Original Content Transcripts 2: Chapter 8.2


Written by Squiggle Story Studios (Michelle Hodgson), edited by Steeveeo (Steve Green)

Nako waited until both Xant and Tifera had cleared the room.
“I must apologise Miss Howe, but this is an opportunity I could not ignore.” His tone and formality seemed to relax, “There are many more trinkets in the case but, there is one object in particular that is just…”
Jasmine stood in shock as the proud and noble lieutenant suddenly became somber. He glided over to his desk and pulled out a pink tablet, offering it to her with as much reverence one would a precious heirloom. Jasmine looked down at the tablet – a pink-cased iPad – and was surprised to see it still had some battery left.
She stared at the familiar piece of tech, a window into someones else’s life. The lock screen had a beautiful wallpaper: a moonlit night on a lake, a lotus flower in bloom with a trail of stardust floating from its petals.
“This was found amongst other dataslates,” Nako related, taking a softer, more sincere tone with her, sharing a side he hid from almost everyone else. “I need to know, what is the significance of the image? Please.” To him, it was as important and as significant as the banners on his wall, but Jasmine couldn’t help but feel disheartened. Was a stock fantasy image really so compelling to him?
“Significance?” Jasmine murmured, “It probably meant a lot to its original owner. I’ll do my best to translate its meaning.” She had to think back down to the basics, what cultural implications and subtle meanings did she get that the aliens wouldn’t? “Well, blue is a calming colour to us, the flower in the middle is a lotus or water lily, it represents peace and longevity-”
“And the light spilling forth? The birth of stars?” Nako interrupted, eager to confirm his assumptions.
“I... I think it’s just the artist's discretion,” Jasmine let him down gently. “The image isn’t of any great cultural significance, it’s just a beautiful scene. I guess whoever owned this iPad wanted to be calm and relaxed when they looked at it.”
Nako’s antennae drooped, his beak clicked as he peered in closer. “I see… so, this dataslate does not belong to you?”
“No. We – Humanity that is – like to personalise our dataslates. This one probably belonged to another girl, if I am to judge from just the pretty imagery and pink casing alone.”
“So I was at least right about it belonging to a maiden,” he chittered. “Is that your moon? What’s her name?”
“(Her name?)... Luna,” Jasmine replied when she remembered that the moon, did in fact, have a name.
“Luna,” The alien commander repeated, delighted. “What’s it like on her surface?”
“It’s barren, unfortunately; white dust, rocks, one flag. But it lights up the night just like in the picture.”
“You miss her, don’t you?”
“Your moon. I understand, you see. Our moon, Akira, is close to the Arvas people as well,” Nako assumed, putting eloquent words in the human’s mouth. “Legends say that Akira gave birth to the thousands of stars in the galaxy, and it is she who gave our people their callings (<Destiny>).” The extra translation echoed in Jasmine’s head, sending a shiver down her spine. “I wanted to ask you about the picture to see if there was such a legend for your people as well. Such tales can be more valuable than the most powerful of tools. A people who created such wonderful images must have an appreciation of passion and beauty, and would make a fine ally against the Rajava.”
He looked over to Jasmine expectantly, but the human did not flitter bashfully at the overt complement, her gaze was focused on the tablet, and a deep sadness flowed over his being. Hollow and bitter, like a cold drink had been thrown in his face.
“Maybe…” Jasmine replied softly.
“You do not think so?” The Lieutenant quired, prodding to see if the emotions ran deeper. “Your people have crafted fine weapons and tech, do they not have a warrior’s hunger?”
Jasmine had to laugh, but it was a painful, dark sound. “Just the opposite I'm afraid (<Sadness/Ashamed>)...” Her hands held the tablet tighter and she drew in a sharp breath. There was a flash of, something.
An echo of a scream.
But was it in anger or anguish? The Commander could not tell. Too quickly it was repressed. His curiosity could not be contained now, there were too many unanswered questions for him to let them go unasked.
“Then why does the complement hurt you so?”
Jasmine shook her head. “(Damn Translator…)” The internal voice was harsh, a low growl while the one that passed her lips remained civil. “I mean, I’m sorry. The news of what the Rajava do to planets and its inhabitants is still very fresh in my mind. The thought of anyone suffering the same torture as I did… ”
Her voice trembled and paused carefully with every thought out line. The alien maiden was trying desperately to contain a swarm of emotion.
“I can only imagine what dignities they took from you,” Nako sympathized.
“(That’s putting it lightly.)” Jasmine's hands gripped the tablet tighter as she explained to the Commander. “They tore me open and played with my organs. I felt the pain, I was nothing to them, just a warm body… A piece of meat. (<Revulsion, repulsion, abhorrence, repugnance, nausea, horror, aversion, abomination, distaste.>)”
It had been a long time since Nako had ever felt something akin to pure disgust. The intensity of emotion was almost too much, it was a wonder she did not stiff herself! Despite the suffocating sensation, however, a cold burning fire bided its fury within the small creature.
It was thrilling.

“You hate them, don’t you?”
Jasmine’s head snapped up, and while she opened her mouth to reply, her Freq was painfully clear on the matter. Nako raised his hand for her silence. “You don’t need to answer, the mere fact that you have survived an encounter with the Ravaja with your faculties intact is an attestation to humanity’s-”
Suddenly the door to Nako’s quarters slid open.
“Is everything under control sire?” Tifera tried to contain the urgency in her voice as she stood just outside her Commander's quarters. “We felt the distress from the-”
Nako was quick to wave off her concerns, another raised hand and flourish with the opposite. “Everything is under control, Captain,” he replied, returning to the more upstanding persona he took around crew members. “Miss Howe was recounting her ordeals with the Rajavan menace. As such, I will not be forcing her to do again otherwise.”
Out from behind the behemoth Tifera, Xant practically pushed his way forward and scrambled to Jasmine’s side, hands reaching out for her shoulder before tentatively grasping themselves.
“Jasmine, have your memories put you in distress?” He offered his mechanised hand in comfort, only then noticing hers were occupied with a strange looking dataslate.
“Remember when I said I wouldn’t be the same for quite a while? That’s what I meant,” Jasmine reminded him. “I hope my ‘Freq-bomb’ didn’t disturb the crew too much?”
Both Xant and Tifera stared at her through their suits, funny how some answers didn’t need a translator to be understood.
“It was certainly noticeable…” Xant tried to soften the blow. “But, there was no instances of injury.”
“Of course not!” Nako chuckled, “Need I remind you both that this is an active combat vessel? If my crew couldn’t handle a pulse like that, then they best be escorted off the REFINED.” Tifera’s ears stood up at the statement, but quickly shot back down with a look from Nako. “Miss Howe, I wish to thank you for your insight into these artifacts, they have been most enlightening.”
Jasmine frowned, confused. “Oh, that’s it?” she asked, “Don’t you want to see if there are other pictures like this on here?”
“More pictures?” Nako asked, surprised.
“Well yeah, this is just the lock screen. I’m sure whoever owned this has more pictures on here.”
She pressed a hidden button on the side of the device and the beautiful landscape shifted elegantly to another scene, from the moonlit sky to a white landscape, black trees and a torn banner planted in the snow. “I mean, I’ll do my best to try and unlock the password, but I think we’re screwed if it’s a number lock.”
The alien runes surfaced as though they were made of liquid. Jasmine stared past the picture, her voice cracking in a strange cackle.
“Miss Howe?” Nako asked, but he received no answer, the Commander then gave a stern look to Xant.
“Jasmine?” Xant prompted, looking over at the uniformed language. Jasmine tilted the tablet so he could get a better look, her mouth grinning wide from ear to ear with white blunt teeth.
“Humans,” she explained, “We personalize our dataslates, including locking them in case they get stolen. There are many different ways to secure tablets. One way is to have a question and password, and it just so happens that I know the answer to this question!” Xant looked to the screen and saw the strange runes, as she glided her finger underneath the small question.
“You know nothing…” She read out loud and rapidly tapped the little white box, an entire alphabet opened up before her and she typed the answer in with ease, “Jon Snow.”

All at once the screen changed again, but this time they were greeted not with a landscape but a human face. Dark, intense eyes stared back at them, a glorious mane of black, wind tossed hair spilled down his head and shoulders, body draped in a encompassing black cape while wielding a large steel broadsword. The imposing figure stood to one side of the screen, the master of his domain, defending the right side of the screen from the multiple brightly coloured squares on the other.
“Who is that?” Xant asked, studying the differences between the two humans.
“The King in the North (<Amused>),” Jasmine replied before remembering that these aliens took her word as gospel and didn’t want to put Mr. Harrington on an even unreasonably higher pedestal. “I mean, that’s who he portrays in fictional drama, he’s an actor. (An attractive actor, though...)”
Jasmine’s explanation was once again met with confusion,
“So this, actor, is influential enough to have his image present in a maiden's dataslate?” Nako asked.
“He’s a lead actor in the most popular fantasy drama on the planet. He’s influential enough to have met the actual Queen.” Jasmine shrugged, “Perks of being famous.”
“I see…” Nako replied not understanding in the slightest.
She tapped her finger over one of the coloured squares, opening a list of even more coloured squares.
“Let’s see who owned this tablet.”

The human enlarged the first picture and began swiping right, one by one. It was filled with unique human faces, all with different coloured skins and manes, painted with different colours on their eyes and lips. Unique body shapes dressed in an array of different and exaggerated outfits, consuming multitudes of equally distracting liquids. Those that weren’t filled with humans were that of untouched landscapes and beautiful construction. Xant was particularly interested in the lush greenery that seemed to stretch on forever, how did they manage such farming techniques without any visible equipment?
“It must belong to her.” Jasmine pointed out a recurring human. She had a slightly darker complexion to Jasmine, her mane was long and light, like faded strands of thread. The eyes that stared straight back were a vibrant green with flecks of gold, lips pouted a pale pink. “From the looks of it, her and her partner were on holiday, somewhere tropical, Southeast Asia maybe? Hard to pin down when almost all the photos are close up selfies.” The last photo in the collection was that of the mysterious platinum blond overlooking the thick jungle, miles away from the lights of whatever metropolis they started in. “(So they were out in the middle of nowhere, too.)”
She exited the program, and her finger hovered over the other colourful buttons, picking the music app and taking a deep breath at the sight of the song list.
“I-I never thought I’d get the chance to hear music again, another human voice or anything from home.”
She looked through the list, hoping to have something truly classic for the aliens to hear for their first taste of human music. She didn’t want to inflict Justin Bieber on them unless she absolutely had to.
“So it is a music recorder?” Xant deduced.
“More like an entertainment and research device.”
“Isn’t mixing research and entertainment counter productive?”
“...Yes.” The human answered, being rightly embarrassed by the contradiction. “Honestly, they can be whatever you want them to be, the programs aren't restricted like your dataslates are, everyone is completely personalised. Music tastes are just the same, whoever owned this dataslate has genres of music that I don’t, so choosing a song for you to hear is going to be very difficult.” She looked up at the crowd around her. “It might be easier to ask you what kind of music you like, it would narrow down my selection.”
Nako peered over at the dataslate, now filled with line after line of alien text, wondering why the human would think such a decision would be difficult. How many songs could there to choose from?
“I’m sure any song you pick will be fine.” Nako replied unhelpfully.
Jasmine let out a sigh, then a small chuckle. “Random dont fail me now!”


Xant had heard Jasmine sing many times before, always full of emotion and passion. But it truly could not have prepared him for the sound that serenaded its way from the dataslate’s speakers. Human songs held a rhythm all to themselves, sounds of deep drums and saccharine sucrose strings accompanied unknown harmonics, yet those tones only served to augment the main attraction.
Smooth, sweet voices melded together in a spine-shivering harmony, effortlessly weaving lyrics as though they were instruments themselves. The language chosen to carry the full weight of the melody seeped through the layers of music, drawing out not just a reaction from the human who understood them, but echoed out through her translator in waves as strong as an ocean current.

Well I've heard there was a secret chord
That David played and it pleased the Lord
But you don't really care for music, do you?
Well it goes like this: The fourth, the fifth, the minor fall and the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah
Hallelujah Hallelujah Hallelujah Hallelujah
Well your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew ya
She tied you to her kitchen chair
And she broke your throne and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah...

Tears fell down the human’s face as she wiped them away.
“Damn shuffle… I should have just picked a Rihanna song.”
“That… is human music?” Xant breathed in awe.
“Yeah, it certainly puts my terrible voice in perspective, huh?” Jasmine joked.
“And these songs,” Nako pointed to the dataslate, “Sound as this one does?”
“Nope, they’re all different,” Jasmine replied, “Different voices, different tempos, different emotions.” The cold fire burned low within her once again. “Humans have created millions and millions of songs, every one of them different. Most to be never heard again, and many more to never be written.”
Xant had felt this pulse before, but now it was only a drop of what it had been. The mourning for the loss of her people. Without Freq to truly convey emotions, the human brain had found other ways to broadcast emotion. It had become sensitive to sounds and touch. The dazzling music triggered something inside the human’s brain that only she could feel. Without the translator, Xant and the other GC residents would feel nothing but the vibrations of sound.
“We have other dataslates,” Nako stated, “dozens of them are just waiting to be unlocked. The Rajava may have taken you from your people, but I can help you recover what little of their voices remain.” He offered her his undivided attention, a hand outstretched beyond his cape toward her. “We can be on the return voyage to Branch within the [hour].”
Xant’s ears drooped, he could not hope to hold Jasmine on Ulessia with such an offer before her. Jasmine paused in thought, before replying in her most ambassadorial demeanor possible.
“It has been explained to me that the segregation of citizen and military personnel is absolute and very rarely do you mingle with one another. If that is the case then I humbly request that I finish my business on the research station before we depart.” She handed back the pink tablet to Nako, looking over at the doctor and smiled gently. “Xant has been promising me an upgraded Translator for days and, in return, I promised to finish the report for citizenship. So if another human is in my position, they can have the option of an ordinary life. I’d like to spend as much time as I can with the Esaander staff before I leave them, Sir Nako.”
Nako withdrew into himself, and stumbled over his reply. “That does sound...reasonable,” he admitted, before turning sharply towards Xant.
“Doctor, how long will it take to install the translator and complete your tests?”
Being put on the spot, Xant answered quickly, “It shouldn’t be more than [72 hours] Your Honour.”
“That is... acceptable,” Nako replied, mulling it over in his head. “It will give my crew time to secure you your own quarters, Miss Howe.”
“Thank you, Sir Nako,” Jasmine replied, taking a bow. “If you’ll excuse me, it has been many hours since I’ve eaten and I am missing my canine companions terribly.”
Nako nodded understandingly. “Then once you are refreshed, the Doctor could give us a tour of the facility, to see the other specimens obtained from Earth?”
Xant nodded meekly. “I shall let the Director know of the change in schedule.” Jasmine stood from her stool and waited for Xant.
“Captain,” Nako addressed Tifera, “Please escort Miss Howe and her company back to the station, I have some affairs to attend to.”
“Of course, Sire.” The Captain saluted before following after the errant guests.

The Commander looked down at the dataslate and all the other trinkets pulled from the bowels of the Rajavan ship. His legs shook as he walked over to his desk, the toll of the suddenly shifting Freq pulses had weathered his nerves more than he was willing to let on. He had been right to listen to his instinct; the treasures were frivolous, created by a species completely alien in thinking and understanding to anyone in either the Galactic Council space or the Arvas Imperium.
While it had been a mistake to auction off the other stasis pods, it was a mistake that he would be benefiting from greatly.

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I have read these storys from the very first one in new on HFY and i wanted to say that you are my favorite writer. I have gone back and reread all of transcripts at least 4 times now and am planning to buy your books as soon as im not broke and the next ones come out! Thank you for these treasures. They mean far more then you know.
I have read these storys from the very first one in new on HFY and i wanted to say that you are my favorite writer. I have gone back and reread all of transcripts at least 4 times now and am planning to buy your books as soon as im not broke and the next ones come out! Thank you for these treasures. They mean far more then you know.
I'm so sorry it's taken me so long to reply to such heartfelt words.
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, I may never know how much my words mean to you,
but its messages like this that keep me writing. <3 thank you for reading and enjoying my story.