They're meeting under a big tree in a savannah in an unsettled area of a farmstead planet in Edda. Melda, as the newly promoted team leader, is there first, having made sure the grass is good for Andalites and the temperature good for Amentans and that the bees in that nest over there are sung sleepy, and she waits for them to be couriered in.
Rubiel is excited to be here! Honestly, that's their usual reaction to meeting new people, but to their slight embarrassment most of the good friends they've made since contact with Vanda Nosseo are elves, so this is also in some ways a new experience. Probably all these other people want to help make new worlds better and help people as much as he does, so they'll all get along great without much difficulty, but if not he'll still do his best to make connections.
What a nice place! Valerian says so on arriving and asks Melda if she picked it out.
"No, it was assigned - there's a team building exercise setup and here's where they put it."
Prior to contact with Vanda Nosseo Havvi had never been outside of a city, and all this wide-open space still feels a little odd! She's happy to be here, though, and excited to meet everyone. She waves at the group.
Wave wave! Smile.
Rubiel will happily wave back!
“It is cool, I agree. It’s not the kind of place I usually go when I’m on a planet but I like it!”
<An excellent plain>, 'says' Zinai as the courier drops her off. <I am pleased to make your acquaintances>.
"Ah, that's all five of us now, welcome. Let's all introduce ourselves - name, something about our team role, and, hm, favorite thing you only have because of interdimensional contact - normal summonings don't count," she adds to the angels. "I'm Melda. I was just promoted from Liu Mibai's team to lead my own and I have the Loki spellset. And my favorite thing is shorefolk music."
“I’m Rubiel! I’m an angel, and I’m pretty good at healing, but mostly what I’m here for is I don’t mind having my mind read and it’s generally pretty easy for me to get enthusiastic about things. My favorite part of interdimensional travel is I can see my friends who live far away a lot more often without having to arrange summons ahead of time.”
"I'm Havvi Sefet! I have Materian wizardry, and I was working for a diplomat pre-contact although I'm not sure how relevant it'll be. I like being able to have kids without needing a permission!"
"I'm Valerian. I’ve previously worked as a float angel and as a retail envoy, I can teleport, and before all this stuff I studied medicine. I'm torn between a few different favorite things, like telepathy and teleportation, but I think the throughline is that they all break barriers that were previously in the way of understanding each other and interacting with each other."
<I am Xinai. I am an Andalite; my purposes on the team are> to not be an elf and demonstrate how there are species that don't just look like a bunch of humanoids without being horrible and disgusting like Yeerks <Rhetoric and philosophy. I was formerly an officer in the sixth fleet's logistical bureau before joining Vanda Nosseo> because it would have been immoral to give her a ship command because she's a woman, and never mind that everyone would have worse-than-died if they lost.
<My favorite part of interdimensional travel is> the war being over! the opportunity to emigrate! <living without the fear of scarcity.>
"All right. It's great to meet you all. Now, the reason we're here in particular is that we're supposed to do a sort of scavenger hunt thing as a team building exercise. I think someone had arguably too much fun designing it and it's very open-ended with several possible paths to solving it. The main idea is that we should be able to come to a consensus about how to turn all our skills into a decision about what to do next in a way that would work all right in a real envoying situation, so, without snapping at each other or anything like that - the simulation doesn't include going over my head to shipboard as an option but you can mark for the designers or Personnel when you'd have done so, if it comes up. I have a checklist I want to do first, though. Any questions before we do that?"
<The sole requirements are 'without going over your head to the ship' and 'that we would have access to in a genuine crisis situation?> says the person responsible for six changes in the tournament rules of the Andalite homeworld's leading popular starship simulator.
“If it involves objects, is the point definitely to find them or is making them okay if we can? Scavenger hunts with demons usually don’t allow that but when it’s just angels it could go either way, and I’m not sure what the rules are for elf scavenger hunts.”
"My understanding of the success conditions - which is likely incomplete, since I'm being tested too - are that while creative lateral thinking is encouraged and routing around a presented problem by having magic powers at it is if anything standard practice, that will tend not to be sufficient. And it's a team-building exercise - your assignments can still be changed if it turns out we don't blend well as a group - so I don't know that the description of 'sole requirements' is quite right. For example, if you snatch the first clue out of my hands and run off to solve the whole thing yourself in record time, that might qualify you for something, but not this thing."
"Because that’s usually a bad idea or because it’s rude or because it’s not a good test?"
"Sort of all of those? They send groups this size so that we can all be on the same page but still usefully split up when there are things to do in several places and so we can all contribute different perspectives. If one person does it all themself that means we're not a group that can do that."
Xinai nods. (She hates this kind of test. She will deal.)
"I have a question about how that reflects - so, it's obviously important to be able to work well with the team, and it can look less efficient than it is, right, because you end up doing a lot of administrative and communication work that lets things scale, but I'm concerned about the possible implication that if the test genuinely has been set up so that some people's contributions are net negative the scoring might be designed to assume that's not true and penalize the wrong - actually, is this test scored in such a way that that's a relevant concern at all or are we too" (jazz hands) "just culture for that?"
"You're all allowed to tell Personnel if you think someone else is net negative for the team, and request a reassignment if Personnel wants to keep them on. The test isn't so much scored as observed."
Havvi doesn't have any questions, although now she's a little nervous that the other people in the group will decide she's "net-negative." Probably that won't happen, she's made it this far. She smiles at Melda.
"Okay. Everyone ready for the checklist?"
The first item on Melda's checklist is to make sure that nobody can get and stay dead on a mission. Everybody insured? Except the angels, presumably?
"I'm insured." She has a copy of the paperwork saved to a convenient part of her computer in case anyone needs to see it.