125 125. Diplomatic Meeting

Xhanctela or Axela as was the closest translation in English for her name sensed the strange world around with high curiosity and utmost fascination. And why wouldn't she?

Beyond the plain being magnificent coated in all golden glory there were the reasons behind this almost heavenly place's existence. This was the technology, one she instantly understood was more advanced than the one of the Coalition, it was seen before with the synthetic animals that drove them here.

The little glimpses were enough to demonstrate the knowledge behind those creatures was more advanced than the one in the Coalition's vast database. Something only she thought the Harvester was capable of, and even then it was beyond.

The most evident aspect of it was how these artificial creatures seemed to have been made, but it wasn't by either machine or people as no matter the skill and precision traces will be left behind showing they had been manufactured.

But here there wasn't any, not even a speck of anything, it was as if they were warped into existence, popped into reality in an instant from sheer nothingness.

That wasn't all. Each atom and subatomic particle that was made was arranged in ways that were not possible for something stable, the Fundamental Laws themselves bent to follow the exact instructions given, and every parameter accounted for to grant perfect efficiency.

Matter itself was molded into this shape and function disobeying the laws of physics as it did so.

And it was incredible, there was no other word.

Then there were the force fields, both the 'small one' and the massive one generated by the three mysterious floating pillars, their being on hard light was rather bizarre from her understanding and it would be for anyone at first.

The Senomorph were masters in the art of manipulating these solidified photons but there were good reasons it wasn't used for shields that went beyond personal or other large hard structures.

Hard light was extremely versatile, resilient, and powerful but that was only on small scales. It needed a viable emitter, the larger the surface used the weaker the structure was in both stability and solidity. Then the energy consumption increased exponentially to the point of ridiculousness past certain limits.

This was why force fields were not made of hard light at the cost of versatility and adaptability. But the regular force fields of the Coalition such as one using magnetism had certain inherent problems to be taken into account.

Without the use of extreme violence or deactivation, it was impossible to go in and out of a force field. It was both good and bad. The only solution to do so was another force field of matching frequencies and energy signatures, this was to temporarily merge the shields to pass through.

It was particularly problematic for projectiles, be they solid or not, they required a short-lived version of the force fields to not impact it from within.

But in exchange, they were extremely solid, stable, and energy efficient. Yet for those force fields of hard light she could see, they took the best of both worlds and improved upon it. All of this was thanks to this elusive element seemingly omnipresent in all branches of technology.

"What is that plant?", Thessalia suddenly asked as a shape on the horizon became more and more apparent, the only true tree of the golden plain.

And one that didn't have golden leaves making it only stand more, its bark was of a pearly white, and long sinuous branches climbing up to the fake sky grew thousands of long light pink tendrils wafting slowly within the air current.

"A <Ultraya Mokri>, in English it's a Tree of Voices. A supposedly sacred plant in the culture of sapiens hominids known as Na'vi that you have learned about and is native to Pandora. It's the closest connection to a being known as Eywa, the All-Mother or Great Mother. However, I do not know how… Or the veracity of it.", Axela answered the next microsecond, even showing a hologram of both male and female versions of the species that were given to her the first day.

The information given was generous, it meant they were no fear to be used against them in any meaningful way. And if that was the case there was no need for fancy technology, organic being a major weakness was their frailty. As such information of the sort speaking of where the heart and brain are was of little importance.

Nodding at this the blue-skinned woman spoke with tension in her voice and body, her eyes dilating slightly as she felt more of the Psionic, "This is true then, I feel a presence… An immense and ancient presence… And this is from this tree… No, it's far more, it's primordial. I don't know how to use words in this language but what this life form is, it's the source of this psychic field spreading light years away from here. And it knows we are here, observing, judging, and waiting."

"Indeed my sensors spoke of a Psionic concentration, and it's far inferior to Pandora yet it is distinctly the same. The power within is still far above that of a Harvester Queen less be said of a Leviathan. It further considers the theory that it is the biosphere generating this field, but how does it possess such immense strength?", the Senomorph said with the equivalent of a frown with her light. Their discussion m came to a sudden stop as both stopped in front of a large lake of crystalline water.

The water was so pure that everything could be seen within even the bottom thousands of meters below. From this and the shape of the soil, it was easy to deduce this was likely an old mining site but that thought was of little importance as something happened far closer.

It was silver in color, shining brightly like the most polished of metal under the light of the force field. There were thin lines barely thicker than a strand of hair, then more came as they multiplied, three lines became nine, nine became ninety-one, and ninety-one eight thousand two hundred and eighty one, and this in an endless pattern.

Those silvery strands flowed into the water and began to move with great purpose and precision, weaving themselves into shape as they formed a bridge of this very same silver. A grand bridge of elegant design, unknown carving pulsing a blue light to an unheard melody.

The majesty of it aside, this was a show of force, an unworded threat if they became enemies of one another. Those were not simply silver strands to make art, this was a weapon.

'Nanotechnology… No, it's far beyond that… Those are not nanobots, those smart subatomic particles working through this element. It multiplies itself creating more than it uses… How? How, it should be impossible!', Axela thought, analyzing very briefly this silvery liquid, beyond the scientific implication of this substance it could rival in threat level the Harvester in their entirety.

The Coalition did have similar scenarios to the 'Grey Goo' and they were all if not stopped immediately, ending in the most apocalyptic of manners, even for space-faring civilizations. No, particularly for them, the isolation between different colonies was a boon and a curse in this case. One particle of this silver bridge could eat the planet and spread through the air with no one noticing.

Maybe she was overreacting but this thing… This thing was terrifying, the necessity to build a good relationship was stronger than ever in her mind, there was little doubt if it didn't go well her death would be the least of her problems.

However, there was another reason, if these things go feral… The less was said the better, there were reasons rules on this type of technology were very strict, if something like this went rogue the Harvester became a nonproblem, and not for good reasons.

Unaware of what was going on in Alexa's mind, her blue-skinned colleague said with wonder, "This is beautiful."

"It is.", she replied, it was good she was unaware of what she was so eagerly walking on. Ignorance could prove a useful tool at times as long as it wasn't kept this way forever.

And so they advanced until they reached the end of the bridge, large and elegant silver doors blocking all possibility of seeing on the other side. The only proof of what was behind was the Tree of Voices' crown casting a shadow over them.

Then the doors turned to silver sand that was wafted away by a soft breeze revealing what was behind, a small island with a tree growing, its large roots creating an alcove, below it were two beings that were facing them.

The first appeared to be an odd female Na'vi, with purplish-blue skin striped with lighter shades of blue, and bioluminescent dots forming complex tattoos, her long hair whiter than snow was arranged in complex braids, a long tail ending in a tuft of the same color, long ears with the ability to move independently and two pinks eyes staring at them. She was wearing a complex if rather revealing dress of white cords with crystal-shaped flowers glowing a deep blue like what was seen on the bridge.

And the second was visibly male by the heavily muscled and naked body even if primary sex characteristics were absent.

The body plan was that of a human but the similarities ended here. He was far too tall, his skin was light blue and transparent revealing behind a muscular build a lack of any organs but a metal lozenge in his chest from such grew blue and purple being pulsing to the bridge rhythm. His hair and beard of blue light shifted in the air as if in the water while the two silver stars that were his eyes studied them critically.

'So those are the All-Father and All-Mother but I can't sense him… Or her. How peculiar? And what type of life form is he?', Axela thought with fascination and puzzlement, puzzling her every sense besides smell, sight, and hearing, sending her back data that did not make sense.

Though Thessalia was visibly more shaken, her eyes opened as if in melding, the act for her species that was mostly used during mating. It wasn't the case here, implant and training made an ability she used to feel Psionic and she was visibly in shock even if she appeared rather calm on the outside.

"And so we finally meet in person High Diplomat Axela of the Coalition, and you…? Who might you be, curious little lady?", the male one spoke first, his lips moving before his deep echoing voice reached them from everywhere at once with a delay.

The one mentioned at the end had her pupils contract slightly at the attention placed upon her, however this did little to affect her. She was old, experienced within this art of diplomacy since before she was a Maiden, and as such only looked up respectfully into the burning eyes of the man of light and spoke calmly, her tone respectful yet not subservient.

"My most sincere apology for having peered.", she began and continued reading at his non-aggressive stance, "I'm Matriarch Thessalia, the ambassador of the Asari Republic, the second most powerful member of the Coalition. I'm pleased to have the great honor of being my species' first contact with you All-Father."

"Asari? Hmm, interesting. I hope it will not be the last, your natural ability to bend dark energy in such a way is fascinating.", the All-Father said with no visible emotion, his mildly interested gaze making her feel like a young girl with all her secrets bare to him.

"We found it of equal interest to my mate.", the white-haired Na'vi said, her voice soft and melodious like the soft ring of bells. This confirmed that she was the All-Mother but the next thing she did shocked the ambassador.

Eywa floated off the grass and zipped around studying Thessalia as the latter froze like prey in front of a predator, her mind unable to comprehend what was happening and how to react. Lazy yet engrossed pink irises scrutinized her while waves of Psionic flowed through her, a dark clawed hand larger than her swiftly passing over her head tentacles.

"Now love, please calm down, you are unnerving one of our guests. Do you recall my lesson on consent and personal space?", the man of light said, causing the Na'vi to stop and float back to him with an amused if mysterious expression.

After this he snapped his fingers and silvery liquid flowed from these very same fingers, it flowed for a short few seconds grasping the attention of the Asari and Senomorph as it shifted into a rather simple if beautiful table and four chairs each specifically made for the different body plans came soon after.

"I hope my mate's action did not shake you too much Matriarch Thessalia, she is very interested in the way your biology functions and so am I.", the massive human-shaped creature of light said, mentioning for all to take a seat, or hover down in the giant sphere case.

"No, no I'm in an adequate state, All-Father.", the aged Asari said with a rather fast shake of her head not wanting to mention this again.

"Then I declare this first official diplomatic meeting between the Coalition, I, Liam Cram the All-Father, and Eywa the All-Mother commenced.", Liam declared with a faint smile and claps of his hands.

"I and the Coalition are immensely grateful for this chance given to us, All-Father, All-Mother. Words fail to express the joy I'm feeling at the potential positive outcome.", Axela spoke for the first time, her voice equally serene as four days ago but it was easy to discern she was far less calm. It was a mix of excitement and nervousness.

Then her light brightness ever so slightly increased out of shock as four elegant cups of a metal pulsing blue manifested into reality, each filled with a steaming black liquid but it wasn't finished. Silverware, regular plates, and multi-layered fruit plates filled with a wide collection of pastries, snacks, and the like.

"You can eat and drink to your heart's content, from the database I have in my possession and it shall be safe for consumption, and to your taste. Even for you, High Diplomat Axela. You are guests, ones that I and my mate did not foresee but you are polite and respectful as such it is for me to treat you in accordance with your actions. This is but a little bit of an amenity I could at the very least give you.", the Homo Deus explained, his smile growing ever so slightly.

However it wasn't one of pure friendliness, there was no hiding it, this was pure courtesy on his part. A reaction of equal measure to their actions and it spoke a lot of what could happen if their first impression was not this 'good'.

Though there was a true chance given, a little bit of goodwill for them to prove was worth the risk.

"Now let's not dwindle and start immediately."

*

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