Over the next few months, life on the ship had become sporadic and random; one day they would be discussing several factors about the planet and their living status and their well being, and others pure boredom and apathy reigned supreme. Keldin definitely wanted their opinions on the matters of what should happen with them and their entire race.
Raynor and Cassandra both were surprised to be allowed to have any input as to how the planet should be ran. While Kadrak pointed out his distaste, the other Etherians noted it was their duty to preserve the race of as many species that inhabited the previous planet, and that included humans. Both of the humans became a sort of liaison between humans and Etherians, providing their input to their ways of life and finding common ground in cultural standards and practices.
The first thing they began with were the basics, the concept of time. After deliberating with a few of Keldin’s machines, Cassandra found Scaarn’s rotation and revolution to accommodate an extra month of thirty-one days, and six extra hours in the rotation. The speed and rate it rotated and revolved around the sun also eliminated the necessity of Leap year, the terraforming machines were amazingly accurate with just about everything there is to be on that planet.
The Joint Etherian Council held no objections to the way Cassandra calculated the time, naming the new month Ethray, in between December and January, in dedication to their own race of course. The month almost immediately became a Holiday for the people, unofficially for the time being but likely to be stamped as official once its tradition sets in.
Gravity was mostly unchanged, despite the abnormally large size of the planet compared to earth. It was about 1.10 times the gravity of the previous earth, and so it took Cassandra some adjusting to realize she’s not fat for weighing a hundred and fifty pounds.
Kiki, Cassandra’s cat, and Andre had become rather good friends over time. Although his artificial intelligence is severely limited, he still managed to form a friendship with this animal, helping Cassandra to take care of it. Unfortunately, Andre had also become a bit of a scratching post at the same time. Wasn’t harmful to the android in any way of course, but the screeching of claws on metal became rather annoying.
Raynor kept to himself mostly, staying in his room or eating by himself in the lounge area. He was more antisocial than ever; the conversations he had with Cassandra occurred once a week at best and even then they were kept short. Andre tried speaking to him, letting him know it was unhealthy to continue staying alone the way he was. He even suggested bringing in another android like himself, only a little more suited to his tastes as opposed to his memory. Raynor didn’t like the idea of a robot with pretend emotions babying him though, and simply scoffed the offer away.
Cassandra tried to have a little fun while she could on the ship, using the synthesizer to create games she remembered from earth. Unfortunately, the more complex the game was, the harder it was to replicate from memory. Video games were almost completely impossible, so simple board games were all that were available. She managed to create a Mahjong game even though the pieces weren’t entirely authentic. Still, it was a way to pass the time at least.
Like many humans, both Cassandra and Raynor had their guilty pleasures as well. Cassandra’s were fairly simple, she was your average girl with no outlandish kinks to speak of, so a vibrator and some scented candles here and there did the trick just fine. Raynor on the other hand, was a little more complex.
It was hard for him to find anything that sexually aroused him in any way, he never really thought of sex as something important to him. Being a loner all his life, the social pariah in high school and the outcast in the family, the normal teenage thoughts of sex never hit him. While the diapers and other babyish items were fun to wear and play in, it was simply that, fun. His guilty pleasure was somewhat opposite of Cassandra’s. He found his libido to be a nuisance, and created a device, a sort of shell to go over it and prevent it from ever being aroused.
One thing that always struck him oddly though was Keldin knew what he thought so deep that he even knew of his child-like side, and yet the alien never mentioned anything about turning from a man into a woman. Raynor, feeling it was too awkward never really brought it up either.
A few days before the ships were able to land, Keldin called Cassandra and Raynor into the lounge area. Cassandra’s hands were fidgeting profusely, and her body was shaking. The temperature was normal and the ships monitors didn’t detect any signs of a fever or illness, and yet when asked if she was okay Keldin and Raynor both were met with hostility.
“I just…I just wanna get off this fucking ship right now!” She screamed.
Andre stepped in to shed a little light on the situation as he had far more knowledge of humans after spending time with Cassandra than Keldin did. While Etherians possess the ability to read minds, not everything can be learned through such intrusive measures.
“I believe it’s called Cabin Fever,” He stated. “I noticed her tremors two days and six hours ago, but could not get her to calm down or tell me her troubles. I asked Raynor, and supposedly this is not actually a disease but an amassing of stress and anxiety purely from being kept in one location for abnormal periods of time.”
“I see, but then why does Raynor not exhibit the same issues,” Keldin asked.
“I’ve spent a lot of time in my room away from family and friends, I’m kind of a loner and just used to it I guess.”
“Very well, for now I see she is not fit or coherent enough to go over what will happen, I will inform her later. Despite the causal nature of this illness, I ask that you keep her in her room and watch over her Andre, until we are safely landed on the planet. If she becomes a danger to herself or anyone, you have my authority to restrain her.”
“Woah woah, isn’t that a little…excessive?” Raynor stopped, trying to comprehend the situation.
“Imagine for a moment she became anxious enough to try and find a way off this ship in a more violent manner. This ship is barely stable, there are sections that don’t even have air or pressurization and we’re quite lucky to have survived this long to be honest. I just want to see that we have a safe journey to the planet; even if it is right there within our grasp.”
As Andre began guiding Cassandra back to her room, Raynor continued the conversation, “Why did they give you a rusted heap of junk instead of something a little nicer.”
"Well…apart from the terraforming device being so bulky we had to strip the ship down of unnecessary parts, to be blunt, I am somewhat of a fool amongst the eyes of our council.
I am by no means unintelligent, but where there were scientists that focused on hard facts and applications and what they can do to help the government, I was more of an idealist, focusing more on theories like an endless supply of far more efficient energy than we use now, genetically engineering various new and differing species of plant and animal, and of course the terraforming project."
“But you got them to listen to you about the whole terraforming thing right? That’s something at least,” Raynor asked.
“Well, no actually. I’m afraid I haven’t been entirely straightforward and honest with you. I got the Djinn to listen to my idea, and negotiate a ceasefire with the Council. I tried the Council to begin with, they wouldn’t hear of it, they laughed as if it were something ludicrous but the instant the Djinn decided to help, they band-wagoned to the idea as opposed to continuing a pointless war they knew they were going to lose.”
“And let me guess, now that things seem to be working to both the Etherians and Djinn’s favor, the council acts like they were supporting you the whole way, right?”
"Well…yes and no. To the Djinn, the Council treats me as an honorable hero, who brought peace between two intelligent and equally advanced species, or mostly equally anyways.
But behind closed doors so to speak, not only am I still the foolhardy idealist, but now I’m a traitor for going behind the backs of the Council and negotiating with the Djinn on my own terms."
"Wow…that kind of sucks. I mean, it may not have been what this “Council” wanted but you actually did something to bring peace.
Where I come from, bringing peace to a nation or group of people always involves some form of hostility and struggle, any time some politician says they want to bring peace to X country, we can outright expect people to die. You actually brought peace without further bloodshed, they should be kissing your ass right about now…" Raynor exclaimed.
Keldin chuckled, “Assuming you mean some form of praise or worship, I do agree in some sense. While I’m not in this for the glory or the fame or fortune, I would at least like to be treated with some modicum of respect for saving not one but two civilizations from a pointless war. But, the council decided to carry out an official sentencing anyways.”
“Wait…sentencing? What sentencing?”
“That’s why I brought you two here, I wanted to tell you what’s going to happen to me now that the project is completed. I’m still considered a traitor by the Council’s standards, and so I’ve been condemned because of it.”
“Condemned to what, are they not gonna let you be a scientist or something?”
“No, I’ve been sentenced to death.”