Chapter 04: True Nature [D06|0900]
CHAPTER 04: TRUE NATURE [ DAY 06 | 0900 hrs. ]
"Our species can only survive if we have obstacles to overcome. You remove those obstacles. Without them to strengthen us, we will weaken and die."
- Captain James T. Kirk (2273-2371)
[ Echtand qi Versant | The Quarters of the Voice | Precept-ship Versant ]
The lights of the Azure Nebula had grated on his black eyes, so he had closed the panoramic viewport's shutters several hours ago. The faint illumination that remained in his quarters rippled across his large hands, casting shadows along the barren walls.
Through most of the night, Echtand qi Versant had been hard at work in his research center - making preparations for the day that had just begun. Days and nights were, of course, a relative concept in space, rather a matter of chosen sleeping cycles. He had adapted his own to the Correction Program for the sake of his endeavour, so that he could utilise his assets more effectively. He had suffered a minor distraction by Sclergyn, which had delayed him for two hours. He was weary, his head aching, and he had staved off the doubts and the fear of failure several times. Again and again, he had to acknowledge the fact that there could never be a second opportunity, since with the Scion High Council ending the Correction Program, he could never have access to other specimens to aid him.
Schematics were displayed on some of the screens. Inventory list on others, followed by the layout of the security systems that had been raised around the Archive, and thus, also the source of the Code. He had partial access to those already with his position aboard the Versant, but the rest, he had to get creative with. No one else aboard the ship would even have a shot at penetrating the security systems around the Archive, and if he was to succeed, the specimens from Starfleet would play an essential role. Not just as a distraction, but as a... how would they put it? A can opener? Wrecking ball? Battering ram? His studies into the Federation's linguistics had been unclear on that.
"Echtand?" came a voice from behind him, and his three-fingered hands grew still. He made a quick inventory of what was displayed on the screens before him, before he slowly turned his black orbs towards the female Ante. His frown cut a dark line between his hairless brows.
"I merely wished to ask," she said, not demure, but resigned to their accord, while she approached him in the dim light, "why you did not give me the vecar?" Just like him, she wore the bodysuit that all Savi wore. Even though the hour would normally beg for her attendance in the Biolabs, why would she go there now, when there were no specimens left to study? Her question, however, forestalled that condundrum.
"Is that not obvious?" Echtand said, his intellect and strength making her inferior, yet somehow, his tone did not equal his irritation. Even the mating he had subjected her to had been... gentle, for a lack of better word. "I wish to propagate."
If he was to die for the restoration of the Code, and the truth about the Scion Directive, he found it... fitting, that he'd leave something of himself behind. After the customary announcement, Sclergyn stood silent, and like all of High Class, the control she wielded over her emotions was admirable. It was what made him chose her. The only thing she did, was to look down towards her abdomen, and to run a hand over it, in premonition of what was to come, if she chose to accept. In the end, she inclined her head. "Then I will will take the thym. I am... gratified that you chose me, and it will be a privilege to bear the Child of the Voice."
Echtand stared back at her, thinking about his parents. He wished he could impart more upon Sclergyn, so that the child - if his black seed took - might learn what what he knew. Alas, there was no time, and he would have to leave his research for Sclergyn to find on her own. Perhaps he'd even record a message for her, if he could spare a few minutes.
Without another word spoken of their agreement, Sclergyn turned to leave, which made Echtand speak anew.
"Why do you return to your research?" he asked, not even demanding an answer with his tone. "There is naught for you in the Biolabs."
Sclergyn paused in the antechamber, the set of her shoulders making her look conflicted. As if she did not wish to speak. "I have... violated the Code," she confessed quietly, and Echtand suspected that the only reason she admitted this to him - the Voice - was because of the exchange they just had about propagating. "I did not submit something to the Archive. It is an object of such rarity, that I could not let it be Recycled. It is-"
"An egg," said Echtand, his mind faster than hers, and a bout of ire making his tongue quicker still. He had sought it for a long time that night. "Carrying an ovum of mixed mammalian and amphibian genome. An Ovri-Klingon cross-breed."
Sclergyn actually looked shocked, as if he'd struck her. "How did y-"
"I am the Voice," he said, with such resolution that it sounded like it was obvious, even if it was a lie of omission.
"I... seek pardon for m-" she began, looking down to the deck.
"There is no need," he said quietly, even if his stare was unchanged. "All I ask is that you keep your orderlies away, make it accessible, and prepare it for display, for I wish to see it for myself."
Sclergyn relaxed, looking surprised about the development. "When will the Voice arrive for inspection?"
"You may still use my name," he reminded her in a quiet tone, "I will not file a violation report, nor do I - however - know when I might make the inspection. I want you to make the arrangements, and then return here. Immediately."
"I understand. Thank you... Echtand." She lingered for a moment, as if she wished to say more. Perhaps she even thought he meant to mate with her anew upon her return. In any case, the relief was as plain as a Low Class' in her face. Somehow, Echtand even found it... endearing. Clearly he had delved too much into Federation culture. She turned to leave, and he was alone at last.
He was ready to initiate the operation. After he did, there was no turning back. He rose from his seat, paced his quarters one last time, with his face buried in his hand. He had to do it, for the sake of all Antes in the entire Savi Flotilla. He didn't actually, have a choice, since he represented the interests of his entire race. He spoke for the Savi, and now, his voice would call the Scions out for what they'd done, and he'd transmit the proof to all, High Class and Low. It was time to make himself heard.
With a deep breath, he picked up his tablet and left his quarters. He still had full access to the research center through the device, and he began to execute the plan whilst he descended the corridor at a brisk pace. With a quick addition about the Ovri/Klingon egg, he transmitted a prepared message to Blue Tiran, and executed the Transport protocols.
DELIVERED: ARMAMENT IN THE SHAPE OF STARFLEET RIFLES AND HAND PHASERS, THE LETHAL SETTINGS ARE ONLY ACCESSIBLE WHEN IN TEN METER PROXIMITY TO A SCION BIO-SIGN. I MAKE A REMINDER ABOUT THE INNOCENCE OF THE ANTECEDENTS. IF I LEARN THAT THE AGREEMENT HAS BEEN VIOLATED, MY CONTINUED SUPPORT IN YOUR ESCAPE WILL END.
DELIVERED: FIFTY-SEVEN DATA TABLETS WITH HIGHEST AREA ACCESS ENABLED. YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO ACCESS THE WHOLE OF THE VERSANT, YET INDIVIDUAL ACCESS MIGHT BE TERMINATED BY YOUR OPPOSITION. TERMINATED ACCESS CANNOT BE RESTORED. TABLETS ARE EQUIPPED WITH COMMUNICATION ACCESS BETWEEN ALL OTHER TABLETS.
DELIVERED: COMPLETE DECK PLANS UPLOADED TO ALL DATA TABLETS, ALONG WITH SENSOR ACCESS TO REVEAL SAVI PRESENCE WITHIN THIRTY METERS FROM THE TABLET'S POSITION.
DELIVERED: LOCATIONS OF KEY POINTS-OF-INTEREST THAT HAS BEEN RELAYED TO ME UPLOADED TO ALL TABLETS. OBJECTS AND SPECIMENS YOU WISH TO EXTRACT HAVE BEEN HIGHLIGHTED IN THE DECK PLANS.
REQUIRED: LISTS OF NAMES YOU WISH TO HAVE TRANSPORTED TO THE CLOSE VICINITY OF EACH LOCATION. NAMES WILL SUFFICE.
REQUIRED: TERMINATION OF SCION ADMIRAL SEMATHAL. ITS BIOSIGN HAS BEEN UPLOADED TO ALL TABLETS. ITS CURRENT LOCATION IS INSIDE THE SCION NEST, WHERE CAPTAIN IVES IS BEING HELD.
WHEN SEMATHAL HAS BEEN TERMINATED, I WILL TRANSMIT ESCAPE ROUTES. NOT BEFORE. IT IS MY SOLE DEMAND, AND KEY TO REVEALING THE NATURE OF MY PEOPLE.
TRANSMIT YOUR DEPLOYMENT LISTS AS SOON AS YOU ARE ABLE.
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There! Seven days of posting with your characters begin after @BZ has posted! Moreover, you can use the Plot Discussion thread to state preference in which mission objective your character should be sent to. I will, however, veto against everyone going to save Captain Ives, or Thea etc. We need an even distribution of characters across the objectives. If this can't be handled in an orderly fashion, I will pick where all characters should go. @BZ , obviously, it is time to gather people around, and Nerina will be there as well, whom I will write in the gathering.
The naming convention for Supplemental threads belonging to earlier Prologue - leading up to 0900 hrs. this morning on Day 06 is: PRO: S [DXX|XXXX] Insert Title. Here are the characters present in Blue Tiran's hideout in the Maintenance Bays: