Haumea Colony

A Play-by-Nova roleplay game.

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Kidnapper Interactions

Posted on Wed May 29th, 2024 @ 7:55am by Captain Luka Mahone & Lieutenant Commander Sofia Nikedoros

2,127 words; about a 11 minute read

Mission: Crossed Wires
Location: Unknown Ship
Timeline: MD 01, minutes after the initial abduction

The sound of shrieking was what sounded off when the strange alien and Sofia transported into the ship. Many similarly sized and shaped aliens were surrounding the pair, and as the dust settled, the shrieking would turn into a melodious chorus of clicks and hums. As the group began to disperse, they revealed the darkened sight of boxy consoles and the grey-green interior of a starship bridge.

The largest being, who stood an inch taller than Sofia's captor, turned and stepped down from his central station, approaching the woman and clicking at her. The being offered a clawed hand, gesturing for her to take it. The clicks continued, but with small words interspersed between. One such was "Greetings."

Sofia blinked at sudden change in light and noise levels but remained still as the crowd dispersed. Alarm was definitely present, but she'd been trained to First Contact and had certainly been in more alarming situations than this. Besides, projecting outward serenity despite inward misgivings was something she'd learned as a pastor long before joining Starfleet. Still, she felt a measure of relief at the seemingly friendly overture from what was apparently the leader here.

Taking the offered hand, she responded in a clear calm voice. "Greetings. I am Sofia Nikedoros of the United Federation of Planets. Let us work together in peace and friendship."

A soft trilling came from the leader, who awkwardly shook her hand. Another series of noises came out of the alien's mouth, followed by a wide sweeping gesture behind it. As they released the shake, the alien turned toward the surrounding crew, pointing and clicking. A pair of the aliens nodded, walking off further into the ship, while the leader turned back to Sofia. Amongst the clicks and trills, a "Refreshments should be here soon," was translated, followed by the leader-alien making a gesture toward the bridge, urging Sofia to follow.

Okay... Her UT was obviously still struggling, so she hoped her voice and manner had adequately conveyed peace and friendship. Offering refreshments was hopeful in terms of that being their intention as well, although she briefly wished she'd adopted the habit of most medical personnel to carry a small medkit as it that would allow her to scan the food and make sure it was safe for human consumption. Of course, with limited UT function explaining a refusal to eat something might be problematic, so in a sense this put it out of her hands. Dear Lord, if this is where You want me, I'm going to trust You to keep me from being poisoned, she thought/prayed as she followed the alien leader.

The leader chirruped along happily as he showed the woman the bridge to the best of their ability. A station here, a station there, an odd creature that resembled a long-eared, six-legged land fish obediently sitting next to another member of the crew. Soon the UT would catch up, but words? They were jumbled at best. "-so this is - CHIRP CHIRRUPCHIRP CHIRP and we have proudly had this vessel for many years. Our navigation systems are not used to such a trip, so we are lost!" The alien turned at the entrance of what appeared to be a conference room. There was a table, and two large, neon green blobs that lit the room with the bright blue creatures that lay inside of them. "Please, sit. No one of our species has come this far. - CHIRP CHIRRUP CHIRP CHIRP CHIRP!"

Fascinated, Sofia took it all in. The hiccups in translation hardly mattered as she surveyed the surroundings - were the other life forms sentient? were they partners or pets or livestock? or did they serve some other function, like assistant animals? But despite the many questions rose from each new observation, she did not miss the salient points that the UT did translate: they had travelled far and they were lost. Whether that was due to navigational systems failing or simply because they were beyond their system of reference was unclear, but perhaps they had entered Haumea's system because they detected life and hoped to find help. They might even have been trying to ask for some time now; failure to recognize or understand an alien signal was hardly a rarity in Starfleet annals. Which would perhaps explain snatching a random person in hopes of breaking through once face-to-face.

"Thank you," she said politely, taking a seat - because after all being a gracious guest was an important element of a first contact visit. "Such a journey is an achievement. If you need help finding your way, my people will certainly assist in any way that we can." Provided of course that I can let know there was no hostile intent she thought, hoping Caithlin's likely outlook wouldn't so color her account that there would be marines scrambling. "Once I can contact them and explain your needs."

There was a beat of silence from the alien, who took a seat in the other liquidy mass of a chair. The little blue creatures inside let out a low pitched hum, but settled toward the bottom of the blobby mass with no hassle. But the alien, now not as jovial as he was moments prior, made a small gesture of his clawed hand over the table. A small console popped out from the middle, showing multiple lines of text that were in the alien's native language. A much different noise emitted from it's large nostrils. Then it reached down and tapped the blobby mass, and the creature popped out of the chair, looking up. After an exchange of clicks between the two, the small blue creature nodded, and dashed out of the room on all fours.

With a concentrated, and deliberately slow, effort, the alien looked to Sofia. "No fight." The translator kicked in, at least for these words. He pointed out the nearby port window, at the colony below. "You have... many weapons. No fight."

Right, with the UT lagging, she would need to take this slow, and old school. "No fight," she agreed, lifting palms open upward. Then she pointed to herself, "I tell," she pointed from her mouth to the same port window, "them, 'no fight'." She briefly returned to the open palm gesture, them tapped her commbadge. "Nikedoros to Haumea." There was no reply beyond a sort of empty-air-static. Given that she hadn't felt so much as a vibration from it since arriving on the ship, she didn't hold out great hope that it would connect, but she had to try.

Looking back at the leader, she opened hands, palms upward in a helpless gesture. "No work. Must tell, or they," she pointed out the window again, then tapped her head, "think maybe fight."

The alien leader seemed patient to Sofia's requests. Simply having the desire to communicate was enough for the alien to not immediately panic at Sofia's attempts to communicate with her people. "No work?" The alien fell silent, looking out the window. "... Work with other non-Lee-zur." The snout on the alien's face scrunched slightly, before turning back to Sofia. "Where... where are we?"

Interesting. She reminded herself that an expression or reaction on an alien face was not necessarily analogous to a similar one on a humanoid. That scrunched look might indicate hope on a ...Lee-zur? "We have no Lee-zur. We work with many different peoples," she explained, slowly, making each word as clear as possible to give the UT its best chance even if the Lee-zur couldn't pick out words in Standard. "This place," she pointed out at the planet, "is Haumea."

"Hau... mea." The Lee-zurian leader's head tilted. As the alien thought, another of the Lee-zurs came through the door, clicking at the leader. The leader's head tilted in the other direction. "Very far from home... Farther than we thought," the alien admitted. "Much... much farther."

Standing, the alien looked toward the nearest wall and clicked at the screen that was embedded in the wall. It sprang to life, showing a 2D map of an area that was certainly not anywhere near Haumea. "Running... from Hirogen many years ago. Now we... are lost. Very lost."

Hirogen? If they'd come all the way from the Delta Quadrant, then they were very lost indeed. Sofia nodded sympathetically. "If I can contact Haumea," she said, using gestures as best she could to mime-supplement the struggling UT, "we can help you find your way again."

The Lee-zurian leader slowly blinked. "Contact." His head held low in what appeared to be shame. "Contact is difficult." Another beat later, and he continued. "Need fix.... Missing parts. Did not expect to be this far before needing parts."

That was ...not good news. Sofia's heart went out to the Lee-zur, but she couldn't help thinking that they could have chosen a better person to grab. She might have First Contact experience, but she had little beyond basic Starfleet training in comms. "Could you return me?" She pointed from herself to the planet. "I could explain. Tell them 'no fight'. Get help, new parts."

The Lee-zur leader solemnly shook his head. "Used last power to transport you here now." It was clear they had not thought too far ahead.

Of Course. Otherwise, they probably would have sent her back as soon as they saw that she understood their position. What to do? She knew number of engineers, but that only reinforced the certainty that she lacked such skills, especially with respect to broken alien technology. But it struck her that this situation might require some sort of creative work around - what one of her former patients had referred to as CHAD: cheap and dirty (but it works!) She resisted an urge to shake her head at thinking anywhere along the lines of 'what would Burnie do?' since the engineer's go-to solution to most things had involved explosives, but he had been trapped underground once beyond communicator signals...

Hmm. Burnie had used parts from a sonic tool to somehow turn an underground pipe network into a sort of telegraph, which was well beyond her capabilities, but there might be some way the concept could apply. Lord, help me remember Morse Code. "Maybe we can signal? My people have signal codes." She tapped the table surface in a short rhythmic pattern by way of illustration. "Use exterior lights? Energy pulses?"

A prolonged moment saw the leader tilt his head to one side, then to the other. But then he turned his head, eyes narrowing through the window leading out to space. "No lights, but could pulse phaser cannon? It is low power - for debris, but could send out similar signal?"

Phaser cannon... low power or not that seemed potentially problematic. "A phaser cannon might be ...misunderstood," she replied, trying to think of alternatives. "Perhaps radio waves or some other frequency on the electromagnetic spectrum?" Why, oh why couldn't they have grabbed an engineer? "You must have something like a deflector array or some sort of shielding to protect from particles, space dust. Could you pulse that?"

"... Like our orb shield?" asked the leader, before pulling up a small image on the console. It appeared to be a diagram of the ship they were on currently. The leader pointed toward a pulsating, blue oval that surrounded the ship. "It uses much power, but is very visible. Could work."

"Yes. Yes, that will do nicely," Sofia replied. She was sure someone must be watching the ship by now, if not already enroute to investigate. The question was what to send. SOS might be misunderstood to mean she was in distress. But code 19 that would specify it was the vessel was harder to send via tap code and relied on someone realizing that it was her and not the aliens using a code. Whereas she was fairly confident that SOS using Morse pattern would be understood as her doing. Surely someone would try to return a signal requesting status and she could send 19 then. "Make it pulse to this pattern." She used her fingers to tap 3 short, 3 long, 3 short on the table. "That sequence, repeated, and watch for a ship to come alongside and flash a pattern of lights in return."

The leader's eyes narrowed as he observed Sofia's message. It made no sense to him, but he was well out of his territory. Or the territory of anyone he may have known. He made a gesture to the small creature lying in the seat, and it sprang out to disappear down the hall again.

He solemnly nodded to Sofia, and added a tentative upwards motion of the sides of his face, as if to smile. "We shall make it so."


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