Liberty Starbase: Formal Dining Area
Lieutenant Pending: It’s not funny! Everytime I get a promotion the damn transcripting system glitches on me.
GAIA: What does it matter to you?
Lt. Pending: YOU laugh your head off every time I say something.
Lt. Pending: You’re trying not to laugh now! You should be working on fixing this … killer meme!
GAIA: Hee … I haven’t got my wifi link restored yet. The Admiral is putting a word into Fleet that I really am a good ‘bot.
Lt. Pending.: Well I hope she hurries up.
GAIA: Aye aye Lt. Pending!
Lt. Pending: Oh shut up.
Liberty Starbase: Dining Room Foyer
Ulla-Korsa: I thought I would walk these decks as a conqueror. Strange to come in peace.
Admiral: The Videni may be attacking the Kingdoms and the Polity soon enough. If it’s war you want you’ll get it.
Ulla-Korsa: I don’t want war.
Admiral: I never expected to hear you, as a warrior, say that. No offense meant.
Ulla-Korsa: None taken. Understand Admiral, a fight is one thing. I never ran from a fight. Never will. If someone insults me, wrongs me, or attacks me I will attack and I will til the last. Fighting is honorable and desirable. My people like it but war …
Admiral: Too much of a good thing?
Ulla-Korsa: War is a meat grinder. There is little chance to prove your initiative for we all must follow orders. There is no picking or choosing of your battles, the strategists handle that and they try to make their engagements as one sided as possible. The brave die beneath a sea of foes or they obliterate a weak opponent that gives them no honor. Worse, the leaders are there due to politics or to put an ass in a command seat and they throw away warriors’ lives worth far more than their own.
Admiral: War is Hell.
Ulla-Korsa: Good saying.
Liberty Star Base Table Seven
Riasi: What are you grumping about now, beanpole?
Tivk: Look around you.
Mukh: Not enough breadsticks … and they aren’t moving.
Nok: Table Seven. Friends: family. Family: friends.
Mukh: Hey! Try the breadsticks!
M’Ffe: Hello. I am M’Ffe. Nok has told me so much about you all. I warn you … I’m on my guard.
L’Rre: Hello, I am L’Rre. This is boring. May I return to the Courtesan?
Nok: No. Sit.
M’Ffe: No. More. Gambling with the pirates. You took them for a month’s plunder.
L’Rre: You made me give it all back. Even the new hat I won for father.
Nok: I liked that hat. Nice feather.
M’Ffe: We’re trying to bring her up right.
Riasi:Ah … your culture frowns on gambling.
Nok. No. We just don’t want people finding out she’s psionic, cheating, and lynching her.
Riasi: WHAT is it?
Tivk: This is the ‘alien table’! Those … humans stuck us all in here.
Klendath: Ah. Is this the table seven?
Liberty Starbase: Still Another Foyer
Captain: Who is this?
Korsa My chief engineer: Kzvita.
Kzvita: Hello … my you’re a big … Terran?
Captain: Sure. Close enough.
Kzvita: You guys come in different colors?
Kzvita: It is like the chocolate or … coffee! I like your skin!
Captain: Me too. I try to keep it in one piece.
Kzvita: Don’t we all?
Korsa: I should have taken Tal.
Kzvita: She won the coin toss. Deal, salle-Captain.
Captain: There’s one on every ship, Captain Korsa.
Admiral: Admiral Korsa … we’ve extended an invitation to your son. He is here under my protection. Put the blaster away please. This is a celebration! You too Captain!
Ulla-Korsa: Oh, I’m going to have something to celebrate in a moment! Have no fear!
Korsa: Hi dad.
Chief: I don’t need no babysitter.
Doc: You need a straitjacket. Take it easy. You have a fractured skull and I couldn’t find anything stronger than titanium to patch it. It’s a little fragile compared to the original material.
Chief: Heh. Good one.
Doc: Seriously. Let me fix your sling. You aren’t a young buck anymore.
Chief: Imma’ slap you, you don’t leave off!! Hey look out. Enemy sighted.
Mablug: Neegri Terrones! Badda summaty Allakir-Paz? … Zangid-za nomeh?
Doc: Forgot my translator.
Chief: Try speaking slow and loud. Tell him to go …
Riasi: Dolphin! You made it! And Chief!
Mablug: Neegri Lurroni-bazi. Zangid-za nomeh?
Riasi: Hang on a second guys. Neegri Zangid. Gid banu!
Doc: Oh yeah. She speaks Zangid.
Chief: Find out what the Zangid devil wants of me, please?
Riasi: Mablug sees by your medals (yikes there’s a bunch) you also fought at Allakir-3 and would like to share a drink with you. A sign of respect since next time you meet you may have to kill each other.
Doc: Oooooooh. I bet it loses a little in translation Chief.
Riasi: Nope I was spot on. Want me to get Prof. Mukh?
Chief: You tell this miserable E.T. I will not have a drink with him and we can cut to the fight to the death right now. And furthermore … your mama!
Doc: Tell him the Chief is on painkillers and can’t drink!
Chief: That’s what you think!
Riasi: Mablug will gladly meet you in a fight and will even submit to a smack in the head with a … peen-ball …
Riasi: Ballpeen hammer! … and tie one hand down to meet you fairly.
Riasi: And furthermore you are a …
Chief: I know that word! Hah. Okay. We’ll have one drink. Any Zango is that much for fair play must be halfway decent. See ya in a bit Doc.
Doc: Jeeze … does every ship have one of these guys?
Riasi: C’mon the guys are waiting for you at table seven.
Riasi: C’mon the guys are waiting for you at table seven.
Liberty Starbase: Admiral’s Office.
Admiral: So your people had Videni massing on their borders as well?
Ulla-Korsa: Indeed. Apparently they were going to hit us as well to secure their control over the Rigel Annex. Bastards … but spoiling their opening move forestalled that.
Ulla-Korsa: We launched a pre-emptive attack nonetheless. Took half an unsettled sector. The Gid Emperor is ready to propose an alliance with your Polity. Wipe them out once and for all.
Admiral: Uhm … that’s not for me to discuss but thank you. I always thought our people had many similarities.
Ulla-Korsa: Don’t get hung up on those. It’s the differences that will get you killed. You’re too good an enemy for us to waste peace on for very long.
Admiral: Excuse me?
Ulla-Korsa: Look, the Voles will sneak away when you’re winning. One second they have their teeth in your arm.The next they vanish. The Taurans will surrender when they realize they’ve lost. The Videni blow themselves up and my own people go on a berserker rage till you put them down. But you Terrans …
Ulla-Korsa: You always try something different. You keep fighting and running long enough to come up with a new plan. I never did know what to expect from you people. It was invigorating fighting you. You’re very hard to kill.
Admiral: We can but try.
Korsa: Hello dad.
Ulla-Korsa: Xamilar. I would speak to you alone ... if that is permitted Admiral.
Admiral: You’re only going to talk?
Ulla-Korsa: Like a couple of Terrans. Space Scout honor?
Admiral: The what what?
Ulla-Korsa: On my honor.
Korsa: MIne too.
Admiral: Right. I hear any gunfire and I’ll be most disappointed.
Ulla-Korsa: Understood. Many thanks Admiral.
Korsa: Yes likewise.
Ulla-Korsa: //All right sit down shut up and listen. I have a jammer to keep any bugs from recording us.//
Korsa: //Okay. I do too, and not the cheap Zangid model.//
Ulla-Korsa: //This undercover bullshit has gone on long enough.//
Korsa: //Did Kzvita kiss you? Because that girl is a toxic stew. She kissed me and I was seeing our honored and departed relatives for a day What strategy?//
Ulla-Korsa: //The Gid-Emperor’s strategy! Using you as a pirate to uncover evidence of these Videni movements. You have safeguarded our kingdoms.//
Korsa: //What? You know this was all blind-ass dumb luck dad.//
Ulla-Korsa: //The Gid-Emperor will announce this strategy in a few days. Then give you amnesty. He is indeed all knowing and all seeing.//
Korsa: //The Gid-Emperor didn’t know jack about this whole thing!//
Ulla-Korsa: //All right. YOU tell him he didn’t know jack and this was just to boost his approval. Go on. I will watch.//
Korsa: // … Gid be praised for placing us in the hands of the benevolent all seeing and all knowing Emperor!//
Ulla-Korsa: //Yeah all right. You know your brother, the hairdresser, would have figured this out quicker and he collects the hair of young girls to make love charms. Just saying.//
Korsa: //Oh! Catch me up on House news!!//
Ulla-Korsa: //Sure. But first tell me about your mother.//
Korsa: //She says she’s staying out of sight and off the grid until I bring her at least three sworn testimonies that you are dead or your head. Preferably all.//
Ulla-Korsa: //Ah only three now? She’s weakening! I’ll have her back., Xamilar!! Never lose a woman of such quality!//
Korsa: //I’ll try not to. I will not chase down and screw anything with a pulse after I find her. That will make it easier.//
Ulla-Korsa: //I have a lot of love. Sue me. After you point me at that four armed package of fun.//
Liberty Starbase: Main Dining Room
Mukh: So … what’s it like being a slave?
Klendath: I dunno. What’s it like being free?
Tivk: Yew guyzz … yew coulda brought the Zangid war machine down yearzz ago is all I’m saying. Keep pouring froggy.
Klendath: So could your Polity. We admit we were and are cowards -not fighters. YOU guys are supposed to be the liberators and the fighters. We have, what, ten million Trippers living free in your space and half a billion working of us for the Zangid. Yet you seem pleased with your present efforts to liberate us.
M’Ffe: Well said Mr. Klendath.
Riasi: My kind doesn’t take to slavery very well we’re too ca …
Doc: Catlike! You were going to say ‘Catlike!”
Riasi: I was going to say, “Casual.” Phbbbbbbt!
Mukh: My kind is never enslaved!
Nok: No one wants to pay to feed you.
Mukh: That too.
Helm: Greetings all. Is this table seven?
Doc: Hello Helm. Have a seat. Ladies, gentlemen, Klendath, Mukh: I present the new helmsman of the Tesla.
Tivk: Sure. When’s she get here?
Riasi: What’s the idea?
Doc: I was getting her chair. I got yours. Held your tail out of the way and everything.
Doc: But honeykit …
Riasi: We will talk later.
Helm: Maybe I should move …
Riasi: Nonono. Sorry. The fault is with my mate’s roving eye.
Doc: It always comes back to rest on you my love.
Riasi: You sweet talker.
Doc: I will live another day.
Liberty Starbase: Alcove
Admiral: Philly, you did well, incredibly well.
Captain: She handed us victory! Chloe, this is bullshit!!
Admiral: I know Dan. Shut up. There is a line that the Fleet draws. You can cross it. We all can but we have to know it is not without a price.
Exec: I understand, Admiral. Captain: it’s okay. You blow up a planet there has to be collateral damage.
Captain: It was a lifeless snowball with a dirty liquid center. WHO CARES?
Admiral: Today we won by obliterating a dirty snowball. Tomorrow maybe it will be a garden world or one with a small colony perhaps that stands between us and victory. If we let her off it will lead to more such incidents. No one has the right to casually destroy a planet.
Captain: What about an asteroid? We’ve blasted plenty testing new weapon systems. What about something the size of Ceres? What is the cut off? What about a subjovian, no population and not much use?
Admiral: It was a planet by astronomical convention. The regs are clear. Phil, you aren’t going to get anymore promotions in the field. If you transfer to the Academy you’ll get bumped up to captain. That’s all I can do for you.
Exec: I’ll stay where I am. The Captain is in a similar position. Tesla is my home, Admiral.
Admiral: You may feel differently later.
Exec: That’s my hard luck, Admiral.
Admiral: Right. Well excuse me, I’m going to try to keep the Zangid from killing each other. We’re all friends for now.
Liberty Starbase Table Seven
Klendath: These translators you use … what is the term. Ah! They are pieces of shit.
Tivk: Excuuuse me? They use software developed by my people.
Kendath: Pffft. The only good tech you beanpoles ever got was by stealing it from us. The term the Zangid have for us is translated as ‘slave’ which is inaccurate. There is a litany of Zangid terms that are all translated as ‘slave’. They do not give a realistic picture.
Mukh: Go on. It’s like my species coined seventeen terms just for floating. Floating with the current, floating and sinking slowly, true neutral buoyancy, positive buoyancy …
Klendath: Exactly! My people are a conquered race and part of the Zangid Kingdoms, a valuable part. If my lord ulla-Korsa so much as slaps me without good cause he pays a huge fine.
Tivk: … what do you mean we stole from you? You wouldn’t have ever gotten above atmosphere without our help … I’m leaving.
Mukh: Very interesting.
Klendath: He also gets two points on his license. Ooh here come more breadsticks!b\ Breadsticks!
Liberty Starbase: Dance Floor
GAIA: I had no idea.
Tivk: Of course I dance. I find it meditative as well as good exercise. Have you ever seen “Singing in the Rain”?
GAIA: I’m not programmed for this.
Tivk: I will lead. One two three. One two three.
GAIA: You are very light on your feet.
Tivk: Ouch! You are not.
GAIA: Sorrysorrysorry. Mr. Tivk I missed you. You heard about Toff?
Tivk: Yes. So much death. He was a good man. You will miss him.
GAIA: You will too. I know that.
Tivk: … he was a good workmate. Except when he cut bits off him.
GAIA: Poor Toff. It’s amazing he never damaged any equipment.
Tivk: He cared about the machinery and the ship more than himself.
GAIA: I will miss him. The coffee machine … it’s completely broken up over this.
LIberty Starbase: WashroomCaptain: So you’re a lieutenant now?
Lt. Pending: Yes sir. About GAIA …
Captain: The girlbot will always have a place on my ship. You on the other hand …
Lt. Pending: Sir with all due respect I think I demonstrated putting me off doesn’t work very well.
Captain: I will put you off, Technical Officer, the second you give me a reason. Is that clear?!
Lt. Pending: Yes sir!
Captain: Don’t give me a reason.
Lt. Pending: Aye sir!
Liberty Starbase Table Seven
Klendath: He already has six points on his license for this year. I can basically do whatever I want till he takes a class to get those points off. Anymore points and the Slave Relations Ministry sends me to a resort until those points come off.
Riasi: I thought I had a good deal.
Helm: It sounds like it would make more sense for the Zangid to free you all and do this work themselves.
Klendath: Shush, that’s crazy talk, blue creature! I’m glad the ulla-Admiral doesn’t hear your garbage
Helm: … You are quite rude!
Klendath: … that’s two points!
Doc: We aren’t in the Kingdoms. I’ll give you a swat myself. Grabbing Riasi’s butt like that!
Klendath: I didn’t!
Riasi: I only saw two hands on the table! It must have been you! I am inclined to be kindly but … oh slap him Dolphin! You’ve got bigger hands than Helm.
Doc: Wait … I could probably get some favors from ulla-Korsa if I shut you up …
Mukh: One almost feels sorry for the Zangid. Wait a second … no. I’m good with this. No wonder we haven’t liberated more of them Trippers.
Nok: They’re so annoying the vole won’t spy on them.
Liberty Starbase: Podium
Ulla-Korsa: Thank you for the introduction Admiral. I will keep my speech short ...
Ulla-Korsa: … hey! Shut up!! … As I was saying today was a great victory. Death to the Terr … Videni!! VIDENI!!
Klendath: Smooth move Ulla-Admiral.
Ulla-Korsa: Yeah I nearly screwed up! That could have started some serious shit!
Klendath: I think you caught yourself in time.