Green, Blue, Silver One month AFC Sol System submitted by
While watching through the window, Armak was still amazed the Gaian’s *had* windows on their ships, he was able to see the rippling distortion of space as the ship exits it’s slip space jump. He hadn’t even noticed it had started, in fact if they hadn’t said ‘Slip space jump in five, four, three, two, one, mark” he never knew anything happened at all. He took a moment to glance around at the other Hierarchy species that were on the vessel. A small group of Inquai...that was rare.
A few Gome like himself, that he could spot their horns. Quite a lot of Liath Beta’s, distinct grey skin and large bald heads made them stand out of a crowd. But what took up the most of the shuttle were Nymphilians. Tall, slender, pink skinned, always wearing those coverings over the top portions of their faces, antenna protruding from the tops of their heads, ears standing out from the sides of their heads almost as wide as their shoulders.. It was the one secret the Nymphilian had, what was under the mask? Did they have eyes? They clearly saw, often making comments on colors and the like, so it didn’t hinder that.
Chittering from some Inquai looking out the window caught his attention and he turned just as the intercom chimed on. “Welcome to Gaia folks.” Armak stared out the window and gawked. It was such a pretty world! Oceans of blue water, lush green land. It looked so pristine! Soon though his eye caught the glimpse of something shimmering. Light hitting something and making it sparkle. And he spotted the massive
space station hovering in orbit around the planet, it was easily the size of a small moon!
It turns out, that was the subject of the Inquai chittering, and many other conversations. The massive object surely affected the planet, it would have some kind of gravitational pull. A nearby human must have heard the chittering and started talking to the Inquai about it, though Armak approached to listen as well as the Inquai raised the question. “Why do you disrupt your planet’s gravity with the giant station?” The human has a look of sadness on their face a moment.
“We had a natural one. It got stolen.” Inquai chittering filled the air. Steal a moon? Of that size? Clearing their throat to get the attention back on them, the human resumed speaking. “Though, if it wasn’t for them we wouldn’t have figured out slip space jumping.” A chuckle escaping them followed by a sigh. “It was after the unification wars. We had won. All those who refused to live under the Imperium were moved to the moon. We built everything they would need to be self sufficient….with the exception of us sending them raw materials. It had worked for decades too. Or so we thought.” Slouching shoulders and a soft grumble from the human. “Then, the day after the Imperator died...poof. Gone.”
Armak was still in the process of going through the Gaian history, prefering to start with more recent news and working his way back. So he had no idea who this Imperator was, but context implied a great war hero, one these moon stealers feared enough to wait for their death to act. The Inquai, ever the curious little critters, were still full of questions. “You had a moon and it was stolen?! But...the gravity from the moon affects your world! On Inqa we have several moons and when they are overhead they pull water high so our crops can flourish. I cannot imagine what we would do without our moons…”
And in classic Gaian fashion the human shrugged. “Make new ones. I’ve watched you little folks build, you are a very industrious people.” That warm, and thankfully toothless smile, on the human’s face as the Inquai chitter in delight at the compliment, but they still look out at the massive construction.
“Thank you Gaian, but...I do not think my people could construct a fake moon. The raw materials aside, getting it to match the mass and gravity of the old moon...well we honestly don’t have enough information on our moons to do so!”
The human lets out a hearty chuckle. “Well, we did build several cities on the moon. Plenty of time to study it as well.” The human’s eyes were staring forward, that distinct ‘distant thinking’ face the Gaian’s did. “We lucked out back then too. The station was already being built before the moon was stolen, but it was just a skeleton and was a lot smaller than what we currently have. So we took the small skeleton and crammed a gravity generator inside of it.” Shrugging their shoulders. “That took...a few years. It might not have had the mass of the moon but it kept things stable like one. And we kinda just...built off of it. And eventually it became Lua station.” A proud smile on the human’s face. “It’s also probably our biggest “Fuck you” weapon.”
Ah yes, Gaian’s and their weaponry. There is apparently an ancient Gaian saying, “Hand someone anything, they will eventually use it as a hammer.” or something like that. It seemed true, no matter what these Gaian’s built it had some kind of weapon built into it, or sometimes the object itself could be used a weapon. Armak remembers how the Gaian ships were designed to actually ram
into other ships as a desperate last move. Not even the best shield technology could handle that much mass coming down on them.
The chittering of the Inquai brings Armak from his thoughts and he glanced to the window. Fire
. Jumping back, Armak is caught by the human who just chuckles. “What, never entered the atmosphere before?” Armak was trying to find his words, staring at the obvious heat outside the window.
“Not with a ‘window’ being the only thing between me and a fiery death. How you Gaians manage this without shield technology is beyond me.” Armak breathed, calming himself.
A bellowing chuckle escaped the human as he just gently pats Armak’s back. “We have had a lot of practice doing this. Even our early rockets that we strapped people into and fired out into space had windows. I mean why go out into space if you’re not going to be able to look
With a grumble, Armak just huffed. “Camera’s can record just fine.”
The human looks down at Armak, smirking. “You think a recording could have done the view of Gaia justice?” And then Armak thought about it. He had been enraptured by the view of the planet from above. He had seen pictures of it yes, and pictures of his home world had a warm place in his heart. But he just realized he had never seen
it from space, like he had Gaia, and the view was breathtaking. It made him silently wonder if his own world would look as stunning to him.
Armak hadn’t even noticed the human had left. He wondered how long he had been in silent contemplation before the intercom rang again. “And we have landed. Please gather your carry on luggage and depart the ship in a safe and orderly fashion.” The Gome looked around a moment, he had all that he had on him. One bag with clothing in it, another with simple trinkets of personal value. With a deep inhale he readied himself and departed the ship with the other immigrants.
People departed the ship, stepping off of it and onto the ground of the planet. Immediately many groaned and Armak soon found out why as he stepped off the ship. Gravity. It wasn’t oppressive, but everything just felt heavier immediately. He had never been on another world before, but he knew no world was this heavy. Stepping forward he huffed some, knowing he was going to get a good work out from just lugging his stuff around. So, this is how humans got so strong huh? He was busy thinking to himself before a Gaian approached him. Soft, feminine voice. “Need any help?” With a moment of hesitation, Armak nodded.
“Please?” A warm toothless smile on the woman’s face as she takes Armak’s luggage, gently and effortlessly carrying it and following behind Armak as he made his way to one of the desks. He had noticed many others were there already, humans and anthro’s beside them carrying their luggage.
Then he saw one. Three meters tall, metal skin, pointed face, a Technomorph! One of the military ones too, he recognized the shape from the first contact footage. However, this one was...confusing. A distended stomach, a sign of either intense gorging on food or pregnancy. He didn’t know what was more weird. A machine that eats and gets fat, or one that could be impregnated? Then he recalled they were hybrids of the organic Gaian’s, and his eyes shot back up to their chest and...no breasts. The Gaian’s were all mammalian, the females have breasts, males don’t. But he couldn’t be sure it wasn’t a female, he remembers the anatomy lessons that some Gaian’s have such small breasts they can’t be told apart from males.
“Damn it man would you wait up!” The voice called out, and Armak glanced and saw a human. Red hair, blue eyes, specs of silver on the human’s face. They were huffing, trotting along carrying large duffel bags, each of which could easily fit a Gome and the bags looked full.
“It’s not my fault we are here Kevin~ Your mother insisted on meeting the person carrying her grandchild.” Well, that answered Armak’s earlier question on if the Technomorph was male or female.
Kevin finally caught up and was breathing heavily, sweat dripping from his face. “Look, Dante, Hun.” With a deep inhale of air he straightens himself. “Relax. Mom is gonna love you! Don’t sweat it.” A cheeky and proud smile on Kevin’s face.
With a soft huff Dante rolled his eyes, one hand on that bump, petting it softly, then the other ruffles Kevin’s hair. “Fine. Fine. She better have pickles though...I’m getting cravings.”
That toothy grin not leaving Kevin’s face. “We can always get pickles if we need them hun.” Their voices grow distant as they exit the port. Armak just stands there, mildly confused for a moment before another voice gets his attention.
“Excuse me? You’re here to immigrate, yes?” Armak turned and nodded rapidly. Pulling out the passport he had as he walks up to the desk. As he approached he twitched as the front of the desk extended out into little stairs and then he smiled, trotting up them so he could be slightly taller than the person sitting.
“Wow, never seen anything like this.” Bouncing his weight on the stairs and immediately regretting it as he leaned forward to catch himself. He then noticed how the Gaian at the desk, and the one with his luggage, were just...hovering their hands over him, ready to catch him if he fell. “Ah, thank you~ I’m good!” Chuckling softly and slightly nervous as he didn’t even see
them move, they were just...there ready to catch him.His gaze turned to the desk worker, some kind of...horned fuzzy thing, long slender snout, and slightly spread apart eyes, not the straight forward predatory ones every other Gaian he had seen have. Then again this was the first one of...whatever these horned ones are he had seen. The Gaian was busy going over his paperwork after the almost stumble Armak had. “I’m a Deer.” The Gaian’s brows raise up as he looks up from the paperwork at Armak. “Native species of herbivore, you’ll see all kinds of people that look like animals here.” All the while he is reading the passport, typing on a keyboard, that clickity clack filling the air. “Please don’t talk to the animals and get upset when they don’t reply and throw a fit. We have had plenty of that already.”
Wrapping his head around that. Right, the animals the people come from still exist here, they aren’t gone. “So...how would I tell the difference?”
With a chuckle the desk worker held up their hand and wiggled their fingers. Then ruffled their clothes. “We have hands, walk up right, and wear clothes. But there are naturalists out there, so the safest bet is “Does it have a human shape?” if yes, then it’s an anthro.” Armak nodded, committing the knowledge to memory. “And everything is in order~” The deer hands back Armak’s passport, and a keycard. Tapping the keycard to draw Armak’s attention to it. “This is important. This is your ID card. You use this to get into your apartment, and should you make a little oopsy when following laws it’s what authorities will use to confirm you are who you say you are. So keep this on you at all times
Armak nodded, the concept wasn’t that foreign to him. “Right, right, and where is my apartment?”
The Deer had been reaching for something before Armak had even asked his question and planted the tablet on the desk and slid it towards him. Tapping at the screen he brought up a map, and a little dot was on it. “GPS system, you are the red blip. And this.” He taps the screen. Blue blip.” Is your apartment complex. A bus will be here in…” Checking the time on the tablet. “Ten minutes. There is a waiting station just outside the doors and to the right, says “Bus Station”, can’t miss it. It will take you to the complex, but it has other stops.” Flipping through the apps on the tablet and pointing to one. “This is the bus app. When you get on the bus, just turn it on and your tablet will make a ping when the bus stops at your point of exit.” The Gome nods, grasping the concept. It was similar to the taxis he had used on other planets. Get in, mark a location to go to, and then get charged per kilometer.
Armak was about to ask about how to pay but remembered that this was all free. At that thought he grinned wide. The Deer in kind smiled. “Thank you. You’ve been a great help!” Armak happily scooped up the items and went on his way, and remembered the human carrying his things and looked at her. “So are you...going to follow me all the way to my apartment?”
With a chuckle the human shakes her head. “Oh no~ Just the bus station. You’ll be without me after that. But that tablet has a support app on it if you get lost or confused. Just give it a tap and type in your problem, you’ll be put in a call with someone who can help you.”
Staring at the device in his hands and moving it about. It looked almost like Hierarchy tablets, but only the very high end models could do so many things. “What else can this thing do?” He glances back to the human while walking towards the bus station.
“Well that is the latest model, we have just incorporated Hierarchy tech into it, so...I assume it can do what the last model did. Entertainment like our streamed shows, some mobile games, books to read...you got access to our entire internet.” As Armak walked under the bus station he eyes the device. But the Human wasn’t done as she set down the bags beside Armak. “Humm...Calculator, GPS, communications, entertainment, internet access, video, camera, flashlight, notepad, and...that’s just standard stuff I can remember. There are various apps you can download onto the tablet to make it do other things, but people mostly do it for games, or different ways to do what is standard. Like different notepad apps with different fonts and stuff.”
Armak stared at the device, then at the human. “And you just...give this to me...for free?”
With a proud smile the human nods her head. Armak stares intently at the device now holding it far more gently than he did before. As he did so the human bowed politely and then turned on her heel and returned to the docking port. Armak had a moment to realize he was not alone in the bus station and looked over seeing some of the familiar faces from the ship. Then a loud chirp startled him, and the others.
In front of them was a bird. He knew it was a avian, basic anatomy told him that. It’s head reminded him of the Aloon people with how some of the feathers stick out over the back of it’s head. The bird has a nice blue color as well, vibrant colors that make it really stand out to the green grass. Beside him he hears a synthesized voice. “Species, Cyanocitta cristata
, commonly known as the Blue Jay. Primary sources of food are seeds and nuts such as acorns, fruits such as wild berries, or arthropods, with the occasional small vertebrae such as mice.” The Inquai that held the speaking tablet in their hands slowly backed away from the creature, their people are arthropods after all.
With that Armak brought up his tablet, remembering the support call app! He wouldn’t let this Gaian predator attack the Inquai. And he brought up the app and typed in “Wild Predator infront of us.” and after he pressed the button there was a nearby alarm. Immediately he heard the thumping of boots and the bird flew away. The inquai let out a sigh of relief and slump down, sitting on the concrete and breathing at last as the armored soldier walked up to the bus station, rifle in hand and looking around.
“What happened? Where is the predator?” The person, Armak decided to assume it was a human male as there was no snout on the mask and from the deep sound to the voice, was walking around infront of the bus station.
“It flew away when you ran over here, no doubt terrified by a larger predator coming over.” A confident and delighted smile on Armak’s face. The soldier turned around slowly and tilted their head.
“Flew away? What was it?” The Inquai turned their tablet around, showing the picture of a blue jay. Immediately the human’s hand went to the side of their helmet and he watched them...convulse? Armak and the others in the bus station just watched the human silently holding their stomach while the front of their weapon is against the ground, their hand against the stock of it. After a couple moments they straightened themselves up and tapped their helmet again. “Ahem. Phew. Okay so...seems like you guys forgot basic ‘predator doesn’t always mean dangerous to you’ lesson.”
The Inquai chitter loudly. “WE ARE ARTHROPODS! IT EATS OUR KIND!” The furr around their necks was twitching wildly as they spoke in unison, that hive mind mentality of theirs.
The human holds up their hands in defense. “Alright, I understand. But that thing is like...smaller than my hand. A single blue jay isn’t going to be able to take one of you down, let alone a group. Bird’s are smart, they will go for easier meals. And what’s easier than taking on even a single Inquai?”
The Inquai were...calming down now, quietly chittering. “A single injured Inquai?”
The human stands there. “Seeds. Most birds love seeds. I’d recommend, if you have such fears of birds, you always travel in a group. And keep a bag of seed on you to throw and the birds should
go after that and leave you alone. Okay?” That seemed to help and the Inquai chitter and nod among themselves. Slowly the human departs, leaving them just moments before the bus had arrived
Armak smiles, having done his duty and helped his new neighbors deal with an encounter with a deadly Gaian predator! Though he can’t help but wonder how such a thing was even able to get close to the port like that, surely there would be security to keep out predators like that? Well they didn’t have shield technology yet so perhaps they had no way to keep out such a nimble thing. It made him worried about the apartment complex, would he encounter more?
He grabbed his things as the bus stopped and hissed. A low rumble from the machine, more like a quiet hum as he approached with his bags and once onboard he signed with relief. The bus came with its own gravity system! He didn’t feel the heavier weight of Gaia’s gravity trying to pull him to the ground and breathed easier. After tapping the bus app so it would alert him when he got to his destination, he started going through this Internet thing, something to distract him from all that excitement from moments ago.
It was a lot like the Hierarchy’s public information network, but unlike PIN the Gaian’s internet was full of….people talking to each other. A video of an aged human male playing an instrument called a hurdy-gurdy had thousands of comments from other people, saying how they loved the song, how the musician was a master of his craft, and others that were just ‘Anyone else here from the Inquai fleshlight video?’. Armak would have to make a note to look that up later. But it was fascinating!
Anyone could record something and post it on this Youtube platform, then other people watch it and then comment on it for others to read. The HPIN had...nothing as open as this. You had to apply to make a network location that other people could find, your content had to be approved and could not deviate from what the site’s purpose was. If it was to be a catalogue of planet classifications that all
it could be. Just a page of planets and their classifications. If someone wanted to discuss them, they would have to contact the site holder personally.
While being mildly overwhelmed by just how much there was, the tablet beeped and vibrated, startling Armak and he dropped it. With a whine he slowly reached down and lifted up the object slowly, and was very much surprised to find it still playing the video. He looked it over. Nothing looked broken on the outside. But it was better to be safe than sorry. And it was his stop. So he exited the vehicle with the others, back into the pull of Gaian gravity.
The Inquai keep chittering and move towards the building, the Nymphilian’s doing so as well. Armak followed behind slowly, examining his tablet. It was still working fine...was Gaian tech really that sturdy? He knew Hierarchy tablets would start stuttering if dropped like that, but he also knew Gaian’s built their stuff to really last. So it was probably fine, right?
As he walked along a voice caught his attention. “Hello there!” Raising his head to spot another Gome and he walked over, doing the traditional soft head butt of his people, horns clacking gently together. “A fellow Gome! Nice to meet ya! You fresh off the ship?”
Armak nodded and lets out a soft breath. “Yeah, dropped my tablet on the bus ride over, I was too into watching a...movie fragment? A speech from a film called “Independence Day”. It was really moving!” Clearing his throat and doing his best impression of the quote. “We will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight!” and he looks to the fellow Gome.
“That film, yeah you should give the full thing a watch sometime. It’s about aliens invading earth! A lot of human films are like that, oddly enough. They always viewed themselves as the weaker species who survive through luck and will of character.”
Armak nodded again and glanced at his tablet. “Don’t worry about the tablet.” Armak looked up at the fellow Gome with a confused look on his face. “I saw a anthro throw
theirs over six meters
and it hit a wall with a sickening crack...I saw the edges were cracked and just knew
it was a gonner yeah? But it was still working! Playing some catchy song.” Nodding their head the Gome starts to mimic the song. “Never gonna give you up~ Never gonna Let you down~ Never gonna run around and desert youuuu~” Coughing as he tried to mimic the voice from the song. “Gaian tech is tough, a little drop isn’t going to break it.”
Confident now in the safety of the device Armak gives a good bye hug to his neighbor and went on his way to find his room. Checking his ID card and seeing a number on it, then looking around on a large map of the apartment complex and finding a matching number. First floor, row four, room eight seven. Everything was neatly labled and organized, it was a different kind of logic, but still logic, simple enough to follow. He had realized by now as he walked towards his room, the whole interior of the building was like the bus. Hierarchy standardized gravity. A whole building on their home world
for citizens of the Hierarchy? Armak was amazed at the friendly nature of the Gaians, but also started wondering what made him so special that instead one of the Gaian colonies, he ended up being assigned to living conditions on their home world?
Questions for another day. Right now he wanted to relax, get some food in his belly, and find out what an Inquai Fleshlight is and what it has to do with music.
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