The Menorbi Partnership

Session #37 - December 18, 2022

1100-042 – 1100-174 -  Djinni, New Menorb Island

Referee's Note: this was a question-and-answer session between the players and the referee, allowing the players to ask questions about the nature of the living island they had contacted, and summarizing 19 weeks of intense work building rapport and sharing thoughts with this new form of life. Once again, I am indebted to Chris Pepper, who diligently took notes as I answered player questions, and clarified my answers.

Meet the We

It took the team about 19 weeks to establish linguistic communication with the entity, which knows itself as "We". Because the VES's communication with We is entirely mind to mind, there is no way to communicate with We at a distance, via a remote mic / speaker / transceiver.

We have four life stages—

  • An initial budded form grows in a cave on another floating islands;
  • An adolescent form looks like a shark or orca, which circles the islands and hunts in packs. They call this stage ‘child’;
  • Eventually children grow into independent large cetaceans, looking like sperm whales, which was the first life form the away team contacted. These are what knocked Leah out with a telepathic overload.
  • Once they grow large enough, they look more like islands and remain on the surface. At this stage most energy focuses on ecosystem maintenance rather than locomotion. Nineteen or 20 exist in this stage at any one time. They all consider themselves ‘We’; while the earlier stages are part of We's family, they are considered part of 'We'. Once in this floating "island mode" stage, We's cognition changes in several ways. (Pinkie is able to map which islands are sentient and which are just rock, with high confidence.)

The lifespan of  We in their island form are very long; the one the away team has made contact with is tens of thousands of years old.  Their fear of death is different than other sophonts' fear of death because parts of them survive ‘death’ as part of the larger We organism, and they persist somewhat within overall racial consciousness.

We don't have a specific sense of gender, but think of themselves in the first-person plural. The orca stage creates buds to launch the next generation using sexual reproduction.

The orca stage will eat just about anything, including each other and us (given the opportunity), but We won’t let them do that now.

Most orcas belong to an island’s ecosystem, but some leave, somewhat like ronin.There is some level of choice in which an orca becomes an island, but it’s very rare, and not understood. Froge speculates that particularly strong telepathic ability is a prerequisite for maturation into the island stage. Once they have attained membership in We, the sentient islands never attack each other; this cooperation seems like another requirement for self-selection and evolution into a member of We. (That being said, there are stories of the whale stage tangling with islands.)

The VES debates whether We is sentient within the criteria laid down by IISS, but conclude it is transcends these categories, and is different from all other civilizations and forms of evolution the Imperium has yet encountered.

For instance, We is a tool user, but manipulates tools psionically rather than physically. While We cannot create tools, but have access to the entire planetary ecosystem as their toolbox. One example of this— insects are the only mobile creatures on Djinni that leave the water, which perforce limits the We’s development of both technology and astronomy.

The Ancients and the We

We possess racial memories of the Ancients. (The VES do not believe any other creatures have such memories, aside form the Ancients themselves.) In fact, the We remember the Ancients uplifting them from their orca-like form into their current form of sentient islands.

The We feel a sense of as-yet-unknown purpose; the We expect the Ancients to return someday and perform their next uplift. The We want much more about the Ancients, our experience with them, and what their departure and lack of communication means to their expectation of an Ancient return and further uplift. At week 18, the We start pressing for information on cosmology, tools, our Ancient experience, and direct observation / participation in outer space.

Leah is surprised the Ancients didn’t contact the We, and the We didn’t detect their brief visit with us.

The VES and the We

The We have memories of other visitors to Djinni. They recall the visit of another lifeform prior to the Imperial survey (which died of plague); those earlier visitors also died of plague. But the plague seems to have mutated into something harmless since the Imperium's initial survey. (Members of the VES speculate that the first survey, pre-Empire, might have been relatively recent.)

Martaan provides We an image of the cold of space. They are fascinated, and want much more, including direct experience of outer space.

The We particularly like communicating with Elwen and his visual cosmological language. The We are very curious about cosmology and mechanical tools.

Leah speculates that only a full island or whale is intelligent enough to understand direct observation of space, but they’re too large for us to easily bring off the surface. We’s range is relatively short, and we’re not sure a sperm whale sized ‘adult’ would be able to survive removal from the island ecosystem.

Count Quinlan comes down and determines the islands are very alien and also more psionically powerful than any know intelligences in several ways. 

Madeline finally gets to visit the surface and communicate with We, along with Saeagang, who proves to be an excellent diver, and who perform a lot of mapping and photography of the underside of the We. The two communicate very happily with the We.

Soto also does well, mostly discussing the We’s experience as an ecosystem or ‘little world’.

The We have the most difficulty communicating with Pinkie, whose childhood in space is so foreign to them.

With We’s permission, Fitz loves tangling with orca. The We are fascinated by Fitz, but he’s a bit too much of an individual for their comfort.


The planet resembles Earth before the Pleistocene era. Plants, trees, and insects are simple with limited variety, and almost everything is underwater.

The Cephalopods

The We are aware of 9-tentacled cephalopods doing interesting things near volcanic vents. They stay away to avoid interfering with another Ancient project.

The We are a bit afraid of the cephalopods, who seem to be immune to their psionic influence.

Leah speculates the Ancients gave the cephalopods a form of psionic immunity  to prevent the cephalopods from being co-opted and absorbed by the We.

Martaan scouts these other aliens; the VES agrees to focus on the We first, and then reach out to the cephalopods afterwards.

By Week 19

At week 19, the VES returns to orbit for a conference with Madeline, the Count, and the Lady Admiral. Martaan is looking forward to reunion with Lady Doctor Cassandra ap-Tain. At the time, Pinkie reports the We are slowly converging on the inital We contactee, and the basecamp location.

Session #38 - January 26, 2023
The Door is Ajar

1100-174 1800 -  Aboard the Azhanti High Lightning, in Orbit Around Djinni

1800 – 2100 The VES gathers with the Task Force's leaders for a secure briefing and dinner in one the High Lightning's conference rooms. By this time, the VES's findings have been shared with the Duke of Regina, and according to the leaders of the Djinni Task Force- Count Quinlan, Lady Admiral Starrett ap-Agar, Station Chief Garrivan del'Zed— the VES are accounted as real heroes of the Imperium—brave explorers, individuals who established contact with a new sentient race, and functional subject matter experts on the Ancients. This is the first significant alien contact for the Imperium in thousands of years. It is expected that the Social Status of VES members will increase when the VES returns to civilization.

That being said, the Task Force's VIPs formally classify the VES's findings, and brief us on what we can talk about and how. That being said, they acknowledge that there is too much information flow into and out of the Djinni system for the Imperium to completely control.

Changing the meeting's focus, Garrivan del'Zed alerts the VES that the door to the Ancient facility was opened last night. A Marine guard noticed the exterior door was open (entry requires psionic activation). The guard checked with the heat pump monitoring team, who did not notice anything. The two teams swept the complex, and didn’t detect any traces of interlopers, including latent heat signatures. Within this period, there were no unscheduled ship traffic to, or from, Djinni itself. Only the supply shuttle came and went.

Garrivan del'Zed wants the VES to instrument the doorway into the Ancients' complex the following morning.

1100-175 0600 – 1600 - Garrivan del'Zed, Pinkie, Fitz, Alrik, Froge, Leah, and Martaan descend to Djinni's surface and the doorway to the Ancients' complex via Leah's Delight with electronic surveillance gear with which to monitor the entrance. Working together, the group establishes a sophisticated monitoring system.

Meanwhile, Fitz and Martaan interrogate the Marine guards. Their recollections during the intrusion are fuzzy. This "fuzziness" doesn’t feel like the away team's manipulation by We. On video, the away team sees one guard try to look at the door, but inexplicably turn away instead. The guards report engaging in a meaningless and unintelligible conversation instead of guarding the door as assigned. Froge determines the "fuzziness" did not cause any organic damage to the guards.

It turns out that Garrivan del'Zed’s team produced a psychic door opener so the team could enter the complex at will. The opener circuit board has “Dandelion was here” etched on its edge. It turns out that Dandelion del'Zed is aboard the Stygian Solicitation.

1100-175 1600 – 1700 - Via Leah's Delight, Garrivan del'Zed, Pinkie, Fitz, Alrik, Froge, Leah, and Martaan return to the Azhanti High Lightning.

1100-175 1730 - 2030 - A delegation from the Stygian Solicitation arrives onboard the Azhanti High Lightning to meet with the VES. The VES has requested Dandelion be part of the delegation. Madeline, Fitz, Pinkie, Alrik, Froge, Leah, and Martaan are all in attendance. (Pinkie in particular wants to meet the psionic door opener’s designer.) Count Quinlan, Garrivan del'Zed, Dandelion del'Zed, and Lady Admiral Starrett ap-Agar meet us in a large conference room on the Azhanti High Lightning. Dandelion sees Leah and immediately hugs her; Leah hugs her back. Dandelion reports she’s fascinated by the VES's papers and publications.

Dandelion has heard about Froge's visitation from CHESS. Froge asks how CASE is doing. It turns out that CASE is with Dandelion on the Stygian Solicitation in a bounded capacity. CASE remains very loyal to her.

Dandelion reports there is only one psionic door opener planetside. She designed and built it, although it could be replicated. She destroyed all the prototypes, per Garrivan del'Zed’s orders. Dandelion’s opener was kept in the site commander’s field-expedient safe, it was not lost, and it does not appear to have been used. (It must be touched to the door for it to function.) As the likelihood of a ship intruding undiscovered into the Djinni system seems low, the group suspects a spy is on one our ships; a psionic spy seems more likely than the duplication of Dandelion’s door opener.

Martaan asks the assembled dignitaries who might have authorized the infiltration and what its purpose might have been. The Count reports that none of the people in the room know. Pinkie suggests it may have been an Ancient checking on the Imperial campsite.

The Marine base planetside includes a whole marine platoon (16) and four support staff, who ferry items to and from the Azhanti High Lightning. The VES requests that the Marines scan the area in pairs for interlopers.

1100-175 2030 - 2100 - The VES sweeps Leah's Delight looking for stowaways, and checks its door lock and logs. The lifeform counter only recorded the expected seven life signs.

At the next opportunity (next session), Count Quinlan and Leah will scan the base complement for psionic ability, guilty parties, or anything else suspicious.

Session #36 - October 13, 2022
First Contact

1100-042 1400 – Djinni, the Shore of a Northerly Continent, Near New Menorb Island

1400 – 1430 - Concluding their discussions, and taking along their psionic shield helmets, the away team (Alrik, Froge, Leah, and Martaan) plan to return to New Menorb Island, in a second attempt to contact the living island.

1430 – 1500 - Boarding their air / raft, the away team makes their way back to New Menorb Island.

1500 – 1530 - The away team makes their way to the center of the island unaffected by the island's attempts to integrate them with the island's song, and begins again to try again to make contact, starting by clearing away the snow from the island's center, which they suspect to also be a cluster of sense organs.

1700 - The away team manages to establish a telepathic / cognitive link with the island entity!

1730 - The away team manages to establish humans as a new and unique category in the mind of the island entity!

1800 – 1830 - The away team returns to base camp for dinner with Dr. Soto, and find him sitting shikantaza, awaiting their return.

Session #35 - September 29, 2022
Shovelling Snow on New Menorb Island

1100-042 0900 – Djinni, the Shore of a Northerly Continent, Near a Moving Island

0900 – 0930 The away team loads equipment into their air/raft, and then suits up-

  • Alric and Froge wear their wet suits;
  • Leah wears her wet suit under her combat environment suit; and,
  • Martaan wears his combat environment suit. 

0931-1000 –  The away team travels to a floating island, which Martaan christens "New Menorb Island."

1000 – 1200 Over the course of the next 90 minutes, the away team-

  • Five minutes in, the group begins noticing that all the plants are exactly two meters apart;
  • Seven minutes in, the group begins noticing that the insects are all flying one centimeter apart;
  • 12 minutes in, the insects form up and make a 3D image of each of the party’s faces in turn— Leah, Alric, Forge, and finally Martaan;
  • 15 minutes in, members of the party begin to become extraordinarily calm;
  • 20 minutes in, members of the party begin humming or singing a little tune;
  • 25 minutes in, members of party begin walking quickly to the center of the island; and,
  • After 30 minutes, members reach the center of the island, and begin undertaking a task at the behest of the island, in this case, sweeping away snow from the central mound of the island.

Only Alric manages to partially resist the influence of the island, and, testing a theory, injects himself and the rest of the away team with stimulants, allowing them to shake off the influence of the island. They then jog back to the beach where they landed their air/raft, and proceed at speed away from New Menorb Island, back to their base camp, where they realize they have left their psionic shield helmets.

1200 – 1300 Over lunch, with Dr. Sato, the away team discuss what just happened-

  • Is the island's ecology controlled by a single organism?
  • Is it a hive mind?
  • Is this a protective system, and not part of the ecosystem?
  • How can we talk to the big mind?
  • Was the island attempting to integrate the away team into its ecosystem?
  • What was the dome in the artificial, or organic?

1300 – 1400 - The away team launches a solo drone mission to New Menorb Island. The drone is able to determine that the island's insects are just insects, and it is able to get a sample of the island, which proves to be dead skin cells. Meanwhile, aboard the An Lang, Pinkie begins synthesizing a chorale based on all the song fragments sung by the away team. 

Session #34 - July 21, 2022
Animal, Vegetable, or Mineral?

1100-041 1200 – Djinni, the Shore of a Northerly Continent, Near a Moving Island

1200 – 1600 - The away party deploys a crab drone to explore the underside of the moving island.

They also put in a request to the An Lang to analyze the movement of the floating islands:

  • Do they move with or against the current?
  • Do they seem to follow a specific path or course?

Leah's Delight's sensors reveal that there is C02 coming off of the floating island.

The crab drone explores the underside of the floating island and finds a mixture of a coral reef and an underwater kelp garden. A huge variety of fish and other lifeforms inhabit the underside of this island, including larger and smaller fish, rays, trilobite-like creatures, and large shark-like creatures.

The first crab drone is sent to the center of the moving island— a journey of three hours. A separate crab drone is sent with a bucket to retrieve a kelp sample. In the meantime—

  • Alric works on the likelihood that the island is actually respirating;
  • Froge works with Pinkie;
  • Leah and Soto are working on the kelp, which they discover has limited motility; and,
  • Martaan walks the shore, looking for sea shells, finding a wide variety of them.

Pinkie determines that, in some cases, the floating islands are moving against the current.

1600 – 1700 The crab drone reaches the center of the island and finds the snow has melted and that the temperature is significantly higher than that of the surrounding air; it then flies back to the Delight. The away team then has an early dinner.The away team set watches for the night-

1600 – 1900 - Leah stands watch;

1700 – 1800 - The away team puts up a simple drone perimeter. Froge and Martaan go for a run by the seashore, speculating about Djinni, the floating islands, and the Ancients.

1900 – 2200 - Martaan stands watch, and trades comm messages with Lady Cassandra;

2200 – 0000 - Froge stands watch;

1100-042 0000 – 0300 - Soto stands watch;

0300 – 0600 - Alric stands watch, and continues his respiratory analysis.

0600 – 0700 - The away team has a quick breakfast.

0700 – 0900 - Alric, with Leah's assistance, is able to prove that the island is either a living being, or a system that exactly models a living being.

Session #33 - May 26, 2022
The Moving Islands

1100-039 1300 – The An Lang and Leah's Delight, in Orbit around Djinni

1300 – 1400 - The VES breaks for lunch, discussing the recent events.

1400 – 1500 A communications and linguistic analysis comparing the message Froge received purporting to be from CHESS with the away team's recorded interactions with the OoCP highlights strong parallels between the two. However, the message just seems to "appear" in Froge's cabin- an energy analysis can't uncover a vector of transmission.

1500 – 1800 - The An Lang undertakes the last of its four survey passes of Djinni, in this case, of the southern hemisphere.  While this takes place, Leah prepares the Delight for planetfall.  

1800 – 1930 While the VES is analyzing and synthesizing the sensor data, Pinkie comes to a startling conclusion- some of the islands seem to be moving.

1930 – 2130  Training the An Lang's formidable sensor array on one of the "moving islands", and make the following discoveries-

  • A neural scan definitely shows activity— but does this reflect multiple life-forms, or the island itself?
  • The island is substantially less dense than a comparable volume of stone;
  • The heat signature of a moving island is substantially warmer than that of a stationary island; and,
  • There seems to be some kind of gas exhausted from the island— could this be an indication of respiration?

1100-039 2130 – 1100-041 2200 - The Away Team begins to prepare for its trip dirtside the following day:

  • Leah doublechecks the Delight's air / raft;
  • Froge doublechecks and loads the team's away kits;
  • Alric continues his communications analysis of the "whale song", attempting to synthesize a working vocabulary;
  • Martaan begins to synthesize a tactical battlemap of the island, and trades messages with Lady Cassandra ap-Tain;
  • Soto assembles a ship's surgery on the Delight; and,
  • Ujilka is redeployed to the Azhanti High Lightning.

The away team make sure to pack the eight artificial psionic shield helmets.

1100-041 0400-1200 - The Delight makes it's way from orbit to a northerly continent, near the polar ice cap, to observe one of the moving islands. The Delight is near the seashore, about two meters in elevation above sea level.

Session #32 - April 28, 2022
"It's For You"

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.

Session #31 - January 20, 2022
First Pass

1100-038 0930 – The Hangar Deck of the Azhanti High Lightning

0930 – 1030 Leah's Delight and the An Lang maneuver out of the Azhanti High Lightning's hangar and proceed to orbit around Djinni in order to employ their new sensor signatures and find concentrations of the two aquatic races engineered (and protected?) by the Ancients. Four mapping passes will be required to fully use the new sensor signatures and detect concentrations of the alien lifeforms- one equatorial pass, one polar pass, one pass for the northern hemisphere, and one pass for the southern hemisphere.

1031 – 1331 - First mapping pass (equatorial) completed.

1332 – 1631 - Second mapping pass (mid-southern hemisphere) completed.

1632 – 2031 Third mapping pass (mid-northern hemisphere) begun, but something anomalous happens towards the very end- a cetacean-like lifeform is detected near the northern pole, and suddenly disappears.

2032 – 2130 - In about an hour, Leah's Delight drops out of orbit and arrives on station where the cetacean lifeform was last seen to scan more closely, and determine to where it disappeared.

2131 – 2140 About ten minutes into scanning, the crew of Leah's Delight- Leah, Froge, Martaan, and Soto— identifies a huge cetacean-like creature. The Delight's scanning somehow triggers a response from the creature, filling their heads with incredible polyphonic music, and Leah loses consciousness.

2141 - Leah's Delight flees into orbit to renezvous with the An Lang.

2230 - Leah regains consciousness.

2245 – 2345  Leah's Delight rendezvous and docks with the An Lang. Madeline convenes a conference to review what happened, and also requests a straw vote regarding what the VES should do- should it finish its mapping passes, or immediately pursue further scanning and contact with the cetaceans—

  • Martaan, Pinkie, and Saeagang want to finish the scanning passes before attempting anything else;
  • Soto wants to stop altogether and rethink the VES's approach; and,
  • Alrik, Elwen, Fitz, Froge, Leah, and Ujilka all want to focus on the cetaceans.      

Madeline agrees that the focus should shift to the cetaceans.

Session #30 - December 16, 2021
Eleven to Get Ready

1100-037 2300 – VES Conference Room Aboard the Azhanti High Lightning, in Orbit Above Djinni

2300 - 0100 - After another long (but successful) day, the VES members scatter for some much needed rest and relaxation:

  • Madeline, Pinkie, and Soto return to their quarters and go to bed;
  • Leah does some psionic training, and ultimately asks Count Quinlan for insights into the psionic training process;
  • Alric, Elwin, Froge, Martaan, and Saeagang all head off for a well-deserved drink at the Officers' Club;
  • Fitz and Ujilka go to the gym to exercise and wind up sparring on the matts— the match goes to Fitz, who shows Ujilka som unarmed combat techniques. After a quick shower, they too end up in joining the others in the Officers' Club for a drink.

As a treat, Martaan mixes a drink for his colleagues in the VES.

In the Officers' Club, the VES members are briefly joined by Marine Lieutenant Colonel Jordress Carth, who obliquely discusses the VES with them, and wishes them well.

After a round or two, one by one the VES members return to their quarters. Martaan cleans up, and is the last to leave. Everyone is asleep by 0100.

1100-038 0500 - Of the VES members, Froge rises first, for PT and coffee.

0600 - Martaan rises, and starts the day with PT. Elwin, Fitz, Madeline, Pinkie, Saeagang, and Soto also rise, pack, have breakfast, and begin loading their gear back into the An Lang and the Leah's Delight. 

0800 – 0856 - Leah rises at 0800, and Ujilka at 0856.

0900 – The VES divides itself between the two ships—

An Lang

  • Madeline – Pilot, Captain of the An Lang, VES Leader
  • Saeagang – Chief Engineer, Executive Officer 
  • Elwin – Navigator
  • Pinkie – Sensor Officer
  • Fitz – Tactical Officer, sensor operator
  • Ujilka - Tactical Officer, sensor operator
  • Alrik – Contact Officer, computer operator

Leah's Delight

  • Leah – Chief Surveyor, Pilot
  • Froge – Engineering Officer, drone deployer
  • Martaan – Gunnery Officer, sensor operator
  • Soto – Ship's Surgeon

0930 – The VES prepares to depart the Azhanti High Lightning.

Session #29 - October 21, 2021
Elicitation and Breakfest

1100-036 2300 – VES Conference Room Aboard the Azhanti High Lightning, in Orbit Above Djinni

2300 – After a long day, Team Neural and Team Drone break up their work session in the conference room. Leah, along with most of the rest of the VES, go off to bed, while some of the team members look for a little recreation with the crew—

  • Froge works himself into a card game with a senior engineering NCO Kyril and a starship drive mechanic Stavrij, in an attempt to determine why the Azhanti High Lightning is part of the Djinni task force. Froge tells them everything he can about the OoCP and the planetary surface without breaking in any confidences; Kyril and Stavrij are really unclear about the task force's mission, but are fairly certain the Azhanti High Lightning is there to defend Djinni. Froge hits his rack around 1100-037 0100.
  • Martaan goes for a stroll down to the Marines' decks, and runs into Karla and Ambler, junior Marine officers who are checking their load-outs before leading two of the platoons that will be defending the Ancients' complex. Karla and Ambler, recognizing Martaan as a former Marine and a member of the VES, ask him for a sense of the battlespace, complaining that no one is really briefing them on what to expect. Martaan tells them a lot about the terrain, and gives them some valuable hints off the record as to what they should focus on. Martaan goes to bed around 1100-037 0000.
  • Ujilka hits the gym, and gets in a 90 minute workout before going to bed around 1100-037 0030.
  • Alric stays behind and comes up with a different approach to detecting cetacean neurology, using whale song analysis as a tool for locating whale singers, and as a result, the second alien species the Ancients have located on Djinni. Alric goes to bed around 1100-037 0000.

1100-037 0800 – 0900 Martaan and Alric wake early, and both find themselves in the gym nearest to the guest quarters, each practicing their swordsmanship. They challenge each other to a quick match of three touches-

  • Martaan wins the first touch;
  • Alric and Martaan each touch simultaneously during the second bout; and
  • Martaan wins the third touch, and the match. 

0915 – 0930 - Froge wakes and around 0915 and does some PT. Leah wakes at 0930.

0930 - 1100 The VES essentially takes over the guest mess, as Alric and Martaan, Froge, Leah, Soto, Elwin, Pinkie, and eventually Ujilka, all take over a corner of the dining room and talk confidentially about what they've found out. The group consensus is that- outside of the VES— only a handful of very senior officers know what is really on the planet's surface, and therefore, what the task force's true objectives are.

1100 – 2300 – In the VES's shielded conference room, led by Madeline and Saeagang, the VES separates back into Team Neural and Team Drone. After a Herculean effort, and 11 hours of work, Team Neural manages to get a song-based cetacean detection model working that could be used through the An Lang's sensor packages. Likewise, Team Drone managed to assemble their crab-like drones, and then to test them in one of the Azhanti High Lightning's training pools. Much to their delight, they worked and moved very convincingly. With these two tasks completed, the VES is ready to try and detect both species of alien races, and to observe them using their camouflaged drones.