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located in Future/Sci-fi, a part of Universal War, one of the many universes on RPG.

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- Interstellar Space - Carrier Burning Dawn -

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Shisali had been roused from slumber hours later by word from the bridge. The crewmen who passed her in the halls were, to a one, humming with excitement as they dipped their heads in salute. The ship seemed more alive then it usually did; Essok were even using the runged celing panels to hurry through the tunnel-like cooridors to their stations, all six limbs propelling them overhead.

She was only mildly suprised to see another figure standing on the Command Dais that was not her Second. The smaller male wasnt even wearing the black jumpsuit of the Starclad caste, just a looped bandolier of dark leather pouches against pebble-gray scales that reflected green when the light of the instruments hit them. He didnt bother to turn his head, but Shisali knew it well, with its broken half-tusk and threatening scars.

"Hunter Alpha Vessk." She greeted him on equal terms, stepping onto the platform. He relinquished it with a similar balance of authority. They were both of equal rank, as far as any outsider could grasp the concept, but this ship was Starclad territory, and thus he must accept his place standing beside and slightly behind.

"Hunter's Moon sends. Something has responded to our message." He replies without preamble, "The Scientists are comparing it to what language we already know."

She wondered if he had already been here when it had happened. Hunter instincts were something no Starclad could replicate, for all their persuit of knowledge.

"What do we know?"

In the semi-circle trench below, the crewman she spoke to tosses his head in an approximation of a grimace, "Very little, Ship's Alpha. It is sound only. The signal is strong, whatever has sent it is approaching." With a flick of dexterous middle claws, he plays the message across Shisali's personal console.

Vessk wuffs air through his three nostrils in mild distaste, "Flat-sounding." He declares, comparing it to the multi-layered noises that comprised the Essok language, "But I hear no threat-noise."

Shisali would have to trust the Hunter's hearing; he was used to the endless ways other creatures postured before attack. "Send to Hunter's Moon. They will remain in the open, but we will send through them. Alert our Wing Alphas. If there is trouble, they will launch as soon as we are clear of the ice. Until then, they are to remain in their hangars."

The crewman makes an 'auk!' noise of response. The bridge goes on about the buisness of her orders. Soon enough, the scientists and their computers have checked and re-checked every sylable of Cazaz's message, and deliver what information they can. Dominion was a name. They wished ... something to do with their empire and the stars. Perhaps an alliance, or at least peace. But it was something to go on, and the Essok were adjusting their computer algorythms to understand more and more of the alien tongue the more examples they heared.

Emotions amongst the crew flip-flopped between cautious optimism and paranoid fear. It was the same throughout the small fleet, but felt most prominently out on the exposed Hunter's Moon and Stormbreak.

The battlecruiser was a broad spearhead shape, very thick, with its multitude of turrets currently closed behind armored blisters. The smaller cruiser beside it was shaped like a stylized bird's head, with the bow distended into a hooked beak. Neither sported any visible bridge windows, but both were a pale gray in color and both were very large for their respective classes. One might even mistake the battleship for the flagship carrier of many other species. They hang silent, for now, waiting to see what becomes of their invitation, placed close together for mutual protection.