1100-038 2345 – The An Lang and Leah's Delight, in Orbit around Djinni
2345 – 1100-039 0000
Froge assesses Leah- she's OK, but jangled. Her nervous is saturated with energy. Froge has the sense that Leah can only take so many of these kind of encounters.
0000 – 0200
In response to the problem, the expedition manages to scrounge a total of nine psionic shield helmets from the Azhanti High Lightning and the Stygian Solicitation. The VES then begins to share their hypotheses-
- Leah – What if the thing we were scanning initially shielded itself, and that is why it "disappeared"?
- Pinkie – We were actively scanning for neural activity. Maybe we irritated it, which is why it responded in the way it did? What if our future scanning was purely passive?
- Alric and Martaan – what if we came across as "pounding on the door"? And, whatever it was just "pounded back"?
The VES then begins to analyze the data they collected during their encounter, submitting computationally-intensive analyses that may grind on while they sleep:
- Martaan begins to look for repetitions in the "data" they received, trying to break the "music" into units of language. Froge assists him successfully by cleaning up the signal. The analysis they receive the following morning is that there are definitely repetitions, but that they don't yet have enough exposure to this kind of information to determine the periodicity of language events— e.g., does that particular repetition indicate a repeated sentence, word, syllable, or sound?
- Alric attempts to determine if the "music" they experienced as produced by a living being, or by a device / tool? The following morning, Alric learns that the signal they received is closest to recorded whale songs, but that it seems off the scale, energy-wise: no living being previously encountered could generate this much energy.
- Leah attempts to determine if there were any statistical anomalies, spikes, or discrepancies in the transmission from the standpoint of the different ships in orbit around Djinni. She is assisted by Ujilka who wrangles and time-sequences all of the different ships' data for her. The following morning, the two of them come to the conclusions that 1) all three ships recorded the same event, and that 2) the "response" really was targeted at Leah's Delight.
0200 – 0400
With their analyses submitted, the exhausted VES members hit their racks-
- Martaan realizes that what he has "heard" was "choral music" before he falls asleep;
- Ujilka eats half a corn muffin, and crashes out;
- Leah studies psionic shielding before falling asleep;
- Froge just collapses.
0400 - 1000 - Leah dreams she is underwater, where it is very cold, and there is a lot of pressure. Froge apparently receives a comm-call from Chess.
0800 – 1200 - Unable to sleep, Froge wakes early and combs through the An Lang's logs in an attempt to determine what really happened during his comm-call. He is able to localize a power surge without a clear source in his cabin around 0400.
1000 – 1130 - Alrik, Leah, and Martaan wake between 1000-1100; Ujilka rolls out of her bunk and right into a VES meeting at 1130.
1200 – 1300 - Froge briefs the VES on his conversation with Chess. Responses are mixed:
- Fitz wonders if this is some form of deception originating from another vessel, but he has no idea what a possible motive might be.
- Leah wonders if this is really emanating from the planet, or from the Ancients' structure on the planet— could this be an Ancient AI?
- Saeagang thinks it seems like Chess, and that that power surge in Froge's quarters in pretty inexplicable otherwise.
- Soto speculates if what contacted Froge is some sort of synthesis of Hihurunhaudorttruh (the AI behind the OoCP) and Chess into some new intelligence.
- Pinkie confirms the weird "materialization" of energy in Froge's quarters around 0400.
Finally, Martaan lets the group know that the metaphor he is most comfortable with for the "music" they "heard" was multiple voices singing in a chorale.