Feb 23, 2020 6:37 PM
Verity portalsnaked to MidChilda
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A few minutes later, there is a sonic boom in the distance. A violet shooting star.

Spotting the woman and her daemon, Eelesia cuts through the sky in a supersonic arc before decelerating hard and wafting gently downwards to land in the forest beside them.

"Hi."

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Impressive.  "Hi.  The ship's about ready to leave, then?" she guesses.  

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"Yes. The DNEV Mononoke was available. It ships out tomorrow morning."

Eelesia peers at Verity, smiling.

"Do you still want to come with?"

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"I do."  As much fun as she's been having, knowing that there's something still left to do is leaving her restless and ready to go and take care of it.

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"Alright. I'll see you bright and early, then."

"How are you? You look, better... In your element, so to speak. I'm glad. You didn't have any problems?"

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"It has been nice here," she confirms.

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"Good!"

She lifts off, going weightless, but pauses before flying away in case Verity has a last-minute question or something.

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She can't think of any, and just waves farewell.  

Unexpectedly impatient to be off, they spend the rest of the day darting around at high speed to burn off energy, like a long-distance version of pacing.  She doesn't have much to pack, only the two other outfits (Verity making the decision to sleep in her original blue set one last time while the others are cleaned, then discarding it in the morning).

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And in the morning, Eelesia knocks on her front door, a blazing Circle rotating itself on the lawn behind her, ready to teleport them.

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"Good morning!" Verity says cheerily, having woken up much earlier.  She grabs the small bag with her clothes from near the door.

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"Morning! All set?"

 

The Dimensional Transfer is different this time. The distance is significantly greater than the previous times Eelesia has teleported Verity and Araeneve. It isn't instantaneous. For a heartbeat and a half, they're screaming through a torrential storm of eldritch colors, a wind of phantom insanity. It feels the way pain does in a dream, like it should be flaying the body and ripping the mind apart (or visaversa), but there is no actual sensation and no actual effects, and being awake during it makes this obvious.

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A city hangs in space.

They arrive on a designated transport platform halfway up one wall of a hanger that could probably park Verity's entire fleet with room to spare. Half of it is open to space, though it holds an atmosphere as comfortable as the one they just left. Construction and maintenance bays line line the inner surfaces, many occupied by unidentifiable giga-scale arrays of machinery and catwalks.

Sleek, silvery ships travel into and out of the gargantuan hanger, tiny in comparison to the scale of the shipyard. As they watch, one of the massive structures in a distant maintenance bay starts... folding into itself, compacting, intersecting along imperceptible angles. Machinery vanishes into spaces too small to contain it as shiny hull panels align and connect, assembling and revealing the form of another of the sleek silvery ships, which lights up as it powers on and boarding gantries extend towards it from the inhabited sections of the dock.

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One such sleek ship, shaped somewhat like a sharpened tuning fork, hangs nearby with a boarding gantry connected to another platform. It is maybe five-hundred feet long, at least on the outside. DNEV Mononoke, is printed on the hull.

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"Was the teleport supposed to do that?" she asks, checking to make sure everything reappeared properly, before getting distracted by the folding ships.

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"Almost certainly. Teleporting long distances can get a little psychedelic. Modern dimensional transfer spells are perfectly safe, though."

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"Ah, that's good... and that's the ship?" she asks, automatically stepping away from the spot the teleport circle dropped them off.  She looks around to see if anyone else is standing on this platform or walking towards the ship, to see if it's time to board yet.

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There are indeed a handful of uniformed women making their way aboard.

Eelesia leads Verity and Araeneve to follow them.

Inside, the Mononoke's motif seems to be smooth blue-tinted metallic walls with a soft horizontal strip of lighting running along the center of each wall.

"They've assigned us guest cabins," Eelesia explains, leading the way through the spacious corridors, passing the occasional crewmember, who seem to have been told to expect Araeneve and don't gawk. "There's a diplomatic team in the dignitary's suite. You don't have to meet them but you can if you want to. I asked them to put us in the crew quarters, so we can be near the bridge. I'll introduce you to Captain Anziel after you settle in."

The 'crew quarters' it turns out, are individual, private, three-story apartments with variable-gravity pathing (some of the walls are also floors, instead of there being anything as mundane as stairs), functional but high-quality amenities, and a ten-foot by twenty-foot viewscreen currently simulating a window.

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"Helping with contact and informing the diplomats of things is one of the reasons I wanted to come along."

The spare outfits are placed on a chair for the moment, then she tries the gravity walls with trepidation.  She's not sure how long 'settling in' is expected to take or what is meant to be done during it, but she quickly returns to the normal floor and asks the viewscreen for a map to get a sense of what the ship has on it.

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The floorplan of the dimensional cruiser actually mostly matches its exterior, though there are areas that should overlap but don't.

The map doesn't show Verity. It doesn't show Eelesia either, who is in her own quarters across the hall. But anyone in a public area of the ship is rendered as a little solid-color figure with a name tag attached.

The mess hall is a short walk after taking a right coming out of her room and then another right at the first intersection. The bridge is actually directly below them, accessible via vertical corridor from a short ways to the left down the corridor outside.

The dignitary suite is labeled, and seems to be directly underneath the bridge.

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They hang around for a little while longer, looking into all of the rooms of the apartment, getting more used to the gravity-based walls, and switching the screen back into a false window.  

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When they emerge, Eelesia is waiting in the corridor.

"Hey. We cast off in fifteen minutes. Wanna watch?"

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"Sure."

Ships aren't all that interesting to her on their own, having grown up on one, but maybe whatever they plan to use to get them to the search area in less than decades will look interesting.

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It's a short walk to the bridge.

The bridge is a cavernous chamber, shaped a little like a horseshoe. A flat wall at the back is the only solid surface. The floor and the walls and the ceiling are entirely transparent, or screens simulating perfect transparency; its actually impossible to tell just by looking.

A raised dais in the center holds the throne-like captain's chair, itself seeming more like a piece of heavy machinery than merely furniture.

A thin solid bank of seats and consoles stretch around the horseshoe shape, up against the outer screen. Crewwomen sit, arrayed along the consoles, operating holographic screens and controls mostly through silent soultalk interface.

 

There is a clear warning line, both painted on the floor and hovering holographically in the air. Stepping over the threshold onto the bridge gives Verity a warning notification that she's just entered a restricted area; her history within said area will be auto-shared with (list of relevant people, the Captain being one of them), and this is obligatory while she remains in the area.

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She wasn't intending to do anything embarrassing or personal on the bridge regardless.  Their steps onto the glass floor are cautious, but mostly because of how it looks like open space.  

Instead, she's distracted looking at the crewwomen.  Everyone she'd seen coming on board was a woman, and she can barely remember it after so long but weren't most of the people where she'd first appeared also women?  Unfortunately, this doesn't seem like a good time to ask about that, so she files it away for later.

Verity stands next to Eelesia, with Araeneve a step behind.

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Indeed, only two of the sixteen bridge crew are men.

"Captain," Eelesia greets.

Captain Anziel is a short woman with excited eyes and long greenish-blonde hair. She offers a cheerful, "Welcome aboard!" and offers to shake Verity's hand when Eelesia introduces them.

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