Fresh Out of the Freezer

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OOC Date: April 9, 2011
IC Date: January 13, 2128

Illyanna and Michael are taken out of stasis, getting the full 60 minute treatment before being given the bad news.


Crew Stasis Hold - Deck Two


The sickly green glow of the stasis chambers provides most of the light in the cavernous hold - they make enough light on their own, little else is really needed. Two hundred and twenty such chambers are scattered about the hold, containing the entirety of the crew when they're in stasis, each roughly the size of a phone booth and cylindrical in shape.

While the majority of a stasis chamber is made of metal and contains all of the sensitive equipment needed to sustain the person within, the front is made of a high grade plexiglass that is completely clear, allowing a view of the person inside. One would almost think that they stand upright except that their toes do not touch the ground, instead they float in a greenish liquid that accounts for the color of the light coming out of each unit. The people inside wear only the minimum necessary - a version of tighty whities for the men, and the same plus a halter style top for the women. Numerous tubes and wires are connected to them at points all over their bodies, pumping in and filtering out liquid similar to the kind they float in. One of the elements of stasis involves removing all of the blood from the body and replacing it with a synthetic liquid that preserves the internal organs and bones and prevents the body from aging. The liquid they float in does the same for the skin, muscles and hair. Wires connected to the head and various parts of the body stimulate the muscles and brain to prevent atrophy and to keep the person in a hypnotized state of peace.

In addition to the stasis chambers themselves, the hold also contains several control and monitoring stations that allow manual operation of the stasis system when crew members are awake. One door is all that the hold contains, and it leads out to the central corridor of Deck Two.


Consciousness comes slowly, starting at the back of the mind and bubbling up like pockets of air in molasses. It seems to take forever. The first sense to come alive is the general sense of awareness, of being present in the here and now - wherever and whenever that maybe. Realization dawns that the body is floating, and the faint prickles of wires disengage in from the body follows shortly after. Warmth begins to flood in as blood returns to the body and synthetic preservative is cycled out. Tubes retract save for those in the nose and mouth that still provide oxygen. Bubbling and hissing fill the ears and the feet gradually touch the bottom of the chamber, the liquid draining away, and soon feet and legs support the body, or at the very least attempt to. Some may find themselves quite shaky despite the regular stimulation of the muscles. When eyes finally open, the world is blurry and vague. One sensation overcomes everything else.

The hunger.

Such hunger.

As the end of the awakening cycle draws closer, Dominic arrives at the Stasis Hold, dressed in his duty uniform and carrying an extra set of clothing under one arm and a pair of boots. As he moves into the room, the song he whistles is heard before he is seen. It's a rather upbeat tune as well. His eyes scan over the room, nodding a greeting towards some people milling about that he recognizes as they finish up the process. He moves to the pod of the new Marine that is being promoted from meat popsicle to warm Devil Dog. He keeps his distance from the pod in case he gets the same reaction that they all had upon awaking. Dominic still feels sorry for the poor sap that had to clean up after they woke up.

Michael slumps forwards and onto the floor, hitting it hard, but managing to catch himself on hands and knee's with a sputtering cough as he draws in a great ragged breath. Limbs shake as they struggle to wake up, struggle to support his bulk. Shaking his head he coughs a couple of times as his lungs futilely try and expel what no doubt is an unsettling sensation. Let alone everything else. Reaching one hand up he locks his left elbow so he doesn't fall and rubs his face. "That…" He says in a voice that grows stronger every passing second, a very deep baritone, "That, was not in the instruction manual." He shakes his head again, plants his hand back on the ground with a wet smack and tries to clench his fingers. Nope, standing up is not in the cards yet as he clenches his teeth, "And why the hell am I so frakkin' hungry…" He shudders and tries to climb to his feet, it's a slow process given his height and mass.

Over near Illyanna's stasis chamber stands the small, pensive form of the Chief of Engineering, her arms crossed and her expression vaguely grim. She watches the process from the very beginning, and now as the liquid finally drains away and the last of the wires and tubes come out, the chamber door sliding open, she stands ready in case any assistance is needed when the girl reaches consciousness.

Seriously, what the hell? Illyanna's world coalesces slowly into view, but remains maddeningly blurry. The last thing she remembers was getting drunk that night and… wait a minute, there was something else, yet she can't recall exactly what. All she knows is… she feels weak, her legs have no strength in them, and they can't support her own weight. Instinctively Illyanna reaches out her hands to find support, and finding none, she unceremoniously slides down the side of her stasis pod on to her butt, into a heap. Before she can figure out what's going on, Illyanna feels a retching instinct rising up her gut, and hurriedly cover her mouth to avoid puking all over the place. Oddly though, nothing comes up. How unpleasant is this?

Dominic watches as the pods open and Michael collapses to the ground, catching himself. He waits until the man's strength returns, chuckling at the words. "You got it easy, Marine. You should experience the 30 second wake up routine." He says before reaches down and helps him to his feet, making sure that he can stand on his own before letting go. He reaches into the middle of the clothes and retrieves a small hand towel so the man can clean himself off. "You haven't eaten in six years. That's why you're hungry." He says as he offers the towel to Michael.

Michael reaches out and takes the towel once he has his legs under him, trying to clean… whatever this stuff is off of him. "Got another towel?" He then belated asks, "Sir?" Since a glance at rank pinks is all it takes… but he is definately a two to three towel person. It takes a minute for things to settle in and then he blinks, "Six sir? I thought it was ten? Something go wrong with the mission sir?" Yep, marine mode is engaged. Hunger or not Michael instantly starts looking for signs of trouble, after all, you don't want to be caught unawares in a hostile situation in your skivvies. Still his baritone is a smooth rumble rather than betraying any consternation. Reacts well to shock it seems.

Mono steps forward tentatively, slowly extending a hand towards the crumpled girl. "You're awake now," she points out helpfully. "Do you need a hand up?" She wants to help, that much is clear, but she also doesn't want to step in and do anything if it isn't wanted. She wouldn't want that, were the positions reversed.

Marine training would come in handy right about now, but Illyanna is anything but a marine. Unlike Michael who tries to get up on his own, Illyanna is clearly in no hurry to. After the initial rush of puking instinct passes, the girl slits open her eyes and tries to bring the world into focus again, this time with a bit more success. "Mo…" Her first word is just a dry rasp, which causes her to cough a few times. "Monoko?" She finally recognizes the diminutive woman greeting her. "What the hell? I think I just got flushed down the toilet… Gimme a hand…" And she holds out a hand, expecting Mono to help.

Dominic shakes his head. "Sorry, only one towel but you've got plenty of time to get cleaned up more. I did bring you a change of clothes and a snack to hold you over until you can get to the mess hall." He says, pulling a granola bar from his pocket. "Yes and no. There is a problem, but there is no immediate threats. You'll be filled in once you've eaten, cleaned up and rested some." He says, offering the clothing once Michael is cleaned up enough. "Here's your uniform."

Michael nods, "Sir." He says and finishes cleaning up his hands, arms, face, head, and neck first so that when he takes the clothes he doesn't get them all… icky. Still at the mention of food the large man's stomach rumbles, quite audibly and angrily and there's nothing Michael can do about it but stand there at attention even if every iota of willpower is necessary to not try and find this snack and eat it, and whatever hand is holding this mystical wonderful thing known as a snack. His stomach rumbles again just thinking about it… "Thank you sir." Michael takes the uniform and then looks for directions to quarters so he can get worked up. It's then that he catches sight of Illyanna and Mono. It's a quick look, and he hides the appreciation pretty darned well, but really, he's male.

"Yeah," Mono replies when the girl asks her name. "It's me. Let's get you up," she offers, taking the girl's hand and pulling her to her feet. She's shorter than Illyanna, so it may be a bit awkward, but she does her best. "We need to talk, but first let's get you cleaned up and something to eat. You'll feel better with some food in you." It may be odd to those who are used to the much more fiery tempered, surly Lieutenant Commander to see her being gentle and supportive. Apparently she is capable of it.

Illyanna does try to get up with Mono's help, though even in that case she has to lean on the Japanese woman quite a bit. The mention of food makes her stomach growl like a bear in spring - hell, it actually hurts! Holding to her stomach, Illyanna frowns and shakes her head. "I must've gone through the mother of all diets…" Finally, she's clear-headed enough to look around the stasis chamber, and notices that yes, there are quite a few people here. "Where the hell…" She starts, but her memory's starting to come back now. "Oh. CRAP."

Dominic nods and does his best to help the Marine, taking the dirty towel after he's done so he can get dressed and eat the snack. "The mess hall is on Deck One where the quarters are." He says to the man before he motions towards the exit. As Michael looks towards Mono and Illyanna, Dominic glances back over his shoulder towards the two, though he doesn't say anything nor looks to Mono for very long. "Let's go get you some chow." He says to Michael, looking back to him.

Michael nods, "Sir." and he takes his clothing, well, the uniform and starts to pull it on. He'll have to get a clean one later. The snack however gets demolished as he walks with Dominic to, wherever, falling behind as is appropriate for lesser ranking individual… that and he doesn't know where he's going. Still with his size, and hunger, that snack isn't going to cut it for long… like 2.3 nanoseconds.

Illyanna peers at the two burly marines across the chamber, but it is Monoko's explanation that draws her attention back. "3.6 years?" She repeats questioningly. "That's… still a long ways to go. I hope we're not walking the rest of the way." She pauses to wince, making an effort now to stand on her own two feet. "Alright, just tell me where to go. And why is this room spinning?"

"It isn't," Mono notes in mild amusement. "Your senses are. And yeah, it's a long ways off. But it might not be for very long." She sighs and rubs at her face with a small hand. "I think I'll shut up now. I'll explain in a bit." She leads the way towards the stasis hold's double sliding doors, gesturing for the Marines to go first since they were already on their way. "Age before beauty," she snorts at the two men. Dominic gets only a brief glance, her
gaze settling more on Michael.

Dominic leads Michael out of the Stasis Chambers, glancing back as he drops back and slows down to allow him to walk next to him. "Since you've just woken up, I've granted you a few days to rest and get up to speed with everything. So you won't have to worry about rushing things." He says to the other man as they move through the hallway.

Michael nods, "Sir. I'm fit for duty sir." He pauses, finishing with the 'snack' that was given and licking his fingers afterwards, can't help it, soooo much hunger. "The way I see it sir is if we're this far off schedule and I was woke up, trouble must be coming sir." He looks around a bit in awe, since, he doesn't really recall coming down this hall or anything. "Food would be good but… I don't think I can sit around doing nothing sir."

Illyanna doesn't object to letting the men go first. After all, it gives her an opportunity to lean against the nearest wall and bury her face in both hands, hoping to stop the spinning of her senses. "Remind me to thank Commander O'Riley for the wonderful accommodations…" She murmurs to herself under her breath.


Dining Hall - Deck One

A fairly large cafeteria style dining hall, this room is capable of seating all 220 members of the crew at once. Tables are round, each set with six backless circular seats that allow plenty of elbow room. In addition to these, there are also several sets of square four seat tables along the edges of the room. The artificial lighting overhead is slightly dimmed, more relaxing and subdued than the corridors of the ship.

A service counter lines the far wall, several service robots taking the orders and dishing out the meals of the crew as they are ready. All of the fruits and vegetables are supplied by Hydroponics, and most are fresh year round, supplemented by additional fruit and vegetables from dry freeze storage. All of the meat and protein, however, is a special synthetic recipe similar to soy and based on a formula provided by The Givers. It is far more capable of reproducing the texture and taste of various types of meat and consists of a mixture of soy, algae and basic raw animal protein stored in dry freeze. By mixing these with synthetic flavor additives, it becomes almost impossible to tell that the meat of any given entree, from beef to fish and everything in between, is not exactly what it tastes and feels like. The service robots have been programmed with over 50 different ethnic cuisines and a total of over 1000 recipes, meaning that just about everyone can find something that tastes like home.


By the time the newly awakened arrive at the dining hall after a quick stop at their quarters to dress and clean up, food has already been prepared by the service robots from their personal menus, which are stored within Eve's database. Whatever their favorite food is, it's ready for them when they arrive. Having already eaten earlier, Mono doesn't grab any food for herself, simply following along in silence. Any questions posed to her along the way were met with vague replies that basically boiled down to 'I'll explain later'.

Dominic leads the way down the hallway, letting Michael stop by his quarters as the women do the same to change and clean up more. He enters the Mess Hall with the others, grabbing himself a cup of coffee as the newly awakened freezer people get their food. He glances around the nearly empty room, having become accustomed to the mess hall being empty all the time. He finds a table to sit down at, sipping his coffee as the others get whatever they need.

Having been able to take a brief shower (Very brief, he's hungry) the large form of Michael arrives wearing a clean marines uniform and looks around. "It's like a ghost ship…" He says to himself and nobody in particular before he heads over towards his CO and salutes. Good soldier. Salute before sitting down to eat that delicious smelling steak, baked potato with sour cream and chives, don't even -look- at the cheese covered broccoli, don't do it. That's what he has to keep telling himself, as even, snack or no, his stomach growls again like a living thing preparing to burst out of his chest covered in blood and gore.

With that raging hunger, Illyanna isn't overly eager for answers to her hundreds of questions just yet. Having plopped down on a bench at the mess hall and the food arriving, she digs in with a vengeance! She foregoes the soup - onion soup may be her favorite, but it's just not enough for her hunger! She goes directly for the turkey and egg sandwiches, munching down like no tomorrow, washed down by mocha. The girl's also more presentable now, dressed in a civilian hoodie and a pair of cargo pants; she's not eager to start her military life, it seems.

Mono takes a seat beside Illyanna, no food or drink of her own, and simply settles in while the other eats. Perhaps she's letting her enjoy her meal before bringing her entire world crashing down on her. Or perhaps she's waiting in the hopes that Dominic will do it and she won't have to. For all that she has a temper and can heap on the abuse when she loses it, this is not a bit of news that she looks forward to getting. She's temperamental, not a sadist.

Dominic returns Michael's salute before he sits back and makes himself comfortable as the newly awakened end their hunger. He glances to the others before he looks to the Lieutenant Commander, trying to gage if she thinks it is a good time to tell them or to wait until they've finished without saying a word.

Once sitting Michael devours his food, and it was a good sized steak and a lot of food. He eats with marine efficiency, with just enough manners to not get called on it. Which in the marines… isn't that good, not at chow time like this! He probably wanted to ask questions, but, no, food wins. Tough guy act or not he -needs- to eat. So it's only when he finishes, sponges the last bits of stuff off his plate with a bit of bread and eats that down to be followed by a drink does he say, "Sir." And push his plate to the side, giving it a longing look like 'There is still crumbs there, I can totally eat that…'.

Illyanna is a smart girl, and if she were in full possession of her faculties, she might be able to figure out something's very wrong. But the stasis disorientation and raging hunger have prevented it thus far, yet with the intake of food, at least part of it is slowly going away. One of the service robots receives a curious sidelong glance, however, and Illyanna studies it while chewing a mouthful of sandwich. "Aren't these the GE S-12 models?" She
gestures at it, turning her head back to Monoko curiously. "I'm pretty sure there's a known bug in their diagnostics routine. They run through the base programs once, but when the second cycle goes through the service logs it resets the…." The redhead trails off when she notices Monoko's complete silence. "Hey, are you okay?"

Monoko nods once when the other girl identifies the service robots. "I think I patched it before we launched, but if you want to take a look later and checked my work, I'd be happy to let you." Her voice is still soft, much softer than her usual yelling in engineering or even her more conversational tone, which is known to get a bit loud at times. Such volume for such a small girl. "Hai," she lies with a nod, indicating that she's fine when she really isn't. "I just have a lot on my mind at the moment. Having you around to help me with some of it will be a huge relief."

Dominic looks to Michael as he finishes then to Illyanna and Monoko as they start to talk. He figures that this is as best a time as any to spill the beans. "Alright, I suppose you both should be filled in." He picks up the coffee cup and drains it completely before he sets the cup down and speaks again. "As of now, we are 3.6 light years from New Eden. Approximately four days ago, we received a message from the Givers stating that they were being hunted by a species dubbed the Devourers. In hopes to survive the Devourers, the Givers gave them the location of Earth for them to invade. Yesterday, we received a message from Earth stating that they were under attack. Mars and the moon have been taken and most likely, Earth is destroyed." He pauses there and lets that sink in.

Michael looks around, "Just… don't tell me we're the only ones who made it sir. The rest of the crew, they're alive right?" He pauses, then adds, "Sir?" His formality perhaps a little unhinged by the news. He looks a bit shell shocked really but he's moving through it. "I always figured… I mean… that there were strings attached to all of this." He says mostly to himself in that deep voice of his, shaking his head afterwards and looks down at the
backs of his hands for a moment before he looks back up. "So, the people who gave us this, all of this, set us up to be a god damned buffet." And there's some anger. "Why should we believe a damned word they say sir? What if it's them attacking Earth? I bet they sent these plans thinking that the elite would be picked to head off into the unknown, just to weaken us."

"Hey, I just tell things what to do." Illyanna notes with a wry grin, evidently buying Monoko's little white lie, at least for the moment. "You make it happen. I don't know how much help I can be." Look! The onion soup awaits! She goes after that now, lapping it up from her spoon. It's tough to fill up six years worth of food, after all. She's about halfway through her bowl when Dominic starts his explanation, and her already big eyes just get bigger as his story unfolds. That's a pretty difficult tale to accept, and for a moment, Illyanna just sits there looking, well, stunned.

"Wait…" She finally gathers enough of her wits to speak again. "…have the transmissions been verified? Do we know this to be true? I mean, we've gone, what… just over 5.4 light years? There is a time-delay on all transmissions originating from Earth! There must be a mistake." A bit of a desperate look is spared towards Monoko. "Right?"

"These Devourers," Monoko explains quietly, "Feed entirely on other sentient races, or on themselves when there are none to be had. They considered eating non sentient beings distasteful. In the hopes of being spared extinction, the last of the Givers gave them the location of an overpopulated planet being destroyed by war and pollution, figuring that it wouldn't be very different from our own inevitable ending. They claim they felt guilty, though, and that's why they sent the Signal in 2112 - so some of us could escape on colony ships. As you both know, they only built this one. The message we got from Earth was from four years ago, and it said that they were making a last stand against the Devourers after Mars and the Moon were taken. We haven't received any other broadcasts from them in the time between then and now, and we aren't getting responses to our own messages. In that last message from them, they said they were going to try to launch a second ship, one that only held 30,000 civilians, but at least it would give our race another option. We have no way to know if it was successful. We have to assume that they're gone and we're the last of humanity." She nods to Michael. "All of the crew as well as all of the civilians are fine, Corporal. We believe it, because the Earth confirmed it. Like I said, they told us they were making a last stand in a message they sent over four years ago, and we haven't heard anything
since." She shakes her head and gives a brief, sympathetic glance to Illyanna. The other girl would know that she had a mother, father, and older brother back on Earth, herself.

"Lieutenant Commander Kurokawa," chimes the gentle, disembodied female voice of Eve, the ship's primary computer. "Power fluctuations are being experienced in the propulsion systems. Adam requests assistance in engineering."

Mono gives another sympathetic glance to Illyanna, one that perhaps leaves unspoken an offer to speak further should the other girl need to, then offers a nod to Michael and Dominic as she rises. "On my way, Eve. Thank you."

Without further word, she makes her way towards the door to head for engineering.

Dominic looks to Michael and Illyanna as they speak. When Monoko takes over the details, he sits back slightly, barely nodding his head with a frown on his lips. "We also don't know if those on Earth told them about New Eden or not, so we have to assume they did and New Eden is no longer a viable planet for us. We have three new options. One is a pre-developed planet with no animal life, a jungle planet with terrible storms or a wormhole out of the system that we have no idea what is on the other side."

Michael adapts quickly, "Still think this was a trap… we've no evidence these 'Devourer's' aren't the Givers…" He rumbles but then reaches up to rub his face, "Nothing we can do about it now." He looks thoughtful a moment,
"I'd say go for jungle planet Sir. A planet with no animal life… there's no guarantee it can even support an ecosystem sir. Last I knew this wasn't noah's ark either, so we'd have no way to sustain the population. As for the wormhole… well, storms are better than ending up who knows where, with no charts to guide us, and no guarantee we'll find a hospitable planet sir. Just a grunt's opinion."

Illyanna watches with silent, wide eyes as Monoko answers the call and leaves. For her part, she just sits there with the spoon held dumbly in one hand. She does look back at the two marines, staring at them, blinking once or twice, but wordless. If she has an opinion on which planet to head towards, she's not giving it yet.

Dominic nods his head as he looks to Michael. "I will pass your suggestion for the jungle planet to the XO and the Captain." He says to him as he leans forward, resting his forearms on the table. "The jungle planet is close to Earth, the deserted planet is further away. The Givers have given us cloaking technology that Lieutenant Commander Monoko is currently integrating into our systems as well as Faster Than Light technology. We can not use the two systems at the same time and if we use the FTL drives, we will light up to any alien species who have the technology to detect it. And with the cloaking technology, the Givers said the Devourers would be able to track them down despite it, though it only bought them time."

Michael frowns, "I'm not a techy… just… don't like the idea of going anywhere blind. A big planet, only a hundred thousand of us… we could hide from these devourer's, or whatever they are, build our strength, move on
from the tech we do have now and avenge our race." He rolls his massive shoulders in a shrug. "I just think it's to large a risk to go through a wormhole blind sir." His frown deepens, "I appreciate my vote being heard sir." Of course he's taking the loss of earth in stride, and humanity's fall in stride to it seems. Must be heartless, or has lost not a single soul back on earth.

Illyanna continues to stare at the men, presumably listening to their conversation. She does look like she's not comprehending their words, though, since she's not contributing. Though during a lull in their discussion, the redheaded girl does speak up unexpectedly. "They're all dead?" Yes, her brain seems to have stuck there. "Earth is gone?"

Dominic nods his head to Michael. "I completely understand your views. I'll make sure the Captain has your views. If you wish, right up a report and I'll give it to the XO to review and pass to the Captain." He pauses for a moment, his mind working before he looks to Illyanna, shrugging his. "We have no way to know for sure. There is a chance that they could have made it, so we have to assume that they did not make it. We have to assume we are all that is left."

Michael looks over at Illyanna and his expression softens a bit at her reaction, "It's a one way ticket." He rumbles softly, "Always knew that might be the case. Better some of us get away to restart everything so all of us don't die right? At least we're alive. At least we've got a fighting chance at survival. Better than what we'd have had on earth the way things were going. I'm surprised we made it through World War 3."

Dominic's matter-of-fact explanation doesn't help her a bit, and even Michael's show of sympathy isn't enough to prevent her from going pale. "Ugh." Illyanna makes a noise in her throat, her spoon dropping as her hand goes to cover her stomach, as if she's developing a heartburn. "I'm going to be sick…." She mutters and lowers her head, rubbing her face with her other hand. She's definitely not a marine.

Dominic glances to Michael and nods. "You're right. This is a one way ticket and there isn't much we can do about it. We are alive and we need to all work together and stick together if we're going to survive and give our species
a—" He turns to Illyanna as she starts to feel sick. "The head is over there." He says, pointing towards the bathroom doors not so far away." He stands up from his seat. "Are you going to be okay? Do you want me to call
the Doc?"

That's about all the Sympathy that Michael can muster really, he tried his hardest right there okay? When Illyanna gets all woozy and the like the big black man shakes his head and looks off in the distance, before grabbing his plate and heading to the dispenser to try and figure out how to get more grub from the machine. How he can eat at a time like this… who knows.

Illyanna shakes her head without looking up, and now she's buried her face in both hands. "I… will be fine." Comes a muffled reply. "Just… need… a minute…" At least the girl doesn't actually puke all over the table, but the night is still young. End of the world. Billions of deaths. These are not easy things to accept. "Khay dopomozhe nam Boh…" She murmurs… or something that sounds phonetically like that.

Dominic nods his head as he looks to the other two. "Take your time." He tells Illyanna before he watches Michael get more food. He sits back down and looks back to the woman. "I know it's a lot to take in. We found out yesterday, so we're still recovering from it. Just take all the time that you need to absorb the news… to greave." He looks down at the table for a moment before he looks back up. "We're all family now. We're all in this together and I'm going to do my best to help us survive."

Michael succeeds! He pushes a few buttons, and ends up with more food that is apparently to his liking. "What, no beer?" He asks of nobody in particular, "C'mon, I'm off duty…" He rumbles in minor annoyance before he takes his
food and returns to his seat. Looking over towards Dominic and Illyanna he studies the redhead a bit then shakes his head. "Two types making it through this. Those who can accept it and move on, and those who don't let it touch them. If you're not either of those, then should go back in the tank." He shrugs and starts to dig on on a large cheeseburger, fries, and with a milkshake… since he couldn't remember how to make it give beer, if it even
could.

Illyanna does look up - at Michael's comment. "What?" Her expression is one of incredibility. "Really? Well I'm sorry if I find the destruction of my home planet and the near extinction of my species a bit shocking, after a six-year cold sleep with no food and no bathroom breaks!" Given the circumstances, it's understandable she gets a little hysterical. "What's the matter with you? Did the cold sleep freeze your blood??"

Dominic glances over his shoulder towards Michael at the mention of beer, chuckling softly. He glances back to Illyanna, but returns his gaze back to Michael as he speaks again, nodding. "That's why we're being careful who we choose to unthaw. We're not going to unthaw anyone who we don't feel that we need or can't handle the situation." He turns back to Illyanna as she replies, raising a hand to stop any further escalations. "Okay, let's stop
right there. This is pretty devastating news for anyone to take. Everyone is going to deal with it in their own way. We need to comfort each other, not attack each other."

If anything Michael looks amused by Illyana's response to his statement, a bit of a smile curving his lips upwards and showing a hint of bright white teeth in contrast to his dark lips. "She's got some fight in her sir, she'll pull through." He seems approving of the woman's rising anger or the like. Though her question does give him pause, "No… I feel it… it's just that it doesn't matter. Nothing I do, or feel, can change what happened. What I can do is take care of the people on this ship, the hundred thousand civilians who aren't military. That I can do." He rolls his shoulders in a shrug and takes another bite, chewing, swallowing. "Nobody back there cared about me anyways, so what am I supposed to feel? Hmmm? Grief? For all the wrongs that we left behind being destroyed?" He shakes his head, takes another bite, finishes. "Nope." He says with finality.

Illyanna's rising anger is… well, defused by Dominic's motion with his hand and his command to stop the argument. Michael gets a silent glare, but his response seems to soften it some. "Sorry." She notes to the ranking marine first, her shoulders slumping as if deflating, but she still frowns at Michael. "You must be real popular at parties. Just try not to think about all the innocent kids back home. They didn't do anything to deserve it." A
long pause. "Sorry." She apologizes again, this time to Michael, evidently. "I didn't mean to… I just get that way sometimes." Beat, and a glance back towards Dominic. "So we were selectively thawed out to keep the ship running, I guess?"

That comment seems to not work so well, Michael finishes his burger and then picks up his milkshake. He goes to dispose of tray, "There are no innocents." He rumbles simply, "Sir, since I'm off duty, may I be dismissed sir?" He
keeps that milkshake close at hand. "Think things are beginning to thaw out some sir."

Dominic smiles as he looks to Michael, nodding in his response before he looks to Illyanna. "We have to focus on the future rather than the past. We Marines have been trained to suppress our emotions in situations such as these." He thinks for a moment before he looks to Michael. "Because of our training, we'll need to take care of the crew and passengers more than anything. They're lives depend on us just as we depend on them." He glances towards Michael before looking back to the woman at her question. "I guess. I was woken up along with the initial crew. I got the 30 second dethawing treatment." He says, chuckling softly before he looks back to Michael, nodding. "Of course. And for future references, don't call me Sir. I'm not one for it. Call me by my rank, last name or first. I'm not one for formalities especially in our current situation." He checks his comm unit for a moment before looking back up to Michael. "If you need anything, I do have an open door policy." He then turns to Illyanna. "That goes for you too. I know you're not a Marine and not part of Security, but my door is open to all
personnel."

Illyanna nods to Dominic's words. "Thanks." She notes, passing a glance over at Michael as the man attempts to take his leave. "Yeah, there are too innocents. You're looking at one." She has to slip that in. Go figure! Folding her arms on the table, Illyanna turns back to Dominic. "Sorry, what exactly is your rank and name again? I might have missed it somewhere between the dry retching and the news that our planet is space dust."

"As you say sir." Michael answers, no attempt at humor at all, and definitely not taking the chummy approach. He salutes and then starts to head off without anything further to say. Apparently he has no need to get the last word in since Illyanna is apparently ignored at that point. Time to go explore, and find accomodations for necessary functions!

Dominic smirks slightly at Michael, noting the Sir but says nothing anyway. He returns the salute before he watches the man head off before he looks back to Illyanna. "No problem." He says to her, offering a hand. "I'm First Lieutenant Dominic L'Anse, Chief of Security. I don't think we met prior to the big freeze."

Illyanna spares Michael one last look before the marine heads out, and turns her attention to the Lieutenant properly. She looks down at his offered hand, as if unsure what to do with it, but finally takes it in a tentative handshake. "Illyanna Shevchenko. Uh, I guess they thought it funny to give me the rank of Seaman Recruit." She notes dryly. "I work on computer systems." There, introductions given.

Dominic nods his head as he shakes her hand, making sure not to squeeze too
hard. He looks at the woman, retracting his hand. "Nice to meet you,
Shevchenko. Well, that's good to know. I'll know who to call if my terminal
acts up." Suddenly the name triggers something in his mind, his eyes
narrowing slightly as if studying the woman. "You're not the Illyanna
Shevchenko, are you? The one who broke the code that made all this possible?"

Illyanna allows the faintest of a grin to dance over her lips, in a wry manner. "That was me." Beat. "Get the joke now? I did that for them, and they made me a seaman recruit. The lowest pay grade they can find." She has to shake her head and roll her eyes. "At least I'm alive, I guess I shouldn't complain too much." *Sigh*.

Dominic chuckles slightly as the punch line is finally understood upon her confirmation. "Yeah, gotta love they show their appreciation." He smirks and nods at her next words. "That's true. You're still alive, so you have a lot to be thankful for. At least that's the way I look at it." He says, shrugging slightly. "At least they didn't make you a civilian and keep you on ice for the entire trip."

The issue in engineering apparently conquered, Monoko comes walking back into the dining hall, apparently pleased to see the Illyanna is still there. She stops by the service counter long enough to order and get an iced mocha from one of the service robots, then heads over to the table and reclaims her seat. "She's too valuable to keep stasis," she tells Dominic quietly. "No one else can work with me for more than five minutes without me having to scream at them. That alone makes her makes her worth her weight in gold."

Illyanna bobs her head slowly at Dominic's words, her gaze dropping to her unfinished onion soup for a moment. She must still be somewhat hungry, but this end-of-the-world thing has ruined her appetite. She looks up when Mono returns and interjects, flashing the Japanese woman a weak, lopsided smirk. "You can't run a DCET OS on an old HAL box. The hardware just can't keep up. Compatible codes and all that."

Dominic glances back to Monoko as she speaks, chuckling softly as he nods. "Mmmm, yes. I remember yesterday, Lieutenant." He says with a slight smirk. Apparently, he's put the event behind him since he's able to joke about it
some." He looks back to Illyanna. "I would recommend OCS for you just based on that ability alone." He jokes as she starts to speak all tech, he gets a confused on his face before he glances back to Mono then to Illyanna, speaking to them both. "I've been thinking. Is there any way possible that we might be able to reduce the signature the FTL drive gives off?"

The tiny engineer actually snorts at the geeky computer joke before taking a sip of her iced, chocolaty espresso goodness through the straw provided. "I have some shit that I could use your help on, if you're wanting something to distract yourself from the fact that everything and everyone we ever knew and loved is gone," she tells the programmer. A nod is given to Dominic along with a faint smirk when he says that he remembers the day before - apparently something must've happened between the two, but the fact that she smirks suggests that she may have also moved past it. She then shakes her head in reply to his question. "Not really," she answers. "It isn't a matter of anything that we give off, it's the fact that something is moving faster than the laws of physics should allow. When you break the laws of physics, you can't exactly hide it."

Illyanna furrows her brows, glancing between Mono and Dominic as they start talking about this problem involving the FTL drive. Even as Mono points out it's impossible, Illyanna thoughtfully lifts a finger to interject. "Although…" She muses contemplatively. "…we could look at the possibility of creating an artificial signature to mask the FTL drive. I mean, if we know what sorts of sensor protocols are being used, we could theoretically send them a false signal through their carrier waves…" She narrows her eyes at Mono. "We need to think about this some more, Mono. Speaking of which, who am I supposed to be reporting to? Are you my commanding officer?"

Dominic nods his head as he looks to Mono, frowning slightly. "Ahh.. okay." Apparently physics is not his forte. "Oh well, that's too bad. Guess we just have to figure out how to change the laws of physics so we can hide it." He knows it's impossible, but doesn't mean he can't make a lame joke anyway. His attention then turns to Illyanna as she interjects, an eyebrow raising slightly before he looks back to Mono. "Could that be possible? Make whoever's watching think we're something else and not a threat?"

A brow arches at the suggestion, Monoko clearly giving this some thought. "The trick will be figuring out what it is that their scanning for, and how. Without knowing how their technology works, we can't exactly fake it out. I'm also going to go out on a limb and assume that each species out there might be doing things differently if they've developed their technology separate from each other. A lot of our technology isn't actually ours, but other races may not have had benefactors like we did. Still, we can look into how our own sensors do it and it least start there. Maybe we'll get lucky, and a few other species might use similar methods as the Snails did." She offers a slight shrug of her slight shoulders. "It's worth a shot. First, though, I need your help getting the cloaking technology online. I have a prototype of the actual cloaking device built - I miscalculated yesterday when I tested it and knocked out all the lights on the ship." Here, she gives a slightly sheepish look. "I figured out where it went wrong, and have that taken care of, but now we need actually install it in engineering and program the ship
to use it. I'd also like to try installing it on a smaller scale in the shuttle craft."

Illyanna snaps her fingers at Mono. "You got it. Sounds like that's easy to fix by routing the power system through a separate command structure. I'll get on it once I get reacquainted with Boris and Natasha." Deadpan! "Right, we'll just have to start with what we know. Ultimately there's only one race out there we want to hide from, you know? If we ever encounter their technology, at least we will have the basics worked out ahead of time that we can adapt quickly. Hopefully." Another pause. "Hey girl, stop being all techy for a second, and tell me who I'm reporting to." Pause no. 2, as she turns to Dominic. "Sorry, when Mono and I talk, we have a tendency to go off on a tangent."

Dominic chuckles as he looks to Illyanna, completely confused by the tech talk. "It's alright. I'm going to go grab a drink while you two talk shop. It'll give me something to do." He says with a chuckle before he stands from the
table. "I'll be back in a sec." He says before he moves to the line to grab himself a drink and something to snack on.

All the talk of cloaking technology and ways to mask its use completely sidetracked her from the other question Illyanna had asked. "Oh, right. Me for the most part, though you'll also be apprenticing under Sully, another tech geek, but old and kind of crazy. He's the Chief of Communications, and he supposed to cross train you in linguistics. So you'll spend part of your time learning languages - alien languages, since we have the Giver and Devourer languages in our database now - with him, and the rest of your time helping me in engineering. And the Devourers are scavengers when it comes to technology, so there's a pretty good chance that whatever they are using is the same as ours. Though the Snails mentioned that even with the cloaking technology, the fuckers always found them. They may be using something else entirely but we don't know about." She nods to Dominic as he excuses himself.

Illyanna grins at Dominic as the marine takes his leave, but turns back to Mono. "Uh. Unless the aliens out here speak Ukrainian or Russian, I'll be pretty useless." She frowns in confusion and tilts her head at Mono. "Seriously, who decided I'd be a good candidate for learning languages? I could write up some sort of language recognition routine, but it'll need someone with actual linguistic skills for input."

"Sully will be teaching you," Mono notes with a small smirk. "And you will actually be able to speak the languages - it's impossible, from what I understand. The Snails, for example, talk through a series of these really loud fucking shrieks and whistles, punctuated by clacking their tusk things together. Can, however, learn how to understand it. Think of it like a code that you're cracking. It's not really any different. And that's probably why they picked you - because you can work with him to program language software. He's pretty good at it, himself."

Illyanna has to roll her eyes. "They think I'm a clueless undergrad student or something, rotating me through a bunch of professors. I am totally unappreciated in my time." She sighs dramatically, but nevertheless just shrugs her shoulders. "Whatever. I'd rather work on the cloaking system with you." Quirking a brow, she considers. "So, do I get a work station on the bridge or anything? I remember my project team testing a multi-protocol direct-link HMI on the bridge that allows direct interfacing with Boris and Natasha. Not sure if they kept it or not though."

"I really don't know," Monoko replies, looking a bit curious herself. "I don't think I've ever actually set foot on the bridge in the four days that I've been up. Never really went there much before the launch, either. I'm more comfortable in the back of the ship, in engineering. If you don't, I'm sure there's a way to easily set up a station for you. Everything I fixes hands on, so I kind of need to be back there, but what you do you can do from anywhere. It makes sense to have a station for you there. We should go check it out."

Dominic returns from the line with a plate of toast, a bottle of whiskey and three shot glasses, two just in case they would like to join. As he returns to the table, he sets the dishes down on the table. "Drink?" He asks, offering each of them a shot glass if they want one. He then pours himself a drink after them if they should want one.

"Perfect." Illyanna nods to Mono. "If it's not set up, I'll need your help with getting the hardware in place. And heavy lifting." She offers a little smile to the tiny engineer. And at Dominic's return, the redhead Ukrainian perks up. "Vodka?" She arches her brows hopefully, though as she peers at the bottle, it's clear it's not as she had hoped. "Maybe just a little. Just enough to numb my brain enough so I don't have to think about…. well, you
know."

"Yeah, thanks," Monoko answers Dominic's offer, along with flashing a faint smile. She would actually be pretty, if she weren't always scowling and screaming. She reaches out and takes one of the glasses, pulling it close. "We'ere actually traveling FTL right now," she tells Illyanna. "It was pretty easy incorporating the FTL technology into the existing system, since it only required building one new piece of equipment - a much larger capacitor - and then reconfigure shields. The shields actually split open space-time in front of us by creating a wedge, like a cow catcher on a train, creating a distortion field where relativity is more of a suggestion than a law, allowing the propulsion engines to push us at speeds faster than light. It's one step short of creating a singularity. We actually COULD create a black hole, if we wanted too, but that would be a bad idea." She then knocks back her glass before slighting it out for refill.

Dominic looks to Illyanna before he glances back to the service bot. "I could get you some vodka if you'd like." He says before he tosses back his shot, setting the empty glass down before refilling them all again. He chuckles as he looks to Mono. "Yeah. I'd rather not die in space. I came into this world bloody, screaming and with solid earth under my feet and I plan on leaving it the same way." And with that, he slams back the second shot.

"Whiskey's fine, thanks." Illyanna steals the whiskey bottle once Dominic is done, pouring herself just a little bit. Unlike the other two, she carefully lifts the glass in both hands for a slow sip, watching the marine with curiosity for a moment. "Yeah, dying in space sucks. You can't even scream properly." She nods sagely, and turns back to Mono as the FTL drive is explained. Illyanna does quirk a brow at Mono, however, and asks a simple question before taking another sip of her whiskey. "Why would that be a bad idea?" Coming from a normal person, that may sound like a stupid question, but no doubt Monoko knows Illyanna well enough that she asks the obvious question for a reason…

Mono quirks a brow at Dominic. "You fell out and landed on your feet?" she questions him, amused by his statement. She takes the refill and lifts it a bit, but doesn't drink just yet. "You probably had a cigarette in your mouth, too." Down goes the second shot. She lightly slaps the glass back down onto the table as she looks over at Illyanna. "I know that in kind has theorized for quite awhile but if we could open up a black hole, we could use it to jump anywhere in the universe in an instant. Until I see another raced do it with my own eyes, and not come out the other side of their nose on their ass, I don't plan on trying. If you want to volunteer, be my guest, but do it far the fuck away from me."

Dominic chuckles and grins, shaking his head. "Not, but I was closer to the earth than I was to space." He says as he looks to Illyanna. "Exactly, it wouldn't be any fun. If no one hears you scream, then what's the point." He asks, filling up his glass again before slamming the shot back. He looks to Mono the to Illyanna. "Either of you play poker?"

Illyanna purses her lips and shakes her head, while she slowly twirls the whiskey as it sloshes in the shot glass. "Think outside the box, Mono. If we can properly control where we create a black hole, it could be our… *ahem*, ace-in-the-hole if these Devourers come calling. Open one up right under their feet, and they might end up with their noses on their asses. In any case, we could send them far, far away." Beat. "Well, in theory." The girl has been in storage for six years, and her brain is now thawed out enough that it's jumping back into action eagerly. At Dominic's question, Illyanna grins another weak grin. "A little. But I've been accused of counting cards before, if that's even a valid accusation in poker."

"You really don't know better than to play poker against two sexy young math geniuses?" Monoko asks Dominic. Illyanna's suggestion gets a slight shrug of her shoulders. "I'm not saying that I wouldn't try just about anything in an emergency," she counters, "I'm just not in a hurry to go opening up an actual hole in time and space simply to see what happens. We'd have to figure out a safe way to do it, and then convince Bharti, Eisley and Ramesh that we can do it safely. Good luck with that."

Dominic laughs and shrugs. "Well, I thought a weekly poker game may help the crew bond. Even if it's a just a friendly game." He says before his comm unit chimes. He looks at it and sighs. "I'm sorry. I've gotta go. It was a
pleasure hanging out. I'll see you around." He says as he stands from his seat.

Illyanna furrows her brows and shakes her head at Mono, looking lost at the names she gave. "The… Three Wise Men?" She guesses. "Hey, I work with computers. What the FTL drive can and can't do, that's entirely your area." She sits up as Dominic excuses himself, allowing a friendly smile at the marine. "Catch you around, sir." She even deigns to give him a playful salute.


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