Lost in Space

Yokohama - Cargo Bay
Since the gravity units were restored and now are maintained in working order, the cargo deck of the Yokohama is constantly buzzing with activity. With research needing to be done, equipment to be moved, or a plethora of other tasks taking place people are always coming and going, either from the planet 'below' by dragon back, or meandering in and out from other places aboard the ship.
This area is well lit, the floors themselves have had space set aside specifically for 'betweening'. Three large marked off areas remain clutter-free of people, dragons and equipment. With these 'landing pads' clear, dragons avoid the danger of teleporting into an area of space already occupied and causing a tragedy. Several massive sun lamps have been set up over off to the left, in an effort to make the stay of dragon-kind more comfortable.

Continued from The Final Frontier

Darkness falls, though not before Jethaniel has a chance to see that glimmering on Darsce's lashes. Logically, that means… but for once, he does not soek from pure logic. He's silent for a moment, there in the blackness, and his arm still around Darsce tightens slightly, holding hr as he acclimatizes to the micolighing that now accompanies microgravity. "Are… you all right?" he asks softly, nodding to Thea but not releasing Darsce. Not unless she pulls away, anyhow.

Darsce likes the Weyrwoman, even if she's never let on. The woman is- was- weyrmated to her father for nearly half her life, so she knows her fairly well. However, Thea might have spoken to a rock for all the response Darsce gives her. She's beyond panic finally into something more like shock which may or may not bode well for her future space endeavors. As the Weyrwoman drifts off and Jethaniel speaks, Darsce, still clinging can only shake her head no. She's still scared but she hasn't died yet, but she's completely unused to being out of her element. Then, perhaps because it is dark and her usual veneer of confidence has been shattered but there's no one close enough to hear her admit her vulnerability, mutters to him, "I need to get down. Can you help me do that? Shells, what was I thinking, coming up here?!" She sniffs again.

The wonders of space and technology here present make Jethaniel look to the lift doors. They await, just beyond. He could see the wonders of the ancients, feats his craft is still trying to duplicate and others that they never will - whether because they're impractical or because they require a degree of industrialization impossible on Pern. One glance is all they get, though the glance is longing for that moment before it returns to Darsce. "Yes," he says, and his gaze seeks the nearest shadowy bulk of a dragon. Ah, there's one. If he works his way along the shelf, he should be able to get within reach of one of those straps. It seems feasible enough. "We're going to move again," he says. "I…" He trails off into silence, looking down to where he imagines the dim light is still enough to make out something of her features. "Please hold on." Not that it seems likely she'll do otherwise - but he keeps the one arm around her nevertheless, moving with an alternate hooking of foot and hand onto the shelf that bounces them along in a slow-motion waveform.

Oh no! Moving! Darsce squeaks again. Though how she expected to get down and over to those lift doors otherwise, who can say? This time, though she doesn't let go, she keeps her eyes open and the light looks like a welcome beacon. Orbiting a looooong ways above the world in an airless environment in an artificial environment contained within a tin can she's fine with. Just not floating weightlessly. Go figure.

Perhaps the light will engage in an optical illusion, and appear to be the one in motion, bobbing up and down like a lantern. Perhaps it would even be convincing, if it weren't for how the inner ear is still capable of registering motion. Still, at least the hops Jethaniel makes are small ones, barely enough to lose contact with the prior surface - though the jump for the straps is a somewhat longer one, two even breaths or a number of fast ones at a slow near-paused glide until the dragon's body is reached. A large head turns back, looking at the pair of them with perplexed yellow-green eyes.

Wobbling along the shelf is weird but there's that illusion of stability since it's bolted to the wall. But this flying/floating thing - that push towards the dragon - has Darsce tensing again (if indeed she ever relaxed to begin with). Jethaniel didn't need to breathe, did he? She certainly isn't! Right now she's not worried about annoying a dragon, though there's some dim recognition of who she is. All the other ones left, so that means she's got to be Seryth. The queen at least knows her, so they might not get snorted into free-fall again.

Like flies on a runners hide, Jethaniel and Darsce land on Seryth. The comparison is far from apt; for one thing, the scale is wrong, and for another, they don't immediately get swatted off with a flick of a tail. "Ah," says Jethaniel as he meets that gaze and holds on to Darsce with one hand, the strap with the other. "If you don't mind, ma'am. We… could use some assistance."

Hopefully they don't get swatted! Because while having that happen down planetside would sent Darsce into a fit of swearing and lecturing the dragon on bad manners, here it would probably send her into a catatonic state of gibbering insanity. Darsce has never spoken to a dragon before save to explain to Zhaoth why she'd punched Ers'an in the gut. But it won't hurt to ask and so she adds her plaint to Jethaniel's. "Could you give us a lift to the lift?" Like maybe tail-elevator-like tow?

Those large draconic eyes regard the pair, just long enough to start wondering if Seryth might be laughing at them or pondering how to drop them off outside and get them out of her hai- tail. But, in the end, that tail curves around and pokes itself into Jethaniel's hand instead of a strap, and then they're floating along again on the Dragon Tail Express. You can tell it's the express, because it's moving somewhat faster than Jethaniel's careful hop-skip progress. The techcrafter's arm tightens slightly around Darsce once more.

Darsce is dizzy now. But they're moving - at least it's not floating - towards the light. That tail poke-pokes them inside the lift and while Darsce isn't at all averse to hanging on to Jethaniel, there's a shiny-bright metal handhold right beside her face, so one arm uncurls to latch onto that like, well, a life preserver. And now she is anchored between two (well one is relatively) stable things (not that Jethaniel is a thing, but) "There'd better be gravity on the ship," she mutters.

Strictly speaking, Jethaniel is a thing. Not only that, but he's made up of other smaller things that come together to work in complicated ways. That said, he's also arguably not a thing. Once the two of them have been placed in the lift, he looks out to say, "Thank you," to the retreating tail, which flickers in what he shall, for the purposes of this exercise, consider to be acknowledgement. "There is supposed to the artificial gravity," he says. "Presumably, we have simply to go where it is functioning."

Yokohama - Main Lift
Manufactured from a lightweight composite of Terran materials this lift supports a "microfoamed" cylindrical cab to house personnel as they travel from one part of the Yokohama to another. Three linear induction motors, mounted longitudinally on the cab's exterior, provide the force to move the cab. Electromagnetic conduits lining the shaft power the motors. The lift reaches an approximate maximum speed of ten meters per second under this system. Inertial dampeners mounted on the cab's base counteracts the acceleration effects. The interior display shows the ship's directory to assist in achieving the correct destination.
The lift is lined with brilliant tubes shining brighter than a hundred glows each, at least. The floor is thinly carpeted in a depressing industrial gray, and the walls are painted an unassuming tan. The doors are quite thick, and bear a small silver plate with the title 'Emergency procedures in case of Hull Breach…' but the rest makes little sense.

"Oh good," is Darce's heartfelt reply to that news. She even manages a wan smile now that they're enclosed in a relatively small space and can't really go hurtling off across a void like they had. "So…" she eyes the console and eyes it then, "Ah HA!" She uncurls her fingers from that wall mounted handhold and pokes #6. Because it says gravity on it.

Darsce presses the button for Floor: 6. There is a momentary pause as the lights flash at the entryway.

The doors to the lift come closed and after a momentary pause, waiting for everyone to take hold of the hand rails, the capsule bobs and then rockets to its next destination.

The lift comes to a halt at Floor: 6 and the doors open.

Hurtling across the void, no. The change from microgravity to the lift's acceleration, on the other hand, is enough to cut Jethaniel off. Up the lift whirrs, and then doors open at the destination, the acceleration of the lift giving way to artificial gravity, plain and simple. "Ah. I don't believe that's what…" A pause. "Nevertheless, I should rather like a look around." He smiles, already anticipating what lies beyond. Technological wonders shall abound!

The hiss of doors and lights flashing sends Darsce into a near-panic. Eyes go wide because now she's sure the whole thing is about to explode. "I broke it!" she wails. But then why that would matter when they're going to be little bits of matter floating through space with the metallic shards of the rest of the ship, who can say? The capsule bobs and as the gravity seems to come online with that hissing, she braces her legs and breathes a sigh of relief and then? Oh the thing goes and ROCKETS them. Her fingers turn white on that handgrip. Rocketing… is not exactly calming. It's going to eject them, isn't it? She's going to scream again, the woman draws a breath to do just that and then… they stop and the door open. Into the silence she says, "Oh." So clever. Then to Jethaniel, eyes narrowing just a bit. "Not. A. Word."

Perhaps 'lift' is an Ancient word for 'magnetic rocket launch' or 'torpedo bay'. Or perhaps… it isn't. Jethaniel attempts to open his mouth to provide something calming, because he's been so good at that so far, and then abruptly closes it again. He regards her a moment, then extends an arm to indicate the room beyond. After you? His mouth remains shut, though there is, perhaps, a hint of a smile.

Darsce has just realized that she is going to probably survive this trip. And thanks to all that chome in the lift that zero grav does weird things to hair. Hers is no longer standing straight out from her scalp like she's stuck her finger in a light socket, having dropped back to her shoulders, but it's still poufy. Darsce… doesn't do poufy. And her eyeliner is… smudged from those few tears that escaped. Wonderful. Moreover, they're stopped, not floating or rocketing and she has no more excuse to hang onto the techcrafter. So she sniffs and unwraps her arm from around his waist and both hands work at smoothing her hair while she's stepping out of the lift. Yeah, good luck getting her back on that thing! She has a handkercheif in her pocket and that's applied to restore her makeup. And they're in the spa now right?

Yokohama - Life Systems and Gravity Control
The sheer volume and sound within this space is immense as a single large cylindrical generator in the center of this round room hums, giving off an eerie blue glow to the cables and other electrical components as it powers the Yokohama. A faint beeping can be heard through the monotonous hum of the generator, signaling the use of the Water Purification System as gallons upon gallons travel through the piping and pumps, into the UV Sterilizers and final filtration vessels before being pumped back into the span of this place. Whirring also drags the attention as the Oxygen Unit filters air and recycles it throughout for the health and safety of personnel.
The flickering of lights across from these two devices on the generator's main panel note the current gravity conditions throughout the station as well as the requested status to maintain the levels in specific areas. The Filters for air and water are protected behind shatter-proof glass from tampering leaving only the generator and the engine which dominates the majority of the wall space, resting while the ship merely floats in orbit over Pern.

Ah, right. There's no reason for Darsce to hold onto him anymore. As she removes her arms from around him, his hands go behind his back and he looks down for a moment. There's a flicker of a frown, and then she looks up again to her, poufy hair and all. He should say something. Right here. Something… suitable. He has no clue what he's supposed to say, and so he remains silent until she's left the lift, trailing along after her. His eyes widen as he looks up over the complex equipment filling this large room. "Oh… fascinating!" His expression is completely kid in candy shop.

Darsce adopts her normal air of sophistication. Or she tries to, given that her hairbrush is still down in the duffel in the cargo bay and she can't do anything about her hair. And so shoving her hands in her pockets, saunters further into the room to stare blankly at all the machinery, piping and blinking lights. "This… isn't the spa, is it?" She sounds genuinely disapponted as she turns around and catches that rapt look on Jethaniel's face. Really? She turns another squint on the humming… thing, but no, it doesn't look that fascinating to her. "…The light is pretty," she finally says about that blue glow.

"Ah… no." Jethaniel turns and looks back to Darsce. "I don't believe there is a spa… per se." Back to the machinery. "That's a filtration system. I read some of the specifications before coming up here, it's got…" he pauses, and his gaze lowers to Darsce once more, regarding her for a moment. "…more than sufficient for the current usage." He fidgets slightly, and tucks his hands behind his back.

"No… spa? How do the starcrafters stand it up here?" wonders Darsce aloud as her eyes return to Jethaniel. He's got a scientific explanation for everything, maybe he can tell her that. Though his comment draws a hint of a smile back to her mouth, and she gives in to the temptation in light of that blue glow over there and drawls cheekily, "How… wasteful. They should remedy the situation." And then she strolls a few steps away to peek at those flashing lights.

"I suspect they find themselves distracted by other matters," says Jethaniel as one side of his mouth quirks up in a smile. "Regardless, I do not intend to rectify the lack. I have more than enough things to manage." His expression is rueful, now, and he shakes his head as he returns his gaze once again to the machinery around them. "I believe it has some functionality for variable usage. However, if not… inefficient or not, this technology is beyond our capabilities."

Over her shoulder with a finger hovering over a pretty red button, that reads 'Main Valve - Close', "Don't machines… break down?" This is Darsce's full extent of technology know-how right here. Machines do wonderful things but when they stop working it is frustrating. "So if he technology is beyond us, how do they keep it working?" Or maybe it isn't working - she wouldn't know. "What's this one do?" And her finger lowers to press it.

"Indeed so. In time, there will be an error in this one we are incapable of correcting," Jethaniel replies. "We possess the theoretical understanding, but not the necessary tools nor the tools required to make them. I have seen the survey files; Pern's natural resources are insufficient to achieve this level of technology. Therefore… once this fails… we shall not see its like again." The techcrafter gazes up at the blue-lit pipes, until Darsce's question brings his question to more immediate matters. "Ah. Most likely, causes a flood. Potentially a catastrophic one, depending on, ah, perhaps you'd better not." His hand reaches to try and intercept hers.

Jethaniel's hand does indeed forestall Darsce's foolish impulse to push that button, tempting as it is. "That's sharding stupid for them to put a button on a panel that would cause a flood," says she, mildly miffed at these Ancients and their odd ways. Though Jethaniel has saved her twice now - once from dying of weightless floaty panic and once from floodedness and asphyxiation from drowning. Maybe. Regardless, she make no move to yank her hand away, peers to see that none of the technicians are near enough to hear her say it, then says huskily, "Thanks for helping me back there, Jethaniel."

Now Jethaniel has a hand. Technically speaking, he already had two of them, but now one of his hands has another hand in it. He makes no move to drop it - perhaps he's uncertain he wishes to trust Darsce's hands running free around the control panels, or perhaps there's another reason. If so, it would likely have something to do with his lack of any words suitable for defending the design decisions of the Ancients. (Or maybe he agrees with her. Really, any button of that sort should likely have a shield over it to prevent accidental use, but nobody consulted him for the HCI of building this spaceship.) The other words addressed to him are ones that should be more easily reponded to. There is, after all, a clearly defined procedure for the social interactions around gratitude. "Ah…" Now what was it, again? "You… are welcome." He pauses a moment, and swallows. "Darsce." Pause. "I am glad you see you." Pause. "You came. I am glad you came. I was glad to see you."

Humble Pie is not a dish Darsce eats very often. Well, ever. But she's eating it today. Jethaniel will find her nonchalant and flippant about the whole situation in the cargo bay when the others try to tease her about it. But right now, she will admit to her fears, risk being vulnerable because Jethaniel is rather sweet and other than doing his techcrafty-thing doesn't seem to have an agenda of ulterior motives hidden behind a smooth demeanor. She's never met anyone quite like him. "I was so scared," she admits dropping her chin after his 'you are welcome.' He says her name, "Hmm?" Tipping her head back to see his face (cos he's going to tell her pushing buttons is stupid, right? She's VERY good at it though!), she listens and then a pleased smile curves her mouth. "You were?"

Many aspects of social situations may slide by Jethaniel, but he is at least capable of recognizing terror when he sees it. His head inclines in a slight nod of acknowledgement as Darsce admits to her fear in the cargo bay, but he has no comment to make on that. Who is he to scorn her fear? After all, hers had cause. Rationally, it makes sense that a creature evolved for planetary life would be discomfited in a situation where the normal rules of locomotion no longer apply. His current anxiety - visible in his face, in the inward draw of his cheeks and how his eyes hyper-focus to keep from drifting away from Darsce - has much less rational a cause. After all, interpersonal interactions have been going on for milennia. Surely the optimal course would have been developed by now. If so, Jethaniel did not receive the manual. "I was," he repeats. "I… enjoy spending time with you. You have… I got you a flower." He looks away, and it's not even to anything interesting. A patch of wall devoid of machinery. "A sevenday ago. It's still on my desk. How could it suffice for your aesthetics?"

Somehow it's appropriate that this conversation is taking place while he's holding her hand over a flahing light panel. Later Darsce will reflect (ha) on this. But she gave him the manual - it was slipped in between his schematics in that long-ago art class. True there were no words, numbers or explanations to go with the picture, but. He enjoys spending time with her? "Really?" Darsce shouldn't be so pleased to hear this, but the fact is… she is. And he got her a flower. Aww? "How could it… what now?" Her smile goes all quirky trying to understand his last sentence.

True, Darsce gave Jethaniel the manual, but it was rather too advanced for him in places. Not that he didn't study it, but there were too many lacks of words for his mind to follow. He's getting a sense of it now, but as times to understand a lack of words go, having it happen when he requires words to speak is remarkably inconvenient. Jethaniel's gaze returns to Darsce's face, just in time to see the part where the smile twists itself up in perplexity. "Your aesthetics. I am capable of their appreciation, but they are not a field in which I possess any expertise. It seemed… it would be foolish of me to presume I could select something for you."

"My…" Darsce doesn't laugh at his choice of words. But it's hard not to. "You're very sweet, you know that?" she is sincere in the compliment. "For what it's worth, I think… expertise is highly overrated. Unless someone is going to die. And then it's essential." Like keeping the spaceship running so they can survive this trip. "I don't think you're foolish at all," she says returning to the topic at hand. She raises up on tiptoes to lean over the control panel, leaves a kiss on his cheek, her iceblue eyes smiling into his before she drops back down and squeezes his hand with a gentle press of fingers. "I'm going to go find my hairbrush. I'll see you later, okay?" And she skips off to brave that insane lift again, leaving him to gawk at the wonders of technology.

To judge from Jethaniel's expression of surprise, his own sweetness is another of the areas where he lacks expertise - or, really, any knowledge whatsover. He blinks. "Ah…" he manages, which is only in the strictest of senses a word at all, and that's all he has to say on the subject before it's on to that of expertise. "I prefer the application of expertise prior to the death being imminent." Safeguards! Double and triple checks! By the time he's through here, that flashy red button will have a shield on it, just you watch. The kiss doesn't come with a manual either, but to judge from the smile that spreads across Jethaniel's features, he's capable of figuring that one out. "I… shall endeavor not be." Perhaps when they get back to the surface, that flower will actually at long last be delivered. His fingers squeeze hers back lightly, then release as he nods. "Yes. I'll see you later," he says, and after watching her departure for a moment, turns back to beam at that technology with a smile that's inextricably tangled between two entirely different causes.

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