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ProfPotts

Trinity Universe: Dreams of Dragons

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Simon nods to Alex, and takes out a glove case switching his gloves to another black pair of gloves. He rolls his sleeves up a bit, and puts a small amount of cologne on his wrist and neck. "Qin smell us right? I really want to get an interview with one of those things. Multi-colored biotech telepathic monsters from outer space! Man, I love those things. I've always been obsessed with them. Dang, if you could actually get some nice pictures of them.... oh man. I'd owe you drinks for the rest of your life." Simon continues to rattle on about how incredible Qin are. Alexander just nods, knowing how Simon likes to spit out all his random thoughts before he actually talks to a VIP. They both walk out of the room oblivious to Randall, and head towards the dining-area.

Randall doesn't find any drugs in the traditonal sense of the word, although a quick search of one of the inhabitants stuff, probubly Simon's, reveals an odd assortment of strange food items, which clearly reflect on Simon's overly Sudamerican nature. ::blush

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Sean smiles brightly and replies to the nice avatar. "Hi Tess! I'm Sean, and this is Randall. Being a psion is just the most amazing experience I think it's possible to have - why do you ask?"

Tess cocks her head to one side,

"I wish to understand."

"Bioengineer Sean Vinge reportin' fer duty, sir."

Singh turns slowly, & Sean could swear the man was supressing a growl as he does so. Still, to his credit, he instead says,

"You'd best meet your shift crew."

The Chief Engineer slides down the nearby ladder - feet braced on the outside - & walks over the lower floor towards a group of crewmembers (not bothering to check to see if Sean is following him or not). Getting one of the crewmen to fetch a few more, he eventually faces a small group of ten. Indicating Sean he anounces,

"Beta shift - this is Bioengineering Specialist Sean Vinge. He'll be in charge of your shift for the near future. Any problems, don't hesitate to call me."

Turning, he hands a datapad to Sean,

"Their files & your duty rosters."

With that he again heads back up to the higher level to continue with whatever it was he was doing before.

The dining-room is pretty large for a space-vessel, although even here the ceiling is no more than three meters or so high (only the Engineering section & the various bays being higher). Situated near the top of the ship the room sports a row of windows down each side that reveal the curvature of the Leviathan's hull, & the stars beyond. Tables are set out, & various guests & crew are helping themselves from an extensive buffet that stretches down one side of the room. Some guests are peering out of one of the windows, watching one of the cockroach-like repair BioVARG's working on a section of hull. Others are gathered around the tall, softly hued, elegantly lined figure of the promised Qin diplomate. A less elegant, but much more functional, looking Qin bodyguard stands a few paces behind his(?) charge. A smaller group are talking with a striking black woman whom Simon quickly realises must be the ship's Captain.

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Tess cocks her head to one side,

"I wish to understand."

Sean gives the hologram a warm but curious smile. "Ye want t' understand? You're not like any avatar I've ever-" Suddenly, his eyes widen and he hits himself over the forehead. "Tess! Mother o'.. I'm an idiot!"

He looks at the hologram with a newfound wonder. "So you're the tesser, I assume? Ye'll have to pardon me, I'm a bit slow on the uptake at times." He laughs. "In fact, if it weren't for the name, I'd have just walked away thinking, 'What an engaging and lovely avatar our engineering bay computer 'as!'"

The Chief Engineer slides down the nearby ladder - feet braced on the outside - & walks over the lower floor towards a group of crewmembers (not bothering to check to see if Sean is following him or not).

Sean is right behind him, nimbly jumping down without bothering with the ladder.

"Beta shift - this is Bioengineering Specialist Sean Vinge. He'll be in charge of your shift for the near future. Any problems, don't hesitate to call me."

Turning, he hands a datapad to Sean,

"Their files & your duty rosters."

"Thank you sir."

After Singh goes away, Sean says to the assembly, "Well, I think he covered that fairly well, yeh? Loik 'e said, you have any problems, you come straight to - well actually, he said to go to 'im, but I'd be 'appy to lend a hand meself if any of ye'd like." He pauses. "Well, I guess that's it, can't wait to get to know all of ye.. I'll look these over as soon as I can.." He gestures to the datapad. His address seems to run out of steam at this point, and he shrugs. "Er.. any questions?"

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Simon looks around the room, quickly inspecting the food, before looking at Alexander. "Okay buddy, listen here. Take like 5 minutes to eat alright? I'll go start writting an opening and all that stuff, then in five minutes, I want us to try and get pictures and holo-vids of me and the Qin talking, if I can manage that. Then if we still have time, you should try and get some space shots." Alex nods slowly, and walks towards the food helping himself. Simon spends his time getting his computer on, and being sure all the necessary programs are up for dictating whatever this Qin says.

Simon makes his way towards the crowd around the Qin, and tries passively to move towards the front. The Qin most love the PR stuff they get, so Simon doesn't really see a need in violently pushing past other people talking to the thing.

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Seeming to materialize out of the crowd, Randall intercepts Simon with a casual nod. "Just wanted to let you know you're all clear with me. I hope you enjoy your time aboard." With a small smile he excuses himself and glides over to the buffet, helping himself to the food.

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He looks at the hologram with a newfound wonder. "So you're the tesser, I assume? Ye'll have to pardon me, I'm a bit slow on the uptake at times." He laughs. "In fact, if it weren't for the name, I'd have just walked away thinking, 'What an engaging and lovely avatar our engineering bay computer 'as!'"

Tess watches Sean's antics with interest, then replies in her soft, melodic, voice,

"Yes - I'm the Tesser. Are you flattering me? It's... interesting..."

"Er.. any questions?"

There's some shuffling of feet in the ranks, & a few nudges with elbows, then, finally, one young female crewmember - slender with pale skin & her dark hair in a page-boy cut - steps forward. Her accent, though not pronounced, sounds North American,

"Crewman Rand, sir. Is it... er... is it true that you're Biokinetic, sir? There's been some rumours &... Well, none of us has ever seen a Biokinetic 'at work' if you take my meaning sir?"

The rest of the shift look on expectantly.

In the dining room Simon waits patiently to get close to the Qin dilomat. Soon enough, the diplomat turns towards him, & addresses him in perfect Spanish - his voice has a strange tone to it, almost like it was echoing through metal, but not as harsh,

"Mister Mendez - you are curious, are you not? Ask your questions, please."

The perfect doll-like face of the Qin forms a smile ::smile .

Across the room, Randall notices the ship's Navigator - the rather distant (but, it's said, very powerful) clairsentient Tobias - talking to another reporter, an attractive young blonde woman. Tobias is a stick-thin bald man in his forties, at least, from some indeterminate European country, & always seems to have his mind on other things - having trouble concentrating on the here & now. He is, however, the most important person on the ship. The reporter, Randall recalls from the list of guests, is Barbera Boon - a rather galmourous journalist for one of the better (i.e. less-censored) FSA news agencies. She appears to be having the usual trouble getting Tobias to keep his mind on the questions she's asking, but is trying her best, & keeping calm as she does so.

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Idly curious, Randall moves quietly to near the reporter and clear. He's fairly sure Tobias will note his presence, but still interested in the questions being asked, he stops a few feet away.

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"Yes - I'm the Tesser. Are you flattering me? It's... interesting..."

Sean just laughs as though Christmas came early. "Yes, I am. Sorry.'

"Crewman Rand, sir. Is it... er... is it true that you're Biokinetic, sir? There's been some rumours &... Well, none of us has ever seen a Biokinetic 'at work' if you take my meaning sir?"

Sean's smile grows slightly wider and he gives a slight exhalation from his nose that could be an incredibly faint chuckle or a sigh. "Yes, I am a biokinetic. So ye want a demonstration?"

Sean holds up his hand, extending his thumb, and closes his eyes. Slowly, the thumb grows and morphs, assuming the shape of a tool that all present are quite familiar with: it is a enlongated cylinder with long, sharp spindles on the end that is commonly used in toolkits for bioware, used to inject various substances into certain bioapps. What really makes it surreal is that it is still plainly made of flesh, and the tattoos on the back of his hand have adapted to the new shape.

His thumb morphs back to normal, and all eyes instantly move from his hand to his face, which is giving a grin that is both ironic and almost apologetic. "That's the most impressive stunt I'm capable of." Apart from standin' up in front of you lot 'n' lyin' like an actor, o' course.. "Saves me the trouble of runnin' for me kit every time the shite hits the fan. Nothin' all that special, really.."

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"Mister Mendez - you are curious, are you not? Ask your questions, please."

The perfect doll-like face of the Qin forms a smile  .

Shocked at the perfect Spanish, Simon pauses a second, realizing he won't have to communicate in uncomplicated channels. "Well, Mr... Ambassador, firstly I'm curious as to how you learned Spanish so well, you speak it nearly as well as any Sudamerican I know. Secondly, I am curious as to what you think of this ship we're aboard, I hear your umm... people, are quite adept at making biotech things. Could this compare to anything of yours, if only by it's size and complexity? Also to avoid legal problems, I'd hate to be sued by an alien, I just want to make you aware that this conversation is being recorded for the purpose of clarity and possible airing on Newsday Sudamerica." Simon smiles as well, slightly disturbed by the all to perfect face he's talking to.

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In the Engineering department Sean's team seem suitably impressed by his 'demo' of his abilities - although one young man looks like he's about to throw-up! Singh appears to also notice the 'show', & calls over the rail,

"You've got a complete diagnostic of the port data-nodes to be running, Beta shift - best get moving!"

In the dining-room, Randall moves closer to Tobias & the female reporter. The old clear glances up, only to stare past the security chief, out to the stars through the window beyond. Barbera Boon looks towards Randall & shrugs, then tries to get the Navigator to answer her question - something about the jump process. He glances about the room, & finally focuses on the young lady & smiles - introducing himself to her as the ship's Navigator. Boon's professional exterior almost cracks at that point, but she tries, once again, to get some sense out of the Psion... ::rolleyes

Listening to Simon's questions the Qin's smile is fixed in place. The smile slips briefly as the alien contemplates an answer, then returns, identical to the way it looked previously,

"Human language is all very similar, yes? Once one dialect is known, the others follow easily, don't you find? The vessel we are within is impressive indeed. My people never travelled to the stars before we met your people - we would not have dreamt of such a majestic creature. We have creatures as large, & some as complex, but none who can move so well. I welcome your documentation of this exchange - that is why we are all here, after all. I have no wish to pursue legal challenges against your person, as no injustice has been done."

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Once Sean sees the young man who appears to be sick, his hand snaps back to normal immediately. "Sorry mate, you all right? I should've asked if anybody din't wanna see 'fore I did it, stupid of me.."

"You've got a complete diagnostic of the port data-nodes to be running, Beta shift - best get moving!"

"Yessir!" Sean shouts. He smiles at the crew. "You all game?" He goes to work, using a nearby computer to check that sector of the ship.

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Simon nods as the Qin speaks and contemplates his next question. He seems like he's doing some visual work on his hud, and before asking his next question. "You call this a 'majestic creature', do your people consider these biotech creations as 'creatures' that shouldn't be abused and should be treated like.... uhhh... the human concept of a pet... eeem.. an animal that is kept and fed by a human? Or do your people treat your biotech 'creatures' as things, similar to the way I treat this computer?" Simon taps the computer on his belt, his voice filled with joy and anticipation as he gets the chance to bombard the Qin with so many questions.

OOC- Sorry to make you have to invent all of this Qin cultural stuff.

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Barbera Boon looks towards Randall & shrugs, then tries to get the Navigator to answer her question - something about the jump process. He glances about the room, & finally focuses on the young lady & smiles - introducing himself to her as the ship's Navigator. Boon's professional exterior almost cracks at that point, but she tries, once again, to get some sense out of the Psion...

Suppressing a chuckle, Randall steps away from the pair, turning his attention to the Qin ambassador and Simon. Not really concerned about any threat from the reporter, he gives a professional nod to the Qin protector standing behind the ambassador. His professional habits keep his senses focused on any possibility of danger as he strolls around the room mingling with the crowd. Well aware of exactly how un-hologenic he is, he tries to avoid stepping into the path of anyone recording the event.

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Sean quickly completes the preliminary diagnostics - the stuff the computer can tell him - & all seems to be in order. To check things in more detail he'd have to actually enter the access tubes to the masses of biotech data-nodes that make up the Tesser & lesser ship systems, & check things 'by hand'. It's a long & (most likely) pointless process - considering there appear to be no warnings of faults anywhere in the system. Maybe it's just good housekeeping by his new boss?..

"You call this a 'majestic creature', do your people consider these biotech creations as 'creatures' that shouldn't be abused and should be treated like.... uhhh... the human concept of a pet... eeem.. an animal that is kept and fed by a human? Or do your people treat your biotech 'creatures' as things, similar to the way I treat this computer?"

The Qin again listens quietly, then replies, it's smile still static on it's face,

"Maybe my Spanish isn't as well-developed as we thought? Does 'creature' not refer to a living thing? This vessel is certainly alive. 'Pets' I have encountered before - they serve as aids in reducing psychological pressures, yes? This vessel serves a different purpose - to travel to far places. Biotechnology is developed for specific purposes & is used in a manner that fulfils the purpose for which it was created. 'Abuse' would seem to imply an improper use of a creature or 'thing', yes? Such improper use would be counter-productive - why would anyone wish to do such a thing?"

OOC- Sorry to make you have to invent all of this Qin cultural stuff.

[Not a problem - although I may end up wildly off the mark if there's lots of Qin stuff in the books I haven't got... ::confused ::wink ]

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Having completed his meandering circuit of the room, Randall moves quietly back towards Tobias and Ms. Boon, staying slightly behind and to the side of the reporter, outside her field of vision. Trying his best to appear casual, he studies her behavior and movement...

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Sean frowns. That seems a little unnatural.

Would checking things "by hand" be expected of him as part of a full check? If unsure, he'll ask Singh or someone else on the shift.

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Would checking things "by hand" be expected of him as part of a full check?

[sure - it's just painstaking, boring, lengthy, & - probably - pointless. That's never stopped a supervisor ordering such things in the past though... ::sly ]

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::huh Singh does a shift too, he's not gonna set a precedent that'll shaft him with unnecessary work. Sean will ask him what he wants him to do.

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Singh frowns at Sean when he's confronted ::angry ,

"Run the diagnostic. I assume you know how to do that. Gamma shift has the starboard data-nodes, Alpha shift has the rest of the ship's systems. This may seem mundane to you, but I intend to make sure this vessel is 100% before her first mission, even if that does mean double-, & if necessary triple-, checking each & every system. If you can't do the job, tell me. I'll assign someone who can."

Behind the Chief Engineer, the biokinetic notices more than one fellow crewman shift uneasily & roll their eyes ::rolleyes at Singh's words - apparantly he's not the only one who feels Singh's a little too paranoid about the ship's performance.

After his (brief) talk with his new boss, Sean's approached by one of his new subordinates, who leans close & whispers,

"The guy's a work-a-holic, & expects everyone else to be the same - we all just learn to live with it." ::wink

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Sean grins wryly. "So I gathered. But he's right - we should make sure the ship is 100%. Let's get to work."

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2nd Officer Ran Ao-Xiong strolls through the hallways of the Kai Xing, making his way to the dining area at a leisurely pace while nodding and smiling to the crewmembers and guests he passes on the way. He checks his appearance briefly in a window reflection, making sure that the uniform sits perfectly and running his fingers through his short hair. Brushing off some imaginary dust from his insignia, he walks on, shortly thereafter arriving in the reception area.

Stopping inside the entrance to get an overview of the room, he takes in the various groups and individuals before he walks a circuit around the room. He picks up a snack from the buffét, nods his greetings to the officers in the room, smiles at the various reporters and their varying degree of success at what they're doing, marvels at the two ever so enigmatic Qin and stops by the windows to admire the view and exchange a pleasant word or two with the others standing there, before he finally makes his way towards the Captain and the group surrounding her. Approaching the group, he pauses a few paces away and bows briefly in the Captain's direction before he joins them.

- "Forgive my intrusion, Captain, but it is time for your speech soon, is it not?"

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"Forgive my intrusion, Captain, but it is time for your speech soon, is it not?"

Captain Getui grins ::biggrin , placing a hand on the junior officer's shoulder & turning to talk to the group she was with, but loud enough to get the attention of any others in the room who'd care to listen,

"Our Second Officer, & resident Ministry of Psionic Affairs representative, Ran Ao-Xiong. Like many younger officers he's very keen - as you can see." ::wink

Taking a step back from Ran, the striking African woman continues,

"Since I'll be boring our guests with a speech tommorow, maybe our young friend here would like to accept the honour & say a few words himself?" ::sly

Holding her hands up for a general silence, the Captain announces,

"Ladies & gentlemen - Ran Ao-Xiong."

There follows a smattering of applause, then a hushed silence, as the assembled guests & crew wait to hear what the young Chinese man will say to mark this momentous occassion...

Meanwhile, Sean finds himself crawling though miles of narrow access tunnels, stopping every now & then to remove a relevant panel, run a series of checks on the bio-ware beneath, record the results, replace the panel, then move on. After the first twenty of so nearly identical panels the whole process begins to wear a little thin... Just as the monotony really starts to set in, he suddenly hears a gentle female voice,

"That tickles!"

It takes the bio-engineer a few moments to recognise the voice of Tess, & realise that she's talking to him through the ship's internal comm' system.

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"That tickles!"

Sean jumps, banging his head on the ceiling of the small tunnel. He swears violently for a couple of seconds (think of the moment when Ikonboard went down and you'll get the idea) then calms down.

"Uh.. sorry about that." He squints. "Tess? Is 'at you? Sorry, love, I.. er..

"Out o' curiosity, why'd they put speakers down in this pit of 'ell?"

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Holding her hands up for a general silence, the Captain announces,

"Ladies & gentlemen - Ran Ao-Xiong."

The young officer gives his Captain a quick glance ::dry before he looks around the room. Waiting for the guests to quiet down, he looks a bit nervously around at all the people gathered there. As the silence settles, he says

"Lao Tzu says: 'Perfect straightness looks bent. Extreme skill looks clumsy. A brilliant speech sounds like stammering.'" ::blush ::bigsmile

Hoping for at least a few smiles at his joke, he takes another moment to gather his thoughts.

"Good evening, ladies, gentlemen and emissaries of the Qin. It is my pleasure to welcome you all to this small reception aboard the Kai Xing. I hope you've enjoyed your stay so far, and I can assure you that I am not about to bore you for very long." ::smile

"Captain Getui will be giving her official speech tomorrow, but for tonight I would like to take the opportunity to encourage you all to talk to each other and share each other's impression of the multitude of backgrounds and personalities gathered here. Should you have any questions regarding the vessel, feel free to ask any of the crew or officers, or even Tess herself. For these few hours, at least, we are at your service. Before I leave you to your drinks, I would like to share my own thoughts about this magnificent creature."

He pauses again, and when he continues his voice has the sound of a disciple quoting his master.

"Lao Tzu also says: 'Even a nine-storied terrace began with a single basket of dirt. Even a 1,000 mile journey began as a single step.'"

"The Kai Xing is such a step. Along with her siblings, she will carry humanity to the farthest stars bringing the best of mankind with her. We will reunite with the people we have lost, we will find new allies and friends, and together we will explore the universe. The united efforts of mankind and the help we've received in building her is also a powerful reminder that the goal of uniting this universe's sentient lifeforms in peace and understanding is within our reach. If we can continue this journey in the same spirit, I believe there truly is no limit to how far we can reach."

"Thank you for lending me your ears. May you continue to have a pleasant evening." ::bigsmile

With these words he bows and waits briefly to see if anyone has any questions. If not, he turns back to the Captain with a slightly self-conscious smile.

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Sliding out of the crowd, Randall pats Ran on the shoulder in a congratulatory fashion. "Nice speech. You could barely see the sweat pouring down your forehead." Randall does his best to keep a straight face as he waits for the officer's response.

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"Uh.. sorry about that." He squints. "Tess? Is 'at you? Sorry, love, I.. er..

"Out o' curiosity, why'd they put speakers down in this pit of 'ell?"

There's a pause, then Tess's voice replies,

"I'm not sure that's a polite way to refer to my data-nodes..." ::sly

"The comm' relays are located at regular intervals throughout the maintenance arteries - for the convieniance of the engineering staff, as well as for emergency use."

"That does tickle, by the way - do it again..." ::biggrin

With these words he bows and waits briefly to see if anyone has any questions. If not, he turns back to the Captain with a slightly self-conscious smile.

There's a short, but heart-felt, round of applause after Ran's speech. The Captain smiles & raises a glass in the young officer's direction, before turning back to talk to the VIPs who have her cornered. The Qin diplomat, who watched Ran all through the speech with a neutral expression fixed on his perfect face, also breaks a smile - for about a second - then returns to Simon & his questions.

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"I'm not sure that's a polite way to refer to my data-nodes..."

Sean smiles and explains. "We 'umans are really attached to our physical bodies, and they're wired to give us displeasure when they're in a situation that's not exactly optimal for them, like fatigue, hunger, and thirst. Another, slightly weirder one of those circumstances is in dark, enclosed places. Does that make sense?"

"That does tickle, by the way - do it again..."

Sean grins, ups the charge slightly on his right hand (now morphed into what looks like a jumper cable on the end of a cylinder) and zaps her again.

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"Maybe my Spanish isn't as well-developed as we thought? Does 'creature' not refer to a living thing? This vessel is certainly alive. 'Pets' I have encountered before - they serve as aids in reducing psychological pressures, yes? This vessel serves a different purpose - to travel to far places. Biotechnology is developed for specific purposes & is used in a manner that fulfils the purpose for which it was created. 'Abuse' would seem to imply an improper use of a creature or 'thing', yes? Such improper use would be counter-productive - why would anyone wish to do such a thing?"

Simon nods slowly. "I've never thought of it in that way. It's just hard for me to relate in any practical way mainly because even in Sudamerica, most people are more accostomed to our devices never having been alive. Another thing, if you study any human history for centuries you will find many, many, wars. What do your people make of this? Considering that you seem relatively peaceful compared to us..." Simon rubs his right hand, which is covered in a glove, but avoids pulling up the glove, although it's apparent he wants to scratch the hand quite a bit.

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Sliding out of the crowd, Randall pats Ran on the shoulder in a congratulatory fashion. "Nice speech. You could barely see the sweat pouring down your forehead." Randall does his best to keep a straight face as he waits for the officer's response.

Ran looks up at the taller man for a moment before he frowns ::hmmm and asks in a serious voice "Are you making fun of me? You are good at hiding your thoughts, but i do not think I have to read them to know your meaning."

Then his face breaks into a smile as he relaxes. ::biggrin "You are right, of course." , he chuckles. "I was not prepared for this, and I must admit I was a bit nervous... Sometimes I think Captain Getui likes to surprise her officers from time to time, to keep them a little on their toes."

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Sean smiles and explains. "We 'umans are really attached to our physical bodies, and they're wired to give us displeasure when they're in a situation that's not exactly optimal for them, like fatigue, hunger, and thirst. Another, slightly weirder one of those circumstances is in dark, enclosed places. Does that make sense?"

There's a long pause, then Tess finally answers, sounding thoughtful as she does so,

"Yes, I understand. I'm also attached to my physical body - how could I be otherwise? When I try to calculate what it would feel like to not be in space it seems that uncertainties begin to enter into my equations - they don't seem 'right'. Is that what 'displeasure' is?"

Sean grins, ups the charge slightly on his right hand (now morphed into what looks like a jumper cable on the end of a cylinder) and zaps her again.

Tess giggles like a little girl. After another pause she inquires carefully,

"You can incorporate your biomass with other biological entities - like the tools you use - correct? What effect would that have on my sub-systems?"

In the dining room...

"I've never thought of it in that way. It's just hard for me to relate in any practical way mainly because even in Sudamerica, most people are more accostomed to our devices never having been alive. Another thing, if you study any human history for centuries you will find many, many, wars. What do your people make of this? Considering that you seem relatively peaceful compared to us..."

The Qin pointedly looks to Simon's hand as the reporter rubs, before returning to look into his eyes,

"Ah. I see. Yes - to defend one's interests is a natural reaction. Whether war is an appropriate response to a perceived threat to those interests, or not, is a function of scope & scale. A physical response may seem appropriate when viewed on an interpersonal scale, but not so when viewed on a broader political scale - or vice versa. An expanded scope of perception alters one's viewpoint on a great many issues. Generally war results in wastage of resources - there are better solutions. Sometimes, however, war is the best course of action we can perceive. The 'Aberrant' threat is a prime example - less resources will be lost by war than by alternate means of action, if our perceptions of the situation remain as they are."

Elsewhere in the room it appears as though the FSA reporter has finally gotten through to the Navigator, as he leads her from the room - pointing things out & commenting on them as he does so. The young lady tries to catch Simon's eye with a wink ::wink as she exits - as if to say 'you're not the only one with an exclusive interview...'.

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I'm also attached to my physical body - how could I be otherwise? When I try to calculate what it would feel like to not be in space it seems that uncertainties begin to enter into my equations - they don't seem 'right'. Is that what 'displeasure' is?"

"Yeh, that's about it. There's also prolly some physical fear in that, too.. Something o' yer mass wouldn't hold up long in gravity.

"Ye kinda misunderstand me as far as connection to yer own body is concerned. Ye can't feel this -" Sean taps on the wall a few times in demonstration "-the nerves in yer body are pretty sparsely spread out, 'cause ye've only got so much room in the processor to deal wit' it all. Ye can feel this, 'cause ye have to-" He gives the node itself another tickling zap "-but a human has nerves just about everywhere you can think of, with a few exceptions."

"You can incorporate your biomass with other biological entities - like the tools you use - correct? What effect would that have on my sub-systems?"

Sean mercilessly supresses the urge to make a tongue-in-cheek remark about "incorporating his biomass with other biological entities", not wanting to teach the tesser manners even resembling his own. He rubs his chin thoughtfully. "'At's a good question. I dinnae if I could, actually, because when I do that I tie it up in my nervous system, and your systems are already controlled by yours. I'd probably end up just breaking it." He grins. "So not dat much difference from normal bioware, then."

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Simon looks at the Fascist States Reporter ::bigsmile and nods to the the Qin ambassador. "Thank you much for this interview, but I'd assume another million reporters want to ask you the same question in 18 different languages. If you like, when this tape gets broadcast, I could attempt to send to wherever you are at the time, be it back on your home world or somewhere else in the galaxy." Simon smiles at the Qin, and shakes the Qins "hand". He walks away, and heads towards the buffet, still slightly hungry.

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"... I'd probably end up just breaking it." He grins. "So not dat much difference from normal bioware, then."

Tess sounds concerned at Sean's comments,

"Don't do that then, please - it sounds like it'd hurt."

After another pause - during which Sean gets more work done on the diagnostic, moving on down the access artery - Tess asks,

"What do you know about 'jumping'?"

In the dining-room the Qin shakes Simon's hand, & watches him depart, before shifting his strangely blank gaze to another interested questioner.

The reporter's cameraman heads over to ask,

"So, how'd it go, boss? I got some good shots of the two of you - probably something you can frame on your wall for when you retire - you know: 'me & the president', 'me & the pope', 'me & the alien' - that sort of thing." ::sly

"Who's next? That young officer who gave the speech could be a good target... um... 'subject' for an interview - you know how the inexperienced ones always let things slip - it'd be good to get some info' on this ship's mission before we left, wouldn't you say?"

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"Don't do that then, please - it sounds like it'd hurt."

"Don't worry, I won't."

"What do you know about 'jumping'?"

Sean thinks about it. "Probably less 'n you do. I know it's a means of convertin' mass into psi, then back into mass with a psionic alteration made in the location of the mass, and that it's only possible with one of the teleporters, wherever they are, or you, or one of yer sisters when assisted by a clear. It also creates a huge amount of psi feedback, which all psions and some neuts can feel, but which some of your systems mostly shield us against. That's why we'll be heading way the hell out there before we actually jump, so we don't annoy or incapacitate psions all over the earth or colonies."

Sean realizes he's babbling and shuts up. Then, after a few minutes, he smiles and says, "How does it feel?"

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Simon looks at the food across the room, and sighs. "Alex... Your the little voice in my head that keeps me skinny and pretty." He grumbles off this phrase in Spanish, before strolling across the room to meet Ran, wiping a glove across his forhead, although no sweat has formed on it.

He approaches Ran, and bows his head slightly, still not exactly an expert on Chinese Culture. "Wonderful speech, sir. I'd like to take a moment to introduce myself, I'm Simon Bolivar Mendez, Newsday Cali, Columbia Bureau." Despite his awkwardness in physical action, and a slight Spanish accent Simon seems quite confident in Chinese as he talks. "I'm curious to ask you some questions about yourself, the Ship, and Other information, that the freedom loving people of Sudamerica love to hear." Simon extends his left hand, which is gloved, although it's apparent that he is right handed.

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"How does it feel?"

"Jumping?..", Tess trails off. After a brief pause she admits, in a voice that, to Sean, sounds nervous, "... I... I don't really know. Not yet in any case. I... I know I can make the correct calculations, it's just...", her voice trails off again, leaving the tiny crawl-way in silence.

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"You are right, of course." , he chuckles. "I was not prepared for this, and I must admit I was a bit nervous... Sometimes I think Captain Getui likes to surprise her officers from time to time, to keep them a little on their toes."

Randall laughs along with him, smiling widely. Looking at the security chief, it's odd to see such perfect teeth in a very imperfect face. "You're right, of course. But I enjoy the challenge of her suprises."

Noticing the FSA reporter walking out with the ship's navigator, Randall pauses before he speaks again. "Ran, if you'll excuse me for a moment?"

Stepping away from the young Chinese officer, the security chief activates his comm. "Wayne, Clark, this is Chief Simon. Our navigator is taking a stroll with a very pretty journalist. Keep an eye on them for me, but be discreet."

Turning back to Ran, he sees the Sudamerican reporter offering his hand in greeting. Not one to miss much, he notices that it's Simon's left, gloved hand that's being offered. Storing that little tidbit for later, Randall steps forward, nodding in a friendly fashion to both of them. Just for fun, he sticks out his right hand, waiting for his own handshake from Simon.

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"... I... I don't really know. Not yet in any case. I... I know I can make the correct calculations, it's just...", her voice trails off again, leaving the tiny crawl-way in silence.

Sean raises an eyebrow. "Your jump systems are still untested? That's a little surprising." He shrugs. "I know ye can do it. And I'm pretty sure that every single person that'll be on the ship would rather have you completely bollix it up and kill us all rather than never find out whether or not the systems work. And they wouldn't be here if they didn't trust you. 'Sides, 's not like the responsibility rests entirely in your 'ands."

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"Your jump systems are still untested? That's a little surprising."

"Why? You said yourself that we need to be this far out in order to safely jump - how else could the system be tested?"

"I know ye can do it. And I'm pretty sure that every single person that'll be on the ship would rather have you completely bollix it up and kill us all rather than never find out whether or not the systems work. And they wouldn't be here if they didn't trust you. 'Sides, 's not like the responsibility rests entirely in your 'ands."

"Its...", she sounds nervous again, "... it's the idea of linking with Tobias - the Navigator."

She quickly adds,

"Oh, don't misunderstand - I'm sure he's a very nice person. It's just... to share control of my systems like that, to have my perceptions expanded... Is this 'fear' I'm feeling?"

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"Why? You said yourself that we need to be this far out in order to safely jump - how else could the system be tested?"

"Oh, I meant surprising to me, not to anyone with an ounce o' brains in his head."

"Its...", she sounds nervous again, "... it's the idea of linking with Tobias - the Navigator."

She quickly adds,

"Oh, don't misunderstand - I'm sure he's a very nice person. It's just... to share control of my systems like that, to have my perceptions expanded... Is this 'fear' I'm feeling?"

Sean nods in understanding and sympathy. "That would be fear, yes."

"Have you spoken to him yet?"

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