The tall feline humanoid stood over the Captain, staring down into her eyes with confusion when suddenly he started, looked past her, tilted his head, and then bounded across the room and up the hall, startling those standing near the hall out of his path. Ivy called after him not to hurt him and that he’d just heard the other egg. Everyone ran down the hall in pursuit and found him outside the infirmary, looking agitated.
Hart explained that they didn’t have enough suspension done for a 2nd egg but that he and Abi would get to work on it immediately. Ivy and the Captain took the feline’s hand and led him a short distance away to sit, then the Captain went to the larder and began foraging for things to try to feed him. Hart and Abigail went into the infirmary and began furiously cranking out more goo.
Through trial and error (presenting various food stuffs), they determined that he preferred fish over the other meats, and tubers over the other vegetables. While eating mechanically, he continued to glance up and stare into the infirmary. After an hour or so, the door to the infirmary opened and Hart and Abi wheeled out the other egg with a tank of the suspension and headed to the sorting room turned hatcher, with Ivy, the Captain, and the feline following close behind. When they got into place, Hart and Abi set the egg up in place. Ivy stepped forward to touch it but the feline stepped in her path and indicated she should not touch the egg. He knelt down next to the egg, touched it and it opened as the other did before.
This feline grew in much the same manner but was obviously different. Sable in colour, with no mane, thinner, slightly shorter, with very pale blue eyes, and obviously female. She stood up and glanced around curiously, gazed up at the taller male and frowned, then walked up to Ivy and stared down at her. Ivy winced but did not react in pain as she had before and the female tilted her head and glanced around again. Finally, in a quiet voice, asked in slightly accented English if it was necessary that they remain naked.
People scrambled to get clothing for both of them, ending up with robes because it was the only thing that fit. The female introduced herself as Sasha and the male as Rawn, and explained that their race was called Kirann. When asked why Rawn could not speak, Sasha explained that “the child”, indicating Ivy, had awoken him very improperly and that he would need some help getting adjusted, mortifying Ivy. Sasha said she would take care of that when they slept that evening. Food was brought and the group sat down to bring each other up to speed. The Captain explained everything that they had learned about the Hulk and how the eggs had come to be where they were, with others interjecting comments and explanations. Sasha seemed to have difficulty understanding people who spoke while wearing hats, which she explained that the only way she understood them was by hearing what they said through someone else’s thoughts. She did not understand English, she simply understood what another (typically Ivy) understood and pulled the language from there. They also jumped and reacted startled when someoene wearing a hat showed up near them.
The Kirann race was naturally active, it was a part of their racial makeup, like sight or hearing to a human, so everything they did involved it. Sasha explained about the “trinket” material and how the hulk was assembled. Her people were on a quest to find a new place to live as their own sun was dying. They took off for the stars in 6 ships on a journey that would last many lifetimes. She suspected, given the pictures and explanations from the crew, that her ship was struck and wounded and because they were completely automated, the other 5 adjusted and kept going, as they were designed to do, and the 50k Kirann in the dying ship were considered lost.
As a scientist, she had many questions for the engineers, all of which happily answered with all they knew. Between them they put together an accurate enough explanation on what happened to the hulk and why it ended up where it ended up. They pulled out starcharts and Sasha pored over them, but did not recognize anything on them, which meant that she could have been asleep for 100s, perhaps 1000s of years or more.
After several hours of talking, sharing and eating, Sasha excused herself and Rawn to go sleep. Ivy collapsed into her cot and cried herself to sleep, sad that she’d hurt Rawn in her ignorance. The Captain curled into her bed with her and comforted her until they both fell asleep.
The following morning, Rawn and Sasha awoke and came to breakfast and Rawn seemed significantly more aware. He explained that he was a farmer/agriculturalist and forgave Ivy for “messing him up”. After a hearty meal (Hart continued to explore their dietary needs) Sasha quite frankly asked the Captain what was to be done with them. The Captain quickly answered that nothing was to be “done with them”, they were people who had a say in their own disposition. Rawn suggested that he make them some more appropriate clothing, and Hart offered Sasha use of the sick bay for testing and checkups. The crew went about their daily routines, with the addition of 2 giant cat people.
A day or two later, when the Kirann had more of a wardrobe, the Captain received a message that the Locksley was ready to be picked up and where they could get it. Hart, Grace, Sasha, Rawn, and Abi remained on the asteroid while the rest of the crew packed up and headed out to pick up their new ship.
The meeting point turned out to be a moon orbiting Djinn’s that had been hollowed out into a shipyard. The noise from the gas giant made finding it very difficult without specific coordinates, and it was camouflaged so that, even when they were upon it it was hard to distinguish as anything more than a rock in space. They navigated in and found a cordial engineering staff on hand, putting the finishing touches on the ship. When the Captain requested they be given time alone with the ship to move their stuff, the Sr engineer on staff seemed to understand, and he took his crew off to another part of the rock.
The crew powered down Valis (after she made Brian and the Captain promise she’d get to wake up again) and proceeded to move things over into the other ship. Mikki and Brian uninstalled the lasers and had them re-installed into the Locksley (going half Emp/half laser on both turrets) and then Valis was powered up. After a long pause, her first words were “Oh my.” The Locksley, being fully automated, put every aspect of the ship, every door, seal, system, and facility into Valis’ awareness. With the advanced Dead Eye targeting system, she had complete fire control over the weapons as well. She instantly began running systems checks and found 100’s of small glitches and issues that she and her robots began addressing. Mikki and Brian adjourned to the various engineering spaces to take a gander at their new engines.
Back on the rock, Sasha and Hart spent a great deal of time talking about comparative anatomy. In one occasion, Abi walked into the infirmary to find the two of them stark naked, quite literally playing “doctor”. Startled and embarrassed, she kept her eyes averted and nervously moved about her duties but was unable to avoid hearing Hart explain the nature of his scarring (which covered the entire left side of his body, face, arm, leg, and torso). Apparently he had gotten it from a radiation disaster in which he was decorated, rescuing the lives of several men at great personal risk, but damaging him significantly in the process. Rawn continued making clothes and being domestic with Grace helping out.
Gale and Trevor moved Hart’s packed up infirmary over to the new, much larger and newer one and left it unpacked for Hart to manage when he got on board. They did the same with the kitchen and larder, though Valis immediately began unpacking those items and putting them away to make them available for the crew. During their tour, Valis kept the engineers apprised with the status of various systems, and the omnipanels around the ship allowed them to see anything, anywhere. Mikki found a very large box of spares in engineering stores, which spoke ominous things about the delicacy of the systems and how often some pieces break. Engineer Higgins (the chief of the installation) confirmed this by giving her a replacement schedule and explaining that she was a “finicky beast” and to be nice to her. He also explained that they would be leaving the installation and securing it when they left, but parts would remain stored here for them to use whenever they needed, as well as fuel.
On the bridge, each station had multiple omnipanels and both of the pilot stations were fully equipped and automated. Additionally, behind the Pilot consoles was a wooden shipwheel (from the old Earth-that-was sailing ships) with its nameplate in brass on the console. The wheel was decorative but gave the bridge a very naval-command feel. When everything was buttoned up and ready, Ivy took the helm of the Hephaestus and Grale the Locksley and both ships pulled out, heading back to the asteroid. In total they were gone for a week.