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Topic Summary

Posted by: Luke Skywalker (Ossanlin)
« on: August 14, 2017, 02:15:04 AM »

<Mar is right, these creatures are, or resemble, the human species from the M-Class planet they call 'Earth.'>

Ossanlin gestures at Al.  <Like I said, he's actually a robot with a sophisticated holographic projection, but he's generally not...well...unscru pulous like his traveling partner.>  Ossanlin spares a stalk-eye for Salem.

<<I tire of this game Salem.  Whatever you're trying to accomplish with this farce, it's not working.  What do you want of me?  No fiction...just an answer.>>
Posted by: Aluminator (Kit)
« on: August 13, 2017, 03:10:48 PM »

Al watches, bemused, as the accordion-like alien makes its way across the shipyard. "Ahhh," he says, "it's been a long, long time since I've seen a..." He frowns "Polkadon?" He snaps a finger. "Folk-music-ite!" He sighs and heads back into the ship. "Well, I tried."

As he walks by Salem, he holds up a hand for a high-five, which Salem meets absentmindedly. Al continues calling back to Mar even as he walks and gathers up his bag of medical supplies. "I have nothing but respect for you average working bot," he calls, "but some people like their artificial life-forms a little more... lively. I, personally, was designed to assist in fun, entertainment, friendship, fourth-wall breaks and bad puns. I was built as a party machine and a..." he laughs as he steps out next to Mar again, "social ambassador."

When Mar begins thought-speaking openly, Al turns to him and mutters, "Show-off," though his light tone and the grin on his face make it pretty clear he's joking.

He looks over at Ossanlin. "I'm afraid I can't offer much more in the way of field medicine than you can. Disinfectant and a quick patch. But I'm happy to help if I can."

He walks over to Ardania and sets down the bag a respectful distance away. "With your permission, of course." He keeps his voice and his smile gentle. Ardania seems to be holding herself together well so far, but if she's recently witnessed the deaths of her entire crew, there's no telling what emotional state she might be in, and Al has no intention of pushing things. He bends down and begins rummaging through the medical bag. When Ardania mentions the violence of humans, he chuckles. "Heh heh heh. Yeeeaaaahhhh, humans can be short, violent little buggers."

"I heard that!" calls Salem from inside the Mirage, which only makes Al laugh harder. Salem finally steps out into the doorway, where he can see Ardania. A civilian female out in the field. Wonder of wonders. He looks at her with curiosity. He's dying to know how she's ended up out here. He'll have to ask her if he ever gets the opportunity. For the moment, however, all he does is flash her a half-smile and say, "Not all of us are as violent as you've been led to believe. Though, yes, we are tailless bipeds." He rolls his eyes slightly. That, in particular, seems to be a real sticking point among Andalites, and it's a conversation he must have had a hundred times in the past.

He begins thought-speaking to Ossanlin again. <<Now you're catching on,>> he says, with a slight smirk. <<There's no obvious advantage to moving the Andalite military away from conflict. I don't know what the endgame of this movement is. The direction doesn't make sense. There must be a big piece of the puzzle I'm missing. Maybe more than one. I only know what my network has been able to piece together.>> He'll let that last statement stand as something of an insurance policy. If Ossanlin is Sector Seven, there's no way he'll kill Salem without acquiring more information about his 'network.' Or... so Salem hopes.

He sighs. <<There have been shifts in the news feeds and propaganda on the homeworld. There've been reports of the Andalites... losing battles.>> He closes his eyes and rubs his temples. Damn headaches... <<Only a few sporadic reports, but the seeds of doubt are being planted. Maybe you already know, but there's a quiet rumor growing among the troops that the top officials are planning to pull the fleet back to the homeworld. You know as well as I do that a rumor like that would have been remorselessly quashed a year ago. And from what I've seen, the whispers of that rumor are starting to spread among civilians as well.>> his eyes flick to Ardania, then back to Ossanlin. <<I see evidence that certain portions of Andalite strategy, formations, and intelligence are playing right into Yeerk hands. Palps. Whatever. Maybe you can interpret the data, but I believe I have evidence of at least two cases of good Andalite warriors being left to die before Imperial forces in order to spread doubt on the homeworld. I see subtle movements in the fleet that imply a shift towards defense, even as the they increase the number of scouting parties too small to defend themselves. It's only a subtle shift so far, but it is definitely happening.>>

He pauses and swallows. <<And... I believe my intelligence has uncovered the Andalites responsible for this shift.>> He swallows. <<Or at least some of the major players. But this is too big and too deep for me to handle all on my lonesome.>> He stares at Ossanlin, intending to do that 'stern judgmental look' thing that Al does so well, but Salem gets the feeling he's just coming across as tired.
Posted by: DinosaurNothlit
« on: August 12, 2017, 07:22:04 PM »

Truth Seeker looked at Yeden, the Iskoort having happened to catch the word 'Kandrona' from Yeden's exclamation, even if he didn't seem to notice the hand that had drifted to his holster.  Despite the sheer alien-ness of his features, Truth Seeker's emotions were almost comically easy to read in his bug-eyed face, and his look was one of surprised recognition.  Yes, he knew that word, but he could think of no reason why anyone other than an Iskoort would know it.  Iskoort, or at least the Yoort part of the Iskoort symbiont, required Kandrona for sustenance.  But Truth Seeker had never encountered another species that had any relation to the rare type of radiation.  No other species had ever even heard of it.

He was quickly distracted from those thoughts, however, by Jeffrey's answer to his query.  <I am sorry for the collapse of your society,> the Iskoort said solemnly.  Then he looked thoughtful.  <Yes, many species have fictional characters of the 'hero' archetype.  Beings who protect the weak.  But, you mention powers?  Your species truly has powers?>  He looked fearfully from Jeffrey to the other humans in the Bar.  <You can start fires with your thoughts?>  Truth Seeker had noted Jeffrey's differentiation between those with powers and 'normal humans,' but he hadn't picked up from context that 'human' referred to Jeffrey's species.

<As for my interest, it is mainly because these characters can sometimes emerge through these stories, from realities beyond this one.  Not as physical beings, of course, but as spirits.>  The Iskoort shifted his weight back and forth, seeming almost embarrassed, as the whine in his diaphragm reached an uncomfortably high pitch that wavered like nervous laughter.  He knew that this was the point where most aliens either believed him, if their species had similar beliefs, or decided that he was insane.  <Such spirits can occasionally cause harm to this reality, so they must be exorcised where they appear.  Knowing their true natures can sometimes help to either calm or control them.>

This thought reminded Truth Seeker to glance down at his Cons-fi Reader again.  He did have a job to do here, after all.  He took a couple steps in the general direction of the bookshelf, where most of the spirits seemed to be gathered, but then he stopped, tilting his head quizzically.  He had initially tried to tell himself that it must just be the way the dim lighting was reflecting off of the screen, but at this point he could swear that the entirety of the viewfinder was glowing indigo.  The same color that represented the consciousness fields the device was designed to detect.  The glow, which had appeared as an imperceptible haze when he'd first entered the Bar, was slowly growing brighter.  <That isn't possible,> he muttered to himself.  For some reason Truth Seeker felt like the Bartender was staring at him, but when he looked up, the strange, silent man was simply polishing a dry glass with a stained towel, looking at nothing in particular.
Posted by: Terenia
« on: August 12, 2017, 01:31:08 PM »

<Humans,> Ardania echoes, suddenly looking eager. <I have heard of humans. I expected them to be...taller.> She looks from Mar to Al, finally settling on Mar. She appears to completely ignore his explanation of his true being. <Are you truly incapable of avoiding violence for more than a standard hour? And you have no tail to speak of, despite being bipedal?> She inches closer, as though to peer around to see Mar's backside.
Posted by: Myitt
« on: August 10, 2017, 11:58:17 PM »

Jorek stares at Keshin, his host's boyish visage the picture of slack-jawed confusion.

He collects himself, clearing his throat. "Don't be ridiculous, I'm not going anywhere near that thing," he says derisively.

The Emperor ignores Keshin's question about the Andalite 'bandits' altogether.
Posted by: Shenmue654
« on: August 10, 2017, 05:58:54 PM »

Jeffrey threw up his hands in a shrug and said, "Sure, why the hell not?" He grinned. "Don't have anything better to do. So, Batman and Superman are two of the superhero fictional characters that made it through the collapse of my whole society. They were created more than a thousand years before I was even born. Batman's like..." Jeffrey frowned. He had no idea how to convey the idea of 'Batman' to a species that might not even know what humans could do and what antiheroes and Hypers were. "...he's somebody who does Hero stuff without being a Super. Without powers beyond what normal Mundane humans can do. So basically he protects people from bad guys--Villains--- who don't have powers either, and also just regular old thieves and crooks. Where I'm from, what Batman does is called 'being a Hyper,' and strictly speaking it's illegal. People without powers aren't supposed to be heroes or villains."

"Superman, though, he's a pretty standard Hero! Granted, nobody on my whole world has got as many powers as him, we've all got one per customer so to speak, but he's kinda the prototypical example! True blue pure and honest, forms Hero organizations, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound and lift tanks, few weaknesses...all the Heroes probably idolized him and wanted to be him, growing up." Jeffrey points to himself. "Me? I had other ideas."

"See when these guys were invented, there was nobody like them in the world, but in the future? There're tons of us!" Jeffrey laughs. "People with abilities normal humans don't have, y'know? Mind control. Regeneration. The ability to set crap on fire with your mind!" Jeffrey bent down to look at him and said, "...so what's your interest?"
<Yes, actually,> Mar said to her, with a smile and a nod. He might as well use public, seeing as she had just stated he could use thought speech for all the world to hear and he had no reason to hide it. <Well, this time I am. It was a bit more variable of an ability on my last trip here. You see, I don't normally have a physical body like yours or those of my friends here. I am a non-corporeal, psychologically viral entity of a kind...likely only described in Andalite fairy stories. Essentially, I can implant the idea of me in another's mind. I exist on the plane of mind and spirit-- of energy--- rather than that of matter.> Mar gestures outside the ship. <This place generates my physical form as soon as I enter, thereby limiting the utilization of my abilities to the Master of the chancel's benefit. The creature I am and some here are or are replicating are called humans, by the way. They're not normally capable of thought-speech.>
Posted by: Terenia
« on: August 08, 2017, 11:20:30 PM »

Yeden scoffs. "The Andalites have focused the vast majority of their firepower on false leads and presumptions...some thing they are rather good at. The moment they think an open war is imminent, they will--"

He cuts off, interrupted by thought-speak. His immediate response is to spring to his feet, looking for the Andalite...but no, the thoughts penetrated his mind in the same way as an Andalite, but the tenor was different. His gaze falls on the newest patron of the bar, eyes widening.

"What, by the Kandrona, is that?" he asks, sounding more fascinated than alarmed, though one hand does drift to his holster.

Ardania's main eyes don't leave Ossanlin as he speaks. Despite her obvious exhaustion she regards him with the expression of one meeting a myth or a fairy tale. <I...yes, sir. I will take whatever services are available.> One stalk eye darts to Al, the other to Mar. She hasn't reacted to either of their words, except to shoot them curious, albeit wary, looks. <May I ask what these creatures are, sir?>

Then Mar speaks in her mind and she jumps. <You are capable of thought-speak?> she asks, surprised.
Posted by: DinosaurNothlit
« on: August 07, 2017, 09:24:15 PM »

Truth Seeker backed up a step as a possibly hostile alien strode towards him.  It took a couple moments for his translator chip to make sense of the new language, but the linguistic structure was simple enough, and so he was able to understand almost everything after the phrase 'sorry to disappoint you.'  The translator didn't have translations for 'Batman' or 'Superman,' though.  Names, perhaps?  Names weren't usually translated by the chip.  But why was this alien saying that the two named individuals weren't here?  Truth Seeker had not asked about- oh!  Suddenly, it hit him what the alien must have meant.

<This 'Batman' and 'Superman,' they are fictional characters in your society?> Truth Seeker inquired, barely able to contain his excitement.  Here was a chance to learn about an alien culture!  To learn of new myths and legends!  <I am not searching specifically for either of them in particular, but would you mind telling me more about them?>

Truth Seeker had glanced down at his crystal-ball-computer device as he spoke, his gaze wandering over the screen just long enough to suggest that something might be amiss with what he saw.  But, after a very brief confused expression, he shook his head slightly, seeming to brush it off as his imagination, and turned his attention back to Jeffrey.

If anybody was at the correct angle to see the screen of the Iskoort's device, called a 'Cons-fi Reader,' they would see a video feed of the Bar, as seen from a camera on the front of the device.  Around each patron was a halo of indigo light, representing their 'consciousness field.'  Jeffrey's field was slightly brighter than the others, with thin tendrils snaking from the main glow, and the three Yeerkish patrons each had two fainter glows, mostly but not quite perfectly overlapping one another.  Truth Seeker had noticed none of this, since he was in the habit of simply disregarding the data from 'non-fictional' entities.

However, there were also several hazy shapes of the same indigo light, many of them gathered around the Bar's bookshelf, that didn't seem to be associated with anything that could be seen with the naked eye.  They were fuzzy like television static, and faint enough that they could be interpreted as some kind of interference that the device was picking up.  But, somehow, these indistinct glowing shapes darted about, almost ominously, flitting between shadows, like predators waiting in the dark.  A few of them had stopped moving, almost as if they were watching Truth Seeker.  As if they knew that he could see them, and they didn't like being seen . . .
Posted by: Shenmue654
« on: August 05, 2017, 08:54:19 PM »

Keshin smirks slightly. "And in your book, drawing the ire of the Andalite militia is a problem? Your Eminence, our entire race has drawn the Andalite militia's ire for at least the next half century. A change in infiltration tactics is not going to make that much better or worse than the festering bog pit that it is. Unless..." Keshin gets a slightly more interested expression on his face. "...by chance you're talking about it in the United States' sense of that word...and that odd rumor making its way across Earthbound fuel depots?"

Keshin, of course, was referencing an odd (and juicy) bit of information that Keshin generally took with a grain of salt: that a ship's worth of stranded Andalites were engaging in guerrilla warfare against the Imperial invasion force on Earth. Keshin and Joanne had left the planet a few years before the rumor had started getting interesting, so they didn't know much about it on the whole. It was possible that the the Councillor did though, which was worthy of further probing at least. "I had always assumed that that was a...pardon my English, but a load of bullocks. Are you simply the type to believe in obscure rumors, or is there some kind of confirma---"

Keshin suddenly stopped speaking as the oddest thought speech voice he'd ever heard broadcasted spontaneously through his head. He gave the two Councilors a quizzical look, and then said, "...should we...check it out?"
Jeffrey sits up suddenly with an incredulous expression. The...thing...that had just walked in was somehow, if anything, more bizarre than anyone he'd met so far, and that was really saying something. Jeffrey stands up and saunters over to the creature, staring openly at him. "...the **** are you supposed to be? You look like the back end of a condor and the front end got thrown into a blender with an accordion! My god was the Drake equation off. And uhhh, sorry to disappoint you, but Batman and Superman and that sorta thing are like, nowhere around here. Disappointing, I know. This place could use a bit more crazy."
"You were actually constructed to draw inordinate amounts of attention to yourself?" Mar says to Al quizzically. "I mean that explains...a lot...but why? I mean no offense, but most people tend to desire robots that are inconspicuous. Helper types." Mar shrugs.

He then turns back to the young Andalite that Ossanlin was speaking with, listening carefully to their conversation. Mar raises an eyebrow as Ossanlin tries to disclaim his fame. "From what I've heard and seen, War-Prince, whatever they might say about you could hardly be more exaggerated than the real thing." He then gives Ardania a pleasant smile and sends along a brief fraction of his aura and a thought speech statement to test the waters. It would register as slightly condescending and suffocating to most people, but with a strong tinge of security and warmth added. <<By the way, if it makes you more comfortable, it appears as though I am fluent in a more...natural form of speech this time. >>
Posted by: Luke Skywalker (Ossanlin)
« on: August 03, 2017, 07:31:33 PM »

Ossanlin glances at Al with a stalk-eye.  <I'm afraid that without the med-bay the best I can personally offer you is field medicine...I could seal the wound and give you an antibiotic...that's about it.>  He glances again at Al, this time with his main eyes.  <My...friend...is an artificially intelligent humanoid robot.  He might be able to offer you better treatment, though that is completely up to your own discretion.>

He shakes his head a bit, directing his main eyes back at Ardania. <I'm sure that whatever you've heard about me is greatly-exaggerated.>  He falls silent as he watches a strange alien run by.  The thing seems to tickle at his memory, but ultimately he comes up drawing a blank.  Very odd indeed.

To Salem, he sends a private thought.  <<What good would a manipulator be if he revealed his talent for manipulation?  At any rate, at the risk of sounding rude...what is it the humans say?  Bovine excrement?>>  He pauses, showing nothing in his facial expressions.  <<At any rate, the war is one of Sector Seven's most powerful tools.  Without it...with seclusion, the propaganda loses its impact, and their most-effective measure of control loses its bite.  Not to mention the implications...ther e would be civil unrest in such a situation.  Honor is very important to Andalites, unlike some...>>  He pauses pointedly for effect before continuing.  <<Withdrawing from the war would be seen as an abandonment of honor...of the very character of our species.  I can assure you that Sector Seven has nothing to gain and everything to lose by withdrawing from the war.  So excuse me if I find your 'intelligence' to be suspect.>>  In the context, the word "intelligence" likely refers to Salem's 'evidence,' but Ossanlin's tone suggests that there may be more than one implication to his last phrase.
Posted by: Myitt
« on: August 03, 2017, 01:01:33 PM »

Myitt watches the strange ship motor its way down to the docking yard, all of her attention lost on the metal that sits in her lap, as she herself sits cross-legged in front of the Bug Fighter.

"What the hell is that?" she says, half to Guppy, and half to herself, staring as the Iskoort moves past them, staring right back at them.

Jorek is about to offer a retort to Yeden and Keshin, when he's interrupted by the strange creature at the door, who bellows in thought-speech.

"My word," he murmurs, eyeing the Iskoort. "Now there's something you don't see every day."
Posted by: DinosaurNothlit
« on: July 31, 2017, 01:12:03 AM »

A bizarre craft, clearly not Andalite nor Yeerk in design, drifted slowly down through the atmosphere of the asteroid that held the Galaxy's Edge Space Bar.  The hovering object was barely even a ship, really.  Just a flat square platform, about twenty feet across, supported at the corners by the four parallelogram-sided blocks which were its engines.  The whole thing seemed to be made of brightly-colored plastic, in haphazard rectangular patterns of many different colors, with the sole exception of a silver dome, about ten feet across, that rose out of the back of the main platform.  This dome's smooth metallic surface was a stark contrast with the gaudy colors and sharp edges of the rest of the ship.  But, for the most part, the only thing between the craft's sole inhabitant and the vacuum of space was a barely blue-tinted force field, which flickered off as soon as the ship touched down upon the pavement of the Bar's parking lot.

A lone Iskoort walked down from the ship, carrying a bulging blue cloth satchel nestled under the third elbow of his right arm.  In his clawed and tentacle-like hands he held a device that looked like a small computer, except that there was a bronze rod going horizontally through the monitor, and both ends of this rod held glass orbs, each of which was about half the size of the 'computer' part.  The Iskoort gripped the device by these orbs as he intently studied the screen in the middle.

His build was tall for an Iskoort, but slight, almost fragile or whimsical-looking compared to the average Iskoort (if there were such a thing as an 'average' Iskoort).  His stalk eyes were relatively huge for his vulture-like face, giving him a perpetual expression of rapt attention.  Those familiar with his species, and the physiology of their various castes, would have recognized him as an Iskoort of the Superstition and Magic Guild.

He looked up from the screen, but did not put down the odd crystal-ball-computer-device, as he walked towards the Galaxy's Edge Space Bar through the mostly-derelict shipyard, loping along across the gravel in his awkward-looking backwards-kneeling Iskoort way.  He glanced in passing at another parked spacecraft which seemed to have at least two other species of alien around and within it, at least that the Iskoort could see.  He wore an enthusiastically curious expression as he looked at them, as if part of him sorely wished he could stay and talk to the fascinating strangers.  But it seemed that the Iskoort had more important business elsewhere, and so he reluctantly hurried on by.

He had to drop his strange device to his side for just a moment in order to open the door to the Bar, but as soon as he had done so, he brought the device back up, grasping it protectively with both hands again.  As he entered the Bar, the soft but slightly grating wheeze of his accordion-like diaphragm rose slightly in pitch with anticipation, and he announced in public thought-speak, <Greetings!  I am Truth Seeker, Grub of Soul Caller, brother of Name Collector.  I am here to certify that this establishment is free of the spirits of fictional characters.>
Posted by: Aluminator (Kit)
« on: July 30, 2017, 02:01:56 PM »

When Mar accuses Al of always needing to be the center of attention, Al gasps melodramatically, hand to his chest. "Center of attention? Moi? Why, I never..." he pauses and squints at the palm of his hand, as though reading something written there. "...Er... I mean... I always." He smiles sheepishly and shrugs. "It's a big part of what I was built to do. 'We can't change who we are,' is a false thing I often hear organics say, and I've tried to live my life by that philosophy ever since..." he looks down at his watch-free wrist, "...about two seconds ago."

When the Andalite speaks of the deaths of her crewmates, he swallows and shuts up, letting Ossanlin take the lead. After a bit, he clears his throat. "Hey, Ossanlin, Ardania, I can offer some basic medical help." He puts on a thick Scottish accent and gestures back into the ship. "I brough' me bag an' everything." He looks at the newcomer and drops the accent. "If you're okay with that."

Salem actually laughs out loud in response to Ossanlin's words, earning himself a funny look from Al. He leans against one of the bulkheads near the hatch of the Mirage, still out of sight of the newcomer Andalite. A civilian, apparently. Interesting. He's probably made the right choice by staying out of sight for now- not that it matters with Al and Mar trying to have a conversation with her. But in his admittedly-limited experience with Andalite civilians, anything that doesn't fit the propaganda on which they've been brought up can be a bit of a shock. Granted, this appears to be a scientist. Once she gets over her skepticism about the bar's... how had Ossanlin put it? Quantum-dimensional nature? Once she accepts that, she's likely to have a field day with this place. He immediately pictures this newcomer as a younger, science-ier version of Amiya, running around and getting excited over every little bit of weirdness this place has to offer. The thought makes him grin.

<<Verbal web,>> he says, his tone light. <<Ossanlin, I think you have a much higher opinion of my ability to manipulate than I do, but I appreciate the sentiment.>> He sighs, his tone becoming darker again. <<What I could use, War-Prince, is your help with... with at least one very specific thing. It's help that I doubt you'd be willing to give unless you understand the gravity of the situation.>> He swallows. Screw it. <<I believe I have evidence that... at least some of Sector Seven is moving to pull the military out of the war, and to leave the rest of the galaxy to fend for themselves against the Yeerks.>>
Posted by: Terenia
« on: July 30, 2017, 08:00:09 AM »

Ardania stares with all four eyes, her stalks suddenly finding the War-Prince infinitely more fascinating. <The War-Prince Ossanlin-Rethn-Sephirel?> she asks. Her thought-speak edges towards incredulous.

She shakes off her awe. <I...no, I did not receive morph-capabilities. I would be grateful for any medical assistance you could provide, though it is not urgent. Sir.>

One stalk eye jerks back in the direction of the humanoid. She doesn't respond directly to him, though her head ****s slightly and she can't hide the look of intense interest that crosses her face at the proximity of such alien beings.

Yeden's lips curl up in amusement at Keshin's obvious anger, though if he notices anything odd, he doesn't seem to care. His smile turns thoughtful at his words.

"Admittedly," he says, "I have only had this host for a few cycles, so I have yet to fully experiment with it. However, what you're speaking of is absurd. Not only would it take an extreme amount of time and retraining of our lieutenants, but it would immediately draw the ire of the Andalite militia." He rolls his eyes at that. "Far better we deal with those grass-eating fools first before we discuss such notions."
Posted by: Shenmue654
« on: July 28, 2017, 03:49:49 PM »

Keshin's mind boils with anger as Yeden speaks, both Joanne's and his own, and he tenses her fist to prevent himself from acting out. Joanne's eyes suddenly appear to be the wrong color, too bright, about half a second, and a couple of split ends and frazzled bits of hair stand on end. Keshin closes his eyes immediately and sighs sharply. <<No. It's not worth it. It's not. They could kill us. In seconds. Even with our accursed "gift," and you know how badly a discharge could throw us off.>>

<<....yeah. ...no ****.>>

Keshin opens his eyes. "I don't appreciate the comments, although I understand your concerns well enough. I excel in negotiations and subterfuge, not necessarily in fighting," he says almost casually. "My host is actually well-suited to this purpose, although the smaller physique of human women might suggest otherwise. Not only that, but I find more value in her than in any fellow kin I have yet met."

Keshin smiles very slightly at this. "Think about it. We inhabit a very cruel world, sirs, where everyone is being used towards everyone else's advantage without room for genuine allies. We treat the one species who has members so broken they might be willing to let another species run their lives as if they were cattle. The reality is that they are excellent pawns, with a self-defeating, self-sacrificing ethic that makes them ideal soldiers. They also have incredible genetic potential. Tell me..."

Keshin looks between both of them. "...you both have human hosts. You know what I am talking about. How in the world has the Council not exploited it for everything it is worth? Exposed our true reason for making contact with individual humans instead of making do with the ridiculous deception we have on Earth? Symbiotic Controllers with willing hosts, more loyal to the Empire than any human government, could easily overtake the Andalite military. As for whether I'm hiding anything..."

Keshin shrugs a bit. "...you would have to make it worth our while to reveal it. I am currently considering a large number of options."
Mar listens to the exchange between the two Andalites with interest. The young Andalite sounds nothing like Efaen, the other female he had seen. Why, she sounded just like a young girl--- lost and alone.

He bowed. "Madam, I can't speak to anyone else, but you would be in good hands with the War-Prince here. And if you would be at all interested in a stranger's aid, I shall be happy to provide it. As for the Bar and its Highest, you should ensure that you stay out of any disputes. The chancel's holder enjoys watching fights, I believe."