Seraph- An angel. What the winded people call themselves. I somehow never got around to putting that in the first chapter.
Lios & Lupos- Werecats & Werewolves. Walk on two legs or four very aggressive. Patriarchal tribal society.
Chapter Two: A New Home
The craft shuddered under the stress of the shift from jump speed to normal travel speed. The shuddering of the ship jolted Avriel from her fitful slumber. Disoriented and confused she looked frantically around at her surroundings until she remembered where they were. She looked down at her handsome son, his chubby little hand gripping her silken dress as he slept on, and a smile of happiness that they had escaped covered her face and faded as quickly as it came. Disentagling Azriel's tiny had, she slid off the table with a groan the sealant in her wound still numbed that pain but the sore muscles from her flight through the palace, as she cut down any in her path, protested with each movement she made. Also sleeping on an examination table probably contributed to her back ache. Turning she lifted Azriel into her arms and cradling his small squishy body to her made her way to the bridge. Sitting, she remembered that Michael had called this a Self Replicating Artifically Intelligent Nanite Ship. He also said he called it Sidney after his daughter so that meant there was an AI on board the ship.
"Ship state your name," Avriel said evenly without raising her voice hoping not to wait Azriel. She absentmindedly stroked his small head and murmured to him under her breath without ever realising what she was doing. After waiting for a few moments for the ship to answer and recieving only silence she began looking for the problem. After searching for ten minutes for the problem in the ships software a switch at the side of the panel caught her attention. Leaning over to read the label next to the switch she snorted in amused exasperation.
"Only Michael would built a ship with a brain and then forget to turn the brain on," she said softly to herself. Reaching down she toggled the AI powerswitch to on. After a few moments she once again addressed the ship.
"Ship state your name."
"I am the Self-Replicating Nanite Ship. Designated name is Sidney," in the melodic voice of Micheal's daughter.
"Sidney who is your registered captain?"
"I am not yet captained. However I can only accept King Gabriel of Paradise, Queen Avriel of Paradise, Prince Azriel of Paradise, Captain of the Royal Gaurd Rafiel, Head Scientist Michael, and Sideney daughter of Michael as captain. If you are one of the fore mentioned you may register your self as captain. If you are not one of the fore mentioned you will not begiven access to any of the ships higher fuctions. Be warned that shutting down the AI core and then trying to manually operate the ships higher functions will immidiate immediate self-destruction."
"Sidney, I am Avriel Queen of Paradise and this is Prince Azriel I would like to register both of us as Captains."
"Yes my Queen, place your palm on the scanner. It will check your DNA and you finger prints. Also the ships interior sensors have already recorded your and Prince Azriel's bio signatures and your voice. The sensors indicate that Prince Azriel is to young yet to speak in a way for his voice pattern to be captured so until that time he may not be registered as captain. I have set him a emergency commander should anythiny happen to your person he will take command of the vessel but will be unable to access the higher functions until registered."
Nodding her head in asent Avriel placed her palm on the scanner that slid from the console in front of her. A red light ran from the tips of her fingers to her wrist then heat pulsed from the scanner into her hand. After a minute or so the heat faded and the scanner went dark beneath her hand and began to recede into the console.
"Queen Avriel you have been registered as Captain of the Sidney. Do you wish to know of the ships higher functions they are classified and only the captain is told of all the ship is capable of."
"I would like to know about them after a status check. Run a full ship diagnostic and tell me how far are we from the Planet Rayne. Also where is the food stored on the ship. I need to eat and Michael did not mentoin a mess hall or dining room."
"We are twelve light years from Rayne's solar system. At our current speed we will breach the atmosphere in approximately fifteen hours. The cabins each have a kitchen with a food stoage unit since the current size of the vessel does not allow for a mess hall. The armory at this point is a nine foot by fifteen foot room only accessable by the door hidden behind the bookcase in the captains cabin. The diagnostic is finished Captain do you wish a report?"
"Yes please relay your status then tell me of the higher functions of this ship," Avriel replied leaning back into the comfortable cushions of the chair.
"As you wish captain. The hull of the ship took minor scoring damage from the explosion of the R&D wing of the palace but the damage was minor and is being repaired as we speak. The repairs should be finished before we reached the half waypoint between our current position and Rayne. The ships cannons are operational and primed. The shields are fully functional but are not on line. I believe they may not have been activated."
"How do I activate the shields? Michael probably forgot to turn them on like he forgot to turn the AI core on. How are we doing on fuel," Avriel said interupting the ships report.
"I am powered by a one of a kind fusion engine that will not run down in you lifetime captain. The activation shitch is on the far right side of the command console just below the blank indication bar," the ship replied. Finding the switch Avriel flipped it and the indication bar lit up. A sliver of red showed at the bottom and began to rise. As the bar filled the light changed to yellow, then green, then blue when it was fully charged.
"I have never seen a shield charge that fast," Avriel said with awe.
"The shield are one of the ship's higher functions. They are twice as effective as any other shield and because they are generated by combining a magnetic field generated by each of the nanites that comprise almost the entire ship they can not be disabled externally. That ship's shape it shiftable to any ship design uploaded into the datadanks. Michael was going to up load the royal library and the palace archives into the databanks but he was interupted by the invasion."
"Oh right, he gave me the data to install," Avriel said. She reached into her belt pouch and pulled the info pad out flipping out the universal plug she inserted it into an empty slot on the console.
"Captain the data on this, after it has been uploaded completely, will allow the ship to shift it's shape to match any ship stored in the database. Also all weapons and armor well be able to be created by the ship. One note on the shields captain before I continue with my report. I am not sure if you are aware but you and Azriel have been injected with a nanite. That nanite was one of the ships nanites that Michael took and altered to be useful in a seraph's body. Those nanites will only work inside a seraph or partial seraph, as the nanite in your body consumes all the extra nutrients in your body that you body doesn't need it will begin to multiply and they will begin to produce a shield similar to the one around the ship only weaker. Moving on, the ship can create any weapon or armor with the designs in the database. A note to remember the armor will also have a very weak shield and energy weapons made from the nanites will be the most effect. Also avoid being struck by melee weapons whenever possible and melee weapons made from the nanites will be all but useless. With each strike the weapon will begin to deteriorate as the concusions scramble the nanite's circuits."
"So the armor is prety much only trully effect against energy weapons and the melee weapons are not even worth making," Avriel asked a little let down.
"Well the shield of the armor will deflect most projectile weapons so it is good for that. Although if the weapon is heavy or propelled stongly enough it will punch through the shield. Once the nanites in your body, your Nanite Count (NC), reach the optimal amount that your body can support added to the armor will make you untouchable to almost all projectile weapons that are light enough to be easily mobile. Energy rounds will just make the shields power increase for a few seconds. And if you need a melee weapon on the ship in a hurry having a weapon that is good for only a little while is better then being unarmed but dont put to much faith in the ship made melee weapons."
"Okay thank you for clarifying that. How long will it take for my and Azriel's NC to get to the point were the shield will deflect projectiles and how fast will we heal once we reach the optimal NC. Also do the nanites in our bodies do anything else. We can't be harmed through them or controlled by them can we?"
"No captain you can not be controlled all data interaction with your nanites, which are called mobile nanites, is outgoing. The only thing your nanites are capable of recieving is comunication from someone who has mobile nanites as well as with me. To derect your communications to a certain person just speak their name and say communications online. To end the conversation simply say communications offline, there is no need to be worried about intercption of the communication it is encoded. The access key to the code is three million nubers long and is changed every five minutes. It is theoretically unbreakable. When your reach the optimal NC wounds to your body like the one currently in your side will heal in a matter of hours. The nanites will begin to increase the denistity of your bones and muscles, this will make you stonger and less likely to become badly damaged. They will leave little air pockets in the bones so that while they increase the density of the bone they will not hinder your mobility. For example if they raised your bone density as much as they are going to with out leaving those bubbles you would no longer be able to swim, you would sink like a lead brick. They will also begin to alter your vision you will be able to see things at a greater distance and changes in light will not hinder your sight. Eventually you may even be able to see in the dark. They will also begin to emit a signal that interferes with normal electronic tracking, so electronic detection systems will not pick you up. That is all the nanites are capable of altering. By my calculations if you eat foods high in iron it will take about ten years till you reach the optimal NC."
"Ok, got it. Is there anything else about the ship you need to tell me?"
"Yes, not only is the outside of this ship changable but so is the inside. The ship can assimilate any non-organic material and incorperate it into the ship. With each thing the ship creates my NC lowers so assimilation to imparative. I can also make a new ship if I have assimilated enough raw materials to create the NC need for whichever ship you wish to build. The new ship will have an AI created by me but I am unable to replicate without the consent of my captain. This precaution is in place so if my AI core were some how damaged I couldn't replicate infinitely and try to conquer the universe. Also any ship I create will be under my control, though they will not be dependant on me. This is to prevent betrayal and loss of our ships to the enemy," Sidney said.
"That's everything," Avriel asked.
"Yes, Captain that is all the ship is currently capable of there are a few more ship designs that Michael uploaded with all that data that are only for me as I am the only ship capable of filling the specs needed to build them, but without more raw materials to use I am unable to build or change into them."
"Good I am going to find something for me and Azriel to eat. Tell me when we reach Rayne's orbit don't land until I decide where to put down," she said stading and walking back to the cabin marked for the captain. Placing her hand on the panel to open the door she waited for it slide open. Once inside the cabin she was impessed at how nice and comfortable it was. The bed was large enough for three people to sleep comfortably on it and six or seven if they were really friendly. There was a door way that she assumed was the bathroom and sperating the bedroom from the kitchen was a half wall that came up to her chestand there was a book case that took up an entire wall. Azriel began to stir in her arms opening his eyes he looked up into her face and smiled angelically and began to babble up at her as if he was having a conversation with her. She smiled down at him and stroked his head, he grabbed her hand as it passed by his face and began sucking on her finger hungrily while his teeth bit down hard enough to cause her to wince.
"Ow, I'm not food that hurts," she said down to him. He immediatley stopped biting down looked up at her as his eyes began to water.
"Shhh baby thats ok I'm not mad at you. Your a good boy," she said trying to head off the tears and wailing that Michael's daughter had always burst into whenever chastised. Avriel had never been around any other toddlers except little Sidney. Azriel's eyes cleared and he began sucking on the finger again but he didn't bite down. She was almost certain he had understood exactly what she said. Going into the food storage unit she found some ingrediants to make meat pies and vanilla nutrition smoothies. Supposedly you could live off the smoothies but they never did fill her and the meat pies where high in iron so it would help with the nanite production. A thought occuring to her she asked the ship.
"Sidney with the nanites in my body consuming all the unused protien will I be able to gain weight?"
"No captain, the nanites will keep you in peek condition. Your body will get everything it needs then the nanites will use what they need and dispose of the rest."
After cooking dinner she sat and ate feeding Azriel one of the smoothies and most of a meatpie before he drifted off back to sleep. She took him to the bathroom and changed his diaper then took him back out to the room and layed him in the center of the bed.
"Sidney inform me if Azriel wakes, I want to take a shower," she said as she turned back to the bathroom.
Turning on the shower Avriel removed her belt and sword placing them on the counter beside the sink. She undid the buttons going down her front and let the stiff blood soaked dress fall to the floor. Catching movement out of the corner of her eye she spun hand reaching for her sword but she stopped when she saw a full length mirror on the wall. There she stood five feet, five inches tall. Her breast were big enough to over flow even her husbands large hand and even at three hundred and twelve years old they didn't sag a centimeter. Her toned body was smooth and soft down the skin of her back and arms. Her body completely unmarred except for the wound in her side. Her fifteen foot wingspan, the tips brushing the opposite walls when outspread, was pure white. Her legs and ass tight and muscled. Her small delicate frame deceptively hid her strength and speed. More then one of her enemies had fallen mistaking her beauty as innocence and they found that she was as deadly with her sword as she was beautiful. Her long golden blonde hair hanging to her waist and her haunted blue eyes were pained and bloodshot. Turning she got into the shower and let the steaming hot water wash away her memories for a little while.
Avriel sat at the command console and looked out the view port at Rayne their new home until Azriel was old enough to lead the assault to reatake their world. Maybe if they were lucky they could enlist the help of the locals. Though aggressive they were said to be honorable. She began scanning the planet and sat back thinking.
"Sidney once on the planet how faraway could you detect incoming ships, or long distance fighters like pirates use?"
"From on planet I could give you maybe a half and hour to an hour warning at best captain the atmosphere will hamper my scanners."
"What if you created three relay becons and we placed one on each of the planet's moons?"
"With relay becons we would have a three to four hour warning unless they jumped into the solar system closer to the planet then that. However I don't have any extra raw material to use to make the becons I could reassimilate the cargo bay since it is of almost no use as it is and that should give me more then enough for the becons."
"Do it," Avriel said cradling a sleeping Azriel to her chest. Five minutes later the becons were launched and ten after that they were in place and online.
"The becons are inplace captain. We have a three to five light year sweep, depending on the positions of the moons, in every direction from the planet. There are currently no detected ships aside from us in the range of the becons. Where would you like to make landfall captain?"
"Hmmm," Avriel said absentmindly as she looked at the read out she got from the scan of the planet. On the side of the planet they were on there some small metal deposits and twelve rudimentary towns she was unable to tell if they were Lios and Lupos without going very close. Turning the display she saw there were massive viens of iron and copper with smaller silver and gold viens all converging in one spot. Precious stones were also detected though due to the interference of the ore they could not be accurately identified.
"There, that is were we are going to land so you can assimilate as much of those minerals as you can and we can began building a fleet to retake Paradise. Set course for that mineral convergance. Any news from the universal information net?"
"Captain the info net does not reach this planet the only news that you dont know is that Hell's queen which Lucifer and her generals imprisoned has escaped with the help of loyalists. The generals on planet have been captured and executed and all ships in the system siezed. This will mean war between Lucifer and the Hellions remaining loyal to the queen they have the means to hold out for several decades if not for a century if they are wise in the use of their resources."
Gritting her teeth she sat and waited for them to approach the landing site. As they neared it a more accurate scan show there was a cave the mouth was wide enough for the ship to enter but the interior wasn't big enough for it to turn so they had to back in and set down. Avriel had the ship make a harness to carry Azriel on her chest and she found the switch on the bookcase and trieved some light body armor and an energy rifle. She slipped on the armor then buckled on her belt and sword on. She slipped into the harness and slung the rifle over her shoulder. Strapping Azriel snuggly into the harness as he cooed at her and gripped her hair. Lastly she strapped on the scanner/comunicator Sidney had made her. It covered her arm from her wrist to three inches before her elbow. Behind her trailed a knee high robot meant mainly to carry things if she found anything edible. Their stock of food would last a year or two if they lived only on that but it was best to save it for emergencies since it would not spoil.
She slapped her hand against the door panel and disembarked for the first time onto the Planet of Rayne.