|Biography||30 Lott||Nakhanibha yla Mabharl 975 A.T.||942|
|Book I||Book III|
Scene: Space between Pale Shores and Parallelium
Date: 25 Tos. 961 A.T.
In a way, he was glad to be free from the guild. All of the avocs insisted on using an s in his nickname, calling him Misk. While correct, he preferred Mik, as the speech impediment he had as a child made it hard for him to pronounce the letter s before his jaws had fused. Alhicj was a pori who did not always stick to the prescribed notions of decorum that pori seemed to inherently posses. For instance, he didn’t know Alhicj’s surname at all, as he had never said it. Because of this, Alhicj called the avoc Mik instead of Mis’Kelin or Misk, and Mik liked him for it.
In the 42nd hour of his journey to Zisdhalilci, Mik was awakened from a partial slumber to the sound of a wailing alarm. Not very loud, but very shrill and concentrated. Hungry and tired, he stumbled onto the deck. The alarm ceased, and the Avotoc added confused to his list of current adjectives. He placed his map into the receptacle next to the wheel and began checking on the ship using the map’s projected interface.
The alarm had come from a beacon, tuned to his ship’s frequency band. Perhaps there’s band saturation and I picked up the signal by mistake and now I’m out of range? Odd that it would stop as soon as I came to the deck. He tapped on the beacon, which fed him gibberish text. Well, not gibberish, but he could not decipher Jibhaga. He tapped the beacon again, and the map translated most of the text: EGUR INSTITUTE – ETHNO ARCHAEO DEPARTMENT. Wasn’t that the department Alhicj sent his correspondence from? Mik tapped the map, closing out of the text field and zoomed in on his current location to find the source of the beacon. Unable to find it at first, he changed the colour of the beacon in the display only to find the new red light blinking on top of the light representing his ship.
He looked up, and to his surprise found a ladder protruding from a ship flying perfectly above his own. Wait … when did this get here? I’ll have to get better about vigilance on these longer voyages. Despite perhaps better judgement, he scaled a mast partially, jumping to the ladder and proceeding upwards into the ship.
“Our apologies for not meeting you on your own ship, but we do not have enough suits for all of us to make the excursion to an open deck,” said a red-faced Poria, who was behind him as he climbed off of the ladder and into the ship. “You must be the security agent our colleague spoke of.”
“Well, yes,” said Mik, in a way that he hoped followed enough of their conventions. He was off guard, before remembering to introduce himself: “I am Mis’Kelin.”
“Greetings. We are the ethno-archaeologists from the Egur-Yeil Institute of Advancement.” said another Poria, whose yellow hues lit up the small room better than their counterparts. “More accurately, the four of us are ethnologists and archaeologists working on assignment, and you know our coordinator.” The Pori separated cleanly into two groups, of four and one, leaving Alhicj by himself, so Mik stood closer to him.
“What exactly are you five digging up?”
Alhicj was hesitant—this was a professional environment which dictated he stick to Poria convention as much as possible. “I will defer to Daekul dul Cukalizsy on the inquiry, and can follow up with you on your deck momentarily,” before bowing—to the other pori, not Mik—and leaving the room. Perhaps to get a suit?
“We are researching a previously-unknown city of Poria from early After Time, and assess the state of its architecture after its abandonment several centuries ago. In addition, we aim to analyze the area, discern whether any unraised Pori remain, and assess living conditions in an area with little-to-no recorded history. We were planning another assignment at the time in which we found and old tome that held the coordinates of a city we had no historical record of.” The pori paused momentarily before continuing, with a different face, “We will arrive on the planet-star Zisdhalilci within a few hours, and it should only be an hour to move our equipment to the location.”
It seemed like certain gibberish to Mik, but he nodded and made his way back down the ladder. If they only had a few hours left, he was hungry.
As he shoved the last bits of fish set aside for this voyage into his mouth, Alhicj came through his door, clad in a shiny suit to keep his molten insides safe from the vacuum of space.
“I kner yuh dih-ch profur daycawrm,” Mik finished his food and continued after cleaning his mouth off, “but don’t you still knock?”
“Do I need to?”
“Well no. So what’s the deal with this excavation?”
“Daekul wasn’t wrong. There’s a city we do not have a record of in history that appeared in one small anecdote, with coordinates. They dated the anecdote and soon we will be digging the city up to make a better record.”
“And this requires me?”
“We are not quite sure what will be found.”
“What does that mean, Alhicj?” In the only time Mik had ever seen Alhicj change his face, the pori also shrugged. With that, he turned and went back onto the deck, presumably back to the Poria ship. They’d be landing on Zisdhalilci soon.