---2686 Terran Calenda27 years BF---
I watch the British woman of FrancoJapanese parentage stride from the floor of the Parliament of our (recently capitulated) enemies.
She is surrounded by four of the most physically imposing Humans I’ve ever seen
! Not one
of them less than 210cm!
, when our army numbers in the hundreds of billions, finding one-in-a-millions isn’t too hard(!)
Me and the rest of her retinue fall in behind her as she passes through the vomitorium and turns to my left, her right, towards her temporary office.
As large in stature as the durasteel clad soldiers are, they do not compare
to the woman’s android husband, 230cm tall and, from the sound of his bare footfalls, a few hundred kilos
We reach the door of the (newly designated) office of the Terran Representative and she snarls “You
four, guard the door…” addressing her bodyguards “…Ezra, Zurab, Lhamo, inside
… Everyone else
off and find
something to do
The door closes behind us.
“Bug sweep, darling…” says the woman, exhaustedly.
“No bugs detected.” answers her husband, instantly.
She slumps onto the chair that had to be brought from our ship after the one provided by the Parliament collapsed under her weight the first time she sat in it.
Tilting her head back, she asks “So… how did I do
“You did wonderfully, sweetheart.” answers Ezra, immediately, in his flat, serene cadence.
She reaches a hand out to one of his and says “Thank
you, darling! You are my rock
… but I was really asking these
two…” gesturing at me and the KartveloTamil man with her other hand.
opinion…” smiles Mudaliar “…pitch perfect
“Agreed.” I concur.
She leans her elbows onto the table in front of her, quickly removing them when she hears its groans of protest.
“There’ll be a lot
of people back home who think that we let them off too easy
… who’ll think that we should have pulled a fucking Versailles
on their arses!” she muses.
Peace would foster resentment in the gardenworlder populace… They would feel as if their leaders stabbed them in the back by surrendering… Not to mention
giving ammunition to antideathworlder bigots!… We need future generations of gardenworlders to think their ancestors were wrong to declare War on us, not
wrong to sue for Peace…” I remind her.
“Enumerating their various hypocrisies, warcrimes and the many violations of their own
laws that they perpetrated serves that end well… Hundreds of trillions of GU citizens, who personally had little to nothing to do with the War, suddenly finding their salaries cut in half to pay our War reparations would very much be counter
to it(!)… Let us hope
that demanding the most heinous
warcriminals be remanded to Terran custody to stand trial placates the sabre rattlers back home…” adds Mudaliar.
, but…! I don’t know
… I feel like we should have got something
more from them!… Instructions on how to reproduce their more advanced tech, maybe…?”
Mudaliar purses his lips in a joyless smile and shakes his head “We just (relatively handily
) defeated them in a War with technology centuries behind
theirs… Their tech is not something we can ask them to trust us with yet… we need to build their trust
first. It’s going to take time
… It’s going to take…”
!?” snarls Miyazaki to whatever poor unfortunate soul is requesting entry.
One of the towering guards, in their sleek, state of the art durasteel, enters.
“Apologies for the interruption, Mistress Miyazaki… There’s a delivery for you. Already been scanned for explosive, biological and chemical agents etc… It’s clean.”
…?” she says, screwing up her face in a mixture of confusion and contempt for a moment before shifting to appraisal and beckoning wordlessly.
The towering man enters the room and stands to one side, revealing a small woman with pink skin, purple tendrils covering her scalp, three teal eyes and three legs with one too many joints.
The girl looks terrified as she walks in, a levitating platform following behind her with a heavy looking cube (around a metre wide, deep and tall) on top.
Looking as if she might be about to burst into tears from her fear, the pink skinned girl holds out a holo toward Miyazaki (though still around 8m away
) and says “C-c-could you… s-s-s-sssign h-here, p-please?”
“What am I signing
for?” asks Miyazaki, flatly.
“Th-this?” says the scared delivery girl, gesturing at the glossy cube.
Fury flashes across Miyazaki’s face and, before she can traumatise the poor girl, I step in.
“I think what our Representative means
is that we weren’t expecting
a delivery… Would you mind telling us what this is
?” I say, kindly, smiling (without
teeth) down at the girl.
“I-it’s… a d-data drive…?” she asks more than tells.
With how insanely
advanced their computing is, a physical storage device this
large would represent several multiples
of all the information Humanity has ever set to page
this data drive, sweetie?” I smile, trying not to betray any of my desperate curiosity to her.
“It’s a c-compendium… of a-all Galactic Union t-technologies and ssscience…”
The room stands in stunned silence for 9 straight seconds while we all process what the little xeno girl just said.
She shifts uncomfortably, looking at Miyazaki and, clearly, unwilling to approach her.
Shellshocked, I eventually manage to say “I
… can… sign… for that…”
Looking relieved, she hands me her holo and a stylus.
I scrawl out my name in the abugidic script of my native Tibetan, my hand then making a second pass on the line, adding the vowel markers.
The girl looks thoroughly relieved not to have had to get any closer than she is to the intimidating woman behind the desk, in the formal blue dress.
I hand the device back to her and she uses it to direct the platform to unload its cargo.
She does not wait to be dismissed, beating a hasty retreat from the room, leaving behind the single most
valuable object ever possessed
---2687 Terran Calenda26 years BF---
“We need gardenworlders
!” growls Miyazaki, frustratedly, as we pore over the plans for the new agency we’re trying to design “This needs to be more
than just the Terran embassy to the GU and vice versa! It needs to set the tone
our interactions moving forward! We need
qualified gardenworlders, ready, willing and able to work alongside the Terran staff! Helping us build our networks and win over potential allies in the Parliament!”
“Yes… well… unless you want to kidnap
a complement of gardenworlders to staff it as forced labour, then our choices are open it with a Terran dominated staff and hope we can entice more gardenworld employees at a later date or delay it… again
!” points out a weary Mudaliar.
…” I interject, equally wearily “…I think we’re past
the point of productivity for this evening… how about we call it quits and come back to it with fresh eyes, tomorrow?”
idea…” he answers.
The two of us begin getting up but Miyazaki says “Wait…”
We turn to look at her, expectantly.
“How about we go out
tonight?… No shoptalk
, I promise
!…Just think it might be good for us to have a night to cut loose… just the four of us… five
, if that hot, young nurse you’re dating wants to come, Zurab?”
Mudaliar smiles “I appreciate the offer… but I really
need to sleep
“Fair enough… Lhamo?”
I hesitate, considering.
“Wooooo! Shots! Shots! Shots! Shots shots SHOTS
!!!” shouts a merry
Miyazaki as she and I raise small glasses of weak spirits to our lips, in a booth in the xeno bar, and tip them down our throats.
Her android husband mimics the action with an empty glass.
She slams her glass onto the table and releases a sigh as she slumps against the padded seatback.
Her expression turns slightly melancholic as she says “Y’know… I don’t know if I
the right woman for this job…”
.” replies her husband, instantly, almost
displaying an emotion for a second there(!) “The fact that you were appointed above all other potential candidates should prove your fitness for the role. They could have chosen anyone and they chose you
with your husband… but what makes you say
that, Jeanne?” I query.
“IIIII don’t knooow…” she grumbles “…I sort of feel like I was chosen on the strength of my reputation… and my parents
’ reputation for ferocity
… but, the thing is
, while my mum and my shitstain of a father could give a fiery speech, they also had all the other
skills you need to be a diplomat as well
!… I feel like I
skill and it’s scaring
“That’s why I
here, sweetheart.” smiles Ezra, serenely “You’re the stick and I’m the carrot…”
you, darling… It’s just… much as I hate to give that man the credit
… difficult not to think that my father would’ve done a better job if he’d managed to make it hear without getting his ship blasted out of the sky!”
While I have far
more sense than to ever say
it, it’s absolutely
apparent that the husband Jeanne ‘Blitz’ Miyazaki commissioned for herself is, in all
ways, the polar opposite
of the late father she despises!
I only ever knew him by his reputation but; where her father was a passionate firebrand, Ezra is calm, measured and tranquil.
Where her father was a gorgeous
heartthrob who became a handsome silver fox in his later life, her husband (while certainly not ugly
) is definitely much plainer
in his looks.
Where her father famously favoured flamboyant modern dress, her husband’s wardrobe looks straight out of a Unification
era vid in its conservativeness.
Where her father had a slight frame and a diminutive stature, her husband is tall and solidly built.
And, where Yuki ‘Blizzard’ Miyazaki famously left his wife, Charlotte ‘Guerre’ d’Aureville , after a scandalous
extramarital affair with Tombe ‘Breeze’ Upash (another (obviously married
, no less!) in a move that would have sunk the career of anyone
else in his line of work, Ezra certainly seems as if he only
has eyes for her
Several times, she has expressed the thought that raising her half sister, Emiko, to be a decent person is the only
good thing that man ever did!
My rumination on that is cut short, before I can answer her imposter syndrome, when she says “You ever consider the diplomat track, Lhamo?”
I give a rueful smile as I answer “I’d need a spouse
for that, Jeanne(!)”
Her eyebrows raise in surprise as she says “Oh… you’re ace
? I didn’t realise…”
I chuckle and shake my head “Not
ace… just 42 with crowsfeet
…” I gesture to the corners of my eyes “…I feel like, if I were going to meet Mr Right, it would have happened
…!” she dismisses, letting out her Francophone
side for a second(!) “…None
of this ‘too old to find love’ tripe
! You’re still a stunner
!… Not to mention
woman with a fantastic
personality!…Plus… we’re this
close to cracking regen!… Pretty soon, 42 will be the new 25… along with every other
age over 25(!) You’ve got all the time in the world
!… It’d be really
great to be able to hand this job off to you or Zurab!… Either
of you’d do better than me
, I’m sure!… I could go back to Earth, safe in the knowledge that things were being taken care
“Ma’am…” I lean forward and reassuringly pat her wrist “…I promise
are the best person for the job… certainly at the moment
, anyway!… Please
grace us with your presence for a few
She chuckles “How about you get the next round and we’ll make a toast
I smile back “No problem… but I don
think we’ll be allowed anymore of these
…” I gesture to the, one-per-customer, shot glasses.
“Vinjirian ale… 900ml.” says the woman, immediately.
“I will take an empty 900ml glass.” states her husband.
“Got it.” I smile.
“Don’t drink any until Ezra can run chem analysis on it… Don’t want to get drugged
!” she reminds me, seriously.
“I promise I won’t!” I chuckle, walking away.
“Oh, and watch him pour
! Make sure he doesn’t spit
in it or anything!” she adds, a little louder than she needs
to but not loud enough that I think the large, porcine, xeno barman will have heard her.
I cross the crowded bar and step to the counter.
“Two Vinjirian ales and an empty glass, please… 900ml, all. Pretty sure you have our waivers for it already.” I smile, with closed lips, up at the orange xeno with the piglike face.
He oinks an acknowledgement and starts pouring.
As I watch him, I notice myself being noticed by a xeno at the far end of the bar.
I don’t turn to look but keep track of him in my periphery while my foveal focus rests, squarely, on the drinks being drawn.
…” I whisper to myself.
There’s one of two reasons a xeno is likely to be approaching me: either, he’s going to angrily vent at me about how I’m a monster
and caused him to lose X number of loved ones in the War… or
he’s about to test the rumours about Human promiscuity
I’m not particularly in the mood for either but I really
hope it’s the latter… I don’t know that I would trust the proprietor to take my
side if one of his gardenworld patrons gets belligerent.
As the man approaches, he occupies more and more of my attention to the point that, even though
I’m looking right at
them, I wouldn’t necessarily see if our drinks were tampered with!
Good thing I’ve got a walking laboratory
back at my table(!)
The gigantic man has now made it to within a metre of me on my left and stands, looming over me. Despite
the fact that I know, if push came to shove
, I could probably put his head clear through the countertop without too much trouble, it’s still uncomfortable to have such
a large person so close.
The first words the man speaks catch me completely off guard.
“It’s been a while
, Dr Yeshe… I’m very
glad to see you again!” comes a warm, familiar voice, speaking Gangsri accented Tibetan and sounding a bit
like a Human with a blocked nose.
My head whips left and up, my eyes resting upon a very recognisable patch of smooth, flat, periwinkle coloured skin between two large, orange eyes.
I haven’t seen this man since I was transferred to Forward Operations, 4 years
My joy is so immediate and genuine that I momentarily forget to restrain my smile, so as not to be perceived as making an aggressive display!
He doesn’t flinch at the brief flash of my teeth I involuntarily give him.
“Well, well, well, well, well
!… If it isn’t my favourite
prisoner of War(!) What a pleasant surprise, Wing Commander!” I say, my voice joyful.
Then, my face falls as I notice the dark blue bruise across his right eye.
“What happened to your eye
, Ong?!” I ask, ready to demand the name and badge number of whatever guard it was that did
that to him… then
remembering that we’re no longer on Gangsri!
He casts his eyes down and shamefully confesses “It’s… not ‘Ong’ anymore
… and it’s not ‘Wing Commander’ either… I’m just Ngngomg
It takes a second before the pieces click together for me.
I gasp as I realise “*Hhhhh*…You were expelled
from your tribe
He answers with a doleful Terran nod.
“Because you defected
“Just got released here, yesterday… went to my embassy… found my tribal representative… he punched me… told me not to come back to Gollogng… and… here I am
…” he gestures around the bar “…drowning my sorrows
! I’m so
…” he lies “…I’ve got some preWar savings to live on for the moment… should
also be due two years salary from the GU military… but who knows when or if
I’ll ever see that
, given how my service ended!”
“They don’t count time spent as a POW to be time you served
?” I query.
He puffs through his lips before answering “They do not
, no… certainly
not when you became
a POW by treason
“Is… is there anything I can… do
?” I offer, pathetically.
He gives a joyless curl of his lips and answers “Sweet of you to offer
but… there’s really nothing to be done
… Anyway… it was nice seeing you…” and turns to walk a way.
!” I say, a little more desperately than I mean
He turns back, one of his dark blue eyebrows raised quizzically.
“How would you like a job?”
…?” he frowns “A job doing what
“Let me buy you a drink and… we can tell you all
about it at my table…”
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Next First Dramatis Personae
I have a coloring app for adults, and I was wondering if I could enhance it with Stable Diffusion running on the cloud. What possibilities exist currently? Could I color empty PNG coloring artwork to generate coloring ideas? Could it be used to create cool filters for finished artworks to transform them into various styles?
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If you have any struggles with communication or articulation - please elaborate! I'm happy to share what has worked for me. This is all research for a tool that I do believe can help people achieve greater verbal intelligence and mental clarity.