Thursday, March 22, 2012


“Hey. How’d the meeting go?” Alex leaned against the wall next to the designers office, waiting for Carbon. She had arranged to briefly meet with Colonel Lhenan, looking into how legitimate having the Sergeant appointed to him had been. He had taken the opportunity to further familiarize himself with the layout of the ship, successfully navigating his way there without the aid of any translation.

“It appears that everything is in order. Both of you are already attached to the artifact project, her duties have just been altered by Eleya. She even went through appropriate channels to do so.” Carbon gave a little shrug and slipped her arms around him, stretching up for a kiss. “Even if she had not, it would still be official. It is an unusual departure from her normal methods, but it is appreciated.”

“Good.” He hadn’t known Eleya long enough to know if that really was good or not, but Carbon genuinely seemed to like it. “Shall we?”

She hummed in agreement, tapping the controls on the door before pulling Alex along into the office with a playful smile.

The graphic designer, Lyshen, was sitting behind his desk, pale green eyes switching back and forth between two screens. One had been jury rigged to a Human made computer, a rat’s nest of wires connecting the two. The other was a holoprojector built into the desk, jumbled images floating over it. He waved them in and gestured to the chairs across from him, “Please, sit.”

Alex was quick to oblige, glad to be just some guy again. Carbon didn’t seem to mind either, taking the seat beside him without a word. He was the first green Tslao Alex had seen, apparently a bit of a rarity given how often he saw the other colors on the ship.

“I am sorry to keep you waiting...” Lyshen trailed off, lost between the two displays before closing a dozen images from the holo. He picked a pen up from the table and arranged the remaining pictures neatly, four different coats of arms that claimed to belong to a Sorenson. The red enamel barrel blurred into an arc as he spun the pen in his fingers, voice picking up speed as he locked on to Alex. “There is a large amount of heraldry available for your surname, do you know which coat of arms belongs to your particular family?”

There was a deer, a deer head, a rearing horse and a weird shaped star. Maybe it was a flower, or a drip of paint. They were all surrounded by leaves and the occasional knight’s helmet. Alex wasn’t sure what any of it meant and up until now, he’d never even thought it. Knights and damsels in distress had never really been his thing. “Uh, can’t say that I do, no.”

“Mmh. What geographic region does your lineage trace back to? I could find no reference to the Berkley Soresons on your solanet.” He leaned back and the pen continued to trace crimson circles in his hand.

“Europe. We came from Europe.” That much he was sure of.

That puzzled Lyshen, ears flicking as he turned back to the Human screen and picked over the keyboard slowly. He didn’t like what he found. “All of these originate from that continent. Do you happen to know which state?”

“No, I’m not sure. We left there a few hundred years ago. I’ve only been to France and England and that was just...” He rubbed the back of his neck and gave Carbon a quick glance. The trip had mostly just been to impress a girlfriend. “Backpacking trip. Seeing some history and all that.”

Lyshen set his hand down and the pen switched back and forth like a metronome, clicking on his desk at the end of each arc. He closed his eyes for a moment, jaw working silently before he closed the images and started pulling up new ones. “Perhaps we should move on to other aspects of this endeavor. As I have been told that you wish to integrate Tslao and Human cultures in your marriage and I had intended to blend the Tshalan sigil with some the Sorenson family symbology.

“I thought it would be best to use the gear-star surround from the Princess’ family crest as a base to build from. It is something that is immediately familiar to Tslao, to put the viewer at ease. As it is indicative of starship commands, exploration and the outer colonies, it will solidly represent both of you and the way you met.”

Alex raised an eyebrow at Carbon, “sound reasonable?”

“Yes, I agree that would be a good place to start.”

“Thank you.” He busied himself bringing up a few more pictures, rough combinations of the ten point gear-star and the various items from the Sorenson crests, bits of decoration and detail work.

The door chimed behind them and Lyshen stopped with a sharp glare. He eyed the clock and sighed, a whispered curse under his breath before he set his pen down and straightened up. “Come.”

There was soldier, the uniform marking him as a higher ranking Master-at-Arms, partially concealed behind the bulkhead. He swept the room with a rifle as he entered, the narrow barrel ending up pointing just a hair under Alex’s shoulder. A pair of soldiers took up positions on either side of the door and covered him, a few more waiting in the hallway.

“Ma’am, sir. Please step away from the Human.” 

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