The Whisper of Damkina Part Twelve

April 2nd, 2014  |  Published in Whisper of Damkina  |  3 Comments

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A/N: Thank you to Kamala for volunteering to my new beta reader for Whisper 😀

“It’s not just your species though,” Midori said. “They’ve attacked human Fish as well and they attacked Amanpreet’s Stick.”

“The attack on the Whisper seems to have been a mistake,” Umi said. “And we suspect they don’t realize that not all Fish are crewed by us. It’s not immediately obvious, of course. And even if they do we don’t know why they are attacking now.”

“So the prototype Fish could navigate hyperspace on their own but the current ones can’t because they’re only class three intelligences?” Amanpreet asked. “I suppose you tried that because of how badly hyperspace exposure affects your people?”

Umi made a sound of assent. “Yes, this was at the time before we abolished slavery. All navigators were slaves because we thought no one would risk their lives voluntarily–”

“You were wrong about that,” Midori said drily.

“True,” Umi said. “But only because we now pay our navigators a ridiculous amount and have extreme limits on jump duration. Back then we were less careful of our navigator’s lives until we started losing not just them but ships–”

“Oh! Oh my!” Amanpreet exclaimed. “Did the prototype Fish know about your navigators also being slaves?”

Umi made a thoughtful sound. “History doesn’t record that but I cannot imagine that they didn’t. Why?”

“Well from what you said not many of the prototypes escaped,” Amanpreet said. “So maybe, just maybe, they’ve been breeding out there in the depths of space and now they’ve come back to rescue their fellow slaves not realizing that your species has moved on since then.”

Inside her environment suit Umi bounced in surprise. “That… now that is a workable theory. I hope you’re right because in that case my sister is probably in no immediate danger.” She made a series of squeaks in her own language, then, and when Amanpreet and Midori looked at her questioningly explained. “I was praying for her safe return. She’s intelligent so if you’re right she should be able to explain to them.”

“We should still try and track them,” Amanpreet said. “Because it is just a theory.”

“Do you have some way to track a ship in hyperspace?” Umi asked. “We’ve never found a way to get sensors to work there.”

Amanpreet shook her head. “No, but ships leave temporary traces in hyperspace that a skilled navigator can follow. It’s difficult, though, because they vanish quickly. We probably have a few more hours before we lose them.”

“Are your navigators skilled enough?” Umi reverted to the formality Amanpreet associated with the Mez as she made her request. “And if so will you help us, please, Captain?”

“I don’t know,” Amanpreet replied. “It’s never come up. But I am.” She pulled a face. “If neither of them can, I’ll do it myself.”

“Thank you,” Umi said. “You are kind to someone you barely know and who has just admitted that her ancestors committed a terrible crime.”

“The key word there is ancestors, Umi,” Midori said. “It’s no one living today’s fault. The Council is not going to punish your people for what happened. Though they may censure you for keeping it secret after it became relevant.” She returned to preparing the vegetarian sushi. “Nearly ready. Have a piece of bread while you’re waiting if you want.”

“I’m fine, thank you.” Amanpreet said, then jumped slightly as Midori’s intercom made a chiming sound.

Midori reached out tapped the button to activate it. “Yes?”

“Can you come to the administration hub, please, Midori. Mei found something.”

Midori gave the half rolled sushi a mournful look before replying. “We’ll be there as soon as we can.” She turned off the intercom and sighed. “So much for lunch. I’ll finish rolling this and we can take it with us.”

 

***

 

“So what have you found?” Midori asked without preamble as they arrived in the hub. She placed the box of sushi on the counter and offered Amanpreet a pair of chopsticks. “Help yourself.”

“Thank you,” Amanpreet said.

“Oh! I didn’t mean to disturb your meal, Administrator Midori,” Mei said. “Please forgive me. But I reached the section of the book just before the end, and the star that went supernova and depopulated Talis – it wasn’t natural. Someone deliberately destabilized it to destroy them. They think it wasn’t just that star or them either. So that was their warning – that there is a species out there that sometimes commits xenocide for unknown reasons.”

“Interesting,” Midori said. “But it’s been a very long time. Maybe that species is long gone…” she trailed off as the Tkin made a negative sound. “What else?”

“I thought of that and asked Sangat to check their computer system, now we can communicate with it. It’s still detecting the communications of the unknown species, though it also states they are far away and little threat right now, but they sweep through this part of space every thousand years or so and they are due back soon.”

 

Prompt Post 12 is here. Come and leave a prompt.

Comments Welcome.

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3 Responses to “The Whisper of Damkina Part Twelve”

  1. mjkj says:

    Quite interesting
    🙂

    PS: missing blank between sentences:
    keeping it secret after it became relevant.”She returned to preparing the vegetarian sushi. => …after it became relevant.”* *She returned…

  2. Torvawk says:

    I’ll say!! Very interesting. I hope my prompts are not pushing to story line too fast.

    But wow.

  3. Jesp says:

    “I thought of that and asked Sangat to check their computer system, now we can communicate with it….”
    –> “…, now that we can communicate with it…” (Unless you meant that to be there as a translation error)

Leave a Reply to Jesp