Khamo was brought to the communications crew, as it was decided he would know the correct answers to whatever the aliens were asking. Khamo stretched his vocal cords, a sound foreign to anyone but Qiisqex, and began to talk. "We have come due to the emissions of this superluminal drive. Well, we came because we wanted to find out what gave the emissions. Which is the superluminal drive."
"Well. Seeing as you've found the source - what now?"
The Webcutter decelerated into formation with the Tangleweb and three Black widows, electromagnetic eyes wary of the possibility of an exchange of weapons fire at any moment, constantly scanning for anything that could be an incoming projectile.
"I guess it's time for diplomacy. Study of our two cultures to bring us closer together, something like that. The diplomatic team on this ship probably can't handle all of that. Out of my own interest, I want to ask a question; can life exist without ammonia? I've heard theories of water as a solvent, but it IS lethal," replied Khamo, his voice growing with excitement. Hopefully the Khzr'Che he was talking to was scientifically minded.
"Ah - ammonia? Isn't that used in... farming? Or at least, that's how we use it, I guess. Water is indeed our solvent, if I understand what you mean by that. I presume ammonia is yours?" Responded Zjopri, intrigued by the possibility of carbon-based life without water. Wonder how many people on the ground have tuned in.
"Ammonia is our solvent. Guess my blood would boil if I walked on the surface of your world, if I didn't asphyxiate first. That would make diplomacy difficult. Speaking of farming, the surface of your world is very.. brown. Is your vegetation also brown?" Khamo made several notes about the Khzr'Che and their differences.
"Our vegetation is adapted to surviving in.. what you would find to be lethal cold. I wonder how it would do in heat. That could be a joint scientific endeavor. If you don't mind, would you tell me what kinds of technology you have? We haven't detected energy shielding on your ships, and your own superluminal drive looks.. early."
The rendezvous point was in a brown dwarf system right on the edge of the reality hurricane. The dying star could be orbited at a low altitude, and a long enough burn at the point furthest away from the edge of the dimensional anomaly would catapult them right into it. The arrivals were scattered. The Hunter was the ninth spacecraft to reach the system, after Stormfront, Defender, Wraith, Meander, Seeker, Pulsar, Razor and, surprisingly, Terror. Within five minutes, four more of their number had arrived, In ten, another seven. After half an hour, all sixty were in orbit of that glowing orb. One by one, reaching the burn point, they throttled up their engines and made for full accelleration. Their apoapses rose until they were hanging past the reality hurricane's borders.
If every cloud had a silver lining, there would be a lot more plane crashes.
The brood mother "Langt komist" rested with closed eyes, seeing through the eyes of Tamasu, her favored brood guardian. Tamasu stood at what might be considered the "Mind" of a "Grand seeker", one of four. he himself looking at a specialized membrane, which shifted its natural colors to give a crude vision of what the ship itself saw through its own sensory. Before him he could see the seven "Hunters" and a further fourteen "Stalkers". The stalkers themselves were just shedding off their Cocoons from growth, the "Crews" just awakening aboard the vessels in time for a Murmur from Tamasu to reach them. "Ready yourselves young ones, for we are ready now", the Murmur carried over an ultra low frequency signal, generated by the grand seeker as Tamasu gripped a special "Psychic" gland. Allowing him to communicate his message directly to the ship which would in turn send the signal.
The Stalkers seemed to just thrash around a little, attempting to awaken fully from their birth. Tamasu paused as he felt the brood mother give order, using a similar communication method from the planet. The orders simple "With the Stalkers awakened, it is time for the seekers to go. Seek Far! See the Distance! See if we are truly alone" Tamasu didn't give but a moments pause before transferring his orders to the ship, In thought to his "Grand Seeker", it spoke to the others. In a moment, the three other "Grand Seekers" turned three different directions, Thermal energy building around them to make their outer shells almost glow before the vessels vanished in a sudden flash of a soft red light. The light lingering for a moment as the vessels begun their trip. Traveling along "Strings" towards distant stars. Invisible among the stars, the only sign of their passing being but a Thermal trail for the moment.
Zjopri paused briefly, stifling the urge to rub her fangs with amusement, before responding jocularly "Well, if I hadn't been certified for diplomacy I doubt I'd have been sent up here to talk with two foreign species - though, you probably weren't here soon enough to observe our ascent, were you?"
Khamo was silent for a moment, terrified he would be punished for his lack of common sense. Realizing that he was in space and that wasn't a problem, he replied to Zjopri, some nervousness in his voice. "Of course you're certified.. we weren't able to see the ascent. I'll be getting the diplomatic team now." Khamo closed the channel, stood up, and yelled, "I NEED A DIPLOMAT!", and one soon arrived. Yutabi, the diplomat, sat at the console and opened the channel again. "Hello! I'm the Qiisqex State representative, and I assume you represent the Khzr'Che. One of the Qiisqex State's interests is to form close ties with new races it meets, in the form of alliances and other forms of support between our two nations."
Zjopri failed to notice Khamo's nervousness, instead finding his sudden change in behavior rather odd, and composed herself before replying to Yutabi. "I, and those with me in the bridge of our craft, are indeed the representative of the entirety of the Khzr'Che people - all three billion of us, entwined as we are, together, in the web of decline and renewal. We hold nothing so dear as friendship and community, for they are the cornerstones of our lives; if it is of your will, we cordially welcome you into an accord of eternal harmony, solidarity, and understanding.
Yutabi sat in blissful silence long enough for the silence to feel awkward. A huge grin was on his face, as much as a grin as a Qiisqex could have. "Wonderful. This is a huge success. Harmony, solidarity, understanding, all eternal!" Yutabi stood up from the communications console, stepped to the right to get to the other console, and began to try to send a message back to Qiisqex space. "He's gone off to do.. diplomat things," Khamo said to Zjopri.