Canopus Station
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A Pit Of Kind Vipers

Posted on Wed Dec 15th, 2021 @ 1:26pm by Viscount Vittels & Lieutenant Commander Amie Cerys

Mission: S2:3: Snow Drift
Location: City of Brass, Casstualli Inteligence Service
Timeline: MD-8

The trip from Canopus Station to the City of Brass was almost worth going through the near-death experience of a bombing attempt on a Commodores life the night before. The shuttle carrying Amie to meet with the Casstualli descended through the red and white striped clouds of Tangerine Dream, the gas giant Carpathia and the station orbited. And then, between descending between continent-sized clouds, there just happened to be a massive structure floating in the sky.

Rings within rings, counter-rotating around each other like a mad man's orrery picked out in precious stones and metals. Only as the shuttle got closer did these bands of emerald and sapphire turn into tracts of forests and rivers, vast wildlands and coppery deserts. Each ring could contain hundreds of thousands of square miles of living space, more perhaps. And there were two other constructs just like this one, the Cities of Steel & Glass, floating in the clouds along with this one.

The shuttle came to a landing along the waterfront of a township abutting one of the rivers. A trio of Casstualli, one of whom was the diplomat Vicount Vittles, stood watching her shuttle as it settled down.

The ride had been fairly quiet, and calm. Compared to the last time she had to do a mission that involved flying, Amie would take it. However, the view out the windows of the shuttle caught her attention. "Woah," is all she could whisper to herself as she looked at the area they were flying into.

However, once they landed, she knew she had to be professional, though it truly was amazing. When the shuttle pilot nodded that the door could be opened, she let out a soft sigh and pressed the button to do so, providing a smile to those awaiting her.

"Welcome Commander Cerys," Viscount Vittels said, gesturing to the two other Casstualli beside him. "Our Chief Analyst Varrax of the CIS, and Captian Eacles of the Royal Gaurd."

"A pleasure to meet you," Varrax said, slithering forward and extending a forelimb in the human fashion. His scales were a iridescent blue interlaced with gold and red braiding. The tunic he wore was altogether dull and grey by comparison. "It will be a novelty to discuss what we both have discovered about Messier 4. We have had to be more circumspect in our collections, relying on very few returning from travels with the Myriad, as well as passive signal intelligence."

Nodding politely to Vittels, Amie accepted the forelimb as a handshake and extended her hand in return. "A pleasure to meet you as well." She pulled her hand back after a moment. "Sounds like we do have a lot of information to compare. You've only had a few return from travels...I'm so sorry."

"Every single member of our species chosen by the Myriad to travel with them knows the odds of returning are not favourable. The fickle whims of the Myriads, not to mention stasis and fate...still," Varrax said and gestured into one of the low buildings along the riverside dock. "I doubt a single one would second guess their choice to take to the stars. We've learned a great deal about the Myriad, and their territory from just those few who did return. We know the Myriads enemies, their points of concentration, and their weaknesses. Though your people did seem to have that part under control."

"Yes, these Silver Bullet subspace weapons your lizard built," Eacles said with a dismissive hiss. Eacles was clearly referring to the chief engineer of the Traveller,, Commander Shadi "A crude blunt force weapon, but fantastically effective all the same."

Raising an eyebrow slightly, Amie didn't react any further to Eacles. "I do assume you have quite a bit of information for me then?"

"Something like that," Varrax said with a low, hissing chuckle. Walking and slithering into the low building, they passed through a short corridor before coming out on what appeared to be a balcony of sorts. The low ceiling of the building could be seen, but the floor recced into a cavernous pit lined with pillar after pillar of shelving. Other Caustalli in the same tunic as Varrax could be seen, coiling around pillars to remove or place an item back on the shelf.

"Welcome to the CIS Archives," Varrax said as the balcony began to slide down the wall, taking them to the floor far below. "Five centuries of carefully curated and codified information gathered from passive and active intelligence work."

"This is...amazing," Amie said quietly as they moved down to the floor below. "I've seen other archives, but not quite like this. You said five centuries? That is quite a history to have within these walls."

"Five centuries of hiding in the clouds whilst a token civilisation lived out the Myriad fantasy of controlled subservience. We were lucky to be forewarned of their pending arrival, and to that end we retained not only our advanced technology but the population base to improve upon it," Varrax said. The elevator came to a halt, and the railing slid down to allow them to walk the archives.

Some of the pillar's contained racks tightly bound tubular boxes, like scroll cases seen at the Federation history exhibit.

"So where would you like to begin? The Myriad's known vassal races? Theories on their technology? Locations of crashed and inactive Myriad vessels? I've steeped myself in this archive my entire life, but for you it is no doubt daunting. A single thread might be all you need to find your path here," Varrax said.

Eyes scanning the room as she listened to some of the options she was given. "Where to start is a good question. And daunting is an understatement. But, I think that starting with the locations might be best, and work from there."

"Indeed," Varrax said. They came to a clearing amid the pillared storage units. A circular table took up the clearing, and the Castualli slithered up to it, and began to make gestures over its surface. The middle surface of the table rippled, its brassy materially forming trembling spikes before motes of metal began to drift up from it like backwards rain. In moments a perfect star map of Messier 4 appeared in the air, a cloud of brassy metal spheres. Some were the size of sand grains, whereas others were as large as marbles.

One marlbe near the edge of Messier 4 nearest the two intelligence agents glowed with a faint blue radiance.

"Carpathia," Varrax explained. He made a few more gestures over the table's surface, and four metal marbles appeared across the display. One at the northern appearing pole of the sphere, and the three other's scattered across the far side. "And the four known locations we have for downed Myriad vessels. Our data is collected over a period of three hundred years, and in the cases of the distant three is rumoured. The one we have the most information on is this one..."

The rain of metal fell back into the table quietly, leaving only the single point of interest hovering in the air. Is expanded out like a geometric puzzle, unfolding into a delicate orrery of brass wires.

"Perambula," Varrax said. "It's the name of the system to the Myriad. The intelligence we have is Permbula is one o the few worlds to rise up against Myriad control. And unlike the Reka who suffered degradation before subjugation, the Permabulans brought about the full wrath of the Myriad. The Myriad tore the Whisper Gate from the star, resulting in a coronal mass ejection that sterilised the planet. And somehow in that event, a Myriad ship was left behind. It crashed on the remains of Perambula. And we only know that because the Myriad seems fearful of returning."

Watching the display carefully while listening to Varrax, Amie wasn't sure she could really believe what she was hearing. "So...the Myriad won't return there, even though they have a crashed ship? And the Permabulans did...that?"

"No. The Permabulans are all dead. They revolted against Myriad rule, and in exchange, the Myriad removed the Whisper Gate from their star. In doing so they damaged the star," Varrax said. The orrery shifted and the central sphere of the sun grew to the size of a beach ball. But instead of a perfect sphere, it was deformed, pitted. Flares of brass rose and fell into the deep pits of churning plasma that riddled the star's body like a pox.

"Whatever caused a Myriad to crash on that scar of a planet, under this poxed star, is unknown to us. But maybe now that we have access to the stars, to move freely and to allies to watch our backs...who knows?" Varrax said.

"The Whisper Gate must have had more of an impact on the star when it was first put in than was realized, especially if it caused that much of a mess when removed." Amie looked over the information in front of her. "I understand the why behind removing it but...the fact that it caused this? Honestly, anything could have caused the Myriad to crash, some of this needs more of a scientists eyes than min...maybe..." She got lost in thought as she tried to let her Starfleet science training from the Academy kick in.

"Well, now that we have the option of going there..." Varrax said with a grin. "I've never travelled further than another city, it would be nice to blaze a new trail for my people."

Amie gave a small smile. "You have seen all these things here, but have never tried to go see them yourself? Feel up for an adventure?"

"Well given the fact that revealing we had star flight capabilities would have led to the slaughter of my entire race, I held myself in check," Varrax chuckled. "But I think I am due an adventure, get some of this 'field work' I hear so much about under my belt."

"Then let's do just that. Time to plan out this 'field work' I think."


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