to emphasise the fact that our very natures could interfere with the psionic teleportation process." He continued, "Personally I would recommend using one of our Upeo allies; an Upeo jumper has far greater finesse and precision than the jumpships and would be far better able to adapt to difficulties generated by my high Quantum colleagues. This way we are using Humanity's methods of interstellar travel, but mitigating the difficulties to a degree."

He stood up for a moment and stretched, extending the pause for emphasis.

"One other thing that may not be too popular with the others. I don't think we should have a warp capable Nova on standby to pull us out if things get nasty" Jack said, "If there is trouble, we should rely on cooperation and diplomacy before all else. In this time of burgeoning trust, concepts such as diplomatic immunity and trust are simply too important." Jack's suddenly grinned and the familiar twinkle came to his eyes "But even in a worse case scenario, the humans are used to fighting insane combat oriented, tentacled monsters, not reasoned, brilliant and social Novas like us..."

Jack ended the recording and pressed send.

That, he thought to himself, should really put the cat among the pidgeons, but they'll get over it!

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At first, Leah Wagner (aka Quicksilver) is content to listen to the the others speak (or rather, their chip-simulated voices); at the mention of the jumpships, she is very intrigued, and is about to vote in favor of that option before Jack raises some very good counter-arguments.

"I for one would love to at least see one of these ships, but perhaps our presence onboard would make things hazardous for all involved."

She takes a sip of hydroponic coffee before continuing.

"Though perhaps we could, well, at least ask them if they thought it would be a problem? Certainly they know their vessels better than we do, so...."

Leah sighs and rubs her silvery face.

"Alright, I just want to see their ship because it sounds really, really cool. It's a great honor and and everything, and I look forward to representing us, but I really want to ride in a jumpship, so shoot me." ::rolleyes

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Ares, given your concern for the travel time and Jack's comments about our causing difficulty for the Jumpship perhaps we should use an Upeo. Sorry, Leah, but I think Jack's points may be valid, we don't want to be repsonsible for making the ship late, or losing it and us completely. They will have another ship in the area before we may have to leave anyway if you want a tour, I can certainly try to arrange that for you.

Ok, the next question then becomes do we hire a ship and go by Transportal or just use a straight Teleport to get there? The Transportal would have to put us into space and we'd then fly the rest of the way in, while the Teleport could put us straight into a location on Luna that we could negotiate with the UN.

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Ok, the next question then becomes do we hire a ship and go by Transportal or just use a straight Teleport to get there? The Transportal would have to put us into space and we'd then fly the rest of the way in, while the Teleport could put us straight into a location on Luna that we could negotiate with the UN.
Ares typed back,

"Will our budget cover hiring a ship? If it's cheap and won't impede our later efforts, that would probably be faster and easier than negotiating with the UN."

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Ares typed back,

I think actually owning a ship would be more trouble than it's worth at this point. I suspect the UN will be supplying transportation to any colony where they want our assistance. So charter it is...

I'm still very much in favor of bringing a good warper along with us but I understand there were one or two on the short list?

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"Anyone else have a preference for purchase or charter? If not we'll go with the charter, I know of a suitable vessel that should just about fit us all and the size of escort the UN are looking like insisting upon."

"Do any of you have any further questions or points you want to be raised before we are due to go?"

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Leah grins. "As much as I'd love for us to have ship for us to call our own, maybe it would look better if we didn't buy one just yet, so that we come off more as guests or visitors than returning conquerors."

She takes another sip of coffee, then runs a smooth silver finger around the rim of her cup. "Once we know what sort of ship we'll be traveling on, I'd like to know if we can brings any...well, for lack of a better word, luggage, as silly and mundane as that sounds for such a mission as this. Can we bring items of our own, or gifts for Earth? Or might that, too, look bad?"

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"I for one would be in favor of the ship. The baselines will feel more at ease if we approach under self-quarantine. Apollo...my one concern is that they will suspect me for hiding my appearance...and yet revealing myself carries with it serious consequences. It is possible those consequences could be turned to our advantage, but it could just as easily backfire..."

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  • 2 weeks later...

Leah, the ship I had in mind is a Falcon III type, I'm sure you will have seen some of the Upeo using them around here over the years, it can just about take the people I think will be required of it, and it also has ~2,000 cubic metres of cargo space. That should be enough for your luggage!

As to what we should bring, that is a whole different debate. We know that we have some information in our data bases that they appear to have lost, but would we gain more trust by trading for it rather than simply giving it to them?

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Leah, the ship I had in mind is a Falcon III type, I'm sure you will have seen some of the Upeo using them around here over the years, it can just about take the people I think will be required of it, and it also has ~2,000 cubic metres of cargo space. That should be enough for your luggage!

As to what we should bring, that is a whole different debate. We know that we have some information in our data bases that they appear to have lost, but would we gain more trust by trading for it rather than simply giving it to them?

Ares opens a link and responds verbally,

"The Edenite in me says we should give it... but from what I know of their culture I think we should trade it."

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"Given no other interest in the matter, we will shelve it for now."

Time skipd on to a mere 1 week before you are due to arrive on Earth, and Apollo issues an invitation for you all to meet at the Citadel in Harmony in order to meet you escort of Psions and to make what final arrangements you want.

The psions are already there talking to Apollo when you arrive and it is with some relief that you realise that all of them have been to Eden a number of times in the past, frequently for months at a time. They are Liam an 'Upeo' Noetics researcher, Bowen (his assisstant and companion), John Doe (nominally an Aeon Trinity agent, but is known to have had a number of conflicts with the management), and Alexander

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Time skipd on to a mere 1 week before you are due to The psions are already there talking to Apollo when you arrive and it is with some relief that you realise that all of them have been to Eden a number of times in the past, frequently for months at a time. They are Liam an 'Upeo' Noetics researcher, John Doe and others (damn forgotten names will have to edit them in).

Leah approaches the group somewhat gingerly and self-consciously; even though she knows these psions are much more comfortable around Novas than the other Earthers will be, she still feels a bit like a timid schoolgirl arriving late to the dance.

She's taken a great deal of care in her choice of dress today, opting for a close-fitting blue-gray sleeveless tunic, loose matching pants and black slippers, more like dancing shoes. Her dark hair is in a braid down her back, and the silver skin on her face and arms gleams brightly. Even with her alien appearance, she is stunningly attractive, but more at the extreme end of human beauty rather then the exotic look of some of her fellow Novas.

Leah smiles and waves cheerfully "Hello, all! I trust that everyone is in good health, and shares my excitement about this project?"

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"...and then I Jumped out of her closet and yelled 'Gotchya'!" Alexander finished the joke to mild, if not polite chuckles from the group as he turned to see Leah walking in.

Hello, all! I trust that everyone is in good health, and shares my excitement about this project?"

I am not this lucky am I? Good lord she is beautiful, who is escorting who? *mental snort*

Alexander is dressed in a plain, if not well made black suit, which only seems to excentuate his youthfulness. A silver Upeo device tie-tack stands out against the dark purple and green tie. Stepping forward with a wry smile, and a polite nod as he buttons his jacket, "Good day, you must be Leah, I'm Alexander." Putting an arm behind her as if to include her and sweeping his other around to encompass the rest of the group, "I'll let the rest introduce themselv..."

Ares booms out,

"Greetings. Hail and good met."

Turning to the booming voice, "My, what an entry!" He closes the distance to Ares, sticking his hand out in greeting, "Hello Ares, I'm Alexander."

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Turning to the booming voice, "My, what an entry!" He closes the distance to Ares, sticking his hand out in greeting, "Hello Ares, I'm Alexander."
Ares is wearing an attention attracting, brilliant scarlet and gold outfit that was vaguely Roman like. He grabs the offered hand and shakes it once, firmly but not forcefully. He says with apparent sincerity,

"Alexander! Good to meet you!"

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There's a young man standing in behind the group of psions. Painfully thin, he has short brown hair, dark green eyes, and is wearing plain black pants, a grey jacket with an odd straps and buckles motif, and thin, black latex gloves on his hands. So far he hasn't said anything, his mouth slightly gaping as he stares at Leah, evidently not aware that he's doing so. A stunned or a blank look, it is hard to tell (unless you are particularly perceptive about people, that is). Ares' booming introduction seems to shock him out of this state however, at which point he looks nervously away. ::unsure

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Stood at the back of the room Jack watched the other guests talking amongst themselves. He had already done his rounds of the guests present and was waiting for the others to arrive. Jack was average height and average build, wearing an exquisitly tailored suit... or at least it had been exquisitly tailored a long time ago. It was a slightly faded muddy brown colour, clean but clearly very well worn with a distinct air of scruffiness. Capping it off was a battered, scuffed and slightly tatty black leather biker's jacket that had clearly seen a lot of action too.

Leah smiles and waves cheerfully "Hello, all! I trust that everyone is in good health, and shares my excitement about this project?"

Jack looked up to see Leah enter the room. He noted the hesitant manner with which she approached the other guests and the obvious care put into choosing her attire. Beautiful though she was, Jack was more intrigued by her effect on the other guests, particularly one nervous looking young man who was mesmirised like a moth to a flame.

Ares booms out,

"Greetings. Hail and good met."

He walked over to him just as Ares made one of his signature enthusiastic, not to mention loud, entrances.

"She is quite remarkable isn't she?" Said Jack to the nervous man who seemed surprised both by Ares' entrance and by the fact that Jack had walked up to him unawares. "Would you like me to introduce you? " Jack flashed the good natured grin that made him so instantly likeable. "She doesn't bite after all..."

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John Doe has changed for the meetiing, he is not in the familiar Aeon uniform that he has worn during his months long stays, but what appears to be a simply jumpsuit with a casaul outdoor jacket and a baseball cap. Both the jacket and the baseball cap have large patches (on the front of the cap and across the whole of the back of the jacket) showing a scene of a sunrise over an african plain, and the label Clear Horizon.

As you close on the initial group you can hear John explaining to Apollo, "So with converting the dorsal bay we managed to get an extra 8 rooms and the equipment to support them indefinitely,while still having the full capacity of the ventral bay."

"I appreciate the effort you have gone to for this John." replies Apollo

"Not a problem Apollo, I got plenty of help with the work when the guys at Karroo heard what it was for. Some at least haven't forgotten what you did for them back in '16. Lets just hope that we can convince others not to be too blinkered."

The man known as Bowen, dressed casually as ever, keeps his familiar place next to Liam.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Ares is wearing an attention attracting, brilliant scarlet and gold outfit that was vaguely Roman like. He grabs the offered hand and shakes it once, firmly but not forcefully. He says with apparent sincerity,

"Alexander! Good to meet you!"

"I was just introducing Leah to my compatriots here, why don't we kill two birds with one stone eh?"

Starts walking towards the group, "That is fantastic apparel Ares, how do you get it to shine like that?" said as he picks his drink up from the table and takes a sip.

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Ares replies, "Oh, I needed help. Originally I could only get it to..."

Ares' outfit shifts form marginally, and it's colors lose their luster. The scarlet gets more faded and the gold becomes dull. The overall effect is much 'less'. ::indifferent

Ares surveys his efforts and adds, "Wearable, but not the effect I wanted. So I asked a nova known as a fashion goddess for help. I'm not sure exactly what she did or how but presto, problem solved." ::cool

Ares' outfit shifts back into it's full brilliance. He continues, "It's good to have friends. I won't say what I did for her though." ::sly

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  • 3 weeks later...

Apollo calls the meeting to order and as the attention slowly drifts to him he begins.

"Right then people, only a few days to go then we will be leaving for Earth again. As we discussed before we have hired a ship, the CLear Horizon, owned and operated by our associate John Doe here in his spare time and holidays. The fact that his 'day' job is as an agent for Aeon has made things easier for dealing both with that organisation and with the UN. So I'll hand over to him for the next section."

John steps forward beside Apollo and looks over the assembled people, nodding to those he has meet in the past but has yet to greet.

"My ship woldn't normally be able to take so many people as passengers for the estimated number of weeks you may be aboard, so I've had one of the cargo pods, totalling some 5,000 cubic metres converted to extra quarters for you all, with it's own independent fusion plant and lifesupport in case anyone is feeling paranoid. They are of a type that 'm sure some of you are familiar with and you are welcome to check them out in the coming days. The other cargo pod is also available to you for any goods or belongings you may want to bring along, but it will have to go through normal customs on our arrival, with unknown results. I don't think anyone has really decided what they will do at that stage yet."

"Any questions so far?"

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Ares says,

"How about bringing something to attract attention when we get there... like a Myriasoma warrior? Customs would no doubt take it, and if they didn't we could give it to a zoo, but it'd make a few headlines." Ares waits a moment for that idea to be shot down and then says,

"Or maybe trade goods? It'd be a little 18th century of us but..."

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Ares says,

"How about bringing something to attract attention when we get there... like a Myriasoma warrior? Customs would no doubt take it, and if they didn't we could give it to a zoo, but it'd make a few headlines." Ares waits a moment for that idea to be shot down and then says,

"Or maybe trade goods? It'd be a little 18th century of us but..."

Sparks dance over Sasha's (Alexander's) head as he chuckles with light amusement.

"Ha, ha, I would love to see the look on the Secretary General's face when you offered him 'shiny beads' and a flask of whiskey as a peace offering...ha ha."

As if realizing what he just said, Sasha clears his throat abruptly as his face flushes and pretends to look very interested in his drink.

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John replies to Ares initial suggestion with a question.

"I didn't think that they could operate separately. Aren't they all connected in a single organism. Sorry, probably a question for another time."

He simply smiles at Alexander's comment, he's known to have had some trouble with the UN and Aeon on occassions in the past.

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It starts small. A fuzzy feeling, like a memory that should be there but remains elusive as you struggle to bring it forward into consciousness. Everyone in the room can feel it, nova, psion and baseline alike. To those with attunement it quickly becomes clear. A beacon signal of immense strength moving rapidly towards the meeting.

It can be felt before it can be heard and heard before it can be seen. As the Quantum aura grows near a faint growing hum can be felt, a tingle in the room, almost below human perception. Soon it grows into a loud throbbing subsonic vibration. Moments later, the Nova Ricochet alights upon the aerie balcony, thrumming with waves of power. Deactivating his invisible force aura, the pulsing bass frequency subsides, yet the unmistakeable presence of a quantum god remains.

Clad from head to toe in a hardened shell of Eufiber, Rico appears to be some breed of futuristic techno-organic knight. The overlapping plates of his armor are a deep midnight blue, each trimmed with silver. His face is concealed behind the featureless scales. When he speaks, his voice is distorted, though it is unclear if this is intentional or a part of his QB Syndrome.

Calmly, yet with that eerie multi-octive distortion he addresses the group.

"Greetings. For those of you whom I have not met, my name is Ricochet. If you prefer, when I was still yet human, some called me Ashley."

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John replies to Ares initial suggestion with a question.

"I didn't think that they could operate separately. Aren't they all connected in a single organism. Sorry, probably a question for another time."

Ares replies,

"Not 'can't operate', 'can't survive'."

"So yes, whatever we bring would die... it'd be like bringing a horn or tusk rather than a full animal."

Calmly, yet with that eerie multi-octive distortion he addresses the group.

"Greetings. For those of you whom I have not met, my name is Ricochet. If you prefer, when I was still yet human, some called me Ashley."

Ares 'felt' it coming... and looked thoughtful then turned to face the new comer. He replies,

"Ricochet, welcome. You're originally from Earth, right? We were just discussing whether we should bring trade goods and if so what."

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Rico Responds,

"An excellent question. Earth has changed much in our absence. They are not lacking in resources, however we may be able to offer them technological solutions we have devloped. It is my understanding that many of the breaktrhoughs pioneered by Us in the early 21st century were banned or destroyed. We have learned much about the harmful side effects of Quantum Channeling. Our greatest offering will be our knowledge, our history, and our strength to fight off our wayward cousins..."

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Apollo nods in agreement.

"Those are exactly the areas that I intend bringing forward in negotiation with the UN when we get there, but how hard should we negotiate? It has already been suggested that we not just give them any data, even to confirm things they already know, as this may make them more suspicious of our motives. On the other hand we don't want to make them resent the price we are asking. Oh well, that is a problem for those in my team. You will have the more nebulous task of assessing the mood of the actual people of Earth and hopefully some of their colonies. Getting them to accept us will go a long way to easing our ability to work with them and ultimately helping them in the ways that Rico has described."

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"I don't think we should hard sell them at all." Rico says. His voice is truly odd and disturbing for those who aren't used to him. The other novas know that he spends most of his time in monastic seclusion.

"The hard truth is, that they need us more than we need them. In offering our assistance from such a place of non-attachment, we both strengthen our negotiating hand, as well as sub-communicate reassurance that we hide no ulterior motives. If the y turn us away, it will be their loss."

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