Zjopri paused for thought. What a strange people, to have representatives of representatives. Are these truly qualified to speak for their whole race? Best to fake confidence. "I see the wisdom of such a system. Must be easy to ensure order." Maybe that is why they need these meta-representatives...
In the flash of an eye, the three seekers appeared at their destinations once they had arrived. the three closest systems to their own, appearing from the void with a burst of light. A distinct wave of infrared energy passing from their arrival. The three seekers would then move to the closest planet each and begin to overlook, to study and learn what life was there. They and the brood guardians that ran the vessels, were on their own being so far. To far for the others to communicate, the first time they would have been cut off from all communication. On Arundic though, The order would be "meeting" to discuss future plans, now that the first three seekers had been sent among the stars. a full eight of the brood mothers would vote to grow more Hunters, a further Six would vote to withhold the growth of any further vessels. The remaining 14, voted as majority on preparing seed vessels for any living worlds they might find...should the seekers return with good news
Aboard the first of the Jumping Spiders, a minute sensor anomaly arrested the attention of the two researchers still awake while their thirteen colleagues slumbered. "There's clearly something weird going on in the next system over. We might want to check it out after these surveys are complete." "For all we know it was caused by something out there fluttering across the scopes or whatever business goes on in these alien sectors of space. We're cutting through this behemoth's rings, after all," replied the second of the scientists while gesturing at the gas giant on-screen. "No use in seeing what is not there and rushing to conclusions." "We've got enough time to watch and see if something happens again, and even if there isn't anything more to be seen then we might as well report it. Should get the guards up on their legs, if they still have any. Maybe they'll find something interesting to blow up after all these cycles." A dull thud resonated throughout the compartment. "Like maybe more of these blasted rocks!"
The seekers begun to look over the planets, the first, the second and third seekers all found nothing but dead rocks for planets. With the first planet checked in these systems they would move to the next, moving from the outermost edge of the systems inward. A minor thermal signature being the only sign of their presence. The first seeker would come to an ice world next, while the second would find themselves passing a gas giant. The third would find itself attempting to navigate an asteroid belt. At Arundic the order would dismiss for the moment, planning to prepare a number of seed ships. The brood mothers looking towards their stores of biomass to plan how much they could commit.
Therjk leveled a glare at the PDA Ukryi carried, before sighing. At least we'll have a thorough bug report or five for the techs. "More... interesting highlights?" "More euphemistic ways of referring to my astute observations, more like. Take a gander at this. That giant has gained a satellite - and one that emits enough infrared that we should have noticed it before now, no less. I've crunched the numbers and it must have entered orbit at nearly the same time as we left, while we were hidden from eachother by the body of that gasball. It's kind of surprising that we've been in these critters' neighborhood and they have yet to have noticed us, actually." "Debris isn't in the habit of noticing things. I'll check your math when you give me a detailed, formal report on the matter instead of a spur-of-the-moment rant."
Later, when all - all but Ukryi - had slipped into a deep and much-needed sleep, the communications array of the survey vessel swung towards the unidentified object and began emitting periodic pulses, frequency fluctuating up and down all bands of radio - and some of microwave - in an irrational sapient's attempt to alert the Seekers of their presence, if they did not already know.
The Seeker finally heard echos from something else then itself, The vessel itself twisting slightly as its maneuvering vanes turned it towards the source. The captain or what at least could be called the captain, took full alert to this. The seeker wasn't sure what the sound was, to it seemed almost as if what ever was giving off these echos was in a death throes, Most importantly though, this barrage of signals was giving the seeker a headache. The thermal trail blasted to full as the Seeker moved with all haste towards an object it determined to be the source of these strange sounds. The rest of the "crew" beginning to wake as the ship's internal form shifted slightly, making sure its weapons would be ready if needed.
"Yes, we find such a system works well for our large sphere of control. Many representatives overseeing smaller groups of people works better than a few representatives overseeing large amount of people," said Khamo. Yutabi sat down next to Khamo again, taking control of the console from him. "The Central Government says yes! We will share our technology and support you, just as you say you will support us. Another ship will be coming by soon, to assist in the sharing of technology."
The Vorskel had about eight shipyards around Kesh. They had a small fleet orbiting the world as well. Six Hive class carriers, twelve Cove class support carriers, ten Palisade destroyers, and twenty Parapet frigates. There were also two colony ships. The fleet was on standby for orders right now. There were rumors going about that the fleet was going to check out another system soon.
"Ukryi, you could have just signed our death warrants," Therjk clicked as he stirred idly at his drink, watching Ukryi for any sign of regret. After several seconds of silence, he asked, "Why did you do it?" Ukryi continued staring defiantly at the webbing below him, refusing to venture any sort of response. Therjk sighed with frustration. "Pioneers are inherently outcasts. But you, you've made yourself an outcast among outcasts." He sipped from his drink, allowing Ukryi another chance at response, but his silence could not be broken. "You have refused to integrate with the very community you decided to become a part of, and furthermore you have betrayed us. Not one consented to you alerting... whatever they are, to our presence." "You and the others too were far too xenophobic to even venture a single thought about contacting them," Ukryi spat. "Isn't it a bit disturbing to hop about the local lightyears and find overwhelming quantities of intelligent life? Either foreign sapience is vastly more common than previously anticipated, or after our hundred thousand cycles of oppression and stagnation we're late to the party. We need friends if we're going to carve out an existence here and now." Therjk took several moment to consider and reconsider his response before saying, "Ukryi, go meet with the ship Speaker. Maybe he will understand you."
Zjopri desperately fending off panic. "Centralized government... how odd." Centralized government... how reminiscent of the Wardens. Here's hoping they aren't at all like them. "Nevertheless, we appreciate your people's kindness and hope we can someday repay your generosity.
"Our government isn't very centralized. When we have an event, such as first contact, that can affect our entire race, we must inform the Central Government as it has some power over all of the provinces in the Qiisqex State. The Central Government manages provinces, provinces manage counties, counties manage districts, and districts manage cities. In the end, the Central Government rarely directly affects a citizen," Yutabi recited, and then went into another topic. "Do not worry about repaying us. I'm sure our cooperation in the future will repay any debts you think you may have."
As the Seeker approached target, its "thrusters" threw to full reverse. washing a wave of thermal energy over the front of the vessel as it slowed. Still approaching with some velocity towards the now obviously tiny object. A second surge of thermal energy washing over the seeker again as it finally came to a stop, Perhaps Fourty Kilometers off from the object. The captain aboard the seeker just looking at the "Screen" of the nerve center, the seeker's armored eyes focused towards the object. The captain twisting his head this way and that to try and determine what this rather unusual object is or was. Communicating for just a moment with the seeker, "This is source of screams?", "Yes, it screams loud", "Is small, very small", "Very loud to"
"What a monstrosity," Therjk chittered, shattering the awed silence of the three other Khzr'Che - which would have been four, save for Ukryi's notable absence.
Soon enough, the Jumping Spider began emitting a snippet of Khzr'Che speech directed towards the Seeker; the message, "We are representatives of the Khzr'Che Populace, they who have flung themselves out and away from our homeworld of Che into interstellar space to seek new worlds and new life; who are you, where do you hail from, and what is your mission?"
Zjopri was somewhat assuaged by Yutabi's explanation. Not entirely devils, then - yet the extent of their vileness is yet to be probed in complete detail. Or this one could be lying. After some seconds of pause, she managed to compose herself and replied, "Your exceptional charity shall be remembered."
The Seeker rattled within its shell, hearing the object give off another screech. The captain feeling the tremor just said "What is wrong with it?", "I do not know, it makes sound but not words", "Try to speak with it". The Seeker sent out a murmur, asking the object "Why do you cry out?". That is, asking in the seeker's own voice which was slight changes in the frequency and not true words. The captain shifted slightly as he was unsure how to deal with the situation, He didn't expect to find anything out here other then dead rocks, instead here is this unusual object that keeps making sounds