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Beneath a Silver Sky

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Gender: Female
Points: 338
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Wed Mar 28, 2018 8:45 am
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Basil says...

Beneath a Silver Sky

“Welcome everyone! I trust you had a pleasant journey over. I can see some of you are still adjusting to consciousness. Cryosleep can be a pain. There will be servants to tend to you shortly, don’t worry. My name is Commander Hyey’rick, and like all of you, I’m here to colonise this planet! I’m sure you’ve been briefed on the OHS, so I won’t bore you with those details, but I would like to reiterate one: please do adhere to the warning labels on the windows, we don’t want any accidents. You should know that you have each been assigned a job based on your professions and skills, and will be put into categories based on your species. Your wrist tags have your room number on them and which bed you’re in. All the information you need will be in your quarters. I look forward to seeing all of you in your fields! Welcome to Elloiren!”


A new planet was discovered just over ten years ago, and there was a lot of commotion about what it would be used for. After an accident that led to the disappearance of the first colonisation team, all news on the planet went silent. Ten years passed, and suddenly a call goes out to every planet in the Intergalactic Federation for masters in just about every profession. The planet that had slipped off the radar is back, and this new colonisation team seems to be much more prepared.

You are an “alien”. At least, on this planet you are. You’ve come from your home world because you believe your skills will be rather beneficial to the stabilising of this new world. To be eligible for this new team, you have to undergo about six months of training in protocols and planetary rules, the base chemicals that make up this planet, and what sort of world you're going to. After completing this training, your journey to the new planet begins.

Upon entering the ship that will take you to the planet, you are given a very detailed, very specific, but very concerning debriefing. The usual things are said: "If you can't breathe the air, make sure you have the specific equipment that will allow it. If you experience a problem on the home base, you must file a report with the authorities." Some of you have probably heard it all before, some of you may feel it is more common knowledge. However the, "Do not, under any circumstance, touch or go near the windows." has you a little confused and worried. You don't get to ask questions, though, the debriefing is complete, and you're sent to your assigned seat. The length of the journey is different for everyone, but when you finally get there, you're in awe.

The planet is picturesque. Beautiful and full of life, although there doesn’t seem to be a dominant civilised race. And despite the really bizarre warnings to stay away from the windows of the complex you’re stationed at, you really enjoy the place. Even though you’re not allowed outside until you’ve gone over all the flora and fauna already discovered to know what is and isn’t dangerous. Once that training is done, you’re put into a crew with about seven or so other aliens, and get to go out and explore the planet!

Spoiler! :
So it’s a very loose idea, I was thinking a crew or a couple crews, depending on how many people join, discover some kind of evidence that there was a dominant species that had established civilisation, or what happened to the first colonisation team. What happened to is entirely up to us, but maybe something creepy. I don’t usually do sci-fi but I’ve kind of been getting into the genre a bit more lately so I thought I’d give it a go with an SB.

I won’t put a limit of how many participants are allowed to join, but we do need at least seven or eight people in a research crew. NPCs are allowed, and if you’d rather be in a crew with NPCs that is also perfectly fine! I’ve got a list of about eight professions, and if anyone wants me to add more just let me know!

Profession list:
Spoiler! :
Crew Captain: Usually militia, or at least some commanding experience. They are the ones to make sure the crew comes back alive after every expedition.
Planetarian: this crew member will be the lead researcher. They will also be your guide. They are meant to know the area almost inside and out so there is no possibility of getting lost. They are a natural born explorer and should have photographic memory.
Botanist: they study the plants around, learning which ones are safe to touch, ingest, and which ones aren’t. They can also be the crew medic if there isn’t one.
Zoologist: they study the creatures, great or small. They also need to be able to identify what creature will pose a threat to the crew and how to most effectively make sure the crew is protected from a hostile life form, or how to best deter it.
Medic: they need to be calm in the face of danger, they need to have no fear. The crew medic requires the most respect, as they will be the one to patch you up and bring you back from the brink of death.
Culturist/historian: they are there to find any evidence of another civilisation. They don’t have too much to do on their role so they tend to be paired up with another profession. Most often they become assistants to the planetarian.
Technician: the crew technician is in charge of the technology, making sure everything works the way it is meant to, and making sure all communication to the main complex isn’t interfered with.
*Specialist solider: this is the “primitive” creature trained to protect the crew from any danger that could possibly befall upon them. Each crew will be given a specialist solider to suit the kind of environment they will be going to. Often time the specialist soldier will be just as savage as the lifeforms they need to fend off, and often times are more “animal” than intelligent life form. Most of them will probably need a sound translator to communicate with the crew.

Spoiler! :
The Specialist Soldiers are not the usual alien type and usually these races aren’t called off their home planets. The call for them stirred a few people and bothered many dignitaries, but the initial discovery team insists that the skills of these races are very much needed, considering their homes are some of the deadliest planets that struggled to set up safe living conditions for non-natives.

Character slots
Crew Captain: RaidenCheese
Planetarian: AlmondEyes
Botanist: corvidconvalescence
Zoologist: Synnoev
Medic: soundofmind
Historian: saentiel
Technician: Kanome
Specialised Solider: Basil

Character Template
Spoiler! :
Code: Select all
[b]Gender[/b]: (if present with species)
[b]Species[/b]: (pictures allowed, descriptions required. Can put in random category number)
[b]Profession[/b]: (listing skills as well)
[b]Personality[/b]: (Please include weaknesses)
[b]History[/b]: (Can be brief, but mostly illuminate why your character was chosen)
[b]Daily schedule[/b]: (You can ask for one or make one up. The daily schedule is specific to the character’s needs and usual lifestyle to help them stay as fit and healthy as possible. Deviations to the schedule are allowed so long as they don’t impact the character too much.)
[b]Up for love?[/b]: (This SB won’t be focusing on romance, but I won’t deny it. I love the mushy stuff! Just don’t make it the main focal point for your character)

Spoiler! :
This is a really loose idea, I don't usually work with sci-fi. So any and all suggestions to plot, planet and lifeforms is most welcome!
Dorian, are you the one adding all the spices to our food?
Of course I am.
Because frankly the food here tastes like poorly cooked sawdust. It genuinely tastes how Solas looks.

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Points: 338
Reviews: 24
Sun Apr 08, 2018 4:32 pm
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Basil says...


Aliens have weird habits. The humans are the worst for the oddities. Aidan, even though he constantly tells me he hates mornings, is awake with the sun without fail, every day. He enjoys going for long walks through the forest, which is not a safe thing to do any other time of the day, so he forces himself awake to do it. Of course I join him on those morning walks, I enjoy his company. It was on one of these walks that I learnt why he does it. The forest of my home world reminds him of his home world.

Today, however, Aidan was awake with the sun to prepare for a trip that would send the both of us off planet.

I’ve never left my home world. None of my kind have. It usually isn’t recommended that we leave. No one ever told me why, but I had a feeling, based on the responses I’d get from the new aliens that visit my home world, it’s because of my own habits. Aidan would always reassure me that what someone might consider barbaric or uncivilised, is rather sophisticated to him. Oddly enough, that was quite a reassurance, but I didn’t know why I felt reassured when he said that. None of those things mean anything to me. Barbaric and sophisticated mean nothing to me. They are just words.

“Neyara, your head’s in the clouds again,” Aidan touches my arm lightly.

Such an odd thing to say. I had to learn that means I’m distracted. Aliens have weird habits and odd sayings.

‘It is the excitement,’ I convey in response to his words.

Aidan smiles at me, a baring of his teeth to signify humour. I found it rather pleasant that his kind express their humour in a similar fashion to my own, but having a word for it made it feel more real. Something we really could share.

“Yeah I’m pretty stoked myself,” Aidan pushes a stack of papers, rocks and figurines unceremoniously into a satchel bag. The human that shares the room with him winces, an expression of disgust following after as he watches Aidan dump the satchel bag beside the moving crate, the sound of something breaking making me flinch. “Oh relax, you two. That stuff was just junk anyway.”

“I’m so glad I never let you pack my stuff,” the human, nicknamed Pick by the other aliens, grumbles.

I give Pick a look that tells him I sympathise with his words. Pick chuckles when he notices the gaze.

“Go shove it, Demartou,” Aidan snaps, earning a hand gesture from Pick that makes Aidan hiss.

Aliens are just weird in general, I think.

I follow Aidan from his room, watching as two larger aliens wearing metal suits walk passed, most likely to collect Aidan’s things to bring onto the ship that will take us to this new planet. The excitement I felt upon waking is beginning to turn to dread. What if something goes wrong? What if I never get to come home?

“Neyara, are you okay?” Aidan gives me a gentle look, his features soft.

‘I’m scared,’ I convey to him.

He reaches for my hand, holding it tightly. “You’re going to be okay. I’ll be right there with you the whole trip,” he reassures me.

It takes an hour of preparation before we can board the ship. Aidan is given a very descriptive rule guide for the new planet, while one of the technicians from the colony station strap a colour around my throat, a small box attached to the side, tiny pins shoved into my skin. I hiss at the small pain, and a sound comes out of the box that reminds me of the voice I hear when I speak inside my head.


“I’m sorry, Neyara,” the technician offers me a sympathetic smile. “This is a translator. It’s required for those that can’t speak or don’t have a language form of communicating.”

I blink my eyes at her. ‘What do you mean?’ I convey.

“Whatever you think, becomes words that others can understand,” she informs me. “So, be careful what you think.” She gives me a reassuring look. “Test it out. Think of a greeting.”

I wrack my brain for one. Aidan always says something … what does he say when he greets someone? Maybe a simple one will suffice.

“Hello,” the box at my throat says.

“Well done, Neyara,” the technician pats my shoulder. “Stay safe, okay?”

“Okay,” the box chirps.

Her eyes light up as she walks away. Aidan enters the room shortly after, giving me a wide grin.

“How’s it hanging?” He asks.

“Good,” the box at my throat informs him.

He blinks in surprise. “Well I’ll be damned. It’s gonna be pretty neat hearing you talk, to be honest,” he chuckles. “I’m going to give you a sedative for the take off. You didn’t really do well in the simulators.”

The memory of the jolting room makes me cringe. “Ouch,” the box at my throat whispers. No, not now.

Aidan laughs. “Lie down, you goof,” he commands.

I do as he says, the small cot hanging from the wall not as comfortable as the branches I usually sleep on. I watch Aidan pull a needle from a small capsule in his pocket, and push it into my skin. He injects the sedative, then sits down next to me, talking about his home world while the sedative courses through my ve …


“Neyara! Neyara, wake up!”

I force open one eyes, followed by a second. Aidan is leaning over me, shaking my shoulders.

“Come on, man, you gotta wake up,” he insists.

My other two eyes open slowly, and I stretch on the cot. Aidan helps me to my feet, and we manage to stumble from the room and off the ship, walking through a large space full of other ships and other aliens. I stare with wide eyes, my ears rising and falling to take in the different sounds. Aidan walks closely beside me, the tang of fear radiating off him in waves.

“Scared,” the box at my throat murmurs.

Aidan looks at me with wide, accusing eyes. “No,” he defends.

I offer him a sympathetic look. ‘I can smell,’ I point to my nose as I communicate most of the sentence with my eyes.

He glowers at the floor and shuffles closer to me.

We follow a group of aliens through a door and down a corridor, coming to a big room with no windows, a soft floor and a small podium at the end. It’s very quickly filling with other aliens of all kinds, all of them watching the podium.

“Are we in the right place?” Aidan whispers.

I glance at him but before I can convey my answer, a loud voice makes me squeak in shock.

“Welcome everyone!”

A six armed alien stands at the podium, looking over the now crowded room with ominous eyes, even though the rest of his face conveys joy. The words that come out of his mouth match his expression, but as his eyes dart around the room, landing on a few aliens, they change from ominous to expectant. Almost as if there’s something he’s looking for. Or maybe someone? Before I can ask Aidan if he notices the expression, we’re ushered from the room through a small door to the left, guards dressed in white and blue sorting the aliens into different categories, it seems.

“Profession,” A guard says to Aidan.

“Zoologist,” he puffs out his chest, even though the smell of fear is stronger. “Neyara here is one of the Specialist Soldiers.”

“You’re over there,” the alien points to a small gathering of others, and then turns his steely gaze to me. “You, follow me.”

“Wait, no, hold up,” Aidan steps in front of me. “She stays with me.”

“Specialist Soldiers have to be analysed upon arrival of the planet, human,” the guard narrows his eyes in a warning. “Go to your group and await orders. This one follows me.”

Aidan opens his mouth to protest, so I quickly intervene. “It is okay,” the box tells him, and he gives me a look, saying nothing as I’m forced to walk away from him.

The guard dressed in blue and white takes me through a door, where another guard asks me to follow, watching me closely with a hand on her weapon as we walk down several corridors. Finally, we reach a small room with a desk and two chairs, a female dressed in a full body suit sitting on one of the chairs, watching me with a bland expression.

“Sit,” she says.

The box growls at her, but I sit regardless, even if her expression is one of irritation. I’d much rather be somewhere else.

“Your files are interesting. I think I’m going to put you in one of the forest crews. Your handler, because of his home world, will be stationed somewhere else. I will have someone introduce you to your crew’s medic once you’ve adjusted to the day cycles of this planet,” the female glances at some paper on the desk. “You’ll be guided to your room where you will remain until you’ve adjusted. I hope you know not to go near the windows.”

“Yes,” the box tells her, while my eyes convey my confusion. She either doesn’t notice or doesn’t understand the look.

“Good. You need to wear this bracelet as well so that no one confuses you with a normal researcher,” she slides a small metal band toward me. “It has all of your information on it, so don’t take it off.”

Taking the cold metal band, I slip it over my wrist, the circlet tightening to wrap snuggly against my skin. I stare at it for a moment before looking at the female again. She just stares at me blankly.

“You can leave now,” she says, tone a little too harsh for my liking.

“Rude,” the box at my throat hisses as I leave the room, my look of surprise making the female stare with wide eyes as the exit door shuts in my face.

A guard leads me down the corridor and into another open, spacious area, this time full of natural light. I turn and stare with wide eyes, my jaw slightly agape, at the scenery outside.

Tall trees rise high into the sky, the leaves various shades of green and blue. Flowers grow from the branches and trunks, vines slithering along the dark brown bark. Ferns and moss hang in clumps where the branches twine with neighbouring trees, the vibrant colours absolutely mesmerising. Winged creatures flutter through the canopy, something with four legs and an elongated snout chasing some. Life. The scene before me screams life, and colour, and beauty. I want to smell it and hear the sounds and chase after the creature with the four legs and elongated snout.

“This way,” an electronic voice snaps me to attention.

“Like home,” the box on my throat whines.

The guard dressed in blue and white, with a similar device around his own neck, nods. “I understand. My home much the same. Many trees, it is beautiful outside,” his membranous eyelids slide over his round, protruding eyes. “Welcome to Elloiren, friend.”

I offer him a smile before turning back to the window. “Thank you,” the box whispers.

I’m not sure who I’m thanking. Aidan, the guard, or the planet. Either way, I want to get out there as soon as I can.

Spoiler! :
First post!! Finally. So this is the start of the SB. We can figure out how posting works, but I tend to have a rule of no back to back posting, and I will wait for everyone else to post before making another post unless circumstances make that null and void. Anyway, excuse the poorly written post, it's kinda late, I'm tired, and I just wanted something up. Enjoy!
Dorian, are you the one adding all the spices to our food?
Of course I am.
Because frankly the food here tastes like poorly cooked sawdust. It genuinely tastes how Solas looks.

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Gender: Male
Points: 95
Reviews: 5
Mon Apr 09, 2018 12:48 am
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Corvid says...

Lilith arrives just before the speech begins. She finds a seat in the middle of the crowd, in between a human and an alien she doesn’t recognize the species of. She sits down, yawns, and focuses her attention on the speaker.

Several minutes pass.

This speech, Lilith decides, is boring. She’s already heard this information from the little instructional booklet she was emailed. That booklet was boring to read then, and this speech is boring to watch now.

She fidgets in her seat, bouncing her leg and drumming her fingers on her lap. The alien to the left of her, a purple-skinned creature with eyes like opals, takes note of this. He gives Lilith an irritated look. “Do you mind?” He asks.

Lilith stops bouncing her leg but continues to drum her fingers on her lap. “Sorry,” she says. “I’m a bit restless.”

“Then take a sedative.” The alien says, before turning back to watch the speech.

Lilith wishes that she had the physical capabilities to scowl at the alien or the courage to tell him off. But she has neither, so she turns her attention back to the speech.

When she looks up, Lilith notices that the six-armed alien giving the speech is looking at her. She looks away as soon as she notices. Something about his expression unsettling, although she can’t figure out why. She shifts uncomfortably in her seat and tries not to think about it as she listens to the rest of his speech.

When the speech ends and unenthusiastic applause fades, Lilith finds herself ushered from her seat and into another room. From there she’s ushered into a line, and not given any more instructions. Perplexed, she tries to watch the line in front of her.

The first thing she notices is that the aliens in line in front of her seem to know each other. She finds this a bit surprising; they’re both different species. Since when do keelings and humans know each other?

Lilith tries not to dwell on it, because soon enough the line is gone and it’s her turn. She finds herself face-to-face with a guard in a blue-and-white uniform.

“Profession?” The guard asks. They look Lilith up and down, seizing her up.


“Go over there,” The guard says. He points towards a group of aliens gathered together.

Rude, Lilith thinks.

Suppressing the urge to attempt to glare at the guard, she walks over to where they pointed. It’s a group of aliens, all of them botanists. Lilith stays on the outskirts of the group; It’s pointless to try and get to know the other botanists. She won’t be assigned to teams with any of them.

The group is taken to another room, where they’re instructed to get into another line. Lilith makes the effort to frown when she’s placed at the back of the line. Her legs are still stiff from her time in cryosleep, and she doesn’t appreciate being made to stand for such a long time. By the time it’s her turn, Lilith is about ready to lie down.

She’s met with the sight of another guard, wearing a similar uniform to the first. “Name?” The guard asks.

“Lilith,” Lilith replies.

“Last name?”

“My kind does not have—“

“Then you will be assigned one.” The guard says. “You don’t have to use it, it’s just for our records.”

Lilith frowns, and the guard takes notice.

“There’s no need for that. It’s only temporary.” The guard says. “But until your mission ends, your name is Lilith Varág."

Lilith knits her eyebrows together into what she hopes is a scowl. She frowns simultaneously. It makes her look almost comical.

The guard looks up. “You need to practice that expression more.”

Lilith lets her face go blank. “Just tell me what I need to do,” she says.

“Put this on.” The guard says. They toss Lilith a small metal wristband.

Lilith catches the wristband and holds it in the palm of her hand. She looks at it for a moment before sliding it onto her wrist. “Alright,” She says, looking back up at the guard. “What now?”

“Go through that door. You’ll be assigned your living space as soon as your team is assembled."

Lilith does as she’s told.

When she walks through the doors, the first thing notices is how bright the room is. It’s not like the room before, with it’s single, small skylight. There’s large, crystal-clear windows. Underneath them, she notices, are brightly colored lines of what looks like tape.

Lilith walks towards the windows, taking in the view. She’s truly amazed by the sight. Trees taller as tall as redwoods stretch towards the sky, green blue and golden ferns at their base. As she watches, a small, furry creature slinks out from the underbrush and swats at a bright blue flower. The leaves of the flower split apart to reveal a small fruit, which the creature grabs before it disappears back beneath the underbrush.

“I’ve never seen so much green in my life…” Lilith says, her raspy voice nullifying whatever astonishment it might’ve once portrayed. She takes a step towards the window, then another, until she’s toeing the line between safety and uncertainty. She wants to go further, but the look the room’s guard gives her is enough to keep her from trying.

“It’s beautiful, isn’t it?” Says a guard to her left.

Lilith turns her head to face the guard, then gives a well-practiced smile. The expression still feels foreign on her face, but the guard seems to think it’s natural. “It is.” She says, the astonishment in her tone shining through despite the rasp of her voice. “I can’t wait to see more."
Spoiler! :
Typos courtesy of sleep-deprivation
- albert einstein

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Mon Apr 09, 2018 4:01 pm
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RaidenCheese says...


He smiled. Everybody was smiling and laughing. His whole team, together, celebrating the successful completion of their most recent mission. The commander had told them it was the hardest mission they'd had in a while. They laughed him off.
He scratched his chin. Perhaps it was the hardest mission they'd had in a while.
He shrugged it off as his second in command, Ivan, nudged him with an elbow and offered him a beer. He politely refused and picked up his own glass of soda.
"Ahhh come on Cap'n! You're no fun!" Ivan said jokingly, lightly punching the captain's shoulder. Riku laughed.
"I've got to stay sober -- who else is going to pilot the ship back to HQ? You don't look all that capable," he said with a smirk. The rest of the team laughed.
"It's the pilot's job to stay sober!" Ivan defended, jerking a thumb at their pilot. She simply grinned, her cheeks red from the alcohol.
"I gave her permission to drink. Anyway it's fine -- I don't drink in any case, so you guys can have fun," Riku replied, leaning back in his seat. Ivan sighed and gave up on his captain. He raised his mug of beer.
"To another successful mission!" he toasted.


The day after the next morning, Riku had woken up bright and early for once. Ivan had woken up at his normal time, and was there to help the captain pack the last of his stuff.

"We'll probably miss you, Captain," he said, as the rest of the crew came to join them.


"We might like our new leader so much you'll be an afterthought," Hera, the pilot, said with a soft grin on her face.

"Heh, whoever comes to take my place'll probably do a better job of leading you guys than me," Riku replied, hoisting a bag over his shoulder. Mixed replies reached his ears, and he chuckled.

"Bah, c'mere," Ivan said, wrapping his arm around Riku's neck and pulling him into a hug. The rest of the crew joined in as well. Riku gasped for breath.

"It's not like I won't see you guys again!" the captain managed to get out as he was squashed by his teammates. He knew deep down inside that this could very well be the last time they ever saw each other. The new planet was filled with many unknown things, and his team would carry on with their own missions -- dangerous ones, too. He didn't like being all sad about it though, so he did plan on either returning to Titan, or offering them a place to stay when they visited.

"Captain," Hera chided, "No need to cry about it." Riku's eyes widened. He quickly wiped away his tears, while the rest of the crew laughed.

"I'll honestly miss you guys, but my new crew should be, if nothing else, interesting. I'll see you sometime in the future, though. We gotta meet up one day!" he said, waving at his crew as he walked out. Riku's now-old team waved and called out their goodbyes, as Ivan walked alongside Riku until he got onto the ship.


The ride to Elloiren was long. Though Riku didn't notice. He was asleep most of the way. He woke up just before they were going to enter the planet's atmosphere. Once they landed, he looked out his window at the scenery.

It was amazing.

The trees were taller than most buildings he had seen, the leaves in beautiful shades of green and blue. There were vines that travelled along the bark, like vertical pathways in a vast area of brown, and there were explosions of colour in the form of flowers scattered across the trunks of the trees.
Before he could gape at the beauty of the forest any further, he was ushered out of the ship. He grabbed his bags as he left the ship, only having two. As he walked, following some guard clad in blue and white, his eyes wandered around, looking at the other people (in this case other aliens) who were also landing on Elloiren.

He eventually came to a room with a podium in the middle. There was a dark purple alien with six arms standing there.

"Welcome, welcome everyone!" it said, clear as day and loud. Quite loud.

And thus, began the speech that almost put Riku back into cryosleep. He struggled to stay awake, and it seemed like the aliens to either side of him had the same problem. A lot of yawning went on in his row. About halfway through the six armed alien rested his eyes on them, but they were all yawning. Simultaneously. The alien paused slightly, but carried on with his speech as soon as he looked away.


Once the applause that sounded slightly more dead than a brick ended, Riku was told to move to the next room by one of the guards. He sighed, and dragged his feet into the next room. He was told to wait in line. He gave an even heavier sigh, one that was probably noticed by whoever was around him.

Finally, after ten minutes, he made it to the front of the line.

"Profession?" the alien asked him. He blinked.

"Uh, crew captain," he said, hesitantly. The alien pointed off to a group of assorted aliens.

"Go stand over there." Riku groaned as he dragged himself over to the group of other aliens - who he assumed were other crew captains. He managed to greet all of them before they were taken away to another room, in which they were all given a metallic wristband. They were all told it had comms that link back to the home base for missions and other things, such as communication with the rest of their crew, and personal info. There was a short debriefing, and then they were off to their own dorms.

"I wonder if the whole crew will stay together..." Riku thought to himself, as he followed yet another guard. He began to wonder why there were so many guards. Perhaps it was because the first attempt at colonization failed because of the lack of guards? Or maybe the people were killed by something and these guards knew how to combat it...?

He shook his head. That was a scary thought.

Once he reached the dorm he'd be staying in, the guard left him alone. With a breath, Riku entered, and was greeted by the simplicity of the place. It was just a few beds and a door to where he assumed was the bathroom. There were no windows - though considering the thorough warnings they had been given, it made sense. The room was lit up by a panel in the ceiling. The amount of light given off could be adjusted by the switch at the door.

"Okay, I've still got time!" Riku threw his bags onto one of the beds, bolted over to one of them and pulled out a rolled up red carpet. He laid it out in front of the door, and he quickly pulled out the marshmallow packet from his bag. He opened it with practiced ease and took a seat on the bed nearest to the door. His plan was to stand up and offer his new crew members a marshmallow when they entered.

His only regret was that he didn't have anything else to offer his new team members, in case they did not like marshmallows.
I'm cool as a cucumber
Even if I'm in a pickle

Two possibilities exist: Either we are alone in the universe, or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.

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Thu Apr 12, 2018 11:15 am
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soundofmind says...


The quiet sound of beeping from the monitor was the only sound Tottan's hearing zeroed in on in the long, sterile room as Tottan held his own arm on the operating table and cut off a small piece of flesh that he quickly moved to a petri dish on the side. Wiping the small knife he used to make the incision on a pad, he watched as his luminous skin slowly began to repair itself and regenerate. With a wound that small, it disappeared in under a minute.

While it did so, he swiveled in his hover-chair from one table to the next, putting the petri dish with a piece of his own flesh in a freezer, and pulling out a small bottle. Then with a sweep of his leg, he pushed himself to the side and slid far down the table to the end, where a small, fluffy creature was curled up sleeping in a cage. Tottan flipped the latch open, simultaneously waking the furry ferret-looking creature from its sleep.

"Hey buddy," Tottan cooed, as the little animal sniffed his hand, and skittered up his arm with its little paws. "You wanna try some medicine? I'm hoping it'll get rid of that tumor in your heart, if all goes well. At this point, there's not a lot to lose you know. Because of the placement, it'd be too risky a procedure for surgery."

The creature looked up at Tottan with it's dark, beady eyes blinking absently. Clearly, it hadn't understood a word he'd said, and it was only interested in getting pets or snacks, but Tottan continued to talk to it like it understood what was going on.

"This is a new medicine I've made from the compounds of my own flesh. I was able to isolate what genetic strand is the source of the Y'arkan's ability to regenerate as quickly as we do. This is my attempt at incorporating the principles of that DNA makeup into a liquid form, in hopes that a medicine made to temporarily modify your own to mirror mine will do so long enough to restore your innards, my friend."

The fuzzy creature squeaked, and climbed across his back to the hand holding the vial.

"Well if you're that eager to get on with it-" Tottan chuckled, "then go on ahead. Don't let me stop you," he said as he popped off the cap of the vial and let the creature stick it's snout inside and extend its long tongue into the tube, slurping up the the medicine. Tottan looked on with amusement as the creature lapped away at the slightly glowing, pink-ish liquid.

It was then that the sound of radio chatter caught his attention, and he looked over to the brightly colored, semi-transparent screen at the far corner of the room. On it he could see the familiar set-up of the news channel, with the local anchor talking with vivid hand gestures.

But what really caught his attention was the images of the planet Ellorien flashing in the background.

With a free arm, he reached across the table and poked at a control panel, turning up the volume.

" ...remarkable surprise, members of the crew have resurfaced informing news stations that Ellorien is in fact, habitable, but part of it's biological makeup makes it a hazard to expand their current colonial growth on the project. It's clear that their dedication to the project has provoked them to call upon the specialists of the universe for reinforcements to help make this promising planet into a new home..."

Tottan watched curiously as the image on the screen slowly swallowed up the image of the anchor, and began to show the rotating planet. Even from outside of the atmosphere, it looked lushly green and full of life - much like a healthy planet that ought to have a sentient species populating it. The absence of such life, however, had his curiosity piqued.

"How curious..." he mumbled to himself, as the voice of the anchor again began to fade out as he delved into his own thoughts. But instead of considering the implications at the immediate moment, his attention was stolen by another squeak.

He looked down at his fuzzy friend, perched on his arm, licking its chops. The vial was empty.

"Well, I suppose we ought to check on your heart, then? The medicine is designed to be fast acting."

More empty blinks from the fuzzy friend.

"Alright then, well come with me."


There were so many unknowns. So many things that could go wrong, since he didn't know exactly what was wrong on the planet Ellorien.

He'd read the booklet cover to cover. Gone over every guideline and warning and tried to dissect it to discern what exactly was the problem, and why they needed and wanted the best of the best. But he was at a loss. The only way he would know, was if he went there. If he joined one of the teams. If he became a part of the colonization project and immersed himself in that world. That was how he'd find answers.

And that was what propelled him, as he began to pack up his research, and all of the useful tests from his lab. That was what drove him forward as he squeezed all of his few personal belongings into a small pack that he wore on his back.

So when he stepped out of the small lab stationed at the edges of the town of Gräktken, and was met by the faces of his few friends, he didn't feel sad. He'd travelled much and said goodbye many times over his long lifespan, and though he would miss each person he spent a longer time with to a degree... he'd gotten used to saying goodbye.

He stepped down the ramp, wheeling his large, heavily armored suitcase behind him with his life's work inside. The dust from the desert planet blew up in the wind, and the sun peeked through the overcast sky. He smiled at the three friends at the bottom of the ramp - each a Poolean - resembling bipedal gazelles (as a stretch for comparison, but they were rather unique with their twisting horns and slim forms).

His closest companion on this planet had be Tris, who stepped forward to greet him, and give his last goodbyes.

"You will be dearly missed, my friend," Tris reminded him (thrice now) as he hugged one of Tottan's arms.

"As will you," Tottan smiled, patting his Poolean friend on the snout.

"We can never repay you for everything you've done. For how much you've helped us," Rikki piped up beside Tris. "We just hope we can give you a good send off," she said with a small gesture to the space-ship behind them.

"And that we gave you some good memories," Tris added.

Tottan laughed airily. "And you have given me both." He gave a small wink to Gunt, who'd been silent, sulking behind the other two. "And you, keep working towards the academy. The Pooleans need more doctors like you."

Gunt timidly looked away, blushing. "Thanks, Tottan."

Tottan nodded, with a smile, and slowly slid his arm from Tris's grasp as he began to walk away. He'd only walked a few steps before Tris stopped him with a question, calling out.

"Will we ever see you again?" Tris asked.

Tottan turned, and gave a shrug with his top pair of shoulders. "I cannot say what the future holds. But that sure would be nice, wouldn't it?"

Tris's somber expression finally relaxed into a small grin.

"Yeah. I guess it would."


Cryosleep was necessary for the long journey to Ellorien. Though it had been centuries since light speed had been developed, he was simply too far across the universe to travel so far and figure out a way to pass the time on such a small ship with limited supplies. He certainly couldn't manage to do anything productive. That, and cryosleep was always satisfying, and he didn't have to worry about getting sunlight while zooming through space because of the automated uv ray lights that shone on him every eight hours.

So naturally, when he woke up, he felt refreshed, and his skin was glowing more than it had in a long time since he'd had his stay a the oft overcast planet of the Pooleans. With renewed energy and gusto, he gathered his things quickly before he exited the ship and greeted the guards dressed in uniforms of blue and white. With eagerness he let them ushered him to the main conference hall, which was beginning to fill with the many specialists from different edges of the universe. His eyes (literally) lit up as he saw the vast diversity of aliens in the room, and he happily made his way to a seat as the six-armed lecturer took the stage.

Though most of the information, apart from the pithy sayings meant to inspire them, was a repeat from what he'd read in the guidebook, he paid attention, for the most part, out of courtesy to the speaker. However, he was glad when it was over, and they were instructed to each get into lines.

After a short wait, he got to the front.

"Profession?" he was asked.

"Medic," he replied with a nod of his head.

He was pointed in the direction of signs, leading him towards the group of who he assumed to be all of the other medics who'd come for the mission. At the moment, there were only three present. They all looked upon his arrival curiously, and to his surprise, one of them expressed recognition.

"Oh my stars," the tentacled alien gasped. "Hey, you're Tottan, right?"

He nodded. "That would be me, yes."

"I read up on your experiments and your research. It's really cutting-edge in the medicinal world. Unorthodox, to base your methods around your own DNA, but it's really innovative and ahead of the times. Will you be continuing your research here?"

"Well, I don't see why not, as long as I put my duties related to the colonization and exploration of Ellorien first."

The tentacled alien seemed to smile with iher big eyes and small mouth, to which, Tottan reciprocated the gesture.

"Well I think-"

"Ahem." One of the guards interrupted to facilitate the next step in the process. With an apologetic look, Tottan followed with the others to another line, as they were all handed bracelets that doubled as communication devices so their crew captains and other team members could contact them when needed. Tottan nodded as he selected his upper right wrist to be the one to wear the metal accessory. He then followed the others out into one of the communal areas to wait for his official team assignment so he'd know which wing and room to go to.

He watched as several other aliens filled the hall of windows, looking out at the beautiful green life flourishing outside with brightly colored brilliance. He noticed how some of them toed the bright orange line on the ground, and observed with curious and awestruck gazes at the sight.

And he had to admit. It was, indeed, beautiful.

But he had seen planets like it before. A fact that began to nag at him again.

If similar planets were highly populated and successfully thriving, what was wrong with this one? What was different? What would they discover here, and could they be successful in colonizing the planet?

All things he would ponder upon as he made his way to the lab on base. If he was going to be here a while, he would have plenty of time to gawk at the plants. But at them moment, before he got his assignment, he wanted to make sure all of his research made it to the lab safe and sound.

He'd spent over fifty years developing it, after all.

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Kanome says...

Villi Frese

On her planet, Thessia, she was known as the best technician throughout her homeland. She was able to repair anything, upgrade anything, and even prevent technology from getting hacked. Her fellows Asaris would come to her for help if it’s more a mission outside their homeland or just a simple repair. According to her kind, she was the quiet type, but when it comes to alien tech, she can ramble on about it all day and night.

One day, a message came in from the Intergalactic Federation, asking for volunteers for a new colonization team for a new planet called Ellorien. Her fellow Asaris convinced her to volunteer and when she did, she promised herself to be useful if she was chosen to be part of the team. She promised to be more open to her fellow mates, and change her ways. Villi Frese, one of Thessia’s best technicians, is going out to see the new planet. A new world.


Villi was sitting next to other aliens she has never seen before. She was looking up at front, seeing a six-armed alien giving a speech, welcome everyone and providing information about the planet they were going to colonize. As soon as the speech ended, everyone stood up and headed over to where the guards were. She noticed a guard looking at her as she walked towards him. He glared at Villi.


“Oh. Uhm. Technician.” Villi spoke out to him with a soft tone.

“You go over there.” The guard pointed to a group of people as Villi started to head in that direction. She wondered how her team will be like. She is usually quiet and shy, but she always wanted to be more open and she figured this will be the best opportunity to do so. When she reached the group, she received a metal wristband, placing it on her wrist.

She walked in towards a room, taking in the astonishing view of the planet. She hasn’t seen so much nature in one place before, it was all new to her. She smiled, thinking of all the lost alien technology there could be on the planet, if there is any for that matter. She was ready to start her new journey, with new people to meet and a new place to explore.
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AlmondEyes says...


Ignoring the varying degrees of unfavorable stares in my direction, I made my way through the vast majority of corridors to the specified location. After being forced to listen to that unsavory speech, a walk around the compound is something that is welcomed. Along the way, there were many species I found that I was familiar with due to my travels while in the military of my planet. Learning the layout of the compound is something that may come in handy one day in case of a siege or hostile take over. Not that one day would be enough time to thoroughly learn the layout of the entire facility. There would be time later to learn everything I needed to about the place I would now be calling home. As I come upon the designated room and discover a line.

Taking my place, it becomes apparent that there are other here who are well aware of the race I am apart of. The whispers began, as did the hissing, and several other things that I decide not to mention. I almost smile.


The uneasiness I bring about in some can be felt from across the room. The fear my people inspire can be smelt from across the compound. They would be proud to know that I keep their reputation alive, even if I am foreign to my people. Although I may have been among the strongest of my people, most did not understand why I did not fit the bill for the typical Alterian bill. Aggressive. Merciless. Kill first, ask questions later. These were some of the attributes of my people, and although I can display them without hesitation, I don't blatantly wear it on my sleeve like others may choose to. They did not seem to like that.


My thoughts were interrupted by the guard, who gave the distinct impression by the way he looked at me that he wasn't a fan of my people. I did smile then. Slowly, as I cocked my head to one side as I looked him over.

That unsavory look on his face became one of apprehension as he cleared his throat.


I didn't miss the tremor in his voice, which made me smile wider. "Planetarian"

"You'll go that way" he pointed to his right, not looking me in the eye.

Most people couldn't. My people found that to be a sign of weakness if you couldn't look someone in the eye. Averting or avoiding eye contact on our planet conveyed weakness or deceit. It also left one open to attack. I could have reached out and snapped his neck right now. Not that I would. We weren't enemies on the battlefield. He was just rude, which I detested. With another smile, I went in the direction he motioned.

Peoples' reaction to Alterians was something I always found amusing. People either hated us, or they feared us, which is was warranted given our track record. I have never met anyone that thought otherwise of my people. Coming upon the group I was instructed towards, I surmised that they were probably other planetarians. Most regarded me with a mix of distaste and fear, which is something I was accustomed to.

"Your people have no business here." Someone called out.

My eyes slid to the male standing in a throng of people. He was taller than me, with horns that protruded from either side of his head several inches. No hair. His skin was stark white, with blue veins that ran along his skin where it was exposed. His eyes were pitch black, with white dots in the middle. I knew of his kind.

They were Valerians. A race similar to mine, though they are not as technologically advanced. I'm surprised to see that they would let one of their kind on a colonization mission when they're known for their hostility towards other races. They also did not really like Alterians. There was a reason for that.

"If I do not belong here, then you most certainly do not." I cocked my head to the side, a cold smile spreading across my face.

His nostrils flared as he grunted.

"Keep it moving." said a guard as he stepped between us.

He grunted again, then huffed as he met my eyes with a malice that made me smile wider. We would see each other again. The Valerian was the first to break eye contact and walk away, but not before baring his razor sharp teeth. I disregarded him and resume the task at hand. We are all instructed to move to another location and wait in line there. I ran a hand through my hair, pondering what the team i'll be assigned to would be like. As I mentioned before, most did not take kindly to working with Alterians. The line moved faster than expected. I came upon another guard, but this one did not seemed perturbed at all by my presence.

"Name?" she raised an eyebrow.

"Kisara Halcyon" I state.

The female guard hands me a silver wristband that I fasten around my wrist without being told to. It was slim, and so cool to the touch that it brought about goosebumps on my arms.

"What is my next objective?" I gaze recenters on her.

"You will proceed through that door where you will then be given your living space after assembling with your team." she instructed.

The first thing that becomes apparent to me as I cross the threshold, is a refreshing burst of cool air that causes my hair to dance around my face for a moment. The next would be the thick lush trees that dominated the room. Had they not been confined in here, I believe they would have touched the sky. Such deep and warm shades of green adorned the leaves, with vines that seemed to span the entirety of the trees and their branches. Those very same vines garnished the entry way and most things in the room, giving everything an appearance of graceful elegance.

"A sight if there was." the guard I noted when i'd first entered commented.

"Indeed." I nodded in kind.

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Magebird says...

Leonardo Cartwright

He had been in the middle of his yearly visit to Earth when he first heard that Ellorien was open for exploration once more; he had nearly dropped the holographic text that he had been holding. It had been nearly a decade since the previous expedition. He had heard horrible reports about the last one – how the first colonization team had vanished, and how they never figured out why a group of so many people had suddenly disappeared overnight. It had been a media frenzy back when it first had happened.

But as he left the museum he was visiting (it had been his last place of occupation before turning to the rest of the galaxy) all that people could talk about was how a new adventure was on the horizon. It was amazing what time could do for a person. Some were too young to remember the impact the first failed expedition had. Others simply had forgotten in lieu of their childlike joy. Everyone craved an adventure.

And he, certainly, was no exception.

So he threw his caution to the wind and decided to sign up for the expedition. With his knowledge of history and culture, he would be the perfect candidate for their historian position. Though he had heard that no dominant species had been found on the planet, he suspected that they had been one at one point. As a historian, it would be his job to discover what had happened to them.


Even though he had traveled to countless worlds in the past few decades, he was still astonished by the sheer variety of races inhabiting the little room where they were given a speech. His mind quickly stopped focusing on the speech itself and more on the people around him. While some of the aliens were quite familiar – he might have even met one or two once during his travels – there were still a handful whose races he had never encounter. He was giddy at the thought of learning more about their cultures. Would they mirror any of the ones he already knew about, or would they be entirely different? Better yet, would they teach him a little about their history? They must have all come from incredibly rich backgrounds; this expedition would be a well of information-

The speech had ended.

He had been so busy daydreaming that he only just noticed people beginning to rise out of their seats, heading towards lines forming in front of the various guards stationed around the complex. Embarrassed that he had spaced out, he hurriedly joined the one closest to where he had been sitting.

The line was fortunately moving quite quickly. Still, he had been one of the last ones in the line and now he had to deal with the consequences. It would be awhile until he left it. So he used this as a perfect opportunity to study the complex they were in – the structure of the room, the placement of the guards and every possible exit. He could never be sure when he'd need a quick way to hurry out of a place. It was best to be prepared when on an unknown new world.

When the line finally dwindled down to only five people including himself, his attention shifted back to the guard on hand. It was odd that they were being directed towards different locations by guards of all people. Something had undoubtedly happened on the previous expedition, but it didn't explain the abundance of them. To make matters even more interesting, each team was supposed to have a specialist soldier. Theoretically, that specialized fighter was meant to protect them from the unknown dangers of the world. So why had so many guards been assigned to this complex?

He came to a stop in front of the guard.

“Profession?” the guard asked. His voice was tired after falling into the same boring routine. He doesn't envy his position.

“Historian,” he quickly replied, and he pointed him in the direction of a small group that was gathered only a few feet away. Some had managed to strike up casual conversations about what made them join the expedition. Others partook in what he had only moments before, studying the complex with interest clear in their eyes.

When the group of historians was taken to another room, they (unsurprisingly) get into another line. Another interesting thing to note. Relying on lines to convey a sense of order implied that they didn't trust the members of the expedition to be orderly; it was like they were school children getting directed by teachers.

He lingered at the end of the newly formed line. When it was finally his turn to talk with the guard, he gave them a warm smile. Better to get off on a good note than a bad one. The guard was initially surprised by the action, but returned the smile a moment later.

“What's your name?” she asked, a little more cheerfully than before.

“I'm Leonardo Cartwright,” he said.

He thanked her when she handed him a small metal wristband. Once it was carefully placed on his wrist, he looked back up at her. He knew that it had to be a communication device of some sort, but he still was unsure of what he was supposed to do now that he had finished this part of the procedure.

The guard pointed at a door. “You'll go through there. You're one of the last people to finish up, so I'm assuming that your team has most assembled by now. Once you meet up with them, you'll be brought to your living quarters.”

“Thanks,” he said. He started to head towards the door, but then he heard her hesitantly speak up from behind him.

“Have a good day!” she called out with another smile.

He looked over his shoulder at her and grinned. “You too.”

And then he was off through the doors, eager to meet his team.
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Synnoev says...


My first moments as an autonomous creature are confusing, and traumatic. Being separated from the Collective is like having my family, memories, and thoughts torn away all at once, cut off from the vast network of information that surrounds us all constantly. The loss is so enormous that it's hard to comprehend anything for a moment. My thoughts seem to operate in a void, with no answer or call, nothing to reach out to. Even my senses seem unable to take in the space around me.

Then, I feel a soft touch, and I am connected again, albeit to a much smaller network. My senses grasp to it desperately.

Fenna, the touch says. Do you recall your mission?

While connected to the other, it is easier to arrange my thoughts. Yes, I reply. I remember now. I am to be a scout, a delegate on the multi-species colonization effort. The hopes of the Collective sit within me, driving my purpose, and I feel a swell of excitement for what new discoveries this mission will bring.

Still, already part of me yearns to be back within the comforting unity of the Collective, rather than this independent entity. It is strange to know I will be away for so long, cut off from the endless network of information I know I was once connected to. We are one spirit, one unit, only temporarily separated so that we may gather knowledge and bring it back.

My trainer's thoughts reach out again, mingling with my own . Come, they say, There is much for you to learn if you are to survive as an independent scout.


It's now been almost a year since I was created, and I've finally arrived on Ellorien. Over the months, my initial trepidation has faded, giving way to the hope and positivity gifted to me by the Collective. Though it still feels foreign to be disconnected, I've grown used to my solitary thoughts. I've also heard that there will be several of our kind on the trip, as is usual on long missions, to help us keep our sanity over the long years ahead of us.

For the purpose of this mission, I've been given a translator. It sits inside me next to my soul-light, glowing a constant mellow blue. Few of the other species on the mission can communicate via touch, so I'm required to vocalize my thoughts. Honestly, it seems primitive to me.

Especially now. During our orientation, all members of the colonization effort are submitted to what seems like days of verbal and written instruction. Through all of this, I can't help but long to be back home where thoughts and ideas can be shared instantly, with no need for this tediousness.

On the other hand, it is probably for the best that I'm now able to keep my thoughts private.

After a long wait, I get to the front of the queue to where a guard stands, dressed in blue and white.


I hesitate for a moment, choosing between the voices I added to the translator, then reply in a clear female-sounding voice. "Zoologist."

The guard nods, marking something down on a sheet without looking up

"Name?" he continues, holding out a silver ring of metal.

"Fenna Lightway," I say. The guard marks this down too, and a moment passes as I stare at the object in his hand.

Sighing, the guard looks up as if about to say something, then pauses as he looks over my form. "Wrist?" he asks, a hint of frustration in his voice.

A wristband? I form a limb and take the band, absorbing it inside myself to rest beside to the translator. The guard watches this, brow creased, then shakes his head slightly. "Fine, I guess," he mutters, gesturing to a group behind him. "Your team is over there."

The light inside me glowing brighter than ever, I make my way over to meet my new team.

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Kanome says...

Villi Frese

When Villi reached to the dorm room she was assigned to, she placed her belongings on one of the beds. She sighed softly as she heard various conversations outside of the room. She couldn’t help but to feel left out of making friends. She knew that she was always quiet, but she wanted to change that, and this was the place to do it. She walked out the room, smiling to herself.

Villi was ready to meet her new team. She wondered what kind of people they were, physically and personality-wise. She has never met any other alien species before, but she was curious on to how they are and how they behave. She approached to one of the guards, who pointed her to the direction on where her team was after giving the guard her name. She noticed a man surrounded by other members. She walked towards them as the man noticed her, giving her a bright smile.

“You must be a part of our team also!” The man spoke with such enthusiasm.

Villi smiled at the strange man. He approached her, crouching down on one knee with his hands behind his back. He looked up at her, with a serious look in his eyes. “Would you make me happy and accept these marshmallows?” He held out a bag of marshmallows to Villi. Villi looked at him, raising a brow.

“... Marshmallows?”

“Don’t worry! I’ve been asking this to everybody. Oh! I didn’t even introduce myself. My name is Riku Suzuki. I’m the crew captain.”

“V.. Villi Frese. I’m a technician.”

She walked up to the other crew members, where they introduced themselves to her. Neyara, a specialized soldier. To Villi, she didn’t seem to speak much but you could tell that she is useful. From what VIlli could understand from her knowledge on aliens is that Neyara is a Keeling. Kisara Halcyon, the planetarian of the crew, she seemed fierce and intimidating to Villi. Based on Kisara told Villi, she is from the planet called Alteria.

“Alteria… is that one of the military planets?” Villi raised a brow to Kisara, looking up at her which Kisara stood tall. Six feet to be exact.

Kisara nodded, explaining that since her species are the most elite, that is where they contract military forces from. Then, there’s Lilith, the botanist. She seemed friendly to everyone here. To Villi, there was not much to say about her life. Villi did know, however, that Lilith is part of the Wel species. Tottan. Villi couldn’t believe how tall he was. Tottan is the medic in the group. He spoke in a soft and gentle voice, which is probably one of the best qualifications to have as a medic. He spoke that he is part of the Y’arkan species. VIlli always knew about the planet Lucia because she always wanted to see the Hukka plants.

Leonardo Cartwright, part of the Dai species and the historian in the crew. From what she could remember, Dai were shapeshifters. To her, Leonardo seemed mature, possibly have a lot of passion in the work he does. She meets Fenna, a sentient transparent amorphous blob known as a Mellan. Fenna explained through written messages that she’s the zoologist of the group. VIlli understand that Fenna can only communicate through the crew wristband and write it down. Lastly, the person who already introduced himself to her, Riku Suzuki, who already said that he is crew captain. He explained that he is human from the planet called Earth. He seemed friendly, but odd.

Villi smiled at everyone as she introduced herself to the group.
“Villi Frese. I am a technician. I am part of the Asari species from the planet Thessia. Nice to meet you all.”
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soundofmind says...


Meeting everyone was a thrilling experience, and the diversity of the group filled him with excitement. Greeting everyone with bright eyes and a soft smile, he hoped that his towering height didn't intimidate them.

Once everyone had exchange names, Riku clapped and gathered their attention.

"Alright, let's go get settled in our bunks!" The human said with a smile.

"Of course, captain," Leo replied with an eager smile as they all began to follow behind their crew leader.

When they got to their living quarters, Tottan was relieved that there was a bottom bunk for his size. Naturally, he glided over to it on light feet and set his things beside it, since he knew no one else had and reason to need that much length.

As soon as he plopped down, he opened his bag of marshmallows and popped on in his mouth with a smile. Though Riku likely didn't know it, or plan on it, the candy gift reminded him of home, and once again he found himself thankful that sugar did not eat away at his teeth or his body the way it did, say, humans. Such were the perks of being from a planet where candy was a staple and a daily indulgence, as well as a race well adjusted to it.

Riku inched up to Tottan's bed, with a pleased grin on his face.

"You like them?" He asked.

Tottan nodded. "Very much. Your gift was very thoughtful."

Riku gleefully watched as Tottan popped another marshmallow in his mouth, and Tottan only smiled with his eyes. It was good to know that their captain was the kind of man who took joy in seeing others happy. Though there were many other qualifications and characteristics he knew he had yet to see, this... well. This was a good first impression. At any rate, he hoped under Riku's leadership, and with his attitude, that their group would avoid some of the relational conflict that was inevitable in group dynamics.

He did wonder though, how Riku did under pressure, and if he maintained the same cheerful countenance. He wouldn't draw any conclusions until the time came, and he didn't know if anything that dire was in store for them - but he did hope that when the time came, that they all would band together.

Though, he felt he was probably getting ahead of himself. They had a list of things to get out of the way before they could start their explorative missions on the planet and begin their research.


Tottan swirled around in his chair as he looked down at the holographic screen floating in his lap. He'd been doing physicals and check-ups with his team all morning: making sure everyone was adjusting to the new sleep schedule well, getting a baseline for their vitals, and making sure all of their health needs were met.

It was very rewarding work, and he enjoyed it - especially since it tested his knowledge of the anatomy and needs of different alien species from the universe. The way it was stretching him was intellectually stimulating in a way he hadn't experienced since he was drowning in his research on regenerative medicines and technology. Which would explain why, when he looked at the last name on his list, he smiled with eagerness.

The doors to his office slid open with a quiet fssh, and he looked up at Fenna, the Mellan.

Swiping the screen aside with a movement of his wrist, he stood and went to greet her with a smile.

"Welcome, Fenna. How are you doing?"

Fenna paused at the question, before responding with a brief "Fine," from the voice translator. Although the question had somewhat stumped her, she'd been told before about this kind of simple pleasantry.

Tottan nodded and gestured to the exam table. "Would you like to sit up there, or do you prefer the floor?"

"Is one option more helpful?" she asked. "Otherwise, I have no need to sit."

"Well, since there's not a lot for me to check in on in terms of physicality-" he could after all, see through her with one glance "- you can just come a little closer while I sit. I just have some questions," he said as he walked over to his chair, sat down, and gestured for her to come over. He swiped the holographic screen back so it was over his lap. Scrolling across the screen were the notes from Fenna's medical records.

Fenna approached, extending a limb over to read the records over Tottan's shoulder. Most she was already familiar with, but other parts had been written by her trainer and not been shared with Fenna. According to the trainer, the secrecy had been to teach them to come to terms with not knowing everything that the people around them knew. It had been a surprisingly difficult hurdle, and still one she struggled to overcome.

"Reading, I see," Tottan comments. "I suppose you'd know what I'm about to ask you, then, but I'll ask anyway." He turned to look at her by his shoulder. "How has adjusting been going? I know being apart from the Mellan 'hive' is different."

"It is uncomfortable," Fenna replied, "but, now I am accustomed to it. I have my goal, and I am still part of the Collective in a way." True, it was still hard, but now she had to push that aside and focus on the mission.

"I understand." Tottan nodded, thinking for a moment on his response. "Well, I just want to make sure that - since the Collective was a place where feeling and thought were shared freely - that you had a safe space to do that here whenever you need. I know it's different than telepathic communication, and may be difficult or feel uncomfortable at times, but I'll always be here to listen if you need anything. Or just want to talk."

She looked at Tottan, wishing there was a way for her to express her emotions directly. "I am very grateful for that," she replied. "I don't know if it comes across at all with this translator, though." She drew her limb closer to her body, forming it in the approximate shape of a thumbs up. "How's this?"

Tottan smiled warmly, and nodded. "That's wonderful. I'm sure that'll be helpful for communicating with others as well."

There was a small pause from Fenna, before the made another thumbs-up shape, essentially giving two. Tottan laughed, and gave her four thumbs up back with his four hands.


They briefing was going well until Riku pulled out a shimmering, mirror-like suit from the small suitcase he'd had sitting on the long table that filled the room.

"We'll have to wear these." He announced, specifically looking at the three who would be joining him on the first expedition: Kisara, Neyara, and Tottan. Their responses were only confusion.

"Wait... why?" A curious Leo asked.

"And for what purpose?" Asked Lillith.

Riku looked a little surprised by the immediate response of negative reactions that met the shiny suits. As if somewhat embarrassed, he glanced down at the box on the floor that had the rest of their suits in it and tucked it under the table with his foot.

"Uh, well, it's something to do with the sun and it's rays. Direct exposure has unknown affects on different species, but all have been negative thus far. This is a... precaution. The fabric's supposed to protect from whatever radiation or whatever comes from the sun. Why they look so goofy isn't really in my jurisdiction to decide. But hey! At least we'll all be matching and it'll be easy to spot each other!" Riku smiled, holding up his suit up to his chest, measuring it to his frame. It looked like it would be a perfect fit, with the head covering and mask and all.

"And there's matching one-sided mirror glasses," he said, finally pulling the box up from the floor and plopping it on the table. He pulled out a pair of glasses and put them on. "Cool, right?"


"... I mean... I guess?" Villi's quiet voice replied. As everyone's eyes turned to her, she grinned, and they slowly broke into laughter - even Riku, at himself.

"Well, I don't make the rules. But if looking goofy keeps us safe, it's fine with me," Riku replied.

"Wait - I thought this planet is supposed to be habitable though," Kisara interjected. "There has to be some species that can live here and not be aversely affected by the sun's rays."

"She's right," Fenna's voice piped up.

Riku shrugged slowly. "I... I really don't know how to answer that. I didn't make the rules. But I'd rather be safe than sorry."

The crew looked across the table at each other, exchanging glances that mutually communicated the same thing: something wasn't right. This didn't make... sense. Or at least, the explanations given by Riku and the ones available in the briefing file were insufficient.

Riku sighed, and opened the box.

"Well. ...Who wants their suit first, then?"

Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom.
— Søren Kierkegaard