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RP: SFS Over the Course of The Night


Ovine Member
Crew Quarters, Deck C, 2017 Hours
The crew quarters on Deck C of the NSS Ulfbhert were called 'double-quarters' because they were arranged in a style typically seen on Yamataian vessels. Two bunks, a desk, a set of lockers, and bare walls. Not bunking with the riff-raff and general chaos of the wide garrisons on lower decks, those staying in double quarters were typically watch officers with odd hours, or specialized occupations. As such, a certain degree of privacy was assured for the denizens of these quarters-- a privacy which was often sought after by those below them in rank. Wandering the halls of these quarters was Cloudheart, the tiny Freespacer liason. She held her new peaked cap down tight over her head as if a sudden gust would appear at any moment and snatch it away from her; those emeraldine globes in her eye sockets twisting and turning in the light as she tried to figure out who'd roomed where. Eventually, Cloudheart decided to withdraw a datapad from her satchel and look up the listings on the ship's internal network. Any unoccupied rooms would potentially hold one of her future co-workers, so the tiny 'Spacer decided to just try the first one she came to.

It was a door on the left, and it slid open to allow the little girl as soon as she approached it. Leaning forward, she surveyed the interior of the cabin with wide, curious eyes.

None other than one of two (well, technically three) freespacers that were a part of this mission before it traded ranked hands stood in the room on those stilted legs. Phase's arms worked with obviously mechanical precision putting together what looked like. . . well, an odd mess of fabric, but they were certainly sewing.

"Dollmaker?" Cloudheart asked into the room timidly, removing her fine hat and holding it pinched by the visor in both hands just under her chest.

"Yes?" Phase replied, not even turning about to face Cloudheart. "Ah, the tiny one! Hello~"
Did they have eyes in the back of their head? Or perhaps eyes in another head somewhere? Cloudheart would have to research this further. Later.

"Hello, Diharmonious Phase." Cloudheart took the welcoming response as an invitation, and traipsed right on it. "I was just stopping by to check in on every one I'll be working with."

"Nepleslians ARE an interesting bunch, are they not?" Phase said.

"Agreed." Came the agreement. "Some of them are twice my age and act like they were grown yesterday. I'm going to enjoy exploring their strange brains, and I'm kind of looking forward to getting down to them on my list-- but countryfolk come first!" At this, the tiny 'Spacer smiled and moved in closer to see what Phase was sewing upon. "It seems that we Freespacers are diligently working while they have their incredibly long sleep cycle. What are you creating, Dollmaker?"

"A hand-puppet. I do enjoy the way they look. And it gives me time to work on impressions. Methods of thought."
A few gentle brushes of the needle, and then a string pulled taught - and suddenly, the puppet took shape. It looked like Elias.

"It's the rope-headed one!" Exclaimed the youthful-looking Mindtwister, an excited expression crossing her face.

"Yes, yes~!"

"Have you already considered how you might make impression of him? Or have you sampled his voice?" Came the curious question.

"I am always taking in samples, Cloudheart. I can't improve if I do not have data to model on, after all." Phase's belly swiveled in place until the circular frontplate faced forward, and popped open. The Type Four stuffed the puppet inside and closed it for safekeeping. As almost expected, her thighs popped open once more for her to switch back to her brass-capped social hands.

"Of course, of course." The girl nodded, crossing her arms behind her back. Presently, as if alerted by the movement or somehow able to sense interesting events, Cloudheart's tiny junker peered out of her satchel and focused it's sensor upon the workings of the Dollmaker as it skittered up one sleeve and clutched tight onto Cloudheart's shoulder. "I do admire the work of your types, but I'd like to move on to business. When's the last time you were looked at by an SI engineer? Any strange feelings lately? Apprehension? Hunger for food?"

"I am my own engineer~" Phase responded with a lilting laugh in their tone. "No strange feelings, just normal ones."

"Ah, just checking, you know." Explained the shorter girl, "It's not always-always, but many of my Dollmaker patients have had strong reactions to new stimulii-- especially a sudden hunger for food."

"Why would they hunger for food? That seems ab~so~lute~ly absurd," they said, finally turning about to face Cloudheart. The digital eyes on her display were simple ovals at this time.

"Right? And it's not even just nutrient gel, either. Full-on dead animals and dead plants and stuff. Lodemuckers and Oremongers seem to get that way, too."

"They must have a craving to waste~ their~ time~" they replied. Brass caps met the insides of the asymmetric arms. Klack-Klack-Klack. "I am too busy being in two places at once."

Cloudheart chuckled a little at this. Secretly, she wanted to touch the larger body, to get inside of it and ride around. This, she imagined, was a childish notion. So, instead, she kept being a Mindtwister for the moment. "Well, I'm just being as best I can. We should all be too busy to feel strange feelings. But, a Type Four like you? Well, sometimes when you get up a few years, you guys tend to get a little sensitive. Productivity can drop. Not to say I'm worried for you, Dollmaker. I'm far more concerned with that young Nepleslian, Warmonger Thorn, with his taught face. I fear I may have to stimulate him organically." This last was said with a mixture of both poorly hidden joyous excitement and utter disgust.

"Young Nepleslian? . ."
Phase's eyes shut off for a moment as they mused on it. Blinked back on.
"Oh, the dour-looking one with repressed feelings? I rewatched my footage already. He had strange muscle twitches when certain questions were asked. I could share the video, if~you~would~like. /personally/."

"Here, just put it in one of my eyes so I can watch it later." Cloudheart twisted her neck at an odd angle and the miniature Junker perched on her shoulder turned to offer a single claw-like talon. With a tiny huff of exertion, the white-haired girl jabbed it into the gel-like material coating the complex system of sensors and camera inside her eye. With a little jiggle, it eventually came loose, leaving the remaining organic eyelid to hang flacidly over whatever interface lay beyond it.

"I did not expect that. But, if you want me to jam it in your eye, who am I to say no?"

If somebody were listening in on their conversation, they might think strange thoughts.

Phase's circular port on the side of their head spun out, revealing the array of plugs and ports available. They tugged on one, pointy and needlelike, and stabbed it straight into the eye.

"You have the newest hardware~" Cloudheart cooed in appreciation. "I'm a bit embareassed to say I haven't had a Fleshmender dig around in my cybernetics in a while. I could probably look around a lot faster than I do."

"Who needs a fleshmender when you have me? I could fix you up just~right~ you know?"
That voice of Phase's did not help matters much. The hypothetical eavesdropper would probably now be trying to decide whether he was hearing romantic interludes, or whether it was time to go ahead and summon the MPs.

"It wouldn't trouble you to work on an organic like me?" Cloudheart asked timidly as data shot into her eye at razor speed. The tiny Junker drone shook a little, but held its grip over the eye as best it could-- seeming almost frightened of the larger machine working with what it held in grasp.

"Please, who needs organic components when synthetic ones are so much more satisfying?"

"Were you ever organic, Dollmaker?" Asked Cloudheart, taking on a look of skepticism.

"Don't you know how we are made? Our brains are made to mimic fully-formed brains of organics, and then we spawn from there."

"O-Of course I know!" Cloudheart stammered. It was her job to work on SIs and organics alike. She had to know. Still, she suddenly felt her expertise was being questioned, so she went on, "I meant to say: have you ever inhabited a fully-organic body?"

"No. But I've seen how inefficent they are to know I would dislike being limited by one." Phase retracted the plug from Cloudheart's eye, folding their arms back over once more once it was safely in her head.

"B-but!" Cloudheart retrieved her eye at this point, her tiny Junker shaking its talon to release it. She rolled it about in one hand for a moment, letting the gel mend itself before shoving it back into its socket and blinking a few times. "But, Dollmaker, there's this!"

The Spacer reached out to her fellow spacer and ran her hands down its hull. "Your tactile sensors can tell you this is smooth. But this really feels smooth. You have to get both sensations before you can understand the reason organics do things the way we do. For our people, it may just be the first stage of life-- but for the other races, it's the entire way they live. The..." Cloudheart's face tinged a little bit at the thought of Yamataians. "The Imperial Ones even build their war machines to feel things like this and percieve them like this. There must be some value to it, mustn't there?"

"There is, but I can make it better. I just need more time. And more data," Phase sighed, brass tracing the inside of the faux-bones of their left arm. Barely pricking at the strings in-between bones and sounding out their musical qualities.

"Well..." There was a sense of musing to Cloudheart's tone. Maybe drowning in all the maudlin emotionalism of Nepleslian media had driven her to be a little sentimental. On the other hand... "If you don't mind... Maybe you could get some data from interacting with me for a moment? I've been trying this Nepleslian bodily greeting, lately. It's called a 'hug', and I get wonderful results from just about everyone with it. And I'll admit I've started to enjoy it. May I 'hug' upon you, Dollmaker Phase?"

"Hm. . . Alright, you may 'hug' me, if it makes you feel better~"
Phase's arms unfolded from one another and opened up to receive this hug. Immediately, Cloudheart almost plowed into the larger Spacer, wrapping her arms around as best she could the metal monstrosity that was her fellow. She pressed her face up against smooth metal and closed her eyes, letting out a soft little sigh.

"I know it's for Nepleslians." She told the nearest bolt on Dollmaker's chassis. "But I enjoy it best when it's with other Freespacers."

"I may yet learn to appreciate this gesture," the Type Four said, the glassy faceplate bumping against Cloudheart's forehead.

After spending too long hugging, for when you look like a little girl very few people tell you that you have to break off after a short time, Cloudheart broke the hug and exhaled again. She looked the other Spacer up and down, saying, "You are an excellent user of 'hugs', Dollmaker. As an aside--" Cloudheart pried the tiny Junker off of her shoulder and held it by the thorax over the ground. "This is my personal drone. It doesn't have a name, but I thought I'd just introduce you to it and let you know it could be accessed remotely if you ever need it for anything."

"I have a number of drones of my own, but I will keep it in mind. Thank you."

Cloudheart would've blushed, but just inclined her head with a bashful grin, tracing a semi-circle with one foot. "Well, I know-- you're a Dollmaker, after all. You've probably got drones for your drones. I just wanted to be helpful."

Phase's display lit up with a smile. "You already are."

Another Room, 2124 Hours
By the time Linda had finally secured a berth for both herself and seperately for Halcyon, it was nearly 2130 by the ship's time. Still, set aside in the relative privacy of the quarters meant for a warrant officer or a soldier whose occupation kept odd hours; Linda was now free to settle in at a desk and handle the task of contacting the IPG handler for Commandant Black. Inside the quarters she found a bunk bed and a desk, complimented by a footlocker and a pair of rather flimsy looking pull-up bars that'd seen their fair share of use.

Linda glanced around the quaters after entering, making sure there was no one asleep in the bed or closet. After she was sure the room was empty she locked the door and sat down at the desk, tapping the screen on her data pad. It only took a moment before she was contacting the handler. Of course she put in the proper identification for her current alias, if the Handler needed to know her real identity he should be able to look up her files easy enough.

There was only the briefest of delays before her display suddenly showed an empty office. She could barely hear some shuffling going on somewhere off-camera for the time being, and a voice called in a harsh whisper, "Just a sec'."

After the prerequisite second had passed, a creature appeared before her. It was a heavily mutated Nepleslian with slate grey skin and bright orange eyes, each pupil a slit-like hash mark swimming in that fiery lense. Upon his head was a tuft of orange and white fur not unlike that of a housecat, though it'd been carefully shaped into something which actually resembled hair. This was Chief Maxwell Jaeger, the head of the IPG's intelligence division on Planet Vandenberg, and the intelligence coordinator for the entire Kovac system. Linda may have recognized him from her days at the academy, as he'd taught criminology during her training. Of course, she might've just not taken that class. Either way, if the critter before her saw through the disguise, he said nothing of it.

"Well, hello there, Agent..." Those strange eyes darted away from the screen for a moment then back with a quick, "Nelson! How can I help you this morning?"

Linda had indeed taken criminology during her time in training, it was a subject that interested her greatly due to her past, well her real past. While she had seen his name listed, she was still surprised to see that it was indeed the Chief Jaeger that she knew on the other side. However that was a conversation for another time if at all.

"Good Morning Chief Yaeger, I was calling about an officer placement for the Freespacer training squad onboard the NSS Ulfberht. I was interested in getting full access to Commandant Black's files."

"Uh, Kill is in space!?" Maxwell widened his eyes and let his jaw hang a little, exposing fangs, "Let me check on some stuff."

After a few key taps while looking away from Linda, he looked back with an expression of frustration and slight awe, "Well, I'll be fucked." He declared, his raspy voice raising in pitch a little, "And the Ulfberht, that's Fourth Fleet, right?"

There was some musing on the part of the other agent before he fixed Linda with a determined stare. "Agent Nelson, before I send you these files... Did they at least send Agent Elway with him?"

LInda did not like the reaction that Maxwell had to heading what was going on. Seeing such a reaction from an IPG officer was like finding a Marine who was out of bullets, it could only mean trouble. "Yes it's the Fourth Fleet, and yes Elway is acting as his right hand."

Maxwell intertwined his claws and assumed a sideways face. "Okay, then they haven't outright lost their minds. Elway is one of us, undercover. His ongoing assignment has been to keep an eye on our Commandant." The mutant went on, explaining just what was going on, "The Commandant is a dangerous man, Agent. He is difficult to manipulate, and possibly a threat to his charges. That said, we've found a great deal of use out of him over the last few years since the succession. He's extremely proficient at handling a few of our more... extra-judicial affairs."

Linda tapped her finger on the desk, thinking over the information she had just been given. It made sense to have an agent near by with someone who had a history and position like Black did. "I see Elway is an agent, makes sense. " She let out a soft sigh, letting go of some of her tension, after all that meant most of what Black did would be Elway's responsibility and not her's.

When she began to speak again her voice was still rather methodical however. "So the Commandant is being used to take care of some of our more stubborn opposition then?"

"That's the long, short, and medium-length of it." Came the response. Maxwell angled his chair a little and reached to the desk behind him to retrieve a short scratching post settled on one corner of the mahogany surface. Running his claws through the carpeted wood, he sighed again, adding at length, "I'll transfer you the contents of his record in full. You'll find most of the black marks are boring things; we had an Admiral knocked off in wake of some un-invited whistle-blowing going on about the way things were handled on Rok'Veru. There was an incident with some Red Faction elements on Kennewes and we sent Kill to handle that stuff, too. Finally, maybe of most interest, Ol' Kill took a vacation to Yamatai for about eight months-- over this period of time some powerful players in the Onii'nen turned up missing or exiled to the Bard Cluster. We're not sure exactly what else he did with the Empire, but we know he did what we asked him to. All the specifics will be in your updated dossier."

Linda gave a nod and though the high collar of the IPG outfit blocked her lips it woudl seem that she had a smile of interest on her face at hearing all this. "It's good to know that he's under control. Even better to know that he can be trusted with more more discreet work." The young woman adjusted her glaces and all traces of a smile left her face.

There was another sigh, and Maxwell set down the scratching post again, crossing his arms over his chest. "Don't let that set you at ease." He warned, with a new seriousness to his features. Finally, Max revealed that he'd known her identity, though it seemed like an emotional slip of sorts. "He's a dog, Cheza. The man loves to kill sentients. He hungers for it. And he's very good at getting away with it. We've managed to keep him fed up until now, but this assignment..." Maxwell shook his head, "It's not smart for the military to take him away from the Vandenberg detachment. There are enough criminals in the streets to keep our Commandant on a healthy diet, and I've got a few high-profile targets waiting on him here, too. Your assignment, on the other hand, seems to put him where he won't have much chance to 'feed'. Keep an eye on your team-mates, and for the sake of the stars don't leave him alone in a room with any prisoners, at least not any you care to survive interrogation."

"I will keep that in mind Chief Yaeger." Linda had noticed the slip of her identity, but she chose not to draw attention to it, keeping her voice flat. Only a dissatisfied look crept onto her features and it was hard to tell if that was for Maxwell or in response to what she heard. "I will read the details in a full report, and I'll try to keep interrogations out of his hands."

She sat back in her chair and crossed her arms under her rather large bust, letting her shoulders slump as she looked at the cieling. "I suppose my reports will get a little more complicated from here however."

"I'll try to make any excuse to drop post here and come see you, Agent." Maxwell informed her, a sharp-toothed smile now creeping along his features, "I have a few good people here to watch over things while I attend to pressing matters like these. In the meantime, I know you're smart. You've got the best training sales tax can pay for, and you've got Agent Elway up there with you albeit undercover. If you need anything else, feel free to message me. I'm not always in my safehouse, but I can usually get back here pretty quick."

"I will keep that in mind Chief, do take care of your responsibilities though as well. There are only so many really good agents out there after all." She had a confident look on her face at that, something she had not shown in a while, after all with this identity there were few chances to boast. "I will contact you then if anything comes up then. Try to stay out of trouble, I need someome to come get this man if he decides the ship is his buffet."

Maxwell let out a chittering laugh at this, like a series of clicking cackles catching in his throat. A long, forked tongue darted out of his mouth with each tiny guffaw and the Chief held up a hand, saying, "Okay, Agent Nelson. I'll play nice with the locals. And before I hang up on you, one more thing..."

"Please," He said, after a pause and just before Linda's screen turned into a black sheet, "Just Max."

Linda chuckled lightly at his reply, a soft smirk on her face. "Just Max huh?" She was talking to her self now, but she felt that the senior agent would know well how she would reply. "I suppose we'll have to get drinks some time then." She stood up and put away her tablet. Now that her discussion was done she was going to walk around a bit and make her presence known so it did not seem like she left for the night.


2333 Hours
In the darkened quarters where she'd found time to rest, Halcyone awoke, if 'awaken' is the proper word to use, when Polysentience crept into her mind. It was the voice of Harmonious Solarsailor, echoing in the back of the Engineer's head like a spanner that'd fallen into a deep pit.

'Gearhead?' It called, noting that Halcyone had gotten a good thirty minutes of sleep, and that her hazard suit's batteries had been well-charged. 'May I borrow your expertise, Gearhead Halcyone?'

Halcyone's eyes fluttered open as the voice in her mind finally roused her. 'What may I assist you with?' she replied, her glowing eyes sweeping the dark room, making sure she was still alone as she had been when she had first entered the small cabin. She prefered to be alone when she was out of her encounter suit, she felt more than vulnerable without it's protective shell wrapped around her.

There was a noise, like the voice was testing its ghostly mouth. For now, though it seemed the voice somehow sensed Halcyone was looking for it-- the Spacer engineer was alone. Eventually, it said, "I am Harmonious Solarsailor, the Phantasm II gunship moored on this carrier. I saw you with Mindtwister Cloudheart in the hangar earlier, but you were busy. I was wondering if you might be interested in adding some modules to me."

"Oh, I would be most happy to help" Halcyone replied, she had spotted the big freespacer gunship when she had first arrived and had little chance to get more than the quickest of glances before being rushed off to the meeting. "I can be there in a few minutes" she added as she swung her feet off of her bed and onto the cold deck with a metallic clank.

Although she was not in her suit, Halcyone's legs and one arm were artificial, actually not covered by her suit when she had it on. She walked up to the suit, slipped into it's protective shell, which automatically sealed around her body and one real arm, locking tight and protecting her from the outside world. The helmet went on next, sealing closed, faceplate covering her up entirely as she unplugged from the wall power socket, then left the small cabin, bound for the hangar bay.

At this hour on the Ulfbhert, the night crew was running a pretty loose ship. There were few sailors walking around the halls of the vessel to harass Halcyone on her journey, and aside from a few pilots returning from a patrol of the massive fleet outside there was no one in the cargo bay at all. No one except for Harmonious Solarsailor, the gunship moored quietly in one corner of the gargantuan hanger with a swarm of Junker drones skittering back and forth to gather materials for what was to come. As Halcyone approached, the ship called out again, this time with external speakers. "Greetings." It said, "I'm glad you decided to come and help me tonight. I have many plans, and no hands with which to hold a tool to them."

Halcyone opened her faceplate and smiled at the gunship. "I am more than happy to help, I could not pass up the chance to assist a gunship such as yourself" she said. "And with how long I have been in deep space, it's been a while since I have seen anyone like you" she went on, looking over the big, sleek gunship. "I will be your hands, where shall we start?"

"Earlier today," Explained the vessel, "I attempted to target a small fleet of merchant vessels and found that despite my best efforts there was no way to destroy them entirely in a single volley. This did not seem to be the most harmonious way to facilitate negotiations; so I decided I would like more guns. I have a few spare modules, replacement parts really, that can be used to double my armament-- but nowhere in which to mount them. I'd like an additional compartment built to house my new weapons, and I'd like to also make a compartment for the organics to reside-- for I grow tired of carrying a shuttle with me everywhere." This lengthy explanation was completmented with the visual aid of several Junkers lugging an unattached Pseudoflare assembly-- a devastating nuclear mass-driver and a neccesity in any Free State ship-to-ship arsenal.

Halcyone listened intently, watching the junkers lug around hardware and coming up with some ideas in her head. "Do you know where you want eveerything, where things will be more comfortable for you, or most effective for the weapons?" she asked the ship.

"I'd like the weapons to deploy from my underside." Replied the warship as the Junker's dropped the Pseudoflare and made off for another. "As for the rest... I--" There was a hesitation and this ship took a moment to consider how best to put this. "I would much rather it be you than the Nepleslian Gearhead, the one they call 'Chief Langham'. I'd like you to help me design this new compartment to house these modules. I don't know very much about materials, or affixing them to myself. And Gearhead Langham is insistent on assigning a gender to me; which disquiets me."

The Freespacer Gearhead nodded. "I understand" she replied. "I would not want anyone unwanted putting their hands on me either" she said and thought over how best to build additions on to the gunship.

"I appreciate your kindness, Gearhead Halcyone." One of the tiny drones that'd been scuttling about with weapons broke off to retrieve a crane-like arm for the engineer and move it about. Eventually, Halcyone was provided with a workspace of sorts, a flat metal plate held in the claw of a missle crane-- upon which a rudimentary drafting program was being projected. "You probably had projects of your own to work on, but I promise you'll be pleased we did this when we next sortie. Nepleslian shuttles are dreary places."

"Oh, no, I did not have anyhting to work on right now, so this is perfect!" replied Halcyone with a smile as she started fiddling with the drafting program, adding the technical diagram of the gunship in all it's plan views.

"Anyways, I think I will feel much safer flying off in you raher than one of those lifeless shuttles" she added. "Just doesnt seem right flying in a desk hulk" she shuddered at the thought.

"I like to think of them like a Dollmaker's drones." Suggested Harmonious, gathering its thoughts on the matter rather quickly. After all, it had been sharing the hangar with those shuttles and fighter craft for the day. "Perhaps all Nepleslian Stargazers are like Dollmakers with only one drone? Or perhaps... Perhaps they are extensions of the Stargazer themself, like your limbs or Mindtwister Cloudheart's eyes?"

"That may be" Halcyone said, putting an armored fingertip to her lip."Well, still, kinda strange" she shrugged and looked back to the plans, she started scribbling some ideas for hull epansion to accomodate the needed compartments and weapon hardpoints. "Let me know if any of these ideas work for you, or if I am totally off the mark"

"Give me some time." The ship responded. "I'm... Okay, okay, I like this one."

One of Halcyone's diagrams flashed and expanded a little, filling the air, depicting the most logical formation for an engineer to add to any structure: something round. Spherical shapes were inherently strong, and the Phantasm Mk II was already close to egg-shaped as it was. Perhaps Harm had sensed this, or perhaps it just thought it would look cool.

"Can we finish this one in four hours if we get every single Junker in on it?" Asked the ship, "We have five hours, but my last Gearhead said that I always needed to allow extra time."

Halcyon hunched over the expanded diagram, making a few adjustments, then glancing around, counting how many junkers were at their disposal and the piles of supplies atacked aroun them.

"Yes, I think we can do it in four and have the last hour to double check things" she replied with a nod. She thought for another moment, then nodded again, "Yes, we can do it!" she said with conviction."First thing's first, we need to take off some of your lower hull, we can reuse the materials in the new expansion along with what we have here, that should allow us to buld the new structure and outer skin" she said, pointing out things on the plans. "We can tap into power here and here and into life support for the habitable compartment over here" she went on, marking places on the plans. "I hope you will not mind a little disassembly?" she asked, suddenly a bit hesitant. She knew she would not be comfortable having someone take her apart.

"I do not mind." Harmonious Solarsailor declared, a sort of titter in its voice to convey pleasantry, "I believe you organics would call the sensation a 'tickle'."

"Oh, well, do let me know if I strike a nerve?" Halcyone said and glanced around. "Can we lock this hangar so we will not be interrupted?"

"I'm afraid not. The Nepleslians must use it as well." Came the response. Despite this, a hoard of Junkers began crowding around Halcyon, each of them downloading the approved schematic before shooting off to retrieve the needed materials from Harmonious Solarsailor's nearby junk pile. The ship went on, "That said, they seem to give me a wide berth, so we probably won't be bothered."

Halcyone nodded. "Okay, if you think so" she said and went to work on what she needed to, deciding that the careful process of dismantling was something she should take care of herself rather than leaving it to the junkers.

"Oh, and Gearhead?" There was one last thing that needed to be said, though it was less of import and more of formality. "If you don't mind, I'd like you to leave something behind to let future Gearheads know you did the work. Inside my SI storage compartment there are some steel nameplates, for example. It's just a sentimental thing of mine."

The Gearhead smiled. "Of course, I would be more than happy to" she replied. "When we finish, before I seal everything up" she gave a nod.

"Thank you, Gearhead. And please," This last was a joke, "Don't make me look fat."

0129 Hours, Guess Where!
Alistair awoke in his berth to the sound of tiny chattering legs against the smooth floor of the barracks. If he bothered to roll over and look, he'd note that the time was well after midnight by the ship's clock. Whether he rolled over or not, he found himself being stirred as a sudden weight pressed against the bunk near his feet.

Alistair repressed the urge to start shouting at whoever it was and just sat up. "Do you have any idea what time it is?"

"Zero-one-three-one." Answered a tiny voice, the pile of bobbing white curls belonging to their owner rubbing against Alistair's blanket. Cloudheart crawled over and settled her head into the crook of his arm, her ball-bearings gleaming slightly in the darkness. She smiled up at him as she got comfortable and explained, "But you seemed distressed earlier, Warmonger, and I just wanted to check on you and make sure you were okay."

As the tiny body climbed into his berth, Alistair thought he was still dreaming. "Mia?" He asked as Cloudheart nestled her head in the crook of his arm. As she started to talk he finally realized who it was. "Oh, Cloudheart, I'm sorry. I'm okay really" he said as she looked up at him.

"Maybe you're okay this instant, but I'm a Mindtwister-- and I've spent a lot of time studying your kind." Explained the tiny Freespacer. "It's my job to make sure you're of sound mind. And besides, don't you like having a pretty girl in your bed?"

"Umm, Cloudheart," Alistair said blushing "it's not that your not pretty, it's just that you remind me of someone I knew once." He said as he clutched his locket. "You remind me a lot of my baby sister Mia."

"Is that why you go back and forth between smiling broadly and pretending to have no emotions at all?" Asked Cloudheart, reaching a hand up to trace the edge of Alistair's implant. "Did you know I could tell?"

Alistair's one good eye started to tear up. "You can read me like a book." He said somberly, not trying to hide his emotions anymore.

"Well, naturally." Cloudheart interrupted, "I'm a mindtwister."

"I got her killed." Alistair went on, "It's my fault she's gone. If I would have been there she wouldn't have died." He said as the tear forming in his eye finally fell.

Cloudheart reached up and wiped the tear from his organic eye and spread it across the violet formation of tiny, flattened crystals growing on her right temple. The diatoms liked salt. She sighed to behold it, a grown Nepleslian crying. "I doubt you had as much control over the situation as you think you might've. You..." Cloudheart went and traced the edges of Alistair's implant again, feeling the cold metal beneath her fingers with some fascination. Below, the clattering of tiny metal feet against the smooth floor chattered up again for a brief moment-- her tiny junker drone likely spotting a rodent or insect that'd stowed its way on during the last refit cycle. Eventually, the white-haired Freespacer concluded by saying, "You have a very pretty eye. Did you build it yourself?"

Alistair stopped as Cloudheart traced his eye. "No, it was put in there by the people who took me and my sister." He said as he he remembered that terrible night. Torn from his bed, placed onto a surgical table as the Decker surgeon did his work. All the while Alistair was screaming. He visibly shuttered.

"My eyes were built for me by one of my former patients, so I just thought--" Cloudheart frowned, her face creasing up a bit. She sighed again and said, "Well, you have to admit, the people who took you built a very pretty eye."

Alistair looked into Cloudheart's eyes. He smiled at her. "Your right," he said "it is a pretty eye, and I have made it my own." He placed his hand on top of her little head. "Thank you Cloudheart. I appreciate you talking with me. I really needed it."

"I'm always here for you and all of your squadmates, Warmonger." Came the response, Cloudheart now smiling again. "I'm pleased we were able to make some progress with just talking. From what I'd read about you Nepleslians, I was imagining I might have to let you put something in my butt-- or I might have to put something in your butt." As if to illustrate, the tiny girl wiggled her unusually generous rump in the bed, pressing her hip against his. Then, just to disarm the sexuality of the situation, she giggled a bit and pinched Alistair's cheek. Despite being only fourteen, as a Freespacer this put her somewhere close to thirty Nepleslian years in terms of mental and physical aging-- so it made some small amount of sense when she said, "You youngsters are so emotional."

He blushed again as their hips touched together. He laughed as she finished speaking. "Well, it might just be me. Still I really am glad your in the team with us."

"Your Themarmander is going to want to see you in that big room in about three hours, so I guess I'll let you get some more of your slow Nepleslian sleep, since you people seem to need so much of it." Said Cloudheart, moving to sit on the edge of the bed. Her feet dangled over the edge of the bunk, kicking in the air over the floor below where her tiny junker skittered over and rose up-- presenting its thorax as a stepping stool for her. She gingerly hopped onto it and then the floor with a tiny 'oof' before turning to peer over the edge of the bunk at Alistair, her eyes alone peeking over the bunk. "Sleep well, Warmonger, and dream of pleasant things."

"Wait," he said "you can stay, if... if you would like that is."

Cloudheart considered Alistair for a moment, peering at him as best she could from below. "I can stay, but I want to read. Will it bother you if I read? I don't need any light, because my eyes can just adjust their natural amplification."

"That's perfectly fine." He stammered.

There was the shifting of weight again and another adorable squeak of effort brought Cloudheart onto the bunk once more where, this time, she like a cat moved him around and pressed herself into his arm. Her comfort was being enforced upon the young private, and as soon as she was nested appropriately, she took up a tattered and browning copy of some book called 'Dandy of the Cosmos'. It was the kind of terrible drivel that one used to find in 2 DA stores back in the day, a tale of a space hero and his trusty robotic companion. Cloudheart had probably expended some effort to get ahold of the actual paper book, but it was part of a grander collection which filled the little brown messenger bag she'd left at the base of the bunk. As she worked her way into the crook of his arm and peeled open the the crackling pages to one she'd dog-eared earlier, she asked, "Did you ever read about Dandy of the Cosmos? I heard he was really popular when you were a little boy. My people are fans of his, well, the ones of us who know about him."

Alistair was relieved as Cloudheart turned back and climbed back up into the bunk. He helped her get back into the crook of his arm again. She pulled out an actual paper back book. Alistair hadn't seen many in his short life time. "Yes I did." He said. I read those stories to Mia every night." He said smiling. "Thank you for staying with me."

"Are you lonely, Warmonger Thorn?" Asked his tiny companion, her eyes set firmly on a paragraph in which Dandy's robotic companion was softly playing a Delsaurian lullaby to calm a raging Quaahg. "And did you read all of the story to your little sister? Even the parts where Dandy gets the girl and they--" She giggled, "They never do anything really organic, but she does get naked and he does touch her with his heroic hands. Seems like you and your little sister were naughty little kids."

He laughed softly. "No I didn't read all of them to her. I also skipped those parts." He looked down at her. "I just said they lived happily ever after." He then contemplated her first question. "I used to be very lonely after Mia died, but I'm not now. I have the team now. They are my family. I... I also have you." He stammered again blushing.

"Is this an interlude?" Cloudheart asked with faux innocence, "Is this leading up to you trying to get me to take my clothes off, Dandy? Without you even having beaten Lord Gelmar yet?"

Alistair blushed. His face as red as a star in super nova. "No... I... I simply meant..." He said, not quite getting the correct words out.

"I know what you meant, Warmonger. I can read you just like this book, remember?" Cloudheart sang, snuggling in a bit further. "Forgive me for trying, but I'm pretty sure most Nepleslians require regular sexual activity to bolster their mental health..." Cloudheart lowered the novel for a moment and added, with a sense of haughtiness creeping in her tone, "And I'm fairly certain that I'm incredibly sexually attractive, even if I don't have huge lumps of fat on my chest like Warmonger Smith."

Alistair lowered his eye. "Umm, I would't know. The thing is, you are very pretty, but like I said already you remind me of Mia." He said opening his locket. "See. The picture on the left."

Cloudheart closed her book and settled it upon her stomach, reaching for the locket with her free hand. Those silvery-blue sphere behind her eyelids gleamed as she angled to look it over, with her thumb barely grazing the shape of it all. "You musn't think that you killed this girl." Instructed the alien counselor, "I have met synthintelligences who literally did kill their own creator and they took it better than you are."

"Well, let's just say when you work for a crazy gang who your own father sold you into, shit gets dicey. I should have paid better attention, left them ealier, I don't know. There must have been something I missed." He said as he looked toward the bottle of rum near the bed. He reached for another swig, but felt a surprisingly strong grip latch onto his wrist. Cloudheart sat up again, and reached for the bottle on her own. She held it between her legs and picked up the book again, pressing it into Alistair's hand in place of the bottle.

"This book is about Dandy of the Cosmos." She explained, relinquishing her grip. "He's a hero, and he travels with his robot companion from planet to planet fighting crime and righting wrongs. This book is not about Alistair Thorn. Alistair Thorn is a real person. Real people can't control their fate like Dandy could. What do you expect to have done? Charged in? Saved your sister from the grip of an evil minion? What are the chances you'd simply be one of two corpses made that day?"

That did it. Alistair coulld not control his emotions any longer. Without the alcohol to numb him, he felt all the pain, the anger, the sorrow grip him all at once. With his one free hand he placed it over his good eye and started to sob. He couldn't stop himself. He just couldn't stop. He must be the wimpest 'Warmonger' to exist in the universe.

"You're still missing the point, Warmonger Thorn." Cloudheart went on, wrapping her arms around the marine and drawing him in for a tight hug. "You're not special, but neither is anyone. Nobody is Dandy of The Cosmos. The people who hurt you aren't emissaries of the evil Lord Gelmar, either. They're just beings like you, and they had motivations. Maybe they were under a similar contract with this gang of yours, and they had to follow orders to stay alive. Maybe..." The white-haired girl sighed and rubbed away some more of his tears to feed to the crystalline diatoms growing on her face. She really did hate to see a grown-up cry. "Maybe Mindtwister Cloudheart is trying to get you to accept your station."

Alistair had been far off in his past. Reliving every grueling moment, Mia's body on the cold ground, the blood, all the blood. Then Cloudheart embraced him tightly, bring him back to the present. As she spoke Alisatir returned the embrace. "Cloudheart., I'm so sorry you saw me like this. I never was given a chance to grieve for Mia. They took her away from me, and it was just buisness as usual. Everything was 'okay now,' but I wasn't given clouser, any chance to tell her I loved her. We fought before I left that day. She thought I hated her when she died!" He started sobbing again.

"It's my job to see beings like this." Started the counselor, squeezing tighter. For organic patients, this was a typical stage. As a Synthintelligence engineer, Cloudheart rarely dealt with it; but when dealing with Type 2 and Type 3 'Spacers, she'd had her fair share of crying sessions. Usually not about familial issues-- but then again, Freespacers don't have families. "They say that you Nepleslians see 'your life flashing before your eyes' during your final moments. I'm not sure what causes this sensory hallucination, but I imagine that your sister had plenty of time to dwell on you in her final moments. No one could think they were hated by someone who read to them. Especially not someone who read to them about Dandy. I'm sure she could remember that. I..." Cloudheart frowned now, entering risky territory. "I'm not sure what your religious views are like. Your people's gods turned out to be machines... so... If I could be so bold, maybe she's; as my people might suggest, with Terra now?"

Alistair hadn't been very religious. He knew something created them, but how could that being do this to his family. Still, he understood what Cloudheart was trying to do. He placed his forehead against her's. "Thank you Cloudheart. For everything." He said. The tears still rollled from his face, but now being able to stop the sobbing.

Once again, Cloudheart wiped his tears away and spread them over the formation of crystals on her face. His sorrow would likely be the impotus for a new shade for the smooth, gleaming diatoms. The girl didn't say anything about it, though-- this was just one of her quirks. Instead, she placed a hand around the edges of his implant and told him, "You know, your eye is beautiful. The functional simplicity of it is ruggedly handsome. Whoever built it was very proud of their work, I imagine."

Alistair stared deeply into Cloudhearts eyes. He smiled at her compliment. "Thank you Cloudheart. My eye is very nice. I have made multiple moddifications to it." He looked over at the book again. "May... May I look at your book please?"

"Well, if it will make you happy," She submitted, brushing a few stray curls from her face, "I was planning on reading it, but I guess if you read it out loud while you're looking at it-- it'll be like I'm reading it." Truly, she just wanted an excuse to be read to like a little girl.

Alistair chuckled a little. "I would love to read to you Cloudheart."

"But you can't skip over the nasty parts." And now came the ground-rules, "And you can't drink any more recreational poison because it'll slur your speech. And you have to start over on page two-thirty-six, at the paragraph where Beta-Nine is singing the Delsaurian lullaby to calm the angry guard Quaahg while Dandy sneaks into the Lizard Lounge to fight Lord Gelmar's Delsaurian capo."

"Deal, as long as we can read your books together. If thats okay with you?" He asked

"Okay, but after I finished this one, I was going to read All My Clones and that one's got a lot of smut scenes in it so you'd better be on your A-game, mister."

Alistair laughed. "I will bring my A-game." He flipped to the part of the book she mentioned. He found the lullaby and began to sing it softly.


Ovine Member
0001 Hours, Deck C, NSS Ulfbhert
By the time she'd finished up with her first series of rounds and taken a thirty minute sleep cycle, Cloudheart found that the time was already past midnight. She fluffed out he curls some in a mirror in one of the ship's heads while considering where to go next. Elias Garvey had been sleeping all too soundly for the 'Spacer girl to consider crawling in bed with him, and according to ACE, Eir Nygaard-Smith was reading the Art of Never Again-- something which impressed the tiny liason enough to spare the larger Nepleslian woman a visit. For now.

So, she decided that now would be a good time to stop in with the venerable Doctor Domicile. It'd been some time since Cloudheart had seen a Fleshmender, and she was certainly behind on her most recent check-up. Nonetheless, she thought perhaps it'd be better to just greet the doctor for now; and perhaps schedule an appointment for a later check-up.

Striding into the room that Domocile was last seen entering, Cloudheart looked around with those same curious eyes she'd looked at everyone else's quarters with, calling into them with a curteous sounding, "Fleshmender?"

The room had already been trashed, with clothing everywhere, a FARS unit powered down on a bunk ontop of a brown leather Doctor's bag. Her lifesuit was in a rumpled pile next to a powerport on a wall. Dom herself was nude besides a pair of pink panties. As her vilolet eyes snapped around and locked onto Cloudheart, her hands, one bionic raced up to cover not her chest but but the long scar that went down between her breasts and ended just above her belly button.


Cloudheart tilted her head a bit at this reaction, her eyes scanning across Domicile's form. Eventually, she stepped the rest of the way into the room so the door would shut behind her. "You've taken off your Voidwalker suit." Said Cloudheart, a look of interest crossing her face, "Did you not know it was safe aboard this ship before you saw me earlier?"

"I do, but it is more safe in it then out..." The young girl shrugged, before turning and reaching for a black sleevless shirts. Carefully she slipped it over her head before turning back to the Mindtwister, "uhh... what can I do for you?" She frowned looking over to her lifesuit, wanting to hide in it.

"Just making my rounds and introducing myself more closely to a few of you." Replied the little one, adjusting her coat a little. "I thought maybe some of you might want to avail yourselves to a Mindtwister. And as for myself... it's been awhile since I've sat down with a Fleshmender. I noticed..." Cloudheart cleared her throat a bit before going on, "You seemed to have some emotional tension regarding Warmonger Black earlier. Do you require counseling, Fleshmender?"

"No..." The Doctor looked taken aback. She frowned and thought for a moment, "No I think I have a solution that will work for the long run." She smirked before motioning to the a bunk, before scrapping some of the clothes off clearing a space.

"Here sit... Let me get my stuff, we can preform a check up!" Dom turned and hit the FARS on the top with a fist and the little disk bot 'woke' up and hovered, "Bag please... First thermomitor..."

Cloudheart obeyed and moved to the lower bunk in the corner of the room, politely moving some of the strewn clothing to one side before settling in on the bed and setting her bag on the floor. She watched the tiny floating assistant retrieve the neccesary items with a curious look. "You need to take my tempurature?" She asked inquisitively, "Or is the thermometer for something else?"

"You, Please roll over and lower your lower garmets." The Doctor spoke as she reached into the bag and retrived some purple rubber gloves. "It is best to get a full reading on your current condition before we continue. Then I'll know if something changes." Once the last glove snapped loudly around her bionic hand she reached over and took the rectal thermomitor from Sweety.

"Are you taking my tempurature or are you initiating sexual relations?" Asked Cloudheart, a tad less inquisitively then before. Still the small girl stood up and removed at least her jacket, leaving her thumbs hooked in the waistband of her slacks while she decided whether or not this doctor was on the up and up.

"This methiod gets the best results, and will make sure of consistincy." She turned and spoke to Sweety, "Please start voice recording for medical record."

Cloudheart frowned. "I've never had a Fleshmender use this method before. If you want to just put things inside me, you know all you have to do is ask, right?"

"I learned this technech while working a small nursrey hospital during some time after..." The Doctore paused and then just let the topic drop. "If you would prefure we can do this later, if you are uncomfortable or need to cleanse. Though I have worked on dirty soldiers before..."

"I'd just rather have..." The smaller Freespacer tilted her head in one direction, then another, trying to find a way to put it properly, "A more traditional examination."

After a moment, the girl seemed suddenly stricken with inspiration and lifted her shirt up. "Do you want to check me for fatty tumors, then tell me I have one, but it's no big deal and you can remove it if you want but basically it's nothing and I shouldn't worry about it!?"

"If that is what you are concerned about, we can. I can also take some blood and do a blood panel. It will help rule out any neoplasm." She rubbed her hands together to warm the metal one before gently checking. After a few moments and a few diffrent pokes of diffrent angles She sat back in her chair. "Pateint wanted a chest exam, it seem clear but will take blood to do test just to be sure."

She reached into the bag and pulled out a set of vials and a specal serynge that mated withthem. "This shouldn't hurt." With an antiseptic wipe, she cleaned a spot on the girl's inner elbow. "Just a little pinch, you ready?"

"As ready as I can get." Came the nervous response as Cloudheart tucked her shirt back into her slacks.

With out waiting for any more ado, Dom plunged the needle in (to the tune of a tiny, pained squeak) and started filling the vials. Once three were filled she set them on the table and told Sweety to have them labled anonomusly and have them taken to the ship's labs to be run. Full spectrum analysis.

"Now that wasn't bad was it." She said as she pulled the needle out and put a bandaid with little clockwork hearts on it.

"I don't like pain." Came the admission, the smaller girl rubbing the new bandaid, a hint reflexively and a touch to show she was appreciative of its presence. Finally, she looked back at the doctor and smiled. "And, I know we don't have the parts on hand, but when we do I'd like you to work on my eyes a bit. I just noticed earlier, with Dollmaker Phase, that my interface is a bit out of date. The miniature sensor suite could probably stand to have some work done on it, too; but I think the Dollmaker can do that for me."

"I think I can put them in for you..." The doctor made a mental note to watch some operations on optical surgeries. She had to keep up appearances until she could afford to move on again. She reached into the bag and pulled out a sucker and handed it to Cloudheart. "This also helps with pain. I learned it at the same place as the temperature trick." she smiled.

"It's..." Cloudheart took the lolly and eyed it suspiciously. "It's condensed sugar and food coloring."

"It is yummy magic medical from a time when magics and yumminess was at it's peak."

"I don't think this is good for my blood-borne plankton." Suggested Clouheart, again frowning.

"Who is the Fleshmender here?" Dr. Dom put her hands on her hips and frowned. "I can medicly order you to take it." though the line fell through with a little silly grin at the end.

"That doesn't mean I'll take it. People ignore 'doctor's orders' all the time, Fleshmender." Cloudheart cocked an eyebrow and protested, but then looked back at the candy with a more serious glance. With a sigh, she supposed that if her blood-borne plankton were weakened, the Fleshmender would just have to see her again anyway-- so the Doctor probably wouldn't do anything to increase her own workload. Finally, the girl stuck the thing in her mouth and savored it for a moment while still holding the stick firmly between thumb and forefinger. After trying it for a while, she removed it again, declaring, "I guess it's good."

"You guess?" The red head tossed her arms into the air, "See if I ever use the best medicines on you again..." she was smiling though and turned to her desk and grabbed a hammer with a rubber triangular head on it, "You have bot legs or is one/both bionic?"

"My legs are fully organic." Explained the Mindtwister, going over a list that would've been impressive for a Nepleslian but was really kind of short for a Freespacer, "My only cybernetics are my eyes, my Mindware, and a few patches on my internal organs. Oh, and my lower-digestive system has been replaced with a series of tubes filled with femtomachines that are powered by my waste, since I was in an accident when I was six on my Mothership. Aside from that, everything's the way it was out of the vat."

"Good good." With out warning she racked the Mindtwister's left knee, with a bit more force then was really necessary. This ellicited another pained squeak from the little 'Spacer. This did not ellicit the tiny kick a reflex test was meant to. Still, reflexively, the girl grabbed her knee with both hands and twisted in the bed, angling away from Doctor Domicile.

"Reflexes good, Sweety please note a lack of agression on reflex check though. Possible flight response, I must talk to the local Mindtwister...." The doctor paused in her transcription when she realized it was the Mindtwister who was the patient before her. "Well I have to ask... are you one for non-violence or is it just a bio-chemical response to curl up?"

"Neither." Groaned the little girl who was starting to lose patience with this particular medical assessment. "I am a firm follower of the tenets set forth in the Art of Never Again, and I wasn't expecting a fellow 'Spacer to bash me in the knee! What in the stars are you trying to get me to do?"

"It was a reflex check. It is done to see if all of your built in phsical reactions were up to par, if they weren't there would be a chance of nerve damage." She never understood why the vids showed the doctors only tapping and letting the leg bounce a little, this way she coudl test the whole patient.

"You could try, I don't know--" Cloudheart wiped at one of her eyes quickly, "Clapping your hands or snapping your fingers beside my head? Or just... I don't know, I'm not a Fleshmender, but I've never had this done to me before. The High Druidess said she sent you because you had experience working with these Nepleslians, but I'm starting to wonder if you have any experience working with your own people."

After a moment of sitting quietly on the bed with a blank look on her face, Cloudheart frowned again and went on pulling at her cheeks with both hands, "And the High Druidess says she won't tell me!"

Panic flashed on the overly young freespacer's face, she clenched the hammer and spoke softly, "Tell you what?..." She was worried she would have to make a break for it. Like the time on that colony with the swine blood transfusion incedent.

"She won't tell me if you have any experience with Freespacers. She just says, in her coyest sounding voice, 'It's a secret to everyone.' and then she stops responding to my messages over Polysentience." Said Cloudheart, desperately trying to calm herself down.

At this moment, that coy-sounding voice entered Fleshmender Dom's mind through her own Mindware. It was the same voice that had directed her here, to this vessel. It cooed at her like a mother, but still held the vieled playfulness it had earlier. 'Take your time, young Fleshmender.'' It warned her, 'You needn't apprentice to be a productive individual, but you must take your time or they'll all suspect.'

A frown formed of the Doctor's face as she forced herself to turn and roll over to her desk, She never really like that voice toying with her in her own head. But she knew the voice had never guided her wrong.

Forcing herself back into the real world, dom shrugged, "I don't know, The High Druidess always have her own reasons... Ones we lower beings don't get to alway know." She set the hammer down and turned back trying to put a smile on her face. "Is there any other concerns you have?"

Defeated, Cloudheart hung her head and sighed. "Not at the moment."

"i'll have the results to the tests by morning, and I'll have them transfered to you along with my assesment." She turned and told Sweety to leave with the samples. She also thought abou t how she would have to delete the last part of the recording...

"It's fine. Thank you Fleshmender." Cloudheart stood up again and donned her multi-colored jacket with a haggard look. Next on her list was Alistair Thorn. She'd have to go and fix her hair again and oh, there was the whole possibility that she might have to organically stimulate him. Cloudheart threw a limp-wristed wave to the doctor on her way out of the room, exiting at a slow, plodding pace. Once outside, she stuck the lollypop into her mouth again and sucked on it thoughtfully, sending another querie through Polysentience. No one else who was online at the time had heard of Fleshmender Domicile, and it seemed the young doctor was basically unknown in the Fleshmender circuit. Cloudheart sighed again and removed the sucker from her mouth.

It actually was really tasty.

Once the door sealed behind her, Dom curled up under some bedding and some of her clothes. Trying to keep form freaking out, sucking air in. The hyperventalation didn't help things, but she soon just passed out and laid there uncountious for a while, as her body readjusted her back to a more stable breathing pattern and heart rate. After this had gone on for some time, that voice came back again. While Cloudheart knew it as the voice of High Druidess Schemeweaver Six-Four, it'd never introduced itself to Domicile. It'd just been there, for the last six months or so, popping into her mind and giving her guidance. Polysentience queries did nothing to locate it. This voice, it seemed for Domicile, was reaching her by more personal means. 'There, there.' It told her, 'Remain calm, little one. You have much to do, remember?'