2018-08-16:Semaphores in the Dark

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  • Log: Semaphores in the Dark
  • Cast: Malfi, Neriah Parringer, Yarobeleedt, Fenrir, Ambrosius, Elvis, Kalve
  • Where: Hive's Haunt, the Metal Demon-Veruni headquarters on Lunar
  • Date:2018-08-16
  • Summary: Several Metal Demons and Veruni -- and one lone human -- attempt to contact Filgaia. Will they succeed?

HIVE'S HAUNT This is the tower's common room, which is comfortable enough, if not exactly homey. There are sofas and chairs to perch on -- even if they're occasionally dotted with Yaro slime -- and throw rugs, and the kitchen is conveniently located nearby. Fortunately the tower's high-tech occupants have upgraded it to have power and indoor plumbing! The second and third floors house the women's and men's quarters respectively, while the fourth holds Elvis and Malfi's shared laboratory. The fifth is used for storage -- and Yarobeleedt, who's been exiled up there for general unpleasantness. It seems the random crew of (mostly) Metal Demons and Veruni have been settling in: various personal possessions are scattered here and there. You spot at least two books, three coffee- or tea- cups, and a hairbrush. This entire complex has a lived-in, temporary-dormitory feel about it -- not neglected, exactly, but not truly resigned to living here, either. Stranded here on Lunar they may be, but they haven't given up on finding a way home.

<Pose Tracker> Malfi has posed.

Their longing for home is palpable. It's taken the form of a ramshackle, jury-rigged transmitter, crafted hastily through Kalve's expertise from Ambrosius, Kaguya and Elvis's communicators, with the battery from Malfi's scanner and a parabolic dish hammered out from an old helmet Fenrir had brought in. With luck they might, they just might, reach Filgaia, if only for mere seconds before the battery fizzles out.

Filgaia. Home.

The dish is aimed right at the biggest Veruni Control Zone. Prayers go up to various deities that someone will be listening...

<Pose Tracker> Neriah Parringer has posed.

There are some people here who are not Metal Demons or Veruni. Or rather, there is one person here who is not a Metal Demon or Veruni.

Neriah did not wear her fancy robes. That might be a little too on-the-nose, particularly since there's nobody back home she wants to contact; her operation is set up here. But the Metal Demons are nominally allies - or at least she's helped them try to knock over three of the Statues, even if she does privately have half a mind to turn on them eventually. And when the invitation went out to her, she saw the opportunity to learn something.

As such, here's Neriah. She's sitting near the back of the room, dressed in her casual wear - knee-high boots and elbow-length gloves, black shorts and a white tank top. Her usual hat is nowhere in evidence because Fei has it. Her favourite cufflinks are gone because Riese has one of her little silver 'NP's.

With a sigh, Neriah bows her head forward and reaches back to pull her long, dark curls into a loose, cascading ponytail at the base of her neck. It's a simple process - just a red elastic band slipped into place. But it keeps them out of her eyes for the moment and keeps the rest of her senses free to watch and listen to who the Metal Demons and Veruni manage to reach.

<Pose Tracker> Yarobeleedt has posed.

        Yarobeleedt is missing in this crafty concoction. Why? Because he has elected (silently) to be the one to carry the most important message towards the largest known VCZ (without telling anyone) and will be doing this with all the fervent zeal and concise information he can muster (which is to say a lot of the former and... well... lawyers suggest not going into detail on the latter).
        Yarobeleedt looks utterly miserable. He's always in some sorry state of disrepair and increasing battle unreadiness. Lunata damaged one of his arms and it has that much more trouble staying solid. Ida and Fei blew out his torso - once one of the few parts of him that actually maintained coherency and static form - and now even the armor that makes up his flesh there shifts and burbles as his metallic biomass struggles to stay together and not just become a soupy metallic puddle on the floor.
        ...
        Correction, a bigger soupy metallic puddle on the floor.
        "Is it jobbiiiiiing..." Rasps Yarobeleedt, who - fresh out of another failed regenerative torpor - slither-drags himself across the rotting wood floorboards of the stolen tower. He must be in incredible pain, but there is something in those beady eyes of his that haven't been seen in some time.
        Hope.
        Joy.
        Awareness of an opportunity.
        ...Okay, that last one, for being such a coward, he kind of operates on the third line there, and boy, he sees it...
        And hurls himself up against the contraption with childlike maniacal glee, tongue lolling as he takes both of his arms to morph them into needle points (one... less needle than the other, more noodle). It matters not that ^That^ is there, that ^Creature Creature^ might have usurped any influence he had (read: none whatsoever), or that ^Long Voweler^ continues to exist to aggravate him, among a myriad of other items of pettiness and mean-spiritedness that dominate his mindset.
        Already, he taps away at the device, putting forth rapid-fire in Morse code:
 
' MOTHER - MOTHER - YAROBELEEDT IS HERE '
        This is probably about as far as it goes before someone has the right mind to pull him away.

<Pose Tracker> Fenrir has posed.

Fenrir had been out of touch with the others for their whole time here. When she finally showed up, she was covered in bear pelt armor and had a wolf by her side which she had named Steel, who didn't appear to really like anyone except Fenrir. However, she hadn't been twiddling her thumbs for the whole time. While she hadn't been going on big adventures or becoming famous, she'd been doing minor mercenary and hunting work to keep alive, and had managed to get some old armor and swords, one of which is the helmet that was used for the parabolic dish.

The one-armed Metal Demon stood in her furs with the others, showing disgust as Yarobeleedt threw himself at the contraption. Steel, who was with her because he was now her best friend and such a good wolf, probably snapped at him if he got close. "So, what are we gonna tell them? I've barely been paying attention to what's up with this world, I just want to go home."

As Yarobeleedt types in his message, though, Fenrir steps forward and moves to yank Yarobeleedt away, not typing her own message partially because she has no idea what to write. "Can't wait to get back home, though! It's way too green around here."

<Pose Tracker> Malfi has posed.

Malfi is lounging -- or at least, she appears to be lounging. In fact she's anxiously keeping an eye on her scanner battery, hoping it won't be damaged in the communications attempt. It's irreplaceable! With the low level of techology on Lunar, she has no hope for crafting a new one. This will likely be their only chance to try to reach home. She worries she'll be stranded here forever, or for life -- much the same thing to a Hyadean. While some might say Lunar provides the chance to forge a new life and break old ties, she still misses the old ones. The battery is fading as she speaks. What is the most important message she could send out, using the fewest words? She steps forward to the button, and her message goes out:

ILLUSION CLOAKS INHABITED OLD MOON VERUNI HYADEANS SURVIVED LOST JULY GUARDIAN STATUES HERE PLEASE INFORM ALLIES

There's no way to tell whether the message was received. They can only hope. The battery still glows.

<Pose Tracker> Yarobeleedt has posed.

        Yarobeleedt's gibbering continues to reach a fever pitch even as Fenrir pulls him away. The manic joy only turns more panicked once he is safely pulled away from the ability to reach out and touch it. (His wingspan is impressive and this, itself, may require some effort. Let's call it a Brute 2 challenge.)
        "Mother, Mother~" Yarobeleedt rasps, swinging between glee and desperation as Malfi steps up to take care of the Actual Business while there's still battery life left. "Tell Mother--"
        The narrative refuses to even transcribe what follows because there are far more important things to tell people other than Mother.

<Pose Tracker> Ambrosius has posed.

Ambrosius, as it happens, is not praying. He's a Veruni - he didn't particularly care about dieties, because the only ones he knew about hated his guts and those of his people.

Mother is another story entirely. He doesn't trust her, though he wasn't about to say that in present company.

Neriah's presence here was a surprise to him, but not an unwelcome one - he gave her a polite nod, but soon turned his attention to the machine.

He had helped oversee the device's construction - machinery and technology was his specialty as well, after all.

And now the device was complete. It was, perhaps...not ideal - but it was what they had, and took everything they had to work with. His only hope was that this would actually work.

It whirs to life...and of course Yarobeleedt jumps on it first before any one of them could. Ambrosius frowns and approaches the device, giving Fenrir a thankful nod for removing him so that he wouldn't have to touch him.

"Do not befoul the equipment." Ambrosius states to Yarobeleedt, then turns his attention toward the machine once more before tapping out his own message.

'AGENT AMBROSIUS TO HEADQUARTERS.'

Malfi steps up to provide her own message, more succinctly than he would have. Even in text, Ambrosius could be a little long-winded...

There's a reason his stories don't have as many fans.

<Pose Tracker> Elvis has posed.

"Someone BETTER be LISTENING!"

A giant of a man is making sure the final tweaks to power input and fluctuations are as minimal as possible with a jury-rigged ampermeter of sorts. Its hatch is open and appears to be altering the flow rather than just measuring it. Man man is actually a Veruni, and his name is Elvis.

Such massive hands seem to be able to handle delicate mechanical devices and components easily, to the surprise of some. "Everything is nominal. That control zone has an array used to communicate with the other zones easily. If everything goes to plan they should pick this up, as they hail or eavesdrop every signal picked up."

Those gathered are mostly familiar-- Ambrosius is the most familiar, a dutiful member of their kind. The rest fall into allies of opportunity, people met since the relocation to Lunar, and they range from varying degrees of interest or disdain. Mostly Metal Demons, the caste of people-- if they can be called such-- with a vaguely similar issue of being ostracised on Filgaia.

And then there was a human present? Perhaps a keen ally with the Metal Demons. Something about her pings familiar, but he can't quite fit her to anything. He is too busy concentrating.

A look is cast toward Malfi. "Did we get the wiring to-- Hey!" Elvis says toward Yarobeleedt. "It isn't finished yet! We will get the message out, just hold up. And DON'T get that on the console!" Already having flashbacks of that tunnel. "Are you normally this unstable? Is that just part of your body composition? You lot have such a fascinating cellular structure."

He has studied on plenty of Metal Demon samples in his time. They share similarities, but no two are quite alike. And moreso than something like DNA differences.

A look is cast to Fenrir. "If we can get a message to the control zone, they may be able to devise a way to get us back or send aid."

<Pose Tracker> Malfi has posed.

"Get us back? You really think they could get us back?" Malfi asks, overcome with emotion and trying not to show it. That would be a sign of weakness, after all.

<Pose Tracker> Kalve has posed.

Kalve is here. He does not look like a wizard. It's hard to move overland that quickly when you need a nonhuman body plan and you're dressed as a humanoid wizard.

He's got his favorite poncho back on, but the thing looks like it's been turned into cheesecloth by this point. It's inside-out, showing the cloudy grey side instead of the obnoxiously colorful one. It looks a bit like he's wearing a partly-dispersed smoke cloud frozen mid-descent. Black gauntleted hands are folded in front of him, and his head is tipped forward while he leans against an empty patch of wall, eyes closed. It looks like he's asleep. Which would be really inconvenient if something went wrong, actually.

It's been a really crappy... ... ...'nebulous but very long stretch of time.' Please be patient with your friendly neighborhood kung fu scientist.

<Pose Tracker> Neriah Parringer has posed.

With a muted smile, Neriah watches as Yarobeleedt starts going after the transmitter. "Aw, Mr. Garbles," she murmurs to herself.

Most of the Metal Demons she knows only partially. Ambrosius, though, she recognizes readily enough. Easing to her feet, she sends a quiet smile his way and nods, taking a few steps to one side to watch him work.

<Pose Tracker> Ambrosius has posed.

Ambrosius is not particular concerned about Yarobeleedt's body composition. The important thing to him is that he simply not touch the machinery.

"...Systems are active, Sentinel. We are clear to transmit." Ambrosius says with a nod toward Elvis, stepping aside. Of course, this device was merely one-way - there was no way of knowing whether or not their message would be received.

But they could try - they could certainly try.

As for Malfi...

Ambrosius glances at her for a moment.

"I am certain Headquarters will come up with a plan." He replies, with a nod. They wouldn't abandon them here, would they?

They would never abandon their people.

<Pose Tracker> Yarobeleedt has posed.

        Yarobeleedt is chided by a bunch of people who know a whole lot better than he does. Like an annoying kid brother - he might actually be one of the youngest in the room, Neriah excluded, at a 'mere' seventy years of age - he continues to squirm and make noise and protest until he finally does break free, at which point he stomps out... er... crawls out in a way analogous to angry childish stomping... and seems to disappear down the steps, leaving the more-grown-ups among them to handle transmission.
        ...
        ...
        ...
        ...
        ...
        ...
        A sign from above, before they even transmit!! Joy!
        Wait, no, that's just Yarobeleedt on the ceiling, dangling his more solid arm down bit by bit, wiggling knife-like protrusions like fingers as through preparing to ensure he gets the most important message out.
        Said arm can be bat about like a pinata trivially.

<Pose Tracker> Elvis has posed.

As Elvis makes sure nothing can go wrong (outside of sudden metallic, possibly conductive good on controls) he ponders what message he might send. Should he send word to Volsung? Should he have his minions search for Carol? Have them find a way to constreuct a portal, or jettison a rideable Golem to Lunar? Hm.

"We will get your message out," he remarks to Yaro. "But your bodily form might damage the controls. Let us know what to send and we will send it for you. No offense," he says, trying his absolute best not to yell at the guy. he is still mfifed about his outfit from before. Him hanging from the ceiling is... actually rather interesting. A strange number among their kind, for sure.

"Good," is remarked to Ambrosius in a pleasant tone. The man saunters to the microphone, and gives himself a turn. "This is Sentinel Elvis, reporting in from Lunar! In need of assistance! If this message is received, send a Golem to coordinates -29.054894,138.800451! I repeat, in need of assistance!"

He turns back to Malfi. "If they get this, the ywill find a way to get it near here. I have taken the time to research the latitude and longitude of this planet based off comparisons of FIlgaian maps to where we may be."

He thinks for a moment. "I think I got that right..."

There is a slight chance a rideable Golem may just end up somewhere.

"Here's hoping. A look toward Neriah. "Anything you want to transmit?"

<Pose Tracker> Neriah Parringer has posed.

Neriah presses her lips gently together. Crossing her arms beneath the curve of her chest, she tilts her head towards Elvis. "I'm fine," she says.

"I am glad you're getting in touch with home, though," she says in a somewhat more muted tone, offering up a soft smile. She may have tried to blow him up not long ago, but she can at least wish him well here. That's just the nature of these things.

If nothing else, she doesn't hold a grudge.

"Wait, do we count Lunar as a planet, or is it a moon," she asks, apropos of nothing.

<Pose Tracker> Yarobeleedt has posed.

        Drip. A few icky bits of liquid whatever tap down against the ground surrounding the contraption, as the melty Metal Demon's battle against gravity is not without casualties. Drip. Drip.
        "Fu fu fu. Bank you the effort!! Tell Yarobeleedt all, Yarobeleedt do it five you. More than for!!" He tries to sass Elvis, in so much that 'sass' is something that involves wit and clarity - something that is entirely lacking in this gibberish. "But if you are inside the cyst," insist? Really? That's what they transcribed that as?! Yarobeleedt sucks in a raspy breath, and starts to recite his message.
        It is a self-aggrandizing ballad of such nonsense and incomprehensibility that, actually, this is a fine enough cover in which to pretend to send out what he wants to say while sending out actual mission-critical information. While Yarobeleedt excitedly waves his arms as what is already complete gibberish devolves into further happy screeching noises. Happy for him. Not happy for anyone else.
        He's still dripping.

<Pose Tracker> Ambrosius has posed.

Ambrosius just grimaces at Yarobeleedt. That Elvis can seem to understand him, and in fact tolerate him, is a testament to the durability of the Veruni Sentinels, certainly.

He primarily elects to stay away and let the Sentinel and his Metal Demon allies handle the machine - he was just here to help keep an eye on things for as long as Kalve was dormant.

To Neriah's question, though...he looks at her for a moment, with a silence that indicates he's thinking.

"...By technicality it is a moon... But I am no astronomer. I would not think less of anyone who choose to refer to it as a 'planet'." He replies, choosing his answer carefully.

...He hadn't really thought about it since he landed here!

<Pose Tracker> Kalve has posed.

"It is a satellite of another larger celestial body," Kalve rumbles, not moving from his spot. "The presence of a population on its surface is inconsequential to its status on the larger scale."

Okay, he's not asleep. He's just... idle. Brooding? Waiting ominously? Existing in excess of low-temperature elements beyond what is acceptable for inclusion in this educational institution? It's hard to tell.

<Pose Tracker> Neriah Parringer has posed.

"Oh, huh. So I guess then Filgaia isn't a moon of Lunar, is it," Neriah muses, tapping a finger against her chin. "Or maybe they're two planets and the Black Star is the moon?"

Neriah: Not an astonomer. Not at all.

"I'll take your words for it," she decides finally, shrugging quickly and taking a step back to clear the way for people with more to discuss here.

<Pose Tracker> Elvis has posed.

"Understood," Elvis says toward Neriah. She could be from Lunar for all he knows. "The Golem would help our efforts considerably. We lack large munitions and firepower. Could help us secure resources or defend territory." As much as he wanted to ask them to search for Carol, The facts were there. The Veruni and Metal Demons present were in a dire situation. If Carol is on Filgaia, he can look for her on his return. If she is on Lunar, All the Veruni in Locus Solus can't help him then.

He will look on his own here. On his return, he will form parties to find her. She is capable, right? And smart, and...

Evlis' lip wibbles slightly. But he sucks it up. For the moment.

There might be wails later.

"L-Let's hold the microphone for our 'friend' here," Elvis suggests, looking toward Yaro. Kalve's stirring has him look over. Who was that, anyway? They just kinda showed up not too long ago. Maybe someone Malfi knows. Or Yaro.

"It is worth noting that moons typically cannot sustain life due to their comparible erratic orbiting of another body orbiting a sun. Though we have certainly seen stranger..." he says, sideglancing to Ambrosious.

Deep space is really freaky.

<Pose Tracker> Yarobeleedt has posed.

        Yarobeleedt begins cackling as he grinds his forearms together when Elvis even remotely suggests giving him control of the thing, as he starts to dangle both limbs down to maybe snatch it and hug it close to himself and hog all the morse keystrokes to some crazy autobiographical account of how his superior scout work has allowed them to locate the statues (partially true, he did find yet another one) and otherwise fill it with useless drivel in blind worship of Mother. His fantasizing is as such he is presently fantasizing over the act of doing this before actually doing it.
        As for the 'doing it' part goes, both forelimbs wiggle and go for the grab...!

<Pose Tracker> Kalve has posed.

"I suspect the habitability of the moon has more to do with deliberate engineering than natural chance. Then again, the sorcerous nature of the spiritually-attuned ecosystem is..." Kalve raises a hand to massage his brow, mostly suppressing a long-suffering sigh. "...troublesome."

He pushes off the wall without moving his visible hands. Glimpses of something metallic and spidery briefly show through the holes in his fog-like shroud, bracing on the wall and lifting him to stand straight. He steps towards the device, eyes briefly turning towards Elvis with a look of vague menace on his face. It's unintentional. He's tired, and defaults to a sort of resting slayface when he isn't otherwise occupied. Kalve looks away, this time towards Yaro. That look is a bit more intentional this time.

He brusquely positions himself between Yaro and the input devices, clearly intending to use them. "Tell me what message you wish delivered and it will be appropriately summarized."

Read: This thing might break down at any moment and Kalve doesn't want their party's last words to be 'and that's how I, Yaro, am The Best.'

<Pose Tracker> Ambrosius has posed.

Ambrosius sends Neriah a glance. He...isn't really qualified to discuss astronomy. His business was with machines and history, after all! One could make an argument for the history part being relevant, but...

"...Perhaps." Ambrosius decides to remain neutral on the matter, out of simplicity.

And to Elvis...

"Indeed..." He agrees, then glances toward Yarobeleedt with a grimace. The Sentinel had given his word on the matter, so he could not disagree...but he is glad when Kalve moves in to take over the situation.

<Pose Tracker> Fenrir has posed.

Leaning against a surface with her arm petting her wolf after she wiped the Yaro as much off her hand as she can, Fenrir speaks up to the others after a while of watching and listening. "Make sure to ask them how the situation back home is, in case they can send a message. Ugh, I hope my stuff's alright." More wolf-petting. It seems Fenrir's okay with just being part of the experience.

<Pose Tracker> Yarobeleedt has posed.

        Yarobeleedt wiggles his appendages one last time, and then he moves in to--
        Have Kalve position himself in the way, and the pitiful creature's jaw unhinges and looks kind of ready to fall off his face. He tries to sway back and forth on the ceiling as if to try and dodge around the martial artist scientist to get more than his word in, but does not find an opening. The ceiling that was less 'supporting' Yarobeleedt's weight and more 'barely tolerating it' finally gives way, and a section collapses into a humorous dust cloud around - but also away - from the device, allowing Kalve to compose mission-important messages in low turbulence.
        Metal Demons never do anything in peace, but that might come close.

<Pose Tracker> Kalve has posed.

Kalve looks at Yaro with the level gaze of someone who knows the precise way to deal with him: by being an immovable metal lump with no easily-accessible flashing weak points for him to exploit. Then, he'll slink off like a particularly greasy animal to make vaguely uncomfortable noises and gestures another day. It works out.

Kalve gets to button-pressing. He settles for the analog input, holding up one black-gauntleted hand palm-up and conjuring a slate of what looks like yellow glass out of thin air with the proper notation on it. It's easier to be clear this way.

'SEGMENT BEGINS.

HUMAN CIVILIZATION LOCATED ON LUNAR SURFACE. TECHNOLOGICAL LEVEL INFERIOR TO FILGAIAN COUNTERPARTS. EXPANSION OF FORMALIZED COMBAT TECHNIQUES LIKELY A RESULT OF LACK OF WEAPONS DEVELOPMENT.

STANDING ARMIES PRESENTLY ENGAGED IN EXTENSIVE LOCAL CONFLICT. RECOMMEND IMMEDIATE OFFWORLD REINFORCEMENT ONCE TRANSIT METHOD IS ESTABLISHED FOR MAXIMUM IMPACT.

LUNAR ECOSYSTEM SPIRITUALLY HOSTILE TO FOREIGN AND NATIVE LIFEFORMS. GUARDIAN PRESENCE DISCOVERED. DATA AVAILABLE UPON OPERATIVE RETRIEVAL.

CONTACT LIMITED BY AVAILABLE EQUIPMENT. ESTIMATED OPTIMAL COMMUNICATIONS WINDOWS FOLLOW. SECURE COMMUNICATIONS IMPOSSIBLE AT PRESENT.

SEGMENT ENDS.'

<Pose Tracker> Neriah Parringer has posed.

And this is why Neriah came along. Looking over Kalve's shoulder a little, Valmar's Child takes a look at what he's typing in. A call for reinforcements.

She takes a mental note.

To date, Neriah's helped the Metal Demons knock over a few statues. But her ambitions require Filgaia and/or Lunar to exist when all is said and done. Not for the first time, it occurs to her that if she gets her way, she'll probably have to murder everyone else in the room.

I guess I can spare Ambrosius and Mr. Garbles, she decides. At least the latter of the two could live in the Bliss Garden.

<Pose Tracker> Malfi has posed.

The lights on the device flicker, flicker, fade, fail. It goes dark. The messages went out, but whether they were received -- or will be acted on -- is anybody's guess. The surrounding faces betray various emotions -- some calm, some resigned, some excited, some celebratory. The celebratory ones seem to win, passing around trays of refreshments and cueing up music for dancing. There are plenty of partners to dance with, here in the Hive's Haunt.

<Pose Tracker> Ambrosius has posed.

Ambrosius watches impassively as the machine, finally, falters. It was impressive that it held up this long, with the immense strain they had put on. Attempted interplanetary communication was no simple task, after all.

And with that done Ambrosius turns.

"...We shall see what comes of this." He says quietly and then makes to depart. He can't celebrate - there is no way of knowing whether or not they succeeded in doing anything.

It was a dim hope...but for now, that's all they had to go on.

<Pose Tracker> Yarobeleedt has posed.

        The comical smoke clears from where Yarobeleedt clatters, and he freezes solid when Neriah strides over to look over Kalve's shoulder. Shoulders? He might have more than two depending on how one views anatomy as regards arms, but, that's not the question to have answered at present.
        He lies flat on the ground, which is not hard for him to do when one of his arms and his upper torso sometimes want to actually become an inert puddle of metallic biomass. Very little distinguishes him from a rug, or a footrest, as beady eyes shakily track upwards to see what ^That^ is doing.
        He does not know why he is the only one so deeply afraid.
        The machine fails, relief and trepidation fill the former thief hideout, and Yarobeleedt lies there like a rug. Physically. He's been known to grossly exaggerate and also be exaggeratedly gross, but, rugs. He is like one.
        Maybe he's become one.

<Pose Tracker> Kalve has posed.

Kalve steps back from the device, finished. He half-turns, looking down at Neriah standing behind him. He closes his hand into a fist, and the glassy slate vanishes, a light briefly flickering in the middle of his gauntleted palm. There's a sense of tension from him. He's taut as a bowstring, just waiting for a target.

She isn't it. "Excuse me," he says. "I do not do well in enclosed spaces with unfamiliar persons." Kalve inclines his head politely. "I am Kalve. I would say I am pleased to make your acquaintance, but I am afraid I do not have time to do so." He steps around her, heading for the door, shouldering past a couple of enthusiastic celebratory types on his way out.

He pauses just before he makes his exit. "I will return soon, to see if there is anything that can be done for the device. Do not allow it to be repurposed."

And then he's gone, just like that.

Hyadeans, man. You let them meditate on one mountain and they get all mysterious on you.