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Galandis Refinery Korivan The Khanate This seemed to be what he lived for, nowadays. He'd long since turned in his resignation at work. The guys at the aeronautics firm might have been willing to excuse his "long lunches" every now and again, but this was a different matter entirely. He had explained he was going to take a "sabbatical"; they acted like they understood, but he had a feeling that the position might be filled by the time he got back to Earth for any long stretch of time. If he got back to Earth. Sometimes, he wondered if he'd cracked. Here he was, alone, in the last place in the galaxy anyone wanted to be. He hadn't starting thinking about snails crawling along the edge of straight razors yet, so that was a point in favor of sanity. But there was still that urge, that drive. The need to do everything to the enemy that had been done to him and his people. He knew what lay down that road. But damn if it wasn't a tempting one to walk. Cavalier sighed. The personal reflection could wait. He had work to do. And so, he adjusted his visor to meet the swirling storm of dark silt, and trudged off towards his objective.
"Stories?" Eden Espadas inquired with a hopeful inflection as she ducked her head under her aunt's elbow and pulled herself up onto Ellie's lap to get a better look at the medical text open on the table in front of them. With a small laugh, Ellie shifted the toddler about into a safer position. "Not exactly, Edie. Y'know how tu papa teaches people here? This is how I learn how to be a doctor." She'd set herself up at a deck on the dojo's first floor partly so that she could take advantage of the light coming in through the large front windows and partly so she could keep an eye on her niece as she played on the pads covering most of the floor. Chris had also mentioned something about coming by to work on the security systems in the headquarters hidden in the converted bomb shelter under their feet and with her brother and sister-in-law out celebrating their anniversary she wanted to watch the door in the meantime. Eden looked equally skeptical at the idea of a book that wasn't for stories as she did about her aunt being a doctor. She liked Ellie, after all, and she knew she didn't enjoy visiting the doctor much at all. She could only assume it was another case of an adult trying to be funny. They did that a lot.
Edges of Grue Unity Space Lor Timemark 1312.4 "Perimeter Vessel Theta-Theta-Gamma reporting all quiet," the Grue Metamorph named Dul'ce sighed, repeating the same message he'd been sending back to command twice a cycle for the entire duration of his posting. Cycle after cycle of staring at a field of stars, empty apart from a patch of asteroids or the occasional comet, lightyears away from anything to conquer or infiltrate or even just observe, just the arbitrary border of Unity controlled space past which there was simply nothing worth claiming. It was busy work of the highest order, that was the worst of it, Dul'ce reflected as he melted back in his chair, dejectedly allowing his form to become slightly liquid. The Meta-Mind could have easily focused on his thoughts, just like any of the Grue, if it truly wished to know what was happening on the frontier. The twice-cycle reports proved that it was simple bureaucracy, a tick in a ledger that no Grue would ever bother reviewing once it was logged. "Pull yourself together, Navigator!" a sharp voice barked, causing Dul'ce's outer layer to go spiky in surprise. The only other Metamorph on the vessel and his commanding officer strode onto the bridge, flanked by a pair of drones. Faa'et had taken to making his form a little taller and broader at the shoulder since his promotion and Dul'ce might have sworn his chin was even a little more square, though he couldn't imagine for whom Faa'et was making the effort. "I don't tolerate loose shifting on the Double-Theta Gee!" Dul'ce hid another sigh. The Unity didn't bother naming its vessels like lesser species and for good reason. Faa'et's attempts to give the scout ship a nickname were ridiculous, though the navigator never would have said so aloud. Just thinking that was about the captain would have been bad enough if Faa'et had ever bothered to read anyone's thoughts apart from his own. "Apologies, Captain. I was just finishi-- eh?" On the console in front of him a green dot blinked on, floating through nearby space before changing direction and heading toward them.
Ready for anything, the heroes erupted from the pyramid ship, weapons raised as they prepared to do battle with unending robot hordes! But instead they found...stillness. The lights were bright, just as VINCE had suggested, the sharp white glow of the central spine overhead casting harsh shadows everywhere. There was a scent in the air vaguely like the stuff added to natural gas back on Earth, and everywhere there were robots! Eerie humanoid skeletons with three eyes and clawed limbs, ferocious-looking guardians of the Curator that were doing absolutely nothing. For a long time, Harrier eyed the robots, his armor having chunked open over his skin, before he spoke in a voice loud enough for them all to hear. "Look at them. They are not arranged. They are not armed. They are...immobile." And sure enough, the robots were silent and still, caught in the middle of walking, pressing buttons, circulating around the hangar bay, but not a single one moved a metal muscle. Harrier walked over to one, still wrapped in armor. "It does not react." "So what does that mean?" asked Quickstep, scrubbing her hands along her arms as she leaned out of the ship. "Is he waiting for something? Is this really his base? Are we were we're supposed to be?" She wrinkled her nose against the smell. "What do we do now?"