Cassandra: An interesting diversion

Who: Cassandra, Mr. Butler
Where: Blue Dwarf, Alpha Centauri
When: Around the time Efof began his final approach
Another abandoned stateroom, strewn with appropriated and jury-rigged
The main display monitor showed the Hymenoptera ship that the Blue Dwarf was
manoeuvring a cautious course towards, overlaid with page after page of the
Slave systems schematics scrolling unheeded, upwards on the screen
Mr Butler lay dozing on the bottom bunk while Cass, hunched over the desk,
worked silently on integrating the bailout device into the main core, a heavy
pair of black adaptive optic goggles masking her eyes as she methodically fused
each of the terminators onto the core array.
A moment later after the goggles schematics had green lighted, she blew out a
heavy, relieved sigh and slumped back into her chair having finally got the
smegging thing right. She slid the goggles up onto her forehead and glanced,
blinking, around the room, eyes struggling to adjust to the macro scale all of a
"How about some coffee?" she asked
Mr Butler, just grunted and remained where he was
"Huh, suit yourself"
Cass stood, stretched and ambled over towards the dispenser machine, sliding a
cig between her lips as she walked
"Coffee" she mumbled around the cig as she flicked her lighter on and lit up
Exhaling a cloud of smoke, she turned to glance at the main monitor while she
waited for the coffee to arrive, squinting at the Hymenoptera ship behind the
scrolling reams of data. It was the first time she had seen a ship of this class
and its function was entirely unknown to her
"Would you just look at that thing..." she murmured
Butler just grunted again
"No, I mean it" she began again "Just look at it: completely organic... It's
amazing what evolution throws up, but even then, it's so smegging limited
compared with what it could be..."
"Ha." Butler snorted, his eyes still closed "I take it that you're not
"Nah, not really" Cass smiled "There are worse things in the universe than the
smegging Hymenoptera"
"Oh, really?" Mr. Butler rumbled, opening an eye to regard her "Care to name
Cass smiled coldly
"I'm way worse"
"Ha!" Butler's craggy face creased into a grin "I'd say that you had some balls
making a statement like that if I hadn't seen you do that routine with the
feather boa!"
"Oh, thanks for reminding me about that" Cass sneered "Really."
Butler grunted, swung his feet off the bed and sat up
"Look, no offence..." he started
"Whatever" Cass waved him quiet and stalked across the room, staring intently at
the monitor
"What is...?" she snatched her handheld up and tapped her way through a few
menus, finally resorting to the CLI
The main monitor blanked momentarily before returning to displaying just the
Slave's information schematics which Cass scrolled through, backing up a bit
"There!" she jabbed a finger at the screen "Would you just look at that?"
Butler grunted noncommittally
"Interesting..." Cass murmured, her fingers dancing over the handheld "That
Hymenoptera ship seems to be broadcasting something..."
"Yeah..." Cass bit her bottom lip and frowned, mining the data even deeper "Some
sort of omnidirectional radio transmission; heh, radio - how quaint; must be
local stuff!"
"And... Oh..." she continued "Odd. It looks like some sort of beta wave
analogue; do the Hymenoptera use beta waves? Neurological stuff... Is this some
sort of Hymenoptera telepathy, their hive consciousness perhaps?"
Cass stopped and stared up at the main monitor
"I'll bet you that this is just the tip of the iceberg; Neutrino and tachyon
comms; gamma, alpha, delta and the theta analogues too... Damn, I wish I had one
of those critters to dissect; I'd have a much better idea of what I was looking
at after I'd done a deep trawl"
"You're monologuing" Butler stated bluntly
Cass smiled
"Yeah, you got me there. Still, this could be an interesting discovery; I mean,
what would happen if I were able to jam or disrupt the hive mind? Would they go
mad not being in constant touch with each other, or just cease functioning as an
effective hive? Interesting..."
Cass ran her fingers through her hair, deep in thought
"This is all supposing" Butler rumbled "that what you've discovered is indeed
the communication medium for their hive mind..."
"Oh, don't be such a spoilsport. I know it's probably just ship to ship comms,
but it needs looking into, just in case... Oh, and I guess I had best let the
captain know about this as well; chances are that the lowbrow smegwits working
on this crate haven't even noticed these signals, and I don't fancy dying when a
bunch of motherships turn up..."
Jay's communicator pinged with a message from an unknown source some moments
"Useful titbit for you: Data indicates a strong possibility of the Hymenoptera
ship being in contact with others; check comms around the 15 Hz range. Suggest
encouraging those in power to leave sharpish before unwelcome company arrives.
<tag: Jay - do you have your communicator with you, or is it in the care of the
security department?>

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