Like a Honeybee Drawn to ... Smeg

OOC - Mitheral and I finally settled on some arrival paths. If anyone finds them especially objectionable, just holler and we can delete and redo.

In the wake of the destruction of Belhaphasar

Candice Kane tried in frustration to get either sensor readings or a communications signal from the huge ship looming before her. But her instruments appeared to be rather smegged. Whatever had destroyed the planet below her had overloaded her systems when she had tried to warp out a little too close to the gravitational field. Fortunately her Honeybee X – a variant of the Hornet – had been engineered for endurance – no durability … well both. The Hornet was a military version of the Starbug crossed with a Space Beagle. It was fast, rugged and capable of delivering the battle to the enemy. The Honeybee was a research version of the Hornet. What separated the Honeybee and Hornet from their ancestor Starbug was the development of bioplastic varitech that enabled it to alter its configuration efficiently. They Honeybee X incorporated a quantum leap in varitech technology, a nanomolecular material called Living Metal. Both bioplastic and living metal were capable of self repair under most conditions.

The AI system of the Honeybee X was neither an Aphrodite, nor Athena system, but an amalgam of both she had named Onauva. It wasn’t a hardware technology like so many archaic systems, but a wetware design, using a biogel based on the same technology as bioplastic with interwoven living metal. While the living metal created a leap forward in intelligence and computing power, it was also a little more susceptible to heavy shock. Onauva appeared to be in such a state of shock. The shockwaves of the destruction of the planet they had been investigating had knocked the Honeybee out of control. Candice hoped it wouldn’t last long. But for now Onauva was telling her nothing.

Without sensors or communications the best Candice had been able to do was to open a visual – an actual visual rather than an external video. Candice had cracked an airlock open to get a manual radiation reading. Once assured that the levels were within safe limits, she had simply walked out into the airlock and looked out. Spotting the tiny reflection of the Blue Dwarf, she increased magnification to Eagle mode and decided the reflection wasn’t so tiny. In fact, the ship before her was a little bit larger than her own mothership, the Seventh Heaven.

Candice manually began altering her trajectory toward the Blue Dwarf. Once she had an intercept course laid in she took over prioritizing repairs of the wing retraction system and the Intruder Mode hull configuration. While she didn’t want to sneak in, the Intruder Mode hull also allowed the color scheme to be altered. She planned to alternate the color scheme between light and dark to send a universal distress code - SOS. Of course, universal assumed the builders of the large behemoth before her were human. And ff course, if they were hostile, Intruder mode would be a nice way to hide while Onauva completed her repairs … if she didn’t get blown to bits before she got there.

Candice felt so … so …. Out of her element. She wasn’t a pilot, hardly a scientist, definitely not an engineer, nor a combat model. She was a simple companion … who had no one to be a companion to. How much more useless could she be? Candice sighed. Still getting no response from her communication systems she aimed the Honeybee X toward what looked like the launch tubes of the flight deck and retracted the wings.

In order to navigate the launch tube Candice manually launched a probe to transmit a video image. Manually meant turning off the internal gravity, dragging a probe to the airlock and shoving it out into the vacuum of space. It was crude, but effective. And while her landing wasn’t exactly textbook, she didn’t do too much damage to the Honeybee. She was a little disappointed that no one had been there to greet her. She was so lonely that even a hostile response might have been welcomed.

Once settled with her probe returned to storage, she changed clothes into something presentable. Then she moved out to the airlock to get a good look around.

“I am so smegged.” Candice sighed.

The ships on the Flight Deck – with the exception of the Honeybee – were antiques. She sincerely hoped Onauva could handle all the repairs herself. Getting help from these primitives wasn’t likely to be an option.

Still, she had been taught long ago during her Companion indoctrination that being smegged was always a good thing. She smiled at that and decided she had been blessed beyond her wildest dreams.

“Smeg.” She muttered. “My trainers did NOT know what they were talking about.

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