Original Content Transcripts 2: Chapter 12


edited by Steve32 and B3CRE8TVE

“The hab units serve as both rest quarters and personalised work stations away from the specialised labs. The station is equipped to house up to seven thousand employees, and boasts an easy transition to connecting multiple station attachments,” Jasmine, Xant and Nako stood awkwardly in the elevator as Jess read from the station description on the Esaander Civnet page. While Xant managed to look passively neutral and Nako stoically disinterested, Jasmine couldn’t help but cringe. The poor thing was truly out of her depth.

“And here is our hydroponics floor.” The elevator doors opened to them bright fluorescent UV lights and rich oxygenated air.

Jasmine breathed in deeply. “Reminds me of home,” she smiled. Rows and rows of high plastic shelves filled with perfectly manicured plants.

“Our current waurdess crop can produce enough for four thousand citizen assets.”
Between the rows were circular robot attendants, beeping as they moved from plant to plant, dipping a tubed needle into the plants trunk. “Is the entire thing automated?” Jasmine marveld.

“Uhh,” Jess quickly searched her dataslate to answer the numerous questions being thrown her way.

“We are currently running a self-sustaining build until a dedicated botanist can oversee a full production line,” Xant piped up “I check the system from time to time; this is a modest crop, we are not yet large enough to bring in more specialised workers.”

“That’s right. You’re a trained botanist!” Jasmine exclaimed.

“Yes, although I specialise identifying different varieties for research. The botanist is required to monitor ph levels and yield to production/nutrition raitos.”

“Thats sounds closer to a farmer than a nutritionist, but then we have a wider variety of food…” Jasmine stared, “This is all the same crop isn’t it?”

“Yes, waurdess makes up the bulk of the GC citizen and military dietary requirements.”

“Waurdess, so the jerky I was eating wasn’t meat?”

“No.. Waudress is a vitamin and protein rich vegetation, genetically engineered to be the perfect sustainable food source, one of the necessary technologies of the painful dynasty not lost to the Rajavan tyranny.”

“Huh, I suppose even the brain-balls need to eat,” Jasmine muttered.

“Brain-balls, quite fitting” Nako laughed.

“Well I figured I would cut back the swearing, I have some far more ‘colourful’ names for my abductors-” Jasmine replied looking at Jess, “I can share them later.”
Jess’s claws tapped her dataslate nervously.

“Shall I continue the tour?”

“Can I get a fresh waurdess?” Jasmine asked suddenly, “Before it gets processed I mean, I’d like to try and cook with it.”

“That can certainly be arranged,” Xant answered, “I’m sure the demonstration of technique will be most engaging.”

“Would I be able to sit in on the demonstration?” Jess asked timidly.

Jasmine shrugged. “For research purposes I suppose.”

Jess grinned back. “Excellent! Shall we move on?”

By now the party agreed, and Jess lead them down to the genetics labs.
The genetic labs took up a good half of the entire third floor. The labs were more of the same small rooms coming off a long hallway, each with terminal computer and a holoprojector. Plain sterile white rooms with, what Jasmine presumed to be, server units that took up an entire corner of the room from floor to ceiling.
Several scientists ran from one room to another, staring intently at the large black server units, or mixing different coloured blocks from the holoprojectors. It reminded Jasmine of the multicoloured medicines back in medical.

“Dr. Intiias and his assistants are currently working on sequencing and categorizing the specimen dogs’ DNA for the Civnet, Milnet and Corpnet systems once complete we will be trading this information on the Corpnet auction system and providing the Galactic Council with evidence for contribution credits,” Jess stated, reading off Laandi’s saved personal notes.

“As well as sending this information to me as well I hope,” Nako reminded Jess “It would be a shame for Esaander to lose all this information by breaking the terms of the contract.” “Oh, I haven’t had time to look over the contract yet.” Jess murmured, looking back to her trusty dataslate.
As the pair discussed the formalities of alien contract law, a sour taste swelled in Jasmine’s mouth. Remembering the talks she had with Laandi and the technicality of her being Nako’s beneficiary or whatever.

“Speaking of contracts,” Jasmine interrupted. Nako and Jess startled silently as Jasmine approached, “Sir Nako, may I read the contract you have between yourself and Esaander? I’d like to learn more about my legal rights.”
Up until now Nako had always answered with pleasant encouragement, but he seemed thrown off by the sudden interruption, shuffling from one foot to the other while preparing his answer.

“In time, I shall make the contract available for your listening, once we are back aboard the REFINED.”

Jasmine nodded, satisfied. “Thank you, Sir Nako.” She then, whilst still having control of the conversation turned to Jess. “Acting Director, you said they’ve sequenced dog DNA?”

“They’re very close to completion,” She answered, “Only a matter of [hours] now.” “Very cool. Can I watch them work?”

“We, that is, company protocol, states that we limit contact with staff as much as possible and do not disturb them so close to project completion.”

“Fair enough,” Jasmine sighed, relinquishing control of the conversation.

Jess and Nako relaxed a little, and Xant spoke up before either of them could.

“Acting Director, I would like to return later to discuss the Translator with the expert, can that be arranged?”
Jess blinked and buried her face even deeper into the Dataslate.

“I can leave a note with Isk…” she replied, seeing the irritated looking on Nako’s face and how busy the other geneticists were, the acting director moved them on to the elevator.
Below the genetic labs was medical and security, both departments Jasmine was acutely familiar with and Nako had no interest in. “I’d rather like to take a look at the other specimens from the stasis pods, to check on my investment,” Nako stated.

“The enclosures, the enclosures…” she muttered searching through the station plans. “The enclosures are below us, Ulessia was originally built as a research station to cultivate new genetic strains, we are currently holding six unmapped and undocumented life forms, all below the user level intelligence scale,-”

“Are these the same lifeforms found in my stasis pods?” Nako inquired.

“Yes, the very same.” Jess nodded her head up and down.

“Other pods?”Jasmine narrowed her gaze.

Xant was quick to intercept. “There were no other humans found in the pods, only lower intelligence beings, but, they are from your ecosystem.”

“Well, if they’re from Earth then they’re under my protection as well, it’s my responsibility to ensure their safety/wellbeing”

Xant nodded. “Of course Jasmine, perhaps you might even be able to identify them for us?”

“It would be my pleasure.”

The first enclosure brought back memories of her own time in the synthetic habitat, it was almost an exact replica as well, water lapped and bubbled in the distance, coarse sand and sparse vegetation dotted the landscape, but high up in the fake angular tree sat a perched bird of prey preening its feathers. Jasmine squealed, her pointed finger waving about excitedly

“No way(<excited>)!! That’s a bald eagle!! Nako, the bird on the knife? That’s what it looks like in real-life!”

The aliens all murmured their acknowledgements, but far more interested in how the human was reacting to the animal.

“You know, its way smaller than I imagined it to be- but that is WAAY bigger!”

Out from the vegetation, a raccoon was carrying its strips of waurdess kibble down to the water’s edge.

“And the name of this animal is?” Xant asked ready to input the new species into the dataslate.

“Raccoon, or trash panda if you’re feeling particularly mean.”

“That, sounds rather derogatory”

“Oh it is,” Jasmine replied “apparently they’re famous for going through people's rubbish bins and scattering the scraps everywhere, so people have to lock their bins or
put rocks on top of their lids.”

“I’m not sure I understand Jasmine, are you saying these creatures are allowed to rummage through waste collection?”

“Well I wouldn’t say allowed, they’re wild animals, humans build and encroach on their territory. They don’t know any better and we don’t have the translators to explain to them. So we just try to discourage it.”

It was a loaded answer, and it only caused Xant more questions. ‘Wild animals’? Did humans not control all assets within their system? Did non-commutative animals control land? Did these creatures have land enough that humans encroached on them? How did humans negotiate territory with creatures they cannot communicate with? The animals didn’t even have the higher cognitive abilities to even try something as nuanced as territory disputes! Xant stroked his poor ears, pulling him out of the questioning spiral. Jess was furiously muttering into her dataslate in much the same way. At least he wasn’t the only one confused by Jasmines statement.

“Aww! He’s washing his food before eating it!” Jasmine cooed.

Watching here fuss over the strangely patterned creature, he dared asked another question hoping it would have a far mores straightforward answer.

“Was this creatures habits not known to you Jasmine?”

“Well, no, it’s the first time I’ve seen one in real life. Racoons live on a different continent from me and well, it’s a wild animal, I’m quite happy to just observe, no point disturbing it.”

“Why not?”

Jasmine’s attention was drawn away from the raccoon, a concerned, confused frown on her face. “Because it’s a wild animal? Unpredictable, dangerous, I’m pretty sure
raccoons have a reputation for rabies and mange, a single bite or scratch leads to infection which could be life threatening if not treated.”

Xant stroked his ears again, deciding to wait until they were back in an interview setting before the barrage of questions unanswered put a cramp in his ear stalks. “Were there any other animals in captivity?” she asked.

“Yes,” Xant replied, knowing they would blissfully move on.
The next enclosure held another quadruped, but as the door opened and they stepped in the animal came trotting up to them, undaunted and expectantly seeking attention.
Jasmine’s aura beamed. She held back a delighted squeal as the creature sniffed her hands, she carefully reached out to pet it, a lighter and gentler touch than what she used with the dogs.

“Is this another companion animal?” Xant proposed.

“Maybe?” Jasmine giggled as the the creatures tongue tickled her fingers. “This fawn must be hand reared as someone's pet; it’s so beautiful!” she pet the animal again, this time running her hands all down its back. “Usually they’re wild and skittish around humans, or any loud noises really. But this one isn’t afraid at all!”

“Why would it be afraid of you?”

“Well, this little cutey is also good eating!” Sophistication and savagery reared its frightening face again. The human laughed as the aliens stared at her. “But I think it’s safe to say this little guy is someone's pet, no being chopped up for venison!”

“Venison?!” Jess squeaked.

“Oh, uhh, it’s what we call the kind of meat that comes from deer specifically…” Jasmine’s voice faded as she noticed the confused stares she was receiving. “I mean, humanely retrieved of course. It’s a complicated subject, requires a lot of nuance and explanation that we can’t go through here, ahem” The human coughed into her hand. “Shall we move on?”

The last occupied enclosure wasn’t really an enclosure, but an enormous tank. Hundreds upon thousands of litres of salt water swirled below the observation railing.

“Whoa..” Jasmine awed “what’s down there?”

“Three aquatic life forms,” Xant answered, bringing up the pictures of the fish from the preliminary examination.

“Well, I think that one's a salmon but I couldn’t tell you the other two.” Jasmine said as she came to the sudden realisation that she didn’t see a lot of ‘whole’ fish, she was far more likely to identify them by fillet and taste.

“Would you like to name them now?” Nako suggested, “if they are from your homeworld it is only it is only fit that you bestow the name,”
Xant chuckled wiggling his ears.

“Is something the matter doctor?”

“Oh, Jasmine’s User companions call her species ‘Namegiver’. Quite appropriate really,”

“An auspicious title,” The Prince remarked “I wouldn’t expect such grandiose from such simple creatures.”

“A grander title than we actually deserve,” Jasmine replied humbly, “but as for the fish, I guess we can call that one Blackfin and the other Spottedtail.” Jess and Xant both put the new names of the species into their respected logs and the human walked to the end of the small pier.

“So random question,” Jasmine asked looking into the water below “how deep is the water and what’s the temperature?”

“I wouldn’t call it an entirely random question, the tank is [20 metres] deep and the temperature is [16°C]” Xant responded.

“Okay, follow up question, would it be entirely out of order if I go for a swim?”

“A what?” Xant balked.

“Just a quick one! I dont think I’ll ever get another opportunity to swim in deep water like this.”


“But that shouldn’t be possible!” Jess shrieked “You don’t have the breathing organs nor the buoyancy! You’d sink right to the bottom!”

“How about I give you guys a demonstration? You seem pretty keen on those,” Jasmine tapped the blue circled button on her collar and the suit of light, plastic armour unclicked and allowed her to climb out and she was down to the alien skin suit. “My home city is on a river that flows into the ocean,” Jasmine explained, while doing preliminary stretches. “I’ve been swiming since before I spoke in complex sentences, trust me!”

Xant, along with everyone else was stunned.
“Is swimming a necessary application?”

“Well not strictly speaking, but drowning is a common enough problem it’s better to know how to swim. Plus, no one wants to be left behind at school while everyone else is at lessons.”

Jasmine dipped her toes into the water below. “Oof, not too warm,” after a few quick breaths (which seemed to be more for calming nerves than actual function) the human climbed over the safety railing and to the shock of everyone, launched herself into the water, vanishing into the depths.
Jess nearly crushed her dataslate, Nako’s wings popped out from beneath his cape and Xant rushed out, clinging to the safety rail and leaning out as far as his body would let him, searching for Jasmine’s visage in the dark depths.
Air bubbles rose to the waters disturbed surface and Jasmine’s head burst the waters tension, taking a huge gasp of air. “Whoo!” she yelled “it’s bloody cold! Ha ha!”
Much to the contrary of logical expectation, Jasmine could indeed swim, despite the human body being totally unsuited for it. She glided through the water slowly, but easily enough.

“Right! This, is treading water!” she shouted, swimming in place before ducking her head under the surface once more. Jasmine talked through and demonstrated no less than six techniques before floating on her back.
The excitement was infectious and fascinating. Even the Lieutenant had forgotten his position excitedly following along with Jasmine’s demonstration. “I can even teach you how to swim if you want?” Jasmine offered as she swam to the railing, floating inches from Xants nose.

“As wonderful as the offer is, I doubt any of us have the affinity nor the upper body strength to complete the training.”

“Alas my wings would prevent me from the activity” “Fair enough,” Jasmine replied wiping the water off her face. Xant reached out to help the human out of the water. Jasmine's wet hand squelched against the black rubber gloves. She scraped as much of the water off as she could before shivering.

“(I didn't think this all the way through) uhh, don’t suppose you guys have any towels lying around huh?”

“No, none of the staff at Esaander submerge themselves recreationally,” Xant replied in good humour.

“Heh, smart-arse”

“Allow me Miss Howe,” Nako gracefully unclipped his cape and presented it to her.

“Whoa, uhh, are you sure about that?”

“This experience has been more than I could have hoped for, besides, a little water will not damage it.”

“Alright, thank you” Jasmine hesitantly took the blue cape and wrapped it around her shoulders, drying off as quickly as she could. Folding the cape carefully before handing it back.
Nako graciously accepted, taking back the patchy wet cloak and hung it over one shoulder. Determined to be the most accommodating of hosts.

“That concludes the tour,” Jess remarked hastily “Was this satisfactory, Lieutenant?”

“It was adequate, Acting Director,”

“That’s good, because I am knackered.” Jasmine yawned “I think I’m due for the long nap.”

“Nap?” Nako inquired.

“Humans require and extended rest periods; they become unstable without it.”

“You tell’em Xant.” Jasmine joked.

“Am I dismissed?” Jess asked, her feet sliding ever closer to the exit.

“I suppose we can disband until you are ready for my company once more” Nako lamented “I shall retire to the REFINED.” “Thank you Sir Nako, I hope your stay abroad Uleesia is not too taxing.” She called over to her friend “Xant, care to lead us back, I think Jess has bolted.”

The doctor looked for his co-worker but it seemed she had indeed vacated the area with much haste.

“Ah, it would be my pleasure, Lieutenant, Jasmine, this way to the elevator.”

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Wohoo, new chapter, new fish! Sushi when? XP
You might want to fix the part before they go to the enclosure, jasmine has two words with a slash between them in her speech