Jan 27, 2020 8:19 AM
Foresight and Cherish in the Honor Harrington universe
+ Show First Post
Total: 232
Posts Per Page:
Permalink

Looks like today is her lucky day then! Once she finds somewhere private to change, and actually manages to get it on (it's been years since she had to put clothes on the normal way) she can experiment with her wings. Taking them off leaves her feeling awfully off-balance and missing-something, and she doesn't trust her ability to magic up an airtight seal, so she ends up extending the fabric of the back into a pair of wing-gloves and then adding a decorative overlayer that looks more like her wings usually do. Then she expands her helmet enough to fit her horns and adds some decorations until the magic doesn't hate it. It's still a decrease on what she had, but once she has the rest of her outfit on she's confident that her danger sense and predictive sense will both work even if she's unlikely to get as many prophecies while wearing it. The whole process, experiments and all, takes about two hours, and a big chunk of that is reassembling the stuff she had to delete to get the suit on.

Permalink

The spacesuit person is still available when she's done, apparently working on cataloguing the different suit designs the ship has.

Permalink

"Hello! I got my spacesuit tailored so it's not squashing my wings or messing with my magic. It's really neat. Anything else I should know about operating it, assuming I know nothing about modern technology?"

Permalink

"The helmet's got a couple of triggers for it to snap into place - if it receives pressure loss warnings from anywhere in the ship, or if it senses pressure loss on its own. Once the helmet's in place, it's airtight, assuming nothing's damaged. It should keep internal pressure on its own. You can also manually activate it..." They show her how. "The built in filters can give you up to three days of air in optimal conditions - don't move around too much, breathe slowly - and the suit has an emergency beacon, though it's fairly weak and short range, and unless you're about to fall unconscious you shouldn't set it to run constantly..." They show her how to activate it. "Suit's resistant to tearing but not immune. Avoid explosions and sharp objects. If we're getting depressurization warnings you should be trying to get to an emergency shuttle, though - they're safer, easier for search and rescue to find, have more air and better filters, and can be maneuvered a bit."

Permalink

She memorizes all of this. "I might be able to patch a tear on the fly. Here's hoping it never comes up, though."

Permalink

"Yeah, definitely. Has anyone walked you through using the emergency shuttles?"

Permalink

"No, and that sounds important. Do you have time to do that now or are there scheduled drills or something?"

Permalink

"There's scheduled drills, but we want to make sure we have everything stable and actually understand the ship properly before we host one. I have time now for the basics, though."

Permalink

"Thank you. What do I need to know beyond 'if an alarm goes off, follow everyone else?'"

Permalink

They'll explain all the little details, including some stuff most people know like how to activate any interface - the shuttles are mostly self-guiding and otherwise designed to have intuitive user interfaces, but that's 'intuitive' for a local, and sometimes things go wrong. There's also protocols about when you should override the shuttle's internal logic on when to launch - this is mostly 'don't', since you can get into legal trouble for launching early if the system thinks someone still could've gotten on, and you could endanger everyone already on the shuttle if you launch late. The seat belt analogues also work differently than Margaret's used to...

Permalink

Margaret's used to a couple different ways user interfaces can be, and she's a quick study. When the explanation concludes she's pretty sure she can use the shuttles adequately, and also use other interfaces pretty well even if she sometimes messes up and has to backtrack.

"Thanks for teaching me all of this! As places I could have gotten lost in go, this world seems like a really comprehensible one."

Permalink

"Good! I've definitely read stories about places it'd be miserable to get dropped on - here we at least have an Earth, even if it's apparently different?"

Permalink

"Yup! An Earth, and a way to communicate while I'm still learning the language, and food humans can eat and stuff." She's actually picked up a fair amount of the local language over the past several weeks of hearing it alongside translations; she's pretty understandable if you're good with accents.

Permalink

"I'd hate being dropped somewhere they speak in scents and drink acid and eat food poisonous to humans!" they say with a laugh. "I've read science fiction like that - though so far most actual aliens have pretty human-compatible atmospheres, at least, even if communicating sometimes gets complex."

Permalink

"What kinds of aliens are there? I've only met a treecat so far."

Permalink

They summarize the ones they've heard about - the Medusans are pretty new, so a lot of people are excited about them, they've got a Bronze age culture and trilateral symmetry and they communicate with gestures so there's been Manticoran teams developing sign language holographs... (The Star Kingdom of Manticore being the closest human civilization to Medusa).

Permalink

"That's really cool." Space aliens! She could totally hang around here speculating about alien culture and diplomacy for a while, but possibly she and/or her acquaintance should be doing something more productive.

Permalink

Yeah; unfortunately, they need to get back to work soon enough.

They wish her good luck before heading back.

Permalink

"Thanks--have a great day!" And back to looking for ways to make herself useful.

Permalink

They get underway soon enough, both ships jumping into hyperspace without a problem. The journey's going to be decently long. People are still immensely relieved to be free, and it's changed the atmosphere of the ship dramatically.

Permalink

Margaret helps out here and there, improves steadily at the language, and gets to know her fellow travelers, both the new ones and the ones she couldn't freely interact with before.

One afternoon she's chatting with one of the hydroponics techs when she cuts herself off mid-sentence with, "There is a poison; tank three is unclean." 

Permalink

The tech stops short, blinking. "Um?" he asks. "Wait, was that a prophecy - "

Permalink

"Yeah, it was. And they're generally relevant to me or the person I'm talking to or both, so, uh, you should probably be on the lookout?"

Permalink

"I'll get Tank Three checked asap, yeah. Thanks for the heads up!"

Permalink

"No problem!"

 

When he takes a look at the tank, he'll spit the easy-to-miss beginnings of a nasty mold infestation. Fortunately, at this stage it's also easier than it might have been to clean it up.

Total: 232
Posts Per Page: