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"The Refugees" is the story of a group of Refugees from another Universe attempting to survive in a universe that is strange, alien, and hostile to them.

RulesEdit

ParticipantsEdit

Aeoneonatrix (Administrater, Founder, Participant)

  • The Zocha Republic (The Refugees)

WormulWormulon Talk to me

  • Milky Way Cooperative

Chapter 1Edit

Escape from the Other UniverseEdit

Orzorn was frantic. His fleet had barely escaped his home planet. The short time it took to conquer it gave him a head start, but the Zsabboggo Dominion was gaining on them. He was lucky, luckier than most in this situation, he had a secret means of escape, something few knew that he knew about. It was an inter-universal portal. He knew not to where, but he knew that the Zsabboggo Dominion had no territory in the universe it led to, though he knew not why. All he had to do was get to the other side and make the portal explode. As he neared it, it was clear that the Zsabboggo Dominion was closing in on him. A Dominion ship hailed his vessel. Orzorn instructed to ignore them, but one of the crew members answered anyway.

Zerokok'lo - Why hello there, my future slaves. Do you think that you can escape us? There is, after all, no place to run to.

Orzorn ignored him. He stayed his course to the portal.

Zerokok'lo - You know, this is only going to bring you suffering. Perhaps if you surrender, you will only need to work in ship building, and not in the spice mines. Does that sound fair to you? It sounds fair to me.

Orzorn neared the portal. Zerokok'lo realized where he was headed. Zerokok'lo was concerned for a moment, but then remembered where that portal led to.

Zerokok'lo - Heh, so that's where you're headed. Well, you save us the effort of shooting you then. Don't worry, we won't bother to stop you, you're just saving us the hard work of killing you by going in there. You cannot survive in there.

This got Orzorn's attention. If they would be willing to let him go, it was likely that they were very certain that he could not live in that universe. Then again, Zerokok'lo could be lying. Orzorn decided to stay his course.

Zerokok'lo - Heh, it's your death I suppose.

Orzorn made it through the portal. Zerokok'lo transmitted one final message through it.

Zerokok'lo - Goodbye, Orzorn. You have stepped into a universe you know nothing about. Your death will stand as an example of the price one pays for foolishly defying us.

The portal blew up behind Orzorn, trapping him in the new universe. Orzorn wondered if Zerokok'lo had been telling the truth. Well, either way, there was no going back now. But still, he would keep on his toes.

Orzorn - Well, Grexa, we made it.

Grexa – Indeed, I do hope we can find some planet to colonize.

Orzorn - Right.

They went off in search.

On the Other SideEdit

A few hours after entering the new universe, Orzorn and Grexa discussed their survival strategy.

Orzorn - How much food do we have?

Grexa - Let's see... enough to last us about 2 months, depending on how it's rationed.

Orzorn - That much?

Grexa - Yes.

Orzorn - That's actually more than I had expected. How thinly can we spread it?

Grexa - If we go by the assumption that we will have a large supply of food by the end of this period, I can see 3 months.

Orzorn - That's giving everyone just enough to stave off starvation?

Grexa - To stave off death from starvation, yes.

Orzorn - I don't want to have us all in that poor of shape. Order them to try to make it last 2 and a half months, allocating more to those whose high function is more important.

Grexa - Are you sure? People will think that you're just giving yourself more food because you want more.

Orzorn - Starvation will harm by ability to think clearly, and that of the other commanders. Being publicly unpopular is a price I'm willing to pay. I need to be at my best in case something goes wrong. We know nothing about this universe, and have no idea what to expect.

Grexa - I suppose.

Orzorn - Now for labor?

Grexa - We have plenty, we've also stored more than enough reversed-matter for power.

Orzorn - Does that include medical professionals?

Grexa - No actually. Basic supplies are plentiful enough to last about a month, assuming nothing goes wrong, but there is only about one medical professional per ship.

Orzorn - I see. We'd better be ready to quarantine the sick on short notice.

Grexa - On it.

Orzorn - As for water?

Grexa - Same timeline as food.

Orzorn - I see, same policy then. Also, ensure that it is never wasted on bathing. We cannot afford to lose the drinking water.

Grexa - Alright.

Grexa - One more thing, what about laws?

Orzorn - Other than the obvious ones, like not murdering, the most important rules are "Don't steal food" and "Follow orders."

Grexa - Penalties?

Orzorn - Unless you're a child, death.

Grexa - For everything?

Orzorn - Except the most minor offenses, yes. Anything worth punishing is worth execution.

Grexa - Okay... Speaking of... death. How will we dispose of the dead?

Orzorn - Processed, added to food rations.

Grexa - What?

Orzorn - We'll save them for last, but if we do take months to find a habitable planet, or find out that this universe is such that we cannot leave our ships, we must use everything we have.

Grexa - Orzorn, you shouldn't let that Zsabboggo soldier get to you like--

Orzorn - On the contrary, judging by his willingness to allow us to leave here, and the fact that he seemed to consider destroying the portal a death sentence, I should let him got to me.

Grexa - Okay... I believe that that's all then?

Orzorn - Yes.

A PlanetEdit

A few hours later, Orzorn still sat in his command chair.

Grexa - Orzorn! They say they've found a habitable planet!

Orzorn - Already?

Grexa - Yes, should I set our course for it?

Orzorn - Yes, but stay well clear of it until I can launch a probe.

Grexa - Alright.

Grexa - I'm glad we were able to find one this soon. It may need minor terraforming, but we should be ale to settle there.

Orzorn - I hope so.

Zerokok'lo's statements still weighed on his mind.

After several more hours, they arrived.

Grexa - Hard to believe the luck of coming in this close to a habitable world, well, I guess it makes sense that Zsabboggo would build it or move it this close to one.

Orzorn - Uh huh.

Grexa - Is something on your mind? Why aren't you excited?

Orzorn - *To himself* It makes no sense, why would they allow us to enter another universe to live perfectly reasonably lives having escaped them? Even if they weren't spiteful they have everything to gain from preventing this... *Turns to Grexa* Park the ship as far away as possible while we can still launch the probe.

Grexa - Don't worry about it.

Orzorn - I'm afraid I must. Now, are we parked at a distance?

Grexa - Yes, shall I launch the probe?

Orzorn - Yes.

The Probe was launched.

Grexa spoke just as the results were coming in.

Grexa - You'll see, there's nothing to worry abo--

The probe exploded on contact with the atmosphere.

The explosion was absolutely enormous, if the planet has been habitable before, the crescent that remained was no longer so.

Grexa - Wha... but how...

Orzorn - That... that is not good.

Grexa - It happened as soon as the probe touched the atmosphere.

Orzorn - Indeed. I think I know what's going on here. I'm just glad I thought of this and avoided getting too close.

Grexa - Yeah... what will we do?

Orzorn - We cannot survive here, not on our own. If what I suspect is occurring is in fact the case, we will need help. All we can do is hope that this universe can support life at all, and that if it can, that this life exists, and is willing and able to help us.

Grexa - How likely do you think that is?

Orzorn - Hard to say. It's far from impossible though.

Grexa began to cry.

Orzorn - Don't worry, when have you ever known me to fail?

Grexa - Never.

Orzorn - Indeed. Never. Now, we need to find already-advanced civilizations, as advanced as possible, and as benevolent as possible.

Grexa - Okay.

First ContactEdit

After days of searching, Orzorn finally heard some good news about the search for life.

Grexa - We... We've found someone! We're getting radio signals!

Orzorn - Quick, try to get into range to signal one of their planets, but stay well clear of its atmosphere, and that of any moons it may have.

Grexa – We’re in range.

Orzorn - Hello, this is Orzorn of the Zocha Republic. We need your help but DO NOT TOUCH US!

An insectoid creature appears on their communicator screen and says "You have entered the territory of the Incorporated States of Shavz, judging by your appearance, you are friendly."

Orzorn - Thank you, I assure you, we mean to do you no harm. You are our first contact in this universe, and we seem to have a problem existing in it.

The insectoid does a barely noticeable smile with his mandibles, and says "Well, need not fret. You are fairly safe in this area."

Orzorn - I am glad to hear this, though I am surprised you are not at all shocked by our extra-universal origins.

The insectoid responds with "There are much weirder things around these parts. All things considered, you would be considered a minor anomaly, at least by our standards."

Orzorn - That is interesting. Now, we have a problem living here, do you think you can help us?

The insectoid presents his rather odd smile again and says "Sure, what do you need?"

Orzorn - Here's what we know, we escaped here from our universe because we were fleeing the wicked Zsabboggo Dominion's conquest of our empire. Rather than attempt to stop us from entering one of their extra-universal portals, one of their commanders told us it was a death sentence, and not only allowed us to escape to here, but actively trapped us here saying our deaths would make us an example to others who might defy them. When we eventually found a potentially habitable planet here, we launched a probe at it to see what it was like, and the probe exploded on contact with the atmosphere. The explosion was massive enough to destroy the planet. The probe had nothing that is usually explosive in it, though we do not know if this is also true of the atmosphere. Since then, we have been searching for a local life-form that might help us to live here. I have a strong suspicion as to what is going on, but I cannot safely test it. And if it is true, I will need the help of a massively advanced empire to live here much longer.

The insectoid on the screen has a slightly confused look, and says "Well, with the probe, that may just be because it was made to deal with the physics and stuff inside your universe, not this one. Also, what are your suspicions?"

Orzorn - I know not the technical terms that you use, so I may not be able to describe it to you. None-the-less I suspect I am not made of the same materials as you.

The insectoid says "Oh...err...if that's the case, you won't be able to survive on many planets in this universe. Tell me, what are you composed of?"

Orzorn - Well I do not know what you call it, or how you refer to many of the properties you use to describe it. I'll try to figure out how to describe it to you.

The insectoid nods.

Orzorn - First... am I correct in assuming that you too are made of discrete packets of material, which are composed of a large lump of particles in the middle, which is surrounded by smaller ones?

The insectoid nods and says "Yes."

Orzorn - Alright then... now... how are these packets structured?

The insectoid says "Well, the center is called a nucleus. There are three main particles that are around it. The smallest particle is called an electron. Electrons are negatively charged. Neutrons are neutrally charged, and Protons are positively charged."

The insectoid says "Well, the center is called a nucleus, which is composed of Protons, which are positively charged, and Neutrons are neutrally charged. The smallest particle is called an electron, which is negatively charged, and orbits the nucleus."

Orzorn - Alright then... tell me, is there any substance you know of that is... the opposite of this?

The insectoid says "That would be Anti-Matter. It reacts violently when it comes in contact with regular matter."

Orzorn - Violently... as in suddenly converting into energy?

Insectoid - Yes, and this annihilates both the anti-matter and matter that met.

Orzorn - In see... Yes, you are confirming my suspicions... I believe that we are made of the substance you are calling anti-matter.

The insectoid's face fills with sadness and says "Oh....Well...I'm really sorry for you then..."

The insectoid continues with "I don't know how to help you."

Orzorn - I see... do you know anyone who might? Someone who is reasonably nearby? Close enough to travel to them within a short period of time? Less than 80 or so rotations of that planet you are on?

The insectoid thinks for a minute and then says "Well, there is an empire called the Draconid Imperium, they may be able to help you. They are much better when it comes to technology then us. Their territory should be a few rotations from here."

Orzorn - I see. Thank you, can you tell us which direction to go in?

The insectoid says "Sure, I'll send you the coordinates."

Orzorn - Thank you.

The cords are sent digitally, and appear on Orzorn's communicator.

Orzorn - Thank you, we'll head there right away.

The Draconid ImperiumEdit

After a trip lasting a few days, the group arrives at the system they had been directed to. Orzorn makes contact while staying well clear of the atmosphere.

Orzorn - Hello, this is Orzorn of the Zocha Republic. We are looking for the Draconid Imperium. We were told you could help us with a problem we were having. By the way DO NOT TOUCH US

Detecting the ship's approach, the planet's STC contacted them.

STC - This is Vorthara space-traffic-control. What is your predicament?

Orzorn - We're made of anti-matter.

STC - We can see that. I was asking what is the problem you are experiencing.

Orzorn - We came to this universe trying to escape conquest by another empire called the Zsabboggo Dominion. They deliberately trapped us here. We only have limited supplies, and cannot touch, let alone eat or drink, anything we find here. We can create some of your matter, we use it as a power source, but we cannot make water molecules, let alone food out of it.

STC - I see. And supplies are low?

Orzorn - Yes, we only have enough food left for about 2 months.

STC - Hmm. The Imperium does not widely distribute reverse-matter foodstuffs. We might be able to convert soem over the course of a few days, but it won't be easy.

Orzorn - We could try to make it worth your time, perhaps your scientists might find us interesting?

STC - Well... reverse-matterl ife is a rarity...

Orzorn - There's not much we'd have anything to lose by telling you.

STC - I shall contact the royal academy in order to sort things out in due time.

Orzorn - Thank you... By the way, can you travel between universes? As nice as it is to have a steady supply of food, we'd like to be able to find another universe made of our matter to live in.

STC - So far not that I am aware of. Perhaps you may be able to find a culture with such technology in the Milky Way Cooperative.

Orzorn - The Milky Way Cooperative? Can you direct us to them?

STC - We shall send you coordinates now.

Orzorn - Thank you. Do you want us to wait for you to replenish our food supplies so that your scientists can talk to us? We could perhaps leave some with you, while the rest go to the Milky Way Cooperative.

STC - We will protect your ship for the time being, if you are open to staying in orbit.

Orzorn - Alright. That sounds okay.

The CivilizationEdit

A few weeks later, Orzorn's fleet headed towards the coordinates the Draconid Imperium had given them, to a planet belonging to the Milky Way Cooperative. Orzorn got within range of the planet, but still stayed clear of its atmosphere. He attempted to contact the planet. The planet appeared to be accommodating several dozen alien sentients, and was bathed in computronium networks.

Orzorn - Hello, can anyone here me? This is Orzorn of the Zocha Republic, we have come seeking your assistance, we are willing to offer you compensation of a sort but DO NOT TOUCH US!

Comm Administrator - We can hear you, we can also detect gamma radiation being emitted your hull.

Orzorn - That may be due to our composition. We are made of what people here have called Reversed-matter or Antimatter.

Comm Administrator - Okay, I advise you move out into deeper space and communicate there.

Space traffic control speaks to the defense grid - It is not possible they are made of antimatter. It could be a weapon of some kind. However they are keeping their distance.

Orzorn - Well we need to be close enough to speak with you. I'm already a ways away and do not want this conversation to take years, as our food supply will have run out by then.

Comm Administrator - Where do you hail from? What coordinates?

Orzorn - We are from another universe. We came here fleeing an imperialist power called the Zsabboggo Dominion. In our universe, everything is made out anti-matter.

Comm Administrator - Where is the coordinates to the point of entry?

Orzorn - It was a portal, and they destroyed it to trap us here, because they thought it was impossible to survive here. Our deaths would be an example to others who may defy them.

Comm Administrator - There are spatial distortions in that region. We never knew they were transversable. It appears the only way you can restock would be to synthesize your own quarks and leptons.

Orzorn - Can you? Can you make things like water and complex proteins out of our matter?

Comm Administrator - This is no easy undertaking. In our native universe’s, the quarks and leptons, and eventual elements were already crafted on grand scales by the engines of gravity and kinetic energy. Luckily we can. The Quantum Replicator.

Orzorn - A replicator? But how will you get it onto our ship?

Comm Administrator - The DCP also has the ability to invert matter using chiral-reverse wormholes in hyperspace, but they do not share much technology. The Quantum Replicator possesses universality. It can construct all physical objects. The only limit however is our knowledge; objects we do not know of cannot be constructed, obviously. So the device has limitations.

Orzorn - I see, but can you use it to mass produce water and proteins made of our matter?

Comm Administrator - We can craft a version suited for your side of chirality and then shield it for transporting aboard your vessel. It will require a hefty power source, one that I cannot give you unless it is shared.

Orzorn - What do you mean by shared?

Comm Administrator - It will produce anything desired. However, this is a Cooperative. If you join us, we can share maybe a star which can be harnessed as a power source.

Orzorn - Join you? What does that mean?

Comm Administrator - The Milky Way Cooperative is a bit like an alliance, although members share knowledge and technology. We can't just give you this technology and let you go; otherwise we don't know what it could be used for.

Orzorn - I see, and what would joining you entail?

Comm Administrator - In order to use quantum replicators, you'll need huge powersources. Very few civilisations have the level required, but none are likely to share it and let you keep sovereignty.

Orzorn - I see... Well, the Zocha Republic is enslaved by this point, almost certainly, so we may as well become part of another Empire.

Comm Administrator - Joining us would grant you the resources you need, and space. We are not a political organisation, so we will not push limits or anything.

Orzorn - I have no choice then.

Comm Administrator - There is the possibility of the Andromedan Galactic Commonwealth, however, it is in a galaxy as of now, in political turmoil.

Orzorn - I cannot travel between galaxies in these ships, and there is no point in retaining sovereignty anyway.

Comm Administrator - Here however, you'll be in control your of own government.

Orzorn - What do you mean?

Comm Administrator - That you will not be ruled by another society.

Orzorn - I see... That would be useful to me now that I think of it... So you will be able to sustain us indefinitely on this deal?

Comm Administrator - Yes, we could link up the quantum replicators to be powered by a star, or from a hypermatter reactor at least, as well as giving enough energy to shield space habitats and megastructures for your people to live in, crafted as well from inverted matter.

Orzorn - Wait... we could have planets?

Comm Administrator - You and the Milky Way Cooperative could study methods of perhaps even converting you to matter, although I am no physicist. Unfortunately we cannot build true planets yet, and that might take a long time. We can however build megastructures that are far more efficient than planets.

Orzorn - Big enough to live on like planets though?

Comm Administrator - Indeed. Consider a Dyson Swarm, or a world ring, or even shell worlds. Something some groups of people are doing is uploading their minds into great computing networks. We could make an antimatter version.

Orzorn - Those are all great options, thank you... for all of this.

Comm Administrator - No problem.

Orzorn - Well then, where should we park our ships while we wait?

Comm Administrator - My government has contacted an EI in the AI Netspace, which is able to build the apropriate shielding and quantum replicators. It will also give you the know-how on how to build your megastructures. My science advisor tells me to park your ships as deep in space as possible. Maintain shields as high as possible, even the Interstellar Medium may represent a threat.

Orzorn - Alright then, we'll stay in interstellar space, can you come out to contact us when you have built the replicator?

Comm Administrator - Yes, we'll track your position using subspace.

Orzorn - Alright, should we go now then?

Comm Administrator - Yes.

Orzorn - Alright.

Chapter 2Edit

A MurderEdit

Grynzia was going back to her quarters after her meal, although she was used to large banquets before this, she was finding it hard to adjust to the controlled portions that they had to have because of their arrival in this new universe.

Little did she know that she was being followed.

She went into her quarters. A few minutes later, after lights out, she received a knock on the door.

Grynzia - Who’s there?

???? - It's urgent! You need to open the door!

She opens it, ready to help a stranger. The stranger immediately forced her away from the door and closes it after entering the room.

Grynzia - Who are you?

???? - That's for me to know, and you not to live to find out!

The man got some rope out of a blue bag he was carrying. He tied her up, and gagged her. She struggled, but was no match for him. He set her tied-up form on the bed as she grunted. Next, he got 11 jars of varying sizes out of the same blue bag, and placed them on either side of her bed. Next, he slashed her left wrist, and began guiding the blood into the jars. He did this with both wrists, until all of the jars were full. She had bled to death by this point. He exited the room, and quickly returned to his quarters, leaving the jars and rope, but not the bag behind.

Orzorn Learns of the MurderEdit

The next morning Orzorn got up out of bed. He immediately made his bed up, careful to ensure it was just so. After that he dressed. He was having some trouble coping with the lack of showers. This was less out of Cleanliness, and more out of his discomfort with the deviation from the daily routine he had had before.

He got onto the bridge of his ship. Almost instantly, he received a message.

Thaddar - Sir, this is Thaddar, chief of police.

Orzorn - Hello, what is it?

Thaddar - There has been a murder.

Orzorn - What?

Thaddar - Yes, and it gets worse. The MO seems to be that of the Blood Letter.

Orzorn paused for a moment.

Grexa - What?

Orzorn - He... How...

Thaddar - It's exactly like it always had been in those cases. The victim has been bound and had their blood placed into jars, bleeding them to death in the process.

Orzorn - May I see?

Thaddar - We can put the scene of the crime onscreen for you.

Orzorn - Please do.

The Image appears onscreen.

Orzorn - ... Tell me, have you considered the possibility of a copycat?

Thaddar - Yes, we've figured it's unlikely that the blood letter would just happen to--

Orzorn - No, I mean do you notice the violations of the blood letter's MO?

Thaddar - Well I wasn't on that case so--

Orzorn - The original letter was insanely meticulous. He always used 12 identical jars, this one uses 11, and they vary in size shape and color.

Thaddar - That's true... How did you notice that?

Orzorn - I studied the case... for Grexa's sake. Her father was killed by the letter.

Grexa was in the corner, having been unable to speak all of this time.

Orzorn - Do we have any idea who may have done this?

Thaddar - No. We have no suspect.

Grexa - Then it could be anybody...

Orzorn - Contact me if there is any news. *Turns off transmitter.*

Orzorn - It's okay Grexa.

Grexa - He could be anyone… I can't trust anyone.

Orzorn - There there Grexa. You can trust me can't you?

Grexa - I guess...

Orzorn - We'll catch him, it'll be okay.

Grexa - Alright...

Grexa got back to work. As did Orzorn.

The Civilisation ConsultedEdit

Orzorn returns to the Milky Way Cooperative system and sends a message.

Diplomat – Greetings.

Orzorn - Hello, Milky Way Cooperative, a major problem has come up.

Diplomat - What is the problem?

Orzorn - There seems to be a serial killer on board one of our ships.

Diplomat - I see. Do your ships have teleportation or runabout hangar bays? I would suggest containing the ship.

Orzorn - Yes we do, and we have already done that. Is there no further help you can offer? Merely being in contact with a talented detective would be of great assistance.

Diplomat - We recognized that your fleet may be deficient on such services. Crime in Cooperative is often dealt by an AI using utility fog within the habitation structures, but we may be able to dig around for an Adventurer. Ah, here is one now.

A being; almost holographic, solidifies emerges out of utility fog.

Adventurer - I am Ruro.

Orzorn - Hello, Ruro. I am curious, can that Utility fog be adjusted to make it possible for you to enter my ship?

Ruro - That poses an interesting question. I was once an organic being. Now I have been slowly replaced cell by cell with robotic neurons which are of course based on our side of chirality.

Orzorn - Of course.

Ruro - The replicator of course could build another me. But it would be a fast upload, which would make a copy, a new person, who will forever split.

Orzorn - I hope that this is not offensive, but that is acceptable. Perhaps we could employ both you and such a copy?

Ruro - *Thinks deeply*. In a way, I have already gone through killing my flesh to transevolve. Okay, I shall upload a copy of me. Though he may develop into a separate personality over time.

Orzorn - Okay.

Diplomat - An Engineer tells me that even with the full computing power of this world, to replicate an object as complex as an organism it will take the full part of a week.

Orzorn - Alright, that is far better than nothing.

Diplomat - In that time, let no word of this plan leave your command room.

Orzorn - Alright. May I ask why?

Diplomat - Unlike a machine, which is built to be simple, in order to build a copy of a sentient being up from the quantum level down to his personality traits and consciousness, is pushing it. We could try to teleport a copy, but then we would need reverse chirality and build a copy from the other side of the hyperspace wormhole, which would be more error-prone.

Orzorn - No, I mean why are we keeping it secret?

Diplomat - Ah, well, this murderer may be clever.

Orzorn - Well I'm not sure what he'd do about it, but okay. You are probably in a better position to know. Well then, I don't think there is anything further to discuss?

Ruro - How about a copy of mine is created on a structure with more computing power?

Orzorn - Alright, that would be acceptable. What would we have to do?

Diplomat - I do not want to move your ships, due to the current resource situation before the new replicators arrive. However, if you are willing to take the risk, there is a megastructure 1000 LY from here.

Ruro - That is not a problem, my copy can be created and transported back. It would only take hours if we can gain he AI's acceptance to fashion the copy.

Orzorn - Alright, do you need me to be here?

Ruro - I shall be off. You may come if you want to help, we could transport you in an Amat containment module

Orzorn - Actually, if I am not required, I would prefer to maintain order on my ships.

Ruro - Fair enough.

The utility fog assembles into an FTL drive, which Ruro enters. The drive was a skeleton of a spacecraft with no requirements for life support.

Orzorn - Should I return to interstellar space?

Diplomat - Yes.

Orzorn returned to interstellar space with the rest of his ships.

The Ruro Copy ArrivesEdit

Milky Way Cooperative - We are announcing that Ruro's copy is ready to be transferred in an antimatter containment field He will teleported outside the vessel in a spacesuit as a safety precaution. Is there some kind of airlock on your vessel?

Orzorn - Yes, there is, but opening it and letting you in would require we turn off the shields, at least in that area. Would the inter-stellar medium post a problem?

Milky Way Cooperative - For a short time, it should be unnoticed.

Orzorn - Alright.

Orzorn orders for the airlock to be opened.

Ruro enters the designated airlock. He makes his way to the police headquarters, not wanting to make a scene by acting as a casual member of the public.

In the headquarters, Thaddor is waiting.

Ruro - Greetings. *puts out his hand*

Thaddor - Greetings... why is your hand out like that?

Ruro - Ah, apologies. I was once a flesh and blood human, it is our form of greeting acquaintances.

Thaddor - Alright then. *Puts hand out in similar fashion, then retracts it.* Now, let's get down to business.

Ruro - So... Have you found any leads on the identity of the killer since I was being copied over?

Thaddor - We've observed his behavior, and discerned that he is somehow moving between the ships, as he has taken victims on different ones, bu there is some limit to his locomotion, as the ships containing his victims have all been relatively close together.

Ruro - I guess you probably checked the logs for the use of shuttles and found no matching correlations?

Thaddor - Yes. He must have some way of using the shuttles without authorization, which should be impossible. Either that or there's another way he's moving.

Ruro - That would suggest some kind of an ability to teleport through nearby ships, or maybe communication between helpers. Was teleportation readily available in your universe?

Thaddor - The former is not very likely, as most of us follow a certain religious structure that discourages teleportation. We believe that when we are destroyed and replicated elsewhere, that is exactly what takes place, the first person is dead and a new one has been created. As for the idea of collaborators, it is possible, but how would they communicate without us noticing?

Ruro - Maybe the killer is not a member of your species, but is pretending to be one of you (this might involve just genetic sampling). As for the communication problem, they could be using some other form of FTL communication.

Thaddor - Well, who else if not a member of our species? He is imitating a well-known serial killer from our planet. And where would he get another way of communicating?

Ruro - I see. Were you in contact with other species in your native universe? I am not aware of your technological capabilities. But subspace communication can be encrypted on bandwidths larger than the physical universe. Even standard electronic messaging could be encrypted using quantum mechanics. You would only see fragments, it would like the radiation you might be receiving from interaction with the interstellar medium.

Thaddor - Yes, several. We were part of the international community of an area similar to what you records are calling the "Katar sector." As for subspace anything, not likely. I believe we are about Tier 4.5 by your scale.

Ruro - In that case I'll have the quantum replicators the Milky Way Cooperative will be installing set up to create detectors that can differentiate fragmentary data from background noise.

Thaddor - That would be helpful if we could detect any means of communication.

Ruro - I do not know. I expect this ship is fully populated. Maybe I could arrange to stay in a vessel outside your ship?

Thaddor - What vessel?

Ruro - The Milky Way Cooperative should be able to replicate one for me.

Thaddor - Okay then.

Ruro - In fact, I may not need accommodation.

Ruro turns into utility fog.

The PlanEdit

The next morning, Thaddor entered his office.

Thaddor - Ruro, you there?

Ruro solidifies into the room

Ruro - Hello, do not be alarmed by this apparition, I am after all, artificial.

Thaddor - Well... alright then. Another killing has happened, but I think I've got a plan.

Ruro - Okay then, what is it?

Thaddor - Well, I believe the most important steps are to figure out how he is moving around. We've already used his kill range to calculate that he is probably in passenger carrier 194, but he's able to kill in other ships. We simply have to restrict his methods for a few days one at a time and see what makes him suddenly only kill on one ship, or stop killing at all.

Ruro - I guess you need to lock-down the shuttles

Thaddor - Yes that is step one. The trick is that he not know that we are looking for him, so we need another excuse to explain to the public why the shuttles are down.

Ruro - Perhaps say that the Shuttles do not have adequate shielding against the Interstellar Medium?

Thaddor - It's a little too late for that... perhaps we make it look like there was an error and thus shut them down for an inspection?

Ruro - Something low-key like that would be a good idea. If we get people talking, suspicion will rise.

Thaddor - I see. Well then, I can give the order right now. I'll contact Orzorn. You may transform back into your fancy fog if you want.

Ruro - At least it means more living space.

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