The Whisper of Damkina Part Fifty Nine

November 11th, 2015  |  Published in Whisper of Damkina  |  8 Comments

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A/N: The Haventon Born ebook has been released. See here for where you can get it!

“You think you could still interface with one of the prototypes?” Promise asked. “Even after a few centuries of genetic dilution?”

“If you’d have asked me that a few weeks ago I’d have said no but having met you I think it’s somewhat possible. At least I seem to have the genetic empathy that was engineered into us.”

“You do, don’t you,” Promise said. “It may not be enough for a full interface but it’s worth a try. I’ll talk to Dream and Soft Singer about it and we’ll do a trial run. It won’t be very comfortable for you you know?”

“I know,” he said. “But my family history says that interfacing has it’s compensations that our masters never realised and it’s not like I’ll be stuck in there permanently. And from what I understand it’s only slightly more uncomfortable and confined than one of these.” He slapped a tentacle against the inside of his environment suit before turning back to Umi. “But I think it’s fair to say that at some point the enemy who attacked Prima’s people were slaves and it was their masters who did that to them. I wonder if their long lives equal a long memory and they are acting out of fear of being enslaved again.”

“Hardly an excuse for xenocide,” Umi said. “But a reasonable thought on their possible motive. Maybe we’ll get a chance to ask them since the council are setting up a border chain to watch for any invasion force since they have to travel through normal space. Though that same thing means it’s unlikely to be for another decade or so, though, since they have to get here first.”

“Do we know how fast they can travel?” Amanpreet asked.

“Near enough to the speed of light that time dilation must be an issue for them,” she said. “We don’t have an exact figure.” She buzzed thoughtfully. “I think the council may decide to risk a pre-emptive contact mission using a human ship once they hear our news even though that would be extremely dangerous.”

“Dangerous how?” Prima asked. “I don’t think that humans would join the enemy just because they are somehow related.”

“No, I meant dangerous to the humans on the contact ship,” Umi said. “The enemy might still attack humans even though they are kin,” Umi said. “There’s nothing to say that they won’t. And even if they wouldn’t deliberately attack them they might still attack the contact ship because they don’t realise it’s crew are human.”

“Ooh, that’s a point,” Prima agreed. “They really are shoot first ask questions later types.” She clung on to Amanpreet’s leg. “If they try to send you say no, please.”

“They wouldn’t send me, Prima,” Amanpreet replied. “I’m just a trader and they wouldn’t need me for transport in this case. They’d use a specialist contact ship.”

“I don’t know, Amanpreet,” Midori said. “Sangat told me you were training as an exploration navigtor before you decided to buy the Whisper and go into business. And contact ship navigators are rarely trained in blind jumping. If your grades were as good as he said they might try and persuade you. They’ll almost certainly try and persuade Kayla to join a team for an initial jump into unknown territory as she’s a real expert.”

“So I’ve noticed,” Aamanpreet agreed. “And the Dreamsong would be excellent at slipping past defenses but I hope she wouldn’t go for it. She’s been through enough without putting her neck on the line.”

“I quite agree,” Midori said. “And I agree with Umi and Prima that the whole idea of sending a contact mission is too dangerous. I’m not sure the Council will agree. They want to avoid a war.”

“Well, of course they do,” Amanpreet said. “That’s their job. Though for what the enemy have done I’d say we’re already in one.” She frowned. “But if we want to make contact perhaps using their communication system would be safer.”

“Much safer,” Prima said. “Since they already know we are here and will be coming anyway it can’t make things worse and we know the system they use so co-opting it won’t make the situation any worse.”

“We’ll need to analyse their language first,” Niobe said. “I know you have records of it but there’s no way it can be the same after so long, not even with biological immortality. Even biological immortals don’t really live forever and I’m sure your people and the original Coronans weren’t the only ones to give them a good fight which will speed their turnover even more.”

“I’m sure you’re right,” Prima said. “They seemed prone to infighting as well. Though not over their attitude to us unfortunately.”

“And unfortunately we know that even after all this time they haven’t changed on that,” Midori sighed heavily. “Or at least they hadn’t last time they swept through this area of space a few centuries ago and I doubt they have now.”

“Unlikely,” Summer agreed. “Not after so long. It will take a major shock to do that. Hopefully the humans will be that for them.”

“They might,” Prima agreed. “It depends how they think of humans. I want to hear some of the folklore humans have about them. It might hold some clues.”

Amanpreet frowned at that. She knew enough of those stories to wonder if it was suitable for a child. Still it was nothing compared to the memories Prima had from her predecessor.

“I’ll show you some,” she said finally. “But they are a bit disturbing.” She hesitated as she considered another potential problem. “Can you read any human languages?”

“Yes!” Prima bounced excitedly. “I can read the ones you know. The system taught me. It knew them after it touched your mind.”

“I’ll show you my book collection then though a lot of it is fiction not folklore.”

“I’d like to read the stories too,” Prima said. “The stories people tell are a good way to get to know them. Can I see them now?”

“Of course,” Amanpreet said. “If we’re finished with our conversation I’ll show you now.”

A/N: The Haventon Born ebook has been released. See here for where you can get it!

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8 Responses to “The Whisper of Damkina Part Fifty Nine”

  1. mjkj says:

    *lol* Prima is quite exited… 😀

  2. torvawk says:

    and loves to learn and there is so much for her to learn.

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