Young Writers Society

Home » Forums » Resources » Writers Corner

Conics Unfortunately (LMS)



User avatar
369 Reviews



Gender: Female
Points: 10693
Reviews: 369
Sat Feb 11, 2017 12:14 am
Ventomology says...



Conics Unfortunately


Guess what! I'm doing LMS again. Is there anyone else who will have participated in all three rounds?

But that's probably not what you're in this thread for, so I shall get a move on.

Conics Unfortunately is not serious. (Or it's the most serious thing ever, but you have to dig through a lot of empty space to get there.) But mostly, it's just a dump of sarcasm and teen antics and--okay, I might intend to discuss race, gender, orientation, etc.

Of course, the idea of aliens lends itself to those discussions. Fed up with the number of humanoid overlord aliens out in the literary universe (especially ones that are basically people with gross faces), I decided to play around with the possibilities. In Conics, Ellipse meets all kinds of aliens, from the humanoid to the very amorphous. The captain of her ship is a photosynthesizing bundle of hydraulically operated stems with a brain. Her best friend is practically a mermaid.

I mean to create abundant diversity of alien species, and then take it a step further and make sure that aliens, like Earthlings, have diversity within their own species.

And the end result? A hero's journey that takes place in a universe overflowing with acceptance. The aliens are not substitutes for human diversity; they compliment it and help it grow by demonstrating the possibilities, and Earthlings do the same for other intelligent life.

Conics is about a place where being inclusive is the norm. No character is defined by their race or gender, and the only questioning of someone's identity comes from healthy culture sharing between species. The existence of characters who are POC, LGBT, or disabled is recognized but not fussed over. No one is all that weird, because--let's face it--everyone is pretty darn strange.

As to why I'm choosing to build this world?

I want Earth to be like it someday.


Synopsis:
Chapter List:
The MVPs:
The Ships and their Crews:
Who's That Character?

The Journal:
Last edited by Ventomology on Wed Mar 22, 2017 2:04 am, edited 14 times in total.
"I've got dreams like you--no really!--just much less, touchy-feeley.
They mainly happen somewhere warm and sunny
on an island that I own, tanned and rested and alone
surrounded by enormous piles of money." -Flynn Rider, Tangled
  





User avatar
369 Reviews



Gender: Female
Points: 10693
Reviews: 369
Sat Feb 11, 2017 12:16 am
Ventomology says...



Synopsis:

After being chased through customs by bounty hunters, Ellipse stows away on a small-scale trading vessel named the Conics, and of course, it just so happens that this humble little ship is transporting possibly the greatest technological innovation ever: a device capable of communication that transcends space-time.

Or, you know, an intergalactic cell phone.
"I've got dreams like you--no really!--just much less, touchy-feeley.
They mainly happen somewhere warm and sunny
on an island that I own, tanned and rested and alone
surrounded by enormous piles of money." -Flynn Rider, Tangled
  





User avatar
369 Reviews



Gender: Female
Points: 10693
Reviews: 369
Sat Feb 11, 2017 12:21 am
Ventomology says...



The MVPs:

Ellipse - A girl from Titan who isn't entirely sure why she's being chased by bounty hunters. She was born Elliott Bei, and sometimes uses the alias Ellie Tibot, which is a horrible pseudonym and probably how the bounty hunters found her in the first place.

Focci - A diploid from Sirena who sorta kinda built the intergalactic cell phone. Only he calls it the Miniature Fold Device, which sounds stupid. Also he's like a mermaid, so when he moves around, he has to do the seal flop. It is hilarious.

Tejal Sethi - Focci's inventing/no-leg-having rival. He also works as a bounty hunter because that is what his adoptive parents do for a living, and he still lives with them on their ship.
Last edited by Ventomology on Mon Feb 20, 2017 6:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"I've got dreams like you--no really!--just much less, touchy-feeley.
They mainly happen somewhere warm and sunny
on an island that I own, tanned and rested and alone
surrounded by enormous piles of money." -Flynn Rider, Tangled
  





User avatar
369 Reviews



Gender: Female
Points: 10693
Reviews: 369
Sat Feb 11, 2017 12:49 am
Ventomology says...



The Ships and their Crews:

The Conics - a small trading vessel built by the Specifus. Its business specialties are the transport of delicate materials and small-scale shipping operations, like when vendors need to ship supplies to conventions.

Crew:
  • Maj - Captain
  • Min - First Mate
  • Wrecktrix - Combat Specialist
  • Focci - Technician
  • Mouthbot - Translator
  • Ellipse - Cook

The Ink - the spaceship version of a trailer and a sports car's illicit love child. It is prime for use by bounty hunters, though it was originally a rich dude's recreational vehicle. Tejal may have made a few teensy tiny modifications.

Crew:
  • Shell - Captain
  • Crane - First Mate
  • Tejal - Technician

The RV Impending - a research vessel about the same size as the Conics and capable of splitting into two smaller ships. They went missing about a month ago while testing space-time-transcending communications for Valor Tech.

Crew:
  • Iso - Captain
  • Max - First Mate
  • Ami - Head Researcher
  • Fid - Researcher
  • Nov - Researcher
  • Tox - Emergency Specialist
  • Soph - Technician

The UNGS Bellevue - a large military vessel read: gargantuan monstrosity capable of carrying thousands of smaller dogfighting ships. It is owned and operated by the Earth's United Nations, and mostly keeps within Earth's solar system.
"I've got dreams like you--no really!--just much less, touchy-feeley.
They mainly happen somewhere warm and sunny
on an island that I own, tanned and rested and alone
surrounded by enormous piles of money." -Flynn Rider, Tangled
  





User avatar
369 Reviews



Gender: Female
Points: 10693
Reviews: 369
Thu Feb 16, 2017 6:58 am
Ventomology says...



Intelligent Species:

Because many extraterrestrial languages do not rely on the same set of sounds as Earth languages, alien names and places have been translated or simply ignored in favor of Earth names.

Earthlings:

I sure hope y'all know some stuff about humans.

Sirens:

Sirens are a lot like the earthling idea of mermaids. They communicate primarily through sound, and while some Siren languages include clicks, whistles, and barks, most are composed solely of notes from a one-octave chromatic scale. Some older languages also included half-tones, but those are quickly dying out, as the chromatic scale is easier and surprisingly universal.

Because Sirena goes through periods of extreme drought on a regular basis, Sirens are capable of life on land. They are ill-suited to it, however, and cannot breathe well, because they must use their swimbladders as lungs. Additionally, fish tails do not make for easy movement on land.

Sirens do have opposible thumbs, but have an extra finger as well, and webbing between digits. When flexed, their arms are fin-shaped. Siren faces seem to earthlings to be a mix between a human's, a seal's, and a basilisk lizard's, because they possess snouts, forward-facing eyes, a few scales over the membrane, and large neck fins, which help to receive vibrations.

Gato:

Gato resemble earthling cats, with a few notable differences, such as their twin prehensile tails, over-sized heads, small ears, and vegetarian teeth. They also happen to be fluffier than the average cat. Most are the size of cougars, but some grow to as large as tigers. They range in color from blue-black to ice-white and possess heavy coats of fur.

Before the ice-age that currently reigns over their planet took hold, the Gato were a prey species, and they developed early intelligence and group tendencies in order to avoid being eaten. Once the ice-age took effect, their fur helped them outlast their predators, and they further developed intelligence while learning to generate food sources.

Specifus:

A sentient photosynthesizing species. They are generally red in color, as their photosynthetic processes rely on green and blue light frequencies, but some rare individuals come in yellow or pink.

Like large earthling photosynthesizers, the Specifus are plant-like. They lack specific muscle structures and instead grow and kill vine-like branches in order to maximize survival rates.

Amoebus:

Though individuals of this species are not particularly sentient, masses of Amoebus form amorphous ship-beings capable of sentient thought. They quickly outgrew their planet and rove around their home system, with groups of Amoebus constantly fighting each other for resources.

Individuals are thin, flat cells with vague senses and nervous systems. They communicate by sending each other strings of pseudo DNA. Some cells are specialists, like the Queen cell, Optic cells, Nervous Frame cells, and others. These cells have appearances that vary greatly from the standard Amoebus.
"I've got dreams like you--no really!--just much less, touchy-feeley.
They mainly happen somewhere warm and sunny
on an island that I own, tanned and rested and alone
surrounded by enormous piles of money." -Flynn Rider, Tangled
  





User avatar
369 Reviews



Gender: Female
Points: 10693
Reviews: 369




User avatar
369 Reviews



Gender: Female
Points: 10693
Reviews: 369
Mon Feb 20, 2017 5:56 pm
Ventomology says...



Entry #1:

Wow. I was definitely more prepared for LMS 2 than I was for this round. LMS 2 had me sketching and making spreadsheets like nobody's business, and while I've been doing the same for "Conics," the going is far slower.

Maybe it's just because the opening sequence is so finicky. For LMS 2, I wrote a mystery/fantasy, and mysteries tend to have fairly standard openings. Or if not standard, at least more straight forward. I could start right at the moment where things started going wrong. "Conics" could have started anywhere, in almost any way.

But hey! I made it through week #1, at least. One way or another, I managed to get part one of the opening down, and it's almost exactly what I wanted. Hopefully I can keep Ellipse's snark and dry humor going through the whole contest, and hopefully I can get through my homework and have actual time to write.

I have a health paper due in late May that my dad has gotten rather extreme over. I mean, it is a graduation requirement, but it's also due in May, graduation has pretty much been delayed because of snow cancellations, and I'm definitely the only person in my circle to have started on it. Half my classmates don't even have the other requirements done.

But enough of that. Week one is over, and I'm buckling down to write out chapter 2. Wish me luck!

(note: if you've been reading "Conics," or anything I've written, really, feel free to comment in this thread. I have links to all the official stuff.)
"I've got dreams like you--no really!--just much less, touchy-feeley.
They mainly happen somewhere warm and sunny
on an island that I own, tanned and rested and alone
surrounded by enormous piles of money." -Flynn Rider, Tangled
  





User avatar
369 Reviews



Gender: Female
Points: 10693
Reviews: 369
Sat Feb 25, 2017 2:55 am
Ventomology says...



Entry #2:

Oh. My god.

NASA just located a solar system with like seven habitable planets, and I am suddenly so angry with myself for not considering different kinds of stars in my quest to create diverse planets for all the intelligent species in "Conics." I considered moons, life capable of floating through the atmospheres of gas giants, and all kinds of things, but I forgot that different types of stars would create different requirements for a habitable zone.

Forgive me while I change up the details of some alien species. The gato and specifus are getting like, total makeovers for their histories.

But first, it's time to scream incoherently because aliens.
"I've got dreams like you--no really!--just much less, touchy-feeley.
They mainly happen somewhere warm and sunny
on an island that I own, tanned and rested and alone
surrounded by enormous piles of money." -Flynn Rider, Tangled
  





User avatar
369 Reviews



Gender: Female
Points: 10693
Reviews: 369
Sat Mar 11, 2017 7:26 pm
Ventomology says...



Entry #3

Man, this week has been so gross. I had a band concert Tuesday and a band trip Friday and I kind of just hate band right now. (But I still love my horn so much it's so beautiful.) Plus I'm way stressed because I had to take off two days of school last week to go visit colleges.

Missing school is god-awful.

Anyways, MIT admission notices are on Tuesday, so we'll see if things start to look better this coming week.

As for actual writing, I have again been reminded that I am awful at writing action scenes and fights. Like, holy cow it should not take me an entire week to write 1200 words, but here I am. Fight scenes are hard.

Thankfully, they are also short, because I know very few people have the endurance to fight for longer than two-three minutes. And a girl with no combat experience especially will not last very long. She really only makes it out of things because she has experience dancing, and because she ends up with crazy advantages.

Hopefully the advantages won't last much longer. I need to start following Murphy's law.
"I've got dreams like you--no really!--just much less, touchy-feeley.
They mainly happen somewhere warm and sunny
on an island that I own, tanned and rested and alone
surrounded by enormous piles of money." -Flynn Rider, Tangled
  





User avatar
369 Reviews



Gender: Female
Points: 10693
Reviews: 369
Tue Mar 21, 2017 1:30 am
View Likes
Ventomology says...



Entry #4

Image

A cover? Sort of? It looks way too serious for this book, but I have some concepts I might work on later that are a little more suited for humor. Character sketches should be the next thing I end up sticking in here... hopefully.

By the way, I was accepted into my state school! (Very exciting, yes) I've now been accepted to UW and Cal Poly, and I'm waiting on Cornell. Wish me luck!
"I've got dreams like you--no really!--just much less, touchy-feeley.
They mainly happen somewhere warm and sunny
on an island that I own, tanned and rested and alone
surrounded by enormous piles of money." -Flynn Rider, Tangled
  





User avatar
369 Reviews



Gender: Female
Points: 10693
Reviews: 369
Wed Mar 22, 2017 2:02 am
View Likes
Ventomology says...



Who's That Character?

All the sauve space-farers we've met thus far, and what we know about them. Thus far.

Ellipse:

A problematic janitor working on the Fold Monitor.

Focci:

A siren who works as a technician aboard the Conics. He's rude and apparently an adolescent.

Wheelchair boy:

A human boy with no legs who works with two gato as a bounty hunter. He's also pretty rude. Everyone is rude.

The gato pair:

Feline bounty hunters. One is very light, and the other is very dark. They're probably the pair mentioned in Tejal Sethi's autobiography, but no one has confirmed it yet.

The tyran:

One of the siren's crewmates onboard the Conics. Evidently, the tyran are not often found out space-faring.

Captain Maj:

The captain of the Conics. He's only been mentioned, and we don't even know what species he is yet.
"I've got dreams like you--no really!--just much less, touchy-feeley.
They mainly happen somewhere warm and sunny
on an island that I own, tanned and rested and alone
surrounded by enormous piles of money." -Flynn Rider, Tangled
  





User avatar
369 Reviews



Gender: Female
Points: 10693
Reviews: 369
Sun Apr 02, 2017 2:58 am
Ventomology says...



Entry #5

I evidently forgot to update this thread last week. My sincerest apologies. Also, I know I promised character sketches, but I was very lazy these past two weeks, and had two band trips, and I am dying.

Also, getting Focci right is a pain in the butt.

Facebook decided that its IM app would no longer be supported on my phone, so I am very angry and have to research a new phone. Everyone in band at my school lives on Facebook's IM software.

But luckily, this coming week is spring break! If I don't spend all my time reading and drawing other things, I will absolutely get in some character sketches of at least Ellipse and Tejal.
"I've got dreams like you--no really!--just much less, touchy-feeley.
They mainly happen somewhere warm and sunny
on an island that I own, tanned and rested and alone
surrounded by enormous piles of money." -Flynn Rider, Tangled
  





User avatar
369 Reviews



Gender: Female
Points: 10693
Reviews: 369
Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:52 am
View Likes
Ventomology says...



Entry #6

I HAVE FINALS THIS WEEK AND THIS CHAPTER NEEDS TO BE A LOT MORE THAN 1K so here's the 1K for week 56, as proof.

Spoiler! :
Focci called his mothers by both the Trade siren and his native equivalents for ‘mom,’ sort of like how one of Ellipse’s few friends from public school had called her grandparents on one side Yie-yie and Nai-nai and the others Pops and Nana. Ellipse improvised when she translated for Tejal.
“That one,” she said, pointing at the navy siren, “is Focci’s mami. The other is his mom.”
“And the brothers?” Tejal asked, shrugging towards the five—maybe six—smaller sirens all tackling Focci.
Ellipse grimaced. She could hardly remember them, let alone literally translate and then come up with equivalents for all of them. Besides, half she could not even place some kind of origin on. “You should just learn to sing their names.”
“I don’t even know if I can sing anymore. My throat always feels funny when I try to copy you and Focci and Mouthbot.” Tejal pressed his palms into the boat’s floor, as if wondering whether or not to scoot forward into the siren cuddle puddle. “Are Focci and all of his brothers adopted? How do siren genders work?”
“They are generational,” Ellipse explained. She pulled her eyes from the sirens and went back to admiring the ocean and the pinkish sky. “Focci’s mothers have haploid cells. Focci and his brothers all have diploid cells. It might have come from some long-ago algae-like microorganism ancestor.”
Tejal fell silent, not quite wrapping his head around what haploid and diploid were, or what they had to do with algae. But Ellipse figured that she had spent enough time listening to his and Focci’s fold generator jargon that she could get away with not explaining stuff.
As Focci wrestled with his little brothers, Ellipse and Tejal fidgeted. Obviously Ellipse had never been to a family reunion, but she wondered if Tejal had any experience with this kind of thing. Maybe he had memories of visiting his gato parents’ families and not being able to communicate.
But then Ellipse felt wet skin tap on her leg, and she looked down to see Focci’s teal-colored mom grinning up at her.
“Hello,” Focci’s mom sang, thankfully in Trade Siren. She had a bit of an accent; her notes came out a little too quick and a little too rhythmic.
“Hi,” Ellipse sang back.
And then Focci’s mom beckoned for Ellipse to kneel, so Ellipse did. She took a breath to ask why, but then felt a tail curl around to brush her back. Focci’s mom wrapped her arms, still damp from the water she lived in, around Ellipse’s shoulders, and hummed in her ear. “Thank you for taking care of my son.”
She could not place why, but Ellipse felt like she had experienced this before. Shooting Tejal a panicked save-me-from-this-awkwardness look, she hugged back and grimaced when Focci’s mom squeezed. Tejal saw and smirked at her.
Except then he was next, and Focci’s mami went around for her own hugs, and Ellipse had to massage her shoulders after that because sirens had arms buffer than most olympic swimmers’. She returned Tejal’s smirk as he rubbed his own shoulders and.
“Oh, rub it in,” he grumbled.
“It looks like you are doing that already,” Ellipse shot back. She turned back to Focci’s mothers and gave a sheepish smile. “Sorry,” she sang, “he does not speak Trade Siren. But we can bring out the translator if you would like to talk with both of us?”
Focci’s mami twitched her nose, eyes twinkling with mischief. “Ah, maybe over dinner. You two should play with the little ones.”
Ellipse opened her mouth to argue, because no way was she about to dive into the siren puddle and get smothered by tails and fins and lightly salted water. “Oh, maybe I could-
A tail smacked the back of her knees, and she crumpled. The boat’s rocking did not help. Immediately, a chorus of twitters chimed from the little sirens, and she felt the too-heavy weight of three bodies flop onto her back. Somewhere under all the clicks and cackles, she heard Focci’s dolphin laugh and Tejal’s ever-deepening chuckle, which was cut off as he too got pushed into the dog pile.
The boat ride did not end soon enough. By the time Ellipse heard calls for the dock lines to be thrown, her back ached like an elephant had stepped on her, and her every breath had turned into a deep, painful gasp. She knew Focci was heavy, but he was nothing compared to a whole squirming pile of mini sirens.
She heaved herself up, grimacing at the sticky salt that crusted the tile floor and frosted her skin and clothes. The bags had little bits of salt on them too, and she tried fruitlessly to wipe some of the white dust off. She sniffed at her arm and curled her lip; she smelled like salt too. If she ever visited Earth, she was not going to see a beach.
A slow-moving line meandered out onto the deck of the boat and down a wide, sturdy plank stretching out to the cement dock, and Ellipse noted with distaste that there were no railings on the plank, and that she was, for once, one of the tallest individuals around. She followed Focci and his family off the boat, steps small and slow, and tried not to step on any hands when at last she stood on solid ground, sneaker-clad feet planted firmly on the dock.
It felt so weird to be on something solid, with real gravity and a distinct lack of lingering thoughts that she could fall and disappear into a void or sea or atmosphere. Peering down at her feet, she shifted back and forth, testing out the ground.
“You look like a penguin,” Tejal told her, scooting off the plank. “Also we’re still moving.”
Ellipse hopped to keep following, thankful that sirens moved so much slower on land than earthlings and other bipeds. She had time to actually digest all the ambient sights and sounds and smells. In the back of her mind, she registered that Focci’s mothers were leading the whole group to only on-land sites for her and Tejal’s sakes. Maybe she ought to pick up the tab for any meals they all ate up here.
But that was all second fiddle to the surroundings. The shore of the island was lined with stands, mostly made of sun-dried golden-tan bricks and carved stone, all selling something or other, from little trinkets made from the shells of dead animals to authentic pressure-boiled siren cuisine. Sand littered the cement walkways, crunching softly underfoot, and the deep, sweet stench of sirena kelp oozed from the piles of black-green kelp ribbons that floated onto shore.
"I've got dreams like you--no really!--just much less, touchy-feeley.
They mainly happen somewhere warm and sunny
on an island that I own, tanned and rested and alone
surrounded by enormous piles of money." -Flynn Rider, Tangled
  





User avatar
369 Reviews



Gender: Female
Points: 10693
Reviews: 369
Sun Mar 18, 2018 3:33 pm
Ventomology says...



Entry #7

Okay so maybe I slept for most of that 14 hour plane ride. Also I lost a whole 15 hours and jetlag is terrible.

Spoiler! :
Sirena had some whacked-up tides by Earth standards, but nothing beat the way Titan’s under-ice oceans shifted the moon’s surface around. So at least Ellipse could forgo oohing over the waves, even if the kelp they left behind was pretty tasty.
She glanced down to make sure she was still behind the sirens and not ahead of them and found that she was somehow several paces behind Tejal, who rounded out the back of the pack. She let her gaze track a nearby specifus as she jogged to catch up, but they were too spindly to be Ami, who in the photos Tejal and Focci had shown her, looked like a giant fantasy beanstalk.
The group passed a great, open-air market hall that bursted with people of all species, and then turned into a restaurant that opened right onto the cement walkway. The building had a Japanese flare to it, with heavy ceiling beams that stretched over the porch and a charmingly curved teahouse roof. Ellipse snagged a glance at the menu taped to the window by the already-open door and almost laughed. Of course Focci’s family had chosen a place like this. With all the kelp and seafood, the local siren fare must have combined effortlessly with Japanese earthling cuisine.
Oh, and there was the added benefit of getting to sit on the floor, as siren anatomy dictated.
Presumably, the family had made reservations, because their party of many was seated almost immediately around a large, low, circular table with a lazy Susan in the center, like at an old-fashioned Asian restaurant in America. Ellipse found herself between Tejal and one of the wriggling mini-Foccis and with Focci’s mami shoving all of the menus into her hands.
“Focci says you are well-read on biology across planets. Perhaps you can order for all of us?”
So it was nice to be acknowledged, yes, but not like this. Ellipse sent Focci a snarl over Tejal’s head, to which he responded with an amused wrinkle of his snout, and then set about reading through the menu. The place listed food for pretty much every species, actually, not just earthlings and sirens.
She ordered from two different waiters in a bizarre mix of English and Trade Siren that sounded like a combination of rap and monastic chanting, which by some miracle both the earthling and siren waiters understood. Then, when she clapped shut the menu and handed it back to the siren waiter, she found the whole table sitting in silence, staring, enraptured, at something to Ellipse’s left.
She turned. And gawped. Her mouth probably stretched wider than a galaxy.
Tejal and Focci clung to the roots of a gigantic specific with a huge, swirling trunk and a great canopy of vines. Neither was shouting—apparently both retained enough sense to remember specifus had no ears—but Focci kept waving his tail, almost smacking a nearby earthling businesswoman, and Tejal was mouthing plead after plead.
Ellipse dove for the duffle bags, dug out her lightbox from Tejal’s undershirts, and raced to join them. “Sorry about this!” she sang as an afterthought.
She slid to a stop in front of the specifus, wishing yet again for her actual boots and their actual traction, and held the lightbox above her head, hopefully high enough for this monster specifus to see. “Wait!” she flashed. “They just want to ask you about building their own generator.”
Presumably-Ami stilled for a moment, and the set of lights on their trunk blinked, furious and fast and almost unintelligible. “You really think I would fall for-
“We met the other survivors!” Ellipse told them. “Soph and Max? They are safe at a house in the earthling system.”
“Or in captivity.” Ami’s vines rippled, and before Ellipse could react, she heard the distinct thud-smack of Tejal and Focci hitting the floor, one after another.
Talk about a renaissance specifus. Ami seemed to have both intellect and brawn on their side. They reached over with one great, green vine and wrapped it around Ellipse’s waist, then jerked her out of the way.
“Please!” Ellipse flashed, but Ami had already stormed out of the restaurant. Hopefully they had paid their bill already. She looked over to Tejal and Focci, to see if she should chase after, but the two were being wrangled back to the table, courtesy of Focci’s mother and her very strong tail.
She gave the boys one last shove and then nipped at Focci’s gills. “What was that about?” she demanded, tone loud and brassy.
Tejal quivered, and Focci’s gills flattened against his neck.
“Uhh, well,” Focci tried. “We have been working on a project?”
“And this project involves attacking random people in public?” Focci’s mom was not impressed. Her pitch went broad, and she thrust one hand out, threatening to pinch Focci’s nose. Then, for good measure, she glared at Tejal too.
“They were hardly a random person, mom. That was Ami! The engineer!”
She turned to Ellipse. “I hope you were not encouraging this kind of behavior, Captain?”
Oh, Ellipse had started this behavior. She laughed nervously and slunk back to the table, careful to make as little noise as possible while she stuffed the lightbox back into its duffle bag. “Oh, of course not, ma’am,” she lied.
“And attacking a universally famous scientist is no better than attacking a random person out and about,” Focci’s mom continued. “Thank goodness that specifus had the grace to move you without destroying anything. Now then, what exactly is this project?”
Focci’s mami piped up there, bright and airy despite knocking her tail into a pair of the little brothers to keep them at the table. “Oh, yes. Tell us about the project! You have been so excited about it.”
A bright green blush rose to Focci’s cheeks, and he curled his tail under the table to hide the way it flicked and twitched. “Ah, well, you know how light can only travel so fast, yes?”
His mothers nodded, and so did two of the bigger younger brothers, their attention suddenly pulled away from rough housing to hear about what could maybe give them a good excuse to go pouncing on strangers.
“Tejal and I have been trying to shrink the fold generators, make them small enough to fit inside of a computer or phone, and create a wireless network that operates even in empty space.” Focci clasped his hands together on the table, and his flush stretched further across his face, almost down to his gills. “It would allow us to video chat while I am in other systems, for one.”
“And?” his mami prompted.
“Well, I want to earn enough money to send everyone to school. No use in all of us becoming dropouts, right?”
"I've got dreams like you--no really!--just much less, touchy-feeley.
They mainly happen somewhere warm and sunny
on an island that I own, tanned and rested and alone
surrounded by enormous piles of money." -Flynn Rider, Tangled
  





User avatar
369 Reviews



Gender: Female
Points: 10693
Reviews: 369
Mon Apr 02, 2018 5:21 am
Ventomology says...



Entry #8

Ugh I hate school and I'm still jetlagged.

Spoiler! :
Flying back to the earthling system from Planet Five had taken too long. The Ink was by no means a large ship, but it was heavier cargo than the Conics was built for, and Focci had reprogrammed the piloting assistance to prevent Ellipse from flying as fast as she usually did, which was absolutely unnecessary. And then on top of that, Focci had taken over landing duty. Admittedly, landing with exterior cargo was a little different from the usual, but Ellipse figured she could have handled it.
And then she laid eyes on Earth.
Earth was gorgeous. People who regularly left and returned tended to be of the opinion that Sirena was the prettiest planet from space, but Ellipse found herself drawn to the sparkling nighttime cities, the blooms of different blues in the ocean, and the great swathes of white and brown and green that curled and sprawled over the globe. She floated in the cockpit, just over Focci’s head, one hand stretched out towards the window, with the dim lights of the controls lighting her from below, and was immensely glad that she never had to see this planet from space without knowing she would go planetside.
“You look enthralled,” Tejal commented.
Mouthbot’s translation resulted in an innuendo regarding romantic siren poetry, and Focci looked up to Ellipse for a proper translation, a tinge of green brushing his snout.
“He means I look fascinated,” she sang. “Nothing bad.”
Focci just hummed in response and focused again on landing.
The International Space Station was a mess. It was tube-shaped, with a particularly large interior circle, and old ISS iterations had been welded to the outside with gigantic spray-painted summaries next to each old structure, so that passersby could read through the whole history of earthling space habitation from the comfort of their ships. Giant solar panels stuck out like old Dutch windmill blades, reminiscent of the days before nuclear fusion generators, and all the cement had been painted a solid white, which was by this point grubby from little collisions with debris and ships.
The Conics dived for the interior of the tube, and Earth’s gentle curve disappeared from view.
“Tejal, I put my Titan passport in the lead safe, right?”
“You’ve asked me this like five times,” Tejal replied from the back of the cockpit. “Yes. You did it before the last time you went to sleep.”
Ellipse pulled her mouth into a straight line and thought, watching the entrance to the ISS draw closer. Yes, Tejal was right. She had definitely put away her Titan papers.
They flew through the opening, and Ellipse floated closer to the window, searching the walls for a door with S-342 spray painted on. She spotted it a few hundred meters away, on the top side of the station. “Right up there,” she told Focci, pointing it out.
The ship slowed, and Ellipse pressed the dashboard button for the landing control radio. “This is Captain Tibot from the Conics,” she said, trying to lengthen her vowels to sound like Tejal’s American drawl, “requesting that the doors to dock S-342 be opened. Over.”
“We still need a moment for the security scans to come in,” landing control said. The officer in contact sounded about twelve, for some reason. “And… you’re clear. We’ll open the door in a moment.”
Focci slowed the ship to a stop and put on a bit of spin, rotating so that the Conic’s hull faced the door, and a moment later, the great metal dock doors split down the middle and slid open. He unbuckled the seatbelt over his chest and floated out of the pilot’s chair.
“Your turn,” Focci told Ellipse, with a quick pat on her shoulder. “Tejal and I will move into the cargo hold for landing.”
Taking hold of the joystick, Ellipse drifted into the pilot’s chair and listened as the boys threw aside the curtain. A few long moments later, Focci sang out an ‘all clear,’ and Ellipse angled the engines up. The Conics and its exterior cargo dropped through the extra-wide opening to the dock, and then clamped onto the floor of the dock in a disorienting clunk.
“Ah, right,” Ellipse muttered, rubbing her tailbone. “That way is down now.” She stood and leaned foward to peer out the window, watching as the dock doors slid shut, and keeping her ears peeled for the distinct hiss of the airlock closing.
Then her watch buzzed, jolting her and lighting up with a message from someone she had never heard of. Ellipse brought up her wrist and squinted. “Mi Na Park? Who the heck is that?” She bit her lip and tapped the message, ignoring the airlock’s loud hiss.
Then her watch buzzed again, with another message from this Mi Na Park, and then came another and another. Suddenly she had twenty messages from her, all with the same subject line as the recent messages Ellipse had exchanged with Randi.
She almost grinned. Maybe Mi Na Park had money for the boys’ project. But then she read over the first few lines, all typed out in careful, professional serifs, and grimaced. This was just legalese, most of which flew over Ellipse’s head. She knew laws by their intent, not by their wording.
“Ellipse!” Tejal shouted. “Get down here! We’re lowering the ramp, and you need to get into the Ink and get my backup wheelchair out.”
Ellipse switched her watch screen off and crossed out of the cockpit. Her legs felt heavy suddenly. She had known nothing about this other person in contact with Randi, not until she arrived on Earth, where the messages must have originated. And if Ellipse was being completely honest with herself, she knew very little about what Randi had planned. She knew a bit, shared their vague hatred of Andra-Media, but had no idea what was going down.
Slowly, Ellipse climbed down the central ladder, taking in the little vertical garden that splashed the acrylic walls with with green and red and yellow. Then she stopped three rungs from the floor and brought up her watch again. She needed to read these messages before she landed on Earth, especially if the sender was there.
"I've got dreams like you--no really!--just much less, touchy-feeley.
They mainly happen somewhere warm and sunny
on an island that I own, tanned and rested and alone
surrounded by enormous piles of money." -Flynn Rider, Tangled
  








Understanding is the first step to acceptance, and only with acceptance can there be recovery.
— Albus Dumbledore