1100-035 2200 – Guest Quarters Aboard the Azhanti High Lightning, in Orbit Above Djinni
2200 - After a long debriefing, and a superb dinner in the Admiral's mess, the VES team goes to sleep.
1100-036 0600 - Martaan wakes early, does his exercises and Marine Corps PT, and works on his presentability. He later receives a message from Cassandra.
0730 - Alric wakes, grabs a quick bite from the galley, and goes off to the conference room that has been assigned to the VES, to review all the expedition's notes / audio / video so far.
0900 - Froge wakes, gets breakfast in the galley, and requests a ship's tour of the Azhanti High Lightning. As a former senior Navy NCO, he is given a fairly comprehensive tour of the vessel, which is enormous.
1000 - Leah wakes; Ujilka wakes.
1000 – 1600
The VES has a rare quiet morning of rest and relaxation to themselves-
- Elwin dons his Naval uniform, and visits the ship's bridge, catching up with friends from the Regina branch of the Imperial Naval Academy;
- Fitz goes down to one of the enlisted crew's gym, gets in a workout, and winds up giving an impromptu lecture on unarmed combat to some of the Lightning's complement of Imperial Marines;
- Madeline and Saeagang have a relaxed late brunch in the officer's mess with with Count Quinlan, where they are seen laughing and joking over coffee and dessert;
- Pinkie finds the ship's zero-gee exercise space, and has a chance to practice Belter calisthenics. He later receives an invite to the ship's bridge, where he and Elwin chat with the chief sensor officer about long-range sensing innovations;
- Dr. Soto is seen in one of the ship's gyms, going through kata with his katana and wakazashi, and later, in a quiet lounge, in seated meditation facing the ship's hull.
1600 – 1800
The VES reconvenes in the conference room that has been assigned to them where they begin to discuss first contact procedures. Madeline reminds everyone that, before they can make contact with either of the races on Djinni, they have to determine whether the races meet certain minimum qualities for sentience, including-
- The existence of language;
- The presence of conceptual thought;
- A social structure; and,
- The ability to make and use tools.
A broad outline of the initial part of the survey emerges through discussion—
- Pinkie is confident he can tune the An Lang's neural activity sensor to locate clusters of sentient life amid the teeming seas of Djinni;
- Once they've been found, Fitz proposes they disguise underwater drones as sea life, so as to observe the two species without making contact;
- The VES are fairly confident that once they collect enough imagery and audio, they can determine the presence of tools and a social structure, and hopefully, clues to a language.
1800 – 2300 - The VES requests a meal from the galley, and splits into two teams. Madeline would shuttle between the two teams, providing oversight. Saeagang and Elwin would stand-by as interfaces and gophers, making requests from the members of the task force for data and / or materials that the An Lang did not have.
<u>Team Neural</u> – the goal of this team is to create a "neural template" for either "squid-like" or "whale-like" consciousness, which can be fed into the An Lang's sensors and used to locate clusters of life-forms for initial survey. This was expected to take 14 hours, but the team worked well together and completed the basics of a cephalapodic neural consciousness image by the end of the evening. Team Neural members include—
<u>Team </u><u>Drone</u> - the goal of this team is to create a drone-based collection platform that could be present around Djinni's "squid-like" and "whale-like" life forms, which could tacitly observe them without arousing their suspicions (and hopefully, not be mistaken for food!). Challenges included selecting a drone which could function well underwater, using machine learning to model the swimming patterns and other behavior of an organism, and preparing the drone to look believably like a life-form.
Team Drone members include—
By the end of the evening, Team Drone had still had about four hours work to go physically disguising the drones to look like sea creatures.
2300 - The VES team goes to sleep in their guest quarters aboard the Azhanti High Lightning.