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[IC] Diaspora: Where None have Gone Before


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The X-Ray scanner was just strong enough to penetrate the bulkheads. Starshot could see inside the other room, a small storage bay of some sorts. There were boxes, containing what probably was glass. One of them was floating around the room, with nothing indicating that it was touching it. Yet, it moved.


Then, Bliss moved in. There was no response, but as she looked into the room, she could see what appeared to be red clouds, one of them currently enveloping a box much like the other ones in the room. Immediately, the clouds shot forward, towards her, at a speed that suggested something was controlling them.

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"I don't mean any harm!"  She moved her right arm back, her tendril shooting back to grasp back at a piece of the structure, and yanked her back, allowing her to twist in the air to be in a better position. 

"We have contact, it's a cloud.  Might be friendly, looks like an a******!  Beat back a retreat, and give me covering fire, if it gets close!"  The hallway was not an ideal place to have a fight with this thing, and she wasn't sure she could pick a fight with clouds as it was.  Might be a lifeform she wasn't familiar, she wasn't know for catalog of knowledge about all the non-humanoids, after all.  She pulled away, though trying to keep herself between it, them, whatever that was, and Starshot, assuming she was a bit tougher than him.  She looked back, making sure it was following her, and at what rate of speed that was happening.

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The cloud gave pursuit at first, moving after Bliss as she catapulted herself backward. But as soon as she’d gained a fair amount of distance, which happened nearly instantaneously, the cloud stopped. It floated in the doorway, and didn’t move further outwards.


There it just floated, without any further action. There was nothing that Bliss could sense, but the radio scanner inside Starshot’s helmet showed a sudden increase in background static. Perhaps there was something there.


From Bliss’ perspective meanwhile, it looked like the cloud was growing bigger and getting denser. But even then, it didn’t move forward.    

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The cloud was right in Starshots sights, and his plasma rifle was fired up and ready to blast. 


But he didn't fire. 


If the cloud was going to attack; if it was sentient at all; it would have done so by now. That didn't mean they weren't in danger, however, and his trigger finger was quite ready to fire. His other reticence was wondering if firing a bolt of supercharged phased plasma would actually do anything, and even if it did so something, would it do something bad?


"I've never seen anything like that before" he said of the comms (were they even working?) "but it's not getting nearer. Is it trapped?" he asked. "I picked up a burst of static as it hit the door. Might be some electromagnetic field keeping it contained. But honestly, I'm lost..."

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She drew to a stop, finding a bit of bulkhead to duck behind, to prevent a clear shot.  Bliss pressed against it, and she sighed.  Did no one ever learn what suppressing fire was?  She cast a glance over towards the thing around the bulkhead, as it was a cloud, she wasn't opening her helmet to have a sniff.


She shook her head, "It's getting bigger, whether or not it was aggressive, it's preparing for something.  Maybe if it could talk that'd be helpful!"  She shouted at the thing.  Her experience was never something that had been known to cause a positive outlook on life, or random encounters out here in the black.


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Starshot's finger caressed the trigger of his plasma rifle. 


Damn, if only this was beast, something I could look in the eye...something simple and pure. I would know its intent...but this...?


Twice, he felt himself pull the trigger, only to pull back at the last moment. 


"I can't shoot" he replied to Bliss, angry with himself. "Not unless we know it's hostile!"


He lowered the rifle a fraction of a faction of an inch. 


"If it makes a move, I'll fire!"



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The cloud waited for a big longer, as it seemingly grew ever denser. And then, all the sudden, it burst forward, into the room. From Bliss’ perspective she could see that it actually was two clouds, not one growing denser as it had first appeared.


The clouds didn’t get far before Starshot’s bolt of plasma ripped through them, passing straight through both of them. It did have an effect however, as the clouds stopped. It looked like the plasma’s heat had set them on fire, as their colour changed towards a blue where the plasma had hit, with it slowly expanding outwards.


Only moments afterwards, they had turned completely blue, and sunk towards the ground, where they formed a thin layer which crept forwards at quite some speed, even if it seemingly grew ever thinner.  

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"By the screaming Valkyries, what was that?" asked Starshot, taking his finger off the trigger and pointing the plasma rifle up. 


He inched forward slowly, ready to fire again if need be. There was some reassurance to be had by the fact that the rifle had had some effect. Whether it was good or ill, who could tell?


He scanned the area with his helmet sensors. 


"I've seen a hundred thousand species on as many worlds. Never seen anything like that..."


The creeping blue still concerned him, and he did not venture too far. Testing the water, he took out a thermal pellet and lobbed it carefully at the thin blue colour...

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