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RP: Elysia [ECS Sorella/Veritas] Day 0


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Senator Aripael Goriass stood in a waiting room in one of the many construction yards which inhabited the gas giants of the Veritas system. More precisely he was standing to the side of one of these waiting rooms and staring coolly out of the window at a rather important ship: his ship. His newest ship, one of the three Crataeis’, flagship of the Elysian Empire and his – all his. Perhaps his pride in his new position was giving him rose tinted lenses, but he thought he had never seen a more aesthetically pleasing ship in his life. He shook his head slightly and did his best to get rid of that line of thought. It was a ship, a powerful ship certainly, but nothing that one should spend overly long romanticizing over – it was a tool, like much else. It was his position that was the true gain, and that he did hold in great relish.

He turned now and looked out impassively at the rest of the waiting room. It wasn't a particularly interesting waiting room, simply a large white box like area with enough seats to by occupied by a hundred or so Elysians. So far the crew had not fully assembled, in that none had arrived, and he would have been surprised if they had. It was, after all, two hours before he had told them to meet there. He had not yet decided whether to dislike overly eager crew members or late crew members more. That was certainly something to think about. Bored now of looking at an empty room he drew out a datapad from his robes and for the twelth or thirteenth time began to memorise the details of the as of yet nameless Crataeis.


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Kalael glanced about the waiting room as she made her entrance, earlier than she usually did. Two hours early. The Crataeis wasn't even finished in its construction yet, as far as she knew, but ah, she had been given a time, and she had nothing to do to fill the space in between, so coming early seemed as proper an action as any. A tightly packed duffel was slung over her shoulder, and she was dressed quite simply, in white cotton iyko and alha'il of semi-transparent scarlet silk. Blue-green eyes cast about swiftly - though she was clearly patrician, there was a humbleness to her, obvious even in how she composed herself. A regality in her stride, but not one of overbearing nature. Aripael caught her attention, though - the La'khas he wore calling some respect, and she bowed her head gently to him. "Senator Aripael...?"

Aripael turned around and looked up slowly from his datapad in one fluidic motion before scanning Kalael with his pale eyes before speaking in a rather deadpan fashion, “Indeed. And you are?â€


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"Make sure you do." Aripael said calmly, turning slowly to the female Patrician and continuing to speak in a smooth but hard voice, "And my confidence in you simply stems from your past records Kalael. God willing you will continue to show the same level of ability in my service as you did in training. If you do so you will get your own Kleos, and perhaps contribute to the conquest of the heathen."

He turned his head away now, "And if you do feel as if I would have been wiser to have chosen a more experienced crew member, perhaps you should prove otherwise. It brings honour to no-one to doubt oneself, even for a moment."


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Kalael shifted her gaze towards that point on the wall again, blankly. "I will strive, Senator, to live up to your expectations." It was a very simple response. Kalael had little desire to continue this line of conversation; and after that almost dismissive statement, she fell silent, gazing idly off for several minutes. Her hands folded deftly in her lap, her wings arching over her almost like a blanket, shading from the overhead lights.

After a good ten minutes Yerael Tereil game into the room. He had woken up early for no discernable reason and after spending an hour or so grooming had thought of nothing to do other than to go to the rendezvous point. He entered looking fabulous as always, in a particularly ornate Kharmei. He looked around before striding up to Aripael, "Power Armour Pilot Yerael Tereil reporting for duty sir."

Aripael stopped reading and turned around languidly, looking him up and down, "Oh good. Your commanding officer has already arrived, I suggest you speak to her."

Yereal responded with a salute before sliding up to Kalael, "Hello there miss."

Looking up slowly, Kalael gave a thin smile, luscious lips drawn tight against her teeth. "...hello... Yerael?" She had only been half-listening to the exchange, her focus on the wall almost completely overbearing. "I am Kalael Miriam. Miss is very unbecoming, as my name is much more aesthetically pleasing. I would prefer you use that." She drew her wings back, wishing like hell there was enough room here to properly stretch them...

“Noted Kalael.â€
Having recieved assent from the Senator, Kalael straightened herself, spreading her arms wide for a moment, eyes trailing to the sky. "O! Graceful Protector..."

The first words spoken. It was, perhaps, not a prayer one would hear from an Exarch, but Kalael was quite faithful, and one could tell this from the sheen her eyes took, the joy in her voice. "We Children of Dust drawn to life by only Your glory sing thy praises. Guide us, O! Graceful Protector, through strife and adversity, shield us from our hubris, lift us high with warmth beneath our wings!" Genuine passion on her voice, as uncommon as that may have been. "Our love is Yours."

Eyes closed in a silent 'amen'.


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"Amen," Aripael repeated quietly noting to himself which voices he heard doing the same and which he did not, and his head remained down for a few more moments as he continued his own private prayer. Finishing, this time with an inaudible 'amen', he raised his head and spoke authoritatively, "Follow me, we shall go to our new place of work, duty and abode." Saying nothing more and not waiting for a response he strode out of the waiting room.

He continued down the central corridor at a brisk pace, past drab, featureless walls and through air which smelt of nothing other than a trace of disinfectant. Aripael was naturally an extremely neat and clean person - but there was something unnatural about attaining that state through bleach and disinfectant which annoyed him on some level - it seemed almost the easy and inelegant solution to something which could be achieved with simple hard work.

Upon reaching the end of the corridor, a journey which while lasting around five minutes was relatively easy given that their was only a single corridor and it was straight, he stood patiently next to a rather drab airlock - on the far side of which was their ship, his new and glorious post.


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Kalael followed after Aripael on light feet, sparing scarcely a glance towards the others about her, her eyes rather resolutely focused ahead, glazed-like and scarcely paying a lick of attention to anything around her. A five minute wandering through the drab corridors was not something she really wished to have her brain on for. Of course, by her impressions of the crew, there weren't many she would much enjoy speaking with anyway. Aripael, certainly, had his wit. And Remiel was mildly intriguing. The rest seemed thoroughly standard fare. The airlock loomed before her, and she paused, crossing her arms, awaiting the continuing of the journey.

Aripael waited as the rest of the group came, noting disparagingly those who were somewhat slower than the others. They did all come however and just before the last one settled down he pressed the button on the wall which opened the door into the airlock of the vessel, a white hexagon with two thin membranes blocking the way. Not waiting for anyone else to take the honour of being first on board Aripael pulled the membranes aside and felt a slight tingling sensation throughout his body as he walked through a selective forecefield, "Come." He ordered, walking into the central corridor of the floor, that which in the past he had only seen on a diagram.

The corridor seemed perfectly normal, surprisingly wide and being formed out of an aesthetically pleasing silvery-white metal with a blue carpet on the floor and LED lights gracefully adorning the ceiling.

Kalael waited a moment for Aripael to pass through the membrane before following herself, though her eyes took on a less glazed appearance. Now inside this beauteous piece of technology - nay, this lovely creature - Kalael found herself somewhat more attentive. It was, certainly, aesthetically pleasing. That was always a helpful bit. But ah, she was not so terribly certain she cared about the aesthetic qualities. She was most eager to see the rest of the vessel. The bridge, perhaps, she wouldn't get to see. But the armor bay was more intriguing anyway...

Aripael waited until everyone was assembeled before speaking to the group, "You now have thirty minutes to explore the vessel. You may go anywhere you think is apropriate, if I think it is not appropriate and find out there will be reprecusions. In thirty minutes meet in the lounge." Saying that Aripael turned and walked towards the Bridge.

Kalael did not need to be prompted twice! With a light tapping of her hand to her heart and a delicate bow, she put on a lightly bowed smile and turned away to find the armor bay. She was, indeed, rather familiar with the layout of the vessel, that being the first thing she acquainted herself with upon being given her assignment. Now, she wanted to go and look over the Anthedons, that most beautiful of all implements of war. A weapon, yes, but one with such grace...

The power armour bay was on the third deck and to the stern of the vessel, requiring a quick trip through the corridors which were at the rather unusual gravity of 0.2 G's. However Kalael quickly came to the Power Armour bad doors which opened in front of her revealing a great room which seemed to consist almost entirely of seamless black marble, glinting softly.

"...lovely." Kalael spared a wide smile at the aesthetic beauty of the armor bay. It was, indeed, a delightful thing that the Anthedon was given such immense respect. She passed the threshold on characteristically light feet, wings stretching about her a moment as she passed, glancing about this place where she figured she would spend the most of her time.

Aripael reached the bridge by himself, it seemed not even the siblings took any interest in checking out their stations, not that it mattered to him. He walked in and spared a moment to look at the finery of gold and black marble before turning his attention to the throne.That was the true centre of the ship - the symbol of power, the symbol of his power. Wonderful. He strode over to it proudly and sat down in the throne, looking around at the floating screens which surrounded him.

"Mnemosyne," He called the name of the Ships AI, "Seal the entrance. Also keep a close watch on all the crew. Inform me if something ... indecent ... occurs."

"Yes Senator." The computer replied in an androgynous voice which was as gentle as a breeze and just as indistinct.

Having sated her desire to see the armor bay, Kalael turned away from the marble room with a smile, and returned to the hallways, wings stretching one final time then folding. She made, with quiet determination, for the lounge; the happiness fading from her look as swiftly as she left her haven amongst the Anthedons. The beauty of them would not be appreciated, she was certain, where they were going. Conflict, she saw little other place for a vessel such as this. And though necessary, it was not something she relished.

Aripael used a floating screen to look throughout his vessel from all angles, every room. It was certainly a very interesting tool, but nothing to compare with some of the other options - Volumetric images covering the entire ship, now that could be so very very interesting.


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Kalael, after a moments deliberation, found her way to the lounge and there settled herself, waiting for the others. Eyes traced over the aesthetic beauty of it all - artificial aesthetic beauty, for sure, but beauty it was. She knew, or was fairly certain, at least, it would be forgone for more energy efficient means in time of strife. But that, that was for another time. "...mmm..."

After virtually exploring his ship for twenty-two minutes Aripael reluctantly left his glorious throne and made his way to the lounge, running into the Quenir sibblings and Yereal outside the door where Yereal appeared to be stressing that he had dominance and right of way. The Quenir's weren't arguing, or indeed blocking his way, but Yereal was making the best of the situation anyway.

Aripael simply worked silently past them into the lounge and looked around at the room with which he was already (virtually) familiar - its blue carpet incorporating the Elysian flag and great infantry victories and its comfortable looking leather chairs. He nodded at Kalael and sat down - waiting for the arranged time to come about. Untill then everyone was still techincally free to do what they wished. What they did do would be telling.

Glancing up as Yereal asserted himself over the Quenir twins, Kalael offered a rolling of her eyes, but noted at once Aripael's presence, and straightened somewhat. She had little desire, as it were, to intervene in the conflict between the Quenirs and Yarael, but she did offer a harsh glance at the latter, one which would inform him rebuke would come - if he had the wits to see it. An inclining of her head, respectfully, to Aripael's entrance. "...esteemed Senator."

Aripael nodded again, "Armour pilot Kalael."

Outside the one sided confrontation came to an end and Yereal strode in beaming, nodded deeply to his commanding officers and sat down. A few minutes later the Quenir siblings entered quietly (as they did most things) and sat down in a circle between two of the chairs.

Over the next few minutes, the few minutes before the half an hour finished, the rest of the crew and the armour pilots drifted in and after greeting to Captain sat down on various seats.

At exactly 30 minutes (and not a second out of place) after the order had been given Pelrael walked slowly into the room, stood to attention, bowed and sat in a praying stance on the floor.


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Kalael watched Aripael in relative silence at the time, paying little to no attention to the newcomers (save for Remiel, seated behind her, who had managed to greatly intrigue her in his manner), and pondered. If Aripael wished to speak, then he would. If not, she had little to offer to the situation. Hopefully what would come was a briefing, though Kalael knew better than to presume understanding of her superiors.

Aripael stirred from his seated position and spoke, what little noise their had been in the room ceasing, "I am aware that many of us do not know each other, and yet to run an effective ship a certain degree of familitarity with other crew members is a neccesity. Thus I have planned an exercise to achieve this desired state." He smiled slightly, "An oratorical test."

Here, Kalael could not help but offer a deft (and quickly fading) smile. An oratorical test. That, clearly, sounded fantastic. And she could not quite contain the desire to speak, through this. Debates, poetic competition, all manner of oratory greatly intrigued Kalael, though she claimed no exceptional talent at it. "...what manner of test will this be, Esteemed Senator?" The corners of her mouth still showed a quivering half-smile.

"Quite simple power armour Kalael, we shall each write down on a piece of paper an argument, a position to defend, and place it in a suitable container. We shall then draw them out, at random, and must defend said argument for five minutes. Does anyone have a problem with this arangement?" Aripael smiled coldly.

Kalael grinned rather maliciously. "That sounds entirely enjoyable, Captain. I greatly look forward to this." She folded her hands together, fingers delicately interlacing. Ah, the only issue is... what issue would she ask people to defend? Equal rights for plebeians? Yamataian expansionism? Military overthrow of the Senate? Not that she agreed with the latter two, but they would certainly be interesting to watch...

Aripael nodded, "As it so happen I have cards and a container with me." He lent down next to his chair into a little bag, taking out a finely carved wooden box, a pad of small cards, and a set of twenty pens. He passed handed them to the nearest power armour pilot who spread them around without a word.

After a moment's pondering (and a moment more chewing on her pen), Kalael decided on something she actually could support: Equal rights for Plebeians. She folded the card then, passing it back towards Aripael with a slightly smug grin. Some, some here could perhaps articulately defend such an argument. Most would stutter and fail, and she greatly looked forward to that,

Aripael sent the same unlucky Power Armour pilot around after five minutes to gather up the cards and he then shuffled them, placed them (writing side down) in the wooden box, tapped in three times for some reason, and then stood up himself to hand the cards out, “Do not look at your cards until the person before you begins speaking. I will notice if you do. We will go around this anti-clockwise with myself as the last. Beginâ€


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Aripael smiled inwardly even if his external expression did not change and returned to his chair. It had been a victory - a minor victory perhaps - and he had a better assessment of his crew now than any past history or records could provide. He could tell a great deal from someone’s arguing - just as he doubted many could tell much of him from his. Equal rights between Plebeians and Patricians? He didn't care about it one way or the other - and not only because it simply wasn't going to happen. It was particularly hard to change a social system when the oppressed didn't view their lives as oppression nor desire much more.

He returned to his seat and spoke, "A pleasant exercise as I hope you will agree. And now down to a degree of business. You have been gathered with a metaphorical veil drawn over your eyes, at least I know of none of you who were forced to wear a veil, given that that is a habit extreme even for the heathen Nepleslians. I shall not ask for your forgiveness on the manner, but allow me to explain a little of our purpose to you."

"We are not truly the empire's flag ship - for in that title lies the inherent position of command and yet in our missions it will be rare for us to be commanding other ships. But this ship is the finest ever created by our great nation - and it is crewed by some of the finest that our empire has to offer. We may not be the flagship - I assure you we are finer than it."

"Our mission in general is not specific - we have a certain degree of freedom in our actions. Beyond, that is, our first mission where our task is specific - first contact." Aripael paused here for dramatic effect before continuing, "This knowledge is not known outside the senate and the highest echelons of military command - if you do communicate it with anyone I shall have to delete it from their minds and likely delete your minds." He paused again to let that settle in, even though he was fairly certain that they couldn't communicate from off the ship without his knowledge.

"In preparation for our colonisation efforts we sent out three scouting groups," Aripael communicated his desires telepathically to Mnemosyne and opening his palm an ornate star map opened detailing three star systems to the north of Veritas (thanks to the volumetric projection system), he pointed to the three in turn from (his) left to right, "The first is highly rich in materials, the second has a surprisingly lively ecosystem on one of its planets, but it is the third which are interested in."

The star expanded to fill up the central area of the room, detailing the star and its single planet, "We don't know how this system came to exist - it is the first we have discovered which has only one planet - let alone a single terrestrial planet. No matter - it is the inhabitants we are interested in. We have no entered the system, but through using our Oris outposts we have managed to listen in on many of their conversations. Unfortunately it is not particularly easy to translate."

Mnemosyne here played an extract of one of the conversations, a language consisting of ridiculously complicated changes in tone and pitch, "Even our computers our struggling with it. However we have gathered that they call themselves the 'Ixari First Sprinters' or something similar to that, but beyond that very little – they possess advanced technology including inertia based drives and tachyon communications. We are to make first contact – and to deal with them however the situation demands.â€


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Kalael lifted a brow lightly, pondering the information. "Ixari First Sprinters." A bemused smile slipped over her face, and she lifted a finger to brush past her lips. "It seems odd to me that Yamatai never located them, Senator... if I may say so... considering how aggressively the Yamataians expanded for so long. Do you think perhaps they are... freshly come here?"

Aripael turned to Kalael, "That is a good question power armour pilot. It is quite possible that Yamatai had contacted in the past and never shared the information wish us - it would not be so unbelievable. On the other hand it may be as you say - that they have only recently come and that we missed a colonization fleet so close to our borders. This is one of things that will have to be established in first contact - at the moment it is impossible to say."

Kalael seemed satisfied with this response, and simply nodded.

Remiel lifted his gaze slowly. "They have advanced technologies... what aside from the tachyon communication and inertia drives do we know of? Nothing?" A physicist of little note but remarkable understanding, Remiel found himself immediately intrigued by them. "They sound certainly worth trading with, once the formalities are passed. Have we any knowledge of their demeanor towards others?"

Aripael again turned his head, this time to Remiel, "The problem we find in discovering their demeanor and stance on various matters is that of the many hundreds of hours we have managed to attain we can reliably only understand their name and a handful of conjunctives.â€


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The lights in the bridge slowly dimmed, but seemed to be coming from more sources – a quiet light permeated the whole room. At the same time the room filled with gentle vocals – a careful investigation would reveal that it consisted of twelve groups of five singers, covering the entire vocal range, working together to create a subtle fluidic harmony praising God in archaic Seraphim. Aripael closed his eyes and murmured, “Oh heavenly Lord, guide my tongue so that my words may give you honour.â€


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Eventually after the rest of the crew had left him alone in the bridge Aripael thought about getting to his room. He was feeling a little tired – primarily emotionally. His dream had grown closer – considerably closer in fact, and that very fact was somewhat daunting. He would need to reconsider his position – work out what to do next.

He sent a simple thought to Mnemosyne and he felt his chair lift off the ground and carry him through the ceiling into his quarters. Well that was a rather nice touch. He stood up and simply looked around, as his throne sank back through the floor. He was impressed. A very large room, and that was simply a bedroom – he was equally impressed with the study, bathroom and armoury. He lay on his bed – looking up at the ceiling he saw a particularly beautiful scene from Elysian mythology – one of the Metamorphoses, surrounded by ornate dark wood furniture and marble and he simply found himself thinking, “This will do.â€
Kalael stayed settled a few moments after the prayer had finished, eyes closed, stature contemplative. However, as one oft must, she lifted herself to her feet, and retired from the bridge. Light feet caried her to her quarters idyllically. She knew there was nothing to be gained from insomnia, that rest, indeed, was quite a useful thing.

But as she settled herself on the bunk, gazing at the other such fixtures in the shared room, she found herself entirely incapable of sleep.

"Lord help us find the way..."
Remiel was among the last to leave the bridge, he found himself spending a moment enthralling over the helm of his new posting yet again. He would definitely enjoy his position here on Sorella. And the captain, though... perhaps a touch bigoted... was certainly reasonable. He sensed a post several steps ahead of his training, at the very least.

And before long, first contact with a newly discovered alien race. What an honor, to be aboard the vessel that would make that journey!

With thoughts swimming happily, he meandered to his quarters, and fell into a deep, fitful sleep.