Canopus Station
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What's Going On?

Posted on Sat Jun 5th, 2021 @ 4:11am by Lieutenant Commander Mara Ricci & Commander Calida

Mission: S0E0: What Came Before

Stephen Spires was acting very oddly.

Well, to be perfectly fair, he always acted oddly. But this was extra odd. And it was also why Mara was out wandering the medina with Ravioli. The presence of a lot of people cleared her mind and let her think.

And she didn't like where her thoughts were going.

She rounded a corner and spotted a very familiar pod not too far away. Though they had both been on the same posting for the past couple of years, she had only interacted with Commander Calida a couple of times and only casually at that. Still, it was a friendly face. Er... friendly carrier pod, as it were.

With a grin at her own odd thoughts, she stepped up to the pod. "Commander Calida," she greeted. "Good evening. What brings you out tonight?"

The vocalization of her name summoned Calida from her ephemeral eternality and brought her to Mara's space-time orientation. "I am calibrating the cybersecurity computer interfaces of this station to better repel ultradimensional space-time incursions from beyond the linear continuum in which the station was constructed." In other words, it was Mara herself who 'brought' Calida to that point in time. "I sense you are in search of social interaction."

"Suppose you could say that," agreed Mara with a grin. "Call it a human weakness. We like to chat. Good idea, by the way. Securing to the station like that."

"We are here," Calida said plainly. Though her vocalizer was largely monotone, the telepathic underpinnings of the statement were rather obvious. Why wouldn't she protect her location? "Why do you believe a compulsion to communicate is a human weakness? Many sentient lifeforms are nonverbal such as myself. Without my vocalizer, I would have to invade your mind in order to communicate with you. Corporeals are ubiquitously averse to such intimate exchanges of the mind."

“I can’t say I’ve ever experienced it, but I’ll take your word for it,” Mara replied with a grin. “As for the term ‘human weakness,’ I suppose it’s just something we say when other species comment on something we’re doing. I guess we embrace our weaknesses and like to brag? I don’t know.”

"Speaking without knowing is a common human trait," Calida observed. "It is indicative of the impulses which put the lie to free will. Causality is the underlying force of the universe that even the wise cannot fully perceive to all ends. It has brought you to me, compelled you with questions, yet I wonder if you have yet realized it."

Compelled with questions? Mara's brow wrinkled as she attempted to work out what questions she felt Calida could answer, but came up with nothing. She glanced to where she thought Ravioli would be before she remembered that she hadn't brought the dog this time. "I suppose I haven't," she answered sheepishly.

"Worry not," Calida said. "They will come to you in due time. Basic sentients often struggle to manifest their unconscious processes into the light of awareness where they may be acted upon." Amusement rolled off the Medusan's carrier pod like the ocean surf at high tide. "In due time, indeed."

"I suppose they will," she replied, her mind darting to Spires. "So what have you been up to lately? You know, aside from securing the station."

"You will have to be more specific," Calida said.

“Sorry,” replied Mara with a grin. “Um... I guess that means what have you been doing in your spare time? Anything interesting?”

"Time is what we make it," Calida said. "There is no spare time, only wasted potentiality."

Mara's head tilted to one side in throught. "That's an interesting way of looking at it. I like it, I think. But, what I meant by spare time is personal time. You know, time that is your own. When you're not on duty."

"My activities transcend corporeal notions of time and space," the Medusan said. "Is there something specific you wish to know?"

"Just making conversation," said Mara with a grin. Not that she understood half of what Calida said most of the time, but at least it wasn't boring. "Have you ever attempted human activities?" she asked out of pure curiosity.

"A better question is whether you have attempted amoebic activities," Calida replied. "The comparison is crude but not inaccurate. My interactions with humans are best performed while your kind are unconscious, where your mind is less tethered to physical corporeality and more open to unbound dimensions."

"Point taken," she said with a grin, and then a thought popped into her mind. "Maybe when Spires is sleeping, you could tell me if he's been cheating," she joked.

Calida made an odd trilling sound as if her vocalizer couldn't verbalize what she'd expressed telepathically. The ambient sense data that came off her was rather tawdry. "Why would he be cheating on you when he is sleeping? He seems to copulate best while awake."

"I meant if he has been cheating," Mara clarified. "You know, like has he been with someone else. I'm beginning to suspect he has. I totally expect it from him, to be perfectly honest. But, I'll need to make him miserable for a bit if he has."

"If?" Calida asked. "What is this 'if'? You come to me with conditional reasoning as if you do not truly know what you are aware of deep down. Stephen Spires has copulated with a female Orion just recently, in point of fact. You should trust your awareness even if it draws from beyond your senses. The husk of flesh you inhabit is a mere chrysalis for your species. You would do well not to be so dependent upon it for confirmation of data."

Mara’s face screwed up in a sort of irritated disappointment. “An Orion?” she repeated. “I can’t even really be angry about that. Nor would he feel guilty. I mean, I had a gay friend in the academy and I had to drag him away from some Orion girls once. If a gay man can’t resist, no man stands a chance. Especially Spires. No, there’s something else. But, I honestly can’t think of what would make him so on edge and nervous.”

"Perhaps it is the copious amount of copulation he has performed with this Orion female," Calida said.

"Maybe," replied Mara. "But, I doubt it. Spires has never felt guilty a day in his life. And I'm not arrogant enough to believe I could make that big a difference in him. And certainly not that quickly." She sighed. "Still, I could kick him out for a bit, anyway. If he's going to learn how to be human, I can't let him get away with it."

Calida's pod hummed with satisfaction. "And there it is. Causality. You knew something that you could not rationalize or quantify according to your corporeal constructs. Now it is actualized and you are positioned to act on it. You're welcome."

“Is that why I was looking for you?” Mara asked with a grin. “I still think there’s something else. But oh well. At least I can be rid of him.” She blinked, surprised. Where had that come from? Had she been looking for a reason to break it off with him? She didn’t think so, but who could be sure? “Anyway, thank you, Calida,” she said finally, a frown on her lips.

"Any time," Calida trilled through her vocalizer. "I mean that. My fifth-dimensional perspective is broader than your own, so time is less of a stream and more of a torus. Call upon me any time you wish. Or, if you wish, we can have deeper exchanges within your dream state."


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