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Waiting for the Avadora's new pilot is an email from the ship's engineer, Theadora Nasica. The contents are relatively direct;
I am glad to hear that Casmus found a new pilot. The old one kept handling this ship like a beast of burden. Do be careful with the Avadora, I am in the process of correcting the balance on her eezo drive core right now. Around 03:00 tomorrow I will be taking the port injector down for replacement.
Once that is complete, the balance should be corrected and the available power will be increased. With that in mind, I recommend you take it easy as you begin to get a feel for this bird.
Also, please do not hurt her or interfere with the shipboard VI. I am the engineer responsible for her. I understand you are unlikely to be particularly familiar with Milky Way technology, in which case I suggest you ask me via email here if there is anything that needs changing.
P.S. Do not touch the crate of beans marked S0354 stored in the galley locker. It is locked, but if you were to get to it; those are dextro based and would likely cause severe stomach pain or even bleeding."
How this Theadora knew about the new pilot, much less the information on him is at least a small mystery. Nevertheless, she is being proactive in introducing herself.
PERMALINK // POSTED Jan 12 2018, 10:14 PM
Paavan read through the e-mail a couple of times. He thought it curious that the engineer referred to him by his family name; he was accustomed to speaking with everyone on a first name basis. Then again, these strangers had appeared from across the intergalactic void as if by magic. Even now, he couldn't believe some of their technology.
This ship, for instance. It was really something else. Paavan had only had experience piloting smaller supply shuttles and troop transports across the various angaran worlds. This was an entirely different creature. It would no doubt handle differently from anything he had yet piloted, and doubly so, it being from an entirely different galaxy. Nonetheless, he was eager to take on the challenge, despite his (expected) nervousness. A born traveller, he signed on to a piloting apprenticeship on Aya so that he could see other worlds and meet lots of new faces. However, he never imagined he would see outsiders, and so many of them, too. Signing on this ship and crew was the first of several tentative steps his people were taking to reach out to these aliens. Perhaps, he mused, they would eventually aid the angara in the fight against the kett.
With that, he signed off of the e-mail terminal and exited his quarters, proceeding to the bridge for his orientation.
PERMALINK // POSTED Jan 12 2018, 10:41 PM
Upon reaching the bridge, the shipboard VI popped up with a chirpily happy voice in Shelesh.
"Welcome to the bridge, Paavan Esri! I am the ship's onboard virtual intelligence! I am responsible for maintaining systems and operating automatic features. I have also been programmed to provide an orientation to Milky Way vessels. Please feel free to adjust your seat as necessary. Control is managed through an adaptive haptic interface. You will require interface gloves to operate it; please do not utilize your natural bioelectrics. It could cause harm.
A series of tutorials have been prepared for you by this vessel's engineer, to ease you into operating and managing a craft such as this."
The VI's representation -- a transparent sphere floating in the air -- waits patiently for any further queries or replies.
PERMALINK // POSTED Jan 12 2018, 10:47 PM
Paavan was slightly startled by the disembodied voice addressing him, and also surprised (and impressed) that it was speaking to him in the angaran lingua franca. Nonetheless, he was glad that the voice prompted him to put on the special gloves issued to him, as he reached into one of the pockets of his jacket to retrieve them. They felt a bit awkward, he thought, as he flexed his fingers inside of them. Perhaps they just needed a bit of breaking in.
Somewhat hesitantly, Paavan responded, "Er... thank you?" It was hard to shake the feeling that he wasn't talking to himself at this point. Despite his hesitation, the seat seemed to beckon to him, and he sat down in it. Nervous but ready, Paavan requested, "Give me the full orientation, please."
PERMALINK // POSTED Jan 13 2018, 01:45 AM
In its too happy by half voice, the VI proceeds with the orientation. Whoever programmed this feature did a fairly good job; though within the first sentence or two its tone could start to become grating. Regardless, all of the major flight controls as well as the shutter controls and discussed. It then proceeds through navigation controls, its autopilot features, and auxiliary controls such as life support.
Once completed, the VI asks in its happy-chirpy Shelesh;
"Are there any queries for this virtual intelligence? Perhaps a list of specifications and features for this model ship?
While on board, please note that the majority of the crew is requires dextro food. As such, levo rations have been restricted to storage unit two in the port mess. Any utensils, cookware, or other items utilized in preparation should be thoroughly sanitized to avoid chiral contamination.
Thank you for using the shipboard VI on this seh'teht model freighter, built in 2163 by the Maezui Combine. Have a pleasant day!"
PERMALINK // POSTED Jan 13 2018, 02:09 AM
"Quite a lot to take in", Paavan said. Upon closer examination, some of the controls did indeed have analogues to those found on angaran ships. Others were completely different; he would need to ask the engineer, whom he still had yet to meet formally. "I do have a couple of questions, actually", he added. "What are the specifications of the engine core? Top speed, cruising speed?"
As he listened to what the voice had to say (in an overly cheery tone, incidentally), Paavan worked to familiarize himself with the flight controls and to get a feel for how the craft handled. He wasn't piloting a shuttle, that was for certain. Determining and getting used to the particular sensitivity of the controls and the manoeuvrability of the ship were paramount to comfortable flight, and he took the time to analyze each control separately, as well as in concert with the others.
There was just one thing missing: an itinerary. A pilot with no flight plan was like a head without a brain. "Has a plan for our next destination been filed, or am I awaiting orders?", Paavan inquired. He steeled his resolve, preparing for the struggles ahead, but at the same time feeling proud that he had gotten this far.
PERMALINK // POSTED Jan 13 2018, 03:30 AM