• Nobles of Null is a forum based roleplay site where sci-fi and magic collide. Here, Earth remains fractured and divided despite humanity reaching out to the stars. Worse still, the trans-human slaves of one major power have escaped, only to establish their own Empire, seething with resentment at abuses of the past. Even the discovery of aliens, though medieval in development, has failed to rally these squabbling children of Earth together with its far darker implications. Worse still, is the discovery of the impossible - magic. Practiced by the alien locals, nearly depleted and therefore rare, its reality warping abilities remains abstract and distant to the general populace. All the while, unseen in the darkness of space, forces from without threaten to press in. For those with eyes opened by insight, it is clear that an era is about to end, and that a new age will dawn.

Vita's Introduction

Ray of Meep

Wiki Moderator
320 Late Autumn

Low Zhuque Orbit, Li Ming System

The Shitou-Tu 403 (Rock Rabbit) was a small, three-story tall shuttle carrying a simple, civillian, cylindrical shape, shielding the internal, connected compartments from space debris and micrometeorites. Owned by Tongfei (Together fly) Orbital Transporation, it was painted in company colors: an Earth-sky light blue, with wide stripes of white. Thin, metallic, silvery radiators lined the bottom of the vessel, close to the thorium nuclear engine, like two forward swept wings, as the drive fired at a steady, one-third g acceleration in the direction of the flight, slowing the entire spacecraft down.

As the destination became visible to the naked eye on the external cameras, a few kilometers out according to the range finders, the main engine shut down, and the Tu began precise reaction control thrusts to line itself up with the space station. It was the Menel'Fen-Gongchuang Station, its two large centrifugal rings striking, flanking a spherical core in the center, with branches of thin radiators. Painted on one of the empty surfaces were two flags: that of the Commonwealth of the Dawn, and its mother superstate, the Heaven Forged Republic. Branching out further from this primary cluser of structures were a mishmash of smaller, cylindrical modules, painted in garish, golden colors, with depictions of red flora that covered the planet below and the native fauna. Each of the modules carried their own flag of an unknown nation.

(References: https://noblesofnull.com/threads/menelfen-gongchuang-station.309/#post-2742)

Vita's cockpit, the bridge of the spacecraft, was located on the top floor. Besides their crash couch, there were seats for three more people, each seat mounted with their own monitors to access the ship's systems. A central ladder at the center of the room, shielded by guardrails and an airlock hatch, led downstairs to the passenger compartments.

The pilot would receive a ping on their comms, one of broken, awkward Mandarin. "... Shitou-Tu 403, this is Menel'Fen-Gongchuang Station. We have you on radar. Please state your purpose in MGS orbit-space."

Vita clears their throat and picks the comms up. "Hello and very welcome on my comm line! You are contacting the GLORIOUS Shitou-Tu 403 from Tongfei Orbital Transportation coming to pick up the most precious cargo one can find, people!"

There is a laugh, one that lasts a bit longer than it should. it darkens a bit before they sigh with post laugh bliss. "Sorry sorry. Just a bit of... gaffing about! I have not had much contact with much of anyone as I am here to pick people up rather than drop off. Truly a shame wouldn't you say!"

Vita sat in a pretty worn seat, there are even some slash marks in it from when they had to cut themselves free from it, the fire safety in this vessel could truly stand to be better. They still had a bit of an itchy left eye from some ash, causing them to squint it just a bit. Giving a mild impression of a scowl with their resting expression. They where trying to keep a more friendly demeanor though. A wide toothy smile showing, it's downright terrifying. Especially since they had worn the smile for a while now, just as practice to brush up their... social capabilities."

There were mumurs on the other side of the comms, language completely unknown to the human.

"Uhm. Hello?! Am I audible?" The figure says, trying to speak clearly and in a way that won't peak the microphone.

A surprised voice and another burst of alien conversation came through, before heavily accented Mandarin was spoken again. "... Okay... Apologies. Shitou-Tu 403, you have been expected. Your identification checks out. Please proceed to Port 2 and standby, in person, next to the airlock.

The docking maneuver would take 30 minutes in total, as the traffic controller on the station went through the procedures, line by line, this time with a more fluent Mandarin speaker in the background, giving pointers as the controller guided Vita and their spacecraft to lock with the docking port.

At the airlock, the inward swinging hatch opened up, revealing six Aos Si, maglocked to the floor, with their luggage strapped together in a large bundle behind them, floating in the microgravity. Above their flight suits, they wore elegant, colorful robes of red and green, the same flags on the space station embroider onto them.

One of the Aos Si stepped forward, his black hair tied in a bun behind his back, tan like his compatriots, tall and lanky. "Nihao." In the typical HFR style of greeting, he clasped his fist into his palm in front of his chest, then bowed slightly. "My name is Aithlin Trisqen. I will be the interpreter for our group." Aithlin stepped to the side, gesturing to an slightly older looking Aos Si, with a few wrinkles on his face and a few strands of silver hair. Who knows how old he actually is. "This is High Priest Nuvian." The interpreter introduced, the high priest nodding in response. "Thank you for assisting in our pilgrimage."

"Good greetings to you all! I hope the wait was not too... bothersome! Legally you can call me Vita." They give the casual version of the HFR greeting to them all but with the intensity of a very formal greeting.

They look up to Aithlin, the same face On display. "Would you like to be shown to where you shall be resting, hopefully undisturbed, for this voyage!" They gesture to the door that leads to that part of the vessel.

"F-Fei ta?" Aithlin raised an eyebrow, struggling to pronounce the "V" in Vita, doing his best to do so in Mandarin pinyin. He turned back to the High Priest, translating the pilots welcome. The Aos Si gave an inquisitive look, but stepped forward with careful steps all the same, his entourage pulling along the luggage.

The passenger compartment of this spacecraft was laid out like a single floor apartment, three small private quarters, a storage area, and a central common room with a ladder that led up to the bridge. Other configurations would've had the floor space jampacked with bunkbeds. As the Aos Si strapped down their cargo in the storage room and settled in, discussing amongst themselves, Aithlin approached Vita curiously. "Feita... You said this was your legal name, is there some other name you go by?"

Ray of Meep

Wiki Moderator
"Well I certainly do NOT have an illegal name. That would just be silly! Please, Vita works just fine. I insist!". They say, in a way that might suggest the existence of illegal names beyond pure jest.

"Now i have had questions about this in the past, so I will say this ahead. The windows are safe. One hundred percent safe. There is galactic forces moving around that might make a sand on plate sound but the windows will not breach I can not reiterate enough how safe the windows are" they say with mild exasperation. They had either been asked this a lot or really does not want you to try and find out.

The four windows scattered around the common room were half an average human's height and a forearm's length's thickness, the view outward partially impaired by the outer shell of the vessel. Still, the Aos Si entourage gathered around on of them, looking out in awe to the red and blue planet below. One of them crossed their arms across their chest in an X shape.

Aithlin carefully studied the human, before replying, "The assurance is appreciated." The High Priest then sauntered over, speaking up. The interpretter translated: "We're ready to go. How much more preparation do you need to do on your end?"

"Oh I will just... Check the fuel. The air... see that nothing is awry if you know what I mean" they say with their strangely intonated voice. Giving mild jazz hands, more like swing hands in terms of tempo but that doesn't sound as good.

"After that I should be all goood. I would start getting very comfortable already. But we will have a long time to get comfortable don't we?" They laugh again, it's one of those laughs that almost sounds fake because of how archetypical it is.

A few minutes in the engine room checking the telemetry, then a few more on the bridge would show all systems nominal; it was old, tried and true technology afterall. The Shitou-Tu pushed off from the station with soft thrusts from the RCS. Once it floated a kilometer away, the entire spacecraft rotated, aiming for the Jing moon, then fired up its main engine again, flying towards their destination at a comfortable one-third g. The entire trip would take nine-to-ten hours total.

There was a knock on the bridge's hatch. Aithlin climbed up, holding onto the guard rails to steady himself, clearly unaccustomed to spaceflight. "Would you mind if I sit with you? This journey to one of our moons is a new experience for all of us here, chartering travel with a private Commonwealth corporation as well. The High Priest has instructed me to speak with you, and I personally have questions myself." The Aos Si was straightforward, his Mandarin wooden, but textbook correct.

They seem to look comfortable in the seat, keepin an eye on the view and the piloting systems while a smaller screen seems to contain some literature to their side. Currently going unobserved, as Vita seems to have noticed their new company.

Seeing Aithlin's lack of travel balance they raise an eyebrow. "Oh! yes please! Ask any any any questions, I will only not answer some of them. For, personal reasons..." they exclaim with some bravado. "Anything specific I may... enlighten you with?" their attention slowly shifting to the Aois Si in the room.

"You are... a Bairen, a white person." Aithlin observed, "I've rarely seen your particular ethnicity during my time studying in your country. Though, I suppose it shouldn't be surprising that all kinds of humans exist, just as there are many Aos Si ethnic groups. Nonetheless, my impression was that most, if not all human inva- I mean, immigrants, onto our planet were Mandarin, along with similar ethnicities."

He leaned against the guardrail, his hands pressed against the front of his body, one hand holding onto the wrist of the other, eyeing Vita curiously, like a hawk. "Your name is strange as well... F-F-" He tried to pronounce the V again, but failed and gave up. "-Fei, ta. You are unlike many others. Why?"

"O! Well yes I assume I do have a very whitish complexion. My ethnicity is very... let us call it up in the air yes? that will make things easier for both of us." They have a very complicated national origin that takes a long time to explain. So they thought it better to just let it be for now. Vita hears Aithlin mispronounce their name again. "I don't mind the way you say my name, not at all I can promise you that, pronounciatiation can be difficult" Their Smile is still very off putting.

"Vita is generally a shortened version of my full first name, Vaïtiaraünlheitdraup. I prefer the shortened version much more than my full legal name." They laugh again, still way longer than they should be.

Aithlin was visibly taken aback, his eyebrows knit. "Fei-ti-a-ra-u..." He gave up on trying to pronounce the name. "Feita it is then, much easier in comparison. You really are an odd human," He observed, "Everyone I've met have three syllables in their names, at most. Even Aos Si don't have long names like that. You really are an odd human, or are Mandarins only one small group? You must tell me of others beyond the Commonwealth. To my understanding, the Commonwealth is just one state of a greater Republic, but then there's other human nations even beyond this large... super-nation, as you call it."

Vita navigated an eye back to the control systems for a second. Making sure things where still tip top. They where. So they moved their attention back to Aithlin. "Ah yes, my name is very eccentric! As many put it, it comes from a very traveled background. And much like my background I do LOVE to see new things. The universe has such fantastical things for us all to seize." They comment, making a tight fist for visualization's sake.

"If you want to know about the other types of people then you have just the normal human to fulfill that request. The factions as of the moment are the American Union, the Commonwealth of worlds, the Union of Socialist Worlds and the Heaven Forged Republic. That would be the organizations that consider themselves human! Whether they like it or not" Vita explains, though mostly from memory. they had most likely visited a majority of these locations at some point whether as a child or in their work. "Though I will have to reflect my curiosity back at your culture like a laser bent by a mirror. What nations And cultures does the Aois Si dwell within!?"

"Quite a few." Aithlin mused introspectively. "There are the Goedwish, who currently live amongst your kind as near-equals, a few holding political office in your Parliament. There's the Erinuns, my people, who've formed the United Erinun States and have sought to better our lives by developing our own technology, and emulating yours. Then there is the Ethunin Hierarchy. Quite a large empire to the south that have held onto hegemony even during your people's initial conquest, through sheer manpower. They're rather fundamentalist, until we gave their client states a very bloody nose some years back."

"Of course, as we've learned from you, there are Aos Si on other worlds, with other star mothers, all with their own cultures. I haven't even discussed the smaller ethnic groups on our planet. We are as diverse as your people are."

"That makes sense! Variety is the multicolored spice of life that burns your tongue in a fun way!" They exclaim with some bravado and theatrics.

Ray of Meep

Wiki Moderator
Vita scratches their neck a little, reaching for a bag of some sort of snack. Opening it up and eating some. "So... I am feeling a little bold at the moment. I SHALL ask you a question I have been a bit curious about. Do you know anything about MAGIC!?" Their eyes seem to almost dilate a bit as they ask this question with some intensity.

"Magic..." The Aos Si murmured the words several times under his breath. "Lelya golodh." He spoke words in his native, Erinun toungue. "I have read much human interpretation of 'magic' in your literature. Tell me, Feita, what does 'magic' mean to you?"

This seems to have caught Vita's full attention. They look at Aithlin with terrifying fierceness Like that of a hunter staring down their prey, Vita was a big magic nerd.

"Magic is something very fascinating, something equally as boundless as it is incomprehensible. Not a tool yet not an element, something beyond what one could simply study. Magic is Beautiful!" They monologue with Shakespearean ferocity.

"An abstract take, but 'incomprehensible' is a good starting description of it." Aithlin nodded, making a small smile at Vita's enthusiasm. "In Erinun, we don't have a word for 'magic'. 'Lost knowledge' is closest equivalent." He stood up from the guard rail, carefully pacing around the center in thought. "Our myths tell of great Aos Si civilizations, our ancestors, who ordered and reordered nature to their will, divine children of the natural gods, sent to the earth to reshape this planet. But in some nebulous event, we've lost favor with the natural gods. Our old, grand cities crumbled away as we lost our abilities to shape nature. Such abilities do not require armies of machines that you humans use to construct your monuments. They are what you'd consider 'magic'. For us, it was the typical powers of our ancestors, until lost."

He stopped in front of a monitor, watching the camera that pointed to the Jing moon. "We hope that this pilgrimage will help us rediscover our birthright. For milennia, we've practiced Praui Nimloth, worship of nature, seeking favor from the natural gods once again. Even as we've adopted your technology, we sought it worthwhile to shape them to resemble the natural order, restating our alleigance to Them. Yet... no answers return. Perhaps what lies in that temple, the language of our ancestors, will grant us new insight into rebuilding our relationship."

"Huh. So you guys want to get magic back? What a noble goal! Is it for some grander purpose or magic for Magic's sake?!
" As Vita talks it's hard not to notice how excited they look about this. The sliver of a chance to see magic again after so long of worldwide denial. "From the way you speak it seems that magic is something innate to the Aos Si that you understand but for some reason are unable to use due to your connection with your old gods being severed? What event caused this to fail?!" They have almost fully taken their eyes off of the screen now. Looking towards Aithlin with eyes that seem to almost pierce the soul.

"It is unclear." Aithlin lamented. "The wars that followed destroyed much of our own history, killing our elders and reducing events to myth and legend. We have gleamed two events prior to our loss, from our mythology."

"One story common across all ethnicities in the UES is the arrival of foreign Aos Si, demi-gods who've descended from the heavens. Panic and forewarning of the 'End Times' followed, as if these Aos Si came from the gods Themselves, as messengers, of the gods' abandonment and farewell."

"The next was the change in one of our constellations: the Three Sisters of Harvest, guarded closely by Diondar, the Hero Protector. The youngest of the Sisters one night grew brighter than her siblings, before dimming to nothingness over the course of a year. It is said that she rose up in defiance of the gods' decisions, before her lifeforce was steadily drained out of her as her sisters and protector simply watched, daring not to join and challenge the gods."

"That's rough buddy." They nod. "We have tons of stories about magic as well, mostly about magical people. I guess people are more fun to write about than a fundamental force. Wouldn't you say?!" They give a wicked smile. An attempt at understanding and comfort.

Turning their attention outwards they correct some values and beeped some boops on the systems. "It is GOOD your people believed in magic still. Most humans didn't believe in it at all until the recent DEVELOPMENTS. wink wink." They wink very slowly, it's very uncomfortable.

Aithlin let out a 'hmph' at Vita's coyness. "Yes, I've read some of the human interpretations of magic. For us, it is less fantastical, but moreso a past reality that we seek to reclaim. We have our own fantasies as well, mind you, depictions of a past, glorious era in which our ships roamed the skies, golden cities on land, amidst the clouds, beneath the waves."

"You speak of recent developments. My main concern is the relationship between the UES and your Commonwealth. To this end, the pilgrimage we are currently embarking on is the only major development, as far as I know. What do you happen to know beyond my own scope?"

"I do not know much of anything about magic except my own experiences. I have known since I was a child that magic was real, despite what others have told me" they say with some resolutenes. A strange amount of determination and certainty.

The Aos Si's eyes widened, then let out a knowing chuckle. "I believe you. Even in our dilapedated state, we know the gods still live, and occassionally create miracles. It's not surprising that such a miracle would happen upon a human; perhaps the gods, briefly, have favored you. Of course, your scientists would dismiss it as a natural anomaly, or error in your senses. To us, there is no difference between 'magic' and such natural anomalies."

"Have faith in your senses, Feita."
Aithlin assured the human. "Through my experience with humanity, your people, I've learned you are quite resourceful. Sure, your greatest minds are in denial now, but once the gods return fully, they can no longer ignore the presence of 'magic', and will exploit it as they do so with metal and fire. You will have to choose what to do when the time comes."

They nod. "I'm happy to hear this, most people just call me crazy. Or insane, or a work hazard, or 'is going to get us all killed someday' or looks like I'm about to stab someone(which I have not done yet) or-" it seems like they are going to just continue, it starts getting increasingly worrying And specific.

They do stop eventually. "This might actually have been my longest conversation with someone." they cock an eyebrow. "On the talk of magic though. I APOLOGIZE for getting off track. I do believe that magic could become commonplace, and when it does I really do hope it becomes something worldwide and not something hidden and monopolized by some sort of secret society of wizards. That would just drive me M A D." Full crazy eyes looking towards Aithlin.

The Aos Si put a hand over his mouth in amusement. "You ARE an interesting human. Quite the imagination. Secret societies of 'wizards' will be an inevitability, I'm afraid; the presence of power will always lead to those who seek to monopolize it. I'm sure your society also has organizations which will dominate a certain technology, if given the opportunity."

He turned around, ready to climb back downstairs. "This has been a fascinating conversation, Feita. Thank you." Aithlin looked up to the human. "You've given me much to discuss with the High Priest, and for myself to muse upon."

They continue a stiff an awkward smile. "I will take that first comment as a compliment for the sake of my self esteem. Yes. Please enjoy the rest of your long trip, I am sure you will e n j o y it" they say with their best(it's not good) customer service smile. After which they return to just looking out into the stars, keeping an eye on the systems but mostly just looking out. They grab a bag of snacks.

Hours passed. The common room's security camera would show the Aos Si congregated in a circle, sitting still and conducting worship, books placed in front of them. Aithlin would've made conversation with the High Priest, occassionally pointing up to the bridge. Midway through the voyage, warning lights would turn on, informing the passengers of a flip-and-burn maneuver, the entire spacecraft turning 180 degrees to point its engine at the Jing moon, and begin deceleration.

An hour before touchdown at the local spaceport, the moon was well and visible from the windows, taking up a sizable portion of the view. The Aos Si priesthood made prayers again in front of this new, unfamiliar sight, while Aithlin climbed up into the bridge.

"The High Priest has taken a curiosity in you, Feita." The interpreter addressed the human. "He would like to extend an invitation to you, to join us on this pilgrimage, as a witness, and friend."

Somehow, their eyes go wider. "What?! That sounds like a fantastic idea! to me at least!" They exclaim with visible excitement. They could definitely take their time off now. They have at least a month or so saved up from their many years of no days off service.

"Let me have a few minutes to pack my things!" They seem to almost disappea behind the chair. About ten seconds pass, and then they pop up like a gopher.

"I HAVE PACKED my things!" They show a hilariously small backpack.