Posted May 9, 2021, 5:04 p.m. by Lieutenant Junior Grade Issac Forgrave (Chief of Security) (William Deaton)
Posted by Lieutenant Elaine Janvier (Chief Medical Officer) in Main Sim: Docking and Talking
Posted by Captain Molly Holloway (Commanding Officer) in Main Sim: Docking and Talking
Posted by Gamemaster Alias Smith N. Jones, Esq. (GMT) in Main Sim: Docking and Talking
Posted by… suppressed (11) by the Post Ghost! 👻
As they stood talking, music could be heard coming from the hatch. It was melodic, beautiful, and wholly unfamiliar.
Except to Forgrave.
The Security Chief could hear a female voice speaking plainly; but with a light, airy quality to her voice. “Can you hear me? Do you understand me? Please… don’t shoot again. We mean you no harm. We just… needed you to hear us.”
Issac’s brain took a second to catch up with his ears, but when it finally did, his head snapped over to the hatch, his eyes going wide as he realized what exactly he was hearing.
Holloway’s conversation with Gadi was cut short, as the music coming from the hatch reached her ears. She noticed Forgrave’s shift in attention as well.
=/\= Renveer to Holloway. There’s been no response to my attempts to continue communication from the bridge. In fact, the aliens seem to have abandoned theirs, we no longer have visual contact with any of their crew. =/\=
(Lt. Cmdr. Renveer, XO)
Molly sighed. Great. Just what they needed. Their sole point of contact was gone, or conveniently unreachable.
Slowly, Issac moved off the wall of the makeshift corridor; waiving a hand to preempt any questions - hoping the others got the cue to be quiet for a moment. “Hello? I, uh…” Issac made his way to the hatch, racking his brains for the right thing to say. Void, I’d expected ta try an’ keep everyone safe, not be responsible for talkin!
“I can hear you - can you hear me? That… beam - that was to make me understand y’all?” The question was more or less rhetorical, but Forgrave was flying by the seat of his pants. Hopefully, their version of a universal translator was having more luck than theirs did.
Holloway’s hand hovered over her commbage, intending on thanking Renveer back on the Bridge, but it fell back down, her intentions forgotten, as Forgrave made his way to the hatch.
Inside the hatch the ship seemed… odd. Few straight corners could be seen, everything seemed rounded and for some reason… slightly more open, at least by his experience with star ships. A lone figure could be seen peering around a slight bend in the passageway. Obviously female, the figure said “I cannot understand you. But if you can understand me, uh… wave your hands like this.” and she put her hands on either side of her head and wiggled her fingers.
Issac was fascinated by both the differences and similarities in the alien ship design; but he quickly shook off his awe and tried to focus on the source of the voice that he had heard. Upon seeing the figure; he paused, not sure what to do or say - thankfully, she(?) quickly resolved the issue.
It was impossible for him to hide his look of confusion at the request; but he quickly complied, mimicking the odd gesture. If he didn’t know better, he’d have believed that he was being made fun of. But then, it was a distinctive gesture, so perhaps it made sense. But he hadn’t expected the one-way communication; they could probably work out a yes/no system - far better than nothing, to be sure, but short of ideal. No plan survives contact.... Issac left the rest un-thought - his hope was for allies; not enemies.
The alien smiled and stepped fully into view. She was tall, pushing seven feet at least, with a distinctly avian appearance. Her face was almost human like, but her head was gray and had something like single tiered horns or antlers rising at an angle towards the back of her head from above the small holes where her ears would have been had she been human to almost a half-foot past the back of her head. Her skin was a light pink where the flesh melded into the bone-like substance of her horns, but that pink was a border between horn and pale gray flesh that covered the rest of her face. Her eyes were clear and shiny, and when she blinked the lids came from the sides. He body was humanoid, but where hair would have been were small feathers of a dark blue and gray pattern.
As the intention of the shot fired at Forgrave revealed itself, Janvier’s grip on him relaxed so that the Security Chief was able to walk forward undeterred. Like everyone else all she could hear was a melodic music, but Forgrave was responding to it, and while she could hardly believe it herself, the music was responding back. When Forgrave was first struck by the fire, his brain and inner ear had been affected before his signs went back to normal now she scanned him again to see if the readings had changed once again at the prompt of the source of the music.
Dr Janvier, CMO
As Forgrave reacted to the music, it was as if he was simply hearing well within the normal range of conversation.
Stopping herself from pulling the Security Chief back to the safety of the Dresden, Holloway watched the scene with suspicion as he seemed to speak with someone on the other side. Could he understand them? Had that been the function of the beam?
Molly held her breath without even realizing she was doing so, following Forgrave’s steps up, but stopping just inside the Dresden’s hatch. Her palm tightened around the phaser she had been given, ready to pull him out at a moment’s notice.
Bethany watched feeling somewhat pointless, she moved to the edge of the door way still wishing she had a phaser. She resisted the urge, like Holloway but not knowing it, to pull Issac back. Instead she paced him by several paces keeping him and the area for several feet in front of him in her vision.
Lt Gadi, CNS
“I am sorry for hurting you.” the woman said to Forgrave. “The beam realigns auditory receptors to be able to make sense of our language. You really aren’t… hearing… me. But your brain is interpreting my voice for you. My name is Shalir. My people are the Lidrian.” That would make sense, as her lips moved much less than the words should have caused.
“Please, let your friends know. We are not a threat. We came here for help. And then… well… all this happened.”
Issac nodded, and replied “Yes; we’re trying to help as well…” before remembering that it was one-way communication. Don’t even know if a nod means the same ta them; the Lidrian? That’s what they’d called themselves, right? Issac tried to mimic the actions of the strange alien, hoping he could convey agreement.
Turning halfway back to his companions, he relayed the gist of the conversation. “Seems I can understand ‘em after that beam; though it’s just one-way - I don’t think they can understand us as of yet. But it sounds like they stumbled into this, and I reckon they’re trying ta figure out what’s happening, same as us.” Something that Shalir said rattled in his head, and he looked back at the alien, curiosity in his voice. “Said they came here looking for help… Wonder if that’s related to the state of things?”
OOC: Giving everyone a chance to respond before moving along
Satisfied that there was no ongoing harm to Issac, Elaine carefully slipped her tricorder back into it’s usual holster on her belt. Evidently the initial awry readings was a reaction as his brain adjusted, rather than damage undertaken. By Issac’s own admission they weren’t here to harm anyone, they were looking for help. Her fingers curled around the strap of her medical bag and she stepped forward to get closer to Issac and the alien he was speaking with. “What sort of help do they need?”
Dr Janver, CMO
“I uh, don’t quite know - I’d guess they’re tied up in whatever’s affecting the station, but I ain’t sure if they came to the station looking for help, or if they came to us looking for help…” Issac screwed up his brow in thought; recalling the alien’s words, muttering in a quiet voice as he thought aloud. “No… said they came here for help, then this happened…”
OOC: Moved Hsull’s post to the correct thread
=/\= Renveer to Holloway. We have visual of the inside of the starbase. The phenomenon seems to originate from a small, pulsating, brightly lit device. There are aliens aboard the station, and based on how they’re frozen alongside the Starfleet personnel, they might have been discussing the object with Federation scientists when it started… emanating this field. If the aliens know anything more about the object, that information would provide another piece of the puzzle. =/\=
(Lt. Cmdr. Renveer, XO)
So the beam had made Forgrave understand the beings. However, even though the communication was one way for now, Molly did make some rudimentary communication progress by singing to them. It was reasonable to assume that the same would work, in some reduced capacity, with the alien the Dresden’s COS seemed to be speaking to.
Tapping her commbadge, Holloway replied to Renveer. =/\= Thank you, Commander. Lieutenant Forgrave seems to be able to understand the beings after what we thought was an attack. I’ll let you know of any progress we make. Is there any more information on the device? Are there any logs of an object of the kind being studied by the station personnel? Project reports, scientific papers, is there anything that mentions something similar at all? =/\=
As she waited for a reply from the Bridge, Molly walked closer to Forgrave, standing next to Gadi. “Lieutenant Forgrave, I managed to pass on some rudimentary messages to the alien beings by singing to them. Since they chose you to be their spokesperson, you should be the one relaying our messages back, at least until we know that they are comfortable with any of us doing it. Can you try and convey that we are also trying to understand what is going on in the station, and that we will help them with any means available to us. Ask about how they come to be in their present situation. I think any tune will do.”
Molly’s fingers eased slightly on the phaser, but she left her hand still on her hip.
Issac glanced at Holloway; skepticism writ clearly on his face. Any song’ll do eh? How in the void am I supposed ta convey all that with… well, anything? The thought remained unsaid, of course, but the point stood clear in his mind. As he turned back to the strange alien, he racked his brains for a song; trying to think of something that would communicate cooperation and help.
The Lidrian woman shyed back as the new figures came into view. Here eyes focused on Holloway. “Please… we mean no harm. We are not armed. If you will give us the chance, we can allow ourselves to understand you. But it requires us to physically contact you.”
Bethany opened her hands palm out in what for most was a universal gesture of peace and being unarmed. She looked as Forgrave as she started speaking/singing again. she couldn’t make sense of the words. But she didn’t want to scare the poor woman. And if this was the ‘liason’ and she was this shy and scared, Bethany could only speculate on how the rest of the crew was feeling. “Is there anything we can do to help?”
Lt Gadi, CNS
Issac glanced back as Shalir retreated slightly; quickly spotting Holloway’s hand near the butt of the phaser. Gently, he waved at his crewmates; urging them back. “Captain… They say th’ain’t armed - I don’t think there’s a need fer that. And if there is, well, I know how fast ya can draw.” Issac nodded firmly at Colonel Harris and his Marines, following up with “Same ta y’all, Harris. I don’t think there’s any traps here, and we’re all more than nervous already.”
Molly nodded at Forgrave, her lips twitching in the hint of a smile, before letting her arm fall alongside her body. Her hand away from the phaser. But even though she trusted Forgrave and his words, suspicion was still very present in her eyes.
Turning back to the alien, he considered her(?) words; weighing the unknown risks against the possible benefit. Shrugging to himself, he made a choice. “Says uh, they can make themselves understand us; but it requires physical contact. I don’t know nothing past that, but void, I reckon I’m halfway there already. So uh, I reckon I get ta be the proverbial guinea pig.” Forgrave was clearly nervous; but his voice was steady enough. Without looking back, he bowed slightly towards Shalir, and moved towards her, singing the song that had settled in his head in his quiet baritone.
Now I met Sam Jones on a dockside night in a rundown Viking bar,
A kid of maybe fifteen years at that purely nowhere star
He had no ship, he had no skills, no name or family,
And he looked at me like a thirsty soul at a boundless salty sea
For space is wide and good friends are too few…
(OOC: Full credit to C. J. Cherryh and Leslie Fish; - Song is ‘Sam Jones’ by Leslie Fish)
=/\= Renveer to Holloway. There are no logs on the station that mention the device or the aliens, it’s a dead-end. The only hope we have for more information is from the aliens Lieutenant Forgrave is conversing with. =/\=
(Lt. Cmdr. Renveer, XO)
Turning her face away from the alien, more out of habitude than anything else, Holloway tapped her commbadge. =/\= Noted. Thank you, Commander. I’ll keep you posted of anything we find. Let me know if there are any updates on your end. Holloway out. =/\=
As Forgrave sang, Shalir seemed to perk up. Slowly, very slowly, she moved into the open and approached Forgrave. She was much taller than him, but as she got close he could see was indeed a avian humanoid. As he finished singing, she stood up fully, almost a foot taller than him, and she put a hand gently on the side of his head and lowered her head to the other, gently touching his ear to the side of her head. At this close proximity, she had a heady scent of flowers and open air. They touched for less than a moment and then she stood up.
Issac didn’t know what to expect; but he knew that he was volunteering for.... something. He expected further pain; and couldn’t help but tense up as Shalir approached; though he didn’t see anything resembling the emitter from earlier…
As the alien embraced him; he froze stock-still, not sure what was happening or what to do.
“There. Thank you for your trust and patience… ” and her eyes fixed on his collar, “… Lieutenant Junior Grade. Communication should be less… awkward… now.” and she smiled.
“Ah, yes…” He didn’t return the smile, but he did manage a stiff nod in reply. Issac was deeply uncomfortable, though he did his best to suppress and hide it. He still wasn’t quite sure what had happened, but… other than some form of psychic… mind-reading? or something, how else could an understanding of language… and knowledge, if her reading of his pips and knowing of his name be passed so quickly? The thought made his skin crawl; try as he might to dismiss it. It ain’t important, not right now!
Still feeling out of sorts, he nodded once more. “Well, uh, reckon I’m glad we got a bit of an understanding now.” After looking around somewhat awkwardly, he continued. “I know there’s a lot going on with… well, the station an’ everything else; we’re still trying to figure out what’s happening. Anything you can tell us; well, I think it’d get us further than we are right now.”
Shalir nodded and said “Of course. Would you like to convey the information? Or do you want to see if anyone from your… how do you say… well… leadership… wishes to speak directly? Now that you understand us, I am certain you can convey the process.” and she looked in the direction of the station.
“What is happening is our fault, but not our doing. But I do believe that… together… we can free your people and mine.”
Issac couldn’t help but grin as his brain translated Shalir’s words into ‘take me to your leader’.
As Molly watched the scene unfold, it took everything in her not to bring her fingers back to the phaser, but as the alien stood back up, leaving the Dresden’s COS in the same condition as he had been moments before, she let out a breath she didn’t know she had been holding. Looking expectantly at the pair, she waited to hear what Forgrave had to relay back, not wanting to interrupt what actually seemed to be a conversation.
It was definitely strange understanding only half a conversation that was happening right in front of her. With the musical sound that was emitting from the alien it added an earie feel to the room. It reminded Janvier of the stories of sirens calls that her Grandmother used to tell her about as a child. The beautiful notes speaking to the lone sailor. Though, that was where the similarities stopped. She wasn’t always the best at reading people but her gut told her that these aliens weren’t here to randomly abduct Forgrave. They were asking for help, but until Forgrave translated all she could do was listen to one side of the conversation and wait.
Dr Janvier, CMO
“It uh, sounds like they’re involved with what’s happening here.” Issac turned to face the rest of the crew in the corridor; gesturing vaguely towards the alien ship as he spoke. “Shalir here says it’s… well, their fault, but not their doing. Ain’t sure what exactly that means, but I’m sure we’ll find out before too long. Their people are trapped, same as ours, so we definitely got a shared interest in… resolving this situation, whatever that may be.”
Turning back to the strange alien, he asked “So, where to from here? We got an avenue of communication now; but I ain’t optimistic enough to think that’s the hard part over with. We came here originally ‘cause the station went quiet… but it’s been a fair bit since that was noticed by our command. Have y’all been stuck here this whole time?” Concern washed over Issac’s face as the thought settled in his mind. “Is your crew… alright? How are y’all holding up - life support, food, all that mess?”
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