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First Word

Midve

Guest
M
Midve gazed up at the twilight haze that enveloped the sky. Every clear night, it could be plainly observed, an ebbing fuzz that disturbed the brilliant sparkle of the Billion Grains and the trillion other distant suns. Of course, the magnetic glow of the shield would have never been considered unusual by the latest fifty generations had the important details of its existence been neglected in the planet's history.

The evening glow was an ancient souvenir, compliments of the Rakata in an age of more-or-less harmonious servitude that had yet to be revisited. It contained them; impeded them; separated them from the rays of Asha. With eternal futility, the cages inhabitants of Hebrides persisted over the last millennium to transmit a desperate plea to their absent masters. They were long overdue. Midve was certain she could discern the one odd gleam up there...

The rodent-like creature abated from her musings and pattered into the magnificent structure that was home to the Grand Council of Tech Elders. It was a hollowed-out, gigantic mushroom plant, storied and central in the hosting of tens of thousands of world Council meetings in the great capital of High Rooms. And Midve had her own place in there. In fact, the female Asha'ladier had been appointed to the most esteemed office of High Engineer, which granted her much authority and burdened her with equal responsibility in the activities of all Asha'ladier society, especially the endless pursuit of technologic perfection.

This particular assembly of the Grand Council had been instigated by the detection of a stellar anomaly. Chief astronomers had sounded the alarm the instant of artificiality confirmation. A massive, unnatural object had suddenly and unprecedentedly entered their sky only a few hours ago, and half the planet was already ablaze with tense anticipation of the long-awaited return of the masters. A spectacular celebration program was already under development in order to welcome the Rakata back. Their world, despite its isolation, had changed drastically in the masters' absence.

High Benefactor Lidilk Trustuo'Voory had already commenced with his imparting of vital knowledge and procedural protocol on Rakata custom to the gathered Elders. They would be prepared. This was the precise event that Beneficiaries were selected in prescience of. High Benefactor Lidilk would have complete command over all process and ceremony from now until the four High Elders should hand all control back to the Rakata.

Before she knew it, High Engineer Midve was being swept into the Inner Room with Lidilk and the two other High Elders. Save each official's three accompanying personal advisors, there was no one to observe them. The atmosphere inside the Inner Room was intense. As High Elders, the four chiefs also held the exclusive roles of Ambassadors.

Suddenly, Asha had cast the fate of the Ladier on these four individuals.

A roll and a flip, and the lot was cast. Midve's number had been called for First Word with the returning Rakata. She blinked.

@[member="Akio Kahoshi"]
 

Akio Kahoshi

Peace through Order
Writer
Atrisian Emperor Kahoshi was visiting the new facilities being constructed at Rakata Prime when word came to him that an odd transmission had been received. At first it had seemed like random noise, until someone had realized it was in a encryption they had no record of. After a week the IIB was able to crack the encryption, to discover a simple message being repeated over and over in an ancient Rakatan tongue. A call to return to a planet referred to as "Hebrides." Curious, the Emperor organized a mission to track down the source.

It had taken some guess work based off the direction of the transmission's origin, not to mention a few wasted hyperspace jumps, before they finally found the right system. As they approached the habitable world, everyone in the task force was awed by what they saw. An entire planet surrounded by a powerful shield. Not one to protect the occupants, but one to trap the people on the surface there. Which quickly caused the question of why they had been locked away throughout the fleet.

Given that the original message had been in Rakatan, Akio had made sure to bring along a protocol droid programmed with the language (not to mention over six million others). It would automatically translate his messages, though the receiving party would have to suffer through listening to his Galactic Basic first. What the Atrisians could see from space was interesting, especially the startlingly large mushrooms that seemed to be the main building resource on the planet. He wanted to know more.

"My name is Akio Kahoshi, Emperor of Atrisia," he transmitted to the planet. "I wish to speak with the representative of your people."

@[member="Midve"]
 

Midve

Guest
M
The approaching vessel oddly failed to immediately deactivate the planetary shield. In the Inner Room, Midve's advisors opened comm lines and established a connection with the foreign starship after a considerable delay from what they had been expecting. Immediately, they were greeted by the sounds of an awkward tongue. The language was so far departed from the Rakatan all Asha'ladier learned in mandatory courses, that it could not possibly be of their former masters. High Benefactor Lidilk called for a protocol droid to resolve the matter. When the shiny droid arrived, Lidilk inserted an ancient datachip, as old as the planetary shield itself. Hopefully this strange language had been existent at that time.

The voice on the comm repeated a certain phrase once more, and this time the interpreter robot altered what it could recall via the dictionary datachip into the language of the Asha's sons. Its translation revealed that an emperor from far off into the stars was introducing himself to them, requesting a diplomatic meeting. The High Engineer was hesitant, and looked to the High Benefactor for aid. But he only shook his head. Every protocol he had lived his life to fulfill was specific to the Rakata--their masters. No one had ever expected to communicate with any other visitors.

This alien emperor had been waiting long enough, Midve finally conceded. In a staccato yet mellow inflection, she responded in the direction of the protocol droid, who in turn relayed her message to the monarch hovering above their lonely world. "[Father of other-worlds,]" the High Engineer spoke, "[I am the representative which Asha has appointed for this essential moment. We have awaited the master-carers for so long. Are you here on their behalf?]"

@[member="Akio Kahoshi"]
 

Akio Kahoshi

Peace through Order
Writer
The translation was odd, and certainly not what any aboard the Atrisian ship had expected. There was significant discussion over what the message meant, which delayed their response as long as they had waited for the aliens below to respond.

"Who is Asha?" one officer asked.

"Dunno," another answered. "Possibly their King or Chieftain, or whatever they call it down there. Given they live in mushrooms, Chieftain is probably the best bet."

"Let's not make assumptions on their civilization based off housing," Akio interrupted. "We've seen signs of advanced technology on the surface. Most likely they simply chose to make use of their available resources in an efficient manner. I'm more concerned about these 'master-carers' mentioned. Given the language and the transmission's direction, I think perhaps the Rakata were here a long time ago."

"It is the only explanation that makes sense to me right now," a third officer said with a shrug. "No way of knowing if its true without asking."

"Then let us ask, or at least talk." Then the Emperor had the comm officer once again begin transmitting down to the planet. "If you are referring to the Rakata, no we do not represent them. The Atrisian Empire stands for itself, and the Rakata have been virtually extinct for thousands of years."

@[member="Midve"]
 
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