Factions, Families, Clans, and Empires
Height: 6.5 feet
Species: Grnthat'ls-Rough translation is 'Mirrorphage'
Biology: The Mirrorphage lifespan is roughly twice that of a human's, however they take 3 times as long to fully mature. This places Tal'Uhn at a human physical age of 16. The Mirrorphages evolved from creatures that resembled birds, and have wings, however neither they nor their ancestors are capable of flight. Over millennia, the Mirrophages lost most of the feathers of their ancestors, and now resemble a tall, grey-skinned human. They have a short beak, similar to that of a falcon, and an almost neon-blue streak of feathers down their back. Rather than feathers, their wings are flaps of leather that fold down under their arms, similar to that of a bat.
Special Power: A natural, uncontrollable Illusion, which is where the name 'Mirrorphage' comes from. Anyone who is in the presence of a Mirrorphage cannot perceive their actual location. Rather, the Mirrorphage will appear on the exact opposite side of them, as if there is a mirror angled directly at the location of the actual Mirrorphage, a projection of the creature that is referred to as a 'Mirrored.' This makes them the ultimate creatures of stealth-however, they are not able to turn this ability off. The Mirrored is all that is ever seen of them. The Mirrored cannot be touched or interacted with, and if the Mirrorphage walks into an area where the Mirrored is obstructed, the Mirrored will simply walk through the object. This leads to many misunderstandings where people believe that the Mirrorphages are actually capable of Phasing, which is not the case.
Weaknesses: The Mirrorphages are nearly inept at facial expressions, pointing, or using visual references for things about people. They have little to no fear reaction, even in situations of extreme danger, and will often fail to remove themselves from harm's way as fast as they should. Their Mirror Illusion can be seen through by sufficiently advanced technology.
Skills & Training:
-Scientist specializing in alternative power sources.
-Has worked on wormhole-based ship engines.
-Has basic training in firearms (Pulse weapons only, however-does not know how to deal with the kickback of a projectile weapon) He has never had to actually use one, however.
Tal'Uhn has worked as a scientist for most of his life. Just like most of his race, he prefers peace when at all possible. He avoids confrontations, and regardless of how much he disagrees with something, he will usually let the other person believe what they want and then do what he wants anyway. He will not argue, even if he believes the actions of the other party will get him and anyone else killed. Even for his species, he borders on the extreme edge of pacifism. He is, however, one of their top scientists, and was on the verge of finishing his research on the engines required for interstellar travel before he ended up on the ship.
Tal'Uhn has an overly analytical mind. Even though his race already has a nearly nonexistent fight-or-flight response, Tal'Uhn's is low even for them. He, like most of his race, has never had to deal with a situation where he was in any real danger, and thus he has no idea how to react to such.
Gadgets/Equipment: An informational tablet resembling a PDA that contains most of his research notes.
The Mirrorphages were very close to interstellar travel, but hadn't quite managed to reach it yet when Tal'Uhn vanished. Tal'Uhn was the top scientist on the project, and with his help they were making great progress. He is one of the best scientists on his planet, but the people of his planet hadn't yet succeeded with interstellar travel, and he now finds himself unable to understand many of the pieces of the ship.
Tal'Uhn awoke to fire. This was new. He slowly stood where he was and glanced around the room. He saw three of his Mirrored standing, just as he was, in different parts of the room. Looking at the debris, Tal'Uhn presumed it meant three of the creatures he saw before him were still alive. As he used the Mirrored to pinpoint which ones, he suddenly began to feel a burning in his left leg.
"Wtryl'vgi'nk," he cursed, moving to the side and wrapping his patagium around his leg to extinguish the flame, burning his arm, yet ending the fire. He moved closer to one of the ones he assumed was still alive, a fact reaffirmed by his Mirrored approaching the same body and leaning over it in perfect sync with him. The creature was a peach color, clothed in some kind of fabric construction-the same one that he now realized was on him. Tal'Uhn kneeled to lift the creature, but found himself not strong enough to lift it-especially with his newly burned arm and leg. His species was not particularly known for their strength. Or their survival sense, he realized, as he felt another brush of heat and remembered that this was a situation of urgency that he was not going to be able to just hide from.
Deciding that the other living creatures should at least have a chance to explain whereas happening, Tal'Uhn began to roll the one in front of him away from the fire and damaged equipment. As he did so, it occured to him that the equipment he was seeing was far more advanced than anything he had seen in... Why could he not remember? He felt the name of his home should be something rather important. He continued rolling the other survivors as he puzzled over this.
Tal'Uhn finished rolling the other three survivors out of the flame's range. The prescence of his three Mirrored indicated that the others were all still alive. However, none of them had yet awoken and he didn't have the knowledge of their biology to help them. Instead, he backed away from them, getting a far enough distance so they wouldn't actually find his real body, and he could interact with then through his Mirrored.
As he sat, waitingfor the others around him to wake, Tal'Uhn took a look at the systems around him. From what he could discern, they seemed to be the remains of cryogenic systems, but the technology was certainly far beyond anything he could understand. He would need to find someone who knew the ship, or several months or years to pour over and translate the information. The stuff he could learn from it, however, could be world-changing. He reached for his RaDID (Research and Development Information Database), only to realize he did not have it.
"Wtryl'vgi'nk, grs thl'cxu nlh qteps" he grumbled to himself. He wished he had it, for more reasons than one. He wanted to take notes on this place, sure, but he also wanted to remember. He knew he had a RaDID, and he remembered doing important research on wormhole transport, but he didn't know WHY, or who was with him. He knew his name, he knew his work, and he vaguely remembered his home and species, but he had no idea whathe was doing in this place, or what these creatures around him were. In fact, he was surprised he remembered something as complicated as the Mirrored. He needed a course of action-one that would hopefully keep him out of the fires raging further down the hallway. Tal'Uhn decided he would head further down the hall, away from the fire, and keep an eyeon the other creatures if and when they woke.
He set off in search of people and answers, leaving the creatures and fire behind him.
Tal'Uhn started as he heard a shout behind him. He turned and watched as one of the creatures leaped at his Mirrored self. Watching as the Mirrored seemed to float back for the creature, he stood back in the corner and answered the question. "I am not aware of where we are. However, I do think it would be rather impolite of you to kill me for dragging you from the flames."
Tal'Uhn slowly limped around the hall, trying to position his Mirrored realistically while getting a look to see if either of the others had awoken. Both of the others seemed to be where he had left them. He turned back to the creature that had threatened him. It seemed to be speaking his language, but Tal'Uhn could not discern how. The creature didn't seem to have a mouth capable of the clicks his species used. Tal'Uhn prepared to speak in the manner he had been taught was proper for first contact, although he couldn't remember when or why he had been taught to speak in such a formal and stilted manner, nor why it was believed to be the 'proper' introduction method. He began to speak regardless: "Now, as I highly doubt you will be capable of hurting me, if you do not mind I would like to ask you two simple questions. One, who and what are you? I certainly do not recognize your kind. And two, if I have never heard tell of your kind, how is it that you can speak our language so fluently?"
Tal'Uhn turned his side slightly, to showcase his burns to the strange creature. He hoped it would help with the trust issues. Deciding to add more to the speech, instead of waiting for a reply, he added, "I am Tal'krn'wnyqd'pln'drt'mclwd'Uhn. I awoke in one of those now-flaming pods, much like I assume you did, and upon realizing the survival of you and two others, removed you from immediate danger and began to search for information. As of yet, I have not found any reasons to justify such blatant mistrust, so I must ask why you feel it is so necessary to threaten my wellbeing."
Tal'Uhn reasoned that it was a fear reaction that lead to such actions, and thus the other two were likely to have similar such reactions. He probably would too, if he wasn't so sure of his safety and the others' inability to locate him. The trait was common among his species, and he hoped his calm, along with his forwardness, would help reassure the other as towards his intentions.
Tal'Uhn listened to the creature-Aylen, it seemed-and was surprised by how aggressive she(he presumed, anyway) seemed to be. But she had stopped attempting to slice him, so there was progress. Tal'Uhn looked at the small disk she had indicated. He pulled it off for a second, and was startled as he lost all understanding of her speech. He hurriedly reattached it, in time to hear more declarations of mistrust. She certainly wasn't the diplomatic kind. As such, Tal'Uhn dropped his formalized speech patterns.
"I don't think we need to move them. They're out of the fire's reach, and it's not likely to spread all that far. The two of us are awake. They should be soon-My guess is they were in the other pods.". Tal'Uhn hoped he'd been convincing enough. The real reason he didn't want to move them was one of self-preservation. He wasn't ready to explain the Mirrored to the crazy fang creature just yet, and he doubted it would go unnoticed if she saw one of the others getting pushed by nothing while he seemed to be on the othe side of the room struggling to push air.
Instead, Tal'Uhn moved back down the hallway. "I think it would be more productive if we got a better idea of where we are first. We should get an idea of what--". Tal'Uhn stopped. As he hd walked passed the door, he had noticed another body that seemed to move. He supposed the Mirrored for it could have been inside the wall-there might be another survivor. However, as he moved towards the body, he saw it mOve from him at twice his speed. He froze at the implication.
"Did you see any others like me?" Not waiting for an answer, Tal'Uhn turned to face the body directly, and walked backwards. It appeared to fly towards him, again, at twice his speed. He sped up his walk, checking behind him to make sure he didn't hit any flames, and watched as the body-or, actually, the Mirrored of one-stopped in front of him. He looked at it to see an exact duplicate of his own face. "Oh."
Tal'Uhn stood up and turned to Aylen, knowing that she had probably just seen him walking through walls and in circles like a lunatic. "It's me," Tal'Uhn said, repositioning himself so that his Mirrored was back in the hallway.
Tal'Uhn stood, shaken, and followed Aylen down the corridor. He still believed there was more to discover in the cryo room, but the air did not seem to be livable much longer. Tal'Uhn continued after her, fully aware that he must look insane to her as his Mirrored walked down the hall backwards. He didn't particularly care, however-he didn't really like her, and if she didn't understand him, the better off he was.
Aylen confirmed his suspicions of the unstable atmosphere, a deep cough coming from her throat. It presented an interesting puzzle to him-the cough from her throat was clearly her own, despite the fact every other noise she made was translated using what sounded like his own voice. Her involuntary noises seem to be her own, Tal'Uhn thought, which would mean the translator can tell the difference. How could that- Tal'Uhn froze. A telepathic link!. Tal'Uhn was overjoyed at the idea. He vaguely remembered theorizing such a thing was possible, but to actually be using one--an alien-designed one no less--made him almost giddy. He couldn't wait to meet the crew of this ship. He had so many things to learn about--
His tangent was interrupted by the crash of the collapsing door. "Agh! Was that entirely necessary? You can't just go breaking--". Tal'Uhn's scolding of Aylen was cut short as she collapsed and was shot by what appeared to be a tranquilizer. That was good- at least the crew wasn't out to kill them. Tal'Uhn breathed the fresh air from the newly opened room, glad for the reprieve from the air that was probably about to kill him. Tal'Uhn then stood by the opening as the smoke cleared a little and he was able to see the android speaking to him, along with the Mirrored tied to it, standing behind the guard.
Tal'Uhn hoped the android wasn't too clever-the Mirrored weren't as convincing to mechanical eyes. He knew if the android was advanced enough, or had enough information on his biology (something that was more than likely, as its purpose seemed to be guarding over the creatures in the cryo lab) it would easily be able to pinpoint his actual location. However, it did seem to want to help-Aylen did seem to be in some kind of medical bay. Tal'Uhn, however, did not like the idea of being contained as such.
"Actually, I'm over here," Tal'Uhn said, making his Mirrored wave at the android, "and I certainly would appreciate not being shot. As, for now, I seem to be in decent health," Tal'Uhn hid his burns, "why don't you just point me in the right direction, and you can go help the other two creatures out of the smoke and fire in the lab. I'm sure they need the medical attention much more urgently than I." Tal'Uhn hoped the android would listen--and could understand him. He didn't know if the telepathic translator would work on machines. All the more reason for finding an actual crew member. Tal'Uhn awaited a response.
Tal'Uhn's interest perked when he realized the android could see the real him with such accuracy. He was really looking forward to meeting the designers of such a detailed machine-and, given how polite it was being, he doubted they would be anything like Aylen. As the android finished speaking, Tal'Uhn was glad to learn that he would regain his memory. "Unfortunately, I have not. But I do thank you for asking. I am Tal'krn'wnyqd'pln'drt'mclwd'Uhn. I realize that I am rather calm for such circumstances, but I do feel it would be beneficial for me to spend a short time in your medical pods, as I have spent several minutes breathing the toxic atmosphere behind me, and I do not believe I will be able to maintain consciousness for much longer. However, if it would be more productive for us to head to a more stable environment for me to heal, I believe I can maintain my current state of being until then."
Tal'Uhn was about to continue when he was interrupted by Aylen's threats from the medical pod. He did wish she would stop threatening to kill everything that entered her range of vision. "I apologize for my... uh... companion's manner. She did not handle the former situation very well. However, she seems to be calming down now, so I think it would be best if you led us to a place with a more stable environment. After, of course-"
Tal'Uhn was once again interrupted by the destruction of a door on the other side of the room. As it fell inwards, Tal'Uhn saw a creature with a similar biology to him, although it seemed physically closer to Aylen than himself. Upon the creature's entrance, however, Tal'Uhn saw his Mirrored seem to waver, becoming almost ghostly rather than the opaque appearance they normally took. There was a slight twinge in his stomach that he didn't recognize-an aversion to the events taking place. An impulse to move back. Tal'Uhn followed the impulse and took a step back towards the hallway behind him. As Aylen spoke, for one Tal'Uhn felt a measure of agreement towards her query and the actions it implied.
Tal'Uhn nodded to the android and moved to the 'medbed,' as it seemed to be called. He lay down and felt the rush of fresh oxygen purge his system, and some of the cloudier areas of his mind cleared up. He also felt a relief of the pain in his leg and patagium as a cooling gel was spread over his burns. He then stood and made room for the android and the strange, pinkish creature it had tranquilized. He looked up and saw his Mirrored had returned to full strength, and the feeling in his stomach left him. He returned moved to the side, away from Aylen and the new creature.
Upon hearing the android's assertion of their equipment's location, Tal'Uhn immediately moved to the lockers and attempted to open them-they refused his entry. He was about to ask the android for assistance when the video began to play.
Tal'Uhn stopped registering the strange alien's words about halfway through the video. He was too busy with one simple word... 'Endangered'? His memory was foggy, sure, but he knew his species was still alive. They had been thriving back home. There was no reason for him to be on this ship. He was not an endangered species-a fact he was quick to state as soon as the video ended. "What does it mean, endangered? Because the Grnthat'ls are not endangered. There are 3 billion of us on my home planet. Is there some kind of multi-planet requirement for your government? No, don't answer that, of course there is. Fine. Is there someone on this ship I can talk to? Someone... not an android? Not that there's anything wrong with you, but... I was trained for contact. I think. And I need to find someone who is actually qualified for something like this. Not- a remarkable advanced security drone. Back up." Tal'Uhn stopped for a breath. "Did she...it... say 60,000 species are in this place? Then why are the three of us... four if you count the one still unconscious back in the cryo room... the only ones here?"
Tal'Uhn, as he was babbling on, finally registered the rest of the video and moved back to the lockers, leaning over for a retinal scan. He needed his RaDID. Once he found a locker that accepted him, he immediately pulled out the RaDID and started scrolling through it for any information. He looked at the last entry.
We are preparing for the final testing phase. My hope is that our test burn will allow us to measure the potential for interstellar travel. So far, all tests have been incredibly promising. We are still having containment issues, however-I believe the test is at a low enough output to remove any risks. Jru'ktchr disagrees. I told him I know what I'm doing, but he still went to the council to have the test run postponed.
Tal'Uhn's reading was interrupted by a sudden wave of relevant memories. The test run, the leak in containment, the council hearing- the radiation poisoning. Tal'Uhn hurriedly put the RaDID away.
Tal'Uhn was still trying to remember details. He knew there was a leak... as to what caused it, however, there was nothing to help him. He was broken back out of his reverie by the android indicating their leave. Tal'Uhn watched the group move for the indicated passage, his Mirrored floating around the room and through the debris and walls as they maneuvered to the ladder. Tal'Uhn watched as they began to climb. He realized there was no way the Mirrored's behavior would go unnoticed after this--ladders didn't work well with them.
Tal'Uhn was the last on the ladder, his Mirrored appearing out of the wall in front of the group and start climbing as if they were in front. As they neared Deck 4, his Mirrored climbed right past the floor, where the others were climbing out. This could get complicated, especially since his Mirrored seemed to be fading in and out of his vision again.
Tal'Uhn climbed onto the deck after the others, just in time to hear the android speaking. Quad rocket fusion... the term sounded familiar to him, but he couldn't place it. About to check his RaDID, he was interrupted by the other information the android was giving. A bounty hunter? What was a Kami Tracker? Tal'Uhn knew he couldn't do this--tracking a dangerous killer around a ship with aliens he'd never met before? He was a scientist! This would have to be a job for the other two-Aylen and... what was its name?
Tal'Uhn spoke, ignoring Aylen's strange cat-and-mouse comment. "Well, if we're going to be working together, I need to know names. Then we can work out how you're going to take down the... Kami Tracker."